There have been a few times in the last several years when I thought I'd arrived at some level of understanding that couldn't be surpassed. I find myself now in a phase of my life when I seem to be re-learning everything I thought I already knew. It's terrifying and exciting and chaotic and rich. The key has been to embrace the whirlwind and approach everything with a beginner's mind.
I'm living in liminality right now. I'm done with treatment, not going back to school until the fall, and I haven't gotten a job yet to fill the next few months. My therapist has told me that recovery is my full-time job. And it took me a while to see the beauty in that because I've been feeling so worthless without school or work to keep me busy. Now I see the amazing opportunity this affords me: ample time that I can completely devote to exploring, playing, and being curious. And what a gift I can give myself at this time in my life. Here are some examples of new things I've been grappling with:
- The pressure in our culture to be constantly busy, productive and on the move is a farce disguised as a law of life. I am a human being, not a human doing. For all the time I spend depreciating myself for not "producing," I could be nourishing my body and spirit.
- In the same vein, I've been practicing "being." What makes getting through the day so difficult sometimes is over-thinking, second-guessing, self-judgement, and living in scarcity -- all things that keep me in my head and out of the moment. I've been learning some new tools for re-grounding myself. This helps me land back in a gentle space, where I'm free to just be.
- Another farse: diet and weight loss. It just isn't a real thing. None of it. 99% of the time what people do is unhealthy and unnecessary. That hardest part of learning this is the process of accepting living in a world that mostly believes the lie.
- Creativity, in any form, is my essence. It's not a luxury, it's not pointless, and it doesn't need a reason. I'm learning how creativity connects me to the Source. I'm learning how creativity can help me live a more conscious existence, one with intention.
- Re-connecting with my body. This is really hard, because my ED made sure I made enemies with my body, or ignored it completely. I'm trying to be still with my body, take cues from it, and understand how my emotions actually feel. I want eventually to be able to respect it and admire it instead of fight it and criticize it.
Here's what I'm trying to fill my days with: Art projects. I have an art journal, new watercolors and colored pencils, and a new art desk by a window. Going on long walks, especially now that it's getting warmer. Making my way through The Artist's Way to reclaim my creativity. Writing anything. The NYTimes Magazine crossword, because I'm obsessed. Reading this and this. Watching Parks and Rec. Mornings with theSkimm. Cooking. Listening to this and this and this.
So things could be worse. When I picture the recovered me, this is how I look:
Connected, grounded, and awed.