The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Java Jive

coffee-bitchI have been a coffee drinker since… well, since I was old enough to drink coffee, I guess. So, we’re talking decades.

I remember my first Tim Horton’s coffee. Up until that moment, I drank instant, or the bitter brew served up in the cafeteria at work. But one Saturday, the boss brought us donuts and coffee from the newly opened chain down the street. That was it. I was hooked.

For the next thirty years, I was a Timmie’s disciple. Every morning, I stopped at the local shop for my daily hit.

Friends and family chided me. Like Dan, who wrote just today, they’d say, “It’s not like coffee is a requirement.”

I’d give them the hairy eyeball.

“Well, OK, it is, but you can brew your own at home, you don’t have to stop at [Tim Hortons].”

I tried to make coffee at home, but I couldn’t manage to brew a decent cup to save my life. Or so I told myself.

I actually devoted time and anxiety to solve problems like Christmas – the one day a year that the store closes. When traveling, I’d plan my routes via towns that had a shop. In those days, franchises were just starting to spring up in the rural towns. My addiction was really rather pathetic. I knew it then, but I managed to suppress the inner judge.

I’d suppress the nagging voices even deeper when I read articles on the harm caused by caffeine. Of course, if a story touted the benefits of the bean, well! Next round is on me! The net effect of these conflicting studies is that I turned into a cynical caffeine addict.

Eventually, I learned to brew a decent pot of coffee at home. Bonus! I could kick-start my day with not one, but TWO large mugs of the stuff.

Meanwhile, I know that I am asking for health trouble with the caffeine dependency.

Oh. And let’s not forget! I take my coffee with double cream.

I’ve tried to quit a few times. My most recent effort began about six months ago when I started to drink half-caff. The plan was to wean myself to full decaf “at some point.”

It was a worthwhile strategy. I discovered that I had been living in a state of perpetual “prickliness.” On the half-caff regimen, annoying stuff (i.e. hubby) didn’t annoy me any more.

But I forgot about the weaning part.

That is until seven days ago. I caught one of those vile nasty winter bugs and have been sick in bed. For a week, I’ve been knocking back the ibuprofen, eating saltines, and drinking plenty of water. The thought of drinking coffee turned my stomach. So, lucky for me, I was feeling too miserable with my cold to notice withdrawal symptoms.

No time like the present, right? Let’s take advantage of the situation and make the change now. Right?

Yeah, right.

This morning, feeling somewhat better, I stepped into the kitchen to feed the cats, fire up the computer, and put on the coffee.

Except, when I reached for the beans, my stomach lurched.

I made tea instead. With a splash of 2%.

I hope that this java-jive, this coffee dance that I do, is over. I’m pretty sure that only good things will come from this. I’ll feel better, sleep better, lose some weight, write the next great Canadian Novel… you get the idea.

Wish me luck!






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41 replies

  1. There’s not a chance in the world that I would give up my one cup of very good (Peets) fully caffeinated coffee each morning…just one…but I wish you luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Looks like you are on your way to being caffeine free – unless the tea contains caffeine. 🙂

    For those who want to quit, try the same method I used to stop smoking decades ago, switch to a brand you don’t like. Instant would do fine for that. 🙂


  3. Oh No!!! Maggie, say it ain’t so. Well, if you think it’s good for your health, OK, I guess I can wish you luck. Decaf gives me a headache, and as much as I like tea, I do, really, I can’t start the day with it. Regular non-fancy coffee and a splash of whole milk. I don’t think it’s giong to kill me, and if it does…well, you have to die from something.

    I gave up coffee for Lent one year. After a week, my wife brought me a cup and said “drink this, Lent is over” and she’s never let me make the attempt again. Thanks for the shout-out and good luck with the tea thing,


  4. I tell myself each and every morning that there are worse things to be addicted to than coffee. (2 T Heavy Cream and some sugar-free chocolate flavoring in the morning cuppa)

    At least I no longer have my Coke (soda, not powder…) addiction…that packed extra caffeine wallops throughout the day.

    Good luck becoming non-caffeinated 🙂


    • Thanks, Peg. I imagine it was no picnic kicking the cola habit.

      The good news is that my husband does not drink coffee either – so no temptation. However, I haven’t put the coffee maker into storage. We might have company over, right? Right?


