About a month ago I realized that I’ve spent years of my life as a slave to caffeine. It started innocently enough, when, all those years ago, I discovered Starbucks was delicious. Skinny Vanilla Latte? Yes Please! Cinnamon Dolce Latte? Well, I don’t see why not? After spending a little while in this caffeinated la la land, I realized that just a cup of coffee didn’t do it for me anymore. So, I did what any normal minded person would do—I added a shot of espresso. Pretty soon, one shot turned to two and, eventually, there was one embarrassing coffee order where I requested FOUR extra shots in my grande Starbucks drink (that’s in addition to the two already in there). And, even that was child’s play! Come stressful situations, I’d reach for the crack of caffeine: Redbull, Monster, you name it. I was groggy in the morning before my coffee and I was tired in the evening if I didn’t have another later. I was one of “those people”—the ones that say they need coffee, that say things like “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.” And, what’s worse, I thought this Woody Allen-esque caffeinated world was normal!
Then, about a month ago I read this book called “Skinny Bitch” (it’s a good read, for all those interested) which essentially argued that you shouldn’t need coffee to wake up—your body is equipped with the ability to wake itself up and you’d know that if you didn’t kill its ability to do that with caffeine. I decided to humor the idea and quick coffee, cold turkey. Holy crap, did I have headaches the next week! I thought for sure I was having seizures or that I would die. Google thought otherwise, saying I just had “caffeine withdrawal.” But then, after about a week, the headaches just kinda stopped. After another couple weeks, I woke up and didn’t need coffee. Do I still sometimes want the yumminess that is the Cinnamon Dolce latte? Obviously! Do I need it? Eh, probably not so much anymore.
All of this is my round-about way of saying that we, as people, come up with these dependencies in our lives – routines, conventions, vices, etc that comfort us even though in the back of our minds we realize that they’re just excuses. We create all these hoops to jump through in our lives and all they really are, are distractions and detours that may well detract from more productive, more self-reliant and just overall better lives. I challenge you, readers, to take a mirror to your days, your vices and your habits. Find something that is superfluous to your life, that is unneeded or negative. And, just get rid of it. It may be hard at first but, you’ll come out stronger on the other end.