October 3, 2012

My husband, the (ex)addict



Rehab by Amy Winehouse on Grooveshark 

He looks like a pretty normal guy, right? Like, if you saw him on the street you'd think, "that guy has it all together. What a healthy looking dude. He probably doesn't have any chemical dependencies." Or something.

AND YOU'D BE WRONG. You see, during the last couple of months, Matthew finally kicked a drug habit. A habit he's had for going on five years--an addiction, in fact, that he didn't know he had, and since quitting cold turkey and experiencing withdrawal symptoms one might liken to that of an addict coming off of meth or heroine, our quality of life has increased exponentially. Confused? OK, before you go thinking my husband just came off hard drugs or something, allow me to explain.

Matthew works out. Duh. And he takes various protein and workout drinks daily, and he has, for the past five years, taken one particular workout drink that's supposed to give you a blast of energy before pumping iron or whatever.  Thing is, over the years he's upped his intake of it to a dangerous amount, since you tend to develop tolerance for energy drinks if you have them a lot. For pretty much as long as I've known him, Matthew has been somewhat lethargic throughout the day, tired all the time, and often irritable. More so than a normal person, and he thought for a while that he might have some sort of immune disorder, and even went to the doctor about his symptoms. It took a hippie "wellness" doctor here in town to finally figure it out, though. He asked Matthew to list all the supplements and workout drinks he's taking, and figure out their ingredients, as well. 

Long story short, between the workout drinks, a cup or two of coffee a day, and occasional Rockstar or 5 Hour Energy drinks, Matthew was consuming the equivalent of 17-20 cups of coffee per day. PER DAY. And I thought my two little cups of half-caff joe per day addiction was intense.

Matthew decided to quit caffeine cold turkey, and if I ever doubted that caffeine was a "drug" before, I don't doubt it now. Poor guy experienced a week and a half of extreme fatigue, cold sweats, nausea and intense vomiting, and a migraine that lasted throughout that entire time. He had to use my migraine medicine, and was taking around three naps per day because he just couldn't make it through a day without them. It was CRAZY, y'all. 

But like I said, our quality of life has skyrocketed since Matthew kicked the caffeine. He has been so pleasant, it's unnerving. Every time I ask him how long this new and improved husband of mine will last, he says "I'm caffeine free, baby. I'm ___ weeks sober. I'm a new man." 

And he is! And I like it.

The moral of the story is this: watch what you put in your body, and pay attention to how it may be affecting you. Moderation in everything.  17 to 20 cups of coffee a day is excessive, obviously, but even lesser extremes of things can be really unhealthy, and so can lack of attention to detail when it comes to what you're consuming. So, take that and run with it. Happy Wednesday!

72 comments:

  1. omg, that is insane! 17-20 cups?! i have to make sure Sean isn't doing the same!

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  2. woahhhhh matthew!!! that's freaking crazy!! good for him :)

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  3. thanks for sharing lady, that's crazy!
    my boss only drinks red bulls and i keep telling him he's going to have a heart attack if he doesn't stop.
    caffeine is no joke!

    xo the egg out west.

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  4. Wow, congrats to Matthew!! Taking steps in the right direction to improve your health is ALWAYS commendable. You both should be very proud! Keep it up! xx, Allie

    www.alliesbubble.blogspot.com

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  5. aaahh.. i cannot wait to be a hippie wellness doctor (;

    i'm so glad you wrote this post, jenni. people laugh at me all the time when i start talking about the negatives of caffeine- i mean, i myself used to drink two trenta coffees a day! then i decided to kick the habit once i read how bad caffeine is for you- and that three cups of coffee will DISQUALIFY an olympic athlete from competing.. only THREE measly cups! sounds like justin is just like matthew- he is OBSESSED with energy drinks/caffeine... it's actually funny (but not really) because i can ALWAYS tell when he's had some sort of caffeine fix- he acts differently..

    aaaaaaannnnnyway... i'm glad matthew survived the detox (it IS brutal!) and is on his way back to health!!! yippee skippy!

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  6. That's so crazy! I am definitely a coffee addict and thought my 3 cups a morning was bad....I am glad he was able to kick the habit and feel better :).

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  7. holy crap! that is a lot of caffeine! so glad hes off it and past the withdrawal! seriously!

