The Mother of Adventure

Sweet addiction

on April 30, 2014

Smiley coffeeIt sat in the corner for a full week. Cold and empty…forlorn.

My poor coffee pot didn’t know what hit it…relegated to the sidelines with no love at all. If you had told me a month ago, I wouldn’t have thought it possible – but it’s true: I went without coffee for a WEEK!

Those close to me are well aware of my java habit…my day just *cannot* truly begin without my cup o’ joe (my family may well argue that you don’t want to be around me until it does!). It warms me from the inside out, it simultaneously soothes and stimulates.

Of course, I’ve tried it all…drip coffee, pressed coffee, BOILED coffee (my parents, bless them, still have the stove-top coffee maker they received as a wedding gift 50 years ago!), expresso, cappuccino, latte. I’ve frequented Tim Horton’s, Second Cup, Starbucks, Timothy’s…I’ve choked down gas station coffee out of desperation. I’ve been served instant coffee by non-coffee-drinking friends.

Coffee has also seen me through some memorable moments over the years. Late-night study sessions in Grade 12 and through university, the 3 p.m. energy slump in my grey office cubicle. I relied on it on all those mornings when I had two very small children, very little sleep and a husband who travelled for weeks on end. I’ve sipped my morning beverage while nibbling a fresh croissant in Paris, and I’ve crawled out of my tent in many an Ontario provincial park to gather kindling, build a fire, boil water and kick-start my camping bodum.

Yes, coffee and I are pretty tight…we go back. So whatever could come between us, you ask? Nothing but a truly nasty gastro bug…one that gave me a “cleanse” like I’d never imagined (I’ll spare you the details). Five days later, I woke up and realized I had been without my “addiction” for nearly a week.

I have to admit, it gave me pause. After all, I’ve contemplated giving it up. I’ve wondered if it’s bad for me; I’ve obsessed over the amount of sugar I add to it. I’ve shuddered at the thought of going through days of withdrawal headaches to get it out of my system, but I’d never gone through with it…until now. Inadvertently, I’d given up coffee – as well as every other food and liquid on the planet – for the better part of a week.

Life is shortSo this morning, as I stood in my kitchen at 6:30 a.m., I found myself at a caffeinated crossroad. Should I continue down this new, coffee-free path in pursuit of renewed health? Or should I return to the closest thing I’ve ever had to an addiction – my caffeine crutch?

In the end, I went with my gut (no pun intended). I realized that I couldn’t imagine “coffee dates” with girlfriends where I was drinking anything other than coffee. Nor could I fathom working on my next writing project without my favourite mug in hand.

Yes, on this cold, grey morning, I pulled my tried and true pal out of the corner, and smiled as I heard the quirky hiss and sputter of the drip cycle finishing up. Welcome back, old friend – life is simply better having you around.





14 responses to “Sweet addiction

  1. I’m sure many can and do relate to this particular addiction (including me). I am a terrible insomniac and have tried cutting down and eliminating coffee for periods of time in the hope that would help with my sleep. Alas, no. Now I limit myself to drinking the stuff before noon, except on special occasions. Like you, I just find the day easier to face with a cup or two of joe in me. I wonder to what degree the addiction is physical versus a need to ease into the day with a pleasant ritual….

    PS – Glad you’re feeling better

    • You hit the nail on the head, as you so often do Geoff! 🙂 It’s so true that the morning ritual is soothing, and there’s such a culture among coffee drinkers – finding your brew, comparing coffee makers, etc. As for the insomnia, I used to deal with that too and I would agree – you can’t simply pin it on coffee. As you said, a cup or two in the morning won’t make or break whether you have sweet dreams (but it’ll sure help your day!).

  2. Heather says:

    so with you! I love my coffee – and could never give it up.

  3. Funny! Sometimes on the weekend, I get a headache and wonder why? Realize I’ve hit 10 AM and no coffee yet! Can’t imagine giving it up either! 🙂

  4. I have given up coffee before, but somehow I always have to come back to having at least 1 cup. It’s usually decaf, but even that perks me up!

  5. fynesdesigns says:

    I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I know what withdrawal from something I love is like!

  6. I limit myself to 2 cups in the morning and I take it with my own honey (for allergies). Good for you going a whole week, I couldn’t do that!

  7. I love coffee too, I also love tea… I think it’s the hot comfort of holding that mug in my case. I just wanted to tell you that your story telling rocks, you had me the whole way through, I couldn’t wait to read if you started up again or not! Nicely done, I really enjoyed reading this!

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