A guest blog by Katie Rickson
Content notice: This blog mentions mental health issues.
Baths have always been a mainstay in my life. For many moments where I've been feeling overwhelmed, anxious, even distraught and suicidal, a bath has been there for me. Helping me come back into my body, allowing me to calm myself down, soothe myself and pick myself up.
When we were kids, we used to have a bath at home. Being one of four, I remember being happy when it was my turn. Sometimes spending whole afternoons in the bath, topping up the water. And bubbles. So many bubbles.
My first flat had a beautiful clawfoot bath, a comfort when I was going through depression and a break up from my boyfriend.
On my honeymoon, our eco lodge had a beautiful outdoor clawfoot bath with rose petals. Being warm in your body with a cool autumnal feel in the air, safe in the arms of your new husband, about to embark on your new life together. Cuddling together under the stars.
Fast forward six years. Psychosis. The inability to sleep or stop the thoughts in your brain. A new mum with a baby that is only a few months old. Staying with my in laws by the beach. I wake up my mother in law at 1am in distress and she runs me a bath. The lights are dim and she stays with me. The warm water, once again, soothes me.
Then I stay in respite care and later a psych ward and they both have a bath, too. They come and check on me to make sure I'm not going to hurt myself. I put my head under water, but only because I want to be completely submerged. Not for other reasons.
Our old house didn't have a bath. I insisted that our next house did.
The baths, at our new home and my parents', held me when I had two miscarriages. Were my go to places when I needed solitude during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.
My bath is also a happy place with happy, light memories. Having baths with my daughter as a toddler, and we would hang out and I'd try to wash her hair and cut her nails, with varying degrees of success. I will have a bath, Mum, if you get in with me. Splashing water over the side.
And then cousins would come for sleepovers and they'd have a bath and splash together.
I fractured my ankle this year and I missed not being able to have a bath. It was the first thing I did when the cast came off.
Self employed as a copywriter, now my bath is a place where I can watch self development courses and write blogs or poetry and reply to emails. When I'm feeling tired at work, I can run the bath, pour in my magnesium salts, light a candle and work. I always work better when I feel safe and in my happy place.
To me, a bath is so much more than a functional extra or a luxury. It's a place where I feel warm, comforted, and safe.
It's a place where I can turn down my thoughts and my anxiety, if only for forty minutes, and when the plug is pulled it's not just sucking water down the drain but my self loathing.
After a bath, I love myself that little bit more.
I step out, dry myself and feel ready to re-enter the world.
Katie is a New Zealand Based Copywriter, editor, actor, stationery hoarder, avid reader and terrible joke teller! She is also one of our lovely customers. Thank you so much Katie for sharing this post with us.
If you'd like to find out more about Katie, here's her website: www.katierickson.co.nz
Katie is running a half-day workshop called, and this is very cool, "Business in the Bath", for budding business owners with bipolar. You'll get: - Inspiration that self-employment is possible. - A plan that puts your mental health front and centre. - A beautiful workbook full of ideas, useful tips and strategies and a resource that you can keep going back to. - A free gift from Salt & Oil. - An action-packed day around like-minded people who experience similar obstacles but have a passion for making a difference and doing meaningful work.
When: Wednesday 28th September 2022 (during mental health awareness week).
Time: 10am to 2pm Where: Te Manawa Library (Westgate) Tickets: Cost $185 plus booking fees. Contact Katie to find out more.
At Salt & Oil we make magnesium-filled bath soaks and magnesium oil sprays to help you relax and feel good. And we support other NZ businesses by stocking their well-being gifts.
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