Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Coffee withdrawal

I quit coffee yesterday. Hello, my name is Eolake, I'm a coffeeholic. (Chorus of coffeeholics: "Hello Eolake!"
I've been one for nigh 40 years, and I'm 46 on March 9.

I'm trying to see if I'll sleep better without it, like they say you will.
If not, I'm going back, I love coffee. Good coffee.

In mid-evening today, despite having napped in the afternoon, I suddenly got an attack of crushing tiredness. I mean I could barely move around. It was grim. So I thought: maybe I should step it down over a few days. So I made a cappucino. But that's only one today, so that's progress.


Steve said...

I've found that most drinks do not have any kind of affect on me. The only exception is a tea that goes by the name of Gol Gavzaban - that stuff made me VERY relaxed. It was a bit scary.

eolake said...

I'd like to try that, but it doesn't seem to be available in the UK.

DreamingWolf said...

Good grief Eolake!!! Was it just a mistake on your side when you wrote "I've been one for nigh 40 years, and I'm 46 on March 9", or did you REALLY start drinking coffee @ the age of 6???? Man, that's something! :))))) I tried the taste of coffee when I was about 15 for the first time...

eolake said...

Well, I did say "nigh". I may have been nine or ten.

At some point, maybe a couple years later, we had a long term house guest who made coffee five times a day, so my habit got kicked up a couple of notches.

Anonymous said...

I like good coffee too. I went on some pills for asthma and other stuff that require me to do without caffeine, so I had to slow down and eventually give up coffee. I don't miss it too much, though there were side effects: (1) the morning headache from caffeine withdrawal (two days, maybe three?); (2) nothing to suck on in the car.


Epona said...

I have quit caffiene several times, but I just love coffee too much as well. I can survive on a small bit of Sumatra French roast mixed with Green Mountain Roasters' Our Blend Decaf. That way I get a lot of flavor and a minimal amount of caffiene. I also don't have any more caffiene after 1430. If I do, then I don't sleep well.

Have you tried Valerian Root Tea to help you sleep? I've heard it works well. Also, some people I know take 5-HTP before bed to help them sleep.

BlankPhotog said...

Drinking caffeine is a good thing if you're going to be moving around and need a jump start. If your day is tied to a chair, its chief effect for me is to increase my nerves. I tend to drink more coffee on the weekends as a result! But I cycle in and out of it, and I almost never have a caffeine headache because my body never gets used to a specific dose.

eolake said...

Funny thing about that: I've quit coffee several times in my life, and sometimes I got a bad headache, sometimes not. It seems to connected to whether I do it full- or half-heartedly.

Monsieur Beep said...

Total withdrawal? Sounds like torture! And why??? Can't you settle with 3 or 5 cups of coffee (of the highest quality) per day or so?

I love the smell of freshly ground coffee, before loading the coffee machine with it.

eolake said...

Five cups is probably a pretty heavy impact, I think. (It's also about all I had. It takes time to make a good cappuccino.)

I am better with a cold turkey, for some reason.

If it'll help me sleep at night, it'll be worth it.

Maybe later, if this works, I'll try with one cup, and see if that changes anything.

Another factor is this should help me lose weight because I use both milk and sugar in my coffee. (Well, honey actually.)

hangar said...

Epona: I also don't have any more caffiene after 1430. If I do, then I don't sleep well.

Same with me; I've tried various combinations including a couple of months (last September and October) without any caffeine (except Coca Cola when eating out on one occasion) but what seems to work best is as much coffee as I like in the morning, one or two in the afternoon but none after 1500.

Anonymous said...

"take anyone with a psychiatric disorder and the chances are they don't sleep well. . . result of their illness(?) . . this is being turned on its head. . . poor sleep might actually cause some psychiatric illnesses . . . mental problems . . ."
Good idea to fix the sleep issue, according to the article below.

eolake said...

Thanks for the tip, I'll take a look.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I only care about coffee when it's flavoring chocolate. "Hello, my name is Pascal, I'm a chocoholic. But I still don't see it as a problem. I mean, it never gave me cavities, drove me to stealing, or led me to lose interest in sex. So I'd really like to know why the Judge sent me here. Maybe I'll ask him when he comes out of the hospital." Chocolate is a bit like tea, in that the Aztecs considered it as the holy drink of the gods.
Have I told you I like chocolate? Well, I do. Blah blah blatteyh chocoblah yummie blah...

Oh, and I'd like to insist that chocolate DOES NOT always lead to harder "stuff". (Well, except for my addiction to simple nudes... ;-)

"nothing to suck on in the car"??!?
Final, are you an exhaustaholic? One of those people who use their car engine as a narguileh, claiming it causes less cancer than tobacco does?

