Struggling with Inconsistency

Since I broke my elbow around the end of June, I’ve been on medical leave from my job without all that much to do aside from physical therapy. Unfortunately, I have a hard time functioning without the structure I get from work.

I wish that I could have spent this time doing something amazing. Toward the beginning of this time, I had speculated about projects I could make progress with, and all that sort of thing.

What has happened, in reality, is that the absence of structure created a void that I filled with dependency. A reality of my life is that I live with trauma that makes it easy to slip into dependency and escapism.

Within a couple days of breaking my elbow, I started using marijuana heavily and stayed high pretty much all day long for a week. Being in a fairly impaired state, obviously my pastimes were passive entertainment.

So I wasn’t really present, definitively.

A view from the Mountain Lion Trail in Goldengate Canyon State Park, Colorado.

I was able to snap myself out of it for a bit, and I went on a 25-mile hike in Goldengate Canyon, my longest hike to date by a good margin. Unfortunately, when I got back I had a bruised heel that was screaming.

I had to confront the fact that I needed to rest. Sadly, I don’t seem to posses the habits or tools I would need to maintain balance or presence in a sedentary state.

Within a week, I was back to using marijuana. I stayed high from morning to night, playing video games, for a week and a half. I was totally checked out of my life.

I’m grateful that I was able to pull out of it.

I had thrown the stuff in the trash and fished it back out several times. I finally woke up one morning when I had things I needed to take care of, got high anyway, and found myself totally exasperated and at odds with myself.

I took the paraphernalia and drugs and went out to a public trash can and threw them out. I had been isolating myself most of the time I was high, and I hadn’t seen my roommates almost at all during that time.

I explained to them what was going on with me. I was sad because one of them is moving out soon, and I felt bad that I potentially missed moments that we couldn’t have enjoyed while I was checked out of my life.

This is pretty much where I’m at right now. Last night, we had a roommate movie night, and it was nice.

With the workweek returning today, I’ll be back to being lonely. Sadly, one of the reasons that I struggle with dependency is avoidance of the loneliness caused by anxiety. It’s frustrating because loneliness caused by anxiety can be a vicious cycle.

Even though I desire to live my best life, I can only cope with anxiety through practices. Normally, I utilize the structure from work to support my practices.

It’s hard to know what more to say about this. All I can do is share what’s going on. I wish I had some bow to tie on things. But managing my mental health is a continuous struggle.

Published by Miles of Mindfulness

My name is Mike Bragg. I'm a Denver-based cycling enthusiast and a big advocate of mindfulness. I enjoy the outdoors, and I use mindfulness practices to help myself be more present with my adventures. I like to read challenging material, and I have a keen interest in ancient history and natural sciences.

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