alignment, change, choice, fresh starts, growth, healing

Relapse

stress

Not very long ago, November 12th, just about a month ago, to be exact, I wrote a braggy blog about how I had kicked overwhelm’s butt, about how I had cured myself of stressful living and spreading myself too thin. You may remember it?

“I’m even getting stubborn and refusing to let myself feel the anxious, overwhelmed, heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping feeling that used to be my normal. I just can’t live like that anymore. Well, I “could”. But I choose not to.”

Want to find out how quickly you aren’t done with something? Write a blog telling the world how you’re done with it.

Month later-me is shaking my damn head at last-month-me’s arrogance.

Yep, I relapsed.

When I wrote “My name is Lisa and I am a recovering adrenaline junkie. I have spent a lifetime, decades, in a rush toward the ever-changing finish line, overloading, overextending, overwhelmed. That’s just the way I did life. I think I even made myself slightly late to everything so that I could get that rush, that rush that came from rushing…” I meant it.

The relapse into old ways didn’t happen all at once. Ironically, it happened the exact same way I had made the changes toward stress-free living in the first place… once choice at a time.

Saying yes to this and yes to that. Signing up for courses and RSVPing for events. Let’s throw in the holidays, a new program launch, four holiday parties in three nights, a terrible head cold and cough and a five-day trip. My new healthier, cleaner eating went out the window as I stuffed carbs and flour into my face because I was on vacation. (Before that, it was because it was Thanksgiving.)

And bam, there I was. Overwhelmed, unfocused, frazzled, exhausted, making mistakes left and right, coughing, sneezing, stressed.

I am not saying I don’t love my life, or that I’m not grateful to have a busy career, active social life and commitments that matter. These things matter greatly to me, and I cherish my life and all of its complications and adventures. What I am saying is that a watered-down version of me does no one any good, especially me. Driving on empty is dangerous. Stress kills. There is a better way. I am learning to do things differently.

Here’s the difference this time around. Here’s where I can confidently trust that I am making real progress on my path.

  • I caught myself (relatively) quickly.
  • I compassionately and lovingly evaluated my life, without beating myself up for being a “hypocrite,” instead, gently acknowledging my human-ness.
  • I’m bravely facing the truth about myself that there are still some aspects of me still in need of healing, and this is one of them. For me, still, busy-ness and overwhelm happen too naturally, and there’s some self-examination to do around the why of this decades-old pattern.
  • In the interest of transparency, I made the decision to come clean with you, instead of carrying on the ruse that I was “still clean” of my addiction to busy-ness and adrenaline.
  • I addressed the problem right away, choice by choice, getting myself back on track with my practices for centering, self-care and reconnecting with spirit, with myself.
  • I promised myself not to add any more commitments or events to my calendar this year (except one important one still unscheduled.) (You might have to hold me to this one, friends.)

I need more stillness.

I need to bring myself back to center. Again and again.

I need to get quiet.

I need to slow down.

I’m not “out of the woods” yet, when it comes to strong, consistent, solid practices to keep me out of stress-mode and living a peaceful life of ease and trust. It’s a practice. A daily practice.

And if I spend the rest of my life in practice (I probably will), I’m okay with that, because I love myself unconditionally, and I am always in process.

I am aware.

“Without awareness, there can be no choice.” It’s been said.

Where in your life lately have you “missed the mark” or taken a step or two backwards?

Where or how have you relapsed?

Can you offer yourself compassion for your slip?

Can you gently course-correct, without cruelty or punishment? Without beating yourself up?

Can you allow your imperfectly, perfect self some slack, because you’re very, very human after all?

I am humbled, and I am back on track. How many times will I need to get back on track? As many as it takes.

You?

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