Have You Ever Tried to Quit Coffee?

Like drinking borrowed energy from the future

Kelly Tatham
6 min readDec 9, 2022


August 11th, 2022
Gibsons, BC

Over the weekend, I ate 2.5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and went on a 8+ hour “trip.” Different from any psychedelic experience I’d had before, I felt discomfort in my body throughout and especially at the beginning. I knew going into the trip that I was a bit worn out, but I didn’t realize just how burnt out I’d actually become.

As my brain state changed and I became hyper-aware of my body, I could feel the caffeine I’d ingested in my system (a cup of drip coffee and an iced espresso drink with an extra shot to cover all the cream the restaurant had poured into it) and it didn’t feel pleasant. I had a sense of embodied anxiety and came to the conclusion that coffee has been “propping” me up.

Addiction has been on my mind lately. As a self-proclaimed “love addict” who often feels dependent on coffee/caffeine, sugar and cannabis, among other things, I have been sitting with the morality of “needing” substances and where we draw a line between what is good for us and what is bad for us.

I love coffee. I don’t remember when I began drinking regularly. I do remember tasting my parents’ coffee as child and finding it completely unpalatable. Somewhere between then and “adulthood,” I found my way into loving it, needing it. Coffee as ceremony. Coffee as ritual. How could I start the day without it?

I do remember the first time I quit coffee — it was rough. Headaches, brain fog, and yawn after silent scream after yawn. Sitting in a college class, trying to concentrate, I questioned whether or not this commitment was going to be worth it. I think I lasted about six months before I let that sweet, capitalism-catalyzing nectar back into my life again.

The second time I quit coffee, I didn’t quit; I just switched to decaf. Life felt clearer and more calm without so much caffeine waltzing around my system, but cutting it out altogether was out of the question. I loved it too much. The ritual. The taste. The richness. While I will on occasion drink coffee black, what I really want is a cup full of frothy, rich, creamy, milky oat, almond, soy, or coconut deliciousness.



Kelly Tatham

Fugitive. Systemsthinker. Saving the world is easier than we think. There is no world // kellytatham.com