For someone who has prided themselves on having a solid foundation of inner peace for so long, I am not really liking where I am right now. I’ve lost my sense of peace and balance…my sense of serenity…and I really don’t like how it has left me feeling and it’s very unfamiliar territory for me.
I may have shared some of this in previous posts…I’m not sure. My memory is shot today.
I spent a large part of my life living on very unstable ground emotionally. Part of that was due to the environment I grew up in. Part of that was a result of my gender dysphoria. Part of it was a result of my father’s death. I am sure there may have been more. Maybe not. Like I said…I am a bit brain dead right now.
Following my divorce and then ultimately when I disclosed, finding that inner peace was something very special for me. At first, it was difficult though. When I first started finding peace, I actually fought against it. Weird concept, right? Fighting against something that was actually making my life better? But when you don’t know what serenity and a healthy mindset feel like…it’s easy to fight it. Over time though, I grew accustomed to what being more mentally healthy meant. I finally learned it was about serenity and not happiness, as happiness could be fleeting and out of our control…while we control our inner peace, even in the most unstable of times.
Since then, I have also learned that it is all too easy to fall back into those old patterns and state of mind if we aren’t careful…especially when fatigued.
With everything going on in the world, and situations within my own life, I have started to lose that serenity I have had for so long. Losing it, I have realized has distorted my way of thinking. It’s changed my view of the world. It’s lead to making decisions that may not be the best. It’s also prevented me from speaking up about things that have bothered or hurt me. It’s also caused me to withdraw a lot as I struggle to deal with things. None of these things are things I am proud of.
I know I have work to do to get my serenity back and I’m considering going back to the 12 Steps used by many of your 12 step recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, etc.
I’m not sure if I ever shared this, but I was active in Al-Anon for many years. Growing up as the child of alcoholics was one of many factors that had distorted my view of the world growing up. It impacted so much of how I viewed myself and my place in the grand scheme of things. When my marriage was obviously headed towards divorce, I started attending Al-Anon and confronting the issue of my childhood and issues with my parents in a way I never had before. As I began working the 12 steps with my sponsor, I started to not only see changes in my way of thinking, but also in the way I handled concerns in life. I need to get back to that place of growth, especially as we continue to confront this pandemic and what will be a long recovery after we begin resuming our lives in a manner similar to the way we lived prior to late February/early March.
I will say though, I am hopeful. And I can’t exactly say that hopeful was a term I would have used just a week ago. I have opened up and shared a lot with a few select friends in the past week, discussing a few things that have really bothered me. I believe those conversations got the ball rolling to get my back to that place of serenity. Now, I just need to make sure to keep the forward momentum and not fall back.
As I said, I’m hopeful. And while I recognize that I need to get back to that place…what’s most important is that I WANT to get back to that place.
See it on Flickr.