I have been drinking coffee every morning for the past 10 years. A failure to do so has led to serious consequences and this is not a form of hyperbole. When I attempted to stop drinking coffee in the mornings, my body went into complete shock and I was ill for an entire month. This is the severity of my caffeine addiction. I am dependent on it.
My parents have always been big coffee drinkers, in fact the first thing that I remember being able to smell as a child was coffee. I loved the smell and would pour Coca Cola into a mug, pretending that it was black coffee. I couldn’t wait to try my first cup and I was 12 when my parents finally thought that I was old enough.
My first memory of incessant consumption is at the age of 14. I was having difficulty sleeping; I needed something to get rid of my headaches in the morning. I began to drink a lot of coffee and eventually by the time I turned 15, I was already dependent on the drug to get me through the day.
I was 16 when I had my first sip of Red Bull, it soon became my favourite lunch drink. I often had an average of 6 cans throughout the day and I eventually reached a point where I was constantly being advised not to drink it. My morning cappuccino ritual intensified. My body would expect the coffee at a specific time and if it did not receive it, the painful withdrawal symptoms would go into overdrive.
At the age of 18, I began university. My friend and I would visit a coffee shop in between lectures and this is when I began to drink espressos. I would get through at least 8 a day and they were a requirement to cope with my insomnia. As time went on, I began to notice the impact of the caffeine on my health.
Eventually I realised that I needed to cut down but this could only be done slowly because my body was accustomed to the large amounts of caffeine. Over the years, I have managed to cut down on my caffeine intake but the one morning coffee is still a necessity and I am thrown into a state of illness if I abandon it. Most people tell me that this is psychological, but believe me when I say that it isn’t. I have tried again and again to avoid drinking it, but the withdrawal symptoms can become so intense that I begin to throw up, experience intense dizziness and generally just cannot get out of bed.
I have learned to accept that it is something that I will eventually have to stop, because the level of dependency on coffee is not healthy. I dread staying overnight at other places because I know that I will need my coffee in the morning. I have attempted to find substitutes, to drink decaf coffee, but nothing satisfies my body enough.
The extent of our dependency is sometimes ridiculous. I wonder what humanity would become without all of these foundations.
(Image source: here)