My friend Claire’s post about Resilience https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/169561941/posts/487 got me thinking today.
As I embark on the final push toward finishing my dissertation (4 weeks left to edit a 550 page manuscript… yikes!) and reaching the 1 year sobriety mark (though that feels more like a soft swoop than a push), I pause for a moment to take a breath, to gather my energy, and realize that sobriety has given me a set of wonderful tools that have been helping me along the way. Resilience is one of the most important ones.
Although I am under tremendous amounts of stress and feeling a constant sense of heightened anxiety (mostly about meeting my September 20th submission deadline), I have been dealing with it surprisingly well compared to other times in my life when the pressure piled up and shit got stressful.
Big shout-out to 2010 Anne who at age 23 had just moved to a new city and was afraid of teaching her first ever high school class the next morning. I can still see her, lying on the cool tile floor of her empty apartment, curled into a tight little ball, unable to get out of the fetal position… Oh, the fond memories of 2008 Anne, who gulped down a glass of vodka at 8:00 AM before jumping on the subway to take an oral exam she was nervous about. Aaaaah, sweet, tender nostalgia for 2005 Anne who downed 2 glasses of red wine at 9:00 ON THE DAY OF HER DRIVING TEST because she was nervous…. Get the picture?
Whoever invented the expression “liquid courage” knew what they were talking about.
Anyway. This past month, while pressure has been building up, I have been religiously following what is now officially called the “2020 Anne life-saving ritual.” No joke, it has made a tremendous difference in helping me keep my shit together.
The ritual goes as follows: wake up, feed cat, coffee. Meditate for 21 minutes. Do 30 minutes of yoga. Shower, eat breakfast, and THEN, start the day.
So for the last 30 days, every single day, I’ve been doing a free yoga series by a lady called Leslie Fightmaster on youtube. It’s called “30 minute Hatha yoga for happiness” and it’s perfect for my current needs: not too long, but not for complete beginners either, just the right balance between gorunding, challenging and convenient. Also, lots and lots of gentle, positive energy ❤ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN1eW5nta3c She’s such a sweet lady, I’m now a big fan. THANK YOU MRS FIGHTMASTER, wherever you are!
Now, unlike past-Anne (or BS Anne, as my friend Claire would call her), whenever the waves of anxiety begin to feel overwhelming, I just breathe, and trust that I will get through all of this. That in a couple of months, I will be Dr. Anne 🙂 A few years ago trusting myself like this was inconceivable. Cutting through anxious loops and piercing anxious bubbles was unheard of. Surrendering and letting go instead of fighting was a skill I didn’t even know existed. You get the picture.
I won’t be blogging much for the next 4 weeks, though I’ll probably stop by on September 4th for my 1 year sober anniversary 🙂 And of course, I’ll try and stick around as much as I can to read and comment on all your posts. But if you don’t hear news for me for for a bit, don’t worry: I’m still on the wagon. I’m just also on another crazy academic wagon-rollercoaster, and moving into that period where I have to devote my time and energy to that one. But I’LL BE BACK 😉