Caffeine detox: my 15-day long journey

So, as I mentioned earlier, I've been off caffeine for a while. Here's a bit of context behind it:, then. I don't have any intention of stopping taking them. I used to be a heavy coffee drinker until my stomach started melting. Around 2011, I found out about caffeine pills and, since then, I've never wanted to go back. They make feel energetic, articulate, and decisive right out of bed. By the time the effect is going away, I feel tired and sleepy but, guess what, it's already bed time. 

However, whenever I searched for caffeine detox online, I met only people trying to quit for good. They have several reasons for this: they feel anxious, jittery, tired, headaches, heartaches, et cetera. I feel none of those, so I'll keep on keeping on.

I did have to stop for a while, however, because I think I bought snake oil pills. This, or my tolerance went so up that I wasn't feeling any of the effects anymore. The right thing to do was to cut it off for a few weeks, while I looked for more authentic pills online. They have already arrived and are packing a strong punch, it was definitely the right decision.

While I waited, I kept a journal of my general health and mood, just in case anyone else is trying to do the same:

Day 1

It took me 2 hours to get out of bed. Fortunately, no headaches, but a strong apathy that feels a lot like depression. Not the feeling of sadness, but the disease itself: I felt like doing nothing, pushing people away, staying home. I happened to have a caffeinated drink for lunch and the humor improvement was nearly instant, from apathy to euphoria in less than a minute. Sleeping this night was easy.

Day 2

I took the day off, since I imagined this one would be the hardest (plus, I had nothing urgent to do). I must have spent over 16 hours sleeping, it was relaxing. Still no headaches. Sleeping at night was harder because, well, I spent the entire day asleep.

Day 3

Again, it took me 2 hours to get out of bed. I nearly missed an interview. The main issue is that I felt extremely cold when I wake up and lacked a quick way to get my temperature up. I also didn't feel like my confident self at the interview, which likely cost me that job. I had my first headache, very mild, and took a pill that contained a tiny amount of caffeine. It was enough to bring back the euphoria, but not the focus. I tried to keep myself concentrated at the tasks I had at hand, but didn't get much done.

Day 4

I woke up before the alarm went off. Getting up wasn't an issue, but I was feeling very, very cold. My focus is quickly returning to normal levels, by now, but not my energy or self-confidence. I did get done a rather complex statistical analysis in just a day, but I had to sleep early because I was incrediibly tired. No headaches, though.

Day 5

Although it only took me half an hour to get up, this was the worst day by far. I felt jittery the whole morning, only improving after lunch, when the strongest migraine hit me hard. No pills had any effect whatsoever. I had to willpower through the day to get anything done. At night, I went out with a few friends, had a few sodas, and the pain suddenly went away. I went to bed at 2AM.

Day 6

Had to set the alarm for two hours later than usual. Getting out of bed still took me a full hour. I took an hour long, scorching hot shower that got me up to speed. Other than that, this day went on just as expected.

Day 7

Getting up for this saturday morning was just impossible. I still made to work in time to get everything I needed done in time for lunch. I got lucky that my coworkers, on a quite unexpected whim, decided to step up and share the work load. Therefore, I crossed every taks on my checklist, although it took me up to 1AM to do it. I had a couple drinks with some friends and forgot to ask mine without any ice, so, when I went to bed, I knew I'd have some bad news in the following day.

Day 8

I had very little, very poor sleep last night. Getting up in the morning was painful, but, luckily, predicting this would happen, I set the alarm to go off an hour before the usual. I managed to arrinve on time in all of my appointments and gather enough strength to keep up the appearances. My throat was hurt from the day before (I knew I should have skipped the ice), but I still went through 4 hours of Spanish classes, ininterrupted. Some students even cumplimented my "energy", although I felt dying on the inside. I went to bed as soon as I could.

Day 9

The weekend was so overbearing that I slept until 3PM. The migraines were back and with full speed ahead. Other than a lot of sleeping and painkillers, not much happened on this day.

Day 10

I actually woke up an hour before the alarm, fully rested. In fact, I didn't even think of caffeine all day long. I felt inspired to code so that's essentially what I did the whole day. My focus was laser-sharp until 7PM, when I suddenly got exhausted and crawled to my bed.

Day 11

This was an uneventful day. I didn't notice anything unusual.

Day 12

Also uneventful. I studied for at least 8 hours and my focus was okay. I ended sleeping early because my mind was exhausted.

Day 13

Waking up was as easy as always. I went out at night with a few friends and forgot to skip the ice on my drinks. This is worth mentioning because, on the following day...

Day 14

I had a sore throat, I could barely talk and had to save my voice as best as I could. It was the coldest day of the whole year (not that it means much in Rio), and I might have overestimated my immunological system's capabilities. I had to leave PURA early because I couldn't stand for long. Most of this day was devoted to resting.

Day 15

My throat was killing me, I barely left the bed. I had to take anti-inflamatory pills because it was impossible to bear. My new pills arrived, a lot earlier than I expected, but I decided to end the detox in the following day.

Day 16

So, this was supposed to be the grand finale. I woke up with a serious case of bronchitis, barely able to breathe. I woke up, took a caffeine pill, and took a 30-minute nap. When I got up, I felt so strong and hyperactive, I couldn't say in bed any longer. In fact, despite the morning being cold and dark, I was feeling so hot I was sweating. I don't know what happened to my bronchitis, but it seemed to have disappeared, because I was breathing exceptionally well. This was a fantastically productive day overall, and the caffeine crash came at 11PM, just in time to get some well-deserved rest.

So, this was it. I kind of hope I don't have to do it again this year, because it wasn't fun. Still, it was necessary for my productive self to keep on going strong. I don't plan on writing a journal for the caffeine effects because they are well documented already. It's not even considered a drug nowadays, it's just a food supplement. Also, I don't feel like advertising for free today. 

If anyone was wondering, that was how someone feels during caffeine abstinence. It's not as bad as some people make it out to be, and it's definitely manageable. The trick is knowing your limits and getting proper rest, but this can be said about almost everything in life. Stay hydrated, folks, and I'll see you again in the morning. See ya! 

Tags: caffeine 



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