It’s not the first time, but it doesn’t get easier

I gave up drinking coffee a few days ago. It has turned into a predictable hell. To have such bad withdrawal symptoms makes coffee seem as bad as illegal drugs.

I have a love-hate relationship with coffee. I like the taste and I like the buzz I get from it. It helps me write. I can drink it for weeks without any obvious ill effects. But after months or years, I start to feel increasingly tired. Lately, I’ve been feeling quite exhausted.

I’ve given up coffee in the past but then gone back to drinking it again. I follow a similar pattern.

I drink my first coffee after not drinking any for a few months and feel fantastic. It can’t be that bad I think to myself. But I take it easy just in case. Maybe one coffee every 2–3 days. After a few weeks, I drift into having coffee once a day.

In the past, I’ve then started drinking 2–3 a day before it started affecting me badly. Then I give up. And so the cycle repeats itself.

This time around I’ve only been drinking a maximum of one coffee a day. I also drink tea though. Maybe the tea is making the effects of coffee worse.

If I only drink tea, I can have 3–5 cups a day without any noticeable ill effects. I can even give up for a few days without any withdrawal symptoms. It’s only coffee that makes me feel like I’ve gone to hell when I give up.

The first 2–3 are the worst. I can’t think straight and can barely keep my eyes open. I normally find it impossible to sleep during the daytime, but during my first 2–3 days without coffee, I can sleep for hours in the afternoon.

From day 4 onwards I start feeling much better. Right now it’s day 4 for me. I feel a deep sense of calm and can write again. During the last 3 days, I couldn’t even force myself to write. The withdrawal symptoms were that bad. The way I feel right now is that I want to give up coffee forever. Maybe I will this time. Or maybe it will draw me back into its clutches in a few months.

To help me give up I usually look up the dangers of drinking coffee. There are many.

Dangers of Drinking Coffee

  • Insomnia (I sleep less well when drinking coffee)
  • Anxiety and nervousness (I feel anxious if I have 3–4 coffees in a day)
  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate (yes, I get that)
  • Incontinence (that should be enough to put anyone off drinking coffee)
  • Irregular heartbeats (that sound scary)
  • Chest pain (very scary)

DNA Results

My DNA results showed that I’m a slow metabolizer of caffeine. That means that my body takes longer to break down caffeine and remove it from my system. That’s not a good thing and explains why I don’t sleep very well if I have coffee too late in the day.

I’m over the worst and already feel like I have a lot more energy. I had a great sleep last night, which shows that it must be the coffee that’s usually causing me to sleep badly.

Have you had any issues from drinking coffee? Let me know in the comments.