The personal blog of Frank Lesko. Award-winning writer. Non-profit entrepreneur. Activist. Religious professional. Foodie. Musician. All around curious soul and Renaissance man.

See also my professional blog: The Traveling Ecumenist.

Monday, February 9, 2009

90 days or so . . . lost count

Scott read an article that says it takes 90 days for the brain to re-wire itself after coming off of an addiction. Well, I just realized today that it has been over 90 days since I gave up caffeine.

I have had some caffeinated beverages in the last 90 days, but not many. I've had maybe a 2-4 cups each month. I am careful not to drink them in consecutive days for fear of rekindling the addiction. After having some caffeine, I'll experience a "crash" and that's when I'm most vulnerable for reaching for another cup to get back up. So far, my body seems to do fine without it, and I just work my way through the tiredness.

My main concern is all the decaf I've been drinking. There are days when I'm positively slamming the decaf. I know that it contains some caffeine, but each brand seems to vary widely. A few cups of decaf at Panera and I know I'm wired. However, the organic instant coffee I make at work seems pretty tame.

One way that I know I'm off of the addiction is that I just don't seem to need it. I can go a long time before I think about it or want it. I don't miss it. It used to make me feel happy, but it also made me wired and tense. It's nice to feel happy, but when my happiness comes by way of a hot beverage I worry that I'm less likely to seek that happiness out elsewhere, such as through relationships, hobbies and work.

After 90 days, there really isn't much to say. I'm mostly writing this post out of a favor to a few friends who have requested that my post "Phlegm" drop down out of sight out of their "Most Recent Postings" feed.


  1. I wonder if the same is true for some addictive habbits, such as nail biting. Which I just did... bit one of my nails. Damn. I dont know how I am going to become un-addicted to this!! I cant remember a time in my life when I didnt feel the "need" to do it...

  2. Glad to hear that. Congratulations!

    Here's the article that mentions the 90-day figure.

    The article talks about how making a concerted, daily effort, and how that lets you train the higher levels of your brain to balance out the craving that comes from the more instinctive layers. (People who go to AA meetings every day for 90 days have double the recovery rate, though that only brings it up to 40%.) People with phobias have a similar problem. The article writes about how they're trying to uncover the details of this process and how temporary drugs could be used to help the brain along. They mentioned one at the end used for fear of heights.

  3. So I have given up coffee for Lent. I was drinking 2 cups a day, maybe 3 cups on a really bad day... I didn't think it was all that much, especially by Seattle standards, but it's amazing how much less headachy and jittery I feel now.

  4. What kind of instant organic coffee do you drink at work?

    Have you tried a natural product tha tastes like coffee?