Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My 12 Step Process

I'm addicted to caffeine. I've recently discovered just how powerful the attraction is, both physically and mentally. I sit at work in the mornings and guzzle free coffee (the free part may have something do with my propensity to drink it, by the way).

Every few months I realize that the caffeine is messing me up, and I cut it out. Invariably, however, I will have a long night and feel the need to get a little pick-me-up the following morning. Then I'll have a second, a third, a fourth pick-me-up. Pretty soon I'm plastered to the ceiling, shaking and jittering all over the place. Gruesome.

Seriously, though, after I get into a rut of drinking too much caffeine and getting too little sleep, I can tell the effect that it's having on my body. I feel lousy all of the time, either groggy or jittery, depending on whether I've had the caffeine yet that day. On the weekends, if I forget to make myself a pot, I get a killer headache in the afternoon. My temper shortens, and I find myself snapping at my wife more easily.

I find it's a constant struggle to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum. I drive approximately 130 miles a day, so sitting in the car in the afternoon is difficult if I haven't had enough sleep the night before (which is pretty much every night). The one benefit to my overload of caffeine is that I don't feel sleepy on my homeward commute, but that's also the case if I get about 8 hours of shut-eye.

I'm making a mid-year resolution to curb my over-indulgence. I will still drink a little bit, but I'm limiting myself to 16 oz., the capacity of my Stanley thermos. I brew coffee in my cold-brew system, The Toddy, and that's all I drink for the day. Yesterday was my first day following my new, more Kevin-friendly regulations, and it was rough. I was tired on my commute home, had to take a nap before dinner, and woke up this morning with a killer headache. I took some Advil, headed for work, and am doing my best to stick to the 16 oz. limit. I feel marginally better, but I know the rest of the week will be tough. It won't be as bad as quitting cold turkey, which I've done, but bad enough.

I'm hoping if I make the 2-cup limit a habit, it will be hard to deviate from it, and drink too much. I'm also using this as an excuse to restrict my intake of Mountain Dew to zero, since I don't want the extra caffeine. I don't drink that much of it these days, but I'd like to cut soda out of my menu entirely. Are these goals too lofty? Only time will tell...


At 6:57 PM , Anonymous Jane said...

I'm completely addicted to caffeine and I don't even care anymore. I've stopped drinking coffee and soda (heartburn), but I have a big cup of green tea every morning and a Red Bull before 3 p.m. on days when I'm feeling particularly sluggish. I used to try to wean myself off caffeine periodically but I've decided I need it as a tonic.

At 12:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seem to have developed an addiction to caffeine in the past couple months. I drink caffeine in the morning, tea or coffe, and then take off to school with a diet pepsi. When at school I usually get some more mouintain dew every other day at the local taco bell. By the end of the day Im just wrecked. Im irritable, uneasy, and I have a headache because my body aches for more caffeine. This is shitty. Im just gonna cut it out in the mornings, because it seems that if I do that, I will less likely get into a routine of it, and I wont have moring caffeine to remind me all day how much I need it. It sucks.


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