Coffee Project: Day Eleven

August 30th, 2009


Coffee wants me back

I’m tired.  Sluggish, drowsy.  I’ve been sleeping a lot but still in the daytime I feel fatigued.  I’m going to bed really early and waking up way too early, but I don’t feel any healthier, wealthier or wiser yet.  I’m definintely less irritable and anxious, although the recent mysterious failure of my home internet gateway has me dreaming of smashing it to bits. But I think that’s normal.

It makes sense, I guess, that my body will need time to adjust back to a normal level of wakefulness after having leaned on caffeine for thirty years.  Whatever the body’s natural coffee is, I need to learn how to make some.  And certainly I owe my body some sleep at this point.

Exercise helps, but then again it tires me out.  Sleep helps, except that I want to remain sleeping.  Mmm … sleep!  Drinking sort of seems to help, but we all know alcohol doesn’t really wake you up.

Late thursday night, my friend Phil and I were driving home from a party in Seattle, where we had really outdone ourselves with the drinking, the bicycling, the partying and the not sleeping.  I was absolutely exhausted.  And every thirty miles on Interstate 5, there’s a sign for FREE COFFEE at the rest stop.  Phil availed himself of some, while I took a leak and tried to wake myself up through sheer force of will.

And it occurred to me how easily we ignore fatigue with our stimulants.  If we’re getting tired on the road, we pull over and have coffee, or amphetamines, or whatever the kids are ingesting these days, and then we get back in the car.  We even have state-funded signage reminding drivers to drink their coffee.  Stimulants make it easy to ignore your body’s demands for rest.  But at what cost?

Eschewing coffee (me) and lacking a working iPod (either of us), we kept ourselves awake with a Speak & Learn Italian tape we found in a Seattle free box.  Side A was “Visiting A City” and Side B was “Ordering Food” so it felt beautifully apt.  We switched seats a bunch of time and took short naps, and it was fine.

When I got home I slept for 6 hours and then woke up at the crack of dawn.  WTF?

5 Responses to “Coffee Project: Day Eleven”

  1. ayam Says:

    Two thoughts on this topic that you’ve probably already heard a bazillion times: you might enjoy a replacement ritual (such as chamomile/mint/gingerroot/lemon juice tea), and extra fiber in your diet (one of the things your body starts to rely on with coffee is … regularity! Lack of which is another headache and sluggishness cause).

    I found that a switch from coffee to black tea got rid of the bad coffee effects, but without any of the headaches and other caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Of course I have to do two lipton tea bags in one big cup for it to work, but I still feel calmer and less anxious, and oddly, fewer refined carb cravings (like french fries and pizza), I guess because they soothe anxiety in some way.

  2. Alexandra Says:

    Are you allowed Yerba Matte? Not for everyone, though it is a mild? stimulant and my friend Eric (who i think you may have met, like, 20 years ago) swears by as a great hangover cure. Just a suggestion. Hang in there, mykle…i have not given up the sludge yet…..

  3. revphil Says:

    and if you go to Burning Man you can still pay for coffee!

    How is mykle getting his caffeine? I bet he is eating more dark chocolate than ever!

  4. Cassidy Says:

    Your personified coffee cup reminded me of this, my favorite new t-shirt:

  5. Cassidy Says:

    Let’s try that again:

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