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How I accidentally got off the sauce

Submitted by on Monday, 6 February 2012 No Comment

It seems that the easiest way to quit something cold turkey is to not know you’re doing it. Of course, that’s also the hardest way, since it’s usually impossible to stop without realizing it.

I managed to pull it off a few weeks ago, though, when I unknowingly started drinking decaf coffee. To my dismay, I found out that I didn’t mind it. Sort of. I still can’t stand the taste, but I’m working on a formula.

The adventure started shortly after the holidays, when I was stocking up on Starbucks half-price Christmas blend. I bought all the purple bags of espresso roast and then switched to the blue bags, which I thought was the regular Christmas blend. It turned out that I missed the fine print.

I’m not sure exactly when I started brewing the blue bag decaf blend, because when you’re groping bleary-eyed into your freezer at 0darkhundred in the morning you tend not to take note of the date.

But I do know that I survived at least four days without a drop of  caffeine.

It started early Tuesday morning, when I met friends at Starbucks and gulped down a grande Pikes Place like a smoke inhalation victim sucking on an oxygen mask. I don’t even like Pikes Place, but that day I ordered a refill. My body knew even if I didn’t.

It ended Friday afternoon, when I drank a Diet Coke cut with lemonade at dinner. I don’t like Diet Coke either. Ironic that my caffeine-free days were book ended, not with a French Roast and an espresso, but with drinks I don’t even like.

The placebo effect is a glorious thing, because I barely noticed I’d quit. I had a slight headache around 3 every day, but, then, I usually reach for the ibuprofen around homework time. I ate everything in sight, but I blamed that on the time of the month rather than the absence of my favorite legal stimulant. I couldn’t sleep Wednesday night, and I convinced myself it was because of the cup of coffee I’d had around 5. Bwaa ha ha ha ha!

The thing is, if I’d been trying to cut back on caffeine I would have been a basket case. The last time I tried, when the EPT turned colors and announced Boots’ impending arrival, I was in agony for ages.

When I realized late Friday what had happened, it seemed a shame to undo all that accidental good work.Truth be told, I do drink waaaaaay too much coffee, and it’s too strong to boot. I took the last blue bag out of the freezer and cut it with a pound of espresso roast.I am now drinking half caf. God, I’m turning into a little old lady.

While part of me still craves that jolt of French roast blackening my eyes first thing in the morning, I don’t miss the jitters that would hit around 10 when I’d realize I’d drunk an entire pot and skipped breakfast again.

I’m not saying “never again” to the strong stuff. But I am saying maybe it’s time for us to see other people for a while.

Copyright 2012 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.


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