Friday, April 23, 2010

Caffeine Chronicles: Prologue

Hello there. It's been so long since I've posted, I can hardly believe you're even reading this right now. Have you been waiting since January, checking my blog each day, thinking to yourself "maybe today..." and then letting out a long sigh when you find that my blog's latest post is still the one about some book? Well, today you will sigh a sigh of relief, because I'm back! And I'm here to write about coffee.

I have been addicted to caffeine for a long time. I don't remember when it started, but it was somewhere between high school and college. It flared during the summer after my senior year, when I was watching Gilmore Girls excessively while house sitting. The gilmore girls are hopelessly addicted to coffee, and they speak about coffee every 5 seconds. All that mention of coffee, combined with boredom and the novelty of being in someone else's house, I started drinking coffee about 3 times a day.

Four months later and I was living in New York City, working two jobs, one of which was the closing shift at Starbucks. Working at Starbucks fanned the flame, to say the least, and before I knew it I was drinking a venti iced red-eye on the way to work in the mornings. (A red-eye is coffee with a shot of espresso in it.) My addiction continued unchecked for another year, give or take a couple months.

Last winter, I vowed to make over my life. I had started doing yoga, and I wanted to begin a macrobiotic diet. Macrobiotics doesn't allow caffeine (or meat, dairy, tomatoes, or alcohol), so I tried to quit cold turkey. I have to say it was extremely difficult to cut off all vices in one fell swoop, and all of them slowly crept back into my life. But I did manage to stop drinking coffee and switched to black tea. I stayed with black tea until very recently, when coffee slowly came back into my life, and now I am a lunatic for the stuff again.

Now, you might say, black tea has almost as much caffeine as coffee, so what's the big deal? The big deal is that I can function in the mornings before I have tea. I don't have dramatic ups and downs in energy level. I don't turn into a huge b-i-t-c-h or fall asleep at my desk if I don't have a cup of tea in the afternoon. Coffee, though, has a vice-like grip on my brain, and it makes me nuts.

So, I'm going to start over. I know what's coming: blinding headaches for a couple days, irritability. But I know that it's worth it, and I think it will help to write about this endeavor in this here blog, and I hope you'll bear with me. I'm going to take a step-down approach, switching to black tea first, and then down to green tea.

The sad irony is that what fuels my determination to quit coffee is, in fact, a giant cup of coffee.


Matt said...

Caffeine withdrawal headaches are the worst. I feel for ya, but stick with it!!

Kate said...

Miranda, why not go to half-and-half coffee, and then down to decaf? If you love coffee, there's no reason to deprive yourself - Ryan is a decaf drinker and he seems to be living a remarkably full life nonetheless. So glad to see you're blogging again - I'll be here to support your 'kicking the habit!'

Ryan said...

First of all (and completely off-topic): we MUST talk Gilmore Girls sometime. Yes, the 12 year-old girl inside of me misses that show like nothing else, and I'm just dying for a GG marathon, or something - so we'll have to put some thought into that.

Second of all (and more to the point): coffee IS a wonderful thing, but I can say from experience that a post-coffee life is absolutely the best. I never tried to give up all my vices in one fell swoop, but I have gradually done away with MOST of them (and each, individually, in a cold-turkey kind of way). Tackling coffee is the right thing to do - clean break or step down, whatever works for you (hey: jump down, turn around, and pick a bail of cotton - if it helps). The key is: once it's out of your system don't let it back in, because then it's back to square one.

I look forward to welcoming you to a post-caffeine world (it's brighter here) - well, except for that little bit of caffeine in chocolate, I mean who are we kidding?

Miranda said...

Kate, the thing is that I DO love coffee, but when I'm so dependent on it, I don't enjoy it at all. I'd rather be able to enjoy a cup of decaf every once in a while than be so addicted to it. Tea and I have a much healthier relationship.

Ryan, I'm so happy you like Gilmore Girls! I actually own four seasons of it, and I am constantly fighting with myself whether to sell them all on ebay, or just give in and buy the other 3 seasons. My love of GG is slightly embarrassing, kind of like my love of Twilight.

Thanks for your comments, guys! =)