The Secret to Beating Withdrawal


You Can Beat Withdrawal

One step at a time…

Relatively speaking very few people enjoy discomfort and pain. Our instinct seems to be to avoid them, sometimes at any cost.

Popular culture also encourages us to bypass pain and discomfort by promoting quick fixes and short-term gains.

The ultimate price paid for this line of thought is the preponderance of people that believe that it is near impossible to overcome difficulties that they will face in life and so seek solace in things that lead to addictive behaviors and compulsions.

Once trapped by our compulsions some realize that something must be done to escape but most fail to take the necessary steps to overcome.

What can we do to overcome the internal resistance?

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco @quinterocamilaa on Unsplash

Compulsions Allure

Life in general isn’t a cakewalk. Curve balls are everywhere, just waiting around the corner to catch you off guard.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a few moments where we don’t have to worry, or protect ourselves from something or overcome that hurdle?

At work or school the hurdle might be a demanding workload. In your personal life it could be a tiresome friend or relative or a difficult situation.

No matter what it is, we can feel worn down and gravitate towards something that can pick us up, even for a few moments.

For example, your workload is demanding more of your time and you feel tired. How about a coffee?

A Dead End Road

Coffee and caffeine are good examples of short-term fixes. First of all, I’m not saying not to consume caffeine or drink coffee ever again, but everything in moderation. Many consume caffeine because it makes us feel more alert, awake and focused.

It is not an exaggeration to say that many actually feel they need a coffee or caffeine fix to make themselves feel like themselves. Such individuals find it difficult to give up caffeine for even a short period of time.

How often have you woken up in the morning craving a cup of coffee? Once you down it, how much better did you feel? There is a high probability that you were suffering from withdrawal as you were asleep for more than a few hours and did not consume any caffeine. The fact that you felt better after having a coffee was due to satisfying your craving.

Unfortunately over time the cravings become normalized to you and you start to think that it is due to caffeine why you feel better, and the lack of caffeine is why you feel so crap.

Without realizing it you’ve conditioned yourself to self medicate whenever you don’t feel great, and to add insult to injury, when you try to break the habit you can experience the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Headaches

Difficulty Leads to Ease

Withdrawal is very difficult and painful. You need the rewards that instant gratification promises, but never fully delivers on, but bare with it!

The secret to overcoming withdrawal is to persevere. Withdrawal is a good sign as it shows that you are breaking the bonds of your addiction. Instant gratification is slavery, and you know this.

By being willing to embrace the pain you actually make it easier on yourself to get through to the other side. The longer you leave taking that initial step, the harder it becomes to even have the will to start.  

Once you start however, keep these points in mind:

  • Take small steps at first. 
    Focus on where you are now not where you want to be.

  • Track the number of days that you can go without coffee and caffeine.

  • Be mindful of your moods.
    For example, you are more likely to give in to temptation when you are tired or stressed.

  • Plan for failure.
    If you fall down, have a plan that will help you get back up on your feet as quickly as possible. Failure doesn’t matter, how long it takes you to try again does, so plan accordingly.

  • Exercise.
    It will help with your moods and encourage you to sleep deeply.


Whatever your take on what I’ve said, if you want progress, if you want to succeed, nothing beats hard work; and hard work implies some pain and discomfort.

By embracing the pain of withdrawal you can grow and become stronger, which will give you more confidence in your own abilities to overcome whatever life throws your way.

Try to implement these points in your plan to overcome withdrawal:

  • Take small steps at first.
  • Track the number of days that you can go without coffee and caffeine.
  • Be mindful of your moods.
  • Plan for failure.
  • Exercise.


In hindsight, after writing this article I realized that what I’m talking about is mental toughness.

This is the key to overcoming anything and finding success. You have what it takes otherwise you wouldn’t be here now!

Use it to get you where you want to be.

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