I wake up. I look over at my phone: 10 am. I silently curse myself ‘Fuck man I slept for 11 hours again even though I told myself that I would get up at 8 am.’
The back and forth between the ‘black and white wolf’ commences:
WW: ‘It’s OK man. No one is perfect. Just get up now and start your day on the right foot.’
BW: ‘You’re so fucking pathetic man. Why can’t you ever get up early?! You know what some of the popular men’s self-development bloggers say- That you’re a pussy if you don’t get up at 5 am and go to the gym.’
WW: ‘Shut up!’
BW: ‘Shut up!’
Finally I get out of bed, determind to stop the awful dialogue in my head from ruining my day before it’s even begun.
I stumble to my meditation cushion. The chatter slowly fades into the background the longer I sit there breathing.
After about 30 minutes I get up and go into the kitchen. I scoop the coffee into the percolator and heat it up.
‘Fuck man I told myself that I would stop drinking coffee. I know how anxious it makes me!’
‘Is this how the normal person thinks or am I that far on the bell curve?’ I wonder. As I add Collagen Powder to my mug.
This is how a typical day of mine starts. I get out of bed, cursing myself and my laziness, and then drink some coffee.
I’ve noticed that depending on how I start my day, the rest of my day is colored by the actions of the morning. But I usually fail to remember that my life is a system: the earlier that I go to bed, means that I get up earlier, means that I feel better, means that I treat myself better, etc.
Recently I bought the book The Depression Cure. I’ve struggled for far too long from this malaise and apathy and I’m so fucking sick of it. I feel like I’ve made this blog post dozens of times, but then delete it and find myself in the same place. Thankfully I’m moving out of my parents in 2 weeks or so, which is sure to have a huge impact on my life, but I also want to change some of my habits: namely drinking coffee, and staying up late.
Which brings me to my first 30ish day challenge (for the rest of November):
For the rest of the month, until December 1st 2017 I will be in bed by 10:30 pm every night, as well as not have anything more mind altering than green tea.
Here are some rules:
- That means no coffee/black tea, alcohol, marijuana, or energy drinks. Just green tea.
- I’m giving myself one day off from the sleep portion of the challenge (the day before Thanksgiving) since all of my friends will be home for Thanksgiving. But everyday for the rest of this month I will be in bed, lights out by 10 30 PM. I know blue screens destroy melatonin, so I will stop my electronic usage by 9 30 PM and read fiction, journal or relax until I go to bed.
I’m already dreading this Challenge. I’m addicted to coffee: I love the rush of caffeine, and I do enjoy the occasional beer, but my sleep is more important. I also love staying up late, but I fucking hate sleeping late as I feel like the day has slipped through my fingers when I wake up late, so it’s not worth it at this point in my life.
To hold myself accountable I will donate $10 to my local church (I no longer go but I still like the minister) for every-time that I have coffee/ another drug, go to bed later than 10 30 PM, or use electronics later than 9 30 PM.
(November 8th) Day 2:
I’ve held my goal out so far. I’ve been craving coffee hardcore. Two weeks ago I had a hernia repaired. I got a script for painkillers after the surgery. I’ve been on painkillers about 6 times in the last two years for various injuries. So I took them for 3 days after the surgery this time around, and by the third day I could feel the pull of them. I would take one pill and I would think “God this feels so nice. I have energy, yet I’m relaxed. This is a really nice drug.” I ended up getting rid of them after that, but that small taste is helping me realize the pull of substance abuse.
In school we learn that you do heroine or meth once, and the next day you find yourself in a crack house sucking dick for money to get more drugs. That’s nonsense. I think addiction starts more like my experience where the drug puts you in a good mood and makes you feel good for a time, so, naturally, we want that feeling back. The line between addict and ‘sober regular person’ is a lot finer than we want to admit.
These two days so far have me realizing how big a part substance use plays in my life. Even if it’s just my morning coffee.