Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Diet cola withdrawal, part 2.

It's been a week since I started tapering off, and a couple days since I haven't had any caffeinated soda. The caffeine tablets seem to be an effective way to ward off the caffeine withdrawal headeaches and the low energy. And I can already see the need for less caffeine.

I now see that there was a psychological addiction of the physical act of drinking soda. Occasionally, I just plain miss having a can of bubbly liquid at the ready that I can sip from. There are times throughout the day when I'm not thirsty and not tired, but just plain "need to drink something." This is in addition to or separate from the physiological desire or "need" for the caffeine.

Perhaps this is the equivalent to a smoker who is psychologically accustomed to the condition of having a cigarette in hand that he regularly brings to his lips, and needs a lollipop/sucker as a pacifier, or just a pencil in his hand to be holding something.

So I'm keeping a glass of water handy, and that seems to be a somewhat substitute for the "need to be sipping on something" part of this.

I mentioned a pill cutter in a previous entry. I had already noticed that the 200 mg dose of a caffeine pill was too much compared to my 45 mg "hits" of Diet Coke, so I was taking 100 mg in half-pill form. Now, I'm seeing the relative excess of the 100 mg doses, and will cut the pills in quarter sections for 50 mg doses.

Even though the individual dosage will be about the same as a can of Diet Coke, the goal is still to take it less often, and eventually taper down to the point of not needing any at all.

I think the cola addiction is somewhat akin to smoking addiction. The physiological addiction of caffeine or nicotine is tied to an outward physical habit of sipping the cola, or smoking the cigarette. I don't know how to word it right, but there seems to be a reinforcement there between the outward physical act of drinking/smoking and the inner chemical dependency.


At 9/26/2006 05:41:00 PM, Anonymous Brian Duffin said...

I'm glad to hear that you have "kicked" the habit. I have also kicked the habit, but found that I didn't need the assistance of caffeine tablets.

Actually, I had already dramatically decreased my intake of soda, so I didn't have any major withdrawl headaches. Of course, I still enjoy an occasional can of caffeine-free diet coke...just for the comfort of the bubbly liquid.


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