My Totally Serene Life Without Caffeine

Getting by without a stimulant for the first time in twenty years.

Devon Price

--

I cannot stop reading the r/decaf Subreddit.

Posts on the site veer wildly from the calmly helpful, to the philosophical and rebellious, to the despondent. One moment a contributor will be helpfully explaining the difference between the Swiss Water decaffeination process and the conventional, solvent-based method of stripping caffeine from beans. The next, somebody will be spiraling in despair at their plummeting work performance and newfound sluggishness, begging to know when withdrawal symptoms will end.

Some users on r/decaf treat quitting caffeine as one simple step on a broader life improvement journey, one marked by reductions in smoking and a new meditation habit. Others discuss quitting caffeine as a white-knuckled last-ditch effort for psychological survival. R/decaf posters share that quitting caffeine has improved everything from social anxiety, to Bipolar disorder, to GERD, to PMS symptoms. Still others say that stopping the substance has completely ravaged their career prospects and left them with sciatica, or a months-long flu.

Whenever an r/decaf user likens quitting coffee to stopping harder drugs like Vyvanse or heroin (which happens often), a fair number of replies tell them to quit being so hyperbolic. But others rush in to the original poster’s defense. Caffeine’s the most difficult habit of all to kick, many say, because depending upon it is so socially sanctioned. Everyone drinks coffee all day long! It can be found lurking chocolate, energy drinks, seltzers, protein bars, and teas! Offices foist the stimulant on their employees!

And the fatigue you get from stopping can be seriously brutal. So brutal that some r/decaf users plan entire vacations or sabbaticals so they can recover from withdrawal without having to work.

--

--

Devon Price

He/Him or It/Its. Social Psychologist & Author of LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST and UNMASKING AUTISM. Links to buy: https://linktr.ee/drdevonprice