When I was first sober, I found the world painful in an unexpected way. I was used to going through life in a kind of fog. First, everything was softened by an alcoholic haze of anesthetic. Second, my focus was always on me and my body, for I was a sick drunk and suffered mightily from hangovers and alcohol poisoning. When that got stripped away, I found it exhausting to be alert all the time, to be in the world.
Now I'm choosing to give up the remaining self-medication through fat foods, TV, and overworking. I'm choosing to show up for everything that comes my way.
As my wise therapist said yesterday, I don't have to do this. I have a really good life and I could just rest into that. I could stay fat, continue to use food, and still have a good life. I could continue to overwork through fear of not enough money in the future or because I won't know what to do with myself if I stop and I would still have a good life. I could continue to have pretty good relationships with friends and family. I could have a pretty good relationship with myself.
But I want more. I want to feel great. I want to have great relationships. I want to do great work. I want to be of more service. These don't come out of a "should" but from somewhere else in me.
I've been preparing for this willingness for quite a while. My Buddhist practice is about showing up. My AA practice is about showing up. My painting practice and my fiction writing, they're about showing up. Now I'm willing to put my body into this too.