Sunday, July 24, 2011

Withdrawal

Withdrawal is awful.  I am addicted to the most common drug in the world: Caffeine. (Hi.  My name is Noel.)

I am pursuing a healthier lifestyle and have known for a while that the diet cokes have got to go.  I have just been ignoring it!  I am embarrassed to admit that they are a big part of my life.  Sonic Happy Hour beckons, but more and more, I've found that I can't wait for 2:00 - I "need" it earlier.  I've been going to McDonald's for $1.00 cokes in the morning, or keeping cans or 2 liters at home.

The Route 44 doesn't last me the rest of the evening anymore either.  Some days I hit Happy Hour at 2 and go back before 4, because my coke is almost gone.  It almost doesn't dawn on me to drink anything else! In fact, I planned to quit on Friday night - I had enough money for a medium coke zero from Sonic on my way home from an event.  It was 9:45.  I told myself that was the last one, so I sipped slowly!

Saturday morning William and I took Gavin to the Chiropractor, then stopped at Sonic for breakfast.  We both got Rt. 44's - didn't even dawn on me until we got home!  But, I hated to waste it...  On my way to an appointment, I took it with me, remembering that this was my last one (so I sipped it slowly again!)

Then I took the kids out for lunch - in the flurry of activity (who wants what, no we're not getting kids meals, because I said so - what do you want...) I ordered myself a coke zero.  ARG

So today I did it!  I did not pour a coke zero for breakfast.  I did not buy one on my way to church.  I did not stop for one on my way home from church.  I turned down my son's offer to pour me one when I said I had a headache (he knows that when I don't have my caffeine, I get a headache).  At 1:20, I took the baby to bed with me - to nurse him and try to keep my headache mild.  No luck!

By 4:20 I was in full withdrawal.  I felt like an episode of CSI.  I was tempted to shrink back into a corner and be dramatic, but I refrained!  By 6 I asked William to look up the symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal.

Signs and symptoms. The most commonly reported withdrawal symptoms are listed below:
  • Headache – (often described as being gradual in development and diffuse, and sometimes throbbing and severe)
  • Fatigue -- (e.g., fatigue, tiredness, lethargy, sluggishness)
  • Sleepiness/drowsiness -- (e.g., sleepy, drowsy, yawning)
  • Difficulty concentrating -- (e.g., muzzy)
  • Work difficulty -- (e.g., decreased motivation for tasks/work)
  • Irritability -- (e.g., irritable, cross, miserable, decreased well-being/contentedness)
  • Depression -- (e.g., depressed mood)
  • Anxiety -- (e.g., anxious, nervous)
  • Flu-like symptoms -- (e.g., nausea/vomiting, muscle aches/stiffness, hot and cold spells, heavy feelings in arms or legs)
  • Impairment in psychomotor, vigilance and cognitive performances
I had no idea!  I spent the whole day between the bed and the bathroom.  I haven't been able to keep anything down!  I almost gave up several times, just wanting the pain and sickness to stop.  It's now 11:45.  I have been 24 hours without caffeine.  My head is throbbing, despite Advil and even a Hydrocodone!

At this point, there is no turning back.  The thought of going through another day like this is enough to make me never want to have caffeine again!  I know that it's in lots of things, and I'll probably still eat chocolate :)

So, this is a cautionary tale.  If you don't drink caffeine: don't start.  If you do drink caffeine: stop now! (but do it on a weekend or time where you can be indisposed!)

Don't stop - there's lots more good stuff...

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