To say the past year an a half has been a cluster would be an understatement. As if COVID, wildfires, and violence have not been enough for most of us, in addition, I’ve been dealing with events in my personal life for which I thought I was prepared. I have not written about it as I have been unsure how. In writing publicly, I continue to struggle with the fine line between what is my story to tell and what belongs to someone else. I do not want to hurt the people I love by sharing something they prefer to keep private. It is not my place here to share the specific events, but it is my choice to share my actions.
I have let fall by the wayside some of the things that I need in my life to stay healthy. Most notably the three things that time and time again have gotten me through the most difficult periods in my life; Al-anon, yoga and therapy. Instead I have been wallowing in anger and resentment. And rather than dealing with it, I have been listening to an old destructive voice telling me that I can handle this difficult time on my own. Convincing me, if I keep busy enough, distract myself enough, and just get through the circumstances of the moment, the resentment will go away and I will be fine. FINE. For many months now I have brushed aside the whispers fluttering into my brain that carry the reminders that, stuffing uncomfortable emotions and pretending everything is okay created a ninety-eight pound, anxious, rigid, short-tempered, jittery, lonely mess.
I am grateful I haven’t allowed myself to relapse during this continually difficult time. On the outside anyway. My weight has held steady, I have not allowed myself to isolate and have leaned on a small group of friends who are aware of my circumstances. And, despite everything, I continue my regular date nights with my good friends Ben and Jerry.
But inside there has been a storm brewing.
Instead of getting quiet, I got busy. Cleaning house, running needless errands, binging Netflix, and shopping Amazon Prime. All the things I have needed to stay distracted. Ways that have kept me from sitting still and allowing the thoughts and emotions I have not wanted to feel to emerge to the surface where I would have to acknowledge them. Silencing my inner voice, my trusted gut, when it tried to tell me to pay attention to the anger and resentment simmering in my body, urgently warning me if left attended, I would boil over.
And last week I did. I finally woke up to the realization was faced with choices. (A.) Pretend everything is fine and continue on with life, as usual, with the awareness this choice will put my own recovery at risk or (B.) Face down my anger and resentment and deal with it head-on.
Sacrificing my own recovery, something I have worked so hard to achieve and maintain is not even an option for me, so I have chosen to face it, feel it and figure out how to deal with it.
And I know just the three places to start.