Hi, My Name is Brian and I’m a Caffeine Addict.

We recovering alcoholics are acutely aware of addictive behaviors. Many in recovery transfer their addictions onto other actions such as sex, gambling, and even video game use (which I’ve also had to combat in the past). So when I say that I am a caffeine addict, I’m not saying it in the way a basic blonde girl in line at Starbucks says “oh my gawwwsh I’m addicted to coffee!”, I mean I drink caffeine nearly from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep. It’s an obsessive compulsion and it has to stop because it’s affecting my sleep, my work, and my free time!

woman wearing red tank top holding white ceramic mug
“oh my gawwwd you guys, I’m such an addiiiict”

Today I’m making public the beginning of my new recovery! I’m giving up caffeine cold turkey. No liter coffee this morning at work, no 6-pack of Diet Coke after work. Now, I’m no fool… I’ve done this whole thing before with alcohol. I know how hard it is and I know that this probably isn’t the last time I’m going to drink caffeine before I finally quit for good. However, making it known and putting it out into the world will give me extra motivation to go without it more often than not.

In recovery, we learn that to be successful you have to have a game plan, so I’ve outlined a few steps I’ll follow when that familiar beast starts crawling up the back of my throat:

Have a back-up plan. I will crave caffeine. Hell, I already am. Fortunately, there’s a slew of beverages out there to replace it with. I’m going to stock up on La Croix after work today which was my go-to when I quit drinking alcohol. It has the carbonated fizz to trick my brain into thinking I’m still drinking soda and it contains absolutely no sugar. Perfect match for my current diet!

Stay busy! Staying active is essential when giving up an addiction. My addictions rear their ugly heads when I am repeating other patterns and sitting down in front of the computer or television is a pretty big trigger. Since I’ve started messing about with three new hobbies lately (photography, drawing, and music), I should be able to keep myself occupied. If I’m too exhausted to do those things, I’ll just lie down with one of my books.

Talk about it. This always seemed so stupid to me in recovery until I tried it and it worked, every time: Talk to someone! Whether it’s my mother, a friend, or you guys here, just stating that I’m craving caffeine and that I need help to distract myself is enough to remind me that I don’t want or need it. If it worked with alcohol, it has to work with measly old caffeine, right?

I’m optimistic! There will be relapses and there will be days where not drinking caffeine is a breeze, but as long as I stay consistent with my game-plan I’ll win.

On a more positive note, my goal of getting my weight down to 175lbs has been crushed! I’m currently sitting at 174 and have been consistently losing about a half-pound a day. My next goal is 165 at which point I will be in the “ideal” BMI range for my height and gender. I’ve probably not been there since my early twenties. Very excited!