Quitting drinking: are the withdrawal symptoms I'm having from giving up alcohol, or caffeine?
I'm a female in my early 30s, and I've been drinking heavily for the better part of the past 10 years. Up until about 5 years ago, I would go out with friends around 5 nights a week, and drink a lot (enough to be heavily buzzed/drunk). When I moved to a new city, I still kept up the drinking, but not so much with the going out part, since I didn't know anyone in my new city. My drink of choice was always something mixed with cola (rum, usually).
I'd drink most days (6-7 days a week), skipping a day here or there if I had a really
bad hangover. On normal days, I'd go through at least half a liter of rum, and a two liter bottle of cola. If I ever tried to go more than one day without drinking, I'd get a splitting headache that Advil couldn't touch.
I had my last drink this past Wednesday, and sure enough, last night (Friday) and today (Saturday), I had a splitting headache that a full night's sleep, advil, and lots of water didn't help (in fact, it just got worse). I took some Advil again this morning, but it didn't help much. This afternoon, while visiting with a friend, I had a cup of coffee, which I rarely drink - perhaps once a month. Before I was done with the small cup, my headache was gone. (And it still is, about 8 hours later.)
I can't help but wonder if the headaches I get when I don't drink are from alcohol or caffeine withdrawal. Apparently, cola has only around 1/6 the amount of caffeine of coffee
, but since I was drinking so much cola every day (mixed with the rum), could this have been the real source of my headaches? And if so, why is quitting caffeine physically harder than quitting liquor? As far as I can tell, if the headaches are from caffeine withdrawal, then the only physical side effects from giving up liquor have been positive - restful sleep, more energy, etc.
(I know that drinking like that is Bad For Me, I know I'm still in the super super early steps of dealing with this (today is day 3), and I'm laying the groundwork to start working on the personal issues that I need to, and that alcohol addiction is more than physical, and that I need to be REALLY careful not to be all "wow, this is easier than I thought!!" BUT STILL...caffeine?? Really??)
(If you'd like to share your experiences, I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org)