Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Coffee Crazies, When Too Much Is Not Enough

National Geographic's 2005 article titled, "Caffeine Addiction Is a Mental Disorder, Doctors Say" begins with:
Question: What do heroin addicts who receive a daily dose of methadone have in common with people who feel they cannot function without that morning cup of caffeine? 
Answer: They are tending to their addiction—keeping the physical devils of drug withdrawal at bay.

Boy, do I know that feeling!

I wasn't a big coffee person, but occasionally I brewed a pot.  I'm the only one in my house that drinks coffee.  I usually only have it when we have company that drinks it or it's a really cold day and I need a boost of warmth and caffeine to head out into it.

When Starbucks came out with their bottled cold Mocha Frappuccino, I gave it a try.  Wow!  It was like happiness in a bottle.  I often compare it to a Yoo-Hoo with a kick.  I can slam these 13.7 ounce bottles and within thirty minutes, LOOK OUT!  I've cleaned the house from crown moldings to baseboards in two hours flat.

First I get giggly over the dumbest things, sometimes laughing until tears are rolling down my face, then a gleam comes to my eye and I get moving!  After the first few weekends of starting the mornings with my coffee, my husband or son would bring me one in bed, drop the vacuum in the doorway and run for cover.  Literally.

This feeling of euphoria would last for a good five hours and then I would crash and nap.  I usually nap on the weekends anyway so it wasn't out of the norm, but I slept better having re-tiled the bathroom or adding flower beds to the yard (from plain lawn to lavish gardens in a few hours).

It started with needing two coffees a day on the weekends to keep up that pace.  After a while I was needing one every day to get out of bed.  I consciously realized I was addicted when the weight gain began and I found myself seeking out places to shop with a Starbucks nearby.

So I went off the coffee cold turkey.

I didn't have the usual symptoms you would associate with withdrawals.  I wasn't shaking or crying, I wasn't taking up smoking or living in my pajamas.  What happened was my brain stopped fully functioning. 

At lunch with my husband, I wanted to contribute to the conversation.  I opened my mouth and out came, "Uh, well, uh.  (pause)  OH!  Oh wait, I forgot.  (pause)  Give me a second.  Yeeeoohhhhwwaa.  (pause)  What was I saying?"

To which my husband actually shouted, "For the love of God, go back on the juice!"

I tried brewing my own and that wasn't cutting it.  Tried adding flavored creamers.  I even brewed some at night, chilled it with the creamers and tried it over ice in the morning.  Then I tried refilling an old bottle trying to fool my brain.  Nothing worked.  Then I did start shaking.  I just had to have that bottled drink from the refrigerated shelf at the grocery. Or the convenience store.  Or the chain store.  Didn't really matter, just give it to me!

I needed that liquid crack.  That happiness in a bottle.  Chocolate cocaine.  Caffeinated crazy.  That bring-on-the-happy-dance nectar.  My Mocha Frappu-cuckoo.

That was a year ago. 

So where do I stand now?  Well, let me finish this bottle, give me about thirty minutes, and I'll let you know...

No comments:

Post a Comment

My Zimbio
Top Stories