Part 1

Addiction is a leading public health concern that causes poor health and life outcomes among victims. While some are aware of their condition, others are unaware or unable to acknowledge their addiction. It took me a few reflective episodes to realize that I am addicted to caffeine, a situation I have labeled “Coffee Beans.” I need Coffee Beans to feel awake and rejuvenated for the day. I am a 42-year-old gay male of the upper middle class, a social worker, married, and living with our 3 dogs. I acknowledge that coffee has become part of my lifestyle, and I have developed a physical and psychological dependence on the drink. I love the taste of tea and coffee, and I have always taken at least a cup before starting the day. Without coffee, I feel groggy and get headaches, which affects my productivity and mood throughout the day. Caffeine is the most commonly used drug globally, and since it is accepted as part of a “normal” diet, it is difficult for individuals to notice when they are addicted. I am just starting my addiction journey because I understand it can become a serious problem as I age. My family has a history of alcoholism and drug use disorder, these are risk factors for addiction. Based on the 12-step recovery process, I am at the stage of admitting powerlessness over the addiction. 

I strongly feel I should give up Coffee Beans because I do not like being dependent on anything. The dependence on caffeine could cause me to seek other dangerous alternatives when it is unavailable. There are many advantages of Giving up Coffee Beans. First, it will give me more control over my life because I will not be dependent on caffeine to have a good day. I will also sleep better because caffeine is a stimulant and causes drowsiness during the day. Without Coffee Beans, I will have less anxiety because caffeine causes palpitations, nervousness, and alertness. Another advantage of quitting is I will have healthier digestion and teeth. Excessive coffee drinking has stained my teeth, and I find this unappealing. However, quitting coffee will have downsides, such as withdrawal symptoms. Anticipated symptoms include headaches, nausea, foggy feeling, and muscle stiffness. The withdrawal period can also affect my relationship with my husband and productivity at work as I adjust to working without coffee.

Part 2

Starting the recovery journey, I have encountered many challenges, mainly withdrawal symptoms. I have suffered headaches, tiredness, and irritability that worsen as the day goes by. Coffee Beans was a pick-me-up that allowed me to stay alert most of the day. However, to combat the challenges, I have started exercising, increasing my energy, boosting my mood, and relieving stress. After working out, I feel energized and sleep better, reducing the need for caffeine in the morning. I have also been taking Advil for headaches and a nap, allowing me to feel refreshed throughout the day. I have managed to stay on track with the recovery process. I have not lapsed, and I feel proud of myself. However, I must admit that it feels harder every day since several temptations surround me. First, I do most of my assignments at a local coffee shop because I find it peaceful and inspiring. This increases my risk of giving in to temptations and ordering a cup. My husband still takes his coffee daily, filling the house with the aroma and making it available. Abstaining from coffee has been the best challenge for me, allowing me to reflect on how easy it is to get addicted to things and behaviors. I am dedicated to completing this journey for better health and life outcomes.

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