recovery – a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

Recovery and self-care is so hard for me. Talking about it is so hard for me. This blog is a safe place for me, but I still find it difficult to talk about.

In early January, I did a banishing spell to banish my fear of opening my heart. I figured I’d at least be able to have an honest discussion with my lover about my feelings….but it turns out my heart is so full and has been wanting to be heard for so long. Not only did I realize what my true feelings are, but I also realized I want to live. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to rely on death as an inevitable end. I wanted to live my life as best as I can….but how?

A few weeks later, I found a post on Tumblr that really resonated with me; 14 Things Nobody Told Me About Recovery. This part stuck out in particular:

“2. The ultimate paradox of getting better is this: You cannot have a life until you are well, but you cannot be well until you have a life. Almost all of your struggles in recovery will come from this.”

It was such a revelation for me. I’ve been trying to take better care of myself for six years and instead of getting better, I’ve just felt stuck in limbo. Reading this made me realize I had to actually fight to have a life.

So I started making plans….which was terrifying. I’m really good at plans; it’s a direct side effect of my panic disorder. But I tend to formulate one plan at a time and then fixate on it for weeks. I also greatly limit my activities due to my panic disorder as well as my chronic pain. This time, I made several plans at once to accomplish things that would help my life move forward.

What I’ve accomplished so far:

I got my birth certificate – proving I was not adopted/kidnapped – and then my passport. I got my passport mainly for my lover who’s been insisting I get one for the last two years~ I highly doubt we’ll actually go somewhere but at least I have it. Having it has opened up, literally, an entire world of possibilities for me.

I enrolled to get my high school degree. Although I’ve since realized I’d fare better with online classes, instead of a physical school where the teachers all leave at 3. But at least I enrolled. Oh, and I finished the first lesson.

I went on a trip – which involved THREE planes – 1800 km away from home with my bestie. Admittedly, my last trip [when I was 9] was to Germany which was a lot further….but I haven’t gone on a trip since, and especially not since my panic disorder surfaced. There were a lot of firsts on this trip and I am so, so proud of myself.

I saw my all-time favourite band live in concert. Not only was this my first concert, but this also happened to be the band whose music saved my life when I was 14 years old. I had one minor panic attack just before we got to the venue….and then I calmed down. And then, of course, I fangirled like crazy when Aoi walked on the stage. Can you blame me?! It was such an incredible experience and I’m so glad I didn’t let my fears stop me.

I did the Mind Body Spirit Fair by myself this year. I was bailed on at the last second, which meant not only could I not do my tea leaf readings, but I’d be facing all six hours by myself. And….I had a blast. The Fair was smaller this year and not scheduled at the same time as any other events, so only spiritual-minded people came through. I met so many amazing people and made so many amazing connections.

I was invited to teach a workshop at a spiritual retreat – and I accepted! This is mildly terrifying but I have confidence in myself. I’ll be teaching magickal herbalism to a group of around 12 women and I’ll be practising my tea leaf readings! I was worried about not fitting it but after my success at the Fair, I’m sure I’ll be just fine. I invited my sister to come with me because she’s always wanted to go to a retreat.

I took in another older guinea pig. Losing Wilbur to old age absolutely destroyed me….but when I heard there were two piggies who needed a home, I immediately took them in despite knowing the inevitable heartbreak. Marley looks to be around 5 or 6 years old, or maybe even older. He wasn’t well taken care of and I’ve had to treat a lot of his health problems. He’s much better now, but he’s still getting older. I think I might have to say good-bye to him pretty soon, but at least I’ll know he enjoyed the rest of his life with me.

I found an awesome job. Losing my job of 4+ years was terrifying. It was the constant in my life, despite the struggles. And being jobless in my tiny town in the middle of winter is practically a death sentence. I started out applying to jobs in my expertise field; management and executive/administrative assistants. Then when I started to get desperate, I began applying at cafes. One day I saw a job posting for a store I’ve only ever heard of but never visited. I applied, was invited to an interview, and got hired on the spot. I’m now working six days a week and I love every minute of it. Not only is my boss amazing, but I might also have the chance to learn how to use our printing machine! Having the experience of actually printing shirts would look ah-mazing on my CV.

I’ve been talking to my lover about stuff that bothers me. It must be frustrating, dealing with a girl like me, but he’s managed to handle it pretty well. Now I’m feeling confident enough and open enough to actually let him in on my feelings. I’ve always trusted him, but now I feel so much closer to him. I’m really looking forward to having more open discussions with him and sharing more of my secrets.

The last few weeks have been the busiest for me, with my trip, the Fair, settling in at work and the loads of magickal work I’ve been doing on myself. But now I need a few more goals to strive towards this summer. I’m thinking…

Get my beginners [or at the very least, study for it]. If only for the sake of saying I have it. I can’t safely drive thanks to my terrible eyesight and reactions to bright light & movement, but perhaps I can find a way around that.

Return to schooling in a different way. I’m thinking online is definitely the way to go….I’m always on my laptop, I can use it at work, and hopefully the feedback will be instant….or at least somewhat quicker than the institution I’m currently at. [aka never.]

Plan another trip and start saving. My bestie and I worked out a brilliant way for me to save for our trip; I transferred money to her and she put it in a savings account for me! Not being able to see my money or access it made all the difference.

Visit my doctor and demand more tests & treatments for my pain and exhaustion. Does it weird anyone else out that my iron & B12 levels were so low last year that half of my body went completely numb, and all my doctor did was prescribe some pills and then never check in with me? Yeah, weird. The pain is unrelated to my deficiencies but it’s still something that needs to be addressed after six effin’ years.

Figure out a way to be fit & healthy. This will be so, so difficult for me…I’m not looking forward to this at all. My body image is so skewed and my self-esteem is at an all-time low. I’m at the weight I was pre-disordered life, and I can’t stand it. I’m trying to be healthy, though. Trying.

I guess that’s what this blog is really all about….learning to be okay.

xo,
Fao.

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