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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

KuKd Side Effect #3: Caffeine Addiction

Here's how the vicious cycle of Dark Elixer addiction started. During a couple of months following my Ultimate Shitty Event, I couldn't sleep at night, kept awake by what I call "mind chatter" (meanwhile, Kevin snoozed with oh-so-irritating ease beside me). Typical 2am mind chatter goes like this:

"Relax, Monica. Go to sleep."

"Okay. But I CAN'T sleep!"

"You'd better sleep, because you have to get up at seven AM to go to work tomorrow. Today, actually, since it's officially today. It WOULD be tomorrow if you'd gone to sleep at ten, when you originally planned to sleep."

"I WOULD go to sleep if I could sleep, and if you would stop talking!"

"I'm not going to stop telling you to sleep until you sleep. So SLEEP, darn it!"

Three AM would pass, and then four AM. And finally, I'd say screw it, get up and brew myself a half-pot of coffee, which I'd sip in the living room while grading essays. When the first hints of daylight appeared on the horizon, I'd think YAY! I can legitimately get up now, I mean like really get up and take a shower and eat some Grape Nuts, and not be considered a freak! So I would, and I'd get dressed and head to work. °

Needless to say, around one o'clock that afternoon, I would start to crash, my eyelids getting heavy and my brain starting to feel as though it were enclosed in a translucent film of heavy vegetable oil. This would inevitably happen during either: a) office hours, when my non-native English speaking students were lined up at my door with grammar questions for which I needed to be moderately awake to even MAKE UP answers (like, why do we say "my alarm went off" when we mean "it went on?"); or b) right before tenure working committee meetings when I needed to appear relatively aware of what was being disussed and asked of me.

So what would I do? Brew myself a pot of coffee in the office, and drink a cup or two. Just to prop me up and get me through the day. Boy, it worked like a charm. And another one around four PM if necessary to make it home in one piece.

So began my journey to full-fledged coffee addiction: that is, daytime coffee sipping just to stay relatively awake. Here I am, nearly a year later, hooked on that lovely Dark Elixer - lots in the morning, and one or two cups in the afternoon if I can hack it.

The good news is, I'm not to the point of cramming the grounds into my gums like my friend Ben from work used to do. Also, during this trip, I've refrained- for the most part - from coffee, outside of my morning several cups. But that's just because we're frequently in the middle of nowhere in the afternoons while riding our bikes, and going totally out of our way to find that yummy Dark Elixer would be slightly insane. I'm just not ready to go the route of insanity.

Zachary, some unsolicited advice: if you're going to get addicted to something up in Baby Heaven, don't follow Mommy's example. Get hooked on carrot sticks or flax seed instead.

3 comments:

julian + jen said...

why DO we say "the alarm went off"?

hmm, i've developed a habit of commenting on every post. maybe it's because i hardly ever get to hang out with monica anymore. sorry to everyone else out there.

Shaz said...

I get withdrwals without my morning fix of at least 3 cups by 9am. I get headachey and bitchy without it!

Anonymous said...

I find that Sudoko resets my brain in those early hours of the morning, and within 10 minutes guaranteed, the snooze returns.