How to Get Through Caffeine Withdrawal
Writing and drinking coffee just go together. I get up at 5:00 am to write before anything can happen, so that with a clear head I will hopefully have some good original thoughts. The aroma of dark roasted coffee brewing and that first sip of strong coffee stimulate my cloudy morning brain. Lately, I have got into this vicious cycle where I have been drinking too many cups of coffee, so I am waking up with dull headaches from caffeine withdrawal. After one strong cup, I feel the headache go away, and then I drink another and another to keep me going as I write, but then I wake up again with another headache.
I know I needed to do something, so I tried to imagine my life with a strict limit use of coffee, and I found that I needed a plan of steps that involved a new way of thinking to move me to that point. Drinking coffee was a pleasure, but I was over doing it. Did I really need that much coffee in the morning?
To answer that question, I took a writerís approach and started to write down everything I knew about my love for coffee. In my usual journal writing style of scribbles, I went way back to college and the lift it gave me to stay awake for long study sessions. I described back then how I thought coffee was bitter, but after about one thousand cups, I wrote about how I now I crave the dark taste. Coffee had become something like a bad lover who gives more pain than pleasure.
In it all, I found a false logic. My reasoning was all messed up. Drinking coffee may have jump started me in the morning, but the caffeine told my head that it needed more and more. If it didnít get the caffeine, it would miserably respond with a headache.
This whole coffee business got me thinking about some other things in my life. Drinking cup after cup of coffee was not my only problem. There were other dilemmas that needed my attention.
After all I do know that I will make mistakes as all humans do, and as a Christian, I know some messes are often as a result of sin. For the most part, I found that getting out of sin was like getting out of a whirlwind. Once I was in a sin, I would keep spinning around in it. Changes were very difficult to make.
God shows us his will that he promises is full of good things, so first, I know that I did sin because my life at times was far from peace and joy, and in all sincerity, I knew I needed to admit it was nothing but my fault. When I really know it, I can feel the guilt and shame of it all deep down in my bones. There are times when getting out of chair or climbing up the stairs was difficult, and it was not from knees that ached from the last jog but because of the heavy burden of sin.
Then, I knew that I needed to have the parts of my broken life fixed, but this is where the track to some good changes can make a bad turn. As a human, I wanted to do the repair work by myself. Life gets complicated, and in the maze I just shoot for a direction that seems right for me at the time. In the end, it seems life is like putting a jigsaw puzzle back to together with many pieces missing, or even worse it is like putting together a broken mirror and maybe getting hurt in the process.
But I have made this step way too hard. God likes to keep things simple. In trying to understand God we may try to bargain with him for things to go the way we want them to go. And in trying to work out my sins with God, I am committing the sin of seeing God as a deal maker.
After a confession of sin, the direction that God wants all people to take is just to sit at his mercy seat and to trust that all is forgiven by what Christ did at the cross to atone for the sins of the world, and now a door is open to a new life for all.
In this new life, to make sure we are keeping it all real, God gives us the freedom to choose from good and bad things. If I want to make changes in my life like cutting down on caffeine and many other changes, I can make those changes with Godís help. I have first admitted the need for a change, and then I can go to God for forgiveness, strength, and direction.
The point is not to leave God out of any part of my life. The trigger for me is when I say I will work it out tomorrow or I donít care or what difference does it make, but little steps in a direction of pure holiness can lead to bigger steps and life can change.
Moses, who admitted to a being a poor speaker, became the leader of the nation of Israel, David, a shepherd, became a king, and Peter, a fisherman with an impetuous personality, began the early church along with Paul, a once persecutor of the church.
God can flip any life and make it work for his purposes.
I am down to one cup of half decaf and regular coffee a day. As I write, I drink slow and savor each sip. It works for now and my headaches have gone away. Each sip is like a prayer to God thanking him for that change and the many others in my life that make it better to his glory.