I may be out of work in a professional sense, but, being in recovery and being in sobriety means, to me, that there is always something new to work on in my life. That’s a change. Prior to sobering up most of the work I was doing was to avoid feeling and changing. Today, my landscape looks entirely different.
While I’ve been a success in sobriety, now that I’m out of treatment, I realize that there are other things that need attention. Not the least of which is my poor self image.
My whole life I’ve struggled with my body, poor self image, and weight. In battling my addictions, I’ve come to realize that all addictions, whether they are substance related or otherwise, tie into the same core issues. And, self esteem is a big one. There are things I know about myself to be true, and then, there are things that are inherently false in my thinking. Self awareness is sorting out those truths and those lies, and setting the record straight.
As I progress in sobriety, my struggle with my body, weight and self image has flared up. Obsessing about this area of my life is another great way to distract myself from being present. So, as I work to get a job, still unemployed, with lots of free time on my hands, my new goal is to really try to make some peace with my physical self. I’ve so often found myself in that all-or-nothing mentality. On a diet OR not watching what I eat at all. Working out ceaselessly at the gym OR not working out at all. It isn’t healthy to tip the scales this way, literally and figuratively. A healthy life, and body, is about balance.
So, I joined a group yoga workshop that my therapist runs once a week through my old treatment center. Today was our first meeting and it was great. The focus of the group is to build a yoga practice, not around physical fitness, but around mindfulness. Being present with your mind, body, and spirit. Focusing on soft, restorative movement while remaining present in your body. It’s a peaceful, non-judgmental environment. It’s focused on well being, which, for me is a needed change. Exercise in my life often seems like a no-end-in-sight type deal. I feel like I’ll never “get there.” This workshop allows you to tap into that feeling of “going there.” For exercise to be a part of your life, it has to be something you like. If you’re going to start running just to drop those last ten pounds, you’re not going to like running. Every time you step on the treadmill or head outside for a jog, it’s that ten pounds you see in front of you. This yoga workshop emphasizes the concept that it’s the actual running itself that’s going to heal you, not the ten pounds you’re looking to lose.
I still have a lot of work in this realm. Even though I know it to be false, my mind still frequently tells me that if I’m at my goal weight, I’ll be happy. But, the truth of the matter is, when I’m happy, that’s when I’ll reach my goal weight. Emotional eating, compulsive exercise, and my eating disorder mentality is all unhealthy and ultimately destructive behavior. So, as I settle into my new life in sobriety, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Sort out all those feelings of inadequacy that feed my poor self image and start working to heal. Because there’s no diet or amount of weight loss that’s going to make me feel better. I have to feel better from within.
So, much like staying clean and sober, the body too must find that emotional sobriety to function at it’s peak. So, it’s time to dive in a little deeper and get even better.