A strange correlation I know, especially coming from a Midwesterner far from the tea lovers of England.My reason for relating to this quote is probably quite different from that of Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, the British actor and stage director of the early 1900s, to whom those words are attributed.
There was a time in my life when that cup of tea was the enemy, the exact opposite of all things hopeful.I'll have to take you back a bit to understand why.
I grew up in a pretty typical family (for whatever that means).I was raised in a happy and loving home and up through middle school and most of high school I was involved in clubs and activities, had a lot of friends and unlike most gawky teenagers, I was loving life.
That all changed my senior year of high school.I experienced the loss of three loved ones in a matter of months and began wondering why I was still alive when those people I loved no longer were.Darkness was taking over and extreme lows and highs were controlling my world.I made it through high school and found my way to college but being away from the comfort of home, things only spiraled downward.I used to sit in my dorm room and cry and cry on the phone with my mom and I knew sooner or later, I was going to hear those words from her that I was dreading – "Get up and make a cup of tea.You'll feel better."
While she was not a trained therapist, my mom knew that even at the very worst of moments, physically getting up and removing myself from a situation could pull me out of that dark and hopeless spot I was stuck in; something as simple as making a cup of tea.It took a long time for me to realize what was happening.I fought helping myself with every ounce of energy I had left in me.I struggled.I lost friends.I failed classes.I nearly lost my life.All the time wondering why my mom thought a cup of tea was the solution.
I eventually found myself in the darkest of places, a place where I saw no future and no reason to continue living.I went through the cycle over and over – crying, feeling trapped and unable too get out of the dark moods and yes, eventually, after much fighting, going to make that cup of tea.It was those little moments when I would make the tea, the times my mom held my hand and guided me as I shuffled toward the kitchen, that I saw hope.The times when a laugh would slip out when I had been doing nothing but crying.The times when the shaking would stop and the clear head would prevail.That was when I stopped fighting being well.That was when I started making the cup of tea without being told.
Taking charge of my own health and wellness, I came to realize that all these years, the cup of tea was so much more than a mug and some hot water.It was a symbol of me taking action, moving forward, and doing something to make life just a bit better.Today, I don't go to the stove and boil water in a kettle, now it is just a matter of sticking a pod in the Keurig.I still don't even like the taste of hot tea, and more cups get thrown out than drank, but that reminder that there is hope in action makes it worth the few cents I am pouring down the drain.
I found my hope in taking charge of my recovery.In working a treatment plan and helping myself to get well.I found my hope in getting off the couch and making that symbolic cup of tea.Action led to hope and hope led to recovery.So step away from the couch, boil that water and make a cup of tea because recovery is available to us all and as my mother always says, "Just try it.You'll feel better."
Written By: Nikki Rashes