If It Were Easy, Everyone Would Do It

When I gave up coffee two years ago, it was attempt number 500 (exagerration). Ok maybe attempt number 20. The number doesn’t matter. I tried, unsuccessfully, many times to give up coffee.

Between the 3pm migraines and heart palpatations, I figured it was time to let go of the one vice that has emotionally overwhelmed me.

While you might think it’s just coffee, for it was a dependency that I had to break. I felt like I needed coffee to be productive, to be the best me. Breaking free from this mental chain required drastic action – going cold turkey.

So, one October morning I thought this was it. I was going to give up coffee once and for all. I anticipated myself going through a withdrawal that would leave me cranky and passive aggressive.

I thought to myself, why not write about my journey to coffee-free living. As you’ve probably guessed, this was when my 28 days to kicking a habit series was born. Only, I was not disciplined enough to write each day.

You see, when it comes to change, I can only do one thing at a time.

Writing each day would be in addition to the late night tremors of my psyche rationalizing with me about why psychosomatic symptoms were just a figment of my own paranoia.

I wanted to be successful this time so I dedicated myself to ceasing my coffee intake and I would just document my journey at another time.

This was the first time I was intently aware of my efforts. I made sure I didn’t have anything with coffee. No coffee biscottis, no coffee ice cream, no chocolate covered espresso beans, nada.

As any real addict, I ended up supplementing my addiction with another one – tea. I became fixated, no rather I became obsessed with Chai tea.

Same drug, different flavor, less problematic symptoms.

I was in heaven. I still am. To this day, Chai tea has become my drug of choice. While I do miss the taste of coffee, I realize that I cannot have a drink.

In the midst of my recovery I came to understand what coffee represented for me. There was an emotional relationship that I did not want to have with a drink. I think of how alcoholics describe their addiction and when you replace the substance, I had the same feelings.

Maybe I’m too sensitive. When I don’t drink coffee it feels like a victory. It feels like I’m able to control one aspect of my life. In a world where so much is out of our control, these small feats mean the world to me.

Now that I’ve embarked on another quest for change, I find myself reflecting on my coffee-free journey. How was that so easy, and yet here I am on day 3 trying to quit my latest adventure?

No lie, I’m bored and I want to stop. If I had been born 10 years later I would have most likely been diagnoised with ADD. It’s more than just random boredom. The novelty has worn off.

I get excited and jump without a net on most things. I don’t care about the destination when the high for me is in the “letting go” part. So why is this time around so mentally taxing?

Endorphines are supposed to be the happy drug.

That feeling of genuine awesomeness. I should be relishing in the moment. I should be embracing each session as if my sanity depended on it. Yet tonight I found myself going at it alone.

My inner voice was a no-show.

Even the eye candy on the flat screen were just not doing it for me.

When all distractions are exhausted, where does one derive inspiration?

I never said it would be easy. I wasn’t expecting a free pass. I just don’t want to lose faith.

Vicky Ayala

My name is Vicky & I am a brand strategist & visual storyteller. By day, I work with multi-passionate entrepreneurs to organize their creative genius into a memorable brand experience with engaging design, authentic storytelling and strategic online marketing. When I'm not conjuring brand magic, you can find me musing about the entrepreneurial journey which includes everything from finding the perfect chai latte to plotting my domestic move to Miami.