At the start of 2015 I resolved myself to a daily ritual of self-harm in the form of giving up caffeine. I have a toddler and a 6-month-old, so this was pretty stupid. I’ve been going strong since the beginning of January and while I’m doing okay physically, I’d be a dirty lying liar if I told I wasn’t spending every waking moment dreaming about steaming lattes and sexy, curvaceous bottles of Coke Zero. It’s a process. If you’re also into bad decisions and would like to follow in my footsteps, here’s what the process of weaning yourself off the energy juice will look like:
1. LET’S DO THIS!
Who’s rocking this? I’m rocking this! This is going to be awesome! This is going to change my whole life! Down with caffeine! Exclamation points! This stage pretty much only lasts the first day because then everything is horrible.
2. Reality hits.
That second morning comes and the kids are up before dawn. No biggie. I’m just going to go over here and pour myself a quick cup of coff– oh my God coffee has caffeine. Oh no. This has all been a terrible misunderstanding. I was actually kidding and I don’t want to do this at all.
3. Extreme pouting.
Fun fact: “Extreme Pouting” is the name of a new TLC reality show about me giving up caffeine.
4. The bargaining begins.
Maybe I should just have one cup of coffee. Just one. I mean, I should’ve started slower anyway. One cup won’t hurt. Actually, two. I meant two. No, three. Dammit, I hate this.
5. The bargaining turns into self-loathing.
That’s a gif interpretation of me smacking my own reflection for deciding to do this. You’re so stupid, Ashley. Why are you so stupid?
This is stupid. Goals are stupid. Life is stupid. Water is stupid. Everything is stupid. FUCK! This stage is especially fun with small children. Every gentle “Mom! Mom! Mommy! Mom! Mom! Moooooooom!” feels like a tiny dagger stabbing you repeatedly in the brain.
7. Outright Despair
I didn’t love you right, Caffeine. I should’ve cherished our time together. I’m so sorry. Please don’t leave me alone with these heathens. Come back to me. Please. Come back!
8. Lingering Depression
The world is black. Like coffee. *Pained moan* Coffffeeeee.
9. Reluctant Acceptance
I don’t have the energy to fight anymore because I’m not allowed to drink energy anymore. I’m letting go, Jack. “Let it gooooo, let it gooooo, my heart will go on and ooooon…” It’s a Titanic–Frozen mash-up. It’s the sound of my death march. Goodbye, World.
10. Freedom / Delusion
The Starbucks logo came to me in a dream last night. She said it’s okay to let go now. She also told me if I come in and try to sniff people’s drinks one more time they’re going to have me arrested.