Crying Over Spilled Coffee

I cried three times yesterday.

Over coffee.

Or, more precisely, over not having coffee.

Coffee has become my raison d’être. I consider it my personal responsibility to patronize as many local coffee shops as possible. It’s part of my identity. It’s motivation for getting up in the morning. Sipping my two shots of espresso (doppio), in a proper demitasse, jolts me awake and makes me feel GREAT! In the mornings I can barely mumble a proper ‘hello’ to my co-workers, but there’s something about the magic of a barista’s smile that makes me perk up, even before they’ve delivered my elixir of hope.

But after the initial rush, after being sent to my happy place, there is the come-down. There are the jitters. There is the need to pee. There is the anxiety. There is the sleeplessness that leaves me so very alone with my thoughts at night, usually to be drowned out and dulled by Nyquil or melatonin, only to feel foggy the next day and in need of that cob-web clearing nectar-of-the-gods all over again.

I am always either up, or down. But beyond that, I’ve begun to wonder, what is really going on?

I read a quote from Cheryl Richardson that made a lot of sense to me:

…”quit running in circles and come to home to ourselves“…

I tend to want to identify whatever I’m feeling, and either augment it, in the case of happiness; or fix it, in the case of sadness. Coffee is always the answer. I haven’t been comfortable spending time in the in between in a very long time. Just being. That middle ground makes me want to crawl out of my own skin. But why?

This journey I’m on is all about connection: to myself and to others. Letting ourselves just be, and to be at home with ourselves, puts us into more authentic communication with our ultimate needs and wants – it’s pursuing those needs and wants that will bring about a greater sense of fulfillment and the sense of purpose that we all need. As with any habit that needs to be broken or tempered, there is the reason behind the habit – which tends to slam into us when we stop running long enough to hold still. I’m realizing that it’s wonderful to know that I have the ability to make myself feel better when I’m feeling down, sometimes a cup of coffee is part of that simple self-care – a salve for the human condition. But when it’s running your life and becoming a quad-shot-of-espresso-a-day habit, it’s time to take a deeper look.

I’m short-changing myself if I don’t take the time to sit with this uncomfortableness. If I keep smoothing it over with a temporary caffeine-patch I am also distancing myself from exploring other options for feeling good naturally. I believe that if one maintains a lifestyle of substitutes, I might be blocking the real thing from coming along – or at the very least, I’m denying myself the opportunity to discover what’s truly missing in my life, identify it, and go after it.

The frustration of choosing to not just launch myself anew into a caffeinated stratosphere when I’m uneasy, the tears that have come from sitting with whatever I’m experiencing on planet Lisa instead of seeking instant comfort, are subsiding. I’m calming down, my senses almost seem sedated, and my general well-being seems to be restoring itself. I still need that barista interaction, and seeing my coffee-community, I’m keeping that habit of regular human interaction. A shot of decaf or a SMALL cup of coffee helps to take the edge off because it’s important to be kind to yourself.

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