So apparently, it’s not the caffeine, it’s the coffee I love.
Part of the appeal of quitting caffeine for me was to interrupt, displace, or otherwise ditch my coffee habit. At the office, I was drinking 3 or 4 cups of mediocre K-Cup coffee a day. Sometimes I would find myself drinking it and not even enjoying it… just drinking it because I needed to get up from my desk and do something. It was my go-to procrastination technique. “I will start this big project after I go get a cup of coffee.”
With alleviating this habit in mind, I started out the early days of the Challenge drinking only tea, mostly herbal blends, rooibos… all were good, but it wasn’t long before I started throwing a decaf French Roast into the mix. Because, honestly, I just missed the coffee. I missed the flavor, the body, the texture, all of it.
By day 25, I am up to 1-2 cups per day — 3 cups for especially bad days. It seems that the decaf has become a quick and easy replacement for my “caffeine addiction,” which now I am thinking is really a coffee addiction. The fact that I have a problem (still have a problem) became glaringly obvious this morning when the following nightmare transpired:
I was headed into the kitchen minding my own business, and a co-worker (who knows about the challenge) stopped me and asked, “You headed for a decaf?” (I don’t know maybe it was me sprinting down the hall with two mugs in my hands that gave it away). I said, yes, in fact that was exactly what I was doing. “Well, we are actually out of decaf” she said oh-so-casually.
I felt like I had just run face first into a brick wall, and I got this kind of horrified feeling as I desperately grasped for an answer as to what I had done to deserve this. I was just resolving to blame my bad luck on the unfortunate combination of Friday the 13th and the failing economy, when my co-worker spoke again, “But I have a little stash, here, you can have one of these…” and handed me a perfect little tub of Green Mountain Decaf French Roast.
To which I responded with the energy and enthusiasm of a lottery winner, “Yay!! Oh my God. Are you sure? Really? I can have it? Ah man, you’re the best. I totally owe you one.”
I guess I do have a problem. But it’s a coffee problem, not a caffeine problem.
And I am not alone. The other day I ran into a friend in the kitchen at work who has been off of caffeine for nearly two years, and as she pulled her mug of decaf from the coffee machine, she said with an exasperated sigh, “Yeah, today’s a 3 cup day.”