Someone once shared with me a method to help find safety in my mind when things feel like they’re swirling outside of what I can handle. Think of five things you know you can sense in reality, so that your brain and your body are together again, at least for a bit. I’ve taken this and combined it with Peg’s recommendation from Peg + Cat to count backwards from five. I count backwards from five with five different things I know are real, real in that immediate moment. When I can, I try to connect them to touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell. Right now:
5- I feel my dog beside me on my bed.
4- I hear a load of laundry spinning from the kitchen.
3- I taste my coffee with a tad too much mocha in it, overpowering the coffee itself.
2- I smell the dirty mugs on the shelf beside me, waiting to be washed.
1- I see my fingers typing this.
5…. 4….. 3….. 2…..1
Today is already hard, and I’m already tired. Even if it takes many countdowns to replant myself, I will make it through this day. My dog will still be soft. The old mugs will probably still smell. I will still be real and my life will still be real. After telling Cat, “I’m totally freaking out!”Peg and Cat find a way to solve the problem. They count down from five, remember who they are, and they get to work. I love this, because it’s so completely affirming. Yes, it’s ok to be stressed. Yes, it’s ok to freak out. It’s ok to not have an answer. It’s ok to breathe and rest and count, until something comes to you. Living is work, even if that living involves surviving the day with the help of a girl and her feline singing mathematical nonsense songs about numbers and shapes.