Posts Tagged ‘morning ritual’

Oh, my steaming cup of coffee. How I adored and looked forward to this morning ritual. That careful first sip. The warm liquid trickling down my throat and into my belly. Caffeine hitting my bloodstream.

It was my vice. The one addiction I loved. Me and this bean were tight. Conveniently located in my kitchen cabinet and on just about every stinking block in the Pacific Northwest, it was there for me every morning – greeting me with loving devotion. A dedicated friend. There’s even a patch of land in my hometown called Caffeine Square – where in a two block radius downtown there are too many coffee houses to count and they claim it’s the most highly caffeinated real estate in the country. I don’t know if I can substantiate their claims, but I agree – there are a helluva lot of java joints down there.

I loved all things about coffee and have been partaking in this socially accepted and addictive behavior for more than 15 years. The clatter of the sharp blades grinding up those dark brown morsels, the perfumed aroma wafting in the air as the water drips slowly through the freshly ground beans, sipping on the hot nutty goodness. And don’t get me started on the kitchen gadgets. Ah, how I treasured the coffee accessories! Sparkling espresso machines, the cutest miniature porcelain cups, oversize mugs resembling small buckets made for those oversize American café lattes, shiny French presses, stainless steel scoops, to go thermos bottles in every size, shape, and color imaginable – all delightful!

But how does it do it? How does coffee hook it’s many unsuspecting victims?

One word. C-A-F-F-E-I-N-E.

As you’re most certainly aware, caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up your central nervous system. It increases the levels of dopamine in your brain which improves your feeling of well-being and elevates your mood. Apparently, it’s this dopamine effect that is the root of caffeine’s addictive and devilish properties. Caffeine can be found in over 60 different plants and 90% of Americans consume it in some form every day.

I didn’t tell anyone I was quitting. And to be honest I wasn’t 100% sure I was quitting altogether. I only decided to take a leave of absence from my liquid buddy when I participated in a 10 day Master Cleanse fast back in January. Going completely ‘cold turkey’. Fattie knew, but my friends and family back home had no idea and probably still think of me with a Starbucks coffee cup – white lid smeared with shiny lip gloss – melded onto my hand, an extension of my own limb. Never without. Never letting go.

It certainly wasn’t easy and it’s tough to remember many pleasant mornings in the past without my trusty friend by my side. But for now it’s gone and I feel good. The first several days were utter hell – pounding headaches, unbelievable crankiness, fatigue – but I wasn’t eating either so I can’t really blame all my symptoms on caffeine withdrawal.

Sometimes I brew up a pot of coffee for Fattie and don’t ever usually feel the urge to take a big slurp. My dependence on the worlds most popular drug is a thing of the past.

I’m over it. Really. I am.

Jeez……Maybe I shouldn’t be so cocky? After all, it’s only been 2 months. It was a sorrowful good-bye but I bid adiós to my last cup of goodness on January 4th.

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