I'd say for the past seven years I've had anywhere from 1-3 cups of coffee a day. 

Now I was never top notch at math, but I believe at minimum that's 2,555 cups. Over 2,000 cups of coffee consistently running through my veins, tearing up my body, simultaneously awaking and paralyzing my mind. And while I used to be able to infuse coffee in my system with no care or consequence lately my body has felt, well, like shit. Too much coffee. In too hot a climate. With too little food. 

But see, I need coffee. It signifies so much for me. My morning cup is a calmness, a reassurance, a moment to come into myself. It delays the impending onslaught of restless thoughts for another hour or two so I may focus on writing. Many nights I go to bed restless, paranoid, troubled, doubtful. Many mornings I awake with remnants of those feelings. My morning cup, for the past seven years, always brings me back to myself. 

And then there's the midday energy boost that once again quiets anxious thoughts, reintroduces a level of focus, and grants me a short range energy spike. Again, a moment of solitude and self-collection in the midst of chaotic days. 

And then there's the cup I always brew in the midst of a panic attack, a mental breakdown, or things of the like. Because that one cup (along with watching girl, interrupted) always calms me down. 

But the catch ...

Occasionally I have a bad cup. A cup where my demons seem to have selfishly invited themselves over to debate over a nice dark roast. I drink, and suddenly I am filled with dread. I cannot blink very much, if at all, sound becomes heightened, paranoia seeps in, and my head becomes filled with all that is wrong, all that is unholy, all that is dark. I can never see these cups coming. In the past they have been sporadic. Lately they've become more and more frequent. Every other cup is a bad cup. Every other day my demons sit beside me. 

And yet, I still crave it. 

Maybe, I tell myself, I can find a way to live with them. Maybe this stuff isn't sickening my body. Maybe these thoughts aren't all that dark. Could I turn them into friends? Because the thought of not having my cup, the thought of life without it, even if it removes the bad cups, even if it dismisses the demons, well - I'm not too sure I can do that life at all. 

I guess sometimes we feel safer in hell.


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