Over the last six months, I’ve been gradually weaning myself of a ten-year addiction. It was an addiction that governed my life: satisfying it was always my top priority. I’d plan my day around it. When my craving went unmet, I’d be bitterly cruel to strangers and to people I loved.
I should have just stuck to being an exercise junky, but it was coffee that was the critical lever in my ability to function as a human being.
I knew all along, but chose not to see, that the addiction was toxic to my lifestyle. My extreme dependency made the presence of caffeine an enabler, and its absence a handicap, for anything I wanted to accomplish, be it getting dressed in the morning or wrapping up my graduate thesis. But for the longest time, I wasn’t ready to change. I had zero desire to excerpt it from my life. I rationalized that I could do far worse. I lied to myself that my pre-drugged catatonic state might offer my roommates some measure of amusement. I deluded myself that I was a connoisseur, not an addict.
At last, those self-delusions finally lost any remaining shreds of coherency. Despite the inchoate cloud that was my un-caffeinated existence, I at last accepted and committed to the need to reduce my dependence.
I began tapering immediately.
I’m proud to say the cloud is nearly dispelled. I am no longer coffee’s needy mistress, her abject junkie. I partake of her in reasonable quantities and adore her for her smooth, rich taste and her energizing , but I no longer prostrate myself many times a day at her altar. In fact, I even got the jitters after an afternoon cappuccino this week (something that I hadn’t experienced since teenagehood).
It’s so refreshing to have extricated myself from the ravages of her siren song. And now that I leave my French Press at home, I travel much lighter. There is more room in my shoulder bag for things like my running shoes or my camera, and there is more room in my itinerary for experiences other than desperately seeking the nearest decent coffee source.