Monday, July 30, 2007

Caffeine Withdrawal

The weekend before last, I drank a whole lot of caffeine, mostly in the form of nice delicious soft drinks. Oh, and iced tea. Lots and lots of iced tea!

I drank so much caffeine that I actually got sick from it twice, on two consecutive days. I had a terrible headache and felt fluttery, anxious, and nauseated for two or three hours each time. (Two days in a row? Obviously I don't learn.)

So I gave up caffeine last week. The last caffeine I had (not counting chocolate) was half a soda Wednesday at lunch. Prior to my weekend overdoses, I'd been drinking about 1 or 2 caffeinated beverages (soda or iced tea) most days, so it's not like I was having a crazy amount or anything.

Why did I give it up? Well, I hate the idea of being dependent on a drug, even one as mild as caffeine. I guess Nancy Reagan's attempt to make every child of my generation terrified of drugs worked on me. Also, I'm having surgery in a month, and it would be really nice to not go into that as a caffeine addict. I don't want to wake up feeling crappy from caffeine withdrawal on top of the rest of it. (Caffeine withdrawal is mild - nothing like, say, heroine withdrawal - but it still sucks.)

But it really sucks right now. I've had a headache on and off since Thursday. (It varies from about 3-7 hours per day, I think.) And I have the usual drowsiness and not-good-for-anything-ness.

The worst part is the "dysphoria," which I was almost relieved to hear is in fact a known symptom of caffeine withdrawal. I'm basically having kind of classical depression symptoms. I'm down and very pessimistic. Little problems make me think whole enterprises (like my relationship with Ed) are doomed. And this is really not like me.

I'm really hoping this goes away soon. Stupid caffeine.


rvman said...

I feel your pain.

Seriously, every time I don't have a DP before about noon, I feel your pain. The two times I went off caffeine for an extended period (tooth extraction for one, appendicitis for the other), I really felt your pain.

The dysphoria, though, I didn't get. Not that I would have noticed, what with having been dysthymic for 20 years.

Sally said...

I've been pleased recently seeing Caffeine Free Diet Coke in restaurants - although I would prefer to have the decaf iced tea option (swoon), this makes for a good caffeine-free but still not water option.

My memory of caffeine withdrawal, from the several times I've gone cold turkey, is mostly of irritability and headaches. I'm glad to have not experienced this recently. My every-9-weeks pain killer withdrawal is enough for me (much worse than the caffeine was, though I think it lasts somewhat less time).

Tam said...

I haven't seen CFDC in restaurants around here. Occasionally you find it at a fountain, maybe in a 7-Eleven or something, but considering how infrequently I get a drink from one, it's not much help.

So far so good today!

Jason Galbraith said...

I have not tried to go off caffeine since before I met you. I didn't drink coffee in those days, so all I had to give up was soda, but that still made my diet boring, as far as I was concerned. It pretty much sounds like more trouble than it's worth. Hope you, Mosch, and Ed are still willing to drink Scotch when I come see you next year.