[drɪŋks wɪð] COVID 19 (potentially) [fin]

Day 9. I wake up with a buzzing mind. Strange dreams, maybe – I can’t remember them clearly. Or maybe I don’t want to. I get up, start my day with some Hatha Yoga. Movement usually helps. I notice all those thoughts that are flitting around in my head are all centered around one thing: Me.

This is a funny position I’m in. I’m here to work on myself, on all those patterns, to get a little less attached to all these desires that are presenting themselves in the most beautiful colours today. I’m here to learn to love myself, to accept where I am, all the flaws and everything, and grow from there. I’m here to cultivate compassion – for others, yes, but to be able to do that, I need to start with myself.

And there’s not a whole a lot of compassion for egocentrism in this world, or in myself. Yet is that really what this is?

Much later, after a day of emotional turmoil, and some sadness and heaviness that seemed to come out of nowhere, and after some practice, and reflection that felt really meaningful and like I was going somewhere, and after yet another binge, I sit and try to honestly write down how I feel. This is what comes out.

“Hey you. I know you’re feeling pretty shitty about yourself right now. I’m sorry about that. And I understand – it seems like things aren’t getting better, but worse. You ask yourself if you actually want to change – and it’s true that part of you wants to keep you small, dependant, and from stepping into your potential.

But what’s also true is that likely, the reason why this part is expressing itself through binge-eating and numbing is because it feels so threatened by all the progress you’ve been making – and this is the only way it can now wield power over you. Sure, there’s other parts to this, too. And it’s gonna be important and necessary to look at all of those. But remember you are making progress. A lot. And you will with this, too. I believe that – I know that. And you do, too. You just need to remember. I love you, you know. No matter how many binges we go through. I’ve got your back.”

So what I’m ending this day with is a thought: That there needs to be balance. I know I care for others, a lot – sometimes to an extent that turns that care into yet another distraction from what’s going on with me. I am nothing without me, so caring for me is an integral part of creating and maintaining that balance.

Day 10. My last day in quarantine. Looking back over the past ten days, I see a lot of trying, a lot of perseverance and true effort to make a change. I’m not gonna lie and pretend like I’m not a little anxious about returning to the community tomorrow. I’m not so worried about the work part – and that in itself is pretty big – because I had the opportunity to try out my insights around that while I was still in isolation. And while the true test is of course yet to come – to keep up those practices that have helped me to keep centered, and on identifying when I need to step away and take a break, rather than pushing through any and every challenging situation or stress – I have a pretty good feeling about this part of it all.

What I am nervous about is that I will slip back into that pattern where I shut myself off when I’m anxious (which is kind of ironic, I know), and turn into this aloof, short person that pushes everyone away because I “just can’t deal with this right now”, while really what I’m not dealing with is why I’m anxious. I quite fell in love with this open-hearted, grateful, connected person that I discovered within myself over the past while – I don’t wanna lose her.

Here’s the thing. I wish I could tell you: This is what I’m gonna do, and it’s gonna work for sure, and that’s the happy ending. But I can’t. Because I’ve done that. So many times. And what it does is that it sets me up for disappointment, which usually ends up in a good beating of myself (mentally, I’m not friggin Edward Norton) and/or a big old binge of some sort or other. The one thing that has worked for me, though, and that has really come forward since last week Monday, is this: Just start over. Even when it sucks, and I hate it, and I really feel like just not giving a damn anymore and just giving up. Eventually, I just gotta do it. Listen to silly music, eat a ton of snacks, watch a ton of dumb series. And to know that THAT is the ultimate token of love I can give myself: to come back to that place, and start over. And no matter what my path ends up being, starting over will keep me walking it.

Thank you for following this one along with me. ❤