I am inclined towards obsessive compulsiveness. Order and rules gives me a sense of security and control.
But I realize, too, that this is all a facade and that my rules and routines are not required to keep order in the universe! It took me a long time to realize this, and a lot of mental anguish. I remember once needing to eat breakfast while travelling. It had to be protein and vegetables. Nothing else. I went to 5 different places looking for a plain omelette and in the end did not eat because I could not find what I wanted. My day was ruined. I feel ill just writing this. It was so hard to live like that.
So in sobriety I have tried to let go of my controlling tendencies. They may have helped me at one time- I finished 2 degrees at the same time, have a good job, house, etc, but then my anxiety began to get worse and I attempted to control it with excessive exercise, rigid eating rules and scheduling. But any small change to my plans throw me into a tailspin and slowly my eating, exercise and drinking spiralled out of control until I finally crashed and burned. You can only keep the balls in the air for so long.
So, for the past 22 months I have tried to avoid rules and routine. Go with the flow. Just the though of restriction could make me raid I would slide back into that scary place where routine held me hostage.
About 2 months ago I started a morning meditation. I hate to call it a routine, but it sort of is. Tongue Cleaning, Neti pot, breathing. Followed by sitting meditation.
It has evolved. I now do about a 20 minute yoga practice and oil massage as well. It all takes about an hour. And I get up early to do it.
What’s best is that I love it, and I feel good at the end, BUT, I’m ok if it doesn’t get done. One morning I forgot to set my alarm. A few days I have been rushed for other reasons and just did the short parts (I would brush my teeth regardless, obviously). Kids interrupt me often. And it didn’t matter! Life went on!! I still felt grounded and ready for the day. Either way.
This feels like a big thing for me. I’ve added a bit of routine to my day, but not to protect me from anything, but because I feel good doing it. It’s not good when I follow things to a tee and do it all in silence and peace. It’s not bad when I pause to find socks or hairbrushes. It’s just something I do because it is a nice start to the day and it makes my body and mind feel good.
Life moves on. With a big sigh of relief.
Stillness and peace.