Day 293 : Feeling Better

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Just a little update so I don’t disappear into oblivion. I feel like I have made it out of the tunnel of depression of these last 3 weeks. Like Claire at Ditching the Wine https://gettingsobernow.wordpress.com/, I halved my antidepressant medication two or three weeks ago, and am on my way to being med-free, probably sometime around the end of July. The drinking cravings have gone too. I have digested my advisor’s feedback about my last chapter, and although I still feel my heart sink whenever I face the work still ahead of me, I do a little bit every day and just keep going, stop by step.

Actually, I’ve been tricking my brain and I can’t believe it’s working: if I tell myself that I’m just “pretending” to work- i.e. that whatever changes I make to my chapter are “temporary”, or if I write something, that it’s “just to see what it would look like, but not real, actual changes” (i.e. if I remove all the pressure I’m placing on myself to write something good)-, then I find myself being able to get a LOT more done than if I’m just staring at a screen, trying to make it perfect. Sigh. Good old silly brain. My faithful companion.

I’ve also stopped obsessing about food so much and of course, that has dramatically reduced the bingeing tendencies and temptations. As I let go of body-image concerns, I have started to practice yoga more consistently, which is almost ironic.

In brief, I’m realizing how beneficial letting go of the ideal of perfection is for me (duh!), and how I need to constantly remind myself to do so. I don’t need a perfect PhD, or a perfect body, or a perfect life. I don’t even know what those things ARE, but I DO know they are unattainable in real life. And that with such goals, I am merely causing my own suffering and perpetuating the cycle of my own misery.

Instead, I am trying to practice radical self-acceptance. I am trying to accept my life, my situation and my self just as they are, without worrying and planning for the future, without trying to improve them constantly. I am trying to stop considering myself as a work in progress ,as being in need of progress.

It’s not always easy, and it certainly doesn’t feel natural YET, but I manage to let go of unrealistic expectations, I feel tremendous waves of relief. I am amazed, like always, at the multiple ways in which letting go can happen. Best of all, feelings of gratitude and appreciation return, and now I can feel joy and enjoyment again. So yeah, it does sound like I’ve made it out of a baby tunnel of sorts.

Oh and my boyfriend/friend/partner/whatever and I are getting a matching goodbye tattoo on July 1st. It’s one of Picasso’s Constellation drawings: 

It’ll be a way to remember our years together here in the U.S.A. and our beautiful, tumultuous story after I leave. Everyone thinks we are weirdos for breaking up just because I have to move our of the country, but deep down we both know that we are better as friends than romantic partners. A tattoo is something we both wanted anyway, and a nice way to honor all the growth and work we’ve both done on ourselves together during the last 2 years. 

Hope y’all are doing well ! xxx

Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

13 thoughts on “Day 293 : Feeling Better

  1. Wow!! Great work and cool tattoo! I can see myself running into someone I think is a stranger, in a cafe in some distant city perhaps, noticing a cool tattoo, and realizing it’s you! I’m so glad you are feeling better. That’s the way I did all of grad school. Just step by step. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahahaha that would be so funny, I hope you’d come up and say hi !!! xxxx thanks for the encouragement, it’s good to know good people survived grad school ❤ Anne

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  2. I’m so glad you posted. I feel similar … though I’m still bingeing on chocolate which is not good. My body image is pretty crappy at the moment and I’m having a battle with myself to get on the scale because of the fear of weight gain. Ridiculous really. I love the tattoo and what a lovely story … a true friendship there.
    Claire 😘 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you’re feeling that way. I’ve been browsing lots of “Ditch the diet” accounts on instagram and seeing so many beautiful women wanting to free themselves from the tyranny of normative beauty standards was really helpful. I also someone wear a shirt saying “Life is more than just paying bills and lose weight”. And I ordered “The F*ck it diet”. Oh and I haven’t weighed myself in 2 months 🙂 But most of all, CHOCOLATE IS OK. Self-hatred is not !!!! ❤ xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s dreadful isn’t it? Bloody diets. I am however still loving my yoga. Last night I did a 40 minute session and felt great. Apart from what I think was called the crane pose! That wasn’t happening 😂😂😂

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      2. oh crane is super hard, I tried once and toppled over forwards !!! Crow is plenty already 🙂 ps. yoga is the only thing that will reconnect me to the body and make me feel more gente towards it when I’m in those moments, so it’s wonderful you’re still loving your yoga 🙂 I skipped yesterday – must do some today ! xxxx Anne

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s EXACTLY it … I never thought I’d feel that way but it makes me feel positive about my strength and what my body can do. Plus the relaxation in corpse pose is just amazing!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes to letting go of unrealistic expectations…especially related to body image. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight over the last year and a half but now I’ve just moved into being unhappy because I’m not toned enough and how hard it is to stay fit after 40, which you don’t have to worry about yet but the point is it’s never enough and I’m never going to be satisfied and I just want to be healthy, not “perfect.” And chocolate IS ok. Goodness. Where did that all come from? Obviously your post struck a chord with me! And that tattoo is amazing, by the way. 💕🖤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you are SO 1005 right about how pointless it is to chase the dragon of perfection and how being healthy/feeling (vs. looking) good is a much better goal ❤ ps. and YES to chocolate being ok lol ❤ xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

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