Coffee addicts know that tea is no substitute for the ‘real thing.’ After six days without that rich, brown nectar of heaven, I know this for sure. I don’t know how much caffeine tea has in it, but not enough to stave off the headache and muscle ache of withdrawal.
Poor me. 😉 I’m sure going to enjoy my big cup of coffee tomorrow.
Last week I talked about how I’d given up TV for the majority of the month as a way to purge clutter from my life. This week, I added coffee to the list of banned things. When you start to equate a good cup of coffee with true happiness, it’s probably time.
It wasn’t long before I regretted it.
When I work day shift, every evening is scheduled for an appointment, or spent frantically cleaning, cooking, doing laundry and trying to get my writing done. As a homebody, I don’t like these weeks. I just want to be at home in front of my laptop… with coffee. I was sick with a cold this week. I also had a lot on my mind–mostly stuff I can’t go into. While normally I can deal with the stressful schedule at work, this week I often developed shortness of breath and chest pain by the end of the day.
Normally I’d go home, sit in my easy chair with a cup of coffee and watch a few mindless YouTube videos. During the day, I sometimes hold out that chair and coffee mug like the proverbial carrot in front of the donkey. “Just a little farther, and then you can have it.” But this week I’d get home tired, sick and weepy and none of my ‘medication’ would be there.
I grew up thinking that people with real problems used alcohol and drugs to numb their pain. It’s become uncomfortably obvious that most people have their ways of self-medication, inane, ‘harmless’ things to make them feel better. It’s not bad to drink coffee, or watch TV, or drink a glass of wine. But many souls like me use these things like patches instead of facing the real issues.
Then, when we take away our crutches, we fall. We’re sad. A girl I know talked about how sad she was when she gave up sugar and sweets for the month. It was her birthday, and she couldn’t have cake, and she was depressed. You can also observe how upset people get when the weather is rainy in the summer, or frigid in the winter. Are we really basing our happiness on externals like that? Yes, that is the primary way humans attempt to bring happiness into their lives.
What is the alternative? I would posit two–with the caveat that I’m just trying to figure this out myself.
Chris Brady said, “To be happy, you’ve got to give happy.” That is to say that when we’re feeling low, we need to take our eyes off ourselves and bring happiness to others.
Second, we need a solid internal constitution, or foundation of principles to fall back on when our externals fail us. What is our anchor?
Personally, I need to learn to seek out Jesus as my friend, constant companion and life giver. There is no switch I can flip to learn that, but in the bleakness of the workweek, there were sweet moments when I paced back and forth in front of my coating pan or crashed in my comfy chair and prayed. Even if what I prayed was pathetic things like “make me happy, pleaaase.” 🙂