Yesterday I asked if I could take today off, and I’m glad I did. I woke up with another headache. It seemed really strange because I don’t get that many headaches and I definitely don’t get migraines any more. I wondered if this had to do with my blood sugar and then I remembered… It’s been a couple of days since I had my morning tea.
I love hot tea! I love it so much that I have a tea cabinet made from my Mom’s first china cabinet. It’s filled with black teas, rooibos based teas, and a collection of miscellaneous teas. The cabinet is organized in just that way and each tea canister is labeled. I also have tea accoutrements; teapots, teacups, mugs, and warmers.
Last Sunday I was at brunch with a friend who said she needed to order a cup of coffee because she felt a headache coming on. I shared how I gave up caffeine in the 80’s, for just that reason. At that moment, I never dreamed that I had developed a caffeine addiction once again.
Addictions suck. I come from a long line of addicts, primarily alcoholics. At one time I was addicted to prescription pain meds that I believed were helping me with migraines, only to discover they were actually giving me migraines.
I began smoking at 12 years old, and eventually smoked 3.5-4 packs of cigarettes a day for one month short of 20 years. By what I can only call grace, I quit smoking 24 years ago.
When I found myself addicted to pain meds, I was well aware of my addictive nature and at the risk of my career, I put myself through a drug treatment program. I’ve been drug free for 15 years now and have only an occasional glass of red wine or a hot liqueur drink in winter. I share all of this to say that ADDICTIONS SUCK and I am well aware of how easy it is for me to become addicted to certain substances and behaviors, and, I know what to do to take care of myself and be true to myself when faced with any type of addiction. The headache I felt yesterday and today were clearly the sign of addiction to caffeine.
When I made the connection between the headache and the tea, I began to beat myself up – how could I be so stupid, yadda, yadda… And then I caught myself and acknowledged that I like black tea. I like it better than any other tea. I know it has more caffeine than any other tea and I know it stains my teeth worse than coffee or red wine. But I like black tea! My favorite black tea right now is Red Velvet Cake from DAVIDsTea in Canada. That tea is as yummy as it’s name and while some would find it too sweet, I add raw honey and coconut cream to my morning cup. I was quickly aware of how I was treating myself and how ridiculous it was to beat myself up for something like this – of course for anything really – so I stopped beating myself up and decided to give myself a day – or as long as it takes – to nurture my mind and my body back to good health.
I take very few medications now. In Ayurveda, food is medicine, and I love thinking of food in that light. I had my morning lemon water and for breakfast, raw almond butter on an Ezekiel whole grain english muffin. I can’t say I was eating Ayurvedically but I felt like it was a good breakfast. I added a little pink Himalayan mineral salt for added tastiness.
We had a downpour this morning and my plan was to walk to Breathe when the rain stopped but it was steamy humid outside and when I tried to make the walk, I felt nauseous. I came back inside, grabbed the car keys and drove to pick up lunch and some food for tomorrow.
When I came home I decided to take a hot shower with a beautiful lavender soap. Lavender has been a favorite scent of mine since I first had a migraine in the early 90’s. Between the hot water beating on my head and the scent of lavender, I felt myself getting better. I am a Young Living Essential Oil distributer and find that aromatherapy is extremely supportive when detoxing from any addiction or toxins. I breathed in a blend called Joy and placed a drop over my heart. I placed just a touch of Patchouli on my wrist for grounding. Valor on the bottom of my feet for balancing energies, and lavender on my temples to soothe the ache. I also placed some lavender oil in a diffuser which helped a lot.
I think the last time I detoxed from caffeine it took two or three days. Hopefully, today will be the worst of it. I’ve got four more days of vacation with places to go, people to see, and things to do. That said, my health is job one this summer and when it comes to creating good health, I am truly a lover and not a fighter. If I need another day of rest and relaxation, I will surely take it.
The tea I’m drinking now is a fabulous Rooibos based tea that I purchase from New Mexico Tea Company in Albuquerque, NM. I add raw honey and coconut cream to this delightful tea as well. Before I lived in Botswana, I liked the idea of tea but didn’t really drink it much. While there, I learned to enjoy a cup of tea with sugar and warm milk or cream. The healthy alternatives of raw honey and coconut cream are just as delightful. Once I’m detoxed from the addiction, I’ll allow myself black tea on weekends only. I won’t get addicted two days a week.
I often hear people talk about what they are addicted to – soda, sugar, processed foods… anything can become an addiction – shopping, work, exercise… Today I’m focused on the physical aspects of this caffeine addiction but I’m not ignoring the opportunity to consider what an addiction can teach me. According to Louise Hay in You Can Heal Your Life, the probable causes for addictions are running from the self, fear, and not knowing how to love the self. She offers the new thought pattern of, “I now discover how wonderful I am. I choose to love and enjoy myself.” Honestly, this addiction is caused from too much black tea – I don’t need to read anything more into it. But my food addiction – that comes from some emotional baggage and that’s what I’m here to work on over the next three months. The good news for me is I can recognize the difference and do the work – physically and emotionally – to serve my highest self.
I’d love for you to comment about any addictions you might have or have had in the past – what’s your experience? What are you doing for yourself to heal from the addiction? Are you beating yourself up? If so – STOP THAT RIGHT NOW! Are you nurturing yourself? If so – BRAVO! And please share what that looks like as I might want to add it to my own self-care.