Coffee is one of those ubiquitous things. Nowadays, everyone is running around with a mug full of ‘joe.’ This goes for everything from sugared drinks to high-end lattes to basic coffee in a mug. Coffee is everywhere. People who struggle with anxiety are often told to stop drinking caffeine, but it is hard when caffeine is also a drug. Coffee drinking can, in itself, lead to anxiety. It is more than a ‘coffee fix.’ People often find themselves substituting addiction to coffee for something else. Find out what happens in your brain and body when you quit drinking coffee for a week.
Today you might not feel any different. Caffeine is still in your system and is helping you feel good, but you might start to notice as the day wears on you feel more sluggish and not as ‘perky,’ as you do with that cup of coffee. The first day may not seem interesting. It may seem, in fact, less interesting. It can be downright boring without coffee for some people, especially now they have to find something to do with their hands.
Coming off caffeine and going through withdrawal is no joke. It can cause sluggish feelings, lack of focus, nausea, stomach trouble, and massive headaches. Some people get migraines from quitting caffeine. Depending on how much you drank, it can take a while for it to leave the system fully and rebound to being used to stasis without anything in the body. Feeling better is on the horizon, just not yet.
By now, you may be wondering what is going on because you will feel not very good for a time. Don’t give in and cheat at all. Don’t try to drink a little sip because any little bit will give you a ‘zip’ and you might go back to square one again. It is worth pursuing rest, quiet, and distraction to keep you from going back to coffee again.
In the middle of the 7 day period, you might start to question your life choices. You might wonder why you even bothered trying. Call a sponsor, call a friend, call your mother and ask for a lifeline. Don’t let the physical and emotional highs and lows keep you from your goal. Getting caffeine out of the system takes time. If you are in recovery, you may be familiar with going through withdrawal, but it does not make it any easier. Stay hydrated, drink water, and try to rest as much as possible. Exercise by walking outside and doing yoga.
Going into the final stretch, you will be on the upswing. You might still be triggered by the sounds and smells of coffee. Coffee houses are everywhere, but try to avoid them for now. Don’t go into them for any reason until you feel strong enough to go in without drinking coffee. Dependence on coffee can energize you but also take away your quality of sleep and keep your body from regulating itself. You will have more energy than before if you fully quit.
Give yourself a pat on the back and maybe a little reward for quitting. Keep hitting those goals of not drinking too much caffeine. Even when life is stressful, learn to enjoy the space and quiet of your mind without substances. Remind yourself it is for your health and long-term recovery to stay caffeine-free. Seek alternatives like water, fruit smoothies, and other drinks that give you a better feeling while helping you stay clean and healthy.
Alta Loma helps you find true peace and serenity in the face of whatever reality you are facing. We are here to help you navigate the new reality ahead in recovery. Call us to get started: 866-457-3843.