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Sudden Persistant Anxiety (I think)


New Member
Jan 18, 2021
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Greeting, all.

I am not good at these introduction things, so I'll just describe my odd and scary situation, and if anyone has any questions, I can try to answer them.

This year has been very difficult for me. Previously, I had Depression in around 2003-2004, and that situation was really awful, because I was living with a family member that always angered me (though probably not deliberately). It was a volatile situation, and lots of objects were destroyed. I am a pacifist, and I would never use violence against anyone. However, when really angry - I had a really bad temper - I had to do something to show I was serious, so if there was some small object nearby, I could throw that to a wall or something. I know, it was awful, and it was horrible for me, too, and I haven't reacted like that since around 2004.

The thing is, they locked me up and labeled me with all kinds of things that they themselves even later said I have no symptoms or any observable signs of (the system tends to be brutal in this kind of cases, and not fully hear the victim's side).

However, since then I've been able to live first with roommates, and then by myself, so that kind of situation hasn't happened, and my life started balancing and slowly reached a point where I was 'free of the system' (sort of) and free of any medications.

I thought I could really start living my life from thereon, and was able to do some modest creativity projects and such, do a little bit of exploration, planning to move to another city and such small stuff.

But then this year happened, that crumbled all my plans, hit me with a ridiculous, stupid and hard-to-bear heartache. It's kind of silly to have a heartache as an adult, especially about someone you have never met. I interacted with this object of my feelings for maybe around 8 hours altogether, so it should have been impossible to get a powerful heartache that ruined meditation, and ruined most of the summer. I know how ridiculous it sounds, and as soon as I realized what was happening, I stopped all interactions and closed all communication between us, and haven't interacted since.

I tried to get off of coffee just before this thing happened, and then at one point I figured, I have nothing to lose, might as well try coffee again, and that really made things just worse. At least it was summer.. now I realize how precious it is to have a lot of daylight and warmth and streets and forests free of snow so you can go for a walk any time you want.

I figured, as long as I just get through this heartache and start being able to enjoy things again, things will be fine. It took like 6-ish months or so, to start getting to a place where I didn't have to think about 'my heart's chosen one', I will call that entity 'mycho' from now on for simplicity's sake. Where I didn't have to feel anything about Mycho, but I was able to focus on other things, enjoy nature, architecture, suburbs, and so on.

I don't exactly remember what was going on in my life, or what my life plans were exactly when it hit, but one sunday night, a terrible, stinging pain hit my front tooth. Ouch! What the.. it was so incredibly bad, and I tried all the 'home remedies', like garlic and green tea, but nothing helped. So I took some regular pain medication, called 'Ibuprofen'.

Eventually the pain went away, I was able to sleep, and everything seemed fine.

Except.. I had this unexplainable 'bad feeling', it was like sadness mixed with fear and 'unfocused confusion', that was scary in itself, in the morning. But when I went for a long walk, I started feeling better. There was no physical pain anymore, so I figured, I am not gonna go to the dentist, maybe it was just some kind of.. and then the physical pain suddenly came back, and so bad I almost cried in the grocery store. Right during that walk that made me feel so good.

Dang.. well, I had to take more medication obviously. Then the pain went away (eventually), and in the morning, after a night that contained a lot of pain (this time also on my lower front tooth), I again felt this weird, shocking, fear-based sadness and bad feeling. It was really awful, but when I went online and was able to talk with someone I never met before (with voice) - not about any of this, but languages and other stuff, I felt fine again. In fact, I felt really good!

Now, this was the time in November, when there was still around or almost 200 Watts (per m2) daylight brightness (luminosity?), and almost 8 hours of daylight, but it was getting dark really fast. Every day was darker than the previous one, and every week was noticeably darker. The weather had also changed to become mostly cloudy, which added to the darkness. Ground was completely snowless, which added to the darkness, as there were no leaves on trees or bushes - everything added to a very depressing background scenery.

Also, since this tooth thing had taken over my life, I forgot whatever other plans I had for my life (except the big picture plans, which might never become reality, like moving to another city), so that forgetfulness was also a bit scary. Then I took the pain medication again because of the pain, and basically 'SWORE' to myself I would go to the dentist in the morning.