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  8. ok, so i thought i was already an addict when i used to drink 7 cups. and then i hear about matthew drinking an equivalent of 17-20 cups!!!

    inspiration from the little things

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  9. This is so great! I always joke with my husband about the supplements he takes every day working out.. I just sent him this link to make sure he has all that under control haha!

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  10. Wow! Way to go Matthew! I'm going to have to tell Ryan about this. He lives on caffeine when he is studying or on night shift. I'm wondering if cutting it out he would still be able to stay up all night and day..,.

    None the less, I'm so glad Matthew kicked the caffeine goodbye!

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  11. Wow. This hits home with me, I had a similar experience with Diet Coke years ago. Caffeine is a little devil we often don't consider dangerous. Glad Matthew's feeling good and life is even better than before!

    PS - I'm blogging again, friend! Tell Gracie and Cooper Mr. Dixon says woof!

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  12. I just did this with Diet Coke 7 weeks ago and stopping cold turkey was HORRIBLE. I had migraines every single day for a week, I was tied and cranky, etc. It was bad. Caffeine is no joke and is really a drug and addicting.

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  13. Wow! I could probably say that I have a caffeine addiction. I have to have a few cups each day (usually my morning coffee, afternoon starbucks run, and even a latte on the way home). Sometimes I don't even finish the drinks though...its such a habit to just make it or buy it haha. In fact, its about 11am in Jersey right now and I have an iced coffee on my desk that I made at 8am before I left for work...and I've taken maybe 5 sips from it. LOL

    Congratulations to your man on kicking the habit! I just kicked my Facebook addiction...it's more difficult than I thought it would be! Lol



    http://jerseyshan.blogspot.com

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  14. congratulations to your hubby for figuring it out and kicking it!!

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  15. That shizz is intense.

    An ex-boyfriend of mine quit smoking while I was dating him and the withdrawal was incredibly intense. He was so hard to be around, I thought I might have to kick him in the teeth or something.

    Glad both you and Matthew survived! (And that you now have a new, improved husband:)

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  16. That's great they figured it out, no fun to feel "off"! Congrats!

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  17. Caffeine is definitely way harder to quit than I thought. I gave up Diet Coke in April. This time for good. Last year, I lasted 10 days. This year, I hung in there. But oy, the headaches that ensued. I do have an iced coffee a couple times a week, but my addiction to Diet Coke was definitely the worst. And now that I'm on the other side of it, I'm way better for having given it up. Kudos to Matthew for a job well done!

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  18. Wow! Hubs loves coffee but nothing close to that! You should be very proud of him. Every few years hubs decides to give up his pot a day routine and I honestly wish I could leave town for a week. Matthew is one tough cookie!

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  19. I'm glad you guys figured out what the problem was and that he is man enough to fix it. Addiction is something I deal with every single day. I am not an addict. But I am in a relationship with an addict. It is the most horrible thing in the world to deal with.

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  20. that's so scary! glad he figured it out and quit, even with all of the awful withdrawal symptoms. what a crazy drink.

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  21. Wow, that is A LOT of caffeine! Glad he's kicked the habit and has the energy to show for it. :) My step-dad once went to the doctor because he was having what he thought were heart palpitations and he was scared it was a precursor to a heart attack. Turned out his (multiple times) daily HUMONGOUS Starbucks with the three or four extra shots was doing it to him. No bueno.

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  22. Wow, that's crazy!! But I'm definitely glad that you shared this, so that now we know what signs of too much caffeine are. And glad Matthew's feeling new and improved! That's awesome!! :)

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  23. Wow! That's a lot of caffeine. Glad your hubs was able to kick the habit cold turkey. It's weird to think of caffeine as a drug. We've all got our vices, huh? (:

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  24. So crazy! I wonder if I need to examine my boyfriends diet, maybe I can get him out of his grumpy mood.. don't tell him I said that, might make him more grumpy!

    Props to your man for kicking it cold turkey!

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  25. That is so scary! I didn't even realize what harm all those energy/work-out supplements can do to you! What a releif that he's kicked that!

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  26. My mother ONLY drinks coffee and sodas. Never water. Ever. I've been telling her for years to stop, but she hasn't yet. I'm sending her a link to this post so hopefully she'll see that she could be a better version of herself if she wasn't so caffeinated all the time!

    Good job to your husband for working on that awful habit!

