When I woke up this past Saturday morning, I had been caffeine-free for 236 days and by about 2 pm or so I had pretty much decided that I was going to need caffeine to make it through the rest of the day. It started with a bad night’s sleep. I mean really bad, as it not more than 2 hours. I woke up feeling sluggish and tired. Saturday was a busy day. We had friends in town, and Kelly’s brother visited for a few hours. Grace had gymnastics practice in the afternoon. And in the evening, we had a get-together with friends before the holidays. Indeed, this was the last weekend before we head on our holiday vacation and there was a lot to do.
Normally, I get in a nap each day or I get a little grouchy. But on Saturday, there was no time for a nap. I tried napping while waiting in the car during Grace’s gymnastics practice, but without much luck. With all of this going on, Kelly kept checking to see if I was okay because she knew I hadn’t slept well, knew that I got grouchy when I didn’t nap, and knew that we had this party to go to in the evening. It was then that the idea of breaking my caffeine streak became something more than just a fleeting idea. I knew that if I had some caffeine, I’d be alert for the party. At the same time, as someone addicted to caffeine, I also knew that I couldn’t possibly have just one caffeinated drink and that by committing to having caffeine, I was breaking my streak and opening myself up to reverting back to my excessive caffeine-drinking ways.
I told myself that I’d get some caffeine while Grace was at gymnastics. Instead, I tried to distract myself for 2-1/2 hours. I watched an episode of The Expanse. I listened to some of All Systems Red. I turned on one of my favorite Pink Floyd albums and listened to Meddle in its entirety. That got me through the until gymnastics practice was over.
When we got home, it was 4:30pm and the party was at 5:45pm. I took a hot shower, listening to music to try to keep myself awake. It was unusually mild out, and after the shower, I went out onto the deck with a beer, and listened to the theme from Rocky, “Gonna Fly Now,” on repeat at full volume until I’d finished the beer. When that was done, I definitely felt like my energy level had come up a bit.
We got to the party at 6 pm and got home around 10:30pm. I then stayed up talking with our visitors for another two hours. Now normally on a Saturday night, I’d be in bed by 9 o’clock. I can’t remember the last time I went to bed after midnight on purpose. But I did on Saturday. I slept better than I had Friday night.
I woke up on Sunday and the caffeine crisis had been averted. I’d made it through a day that I was certain I was going to cave and managed to get through the day without any caffeine, extended my streak to 237 days caffeine-free. It was not easy. It’s funny how little I cared about caffeine once I got through the hard part of giving it up. I had no craving for it for months, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, I nearly went back to it. As I write this, I feel pretty good that I managed to stave off the urge to cave to caffeine. But it is always a challenge when that urge for caffeine arises, and I know that the next time, I may not be so lucky. I think that’s why they say: one day at a time.
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