Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weaning Myself (Again)

I originally began writing this post in October but life caught up with me and I did not wean myself down. I had an almost identical experience two weeks ago and decided enough was enough. Intrigued? Read on ...


Ever have a ritual so wonderful that your entire daily routine revolves around it? To miss it means that your day just isn't a good one. If something is off with the said ritual then the whole day is shot.

For me, it is my morning coffee. I have a certain brand I drink passed down from a long line of coffee drinkers. I have a certain cup I use - a big mug with a beautiful handle given to me by a dear friend. I use only whole milk and it makes my coffee a beautiful khaki color, coined "blah blah" by a friend of my sister's. I go from a groggy unintelligible being who stumbles to the coffee maker to someone who is still rumpled, but somewhat coherent after just the first sip of my beloved beverage.

Well this morning all of that changed. We were out of coffee. I knew we were low, but I thought that meant we had one more pound of coffee left. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. I pulled out some Stash Green and White Fusion and attempted to convince my body not to rebel. I began noticing a headache. It got increasingly worse as I noticed I was also shaking. And getting nauseated. Oh yeah. It was bad. My son noticed me looking a little funny and I wondered on to the porch hoping that the fresh air would help. At this point I was suspecting a virus and actually glad I had not drank any coffee as coffee coming up is just eww. (Just being real here.) I sat outside for a bit holding my stomach and my head and trying to rearrange my very busy schedule in my head. Then it hit me. My headache was awful by this time and I began suspecting withdrawals. I quickly googled coffee withdrawal symptoms and could not believe all the info.

From what I read it is much better to wean that go cold turkey. I have had to go cold turkey several times due to unexpected pregnancies. They were not this bad though. My first was planned so I was already drinking decaf.

Fast forward to today ... 
February 17
Two weeks ago on a Sunday I slept in. It felt so good! Two hours of extra sleep. But then I woke up. And I felt it. Ugh. I knew I was going to be a little off since I was two hours overdue from my daily coffee ritual. But I did not expect what happened.

I got up, groggily stammered to the kitchen and began making my coffee. I would have loved to be in the habit of making it the night before, set it to come on and be ready and waiting for me. Since I slept in on this particular morning it wouldn't have helped to have it set to go anyway. I sat on the couch and nursed my ever-growing headache knowing that my coffee would be ready in about 6 minutes - that is how bad the addiction was. I knew how long my coffeepot took to work! So it is finally it was ready and I grabbed my mug. Sitting there drinking on the couch I was concerned that I was feeling sick. Like nauseated kind of sick. Well, I will spare you the details but I assumed I had a virus and ran to the bathroom. My family started to stir and I went back to bed, shaking with chills and feeling downright gross. They got ready and went to church and I took a nap - two hours worth. Later I got up and sipped some tea, ate a few saltines and rested some more. Then it hit me and I realized that I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms again.

So that very minute I decided my coffee habit was not worth it. If that is what happens to me when I don't get my coffee fix, how bad is it for me on a daily basis. Now I am on week two of weaning.
My Weaning Plan
  • 2 of my big fat cups in the morning (down from a shared-with-my-husband 4-5 POTS a day) for 2-3 weeks
  • continue to research additional helps (including amino acids) 
  • find more teas that I enjoy that are caffeinated since most of the teas I enjoy are herbal. Eventually I plan to get completely off the caffeine but for now, I am weaning down slowly
  • Sub one cup of caffeinated tea per cup per week until only drinking tea
  • Once I am only drinking teas, sub one cup herbal tea per cup per week until only drinking herbal teas
So we will see. I'll update in another month of so and let you know how it is going.

Has anyone else weaned yourself off of coffee? What did you do different? 
Are you still coffee free??


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