Ever since I remember I’ve been sensitive. As a child with loving parents and a stable home, I felt angry, sad, frustrated, and alone a lot more than anyone realized.
I always felt out of balance, even as a child, and my hope was to get to a predictable, calm, & cool demeanor. Then middle school hit, just after a traumatic 5th grade year, and I tumbled down the mountain I had just climbed. The confidence that defined me during the first years of school, dissolved. It shook me tremendously, and I coped by focusing on grades and school activities.
My body and face were shameful to me and embarrassing. A mouth full of braces, too skinny, too pale, too lanky and nothing compared to those “other” girls the boys like so much😩. This was on my mind each day I went to school during my preteen years. It was distracting, exhausting, and unavoidable.
At this point in my life I was still concerned with a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I would get upset when given too much candy around holidays because I knew I had to accept the gift, and my willpower at that age (8-13) was minimal. Just to get rid of it, so I could stop thinking about it, I would just gorge & eat it all at some point; usually about the halfway point. Once it was gone I wouldn’t have to think about it & the temptation was gone.
My whole childhood I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS), yet I had no idea that IBS was a thing or had a name. It was why I was getting stomach aches every time I ate out; whenever eating ice cream; having a lot of gas & gas pains in school ALL the time; had a protruding stomach that, even though I was active, never went away; and being deficient in nutrients and minerals like iron (which led to anemia). One main health issue caused by IBS is malnutrition because the intestines are not working properly & not absorbing vital nutrients: Reasons why IBS leads to anemia & deficient B12 levels. Knowing now how detrimental this can be and realizing that my body doesn’t absorb fat in the same way as others, I realize this was a large part of my Ups & Downs as a child. It’s also why my passions for health, wellness and herbal studies has been critical in discovering my balance. The same balance I yearned for; even as young as 7.
There were so many bouts of sadness as a child. I remember sitting on the floor, looking at popular, good natured children’s books around 7 or 8 and crying; for no reason other than I just felt sad. It angered me. I wondered if this was how I would always feel and felt frustrated that this was part of my personality. “What is wrong with me?” I thought.
Even with having many friends and being surrounded by loving parents who supported my many extracurricular activities, I felt alone quite a bit. If there was a day no one could play, I took it personally and thought no one liked me. Since my siblings were much older than me, I created a whole gang of pretend friends to play with. Most of the time I just wanted a companion to spend time with and talk to.
Other than wanting to feel normal and in control of my emotions; especially in confrontations, I wanted a person to talk to who really understood me. At a young age I created these people; invisible, extensions of my personality who filled a void.
Not liking crowds, it was always easier and preferred to hang out with just one or two good friends. Otherwise I get overwhelmed and my anxiety kicks in. Having someone I can count on to talk to or feel personally connected to and familiar with helps calm my uneasiness in social situations. Depending on who the people are that are hanging out, can help me be more outgoing and likely to join in conversation or standoffish & quiet. Otherwise, I tend to go somewhere I feel I can stand and just listen while others talk. This is why I sought a companion who could compensate for those areas I socially lack in.
Really all I wanted was the perfect person (companion) to spend time with. This is why, when yearning to feel better and less lonely, I created a pretend world to voice my thoughts, problems, and create a happier, comfortable place to interact.
It’s the same now. The companionship; having someone to talk to, laugh with, go places with, relate to, bounce ideas off of, lean on, and to have around so I’m not lonely is so important.💑 Having that, accomplishing this, makes such a difference for my mental stability. Yet, if altered, could mean a world of difference too. Going from stable to shattered; in a moments time. This would be the true test of my mental stability and it’s something that would alter even the most stable of people. We’re all just seconds from new experiences/realities all the time.
This is another reason finding balance through a healthy wellness routine is key for sustainability. It can’t be a quick fix without the commitment, if it is to overcome a drastic change that may surface unexpectedly. When our minds & bodies are programmed to do healthy things, it is much more likely we will be able to use these strategies to manage the unexpected; especially if it is tragedy.
I leave you with a quote from, Body into Balance, by Maria Noel Groves:
Regardless of plant chemistry, just sipping a cup of tea can have therapeutic effects: studies show that holding a warm cup in your hands encourages warmth & kindness to others & helps you perceive others in a better light. It’s also interesting to note that many of the herbs that benefit our nervous system–particularly the relaxing ones– are highly aromatic, so that cup of tea provides not only the healing constituents you swallow but also the vapors you inhale. For these reasons, a daily tea ritual is one of the best ways to allow herbs to multitask & help you feel better. The simple act of making & drinking tea is an affirmation that you are taking care of yourself & that plants have the power to heal!
When I started to connect with and have the mindset that tea is my medicine, it changed the whole experience. It is something I never go a day without!
Hope you can relax & enjoy a nourishing, warm cup of tea today🍵