I reluctantly quit coffee and then caffeine entirely. Yup, chocolate, mate, tea all of it. Tomorrow I will be 8 weeks 100% caffeine free. I have no doubts about the negative effects of caffeine and have been so happy to see the benefits to my health. My anxiety is largely gone, my sleep is deep, my energy is stable and I'm past the body aches and getting back into working out. The workouts are different as I'm not on stimulants I can have a much more controlled and stable experience. My body composition seems different in subtle ways. I feel like I am healing at a very deep level and it is hard to explain.
I have been 100% drug, alcohol ect free during this process and it has been a true test to my thinking not having a substance as earlier in life I was a heavy drinker and smoker as well as a fat over eater. This has been the first time in my life I have been completely free of any any addictions. No unnatural nootropics, no nicotine, nothing. In some ways it has been amazing and in other ways it has been really frustrating. It has been hard on my moods. I find myself longing for something to help get me through my long days. Wishing I had some distraction from my hard moments. At the same time I feel my nervous system repairing and that I am far less effected things in my environment. In some ways I feel like I can be more strong in myself. I think my nervous system can handle more as I am not spending several hours a day in a parasympathetic dominant state. I miss the ritual of it but how quickly I forget the shakes and racing thoughts. It has allowed me to see just how addicted people are to any number of substances. My strict intermittent fasting has helped me to see this even more clearly. So many health issues that people have make sense when viewed through the lense of addiction. how many people are worried about toxins in their food while drinking caffeine which the liver has to work so hard to process out.
When I quit drinking or did my weight loss I really believed that my success would be impressive to others. I wanted to be inspirational overcoming so many obstacles. This was my ego hoping for a reward for my effort. Last year I lost 45 pounds and got very light, I posted my before and after pics. I thought people would see how fat I was or how I grew up fat or learn about my alcoholism and I would end up on Oprah or something. I was wrong. I'm a grown man and I have done my changes for me. There is no prize waiting for you beyond your own self respect. Self respect comes from self discipline and my self respect is worth more to me than anything else I have.
I will admit I have had the hardest time with the chocolate. I miss it and that is definitely what seems to call me the most often. I tell myself I can have chocolate again, just not today. I have said it every day.
I still get a sensation in my head like the caffeine head ache about every other day. This doesn't hurt and I'm guessing that my brain is continuing to acclimate to the increased blood flow.
If you are trying to quit any substance stick with it. It is both important for your health but also for self mastery. No one not even me would have believed what I have over come. With all these physical addictions gone I hope to focus those resources on my inner addictions and weaknesses. Which seems like an even greater task. I see why most never get past the physical struggles as the inner work is like standing in front of a mountain that has to be moved one handful at a time. But I look back at who I was and am so proud of the things I have learned and who I have become. My progress keeps pushing me further and further toward my goal of self mastery and truly being aware. you8 don't know who you really are until you are standing with no crutches.
As always my favorite quote (I don't know the source)
"You never know if the problem you face is fundamentally unsolvable or if you are one step away from solving it."
The quote haunts me as the failures and things I have given up on may have been so close to complete so keep going. How sad to quit right before you strike gold.
I'm going to keep going.
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Rob Alexander is on a journey to learn not just about health but everything else.
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