I’ve noticed that one of the positives that has come out of the healing that I’ve done is that I’m more willing to try out new things, and am less rigid about my life in general. When I look back over the last few years, I realize that a big part of the reason why this has happened is because I became so desperate due to the pain and confusion of experiencing repressed memories all of the time, that I became willing to try new things to help myself through it. Also, because the memories were unpredictable, I had to become less rigid just to survive them.
One result of this is that I’m more willing to try out things that are outside my usual norm and/or comfort level. I also have been partaking in activities that I did before AA that I lost during my time there. I’m finding this new openness that I’ve developed to be quite nice.
I wrote last week that I am getting back into video gaming, and that I feel like this has been really positive to me. Really, it feels like through doing this that I am getting part of myself back that was lost throughout the years due to trauma, AA, and family dynamics. The same is true for shopping. Starting last fall, I decided to put some money aside every month for new clothes, and have gotten back into clothes shopping. The truth is that I haven’t been into shopping like this since before I went to AA. I don’t know why I stopped shopping and buying new clothes and other things for myself when I went to AA. Maybe it was because I felt so bad about myself that I didn’t think that I deserved it; maybe a sponsor or someone else got on me about it; or maybe some part of me thought it was bad to do things for myself. Who knows. But today I happily buy myself new clothes when I want and can afford to do so. And, I am finding that I like a lot of different kinds of clothes that I was never willing to try out before. I really was quite rigid and picky about what clothes that I used to wear, and had pretty standard types of outfits. But, now I’m trying out all kinds of things, like Bohemian shorts/pants, linen clothes, crocheted clothes, sweatpants (I was never that big into those), and more. It’s actually been quite thrilling for me to realize, for example, that I really love one piece swimsuits, as I was always a bikini sort of gal.
I also have been buying books here and there. Again, this is something that I haven’t done since early sobriety. I know, though, that while I was going to AA that I went through a J.A. Jance phase, but that was about it in terms of reading. Today I read all kinds of books, including self-help and informational books, books on spirituality, horror, mystery, and I read blogs as well. I remember that when I was first getting sober that I went through a book phase as well, but then I got very involved in AA and didn’t have the time to keep it up. I regret that, and have many books that are only half read due to this disruption. I have been catching up on those, though, along with reading new books that I buy for myself.
One of the biggest new activities that I’m trying is Yoga, including different kinds of Yoga. I once did go to a Yoga studio in Bellingham for about six months. My twin sister recommended it to me. It was right next to where I worked, and I went to gentle Yoga twice a week. It was great, but I didn’t keep it up for some reason, and I never tried any classes but the gentle ones. Today I try all kinds of Yoga, and even have a subscription to Gaia.com, which is an online Yoga website. I feel proud of myself for working so hard at Yoga, especially since when I was younger (college age) I did not like it at all. I think that I held on to that hesitancy for many years, which is likely why I never kept up Yoga. But now that hesitancy is gone and I am feeling very good about practicing this form of exercise.
I’ve also tried a lot of new foods, and eat some too that I haven’t eaten often since I was a kid. Our dinner menu is much more varied than mine used to be, and I am much more experimental in terms of my cooking. I’m kind of surprised at what a good cook I’ve become, and can see that when you’re willing to try new things that it really can build skills.
Overall, it’s kind of surprising to me to be where I’m at in life. Parts of my life are really difficult, and others are quite fun. I delight in all of the discoveries that I’m making right now about myself. It’s kind of a fun phase to go through.
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