James Bond famously told one of his innumerable girls that he was an expert on giving up smoking because he had done it so often. So it was with me and caffeine.
I would start off with two cups a day. Gradually increase the consumption to three, then settle at four cups a day. A couple of weeks later, I would add one more, then another and stay there for the next few weeks. Occasionally, I would try to take control and knock it back down to two. But two weeks later, one extra cup wouldn’t hurt, and a few days after that two more wouldn’t hurt too much either.
So when I was asked to restrict caffeine, I knew I had to cut it out of my life completely. I missed my coffee, I really did. A mug of warm water was of no comfort at all when I was struggling with a deadline. I missed the process of having the coffee percolate down my filter.
Would I never again be able to spend hours at my favourite coffee shop with nothing but a laptop and a mug of steaming hot café latte for company? Wasn’t 38 too young an age to have to give up something I truly liked? Maybe just the occasional cup?
All or none, I insisted. And the day I was able to resist the aroma of freshly brewed coffee emanating from my colleague’s mug, I knew I had done it. I had gotten over my addiction.
Four weeks after I gave it up, I no longer miss my coffee. It may take me awhile to find surrogates for all the associations I have with the drink, but the caffeine kick I no longer crave.
The caption on my favourite t-shirt now takes on a new meaning, “Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed. Chocolate makes it worthwhile.”