Written by Sara
The question ‘Who am I?’ was always very tricky for me. During those first stages of recovery I’ve learned to say and write few characteristics what I kind of presumed could define me. Sensitive, creative, smart, determined, funny…. For some time I felt like I really owned it. Writing them down every day, repeating them to myself very often I started to believe that this is it. This is who I am. The end. But then lot of things around me changed.
I always wanted to do one year of my studies abroad. And now it’s happening. For six months now I have been living in Germany. It never occurred to me how at home I was always at this ,,safe place”. Studying in my mother language, having friends who knows me for ages around me, having my family always around. For sure there were times when things got unordinary and I had to step out of my comfort zone and really use my recovery tool box in a ‘real life’ but quite often it was just theory that I was rewriting in my notebook over and over again. And then all of sudden coming to totally different surroundings with no one knowing me, everything new around me. It was the time to put the knowledge I have about recovery into action.
So for example:
Yes, I wrote in to my notebook many times that I am not bothered by what others think about me but when I was standing in front of full class of people about to have presentation and being absolutely anxious about what’s going to happen if I will embarrass myself and then it comes, the sentence I wrote so many times ‘it just doesn’t matter’ and it worked and with another presentation it worked even better and quicker. I got to the point that now it takes me just few seconds to calm myself down and reassure me.
At home, I somehow naturally surrender myself with people with similar opinions, mind-sets and values. Being in front of huge number of people who I slowly got to know and really had to put into practise ‘I have the right to choose people I want to surrender myself with’ something that might sounds easy but for me one of the most challenging moments as I had this feeling that I have to be (you see the language :D?) nice and be friends with everyone, which ended up with me being exhausted . But now I know I am worth of good companionship that makes me feel good and there is NOTHING wrong to choose who I want to spent time with.
This also went hand in hand with the fact that not only I thought had to be nice to everyone, I also was trying to make everyone like me. This is a tuff one for me. But I am starting to own it. I know my worth. I don’t need validation from others. I have it within me.
This experience is also showing me how relationship with my body reached very stable and loving point. Again, back home people around me are mostly never interested in talking about diets and how they are unhappy with their body. Here it seems to be very popular theme. I have to admit at the begging it was not easy but now when I looked at it back it just helped towards the relationship I have with my body now. Simply just feeling the gratitude and love towards my body, that enabled me to pursue this dream of mine. I am very grateful that those kinds of conversations have no longer effect on how I think about my body. So freeing.
Now coming back to the question ‘Who am I?’
I always had this imagination that it is something rigid. That one day I will wake up and never ever will have to think again about who I am, what are my dreams,… That I will just cross this part out like ,,okey now I know who I am and what I am doing and I don’t have to think about it again”. Yes, I know myself. I know what does me good, I know what to avoid, I know how I react in particular situation. I see some kind of pattern that I am starting to understand. But I come to accept that ‘who am I?’ will be a question I will ask myself maybe whole life. Things around me change, situations change. I actually think that that’s what makes life exciting. Having always the possibility to rethink it, to understand ourselves and be grand with exploring something new within us. Maybe sometimes its unpleasant and sometimes very pleasant and that’s okey.
I feel like I can compare this experience to enjoyable exam. I studied all the theory and I really put lot of effort to understand it and grasps it. Now is the time when I am putting it in practise and I am very thankful that I studied this much. Some of the parts are more challenging than the others but I give myself lots of credit for how I prepared myself and how I am using it. Recovery is exciting and so worth it!