Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Anxiety, coffee, and street life

I took my friend "Dudley" to his weekly meeting with a counselor.  Dudley is a terrific guy, but suffers mightily from bad brain chemistry, which plays out with obsessive behaviors and anxiety. It's a terrible affliction.  Medication helps, but still leaves him with an abiding sense of dread.

Today, like other days, he stays within a few feet of a toilet. He has a sense of urgency, and is really afraid of having an accident (which hasn't happened ever when I'm with him driving around for an hour or more).

I told him that I wasn't drinking much coffee lately. I had the flu last week, and could not stand to drink more than 1/2 cup - and I've pretty much been on reduced coffee portions since. But he went into the little store next to his counseling appointment and bought a 12 ounce cup of coffee. He confessed to me that he drinks a lot of coffee "because I'm bored, mostly."

Between the addicts on the block, and his coffee drinking revelation, and the general jittery-ness of that part of downtown, I wonder how much caffeine might be contributing to his anxiety.


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