I’m two days caffeine sober.
I had to do it.
The past four years I hadn’t touched any caffeine. Well, let me back up. Basically I didn’t drink any caffeine until I was thirty-one years old. Then I discovered energy drinks and the amazing high you get from them. Since I don’t drink or use drugs the highs I experience are limited. I can’t butt bong a beer, huff hobby glue, or pack bong loads. I can eat too much pizza and drink caffeine. That’s it for me.
At the time of my caffeine addiction my wife noticed that I had virtually no feelings except “looking intense.” I would want to wax philosophic about intellectual subjects, but could not muster up even the littlest amount of compassion or empathy. In short I was an emotional flatline. Oh, and I got in a lot of fights with her when I was jacked up. That’s no good, either.
So, I looked inside, realized I was a caffeine addict and quit.
Until one of the guys in the office introduced me to Jewish Coca Cola. It was during Passover and they’re not supposed to drink corn syrup, I think. Only real sugar. So, since I hadn’t had a Coke in over four years I decided to take a swig. Surely this wouldn’t become a problem…
Cut to two months later, me surrounded by empty energy drink cans in a daze passed out on the floor next to my bed.
Well, this isn’t entirely true as I always throw away trash as soon as I am finished. I’m not a monster – but I do love their drinks. Get it? Good one, D.J.!
There’s an expression that alcoholics and addicts say that is, “While you’re staying sober your addiction is outside doing pushups.” Meaning that the addiction never goes away and actually only gets stronger. That’s why abstinence is so important. Your addiction grows even though you’re not indulging.
I can state that this is entirely true for me. While I’ve never fallen off the wagon with alcohol, when I launched into energy drinks I started at three a day. That’s a shitload of B vitamins, ginseng, whatever L-carnitine is, and of course, caffeine. I paired back to two pretty quickly, as I had a hard time falling asleep. But as soon as 9am rolled around the carnival started again.
I have to admit that I was productive as hell at work. Stuff got done that was never supposed to even see the light of day. Plus, I was gacked to the nines throughout the entire workday.
After a few weeks, the buzz all but wore off. I guess my body adjusted and I no longer got the “high” I desired. Now I just needed it to wake up in the morning. This was bad, as I never needed stimulants before to get going. I’m already kind of a spaz as it is.
This past weekend, my old friend Lisa was flying in to stay with me. Lisa cares about me more than just about anyone and would have beat me over the head with a wooden spatula if she knew just how much I was drinking caffeine. She’s one of those friends. I had three choices:
- Come clean about my caffeine abuse.
- Hide it by stashing cans in my bedroom.
- Go cold turkey.
Option three made the most sense. The day after she arrived I woke up with acid in my mouth. That bile stomach stuff. I raced to the bathroom and vomited up some spinach from the night before. Now, it’s possible I ate something bad the previous dinner, but I believe it was withdrawal symptoms. My headache was so severe it lasted two days. I took at least 30 ibuprofen over that time, way more then recommended. Today, I took three, count ’em, three naps.
My body is readjusting. And while this story is kind of cute, it’s a little scary too. Thankfully this “relapse” was a benign one, and shooting caffeine isn’t going to wind you up on Intervention (actually, no addiction is going to wind you up there since it was just cancelled, but you get the idea), but it was still a wake up call. I need to keep this stuff in check. Moderation in all things, right? Well, I can’t moderate caffeine. Just not possible for me.
But I can work on my moderation of Peach Fresca. Do you know I wrote them and asked to be their official blogger sponsor and they never wrote back? Jerks!