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  27. Haha you totally got me jenni!! I was like what!? Matthew!? No way!? He's so....cookie cutter (but not because you guys are way more hip but you know what I mean....'straight edge'?....am I digging a hole here???) I have maybe 2-3 diet sodas a day and I'm also a bread freak. When I try to kick either my head kills! Have you read the article about sugar the drug?? Stuff is scary!!! I can't believe it took a wellness doctor to figure that out. Shows a lot about our health care system if you ask me! And wow for him kicking it cold turkey! Glad he did that! And great post :)

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  28. Congratulations Matthew!

    I kicked smoking 6 years ago and man it was hard but oh so worth it! I think I have a tendency to addiction and thank goodness I don't like energy drinks as I'm sure I would have been the same.

    Cheers to many 'sober' years ahead!

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  29. I quit caffeine cold turkey myself! It has been a couple of months now, and have substituded the habit by drinking Green Tea. Congrats Matthew, glad to know your feeling better!

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  30. Thank you for sharing this post Jenni - so many people forget the hidden dangers in these silent and secret addictions! Super proud of your hubs x

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  31. I only drink coffee because it helps me poop. ;)

    Bahahaha.

    WHAT? Everybody poops.

    Good for Matthew, though. I'm gonna have to let Andrew read this post.

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  32. the withdrawal sounds intense who knew you could have that from caffeine.

    makes me think about what i am drinking.

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  33. Who knew that caffeine could change him so much! I'm glad that it was all straightened out though :) It's amazing how such a simple change can make a huge difference.

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  34. 17-20 cups??!! Wow! That is outrageous! So glad you guys found a doctor who could tell him what was causing his symptoms.

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  35. Holy geez!!! I can't even fathom consuming that much caffeine. Congrats to Matthew for kicking the habit! I know how hard it can be. Though not nearly as extreme, I used to drink 2-3 lattes a day until I gave up all caffeine for Lent last year. I had a headache for six days straight and my migraine meds have caffeine in them so I couldn't take them. I also resorted to closing my office door (I was working in a law firm at the time) and taking naps multiple times a day. But after getting through that first week, I felt better than ever. I still have lattes and coffee once in a while but definitely not everyday and definitely not more than 1 in any given day. I'm glad to hear Matthew is doing better than ever now that he's off the hard stuff. :)

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  36. WOW. Caffiene addiction is a serious thing, and I've gone through withdrawals before..not as badly as your husband, though. WOW. Good for him for kicking the habit, and I'm so glad you've found a happy man deep down underneath all that poison. ;)

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  37. this is so crazy. but so totally believable. there is so much crazy stuff we put into our bodies and dont even realize it is making us cray or sick or whatever until we take ourselves off of it. This is how i found out i was allergic to caffeine.

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  38. Wow, that's crazy! So glad he's feeling better now!

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  39. Wow! I never had a cup of coffee in my life, but instead opted for soda coca-cola instead. I drank litters of the stuff daily and became dependent on it that if I didn't have it I would get headaches. But when I decided to stop it all together and live a more healthier lifestyle I experience almost the same things Matthew had. But it is rewarding when you lay off the stuff that you feel like you can do anything you set your mind onto. Thanks for this post! It hit home!

    Cristina Marie
    C'est Une Belle Vie

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  40. OMG I would have NEVER known this!! But GO Matthew!! I can't even imagine how terrible he felt...when I go ONE day without coffee I turn into a raging bitch with the WORST headache ever! Poor guy but I am SO SO glad he's feeling 100% again. Yay for getting your husband back!! This is definitely eye-opening. THanks for sharing, doll!

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  41. Yowzers! This is insane. I have never had a rock star and the only energy drink I've ever consumed is 1/2 a bottle of 5 hour energy. But even then I didn't want to take it and was (sorta forced) to do it.

    It scares me!

    And this would totally freak me out! I feel so bad for the guy! I bet it was miserable going through the withdrawals!!

    I'm glad he's a new man! Enjoy. ;)
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  42. wow...i'm guessing there are a lot of people here in the pacific northwest who drink that much coffee...it's crazy to hear how drastically it can affect you!

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  43. I think we have a friend with this addiction. Thank you for your honesty and sharing something so personal. I think you will be a light to many my friend!
    So happy for you two:)

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  44. That's awesome that he kicked the habit, and I give him major kudos for doing so, I mean it would have been so easy to get his fix during that intense week of going off of it! Good for him and your marriage! Now have him go a run a marathon or something with his new found energy.

