I woke up this morning with a headache and a decision to make. So I made it. Sometimes I can make a series of decisions that start to make me question myself. The dreaded question, “Am I regressing?” It can take just a few small moments for me to start to doubt my self-worth. Much of this is a humanistic function, which I’ve read a lot about in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. How engrained we are for the need to belong and be a part of a community. Without this, our ancestors would have died. Being “a part of”, was literally necessary for survival. Being shunned potentially meant starvation and the inability to breed. While today I don’t need to belong to feed myself materialistically, I still need people to feed my soul.
I happen to have a mood disorder that is hypersensitive to rejection. My therapist theorizes this stems from being a sensitive child raised by an unemotional mother incapable of empathy. It has made having any close relationships in my life very challenging. I constantly have to question my beliefs, the things my mind tells me, and feed myself positive affirmations that I am worthy of love and affection and that I am loved and safe. It is often easier for me to keep people at arm’s length than to have to fight with myself on this all the time. Although I deeply want connection, my actions tend to create the behavior in others that I so desperately wish to avoid, rejection, not being included. If you see someone constantly with their arms crossed, you tend to keep your distance. The fault I know lies within me.
Anyway, due to a series of events, this morning I felt like a person on a sailboat, all alone, with no wind. Luckily due to recovery, in times like this I know to take self-care actions. I first texted my long-time friend in Ohio. I told her what happened and she provided me with exactly what I needed, empathy and connection. I asked her the questions to the fears in my mind, “Well regardless you still love me right?” Her answer was, “of course”, and I asked, “You’d invite me to your game night right?” “Totally would, you would be a blast.”
I then proceeded to clean the windows and screens on the house. If you keep your hands busy you quiet the mind. The added sun also helped my mental state. I finished my homework for the week and then drove myself to a meeting. It was a beautiful drive but when I got there the parking lot was empty and the meeting was supposed to start in 10 minutes. I was disappointed. Was there no meeting anymore? I sat for a minute before deciding to leave. I was pulling out of the parking lot about to go home when who should I see pull in at that very moment?? My previous sponsor, and a mutual friend. I immediately did a u-turn in the middle of the road and went back to the meeting. And as I was turning around, for the first time in a long time, I could see my HP at work in my life. It felt like the scene in Hook when the lost boy is smushing around Robin William’s face trying to see if it really was Peter Pan. That moment when he does see Peter, how excited he becomes, that was my moment today. I almost even said out loud, “there you are HP!” When I pulled in and my previous sponsor saw me, she lit up, and I was really ok for the first time today.
I went to the meeting and just listened to people share. My previous sponsor and a mutual friend shared and although the actual room was freezing, I felt as though I was wrapped up in a warm blanket. Two new people out of detox were there and had really great shares. One mentioned a part of the reading in the book and commented on how it was on page 143, beeper code for I love you. Ah, my GenXrs and early Millenials all related. Took me right back to high school.
On the drive home with my windows down, I got to watch the sunset while listening to Alanis Morresett and I know everything will be ok. It always is.