BTW, my medical opinion is that "it's not an addiction if you can go 48 hours without it unbothered".
Except with gambling and adultery. (Audience: "Aw, maaaan!")

Epona said...
"I also don't have any more caffeine after 1430."

I know a guy who's quit drinking blood since 1349. A.D.
I know, I'm impressed too.

"Have you tried Valerian Root Tea to help you sleep?"
It seems that lime-blossom tea is amazing, both in efficiency and innocuousness.

BlankPhotog promoted bondage...
"If your day is tied to a chair, its chief effect for me is to increase my nerves."

Well, BDSM isn't for everybody, you know...
I find that chocolate while blogging stimulates my creativity. I seldom consume it in other instances. Not even during sex!

Eolake took aspirins...
"It seems to connected to whether I do it full- or half-heartedly."

Well, not only is the body-mind link typically admitted, but even more so in matters involving the brain directly. Your mental/emotional status can hugely affect such things. Especially the biological component of the craving.

Concerned Monsieur Beep petitioned...
"Total withdrawal? Sounds like torture! And why??? Can't you settle with 3 or 5 cups of coffee (of the highest quality) per day or so?"

Don't you mean 3 or 5 cups per hour?
More than that, it definitely qualifies as an addiction. It's the same figure for sex.

"I am better with a cold turkey, for some reason."
Funny, I never noticed it tasted like coffee?

"I use both milk and sugar in my coffee. (Well, honey actually.)"
The sweetening power of honey is superior to sugar, so it's better for avoiding weight gain.
In fact, I think honey is THE sweetest-tasting substance known to man (and to woman). So, the taste/calories ratio is optimal.

eolake said...

Good to know.

I once, um, dated myself 8 times in 24 hours. But I was a teen.

Angelo B., NY City said...

The crushing tiredness is a clear sign of depression. Most likely it was caused by the "withdrawal," which indicates you're not serious about quitting, otherwise there'd be elation, not depression. Proof that you aren't serious is that you are still having "just one," sort of like the smoker who says, "I'm only smoking a half a pack a day."

Well, I'm glad you're thinking of stopping such a bad, unhealthy (that's putting it mildly, as you'll see soon) habit. I say putting it mildly, for in my case, it was affecting me seriously and I didn't even know it. What happened is that during a visit to a chiropractor, during a bout with sciatica, his assistant, the girl in charge of administering the massages, who was herself studying to become a chiropractor, asked me about the things I ate and drank, as well as any things that might not have been working properly. What wasn't working properly, was that for several years, I'd been evacuating only every other day, instead of every day. When I told her that I was regularly drinking about a half a gallon, to a gallon a day, of strong, black coffee, she immediately said, "The coffee, it's the coffee that's causing your constipation; and it's going to destroy your colon." That was all I needed to hear. I'd gone to see them early in the morning, before I went to work. It was only about 10:00 AM or less, and even though I hadn't eaten anything yet, I'd already had two huge mugs of the black poison (and a lot more was on schedule).

Fortunately, I was able to make an instant decision. I told her, "Oh yeah? Well, I've just had my last two cups of coffee." (It was easy to make that decision, as I was already pretty much disgusted with it all and had developed a strong aversion to the smell of it [the "aroma," as many of us called it] to the point that if I went to a coffee shop, I had to sit far from the urn, because I couldn't stand the smell of it, even though I was still drinking it. Made no sense, but it was a terrible addiction. Also, I was quite proud of having stopped smoking several years earlier, and drinking all kinds of alcoholic beverages, even earlier. Yet I was still poisoning myself with the black liquid.) That was over 22 years ago, and I haven't missed it once. Instead the only feelings I felt were those of elation and gladness. I did suffer from some minor headaches and dizziness (though I was able to work everyday) for over two weeks. That told me what a powerful drug coffee is!

So, I'd be glad to hear you too have had your "last cup." God bless you! Love, Angelo B., NY City.

Angelo B., NY City said...

Angelo B. again, with an addendum:

Regarding the sciatica (in case you or anyone else is interested), it was taken care of by Dr. John Sarno's (NYC MD & surgeon) unique, no-drug, no-surgery, no-exercise, and no-massage approach!

I didn't need to visit Dr. Sarno, his book, "Healing Back Pain, The Mind Body Connection" (available in bookstores, including Amazon) did it for me. I've been free of that terrible malady for many years now!

For details, one may "Google" him.

Bless you, and everyone else!

Angelo B., NY City.