20 January 2014

WHEN BAD HABITS GO BAD

Image via Coffee Moments

Its time for me to face up to the fact that I'm addicted. Yes, caffeine is my drug of choice. Initially, I used that one aromatic cup a day as something to look forward to, a treat half way through my waking hours. A well done to me for surviving the daily challenge of keeping my kid alive.

In those early weeks of motherhood I hardly got to sip this golden nectar without it being reheated in the microwave at least seven times, before accepting defeat to the small purple screaming face watching on. Then I discovered the cafe culture that's quickly adopted by new mamas. A break away from the four walls of home, the sympathetic ear of another mum looking just as bad as you. I found it easier to enjoy my coffee – although still speedily drank – at least there were other people to hold your kid or entertain him. Damn, if I was lucky then the walk over would send him into a deep slumber.

Then F grew older and new challenges arrived, between the age of 11 months and 30 months old we had sleep issues, or the lack of sleep to be exact. This wasn't constant, but it was enough to keep you on edge and so I turned to coffee for a different reason, in the hopes it would give me a boost. Those afternoon coffee breaks with friends turned into 9am pick me ups, a double shot single latte downed in one.

I hadn't realised exactly how much coffee I had been drinking until the weekend. It was a glorious sun filled winters day and we had decided to take F out on his bike at Ashton Court. Imagine my relief to discover the little coffee hut beside the car park, it was my first port of call. So while F patiently circled me I waited in the longest queue ever for that quick cup of joe. Feeling happier, we walked in the sun as I quickly finished my coffee and immediately I felt like I needed more. Then I remembered that this had happened during the week and I had ended up ordering two, both drank one after the other. Alarm bells should have ringing right there.

Today I woke up with a headache. I didn't feel particularly tired but still it was there. We headed out and I had my first coffee of the day. I felt myself relax, my shoulders drop and my headache lift, but a few hours later I became irritable, my headache had returned and I felt a strange tiredness set in. It seems that these short years of motherhood have created a caffeine monster and now the withdrawal symptoms are kicking in hard and fast. I am facing the reality that I need to cut back, right back.

I can start tomorrow right?



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46 comments

  1. I hear you! I feel the same, we went for a walk a few weeks and I hadn't drank a cup of coffee and I just felt miserable! As soon as I got myself a cup I felt instantly better. It's always first port of call when meeting with friends too. Like you we've had a terrible time with sleep and I think I should probably admit I am fully addicted to caffeine! On the plus side..it does get me out the house! x

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    1. You're right it definitely lifts my mood and does get me out the house, I think I need to try and cut down rather than complete cut off x

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  2. Eek, it certainly sounds like caffeine withdrawal. Could you try and cut down by just one cup daily a week at a time? Good luck x

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    1. I know :( I've had to go back to my usual amount but I'm going to try and cut down slowly x

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  3. I think I'm quite similar to this too!!

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    1. It's good to know that someone else is in the same boat x

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  4. I'm the same with tea - kicked the coffee habit ten years ago & still love the smell of it :)

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    1. Well done for kicking the coffee habit! I'm starting to cut down ever so slowly x

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  5. Yikes that sounds a little scary! I'm quite glad I managed to cut out caffeine long before my sleep deprived mother body depended on it, even though I'm sure my addiction to cake and biscuits was tad dependent!

    In other news we were at Ashton Court yesterday too, we must have missed each other! It was glorious though wasn't it? Also we have been thinking of getting Theo a second hand bike for his birthday and was wondering what type F has, and how he finds it?

    x

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    1. Tell me about it! I am totally dependent on it and do need to try and balance my drinks out a little more as it can't be that good for me. Shame we missed you in Ashton Court. F has a Scoot bike and he LOVES it! x

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  6. I cut caffine out about 10 years ago and felt awful for weeks but in the end I felt so much better. I only drink decaff, never any cola and am careful with chocolate. I find if I do have a cup of normal tea I cann't sleep, so I avoid it. Cafes are easy but going round to someones house can be more tricky, I have been known to be very sad and take my own teabags!!

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    1. taking your own teabags is such a good idea as I have the habit of turning up to friends houses for a coffee with a take-away coffee :( I'm definitely going to cut down x

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  7. You're definitely not on your own - I need caffiene on a morning or my day does not go well. I'm not ready to cut it out just yet though ;-)

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    1. I don't feel that ready either! I think I just need to try and do it slowly x

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  8. I can relate to coffee addiction. I however believe we need at least a few bad habits in our life to mke it fun, and as anon-smoker, non-drinker, I got that covered.

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  9. It's so difficult to break an addiction isn't it especially at this time of the year. I'm currently struggling to give up smoking. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, now it's 2014 I'm definitely going to start taking better care of myself and start cutting down the coffee a bit x

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  10. Snap! I'm the same. I try to start every day off with a hot water & lemon and it's only bearable because I know I have a steaming hot pot of fresh coffee waiting for me! I'm trying to switch it up in the days with more green tea (ha, it's totally January) but even that's full of the stuff!

