Behind The Barriers Director’s Cut: Jonesing for some Joe

After a long caffeine-free stint, Jeremy Powers and Sam Smith crack after the Boulder Cup

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Jonesing for some Joe

It’s the Monday after the Boulder Cup and Jeremy Powers and I have just woken up at his mechanic, Tom Hopper’s, house. We’re both in the kitchen. I’m at the table, working on this journal, and he’s milling around the fridge and stove area. One thing starts going through my head and I can tell it’s running through his, too.

We want to make coffee.

This seems normal enough, but for two guys who have sworn off the dark bean water for the past several months, it’s completely out of the ordinary. We have both cracked. It could be the fall foliage and increasingly cool weather. It could be the recent heavy travel and lack of sleep. Whatever it was, we were both jonesing for some joe.

We had both been spotted cheating in the past week or so. I caught Powers holding a Pete’s to-go cup a couple days ago. And I had definitely broken down, after an all-nighter or two in the last couple of weeks, and traded out my iced tea for a small dark roast at the coffee shop.

Powers and I have the same problem with coffee. We’re both ultra sensitive to caffeine. We both love the effect of being keyed up, but we both hate the anxiety and weird physical reactions that come along with it. I go through cycles where I drink coffee everyday and it keeps my body running like a well oiled machine. My life will be chugging along perfectly, and one day I’ll down a cup of the brown stuff and things will turn into a nightmare.

It happened to me this summer, and that’s what prompted my recent stint of abstinence. My day started with coffee, then a fever feeling, sweating, a full blown panic attack, and the worry that I was having a heart attack. I had to lay down on the couch for two hours, convinced that this was the end for me. Every time I moved, I felt like I was going to be sick. Strangely, after two hours I could get up and go about my day without any problems.

I knew deep down that it was the coffee, but I didn’t want to admit it. I was in denial, and the same thing happened every day for a week. After a long talk with my shrink, I bit the bullet and quit, cold turkey. My day-to-day life got so much better after that. It seems silly to think that such a “harmless” drug could have such a negative effect of my life, but it really did.

Both Powers and I have gone through this same cycle many times before, and it always includes going back to the stuff. That point in this endless cycle is today. I’m not worried for the future, but that might be the denial creeping back. At least I know I have a partner in crime. Someone to relate to in my bad decisions.

This episode comes to you from a coffee-free Sam and Jeremy. Hopefully the upcoming episodes are more than just me filming from a couch while Jeremy lays incapacitated on another couch, but you never know.

Sam Smith

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