That's when it happened for the first time - maybe first time in my whole life, not sure (I had pretty awful feelings when I had the depression in around 2003-2004, and the other stuff that happened afterwards was also a big struggle, but at least I had people in my life back then).

An incredibly powerful 'suffocating feeling' combined with 'fears of everything' plus 'being trapped and have to escape' - and to this, was added the feeling of 'not being able to breathe properly'. The shirt seemed to choke me although it was just a normal T-shirt. I was panicking, and world seemed very small and hostile from all sides, there was nowhere to go.

How can a feeling like this suddenly attack me? I thought it might have been the medication, Ibuprofen. But it could just as well be something else - it would fit with the symptoms I had earlier - I felt relieved as soon as the medication's effect started wearing off. So I calculated I had just a few hours of 'effect' left, after which the pain might come back, but at least I would be free of this awful, gripping pressure that I call 'anxiety', but I don't know if it's the right name for it.

I felt so bad, I just HAD to go outside for a walk, although it was evening and I am living in an almost 'ghetto' type place, where it's not always safe to walk outside in the evenings. I don't usually ever go out at that time, I prefer mornings and daytime, even afternoon, but I avoid evenings.

But I had no choice! It was SO bad, the feelings was like someone had put me into a pressure chamber and kept adding pressure, especially to chest area and had me breathe thick air that's very difficult to breath properly.

I have been scared of Ibuprofen ever since.

Of course the dentist revealed I had a gum disease that had eaten a lot of bone and gum, and that my teeth had become loose, and some teeth had really deep holes, and they would have to be removed, and maybe most of my teeth might have to be.. if I wanted implants, it would cost like 400 euros per tooth, and so on.

ANY 'tooth surgery' scares the .. well, it scares me so much, I rather do almost anything else.

Except this anxiety.. or toothache.

So, my theory is, I waited too many days, took too much Ibuprofen and doing all this in the really dark time of the year added something and all this might've created some kind of chain-reaction that's now part of my system.

The anxiety has followed me ever since, although usually in a smaller 'servings'. It's like this force in me that wants to rise to make me feel absolutely terrified and awful about everything - I am vulnerable to almost anything, and almost anything can trigger something. It's hard to watch some youtube video, because there might be something that reminds me of something scary, which then rises the anxiety.

So, eventually, one thing led to another, a tooth chipped in the christmas time so nothing was open, but it wasn't physically painful.

I got a time for a dentist relatively soon, but it was cancelled the night before, just as I was sleeping. Sleep rhythm is a big problem for me, and I try to always get a good one so I can wake up early to be ready. But when I am nervous, it's hard to sleep, so I usually get like 2 to 5 hours of sleep, if that, before an appointment like that. Especially with a sleeping rhythm that doesn't let me go to sleep early enough.

So I thought I had this sleep rhythm perfected, went to sleep very early, before eight in the evening, and had -just- fallen asleep, when they called to cancel the appointment. Of course that destroyed the sleeping rhythm as well.

I got another appointment time for the next week, so all I could do was wait for it. It was a bit scary but hopeful week, I was thinking about my teeth, my bad gums, and how many teeth I might have to lose, and hoping I wouldn't have to lose any, and was able to enjoy life a bit and walk in the suburbs and such. I figured, I'll just let the dentist fix the chipped tooth, and go on with my life, considering my options and wondering if I could wait until it's 200 W light again until making another dentist appointment to see what can be done.

However, the dentist visit was a bit scary - the dentist told me the previous dentist had been correct, and so I will have to lose some teeth, and I had bad, advanced gum disease. I had tried to learn to brush my teeth more, 2 times a day, morning and night, and use some disinfecting liquid to clean my mouth of bacteria, etc. That had had no effect, apparently. Drat.

The dentist then told me, after looking at the roentgen pictures that two of my teeth will have to be pulled out as soon as possible, and it's best if I immediately make an appointment for that.

This was like a punch to my stomach, and it was a dark time, too. How am I going to be able to cope with everything during such a dark time? I was hoping to prolong things until it's at least brighter outside, so I couldn't sink into quite as deep depression/anxiety/fear/etc. I was afraid my depression from 2003-2004 would come back, or something like that.

