Caffeine, You WERE My Friend

I have always been a lover of coffee and tea. I thoroughly enjoy the taste and how a cup of goodness can make me feel cozy and happy.

No matter the season, I always prefer iced tea or coffee to hot, but on a cold winter day or when feeling under the weather, a hot cup is just what I need.

The Beginning

I have always enjoyed coffee and tea purely for the taste of it and when I first started drinking it, I would drink solely decaf.

I was in love with all of the beautiful flavors that were in my cup, and I loved the idea of there being so many options to choose from depending on what I wanted to enjoy that day.

My Favorites

There are many varieties of coffee and tea that I love, but some of my favorites are iced mochas, iced chai, Earl Grey, and the ever-famous plain coffee with flavored creamers.

A few years ago, I started drinking coffee not only because of its delicious flavor, but because I needed an energy boost. I was working a very demanding job in the medical field, and I needed caffeine some days to get me by.

Fast forward to today and although I am not working at the moment, I am very busy taking care of my family and a lot is going on every day. I started drinking coffee every morning, just one cup to get me through the day.

The Perks 

I started to feel like a superwoman on caffeine, I felt that I could do anything and no matter how much sleep I lost, I could still keep going. Who knew that one simple cup of coffee could do so much?

Coffee made me feel alert and alive, and it made me feel like I could make it through the day without crashing midway through. I would wake up each morning and make a small cup of iced coffee and add in my favorite flavored creamers. It was Heaven to look forward to every morning!

Weird Symptoms

A little over a month ago, I started feeling chest pain, a racing and irregular heartbeat, and my anxiety was through the roof. I also noticed some hormonal changes in my body. I chalked it up to anxiety and stress and went about my day.

Several weeks went by and I started feeling lightheaded upon activities like climbing the stairs and standing up from a sitting position. I could feel my heart pounding and I could feel palpitations in my chest. I knew that it was time to make an appointment with my doctor.

Medical Testing

I went through some testing to make sure that it wasn’t heart-related and thankfully it was not, but this left me wondering what the cause of my symptoms was. As my doctor asked me about my lifestyle habits, the topic of caffeine came up and I told my doctor that I only drink one cup a day.

To my surprise, my doctor informed me that some people are very intolerant to caffeine and that even one cup truly disrupts the body for sensitive individuals. This was news to me; I wasn’t aware that one simple cup could cause so many problems.

I was a little skeptical but given that I am very sensitive to any medications that I take, I was on board with what my doctor was saying. Maybe I was one of the few with caffeine intolerance. I was instructed to cut down and then eliminate my caffeine intake.

Here We Go 

The day after my appointment, I started using a mixture of half decaf and half caffeinated coffee. I then tapered it down to strictly decaf a few days later. I missed the perks of feeling energetic and having a clearer mind, but I was still able to enjoy the delicious taste that I love.

A few days later, I started experiencing some unpleasant symptoms. I was getting daily headaches, and feeling very nauseous, I felt dizzy and lightheaded. I felt like I was hit by a bus.

Just like that, I was in caffeine withdrawal. My doctor was right, one simple cup, and I was “addicted” to the point that my body was experiencing withdrawal from losing that one cup of coffee. I never knew that my body was relying on this stimulant as much as it was.

Today

Since this happened only a few weeks ago, I am still trying my hardest to gain energy naturally. I still drink my decaf coffee every morning and sometimes I wish that I could add in a little caffeine.

It is amazing how what we eat, and drink affects our bodies so greatly. If something feels off with you and your body, definitely make sure to get it checked out. It could be something like needing a simple lifestyle change like this one.

Ever since I cut my morning caffeinated coffee, my anxiety has lessened greatly. I have an anxiety disorder, so it will always be there, but the degree is much less. I no longer have a racing heart or feel lightheaded.

Your Turn

I would love to hear more about you! Are you a tea or coffee drinker? If so, have you experienced any of these unpleasant downsides of caffeine?

Have you ever had to change a lifestyle habit because it hurt more than it helped?

How Are You?

This question is often thrown around in conversation daily. It is used to express care for someone else and for generating conversation and connection.

Most of the time, the question “how are you?” is asked to someone else, but it is also an important question to ask yourself often.

Courtesy

Many people ask others how they are doing out of common courtesy. We may be talking with the cashier at a store, coworkers, friends at school, or even while chatting with a neighbor.

When asking this question, most of the time you will hear people tell you that they are doing “well.” Other times, people will tell you in great detail how they are feeling.

Open Door

I think it’s wonderful when people ask, “how are you?” It shows empathy, caring, and respect for another individual. It shows a desire to connect and a willingness to open up and have a deep conversation.

I enjoy it when others truly tell me how they are feeling when I impose this question. I like to get a glimpse into the lives and minds of others. I enjoy offering my support and being there for other people.

Personal Check-in

We spend a lot of time caring and wondering about other people and how they are doing. Often, we let ourselves slip to the back burner. Our energy and focus go toward others, and we are left depleted with no time and energy for ourselves.

It is important to check in with ourselves as well to get in touch with our feelings and work through anything that is bothering us. I am currently working on this, and I can tell a difference and feel its benefit.

In case no one has asked you today…HOW ARE YOU?

My Life Lesson

I truly believe that we are all on this Earth to grow and learn specific lessons as we journey through life.

I am a big believer in the afterlife, and I feel that our journey in a physical body is a temporary one that goes through life experiences to grow the soul and prepare us for our permanent home.

