For years, I’ve been a serious coffee drinker. A pot in the morning. Two to six cups during the day, and then most likely two or so warm, delicious cups in the evening. Maybe dunking a cookie or two while I watched TV.
Warm, black, dark, and rich, I never refused a cup—or a mug, or tiny demitasse. For years, I could drink a cup before bed and still fall asleep within two minutes of my head hitting the pillow. People would tease me about mainlining the stuff. My Facebook page was littered with coffee addiction memes from friends. Coffee was my drug of choice.
Then I began to notice changes. I moved through my day tired, sluggish, zombie-like with one exception, I was tense. I was cranky. My body hurt. One specific muscle in my shoulder would moan for attention. It bitched! My wonderful husband would massage the area just to get the noise to stop.
So, I Googled, and I Googled. The suggestion I found over and over was to give up caffeine.
WHAT?!! THE NECTAR OF THE GODS?
I didn’t think I was that strong. But the articles I read made so many good arguments I had to acquiesce. I switched to decaf coffee two years ago.
First, after the detox headaches subsided (blah), the muscle in my neck stopped hurting. Poof! Then I found my energy level sustained itself throughout the day. My two biggest problems gone, simply by ditching the caffeine in my coffee. I found my new favorite drink… a Decaf Americano. Rich, hot, and robust, my nose would bury itself in the smell, and my fingers closed around the cup, enjoying the warmth. I could do this!
Then I started getting grief about drinking, God forbid, DECAF. It was as if I had lost my balls. All my street cred, GONE!
One barista asked me if I got a placebo effect by drinking decaf. After explaining my muscle relief, he seemed disappointed, shrugging his shoulders and muttering, Whatever. More than one customer snickered at me as I stood in line waiting for my decaf liquid gold and asked, “What’s the point?”
THE POINT IS… I NEED COFFEE!
Coffee and I have a relationship. It is my Yin. I am its Yang.
I need no cream… no sugar… just no caffeine. And if you have a problem with my drinking habit, I’ll meet you at the back table at my favorite Starbucks. Bring your best comments… I’ll be the one mainlining decaf espresso.