One Month of Caffeine Withdrawal

It is harder than you think.

Marjan Krebelj

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I really don’t like to be addicted. It creates all sorts of problems, and it makes you dependent on a particular substance or a thing (or a person?) and thus enslaved. So about a month ago, I decided to stop caffeine which was much more than guilty pleasure for most of my adult life.

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

My usual dose was about four dl of black tea first thing in the morning, followed by a second flush of the same leaves. Sometimes I would take a boost in the afternoon, which was the first thing I cut (already about three months ago).

Then I gradually lowered the amount of tea leaves and replaced them with decaffeinated substitutes (yes, they exist). At first, I thought I was fine, but that was only because I wasn’t paying attention.

Little did I know, I unleashed all my inner demons and deprived myself of the same tool I used to fight them off. I entered a severe emotional crisis during which I thought my life was literally coming to an end. All of my optimism was gone, doom and gloom were all that remained. I reflected on all of my “lost years” without any appreciation for the lessons they taught me or the good times I had. It was terrible.

But even on good days, I wasn’t myself. I could still work the necessary chores, but that was it. No drive to read, write, learn languages, or go the extra mile. I have a ton of unchecked notifications here on Medium, and it has been a long while since my last post. Just so you know.

My mind lost its edge. My thoughts were sluggish, and hard to focus. It was fine for housework, but anything more mental was simply a blur.

Around 15h each afternoon I hit a wall of fatigue. My eyes were tired, and the day was practically over for me. My limbs suddenly felt heavy, and my mind clouded. Usually, I was still able to pull myself together to finish supper and collect the laundry from the drier, but that was it. If I tried to read or learn French, I could barely make any progress at all.

After the evening meal, I was crushed. I fell on my couch at 8 PM, more tired than ever. I could hardly hold my eyes open. Social life, movies, books — all these things were out of the question.

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Marjan Krebelj

Once an architect, now a freelance photographer/filmmaker with passion for words.