Coffee: A Love Affair

My relationship with coffee can best be described as on-again/off-again. I never liked it growing up and became addicted to it during my stay in the cafe at Borders. Then, I became completely dependent on it in the spring semester last year while I was battling depression and lack of sleep. It was a torrid love affair, a polyamory of Starbucks, Joe Muggs, and Keurig meeting daily in my system.

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Well, really, I’m more of a cup-a-day kind of chick.  Except at Enslow Middle School, where the coffee flowed like a sweet, unlimited ambrosia. I’d be shaking by 11:00 am in that school.

Then, in June, I got back on birth control and suddenly I couldn’t drink any kind of caffeine without having awful migraines, nausea, and sometimes puking my guts out. Not fun. I quickly discovered the reason why and stopped drinking caffeinated coffee. For anyone who drinks it, you know that there are weeks of headaches that come along with that.  I also had a ton of trouble waking up and staying awake throughout the day. I tried drinking a ridiculous amount of water and barely-caffeinated tea, instead. I also tried exercising in quick spurts to raise my heart rate. I researched methods online to see what would work.  Nothing really helped.

Then, I quit birth control again.

I tried drinking coffee again on Thursday and I didn’t die. SUCCESS! I was talking so fast that Mom couldn’t understand what I was saying and my boyfriend force-fed me alcohol to bring me back down. I had another dose of coffee on Friday and still felt normal. Hooray!

I’m not trying to say that caffeine is awesome. I’m worried. While this is all very nice, I don’t like being dependent on a chemical to live like a normal person. What if I can never make it without it? What is wrong with me that I can’t wake up and stay effective throughout a regular day? How can I fix this without an expensive addiction?

From what I’ve read online (which must always be taken with a grain of salt) and what I’ve observed from how my body reacts, I think the main culprit is a hormonal imbalance due to use of birth control. Hopefully I can detox a little better this time and stick with it.  More on that in another post.

What do you think: Does coffee rule your life, have you found a good substitute, or are you above the temptation?

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