So I fasted caffeine for Lent this year. I’ve never fasted anything for Lent before nor was it particularly spiritually motivated; I was just curious and had been drinking tons of coffee.
As expected, the first several days were monumentally hard to get through – sitting at my laptop I regularly battled sleepiness at work – but I lacked the infamous withdrawal headaches. I told myself that it would get better, that of course the beginning would be tough, and it did get better, but at an imperceptibly slow pace. By the end, I had sort of gotten used to it, and even considered (however briefly) continuing the fast past Easter.
Anyway, those are the facts. But what’s perhaps more interesting, at least to me, is what to make of it all. I started drinking coffee, and thus caffeine, in significant amounts sometime during sophomore year of college, I think. It was a combination of college and having free coffee at my internship. Then I really got into it after I came back from Germany at the beginning of 2009. I started making it myself and drinking it black. But all along, or even before I started drinking coffee in the first place, I had wanted to keep it to a minimum, to make sure it was something I did when I wanted not something I did in order to feel normal. I remember growing up watching my parents drink coffee every morning, setting the coffee maker to brew automatically before the alarm even went off, and thinking how I didn’t want to be like that. Well, in short, I think I’ve come to terms with being like that. I like coffee. I like the way it tastes. I like the habit and the occasion and the ritual of drinking it. I like caffeine. I like how it affects my mood and my general countenance towards the day. Yes, I can live without it, but I think that’s like saying I could live without chocolate, or without Advil. Yeah. I don’t need it. But it makes my life better, so I’m going to enjoy it.
I’d love to hear feedback on this. As with most things I think about, my mind is yet to be fully made and my feeling on the matter is subject to discussion and change.