First things first: I finally finished writing that conference paper (hence the lack, in part, of posting here).
Second, I’ve been wanting to post something like this for a while, but wasn’t sure how. Partly because I didn’t quite have the words yet to fully express how I am feeling right now, partly because I felt almost self-conscious about it.
Let’s backtrack: not that long ago, I wrote about how I hit another low point in my recovery, a post which ended with a sort of affirmation of my presence here, and why that more than anything was pushing me along this strange, winding road to recovery.
In theatre, we often talk about catharsis, this purge or cleansing of emotion that often occurs in the midst of tragedy. Well, I don’t know if the travails of my personal life can compare to those found in classical drama, but to be completely honest, ever since that day, I have been feeling increasingly better, more myself, about everything.
The reason why I’ve been hesitant to talk about this, though, is that I feel sometimes to say that I am genuinely doing fine – actually more than fine, I feel pretty great right now – would be interpreted as doing a disservice to my past relationship, as though I hadn’t mourned enough. But if part of my goal with this blog is to be honest both about my journey through the dissertation nonsense, as well as my recovery process, did I not owe it to myself to embrace this happiness, this self-assuredness, this confidence that’s steadily and strongly been coming back to me? Everyone heals and recovers differently. One person’s timeline does not necessarily equate another’s. And to be frank, I think the reason I’ve been feeling this strong confidence is because I have – before and since the move – actively put myself in situations where I had to make choices about what I wanted to do because I wanted to do them. I can spontaneously buy that ticket to that show I want to see, for example, something I haven’t done in a long time, least of all here, because before I had a language-barrier issue (not mine, the ex’s) to take into consideration. The choice for me personally to be happy was right in front of me, so, since I have the privilege to make this choice, why wasn’t I taking it?
So last night when I met up with a friend for drinks and she asked me how I was doing, instead of doing my usual rundown of “yes, I’m doing alright. It’s been difficult. I’m getting by, etc.” I just flat out said that I was doing great. And it felt pretty fucking good because I meant it. And I understand I am very lucky to be able to say this and mean it. But I think the point I want to try and make here is that it is absolute shit that anyone has to question their recovery story/process, whether it be slow, fast, or somewhere in between. There is no right or wrong way to do this; it’s just a matter of working to a point where you can let yourself be honest (and what the hell, a little selfish) about what you want, what you need, and damn the rest.