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  45. Yikes! I was up to two caffeinated drinks a day last spring and wanted to quit- I had the worst headaches and was so exhausted just from that. I can't imagine how Matthew was with that amount of caffeine!

    Its crazy how dependent you become on it, its clearly not good for you!

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  46. Wow, that's crazy! My boyfriend drinks a whole pot of coffee and diet pepsi throughout the day. I've (for now) given up trying to get him to cut his habit down. There are worst things he keeps on telling me.

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  47. This is so funny and sad. I just posted about drinking/needing a Red Bull.... I don't drink coffee though. And no soda. But energy drinks... I love them! I hope I don't get addicted though!

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  48. OH wow! Good for him for cutting cold turkey...caffeine is a drug and we just don't always realize it (it seems our culture is obsessed with it sometimes!)
    What a great blog post and reminder to check what we are consuming on a daily basis!
    XO - Marion

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  49. good post! so crucial to know you can form dependencies on things other than hard drugs. high five and a chest bump for raising awareness. holler ; )

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  50. Great post Jenny! So true! We really need to watch all the junk we put in our bodies. I for one can admit to my chocolate/sweets addiction. It's bad. Really, really bad. Glad your hubs is feeling better:)!

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  51. geez that's crazy!! well good for him! and happy for his new happiness!

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  52. my God. You must be so proud of him!

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  53. woah! kudos to him for quitting cold turkey!

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  54. Wow. Holy goodness. Good for him! :)

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  55. That is insane, sister! Glad he was able to quit!

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  56. Wow! Aaron drinks workout shakes every day as well. Hmmmm...this could explain a lot!

    So glad that Matthew kicked the habit. Way to go! Now I think that I need to work on my husband.

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  57. Well dang......I can only image what 20 cups of coffee would do to me. Not gonna lie, i thought this was going to be a super serious post (Not that I thought the Matthew was a drug addict or anything, whatever!) but caffeine addiction is serious business! Very impressive that he quit cold turkey...

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  58. Wow this is intense! I can't IMAGINE drinking that much coffee! My whole life, though, I've gone through phases. I will get addicted to coffee (only in the sense that I need one every morning) and then when I finally get tired of the headache whenever I don't drink a cup, I switch to my tea phase. When I studied in Spain though, I probably got up to 3 or 4 cups... I'm so happy for you that he decided to go through his withdrawal! Sounds like he is doing so much better!

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  59. Hey there. This slim kid, well older slim kid, also loves cakes. Just read your post and love your sentiments. I share similar thoughts in my latest post on taking charge of your life. Read more here...http://stuartfish.com/wordpress/what-if-you-could-take-charge-of-your-life
    and would love a comment too. :-)
    Take care.

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  60. this is CRAZY! everyone laughs when i say i am addicted to coffee.. but it is true!!! not so much as matthew's level but still! caffeine is scary.. and yet so so good.

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  61. wowww that is crazy! thanks for sharing jenni! it's definitly important to look at what you put in your body! xox

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  62. That is insane. I'm so glad that you were able to figure out what was causing him to be so lethargic and he was able to kick caffeine cold turkey. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been.

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  63. wow what a lot of coffee!! well done to Matthew for going cold turkey. Its pretty intense to do that (I did it with smoking) but wow what a sense achievement when your over the challenges of those first days!

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  64. Thank you for sharing this!! I'm gonna have my husband read it.

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  65. wow!! that is an insane amount of caffeine! I wholeheartedly admit I had a legit caffeine addiction and that was only at 2 or MAX 3 cups for the whole day! (just coffee, no soda) I am glad you guys were able to put the pieces together before it affected his heart! Withdraw is a serious process- glad the worst of it is over and he's kicked his addiction.

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  66. Good for him!!!! I used to smoke (cigarettes) and drink a blue Rockstar every morning, then have coffee breaks and smoke breaks all day. I kicked the smoking habit and narrowed down the coffee intake (but now with my 14 hour work days, it's needed around 3:30 pm)

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  67. For real, that's awesome! I stopped drinking Caffeine a few years ago and it's been awesome!

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  69. have a better life, both of you. take care always :D

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  70. Such a great reminder. I drink a lot of tea, and have been known to love Red Bull, so this is a definite reality check. Props to Matthew for going cold-turkey, especially as a law school student.

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