Whoever follows this online journal with the ups and downs of an overly energetic, yet highly impractical, jack of all trades, knows that I have an ongoing battle with the seductive powers of caffeine.

I don’t know when my caffeine consumption became problematic. At age 21 or 22 would be a good guess. My first memory of drinking a gigantic cup of coffee dates back to my student days. It was right after a history exam and I was sitting on the stairs of what you could call a co-ed dorm. That’s the first time I remember anyone commenting on my coffee consumption. I drank coffee as a child, but not for the effect. I drank it to dip cheese sandwiches in. I think I started drinking coffee for its jolting effect when I was 19.

How different highschool could have been, had I discovered the two-edged sword that is caffeine sooner. In highschool I didn’t drink during school hours solely to avoid having to ask the teachers to be allowed to go the toilet. I have always been anti-authority in the most passive way possible. I went for years without drinking anything between 8 am and 4 pm. I don’t recall ever being thirsty though. The power of habits… Even very bad habits. I do remember having brain fog a lot and having misty vision.

So this is attempt nr 99 or so to go coffee free. This time I have cut out all caffeine. I think it was a mistake to quit coffee, but to stay dependent on caffeine via green tea. Green tea never gives me quite the kick of coffee, so I stay dependent on caffeine but without gettting the required dose of caffeine to stave off the onset of migraine attacks.

The first two days all I wanted to do was sleep. I had a killer headache for the first four days. I also have very vived nightmares. I used to blame these on my caffeine intake, but there seems to be no correlation.

The last couple of days I have been waking up around 6 am feeling fully rested. I am able to concentrate better. With caffeine racing through my brain I find it hard to read a book. On caffeine I want to do something else seconds after starting to do something.

Is life better without caffeine? So far I will say: Yes, definitely.

The same goes for alcohol by the way. I can count the times I have consumed alcohol this year on the fingers of my two hands and every time I did I regretted it the next day. Maybe alcohol was fun when I was younger and had more energy and passion for life than I knew what to do with and alcohol took the edge of that. Nowadays I only experience the downsides of it and none of the buzz.

Also: not a week goes by or at least one of my student laments he or she has a headache because of alcohol. Not even a lot of alcohol.

Maybe because I cut out caffeine entirely this time I don’t crave it. Even after only six days I am already wondering why I ever felt like drinking coffee or tea. Am a bit less nervous, have clearer thoughts and I feel energized the entire day. There are no sudden crashes where I have to have coffee to pull me through the day.

Quite pleasurable are the calculations about how much money I save by not drinking coffee and what else I can spend that money on.

Oh, and water suddenly has a taste to it. And it tastes GOOD.

So when I ask for a small contribution this time it certainly won’t go to coffee. Every cent donated goes to keeping this site afloat.

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