Caffeine is one of the most-commonly used drugs throughout the world and is commonly consumed in tea, cocoa pod, coffee, and mate. My addiction to the drug was influenced by its ability to influence my mood, energize me, and comfort. Caffeine became my first love that I could turn to when stressed, happy, or sad. It acted as an ever-present help to give me comfort and relief through eliminating my insecurities and fears. Caffeine gave me hope and strength to face every situation and moment in my life and enabled me to no longer feel lonely. The drug appealed to my senses because it increased my attention and concentration, particularly when tired and fatigued. Any moment with caffeine provided me with strength and refreshment to face the next activity and program in the day.
Realization of Addiction:
My abstinence from caffeine was fueled by the realization of how addicted I became to this drug. I realized how I had become totally dependent on caffeine to an extent that I couldn't do anything without it. Actually, I did not realize how much caffeine was in my daily and occasionally twice daily chai lattes. Caffeine became my only source of strength and refreshment that could help me to get through the day. This dependence inhibited the ability to realize my full potential in doing things by myself.
The second reason for my decision to abstain from the drug was because of realization of the effects of caffeine. While caffeine does not bring life-threatening health risks like the classic drugs, it's still associated with some risks brought by extreme dependence. One of the major effects of caffeine in my life was an inability to lessen or quit from its use. In some cases, I continued using caffeine despite the psychological or clinical problems that were worsened by the dependence in order to get through the day. Generally, I experienced huge difficulties in lessening or cutting down caffeine use regardless of persistent desire that was characterized with unsuccessful attempts.
Secondly, caffeine worsened the ulcers condition I was already suffering from and caused heartburns and digestive distress in some situations. While caffeine reduced my fears and hurts, it worsened my ulcers and I found it difficult to cut down its use despite of doctor's advice to do so. The third effect of the caffeine use was its impact on my ability to sleep at night i.e. It contributed to insomnia. As I continued to use caffeine, I stayed more awake at night, which affected my ability to function and operate normally during the day. I experienced relative lack of energy and increased sleepiness during the day that made to continue relying on caffeine in order to have strength and concentration.
Fourth, caffeine affected my ability to give the best to my job duties and work responsibilities. This seeming inability is because of the increased sleepiness during daytime and the tendency to feel anxious, irritated, and depressed. This made me to continue using the drug in order to regain strength, feel refreshed, and concentrate on the specific duties. The fifth effect of caffeine is that it worsened certain kinds of memory while improved others. It undermined my efforts to make a good impression and interfere with my ability to do my best. Therefore, the continued use of caffeine affected my physical, emotional, and social life.
The Abstinence Journey:
The journey to abstinence from caffeine use was brought by a period of reflection and desire for change, which made me realize my addiction and its health effects and other risks in my life. I embarked on a journey to abstain from it in order to avoid continual exposure to these health effects and risks. The other reason for embarking on this journey was to regain my human dignity and realize my full potential to depend on my strength and fulfill my duties independently. I no longer wanted to be dependent on caffeine and was willing and ready to start living fully without the drug.
My overall experience in abstaining from caffeine has been generally difficult and characterized with ups and downs. While I succeeded in general, the experience was coupled with successes and a couple of relapses such as one on my birthday and another on a boring Saturday morning. The first few days of the abstinence experience was coupled with mood swings and headaches though I was determined to overcome every barrier and become independent of caffeine.
One of the major experiences of caffeine withdrawal was feelings of weakness, anxiety, apathy, drowsiness, and headaches. This is because the drug increased heart rate and muscle tension while it lessened motor behavior. In some cases, I would sometimes nausea, feelings of flu, tremor, and vomiting. I experienced these withdrawal symptoms within the first 24 hours of abrupt stop of consuming caffeine and worsened after 48 hours. In essence, the abstinence was extremely difficult within the first two days as my body responded negatively to this cessation. I experienced substantial unpleasant effects, especially in the morning and afternoon because most of the caffeine consumption would happen during these times. My complaints and feelings were more severe after 48 hours than they were within the first 24 hours of abstinence.
Secondly, the abstinence caused medically substantial distress and functioning impairment. In addition to the previously discussed symptoms, the effect of the abstinence on normal functioning was evident in extreme drowsiness during daytime, difficulties to concentrate, and work difficulty. While I used caffeine to feel energized and concentrate during the day, the abstinence not only made me muzzy but also contributed to minimal motivation for work and other responsibilities.
Third, while I my overall experience of caffeine withdrawal or abstinence was mild, I would occasionally feel totally incapacitated. These feelings resulted in different behavioral and personality characteristics, especially due to increased irritation and drowsiness. It was difficult for me to interact effectively with my colleagues at work, friends, and family members when I feeling totally incapacitated. As a result, my social life was significantly affected because it was not only difficult for me to socialize but it was also difficult for people to find it easy to socialize and interact with me.
Success in the Journey:
Even though my abstinence journey from caffeine consumption was coupled with several challenges, it was successful in general. One of the major factors contributing to its success was the determination and resolution to overcome these challenges. Before embarking on this journey, I had conducted research on caffeine abstinence and received some helpful insights on the need for determination and steadfastness from some clinical professionals. I was advised that these two factors were important because the journey will be characterized with successes and challenges. From the beginning of this process, I had known that it was not going to be easy and committed myself towards achieving my goal. The process required physical, emotional, psychological, and emotional commitment in order to be successful.
The second major factor that contributed to the success was reduced severity of withdrawal symptoms with time. As previously mentioned, the first 48 hours were very difficult because of the physical and emotional effects I experienced. However, the severity of these symptoms reduced from the third day, which makes it relatively easy to cope with the new changes and remain committed to the process. Notably, the withdrawal symptoms did not stop after the third day but they were lighter than the first two days.
After the third day of the process, it became relatively easy for me to regain my strength and ability to work independently. However, I would occasionally experience moderate headache and drowsiness, which continued to reduced within days. When I experienced a couple of relapses, the withdrawal symptoms became severe but reduced after 48 hours. Therefore, the withdrawal became…