Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Of course my titles are fair trade.

There are a lot of things I've given up. Smoking, drinking, driving too fast, staying up too late, hot young men. Okay, so maybe some things gave me up first. Some were harder adjustments than others, but by far the most painful was caffeine. The great injustice of it all is that I didn't even give it up on purpose.

It was a Sunday, and I realized that I wasn't going to have enough coffee to mainline my regular amount during the day and still have a fix left for breakfast the next morning.

Yes. Coffee is breakfast.

Bell rung, drool collected, I got ready to follow my well ingrained response pattern to the store. It was then that cruel lucidity sunk it's razor sharp reality into my poor defenseless torpor. It occurred to me that coffee was the only thing I was really out of. There was nothing else I was going to need before I'd be able to stop by the store on my way home from work on Monday. No other reason to make a special trip.

That's when I got arrogant. Arrogance is stupidity wearing sequins on a dance floor - something very few people can pull off and an absolute slaughter of dignity when attempted by people who can't. I decided I didn't actually need coffee. I decided to tough it out, and to quit capitulating to my every whim.

By ten am the next day my forehead was hanging inches above my desktop like a water logged Jack-In-The-Box, and I was all but completely incoherent. The only word I was able to articulate was headache. Hm. Articulate might not be the exact right word. I believe I pronounced it something like "eeeeeeeeeeeeruuuuungh". I am confident that it's meaning was adequately conveyed, though.

Arrogance had gotten me that far, I figured, so what could be the harm in seeing how much more it would take to destroy me completely? Again, I'm probably not transcribing things entirely accurately. While I do believe that was the actual evil plan my brain was formulating, it did present a far more seductive sales pitch to my squirming puddle of conscious awareness at the time. Something about how if I never wanted to go through that pain again, I had better not put the crap that hurt so bad leaving my system back into my system. No matter how deliciously, divinely good it feels going in.

It wasn't the drug that made me want to quit, it was the withdrawal.

Fine. Rah rah rah go me. Ouch but okay, I surrender. No more coffee! Come what may! Come sleepless nights, come panicked deadlines, come 7 am - and it does, every single morning 7am shows up as if somebody might actually be glad to see it - I will face them all with courage and conviction, but without caffeine!

What came, the very next day, was the directive from my boss to attend one of the city's finest hotel's meet and greet shmooze fest for industry contacts. One featuring not only some of the most succulent smelling fresh brewed coffee I have ever smelled in my life, but tables - plural - filled with the most opulent display of the finest quality assortment of dark chocolate confections that I will probably ever see in my life, created fresh for the occasion by a gourmet chocolatier. All of it chock full o' caffeine.

That was their theme. Those bastards made expensive chocolate the entire theme of the event. They really wanted me to eat it. I really wanted to eat it. It was right and honorable and good that I should eat it. I couldn't eat it. I didn't eat it.

I was a sad, sad little critter. Standing there. Staring at it. Sucking my sprite through it's tiny little red bar straw.

I prevailed, though. I made it. I detoxed and became caffeine free. There was no way in hell all that suffering was going to waste. Now that I am detoxed I don't make servers brew a special pot of decaf just for me and I definitely haven't cut chocolate out of my diet. I'll have caffeine on an occasional basis and in small amounts, I'm just not letting it build up in my system again.

Technically I'm not an addict anymore. No caffeine? No withdrawal. No problem! And yet, you'd fare better trying to take a bone away from a pit fighting dog than you would laying one greasy paw on my morning decaf. Such a quaint, all consuming little obsession, coffee. Isn't it?

39 comments:

Buckeroomama said...

I gave up caffeine when I was pregnant and never looked back. Not that I was really that big into it, but it felt good. Now, if I could just kick the chips habit as easily.

nick said...

Very self-disciplined of you kicking the habit so quickly. The withdrawal symptoms must have been nasty enough to restrain your quivering taste buds. I drink a lot less caffeine than I used to because I belatedly discovered that too much of it raises my blood pressure. Funny how the medics never mention that possibility.

Brian Miller said...

giving up coffee just might kill me.

secret agent woman said...

I decaffeinated myself years ago and then went to Costa Rica on vacation, where great coffee was always available. I probably drank 3-4 cups a day. Now I drink a cup of half-caf in the morning because i love the smell and taste of fresh-brewed coffee, and don't worry about the little bit of caffeine in Green tea or chocolate. It feels like a sane, healthy balance.

Brndoutw8ress said...

You're a better woman than me! I could never in a million years give up my coffee! No way, I gave up heroin:easy compared to not having that warm, bitter brew slide down my throat every morning! Oh and just so you know, most waitresses will just poor their regular coffee into decaf pots if none is made, just saying. always be aware of what time it is, if it is remotely close to closing time, no way are you getting a "fresh pot of decaf"!

Gaston Studio said...

So now you're addicted to decaf, huh? Seriously, I admire your will power.

f1trey said...

I cant believe you gave up ....driving fast...... hehehe :)

Eva Gallant said...

I never acquired a taste for coffee, but I consumed gallons of diet Coke and diet Pepsi in my youth. In my mid-thirties, I discovered how much worse caffeine made my PMS symptoms, so I gave it up. Thirty years later, I'm still off caffeine soda, but I do succumb to chocolate on occasion!

JenJen said...

Just gimmie my cuppa joe and no one gets hurt.

cinner said...

Well you got me thinking, maybe I am just drinking coffee out of habit, I think I like the smell more than the taste...naw, I do like two cups in the morning, seems to keep me going, Congratulations to you though. Take care.

