I need a break.
Not a break from recovery, necessarily, but a break from it being the main, center, be-all-end-all focus of my life.
Although, honestly, I haven’t spent as much time in groups and appointments at Hope lately, I feel like focusing on recovery is taking over my life. Every day is filled with overthinking and decision-making about what I’m eating, what I should eat, how I should act. Every day has the added stress of wondering whether I’m making the best choices, and wondering how well others think I’m doing, and wondering how well I actually am doing.
I know a lot of this is anxiety I bring on myself, and I know I have a tendency to “make mountains out of molehills”, as my mom would say. But I feel overwhelmed with the pressure of recovery right now. I feel like food-wise, I’m doing pretty well, challenging rules and fear foods and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. But the constant chatter in my head between Emily and Ed and The Perfect Recovery is wearing me out and stressing me out.
In a way, I feel like my big Asian adventure is coming at a good time. I’m looking forward to this month of freedom from my real life and all its worries. That’s definitely not to say that I’m taking off and forgetting everything I’ve learned in therapy and abandoning all of my recovery efforts. Yes, I’d like to have all that in mind, just not at the very forefront drowning out all my other thoughts. I want to be present and happy and enjoying my trip, without worrying about Ed. Ed’s staying in Canada, if I have any say in it.
I know it’s still going to be challenging. Eating unfamiliar foods and not doing my own cooking and not knowing what I’m eating, nutrition-wise, are all incredibly stressful for me. I think the lack of information can work in my favor, though. I pay way too much attention to the details of nutritional labels, and I have the info of most foods I eat regularly logged away in my brain. In Asia, all of that means nothing, because everything is either written in Thai or is something I couldn’t even identify. Instead of being a plate full of calories, food will just be food. As terrifying as that is, it’s also a relief. One less thing to obsess over – it’s out of my control. Bring it on, it’s just food.
Outside of the food aspect, I think all the activities will be great real-life therapy. Right now, at home, I don’t have much going on in my daily life. Which means I have much too much time to sit around and think and worry. I’m excited to be busy and doing interesting, exciting things. Real life can be the focus, for a change!
My care-coordinator seems to agree with me. I think she’s looking at it in a “take a step back, figure out what you want in life, get to know yourself better” type of way. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a life-changing epiphany while I’m away. At the very least, I think it’ll be a good chance to check-in with myself. As always, at our appointment yesterday, she was supportive and encouraging and happy for me, and I left with renewed hope and positivity.
Anyway, the countdown is on – just ten more days! Also exciting: tomorrow’s my last day at my job! I’m pretty happy about both of those things right now.