I had no one in my life anymore - my best friends died, some good friends moved away to other countries, and so on. The family stuff became so difficult, it was just best to let go and go our separate ways. I had no longer roommates. So this situation was adding loneliness into the mix, and it was worse than it had ever been. Even the movie 'Moon' doesn't depict as desperate loneliness as I was feeling.

However, by happenstance, during this 'what should I do about the 2 tooth the dentist wants to pull out'-phase, that was still a big shock, although I kinda knew about it earlier, because now I have to ACT IMMEDIATELY and DO something about it, instead of being able to live in 'etherid dreamy life' of 'maybe this or maybe that', and just prolong things and still enjoy delicious, unhealthy, pie-like desserts and such (I figured, it's my last fling, might not be able to do it anymore, so why not), while considering my options..

I kind of got 'comfortable' with that kind of maybe irresponsible lifestyle after the initial shock by the first dentist. Since there was no pain, I figured I am free to prolong it a little bit and make my own schedule, and I wanted to wait until February to start acting upon any of this.

Now this was suddenly shoved into immediacy, and I was panicking a bit - will I just immediately lose two tooth? What will it be like? What about dry socket? What about infections? complicationS? What if it hurts and the pain never goes away? All kinds of fears started creeping up. I had to go for a very long walk right after the dentist's appointment, and it was a nice walk in a beautiful suburb I had never been much to before. The walk actually helped a bit and I was able to think about this a lot.

During this time, I met someone online to email with that I thought was wonderful - or .. the whole discussion WAS wonderful, we had a lot in common and we could teach languages to each other (I am tinkering with three languages currently, and that Someone was learning a language I was good at, and I was learning a language they were good at, so it was mutually beneficial).

So now I had some consolation in my life, but the anxiety was there in the background. I sometimes had to try to 'fight' it and try to keep it from becoming active or coming to surface, and I had to avoid 'difficult' or 'scary' things that weren't difficult or scary before to me - just a year ago, I could've handled all of those things without problems. But now the anxiety gets 'triggered' so easily by memories or topics or whatnot. If I remember something bad, it's scary, so it triggers. If I remember something good, I compare it to my current life, and the contrast feels horrible, and it triggers..

Everything might have gone fine, and my life started to finally seem a bit brighter, I was trying to take care of my teeth while trying to decide whether to let the infected tooth with the big hole be pulled out or not - it seems so final, so scary, and it felt like part of my personality would go with it, and I wouldn't be the same again, would I even be able to enjoy life after that ever again? So I couldn't bring myself to make such an appointment, I thought I will think about it maybe for the whole January... (this neverending january, holy cow)..

But then, of course, multiple things happened simultaneously, and that sort of crashed my life on me, and I have nowhere to go anymore, I feel so cornered and trapped now.

First, the very tooth the dentist warned me about that would immediately need to be pulled out so my gums can heal (because the infection would go with the tooth), started throbbing in small pain. Then the pain grew. I tried every home remedy, and I got about 2 minutes of 'relief', but then the pain grew to ridiculous size, and it was a forced situation, there was nothing I could do but wait until morning (it was around 5 am when I realized I can't stand this pain, the tooth has to be pulled out), so I took the Ibuprofen again (didn't really help fully, but maybe a bit), and although I had stayed up the whole night to try to fix my sleeping rhythm and was JUST about to go to sleep, now I had to just keep staying awake, and that would've been a real challenge, if it wasn't for the constantly-painful-tooth, that would've kept me awake, no matter what. I microslept a bit every here and there (on the bus, subway, and waiting hallway).

So, the dentist removed a lot of the plaque and tartar I had, removed two teeth (from the same side, so I still have another that might need to be pulled out), and reserved me an appointment for 'hygienist', which is in two days.

The sad and painful thing is, I kinda panicked when the tooth started hurting, and figured, 'this is it, this is when I lose my normal self and become one of those 'toothless weirdos'', and I kinda sent a freaked-out message to the 'Someone' that we had such fun emailing. I could no longer feel joy, only panic. So later, after the tooth extraction, I was feeling more like 'it wasn't so bad, I am still me', so I emailed that 'Someone' a bit more relaxed email.

The reply from them was kind of weird and cold, and then asking about it and explaining, things just got weirder, and somehow they just stopped emailing me, so I stopped also.

