My Addiction: Coffee
If coffee is a drug, then it’s my favorite drug. A cup of coffee always levels me out not only when it’s freezing but also when it’s scorching during summer. I can always propose a cup of coffee when hanging out with friends since I’m not much into other drugs or alcohol especially during morning hours or doing something constructive. When I wake up, I prefer coffee more than anything else. It always makes me rejuvenated and ready for the day. I don’t remember a time when I got out of the bed and didn’t take coffee. I eventually found out that I was addicted to it whenever we ran out of coffee in the house since I would feel unusual and uncomfortable. Such an occasion would call for an immediate replacement of coffee in the house or a sudden rush to the nearest coffee house to get my favorite concoction. So, when this subject came up, I had no choice but to choose coffee as my substance and experiment with it.
Plans for using the substance
I started using coffee as part of my breakfast initially. Then using it as a stimulant to keep me active when planning to stay awake at night or when I wake up very early. Soon afterward, I started developing cravings for it. But this did not bother me since I discovered numerous benefits of coffee while doing my research. One source indicated that coffee contains useful nutrients including potassium, magnesium, and manganese, and could significantly improve physical performance or energy levels as well as lower the risk of getting certain diseases (Gunnars, 2017). Another one suggested that drinking coffee improves one’s mood, makes one smarter and decreases their chances of committing suicide (Jacques, 2013). After getting this information, I was determined to use coffee for as long as I wished. Little did I know that too much use of the substance was not as healthy as advertised.
My dependency on coffee became clear as day the moment I opted out for two weeks. The first week was gruesome, and I felt like I was terribly ill. I would wake up very tired or fatigued and with a headache and was less alert throughout the day. It was clear to me that I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms. All I could think of is have a cup of coffee, but I soldiered on. By the middle of the first week, I started experiencing different issues with my body such as feelings of nausea and my eyes were sensitive to light after waking up. Daytime wasn’t that awful. Towards the end of the week, I would experience headaches at night as opposed to morning hours at the start of the week. These headaches would slowly disappear as week two began. I would sleep better and wake up better day after another, and my day would also be active. After the two weeks were over, I felt energized enough and felt like I did not need coffee anymore.
My psychological aspect was equally tormented especially because I was not okay biologically. The frequent headaches during the first days of the first week would make me slower when I woke up, and I would contemplate about literally not doing anything that day. I felt too lazy to even go to school. By mid-week, my mood was grouchy all the time, and I would feel anxious or depressed. My life would slowly ease back to normal as week two approached because I was beginning to get into terms with a new lifestyle. Week two was way better. I was more energetic, and my mood was great. I would even walk three miles after having a productive day at work. I started feeling normal again by the middle of week two. I managed to play basketball with my two sons. By the end of the two weeks, I was very normal, very happy, and excited throughout the day. Life was back as usual.
I’m not quite a social person, but abstaining from coffee made it even worse. As I started my two weeks, I realized I was very moody and did not want much interaction with colleagues at work. This would subside as the week progressed. Toward the end of the week, I was able to reach out to some coworkers and friends. Week two was better because I got to hang out with friends and family and was more talkative with coworkers. I even got to facetime with my stepson living in Montana and helped a friend plan for her graduation. I was able to create time with my parents, and they had a great time with my kids. My kids and I rode bikes on one day when we got time for ourselves. I also enjoyed times with my husband. My social life was back to normal by the end of the two weeks.
I would say nothing much happened concerning my spiritual awareness. I would journal and pray every day for the two weeks. During the first week, I wanted God to salvage me from the changes I was experiencing. I started the second week by going to church and thanking God for the relief because I was starting to feel better. I was closer to God during the second week, and by the end of it all, I was happy to have grown in Faith. I made a resolution that I would go to church and read the Bible more often.
How the experience is similar to someone addicted to alcohol/drugs
Although caffeine dependence may not fall under the same classification as drug or alcohol dependence, quitting can be quite a difficult task. Just like one becomes dependent and cannot function well without consuming alcohol or using a drug they’re used to, I would have a difficult time functioning without a cup of coffee. Luckily, coffee withdrawal symptoms are unlike hard drugs or alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are more severe and require professional assistance. Experts say that the brain adapts to normalcy and the symptoms disappear after about 7 to 12 days of quitting coffee (Clarity Way, 2018).
Clarity Way. (2018). Caffeine Addiction Facts: How Addictive Is Coffee vs. Cocaine? | Clarity Way. Clarity Way. Retrieved 23 February 2018, from https://www.clarityway.com/blog/coffee-vs-cocaine-and-other-drugs-the-facts-about-addiction-might-surprise-you/
Gunnars, C. (2017). 13 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science. Healthline. Retrieved 23 February 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee#section7
Jacques, R. (2013). 11 Reasons You Should Drink Coffee Every Day. HuffPost UK. Retrieved 23 February 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/coffee-health-benefits_n_4102133.html
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