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my drug of choice [real life confessions].

February 6, 2011

I. Love. Coffee.

Drip, french press, espresso. Latte, cappuccino, americano, café au lait, whatever—it doesn’t matter. I love it.

I actually hated coffee until college. It’s an acquired taste, and I didn’t necessarily want to acquire it. But somehow I did. It started off slowly–I would order mochas from the Starbucks on campus and ask for half the amount of espresso (weird, I know). My taste for coffee began to pick up speed and soon I was dropping the mocha altogether and asking for double the espresso.

Then, I went off to Rome for six weeks. From that point on, it was all over for me. Italian coffee is so good. I mean, so, so good. I had a place where I went every morning to read my Bible. Every day I would walk in and the barista knew what I would say, “Vorrei un cappuccino caldo, per favore!”

Just when I really thought it couldn’t get any worse, I decided to study abroad for a semester in Costa Rica. You know where I’m going with this, right? Really. Good. Coffee. I even went on a field trip to a coffee plantation/processing plant and got to swim in a sea of unprocessed coffee beans.

When I came home, I was that girl. The one  with the ever-present coffee cup or mug in hand.  I had it in the morning and always in the afternoon and sometimes after dinner. I don’t know how I would have survived senior year of college without it. I was completely addicted.  I would wake up in the morning like a zombie—bleary-eyed and headache-y until I took that first sip. I would drink and watch the world snap into focus as the caffeine hit my veins.

Then the summer rolled around and I was preparing to head out on the World Race. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get coffee every single day or maybe even every month. I wanted to kick the habit. Another concern that I had going into my year of traveling was that I had a sensitive stomach and often experienced stomach-aches.

As I started to wean off coffee, I, of course, had lots of headaches and felt really sluggish for a couple of weeks. But an unexpected side effect was that I wasn’t having as many stomach issues. There was a connection. A sad, unfortunate connection.  Coffee is a trigger for my stomach issues. I’m not sure if it’s the acidity or what, but there’s something in it that I can’t stand very well.

Because of this, I try to avoid coffee. For me, trying to avoid coffee means still drinking it around three times a week. I try to make any trips to Starbucks few and far between, because I know that even if I say I’m going to get tea or a chai or something, I will walk in there, the incredible smell will hit me, and before I know it I’m ordering a toxic vanilla latte.

When I tell people, they try to console me saying, “I know a really great tea you should try.” When they say this, I think, you must not love coffee like I love coffee. I like tea, too, but it’s not the same. Not at all.

Don’t get me wrong, there are other good side effects to not being a caffeine-obsessed coffee monger. I spend less money on it. I wake up in the morning and feel bright and alive. It’s nice to not be an addict anymore.

But I just miss it. It’s something like a religious experience among those of us who adore it so deeply. Oftentimes I would spend my mornings with a coffee mug in one hand, Bible in the other. I miss those times. I miss so looking forward to that. I do that routine with tea now, but tea falls flat in comparison. Sigh.

So what’s a girl to do? Sometimes I pray that God will heal my stomach so I can drink coffee again. I know that’s kind of crazy, but God loves me and wants to give me good gifts, so I believe He could do it, and He just might.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria permalink
    February 6, 2011 2:51 pm

    Chelsea, I love coffee too but I usually only drink it in the morning while I read my Bible. I think it tastes best in the morning because my palette hasn’t been contaminated by other foods and tastes. I agree, tea doesn’t compare to coffee; it’s a flat drink.

  2. Anna Notario permalink
    February 6, 2011 6:20 pm

    Lady, I’m in the same boat! I had to give up coffee for similar reasons, and now I’m drinking tea and it really isn’t the same. Sometimes, I open up the coffee bag and breathe in the joy and memories. Oh, coffee [insert sigh of longing].
    Miss you more than I miss coffee.

  3. February 6, 2011 7:46 pm

    i will definitely pray for you estomago to be healed. because i understand. i soooooo understand the addiction and the love and the somewhat religious experience that is attached. freakin’ love you. coffee on, friend. coffee. on.

  4. Aunt Deb permalink
    February 6, 2011 9:58 pm

    I love you more than coffee….which is saying A LOT!
    Where are the glasses that you are wearing in these pics?

  5. AshleyC permalink
    February 11, 2011 1:24 pm

    Chels! We are sisters in this area–I love coffee, but it makes my stomach hurt too! Actually, I’m drinking coffee right now knowing nothing is going on this evening, so I can stand the ache! haha Can we start an intervention group?

    • February 11, 2011 1:38 pm

      haha. ash, i love this because i make decisions like this all the time, too.

  6. February 17, 2011 1:33 pm

    Chels, I love reading your blog, you’re hysterical and I see we were meant to be friends. (mostly because I’m hysterical too) jk.

    sort of.

    i miss you. let’s go to the Root when you get home, idk if you’ve ever been there?, if not maybe you’ll have to see how their coffee measures up.

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