This was a post that came to me honestly and easily. It is one of those posts that I hesitate to share because it is so personal and also not quite in line with my other posts, but in my experience, these can be most powerful and useful to others.
I know that it helps me so much when others are open about their struggles with mental illness. This is how community builds and strengthens.
This month has had such highs and dark lows, and I’ve had to regain my footing in the rituals that help me ride the waves of my anxiety symptoms. As usual, I have emerged stronger and a little bit smarter with new habits to try and goals to work toward.
So grateful that the season of growth has arrived. I planted peas and kale in the garden and soon I will have fresh greens daily and so much beauty in the garden. These things, along with many in this little anxiety alphabet, are essential to my self-care.
A is for Anxiety – my struggle, my superpower, raises awareness, inspires growth.
B is for Breath – my center, so simple, such magic, my lifeline.
C is for Cravings – anything to quell the panic – a substance, escape, comfort.
D is for Desperation – to escape the body, to flee a threat, to appease the darkness.
E is for Essential Oils – lavender, chamomile, grapefruit, jasmine, Balance.
F is for Fear – that it will define me, overtake me, hold me back, hurt my spirit.
G is for Garden – therapy – where I dig, unearth, cultivate, grow, and nourish.
H is for Herbs – capsule, tea, tincture, earth magic balances me.
I is for Irritable – when I can’t find my breath or the safety of calm, fight or flight.
J is for Judgement – of my feelings, thoughts, and actions.
K is for Kindness – to myself, so hard, so hard, but essential.
L is for Laughing – sardonic, belly laugh, through the tears, at myself.
M is for Mindfulness – continual practice, ebbs and flows, building slowly.
N is for Nature – bathing, touching, smelling, listening, tasting, seeing, grounding.
O is for Omegas – a daily ritualistic serotonin boost and brain lubrication.
P is for Postpartum – vulnerability, fragility, sleeplessness, hormones, pain.
Q is for Questions – why me? where did I go? what will it take? are they okay?
R is for Reading – stimulate mind, access truth, gain perspective, move forward.
S is for Sobriety – the greatest gift to myself, pushed me deeper into healing.
T is for Therapy – a place of safety, growth, and learning to retell my story.
U is for Uncomfortable – learning to let it be, sit with it, accept it, move through it.
V is for Vegetables – grow, harvest, eat, nourish. diet is everything.
W is for Wild Food Medicine – earth’s life force soothes, nourishes, and heals.
X is for X Chromosome – the genetic link to the struggle of my female ancestors.
Y is for Yoga – the more I do, the better I feel, yet such a struggle to get to the mat.
Z is for Zoloft – the taboo subject, a port in the storm, “mothers little helper,” love/hate, can’t wait to be done with it.
For those of you who also experience anxiety or depression, is there a ritual, food, or self-care routine that helps you when the sea is rough?