Monday, February 14, 2005

Cup 75: From Chocloate to Morphine

from chocloate to morphine
Originally uploaded by matt_leclair.
Where: livingroom, Orono, Maine
When: 6 am, Feb 14 2005
Who: just me
Coffee: Maine Roaster's Capone
Mood: inquisitive

I took the morning to read up on my addiction in the book From Chocolate to Morphine by Andrew Weil and Winifred Rosen. Here I learned some fun facts. French author Honoré de Balzac was such a coffee addict that the coffee he drank resembled thick soup and he consumed it in astonishing quantities to spite the stomach cramps it gave him. I learned that J. S. Bach composed the Coffee Cantata around 1732 and it containd great lines like, "Far beyond all other pleasures, rarer than jewels or treasure, sweeter than grape from the vine. Yes! Yes! Greatest of pleasures! Coffee, coffee, how I love its flavor, and if you would win my favor, yes! Yes! let mehave coffee, let me have my coffee strong."

Caffeine isn't the only "active ingredient" in coffee. There are many other stimulant drugs found in coffee. This is probably why only coffee "does it for me" and I can't drink caffeinated soda and get the same effect.

I also learned that nausea and vomiting can accompany a coffee withdrawal in addition to a severe, throbbing vascular headache. Coffee is irritating to the stomach and bladder and it overrides the body's ability to store chemical energy, making one come to rely on coffee for energy.

Aside from the irritation, there are many more damaging things to be addicted to. It isn't going to cause the massive and permanent damage that being addicted to, say, heroin causes.

Dr. Weil might say I'm on my way to a "bad relationship" with coffee. "People with good relationships with drugs can take them or leave them," he says, and I don't feel that leaving coffee is an option. On the other hand, I am aware that coffee is a drug, and have a good idea of what it is doing to my body, so that is a sign of a healthy drug relationship. And it doesn't appear to be harming my body as far as I can tell (another good sign) but the effects of coffee have diminished for me, and I need it in order to have a functional energy level, but it does not stimulate me into a higher energy level as it should. A bad sign.

So, what do I do with this information? Well, I'm not about to give up coffee or even cut down. I am okay with being addicted to it. Maybe that is a sure sign of an "unhealthy drug relationship." Whatever.

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