Several times I have written about my struggles with getting up in the morning, planning my day, moving forward, feeling accomplished, and warding off The Committee. It is finally happening. Despite anger on Wednesday and overall burnout, I woke up Thursday rested and happy. A few recent changes have made life different. These differences are important because recovery for me is about becoming different from what I have been, mostly a wreck in a reactionary state. Sometimes this becoming different is just a returning to who I know myself to be.
One, I have been going to bed without sleeping pills for a few weeks now. This is fabulous because I have been on sleeping pills, or at least Benadryl, for 18 years. For now, I have been crawling up into my feathers, coloring for a while, watching BONES on DVD, then going to sleep and staying asleep. Sleep without anxiety, is something I never thought I would enjoy again in this lifetime.
Two, briefly, but most importantly, the dread of having to survive another day is completely gone. This is so huge I cannot even go into it now. I think it started to really fade the end of last April. I have sort of left it unacknowledged for fear of jinxing myself. Not waking up cursing the day, cursing my breath, cursing the curse; is indescribable.
Three, new the end of November, a glimmer of peace in the a.m. began to bud. All of February I have felt this peace most mornings. Yes, peace. In. The. Morning. Automatic fear and torment is mostly gone. The silence is still loud, but I don’t sit in it anymore. I don’t wait and listen for safety. I am safe. I assure my own security. I am just like everyone else crawling from bed out to the day, out to my life. Loneliness still pokes me a little, but drastically less than two or three years ago. Neither the silence nor the loneliness freeze me to my sheets these days. If I linger in my bed now, it is because it is so freaking fantastic. I am grateful for my income and staying firm in my budget to attain an amazing sleeping area. I feel lucky and happy as I stretch under my covers.
Four, recently I noticed that keeping my heater on low all the time is good for me. Stepping out of the cold hall and into a warm apartment soothes my battered psyche. Likewise, in the morning, I will get up if it is warm enough. I am tossing aside the tradition that I picked up with my last name, that the heat goes off when not home and just barely above freezing when in bed. I am sufficiently out of survival mode to be comfortable 100% of the time. This is ginormously comforting to me.
Five, despite the mess that may encompass my kitchen food prep area, my morning writing spot is clean, neat, and sunny. The idea to swap my kitchen and livingroom furniture was almost brilliant. I broke out of the notion that things had to look or be a certain way. My folding table/chairs does not have to occupy my current kitchen in the same tradition as previous kitchens. The table, how it looks, the availability of seating, what sits on it, it’s very history; does not a kitchen make. I can still have an inviting eating space for myself and one other person without my longtime friend. I can still display my vintage tea bag holders, my grandmother’s Pfalzgraff sugar bowel and salt and pepper shakers, for function and for fun. I can still enjoy a lamp, candle, and holiday decor in the place that I eat and invite another to join me. It just required an open mind to furniture use and space reduction. Ultimately, the truth I finally faced up to was that no one comes to see me anyway, except for 2 days at Christmas. The truth is, I don’t need room at my kitchen table for anyone to sit and have a meal with me because no one does. The next truth was even harder to face; I don’t need to pretend anymore.
Once past those hurdles, swapping my table and it’s chairs, for my secretary desk and rocking chair, freed me up mentally and physically for much better use of space, sunlight, and time. My flow is better. By that I mean that I am not reserving space that I am not going to use. (My kitchen table is now my “project” table or work area.) I am not trying to cram myself into a space that doesn’t fit my needs. (Trying to create or work at the secretary is not possible.) If I need to leave a mess, I can. If I need minimal mess, I have it.
I can now move straight from bed into a warm, sunny, clutter-free writing space. I can have a small meal or recline in my rocker cuddling a bunny as I order my thoughts. My kitchen has become an inviting relaxing spot for solo joy because I became willing to accept painful truths.
How many constructs do I hold onto because of what they represent in my mind; even though in real practice these constructs trip me up? How many comforts have I denied myself out of addictions (co-dependency on others), impatience (overspending unnecessarily), or teachings that don’t help me (other peoples’ values)?
I think my mornings are getting better because I am getting better. My budget remains intact paycheck to paycheck. I am even under-spending at times. My blind-closing-BONES-on-coloring-time-in-bed ritual ends my day, teaches me how to talk to other people, and calms me down for sleep. I awake with some kind of vague continuity, calm, and peace. As my life remains predictable with ample time to assimilate the positive, I am more embracing of the new day.