I Think I Might Be A Background Character In My Own Life…

When I was younger, I used to have a very vivid imagination and spent a lot of time immersing myself in fictional worlds.

When I watched films like Lord of the Rings, I always identified with the main protagonists – I thought I’d be brave and courageous like Arogorn or Legolas or loyal and determined like Sam.

I guess I assumed that when a great crisis came along that threatened the entire world, I would grow up to be one of the heroes at the centre of the action, facing the threat head on.

However, as I’ve progressed into adulthood, I’ve come to realise that the person that I perceive myself to be doesn’t always match up with the person who I actually am in reality.

For a while now, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that I might actually be one of life’s generic background characters and, if anything, the coronavirus pandemic has served to confirm this.

Nowadays, I’ve drastically lowered my expectations.

If I were a character in Lord of the Rings, I wouldn’t be Frodo or SamWise Gamgee – I reckon I’d be one of the bog-standard Hobbits that sat on my arse in the Shire whilst shit went down, progressively making my way through multiple meals a day with no real idea of what was going on.

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This is a more accurate representation of how I’ve spent my days in this time of national crisis.

Sitting at home with my thoughts is challenging in its own way.

Whilst I may be feeling powerless to change external circumstances, at the beginning of April I decided I could still adopt the mindset of a hero and work on myself so that I would exit lockdown feeling more physically and mentally robust than when I entered it.

My childhood protagonist complex kicked in again and I had visions of myself effortlessly holding my body in strenuous yoga positions like Luke Skywalker in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.

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However, if you’ve read my previous blog post, you will know that my attempts transform myself into a zen yogic goddess weren’t particularly successful…

As the days and weeks have melded into one long strange expanse of time, my self-disapline has run off with my sanity, leaving me with a physical and mental state that more closely resemble Jabba the Hutt and that weird crazed rat creature that hangs out with him.

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The Reason Why I No Longer Drink Coffee.

I first discovered coffee during my first year of university.

Like most people at the beginning of a relationship, I had an idealised notion of what coffee was and was excited about the positive impact that it could have on my life.

As far as a I was concerned, coffee was a magical drink that bestowed increased levels productivity and energy upon those who consumed it.

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When I first started drinking coffee, I metabolised the caffeine content quite slowly and the energy that it provided was released into my body in a steady and controlled manner.

However, over time my body became more efficient at breaking coffee down.

As a result, the caffeine was released at a much faster rate which generated an intense surge of energy that I didn’t quite know how to process.

My brain, struggling to cope with the sudden onset of excess energy, panicked and transformed it into anxiety.

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After around 20 minutes, my energy levels would drop dramatically.

For a while, I thought that the best way to combat this dramatic slump was to simply drink more coffee.

In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best approach – after all, attempting to treat a problem with the source of the problem itself tends not to be most effective way to solve it.

For a while, I was trapped in a caffeine-obsessed circle that fuelled itself seemingly indefinitely.

Coffee became a dark force that haunted my personal galaxy.

img_0284.jpgBy the end of my degree, I had been to Starbucks so many times that I had encountered pretty much every possible misspelt variation of my name in existence.

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At this point, I realised that my relationship with coffee was becoming quite destructive and knew that it was time to quit – you know it’s time to end things when the other party can’t even get your name right.

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