Thursday, March 17, 2016

On the Road to Recovery: Trying Something New

Last month I did something new. 

Not exactly exciting but new – to me.  

More like frightening to be sure.  Way outside of my comfort zone.  Way outside of my little safe place.  The room where I live probably 80-90% of my waking life.  The room where I write, where I knit, where I watch DVDs.  Where my life is safe.  Predictable. Where I am in control.

I started writing this blog posting in a small cafĂ© in my hometown.  I was sitting in a room in a small cafe with other writers who are writing.  Some chatting, but mostly writing.  Most strangers to each other.

My first meet up meeting ever.

The first meeting for this writers meet up.

All of us were getting our feet wet so to speak.  All of us united together to find a place to write. A few hours without other distractions or disruptions.

For me, the motivation was multiple:  (a) to start writing again; (b) to write without the seductive siren call of the yarn (as mentioned before I can't knit and write at the same time.  Ironically, I wanted to bring my current knitting project with me. That's how hooked I am on creating with my hands); and (c) to start going into the outside world again, to socialize with others.  To socialize with others with whom I (hopefully) have something in common.  In this case writing.

It went well.  Our gathering spot is a local cafe which has a side room with a long table.  Some of us met in this room which proved to be a quiet spot; some met in the main room where there was more noise and activity.

Me ... I found a quiet corner in the side room.

I wasn't ready emotionally to meet people, to fraternize, to socialize, to talk.  I just wanted to be there, to write, to observe.

I just wanted to dip my little toes into the waters of the outside world and see how they reacted.

First I was scared.  Okay, terrified is a better word.  I was going to back out but I told one friend and that one friend encouraged me to go.  She said: "If you don't go, you'll always wonder what you missed."  She was right about that.  What she didn't realize was that if I didn't go to the first ever meeting, I would probably never go.  I would remain scared.  I would prefer to stay in my safe world.  My safe room.

So I got up and went.

Originally, I was frustrated.  As in really frustrated.  I couldn't get on the net.  So yes, I could write using Word but I couldn't write on the net, directly onto my blog - which is what I wanted to do.  Having my laptop with me, I didn't bring pen and paper so the old fashioned way was out.  That was another frustration.

On top of the above, people scare me.  Okay, scare is another understatement.  After my experience in the workplace, people terrify me.  I didn't understand then what people were capable of and I definitely don't want to repeat the experience.

So right away, I had two strong emotions vying for my attention: terror and frustration.  Not a good combo.

But I stayed.

Eventually, I settled down enough to find another way.  To write on Word and then upload what I wanted to onto my computer at home.  It worked.

I got home and had a headache for the next few days.  But mixed with the physical pain, probably caused by the stress of going out on my own, was another feeling:  pride.  I had faced one of my demons, starred it down and had survived.

I. Had. Done. This.

And if I had done this, this one small thing, I know I can do more.  Little by little.  Step by step.  Piece by piece.

I haven't written since that afternoon in that little cafe, yet I think I made real progress on the road to recovery that day.

I. Went. Out.

I. Left. My.  House.

I voluntarily walked into a situation that was scary and stayed.

Today is again the third Thursday in the month.  The day designated for the writers meet up.

Today, I am here again in this quiet room at this big table with other writers. We're a very quiet group.  Yet, there is comfort in quietness.  There is safety in quietness.

It's not so scary at all.


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