I Quit

Image result for coffee habit

I gave up coffee.

But not plaid*. I’m not insane.

And no, this wasn’t some lame new year’s resolution. I completely stopped my intake of all forms of caffeine on a cloudy Tuesday in the middle of April last year. Not a memorable day like New Year’s Day, but pretty significant nonetheless for the smug Starbucks barista who looked forward to rolling her eyes whenever I ordered “Um….what’s a small called again?”

Who am I kidding? I hate Starbucks. “Yes, I would like to blow 8 bucks on a pretty holiday cup that doesn’t offend anyone and hell, make it a venti and fill it to the brim with your best burnt liquid poop!”

I gave up coffee.

This didn’t happen suddenly, mind you. I prefer to not feel my skull slowly caving in. It was a long and painful process. Mostly for my husband. First, I told everyone I knew that I was quitting coffee. Months later, I thought about quitting coffee. Then finally, a year went by and I thought, Goddammit! I have to stop drinking this shit! And so I ruminated some more over a steaming mocaccino dolloped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel. **

And so one fine day I switched to only one cup of 50/50—half caf/half insanity. Surprisingly, the headaches were minimal. My husband’s irritation was moderate, but I persisted. Months later (truly) I switched to my very first cup of decaf.*** The angels wept.

I gave up coffee.

Soon I noticed changes in my mood. Why, I’m not dragging through the work day merely surviving until my next hit! Hey, I no longer feel enraged when I encounter people that don’t know how to use their freaking blinker on my way to work! Damn, too bad I still feel minimal rage when I encounter people at work, but hell, it’s a start!

For years my doctor, god rest her soul****, always told me to give up caffeine but I resisted. “Darla,” she would say. “You have to stop drinking coffee! You’re a nervous jittery wreck of a person in general. It’s like putting gasoline on a fire. Let go of my wrist, you’re hurting me. Seriously, your nails are piercing my skin. Nurse! NURSE! AHHHHHHH!”

Coffee and I go way back, so this was not a pleasant breakup. My first experience was at Disney World in Florida when I was a teen. One evening at the Magic Kingdom, my brother stuck a cup of bitter devil’s brew in front of my face. I gleefully gulped it down and watched Mickey Mouse exploding in a dazzling array of lights in the sky. There were no fireworks that day. I was hooked immediately.

Image result for mickey mouse fireworks
Pure Disney Magic!

Over the decades, our love affair grew distant. It dawned on me that all I every truly wanted was to cradle a hot mug in my hands the second I woke up in the morning. My coffee habit was soothing, comforting, like a soft quilt. A soft quilt that makes you jittery and poop. It was time to let it all go and rediscover the true decaffeinated me. The one who sleeps better, feels calmer, silently screams in her head less in the break room at work.

I gave up coffee!

And just to be extra smug, I also gave up (most) dairy and alcohol (except for the holidays) last year around the same time. More on that later.

I have to go cry into my chamomile tea.


*She’s a Maineiac’s tagline has officially been changed to “just another plaid-wearin’ almond-milk-sippin’ girl”

** No, I didn’t give up sugar. Shut up.

***I realize that decaffeinated coffee does have a minuscule amount of caffeine. Shut up.

****She isn’t really dead.

Note: I almost titled this post: So Long, and Thanks for All the Shits. You’re welcome.

36 thoughts on “I Quit

  1. So long and thanks for all the shits would’ve been instant click-bait. You totally shoulda done that. I’m glad you mentioned the chamomile at the end, I was gonna suggest you give tea a try if you just want that wake-up hot mug. That’s what I like, too, the hot mug. The distraction. And yeah, the wakefulness and alertness. I’ve told myself to give the stuff up but I’m hopelessly in love. It’s totally unrequited and very one-way. Coffee has my soul and my testicles in a little plastic pod on the way to the landfill. I got hooked in uni, based on one of those contests where you roll up the rim to figure out what you won. I loved the idea, so kept trying until I won a few times. By then, it was too late. Plus, you have a higher chance of winning when you buy a larger size, so the initial dosing was pretty heavy. I’m pretty sure my innards are now coffee-coloured, and pretty gross. But good on you, dude. I want to hear the story about the alcohol now. I mean seriously, must we give everything up???

    1. This sentence is why I love your writing, Trent–>Coffee has my soul and my testicles in a little plastic pod on the way to the landfill. Even your comments are brilliant, damn you all to hell!

      And yes. why must we give up everything?! My doctor also told me to stop drinking wine and eating chocolate. What the hell would be the point of living, I ask you? Getting old blows. Your body just can’t process anything properly anymore. Even a slice of wonder bread can be a mistake. Now if you’ll excuse me, gotta slip into my robe, eat some tapioca pudding and watch the Wheel.

  2. Well done! (And it got a humorous post from you, so win-win). I gave up coffee and tea a couple of months ago. Tea as well because it also has lots of caffeine. I miss the flavour of coffee but now I get my hit by hovering over other half’s mug of it and just inhaling.

