Time for a guest post from our friend Kerri Sackville, the addict.
I didn’t think I was still an addict. I knew I used to be an addict, but I thought I was better. I thought I could just have one or two be absolutely fine.
I was wrong.
This morning I got stuck in heavy traffic on the way home from school drop off. Crazy traffic. The kind of traffic where the red light in the far distance turns green for two minutes, but you only move about a metre up the road. The kind of traffic where you listen to two lots of news bulletins in the space of a block.
Now, I wasn’t in any particular kind of rush. I had work to do at home, but nothing that couldn’t wait an extra half an hour. I was alone in the car, with a radio, and an air conditioner, and I could have used the time to chill a bit before the long day ahead.
There was just one problem.
I hadn’t had my coffee.
You see, normally I have my first cup of coffee before I leave the house. Today we’d been rushing, and I figured I’d have it when I got home an hour later.
This was a mistake.
Halfway through the journey home, something inside me snapped. I became agitated. My thighs twitched. I developed a murderous rage towards the cars ahead of me. I felt angry, and immensely powerful. I imagined myself getting out of my car, striding towards the blue sedan ahead of me, lifting it over my head and smashing it down to the ground. I visualised a line of devastated automobiles, shattered in pieces across the suburban street, children cowering, and businessmen weeping as I wreaked my furious devastation.
I drummed on the steering wheel. I bit my nails. My mouth felt parched. I ached for coffee… golden black coffee, steaming hot from my Nespresso machine. I longed for that first sip as a woman longs to hold her baby in her arms. More, actually. I’d just dropped my baby at crèche.
I used to be a caffeine addict. For a period of my life, prior to having kids, I would drink six to eight cups of coffee a day, a couple of cups of tea, and a Diet Coke or two. Caffeine punctuated each hour like an alarm, only it was the foggy headache that announced the dawn of the next cup, rather than the ticking of a clock.
One day I realised that this hourly fogginess was probably not conducive to a strong mind and a healthy body, and I decided to cut out coffee. Cold turkey. Well, what a fun day that was. Actually, a fun morning. I lasted until 10am. This is probably because I was blind. Yes, my headache was so bad that I literally could not see, which was even less conducive to strength and health than fogginess.
It took me three months to completely wean myself off caffeine, and I remained weaned for several years. But eventually I regressed, as so many addicts do. I only drink two cups a day – one in the morning, and one around lunchtime – and I thought that was okay. I thought I was in control.
Still, this morning, in the car, it became clear. My addiction is controlling me. And if I wasn’t short, and kind of puny, believe me, it could have made me dangerous.
But I’m home now, and the coffee was smooth, and my head is crystal clear. And even though it’s only 11am, I’ve had a tough morning, and I can’t help thinking:
Just one more won’t hurt.
Are you addicted to caffeine? Something else? How bad is your habit and have you ever tried to kick it?