I wonder sometimes how bad I really am addicted to caffeine. I pretty much compare myself to someone who goes to Alcoholics Anonymous but still takes a drink every night after the meeting. I started drinking heavy amounts of Dr. Pepper and Mt. Dew in High School. Back then I had 2 part time jobs as well as going to school, so the caffeine helped me make it through the day. My mom tried to get me to quit drinking so much soda, that she started buying me the Sam’s Choice brand of cola from Wal-Mart. Soon after, I’d go back, drinking a little bit less, but nevertheless, still addicted. I even tried the Caffeine-free versions of the same stuff. It just doesn’t taste the same!
College brought me into a serious relationship and 3 part time jobs at one point. It was almost impossible to function without caffeine. Sometime between getting engaged and married, my (now) wife pushed for me to quit caffeine after I experienced some strange health problems. Strangely, it was also around this same time I started drinking exclusively Diet drinks, as my wife is diabetic. Reluctantly I stopped drinking, cold turkey. It was rough.
At first I was actually ok, minus the bad headaches. I started drinking water, gatorade, lemonade… but it was getting to be hard to think and move. My sleeping habits were already bad, which probably didn’t help the situation any. It got so bad that coworkers found me nodding off at my desk. I was getting up late everyday, dozing off throughout the entire day. I would periodically get up to go the restroom to sit on the toilet and “rest my eyes”.
So, without my wife’s knowledge I began drinking Dr. Pepper and Coke again. My job is gracious enough to stock a fridge every month. Its amazing what caffeine can do to get you going and focused in the morning, keep you wide eyed during the day, and stay fresh until you head to bed. Some people might have suggested coffee to me, but I’m not a coffee drinker. So, I stay on the stuff that rots my teeth, and probably my stomach.
I’m probably not the only one who is addicted to caffeine. I really do believe it is a serious drug, and while legal, can still pose unofficial risks to someones well-being. I don’t know if I’ll ever really quit, maybe someday. Are you addicted to caffeine? How bad is it for you?