Time to get sober–from caffeine

25 Jul

2:07 pm

Is it just me, or is caffeine (coffee, in particular) sort of like alcohol?  I mean, in the way I fixate on it, drink WAY too much of it, and regret both after the fact?

I know someone who is in recovery who drinks a TON of it, and I can’t help but wonder, is it because his mood is low (drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time leads to dopamine surges leads to, ultimately, the brain being unable to produce this feel-good hormone in regularly sufficient amounts–leaving you feeling depressed, tired, and unmotivated, to name a few), or if he just does EVERYTHING the way an addict does:  too much, constantly, in fear of the comedown/reality.

I mean, I know how much coffee he ingests (I serve him most mornings), and I’m guessing he is buzzed ALL the time, unless he’s sleeping.  I’m not THAT bad, but in my own way, I am.  Starting to feel that bad.

The thing is, I went for a decade not needing–and finally, not wanting–coffee!  I worked, and wrote, and got sober, all without caffeine.  Now?  I can’t–no, don’t want to–go through my work-a-day life without coffee.  And worse?  I FEAR not being able to work my coffee shop shift, let alone start freelancing (successfully, at least) again, without coffee.  I FEAR being utterly unable to write without coffee.  That thought in and of itself scares me.

I’ve got some reconfiguring to do.  It hasn’t been easy, stopping freelancing and working this (boring) job, and all the while, slowly but surely becoming addicted to what I see as a roadblock to my creativity.  Call me a purist, but I don’t LIKE having to rely on a buzz to be able to think with fire and write with passion.  In fact–and, call me a masochist–I think that in order to find true fire and passion, you have to do it sober.  And that means, totally sober.

Sigh.  Shaking my head at how black-and-white I sound.

Still.  I felt proud when I was off coffee.  Pure.  More me.  And, much less afraid.  And, ultimately, if I’m feeling all this, and having all this mental chatter about a cup of bean water?

Needless to say, I have to do what’s right for me–even if it sounds crazy to almost everyone else out there who has gotten sober (I don’t know ANYONE who doesn’t drink coffee after they’ve gotten sober).

I’m tired of it.  I’m going off caffeine because, well, I FEEL like I “do” it addictively.  Not saying it’s bad, or it’s bad to drink it the way I do; I just feel like I felt better, and more positive, and had MORE ideas and energy, without this drug in my system.

I’ll keep y’all posted!

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17 Responses to “Time to get sober–from caffeine”

  1. mishedup July 25, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

    i gave up coffee about 2years into sobriety, I don’t miss it (tho I do occasionally have some coffee favored ice cream!). I feel better and have had no indigestion, which used to plague me, since I quit.
    That said….easy with it. Taper off (it is a kind of drug!) so you don’t get headaches. I think it took me about 2 weeks and then I was done.
    I did it for health reasons, you for creative reasons. It can be done and, at least for me, was entirely worth it.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 25, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

      Thanks for this–great to know it can be done! I felt better when I quit it, too, and yes, tapering is a very good idea…

  2. JUST SOME WOMAN July 25, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    I don’t like coffee but I drink two Rock Star energy drinks a day. It used to be just one. It’s sugar and carb free so I feel like I’m not doing something REALLY bad. At least I won’t gain weight from it. But I know what you mean. I don’t get a “jolt” from it, but it’s like I HAVE to have the taste of it when I first wake up. Yep, it’s an addiction. But I tell myself it could be one helluva lot worse! LOL! Go slow …..you may get headaches to start with.

  3. msimperfectlyperfect July 25, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    I gave up caffeine about 2 1/2 years into recovery the first time. Yeah, the first time. I felt so much better. It is actually crazy at how much better I felt. You are definitely not alone.

  4. James July 25, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    I find that at least initially (day 56 today – did 373 days previously before deliberately falling off (bad idea) as described in a comment a couple DDG-blog-posts ago) I use caffeine essentially as a replacement-addiction and my intake goes way way up. I do the same thing when trying to lose weight. essentially caffeinated beverages are something that give me a replacement thrill/high/something. But yes, I find I have to be very careful and deliberately cut way back and/or quit otherwise I end up feeling like crap all the time and start drinking more and more coffee, tea, and diet coke, because it turns out dumping non-nutritional chemicals into yourself all day long is a bad idea even when it’s not booze – who knew? I’m just now getting to that cutting-back point and it’s not unlike the point you get to after being booze-sober for a couple of weeks – better sleep, clearer head, and just no need to shuffle like a zombie over to the magic black liquid machine every fricking morning. Good luck kicking the lesser beast – as you told me a few weeks ago, you’ve got this.

  5. ainsobriety July 25, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    Caffeine, well coffee, is actually really good for peri menopause.
    The benefits of it outweigh the downs.

