EMPOWER: Rub it/soak it where it hurts at the end of a shitty day

Sunday was a terrible day. The weekend left me feeling ravaged. We don’t need to get into details because that’s not the point. The point is that some days we have bad days, off days, horrible days. If we’re human, we’ve likely had a few. Chances are we’ll encounter several more. But what do we do with bad days? How do we navigate them, self soothe, find our way?

If you’ve read my column previoulsy you’re likely aware I’m a survivor of opioid addiction. It’s no secret, coping skills haven’t always been my thing. It took years of therapy and counseling to develop my strengths and it takes daily practice to keep my tools sharp. I’ve got a pretty good handle on it now, though. I can tell you exactly what not to do!

Back to Sunday. I’ve taken swings from all angles over the weekend. I’m emotionally tapped and physically tired. My oldest son is off with family at the cabin so thankfully it’s just me and my little guy. At 6, he wants constant attention and being a mom, I’m aware that these days are numbered and I want to give it all to him. I also have to manage my mental and emotional health in a constructive manner. What are my choices?

I’m anxious and on the verge of panic because life is what it is and it feels like it’s crumbling because entropy is real, friends! My mind does the spinning thing and it starts to race and I know I need to be present in this moment but how? How do I hold on when the whole world feels like it’s spinning out of control?

In my youth I thought these were the moments to disengage, check out, fuck it all and numb myself. At 41, I know these are the moments to pay attention. What am I feeling? What story is my brain telling me? Is it true? These are the questions I ask myself, a form of self-soothing.

THC, for me, in these moments, can be too much. This is where I reach into my medicine bag and come out with the elixir of life, the nectar of the gods for those of us who suffer from the afflictions of the overactive mind; CBD tincture.

Let’s be clear about one thing; not all CBD is created the same. Be mindful of who you’re getting it from and trust your source. I’ve tried several varieties over the years and some are certainly more effective than others.

Let’s also be clear about something else; CBD isn’t going to get you high. If you’re chasing euphoria, keep walkin’ walker because you’re not going to find in CBD. What you’ll experience is more of a calming sensation, it’s gentle and quiet. If you’re looking to alter your mind, CBD won’t deliver for you. But if you’re looking to calm a frazzled body, both physically and mentally, it just might do the trick. At least, it works for me.

By Sunday evening, I’d powered through the day with my tincture, coupled with a good solid jump session at Get Air with my boy. Sometimes I take it too far with all that jumping and climbing out of the foam pit, so I treated myself to a favorite evening ritual, the sacred bath.

A sacred bath isn’t just any old bath. You see, I’m a rituals type of person. One thing I’ve learned in recovery is to replace my unhealthy habits with productive ones. Baths used to be an unhealthy time for me. Today, I turn them into a sacred ritual by making sure, first and foremost, that I’m in a clean space. Nothing worse than soaking in a dirty tub. Next, I light candles and place them all around the perimeter. Salt and oil are essential tub ingredients, the salt to purify and draw out toxins, the oils to soothe.

Sunday night, I decided to treat myself extra nice by adding a new product to my tub, because again, bad mood fest over in my world. You see, the salt and oil game is regular business around here, but this particular day I added a little extra magic in the form of a product called Empower Soaking Salts. Comprised of various salts, essential oils, and yes, my friends, CBD, Empower was pure heaven.

Now, I’ll be honest. We have CBD bath bombs at the shop and they sell like hotcakes. I hadn’t tried them yet. I can sometimes be cynical. CBD gets quite a bit of hype these days. I wondered if the bath products were just that — hype. Turns out, there’s hype because they’re amazing and effective.

The package suggested 30 minutes which sounded legit to me because I was committed to letting this weekend go, feeling it fall away into the water, I imagined the salt pulling out my bad mood like it was exorcising a demon.

Now, the bath itself was heavenly and nice, everything a bath ritual ought to be. It’s what happened when I got out that astounded me. My skin felt stoned. There’s no other way to describe it. Especially my legs, which had been in the water the longest. My skin felt calm, as though my nervous system had been soothed. All the little twinges of nerve pain I’ve come to accept as part of daily life were gone. And it didn’t just last for a few minutes, I felt it into the entire next day. I could feel where my back and shoulders hadn’t been in the water as much as the lower part of my body and realized next time I’ll be sure my whole body is submerged.

Remembering what it was like to detox off heroin and methadone, I wish this product had existed back then. It could have been a game changer. For those suffering now, it could potentially offer comfort in a profound way.

If you’re like me and you sometimes suffer from the afflictions of life and the chaos that it can often be, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to an Empower bath. One last thing…they have topical oils and lotions as well. Imagine the possibilities!

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