Beginning today (I wrote this on the 15th), I am taking an official month away from caffeine. No soda, no coffee, no tea, no Excedrin no Red Bull, no nadda.
During grad school, I developed a caffeine addiction. There is an easy-access soda vending machine in the NMSU Music Center. There is also a Starbucks nearby. I had a couple bucks a day to blow on caffeine. I had a high level of stress and a low level of sleep. I bought my first coffee maker. I gave up tea for coffee. By looking at my budgets, I can see that I have spent several hundred dollars on those vending machine Cokes. I sometimes had to wrestle with what beverage to drink first: the coffee that had cooled or the soda that I had just bought.
But Why Stop?
- I HATE the crash. It makes me useless for about an hour.
- It costs money. I have very little money.
- I feel anxious for no apparent reason.
- I want to see if it affects my singing.
- I have concerns for its affects on my long-term health and mental well being.
This is partially scientific. Do I still get drowsy in the middle of the day without morning coffee? Can I concentrate better without it? Can I focus on what I WANT to focus on instead of whatever minutiae attracts my attention? Am I a better singer with or without it?
Let’s find out.
Why Only A Month?
I’m a pragmatist, and I know that if I said “I’m never drinking caffeine again!” I would be back in line at Starbucks tomorrow. A month is easy for my brain to deal with, and maybe I will be stronger by the end of it.
Yesterday, I had an intense headache, backache, and neck ache all day long for no particular reason. I hydrated myself with more and more water. I ate. I stretched. I meditated. I focused on my atlanto-occipital joint. I did everything EXCEPT drink coffee or take Excedrin. The pain lasted through the night and today is mostly gone. This experience jives with my last caffeine withdrawal experience: pain, soreness, restlessness, fatigue. The last time it lasted for several days. It seems easier this time.
And so, here’s to a month of no morning coffee or glorious diet sodas that fix the crash caused by the morning coffee.
What about you? Do you find any relationship between caffeine use and your singing? Is it positive or negative?