Friday 18th May
Firing on Borage
Mostly because they just appeared, partly because I had to do something and ultimately because I trust wholeheartedly in the power of plants, I’ve started taking tinctures of Borage, Lime Flowers and Sweet flag.
It’s my last step before chemical intervention, so they appeared and I had a go and on reflection, they were a good combination.
Borage for courage: Margaret Grieves, in ‘A Modern Herbal’, commends it “to expel pensiveness and melancholie”, “Borage cheers the heart and raises drooping spirits” (Dioscorides).
It has been used for stress, mental exhaustion, and depression and soothes inflammation of the stomach.
Lime flowers are a gentle uplifting tonic for insomnia and nervous tension. They were once described to me as little arrows of comfort and support that find their way to where they are most needed.
Sweet Flag helps with inflammation of the bowels but is also used for symptoms associated with a nervous stomach and panic attacks and, apparently, helps us to yield to the flow of things.
*** These reflections are based on personal experience, studies and professional advice, please see a medicinal herbalist before trying these remedies***
I have been meeting and interacting with a bereavement group called WAY, a unique peer support network for anyone whose partner died when they were young. On chatting with some of the members I have discovered some commonalities and a few truths:
- Feeling constantly cold and chilled to the bone
- Very low resilience and capacity to deal with extra demands, especially at work
- Dreading weekends
- Social fears, especially fear of social occasions
I am growing weary of not feeling good. I’ve been feeling awful, contemplating anti depressants and have finally registered to see a counselor, for both my eldest and myself. I am acquainting myself with my frailty and trying to find my way back to me.
But now, I’m actually feeling quite good. I’m firing on borage, linden blossom and counselling. It was either this or exploring the path of chemical intervention.
For me, at this time, counselling and herbal courage seems to be a good combination.
I’ve only had one session, I think I was a little nervous, apprehensive, didn’t know what to expect or hope for. I surely didn’t want to raise either hopes or expectations but I have secretly been hoping, expecting, anticipating a change.
Perhaps that has been enough, like the smell of coffee and the setting of intentions.
I was fighting back tears before I’d even rung the doorbell, my eyes were streaming through the terms and conditions and before I could get any words out, they were overtaken by floods, sobs and convulsing.
I think it was helpful. I liked my counsellor, the hour went by quickly and I felt no discomfort. I felt valued and I was given a window into the magnitude of my tragedy, an inkling of my despair, I’m finding my way back to me. I was absolutely exhausted afterwards. I collapsed on the sofa and couldn’t move for hours. Apparently this is all about letting go…
One thing is becoming clear, I am learning to stop, to simplify and take one step at a time. The combination of emotional exhaustion and the reality of being totally ineffective when I take on too much are allowing me to slow down, to stop even, without fear of sinking.
Now, I feel that I am afloat, adrift perhaps, but floating and that is a big result.
My daughter’s comments, after her first session, made me realize that she is suffering from post traumatic stress symptoms, and we probably all are. Since starting this journey of counseling, I am doing less, being more present with my children and their behavior has infinitely improved. As they say, save yourself, see to your own gas mask first, which is easier to say than to practice.
I am allowing spaces, gaps in activities, days with no plans. I am doing less and the moments are filling with quality times with my girls, listening to music and spontaneous acts of silliness.
Well, I’m kind of doing less.
I’ve only just managed to float and then I’ve gone and put my house on the market, had a first viewing, then a second viewing and suddenly I’m faced with dealing with the future!
Back to my Borage.
My plants keep me rooted in reality.