By William Hubbert
Addiction is defined as your brain having a chemical reliance on a substance. I am addicted to caffeine. I have been drinking coffee since I was about 11. Perhaps that was irresponsible on the part of my parents, but then again, in the 50’s they allowed 11 year olds to smoke, so in comparison drinking coffee isn’t exactly criminal. Since then I’ve become a bit of a coffee connoisseur. I worked at a cafe for about 2 years, and I can safely tell the difference between a light, medium, dark, french, and espresso roast just by the smell. I like coffee, a lot. So what would happen if I decided to stop drinking it for a week straight?
Waking up on the first day was the worst. Most mornings I drink at least one cup of coffee, sometimes two. Suddenly not doing that anymore shocked my system, and I had jitters throughout first period. It was then when I realized just how difficult this would be. The rest of the day wasn’t as bad, but I still felt the ramifications of suddenly going without something I’ve been drinking for years. I was moody and irritable, and by the end of the day, I was drowsy and exhausted.
For the most part, through the rest of the week, every day was the same. I’d wake up, walk to the kitchen to grab my morning coffee, and walk dejectedly back to my room when I remembered what I was putting myself through. On the third day I went so far as to actually pour myself a cup before I recalled the challenge I was doing. Waste of a perfectly fine cup, down the drain, and the rest of my morning was soured by the event. That alone almost made me quit the challenge, but I powered through and eventually I reached the final day, mostly encouraged by my journalism grade.
The last day was probably the least terrible, probably because I was used to my burden by then, but it still wasn’t pleasant. The jitters were gone, as was the drowsiness, but the mornings were still just as bad, and I was still exhausted by mid afternoon.
When your brain develops a chemical reliance on a substance, or an addiction, dropping that substance suddenly it can be seriously jarring to your system. I found that out over the past week, and I can safely say that I will never do that again. I need my coffee.