Last Friday I decided I was drinking too much coffee and wanted to quit cold turkey.
I had read a few articles on the web, some medical, others anecdotal, so realized it wasn’t necessarily going to be easy. And I had tried going off caffeine a few years ago, and decided that, to draw a psycho-spiritual analogy, it was like living in the main floor of a house while being blocked from ascending to the second and third floors.
But I didn’t want to be dependent on anything. So cold turkey it was.
Or so I thought.
The first day started off fine. I drank lots of water. But toward the end of the day headaches set in. These intensified overnight and into the second day, compelling me to reconsider.
Pills like Advil and Tylenol may kill pain but also space me out and put me to sleep, which I did not want. A medical website suggested drinking two cups a day instead of stopping altogether, so I thought I would give that a try.
With that first cup of coffee, in about 5 minutes the pain was suddenly manageable. Almost gone. I regained focus, a sense of optimism and was able to perform my daily tasks.
To complicate things, I had developed stomach problems and vomited my lunch the day before. I’m not sure if this was coffee-related or I just happened to get a stomach bug at the same time. I foolishly ate a grilled cheese sandwich I had dropped on the floor while flipping it. The floor seemed clean and I am thrifty so just couldn’t waste the food by throwing it out. Maybe a bad move on my part.
The long and the short of it is, I am now staying at two cups of coffee a day. I feel okay this morning and was able to eat a moderate amount of real food (not just ice cream 🤣) last night. But if you noticed that I was inactive over the weekend, now you know why!
Addiction specialists refer to drug/alcohol abuse as a disease which took me a long time to accept due to confusion over what that actually means. Coffee drinking I believe is more situational and falls within the realm of behavioral psychology e.g. it’s a reinforcer accompanying a task or regular moment in time. Saw this a lot at work. I would habitually drink coffee at meetings, breaks, lunch, functions, etc. Stopped dead on retirement…one cup only in the morning now to fire up my listless brain.
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Yeah, while reading about it I saw that coffee is usually described as a dependency and not as an addiction, which would fit with what you’re saying. In my case though, I can feel the bean spread right through my veins to my fingertips. So I think it’s a bit of habit and biology. The scientists also talk about dopamine. I don’t really understand it fully and as usual, there seem to be some unanswered questions and competing theories.
I just feel better now on a more moderate path. Getting older, I am getting more sensitive to everything—light, sound, and probably the effects of coffee. 🙂