Caffeine addiction... the reality of it.

I've never done anything like this before. I have never discussed my addictions, my trials and tribulations with a public forum. But today.... today is the first day of the rest of my life... so here I begin... my back story:

Caffeine has not unfortunately been my only struggle or addiction (though let me tell you, the struggle is real). At a young age I started abusing marijuana, alcohol, and prescription medicataion. I have struggled with all over the past decade and a half or so but the first time I really could grasp that I had a problem was when I was about 6 years deep into what I didn't realize was a heroine addiction. I merely told myself or anyone who questioned that it was all in fun. Sure I felt nasty/sick/pained when I would go days sometimes even a week without getting high but I always went back to heroine, it never strayed far from my later teenage years/early adult years. I came to the very harsh reality that I had a problem, an addiction of you will when I began sleeping with my supplier. I felt terrible, I was a hollow shell of a person. Skin and bones, my happiness non existent and all that I had was this nasty drug habit. So I went to rehab. I kicked my habit in the ass. That would be almost 6 years ago this year. I later struggled with alcohol and marijuana to the point where I decided to shut myself in my home to help me gain a healthy mental state/ awarness. That didn't work. So I have taken up counseling, meetings, and yoga within the past 4 years and I have almost 4 years of complete clean time (except for caffeine) this month!

Coffee has become my addiction. My escape. As silly as it sounds. I have replaced getting high with drinking coffee. The routine of making a cup has replaced the routine of mixing up a bag of heroine or the routine of packing up a bowl to smoke. It's an addiction because though I want to quit I am weak to it and I always give in to it. It makes me anxious, mean, inpatient. I'm a mother to two beautiful babies. I have come such a long way in becoming a healthier happy person not only for myself but for my babies. Coffee has become too much of an inconvenience/ importance in my life. So next... I tackle this. My goal... 100% completely clean from any mind or mood altering substance... and today is number one... the first day of the rest of my life.
  • 29 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • @Coffeebeans

    Hello and welcome. So glad that you are here. It's great that you have quit so many other addictions. Knowing that you've done that can give you great courage to tackle caffeine. I understand being addicted to caffeine. I drink 3 cups every morning and I wish I drank zero. I have not seriously tried to quit before but it is something that I would like to be able to do. I drank 2 cups this morning instead of 3 and this is a good start. 

    I bought a couple of herbs over the weekend to make tea. Perhaps if I could switch to one cup of herbal tea in the morning this would be sufficient and maybe have an occasional latte well out and about. That is my goal.

    I think that you going cold turkey is wise. How many cups of coffee do you have a day?
  • @dominica well I've gotten myself down to only 1-2 a day from the previous 12-14 a day that I was consuming. I'm a grump before my coffee and when my coffee starts to wear off. It's so silly for me to think that caffeine can have such a negative effect on a person. But it absolutely can.

    So today I've had no coffee and I'm a grump. I am sooooo on edge. These feelings make me want to use heroine. Or maybe it's just an intense craving of SOMETHING mood altering... I don't know, but for now I'll fight through.
  • @Coffeebeans... Good for you for wanting to be mind-altering substance free! I never drank coffee, but I drank a ton of Diet Coke for many years. I finally decided to kick that habit and weaned myself off of it slowly. It's now been about six years since I quit. And I don't miss it at all. Your body will get used to not having it. Trust me. And you'll feel better in the long run, for sure.

    Sending you lots of encouragement!
  • @DeanD thank you for the words of encouragement! I hope that reaching out for help from others will help me stay strong in kicking this habit. && good for you as well for kicking diet soda!
  • @Coffeebeans you have cut down A LOT!  yes, i understand the withdrawal monster....itching for more. but as dean said, it does subside after a while. That little monster...when you resist feeding it...slowly withers up and dies... :) 

    Die, caffeine monster! heehee

    Feel free to come on everyday and let us know how it's going!! 

    I will try to keep my coffee to two cups each morning this week. That's my goal. 
  • @dominica I appreciate the positivity. Today started out rocky but after some yoga I feel a bit better. My hopes are that if I come back often enough to update then it'll be even more of a motivator to succeed and to use my new found support system!
  • @Coffeebeans hello there! good morning! yes, come on daily if you can. it does help!!  how are you doing today?
  • Hey, @Coffeebeans... What about drinking decaf? Is that an option for you? My wife used to drink quite a bit of caffeinated coffee but was able to slowly shift over to decaf. Just a thought. (And probably something you've already thought of!)

    Hope today is a great one for you!
  • I had to give up caffeine because the antidepressant in combination with caffeine can cause adverse side effects. I was drinking more and more of the stuff all the time! Just before quitting, I was drinking a full pot of coffee a day, consuming close to 1000 mgs per day! Doing some research; I discovered that caffeine actually decreases the blood flow to the brain; rather than what I thought, being that it increased the blood flow to the brain. Knowing this gives me more incentive to quit the substance. I want a healthy blood flow to the brain! I quit caffeine cold turkey 3 days ago. The headache was excruciating, but it has gone now.
  • WOW! I remember my ex-husband would get those headaches if he didn't have any caffeine! Mt. Dew, tea, coffee, you name it, he drank it ALL DAY LONG!

