I have loved you for so many years, and yet I fear our days are numbered. When I started with you as a teen, it was instant; it was sweetened artificially and barely shaded with watery skim milk- teen love in a cup. You rocketed me through my twenties as I juggled two jobs and university. You were with me on first dates. When my kids were babies, a wee sip here and there perked me up for the necessary and endless tasks that went along with newbie parenting, then parenting of two. So why the potential break up?
Alas, I cannot bear you. That first sip in the morning is sublime- the cream, the brown sugar, the deep taste of possibility for the hours ahead. But my heart beats for you- a little too much. No make that, too, too much.
Yesterday while celebrating a birthday with a group of friends, one of the women described the over-caffeinated feel of her heart bursting out of her chest and the image of a cartoon character in love popped into my mind. We laughed over that. While those thumping hearts are supposed to symbolize true love, my friend and I agreed that when that feeling happens, it’s uncomfortable. And it’s happening more often. Huge, disappointed SIGH.
When I looked up the “health benefits of coffee” there were many results, including enhanced brain function and fighting off depression- all fantastic things. But what about the caffeine rattle?
Perimenopause is often already a rattling time with its sleep pattern disruptions, anxiety, and stress as part of the package for many of us. In those cases, caffeine can exacerbate things.
My problem with the break up is emotional as well as physical. I get up before everyone, even the dog, and I love those coffee minutes to do nothing for anyone but myself. I enjoy tea too, but it’s not the same.
I think I have to seriously accept the challenge of finding the right decaf to mix with the core ingredient. I love you coffee, and am not ready to change. But bouncing through these hormones, I really need more calm.
Janet Madsen is the creator behind You Should Know, a sexual health education site for women in perimenopause and beyond. She’s the Communications Coordinator at Positive Women’s Network, which provides community education and support services for women living with HIV in British Columbia, Canada. Janet’s an avid reader, lifelong runner, and an enthusiastic (but lousy) gardener. Her family life includes a wonderful partner, two kids, an adopted dog and very sweet guinea pig. Learn more at http://www.youshouldknow.ca.