BLOGitse said...

well done,
and still doing fine!
I have my morning coffee, sometimes a small cup after lunch or evening after dinner.
I have no problems from coffee (I drink only small cups)

Oh My Goddess said...

Great post!

Traci said...

Hi. My name is Traci and I drink caffeine -- copious amounts.

Good for you! You know when I was pregnant I kicked the habit. I learned to love decaf and stopped drinking Coke. Why? Oh, why did I ever pick up the habit again? I;m sure it is related to the very product resulting from said pregnancies, Anyway, I applaud you!
:-)

linlah said...

Just reading this made me want coffee.

injaynesworld said...

Coffee constitutes my breakfast as well. At this stage of my life, I'm not giving up anything and am, in fact, looking to add all the bad shit back.

kys said...

There is no way I can get up as early as I do without a pot of coffee. Or two.

VE said...

I was that way with my morning Pepsi until somebody told me they weren't good for me. Huh. Who would have thought...

Tom said...

tea drinker, and some are caffiene free; but i'll never give up chocolate...yikes! Love your doggie sock story. Dogs are suckers for socks!

Secretia said...

Once I tried to give up caffeine and I dislocated my jaw yawning at work, it was so painful, so the next week i reduced the caffeine to half strenght, it was terrible!
It's my way to wake up in the morning!

Secretia

Susan Anderson said...

Give up coffee!?! Blasphemy! Thanks for visiting my blog!

blueviolet said...

I'm at the point where I want to do the same thing (but mine comes by way of diet soda) but that headache is nightmarish! I'm terrified!

Renee said...

Oh I enjoyed this as much as the comment you left on my blog. har har.

Arrogance is stupidity in sequence. Fantastic comment.

Renee xoxo

JeffScape said...

Coffee rules! Rules the universe!

In fact, I'm sure the big bang happened in existence's first cup of coffee!

Cathryn said...

I'm a full-fledged coffee addict. I admit it. I threatened suicide if my doctors said I couldn't drink the stuff. Seriously. I gave up smoking first--coffee never. Besides, I went from 3-4 pots by myself down to 3 cups per day.

So I commend you. You have my complete respect. I think what you did was fantastic. Please do not invite me to join you. :D

TheFrogBag said...

Wow, I can't even begin to imagine! Well, yes I can. I did this for a little while when my health demanded it. The horror, the horror! I have to admit that the minute I was allowed back into the golden embrace of caffeine I never looked back.

Maki said...

I was caffeine free while pregnant with my daughters and breastfeeding, but lately I've been ordering regular latte instead of decaf. You're so strong!! :D

Thanks for stopping by - please stay in touch.

xo

Scriptor Senex said...

Found your blog via a comment on Shabby Girl's - what a great way with words you have. I'll be back.

Catanya said...

I love your writing style! I'm addicted to tea and chocolate and I do not even think about giving that up...
Thanks for your lovely comment in my blog, you are so sweet!
xx

Robin said...

yes.. and as i sit here drinking mine ..I know I am not ready to withdraw..I dont have any side effects ..yet..and it doesnt keep me up or bother me in any way..but I dont think its too good for us...Great for you...though..you are very motivated..!!

Queenie Jeannie said...

I'm a tea freak now and it's much better. Mostly I drink herbals but I don't have to. I think I just need a hot beverage to wake up with, lol!!

Julie Buz. said...

"Bell rung, drool collected..." you managed to make me LAUGH OUT LOUD! VERY few people have that ability! I'll definitely come back around... :o)

By the way, hello! And thank you for stopping (and leaving a mark) on my blog! I love YOUR writing!

Back to coffee: have you tried spelt coffee? I don't drink coffee and I've never tried the spelt stuff, but I know that my mum, who was an avid coffee drinker for YEARS, just woke up one fine day and, for no apparent reason, stopped. She's all over spelt now. (Which doesn't smell so nice, but hey... well, it doesn't.)

Hayley Egan said...

There is no way, I would ever CONSIDER giving it up. You are a stronger woman than I...

My name is PJ. said...

"Arrogance is stupidity wearing sequins on a dance floor." This is one of the best quotes I've heard in a long, long time! You're really brilliant!

I've detoxed from caffeine 3 times in the past couple of decades and for extended periods of time too. Nowadays I'm happy with a single cup of coffee. I just can't get stop the ritual of the holding the mug, smelling the french press, tasting it.

Mrsbear said...

"Arrogance is stupidity wearing sequins on the dance floor..."

I love it.

Admittedly I'm an addict, I will go to the store just for coffee, bed of nails, hot coals, hordes of zombies, I'll brave them for my daily cup. And the headaches when I don't get it in time are ridiculous. Still not ready to grow some and quit though. It really is my only vice.

And a small price to pay, I think, for a sane mom in the house.

The husband and kids would agree.

I'm in awe of your willpower. I would've caved at the gourmet chocolates. ;)

Thanks for stopping by.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh, man! You've got to be kidding?! Quit? Just when I'm getting so damn good at it? That's crazy talk, woman! ;-)

gayle said...

I never knew it would do that to you!! I would love to switch to decaf but husband doesn't want to

Cocotte said...

I have no problem making a special trip to the store for coffee. I have no shame.

Keely said...

Ugh, I have to detox on a regular basis. But after the first, BIG, detox, the rest are all minor withdrawals.

It's a love-hate relationship, for sure!

jules said...

I gave up my morning cup of joe about a year and a half ago and it was awful! It's so divine smelling, but I kicked the habit. The crazy thing is that now when I indulge, I get crazy emotional a couple of days afterwards.

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