I Gave Up Drinking Coffee For One Month, And Here's What Happened
A journey into the pits of the un-caffeinated.
If you know me at all, then you know that coffee is my whole life.
It gets pretty bad. I have to have a cup of coffee the minute I wake up, or else I'm pretty much useless - no matter how many I have during the day.
And, trust, there are plenty of cups during the day. I need to have at least one espresso at some point, or else I legit crash; one latte, or else my day feels all off; and countless filter coffees from my beloved machine at home (I usually drink about 5 of these a day).
It's gotten so bad that if I don't have a cup right before going to bed, I can't even wake up in the morning without a struggle.
TBH, not having coffee during the day was basically the same for me as staying in bed all day. I was that unmotivated and unproductive.
Fed up with the unhealthy caffeine dependency I had developed - and inspired by a friend's successful journey to cut caffeine completley out of her life - I decided, screw it. I'm going to live the rest of my life without coffee, and I'll be fine.
This was not a fun week, friends.
You know that super foggy, kind of giddy feeling you get when you haven't slept for a full 24 hours? That's what I felt. All the time.
As a result, I couldn't trust myself to speak, think, or function. I was making mistakes left and right. I was all out of whack.
I'd get tension headaches all the time, too. I usually suffer from headaches a lot, but this just amplified things.
Swimming through the pool of molasses that had now become my life was super difficult this week, but I was optimistic. I knew that if I kept at it, the suffering would go away, and I'd never be dependant on this evil bean again.
Or so I hoped.
The suffering did not go away, actually.
Productivity levels were at an all-time low. My weekdays are usually jam-packed, and with the help of an hourly coffee kick, I can get through them with no problem.
Without my caffeine crutch? Not so much. I'd sleep in, I was constantly late for appointments, and whenever I had two minutes to myself, I'd just fall asleep. It was crazy.
The headaches had gotten better, though, so that was a plus. And although I wasn't as alert as I usually am, I felt more comfortable maneuvering through the brain-fog.
Although the week was rough, it left me super enthusiastic about the outcome of this self-experiment.
But nothing gold can stay, it seems.
By the midpoint of this week, I knew I was going to give up and come crawling back into the piping hot, steaming arms of my coffee machine.
Not only was I a lost sailor navigating the seas of a caffeine-free life, but now I was also starting to get super angry at everything? Weird. I mean, I'm usually super angry at everything, but the coffee helped to make things bearable.
Without it, I was just really pissed all the time. And it showed.
Still, I'm not a quitter, so I vowed to get to the end of the month without my lips knowing the sweet embrace of caffeine. (For the record, I avoided chocolate, certain teas, energy drinks, and anything else with a notoriously significant caffeine count, too.)
At this point, it was no longer about being healthier. It was about proving a point.
I tried to keep up momentum, guys. I really did.
But, on Tuesday, I cracked. Monumentally.
I had a little bit of a breakdown on my way home. My head hurt, I was tired, nothing was coming out the way I wanted it to... Basically, I was done.
Instead of going straight home, I went out and indulged in the biggest latte bowl I could find.
Then I turned on my coffee machine for the first time in a month, and lowkey felt true happiness once again.
Sure, I didn't kick my caffeine habit. It's maybe not as bad now (if I skip a few cups here and there, I'm totally fine), and I am pretty happy that I was able to - kind of - stick out the month.
I'm definitely proud of the people who can go on to live happy lives without a nice cup of joe, btw. But, personally? I just can't. And if you can't either, then no worries. I'm raising my freshly brewed latte in salute to you right now.