If you have never quit caffeine I tell you this story to encourage you and to help you laugh about it. You are not alone. No matter what it's like it only lasts a few days and then it's over. You can do it. :)
I've never been a coffee drinker, so Diet Coke was my caffeine of choice.
It was a slippery slope. A few sips of Diet Coke in the morning. I deserved it after all, since the kids kept me up all night. The caffeine made me nicer in the morning. I had to drink it... for everyone's sake.
Soon it was one whole can in the morning. Then it was a couple of cans a day. But only two, I'm not an addict or anything, yeesh!
Next thing you know I fancy I'm doing bicep exercise as I buy Diet Coke cans by the case. Lifting them in and out of my grocery cart and mini-van has got to count for something! I'm still doing some good for my body, right?! It's only a phase, I tell myself. I can quit anytime.
I had backaches in the morning. I was overweight. I was getting headaches. But since I felt so crappy the Diet Coke was the only thing keeping me going. That and the sugar and grains I was eating.
Oh, it was a vicious, vicious cycle, I see that now.
One day my husband emailed me an article on the dangers of diet soda. At the time, any health nudge from him got my hackles raised. He was in shape and he pissed me off, looking all good and feeling so great while I was suffering with the burdens of motherhood and life.
But for the first time ever, he gave me the doe eyes.
He never, ever gives anyone the doe eyes. I didn't even know he had them. "I'm worried about you", he said softly. I blinked as the world spun around me, coalescing into his blue eyes, mysteriously awash with compassion.
Crap. My resistance caved and I decided to quit.
Some people can wean themselves off of things. I am not one of those people. What a torment it is to dole things out to myself in ever decreasing portions. I feel like Oliver Twist walking around all day with my wooden bowl and spoon. "Please, Sir, I want some more." No, that was a sure way to fail. I was never able to resist my own doe-eyes when it came to food before I went Paleo. Bink, blink. Come on, you deserve it...
Three Days of Suck
Do not talk to me. Do not even look at me. And do not cheer me on. This sucks and I don't want to talk about it. No, I will not take ibuprofen to ease the thud of the hammers hitting my head because I want to remember every-darn-ache so that I never, ever, ever do this to myself again. If it hurts so bad to get off this stuff, it must hurt my body so bad to be on it. Now go away.
It was day three of no Diet Coke. Late evening. I was sweating. Claw marks etched my face from my own self-inflicted terror. I was mad. Mad with desire for relief from my pain.
My eyes kept twitching towards the garage where, in the extra fridge, I had kept those cans of Diet Coke "just for guests". Hmm, right. Suddenly, in 3D animation graphics worthy of an Oscar, my eyes popped out of my head, I shook my fists into the camera and yelled, "I can't take it anymore!" I flung open the door to the garage to put an end to my torment only to see....
....the garage was flooded.
I had been doing laundry. One of the kid's socks had fallen out of the laundry basket into the sink. The drain plugged and the washing machine water overflowed everywhere.
There is silence.
The imaginary camera pans the watery garage floor before it settles on a close up of the woman's face. Her expression is deadly calm, but only for a moment.
"Children, leave your mother be", my husband whispered in a hushed voice as he led the wee, innocent ones away from dangerous creature swearing in the garage. He closed the door behind me with a soft click.
The garage survived. The family survived. And I, also, survived. By the time I had taken my fury out on the mess, mopped up the floor and dragged out the area rug to dry I had broken the last hold Diet Coke had over me. I never went into that fridge again, and I was, once and for all, free.
To this day I bless that little sock with all my heart.
"But how do you live without caffeine?"
I don't need it. Not one bit. The caffeine helps you when you are tired. Tired from eating grains and sugar that mess with your body. Tired from being anxious, emotional or depressed from eating grains and sugar that mess with your body. Tired from not sleeping well because grains and sugar mess with your body.
Once I went Paleo and stopped eating grains and sugar I wasn't tired. And once I wasn't tired I didn't need caffeine. (And once we got rid of gluten and grains and sugar and started Earthing, the kids went to bed easily and slept well, so they were no longer making me tired, either.)
Today I am still caffeine-free. I wake up refreshed and alert. I have no backaches anymore. And I always remember to check the sink for socks before I start a load of laundry. Bonus!
Perhaps you are siting there thinking you should not get off Diet Coke or go caffeine-free because this story is horrifying. I won't say anything to convince you it'll be good for you. Maybe even change your life. Free you from the destruction it is causing to your body. Nope, I won't. I won't say one word. I don't have to.
I'll just give you the doe eyes. ;)
I like the easy Paleo stuff.