Started this new stage on Day 241 – four weeks ago. They say it “should” take three weeks to break a bad habit, but this is a giant one and so it might be a little longer, especially because there have been slips and there have been trips and there have been mistakes and there have been falls.
But we’ve dusted ourselves off, picked ourselves up, looked the lines over and adjusted them to fit my colour. Falling down is a mandatory aspect of life. Getting back up is living. For instance, the five-day resting experiment is going well. I have stuck to two things a day and it is allowing me to sit down for longer periods of time (more when I don’t do the two things back-to-back and have an extra-long period of sitting/resting, because that seems to perk up the “move your ass” shaming blackness-voice, and yesterday’s exhaustion might have been due to skirting the rules a LITTLE bit). It might be the new way of doing things, a new way of establishing a routine for me that does not exhaust me, one that allows me to be vivid, beautifully and perfectly imperfect.
I am still tense, acceptably so though. I am anxious, acceptably so though. I am uncertain, acceptably so though. I am tense and anxious because I am trying to find certainty in an uncertain world. I am trying to know where I need to trust: in me, in my wife, in my support system, in my recovery. There is no know of the future, but I am tense and anxious as preparation. To not be tense and anxious in the face of this – the proverbial bear in the woods (not the one that greets you with Hunny or helps fight off your demons with a sword) – would lead me, lead us, lead us all susceptible to a mauling of epic proportions. A mauling that we would not see coming because that natural fight-or-flight response would not flutter in our hearts, that mauling is something to be tense and anxious about.
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers” – M. Scott Peck.
So as we walk through the woods of recovery, I worry about my ability to put one foot in front of the other (being strong enough to fight off my blackness’ bad habits and ill-intentioned flaws, and wise enough to know what to do when I cannot), I worry about my wife not always holding my hand (being intentional and aware with her love, being caring and listening to her beautiful, amazing and loving strength) and I worry about my support system being there out of love (and not out of obligation) when we call in the cavalry. I worry because even after four weeks, I am still inclined to eat less than more or skip the occasional meal or let my hunger get in the way of my gentleness. I worry because of the obsessive feeling I still get of loose stomach skin and what that feels like when I am riding my bike. I worry because of that voice in my head when I sit for a lot (not too) long. I worry because recovery is uncertain. All we can do is be ready (AKA strong, respectful and wise) if and when the beast emerges from the woods.