A cup of …withdrawal?
Caffeine… it’s found in coffee, in soda, in chocolate, in tea, even in pharmaceuticals… For humans, it’s a nervous-system stimulant. In the plants where it’s found naturally, it serves as a natural pesticide. Caffeine has a long history, through various cultures and eras, and it’s one of the most addictive, culturally-acceptable substances we have on the planet.
And I’ve just kicked the caffeine habit. Can I say that getting over this habit -this attachment, this addiction- was easy? No, but because of the gradual decrease in consumption over the course of a week or so, a couple of days was spent in a semi-haze with a come-and-go headache and a bit of lethargy. Debilitating, yes. Pleasant, no. But I was (largely) functional, and found this option to be much better than prior experiences with an utterly paralyzing 3-day headache from “cold turkey” caffeine withdrawal.
So why do this? Medical findings on the effects of regular caffeine consumption vary; There are those studies that claim benefits whereas others note areas of concern for one’s health. But let’s face it – coffee is a huge industry on the world scale, and even if there was outstanding evidence of it doing more harm than good to those who consume such a substance, few people are going to be anxious –or able– to reveal such findings against such an established industry. There is simply too much money and too much control of various populations at stake to shake this industry.
So, again… why do this? Well, as part of my spiritual practice, having conscious control over my mind, body and emotions is important. Caffeine addiction was getting in the way of personal mindfulness on a physical level. So it was time for it to go… and time to reclaim another part of my being, my health, my personal choices. I am now a little freer from the mechanisms of the industrial world than I was a week ago … and it feels good.
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