Phenomenology of a coffee addiction

As Chase Williams always says: I can’t have a decaf, I’m a cop ☕️🍪 This is coffee addiction, people.

coffee addiction, caffeine problems, writers and coffee

SPOILER ALERT

This is not the usual post about writers falling in love with the IDEA of coffe.
This is a post about coffee addiction.
There’s something deep and sick between coffee and writers. Coffee helps writers to stay up late at nights to finish their stories. Coffee, like tea, is a confort drink that keeps company whilst writing. The gesture of sipping a warm coffee merges with the gesture of moving the fingers on the keyboard.

Yeah, I wish it was just that.
It becomes an habit, people say. It’s a bloody addiction, I say. And that goes beyond writing.

I’ve got a serious coffee addiction – and this is my true story


The first thing I do in the morning – the very first thing – is to switch the coffee machine on. Then I can go wee, have breakfast, salute my husband, etc.
I can’t do anything else before having my shot of caffeine in the morning. My brain just doesn’t respond to any input that is not hitting the button of the coffee machine.

When I move to the UK, I hated any kind of coffee but the beloved Italian espresso*. I just couldn’t have any of them, they weren’t real coffee to me. I figured out very soon it wasn’t about me being picky, it was a physiological matter. The espresso coffee contains a different amount of caffeine than other types of coffee (ie French pressed, instant etc.). The precise amount of caffeine my brain have been needing to function since I was 13, or 14.

Since there was no moka around to make an espresso, I had to have instant coffee only, which have a less amount of caffeine than an espresso. After a few days, my mood changed dramatically. I felt blue all the time, our efforts to build a life here in the UK looked nonsense and I felt hopeless and ready to sob at any time. Plus, a constant headache was killing me. And I mean it.
I didn’t think it would cause by the lack of caffeine.

I had my first British espresso 8 days after I landed in the London. After 30 minutes, I started seeing rainbows and lollipops again. The miracle of the caffeine struck back.

The power of coffee while writing

Forget the stereotype of the writer comfortably sat on a swing chair in the patio, in front of a silent lake, sipping a cup of coffee. That’s really cool for your Instagram stream.
Just picture me on my only day off of the week, crushed on my living room couch, a miserable cold weather outside, my pyjamas on, husband watching football on the other couch (and commenting aloud!) and the kid upstairs never stopping to run on my head the whole day.

  • I need to focus.
  • I need to not lose my train of thoughts and the complicated plots I’ve created for my new Chase Williams’ mystery story.
  • I need to pretend the kid upstairs is not running like a herd of gnus.
  • I need to perceive my husband’s voice like white noise
  • And yes, I’m wearing earphones with some music, but this music is too good that it’s distracting me, I have to change it
  • OK, this music is OK, but I can hear all the loud-making mentioned points above

In this context, the coffee is vital. It helps me stay focused and ignore the rest. I can leverage my coffee addiction to boost my grey cells. It’s like doping. Well, caffeine is kind of a doping substance. Guh.

So, forget the bucolic idea of the writer sipping a lovely mug of coffee in peace because there’s some writing in progress. Writers use coffee because they’ve got a coffee addiction, they can’t work without coffee. It’s more like a need than a pleasure. It’s a pleasure because we need it, and life’s more colourful when the caffeine flows in your veins.

You’re not alone – and you don’t want to give up your coffee addiction

This is my story about the relationship I have with coffee. The society wants us to know that coffee addiction is bad, but we know it’s not. It’s a blessing.
I’d like to meet people and writers with a coffee addiction like mine. So, if you dare, leave a comment below and share your story :)

Taken at London Bridge

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*I’d never thanked myself enough to have moved outside Italy also for the coffee thing. I luckily had an open mind to taste different types of coffee, and I found out that they’re all pretty tasty. Each of them have to be tasted and ‘used’ depending on my needs and situations, but I do love all the coffee in the world, even the cold brewed one (which, if you have a coffee addiction, you should totally try out if you haven’t yet)! ❤️

  • Stevie Turner

    My husband had a terrible caffeine addiction for years, eventually drinking several cups of strong coffee every day, along with Red Bull energy drinks, and cola. The pounding headache he experienced when he gave them all up lasted for 6 whole weeks and severely tested his resolve, but now he has been free of the addiction for three years, is headache-free, and has never felt better!

    • How hard is to get rid of caffeine! I hear your husband, Stevie. My husband managed to be caffeine-free a few years ago by spending an awful and endless 10 days of pain of any sort.

      Eventually he fell back to the caffeine mania, so… I’m just a proud caffeine addict! :D

  • I’ve been addicted to coffee since I was twelve years old, long before I ever thought of becoming an author. I need it in the morning. I crave it in the afternoon. But I never want to give it up.

    • Me too Susanne! I never regret my caffeine addiction!
      I also have a narrow window in the morning where I need to take caffeine, otherwise I spend the day with an headache. yesterday I missed that window, and the result was in fact a horrible headache… only this morning – having a big cup of coffee at the right time – I managed to get rid of it. Phew!