Anything You Put Before Your Recovery You Will Lose

Weekends are’t optional. I’ve come to learn anxiety is.

Nevertheless, she persisted.

This last weekend I actually took a weekend.

Perhaps that doesn’t sound like a magical feat or something an adult ought to even mention, but it my realm, Sheilaville as I like to call it, it was unfortunately a big deal.

Pattern recognition is my jam. I had noticed of late that despite a lengthy to do list, lots of pressure (both external and internal, but namely internal) to get it done and hours upon hours of focusing on getting it all done, I was doing nothing but spinning my wheels.

My thoughts weren’t on the work at hand. The main thing was no longer the main thing. Worry and negativity filled the gaps between the chunks of time I was giving to everyone, but me.

I recognized this pattern. I had been here before. My anxiety had returned.

I look at my anxiety in the scope of recovery and treat it as such. I’ve been ‘clean’ of an anxiety attack for over 3 years now through hard work and pure obstinateness. Any close call to an anxiety attack in that time has been matched with an absolute refusal to go down that path.

For me, a commitment to my recovery through daily self-work has been my saving grace. I can’t say that I like spending roughly 4 hours of my day doing self-work, but I sure as shit enjoy not being anxious. If those 4 hours of yoga, meditations, journaling and writing give me 12 more waking hours of minimal to no anxiety followed by 8 hours of sleep, then they are worth the investment.

I haven’t been doing the work.

I slipped into my old patterns, replacing what I know to be true for me with the unsolicited advice and time theft of others. 6 weeks of wheel spinning, frustration and chipping away at my recovery with nothing to show for it except for the same old shit I had smugly assumed I’d long since left behind. Fortunately, recovery is a lifelong process and every moment we get in this life is an opportunity to try again.

After a legit weekend filled with friends, art, food, sunshine and baseball, I’m refreshed and ready to return to the work. I recognize that downtime is part of life, recovery and being a functional creative. And after stepping back, I have a fresh and vivid reminder that anything I put before my recovery I will surely lose.

I made a list of obligations. I prioritized them. I put self-work as the number 1 priority. With refreshed clarity, focused priorities and a new month, I’m returning to the pattern of doing what works and cutting out what doesn’t work.

Here’s to down time not being a cliché meme. Here’s to making self-love true love. Here’s to removing time and energy sucks without announcement, overthinking or guilt. Here’s knowing I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Here’s to self-corrections that occur long before self-destruction. Here’s to choosing again — choosing faith over fear. Here’s to being here every day by choice.

“Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” ―Jacob August Riis
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