Tuesday, May 5, 2020

My codependent relationship with...

Look at this teeny tin of tea I've managed
to make last FIVE YEARS by rationing.
I've been in an abusive relationship before, and I am now starting to believe I’m in another one: with caffeine. (#clickbait , ha ha, sorry!)

I want to quit. I have quit. I start again, usually because when I’m on tour in Europe, the coffee just tastes SO GOOD. I dislike American coffee, but an Italian espresso? SWOON! My naive Kentucky childhood was pretty closed-off when it came to worldly foods. I grew up Jewish and had never even heard of falafel until my first week at NYU, when my sophisticated Californian roommate took me to Mamoun’s. 

Anyway, recently I was down to one cup of okay coffee a day, after having run out of the Illy espresso that I got for Christmas. We bought a 3-pound tin from Costco, except that I didn’t notice it was … DECAF! Ergo, I unintentionally quit caffeine in late February (yes, I’m aware there is still caffeine in decaf). I was sick anyway and jet lagged from a writing retreat, and then I didn’t sleep at all because I was counting Angus’s breaths as he struggled with pneumonia. I didn’t even realize I had cut caffeine for almost a month, when I wondered why I was still so unmotivated.

Then I embraced it! I was able to sleep better. My anxiety even relaxed a bit — or maybe that was just because, as a lifetime member of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Club, Pandemic just PROVED that I was right to be worried all along, like a big nanny-nanny-boo-boo to the neurotypical world. 

I was also extremely impatient and uninterested in my children.

So one day I made a cup of TEA! I have this thing of TWG tea that I bought on tour in 2015. It cost £28, for a tiny tin of Couture tea purchased at Harrod’s food market (which, if you’re wondering what heaven looks like: it is Harrod’s Food Market). It was the most extravagant thing I’d ever purchased, completely unnecessary. Tea is tea. 

But this tea, my friends. It’s loose. Five years later (I have rationed it, like Londoners rationed dried eggs during the war), it is barely half empty yet. It still smells so good I want to wear it in a locket so I can inhale the Earl Greyness all day long.

And friends, I know you're not supposed to have Earl Grey in the morning, but I did (it was afternoon in Scotland-time) and do you know what that caffeine did?

It made me HAPPY. Ah, a natural and immediate anti-depressant.

I don't have it daily, but on the days I avoid it, I'm a big jerk. And I feel guilty for it. I don't feel guilty for the prozac or the multi-vitamin, but ugh, the knowledge that caffeine immediately makes me an eager, hands-on, creative and fun parent is just too much! Shouldn't I want to play with my kids without the cuppa?

No. I know better. It's just a weird co-dependency thing that I don't want to be involved ... flashbacks to my past!

Anyway, I recommend splurging on some good coffee or good tea, y'all. 

Today's livestream concert comes from THE BATHROOM! 3:00pm Eastern, that's 8p in Scotland. Watch it LIVE on my Facebook page

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