I got a haircut last week. My first one since I’ve been sober. I haven’t had a haircut in over two years. I’ve been sober for almost nineteen months. It seemed like about time.
There are so many things I put off. Things I swear I’ll make time for next week, or tomorrow, or in the fall.
Like haircuts. Going for a walk. Erasing some things from my mind that just don’t need to be keeping up on the rent.
It seems like such a small thing to take an hour or so to trim the ends of my growing long hair. It has given me no small amount of pleasure to braid it and not feel the tiny frustration at the dried rough ends poking out from my pony elastic. To pull my braid forward over my shoulder and finger the smooth ends: a sign of upkeep, a sign of self care.
I continuously puzzle over the chore of taking care of myself. The in between of putting forth some effort and working on conscious avoidance.
I got new glasses. It took me two weeks to get around to it after the double vision doctor told me to, but I finally did. It has not helped my vision much but it makes me feel better to know that I didn’t blow it off. And it’s fun to have a new pair of specs. They are big and square like I like and transparent grey. I decided on them all by myself: no asking anyone but me if they were what I wanted.
I quit my recovery group and have decided not to join the next group my therapist is starting. It took me weeks of anxiety and soul searching to decide that I had to urge myself towards other unknown things. I am on my own again: me, my blog, and books as my therapy while the universe conspires.
I made flaky pillowy biscuits this morning. I even got out the food processor and shut up the voice that whined that it was too much trouble. I let the kitchen be messy-ish and a bit floury. I took my time and drank my coffee. Asked my husband to relax at the table and talk to me. I let the biscuits rest for twenty minutes before they went into the oven. We made the children cups of tea since we were out of orange juice.
I read Just Kids by Patti Smith this week. It pushed me. It freed me- it acknowledged the artist in me and made me want to let her more out. It made me want to write and write and take loads of pictures and remember to take the time to feed my soul and not just my face for solace and repair. It made me feel like I can be more brave about what I write here and there and to not listen to the voice in my head that warns me about sounding weird or not like everyone might want me to. I love all that when it comes from a book.
Do you ever forget to add up your self full stuff? Forget to give yourself credit for the little things you do to care for yourself? I do, I so do. I forget that it’s OK to get a haircut. To spend time picking out new glasses. To stop doing something because inside I want to and that’s all the reason I need. To make a simple lovely breakfast slowly. To get some insight from someone else’s written about life.
I used to try to get all that stuff from getting drunk. It works a lot better this way, hands down. It stays with me instead of draining away with my hangovers, guilt, and headaches. The self full stays here as long as I remember to pay attention to it, to look at it. I don’t feel bad when I think about biscuits and walks and books and new glasses. And I feel better when I think about taking it slow to find the things this week will bring. My spirit moves because I let it go.