Throughout my life, I’ve joked that I would make a very bad drug addict. I can’t tolerate most pain medications because they make me dizzy, nauseous, and/or freaked out. I can’t even take ibuprofen for too many days in a row because it gives me high blood pressure. I’m not a pill popper. I’ve never been interested in injecting things, snorting them, or smoking them.
Yet, still I find myself addicted to a drug. Caffeine.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Caffeine is not heroin.
Caffeine is legal. It’s socially acceptable. Caffeine won’t make you lose your job, your family, or your house. People will tout its health benefits and rejoice in the social aspect of getting a cup of coffee with friends.
Still, I find it funny that if you stop consuming caffeine these are the symptoms you might go through:
Headache, sleepiness, irritability, lethargy, constipation and/or diarrhea, depression, muscle pain/stiffness, lack of concentration, flu-like symptoms, and insomnia.
If you were detoxing off of HEROIN you would have these symptoms:
Anxiety, muscle aches, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, lethargy, and headache.
Pretty similar detox, eh?
Now, I’m sure heroin detox is severe but the past few days getting off caffeine hasn’t been a picnic.
my drug Starbucks. My day is a roller-coaster of energy highs and lows as my body tries to achieve balance without stimulant intervention. I feel calm one minute and anxious the next. It’s like a bad hangover mixed with PMS and a brass band playing in your face. Admittedly, I was a heavy user of the java bean. I’m paying the price.
I see people lining up in the drive thrus of coffee sellers and fast food joints alike. They grasp steaming Venti coffees like oxygen masks. They grab Big Gulp size Diet Cokes because they didn’t sleep last night and are in need of a hit. I see the massive vats of coffee at church with people lined up looking for a boost. I overhear people say someone would have to pry their coffee, Diet Coke, or tea from their cold dead hand.
People can give up various food groups but not their coffee.
It’s an addiction for many.
Maybe you’re a casual user, maybe you can quit anytime you want, maybe you think caffeine doesn’t affect you.
Try to go a week without it.
Personally, I’ve been having all sorts of symptoms of adrenal fatigue and my back pain is reaching new heights. From some research that I’ve done, caffeine consumption makes both of those issues worse. For me, I knew I needed a break from caffeine. I’m not saying I won’t “use” again but I’ve certainly seen the light and for me, caffeine is a very powerful drug.
I don’t like being an addict. I don’t like the dependency for energy, full brain functioning, or the fact that a few hours without a hit of coffee and I’m reduced to a headache ridden lump.
That’s not healthy. That’s addiction. That’s not what I want for my next 40 years. It’s easy to joke about being a java junkie but the truth is, it’s a real addiction.
Like any other addict, I’m taking it one day at a time. I know I’ll emerge from this detox feeling calm and no longer in need of a fix.
What about you? Are you an addict?