why I gave up coffee
Because I could.
I guess, though, it’s a little more involved than that.
I’m not exactly certain on the date, but I think the last day I drank coffee was Wednesday, August 20, which is also the day that my life was altered in a way I didn’t expect. But I won’t go into that. Let’s just stick to coffee.
So the initial reason is quite superficial and lazy sounding, but it has sincere undertones. I didn’t drink coffee that morning because my husband wasn’t around to make it. See, he usually makes the coffee the night before, and programs it to brew in the morning. Well, he and my daughter took off for the beach so there was no one to make me coffee.
Now I know you’re thinking: What the fuck, Gina? Can’t you just make your own coffee?
Yes, I’m totally capable of making my own pot of coffee. I have a lot of dependency and responsibilities issues, but I can brew coffee.
The truth is, even though I’ve been drinking coffee for at least sixteen years, I’ve only ever enjoyed drinking it if it was made for me by someone else, whether it be my parents, a significant other, or a barista in a coffee shop. I’m much this way with food as well. When it’s prepared for me instead of by me, I enjoy it more. There’s something about the act of it being made for me that makes me appreciate it and savor it in a deeper more meaningful way. I’ve heard other people relate to this, so I’m sure I’m not unique.
But you’d think with drinking coffee everyday for 16+ years I’d make an exception to the rule, just to feed my addiction.
Apparently I wasn’t as addicted as I thought. Maybe it also helped that I replaced coffee with green tea, which also has caffeine in it. Now with tea I don’t have the same romantic connection to, at least not yet. I can just pop my tea bag and water in the microwave, set it for 3 minutes, and then enjoy the flavored water. (Of course any serious tea drinker is probably cringing right now… apparently you’re not supposed to put the tea bag in with the cold water and heat up both, but heat up the water and then steep the bag afterwards. Or better yet, have a proper tea kettle and pot.)
But then there is the original reason I gave up coffee: Because I could.
Because, at the time, it was the only thing I felt I could control.
To me giving up coffee was a deliberate, conscious act of control amidst a lifestyle that was, in my opinion, out of control. I clearly couldn’t control my feelings, my relationships, my job, my drinking — but I could control my coffee intake, or lack thereof.
Once I got my life under control (initiated by this event and getting back on antidepressants and seeing a therapist) I was wondering whether I should go back to drinking coffee. But by that point it had been two weeks and I just didn’t feel the need. I enjoyed the act of drinking tea more than coffee. It seems to fit my brooding writer, reading on the porch or curled up in my overstuffed chair personality. I have to say though, that spending my days at Webster’s and smelling those delicious brews does make me second-guess my decision. That and that it’s cheaper than tea — coffee is a mere $1 for members. That’s a pretty sweet deal. But even at $2 + change it’s still worth it. And Webster’s has some fantastic teas… that’s their thing, actually.
Every once in a while I be joesin’ for a cup when I’m chatting with someone. I’ve always loved having great conversations over a hot cup of coffee. It’s been sort of my modus operandi over the years.
The act of giving up coffee seemed more profound in my head. Now that I type it out, it just doesn’t seem that significant.
I just don’t crave it the same way I used to.
But maybe that’s a euphemism….