Friday, October 4, 2013

Recovery Highs & Lows

Phew. Somehow I managed to survive this week. And somehow the first six weeks of the semester are already gone.

Based on my past several posts, I think it must be obvious these past few weeks have been a little rocky to say the least. After speaking with a good friend of mine who is further along in the recovery process, I was reminded that we all go through these recovery highs and lows. I'll be honest and say I have slipped up a few times in the past few weeks; however, I am learning those mistakes do not need to define my entire recovery. Some slips might also be bigger than others, but it's all part of the healing process.

Whenever I get in these low places, I tend to magnify all of life's little problems and completely forget about all of the happy things that may have happened during the day. So I thought for today, as I am feeling good about surviving these few weeks, I would take the time to keep my spirits high and talk about all the positive events I have left behind.

School has by far been my biggest stressor. When I'm in a rough place mentally, I tend to resort back to perfectionistic tendencies as a way to gain a false sense of control. After studying like a crazy person for my first big test of the semester, I ended up getting an 80% and was almost disgusted with myself. 

But here's the thing - as long as I finish the semester, regardless of my grades, that will still be huge improvement from my first go-around in school. As silly as it might sound, most days I like to believe I can feel my brain growing. I am absorbing and conceptualizing class material like never before. Thank you, food.

Another hurdle I faced these past few weeks was that miserable bout of poison ivy. Although the prescribed meds worked wonders and began working almost instantly, they had some pretty nasty side-effects. My (oh-so-precious) sleep schedule has been off, I've been incredibly nauseous and bloated, and have just felt bogged down while on these medications.

The good news is, I only have a few more days on these meds and as the doses have been lowered, I'm beginning to feel like myself again. My appetite is back in full force; another good sign. Oh, and I should probably throw in there that I took that test during the worst of it, so maybe an 80% isn't so bad, after all. 

The strangest trigger at the moment is the onset of the fall season. Typically this is my favorite time of year, but I can't seem to get myself in the mood for cooler temperatures just yet. My summer tan has officially faded and I want my sunshine back. Once the temperatures start dropping, there's no escape for the next six or seven months, which is enough to depress me a bit.

Maybe this weekend I need to get out some apples and pumpkins and do a little fall baking to lift my spirits. Also, as I think back to this time last year and how much has changed, it helps me recognize all of the things I have going for me this fall. Cold temperatures might not be my favorite, but having my life back on track makes a miserable Michigan winter a little more bearable.

I think it's safe to say, I hit my first major recovery dip, but thankfully I feel myself steadily climbing out of it. Reaching out to a supportive friend has been a lifesaver. I highly recommend it. By focusing on the positives, utilizing the many tools I have developed to cope, and putting things into perspective, I feel ready to tackle the upcoming weeks.



  1. I think something that i have learned about more than anything in this process are those triggers that come in and out. it is good to be well aware about why you feel this way - I mean rather than thinking it is you internally, most of an external force you can't always keep in control.

    1. That is a really good point. You kind of just have to go with the flow and ride out those uncomfortable feelings. Because you're right, oftentimes it's not an internal issue.

  2. So glad to hear that you are feeling better now. You absolutely deserve it. We get to be in touch with ourselves so much in recovery, and sometimes, we feel worse than ever before. Trust is a key word in recovery. I keep struggling and I look at you from a far place especially today. I will email you very soon. <3

    1. Thanks, Kyoko! Hang in there. No hurry on the email. xx

  3. Great job persevering with school work despite the poison ivy and its complications! I truly believe that you are right, that you are absorbing more knowledge than ever, and I love how you said, "thank you food"! It's amazing how much more level-headed, sensible, and ready to learn I am when I am properly nourished!!

    As for fall, I was just thinking this evening how I would love to have some fall-ish temps down here. Our daily high has been 91 for I don't know how long. Our family is supposed to go to a pumpkin festival next weekend nearby, and the last time I went, I think I almost had heat stroke. So, come down to sunny Florida if you need to escape the northern seasons!

    Your perspective sounds productive--so, have the best weekend you can, rest up, relax, and replenish for the next week! --Alison

    1. A daily high of 91 down south? I suppose I do take for granted the distinct change in seasons we have up here. I just might have to take you up on that escape to the sunshine! :)