The Little Things
Finding the motivation to do anything has been ridiculously difficult for me as of late, but my intense need to give my little love an amazing and memorable holiday season has managed to win every time my mind battles between wanting to hide in bed and wanting to do something that would require the effort it takes to make everything bright and beautiful and fun. Today was no different. I recently found a really amazing sugar cookie recipe and made a batch with every intention to decorate them together as a family. Due to our strong love of carbs in this house, the still undecorated batch has somewhat dwindled in size, so I decided to bake more today. Now, I don’t bake or cook often, but I like to think I’m pretty decent at it when I do, so I tend to keep my pantry stocked up, just in case there’s ever a time when I run out of something and I can’t go get more. Unfortunately, today I ran out. In my excitement over the burst of motivation I had, I didn’t stop to think about the fact that I would probably need more flour to thicken and roll out my dough, so I used what was left and discovered that rather than the slightly firm texture needed to roll, I had sticky dough and nothing to fix it with. I frantically tore apart my pantry and Googled solutions, but nothing I had would do the trick and I have no way to go and get more. Just when my anxiety started to really take hold over the fact that I couldn’t even bake cookies right and I shouldn’t have bothered trying, I told myself to look one more time. And there, in the very back corner, sitting in a bag in the dark, was the flour I had convinced my amazing fiancé I needed whilst grocery shopping a month ago, just in case of times like these. And not just any flour, but King Arthur Flour, which never fails to remind me of the home I miss and love so very much. Victory! Problem solved! For once, I didn’t fail myself and I managed to bring myself a little piece of Vermont in the process.
If you’re reading this and think it’s a bit dramatic, I want you to keep in mind that this is about much more than cookies and flour. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “It’s the little things that count.” This is one of mine. For those with mental illnesses, simple tasks can often be incredibly overwhelming and even the silliest mistakes and mishaps can somehow manage to be blown way out of proportion and destroy what little feelings of growing accomplishment we have after completing those tasks. And each small victory (the “little thing”) is something we relish, because we don’t know when the next one will be.
I don’t know when this weight will lift and the drowning feeling I have will go away, and I don’t know when I’ll stop trying to shut out the world or wanting to disappear, but I do know that I’m not going to stop trying to achieve these small tasks and allow them to expand into bigger ones. I do know that I’ll celebrate the victories. I do know that I won’t give up on myself. And I will continue to stock my pantry, just in case.