Quitting Coffee: Three Weeks In

Oh, coffee cup — why must you mock me?

So by rights I should have been doing this from the beginning, but it honestly didn’t occur to me until now. I’m hoping to chronicle my defeat of my one last vice: coffee.

A little context. I have a very addictive personality. That’s a good chunk of the reason I’ve never done any drugs. Not only are they hazardous to your health, but I’m self-aware enough to be aware that I would very quickly dial the use of them up to 11. That’d be a problem, so I don’t.

However, in order to learn that, I had to become addicted to something. And sweet Jesus, was it bad.

I started smoking at the ridiculously-stupid age of seventeen. I was working at a restaurant at the time and noticed that you didn’t get a break unless you smoked. So I started bumming them and not inhaling (not that I could at the time, I’d hack up a lung), claiming that I’d been a smoker in the past. Then one day I bought my own pack, and was surprised to find that I didn’t cough while smoking them… And that was it. The horrible beginning.

By the time I quit five years later, I had broken the insane limit of two packs a day. I was smoking two and a half packs a day easily, which is just horrid. I tried many times to quit, but everyone I knew smoked, an it was hard. It wasn’t until one of them quit that I was able. Cold turkey. Still remember the last one, and what I was doing at the time.

Smoking is very situational, and I constantly found myself in situations where I would want one. So I instituted a substitute: I drank coffee whenever I wanted to smoke.

It worked, and I still consider it a good choice. Caffeine is by far less dangerous than smoking, but drinking nine cups of coffee a day isn’t good either.

After trying several times to kick it, it took Ellen moving in to finally tip me over the edge. If I have too much coffee my blood pressure goes up and I’m irritable to her. If I drink too little I have what I can only describe as a caffeine-flavored nic fit and get irritable again. And that’s not a nice thing to live with, so it was time to stop.

So I started eating two packets of oatmeal a day to bring my blood pressure down, drinking two glasses of blueberry juice for the antioxidants, and (most importantly) substituting green tea for my hot drink each day.

I still get irritable if I try to cut out caffeine completely though. And just like how I still, five years later, crave a smoke every day; I still crave coffee. Hopefully I can keep it kicked though.

I’ll keep you posted, and please post if you have any health-tips for high blood pressure and irritability.

Never Look Back
Matthew LeDrew


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