Played tennis early this morning. I love tennis; hadn’t played in a few weeks; felt a bit rusty. Let the other person break me in the first game. Started to lose it… saw myself sliding down that spiral, that funnel of “why do anything if I’m just gonna fuckin lose. I suck; might as well just quit.”
REALLY shitty attitude. (Sorry. I’m talking like Mom again. Except she never said the F-word… but she said everything else and then some.)
Then I remembered that I could play better if I “took a few simple steps.”
1. Get outta my own head. Stop thinking and just let myself play. I don’t have to place every single shot perfectly; in the end, my goal is to do my best, and to get the ball over the net one more time than the other person. Which I knew I could do.
2. Stop running myself down Start building myself up. I thought about what my therapist would say. He’s also a coach. He’d say: “You talk so negatively to yourself. When you’re healing, you protect the wound from dirt. Why don’t you try that with your self-talk?” I started encouraging myself. “You can do this.” And I did. I won every game from there on out. More importantly: I played better, and I had fun.
3. Have fun. Part of recovery is enjoying life. I woke up this morning wanting to stay in bed. Bad sign. I thought back: what am I doing wrong? What have I not been doing?—I realized, I haven’t been exercising. My body NEEDS to exercise. It’s like a dog that needs to get out regularly and run around. It can sit for a long time and wait patiently, but after a while, it gets squirrelly. What do dogs do when they need exercise and don’t get it?—they start chewing stuff up. They get destructive. I need to get out and have fun. So I called my friend and we played first thing this morning. … I didn’t enjoy life for so long that sometimes I have to give myself actual permission to enjoy life.
Last day of vacation before school. Gonna take three almost-teenage-guys kayaking, then fishing on a creek, in the 92-degree weather. Wish me luck. I may even enjoy it. –G