Progress, Naturally

Today was a somewhat uneventful day. I was up at 7am, and began my usual routine. Today Kate was out at her painting class from 10am-1pm and then had a haircut appointment later that afternoon, so I didn’t see her most of the day. Richard was gone much of the morning, and wasn’t back till around noon. But I was busy anyway, so I honestly didn’t really make much difference to me. I made myself a fruit/veg shake and ate some cornflakes for breakfast. Not sure why I felt that was important to mention. I ran, did my Tai Chi (spent twice as much time as usual on it today), meditated, read, watched an episode of Leverage, did some strength training exercise, went through some of my mail, and then just chilled for a bit.

Like I said, not all that exciting.

Something that has come up a couple times in conversation with Kate and Richard is whether or not I might be feeling confined, stifled, or just plain bored. At one point, Kate asked me if I might be having some “cabin fever”, feeling like I was cooped up at home all the time and wishing I could go out and do some things. It was a good question for her to ask, and to me, it showed how she had been trying to put herself in my shoes to the best of her ability, and to anticipate needs I might have.

However, thus far I have not yet felt any “cabin fever”. In another conversation on this topic between the three of us (Richard, Kate and I), I expressed that I feel secure with the way things are at the moment. I feel safe, knowing that the agreements we have made and the safeguards I have put into place as well as the positive lifestyle changes I have made are all working together to keep me on my path toward optimal wellness. So instead of feeling cooped up and restricted, I actually feel supported and almost buoyed up by my experience thus far on this wellness quest.

Now, this is where things get interesting for me. You see, on the one hand, it is great that I feel secure and safe in my environment right now. I feel a whole lot of support from Kate and Richard as well as my parents and the rest of my family. I feel like the risk of relapse (or some other unknown disaster) is negligible because of all the layers of protection I have been putting into place around me.

But, on the other hand, my life can’t stay this way forever. For one thing, my aunt and uncle, despite their incredible patience, support and encouragement, will eventually need to have me move forward and begin taking on greater responsibility. Sure, I have some responsibilities at the moment. I clean up after myself, do my own laundry, help with dishes and cooking, do some things around the house. I have my meds that I am responsible for, as well as keeping up with my exercise and writing my blog.

But I have a lot of room for growth and while I will eventually take on more and more challenges as I reintroduce myself to independence, right now, I am content where I am.

The question I continue to ask myself is this, “am I satisfied with the contribution I am making in my life and in the lives of others?”

It is a tough thing to work out; I don’t want to take on too much too quickly and have it cause such an inordinate amount of stress and possibly cause me to relapse or distract me from my goals. That is basically what happened in Spring 2011. I had pushed myself too far, too fast, and my priorities became skewed and instead of reaching out to my support network, I tried to do it all myself and just pretend I was fine. That was the end up March. By the end of May I was back in the hospital and back on pain killers, and worst of all I had lost all the progress I had made in rebuilding my health and in rebuilding the relationships with my family and friends that had been torn to shreds during my long years of isolation and addiction.

I tried to run before I re-learned to walk, and the result was that I ended up back where I began, or perhaps even further back than where I started.

So somehow, with the support of my family and close friends, I have to learn how to move forward at a pace that lets me retain the growth I’ve made.

I’d like to write a lot more on this subject, but the truth is that I don’t yet know how this will happen. Kate said something that I think is really profound. She said that she, “I think that if you continue to focus on your wellness and on your inner harmony and balance, the rest will just keep falling into place organically.“ And I agree.

So while eventually I will have to step back out into the “real world”, and get a Job, find a place to live, pay bills, and handle all the little things that right now I don’t have to do….while eventually I will have to become a “responsible adult”, right now, letting things develop in a natural way without trying to force things is going to bring me to my goal of optimal wellness much more surely than if I were to try and just skip ahead and make things happen all at once.

And now, I am going to end this post. It is late, I am tired, and as I said, I think this topic is one I will have to revisit again later as I don’t know enough about it yet. No answer, just the question: “how do I increase my confidence and capability while incrementally allowing myself more freedom and responsibility?” My hope and belief, just like what my aunt said, is that things will keep developing on their own and that I will be able broaden my horizons while remaining in balance within myself and with the universe around me.

Thanks for reading, and sorry if this post is a little redundant. It was just what was on my mind, and I am exhausted, so let me know, also, if something in this post doesn’t make sense or if you see a glaring typo!

Goodnight, and Peace to you,

-Nathan

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