Though right now, even thinking about having someone like them in my life, would feel very scary and anxious as well, because I don't know if I could be a 'good companion / emailer' to them in my current, anxious state, where I feel so small and narrow, like I can't really live life 'on their level' well enough to be a worthy companion on any level, etc.

Anyway, after this happened, I was trying to get a better sleeping rhythm again - I only slept about 5 hours, and thought that would enable me to go to bed early today. However, I am feeling a bit anxious, so I am not sure if sleep is possible or not.

However, the worst thing happened yesterday, when I was trying to also get a good sleeping rhythm so I could be awake in the morning so I could make the appointment soon.

Somehow sundays are the worst, especially sunday nights, for me. I tried just watching videos and just spending my time until I am sleepy enough, and when I figured, ok, now I can probably sleep, I went to bed and everything seemed fine otherwise, but I realized I was feeling really really bad somehow. There was a weird, unspecified fear, there was a feeling of failing something important, and all kinds of other things .. I was just staring at the ceiling (though not seeing it in the dark), with my eyes wide open and panicking so much I realized I can't sleep!

I have been struggling with coffee, sometimes I feel weird and bad coffee withdrawals, sometimes I am overly-caffeinated, so that also feels like I am too 'wired' or something.

So yesterday was pretty much the WORST - the panic and pressure, hard to breathe, hopeless future, hopeless everything, probably losing all teeth and feeling pain and having to use dentures, but also so much just 'unspecified' anxiety or bad feeling, it's like a pressure in my chest, like balloon that's closing in, making it hard to breathe, and my shirt felt again too tight (although I am sure it wasn't).

The only thing that finally let me at least feel something more 'normal', was when I just decided to play a video game as long as I can, and then in that game, I told about this, and someone recommended 'running' for anxiety. So I looked, and it was like -16 or almost -17 °C - very cold, lots of snow, very dark except the street lights and such, and I can't usually run anyway, but.. I decided, no matter what, I have to go for a walk at least. After fearing that, too, it felt like it could be a key or escape of some sort, so it was my last hope..

I did go for that walk, and it was actually a pretty good walk, the trees looked beautiful when they were frosty like that, and all - but it was ridiculously cold, so I couldn't walk for too long.

I felt a bit better after the walk, and the biggest panic had subsided. But the fear always is, I never know when the next attack will come, and it's like I feel the panic right there sitting in the corner, ready to jump me and torture me.

I don't know how to prevent or escape it when it happens, the only thing I can do is waste time until it subsides enough that I can let the exhaustion take over and sleep a bit. Yesterday's anxiety was so bad I actually cried, I guess my body had no other response to something like that.

The worst thing is, I don't know where this comes from, I have no frame of reference, I don't know what causes it or anything. Could be after effects of the medication - I took 600 mg Ibuprofen that day, so that could've triggered something.

So now I am in a bit panicky situation, where everything scares me.

I didn't even mention that I have never flossed in my life, and trying to learn it at this age is kind of impossible - I am trying to floss after brushing, but I am not sure if I am doing it right or not. I constantly worry about the hole left by the removed teeth, although it really hasn't been painful or anything, just small throbs here and there. (After all, they stitched it, so it's no wonder if it feels like something)

I have so many problems.. I worry and stress about every evening, every morning, and every meal, because of the teeth, the missing teeth (the holes), and whether I have been doing the right thing the right way or not. I should use this 'disinfectant' twice a day, but not exactly at brushing time, so I figured, it's best to do after each meal. But what if I only eat one meal some day, when I try to fix sleeping rhythm, so I don't have time to eat two meals? That sort of thing worries me more than it probably should.

Furthermore, this front teeth sometimes gives tiny 'jolts' of pain - nothing serious, but they worry me, too. What if I lose the front teeth, and then it's another difficult 'hole' to worry about for so many weeks. Also, if the other back tooth will be removed, I have to go through this 'liquid food only' phase again, and all this 'carefulness' -- but I am still worried about the current holes and that side, so I haven't even chewed on that side yet.

Basically, I am really worried at what's going to happen at the 'hygienist' and what they might tell me - maybe multiple teeth have to go? Maybe all my teeth have to go? I don't mind the idea of using dentures, it's just that the road to getting there is filled with horrors, pain, possible complications, and difficulties. How do you even eat anything without teeth, besides yoghurt or soups? Can you even eat vegetables or fruit? (Bananas probably)

I am planning to buy a 'waterpik' kind of water flosser, but it's a bit expensive for me - that way, I could at least do the flossing properly.

