Special Status

June 24, 2009 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

While all the craziness in the world goes on around us, many are struggling with their very own personal crises — food, alcohol, drugs, other self-destructive behavior, and lack of sleep. My ghastly tiresome two weeks are over, and the past two mornings I spent sleeping. Somehow I expected that one single nap a few days ago would do the job, but that’s simply not the case. I have to take my foot off the accelerator for a bit, otherwise I’m going to run out of gas in the middle of a 6-lane freeway. I’d rather slow down and take in a bit of the scenery.

Yesterday a thought came to mind. When I was first in recovery, I decided that I had a special status. Because I’d been to hell and back with the eating disorder, at that time I allowed myself to follow each and every (non-self-destructive) whim, just as long as I didn’t puke. That was the main goal. Through that, I gave myself a good portion of individual freedom. I moved outside the norm. I slept a lot. Went to the movies. Went for walks. Wrote. Read. Did almost whatever I felt like. It was a time when I learned to take care of myself, after years of thinking that special attention to myself was uncalled for — I didn’t deserve it.

Well, at the moment, my problem is lack of sleep. And there’s a fairly clear way to remedy that: more sleep! Yet there is a restlessness that keeps me up. Again I need to learn to surrender, to let go, to simply call it a day — rather than stay up yawning, then go to bed at midnight and not be able to fall asleep.

It seems like a rather basic topic — and kind of silly to pay so much attention to it. But at the moment, it is an issue for me. Along with that, a friend mentioned that I shouldn’t underestimate the emotional costs of ending a relationship. That process is not limited to the space of time it takes to move out. I nodded in agreement and thought to myself: “Oh, but this has been so clear to me for so long. There are no more emotional issues.” That isn’t quite true. Things are calm and we parted peacefully, but there are still things to discuss. The situation is not such that I can just leave it as is. After a break, we need some dialog.

So yesterday I decided that once again I need to check my priorities. Running myself ragged is not a priority, but it’s what I was doing. Sure, sometimes life is like that. Events and twists of fate are beyond my control. Often I have to go with what life gives me (most of the time, in fact!), but how I cope is my own choice.

It all goes back to: I’ve learned a lot and come a long way, but I’m not finished yet. It is humbling to realize again and again that I occasionally have to return to taking baby steps, develop new strategies, and find new ways to cope. It’s all a process.

Meanwhile, it’s nearly noon. I slept in (after sending the kids to school at 6:45), had breakfast, am listening to the Psychedic Furs Greatest Hits, catching up on emails, and I think I’m ready to start the day. It takes what it takes! I am grateful to have to luxury of a couple of days off! Have a good one!

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Entry filed under: Lack of sleep, letting go, Levels of Recovery. Tags: , , , , , .

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