I’m back at college! Currently sitting in my dorm (procrastinating unpacking) and trying to enjoy the last few days before I have to go into full on classes – clubs – work – rehearsals – newspaper – no you don’t get a social life – super stress mode
(maybe that’s a tad dramatic, but the next 3 weeks are going to be ridiculous…)
After a month long break I’m excited to be back, but honestly am going to miss being able to spend hours doing things by myself at home.
If you know me and what kind of person I am, that’s a very weird sentence for me to be writing.
I’m a self-proclaimed people person, and by that I mean I literally want to be around people 95% of the time unless I’m working out. I don’t care if we are just doing our homework in silence in the same room or having a conversation, I just love being around people. I also tend to get FOMO (*fear of missing out*) quite a lot at college because my friends and I all just spend so much time together.
Sometimes I wonder though how me saying I “can’t” spend a lot of time alone has to do really with me being actually afraid of being alone
When I’m alone my brain goes a mile a second (as opposed to its usual mile a minute) and I pick on myself. It’s something I’ve come to realize over the years and when I started recovery; when I’m surrounded by the people I love I stop worrying about what I look like. But put me alone in a room that has a mirror and I’ll be on it like a magnet within 5 minutes of being by myself. Chances are I’ll get anxious and start working out or eat or both and then call myself a complete basket case and try to go stop being alone.
It became a habit I thought I could shake anytime, then realized I couldn’t, and then I stopped trying to be peacefully alone all together. Once college started it became easy to just always be busy or with people, and then when I found myself back in my own room on winter break freshman year, I definitely did not handle it well and caused myself a lot of stress.
This year was different. I was blessed with bronchitis.
(*snort* I was miserable)
It sucked. I couldn’t breathe even when I was just laying on the couch. The habits started nagging from day one of recovery and I found myself doing push-ups and crunches on my living room floor gasping for breath with a 100 degree fever. I was frustrated and anxious and all I wanted was to get better as soon as possible so I could spend my time at the gym or out with friends and then come home with my family all back from work.
Anything but be ALONEEE with myself
I came to my senses a bit as the cough got worse instead of better: if I wanted to be back on my feet asap, I needed to actually rest. So I did. I was still extremely frustrated but I rested. I read books, I watched TV, I started writing in my journal again, I baked cookies, I practiced guitar…
And something super weird and crazy happened
I started enjoying it
(cue the shock #plottwist)
I started feeling better about being alone. And I started feeling better about myself. I was actually, seriously taking care of body this time by letting it rest, and that reminded me how much I really care. I was doing things that I loved doing (writing was helping A LOT!) and I didn’t have any nagging pressure in the back of my mind to exercise, socialize–reputation reputation REPUTATION!
Who the fuck am I trying to prove something to?
[side note read this article right now just kidding finish this blog post and then read it okay yes]
I let myself hear all of the voices roar at me and learned they can wear themselves out pretty easily. I figured as long as I can’t do the exercising which normally makes me feel good I’ll try to do other things that make me feel good
I gave myself hair and skin treatments
I put on only the comfiest clothes
I got a gel manicure
I even took a bubble bath for the first time in about 7 years
By the time I was back at the gym it was the last week of break and I was sad to see it coming to an end. I learned so much about myself just from laying on my couch watching Netflix…
I’m serious! It was amazing. I am learning to really, truly take care of myself and enjoy being with just me. And that’s awesome.