    Good for you @Ann1954! Cold Turkey! You did the research, believed what you felt to be real information, and acted on it in your own behalf! Now you'll be able to recognize the meds, vs the meds WITH caffeine! You're giving the meds the BEST chance to work for you! o:)
  • @Ann1954 hey there. congrats on giving up coffee! that's pretty impressive for sure!
  • @Ann1954... Does decaf satisfy you at all? Or do you think it's the caffeine in coffee that you really liked? Just curious. My wife used to drink coffee like a fiend. But a few years ago she switched to decaf and hasn't looked back. Although, every once in a while she'll get a little bit of regular coffee added in to her decaf. She's such a rebel!
  • Hi Dean, When I tried quitting caffeine the time before this one; I drank decaf coffee, but started increasing my daily intake of decaf! This time I am thinking that even though most of the caffeine has left my body, there are a few stubborn mgs left that remind me of how much I loved the stuff! Besides coffee, I was having 1 to 2 cups of of strong tea a day and Coca-Cola occasionally. Your wife is fortunate that she can drink decaf coffee and have the real stuff occasionally. I do believe that in my case, I am addicted to the caffeine. I also miss the taste and the aroma of coffee. Anyhow I will get by! I just finished a cup of rooibos tea and, there are other herbal teas I enjoy as well. I am drinking lots of water and doing so seems to reduce any cravings I may have.
    I hope you have a nice day Dean!
  • Hi Dominica! Well, this is day 4 of no caffeine and it is going ok, but I did wake up this morning craving coffee and it’s’ aroma. My terrible headache has gone, thank goodness!
    You have a nice day Dominica!
  • Since quitting caffeine, I haven’t been sleeping as well as I did when taking it! This doesn’t make sense to me at all. I am wondering if the new antidepressant I am on is causing me sleep problems. It is such a guessing game! I will still continue to carry on with being caffeine free, but oh how I miss coffee in the morning!!! I did have some Rooibos Tea but it just isn’t the same☹️!
  • I believe our sleep is affected ANYTIME we make substance changes in our bodies, @Ann1954! Just because caffeine is considered a stimulant, (I'm not sure it is...) AND we generally ingest it mornings, our bodies are going to react no matter what, if it is not present. Not sleeping well makes for a lack luster day..."dragging ass", if I may. You ARE paying such close attention as these changes occur and you seem to be giving each their own consideration. I encourage you to continue what you're doing and notice any positive effects as well. It must be hard. I feel for you!
    Continued prayers, however!
  • @Ann1954... I concur with @Goodtr8s. I think anytime we subject our bodies to changes in the stuff we put into it, it takes time to adjust. Stay on the path you're on and see how it goes. Hopefully you'll be able to sleep better soon.

    Sending you positive energy and sleepy vibes!
  • @DeanD i think half and half is a good option... i might have to try that!! @Ann1954 i hope you're having a great day!!
  • Well, I did sleep better last night. I am still craving a coffee or two or three or four in the morning; so I am thinking caffeine really is an addiction: no ifs and or buts!
    Have a nice day Dominica and Dean!
  • I hope your sleep continues to be better, @Ann1954! :)
  • @DeanD
    Good day Dean! I woke up several times last night, too many times actually; to check the time. I managed to fall right back to sleep though. I am feeling pretty good; so I,m thinking it was the right decision to say goodbye to caffeine. There is still a craving, but almost negligible. Sometimes the thought of having some coffee makes me sick.
  • @Ann1954 your post is encouraging me!! glad you were able to sleep better and that your cravings are almost gone!!! woohoo!

    i have cut 1 cup of coffee out each day...so i'm down to 2. that's a big deal for me! i will get down to 1 and keep it there for a while :) and maybe mix decaf with the caf.

    thanks for sharing your journey here with us... i know you have come for support, but you're helping others like me who want to quit caffeine! so thank you!
  • Happy to hear that you're feeling good without caffeine/coffee, @Ann1954. I think it'll be a great thing for you and your body!
  • Speaking of caffeine addiction, I've successful gone from 3 cups a day to 2 cups a day for over a week now...and I'm happy with that progress... :)
  • @Dominica
    Hi Dominica! Because you are doing it gradually, you might avoid the headache. I feel pretty good now and don’t really miss caffeine. I am treating myself to all sorts of herbal teas! I think I have been off of caffeine for a month. Now I am being a fanatic and won’t even have a small chocolate cookie. I think my attitude is all or nothing for lol.
    I hope you reach your goal!
  • Congrats on being caffeine-free for a month, @Ann1954. That's fabulous!!! B)
  • @Ann1954 one month free from caffeine is amazing!! yay for you!! herbal teas sound great... someday i might add them to my life!

    thanks for the inspiration!
  • I posted something earlier that was inaccurate. One of the reasons I quit caffeine is because the combination of the antidepressant and caffeine decreased the blood flow to the brain, but that is my brain. I think other people metabolize substances in their own individual ways. So, caffeine could increase the flow of blood to the brain or decrease it; depending on our total chemistry
  • @Ann1954 Hey there! Well thank you for clearing that up. I didn't know anything about that, I appreciate you taking the time to share that. I hope that you're doing well!
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