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 (as in my case) could already 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. Since 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.

11 thoughts on “Hi. My Name Is Zarina and I’m an Addict

  1. Pingback: The Dutch Girl Tales #19: Vandaag heb ik even geen zin – Dutch Girl in London

  2. Sami

    Good luck Zarina!! I am a one-cup/day kinda guy but not to wake me up, but rather for a totally different reason…

    1. Dutch Girl in London

      Oe dat klinkt heel spannend! 😉 Waar haal je dat? Ik houd alleen niet van melk in de koffie (kan ook niet goed tegen koeienmelk) dus deze combi klinkt niet zo heel aantrekkelijk, maar ik ben wel erg benieuwd nu!

      1. kareninlondonblog

        Besteld via Just ingredients. Is beetrootpowder. Theelepel oplossen in kokend water, (soja/kokos/amandel?) melk opschuimen en erbij doen. T is even wennen maar ik vind t lekker.

  3. Esther van den Bergh

    Well, that was not supposed to be anonymous! I do not know what went wrong while posting it…. I will send you the link through Messenger or e-mail, whichever you prefer.

  4. Anonymous

    Dear Zarina, I used to drink coffee regularly but never considered myself a real addict.There were years I drank coffee through the whole day, the last few years just one or two cups in the morning. Last october when I fell ill with the flue my taste changed a lot and I did not even like coffee anymore at that moment, it made me sick. Up till now I still do not drink coffee in the morning. Just sometimes when I go out and visit a restaurant or such. Then I can really enjoy it, then it is really nice again to have a cup.
    In my opinion, it is wiser to slowly diminish your intake of coffee, for the way you do it now, will only make that you focus more on wanting coffee which is not something you need at the moment. I myself have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms many years ago when using harddrugs and I do not think you can actually compare these but it is something similar, that is for sure. Better do it slow, the body can take this much better, you will not feel that bad and this makes it easier on your mind.
    It would be okay to have just one cup of coffee a day, I think, as long as you do not really NEED it.

    Nice to hear that you and Robin are visiting New Zealand this year! My father’s half-sister lives there, she moved there with her husband in the early fifties. I never met her unfortunately. Last year my brother in law and his wife (chosen family) went there for 6 weeks. He plotted the whole trip himself, they slept in small bed & breakfastplaces and pensions. They rented a car and visitied very beautiful places. It is a wonderful and amazing place.They wrote a blog, a post every day with great pictures and stories about the things they saw during their trip. I can ask if I can share the link to this blog with you?
    I wish you a lot of strength. Do not be too hard on yourself, that will only backfire….
    Lots of love xx

    1. Dutch Girl in London

      Thank you very much for sharing your story and your advice dear ‘Someone’ 🙂
      I would love to have a look on the blog of your brother-in-law and his wife! Please do share the link with me.
      Thank you! xx

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