It’s Friday! Do you know what that means?
Pictures of cute puppies!
I just made that rule up, but you know what? I think I should keep that as a rule for my Friday posts. It has been decided.
So, I have about a weekish left until Lent is over and I can drink coffee/caffeine again!
I figured I’d tell you guys how it went since I do it as a way to learn more about myself and as my role as a counselor.
So, I was kicking ass. I had hot tea in Seattle when I got the, “I’m cold, need warmth!” itch. I had a hot chocolate not realizing the whole chocolate = caffeine thing. Once it was pointed out to me I got really belligerent with Jesse, using my hate-rage face and complaining about him being a party pooper. So, I had another hot chocolate in spite about two days later and then I pulled myself together. I did a very good job at using denial on that one.
Then, I was back on the wagon. I was really committed. Still no coffee! Victory!
I coasted, but I suffered. I really thought I would stop drinking coffee and get over it in like 2 weeks, tops. I was catching myself salivating when I saw people with Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups. I would get borderline grumpy/envious that they could have coffee and I couldn’t.
Then, I went to Harry Potter World. I woke up extra early on those days to make it to the park and on the rides before everyone else. I could smell everyone’s coffee. There was free coffee at my aunt’s hotel! I did not cave. I stayed strong. I was impervious to these temptations.
But wait, what’s in that cup everyone is drinking? It looks so cold. So inviting. I can hear the bubbles hissing in the cup.
It was so hot. I was so thirsty. My water was all lukewarm from said heat. I took a sip. I took two sips. We went and ate pizza and I thought to myself, “Well, you already had two sips, might as well order your own.”
So then I got my own cherry coke and the guilt and sugar was too much for me. I only drank half of it. Victory?
I’ve kept my nose clean since then. I’ve got 9 days left. It’s no big deal anymore. I’ve already planned my coffee drinking experience. It’s going to be so rad.
What I Learned
I am no greater than the people whom I counsel for their addictions. I spent a lot of time justifying my slips during Lent. I would say to myself, “Well, I don’t have a problem with coffee/caffeine, so it’s OK to slip here. I deserve it.” I seriously should get an Oscar for my rationalization skills. I also should remember this the next time a client tells me why it might be safe for them to drink or use in the future.
I also realize I still haven’t had coffee. I did fulfill what I set out to do. Caffeine was just an afterthought. The first lesson I learned is that caffeine is sneaky and it hides everywhere. The second lesson I learned is that I should have my heart in what I’m giving up. I really wanted to give up coffee, I didn’t really want to give up caffeine. Third, I realized how my clients must think about things when they say things like, “Well, I’m not going to do pills anymore, but I’ll drink because that’s not a problem for me.”
I did the same thing with caffeine! I justified coffee as the problem. I always want coffee. In both cases where I slipped, I honestly would have rather had a coffee. So, I substituted with a lesser evil. I still filled up that need. The only difference is I’m not an addict. I had half a cherry coke and I stopped. Most of our clients have a bunch of beer in the place of pills because they still want to fill the void with something. They’re not solving the underlying issue for their addiction.
So, that’s that. I learned a lot and I certainly humbled myself. I’m super glad I decided to undertake this little mission to test myself and learn a bit more about where I am in my own head and my life. I still cannot wait till I can have an iced coffee. It’s going to be the best day.