Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Some kind of significance.

OK, pay attention at the back. That there 2 years is not really significant (especially since there has been a Leap Day in between), but this one is:

On Sunday the 10th of March 2002, I decided to try a little experiment. I gave up caffeine for a week, to see how it would go. Perhaps I should have a celebratory espresso tomorrow, to mark the longest week in history. Two whole years and counting - no coffee, no tea (not that I drank tea anyway), no Coke or its derivatives, no chocolate, no flu remedies. By and large, it has worked.

If you've been here all this time, you'll remember that I started by offering a Depression Index (my caps), tracking how I felt about things, and possibly giving myself a record of what caused my various depressions. Like so many other things in here, it gradually faded away, thanks not so much to my general indifference, but to the fact that the 'no caffeine' thing actually seemed to work. I take no antidepressants; I watch and modify my behaviour, to be sure, but I no longer suffer from the long, black days and nights.

Which is not to say I'm cured. I'm slowly coming round to the idea that I'm not going to be cured of this thing; I'm just going to learn to live with it, and make it live with me. In the last week or so, I have noticed a certain tendency toward 'black behaviour'; I know why, and I deal with it. On Saturday, I had as bad a start to a day as I've had in possibly these past two years, but it passed - I'm more tired than usual at present, and that is at once a symptom and a cause - and I knew that what I needed was time to wake up. Once that had been acheived, by lunchtime I was back in business.

Do I miss my caffeine? Of course I do. The pang I get from smelling coffee brewing has not diminished over the two years, but the way I feel, and feel about myself, is more than worth the cost. I think about my depression every day, but I'm no longer mentally checking myself out every morning to see what kind of a day I'm going to have to suffer; I assume everything is manageable unless I hear otherwise. I come across other people's descriptions of how they feel, and I think "That's how I used to be", not "that's how I am." Of course, now it's like some kind of ritual magic spell; if I accidntally ingest some caffeine, then I fear that everything will collapse about my ears. One day soon, I'm going to eat a piece of chocolate, just to prove that I can do it, and perhaps I'm nearly ready to try decaf again. Maybe I'll learn to like the taste, and maybe it won't make me want to have some full-strength coffee. Maybe not just yet, though. I'm not better, but I'm better, if you know what I mean.

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