Friday, September 05, 2008

Avoiding The Ditch

"It's not the size of the step that counts, but the fact that I take it."
~ my favourite recovery guru Earnie Larsen

"I don't want to do yoga. I don't know why I am so full of resistance. I'm not going to listen to it, I'm going to do yoga today if it kills me." Don't tell anyone but I talk to myself sometimes when I'm all alone. The above was what I muttered as I angrily changed out of my jeans and into my yoga clothes. I felt pretty pissed off at myself for giving in to the resistance for 3 weeks already. Tomorrow, tomorrow had been my mantra up until that moment. The cost of chanting that mantra was an increasing tension setting up shop in my upper back, neck and shoulders. A tension that dissipates with regular yoga sessions.

I've been in a slump when it comes to doing those things that promote a healthy recovery. My self care has been slipping. Yesterday was one of those days when I was able to stand back a bit and take a look at what was working for me and what wasn't. And not doing yoga wasn't. Earnie Larsen's quote about baby steps helped me move from inaction to action. After years of either taking giant almost-fall-down-at-the-effort steps or none at all, I've learned that any movement, however small, is worth it.

After an hour of small movements my yoga session was finished. As expected, my body is knotted all up and it will take more than one go round to release all the built up tension.

Self care is my first line of defense in preventing a relapse in any of my addictions. My slack attitude towards self care kept setting off warning bells that I kept ignoring. Until yesterday.

Sometimes recovery feels like learning to drive. The very first time I drove a car I remember having a hard time keeping to my side of the road. There seemed to be so much play in the steering wheel and I'd over correct and whoosh I'd be over the center line. Then I'd over correct the other way and nearly hit the ditch. These days when I drive I make barely noticeable movements in the steering wheel to keep on my side of the road. I don't think I'm all over the road in my recovery but before I made small movements yesterday, I was inching closer towards the ditch.


Anonymous said...

The other day, I had to keep reminding myself that I only had to do the next logical thing and force myself to not look at the big picture in order to keep from starting to hyper-ventilate or "fall down into a fetal position and weep", to paraphrase Woody Allen in Antz. Thanks for giving me that little pseudo mantra to focus on.

I'm not familiar with Earnie but I gotta appreciate anyone who talks about baby steps these days. Good for you for taking that step to self-care. It is good, grasshoppa.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I've been having that same resistance lately to my meditation practice. I know it helps me. I know I need it. I know I am in pain without it. But I don't want to do it! And so I too let myself slide toward that ditch. Hugs to you.

daisymarie said...

I wish I could hug you. I needed that quote like nothing else. Thank you for honestly sharing about your resistance...