I haven’t written a post in awhile about my recovery because well, I’m definitely on the smooth side of it. The chaotic feelings I was experiencing just two weeks ago have subsided for the most part, I’m getting back into the things I love, and I’m feeling almost bored at times because my life is devout of chaos. The bagels have been so good for me because they give me a positive outlet to engage with my community and do something I love. I’m moving out of the chaos and into the swing of getting to know who I am, genuinely loving who I am, and reaching the point of normalcy. It’s so, so early on in feeling this way and my therapist reminds me that it only feels weird RIGHT NOW because it’s so early on. If I can maintain this, which inevitably there will be backslides, hiccups, and mistakes made; I will progressively feel more “normal” – which obviously means something different for every person on the planet. My balanced reactions to previously triggering stimuli will begin to increase, and my impulsive behaviors will dwindle and eventually not happen at all.
I’ve experienced quite a few of these moments – where I see something that would generally ignite a fearful rage inside of me and all it did was give me a quick spike of anxiety and I was quickly able to move on with my day in seconds. There have been times where it has taken minutes, even hours. Sometimes an entire day, or an entire week to get past it. These moments of control are what I live for. Every time they happen, I smile wide, pat myself on the back and give myself a “Good job homegirl!” It felt ridiculous at first, but with the intensity of my past behaviors, being able to effectively regulate my emotions and behaviors is a difficult task that comes easier and easier every day – and that is truly something to celebrate. It means that I’m really engaged in my treatment, really adamant about getting better, and I’m actively taking the steps and utilizing the tools I’ve learned. In those moments, jump up and down if you need to, celebrate! Because the little stepping stones are what will lead to building your solid foundation.
Recovery takes a long time and enjoying the moments of bliss, serenity, and an even manner are crucial to recovery. Recognizing that the moments you respond to previous triggers with grace and ease rather than aggression, obsession, or however your triggering moments tend to present themselves – is a major win. You are in a good place. You are improving your life, evening out your emotional reactions, becoming aware of the ways in which you’re making that possible, and noting them so you use them next time.
So if you’re starting to feel better, rejoice! If you have a backslide, remember that everything worth having in life takes time and effort. Be gentle, kind, and loving toward yourself, and spend a lot of time focusing on you and being with you. If you have a moment of emotional need, look inward and try to self soothe before reaching out. You may just surprise yourself.