Coffee Project: Day Thirty-Nine

September 26th, 2009


Over a month without coffee and I still feel sluggish.  Perhaps I just am; perhaps sluggish is the real me.  But I had hoped that by giving my body a break from the caffeine I would find some secret store of energy and motivation in myself.  Apparently it’s not so simple.

Since I quit coffee I’ve been going to bed earlier, and rising earlier, but I don’t feel any healthier, wealthier or wiser.  In fact, I have been waking up for no reason in the middle of the wee hours, anywhere from three to six AM.  I don’t think it’s because my body’s done sleeping — I feel groggy and miserable when I wake up like that.  Usually if I go downstairs for a glass of water and then climb back into bed, I fall right back to sleep.  But if I lie there trying to sleep, I’ll be awake until dawn.

I miss coffee.  No matter how long I do this, I always will.  I am beginning to doubt this whole project; I still remember why I quit, and I still agree, but the whole experience seems like an absence.  It’s brought nothing new into my life, it’s only taken things out.  I need to fill that hole with something.

At first I tried alcohol.  For the first several weeks without coffee, I was having three or four drinks almost every night.  It just seemed to fill the empty space, and paradoxically seemed to be the only think that could stir me out of my stupor.  But my body can’t handle that regimen, and I’ve tapered down to between none and two beers a day.  I feel the alcohol has a profound effect on me as well, but I can only quit so many things at a time before I start backsliding.

So now I wander around supressing this urge to pour things in my body.  I feel like such a consumer, in the worst sense of the word: an orally fixated idiot who interacts with the world by eating it and shitting on it.  Where is the richness, the growth, the living in that?  When I was younger I was alive and curious, easily inspired, unpredictable, excitable.  Now I’m largely a slave to responsibilities, habits and routine.  Coffee is a great drug for forgetting that.

My biggest complaint with coffee has always been caffeine thought: obsession with detail, reaction instead of action, an inability to see the forest for the trees.  Now that I’m off the stuff, I’m grappling with big questions that I’ve successfully avoided for years.

4 Responses to “Coffee Project: Day Thirty-Nine”

  1. revphil Says:

    dont blame the sauce for your weaknesses!

    i think you should stick with it another month. if you are still feeling sluggy you could make your coffee reward system BUT COULD YOU STICK TO IT? or once you start drinking coffee will we see you gleefully and neurotically sliding down that slippery slope?

  2. brady Says:

    What your experiencing is essentially grieving the loss of a core part of your identity. I should know, I’m also an addict. I think I’m really funny on coffee. (Robin Williams : Cocaine as Brady : Coffee)

    What you’ll see in another few weeks if you keep it up is that you haven’t lost anything, you’re still you, you’re still creative as hell, you just don’t *have* to act on your creative impulses.

    The troubling part is that sometimes you want to and can’t.

    I recommend black tea and as much chocolate as you desire- just no espresso-laden chocolate.

  3. raquel Says:

    stick to the plan. and: have a bar of dark chocolate. go swim. drink lots of water. take up sewing. take a nap. read a book. cut your nails. wiggle your toes. rehearse a new choreography and make sure you know the steps properly. go outside and try some cart wheels on the grass. then lay down on the grass and look up. then close your eyes and feel the breeze.

  4. PJ Says:

    Stick with it for another 21 days If it doesn’t pan out, brew a pot and never, NEVER look back.

Leave a Reply