    If you feel it is an addictive thing for you that’s obviously different. Is it the compulsiveness? Or is quitting coffee a way to control parts of your life?
    It’s worth considering…..

    Take care
    Anne

  6. ainsobriety July 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

    Just a comment…I personally enjoy coffee, it’s my go-to drink, after ginger ale. I don’t feel it alters my perception or consciousness in any way. If I really need a boost I go to red bull. Coffee is just delicious.

    Apparently in India P. Jois used to say no coffee no prana…. Especially for early morning practice.

  7. Katherine July 26, 2016 at 3:20 am #

    Thanks for writing this. I have always been a bit confused why caffeine and sugar were acceptable while other such drugs are not. Great post.

  8. tiredoftreadingwater July 26, 2016 at 5:29 am #

    Yup I’m drinking far too much coffee as well. I want to cut down to just one in the morning but I’m not making much progress with that plan.

  9. jenisthesoberist July 26, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    I don’t drink coffee very often, and go through long phases where I give it up entirely, as even a little bit makes me feel bad. I think I am just super sensitive to drugs in most forms, and they end up becoming addictive pretty quickly. I also find that I am not quite myself when I drink coffee. I feel a little off, a little too buzzy, a little bit more easily out of the present moment. I think it is different for everyone so you have to do what feels best for you. Tea doesn’t give me the same feeling, so I mainly stick to green tea and try to have some ginger tea with lemon once a day as well.

  10. noddysober July 26, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    I’ve been thinking of giving up caffeine. I sometimes drink way too much and can’t sleep. I feel for me it is a replacement for booze. I like going to coffee shops. 2 of the AA meetings I regularly attend are held in coffee shops!! It’s a tough decision. I hate buying tea in coffee shops as your paying a lot of money for hot water and a bag!
    Good luck with it. I’m sure you’ll feel better.

  11. CH August 1, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    I found caffeine was intertwined with the booze. The midday crash or insomnia creating a “need” for booze. I drink one cup of early grey or oolong now. Coffee smells good, but I don’t miss being addled on caffeine.

  12. BB August 10, 2016 at 2:24 am #

    I was sober for two years but felt I was spending as much energy being sober as I was on constantly drinking. I also felt that I was constantly alienated at social occasions and at 38 the thought of never ever drinking again seemed very daunting. I now have successfully used the Sinclair Method/Naltrexone to learn to drink without addiction by pharmacological extinction and feel that I have now found the perfect solution for me. I now, by choice, only drink 3-4 times a year but I am in full control as my brain is now repaired to its prior addiction state. To be sober is a great thing and is the perfect solution for many but I realised that addiction is a disease that can be cured with a pill just like any other disease and therefore you can be cured without the cravings or white knuckling by simply throwing some science at it. PS: I am in no way saying this is or should be the preferred way as I’m all for whatever works but I am all for people knowing all their options before choosing whatever path works for them. Harm reduction is the key here.

  13. EmM August 23, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    Drunky drunk – I love your style of writing. It’s so easy to completely relate to what you’re saying. So many other blogs sound like they were written for a textbook and have never had any real life experiences dealing with addiction. Kudos to you for recognizing that you want to live a life free of any addictive behaviors, even something as tame as coffee. How many of us have that willpower! I’m looking forward to see where your journey takes you and wish you the best of luck.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl August 25, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

      Thank you, EmM! I am glad you can relate and like reading my rantings and ramblings…haha. -DDG

  14. Chris September 4, 2016 at 1:59 am #

    I recommend stopping coffee. I’m off coffee (for many months, possibly over a year now, I’ve lost count) and booze(just a couple of weeks so far). My “social” drinking can often turn into a binge. I don’t want any more hangovers. Even once a month is too many. Tired of feeling tired and sick.

    I quit cold turkey style and apart from a couple of days of intense headaches and fatigue and a month of pains in my legs, it was a breeze. No, it was quite tough, but it felt good. Each day I could feel my energy returning and my sleep deepening.

    I’ve given up both booze and caffeine before, but not at the same time.My sleep is now almost indescribably beautiful. For that alone it’s worth it. I have an almost endless supply of energy through the day. I say “almost” because around 10 pm, I’m ready to sink into a delicious slumber again.

    I don’t know if it’s coincidence, but the ideas for the book I’ve always been meaning to write are now flowing freely. The plot now sends an emotional shiver down my spine. I was actually physically shaking with excitement when I finished the outline. Lots more to do, but for the first time it seems achievable.

    Reading “Caffeine Blues” might help you. I read the first chapter and quit. The book pulls together years of research into the effects of our coffee consumption on our health and the health of our planet.

    Good luck. I wish you some very sweet dreams.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl September 4, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

      Wonderful comment–I have to think more about this and will definitely check out that book. Thank you…

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