She wants to give up caffeine.

A friend put on FB that she was thinking of giving up caffeine.  When I read it, my PTSD came back in full force, remembering the two weeks it took me to get off caffeine.

In the early 90’s, I was the typical law student, drinking coffee all day – and did the same thing once I started practicing.  Then, about 12 years ago, my law partner convinced me to run a marathon.  He said it would be easy.  You just start out running 3 miles, then 6 and before you know it you are running 26.2 (yea, right – topic for a whole nother blog!).  I gotta tell you that the training was not that difficult.  The hard part was his demand two months into the training that I ive up caffeine before the race.  “What?,” I said?  “Give up coffee?   Here, just take my next five paychecks instead … I’m not giving up my coffee for a race!”

I made the mistake of not tapering and just went off the sauce cold turkey!  Thus, I had a headache for two weeks and if I recall correctly, I had a lot more friends before quitting! But, let me tell you the results of this experiment:

Less trips to the bathroom: If you think I have to go a lot now, you should have seen me back then.  I was worse than a 90-year-old man (I said man intentionally!)

Better sleep:  Yes, I have the menopause sleep thing going now but when I went off caffeine some 12 years ago, my sleeping was so much better and because of that, I was a nicer person (I think).

More energy:  I realize that I generally have an abnormal amount of energy but back then, the coffee made me feel sluggish with an occasional coffee buzz. I actually think I was brain-impaired half the day (and only slightly awake the other half!).

No siestas: I used to have those afternoon comas. You know the ones … the “crash” that requires a strong cup of coffee around 2:30?  Now, if I’m feeling tired (usually from getting up and running at 5:30 a.m.!), I just go walk around a bit and I’m fine.

Less headaches:  I was totally addicted to caffeine, and that if I didn’t get my morning cup, a nasty headache would set in around 10 a.m. I haven’t had one caffeine headache since I made the change.

Do I miss the coffee? H*** yes.  Now drink decaf, if I really want the flavor (to go with a piece of flourless chocolate cake).  The truth is, giving up caffeine can improve your productivity and your attitude, among other things.

I know people who drink coffee all day and well into the evening and have no problems whatsoever.  Yet, I think it’s a worthwhile experiment.  May I suggest that you try it after the holidays — I do think you’ll want to end up with the same number of relatives that you started with (if you know what I mean!).

Enjoy your weekend!

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