Wednesday, September 5, 2012

it is a beautiful day today

Spring is here. You can tell because the peach tree has erupted, quite suddenly, with bright pink blossoms.

Yesterday I sat in the sun on a bench with a lizard in my hands. He sat so quietly on my finger, his little heart beating. He didn't try to run; he simply soaked in the sunlight. We named him Maximus before we released him on to the grass. At some point I looked up into the peach tree and could see bees by the dozens, buzzing from flower to flower to flower, gathering. 

Yesterday, I went to my naturopath, and together we finally flushed out the seed of doubt laid by a doctor about 6 weeks ago. This doctor (not my usual), really pushed for me to get some Xanax for my upcoming flight. When I told him I had a natural supplement that worked well with anxiety, he said with a little smile, "Well, it's always nice to have a placebo." And when I said again, I would rather not take Xanax if possible, he said, "Well, once you're on that plane, it's hard to get off!"

I left his office, and let his words seep in as the days passed. I let his words grow inside me like a weed. I let them take root and I gave them power. And I felt fear, real debilitating fear, for the first time in months. That was my August, filled with beauty, busy-ness, laughter, and creeping, creeping fear.

Meanwhile, other things happened recently to try and trip me. Two other potential triggers to depression sprouted up like companion weeds. As though they saw one weed allowed to grow, and they thought, "Oooh! Open weed season! Cowabunga! Here we come!"

I watched these things build around me. Over there, one trigger. Over here, another, and right here beside me, my fear of flight. I could see how easily they could pull me under. The conditions were all there, ripe for a perfect storm.

But as my hardest day hit on Saturday, and as I saw the storm roil and ready itself, and as I named it and called it "Perfect" and spoke of it to a friend, I realised that wasn't what it was, at all. 

A truly perfect storm is nature's anomaly. It exists in science, or—as some see it—in the hands of God. It is completely out of our control.

But this—my situation—isn't. Words and triggers and history and loss are often out of my control, but my reaction to them is not. I don't have to let the storm rise, because I don't have to give it power. I literally just have to keep moving through the water. Just keep moving. Forward and forward and forward again.

I just have to breathe and watch bees gather pollen from the peach tree. I just have to plan for a trip and let sorrow pass through me, and listen and be a friend, and love always and be kind, and walk. 

I just have to watch my boy juggle and listen as my girl has drum lessons with her dad.

I just have to hug my mother when she walks in the door.

I just have to kiss my husband and put my hand on his back.

I just have to run my workshops and watch how the kids' voices tumble over each other, so excited to share.

I just have to have a cat on my lap.

I just have to see my counsellor and have him remind me how well I am doing.

I just have to skip rocks on the water.

I just have to see my naturopath and talk through treatment and feel calm and whole and hopeful again.

I just have to keep moving. Make my way forward, with my eyes wide open, noticing and finding the joy, always.

And the waves can't help but ease. The storm can't help but settle.

It's spring here.

The blossoms and bees are out. It's a beautiful, beautiful day today. 


  1. Stupid weeds.


    You can do it.

    Look at everything you have already done. You gave birth to 2 children. - talk about scary. You moved continents (more than once if I have my fact straight) - super scary! You left traditional schooling and took the burden to educate your kids upon yourself - hugely scary and also maybe weird!

    You admitted you needed help. You got help. You told us about your journey. Hugely, hugely scary. You are so brave. So strong. I admire you so much, Helena.

    You can do it. Just look around, there's your proof.

  2. Yeah - what Deb said!!!

    Also, I am looking into essential oils (the high quality, good stuff) as a way to lift moods, possibly help with allergies, and lull children to sleep (at a not ungodly hour). I will let you know how it goes. I'm just thinking a really lovely, calming scent might be a bonus trick in your bag for when the weeds creep in. It might help soothe away the anxiety? :)

  3. Ah, those seeds of doubt are insidious, aren't they? They take hold without you noticing until they are big plants. But the friend I know, she is lovely, and strong and brave. And she's a good gardener :-)

  4. A friend posted this on facebook: "Stop thinking of what could go wrong, and start thinking of what could go right!" Of course it was on a pretty background and looked very inspirational. It really helped me yesterday, when my weeds were taking over. When my thoughts were spiralling down into the "what if's....." that keep me up at night. I love your list on things that bring you back and ground you: cat on lap, watching the kids. You are amazing and brave. And your path is perfect, whether you get on that plane or not.

  5. I love what Deb said. It is so true. You are braver than you know. Wait and see.

  6. I recently heard this illustration- if you clear all of the weeds out of a patch of soil or a pot and then do nothing, what will happen? The weeds grow back. Negative thoughts are like that. We have to fill our minds with the 'flowers' and the things we want to grow there. It seems you are doing that now.


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.