My disease hates when I’m happy. My disease hates when I stray from needing it to tell me my every move, validate my every thought, and rely on it for comfort. Especially when it has to do with my body, the food I put in my body, and people commenting on either or both. And sometimes, it’s a fine line between what is my disease and what is a learned behavior to avoid listening to it.
I still second guess myself with food and my fitness. Not so much with other things, but I do ask for help and run things by my boss at work when appropriate. I’d rather be clear and have approval, than be slammed after for something I could’ve avoided doing (as I did recently from lack of restraint of tongue and pen).
I still ask people their opinion, sometimes more than once and more than one person. I still get anxious when I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to do and have to think for myself. It’s not that I can’t think for myself, it’s that for most of my life I have defaulted to behaviors and choices that weren’t in my best interest and harmed me, so I’ve had to learn to default to letting other people steer me before I get to the place.
However, the point of recovery is to learn how to think for ourselves. The point of recovery is to get to a place of poise, and pause, and knowing. The point of recovery, for me, is to learn how to wait it out and get underneath and ask me what I think, before soliciting advice and feedback from others. Per usual, sometimes I nail it, and sometimes I don’t. I was out walking this morning, reflecting (admonishing) on how I freaked out last night for no reason and had to ask my coach what training program to follow this week because God forbid he didn’t outline one for me because I changed my mind to stay with him in a minute’s (literally) notice. Upon reflection (post admonishment), I was able to see that it’s OK that I still don’t always trust my first or second thought. I reflected that I am enough even if I still resort to asking for help when I could very much just help myself.
Almost 17 years later of practicing at first only moderately better behavior, to now truly aligning myself with values that help me sleep at night, I still succumb to the demonic voice residing inside my head that propels me into the admonishing I mentioned above. The voice that says, “I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t”. The voice that says, “you can’t be happy because you’re cohabitating a beautiful, smaller, never before attainable body because then that means you are relying on your body for your happiness”. The voice that says, “you can’t enjoy this big life you are building – something must be wrong”. The voice that says, “you need something to focus on and worry about, so … let’s pick a topic for today. And GO!”
The voice that lacks perspective and a softer edge, berating me for still asking for help when I am unsure. The voice that prevents me from pausing long enough to tap into my inner knowing, the knowing that I have developed over the years, the knowing that I am enough, and I will come to the answer if I wait long enough. The voice that never lets me fucking wait despite the stacked evidence that I can and it will be perfectly OK, however it turns out.
I’m sick of that voice. I’m sick of feeling like I have something to apologize for by showing up fully (or even partially). I’m sick of second guessing myself, feeling like I should be doing something else or asking different questions, or better yet, no questions at all. I’m sick of feeling like I’m doing something wrong because I just can’t believe my life: my home, Mike, our relationship, my recovery from all substance, my improving health and fitness and physique, the relationship with others, my family and friends, my career.
This last year has been a hell of a transition, one that I could never have entertained. Fitness is still a centerpiece of my life, but a center that has become truly fun, dynamic, and versatile. It no longer clogs my schedule so I can’t do other things. It’s still my favorite topic for which I geek out on, but I also have other topics I value. I published my book and am learning how to be open and vulnerable in the spotlight. I continue with my blog (thanks for reading!) and am earnestly trying to plant my feet in service so that other people may be spared some of the suffering I didn’t enjoy. I’m learning boundaries with all parts of my life, and constantly ebbing and flowing between what works and what might not. I’m growing up! I really am. And it’s nothing like I expected.
I’m finding a lot of that is true in life: nothing is as we could expect or envisioned. For better or worse. It may feel worse before it feels better, but it is my experience that in the end, it is always better, no matter how long it felt like it took to get there.
Are you waiting in the hallway for some answers? At some point, I think that we all are. And it’s OK. We can take turns waiting, and when we see a crack in a door up ahead, help one another open it all of the way, and go inside.