somewhere along the line, i figured that if i had ONE strong, real coffee in the morning this helped give me a strong urge and i'd have a good poo. (plus a couple of cups of tea and various cigarettes).
and it worked well IF i didn't have a time pressure to be out of the house and get somewhere.
i suffer from depression and i'm at my lowest in the morning when i wake up. so this really gets in the way of 'getting up early so i have time to feel relaxed enough to get the urge to have a poo, and actually have a satisfying poo' strategy.
but even if i did manage to get up an hour earlier, the knowledge that the clock was ticking was enough to make the whole thing risky and anxiety inducing. some days i'd be ok, other days i wouldn't be able to go (and worst of all were the days when i had just enough of an urge to give it a go and ended up pooing through the eye of the needle (so to speak) and squeezing out a tiny bit, bruising myself internally in the process, having upset guts, not having a decent crap, and going away with a general feeling of trauma/frustration and anger).
the problem with not going AND having had the strong coffee(s), was that even though i hadn't had a poo, the coffee had definitely set my guts a'rumbling.
result: not only did i not have a poo, but i went out with my guts all over the place in terms of smelly gas and pain, which made me feel rubbish all day.
anyway... i stopped drinking alcohol for a while (another story), and found i didn't really want caffiene in the morning.
as a result i didn't get the urge to poo in the mornings, BUT i didn't feel any more abominal pain/smelly gas (that i ended up involuntarily holding in) than if i had had a crap.
and i realised that maybe it was better not to have the coffee in the morning and take the whole damned pressure of 'needing to have a poo in the morning before i was ready to go out into the world' thing, out of the equation.
seems to make my life a lot more tenable.
and then i noticed something else that i hadn't realised.
according to doctors, the best indicator of constipation is not how long it's been since you last had a crap, but the consisteny of your poo.
doctors in bristol devised a classification system called the bristol stool scale (see link at the bottom of this post). the point being that if your poo is 'loose' (i.e. raggedy edges, doesn't hold together but breaks up, a bit watery in consistency), then your colon is getting rid of the poo too QUICKLY.
this was exactly the kind of poo i was doing in the mornings when i used the caffiene induction method. in effect i was insisting on speeding up my gut process when really what it needed was more time to process my poo properly (water and salt extraction are the main function of the colon, and very important, otherwise its easy to get dehydrated and mineral deficient, which is why a healthy poo is like a smooth, soft sausage - it's had a fair bit of the water taken out but not too much as to make it difficult to pass).
so, it was only after dropping coffee from my morning routine that i actually allowed my gut to approach a more healthy rhythm.
occasionally if i've got loads of time in the morning and nowhere i've got to be at by a certain time, i'll treat myself to a good cuppa high strength caffiene coffee. (and sure enough i'll get the urge because there's no time pressure).
apart from that though, i've just taken to drinking decaf in the mornings (just because i like the taste of coffee with cream) and redbush tea (which has no caffiene).
anyway, thought i'd share all this in case any of you are fixated (like i was) with the idea that you HAVE to have a crap in the morning or else you'll feel rubbish all day long.
bristol stool scale