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“A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent.” ~Anonymous

I love coffee. I love the ritual of it. The smell of it brewing in the morning. Or any time of day really. It just brings such a delicious, steamy aroma and cozy atmosphere to any room. It lifts spirits and brings warmth on a cold day or cools over ice in the summer heat. There’s so many things that go well with coffee. Breakfast, dessert, reading a good book, catching up with friends, surfing the internet (blogs). Then of course there are the after affects. It boosts energy, enforces positivity, hope, and productivity.

But (for me) that only lasts for about an hour after drinking it.

Then I drop. I can’t drink more than one cup because then I get headaches, or worse, hyperactive -where my heart feels like it’s going to jump out of my body. And I don’t even drink strong coffee, I’m more of a cafe au lait kid of girl. My mind races and I can’t focus on a single thing. They say caffeine is a drug, and after 2 cups of coffee it definitely feels like it for me. I’m envious of those people that are highly successful in balancing and multitasking life and work, all thanks to coffee. After 2 cups, I am out.

Since entering the workforce, one cup in the morning was what got me out of bed in the morning, kick started the work day, a serene ritual. I never thought I was addicted. But when I would go home to my parents’ house and only drink tea during the course of a weekend, I would get severe headaches. It would kick in around noon, when my body realized it wasn’t getting any coffee to kick start its day. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was, but then I would drink some coffee and the headaches would be gone. I’d be happy again. Scary! I didn’t like the idea that my body relied so much on coffee. That I couldn’t get through a day without it. I like to think I drink it because I love it, not because I need it.

I went on finding my ways to drink coffee once a day until I transferred down to DC and suddenly found myself at an office that didn’t have good coffee. We have these automatic machines in the break room that produce gross wannabe coffee. No amounts of  cream or sugar make them better. There is a cafeteria that serves delicious Dunking Donuts or Starbucks blends, but lucky for my body, it is in another building. So during this past winter I couldn’t get myself to leave the warmth of my office, and walk across the office park in the cold just for a cup of coffee. I snuck out a few times, but overall decided that this was a good thing, and I should go with it.

just as relaxing

It wasn’t easy at first. I am by no means a morning person, and withdrawl headaches did not help. It took me a good 2 hours to seem awake enough to know what was going on around me in the office, and prayed for no meeting before 10am. Now a few months in it doesn’t affect me as much. I’m still tired in the morning, but I drink water with lemon, teas, or when its warmer smoothies in the morning to bring myself to life. I keep different flavored teas in my desk, bring lemon from home, and make tea in the break room throughout the day.

Of course I still drink the occasional (probably 1-2 a week) cup of coffee. But at least now it’s a treat. I refuse to cut it out completely, and not enjoy a pumpkin or gingerbread latte during the holidays, or a cup of coffee with a muffin every once in a while. I just want to see it as a treat, like hot fudge sundaes. I love them, but I don’t rely on them to get through a day. Now that would be a real problem…

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How do you feel about coffee? Do you think you’re addicted? Does it make you crazy when you have too much or too little?