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Post by Eltrym » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:29 am

I'm 400 days sober and doing well. I've been on anti depressants since the beginning of the year and feel much better than I did. I found life sober hard to begin with and was crying a lot.
I had an online sponsor to help me through the first five steps and worked through the rest on my own, with the help of the BB.
I don't go to meetings because there aren't any near me and I seem to be doing ok without them. I have learnt a lot from members comments on this site.
I want to ask you about caffeine, if I may.
I gave up drinking caffeine 2 or 3 yrs ago because I saw it as an addictive stimulant, similar to alcohol. But just recently I started to drink normal tea again (because decaffeinated wasn't available) and I've noticed that it has had quite an effect on me.
You see since giving up drinking alcohol and caffeine I have become a bit of a sloth. It's rather annoying because whenever I sit down I drop off to sleep. I sometimes sleep for 10 hours out of 24 and when I'm awake I'm tired. I sometimes wonder if I could sleep all day and all night. I'm 52 yrs old.
But when I drink tea containing caffeine I am much more stimulated and don't feel so tired or the need to sleep as much. So now I'm finding myself using tea to keep me awake so that I can get more jobs done around the house.
Should I be worried about this because I feel that I am using an addictive substance.
I do have low blood pressure. I don't know if that is relevant at all.
I eat well and have been taking a multivitamin for 2 or 3 yrs so don't think my iron levels are low. I think it's just hereditary, my Dad sleeps alot and always has done.
Thanks in advance.

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Eltrym » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:55 am

I'm going to pray and meditate on this, which I feel is what I should have done to begin with. It just doesn't feel quite right for me to be using caffeine in this way.

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Re: Caffeine

Post by desypete » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:24 am

i drink tea all the time i guess anyone coulds say i drink tea alcoholically lol

but the thing i look at is this
i am not going to get arrested for tea drinking
i am not going to get a ban for driving while having drunk a tea
i am not going to wake up the next day with a hangover from hell and the fear of trying to remember what i did last night after drinking tea
i am not going to wake up in a wet bed from tea drinking

so all in all tea drinking for me is harmless even if i might over indulge

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Brock » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:45 am

I agree with Desy, and don't see this as a big deal myself, however I have met some recovering alcoholics, who think taking anything that might possibly be addictive is taboo. I believe we must be careful, to not misuse certain medications, that might make us feel anything like drinking did, I don't find caffeine similar to the feeling of drinking at all.

I drink maybe 5 – 6 zero coke per day, I used to say well it's zero no sugar no harm, only recently I realized they have caffeine, and when I stop drinking it, just like you I feel listless and tired. So how I sum up the danger of an addiction is the withdrawal symptoms, with booze I needed medication when stopping and still felt terrible for days, and need the AA program to stay stopped. Cigarettes I needed a patch to wean me off and still felt terrible, years later the feeling to smoke still comes back sometimes, but what is the withdrawal from a little caffeine, we feel listless, so I just don't see it as a big deal.

But I believe in things like this we must make our own choice, and if something bothers us to the point that we feel we shouldn't really be doing it, then we may say it's a defect and get rid of it. Judging from the amount of coffee and tea I see being drunk in AA meetings however, it seems the vast majority of AA members see nothing wrong with it.

You seem to be going really well in the AA program, and it's nice that you come back here and let us know your progress and fears, all the best.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Duke » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:02 am

I agree with Brock. If it's bothering you, deal with it. If it's not, I wouldn't fuss about it.

I gave up coffee and caffeinated sodas for tea, because I didn't like the effect they had on me. Maybe I'll do the same with tea someday, but it doesn't bother me and it's not particularly harmful, so, for now, I let it go.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Mary » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:17 am

I had to give up coffee because it definitely made me more...well more of everything that I don't need more of. Tea however is great for me. Though it has caffeine it doesn't stimulate me in the same way and in fact is quite calming. I think this also bears out in the science.

