Coffee Talk: Going through Withdrawel

by Nicole on November 4, 2011

Happy Friday everyone!

I thought I’d get Friday started explaining why I gave up coffee. I’ve been whining about what day it is since I last drank my favorite drink, but I haven’t really explained myself completely.

First I need to go back to why I gave up coffee. It WAS not because I had a revelation and was like OMG I need to stop drinking my all time favorite warm & cozy drink RIGHT NOW. So here’s the deal:

2 weeks ago I started feeling dizzy on Wednesday night, I just brushed it off as getting up too fast and went to bed. Over the next couple of days it was dizziness on and off, sticking to on by Sunday night. Monday it was at the worst and I was constantly dizzy. Between Wednesday and Monday I had gone to my doctor and the ENT. Both said I had vertigo and there was no sign of a virus or infection. My GP said it was from stress and I needed to relax and my ENT said I probably had water in my inner ear and it would go away.

Both of those explanations left me extremely frustrated. My doctor gave me anti-vert which helps with the symptoms, but it wasn’t going to fix why I actually had vertigo. I took the anti-vert once and it didn’t really seem to work so I never took it again. (It works for some people, not for others.)

After going to the chiropractor and talking about it with him, he agreed with my GP that it was stress related. After thinking about it, it made total sense. This started around when my kitchen and bathroom got ripped out. Every single room in my house is in disarray because the stuff that was in the kitchen, bathroom and guest room are displaced in other rooms. Then on top of house stress, I have new business stress. Usually it’s managable, but with everything it just put me over the edge.

Stress & anxiety are two things I usually have under control. Yes I do have anxiety, but who doesn’t? It usually would come for me at night, especially on Sunday before school. It would give me a pain in my stomach or side and keep me awake at night, but the pain went away once I quit teaching. Over the summer before I quit I had it and convinced myself I had appendicitis because of the stitch in my side…but nope stress. (Note: I always go to the doctor to make sure I’m okay and I usually get the same answer!)

Back to the story…so after I figured out I was under A LOT of stress. I did a couple of things….I realized I needed to let go of the disorder in my house. I did work some days at my mom’s house just so I could get out of the messy environment. I made a point to disconnect from my phone when I’m eating and when I’m in bed. There is no reason for me to be so attached to the damn iphone. No text, tweet or message is THAT urgent!  I also kept seeing the chiropractor to help me, which it did GREATLY.

Then…finally…my stress and anxiety was getting under control…but I noticed that every time I drank coffee, it made me dizzier. I was in deniel about it on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, once I figured it out. Finally Wednesday, I came to terms with it and decided to stop for a couple of days. Honestly, that day I stopped drinking coffee, I felt 40x better. So now it’s been 9 days and I am 99% better.

Vertigo feels like you are drunk and hungover all at the same time. Looking back on it, I feel like I was in a fog and sleepwalking through those days. It’s no fun feeling drunk and hungover when you haven’t had any fun times to go with it.

Giving up coffee was HARD. But quite honestly, I NEEDED a break from it. A reset if you will. I know my coffee drinking had gotten out of hand. I was having up to 3 or 4 cups a day sometimes. I just LOVE coffee. I kind of was waiting for an excuse to do this, but it ended up being a legit real reason to stop.

For the first 3 days all I could do was think about coffee and how bad I wanted it. The pounding headaches also reminded me of how much I wanted to drink it. I kind of felt like a drug addict, which is kind of scary but really, coffee is like a drug. I couldn’t believe how much effort it took to not get a cup of coffee…and in addition to all that, my family couldn’t have been more shocked I wasn’t drinking coffee.

Each day it got a little better, and now here I am at day 9. So when do I go back? Honestly I don’t know. I’m nervous that once I go back I’m going to go to 3 cups a day again because I’ll remember how much I love it. AND I’m nervous it will make me dizzy again. I know it probably won’t, but I need to stay conscious and aware that when I’m stressed out I need to STAY AWAY from coffee.

I’m glad I did this because I always wondered if I’d have a hard time not drinking coffee when the time came that I needed to not have caffeine, if ya know what I mean.

What I’ve been doing is drinking green tea. I’ve been having about 2 cups a day and what I realized is mostly, I want something warm. I feel much better drinking green tea. There are no side effects and I know I’m getting some benefits from it. I realize that if I do go back to drinking coffee, I can have 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of green tea and be happy.

Bottom line to all of this: stress wreaks havoc on your body. We don’t even realize what it can do. It has a LOT of underlying causes and the fact it caused me to have vertigo, really scares me. We need to really, really reduce stress in our life and sometimes that means letting go on control. More on stress another day…

If you are still reading, kudos to you for getting through that! I hope I gave you some insight to stress and coffee…or at least to my life! :)

I’m off to meet with some clients and hopefully get a manicure! Happy Friday!

What ways do you deal with stress?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 4, 2011 at 10:48 am

with both kids I cut back to one cup a day. with both kids I was borderline homicidal.
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Heather @ Better With Veggies November 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

I actually read something similar in Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Foods – about caffeine and it’s impact on your body. I’ve been thinking about it over the past week and it does make sense. I typically have a cup of espresso every morning, but have been skipping that this week. I don’t think I’ll remove it completely, but I think reducing is a positive step. I’m so glad that it has helped you with your vertigo, that really did sound awful! :(
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Jill Hanner November 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Glad you’re feeling better. I had cut out coffee for a year b/c of my stomach and have just recently gone back- having 1 1/2 cups a day! Can you try decaf? Otherwise- green tea or chai is yummy!


LizAshlee November 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Great post Nicole..I have about one-two cups of coffee per day but I am looking at cutting back even more d/t overall GI health. What is crazy is that I have noticed I get dizzy spells intermittently throughout the day…shorts bursts that quickly subside thank goodness, but it’s uncomfortable all the same…I am going to be more aware of this now! To relieve stress, I like to workout, do yoga, meditate, journal, etc. Thanks for sharing, happy Friday!!! :)
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Janet November 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Well, you know how I feel about coffee and stress.
I’ve detoxed off caffeine before. It sucks the first few days. But after your body adjusts… Golden.

Good luck detoxing. It feels good.

Now the stress. When you figure out how to get rid of it, I’m the first on line buying what yer sellin’!


Pure2raw twins November 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm

it is crazy to think about how stress can be the culprit for so many things. at least for us we know stress plays a huge role in some of our health issues which we are trying to address. we try to take deep breathes more when we feel anxiety or stress coming on, talk it out or change the subject and revisit that issue later. it is a work in progress for us!
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joanna November 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I can’t believe you’ve lasted this long!! You’re SO good!


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