Hello, my name is Karen, and I am a coffee addict! Oh, the love with coffee runs deep. I blame my mother! My mother is the coffee addict of all coffee addicts, and I'm sure she sucked it down like air while she was pregnant with me.
As a kid, I struggled with migraines (pretty scary for a little kid) I remember sitting in my bed once with a migraine that just wouldn't quit. My mom knew she had to take me to the ER, and I remember the comforting words she said to me at that moment, "Not until after I've had my coffee!"
Her whole life revolved around coffee. If we were going on vacation, she packed the coffee can first! And we all knew as kids that you didn't talk to mom until she'd had at least one cup!
I remember thinking that coffee must be magic, but I never tried it until college.
I went to school to be a pastry chef (a far cry from a Certified Health Coach) and had the craziest schedule of my life. I was going to school 5 days a week (my first class started at 6 am). I was waiting tables at the local Pizza Hut 5 nights a week (usually getting done around 11:30 pm). I was doing an internship (for free) at a prestigious hotel in the city, four days a week; and, one weekend a month I was fulfilling my service obligation with the United States Army by attending weekend drill.
One night, in a desperate stupor, I stood at the wait station at Pizza Hut and poured myself a cup of coffee. Okay, if I'm being honest, it was a cup of sugar and cream with a dash of coffee in it! I sipped it; I liked it. Damn -- I liked it!
After that, I started to drink coffee every morning. There was (conveniently) a coffee shop next to my school where I could get my morning "fix." And then, because so many of us drank coffee, the school started to let us brew and drink it at school FOR FREE!
FREE COFFEE! People, do you understand what that's like? It's like hitting the lottery! I was a poor college student on the verge of a full-blown coffee addiction that I couldn't afford, and now, someone was giving it to me FOR FREE!
The Heavens opened, angels came down and started singing, and I happily sipped my way through the long days and nights of creating pastries, slinging pizza, and protecting my country!
As the years went on, my coffee fixation never waived, in fact, over the years, my bond with coffee has grown stronger and deeper. At some point I discovered the Garden of Eden that is Starbucks, and then, my life changed forever when I discovered the miracle that is the Keurig.
Do you mean to tell me I could brew fresh coffee, at home, in under 30 seconds? Let the games begin! That was when it really got bad. I drank coffee like it was my part-time job! In fact, I drank so much coffee that I contemplated a part-time job to pay for the coffee. I contemplated a part-time job at Starbucks!
And then, my friend Dana introduced me to a new evil; the evil that is iced coffee! In fact, as I sit here pouring out my heart and soul to you, my trusty cup of iced coffee is keeping me company. Just looking at it makes me happy!
And then, the unimaginable happened; I went off coffee -- COLD TURKEY! Oh, I remember it well, the headaches, the shakes, the anxiety, losing my will to live! But I did it, and after the first two days, I felt better, and I stayed off coffee for a year.
One day, and I can't tell you just exactly when that day was, I was caught in a moment of weakness and found myself back in the loving arms of my local Starbucks. I was high on the smell of the beans, the familiar green logo, and the language of love that is "grande,""venti," and "macchiato!"
I took the first sip and got weak in the knees; no lie, I was physically weak! I felt a tear slip out of the side of my eye; I was home!
Determined not to let my addiction rule my life, I decided to approach coffee the way I approach everything else in my life, "everything in moderation." Some days are more successful than others, and some days the addiction is just too strong and I find myself shuffling to my Keurig like a zombie toward a fresh brain.
I know I can't be alone. I know there are other addicts out there. Know that I am on your side; I feel your pleasure and your pain!
If you haven't yet had your first cup of coffee, I urge you to think it through before you take that first sip. Coffee is unlike any other liquid on the planet. You may occasionally decide on a cup of tea, you may reach for the occasional soda, you may even imbibe in an alcoholic beverage from time to time; but coffee will become an essential. It will take control of your life; it will insert itself into your life with its rich, dark goodness. Coffee is evil, and it takes no prisoners. Sip at your own risk!