I have a confession.
It’s been 8 days since I had coffee. I quit it, cold turkey.
I’ve always been a huge coffee addict. Some days I’ve had 3 cups. Our Keurig was broken once, and I went to Starbucks every day to pay $2 a cup. I was one of those people who couldn’t speak to anyone at work before I filled my mug with coffee.
When I was driving back from New York, I knew I would need caffeine to help me stay awake. I don’t care who you are – 15 hours on the road without staying over anywhere is a long time, and there’s no way you can sleep enough the night before. I only got about 2 hours of sleep the night before I left, so that explains why I was so drained. By the time I got to Virginia (around 5 hours into my trip) I had already had a cup of coffee, a 5 hour energy, a soda, and was working on my 2nd cup of coffee. I was falling asleep at the wheel, so the second I hit Virginia I pulled into a rest stop to sleep. I know – a young girl alone sleeping at a rest stop isn’t ideal, but neither is sleeping behind the wheel. I wrapped myself in my blanket and figured I could close my eyes for a half hour or so.
But I couldn’t sleep. My heart was pounding, and I couldn’t get myself to calm down. All the caffeine was hitting my system, but I was so exhausted that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. It was extremely scary, and I still had 9 hours to drive. I slept for a little, and made it back down to Florida with the help of another 4 cups of coffee.
That was Friday. On Saturday when I woke up, I was so disgusted by the thought of coffee that I didn’t have a cup. Sunday was the same. I felt a little bit better without it, so I decided to test the waters and not have a cup on Monday at work. If you are as addicted to caffeine as I was, you know just how difficult this is to do without going insane. I also started having withdrawal symptoms, and I was having nausea and a terrible headache.
But I lasted the day, so I decided to see how long I could go. I made it through Tuesday. Then Wednesday. By the time Thursday came around, I didn’t even want it.
The surprising thing isn’t that I haven’t had coffee. What’s surprising is how that lack of coffee is affecting everything else in my body. I haven’t had a random sugar crash in a while, and I feel like I have more energy. I’m also able to sleep a lot better, even though I never had coffee after 1 PM. The biggest surprise? I have absolutely no desire to eat sugar. I have a lethal sweet tooth, and I’ve had a really bad problem with binging on things like candy, cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. I used to crave it at all times, and when I was bored it was the first thing I turned to.
Since I stopped drinking coffee, I have had 2 chickpea cookies my mom made, 2 Hershey kisses, and 2 Quest protein bars (brownie flavored). Other than these things, I’ve eaten cleaner than I have in months. Maybe without the crash from caffeine, my body doesn’t need to rebound with more fast energy.
I’m hopeful that I’ve kicked my caffeine addiction for good. Who knows what other benefits I’ll see.
Have you ever kicked your coffee addiction? Was it difficult? Did you notice any changes to your health as a result?