Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee

“I lost my shit the other day.” Just another lovely expression from the bowels of New York’s working class spectrum. As crass as it is, it still holds true, especially when over-imbibing in full-octane Iced Lattes and having to deal with a 45 minute search for parking in the busy Long Island town of Mineola. 

Have you ever been to Mineola? Despite the friendly family feeling of its residents, the town has also managed to squeeze in a major train station, a world-renowned hospital, courthouses, attorney offices, endless parking garages, restaurants and office buildings. I spent 45 minutes driving through parking garages and municipal lots as well as uselessly pumping quarters into several 2-hour meters before realizing I wasn’t actually going to be able to park anywhere, wasn’t getting to work on time and would definitely be missing an appointment later in the day. I realized all of this while the rain poured down, saturating both my car and my hair and making me look like a homeless sheep dog. 

By the time I decided that God intended me to stay home, I had lost my shit, sputtering craziness into my iPhone as I canceled everything with a zeal I hadnt had since attempting to punch my sister in the face in high school. I then proceeded to drive home like one of those hopeless cases, tears uncontrollingly pooling up and spilling over from my eyes. 

“I wonder if I shouldn’t have had those two Iced Lattes,” I thought. “They make me a little edgy.”

I’m guessing coffee may be illegal years from now, especially considering the mind-effing it does to some folks who drink the roasted brew. WebMD posted that coffee causes “caffeinism,” with symptoms like anxiety or agitation. (Sounds like what I had while schlurping my first Iced Latte while looking for parking.) They also say that folks who drink coffee may eventually find themselves drinking more coffee to get the same effect. This would explain my co-worker’s six Iced Quad Lattes a day. Sounds a little too close to Alcoholism, if you ask me.

And yet friends tell me, “It’s all in your head.” That’s ridiculous. That’s like saying everyone’s phsiological makeup is the same. It’s also like saying there’s only one type of person in the world and that only one element exists on the periodic table of elements. Yeah, dont get me started.

Let’s check out the other too-much-coffee symptoms that I’ve had and how they’ve effected me.

Insomnia
And here I thought it was my pseudo psychic powers waking me up at 3am to connect with spirits from the Other Side. Or thoughts of my ex plaguing me so much that they woke me. Turns out it was the multiple Mochas sucked down in one day that left me in an early morning sweaty pool of ex-thought-aftermath with no recourse but to Hoover a cap of nightquil, because remnants of those delicious cups of iced, milky-coffee-ground goodness smacked me in the face every time my eyelids drifted downward. And unfortunately a few times this ugly scenario reared it’s head right after a breakup, leaving me paralyzed in countless insufferable, sleepless hours of ex thoughts. No wonder people think I looked like Andrea from The Walking Dead.

Nervousness & Restlessness
I can’t sit still long enough to write a description of this point.

Stomach Upset
A few months back I came to the point where it felt like i ate knives for breakfast after my morning, mid-morning and pre-lunch coffees. As soon as I stopped drinking coffee the pain magically disappeared. I wish my ex’s ex would disappear so quickly.

Nausia & Vomiting
Thankfully I never tossed my cookies, but nausia was a weekly thing. At some point I realized coffee was making me nausious, but instead of quitting I switched to Iced Lattes. It provided a small victory over wanting to hurl, but useless when it came to the other symptoms like…

Increased Heart Rate
I called them Heart Palpitations, but after some time they morphed into straight-up Chest Pain accompanied by visions of heart attacks. But an addict is an addict, and even with friends telling me that I was insane to keep drinking coffee, I’d still suck down a few a week. At one point in my Caffeine Career, I was having so much chest pain that I actually went to a cardiologist and took a stress test and Echocardiogram – or cardiac ultrasound. 

Total side note: 
During the exam the sono tech told me that the number of enlarged hearts is on the rise. Funny, I thought, the amount of coffee consumption has been on the rise as well. Clearly this is all speculation on my part, especially considering how much I love frequenting coffee houses…

Agitation
Ever want to stab people with a pencil at work? Ever want to ram your car into someone else’s just to teach them a lesson that you know they’ll never really get anyway? Ever just start throwing things because you’re tired that your place looks like a never-ending pig sty? Yeah, neither have I.

Ironically, there are a few things not listed on the WebMD site that I believe goes hand-in-hand with my personal physiological makeup and coffee consumption. 

Hives & Welts
There was a guy in my high school who had the misfortune of having the biggest welts on his face that I had ever seen. They were huge – no amount of coverup would have helped him. At the time I just felt bad for him – realizing we were in high school and adolescence is a nasty biotch, I let it go. But most recently I noticed the counter guy in Dunkin Donuts has similarly attrocious skin as High School Welt Guy’s skin. I wonder if they drink coffee. 

This is what happens to me when I drink hot coffee:
Generally when I drink regular hot coffee, within a few hours I’m itching behind the ears. I get those vile lumps that only Benedryl can cure, and if I dont stop the coffee consumption, the vile little lumps actually start to hurt. 

Is it really the coffee?
After years of studying the effects of coffee on my skin, I realized it may not entirely be the coffee. How do I know this? And what is really the problem, if not coffee? This is where my sick semi-scientific shit kicks in and may help you or someone you know, so stay with me:

I believe it’s something funky in the tubing of the machines that brews the coffee and steams the milk that’s producing hives.

Why? Let’s look at some scientific reasoning here. 

I would get hives when:
I drank coffee
I drank hot cocoa
I drank hot tea
I ate “Street Meat” from a New York city licensed vendor
I ate McDonalds food

I would not get hives when:
I drank iced lattes
I made my own hot cocoa
I drank iced tea
I ordered anything – hot or cold – from a new coffee shop
I drank anything from a new coffee system
Cooked my own food

These little factoids lead us to believe that its not the actual coffee thats a problem, but perhaps the chemical interection between the hot oil or grease and metal tubing or metal grills. 

This is crazy shit. I could win a Nobel Skin Prize for this one day. 

Results like these hardly make an hour’s burst of energy worth it. Especially since after the hour of energy is a energy slump so bad it makes a sloth look motivated. 

Right now I’m glad I didn’t have that Iced Latte today because there’s a guy sitting next to me on my commuter train that smells like mold and is irritatingly tapping his foot to the beat of whatever lame band hes probably listening to. Had I drank the 4pm latte today, I probably would have lost my shit and snapped at him already. But today I chose water, so I’m only mildly irritated. Maybe next week when I’m completely Caffeeine Sober I won’t even notice. Maybe.

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