I love coffee but to make a long story short, it doesn’t work for me. It made me anxious, irritable, cranky, angry, and tired. It also would give me a head ache and feelings of dehydration on the downturn. Trust me, I tried a lot of different variable before I gave it up but ultimately none of it worked. Coffee isn’t for everyone and actually, as it turns out, there’s a gene that allows the liver to produce an enzyme that helps break down caffeine. And as it turns out, some people produce enough of this enzyme which allows them to enjoy coffee without so much of the negative side effects. Other people such as myself must not make enough of this enzyme because the compounding effects of coffee, especially on a daily bases, really fucks me up.
It took me 3 years of intentionally trying to quit coffee before the habit finally broke. The 3 year process went something like this;
- Id quit cold turkey, resort to green tea or black tea, be fucked up for a week because my body was used to the effects of coffee, and after about a week I would feel great and move on with life
- Id be clear from coffee for a few weeks, maybe a few months, and then…
- Id relapse back into coffee somehow, get hooked on drinking it again for a few weeks, maybe a few months, before I am reminded why I was trying to quit in the first place, and then…
- Rinse and repeat this process for 3 whole damn years.
Finally at some point while attempting to quit once again for like the 13th time, it stuck. And weeks of being clear went into months, and months have now gone into a few years.
Now, I know a coffee addiction isn’t the same as a hard drug or cigarette addiction, but I share this for a reason.
Im going to reiterate this again, it took me 3 years of intentionally trying to break this habit before it stuck. In the last attempt, without knowing it would stick for good, it ended up sticking for good. Now, It isn’t like I had the foresight to see that I would completely succeed in kicking the habit for good in the last time around. All I know is that I had to quit because the downside of coffee was not beneficial to my performance or even to me as a person. And with every attempt, I was hoping and doing my best to make it my last.
Now, the same pattern occurred for me when I was working on kicking another habit (which Ill share with you guys another time). Again, in both these habit breaking instances, it was for years, on and off again, that I was intentionally trying to quit for good. It wasn’t until in one of those attempts that it actually turned out to be for good.
This all reminds me of a quote I came across once about quitting cigarettes and it went something like, ‘With every attempt you get a little closer’. Im not sure and Im no expert but with every attempt it turns out I was getting a little closer. There might be something about trying again and attempting again that helps to reinforce the subsequent attempts to quit. And I reference these experiences to remind myself that these things are possible. And it might take weeks, sometimes months, and sometimes years. But it’s possible and it’s important to not lose sight or hope on these matters. Especially if it’s something you know that needs to change. Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying. Try and solve the problem. Don’t trick yourself into thinking it can’t be done.
One last thing, there is a book I read called “The Power of Less”, which is about how to change habits. And in the book the author suggest picking one habit at at time to change, because if you focus on changing too many habits at once, you’re almost guaranteed to fail. It’s like overloading yourself. Throughout the course of me putting out blog post, I hope to share more experience and also information that Ive come across related to habit and behavior change. It’s an area I find a lot of interest in.