lean into the discomfort

The told us to “lean into the discomfort” during my last stay at rehab. Rehab is chock full of pithy slogans.

“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”

“If you find yourself digging a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”

“I am in charge of my life story.”

“Recovery is not for people who need it, it’s for people who want it.”

“Lean into the discomfort.”

The last one has been on my mind of late.

I’m pretty good at dealing with discomfort from morning until dinnertime. It’s the evening hours that lead to struggle. That’s when thoughts I’d rather not be thinking crawl out from the corners of my brain. That’s when negative impulses start to push hard against efforts to resist them. That’s when anxiety likes to kick it up a notch.

I’ve been putting off dealing with the evening problem by mood altering. I’ve been smoking pot.

Now, it’s legal where I live, so that’s not the issue, but two things have been bothering me. The first is that smoking weed embarrasses me. I don’t like the smell. I don’t like knowing the neighbours can tell I’m doing it. I could solve that problem by switching over to edibles or oils, but that still leaves me with problem two.

My smoking is mood altering and escapist. I use it to avoid dealing with my problems and issues. Smoking is not practicing coping techniques. It’s not leaning in. It’s absenting myself from the field entirely.

I think it was a good thing for a while. It was necessary. There are a lot of hours in a day; there are so many battles to be fought that it gets tiring. The idea of doing it all day, every day, unaided, is daunting. By the end of the day, I’m tired. I’m ready to give up. I love the quiet mind marijuana brings. I enjoy thinking about nothing. I relish the internal peace.

Unfortunately, things are going well. My eating is rolling along right now. My cutting is under control. The depression is still there, but it’s low-level and relatively stable. Because things are going well, however, I’m starting to question my crutch.

I think it might be time to let it go. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like that idea at all. It definitely doesn’t want me to write it down; that makes it more real than keeping it my head.

But there comes a time in every endeavour, no matter what it is, be it a new job, a new sport, a new hobby, or recovery, where you have to let go of the helping hand and do it on your own. Without a crutch. Without a safety net.

You have to fly solo.

I don’t want to. I want the safety net. I like it. But I think I’ve done all I can here.

Time to level up and lean in.

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