There Is No 12-Step Program for Coffee. ~ Edith Lazenby

Via Edie Lazenby
on Dec 17, 2012
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9 coffe favorites

Indulge my preamble as am I writing without coffee.

I tell myself certain things over and over.

I will walk every day. I will lose weight. I will eat fruit and vegetables. I will meditate. I will do those morning pages that were made famous in The Artists Way so many years ago. I will record myself teaching. I will do weights a few times a week. I will go to the yoga studio where I can take free classes since I teach there.

I will not drink coffee.

I gave it up November 23rd. I have not given up caffeine. And yogi that I am, I am a child of the ’70s and have an affection for drugs. I don’t “do drugs” anymore. I take ibuprofen as needed. I use over the counter drugs if required by my standards and take one pill once a day always, and usually twice a day if I am doing what I am supposed to do. My sanity pill, of sorts.

But I don’t walk. I have not lost the weight I put on two years ago. I don’t eat fruit often enough and have one serving of veggies a day, meaning I am far from the eight servings highly recommended.

 But I don’t drink coffee.

Well, I did have a decaf latte today. And a grande decaf as well. Last night I went to a party and ate and ate and ate;  nothing quite bores a hole in the fullness like coffee.

But I have not had that coffee jolt since November 23rd. I have had Red Bull a few times, just three to be exact. And I have imbibed extra strength 5-hour Energy three times. I drink black tea (my preference is Morning Thunder), as well as chamomile and mint.

I used to teach most classes with coffee.

I love coffeeI started every day with a cup and got a latte on my way to my client’s or to my class. I had coffee in the afternoon. I had it at night.

I am committed to coffee.

But I am changing how I am committed. I told myself I have to treat it like alcohol. I am fond of saying I did all my drinking in 15 years. Yes, I did a lot. Yes, I am an alcoholic. Yes I did the 12-step thing for a number of years and no, I am not “in recovery.”

Life demands healing.

I recovered from alcohol and have no desire to drink, ever again. Compared to my trials over 20 years ago with schizophrenia is was easy, kind of a no-brainer. Just don’t drink. Go to meetings. Take the medication. And the next year I had a full time job and was on my own soon after. Simple, yes. Easy? Not really.

But coffee….oh my, we started our affair in high school. My mom said I did not get in the car without a cup. As a college graduate, I worked as a donut dealer where coffee was abundant. Then was the first time I got off of coffee, say in my mid twenties. My head hurt. Now I know the herb Skullcap can help, if going off all caffeine, and if you’re curious.

But I started again obviously—probably just a few months later. Then a number of years ago, I had irritable bowl syndrome for a good 10 years or more. Try teaching yoga with that!

So I danced with coffee and was so proud of myself that I could drink it without irritating my bowels.

But then my stomach started talking back louder and more often. This was not IBS this was indigestion.

So I have been doing yoga since 1997. I meditate more often each year…though only been doing that for a few years. I started aerobics last winter. That is what I do. And it is easier without coffee.

I told myself years ago, after taking an Ayurvedic online course, I would walk every day. Well, I walk one day or maybe a few times in a week, every few months. I don’t walk every day. I am lucky if I do it once in a month.

I shun structure, which is what someone with my constitution needs the most.

And I will shy away from decaffeinated coffee because it is like near-beer….not quite what I need and the acid is the same in decaf or caffeinated. My stomach cannot handle it.

I am getting to the age where I see what age can take. But I am ready to take aging on and stay active and do what I must to keep my flexibility and strength on all levels.

There is no 12-step program for coffee but I bet it would have people who would go.

It might dull my edge, which coffee sharpens. I have my own. I don’t need it to be any sharper.

So I am committed to coffee—living without it, that is, one day at a time. Maybe next year I can give an update There are no AA chips for abstaining for coffee, but I feel better, my friends say I seem calmer, more grounded, and I sleep better.

I just might have to try the recipe Malin (elephant journal writer) offered here. There’s coffee in it, but also spinach and tofu and bananas….it’s not quite a latte and I’d get in a few servings of fruits and veggies. Is that cheating?

Try it and tell me what you think.


EdieI am a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been writing poetry since I was 9 years old. Poetry is my first love and yoga continues to feed my heart. I write because I love it. I teach because I love it. I tell my students all the time: do it because you can. That works for me. I believe in creating opportunity. I believe in helping my self and others. I think faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. I believe the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help me celebrate. Check out my blog and website here.

Editor: Brianna B.

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About Edie Lazenby

Edith Lazenby's first love is poetry. Her second is yoga. Life unrolls in ways she could have never have imagined. She loves to love and live life daringly. Leap and the net will appear is how the saying goes but they don't tell you what to do after it disappears. Edith lives in Baltimore with her cat, Cucumber. She works all the time, it seems, these days. Life is good. Blessings are many.


5 Responses to “There Is No 12-Step Program for Coffee. ~ Edith Lazenby”

  1. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Well, it does depend on how what you substitute for coffee, works for you. I actually had been off of coffee for a 2-year period. My weight had been rounding around 210, but small doses of St. John's wort I substituted for the coffee during much of that period … was going to have me weighing a lot more … I certainly ate with utter abandon as a rare side effect of the St. John's wort. I liked the more devil-may-care personality I'd had during that time; but the worst of it were the migraines; so I had to give up that herb.

    A few months later, I had returned to coffee because I changed industry fields for good … never a big-shot in my career, and no yoga at that time (although lots of swimming) … so I think one's life-space counts for a lot …

  2. Edie says:

    Thanks for sharing! It is all relative. Never took St Johns Wart. Sounds like you found what works. We’ll see how I do! I do feel better.

  3. Vision_Quest2 says:

    At that age and at my height and size I was about 70 pounds overweight, though heading for the 100 mark … the St. John's Wort did not care … it was more than just compulsive overeating—it's just that food started to seemingly glow almost like my personal Kryptonite and everything tasted sooooo good. I'm talking as someone with a really sensitive stomach who can't eat just anything, plus perennially on maintenance statin drugs (possible interactions ignored) … For a time, I started channeling the mind-set of someone who didn't watch her food intake–this is a rare, undesirable side effect–not a recommendation for prescribing this–and probably does not work to cure, for instance, an anorexic who might need help recovering …

    Some family members during this time told me that having a little mild depression or seasonal affective disorder (what the St. John's wort is indicated for) might actually be a good thing, in that instance …

    Those later migraines took care of that problem.

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