The last time I posted I talked about beginning to accept myself as a person. I want to expand on that today. At some point in our lives we all face a choice to accept what is or avoid the facts and stand still. I’d like to start by saying I am The Queen of avoidance and it is a serious problem in my recovery. Avoidance seems the easy route to take, it provides an immediate solution to whatever dilemma you are facing and can rapidly calm your emotions in the short term. In the long term though it’s effects are widespread and tend to be negative. What might start as avoiding one thing, thought or place can easily become another and another and another, until your whole life has become restricted and unmanageable. This is me. In every aspect of my life I avoid situations and thoughts in a desperate attempt to control my fears and eliminate my emotions.
My prime example of this is my blog here: I enjoy writing but I’ve been avoiding posting anything new for weeks because I’m scared that people will either hate it or worse (to me), appreciate it. I don’t always cope well with positive reinforcement, thoughts consume me that people will gain a false perception of me from my writing and think I’m good or strong for attempting to put my recovery online. I often can’t stand the idea that anyone could think anything positive about me and it can cause me severe distress if it does occur. So if it does, I refuse to accept it could be true and avoid doing anything that could put me in that position again. Every blog involves an internal battle of wills and more often than not, avoidance wins the fight.
Acceptance, I believe, is so much more strenuous because of the ever changing nature of life. You can’t always just accept something and move on. You have to keep making that choice to accept what is or who you are as you grow and mature. Learning to be happy with the pace you are going is a skill that I can’t quite figure out how to develop. Seriously, how do you do it??
I have a lot of challenges to face before I can say I have control over my mental health and I will face the choice to avoid or accept on every one of them, every day and probably for a long time. Yet people succeed in the face of this choice every day in their lives’ so I’m hoping it’s something I can learn. I think the focus should be on one thing at a time though. Just now my focus is exercise because of the double bonus in helping me get fit and improving my mental health simultaneously.
What bothers me is that I don’t seem to be strong enough to do it on my own. If Cammie didn’t push me to come to sessions at the gym I know I wouldn’t be going. Even with him there more often than not I don’t want to go. Which is frustrating because I’ve felt the effects working out have on me. I’m not always good at interpreting my own emotions but I know Cammie probably sees a considerable difference in my attitude and behaviour in the duration of a session. I always seems to leave in a much more positive, upbeat manner than I arrive in. I want to be able to achieve that on my own but I question whether that will ever be possible after the past few years. Despite that I am so grateful that I have someone willing to give me some of their time because if Cammie hadn’t then right now I’d be a heck of a lot worse off than I am. He’s given me something huge the last few months by helping me enjoy working out. Exercise should be hard work but it should be fun too and going to Victory definitely is that.
I often question whether I’m progressing quick enough in my recovery so I guess my next focus needs to be choosing to accept the pace I’m going and continuing to exercise rather than constantly choosing not to try and avoid it all together. Every time I struggle through getting to the gym I hope I’m teaching myself how to be stronger mentally and maybe one day there’ll come a time when I look forward to the thought of a work out rather than wanting to cancel.