I have the same thing, and am not sure if it’s caffeine or psychosomasis, but it means that I used to only use coffee in the same way other people use recreational drugs.
Of course, what I mean by that, isn’t the way that most people use coffee as a recreational drug (ie habitually), I mean when I want to go clubbing, become manic and loved up, and generally irritate the people around me.
Now I’ve gone cold turkey though. I actually try to avoid all and every caffeine (accept the amounts held within chocolate, which I think is a reasonable compromise/blindspot). This is to regulate my sleep easier, I’m not sure if it works, but I figure it probably helps.
Of course, I’ve stated before that I don’t trust people who don’t like tea, or at least coffee. So now I don’t trust myself. When someone offers me a cup of tea I end up having to ask ‘do you have anything herbal?’ Frankly, when I hear those words coming out of my mouth I want to hurt myself, and ‘have you got any hot chocolate’ just seems greedy and decadent.
It’s a social mine-field. Almost as much as when I have to explain to people that I don’t really drink (and yet occasionally turn up to parties wobbling like a top, dancing like a child operated puppet and shouting like an over-excited union boss).
It’s hard to explain to people that the legal drugs actually have a huge impact on you, even though really, everybody knows this. I’m pretty sure everyone I’ve ever met has seen and often felt the negative side of alcohol use. I’m pretty sure half the people I know have got some kind of ludicrous caffeine habit, and even acknolwedge it. (I’ll give you a clue, if you can’t function in the morning until you take a drug, no matter how legal, there may be something out of balance in your life*).
I don’t see this consumption as a problem, I just think a lot of people have a disjuncture in their brains around the world of drugs, legal and non. We’re talking about chemicals that have a direct impact on the way our brain works. We’re talking about our brains. Our brains are where our universes are situated. Everything appears to be filtered through them.
If we start diddling with that, then we should expect responses. Some people will deal with some things differently, and that’s okay.
The thing with drugs, whatever you’re taking, is that you need to take the highs and the lows. Be aware of what they might be, and that you’re unique.
Learn your reactions, and play nicely.
*This something isn’t necessarily your caffeine habit, it’s probably your job, or your sleeping habits, or something else in your routine, so I can understand the need to rest on these crutches, we do not have enough control over our timetables, I see this as a big problem.
Illustration by Helen