I recently did a home blood pressure test at a friend’s house who had one of those small machines you put on your left wrist that can register it. It registered high each time he tested it. I tried to tell myself that maybe his machine wasn’t calibrated right, so I went to a brand-new setup that can register it at a local Rite Aid where I took the test again…and three times at that! Each registered high as well, which alarmed me, as I’ve never had high blood pressure before in my entire life and have always registered in the “extremely well” range. Why it’s high? Beyond the stress I have over my health issues, I know it’s not because of my diet, because I eat very healthy more than not. I also know it’s not because of family genes because no one in my family roots have ever had high blood pressure either. What I do think is causing much of it is an addiction I’ve fallen back into yet again.
There are many health and doctor reports out there that show the chronic consumption of caffeinated beverages can raise one’s blood pressure, especially the more one becomes addicted to it. Truth be told, I’ve fallen back into this addiction all over again. I’ve now tried three times since I fell back into consuming caffeinated coffee in November of 2019 after more than a decade of being caffeine free. I consumed my first caffeinated coffee on November 1st that year, the day my cat Smokey suddenly passed away due to urinary tract issues. I was so upset over this I went to a Starbucks that night and consumed the equivalent of 5 cups of coffee in about an hour’s time. It was truly an addictive move to numb myself and one I’ve been paying the cost of ever since.
I’ve spent A LOT of money at Starbucks over the past two years. I’ve planned most days around my visits to Starbucks and even looked at maps before going on vacations just to see where the locations of Starbucks were. I’ve probably averaged the equivalent of 400mg of caffeine a day from there, all of which tends to be consumed in less than an hour’s time. I’ve been doing this because frankly, it’s kept me numb from dealing with a small portion of the pain I carry every day. But like any addiction, one must keep doing more and more of it to keep that effect going, which is how I’ve arrived at consuming as much as I have.
The effect of all this has led to unstable moods, rapid talking, heart pounding, overly sweating at times during physical tasks, increased anger, irritability, impatience, and a few other unpleasant side effects. Yet, I’ve continued to consume it, and now have realized it’s truly causing me more harm than good, which is why I am trying yet again to pull myself off of it.
People always talk about the headaches they get when they go a day without their coffee. When you get to the levels of consuming caffeine like I have, withdrawing from it is a much bigger bitch, to put it bluntly, then for the simple cup or two a day type of person. On some level, it’s reminded me of the serious withdrawals I went through from alcohol and drugs, as this morning alone, I woke up sobbing and wondering how the heck could I live my life without all my cold brews and five-shot lattes. To build my days around the consumption of coffee is ludicrous and I know this. I’ve been down this addictive path so many times in my life, and here I am again, battling another stupid addiction all over again.
I share this with you because it’s the first step in getting honest with myself. I don’t think I’m capable of moderating even something as minor as caffeinated coffee, because of the very reason why I choose to do it in the first place.
Caffeine really is an addiction and can cause serious complications with one’s health and life overall, especially when one comes to rely upon it to cope with any of their circumstances like I have. I lived without it for a very long time, always enjoying decaf instead. I know I need to return to that, as having high blood pressure at the moment is enough of a warning sign to me to finally do something about a crutch I’ve fallen back into these past few years…I pray to God I can do it…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson