When I went to Operation DESERT STORM I took up the habit of drinking coffee. Eating breakfast at the dining hall meant that I would have to get up a half hour early. If I had breakfast of coffee once I got to work, I could sleep in. Oh by the way, I was working twelve on twelve off with an hour commute each way. I found the coffee habit a source of fellowship and a conversation item. After a while though I found my coffee habit one that could make me irratable. My attitude could be edgy and I would disenfrachanchise people around me. I also found myself depressed at times. I kept myself going with coffee when I should be resting. But I had not built enough time into my schedule to rest. I let myself get way too tired and too stressed by pushing myself way too hard. Then I found that I had a lot of trouble sleeping. Of course not sleeping was even worse on the stress managment issue.
I tried to simply not drink coffee quite a few times. My head would spin and basically I could not function. I had responsibilities and those had to be accomplished. I was dependant upon coffee to keep my life normal.
Four months ago I asked my wife to buy the coffee with half the caffine in it. So I started tapering off the caffine. Then a couple of weeks ago, I went to make coffee and there was none in the house. I did have decaffinated coffee so I made that. So I have made the final switch to decaf. I have had more than one day where I was feeling very tired. I have had a few head-aches. However, I have felt joy where I did not feel it a long time before. I have slept well and remembered my dreams. I used to remember my dreams I had dreamt during my sleep. But for the past few years I have not remembered my dreams. The week after I switched to decaf I remembered dream after dream. I can ususally guess what kind of problems my mind is processing through the dream. These dreams dealt with all the big problems I have in my life. I have found my mind does not wonder so much when I read. I have found I am less likely to get upset. I am told laying off the caffine will help my cholesterol levels too. Often when someone is drinking a lot of caffine the body stores water in the fat, sort of like a camel hump. I can tell my waste line had gone down a little and is no longer retaining water the same way.
I'm glad that I have made the switch. I still enjoy my decaf. Starbucks anyone?