What, no caffeine? No caffeine at all?

by Suw on November 15, 2003

I’m giving up caffeine again, as of today. I think this must be the third or fourth time I’ve tried to give up caffeine this year and each time I’ve gone through the headachy-grumpy-bear stage only to then succumb to the thought ‘Well, one can of Coke can’t hurt, can it? Just one champagne truffle?’

Of course, within seconds I’ve reverted back to my Coke-guzzling champagne truffle munching monstrous self and then it’s just a case of how long before I start the giving up cycle all over again.

See, I was never much one for smoking, so I have no real problem with ciggies. I’ve really only ever smoked at times of extreme stress and then it’s more for the ritual that goes along with it rather than the nicotine. I started again for about three days in January, and stopped after realising that no matter how much time has passed, it’s still a filthy habit that makes you stink, your fingers yellow and your lungs rot.

Alcohol, well, me and alcohol have had an interesting relationship over the years, from being able to down a pint faster than any of my compatriots at university (usually in the time it took them to say ‘Huh?’), to being banned from drinking by my doctor for nearly a year because I had high triglycerides (a precursor to cholesterol. 30 is too young to discover you’re on your way to a heart attack).

In between times I’ve discovered that drink and depression don’t mix, drink and antidepressants don’t mix, drink and stress don’t mix, and neither does drink and living on your own, although that last one never stopped me quaffing down bottles and bottles of vodka whilst working late.

Hence the name of this blog. You cannot, in my opinion beat vodka – even my love affair with Pimms isn’t a patch on my love for vodka. Particularly the Bison Grass Vodka that my friend Heidi brought over with her from Poland in January. Oh my word, that’s amazing vodka. That’s the kind of vodka I am happy to drink neat, no matter the fact that my liver really doesn’t need preserving.

But these days I don’t drink all that much. I really cannot stand hangovers and even a single glass of wine can give me the most raging headache. I’m also not really very good at throwing up – for some reason my technique’s all gone to pot and it ends up coming out of my nose. Really a bad idea – stomach acids and nasal membranes were never meant to meet.

Actually, I think I may have found out what the problem was when I had gastric flu or whatever it was a few months ago. I spent six hours vomiting about once every 15 minutes, and I discovered that if you’re lower down, almost lying flat on the floor, it’s much easier than if you’re kneeling at the toilet. I don’t know why this should be, but it’s easier to sort of just throw up in small bowl than the big white porcelain one.

So yes, alcohol these days (oh god, I’m getting old) only in moderation. And I don’t care if a glass of red wine’s good for the heart, the tannins kill me.

But caffeine… that’s different. Caffeine and chocolate are harmless, right? Studies even show that a little of both might be good for you. So why do I go through this sort of boom-bust cycle with them all the time?

I used to suffer really badly from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome, or in my case, not so much merely irritable, more like mightily pissed off), which can be really crippling if you get it bad, but has resulted in me knowing where almost every single public toilet is in London, and which ones are nicest. Chocolate was one of the triggers so I didn’t used to eat any at all, although years of carefully managing my diet means that I can now get away with small amounts of certain types of chocolate (still no Mars Bars though).

Caffeine in quantity gives me headaches, disturbs my sleep and generally isn’t, I think, the best thing for me to be consuming. Plus it fucks with my skin and turns my teeth furry.

But I love chocolate, and I love Coke. I’m really sorry, but I do. I know Coke’s made out of battery acid and rat juice, but it’s so nice. Sometimes I wonder if they’ve found a way to put the coke back into Coke, (hah! I should be so lucky!), because once I’ve started drinking the stuff, I just can’t seem to stop.

Periodically, I decide that enough is enough and I go on a purge, and today I start another. My last really big caffeine purge was also in January and it was hard work. This one, well, I guess we’ll see. I’m already craving a Coke, but there’s none in the house. I guess I’ll be necking orange juice by the gallon instead.

Pinky November 15, 2003 at 12:57 pm

o_o From a self confessed cokey cola addict,


Visit me @ http://pinkythemouse.blog-city.com

Suw November 15, 2003 at 3:57 pm

Thank you! So far so good!

A visitor November 16, 2003 at 1:14 am

I used to drink a lot of caffeinated drinks, mainly colas. I was told to give up caffeine last year when I had a little heart scare. Fortunately for me, what I thought might be a heart attack was just a bad reaction to pseudoephedrine and caffeine. After about a year, I find that not only do I not miss it now, I can't ingest it. My wife and I went to the movies a few months ago and, as is our custom, ordered a soda to go with our popcorn. We weren't thinking, and ordered my wife's favorite, Diet Coke. I was so freaking wired after that movie that I couldn't get to sleep until four a.m. I used to be able to drink a Coke in the evening and sleep like a baby. Now I just find caffeine makes me jumpy.

Oh, and as for that vodka, my boss at my last job was Polish. My father-in-law loves vodka. So when my wife and I were planning our wedding this past spring, I asked my then-boss for suggestions. He told me his favorite tipple was Zubrowka. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any, and even if I could have, here in the U.S., someone decided that something in bison grass is bad for you, so the version sold here is denatured in some manner. Oh well.


Suw November 16, 2003 at 2:18 pm

I used to drink a lot more coke than I do now – I'd get through a two litre bottle in merely a few hours – so as i'm only giving up a can a day (or a 500ml bottle, tops), I'm hoping it won't be too bad. So far so good.

As for the zubrowka, the problem was with coumarin, which is an anticoagulant. BATF banned zubrowka in 78, but there are coumarin-free bands around now. You can read chapter and verse on it at the Polish Vodka site.

A visitor November 17, 2003 at 9:26 am

I used to be able to drink two 1.5 litres of Coca Cola on one evening. I did that for years. Took chips and nuts with that too, by the bag. It was great, the temporary high enabled me to concentrate so much better on whatever I was doing.

Realising however, how unhealthy and expensive the stuff is, I've kicked off coca cola. Took me a couple of tries, couple of fallbacks. But seeing the empty bottles pile up, and calculating what it cost me per week, I've managed.

So, now I'm writing this having a coffee hangover instead. (Ain't I humorous?) I slept short last night, after having gulped down 10 large cups of the black golden liquid in the afternoon. I take it with suger and cream btw.

My head's filled with cotton and my eyes are dry. Little sweaty as well. I should be tired, dog tired, but I'm not.

Perhaps the consequences of cafiene-addictions are underrated. As soon as I know, I'm able to quit the stuff though. To me, it's a habit more than a compulsion.


Bram [ungwendil@yahoo.co.uk]

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: