Seven Years of Experience

So…this is not good. I’m not sure I can stop writing. It’s my primary method of self-soothing. It’s what works, every single time.

Are you a writer if you don’t write? What if I don’t have time to write?

Writing is what I do when my belly balloons and my lower intestine twists itself into a tight figure eight. Instantly, almost instinctively.

Writing is one of the only ways I know to work that knot free. It’s the beginning — it’s the wheedling back and forth.

I write when I wish I had someone here to hold my hand, even if they didn’t understand. It’s what I do when I want to find a hill and run myself ragged. Up and down and down and up and up and down again, until I’ve lost count. It’s what I do when what I probably really need to do is lay my head down in someone’s lap and have a good cry. A snack, after.

I’ve come so far. I know I have. But everything is about to change, and I’m so bad at change.

I feel panicky even just thinking about it. I’d gotten into a rhythm with recovery, and it’s about to be interrupted.


Needless to say, I’m not doing the best job coping. I’m not coping — I’m racing around like a maniac. Grocery shopping, cleaning house, making food I can freeze, building a worker bee wardrobe, responding to emails, getting to appointments, stressing about how on earth I’m going to do everything I’ve been doing — minus 40 hours in the week.

Remember how I used to have a skewed perception about what a “normal” amount of food looked like? I’m beginning to think my errant ideas might extend to what a normal life looks like too. I don’t think I have reasonable expectations about what can/should be accomplished in a day. In a week, in a month, in a year.

What do people do — go to work with their hair dirty half of the time? They must.

I don’t know how to take the pressure off. I’m going to have to figure out a way, by Monday. Is there a way to hurry without being stressed?

I’m going to have to figure out how to be okay with it. Not being able to write half as much, not being able to sleep as much. Not being able to have as much energy for my friends. Not being able to get to the gym as easily, or as often. Not being able to rely on any real experience with taking good care of myself when I’m pressed for time.

It’s times like this that I realize how far I still have to go. I might be about there weight-wise, but I’m not there mentally. Not even close. When I feel triggered — faced with the task of creating a new routine, before being able to slowly shake that one loose too — I can’t help but feel like I just don’t know to live.


I’ve done such a good job of slowing down these last several months, but it all feels so far away now. It feels like I’m flinging myself right back to working harder faster longer, in this endless effort to be able to relax, later. It still feels as if there is no other choice: I make work my priority and then watch everything else fall by the wayside. My health, my relationships, all of it.

The part of me that is healing, the part of me that GLORIES in just sitting on the couch sometimes, says that it’s not so black and white.


That part of me says I need to be EXTRA gentle with myself, while I start a new job and get used to a new schedule. Starting a new job is stressful. And worrying about whether or not I’ll be able to do it, whether or not I’ll like it, whether or not it’ll have been an intelligent move — all of that is to be expected.

I know I’m ready. I also know the first month is going to be hard. Harder than it would be if I weren’t still sick. But it’s the next logical step. And if it doesn’t work out — if I fail or feel like I’m really in danger of relapsing — I know I’ll have help. All I’ll have to do is ask for it.

That’s what I need to know — that the support is there. I don’t need to know if I’m going to be with this company for ten days or ten years. I don’t need to know if I’m going to be alone in Oregon forever, or if I’m going to move somewhere else and give that a try. I don’t need to know why the boy who made me think maybe must have thought maybe not. I don’t need to know.

I don’t need to know if my heart is going to be broken, if I’m going to get hurt. I don’t need to know what I’m wearing on Tuesday or what I’m having for dinner on Thursday or what I’m doing for exercise on Saturday. I don’t need to know if there’ll EVER be time for another walk in the woods. I don’t need to know if I’ll ever be able to look down at my naked body and think nice thoughts.

I don’t need to know if I’ll find I need an hour or a day or a week of weakness in order to feel strong again, sometimes.

“Come out now. Come out while there’s still some living left to be done. Your discipline and dedication to structure is an illusion. If you really want to be in control again, you have to learn to let go again.” -Ryan O’Connell



4 thoughts on “Seven Years of Experience

  1. I felt the same way when I first got my job almost a year ago. I’m still getting the hang of it now, though it is easier and I still have some progress to go. I have definitely learned to use those around me for support and help. I just remember to breathe and take it day by day! 🙂

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