I’ve tried a few times to end my caffeine habit, which has been with me for about 40 years now. It’s easier to end a cocaine habit.
The first time around I thought I’d just quit buying coffee, and enjoy some of my favorite green tea instead, then taper that off. There’s a lot less caffeine in green tea, but my favorite stuff is very, very tasty, imported directly from China with no middleman by the good folks of Seven Cups Tea House down in Tucksen. But, alas, that was a no-go. I was drinking so much tea that I was amped all day and not sleeping well because of it, so I’d have to consume a large amount the next day to get through my work, and not sleep that night… It was far worse than I’d ever done to myself drinking coffee.
The second time around I’d been cold brewing my coffee, which extracts seemingly every last molecule of C8H10N4O2 out of the ground beans. So I diluted it by half which was still plenty strong, , and after about a month of that I started mixing in progressively more decaf. I was reducing the caffeine by ten percent every two weeks, a nice gradual decline intended to prevent misery… But I hit a wall. At one point I found myself polishing off my cold brew and then making more with my cute little single cup cone filter widget. It probably didn’t help that it was during that period when we were nursing my mother-in-law back to health, and things got damnably difficult once she got her ostensibly impossible clean bill of health. With no more need of us she set out to drive us away, and one of her avenues of attack was via the television, turning it up loud when we were trying to sleep. I needed the caffeine just to function.
I’d been thinking about it again lately, and two days ago I just said fuck it. I went all day Monday with no caffeine, and all day yesterday. Today the misery peaked, at least I hope it’s peaked, and it’s said to last for two to nine days. I’ve read recently that in the new headshrinker manual, the DSM-5, lists caffeine withdrawal as a psychiatric disorder. I think they’re fucking nuts. It’s a stone drag, but it’s not a psychiatric disorder.
I actually felt anxiety this morning before I arose, which was terribly unpleasant because I’ve never had anxiety before. Just now it feels like someone has inflated my head like a basketball. It’s pretty unpleasant. I’ve got muscle aches, and strange pains here and there that come and go. But from all I’ve read I’m doing pretty well, since I’ve got just a bit of pressure behind the eyes and in the forehead rather than a skull cracking headache, and I’ve not experienced nausea, let alone blown grits. So, yay.