One of my primary goals for the year was to cut out coffee. In mid-July, thanks to my hospital stay, I did that. For 19 days, I didn’t drink any coffee. On day 20, I caved and had an iced coffee. Since then, I’ve had coffee once every few days. Despite everything. Despite the fact that I know I feel like crap in the days that follow. Despite not sleeping as well when I drink it. Despite knowing that this is probably an allergy and causing a lot of inflammation. I keep making these goals to cut it out completely before giving up after a couple days. I can’t tell you how many pretty little graphs and such that I’ve drawn out to color in as I make it closer and closer to my goal of 100 days coffee-free, only to fall off the wagon four or five days in.
It’s funny – I remember doing the same exact thing with alcohol. I was never addicted to alcohol the way I was with coffee, but I had begun drinking a glass of wine when my anxiety was bad, and I knew that was a dangerous path to go down. Additionally, I tended to have more binge-eating issues when I was drinking alcohol regularly. Plus, I wondered if drinking alcohol, which I’d only started doing in 2014, was at the root of my inability to lose weight. So for a while there, I made goals to go 100 days alcohol-free and 100 days binge-free. I hit both goals in early 2019, and have continued to stay mostly binge- and alcohol-free in the years since.
My old bujos are marked with counters – habit-trackers where I counted days, starting over whenever I had a drink or a binge. I did this rather than make a full 100-day color-in graph, because there’s no room for messing up or an off-day in that kind of graph form. You can’t un-color-in days. Which is really frustrating when you only make it a few days in, and would probably be even MORE frustrating if you make it to almost 100 days before something goes wrong!
I’ve spent too much time making perfection-needed goals, rather than keep-trying-until-you-make-it goals with regards to coffee over the last few months. So I’m leaning back into that 2018-2019 headspace, learning from my younger self. Addiction is a hard thing to break, especially when it’s also tied to self-soothing, identity, anxiety, and ritual. I’ve done really well to finally get to the point where I’m not drinking coffee daily, and no longer getting caffeine headaches. Eventually, I’ll be able to cut it out entirely. In the meantime, I need to give myself grace to fall off the horse and get back up again the next day.