But how can I know when I will be sleepy enough to sleep, so how can I predict when to brush the teeth? What if I brush them too early and it's ineffective, because I didn't go to sleep right after? Or maybe I become SO sleepy I have no energy to do this diligent brushing procedure.. what if I forget one night, what if I start being lazy about it again and start losing teeth because of it?

I am worried about having to continue and keep this 'diligent brushing routine' every single morning and evening (or whatever time I might wake up and go to sleep) for the REST of my life! How can I do that? I am tired, I have probably some kind of Chronic Fatique, as I never have enough energy, especially without coffee..

I am also in a body that's rapidly aging, it's between 40 and 50 years of age, and my previously lustrous and thick hair has turned very feeble and thin.

What if something else goes wrong? I mean, aging can mean that anything can go wrong.. suddenly I have stopped 'living', and am in a more 'surviving' or 'coping' mode - can I survive or cope with old age and all its difficulties? I have a bad feeling that this tooth problem, as vast as impossible situation as this is, is just the first step into the 'aging process' filled with painful other problems..

What I am also very worried about, is that if I can't find a proper, long-term solution to this anxiety crisis (the constant dentist/etc. visits are not really helping, the darkness outside, the loneliness and losing someone I thought would become a great friend, etc. also do not help), I might start some kind of really bad 'self-medication vice' that are so popular.

One alternative is alcohol - I have not consumed alcohol since 2012, but I am tempted to go out and buy a bottle of whiskey or something, so if the panic or anxiety or whatever it should be called (claustrophobic pressure that makes it hard to breathe and makes me panic = anxiety?) becomes bad agian, I could at least have -something- to reach that might at least ALTER the way I feel, even if it doesn't cure it, so in a way, it would probably work as a short-term escape.

However, the long-term consequences worry me also, so I am very hesitant, but if I see no other solution or if nothing else works, that's probably the route I have to at least try for awhile. Maybe it can get me through the worst.

I have an ex-friend that was more and more alcoholic every year..until all he really cared about was acquiring alcohol cheaply from another country, and then bringing it to his 'drinking buddies' and just spent every day that way that he could. I don't want to end up like that..

Well, I have more problems and worries and probably didn't describe the whole thing well enough - sorry for this being so long, and so desperate, but I have never felt this imprisoned and trapped, and I panic just thinking of ways to get out, and realizing there aren't any..

Thank you for ANYONE that read this whole thing, and I don't blame anyone that skipped a lot.

What sort of things should I have included here? I live in the Northern Europe, where it's very dark in the winter. It's been very cold, too, but now it's a bit warmer.

I hope to sleep soon, so I can wake up before daylight, so I get the full daylight, and also early enough to keep a good sleeping rhythm so I can go to the hygienist appointment early in the morning (have to prepare so much, with teeth cleaning, coffee, shower, etc., and that worries me, too)

I just wish the whole teeth-thing would be over already so at least I could focus on being scared about the other things in my empty, miserable, lonely life.


Active Member
Aug 5, 2020
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Aww it sounds very terrible what you are going through im so sorry. what i have learnt through my experience with dealing with anxiety is that it is not going to hurt you , try and be self ware of your body and what it is trying to tell you and do the thing straight away because if i don't do what my body is telling my straight away then i get rlly irritated. also i have learnt to know your limits and when you are pushing it too far. i have physiotherapy tomorrow and since i haven't been there in a while which i might only do a few exercises and then go home, but i will see how i feel. the most important ting is that you go to your appointment but what i do is depending how i feel while in there i then read my body to decide how long i will stay. Most of all is to take care of your self do self care. sometimes just getting out of bed, making it and getting in a bit of sunlight into your room rlly helps. sometimes you may have o force youre self. also do things you like to do. finally you can do things like journal ling, meditation. also what i have started to do is to not sllep on my bed until i have to go to bed. i feel a sense of relief that you have made it through the day:)

Hope this helps !


New Member
Jan 18, 2021
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Imsotired, thank you so much for your sympathetic and encouraging, wise reply!

