Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Process of self-invention.

As with any kind of recovery program, there comes great self invention when we begin to take stock of ourselves in a new light.

When I was first sober, I left my job in the city for two years to reassess where I was in life and who I wanted to become. This was an easy process at the time. Cut out drinking, lose the drama and start living life. I painted and wrote. I started the sobriety girl brand. Exercised. Went to therapy. Got rid of a lot of demons. And I was truly happy.

As I dove back into corporate world, I lost some of this invention. I was busy in other areas of my life. Time became scarce and work took hold of me very much like any other addiction I had. I never went completely back to my old self, but I forever questioned the choices I was making. I mean, I was an outdoor girl living in an office with no windows. I felt stifled and suffocated in one sense and overwhelmingly corporately satisfied in another.

In the last three weeks, I'm watching myself go through a very similar process of shedding demons and moving towards bringing back those elements in my life that I consider healthy. I'm getting over the layoff pain as it's been amazing to realize how universal losing a job is at this point in our economy. While I am actively looking for employment (one needs a paycheck bigger than NYS unemployment to keep going and I'm still writing the book), I've set short and long term goals for my future. Right now, today, I am focused on everything that I've missed about myself. Below are some highlights of these inventions I've dug out of the "good for you" trunk that had been collecting dust in my house:

Exercise: Imperative to recovery and life. Forgot how much I loved to run (and I can now do so in daylight) and ride my bike.

Emotion: Every day I challenge myself to do something out of my comfort zone. Calling to refinance a loan (never fun), writing about something painful, seeing people I haven't seen. These were all things that never made it on to the every day list because I simply did not have time or energy to expend.

Life: I'm reinventing my life. Big statement but it can be done in small steps. Taking time to breathe in the morning with a cup of coffee. Walking the dog for an hour instead of ten minutes. Having an actual social life that includes people other than my dog.

Communication: I have more time to communicate. I can call my grandmother and talk for an hour. Picking up a pen means connection with my journal instead of trying to find time in an electronic calendar for myself.

Love: I forgot about loving myself. All the aforementioned have confirmed that I do indeed like myself these days. Now, it's time to bring the love to the surface. A big, bold goal in my life today.

I'm not completely scraping my corporate life, again, I like making money. I am reintroducing the things that I loved about me and about my surroundings. Recreating the wheel? No. Re-inventing? Absolutely. It was the most anticipated change that I never expected and happiness is starting to creep back in. Imagine that.

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