Friday, February 28, 2020

How I Kicked My Caffeine Addiction

I have been drinking caffeine since I was in the womb. I have vivid memories of coming home from half-day kindergarten and sitting with my mom while she folded laundry and watched Days of Our Lives and I would steal sips of her Diet Pepsi.

Fast forward to May of 2018. I knew I had an addiction but I just didn't realize to what extent. I knew that if I didn't have caffeine by about 2 pm I had a raging headache. RAGING. And I had joked about going off of caffeine for what seemed like forever but never thought about doing it seriously. But one day after searching the couch cushions, the car, and my purse for spare change so I could get a 44 oz fountain Diet Pepsi at the gas station by my work without Parker knowing because I was using cash and not caring if stopping to get pop would make me a couple minutes late to work, I knew something needed to change. And I know that this sounds so silly but I was hiding it from my husband and showing up a few minutes late to work all for a stupid drink and that wasn't like me.

I originally wanted to go a week without caffeine just to see if I could do it. And when I survived a week I decided to try for two weeks, and then a month, and two months, and then I thought, "I've gone this long. I may as well go a year without caffeine." And so on May 2, 2019, I celebrated one full year of no caffeinated beverages!

Me in my beloved Pepsi shirt. Gosh, I love it.

So if you're like me and find yourself addicted to caffeine, here are some tips and tricks that helped me kick this addiction to the curb:

1. Recognize that you have a problem and be inspired to change!

I've tried to kick this habit before but I didn't really care enough. I truly think that it was when I realized I was hiding things from Parker that I felt guilty and the reality of the situation actually dawned on me and that made me want to change for real this time. I simply didn't want to be an addict anymore.

2. Be prepared for terrible headaches. 

Withdrawl headaches are real and they're THE WORST! The headaches were on and off for the first two weeks so I had ibuprofen on hand and allowed myself to take it when I felt like it was necessary during those two weeks. After that, I've hardly had any headaches since which I feel is totally related to not drinking caffeine!

3. If you crave the carbonation, let yourself to have caffeine-free pop.

I had caffeine-free Diet Pepsi on hand all year long. My favorite way to drink pop is from a fountain machine and caffeine-free Diet Pepsi is SO HARD TO FIND ON FOUNTAIN. It was super frustrating. But caffeine-free Diet Coke isn't as difficult to find - anywhere that has the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines (Wendy's & Five Guys for example) have caffeine-free options and I found that most Speedway gas stations have caffeine-free Diet Coke which works as a sub when in need. And if you buy 5 you get 1 free (or something like that....they don't have Speedway in freaking Boston so it's been a while lol)!

Once an addict, always an addict. I've been very wary of falling back into my caffeinated ways so I try not to have caffeine as often although I have had it since May 2, 2019. We have it in our home and I can easily resist it so I'm quite proud of myself.

Also, who thinks I need this? If our apartment wasn't so blasted small I would have bought it when I saw it but there is literally nowhere for it and we don't have a use for it at the moment. But someday, when I own a house and have space for it, you bet your bottom dollar I will own this bad boy. SO CUTE!

Again, as silly as this sounds, if you have a caffeine addiction and actually want to break your habit, I'm happy to support you in any way that I can! It's not fun to feel like you HAVE to have something to function and the feeling of pride knowing that I beat it is quite liberating! If you want to do it, you totally should. I believe in you and I'm cheering you on!

xoxo, Chelan

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