My appointment went well, I have new hope about my teeth now (just a bit more work every day, but it's kinda fun, too, now that I sort of know how to floss with a nice 'interdental brush' (or whatever they're called)), and the hygienist was so incredibly friendly and kind, I have rarely been treated so well by someone so 'official'. I mean, they were professional and all, but there was no blame in their voice, and the 'bedside manner' was the best imaginable.

I have learned to cope with the anxiety a bit better, I have learned to recognize it and sort of .. mentally observe it, so it's not an 'unknown' anymore, and thus not as scary.

What do you mean to do the thing the body is trying to tell me?

I think you may be on to something when you mention 'pushing too far', because I have not had good sleep for a long time, until today, and I feel so much better today, I was able to do some programming for my hobby project, it was great.

So good sleep seems to be the key to all kinds of good health.

Oh, you have physiotherapy? Is it because of injury, atrophy or old age of the body?

My body is between 40 and 50 years of age, so I might start to have to do something like that as well. My only two forms of exercize these days are long walks and 'dance video games' (I have a Wii with Balance Board, and I also like to play an 'exercize game', as it has also 'karate' and other interesting ways of moving. And the game keeps track of my movements, so I can't cheat or anything, so it's like a real trainer that keeps pushing you to do a few more movements).

Sunlight isn't really an option in the winter here much, almost all days are 100% cloudy in the winter (in the summer, it's almost the opposite, although I like cloudy days in the summer, I hate them in the winter). I keep track of how much daylight we have, so now we already have over seven hours per day, and almost 140 Watts per square meter of luminance (brightness?). The darkest time we have 62 Watts (it's really dim light!) and brightest point has 933 Watts (more than enough, since 500 Watts is already bright enough for me).

Some tropical points of this planet, like Hawaii, have something like .. 1200 Watts or was it even more than that? No wonder people aren't as depressed in Hawaii. *smile*

Yeah, I don't have problems getting out of bed, it's more like.. I can't go lay down if I am not tired, because my thoughts will attack me too much. I just have to get up immediately.

Thank you for all the tips and information! I am doing a little bit of diary writing, and then I try to meditate when I am not drinking coffee. However, I have to drink coffee to keep the appointments and things, and there are -so- many lately, for example, we have an apartment building maintenance that needs my presence during a certain point next week, then there's another appointment in a week for the hygienist, then the actual building maintenance the week after that, and I have to make an appointment for a full dental check as well.. it's going to be a hassle. I have to be awake in the morning at 10:00 am (but actually from 7 am, it takes awhile to even get to the place, and I have to of course prepare) for the appointment, but I have to be awake at 15:00 pm for the building maintenance thing, and my sleeping rhythm doesn't support either awake time at the moment.

Therefore, I foresee coffee usage also in the future.. (can't meditate when caffeinated).

I have a struggle with coffee, that's been ongoing for years.

This (or 'last year', the year 2020) was pretty weid, as I was able to stay off coffee for around 3,5 months altogether - once 2 months, then 3 weeks of coffee, then 1.5 months, and then back to coffee, and now I am on-and-off, this whole winter has really messed me up in so many ways I don't even know these things anymore.

Anyways, things are looking up, but there's still a lot of work to be done. I am watching videos I have taken on my small trips in the summer, from 2011 onwards, and they make me think about life, and how everything changes, and yet my life doesn't get any better during all that time.. it's not a bad life, I suppose, but it isn't expanding to the 'larger and more exciting version' I imagine I would like for my life to be.

If I could figure out how to be energetic enough to do my creative projects without coffee (last summer another thing also prevented me from doing those projects, but that's life - something always goes wrong), and I didn't have all these appointments and requirements to be awake at a given time, I wouldn't need coffee for anything.

I was planning to try this 'coffee break' again when it's brighter, the spring has started (spring starts in February, when you look at moon calendar or just calculate seasons based on the dimmest and brightest points of the year and then divide evenly to four seasons), and so on, because it is an ordeal to get through the first couple of weeks without caffeine every time, so I'd like the environment to be at least relatively pleasant and not dark and gloomy, like it is in the winter, before I attempt that again.

But these problems have certainly changed my plans a lot, and now I don't know what to do anymore.. perhaps I'll try to break away from coffee again in march or april and see how that goes.

Anyways, thank you again for your great post, it really did help!

If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know as well, ok?