Caffeine addiction relapse : CONFESSIONS from a coffee addict

Breaking any addiction is difficult. Participate in this dialogue about stopping drinking coffee. Is it easier said than done? Is coffee the final frontier? Or are the thoughts that drive the behavior even stronger? Read and add to the positive and negative side effects of coffee. Comments encouraged.

minute read

It’s Day 15, halfway through the month of December, during which time I am attempting to NOT drink coffee.  And I’ve relapsed three times.  I’ve rationalized the relapses as “scientific inquiry”, or “winter pick-me-up’s” but the reality is that I’m in the throes of classic addiction.

I probably need not index the stages from withdrawal to sobriety to relapse … but I do want to share some of the physical effects of espressos I have experienced after a period of abstinence.  This short list serves a double purpose.  As an index of the physical effects of caffeine AND a reminder to myself for reasons that I should not indulge in strong sources of caffeine.


  • increased wakefulness and alertness
  • increased energy
  • relieved constipation and easier bowel movements
  • elevated mood


  • increased anxiety
  • nervous energy resulting in shaking hands, toe tapping, etc.
  • stomach pain from higher acidic levels
  • cranky mood upon withdrawal
  • racing thoughts
  • short, shallow breathing
  • dehydration
  • headaches
  • muscle tension, especially in the muscles of the face

What effects does caffeine have upon you?  Should health policy makers be looking at American caffeine consumption as a danger to public health?  Is coffee and caffeine the final frontier in addiction?…and what about the thoughts that drive us to take an action even after we’ve made a good attempt to abstain from that action?

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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