Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My addiction

Coffee, it's the devil, I suspect. It's fair to say I've been getting to know the devil intimately in recent months, the more I have, the more I want. They call that an addiction, I hate that word, I like to think I'm above it, that my willlpower is so superior that the word does not exist in my world.

I am not above addiction. I am addicted to coffee, again, *sigh*. Last time I gave up coffee I did it so half heartedly that I can't recall whether it was 2 or 3 days I 'gave up' for. While I had a thyroid condition I didn't dare drink coffee, I was already jittery and overstimulated enough, so I didn't really drink the stuff for 10 months or so. I survived without coffee easily. I had bigger issues, I was drinking herbal concoctions and freshly squeezed juices and swallowing more pills than you can count on your hands in a desperate attempt to 'win back' my health. I decided I would treat my body real nice and in return it might forgive me for my sins and health would be free to enter back into my life. This was before I knew that the true cause of my illness was actually iodine poisoning, that put a different spin on things. I then became detox focussed & decided it was also a matter of 'waiting it out' until my body found it's own balance.

Fast forward many months and I was feeling better but not great, not yet able to work but not content to lie on the couch all day either. What could I do with my time? Going out for a really good coffee and perhaps a read of the paper or some cafe style blogging became a new past time, I loved it. I wasn't doing it every day but probably every second or third. I would have just the one coffee, a treat.

Fast forward another couple of months and I'm bored and feeling worthless, disturbed by not feeling that I was making a contribution to society (a value of mine). Depression was a knockin' on my door. The answer? I got myself a job, which created an issue for me as fatigue became an uncomfortable part of my day.  I felt myself a little bored and quite tired, I started to reach for the coffee, just one a day with a couple of black teas to supplement. I also sought out a little bit of sugar, just a little bit. Things were changing, vege juice drinking and a sugar free life were taking a step back while sugar and coffee stepped forward. 'We can make you feel better instantly' my old mates caffeine and sugar said. 'Don't we make your work day so much more bearable?' they asked, inviting me to trust them, to make them my new allies. What's the harm, I told myself, it's just a little bit...and 'everyone does it'.

Oh the naivety, or the willingness turn a blind eye, it is dangerous. Fast forward 3 months and here I sit, in bed, taking the day off, after crashing out big time on a coffee and sugar binge. On Sunday I enjoyed a couple of glasses of bubbly, some yummy coffee and a piece of cake and some chocolate- it was a party and I knew my time was soon up in terms of eating sugar and drinking coffee, so I made the most of it. Little did I know that the end of my shenanigans was near, in fact, TOMORROW. After my 'party girl' antics on Sunday I woke up on Monday, not having had enough sleep, my body already set up to fail, in terms of my adrenal glands being overworked and my blood sugar levels compromised.

I felt tired driving to work, once at work I continued to feel tired, I sat in a meeting and noticed anxiety coming up, it felt like my blood sugars were dropping (so early in the morning??).  I went to lunch at 1 where I ordered a protein packed lunch, which came rather slowly, I enjoyed a coffee as I waited. I still felt so tired, lunch came, I ate and looked at the cakes cabinet, which one might I have? I ordered a little slice and decided I'd best have a coffee to go with it, it wouldn't hurt because I was so tired (delusional thinking).

Upon finishing my lunch and coffees and sugar I felt weak, I was still so tired, I felt anxious and foggy headed. I just needed to go home, so I did. The rest of the afternoon was awful, I felt so sick and so tired and anxious at times, it was a rollercoaster of adrenaline and peaks and valleys in my blood sugar levels. I tried to keep snacking on healthful foods to rid of the symptoms. I recognised what had happened, I had been 'using' these drugs, sugar and caffeine for months now, they'd become an increasingly regular part of my life and they were draining me of my energy as they dropped me lower and lower than before. The sugar was taking essential minerals from my body in order to become whole so as it could be digested in my body. It was messing with my pancreas and who knows what else, it was affecting my mood greatly- sugar blues, yeah. The coffee had been creating a false sense of energy, using up more and more of my reserves, overworking my adrenals and leaving me emptier than before with every cup. I KNOW all of this and the dangers associated with these 'drugs', I have experienced it before, my body is sensitive. Why on earth do I get sucked in?

Today it stops, today I rest in bed, allowing my reserves to re-build, I am committed to finding new ways to support my own energy and to find joy in places other than coffee and cake. Wish me strength....

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I know this situation!
    Thyroid problems + sugar + caffiene = quite a bad situation!! Yes, I too have been there. I have strict limits on myself now and what I consume (of course, being human I slip up occassionally).

    To me, anxiety is the first sign that I've consumed too much of either sugar or caffiene...usually both though, because I do like sugar in coffee!!

    Good luck with your plight to replace coffee and cake. Keep us posted how you're going!!
    Oh, fresh juices and smoothies are a great substitute!! Al beit, not quite as exciting as coffee and cake...but much better for the body!!