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Eltrym » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:21 am

I think I must be one of those people that will have to watch out for anything that could be addictive, even tea. I probably wouldn't have noticed any change had I still been drinking tea but seeing as I switched to decaffeinated a few years ago then suddenly started drinking it again, I noticed that it had quite an adverse effect on me. A piece of chocolate cake and 2½ cups of tea in the evening kept me up all night and my brain logged that. It started saying to me "If you drink tea then it will stop you from keep dropping off during the day."
I was like a dog with a bone. It scared me actually. My mind was telling "Yeah, lets have another one." It seemed very similar to what was going on in my head during my drinking days so I'm definitely going to go back to drinking decaffeinated tea and coffee from now on.
Thanks for your help everyone.

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Re: Caffeine

Post by ezdzit247 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:34 pm

Hi Eltrym

Congratulations on 400 days of sobriety!

I would suggest you discuss your concerns with doctor. My understanding is that foods like coffee, black tea, chocolate, etc. are natural anti-depressants in that when ingested they trigger the production and release of the brain's natural "feel good" or "happy" chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Depending on the brand of synthetic anti-depressant you are taking, ingesting coffee, tea, or even chocolate may cause adverse reactions with your prescription medication.

I love the taste of good coffee, always have, drink lots of it, especially at AA meetings. I've never experienced any adverse health effects from it. I really don't know whether or not it's an addictive substance but since there are no 12 Step programs for people who want to quit, I'm guessing not.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Blue Moon » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:36 pm

ISTM the real problem is the sleep problem, and you're concerned you may self-medicate with caffeine etc. to combat that.

So I also suggest talking to the Dr, get some blood tests etc. Maybe get a sleep-study. Is it possible the antidepressants are causing the problem?

Bottom line: if you can identify and address the real problem, you'll have no need to try "fixing" it chemically.
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Re: Caffeine

Post by kdub720 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:16 am

Dang 400 days, way to go. I have battled with this, when I quite drinking I drank a tone of coffee, and it made me think the same thing, "am I just replacing substances?" The answer I found is no. Everyone has addictive personality issues, it is fine if we are not over consuming. My fatigue has been overcome by vitamins. I used to think they were a sham, yet they work. The b's,d's and c's are great. I take them every day and although it is gross, a half cup of organic apple cider vinegar makes you strong, healthy and mean. Great topic,

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Eltrym » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:53 am

Thanks for the congratulations on my 400 days. I couldn't have done it without the BB, my online sponsor and this site.
I will go to the doctor, get my bloods checked and explain to him about my fatigue.
At the end of the day it's not the end of the world that I often have a nap during the day. I do manage to get all the necessary jobs done, it's just that sometimes I feel a bit lazy in comparison to what my husband gets done in a day, although he does drink caffeine. I suppose we are all different and perhaps I need to accept that I am what I am. It wouldn't do that we were all the same in this world, would it?
Caffeine has always effected me. When I was drinking normal tea, if I drank too many cups of tea in a day I would get palpitations. I stopped drinking it because I knew that if I wasn't drinking alcohol during the day I would automatically drink more tea. I found it pretty easy to switch to decaffeinated, although I did notice that I didn't have as much energy and I had a headache for a few days.
So I'm back to drinking decaffeinated tea and coffee again now, which I think is the right way for me to go.

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Andrew Lebre » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:09 am

Caffeine doesn't really give me to much of an effect. I'm 2 years caffeine free. It made me more fatigued than energized.
Last edited by Andrew Lebre on Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Mike O » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:21 am

I enjoy my coffee. It gives me a buzz, just like it does for everybody else.
So what?
It's not causing me any problems. I'm happy.

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Re: Caffeine

Post by Roberth » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:39 am

Hello Eltrym, Contgrtz on 400. Caffeine falls outside the realm of AA. A small part of the primary purpose was that Bill W didn't want to stop drinking coffee or smoking. that's the bad news, the good part if you think you have a problem we have a set spiritual principles would solve all our problems.
PG 42
Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!

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