Quitting Caffeine?

I usually just drink one cup of coffee a day. It’s a double shot latte but still just one cup.

I decided to quit caffeine cold turkey. Why, you ask? I thought it might help me to better manage my stress – my job has become much more stressful with the loss of one of my coworkers and our aging dogs are suffering from medical ailments one after another. I knew caffeine was a stimulant and affected the adrenal system. So, I thought, let’s stop consuming it and see what happens.

I decided to start on a Saturday so I had the whole weekend to detox. Friends, it took me an entire week to detox – and I’m a lucky one. I have read stories of people taking months and years to get over their addiction. And, yes, I call it addiction – because you’ve gotta be addicted to something to experience the withdrawal I did.

I had two main symptoms: headache and muscle pain.

The expected headaches started Sunday and actually weren’t really that bad. They were more like a background headache – nothing close to a migraine or anything like that – there was a tad bit of brain fog. After four days they were gone.

What really surprised me – because I hadn’t actually researched withdrawal symptoms at the time – were the muscle aches. On the Tuesday following, the aches started in the lower back and down the legs – and then the whole body got involved. I couldn’t sit still in my chair – at home or at work. I could not get comfortable in bed – constantly moving around – and waking up during the night. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. Then I actually did some research – and yep, muscle aches were accounted for.

How bad was withdrawal? Well, let’s just say that early Saturday – a week after commencing “Operation Cold Turkey” I was seriously considering having a cup of caffeinated coffee Sunday morning to stop the aches. Friends, a miracle happened and Saturday night was pain free! The muscle aches disappeared. I had a good night and needed no caffeinated coffee Sunday morning.

One week of detox for me. I consider myself fortunate that it only took a week. I do enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning but from now on will drink decaf. I do realize there are still trace amounts of caffeine in decaf but I think it’s an acceptable trade-off.

I realized after doing this just how insidious caffeine is if consumed on a regular basis. In the future I will consume caffeine but only infrequently. No more addiction to this stuff.


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