Your Thoughts/Feelings About Giving Something Up & What You Learned and How it Applies to the Overall Concept of Addicition
It is quite amazing to think about the freedoms and opportunities each person really has, regardless of his or her situation. For instance, many people often complain about being forced to stay at work or required to show up for a certain meeting. While these people may be recognize that they must stay at the job or they will be fired or they are required to show up for a meeting if they do not want to face adverse career circumstances, people are not really forced to do many things. In frustrating situations, it is well within most people's power to simply walk out of the door. But something else compels people to stay in many situations that are less than perfect.
By giving something up, I know now how hard it is not to exercise my choices, to know how easy it is to simply take what I desire. With nothing like a paycheck or a moral right or wrong guiding me, I realized that giving something up solely for the purpose of benefiting myself was a very frustrating thing to do. In addition, I learned that this must be even harder for those who face severe addictions that have ruled their lives for many years. Addictions are not to be overcome lightly, and they are certainly not as simple to abandon as many suggest.
Did You Have Symptoms of Addiction?
Because I experienced the withdrawal symptoms listed above, I can say that I did experience symptoms of addiction. Further, I experienced relapses and became agitated when I could not have Red Bull. Although these may be mild symptoms of addiction, they strike a chord by exemplifying how becoming addicted to a substance of behavior is quite easy.
Was Your Behavior Change Easy or Difficult and Why?
Although the behavior change was difficult, it was not nearly as difficult as some behavior changes I could have had to endure. The change was difficult mainly because I had to endure the inconvenience of being denied something that I had always felt entitled to in the past. Also, the change was difficult because of the adverse symptoms I experienced, in addition to the frustration I felt at being unable to satisfy my desires and cravings.
What Did it Teach You About People Who Have to Give Up Chemicals and Did it Change Your View of Addiction and Willpower?
My experience with giving up this addiction was frustrating, so it must be even more frustrating for those who have to give up chemicals. Although caffeine is a highly addictive substance, its effects and withdrawal effects are not nearly as severe as the effects and withdrawal effects of someone using chemicals. For this reason, my experience made me sympathize with the addict who has to give up chemicals, in addition to making me understand that addiction is not easy to overcome, and willpower is not always as strong was we would like it to be. Though many suggest that those who have to give up chemicals should not view the experience as so difficult, I now realize that it is not only a difficult experience, but one of the most difficult experiences that one must endure.
Although a caffeine addiction is not as severe as many addictions I could have, my experience in attempting to give up Red Bull has allowed me to understand the severity of overcoming addictions of all kinds.
Pavlina, Steve. (2005). How to Give Up Coffee. Retrieved June 24, 2008, at http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/05/how-to-give-up-coffee/.
Di Justo, Patrick. (2007). What's Inside: Red Bull. Retrieved June 24, 2008, at http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/15-07/st_redbull.
Griffiths, R.R., Juliano, L.M., & Chausmer, a.L. (2003). Caffeine pharmacology and clinical effects. in: Graham a.W., Schultz T.K., Mayo-Smith M.F., Ries R.K. & Wilford, B.B. (eds.) Principles of Addiction Medicine, Third Edition (pp. 193-224). Chevy Chase, MD: American Society of Addiction.
Stockton, Trent. (2004). Caffeine Withdrawal Recognized as a Disorder. Retrieved June 24, 2008 at http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2004/09_29_04.html.