• Lucia Joyce

Coming Back To Myself

I know I'm still me (at least I think I am), though the concrete ways I once defined myself seem to be falling away... my job, my auditions, my hobbies and little joys. The days are sort of a blur of attempting to find a work flow and doing anything to stay anchored to sound mind. The little joys must fall in line with a greater responsibility and awareness of the world, but too much awareness of the world leaves me overwhelmed.

Most of my day today was lethargic. I'm on day 3 of no coffee and we've already given up sugar, oil, most salt and preservatives. While I typically feel light and easily enticed by colorful veggies, subtle flavorings, and gallons of fresh water, the past three days have been harder. As my body weans off its caffeine dependence, I get both anxious and sleepy.

Shane senses this...we both notice me getting argumentative and apathetic. I know something's not right but I don't know how to fix it. The first blog post I write is a little too dark and existential for today, and writing it exhausts me. A few people (including Shane) tell me just to go ahead and have a little coffee or tea...but a stubborn part of me thinks today could be the last day of the slump and if I quit now, I'll be back where I started. Friends on the phone hold down the good vibes, keep me motivated, but also shed light on the lethargy in my voice.

Come back to yourself, everyone is whispering in their own way. Shane sits next to me at the computer desk, weaves his head under one of my arms for a long hug. He tells me the things he loves about me. I know I need it, so I don't refuse, but I'm still unsure how to proceed with the day. I know depending on other people to lift me isn't the answer...I'm not sure how I stopped lifting myself.

So, I gently open up to my self. I sit with 'me' and wait for feedback. I write out everything on three thin journal pages. It starts out whiny...miffed with every injustice from tiny to huge. But it feels good to let it out. After the first page, answers start to flow. It's time to make better habits in my day--my brain and heart will be grateful for a little organization and productivity, because 'going with the flow' isn't the same option it used to be when my schedule was packed and I could easily prioritize between play, work, training, and rest. I can schedule those separate priorities myself, rather than hope my random wanderings cover all the bases before bedtime. No longer need I obsess over phone notifications and other people's prerogatives. We're all in this together, but that doesn't mean we all need the same things at the same time. Right now, I need structure; I need good nourishment, exercise, and texts from Mom, and I need to relax.

I close the journal, lay on the couch under a cozy blanket, and set a timer for 20 minutes, with gentle healing music in my headphones. I relinquish all conscious thought--normally it's harder to do so but it seems my brain has been waiting all day for this chance. I focus only on relaxing every part of my body and mind. My jaw, neck, and shoulders need more than one direction--the tension in them is nuanced and layered. Breath helps. There aren't too many scenarios where a deep breath isn't extremely helpful, but I forget sometimes.

With inexplicable ease, I feel myself float into alignment with a truer me. I've been trying for days to align with things outside of me: media things, events outside my control, house things, accomplishments in other people's eyes. I've been forging a disconnect that makes even small tasks feel like mountains, then berating myself for getting disconnected in the first place (not helpful). But today, around 7pm, I lift a few inches. I come back to myself, and suddenly, my priorities shuffle into order of true importance, and everything seems a little more doable. I'm looking forward to each next moment, instead of trying to view every event and potential path on behalf of the world's stressed out opinions.

Now, at nearly 10pm, I feel content in the (somewhat basic) answers of today. I sing 90's tunes as Shane and I prep for tomorrow's home shoot with CreatorUp. Before bed I'll make vegetable stock and soup, and run the hottest bubble bath I can handle. Little ways to fall in line with my more content self.

Everyone's in similar, but I'm sure vastly different boats... how are you coming back to yourself in your various household and work situations? Please share. :)

Thank you for reading.

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