I need my coffee

Two months ago I did not drink coffee.  I know, how did I make it this long as a grad student without it?  The hardest peer pressure to avoid around here is the pressure to drink coffee.

However, for over two years I made it through my days and weeks on fewer hours of sleep than I can count on my hand.  How?  Those liquid nuclear reactor waste darlings called energy drinks and, occasionally, that product that promises a certain number of hours of energy.  Smart right?  Wrong.  I was perpetually wired, while still feeling sleepy.  This confused my body tremendously.  I would stand at my bench setting up experiments while simultaneously wanting to curl up into 1 of the 96 wells sitting in front of me.  BUT at the same time, I could not make myself sit down between time points.

WEIRD right?  This did not make me stop.  What made me stop was not the icky feeling post crash:  I felt like I got hit by a hangover and a bus.  What made me stop was turning into a fiend twice a day, 11:00 am and 2:30 pm.  Anyone who was around me and did not see me get up to make my way to a drink machine or a cafe for an energy drink, would comment on their surprise.  Most of the time what they did not know was that I probably already had an energy drink.

Anyway, I made myself quit.  It took two times.  First time was cold turkey and lasted about three months.  Prelim exam #2 ended that.

Second time was kinda cold turkey.  I went to a conference that had no energy drink access, and, yes, I believed that like internet, energy drink access was a  must.  This was when I had my first taste of gold.  Immediately, I was too good for energy drinks.  It was like I made it to the big leagues and was too shady to even acknowledge my old friend.  I quit energy drinks cold turkey as I was putting the coffee mug to my lips.

Now, I can fill up a Dunkin Donuts coffee card in a week.  One guy knows my car and when he sees me pull up, I don’t even have to order.  Now, I walk up to the counter of the coffee shop without having to look at what is offered.  Now, the barista who used to always prepare my tea, pours a sample of the day’s brew for me to taste.

The funny part (to me at least) is that I still “need” my coffee (as a form or caffeine).  There are definitely times of the day, that my body points itself in the direction of coffee and my feet get to moving.  I have convince myself that the energy had a stronger hold and that coffee is considered to be good for you.  I don’t crash on coffee.  Coffee.


Medium, caramel swirl, cream, light sugar

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