So, about the whole no caffeine thing. It lasted three days, then on the fourth I decided that life wasn't worth living anymore, and had one cup of the best instant coffee I could find. The next day, actually, it was almost as soon as I finished that cup of coffee that I realized my mistake and started over again. It continued for another three days. At the end of which I had decided the whole thing was getting a little out of hand. It wasn't cause by the caffeine deprivation, not primarily. At least I didn't think that caffeine was the major reason for what I was going through. I was beginning to get quite paranoid, mostly about my health, and I was definitely in an emotional slum. The tiniest thing would tick me off, things that I usually wouldn't even notice, and I would freak out. That was when I decided it was time to go see another doctor. That decision ended my week long caffeine free journey.
Now, I feel the need to clarify that I am in no way downplaying any sort of substance abuse and the difficult process to quit. I did not feel that my experience had made me understand what people have to go through. What I am trying to say is that this gave me some insights into something that I have never really put too much thought into.
I've never thought about coffee other than where I am going to get mine. I would thought about it, brought it, drank it, and then not thought about it for the rest of the day. Instead of doing that, I thought endlessly about coffee throughout the week. I would wake up, realized I couldn't have coffee for breakfast, and so I drank some water instead. I would get a little frustrated at that point, but nothing too much. As the day went on, however, I would find myself thinking about it more and more. I would be standing in consultation and thought: I can really use a coffee. Or I would be doing some lab work, trying to focus but feeling not quite fully awake and thought the same thing again. By lunch time, I would get a bit twitchy and grumpy. Then by evening I would feel a little better. Just a little, and the thought of coffee never really left my mind. It went on, until I finally broke down and had that first cup in three days. As I was drinking that cup of semi decent instant coffee I felt content, yet at the same time I also felt guilty about it.
I've never put much thought into the process of quitting any sort of addiction previously. I don't personally know anyone who is addicted to any kind of substance. I do have a brother that I have always felt had a game addiction, and a co-worker that drinks a little too much occasionally. My family had talked about getting my brother professional help, but had never gotten around to it. My sister in law had pretty much just chalked it up with him being immature. And surely, as he had gotten a bit older, his gaming habit had gotten far less problematic.
In the past week I have started to think about it. It was a truly horrifying thought. Since I consider my dependence on caffeine to be nothing more than that, over dependence. I knew how long my self imposed break would last, and it was only a short period of time. I was already struggling, and failing half way through it. I can't imagine what it would be like quitting a real addiction of any kind must be like. I think that was a very good motivation to not start developing a habit.