Reminder On Why I Should Not Drink Caffeine…

When you wake up do you stumble to the pot of coffee?  Do you stagger to the refrigerator to grab a Coke?  Do you drink caffeine to get through your day?

80% of the population use caffeine on a regular basis.

I used to be part of the 80%.  I used to drink a lot of caffeine in the form of Diet Coke.  When I went out with my friends, I continued the caffeine love and had Vodka and Red Bull.  I constantly was buying Rooster Boosters during the day as that was my favorite energy drink.  I loved the way that caffeine made me feel.  I felt like I was on top of the world and could go anywhere and do anything.  I felt like I was the best and the brightest and could do no wrong.   I never realized that it wasn’t good for me until I had my massage instructor tell me that caffeine was a drug and if I couldn’t handle myself on it, then I shouldn’t take it.  He also made sure to point out that he thought I had some mental illnesses working behind the scenes and I specifically shouldn’t use caffeine.  At the time I was angry and thought he was stupid (this was before I decided to admit that I potentially did have some problems).  Looking back now, his comments took a while to sink in, but they were the catalyst toward me realizing that I did need some help!

Later down the road, I had a wonderful therapist, Lynn Wonders.  During our sessions, she, too mentioned that I probably should avoid caffeine.  Again, I wasn’t ready to hear it.  After all, I needed my caffeine to live my life.  It was very much a part of who I was.  I would drink several Diet Cokes in the morning and then go get my afternoon energy drink with my best friend at work.  I love the feeling caffeine gave me.

When I got pregnant last year, I gave up my beloved caffeine.  My midwife, would frown at me every time I mentioned having some.  I traded to Sprite.  I did that at 3 months pregnant.  When she got here, I intended to go back to drinking caffeine and I did so…until I learned that she is super sensitive to my caffeine intake and gets very fussy.  So I still have not been drinking caffeine for the most part.  I really think she has been saving me from myself.

Yesterday, I was super thirsty and didn’t want water.  I didn’t have any Gatorade (my new love since my daughter was born), so I grabbed a leftover coke from the fridge and drank it.  It was delicious.  Flash forward to a couple of hours later.  My mind is running 100 miles per hour and I can’t get anything blog-wise accomplished because I cannot focus on one thing at a time.  Also, it hasn’t been mentioned in this blog before, but I also have OCD.  My OCD manifests itself as compulsive skin picking.  Embarrassing to admit in writing and this is the first time I have admitted it.  So anywho, after my mind slows down and it is almost time for bed, I realize I have rubbed a large raw spot near my elbow.

It is then that it hits me and maybe I am slow or thick in the skull that I didn’t get it before.  All the advice to quit caffeine in my past.  Caffeine makes me more tense and anxious.  It doesn’t just give me energy.  Caffeine can make someone bipolar manic and over wound up.  Caffeine can also make someone with OCD more compulsive.  Caffeine also can make anger worse.  This is why I am supposed to leave this stuff alone.  In my journey for mindfulness, this is a very important realization.

If you have OCD, Bipolar or deal with anger, do you find that caffeine makes it worse?  Maybe, like myself you haven’t noticed a link but I challenge you to investigate any connection between caffeine and a worsening of your symptoms.  You might be surprised at what you find.

Next I have to look at sugar as I have been warned to get away from that too…but I just can’t fathom that right now!

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4 responses to “Reminder On Why I Should Not Drink Caffeine…

  1. Hi Jaime,
    My husband was just telling me earlier tonight about two recent conversations he’d had with people who would rather take drugs for the symptoms of caffeine addiction than to give up their coffee drinking habits. Scary!
    I used to have a terrible Diet Coke addiction like yours, but gave that up some time ago (the fact that it’s so hard to give up just goes to show how addictive it is – and how bad for you!). The coffee I just gave up a couple of years ago when I realized I felt a whole lot better without it. Socially, I’m incredibly boring, because I just drink water or mineral water, but I feel a whole lot better for it.
    I gave up sugar a few years back too (although these days I’m not as vigilant as I was at first with it). It’s really hard to do, or was for me anyway, but made a massive difference to my anxiety and moods. I became a much calmer, less stressed mum without the sugar. Which made it so worth it!
    You’re doing an aweome job, making such positive changes for your own health, and for the sake of your beautiful daughter.
    If you need any book suggestions when it comes to cutting out the sugar, let me know! I read a few good ones, but it was a while ago now and I can’t think of them off the top of my head.

  2. Jaime,
    Try any of these books to get you off the sugar: “Sugar Shock” by Connie Bennett, “The Food-Mood Solution” by Jack Challem, “Potatoes Not Prozac” by Kathleen DesMaisons or “Sugar Blues” by William Dufty. I’ve only read “Sugar Shock”, but all the others also have 4 to 5 star reviews on Amazon and focus on the chemical effects that sugar has on our minds and bodies.
    “The Great American Detox Diet” is another one I read not long before cutting out the sugar, although it’s more general.
    I have a feeling there’s an important book I’m forgetting. Will let you know if I think of it. In the meantime, hopefully you’ll find something in that lot to help!
    For me, giving up sugar was even more difficult than giving up smoking. If you’re going to do it, it will definitely help to have as much knowledge as you can about why it’s a really good decision to make.
    Good luck with it, and I’ll keep reading here to see how you go!

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