Saturday, January 06, 2007

It Looks Like Up From Here

Well, having returned from my descent into the underworld, I suppose I've brought back two pieces of information for the new year.

1. Stomach flu kicks you in the ass worse than you remember, and this wasn't even the worse case I've ever had.

2. Living through a dark night reminds you how good good can feel.

(All right three pieces of information)

3. Caffeine withdrawal is a bitch.

I hovered one day on that threshold where you start thinking, you know if that good night was willing, going gentle into it wouldn't be so bad.

Thursday I was feeling a little better and bland food started to pick me up again, then the queen mother of headaches pierced my brain like a spear. (When you self-diagnose on the web, the stomach flu literature says whateever the f you do stay the hell away from caffeine! it is ithe devil's brew.)

"I haven't had coffee in three days, the withdrawl should be finished," I muttered to Christine.

"Yeah, right," she laughed. She doesn't have the best bedside manner.

I went through a period roughly like Clint Eastwood's fever dream experiences in Unforgiven or Conan's near death experience in the first movie (you know wrapped in a blanket with ghostly spirits looming all around, am I remembering that scene right or is that just what happened to me?).

Then I woke up feeling marginally stable Friday morning.

And wow, risking a half-cup of coffee was like a dose of elixir. I felt like a chorus of "Let the Sunshine In."

I think Charles in his earlier comment below was right, maybe it's good to start the year with a downer. It certainly makes clear what "up" looks like and that you often take feeling OK for granted.

For a while, I may remember that.


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Sid, I know quite a bit about being awake in a dark night. I admire anyone who can walk off pain or depression. (Sickness is a different thing). Before the house next door was demolished and thre trees uprooted, I could look out my bedroom window and see only one lit window all night long, most likely a hallway light in the apartments along 87th Street. I called it the suicide window, wanting to build a story around a window that can only be seen lit by certain people. Since last month, there are about 15 windows visible most of the night, including side windows of the residential houses and apartments on the cross streets of Leclaire and Leamington. Give me night when I am typing or walking the street corners, leave the images of single lit windows far away. Glad you're better, amigo.

Charles Gramlich said...

I almost never drink coffee so I didn't realize until about a year ago that I was addicted to caffiene through the cokes I drank. I decided to cut them out one week and within a few days I was having this chronic horrible headache. I never get headaches so this was worrisome until my girlfriend told me it was probably caffiene withdrawal, and it proceeded to go away after drinking a couple of cokes. I'm glad you're feeling better. Let the dark night wait for a while longer.

Clifford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clifford said...

Glad you're feeling better. And the coffee story is sobering. I love the stuff myself, and this city is lousy with cafes, so I get more than my share. In fact, I do most of my writing in cafes. Fortunately, I never listen to good advice, so I've never experienced withdrawl.

Sidney said...

Thanks for the thoughts, guys. That sounds like a great story, Wayne.

Interesting the kind of mistress caffeine is. It comes at us in different ways.

I only drink two cups of coffee with caffiene in the morning now and decaf everything including cokes the rest of the day. It is incredible how strong it is.

cs harris said...

I used to be a tea drinker and never realized that I was addicted to caffeine until I went on a diet that took me off tea because of the possible mold contamination. I suffered so terribly from withdrawals I vowed never again to let myself be vulnerable. You know you're getting old when sneaking a cup of tea is a vice. Glad you're feeling better.

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