    1. ha! Love that visual of you hovering and inhaling over the mug! I have to admit, I actually do miss drinking coffee. That gentle buzz..the kick. It was addictive for sure. Thanks for stopping by, Val. Happy New Year to you!

  3. I’m commenting on this post while drinking a second cup of Starbucks brand so-strong-I’m-surprised-my-eyebrows-aren’t-falling-out coffee. Hang on, I think I have some Bailey’s almond milk…

    In all seriousness, so happy you’re seeing positive results with all of this INSANE -INSANE I TELL YOU!!- deprivation! Wait. I mean, in all seriousness, Happy New Year and congrats on having far fewer vices than I ever thought possible.

    1. It is freaking insane! But necessary. Something about getting older…your body has a way of telling you to quit the shit. I just can’t process anything anymore. Alcohol is another big vice I struggle with (as you know all too well…ahem). I’ve whittled down my intake to a tiny bit of gin on special occasions (like Christmas and New Year’s). But that’s all I can handle now. Sad. But I still have sugar. Huzzah!!!

  4. Congrats! Interesting how some things can be quite toxic for some people – and no problem for others.
    I gave up chocolate about a year ago. That and Tim’s Iced Capps. Both were apparently not beneficial to my inner workings. I’m hoping I can add both back in now and then eventually…
    but I renamed my second blog ‘Fueled by Carrot Cake” – “Fueled by Chocolate” seemed dishonest…

  5. You brave, brave woman.

    I still drink coffee, but limit it to mornings only…. Alcohol, though, is something that I’m getting serious about this year. After two years of talking about it and having good intentions but not really following through, I decided to start at Christmas and just do it.

    1. Good for you! If I can do it, you can do it! Alcohol is a real tough one for me. For years, I would typically have wine on the weekends after a long week of work. But now, I find it just doesn’t cut it for me. It makes me tired, bloated and irritable. My body doesn’t process it as well as when I was younger. I haven’t sworn off alcohol completely (special occasions), but I’ve cut down quite a bit (and lost 15 pounds in the process!)

    1. Sorry you had a heart scare. My health was a main reason for quitting as well. I’ve suffered from anxiety my entire life and finally realized coffee was just making it worse. Giving it up was the best thing for me.

  6. I am going to give it my best effort to give up caffeine this year, slowly. I suspect I’ll have quite the time of it. I’m not a morning person and that cup of joe was warm and welcoming in the morning. Now what am I going to do? *sigh* So stressed just thinking about it.

    Good for you on doing this as well as dairy and booze. I find dairy easier to give up (mostly). Love me a REALLY good cheese.

    1. I hear you! Coffee was like breathing for me, totally necessary to “wake up” and get through the day. But really, if I can do it, anyone can. A few years ago, I was drinking at least 3 to 4 cups (or mugs) a day. Now that I don’t drink it, I feel so calm and don’t get that tired slump in the mid-afternoon like I used to. And I sleep sooooo much better. Coffee can be good for some people and has it’s benefits, but it’s just not for me.

      As for dairy, cheese is my vice. I love cheese and finding a good vegan cheese is hard to do. So I just don’t eat cheese anymore. (I do miss it!) Sometimes I “forget” and cheat and have some cheese. Oh well, I’m trying!

    1. You can definitely do it, Steve! Good to see you around here again! Ever think of blogging again? You are such an excellent writer. As you can see, my blog just won’t die…it’s on life support and the priest is in the room, but it’s still ticking…

      1. I wrote something today! I feel like a big boy that just did a doody in the toilet! πŸ˜‚ I keep thinking about starting again, we’ll see, happened to have something to write today so maybe I’ll get inspired. That’s why I hopped on the other day and saw your post, was trying to remember if I still knew how to use the site. Glad to see you’re still here. Not too many of my original gang are active anymore.

  7. Late to the party, but first off, Happy New Year! Hope 2020 is treating you well so far.
    And congrats on successfully giving up coffee! Doing things that are good for you isn’t always easy, so yay for sticking to it. πŸ™‚

  8. I’ve been away from WP a while. So long, apparently, that you gave up COFFEE! Jeezum crow, Darla! Are you crazy? I gave up milk when lactose intolerance grabbed me by the bowels (aging sucks). And bread. (Have you ever noticed how spicy it is?) But me and coffee have a thing. My first experience wasn’t Disney-ish, like yours. I’ll link you to a poem about how we met and how the relationship progressed: https://justjoan42.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/java-beans-not-jelly-beans/. Loved ones have been instructed to bury me with my French press. πŸ™‚

    1. I can’t wait to check out your poem. I’m still happily hooked on decaf. I have one mug every morning and decaf tea at lunch. I’m still hopelessly addicted to hot beverages especially since the weather here in Maine is still very cold and damp. Hope all is well with you.

      1. We’re good here, enjoying our Corona-fueled Stay-Cation. Our big excitement for the week is running out for a tube of toothpaste and the drug store having the brand we like in stock. It kills me to get something good in the mail (a real letter, an Easter card, a check) and have to wait a day to open it so it can decontaminate. Hooray for coffee time, the best 12 hours of my day!

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