Here at Year of Living Sober we’re not only about challenging the habit of drinking alcohol, sometimes we also like to consider other addictions which might be good to think about taking a break from.
On Day 25 we looked at sugar (Cold Turkey Brings Sugar Craving), on Day 204 we pondered the concept of Giving up Chocolate for a Year, and today, on Day 242 of my year off the booze, the question is: Could you give up coffee for one year?
Personally, I don’t know if I could?
I love coffee. Heaps. Living in Melbourne I’ve grown up with java, in all it’s frothy milked and chocolate sprinkled manifestations, since I was a teenager. Even now that I live about a forty-minute drive from the sophisticated bohemian inner-city cafés, I still appreciate a good Latte, Long Black or occasional Macchiato. Or two.
Variety is the spice of coffee—not just life.
But after yesterday I’m thinking again about whether I can continue to enjoy the odd double-shot expresso or home-made plunger in my life. The reason I’m contemplating life without coffee—even if only for a year to see whether I benefit or not—is because it happened again. I experienced another of what was, in the first place, my final catalyst for embarking on my year of living sober:
Now, we’re not just talking a ‘very bad headache’ here. We’re talking ‘can’t talk properly’ and ‘can’t see properly or remember the names of the stars of my favourite football team’ (which, though not a huge sports-fan, I can normally do okay with).
When these migraines come on, and as it did yesterday afternoon, my peripheral vision is the first thing to go. And now that I’ve had many of these ‘cluster migraines’ (as a doctor once diagnosed them) I am quick to recognize the first signs of a hazy blotch, followed by difficulty focusing without seeing a kind of double vision.
Even changing one of my baby girls’ nappies becomes impossible; it’s pretty scary stuff and it got me thinking (again), “What have I done to cause it?”
Well I think the answer could be pretty simple. Yesterday I went for a jog in the early afternoon after having had a long black coffee in the morning. And I didn’t drink enough water in between; I’m pretty sure my ‘migraine with auras’ (as it has also been described) was directly related to my H20 intake/output ratio.
When I first got these migraines, many years ago, I thought they were down to dehydration from over indulgence in alcohol. Often I’d get them after exercising following a night on the piss the night before. But even since not drinking for coming up to two-thirds of the year I have had at least one other migraine before yesterday’s one.
What if my migraines weren’t caused ONLY by alcohol over-consumption at all?
“So, what else am I doing which might be bringing it on?” I asked myself.
“Coffee,” I replied to myself (or was that my wife?). “You’re drinking strong coffee then exercising without having drunk enough water. Der.” (Actually I think it WAS my wife, but I agreed with her completely).
Are we right? My wife and I? And if dehydration is still the main cause of my migraines is it because I’m suffering the effects of another diuretic besides alcohol, namely coffee.
It’s pretty well known that coffee makes you wee a lot, and it sure works like that on me. If I drink one cup while writing I spend more time running to the toilet than I do running spell-check.
If it’s not just alcohol that can dehydrate me then maybe it’s time I thought about giving up coffee too? For a year—maybe more? At least I’d save on toilet cleaner.
Today is Day 242 of my Year of Living Sober.
Little Booze Joke
A monkey swings into a bar and onto the shoulders of a guy drinking at the bar and the guy says, “Hey, get off my back!”
How about you? Could you give up coffee for a year? A week? Love to get your comment.