The Dangerous Effects of Caffeine
- Thursday, 13 October 2011
As a young adult, coffee ruled my life. I didn’t mean for it to happen. I didn’t even like coffee. But having to be at my desk at the print shop at 7 a.m. was not easy for this night owl. At first I simply enjoyed the aroma from afar. Then, I’d pour myself a cup to get that smell a little closer. I’d hold the mug in my hands to warm them between jobs.
The next thing you know, I was sipping. Not too much at first. One must acquire a taste for coffee. But it didn’t take me long. Next thing you know, I soon downed the entire mug, black, and going for more. I became a regular at the office coffee bar. The last straw was buying my own Mr. Coffee for the apartment so I could indulge on the weekend.
Isn’t that how every addiction begins? First a glance, then a smell, then one sip at a time. Once I knew I couldn’t make it through a day without a pot of java, I determined to cut back. That didn’t work. So I quit—cold turkey. The effects resembled a druggy going through DT’s.
Then I was free—until I met my mother-in-law. Another one caught in the clutches of this legal lethal substance, she’s a sly one, and oh, so sweet. How could I resist her urgings to have just one cup. Before you could say Jack Robinson I was falling off the wagon.
This roller-coaster ride of caffeine addiction went on for years before I finally conquered it—for good. But now, 20 years later, I’m finding that it’s not only more readily available, it’s cool. It’s expected, and it’s downright in-your-face.
I honestly believe that if caffeine was sold in little vials in back alleys, dark stairwells, or in truck stop locker rooms, it would be illegal. But it’s not; and it’s not. And I didn’t realize how scary it had become until I found “energy shots” in my son’s car...