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    1. I love hot water & lemon but tend to only use it when i'm feeling run down, but this is a great idea. If I replace a coffee with this it should help me cut down x

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  11. I've never been a coffee drinking but switch it to tea and yeah that's me as well :) x

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    1. Good to know I'm not alone, I guess we all have our vices x

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  12. Ouch - sounds like a serious addiction. Are you sure that now is the best time to tackle this? Can you cope with the monumental headaches..? I wonder if there is a 10 step program or something rather than going cold-turkey?! ;)
    Anyway, good luck with it. I gave up alcohol for a month once and felt awful (I'm not a huge drinker - I just believe in everything in moderation). Last time I do that!

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    1. Yeah I know not great right?! I've started to try and cut out at least one a day and it is going ok. It's weird because I do like a glass of wine on an evening but I can go for a month without if I choose to but caffeine has got me totally hooked :( I think moderations is the key! x

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  13. Its always hard to break a habit… more water will definitely help you feel better… so hard when you want a hot drink though.

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    1. This is so true, I've realised I've been getting dehydrated because I'm drinking coffee for every drink, so now i'm having to big glasses of boiled water as a substitute in the afternoon x

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  14. Time to kick the habit. Easier said than done! I too need my daily caffeine fix.

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  15. Chocolate is my drug of choice. And withdrawal is a bi&^%ch. It was the hardest thing I ever did two years ago when I stopped eating it. I couldn't even make it past a week. I had to have one tiny cube a day. This time around I went for two weeks without it. It does get better, though it is by no mean easy. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks and well done for weaning yourself off! It can be so hard, I guess it's just a case of taking it slow x

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  16. Was totally the same after having the little man, but last year I discovered I had a minor heart defect ( not life threatening or anything) but it was worst when I drank caffeine - OH NO - so slowly I went to decaff, lots of withdrawals to begin with but now my energy levels stay the same without highs and than big dips and I have more energy and have never looked back, I still very much enjoy my daily coffee at home and at various coffeeshops across Cardiff as I literally could not live without coffee .

    Laura x

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    1. Oh gosh that sounds awful and a little scary, but thankfully you found out and could manage it. I think I need to swap some of my drinks, I have tried decaf but maybe I should have more of these. I definitely think I couldn't go without one proper coffee a day but it would be amazing to have more energy as I often get major slumps during the day x

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  17. It's easily done, getting addicted to coffee during the first years of parenting. I wish you all the best with your resolution, try to find a replacement to substitute the physical need for sipping constantly, maybe green tea if you like the taste?xx

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    1. I do like green tree and used to drink it a lot a few years ago, I think i'll have to add it to my shopping basket x

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  18. So with you on this one - I'm exactly the same. Cut coffee out completely when I was pregnant and now back to many cups a day, some of which do go cold. Drink more to ease tiredness then wide awake at midnight! Gah!

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    1. It's such a catch 22 situation, I hope you manage to cut out a little too x

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  19. I think I'm addicted too. I used to have a couple of cups a day, very weak and milky. I couldn't stand strong coffee but now I lose count of how many cups I drink and I have a heaped teaspoon and no milk.
    Yesterday I bought a cafetiere because I wanted to try the Starbucks coffee I'd been bought for Christmas and the husband made it extra strong. I didn't think I was going to like it but it was the best coffee I'd ever had!
    I can start tomorrow as well right?!

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    1. lol I like the fact that you liked it, It sounds just like me! I'm starting to ask for one shot instead of two when I order at a cafe. Fingers crossed it helps x

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  20. Oh good golly I hear you, and have experienced similar myself. these days I only drink decaff, with the occasional 'real' take-away coffee when we are out :-) Good luck x

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    1. Thanks, I think the whole buying a cafe coffee is what's doing it, and also burning a hole in my pocket! x

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  21. I was a mega coffee fiend too, but after switching to decaff started to go off it as it didn't seem the same. Now I stick to the odd decent cup of coffee and shove cake in my mouth instead! Lesser of two evils?

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  22. I think this is an issue for most parents, probably a good thing stronger stimulants aren't so easily available or we'd all be on those too ;) how about switching to tea? Less string but still helps get you out if the

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    1. I used to be a major tea drinker at uni but now i'm not that keen, I prefer lemon water or just hot water unless my husband makes it as he does do a good cuppa. x

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  23. Ouch. I tried to cut out sugar and caffeine, taking a cold turkey approach, and by day 2 my head felt like it was splitting in two. I'm sure you can cut down, or even stop, but maybe doing it a little more gradually will be more successful x

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    1. After reading everyone's comments I'm too scared to go cold turkey so I think cutting down slowly is definitely key to getting it under control. x

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