The toughest breakup of my life.



Who knew breaking up could be this hard?

Breaking up with coffee has been almost as bad as breaking up with a lover.

On Christmas Day last year, I decided to give up coffee. It was something that was on my mind all year, and kept coming up like a big red flag, haunting me. I couldn’t get away from it. My energy healer, nutritionist, and multiple people I interviewed kept mentioning coffee and its negative effect on the immune and nervous systems.

I know there’s plenty of evidence saying coffee has positive effects on the body, but I was convinced the universe and the people around me were giving me a clear message – give it up. After drinking a post-Christmas lunch espresso martini, I decided enough was enough. It was time.

I only drank one coffee a day over the past 2 years. In fact, it wasn’t a coffee but a mocha, but it was large. I consider myself pretty strong, and disciplined when it comes to food, health and lifestyle.


Right when I wasn’t looking, I fell in love with coffee.


I am a single mum with seven year old twins and I work and do triathlon. Life couldn’t function without heavy discipline in multiple areas on an ongoing basis. I am good at saying no – and yes – in order to stick to my goals. But giving up coffee has been torturous.

It’s almost as bad as a break-up, well worse in some ways as I see my former lover every day in the hands of almost everyone around me. Ever counted the number of takeaway coffee cups in George Street on a week day at 8am? It’s breathtaking – and it makes my heart skip a beat for all the wrong reasons.

My mocha was the reward after my daily 6am training session. I bought the same mocha from the same coffee shop for over two years. My mates did question my sanity when I refused mocha’s elsewhere – but they just didn’t taste the same, I reasoned. I now see it was all part of the addiction, and it didn’t stop there.

Once I was fined $200 for illegally parking to pick up my coffee, but that didn’t change things. I rationalised that over two years, it was a small price to pay for the quality and consistency.

I’m embarrassed to admit I feel like I’ve lost a friend, a piece of my social life, and an internal support system within my daily existence. I realise it was a highlight within my daily routine. It was something consistent I could rely on. It made me feel good, connected. They do say it’s the little things in life that matter most.

I’ve dumped my favourite past-time, but I can’t quite let go. And the longer the ‘break-up’ goes, the more attractive he looks. That fragrance of freshly roasted coffee beans smells almost romantic, as I lust after the black liquid.

I’m waking up most mornings at 3.30am, and can’t get back to sleep until 5.00am. I find myself lying in bed thinking about chocolate, probably because it contains caffeine. And going to the toilet? Well, ahem, that’s not the same now either.

Ok, so there were a lot of addiction signs, but I still thought the break-up would be a cinch – it’s not.

Its now five weeks – the experts say it takes six to break a habit. Maybe next week is the week?  Or, even after all this – will I give in,  kiss and make up, jump back into bed with coffee and just see where the road takes us? I’ll keep you posted.


Renae Leith-Manos


Renae Leith-Manos travels the world writing ( She has had a colourful media career as a journalist in many magazines and newspapers, and spends her time writing, consulting to new businesses, running, doing yoga, swimming & cycling.
She's likes healthy eating, but thinks chocolate cake is just as important as kale chips.
She spends most weekends hanging out with her gorgeous twins.

1 thought on “The toughest breakup of my life.

  1.' Donna Gianniotis says:

    Renae – well done for giving up coffee. I have found that that not having coffee has made a big difference to my overall health and energy levels. Even though I would only have a coffee occasionally, I could feel the raciness in my body. What made me stop was eventually deciding that I didn’t like the feel of that in my body and it felt much better just being me.

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