You're not wrong! I do spend the enforced caffeine breaks lightly caffeine withdrawn. But it's a level of caffeine withdrawal that I would normally get somewhere around day 5 or 6 of quitting coffee. It's not great, but it's entirely manageable. It mostly just feels like having a bit of an off day.
My experience is that this sort of short period of low grade caffeine withdrawal is something that I can deal with much more easily than either a) The intense suffering of my normal caffeine withdrawal or b) The prospect of feeling like this stretching out indefinitely (because, as you say, I tend to keep feeling not much better than this for >= a month after quitting). The former prevents me taking coffee breaks, the latter ensures I inevitably fall off the wagon.
My vague intention is to gradually ratchet up the amount of breaks I have to take in an attempt to gradually ratchet down my level of dependence on it over time.
Anyway: Yup. It's not an ideal system, but it's a system that I've a decent chance of actually sticking to.
Hmm. That's worth knowing, thanks. Explains in part why it still sucks after a month when I go cold turkey.
It's not that I don't believe you (it really isn't!), but do you have a cite? I've tried to read more about this subject and I've really found very little good information out there.
Not one that I can obtain legally without a prescription!
To some degree I use caffeine to self-medicate for the fact that my energy levels and sleep patterns are all over the place. This is not a problem I can get a doctor to take seriously, and most of the alternative stimulants I could use in its place are, well, not readily available to me without that.
A lot of why I'm trying to cut out my caffeine dependence is to either confirm or rule out that the caffeine dependence is the source of this problem. I don't believe it is, but I admit that from the outside that belief looks highly unconvincing.
I've done estimates before and when in "Normal" mode my caffeine intake tends to be in the 200-400mg/day range. One largeish cup of coffee / day is about my normal intake, but how largeish and how strong varies over time.
In the past when I've tried to track units precisely to reduce caffeine intake the result has not been very good for me psychologically and resulted in my being obsessed with my exact caffeine intake 24/7, which is what this goal structure is designed to help avoid - binary allowed caffeine/not allowed caffeine seems all round better.
One thing I've had some success with (though am not currently doing) is to drink all my coffee decaf (fortunately I have a source of quite nice decaf coffee) and take all my caffeine in pill form so I've got a very precise notion of exactly how much caffeine I'm taking.
Hmm. Thinking out loud, here's a thing that might work: If I can establish some sensible and easy to track mentally "maximum safe caffeine intake" and basically say that exceeding that costs me -10 points (or whatever) on my caffeinefree goal, that might work.
I'll have a think about this and may implement something of this nature.