A Comment on Finding Enjoyment and Relaxation

A lot of people read my blog, but not many comments. And that is okay. We all need to be where we are in the moment and not feel that we have to. When I get comments, they are usually via email. I thought I would share, with the author’s permission, a comment that I received.

I enjoy receiving comments. They are thought-provoking and provide me an opportunity to hear different perspectives to ponder.

Question/Reflection from a Reader:

I am noting that your blogs refer a lot to the Vegas trip. I have some mixed emotions on that- first off, you are a badass for making it through an alcohol party city and being true to yourself. Kudos for that.

But I also feel a bit sad that you seem not to have had fun there. I think I feel sad for you that it was a week you had to get through, and not that you enjoyed it. Does that make sense?

I am not thinking, “well, get over it, Talia and slap a smile on that face,” because I know that is exactly what you are trying to learn how NOT to do= not to slap a smile on for others. I just want you to find times where you can relax and enjoy some moments.

My Response/Thoughts

My hubs said something very similar to me about Vegas too. It’s a tough one. The level of anxiety that I felt was high. There are two reasons I have identified why my anxiety was so high.

1. Oh, The Alcohol

The first reason is not drinking and being hyperaware of how I always felt to ensure that I didn’t start drinking. Vegas is all about the drinking. While out walking, there aren’t many places about getting alcohol. It is very much in your face with alcohol.

I had also had a recent incident before the Vegas trip regarding alcohol. A bartender did not hear me say ‘mocktail,’ so he made a cocktail with alcohol. I drank it but kept saying that it tasted funny. Hubs tried it and said he didn’t think it had alcohol in it.

I kept drinking it but had that nagging feeling that it had alcohol. It did. I was upset about that. Going to Vegas, I armed myself with coping tools to ensure that I did not drink accidentally or otherwise.

2. Lots of People

Two, the group I was with was quite large, with twelve people. That is a lot of people, and each person had an idea of how they wanted their trip to Vegas to go and the things they wanted to do, which makes sense.

That meant I had to figure out where I stood on doing certain things. Some were easier like I am not going to meet the group that went out drinking into the wee hours of the morning. Some were harder, like going on the High Roller. I had already done several things that day and was tired. I needed a break, so I said no.

So, both a large number of people in the group and the competing wants between all of those people. And the sheer number of people in Vegas in general with being around that many people. I am trying to figure out my boundaries and be in those situations.

I was working hard the entire time to have the level of awareness that I needed to take care of myself. I will need that until it becomes second nature. My usual M.O. is to shut down and follow the herd. Doing that would have been worse for me. I had to forge my path for what I needed. It was not easy.

Learning Process

I am learning in therapy that something like being able to relax and have a good time in those types of situations is one part of what healing looks like for me. Right now, I am still at the beginning of my recovery.

I think of it like I am a child learning how to navigate the world. Except I am not a child, I am a grownup. But during my childhood, I did not develop those tools. There wasn’t anyone around me that had those tools to teach me.

The adults in my life stunted my growth in those areas. I don’t know how to function in certain situations. Especially around expressing and implementing plans around my needs. I am learning, and it is going to take a while.

Still Living & Pushing Myself

I am still going to do things like Vegas. And I have a trip to Europe (hopefully if it isn’t rescheduled due to Covid again), even though it will be anxiety-inducing for me. But it will also be another growth opportunity for me. Those experiences are how I grow. I learn so much about myself during those times.

As my therapist reminds me, those are the times of growth and healing. And she and I talk a lot before I go on these trips, and I keep my therapy sessions with her while I am there. Even in Europe, I am keeping my therapy appointment. No matter the time.

Someday I will be able to enjoy myself thoroughly and relax. That is what healing looks like for me.

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