  5. I had a bout of Norovirus a few years ago, lost 5 lb., lived on broth. The one thing I couldn’t wait to get back to…that one cup of morning coffee, with heavy cream. It’s an indulgence I won’t give up, not even for better sleep ! Good luck ??? 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish you luck, Maggie, especially if it makes you feel better. Me, I like the ritual of coffee in the morning and since hubster got me a milk steamer for Christmas I’m brewin’ my own cappuccinos and have deepened my relationship with the bean. We are soulmates. Carry on, brave soul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Susanne!

      Your comment has been helpful, actually – It made me examine my process. I realized that I feel every so slightly resentful of the work involved – that is, I approach coffee drinking as a chore rather than a ritual – I don’t sit and savour and stay in the moment: I surf on the computer and guzzle my brew absentmindedly and before I know it the cup is empty.

      To me, this a sign it’s time for a change. Carrying on!


  7. I’ve tried to give up my morning fix once or twice (like you, taking advantage of a period of time I couldn’t have any), but it didn’t last. I only have one cup in the morning and I love the ritual of making it with my French press. My husband isn’t a coffee drinker so he just doesn’t get it… he even refuses to empty the used grounds and wash the press and my mug.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hold on, hold on. You can’t go over to the enemy and become a tea drinker. Please tell me you aren’t gonna. And here you go posting the Manhattan Transfer. They’re quality stuff. I have seen them live twice and I know whereof I am speaking.

    I mean I started my relationship with joe when I was knee high to a grasshopper. My mother put coffee into my bottle instead of milk. She said it was the only thing that would calm me down. My mama sure loved me. It’s been all that caffeine that has gotten me this far. Once upon a time I gave up the java. I did it for religious reasons. The Mormons say no, no to the coffee. After I tried that for six weeks, I realized no religion was worth that sacrifice. Besides God was a coffee drinker for sure. Know how I know. How else did he stay up for six days without a lick of sleep and create all the stuff he created? Or is that a she?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hah! I can’t do caffeine like I used to, or I’ll have anxiety like I used to. So I’m decaf, now and again half-caff.
    I did wean though, no brutal headaches for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you didn’t have withdrawal headaches. Actually, the thought of the pain was enough to prevent me from quitting a couple of times.

      Anxiety: another good reason for me to stick with the plan – this last year has been one ginormous anxiety-fest, what with the move and getting settled up here. My nerves could use a rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I always take my coffee straight-up black. The descriptions lure me like my Christmas blend: “Rich creamy vanilla blended to compliment the flavors of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.” Ah, yes, please. Hope you feel better. Let me know if I can pour you a cup of Christmas……

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Since nobody else said it, your bones will thank you! That’s the main reason I drink less than a cup a day. Once I knew about it, I couldn’t “unknow” you know?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If you cut me, I bleed mocha. My dealer is Dunkin Donuts, but I brew here, mostly. (Religiously.) Well, anyway, good luck with taking in less caffeine.. if you really should.. are you sure?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I know what you mean about not being able to stomach coffee when you’re not feeling well. It’s usually the first thing to go for me.
    I gave up coffee a number of years ago for about 8 months. Then it occurred to me that I really like coffee. I only have 1 a day – rarely 2 … and because I like it scalding hot, I rarely drink the entire cup. So I’m back to my morning coffee. Life just isn’t the same without it.

    Hope you toss that flu bug soon. Take care – this one likes to linger a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I never got into regular caffeination in the morning. I don’t drink coffee, and irregularly drink caffeinated tea. More frequently, it is juice, water, herbal tea, or milk with Ovaltine.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I never drank coffee. My dad always told me that when I went to college I’d start drinking it. But I didn’t. Maybe it was that I had a Chinese roommate and tea was the thing…but I’m not that big a tea drinker either. I’m glad I never got hooked, though I have to say…coffee ICE CREAM is pretty special.

    Good luck to you in your withdrawal… and glad you’re over the virus. We had it here too. Pretty awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ooh, ice cream – yeah, I keep forgetting to add ice cream to the list. Which is just as well. I’d only eat, any way.
      Thanks for the well-wishes – I’m now approaching week two anniversary – and not yet fully mended. The bug has managed to find my hubby.


  16. There are some fascinating herbal teas too, if you need a change. Do you like liquorice? Hope you’re both feeling better and recover, finding you don’t need coffee anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Much luck to you you will be just fine. A nice read great job

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Old Habits – The Zombies Ate My Brains

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