Kicking Caffeine to the Curb

Hi, my name is (insert-name-here), and I’m an addict.

My vice?  That sweet, sweet drug called caffeine.

Most of the time, I’m a casual user.  A little Kickstart here or there on a long work trip with an early wake up call, or a day at home that promises chores galore followed by a late night of volunteering.  I thought it was no big deal.  A little here, a little there… no sweat.

Until I started getting the headaches.  I’d have a little too much here, one too many sodas there.  If I didn’t get a little fix, my brain would pound on the inside of my skill and beg for the drug it missed.

So here we are, back on the roller coaster of withdrawal.  Fun, isn’t it?  Makes me want to puke rainbows and unicorns.  This time, my worse addiction yet, I opted for a more systematic approach.  No cold turkey (don’t do it!), no one day and done of weening off.  I called in the big guns, and here’s how it went: (disclaimer: I still got small headaches, but I’m fairly certain they were weather migraines and not caffeine withdrawals)

Day 1: drink the same volume/percentage as regular (my example will be a 12oz Kickstart)

Day 2: Same (12 oz)

Day 3: Same (12 oz)

Day 4: 75% (8 oz)

Day 5: 75% (8 oz)

Day 6: 50% (6 oz)

Day 7: 50% (6 oz)

Day 8: 50% (6 oz)

Day 9: 25% (3 oz)

Day 10: 25% (3 oz)

Done.  Even though I gave myself 10 days to kick the habit, it wasn’t easy.  I’d get home from a long day at work and still face more work plus house chores plus cooking.  I’d think about a late day pick-me-up to get me through the evening.  My brain would grab that train of thought and urge for it.  I’d suddenly feel sluggish, realizing the reduction of caffeine for the first time.  But I resisted.  It was hard, but I resisted.  And I’m thankful for it.  I’m no longer a slave to the expensive energy drinks that I’m sure are rotting my body away from the inside out.  I don’t have to force myself to drink the carbonated beverages that don’t even taste good to me anymore.  Some days, I’m still a little sluggish.  But at least my body feels better.

Now I just need to work on sleep.  And stress.


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