Hi. My Name Is Zarina and I’m an Addict

I stopped cold turkey from my addiction yesterday. Within a few hours my head was pounding. I’m still having problems focussing and my body is starting to ache. I know I can solve all these detox side effects within a few minutes. In no time I could hold that comforting cup of coffee, smell the delicious aroma and lift that cloudy veil that now obscures my mind. This is my third attempt in about four years to give up coffee. In this blog post I will tell you why.

How do you know you’re a coffee addict?

Do you need that cup of coffee first thing in the morning to feel fully awake? Have you noticed that over time you’ve needed more coffee to reach that same effect? Do you get a headache and feel extremely foggy in your head when you don’t have your coffee at the usual time? Sounds like you’ve developed coffee dependence! Not all coffee drinkers develop this, but even just one cup a day could lead to this. Despite its many possible positive health effects, I don’t like the head-splitting headaches when I drink my one cup of the day an hour later than usual. I soon feel this deep pain from the bottom of my neck and also my jaw clenches up. I prefer to drink my beverages simply for pleasure rather than have to depend on them in order to feel normal, I decided to stop once again. My main reason to do it now is that hubby and I will be travelling around New Zealand soon and I’d rather start my mornings admiring the views rather than desperately trying to find my morning caffeine fix.

Do you also look like this in the morning? (Source photo: Shutterstock)

Going cold turkey: fever and aching body

Coffee withdrawal symptoms can start immediately from stopping the usual intake and is strongest between 20-50 hours. It takes two to three weeks for your body to reset and get the coffee addiction out of its system. When I first stopped drinking coffee, I felt extremely unwell for five days! I had really bad headaches, felt super drowsy and feverish: my body hurt and I had a temperature. I think these symptoms show that caffeine has quite an effect on the human body! While I laid in bed, feeling truly awful, I wondered how bad it must feel to go cold turkey from drugs! It’s not recommended to go complete cold turkey though. If you search online, you’ll find most websites advise to stop gradually. I’ve never done that however, I think I’m too impatient for that!

Why I failed twice already

The first time I stopped, I lasted for almost ten months, the longest gap so far. I can’t remember exactly when I started drinking coffee again, but I do remember thinking of coffee all day every day. I’m absolutely obsessed with coffee! Coffee is the number one hot drink in the Netherlands and is really part of Dutch culture. When we invite people over we do so by asking them: ‘Are you coming for coffee?’ Or if we ring someone up to say we’re coming over we ask: ‘Is the coffee ready?’ Like a cup of tea conjures up the image of comfort in the United Kingdom, so does coffee in the Netherlands. It lifts you up, quite literally because of the caffeine.

I’ve been drinking coffee for over 20 years now. I never understand the long list of options at takeaway places as I drink my coffee black – unfortunately not very Instagram-worthy. I don’t really want to stop, but I don’t want to get headaches or feel woozy and irritable because of it either. This time I’ll try my bestie’s advice and won’t cut out coffee entirely after my two-week detox. She was also coffee dependent and after going cold turkey now allows herself to have it a few times a week. This way she’s not obsessed with it anymore as she can still drink it but doesn’t experience the negative side-effects on non-coffee days. It’s only day 2 of my detox and I can’t stop thinking of coffee…

Have you stopped drinking coffee or are you considering it? I’d like to hear your reasons and how you managed to do without caffeine!
Zarina xx

*Source feature image: Shutterstock.