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    I’m Better Off Caffeinated

    Working as a drug addiction counselor, I’m supposed to help my clients get off harmful, addictive drugs. The dirty secret is that I’ve been dependent on a drug too, it just happens to be legal, cheap and readily available: coffee.

    Three weeks ago I made a decision to go off caffeine. I had tried to stop once before and the fatigue and headaches had convinced me to stop. This time I succeed, but not until I had to cope with the same headaches and more fatigue, plus some unexpectedly nasty leg cramps. In time the cramps went away, but I still didn’t feel right. Without coffee I was finding it a lot harder to concentrate and be productive. I wasn’t alert or “with it.” I felt as if a thin veil had been pulled over my eyes and I was just slightly detached from reality.

    It reminded me of when I was younger and in school. ┬áTeachers were irate with me because I looked sleepy, bored and wasn’t paying rapt attention to them. One college professor even urged me to–you guessed it–drink coffee. That feeling came back with a vengeance when I quit caffeine.

    So after three weeks with no java, I got out on the road today with some faux-Kona coffee in my tumbler. And the veil was lifted, and I could listen to my clients with more clarity and focus. Even the edges on objects seemed a little clearer. The old “me” I had come to expect and depend on was back and that “me” is the sum of myself and a controlled dose of caffeine once a day.

    And, as you can see, I also feel like blogging.

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