Isolating is more than a behavior; it is a whole mindset and approach to life that I am challenging. I’m proud of myself for joining several meet up groups and my goal of attending an average of one per week. Actually mingling and introducing myself and engaging is little harder but I need to be realistic so as not to be critical of myself. I’m trying to reframe the feelings coming up when I socialize with new acquaintances. My go-to feeling is discomfort, followed by feelings of being unwanted. Not far off this slippery slope comes the poor coping actions of cigarette smoking and compulsive eating. Ah! So much to unlearn and re-experience. These automatic reactions are deeply ingrained, early taught erroneous values I picked up in my life; and I am finally ready to abandon them.
My hope is that by being compassionate with the part of me that finds it so hard to socialize, I ‘ll alleviate the stress enough to bear new routines and habits. But my inner bully is starting her rant this morning. Last night, I attended a spoken word/cultural exchange. I did not share my writings as I feel my blog writing is not suited to sharing in that venue. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people emboldened to perform; some read, other performed. Despite there being several people my age with whom I would have liked to strike up a conversation; I found it too unsettling to go right up to them during the mingle time. I hovered around the food table and ate cookies. I did manage to small talk to the woman I found next to me; but I left right after that brief chat.
I felt emotions in my body as I walked to my car and wanted a cigarette badly ( I quit yet again a couple weeks ago). So I indulged myself and made a pit stop at a gas station and instead of cigarettes bought cornnuts and cookies. That is what I am berating myself for today. I struggle with weight these days, even more so because my meds cause weight gain, so this was really a self sabotaging coping action. But I have many things to celebrate in this scenario. Enough so I think I’ll stop. I deserve better. I am getting better in my recovery and in my socialness every day and I need to cut this self bullying. Enough said.