Most people give up coffee due to a health kick, pregnancy or one of those self-sacrificing deals for charity. Me? I lost a bet.
I swore black and blue that my wedding anniversary was on the 15th October. My husband, who is much better at dates than I am, was keen to bet I was mistaken. And to wager a month without coffee. Despite the fact that it was highly unlikely he was wrong. Despite the fact that I have a terrible memory when it comes to dates. Despite the fact that I once had our wedding date engraved on a key ring and then promptly misplaced the key ring. Despite the fact that I REALLY love coffee, I took the bet. As you know, I lost.
But a girl has to honour her wager. I had a sneaking suspicion that I was becoming reliant on the heavenly brew anyways. I also figured it would be good blog content (I can admit it). So I went without coffee for a month (almost).
On average, I have a take away cappuccino every third day or so and two to three machine coffees every day. This is how it panned out when I went without coffee.
Day One: Splitting headache by 3pm. 2 nurofen. Asleep by 8:30pm.
Day Two: Splitting headache by 2pm. 2 nurofen. Asleep by 8:00pm.
Day Three: Splitting headache by 1pm. 2 nurofen. Am I replacing one addition with another? Can I go to bed at 7:30 pm? Should I google caffeine withdrawal just one more time?
Day Four: Oh good. No headache. Head may be too tired to bother with them.
Day Five: Leg muscle cramps. This is new. I talk to my sister who thinks I am likely to be magnesium deficient. I wonder what other things my reliance on coffee has been covering up.
Day Six: Husband has lovely cafe bought coffee. Inhale deeply.
Day Seven: Tea is really quite lovely isn’t it?
Week Two: Headaches all but gone. Fatigue has set into my bones. The last time I was this tired I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. Was probably also the last time I gave up coffee. Co-incidence?
Day Fifteen: That’s it, I am having a coffee. I’ll have a decaf cappuccino. Maybe a half strength. Maybe just a small. Dammit if I’m going to cheat, I am going to make it worthwhile.
Day Sixteen Onwards: The headaches have stopped and the tiredness is lessening. I cheat occasionally but when I do, I actually feel the jittery effects of caffeine. Some thing I haven’t experienced in a long time. Interestingly, it is not when I wake up that I crave a coffee, but mid-afternoon. Just that little jolt to get me through dinner, bath and bed. I still go to bed almost directly after the kids, promising myself I’ll get up early in the morning to do all the things I would normally use my evenings for. I am morning person. Unfortunately, so are my kids. This plan fails regularly.
I actually didn’t notice when the month was up and I could go back to my caffeine guzzling ways. I am no longer buying a take away every other day. When I do, I savour it – truly enjoy it. It was the thing I missed most. The ritual of walking to our favorite local coffee shop as a family on the weekend and chatting over our matching take-away cups. (I have a keep cup but I’m quite terrible at remembering it)
I saved some money on take-away coffees that I have donated towards my Frocktober efforts. If you just want to donate the cost of a cup of coffee, I’d be ever so grateful. And so will the women in the future who will have an reliable early detection test for Ovarian Cancer. You can check out all the Frocktober lovelies here.