4.3.19 Oops.


“Caffeine. The gateway drug.” – Eddie Vedder

Four years ago I couldn’t sleep. Or, let me rephrase that … I could sleep, but I’d wake up between three and four in the morning with my heart pumping full of adrenaline so much so that I almost assuredly could have outrun a marathoner. Well, that’s what it felt like at least.

I was convinced, of course (being the semi-hypochondriac that I am NOT proud to say I am) that I was dying. My husband took me in to the E.R. and after several x-rays, and cardio tests, I found out I was not having a heart attack, a stroke, or anything else immediately life-threatening. Nope … I was just having the tremors of life.

At that time, my husband was in graduate school, our kids were even younger, and I was teaching, writing, and mommying full time without much interest or ability to put myself to sleep on time. I said yes to everything and ran myself ragged.

It’s amazing what our bodies say no to when our minds and mouths refuse. My body, after months of self-sacrificing habits simply began to refuse. After conversation with my doctor, he assured me that my life was not in danger, as long as I was willing to change it. Now, I only drink decaf. I go to bed (most nights) in time to give me around eight hours of sleep. I exercise so I don’t lose my mind. I read and write and play in order to more fully live the life I was trying so hard to squeeze every last experience out of and simply exhausting myself in the process. Lavender helps too. Lots of lavender.

So the other day, I was a bit manic. I was checking things off my to do list like a fiend. I wrote a ton of emails. I did some writing. Reading. Correcting. I had chats with colleagues. I made needed-to-make phone calls. I was on fire! I felt super twitchy though. My heart was a little fast. I felt like I needed to rest, but my eyes were wide and my breathing was fluttery. That was when my flicker-fast brain whispered, “Look it up.” You see, all day I’d been nursing a gigantic matcha green tea frappuccino. It was AMAZINGLY delicious. And the funny thing is … I knew black tea had caffeine, but guess what? When I googled, “Is green tea caffeinated,” it said: “The thought that green tea is naturally decaffeinated is a myth.”

That would explain it! On a high note (literally, Eddie Vedder was completely right about caffeine being the gateway drug) I got a whole lot done. But as my daughter said, “Mommy, every time you find something you like, you find out you can’t actually have it after all.” Call it the curse of a food allergy princess like me! Ha, ha. Sadly, my sweet husband can eat straight coffee beans and not feel any effects. Me however? It would seem I cannot.


Here’s to all my fellow forced decafers out there! Much love, much sleep, and slower progress to us all.


2 thoughts on “4.3.19 Oops.

  1. I couldn’t open this link fast enough when I saw it in my inbox today. Elle, I LOVE coffee and black tea, but have had to significantly reduce my consumption for the reasons you listed, as well as a few others. I love matcha lattes and prepare a weak one for myself a couple of times per week. The rest of the time, I prepare turmeric lattes, which I have grown to like. Still, I miss a good cup of Earl Grey or a delicious flat white, so some days I cave. And sometimes, I regret the decision. It’s a struggle that I’m selfishly glad that others understand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s