“Coffee doesn’t ask silly questions. Coffee understands!” ~ Unknown
My name is Nikki and it has been 365 days since my last drop of coffee. 365 days…8,760 hours…525,600 minutes…31,536,000 seconds…but who’s counting. Are those figures even right?!?! Who knows…my brain has suffered serious caffeine deprivation and the consequences may be dire and irreversible.
Coffee was my favorite companion…the best part of waking up. A best friend of sorts, she was constant in my life. Getting me through the challenging days of college, work, babies with 2 am feedings, and college again. How was I to know that we would ever have to part? I never could have imagined that a day would come when my sophisticated coffee palette would enter a Starbucks and be reduced to ordering a chamomile tea or a steamer a.k.a glorified warm milk. I find it easier to enter a coffee shop incognito so that I will not embarrass my dear friend or shame myself with my boring drink order.
11 years ago I sat in a gasterologists office and he explained I had an issue with producing too much acid from my stomach. I had actually been battling this for 10 years prior to the diagnosis so I was happy to finally know the root of my problem. “How can I fix this doctor?” I naively asked. “Your first line of defense will be your diet” he claimed. “Start by eliminating coffee.” WHAT?!?!?! My laughter must have echoed through the halls of his office…it was the sort of laugh that bubbles up inside of you and comes out a sound close to hysteria. Looking back I’m surprised he didn’t order a psych consult as he prescribe an antacid. I then proceeded to lay down the ground rules for my doctor and my body…I would give up ANYTHING but I was NOT giving up my beloved friend, my precious coffee. He agreed that coffee in small amounts, a few cups a day, would be fine. I have a sinking suspicion that my doctors definition of a cup and my definition of a cup might be slightly different…but who can say for sure. Phrases like “small amounts” or “a few cups” are so open for interpretation. For 9 1/2 sweet years I enjoyed my friend, we were closer than ever. There were days when even food wasn’t necessary as long as she was there. It was pure bliss. Then came the evening 365 days ago that my body said “ENOUGH!!!”
That day I knew it was time to say goodbye. The echoes of Andrea Boccelli and Sarah Brightman accompanied this epic moment in my life as I parted with the one who had been with me through so much. I loved my friend but she was now toxic to my body and I could enjoy her no more. I knew a clean break would hurt deeply but would be most effective. Not since that day have I had a drop. And NO…I will not drink decaf…it’s bad enough that I have been reduced to a tea drinker, I will not shame myself further by drinking decaf.
So today to all the coffee drinkers…
Raise your mugs and have an extra latte for me, your fallen comrade. Never take for granted the simple pleasure of a smooth cup of coffee. It is a gift and you should be thankful for it. For now my prayer is that there will be rivers of coffee in heaven for me to enjoy eternally.