Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Bite Sized Pieces"

I am not the most patient person in the world. Age is helping me to get better at this virtue, but the word NOW is only second best to the word YESTERDAY to me. I have come to believe that part of the reason that my recovery has been slow is because I get depressed that this process is taking so long. I have to remind myself every day that even baby steps are still steps in the right direction.

I have created a paradox of sorts for myself. I get depressed because beyond my Community Voice Mail account, I really don't have the resources or the energy physically or mentally to speed up my recovery process (never mind that fact that I have clinical depression anyway). My depression causes me to further become depleted, and then I fall behind on my goals. It's quite the merry-go-round that I can find myself on. So, how can I get off the merry-go-round?

I can resign myself to the fact that my financial and life recovery process is what it is. It's going to take time. There are lessons to be learned. There are life skills that need dusting off, or that need to be implemented. There are decisions to be made and sacrifices to be considered. I get scared and overwhelmed by my choices, because when there is so little money and resources, there are very few palatable choices available. However, I've also come to accept and spur myself on with the fact that I do have choices. They might not be the choices that I would want to be faced with forever, but I do have choices.

So, facing the fact that I have choices, one thing that I am choosing to do is plan my recovery goals into bite sized pieces, or baby steps. I'm also choosing not to feel like a failure, but instead I can feel empowered for taking baby steps. Here's a practical example from my life:

A few days ago, I got sick and tired of being too sick and tired to perform heavy duty housekeeping around my room. I was totally overwhelmed by my need to scrub the shower, clean the baseboards, etc. I didn't want to borrow a vacuum from the hotel front office, but I couldn't seem to get things together to buy a vacuum. On top of all of these considerations, I had to try to bang out some work that day. I thought my head was going to explode with the considerations of housekeeping, possibly getting sore and tired from housekeeping, not having enough tools or time to get everything done, and oh yeah, having the mental space to be creative enough to write internet content for my employer.

What I decided to do was to break the task down into bite sized pieces. I decided that I could clean my kitchenette area. I could borrow the vacuum up front. The floor would be able to stay clean enough for a week or two until I could buy my own vacuum. I could scrub the shower. There are other parts of the room that need a good doing-over, but those could wait. I decided that any cleaning that I engaged in would be progress. I would feel better, and my living space would be healthier. Sure enough, I did feel better and more accomplished with the little that I performed. While I didn't hit my financial goal that day, I reasoned that I needed to take care of home so that my mind would be clear enough for me to accomplish my higher priority, which is work.

If you are reading this, and if you are in transition or homeless, then know that some issues that you will have to overcome are simply going to take time to resolve. If you have kids, then you know that sometimes you have to feed them bite sized pieces of food. Sometimes, even the bite sized pieces are too big, and you'll have to split those up into smaller, more manageable pieces. The important thing is not the size of the food; the important thing is that it's being digested. Life is the same way in many cases. 

My name is Terrah, and I will be sharing with you ways that my Community Voice Mail phone number has helped me, and I will be sharing tips on how it could help you as well. It might seem like a small thing, but having a phone number gives hope, and that hope can be the seed for so much growth in your life recovery. I hope you continue to read my post, and I wish you well in your journey. These lilies represent the fact that within the seeds of one form of life, rises the beauty of a new form of life.

1 comment:

Andrea John-Smith said...

I just love this post. Thank you for reminding me that breaking things down and celebrating each little step is so important. Congrats on cleaning your kitchenette. Nothing like a clean kitchen to get a boost.