A woman looks warily at a to-go cup of coffee. The cardboard hand protector is covered with a design of evil-looking eyes.

My Toxic Relationship with Coffee

I love coffee. Ah, hot bean water. Delicious, delicious hot bean water. The joy of that first cup of coffee in the morning, the swirling steam coming off of the cup. I love the necessary caffeine to start my day or get me through a midday slump. I also love the taste of coffee, and by that I mean I prefer drinking black coffee than adding any sort of flavor change to it to minimize the coffee taste. I started drinking black coffee in teenagehood; even as a young teenager, I had no interest in the overly-sugared Fraps at Starbucks like my other friends the same age, because I liked the taste of coffee so much.

But coffee hates me

Unfortunately, my pure passion and adoration for coffee is not reciprocated. Coffee acts as it likes me, only to lull me into a false sense of security, and then completely destroy me. Rinse and repeat. Wow sounds like my experience with shitty men. It causes me a range of issues from mild discomfort to complete shut down mode.

How to manage my achy-breaky coffee-loving heart

I have learned because of my temperamental bowels that I cannot consume coffee by itself. If I want coffee in the morning, I have to make sure I've eaten enough food before even a sip of coffee enters my digestive tract. The food itself has to be what I call, "coating food", ie. food that is heavy enough that I feel as though my stomach has been "coated" to protect me from the danger of the coffee. So usually if I'm preparing to have coffee with my breakfast, I'll eat eggs and toast/bagel with avocado, etc in order to feel like it shouldn't affect me as badly. Things like cereal and yogurt feel like "too thin" of a coating to me.

Danger zone

A few weeks ago, I jumped the gun and didn't listen to my own advice. My sister and I met up to go for a walk and she brought me a coffee and a croissant. I took a sip of the coffee and then started eating the croissant. It was too late for me, the croissant couldn't catch up with that devious little sip already heading full force to attack me. And attack me it did... Not even 20 minutes later, I was doubled over in pain trying to make it back to my sister's apartment, which was a 20-minute walk from where we were. The urgency of needing the bathroom got so bad that we actually had to stop and order an Uber to get us the 3-minute-drive (but 10-minute walk) the rest of the way. I ended up making it, thank goodness, but it definitely put on a damper on a nice day going for a walk.

I want you to want me, coffee

Coffee, listen up! I want you to want me... I need you to need me... And I am very frustrated that you don't love me as I love you. No, I don't want decaf. Yes, I am excited about my new Nespresso machine, thanks for asking.

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