First up I just wanna say that I am not one of those people who have the sort of coffee addiction that would make health professionals tut. I am not Lorelai Gilmore.
I have my morning cup, usually whilst scheduling tweets and stalking 6347856 different people on Instagram. Maybe I’ll have a little take-out cup later on in the day if I’m running errands and pretending I’m a v busy business woman, and sometimes there’s a panic 3pm cup because if I don’t get up and put the kettle on, I will accidentally take a cute little nap and why in the sweet heavens is it 6pm.
I’m a one to three cups a day kinda gal.
The second thing I want to flag before this post really gets going is that I didn’t give up coffee on purpose. I wasn’t like hey let’s try giving up something with the hope that it will do something fun or jazzy to who I am as a person or the way I look. I gave up coffee because a jaunty side effect of the new contraceptive pill I’m on is that I get sudden waves of nausea at random times of the day and oh hey, the smell of coffee suddenly makes me want to cradle the toilet bowl and vom my insides out.
And no, before any of you get carried away, I’m not pregnant. I took a test because WHY DO I FEEL SICK ALL THE TIME.
Also, the title of this post *says* a week without coffee, but y’know what? I think it’s been longer. Life’s done that thing where I can’t work out if my last cup of coffee was last week or in 2013.
So yeah, some unspecified amount of time without coffee.
I didn’t realise my life would be any different. I didn’t realise that I’d feel any different. Mostly because let me point you back to paragraph three. I’m a one cup kinda girl. No addiction here. Nope.
Sure, I like to drink it because it makes me feel like some sort of successful, sassy woman who pounds the streets of New York in high heels whilst swinging a designer bag. And sure I like to drink it because it gives me a boost – even it’s thanks to the placebo effect – in motivation and enthusiasm for working hard, which, when you work alone, can be difficult to come by. But I don’t drink it because I need it to function.
Or so I thought.
I put last week’s sluggishness down to SAD. It gets dark around 3pm which is a bit of a shitter, and there’t not been much sunshine breaking through the clouds here in Ipperz, and so it made sense that I was feeling a bit dull and foggy because well, that’s what the weather was doing.
I mean sure, it’s not my usual SAD symptom. I’m usually a miserable little bitch who’s crying every three minutes and finding melted chocolate smears on her pyjamas.
But Google tells me that exhaustion is a common side effect of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and so I took it. Told myself to take all the lie-ins and extra naps that I needed, and to spend a lot of time curled up in seven blankets on the sofa whilst watching 2005 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy.
But it was only on Friday when I as struggling to get through a day of ironing and labelling clothes in preparation for Fashion Re:Boot that I was like WHY AM I SO BROKEN AND WHEN WILL THIS HELL END.
I made a cup of coffee and managed two thirds of it, gagging between each sip and wondering if I’d hit rock bottom.
The sensation I’ve encountered every single damn day, regardless of whether I’ve had seven hours sleep or ten hours sleep has been that feeling you get when you’ve just woken up from a nap. Y’know the one where you just want to lie for a very long time and your reaction times are so slow you *probably* shouldn’t get in a car.
And so I Googled coffee withdrawal.
And then I LOLed. And then I LOLed some more.
Fatigue. Drowsiness. Difficulty concentrating. Irritability. NAUSEA.
What if my aversion to coffee had come first and the nausea hadn’t been a side effect from my new pill, but actually a side effect from caffeine withdrawal?
EH EH EH?
My mind was blown, mostly because I never considered myself an addict. In fact, before I started blogging and working from home, I wasn’t much into coffee. I’d treat myself to the odd cup from Starbucks maybe onec a week, but it was never part of my daily routine. Not until I needed something, anything, to get me out of bed and off Netflix and sitting in front of a computer screen being this girl boss character that I so desperately wanted to be.
I don’t really know where this post is going and as I’m writing it I’m feeling mildly freaked out because all the signs are saying back away from the coffee Hannah and now I’m like but how will I survive as a person without it?
And now it’s all clicking that although I might only have a couple of cups of coffee a day, I also probably have a couple of cups of tea and a couple of cans of Diet Coke and sweet lord, I AM ADDICTED TO CAFFEINE.
So, here’s the plan. I can’t go cold turkey, because lord knows if I have a week as unproductive as last week, there’ll be no blog content until 2018. But I am going to cut down, week by week.
I might even buy some funky caffeine-free cans of Diet Coke if things get really wild.
And some caffeine-free tea.
Heck, could this even be related to my adult acne? Who knows. But what I do know is that something has to give, and if you’re living a lifestyle that can only be upheld by consuming something that has pretty potent withdrawal effects, should you reconsider said lifestyle?
Working hard makes me feel amazing, because career success makes me feel like I’m doing life right. But if it’s at the expense of my health, is it really so amazing?
Just a little something to think about, y’know?
And on that note, I’m off to brew a peppermint tea. Wish me luck!