The story of how I got off caffeine
Once upon a time, I used to drink my fair share of caffeine, in the form of coffee. My morning used to start with a good-size bowl of cereal (I’ve got to have my breakfast!) followed swiftly by a cup of caffeinated coffee.
Then, apparently out of the blue, I got the usual symptoms of a water infection (urinary tract infection). The frequency, the burning, the back ache…
I took myself off to the doctor’s and was very surprised when my sample showed no infection. Literally a day later, I was in so much pain and feverish that I was on the verge of going to A&E because I couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment. However, I settled for the walk-in centre and lo and behold, I had an acute UTI.
Questions and answers
“How could that be?” I asked the nurse. One day I was clear and the next, I was close to going to A&E. They suggested that it could be triggered by fizzy drink. “I don’t ‘do’ fizzy drinks,” was my reply.
“Caffeine can irritate the lining of the bladder.”
That was enough for me. I was prepared to try anything to avoid this pain again and decided to go ‘cold turkey’ on the coffee.
“I don’t drink alcohol anymore, I don’t smoke, and now I don’t drink coffee; chocolate and candles it is then!” I decided.
Over the next 3 days, I had a headache and I was tired… beyond tired. I mean way more than the tiredness of having a 1 year old baby. Way beyond THAT tired…
But by day 4 of no caffeinated drinks, I was feeling like I’d broken through the barrier. My caffeine craving was easing and I was breaking the habit loop.
Because it’s a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ situation isn’t it? It’s a habit and mild form of addiction that you crave.
Fast forward to present day and I haven’t had a caffeinated drink since the day I felt pain from that UTI.
I’m not suggesting the UTI was caused by caffeine irritation alone but from that day on I never wanted to experience such pain again.
Ride the storm
Yes, there are days I really need a pick-me-up but I just ride through it.
And now I reach for a Redbush (Roobois) Tea or a herbal tea. Or simply a hot water instead.
I see people, especially young people, gulping down the energy drinks and my heart palpitates for them! Do they seriously know or understand what that stuff does and how strong it is?? Clearly not. Anyhow, that could well be another blogpost…
One reason for telling my non-caffeine story is to demonstrate willpower.
When I experienced pain like I did that day, I was prepared to avoid that level of pain at all costs.
Breaking the habit loop
Yes, I love chocolate and yes, that contains caffeine (and of course sugar) which has the same effect, but I don’t rely on chocolate in the morning. Chocolate is not part of a daily habit loop. And it’s not *quite* an addiction!
I do love the taste of coffee though and regularly need the comfort of a hot drink with a bitter taste… so I have de-caff coffee.
The purpose of this post is not to say ‘go me’ (well, maybe a little bit!) but to say that if you really put your mind to something, you can do it. You can break a habit, you can change a thought pattern. You can break through barriers to achieve something. You need grit, determination and your ‘why’!
I’ve recently started to drink Thyme tea and you can read the review soon. (Opt-in below or in my sidebar to make sure you don’t miss that one!)
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