Beware the Caffeine Monster

Unless you are actually hoping to develop a caffeine addition, you should be wary of your daily caffeine consumption. One cup of coffee per day, or even two may be acceptable, as long as they are spaced at completely different moments of the day (in the morning and in the afternoon, for instance). To drink three cups of coffee in the span of one hour is, I have discovered through personal experience, a very silly thing to do. Unless you want to develop the aforementioned addiction, that is. I have known this for quite some time, I have seen the effect excessive amounts of caffeine has on my friends, and yet, despite all warning bells in my head, I still went ahead and had those three cups of coffee, almost one after the other.

I should add that not only did I have these three cups of coffee, but one of them was more sugar than coffee (for this is my preferred way of drinking it) and another was an espresso. In addition, I later drank a very sweet hot chocolate (which granted was delicious). All of this caffeine and sugar has managed to utterly screw over my system. I ought to explain first that caffeine normally lowers my metabolism, which means I am usually sleepy after I drink it. While I do have a custom of having it in the morning with my breakfast, this is only for tradition’s sake, not because it ‘wakes me up’ as it does most people. The imbibing of three cups, however, means that my body is thoroughly confused: one part of it wanting to crash right away, and the other wanting to jump about like a lemur before crashing.

None is a good option, of course, and as can be imagined by now, combining said coffee with hot chocolate was, no pun intended, a recipe for disaster At this precise moment, I find myself, not only incapable of concentrating on anything except the smallest and simplest of tasks, but also overwhelmed by that horrid plague that is depression + anxiety. Both have haunted me steadily for the past five months, and though I try my best to ignore its presence when it rears its ugly head, as is its nature, it has the unnerving talent to spring in the most inopportune of moments. I concede though, that most of these times take place when I am tired or stressed, which naturally implies I cannot concentrate and work, which inevitably summons them. It’s one of those fascinating little cycles of life.

This becomes particularly problematic when one is surrounded by other people, specifically one’s colleagues/peers. The impulse to completely break down into a puddle of despair and mucus is one I would rather avoid at all costs; it does so damage one’s reputation, after all. Which leaves only two immediate possible solutions, and a long-term one: either pack up and head for home, where I can hide under my bedcovers and have a good cry, that will most likely not make me feel any better, or continue acting like everything is fine, write a diatribe on the dangers of caffeine, and then hope my body sorts itself out. The first option will almost undoubtedly depress me further in the long run, and the second has the pessimistic possibility of backfiring majestically in my face via sudden and untimely breakdown. But I’ve managed to write this so far, so chances are that won’t happen.

The long-term solution, clearly, is to not consume three cups of coffee in the future. This has proven to be an obvious mistake, and should be avoided like Malaria in a small African nation. The feelings of inadequacy spawned by the inability to concentrate or do anything productive are not worth the tiny ‘high’ caffeine provides. I suppose the final question is whether this rant has helped in any way at all. A quick self-examination reveals that I still feel awful, but I don’t think I’m any closer to that frightful breakdown. In other words, still SNAFU, but not any worse than usual, which is always ‘good’.

Well, AR signing off for now.

PS. This is the kind of thing that most definitely worsens and speeds up the descent into madness of my Unstable Mind, but at least it produces some strange pieces of writing.

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