Love and Loss in Joe

I have lost joe and this is my tale of grief in something that you are profoundly attached to.

I have lost the ritual of freshly grinding my coffee, packing the super fine grinds down, watching the espresso machine's gauges go to the magic pressure range to get beautiful crema. After that the gates were open - foamed milk, no foam, some maple syrup today, or even balls to the wall butter coffee with collagen and maple. I also loved bopping around to the different coffee shops around my house and work - each one had their own thing that I liked.  Vietnamese coffee was my ultimate favorite. Really that stuff had it going on - super rich in aroma, in strong and sweet, and in all around brain lit up like a Christmas tree.  

Did I mention I was a barista in grad school for a couple years? Loved. It. I smelled like fresh coffee all day!

pic source:

pic source:

But then one day it sort of all started to crumble.  In those whole getting in touch with yourself moments, I was listening in that on the weekends if I had two cups of magic, buzzing around the house, I also was more prone to the short fuse known as kids that drive you cray because for the love of god I just want to get something done.  

Then I did a food sensitivity test to see what was going on with my insides in general (random feelings like massive food babies after eating small amounts of food).  When the test results came back I IMMEDIATELY went into stage 1, denial, over just 1 out 25 things that maybe causing me troubles.  The other food items were filed into interesting news and accepted.  Coffee was not just a little reactive, it was straight up red line for days on my bar chart of results.

I thought well, ya I could see that it's been a very active role in my life for going on the better part of 18 years, it had reached adulthood, and since my guts are generally not well I'm sure I have just lost oral tolerance. I'll clean this mess up in my gut and coffee and I will continue about our way.  I thought this for like a solid 4 or so months.  Straight up denial. Drinking away and enjoying every sip of that rich aroma goodness in whatever form I fancied that day. I would have decaf sometimes to somehow make me think I was making an effort.

Then one day I skipped right on over to acceptance and some bargaining that I needed to give up coffee. I tell clients everyday to that they can no longer consume their favorite whatever because it is filling their body with inflammation, so I needed to stop being a hypocrite and give up coffee (mostly so I could prove that I would give it up for awhile, have it again, and all would be fine it was a false positive test result).  

It was a trying few days of pretending that tea could make the caffeine withdrawal be manageable.  Tea while, enjoyable, can't be ground fresh every morning and doesn't have quite the same aromatic pleasures that coffee has.  So there was some anger on the inside.  But on the outside I was all like look at how strong I am, I don't need coffee. See I could do it.  

Next, there was the wonderful period of wow, I do feel good without coffee I don't have that weird inward tremble that just felt like a part of my existence, weekend rage against the little people has diminished, belly is feeling better.  I'm a tea person, fire up the pink tea pot.  I'm so sophisticated with all my tea.

Like any good junky you have to go and just dabble in it to prove you can have a little bit and still function mostly without it.  That's where depression came in. In two innocent shots of espresso, I was not only inward trembling, but so were my hands, I felt weird and I started to look pregnant.  Hmmmph. But I didn't really accept this reaction. I was angry and sad.  I would just have one coffee on the weekend for about a month.  Sunday's I was shaking and felt pregnant. Monday through Saturday with tea blissful joy.  

And so here I am, in the process of still dabbling in and out of denial and acceptance.  I use the espresso machine for it's hot water spigot to make my tea. I will sneak a sip of my husband's freshly made coffee every now and again just to get a sense of that pleasure I miss.

It's hard to make changes, but when you feel better you do better. 

I Miss you the most Vietnamese coffee.  Be Good to the others out there.        image source: ROMANA CHAPMAN VIA GETTY IMAGES

I Miss you the most Vietnamese coffee.  Be Good to the others out there.      




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