Do you think you might be addicted to caffeine? | holisticsailor.com

Junkie

“Do you think you might be addicted to coffee?” my homeopathist is saying to me on the phone.

“No.” My answer is quick and confident.

“Are you sure?” she persists. “Why don’t you try stopping?”

“Sure,” I say. “No problem.”

This will be easy I tell myself after I get off the phone. I only drink one cup of coffee a day. There is no way that I am addicted to coffee. Sugar – maybe. Coffee? Absolutely not.

The next morning, I make coffee for my husband and tea for myself. I had planned to have herbal tea, but the wonderful aroma of the coffee distracts me and I opt for dark tea instead. It’s almost like coffee when you add milk and honey.

The words, “Do you think you might be addicted to coffee?” replay in my thoughts.”

‘Absolutely not,” I tell myself.

Day two and the desire for a morning cup of Joe is stronger. “Crap. Maybe I am addicted,” I wonder to myself. The sluggish, flu-like symptoms later that day confirm that I am in caffeine withdrawal.

“How can this be? I only indulge in one cup of coffee a day,” I whine. I think back to five years ago when I didn’t drink any coffee. I didn’t like the smell of it or the taste. Somewhere between then and now, I started to drink coffee. Coincidentally, this is also the time I began to experience hormone-induced sleep disruptions. Maybe fatigue drove me to medicate with coffee and now I am addicted?

As a late adopter of the coffee habit, I simply thought that I was slow in acquiring the appreciation for a nice cup of coffee. A friend (aka “coffee pusher“) bought us two colourful mugs from San Francisco. These large ceramic mugs replaced our 8 oz. cups and my one-cup-a-day habit became two, disguised as one. Who was I kidding? I was a coffee junkie.

By day three, the desire for coffee was still present and although I didn’t feel wonderful, I certainly felt more rested. I was sleeping more deeply. It is ironic that the medication (coffee) that I chose to combat fatigue contributed to more sleep disturbances and created a vicious cycle of dependency. I think this is how all addictions work.

Day four – feeling great and the bags under my eyes have disappeared. It is amazing how a good night’s sleep achieves the same benefits as a $100 jar of eye cream.

Fast forward a few weeks and I can tell you that I have cut my ties with coffee. Now, I allow myself one cup of coffee/week if I want it at all. I know that there are all sorts of studies that say that coffee in moderation is good for you, but for this sailor girl, I am healthier without it. This I think is due to coffee’s affect on the hormone, cortisol which thanks to menopause, is wacky. More about that in my next post.

I am fairly self-aware, so it surprised me that I was in denial about my coffee addiction. Although my habit was not severe, it still had detrimental affects on my health. What areas of your life are you in denial about and what are you going to do about it?

 

 

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