I’ve been thinking about “what next?” a bit like a graduating senior. And like getting a degree, all in all, it’s a good thing, I suppose(recovery is a good thing.) They, the graduates, are usually bitter sweet, yet full of excitement and potential for new adventures. But unlike a soon-to-be-graduate, I’m not fresh faced, or excited about what is about to unfold at the end of my intensive treatment period. I have too much experience, too much trauma, if you will, to feel completely enthralled and optimistic about what I’ll have to face, yet again. I’m really scared. Scared to foot my foot back into the world, and scared to put myself out there, for whatever I need to put myself out there for.
Already, I’ve started “stepping down” from my self-led, treatment (i.e. isolation from major triggers) filled with psychiatrist appointments, med changes, therapist visits, more self care than I’d ever put myself through in such a short period of time, and retching amount of self compassion (if my old self were to describe it.) And you know what? I’m doing much better now: the meds are fine (no huge side effects that I noticed), therapy has been a bit of a struggle, (because I’ve been resistant to change, as you can tell), I do my workouts consistently throughout the week, and I go to art classes regularly.
But it’s always the “what next?” question that throws me off from feeling good about where I am, and how far I’ve gotten. Somebody told me that if you were to ask that of your own life, it would just be “death.” That is the ultimate “what next,” right? I’ve done the “what next” thing all my life throughout school and my short lived career, and it hasn’t helped me much. When I was in school, I was studying 2 grades ahead of where I was, and at my job, I was thinking two promotions or lateral moves ahead. And you know what? It was really tiring, having to do everything in front of me now, and having to do everything for the future. Thinking about your future once in awhile in terms of saving for your first house, or a special event like a wedding or something isn’t detrimental, but rather smart. But for me, my body was here in the now, but my head was in the future- and I can tell you it’s much more dangerous than having it in the clouds.
So today, I’m resisting the urge, this habit of mine, to think into the future, and making 5 year plans, or thinking about careers. Because I need to be here now.