Since discovering that asking him a barrage of questions is a sign of anxiety, of unease, of a codependent crisis on-the-rise, I’ve stopped asking a lot of questions.
Unfortunately, this has made it more difficult to ask for things I need and want. The self-awareness has coupled with a hint of self-doubt and the combination is self-sabotage.
There’s an oil painting class I’d like to take on Friday mornings, but my work schedule conflicts. I asked my boss about attending, and it was a gentle, but emphatic “no.” Any other day of the week would be fine, he said, but not Friday.
I’ve considered flight school, but I can think of 1,000 reasons not to pursue it. Most notably, the cost, the time, and fitting into those tiny, tiny airplanes. Not to mention, when I shared my interest to a coworker, they laughed.
Someone mentioned yesterday that they thought I’d be a good florist. I enjoy fresh flowers, and have thought about taking floral arranging classes, but the nearest I found is 45 minutes away, Tuesday evenings, for 3 hours each. I wrinkled my nose and looked for online course options.
I feel like I’m once again at a veritable crossroads. I should get my professional certification that will bolster my competitiveness in the job market. I should save for the next cross-country trip to see the kids. I should stay out of debt as much as possible. I should file my taxes.
Over today’s agenda, I wrote in my planner: Ask Questions. I understand not asking questions when they’re driven by anxiety and unease. But if I don’t ask questions to gather information necessary to make decisions about my needs and wants, I won’t be making decisions at all.
So, this morning I resolved to inquire about future class schedules from the local art school. And I did. And then I resolved to contact a top-rated flight school nearby and ask for information about their program. And I did.
I’ve experienced so much frustration lately, and I think it’s because I’m failing to honor myself–my needs and wants and feelings. Recovery is about honoring those things, giving them the time and attention they deserve, and letting go of controlling impulses to force things to happen.
They seem like silly things. I don’t want to read the new book club selection. Despite whomever’s suggestion it was–and I’m not her biggest fan, I’m just not interested in the plot, nor am I interested in reading a “heartbreaking story.”
We don’t have to read it, he said last night.
Well, that’s true, I said. I felt like he had just let me off the hook, and then I felt silly for not letting myself off in the first place.
I wish I could make decisions as simply and as easily as others do, without worrying endlessly about other people’s reactions and thoughts. I wish I could make decisions about the direction I want my life to go without endlessly worrying about the many variables, what-ifs, and ways I could fail.
Sometimes, I just want to do. Not impulsively. Not as an escape. Not as an emotional reaction or a punishment. But because I want to do it. Because it makes me happy. Because it’s my choice. And because I can. Because somehow, it helps put the pieces of ‘me’ back together.
One piece at a time, I remind myself.
Recovery won’t happen in a day. Finding my passions won’t either.
Do what’s enjoyable, safe, and healthy.
Someone in last week’s CoDA meeting suggested that before making a decision, they ask themselves these very questions. Is it necessary? Is it safe? It is healthy?
I’ve thought about using a similar set of questions to help guide my decisions. But ultimately, the goal is to live by these guidelines instinctually, where I don’t have to pull out a checklist before making a decision.
I know I’m capable of this. I believe I am. But if I need to use these types of aides, some kind of tool to help me put theory into practice, that’s OK.
One piece at a time. One decision at a time. That’s OK. And so am I.