30 July 2011

Caffeine Withdrawal, Day One

This is a difficult post to write.

I don't mean it's emotionally charged or brings bad news or anything, just that it's an extraordinary challenging task to actually compose it. My head feels as if it's been inexpertly filled with cavity wall insulation which someone's still trying to hammer in, and attempting to organise anything like a sentence in a form which my fingers can interpret as instructions for muscle-movement is a matter of considerable difficulty.

I'm giving up coffee, you see. This isn't the first time -- if I had to guess I'd say it's probably the fourth -- but it's likely to be the most difficult so far. Since R. was born I've been staving off the sleep deprivation by drinking somewhere in the region of ten cups a day, and the progressive desensitisation which accompanies caffeine addiction has left me all but incapable of writing, working, concentrating or, under certain circumstances and at certain times of day (afternoon meetings in warm rooms being a particular killer here), staying awake, even when I'm actually drinking the stuff.

Needless to say this is all very unsatisfactory, and I've decided I need to finally just give up drinking the demon's bile altogether. I'm very nearly 40, and health problems like this have stopped looking as amusing as they used to.

It's 21 hours since I last had a mug (and that wasn't very nice). Now, apart from the aforementioned inability to concentrate, I'm feeling headachy, irritable, lethargic and resentful of everything. Frustratingly, approximately every two minutes I think "Oh, hang on! I know what will make me feel better! I just need a -- Oh."

[Have you enjoyed reading about Phil's abject misery so far? Come back to this blog over the next few weeks for daily updates!]


  1. I feel your pain. Or whatever it is you're feeling at this point instead of pain. The pain will come eventually, I assure you. ("Stabbed in the temples by knives made out of bees," I believe I called it.)

  2. NotInventedHere7:08 p.m.

    When my Dad did this under orders from his doctor he actually had all the symptoms of going cold turkey from a major drug addiction. It lasted 2-3 days, and then he started to feel much, much better.

    Very best of luck. Get through your 2-3 days of withdrawal, and the future will be bright and rosy.

    As a relatively recent non-caffeine drinker myself, I salute and applaud your decision. You *can* do it! I recommend switching to something caffeine free, refreshing and tasty to give you something to distract you. Your choice of (for example) freshly squeezed orange juice, traditional cloudy lemonade (the more viciously lemony, the better, IMO), some sort of slutty fruity drink in can, your preferred flavour of J2O, etc. Or fresh fruit. That also works.

    Good luck!

  3. NotInventedHere10:12 a.m.

    ...and I forgot to mention mint infusion (tea bag or fresh mint), which is what keeps me going these days.

  4. I managed 24 hours once as part of some 'try new things' New Year regime.

  5. NIH -- Lots of practical advice there. Thank you. I've been drinking various fruit teas today, but intend to get some mind tomorrow.

  6. Ha. I meant to type "get some mint", but that works too.

  7. NotInventedHere9:25 a.m.

    Fruit teas always smell amazing, but fail to deliver on flavour, IMO. Good luck getting some mint / mind - both will be beneficial!



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