I have been a massive fan of the popular cafe latte and chocolate topped cappuccino since I tried my first ‘proper’ barista coffee in 2005 and then, I was quite simply. . .”hooked”.
One of my favourite past times used to be going to my favourite coffee shop, having the perfect window seat and writing poems in my notepad – I really loved it! Such a simple thing to do and I could easily sit there for hours people watching, pondering, reflecting and writing away. It was soulful bliss to me.
I actually didn’t realise how much the caffeine was adding to my enjoyable experience and how my creative mind seemed to flood with rhyming words and magical rhythms as soon as the caffeine hit kicked in. I later discovered that although this caffeine intake was great in the short term moment, it wasn’t so great for my long term mindset, sleep and general mood.
For me the instant buzz of caffeine raised my output to another level and my creativity and performance, albeit for a short period, was off the charts. However, with the highest of highs came the lowest of lows and I soon realised my body needed more and more caffeine to achieve the same hit. Well, this started worrying me and in all fairness, I just didn’t like it.
The negative effects of caffeine on me were too much to tolerate to keep on taking it. I experienced mood swings, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, heart palpitations, trembling hands, acne and mild paranoia. Caffeine was making me slightly psychotic, so I had to give it up.
It took me 26 years of drinking coffee everyday to then realise how much it was negatively affecting me – that’s a lot of coffee and a lot of money to Mr Starbucks.
Since 2015 I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride with caffeine – sometimes I would stay off it for many months and then try it again to see if my body could handle the effects any better. Nope . . . . . if anything, it was just getting worse.
So fast forward to today, 30 September 2022 and I am caffeine free once more. This time I not only cut out caffeine coffees, tea and soda drinks, I also removed foods containing caffeine, such as chocolate – damn it – such a shame on that one, as I really do love chococate but I just can’t take the cocoa content.
What can I say – I genuinely feel I’ve found me again. The real me without the stimulants and I’m starting to really feel great again. My mood is now balanced, calm and focussed all of the time. My energy levels are increasing everyday and I am improving greatly with my running. My sleep is undisturbed and peaceful every night. My creativity is back to where it should be, without the need for that caffeine fix. If I want a coffee or tea it’s got to be decaf/herbal and I never drink soda anymore, sparkling water is my thing now.
I have never found the process of cutting out caffeine easy. As a matter of fact, when I do start the detox process, my mood is low and irritable for about two weeks and the caffeine withdrawal headaches are 48 hours of intense throbbing craziness.
Will I ever go back to caffeine again? Not on your life! Caffeine just messes with the very essence of me and I don’t want that messiness in my life anymore.
The last few months I have also massively reduced my refined sugar intake and I think that has also helped me to get back to me.
How does caffeine affect you? If you rely on your caffeine fix every day to ‘perk you up’ and ‘stay on it’, maybe you want to have a closer look at that?
Quitting caffeine was EXTREMELY hard for me. I once heard this quote: “If you do what’s easy everyday, your life will be hard, but if you do what’s hard everyday, your life will be easy.”
In the longterm I want an easy life, so today I will do what’s hard.
Article written on 30 September 2022
Posted to Blog on 8 October 2022