CLOSE TO THE EDGE
Sometimes you find yourself close to the edge.
The old existence, the one that yesterday seemed so solid, so fixed like a billion year-old stellar constellation, has shattered. No way of getting back to the way things were, it seems. No way of rewinding the movie and you ache to rewind. A terrible nostalgia for “back then” and its happy obliviousness to each tomorrow.
A painful sense of regret in your belly and chest.
And because the past has disintegrated the future has too. No way of knowing “what’s next” anymore. Everything feels out of sync, out of your hands, out of balance and out of control. Your plans have collapsed into the sounds of morning traffic. Your hopes and dreams have reduced to the raindrops pitter-pattering on your window. All you have left… is the present moment.
And even that doesn’t feel a safe place to be anymore. The body does not understand life in the abstract. You are in time but out of it, on solid ground but it feels so groundless now. Like you are living in someone else’s dream. Like you cannot recognize yourself here. Like you are being asked to begin again but you don’t know where everything ended. Like your life is over, but it carries on.
And the visitors come. Age-old reverberations of helplessness. A deep and dreadful anxiety that doesn’t feel like it’s yours. A terrible grief that would destroy or save the entire world if it could. A lostness, a sense of abandonment, like a child without protection, like light without its star.
A heart that beats in unfamiliar ways. Breathing that feels more constricted, tense. A discomfort throughout the body. You don’t feel at home in your own home.
(“Come to me”, the Universe cries.)
What do you do, here, close to the edge of things?
Well, you breathe, as well as you can. You prepare some tea. You speak with a friend, or join with them in a silence that understands.
You do the next thing, or it does you, or you sit for a while, despairing under an unfamiliar sky.
Homeless, scared, intimate with a painful truth -
close to the edge,
you find yourself.
- Jeff Foster
Notes on Rhodiola
Rhodiola rose, also known as golden root, is a plant from Siberia. She grows well in dry and cold arctic climates.
Rhodiola is known as an adaptogen. She’s known for supporting states of stress and anxiety, mental and physical fatigue and a depressed mood and stamina by supporting the functioning of the adrenal glands
You may remember that adaptogens help the body resist stress- whether physical, chemical or biological. In other words, they help us be more resilient. These herbs and roots have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions.
Rhodiola specifically, was a favorite remedy for the Vikings.
Research has shown that Rhodiola can stimulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine activity. The proper balance of these neurotransmitters is involved in healthy emotional and neurological functioning
I have taken Rhodiola as a capsule as well as a powder that I add to my smoothies. She works really well in concert with other adaptogens, like Astragalus, which I’ve talked about before, and which is also one of my favorites.
As a recap, Rhodiola is a great support for stress and mild to moderate depression and as a neuroprotectant and shows promise for a number of other mental health conditions.
The risk of drug interactions and side effects is minimal, but as always, consumers using antianxiety, antibiotic, or antidepressant medications, birth control pills, or diabetic and thyroid drugs should consult with the physician.