Hop in the time machine with me! Let’s navigate back again all the way to second grade and lets watch for a moment. There I sit at the kitchen table, grumpy and groggy, sad, not wanting to go to school. This is the year I cut my hair at school, lied about it, got into trouble for it. I refuse to eat breakfast and it is the morning of the CTBS test, this is the standardized testing for the state. This is the morning I get a small Peter Rabbit mug full of the blood of life, coffee.
Wayne’s World wavy lines, fast forward…. by the end of high school I would drink a cup before school, take one with me, and continue to fill my coffee mug throughout the day from the faculty pot. I was downing something like 17 cups a day. Water… what does that mean I existed on coffee and caffeine free diet coke. I was forced off coffee, or moreover caffeine when I had my nervous breakdown and went into treatment for my depression in the hospital. Caffeine is a drug and I was abusing it.
I had a coffee pot next to my bed when I lived with my now ex husband, there was pretty much constantly coffee available I drank it he didn’t. He was into Mountain Dew and Southern Comfort. When I saw the bad habits and behavioral patterns emerging that reminded me of how I was back in high school I went off coffee again, cold turkey.
So now I am a real adult, not that I wasn’t when I was married, but seriously I was still a child, I was still too young. I live in the big city, I know I LOVE coffee. I have used coffee as a crutch since I moved here. When I would stay up for 2 or 3 days at a time working nights and trying to have some kind of life, swapping shifts to make social events, I would drink coffee like no one should. I enjoy the flavor, the subtle differences in different blends, I enjoy savoring a cup of coffee.
I was bringing a mug (5cup home-brewed pot) with me every day to work in the morning, when you get up at 3am to work a 10 hour shift, plus prep time for your shift, and then have someone who isn’t quite on time EVER that is your relief it turns into a 10.5 hour day 5 times a week, coffee seems like it should be a part of the day. I recently decided, about the time I gave up gluten and my stomach was being so horrible, that perhaps that much coffee was not a good idea. I have been cutting back my coffee consumption significantly. No more caffeine, and also no coffee until I have had a liter of water in the morning. It is supposed to be really good for your skin to have water first thing in the morning, Can’t hurt to start the day with water right?
Have I noticed a change in the no caffeine role in my life yet? Well, truth is I still have had a bit of caffeine here and there. There is a small pack of 7.5 ounce cans of coke zero in my work fridge for the simple reason that on occasion my headaches are bad enough that I need the caffeine to make the pills work better. I want to not be dependent on the caffeine, and while I know a decaf Americano still has a small amount of caffeine in it, I am certain that it is significantly less than what the quad shot tall had. I still plan on drinking coffee, but only in moderation, not every day. Like I said I enjoy the flavor, and that is what I am going to focus on, enjoying the flavor of the coffee, sipping not gulping, swirling not chugging.
Is it realistic to think I will never have caffeine, absolutely not, I do not live in a world of absolutes. I want to go long enough without a significant amount of it in my system that I can feel what kind of effect it has on my body. So here I sit with my decaf Americano with heavy cream. YUM!