I woke up this morning to the first cold morning I can remember. We have had so much heat in Texas that it is such a delightful surprise to feel the brisk Autumn air. I made a decision about 6 months ago that I have not regretted as deeply as I do today. I decided to give up my caffeine addiction (in the form of coffee and Dr. Pepper) in exchange for restful sleep. I am grateful for the restful sleep over the last several months, but this morning I long for the scent of coffee!
As I crawled out of my warm covers into the cold air of the house, I had a bit of a de ja vu flashback to the “old days” when the scent of coffee greeted me from my coffee maker early every morning. Like a faithful friend it called me to start my day and warmed me as I entered the cold morning. I reached for my new early morning friend, a cold glass of water, and it just did not satisfy the craving that was calling out.
Honestly, giving up caffeine was a very difficult thing. I had headaches and cravings for weeks and it was terribly unpleasant. I probably would have told you before I made that choice that I was not addicted to caffeine, it was just a pleasure. I know, after working so hard to separate myself from it, I actually was addicted to it. Today, the kinds of cravings I am having for coffee and the thoughts I am having about it…remind me very much of a textbook addict justifying the need for a substance,(“it’s cold and coffee is warm”, “I didn’t think about winter when I decided to give up coffee”, “I’m old and need the extra energy”) rationalizing that I can control it,(“I’ll just have one cup”, “One cup is not going to make me addicted again” “Now that I havent had it for so long, I’m sure I can control my intake”), and on and on my head spins this morning!
Addiction is a strange and mysterious beast. Recovery is never easy, and in my experience, it is never-ending. When addiction is present in our lives, and I agree with Gerlad May where he states it is present in every human, it can consume us in very subtle ways. We give up one addiction to discover there is another waiting right behind it. We travel the road of recovery only to discover there are new paths we were unaware of only moments before. We find ourselves at familiar crossroads with temptation waiting to meet us. Addiction is a strange and mysterious beast, for sure. Yet somehow in my life, it has become a positive companion that drives me to continue growing, continue surrendering, and continue traveling this road to recovery!