Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Caffeine Free

I am happy to announce that I have been gradually decreasing the amount of sweet tea I drink and then, more sharply in the past few days, so that I can get off caffeine and back to drinking the tonic herbal tea I used to drink years ago. The day before yesterday, I had it once, about 5-7 swallows and yesterday, I had none!! YAY!

I have had some withdrawal symptoms. Here is a list I found on Yahoo...

Headache – (often described as being gradual in development and diffuse, and sometimes throbbing and severe)
Fatigue -- (e.g., fatigue, tiredness, lethargy, sluggishness)
Sleepiness/drowsiness -- (e.g., sleepy, drowsy, yawning)
Difficulty concentrating -- (e.g., muzzy)
Work difficulty -- (e.g., decreased motivation for tasks/work)
Irritability -- (e.g., irritable, cross, miserable, decreased well-being/contentedness)
Depression -- (e.g., depressed mood)
Anxiety -- (e.g., anxious, nervous)
Flu-like symptoms -- (e.g., nausea/vomiting, muscle aches/stiffness, hot and cold spells, heavy feelings in arms or legs)
Impairment in psychomotor, vigilance and cognitive performances

The ones I have experienced are fatigue, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, decreased motivation for tasks, some anxiety and some depressed mood and irritability.

I have been going to bed earlier and sleeping later, and much less interested in chores like reading email, cooking, reading work-related stuff, etc. And two mornings in a row, I woke up thinking, in surprise, "I feel kinda depressed!"

But I am also experiencing some family stress right now so it is the perfect time to get off caffeine. That's part of the reason I chose now to actually make the break when I'd been gradually lessening the amount I drank for a couple of weeks.

I figure if I'm going to feel stressed anyway, I won't really be able to tell the difference.

BUT ... I'm glad to know that some of the symptoms I've been having may have had more to do with not drinking tea than with my reaction to stress.

And I am SO proud of myself!

"Most people will not feel the effects of caffeine withdrawal three to four days after stopping caffeine"

That's a relief! Because this is Day Two and my partner will be here for a visit on Day Four. I'll be sure to pass this prediction on to her :).

And I think I'll make some apricot tea sometime today. Though that's one of the chores I'm not yet in the mood for because I have to clean the tea maker, measure it out, pour in the water...

Here's what some people may find interesting: I have rarely had more than an 8oz. glass of tea in one day, broken up over 3-4 meals. Even when I had a part-time job for which I guzzled tea for energy, I never drank more than half a 12oz. cup. But I have always been very sensitive to caffeine!

"As little as one cup of coffee can produce addiction." ~~article from

I've been looking up natural methods for managing withdrawal symptoms. One is to drink more water, which I was already doing. Another is to drink peppermint tea ~~ but I have peppermint oil and was using that, too.

Another article suggested taking a B vitamin. I had a bottle in my cabinet and noticed it the other day so I've been taking it for two days now. I think it has helped, as have the water and the peppermint.

Crystals and an aromatherapy blend have helped the tension and stress and jitteriness.

I've been craving sweets because of the decrease in sugar ~~it was sweet tea, after all~~ but I have a fruit blend I drink in the morning, which I've added to my afternoon and evening, and a couple of times have just given in and had something sweet. Like Sunday's strawberry milkshake from McD's.

Ah, yes! I remember it well.

So, anyway, off I go into the wild blue caffeine-free yonder!

Apricot tea, anyone?

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