A Life Without Caffeine, Even Temporarily, Slows Everything Way Down

A Place Called Grace by Alison RandLook, I know there are an infinite number of worst things to endure in life. However, allow me to vent a bit—you may even be able to relate if you too love your morning caffeine “fix.” Being ordered by my physician to lay off coffee was like losing my best friend—one who gets me up and feeling good every day of the year.

By doctors’ orders, due to a sudden stomach problem, I am now on day three out of a week without my one-and one-half cups of coffee. Yes, I am counting down the days and hours. Maybe seconds. I am also not permitted to drink my one glass of red wine either, but am not missing the red wine in the same way. It is a nice companion at the end of the day; however, this sudden involuntary withdrawal from my one- and one-half cups of my coffee-decaf mixture is causing a bit of a trauma in my life.

This “best friend’ is gone and so is my energy level. It’s a little scary how much this top of the morning libation affected my life and my mood. Now when I awaken I sluggishly saunter into the kitchen and gaze at the empty carafe sitting on the counter, feeling desolate. I think about this one cup of coffee morning, noon and night. Each night before bed I fantasize that I will cheat and have just one cup of decaf in the morning. That would get me through the day: just the taste of coffee would be so helpful. Then my guilt takes over: the doctor said no decaf either. I do know that if I succumb my stomach would be in an uproar.

For anyone who knows me, or has read my memoir, A Place Called Grace, would recognize that I am a controlled person: one cookie a day, one glass or red wine (max one and a one-half glasses) and one and a half cups of mostly caffeinated coffee mixed in with a little bit of decaf. This mixture comes from my days when I lived in Rome and had to figure out the right concoction to create a satisfying balance between their too strong coffee and my somewhat delicate insides.

My morning ritual, for as long as I can remember, has been to eagerly rise with the scent of the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee which had been set to a timer so it would be ready. With coffee in hand, I would then play fetch with my dog, Dea, for about ten minutes while watching the TV show Morning Joe (no pun intended.) It was blissful.

Now I get up with my dog, no smell of the tasty aroma to entice me into the kitchen, and just go ahead and boil hot water so I can have my one cup of decaffeinated tea. Without my coffee, even my toy-throwing has been lax. Thank goodness sweet patient Dea doesn’t seem to mind.

This ‘punishment” seems interminable. But now that I have made it to the halfway point, I can almost see a light at the end of the tunnel. Are you with me, my fellow coffee lovers?

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