The Saying Goes

It seems as though the saying that life’s situations keep repeating themselves until learned is true. I have noticed myself in similar situations time and time again and each time that I think I will handle it with grace and handle it better, it doesn’t happen.

Needless to say, the situation pops back into my life, willing to give me another try. I believe that once we master what the lesson is trying to teach us, it will go away, and we can then focus on other tasks to learn.

I almost view our life here on Earth like a school, where we are here to learn lessons that will power our souls once we reach Eternity.

Life Lesson

There are two life lessons that I can think of right off the bat that present themselves to me often. These are being truly authentic and having more patience.

Although I feel that being more authentic, vulnerable, and not being afraid to be me is a major lesson for me, I feel that having more patience is an even bigger lesson, so that is the one that I will focus on for this story.

Patience is a Virtue

I have had a lot happen to me in my life, a lot more than I ever expected to go through given that I am in my thirties. When I reflect on past events, it seems that a lot of the time my anxiety, worry, and stress revolved around not being patient with myself or with the world around me.

My anxious mind causes me to want to know things immediately so that they do not cause me more stress. The anxious me wants everything that I need or want to happen right now so that I don’t have to stress over when or if it will happen in the future.

I tend to have great patience with other people, but with anything regarding myself and my life, I need to work on being patient. I need to trust that things will work out for me. I need to trust that in time things that I need, or desire will come to me at the right time.

I also need to trust myself, so that I can learn to be more patient. I can try to work on the anxiety that drives me to have less patience with things outside of my control. Often, I will look at an important date on the calendar and I am eager for it to arrive, and then in a blink of an eye, it is here. Those days spent worrying flew by.

Worth Waiting For

Waiting is unfortunately a part of life, one that we may not be fond of, but one that we cannot control, nonetheless.

With many things, it is a hope that the things that we need and want will be worth the wait. Life is about learning and becoming the strongest person that we can be.

In the perfect world, we would have everything we want and need immediately, and although that brings instant gratification, it may also lessen the beauty of what we have and strive for. Our motivation may be out the window if everything was given immediately.

Here I Sit

It is up to me to be at peace with the unknown as hard as that is. The unknown is scary and causes great anxiety, however, there is a lot of hope and excitement in the unknown.

It takes great strength and trust to sit back and let life unfold the way it is meant to. This goes back to living every day as it comes and living it to the fullest because life can change at any moment.

I am slowly learning, but patience truly is a virtue.

It’s Just a Scratch

The other day I was leaving the store after doing some grocery shopping. I started walking towards my car with my shopping cart.

I parked my shopping cart next to the trunk of my car so that I could unload my groceries.

As I walked around to the passenger side to fit some other groceries inside, I noticed a fairly large scratch on my car.

My Baby

I am one of those people that thinks of their car as one of their babies. I have had this car for quite a while, and it has been my favorite car so far that I have owned.

When I first bought my car, I was so paranoid that I would get it scratched, dented, or even worse…

I took great measures to make sure that I kept my car in great condition. I think that most of us try our very hardest to preserve our new things.

Time Went On

As time passed, I started noticing that my car received several scratches and even a dent or two. It is inevitable, especially as the car ages.

I started to relax a little more as time went on. I knew that my car would not be in perfect condition forever. The car is being used and is bound to encounter some bumps and bruises along the way.

Despite these scratches, my car was still able to get me from Point A to Point B. I still enjoyed my car as much as I always had. Sure, some scratches were there, but my car was still my car!

Application

All of a sudden, the wheels started turning in my brain. Being the deep thinker that I am, I realized that this very realization can be applied to people!

Often, we are self-conscious and hard on ourselves. We may be ashamed of our flaws and imperfections.

We may overanalyze our scratches and dents. As human beings, perfection is not possible. As we go through life, we are going to get a little bruised now and then.

The Takeaway

Try not to be so hard on yourself. Easier said than done, but we all carry scars and whether we want them to or not, they make up who we are.

Like a car that is bound to get scratched and damaged over the years, we will also have these markings.

Every day we can strive to be okay with these parts of us. We can try to embrace our journey and the life that we have been given. No scar makes you any less worthy. Embrace your beautiful self!

Another Day, Another Page

Whether we realize it or not, we are all writing a book. We are creating the story of our lives every day that we live.

Our story is unique to us and although we are all human, we also have a journey that is laid out unlike any other.

A New Page

Every day that we wake up is another chance to start anew. We keep adding to our book of life.

Our experiences and lessons are stamped inside of our book as we make our way through the many seasons of life.

Our book goes on, chapter after chapter.

Pages

This precious book will have a past, a present, and blank pages to fill in the future. Sometimes we may flip back a few chapters to examine the past, but we should be careful not to linger there.

Every day holds a page in this book of life. Some are connected together to form chapters of significant events that have happened to us.

We may often be tempted to peek ahead at those blank pages that represent our future, however, like our past, we must try to bring ourselves back to our current page.

Your Book

Your life is all yours! Many things in life we have control of, yet many things we do not.

Life is a lot of what we make it. There will be good days, bad days, and days in-between.

We will face struggles and triumphs, roadblocks and detours, and we will have many reasons to celebrate who we are and how far we have come.

Make every day count! You are creating a story that is uniquely yours each day that you live. Maybe down the line your story will inspire others and be one of encouragement and hope!