Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee Every Day
Once I realized I was lying to myself about the benefits, I had to stop guzzling down cups of coffee.
For the longest time, I believed that I needed caffeine to function. It just helped me work better. It helped me talk to people. It inspired and fueled me to do my coursework. After all, science was on my side too. There were so many studies that examined the benefits of regular coffee consumption. In a way, I felt that I could always depend on it.
I remember going to my 6 am class with a medium cup of coffee encased in styrofoam. Within it, there was just a dash of milk. I was a coffee drinker. This was my coffee persona. I wasn’t a sugar guy — I didn’t like sugar. I went for a simple coffee with a bit of milk. I sipped from the cup methodically throughout the lecture. Everything was suddenly so interesting. The dreary lecture transformed into a stimulating discourse.
In social situations, it was easier to talk to others. I could just think of more things to talk about. I was introverted and coffee was the catalyst to that hesitation that I felt during conversations. I stopped listening and pausing so much. I had more to share about myself.
With coffee, it was easier to get motivated. I could just brew a cup and feel the gears in my head start to turn. Everything started falling into place and I found myself working at a faster pace. Eventually, I was caught in a flow state. I lost perception of myself and simply became whatever it was that I was doing. That was the beauty of coffee. It let you forget about the obstacles and jump straight past them.
If I don’t have coffee on a day where work needs to get done, I am lost. Like a dog without an owner, I am without hope and depressed. For me, it starts out with general discomfort in my entire body, and then the eventual realization sinks in that I am working at a much slower pace.
That’s the biggest obstacle to quitting. No one wants to feel that way. Life is hard enough. I don’t need any more bad days where I’m feeling down. So, I drank coffee to put those days off. It was like that for the first two years until I slowly needed more and more coffee to feel the same effect. I was going towards something. With each cup, I was building a tolerance.
Once tolerance is built, it quickly becomes apparent how much you love coffee. You realize that you love it a lot. After all, you wouldn’t have an inclination to drink it if you didn’t like it. Right?
At around that time, I wanted to stop drinking coffee. I realized it was making me tired. I felt like I wasn’t getting enough sleep or something. I kept drinking it and it wasn’t working the same way that it had before. Something was missing.
It’s just coffee. It’s not alcohol. It’s not a drug. Why are you making such a big deal out of this? I kept saying stuff like that to myself. But the thing is, anything that has a negative impact on your life is worth addressing seriously. I kept drinking coffee and paid close attention to what I was feeling.
I went to class. I’m fidgeting a bit in my seat because I’m starting to feel tired already. Frantically taking notes, I don’t really pay attention to the topic that’s being taught. I feel a bit anxious and my stomach churns. Suddenly, it becomes a bit harder to focus on everything that’s going on.
I’m talking with a group. The conversation turns to a topic I’m familiar with, but I’m having a hard time speaking up. My throat feels weird, and I feel this wave of anxiety wash over me. I hold my tongue and wait for the topic to switch to something else.
I’m studying for a certification. It’s a web course and I’m about halfway through the lessons. The content is starting to get stale and I’m not all that enthused about the certification anymore. Why did I start it in the first place? I can’t really settle on why. I think I just went with my gut and now I’ve realized that I was never really interested in this course in the first place.
Although coffee does have its moments, it blends into the background quickly. I would always tell myself that I needed it for one reason or another. I seriously thought that it improved my life in all aspects. However, like anything that brings you up from your baseline, it will tear you back down over time. It’s not like I’m never going to drink coffee again, but I feel so much better knowing that I don’t need to depend on it to live my daily life.