Sometimes it’s all about the pleasures of simplicity, like enjoying a perfectly crusted grilled-cheese sandwich in bed whilst comforting a cat made nervous by thunder. Or at least, I’m trying to convince myself right now that simplicity is pleasurable. I’ve given up caffeine. Some time ago I had cut down to a single cup of black tea per day, because any more becomes an unmanageable addiction when one has a schedule to keep that may not revolve around kettles and available bathrooms. I would wake up, drink my tea, use the bathroom a few times, and be ready to go off and conquer my day.
Then something new happened. On a few occasions, I had an extra dose of caffeine. Maybe I was craving a soda to have something extra to do sitting at the laundromat. Maybe a chai seemed like a great idea walking around with out of town friends on a chilly day. Maybe those wonderful evil Clif bars with caffeine were the extra boost I needed on a hard climbing day. Whatever the reason, I did it.
And I was flying. Such a delicious feeling, energy coursing through me, like being on drugs but in the most. fun. way. ever. And I suppose it is a drug, just one that most of us are so inured to that we almost never get to experience it that way.
I decided I wanted access to that feeling all the time. Which of course meant that I needed to get rid of the base levels of caffeine in my body so that when I consume it, it has that instantaneous, magical effect that excites me so much. Which of course meant that I would have to quit drinking caffeine, and break my addiction. This, as you might imagine, has been no fun whatsoever.
After a week or so of drinking green tea instead of black, I decided to simply get rid of all of it, and picked a weekend where I had nothing else to do but catch up on the last season of Doctor Who and read the internet. Yesterday’s headache was unbearable and I fear I was quite unpleasant in the grocery store, but today was slightly better, and I’ve been smart enough to stay locked in my room most of the time lest I bite the heads off any unsuspecting roommates or passersby. I’m almost up to date on the Doctor’s adventures, have watched a couple movies, and have been giving serious thought to my wardrobe and personal style so that my sewing experiments may be fruitful ones.
Interestingly, I found that I still (emotionally, intellectually) need a cup of tea in the morning, at least for the time being. I also generally have one at night, but that’s always been herbal. It doesn’t seem right to drink chamomile or peppermint or otherwise bedtime-appropriate teas upon waking, so I’ve got myself some red zinger (a perennial favorite) and something called AM detox tea, which I’m still on the fence about. The vanilla covers some of the less savory flavors in the herbal blend, except I’m really not terribly fond of vanilla. But tea companies don’t seem to cater much to the decaf market beyond zingers and bedtime teas. Or decaf versions of classic teas, but who wants that?
I can’t wait till the detox period is over and I am fully and completely rid of the caffeine, just so that I can experience the high in its pure, unadulterated form. I’m going to Florida in a few weeks, and I can guarantee one of the first things I plan to do is get a bottle of Barq’s root beer (which seems to be unobtainable in NYC) and go running off into the city with my old friends. Hooray for the fun of legal drugs! Simplicity at its finest.
Or at least I hope, because this process had better not have been for nothing!