Usually, when you get pills in the mail that you didn’t order, you throw them away and/or call the police. Not me. I decide to take them.
Last year I ordered something online, and when it arrived, it was accompanied by a promo sample of “Sculptify capsules.” The packaging included no ingredient list, only the words “No Crash, Rapid Fat-Loss, Explosive Thermogenic.”
Sane, rational me was initially going to toss the pills, because you don’t take mystery pills – that is how people die – but then I Googled. Besides seeing the pills contain toothed clubmoss (what the f**k is that?), I discovered they were caffeine pills. Okay, technically, they were a pre-workout, but that translates to caffeine. And I had been looking for a new power-up on my caffeine intake.
In a past not so long ago, I feared caffeine addiction. While I love coffee – I discovered its powers senior year of college when I OD’d on 40 oz. of the good stuff in a 15-minute binge session and felt immortal for 18 hours – I also am an independent person. I (used to) refused to rely on a beverage or chemical to subsist. Back then, I limited my caffeine intake to twice a week, then every other day, and then just weekdays, and then…well, you know where this is going.
My original fear was, if I became addicted, would I still feel coffee’s awesome powers? Would invincibility become the norm to the point where it was just mortality?
When I am on a caffeine high, I can conquer the world and Mars, too. No day is too long, no foil too cumbersome, no ambition too dark. I send my feistiest emails, tweet my wittiest thoughts, accomplish the most arduous (read: boring) of tasks, and plan the next 30 years of my life. No mortal can survive me in my best state.
But if I reached such fearsome heights every day from a cup of joe, would they become just ordinary heights? I wanted to preserve the specialness of coffee. I had to resist.
Until I didn’t.
I became weak. I became reliant. Spring was dark. Life piled up. I could not get out of bed without the adrenaline, the promise of roasted coffee beans, and knowledge I could be immortal with a few sips of liquid power.
I told myself I could quit anytime. I would not perish. Admittedly, I have gone a day without caffeine and not even suffered a headache. But the sludge I must endure, the fuzziness of the mind, the dullness of emotion – it forces me back to my mistress.
You might be thinking, He probably only drinks one cup of coffee a day. Ha! Children! Weaklings! I drink 20 to 40 oz. coffee daily. Sometimes twice a day. I’m a sicko. I need to stop. But I don’t know how or when or if I want to.
The days I limit my intake, I have to take naps. Naps! I never indulged in such laziness for 24 years, and now I am reduced to this slothfulness?
But what has really made me realize I have a problem is those pills I got in the mail. I still take them. Shudder. I even ordered by own bottle of them once I ran out of the sample. (What is wrong with me?)
And I had to reorder them recently only to discover “This product has been discontinued.” No worries. I found them on sale on another site!
But I despise the creature I have been minimized to: a pathetic millennial that puts a caffeine pill by their bedside so when their 5:30 AM alarm goes off, they pop a pill and hit snooze for another 20 minutes until the effects seep through their blood…
Surely, that can’t be healthy.
But then I’m dancing in the kitchen, making eggs, shooting off emails, Snapping my mania, doing pushups, booking flights to Europe, plotting my former lover’s and my reunion, Instagramming the most inspiring of photos, agreeing to every task under the sun, and sipping a cup of coffee! Yes, coffee on caffeine! Woo! One more pushup! Let’s match the rhythm of my heartbeat!
Hours later, the crash comes. Suddenly, I’m at my desk, have a grant application to draft, and have not an ounce of energy or motivation within me. I stare at my computer screen. I consider popping another pill. But would my heart survive?
I remember the days when I wasn’t dependent. I remember being free. I remember saving money. I remember good quality sleep.
But then I remember dancing in the kitchen, feeling divine, and I ask my office mates if they want to go grab a coffee.
Disclaimer: This post was written while caffeinated.