I ALMOST gave up tea when I broke three favourite teapots. I’m clumsy and uncoordinated with a constant tremor in my hands from brain inflammation caused by heat stroke at a triathlon race.

Here’s more of my story

I love tea like I love CelineFor the last ten months I’ve unintentionally smashed my way through my teapots, there isn’t one left without a crack or a smashed lid.

I have been gifted many beautiful tea sets, each is special because of the memories they hold. When I sit down for cuppa, I always think about the person who bought it for me and send them some good vibes.

 

Why so many pots?

 

I don’t drink coffee because it makes me jittery and too talkative – crazy, even. So I enjoy my teas, and very important to have a variety of pots for different teas. 

The gold pot for sticky honey soaked chai was gifted from an manager who taught me so much about marketing, events and enjoying the good things in life. We even named our office room, The Tea Room so we’d always have an excuse to put the kettle on.

The tremor is a symptom of brain inflammation squashing the neurons in the part of the brain which controls movement. My hands shake, spilling tea leaves, splashing the boiling water everywhere but in the tea pot and lid slips out of my hands fingers onto the tiles below.

Smash.

The lid is now a thousand pieces. My heart also breaks.

The pink rose pot for French Earl Grey tea gifted from a girlfriend in my mermaid swim group. Ocean swimming in the harbour each Saturday morning is another favourite thing to do. I love floating around with a gossip of mermaids watching the sunrise and laughing our heads off.

Sometimes my inflamed brain mixes up the messages to my hands, which makes my left hands do what I want my right hand to do. Once I started brushing my teeth with my hair brush which wasn’t very nice.

As you can guess, I really have to think about what I’m doing otherwise I drop things easily.

Smash.

Another broken teapot.

The blue pot for stove top brewed fresh ginger tea, a recipe from a Sri Lankan uncle. Served in a small cups, this tea set helps me appreciate the mindfulness of drinking tea. 

Smash.

All three cups in the set broken. Each broken piece is like my heart cracking.

 

Finding Balance

 

I’ve always been proud of my coordination and balance, it was more than something I could do, it was apart of who I was. Before high school I was flipping and hand standing my way to the Australian Championships as a Gymnastic Acrobat.

A few months ago, I tried swimming around Shark Island with my swim group, I could not coordinate my hands and legs and breathing. I kept falling behind because my legs and arms won’t move when I asked them to. I would not like to try riding at bike at the moment.

Drinking tea seems like a simple task but with the brain inflammation and tremor, I’m frustrated. At the cafe, I’m missing the saucer and spilling the tea in my lap. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve burnt my fingers with boiling water and being laughed at for dribbling tea down my face.

After three broken pots, five smashed cups and countless burns, I think it’s time to stop drinking tea and smashing my memories. 

 

Enjoy The Tea

 

The treatment for brain inflammation takes time because our brains are delicate and complex. It also takes effort to retrain the brain after neurons have been damaged. I must keep practising my balance and coordination to improve the circuitry in my brain.

My empathetic and encouraging sister says, don’t give up, here’s a new tea set for you to enjoy, and don’t be afraid to smash this one either.  

Slowly, I take my time, think about each movement as concentrated movement will help rewire my brain and keep trying.

And if I smash this one too, I can get another tea pot, there will always be more tea (and tart, too).