It’s Tuesday and I know that you’re on the edge of your seat for today’s try-it.  I have a confession: I don’t have one for you.  Instead you’re getting truth Tuesday.  This weekend I had a wakeup call.  I found myself in bed on Sunday feeling restless, hot and cold at the same time, and like my heart was racing.  All of a sudden I realized exactly when I started to feel this way – right after I finished my tall iced coffee seven hours earlier.  What?!  No.  It can’t be.  Not coffee?!

I adore everything about coffee.  Who doesn’t love the smell of brewing coffee?  I love live for the first sip of a soy latte early in the morning.  The feel of a warm coffee cup in my hand at Sunday brunch is comforting.  Simply put, I love coffee.

Over the years I’ve tried to rein in my coffee habit with limited success.  The one and only time in my adult life that I’ve cut out all caffeine my boss brought me a large coffee on day 5 and instructed me to drink.  My serious and habitual lack of sleep doesn’t really lend itself to a caffeine free lifestyle.  Or maybe my serious and habitual coffee drinking doesn’t lend itself to restful sleep.  Either way, I’m tired and coffee is my lifeline.

Apart from general sleepiness, I’ve suffered from migraines and stomach ailments since I was 15.  I’ve tried every form of migraine medication on the market, seen alternative pain management specialists, and had my brain scanned more times than I’d like.  In an effort to break the cycle I’ve been reading a lot about how food impacts our overall wellness.  The first tip is usually where they lose me: cut out the caffeine.  Honestly, how do people function without caffeine?  Tell me, please.  This is a reality that I can’t even dream of.

But it’s time to face facts.  My name is Stephanie and I’m addicted to coffee.  I can’t seriously focus on my health and overall wellness until I lay off the sauce.  So, I’m going to do it.  Mark my words – I am going to stop drinking caffeine.  According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) my level of caffeine intake can lead to caffeine intoxication.  (I’ve decided that my psychology major makes me qualified for self-diagnosis in this case.)  The DSM-5 now also includes caffeine withdrawal as a diagnosis.  Great.  I’m so looking forward to that experience.

I’ve taken the first step and acknowledged that I have a problem.  And I have a plan.  I’ve been slowly replacing coffee with english breakfast tea during the week.  Over the next few weeks I plan to transition to decaf tea in preparation for the two-week Be Well cleanse by Dr. Frank Lipman.  (And I plan to take vacation time so that no one has to deal with me during the withdrawal phase.)

It’s Tuesday and that’s my truth.  Settle in…it’s going to be a bumpy ride!  I hope that I’ll come out on the other side more rested, feeling better, and happier overall.

For more information about caffeine withdrawal as a diagnosis, read this.