The Cure Of Isabella’s Coffee
What do coffee shops mean to me? Comfort.
As someone who has anxiety, I find comfort in the small things in life. There are days when I need things to be a certain way and if they aren’t, it becomes almost impossible to function. It’s rare that my anxiety has a crippling effect, but sometimes it does and I’ve needed to learn how to work around that anxiety.
There are different types of anxiety though. It could be a depressive anxiety, a social anxiety, or just a “regular” anxiety, in which, it’s hard to determine the factors of why I’m feeling a certain way.
Often times, I’m told I shouldn’t be drinking coffee because it can elevate the heart rate and cause more anxiety. Honestly, I believe I react in a different way. Now, if I’m drinking an insane amount of coffee, that’s a different story. But my morning coffee brings me comfort. It’s become a routine that I need to have in the morning. And if I don’t have it, it’s often because I know I’ll be getting coffee out soon enough. However, if I don’t have it and there’s no coffee in the future, it can unsettle me.
Coffee shops are interesting for me in a way. I can either be completely at ease in a coffee shop or my anxiety can skyrocket. As someone who is most productive while doing work in a coffee shop, it’s crucial that everything is in place. (I may have slight OCD now that I think about it.) Often times, I do my work in Starbucks shops because they are similar in design, so when I move to a new location it is familiar. Also, I worked there so I know how things are run. But sometimes that isn’t enough. On rough anxiety days, I can force myself to get dressed and leave the house, but if I walk into the shop and “my” table is taken, there are too many people inside, there are not enough people inside, or I get a strange vibe from walking in, I will turn around and go directly home–no matter how far I drove. Or I may go to another coffee shop and repeat the process, while I tell myself that things will be different–but they often aren’t.
For independently run coffee shops, it’s a different story. While I want to support their business, I find it hard to check them out on my own for the first time. The anxiety of walking into a new place is enough to stunt that. But then there’s the fact that I don’t know the menu, I don’t know where the register is located, what the tables look like, or what the vibe is. If I’m going to a new coffee shop, it’s crucial that I Google the shop and look at the reviews, but most importantly, that I look at the pictures taken of the shop. This way I can scope out the territory first.
Ironically, as I write this, I am in a brand new coffee shop, Bold Cup Coffee. I came here to finish up the launch of my new merch store. While creating a store all relating to Isabella’s Coffee–the independent coffee shop of my own creation–I am in a new coffee shop that opened yesterday. However, I am with my friend and not alone. But I’ve come to love this new location. I’ve scoped out the area, all the tables, and the menu. The owner is phenomenal and has already had conversations with us. It reminds me of the vibe that I want Isabella’s Coffee to have in my books and in the future Isabella’s Coffee when it becomes a real shop. While the design is completely different than I’d have in my own shop, it’s a welcoming environment that warms you from the get-go. Three coffees in and I know this will become a shop I come to often.
So the focus of the blog, five coffees in (because I had two prior to coming), I created Isabella’s Coffee in my novel, Underneath the Whiskey, as a sanctuary for those to come to when they need to find comfort. There is a section to get work done, a section to socialize, and a section to read. The baristas are genuine and friendly, and the owner is a local who shares his struggles, openly advocating for mental health. It’s a shop, that while created in my first novel, will carry over to other novels that will be published in the near future. It’s far more than just coffee or just a coffee shop. It’s a routine, a place of comfort, and a sanctuary. So in honor of that, you are now able to purchase Isabella Coffee merchandise! As well as merch with a quote from the book, “Be Honest. Be True. Learn to Love You.” Grab an Isabella’s Coffee mug and have an alluding comfort every time you drink coffee or tea! Or remind yourself of self-care with a “Be Honest” sweatshirt.