After a Summer of following every joy that came to mind, I have found that bliss is a bit overrated. I realized that my search for all things joyful was being fuelled by a need for distraction. Generally, I was not self-destructive, however there were choices that I made that, if facing the same ones today, I would choose differently. I learned about boundaries, my own limits. I danced. I made art. I made memories. I embraced chaos and created some of my own.
Towards the end of the Summer, breathless and spent, I began to truly understand that I can plan ahead more than a few weeks. Not only in activities, but in relationships as well. My illness was not going to suddenly sweep in and rip my legs out from under me again. My romantic relationships need not be whirlwinds of swirling insecurity pulling in while my fierce need of independence chased behind. I could start building real relationships with the people around me with a feeling of safety and longevity. I became relationship based in my goals. I remembered that feeling of family, that my children and I felt when we moved to the shelter and the chaos was shut out. I wanted to expand that feeling to include many of the people in my life.
Peace is an inside job. It really is. So I looked at what desires were creating chaos in my life. Sex. That was the main one, way too much of my mental energy was spent on sex. Alcohol, though I rarely drank more than a beer during a night out, made me feel irritable and anxious the next day. Caffeine, same thing. My diet had become unhealthy as well, lots of fast food. It was time to give these things up completely, a fast of sorts, or a cleansing of the palette, if you will.
It has been 3 weeks of no sexual acts of any kind, no alcohol and I just finished weaning myself off caffeine completely 3 days ago. I've cut out gluten and nitrates as well as other high histamine foods as a way to see which foods could be triggering my headaches.
You'd think I'd be fucking miserable.
I feel great. I feel like I am more able to deal with stress, or perhaps it's best to say: I find less things stressful in general. I'm calmer with my kids and I really do enjoy my time with them more. I can feel myself growing spiritually. I am learning how to be happy without anything beyond just having the people I care about around me.
For example, Halloween, I had vertigo so bad I had to have a bucket beside me incase I puked. It was 3 good friends and I sitting around playing radio BINGO. I felt genuinely happy the whole time. My head hurt and the room was spinning. I didn't affect my mood negatively in the slightest. I found I could separate my physical from my emotional because lessening my distractions helped me become more self-aware. There is also something I find incredibly empowering about taking control of something that used to take control of me.
I'm not sure how long I am going to continue abstaining, but for the time being it's working for me. It may be challenging to do research for my sex blog, then bring my mindset back to that of celibacy. I think I am up for it though.