As I settled into my mat this afternoon, my yoga instructor encouraged us all to focus our intentions onto letting go of something we have been gripping onto. I closed my eyes, brought my hands to my heart, and started crying.
I was alone and in my bedroom, not at the studio surrounded by the physical energy of community. Don’t get me wrong, I am deeply grateful for modern technology and the luxuries it has afforded me. But as I stared at a screen and tried to decide what it is I have been gripping onto, I realized that the answer was right in front of me.
Literally. The screen. The screen is what reminded me what I’m holding onto. I’m holding onto 3 weeks ago. When toilet paper wasn’t held to the same regard as gold. When kids weren’t making money off pumps of hand sanitizer. And when I didn’t have to hold back from hugging my people. We are going on week 4 of this pandemic… I cannot believe I even typed those words. I don’t need to go into how surreal this has been, but instead I want to discuss how holding onto the past can easily become a recipe for relapse.
My therapist has always referred to my ED as “old faithful.” 90% of the time I roll my eyes when she says that, and even the other 10% of the time, I 100% know she’s right. Whenever I am faced with change, transition, or turmoil of any sorts, that ED voice slowly becomes louder and louder. That voice tells me to come back “home” and retreat into its “safe” embrace. I have been able to fend off that voice through breakups, makeups, moves, career changes, and everything in between. But this, a flipping pandemic?! How am I expected to ignore that voice and the stability it tries to promise?
Well, first, I had to decide that I am not going to give into that voice. Making that decision was step one. Step two was talking with my therapist and my support system and vocalizing that commitment to my recovery despite the chaos around me.
Step three? Well, I’m still figuring that one out. And honestly, I think step three is going to look different for everyone. My step three has so far included making daily schedules that include things from eating and sleeping to doing yoga and watching Netflix. With each passing day, that schedule changes. Some days I sleep less and eat more. There have been days when I speak to nobody and others in which I spend the entirety of my waking hours on FaceTime.
I know it is a cliché, but we are living in a time where we literally must take it day by day. I know that it is seductive to listen to that ED promising you “stability” in the midst of mayhem, but I can promise you that your ED will just create even more chaos and uncertainty. I wish I had more answers and solace to offer our readers right now, but what you just read is all I got.
Definitely expect to hear more from me as we navigate this pandemic together❤