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.