The monkey on my back

It’s kind of a stereotype that writers (and programmers for that matter) drink a lot of coffee. Heroic amounts of coffee (and diet soda and energy drinks and red bull).

For the last month now I’ve been trying to regulate that. I was feeling tense and I felt like the quality of my sleep wasn’t as good. I was drinking anywhere between 4-5 cups of coffee, plus a couple of 20 oz diet sodas and the occasional 20 oz energy drink (though at the end as many as two, thanks Fast Start).

Zero didn’t work too well, so now I’m down to one. A cup of coffee (grande at the most) or a diet soda (12 oz at the most) and no energy drinks period. I’m feeling a little better, sleeping a little deeper, but my brain feels sluggish. I think it’s possible that one of the things that keeps me sharp and disciplined is a little liquid pick me up.

This is kind of a hard realization. There is actually some science (discussed in the book Quiet) of the effects of caffeine on creatives and introverts, but its still weird to think that part of my writing and programming talent is mental, and part of it is stimulated.

So I’m looking for the new normal. I want to feel physically better and mentally sharp. So maybe I’ll drink two cups of coffee and try not to let things get out of hand. That and maybe get some actual exercise when the weather finally gets warm, though we’re supposed to get snow again today 😦

What keeps you going throughout the day?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The monkey on my back

  1. Hey, I resemble that stereotype! Well, at least the coffee part. On POt # 2 right now. I don’t drink sodas of any kind much and definitely not energy drinks. Coffee, water, & alcohol in the form of Stellas, Jim Beam, or Shiraz.

    I balance out the caffeine by severely limiting my sugar and carb intake.

  2. I used to drink an obscene amount of Pepsi Max. I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. I have never been a tea or coffee drinker so that was my caffeine fix right up untill i ended up in hospital. Apparently excess amounts of caffeine is really bad for you! Caffeine makes my heart go crazy. I described it to the paramedics as “It feels like by heart is throwing itself at my ribs in a desperate bid to escape.” I’ve had to learn to live without it but i still gaze longingly at a bottle of Pepsi Max whenever i see one.

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