Day 331

9AM:

After digesting Thursday’s Naturopath appointment (a part of the support system and a resource, but not a driver of recovery – that’s US!), my own thoughts over the last week, what Guidance friend said to me yesterday about heart and soul and last but fucking definitely not least, what my wife wrote to me on the fridge, here’s what I’m thinking the true culprit is…

The True Culprit

 

Imagine that there is a battle – a battle that wages between the blackness that grabs hold when stress is over-stress, a battle that is won with the whites, the tools of recovery.  There are still gaps, especially in the whites, these coping strategies and boundaries that prevent the blackness from taking hold of the greys.  But it’s another step.

This is not yet the next step.  This is seeing where to take the next step, the next puddle in which we will jump, with giant smiles on our faces, holding hands, hands that fit ever-so-snuggly.

 

Day 329

6PM:

I just left the restaurant.  I just barely held on.  Together, the 4PM “lunch” and the 3:30PM Naturopath appointment gave me enough strength to be who I needed to be, who I want to be, who I find value in being.  But just barely.  If anything, I wasn’t strong enough.  I am not sure if my wife actually felt better or worse after I left, because I couldn’t hold it all in, I couldn’t keep it all together.  I couldn’t be her puzzle piece, having been worn away too much by the last month, worn away by the fact that I have had one day off in the last thirty-eight (and some of those on days have started at 5AM and ended much too late).

If I want to be the Don for her, for my family, I need to be strong enough to be that.  Taking today’s words from the Naturopath, I need to take care of myself to take care of others.

If I want to be the Lorax who speaks for the unspeaking, the champion of equity and all things good (truth, justice and all that jazz…), I need to be strong enough to be that.  I need to take care of myself to take care of others.

Part of the next phase – the next step in recovery – will allow me to do so, to be those things, to take care of others.

Day 279

6PM:

Some universal signs to interpret, from today, a day that has left me realizing I’m worn down and not doing myself any favours by living on the edge:

“Peace is in each of us” (Mennonite Church)

Even though I felt like I needed the Naturopath to be a sounding board, that I needed her to tell me I am drinking too much (either to cope or to fill up the calorie tank at that point in the day), that I am not respecting my hunger out of fear of getting fat (and the never-ending thoughts of belly fat, unknown as to its delusional or truthful nature), that I am not fueling my me-ness enough throughout the day with food and rest, thereby letting my blood sugar drop, my adrenal health plummet and my ability to fight off / ignore / not hear the blackness crater.

Even though I felt like I needed her to say it, I knew these things.  I am scared of trusting myself, of trusting my opinion, even though time and time again, we draw the same conclusions: the only us experts, are us.  Peace is in each of us, or at least, in my case, the ability to find that peace is in me.  I trust my head to think, my heart to love, my soul to feel; now, I need to trust my body to heal.

“I value myself” (Naturopath)

I want to shift the way that I think from I find no value in myself compared to others, worthless in their shadows and that I accept myself as such.  I want to shift it to that I find purpose in others, I find value in helping them (like the happiness I got from doing yard work at my mother-in-law’s house today, not thinking about the selfishness that spawned me doing it, but simply having my heart focus on the love and the IAN).  However, finding purpose in others does not negate valuing myself, it does not have to.  In fact, valuing myself means I can be selflessly selfish, by taking time to heal myself, heal myself so I can engage in that purpose of others; as opposed to being selfishly selfless, making it about ignoring my own needs and ultimately sacrificing my ability to live that purpose.

“Be patient” (Mennonite Church)

We will make mistakes, we will falter, we must before we fly.  We will be patient, step by step on the path of recovery.  We will keep putting one foot in front of the other to reclaim healthy, making mistakes along the way but still going, one day at a time, one breath at a time, breath by breath.

Day 259

7:30PM:

Today was not good, not a good step.  The sun was shining, birds chirping and the blackness sucked it all down a hole.  I have worked 30 out of the last 29 days (how’s that you ask?: three days off, but four days of working two jobs), and yet the longest I spent sitting down today was in a dentist’s chair.  I have become so immune to the fatigue, or I should say, immune to feeling the fatigue.  Maybe that isn’t even true.  I’ll explain:

I am not eating until I’m at an 8 or 9 out of ten, not resting until I fall down or until “everything” is done (both of which I did yesterday, thus the blackness).  As I pointed out before, fucking with my nature to this degree does have impacts later in the day (i.e. not being physically hungry for dinner, even though after one drink I clearly don’t have enough in my system to temper the effects), but I continue.  I am going past the point of actually feeling hungry (traditionally, physically recognized hunger) to having signs of hunger be light-headedness, dizziness, being wobbly – only at this point do I say, “ok body, message received, (but not lesson learned, still steps ahead of me on the path of recovery,” because these signs are unambiguously clear.  These have become the signs of hunger or fatigue for me, as opposed to being self-aware of the 1-7 out of ten, not acting out of fear of eating too much or not being active enough.

In doing these things, regularly, continuously, too fucking much, it desensitizes my cognizance to stress, to (as naturopaths call it) adrenal fatigue.  These are bad habits that the blackness has solidified, because although my stubbornness and strength and ability to withstand hell are imperfections, beautiful facets of the me version of me, the blackness has revealed their flawed potential.  Because while I have become desensitized to the stress, this does not make my body, my mind, my soul immune to the fatigue, stress, hunger.  This constant state of stress is still toxic to those things, even if I am too stupid to realize it.

Bad habits these are, break them I must.  I need to be strong and loving and wise.  I can only do that if I rest.  I can do that tomorrow, do that one day at a time.