In my adult life, I have never been partial to baths. I didn’t have a shower for most of my childhood, and baths had become a mundane faff rather than a symbol of relaxation.
When my son was still a baby, my then partner almost forced me into the bath on the regular, because he thought that should be my act of self-care. He enjoyed them, his mum enjoyed them, and so to him they were the perfect solution to my exhausted, strung-out problems. They weren’t especially enjoyable and they weren’t what I wanted or needed, but I went along with it because I didn’t know what else to do. They became a kind of passive, sad compromise of me restlessly sitting in my own warm disappointment until it felt appropriate to get out, and then trying to trick myself into believing I felt better because baths are relaxing.
Since then, I haven’t had many baths. I do like a good full moon ritual, so a preparatory cleansing salt bath has been undertaken upon occasion. And there have been a few times I’ve overexerted myself and thought a bath would help ease my ailing muscles. But that has always quickly turned into a sitting-in-my-own-disappointment situation, because after the first 3 seconds of exhilirating relief it just feels the same but now in a hard wet slippery tub that I don’t quite fit in comfortably.
This week, though, I had FIVE baths. FIVE. I don’t exactly know why. The urge was inspired in me one day, and it felt good. And then the urge was inspired the next day, and it felt good. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And just talking about it is causing me to consider having a bath.
I have been processing a lot of old emotional debris lately. It stands to reason I’d wish to symbolically cleanse it from my system. But why not a shower?
Maybe I’ve been trying to diffuse it out of me. That’s kind of what it feels like. Like I’m attempting to create some kind of concentration gradient. Draw out the poison. Every fresh tub gets you closer to clean.