VERITY LUSH: Caffeine withdrawal was excruciating – but worth it

Verity gave up coffee  and it was painful       (Shutterstock)
Verity gave up coffee  and it was painful (Shutterstock)

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Caffeine. Addictive stuff, isn’t it?

I was listening to a radio programme the other day, during which a listener called in to say she consumes between 10 and 14 cups a day of the delicious dark stuff.

Despite the fact I’d always enjoyed coffee, I truly had no idea just how bad it would be to give up

I used to be a caffeine addict and would merrily swig my way through several coffees, but due to a harmless yet irritating heart irregularity, I decided to go cold turkey.

I had assumed that I might suffer with a bit of an aching head, and as I get migraines, I thought I’d cope just fine with this.

How wrong I was.

I remember the pain clearly, despite the fact that it’s nearly two years since.

I had consumed my final coffee at 2pm and, by 7am the next morning, removing my head from the pillow was excruciating.

The water in the shower actually hurt the skin around my eyes, and I don’t have a power-shower that blasts out like Niagara Falls.

The headache lasted for three days, not touched by any concoction of pain relief, and I had to simply suffer.

However, once it did disappear, it was bliss.

And, despite the fact I’d always enjoyed coffee, I truly had no idea just how bad it would be to give up.

This must speak volumes about the physical effect that the stuff actually has on us.

After a few months of zero coffee, I did realise that if I drank just one when a very bad headache or migraine began, in order to take my pain relief with the caffeine, the tablets worked much better and much faster.

I know that some tablets come with caffeine added, but if your body is used to it, then I doubt it has much real effect.

Being entirely unused to it and drinking it with pain relief was brilliant!

While listening to the aforementioned radio programme and the 14 cups a day lady, I couldn’t help but recoil slightly at imagining what her caffeine cold turkey would feel if mine left me incapacitated.

A real eye-opener to giving up a legally addictive stimulant!