As a native island girl, I have a natural love for the beach, the sound of the waves and all things ocean. Little did I know that, the very water I frolicked in as a child and had crazy teen adventures, would be one of the most powerful elements to nurse me back to health. Mental health and eventually, physical health.
The unexpected news of a divorce after eleven years of marriage, four kids and living in a foreign land saw my health taking a downward spiral. I was shell shocked, by the news? yes, but more by the way my body responded. Somehow, I always thought I was superwoman. The disorientation, deep depression and the physical signs of distress my body bore was not what I expected. My skin was breaking out, my hair was falling out, I lost an abnormal amount of weight and anxiety attacks were coming one on top of the other. I did not know what to do, where to go and fear of the looming unknown paralyzed me.
After transitioning through the stages of grief and experiencing powerful negative emotions I did not know I could have. I was surprised that I still had some strength and desire to get out of the house. One morning after I dropped my girls to school, I absentmindedly drove to a little beach front I visited from time to time.
I rolled down all the windows.
The strong sea breeze was gusting through the car.
I starred at the waves rolling onto the shore.
I sat there in stoic silence.
When I looked at the time, 45 minutes had passed.
That day, I went back home feeling refreshed and somehow, the sun shone brighter.
After that accidental wander, I visited the sea every weekday in the morning with my baby boys. For approximately four weeks I routinely made my trek to the ocean. With each day that passed, I felt more and more energized, clear in my thinking and even happy that I had something to look forward to. I had something no one could take away. The ocean.
I didn’t realize then what was happening or why I went there in the first place. Hopefully, you would forgive my dullness as it certainly never crossed my mind to journal my progress in the midst of the mess. What I do know for sure is that I felt better with every passing day. Soon, I had enough strength to look outside myself and appreciate that there is still so much beauty around despite my situation, beauty that would always be there. It filled me with such reassurance and hope. I started looking for a new job, doing things around the house and taking care of myself. I felt like all the garbage in my life was been dragged away every time the waves pounded on the shore and retreated to its depths.
Soon I built up so much strength that, I aced all my courses that semester, which was the hardest one yet, found a new job and moved out of my marital abode in a day (with very short notice and proper planning of course). With no fear, definite clarity and an active consciousness I started my new life feeling free and happy with no regrets. This may all seem like a trivial achievement, but when you’ve been in the place I’ve been and you see the outcome of others who have been in similar ordeals, you get to appreciate what I was able to do in a short space of time. As for me, I’m very proud of myself and I believe you can be to. Presently, I am “getting my feet wet” doing so many things I used to dream about. Like this blog for instance, I never thought I’d be bold enough to put myself out there, business, new music and other projects with some really great people.
In the Caribbean, going to the seaside is a way of life. Every parent carry their new-born to get their first sea bath and their first walk along the shore. My love for the ocean runs as far and as deep as those days my father carried me before I knew myself. The experience reminded me that there are so many things in this world we take for granted because of its simplicity, because it is always there. The sky, the stars, the moon, the sun, rivers, mountains, fields of flowers and forests full of fragrant trees. I now have a deep respect for the restoration each of these can bring but for now, I attribute a large part of my healing to my trips to the ocean. I still go the beach every chance I get. Maybe you should book a vacation and visit the beach sometime too. What new journey will you begin?
Check out this link that I discovered three years after. The benefits of visiting the ocean.