Personal History, Self-Improvement

How Tea Became Part of My Personal Mental Health Plan

Ok, I know that sounds ridiculous, but let me explain…

My life began spiraling downward, and in 2013 it plummeted.

My mind was a mess, my emotions were all over the place, my husband and I were separated, and I wanted to die…literally.

Fast-forward to December:

My husband, parents, and friend in Japan had an intervention of sorts for me. I really didn’t want it. I actively sought mental health help for a decade already; it wasn’t working, and I’d hit rock bottom. I was done. I wanted to die, and I contemplated ways in which to make it happen.

My husband pleaded that I try to get help one more time…and he said he’d even set up the appointment. I gave in. OK, fine. One more time, but I had zero hope that it would help. Serious doubt ruled my mind.

My husband set an appointment for me at a Dallas hospital for an evaluation to determine whether or not I needed to be committed for treatment or receive outpatient treatment. He also made an appointment for me to see a psychiatrist. I just needed to hold on a little longer. An ounce of hope was kindled. This all occurred in December 2013.

But then…

As the hospital appointment date approached, my husband received a phone call from the hospital…cancelling the appointment. They wanted to reschedule for after the holidays. He was dumbfounded…so was I. How could they do this when they have been told I’ve been suicidal?! I didn’t think I could keep holding on. There had been a tiny flicker of hope, and it was snuffed out by the facility that was supposed to offer it.

By a miracle, I reached the date of the psychiatry appointment. In a nutshell, this is the doc I didn’t think existed. The one that eventually got me back on track. The one who gave me an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

During 2014, life was still a struggle, but life was also improving. I worked a lot on myself. Not everyone could tell (because I was an ace at putting on a mask when needed), but my family could tell things were looking up.

Eventually, I decided I wanted a new hobby.

A hobby, by definition, is an activity pursued for pleasure. We all need a bit of that in our daily lives.

In January 2015, I discovered the company Steeped Tea, Inc., a direct sales company.

Update: I am no longer a tea consultant with Steeped Tea.
I will soon be launching my own tea biz. Stay tuned.

(Dragon’s Den: Canada’s “Shark Tank”)

I contacted someone in the biz and inundated her with questions. I had nothing to lose. Even if I didn’t bring in money with this…I still got my personal discount. Two more reasons I wanted to join:

  1. They support JDRF for Type 1 diabetes research; this was something with which my younger brother struggled.
  2. They are supporters of CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).

I had already started raising funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I decided I could continue to do so by donating a portion of my tea profits. This provided me another purpose in life.

As for tea & me…

It has a calming effect on me, temporarily…but worth it…most likely due to the process/ritual of making it right. Then, a favorite mug, a favorite tea, and a cozy place to sit and contemplate. It’s my “tea meditation”. It’s just another modicum of my personal mental health and self-care plan.

Cup of Sanity

So, in the midst of life’s turmoils that blow in like a hurricane, a cup of tea is a small eye of my personal storm.

Copyright © 2018 Alicia T-Rust. All rights reserved.

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