One thing is for sure, I am no stranger to anxiety. I like to think of my anxiety as the bougainvillea in my side yard. When I take care of it, I may get scratched or pricked but it’s relatively easy to manage. But since it’s on the side and I don’t see it every day, it’s easy for other things to take precedence. I know it’s there but I take care of the parts that are in plain sight, that my neighbors can see, and that I can be judged about.
Unfortunately, when I let it go it becomes wild and feels uncontrollable. It gets bigger and starts taking over my garden. The outside of the bougainvillea looks fine with just a couple branches out of place.
However, when I finally attend to it, I notice that the inside is no longer pretty at all. It’s all thorns and gnarly looking branches. In the process of pruning it down, the thorns tear up my arms and legs, the clippings seem impossible to get rid of, and the end product looks leaf less, flower less, and dead. The process is difficult, painful, imperfect, and exposes all of those vulnerable parts. But in the end, I know it’s worth it. With some gentle loving care, it doesn’t take long before the bougainvillea grows back. And when it does, it’s healthier, hardier and more beautiful than ever. So take the time, tend to your garden, and (re)Treat Yourself Well.