As many of you know I don’t drink, smoke, or use drugs.
About three years ago I even gave up caffeine. While never a coffee or soda drinker (we grew up saying “soft drinks” because “soda” was too low-class), I got hooked on energy drinks. I was engaged at the time and my fiance thought it was cute that I had this one vice. Harmless, right?
Well, not really. Back then, I responded pretty hard to caffeine. It would get me high. Now, not as bad as a crank abuser shooting ice between their toes. I wouldn’t hear colors or watch the wall breathe but I did get a wicked endorphin rush.
I also turned into a bit of a jerk.
Caffeine had two additional side effects – it removed all empathy I had for human beings and decreased the tiny bit of patience I possessed. This is a deadly combination of jackass.
I would turn into a chatterbox and endlessly wax philosophic until my poor woman wanted to hang herself. She wasn’t as talkative and just wanted me to shut the fuck up. Since I had ginseng, B vitamins, and 1000mg of caffeine coursing through my pancreas, all I could do was express every thought as it arose. And it also gave me the false sense of brilliance. My girlfriend would grow tired of me and I would get furious that she didn’t want to stay up until midnight discussing whether we truly have free will about our feelings.
We would get into horrific fights and she’d blame it on the caffeine. She was right to do so.
So, I quit. I’ve lived off of Fresca and water for years now. No caffeine. Just me and sobriety. Peaceful.
Then, a few days back one of the Jewish fellows in the office brought in a two-liter of kosher Coke. It’s a different formula in that it contains real sugar as opposed to artificial sweeteners. In a moment of weakness I poured a cup. Ten minutes later the rush hit me. I was back, baby! Like a junkie I needed more.
I managed to hold off until this weekend and for fun decided to take a caffeine vacation. Whereas most people would take a break from caffeine I decided to hit it full throttle over the Easter break. Enjoy myself.
Something has changed in how it affects me, however. I don’t know if it’s the four years of therapy or if my body has changed or whether I’ve been healed by Shiva, but my body reacts totally differently to caffeine. Yes, I still get the endorphin rush and sense of well-being. But now, I can laser focus like you would not believe on work tasks. I had my most productive day this year today. I’m sort of a creative spaz – great at ideas, terrible at organization and details. Today I was all about prioritization. I managed to organize the next month of tasks and I only stopped to eat some ham and turkey. Gotta protein up, you know.
I did notice one downside – my creativity decreased to almost nil. Normally I come up with good jokes, tweets, and ribald boners throughout the day. Not today!
But, I wasn’t a jerk! Well, actually, this guy on the bus kept insisting that I was a celebrity and that he’d seen me on television. After a minute of not convincing him I just put my earbuds back in while he was in mid-sentence. Inside I was proud, however, to be mistaken for somebody famous. Ha.
Oh, and caffeine makes you pee a lot. Sort of forgot about that. Damn diuretic!
In fact, right now I’m stoned to the gills on energy drinks. I got a mighty buzz and the ability to see every pixel as I type. But no good jokes. It’s a creative killer.
Also, I’m afraid of getting addicted to this feeling. I don’t want to be a daily caffeine person. The withdrawals are brutal. Also, that means I will suck at work if Walgreens runs out of RockStar Zero Carb Blueberry Extra Intense Power Surge Nectar Explosion Juice.
So, my caffeine vacation will be coming to an end shortly. I need my creativity and I’ll just fight against my inability to concentrate. Or maybe I’ll have my doctor hook me up with some ADD meds. You get the same buzz, I hear. Then it’s not an addiction. It’s a prescription!