Wow. 60 days clean…Holy Cow! It went by so fast! I wonder if it always will. I have learned so much about myself –and so much from the rooms! Every time I listen to a share, I think “what could I possibly hear that I haven’t already heard?” That’s my self-centered ego of addiction talking…and then to my surprise, someone always says something that impacts me in a rather profound manner. And I think to myself again, (negative self-talk), “you idiot…remember the first step you just completed? Honesty, willingness…and OPEN MINDEDNESS!” And in a heartbeat, I am right back where I started…looking for answers, trying to understand myself and my addiction, and trying to cope better with it all.
Today in my DBT Skills for Bi-Polar Disorder workbook, I learned about the skill of mindfulness. And I practiced! I really did! I went to the store, and on my way, I tried to stay in the present moment of my driving first…anytime I noticed my mind wandering, I gently tried to bring it back to focusing –just on my driving. Then when I got to the auto store, I focused on getting some anti-brake-squealing spray for my rotors. Then I went to the second hand store and looked for a couple of tops/sweaters, and it was easy to get distracted in there, BELIEVE ME. I found myself thinking about past styles I wore, and my bank balance, and alternate internet shopping sites, and jewelry, and on and on. But I managed to just walk out with one attractive used sweater in good condition for a low price. Mission accomplished!
Now, my goal is to go to my meeting tonight in Santa Fe and get my 60-day keytag; being mindful of my driving…and then mindful of the sharing in the meeting. The author is right, it isn’t an easy thing to do…it takes practice –LOTS of practice; because you’re retraining your brain NOT to wander into the garden of ideas, or into the past painful memories, which bring up painful emotions, which trigger us into manic or depressive episodes. I think I finally understand WHY I dissociated for so long…and WHY I still do at times. I have to learn to be comfortable in my body with my mind there at the same time. I have to feel that it is a safe and comfortable place to be. So I have been using my bath time to practice this. I make a huge garden tub full of the steamiest hottest water I can stand, then add bath salts and nice smelling bubble bath to it. Then I get in and LUXURIATE (slow boil) for about a half hour to forty-five minutes, all the while washing myself and telling myself that it feels great to my body and that’s okay (which it does and which it is). I am also doing this with my morning meditation time, using basic yoga, combined with simple and gentle stretching and breathwork.
So I still have so much to learn, and the journey is off and running…I wonder what I will learn next? I will try to feel mindfulness in my driving, and cleaning the house next. Practicing these skills before the New Year starts. What are YOU doing for the New Year? Peace, love, and blessings.