I am a full year into my recovery.

I have learned so much about myself, am in such a better place and am really and truly living in freedom. I am no longer bound to my injury and no longer constantly sidelined by anxiety.

I was told that it would take about a year for me to be in a place to get back to living life, and that has been true. I was not living for a few years, not enjoying life, not enjoying myself or my choices or direction or (at the time) school and work choices, etc.

One year later, things are so different. I am ready to have fun without guilt again. I am ready to engage with groups again. I am ready to not be bound to my work 24/7, to set healthy boundaries, to take time to enjoy the deep, deep beauty of life and to celebrate how far I have come.

I slept for 13 hours today.

I didn’t just sleep, I slept hard. I struggled with anxiety all day yesterday but had work to do on my car, family obligations to take care of, clients needing attention and my finger-busting sport to play, so I didn’t address it with medication. It was a long day. It was really a long two weeks, because I have been working to correct one of my diagnosed anxiety disorders. I have been very intentionally identifying the behaviors, addressing them in a healthy way and choosing to not let the disorder control me. Because it is all in my head (ha!), I tend to forget how much effort it is. I have also been sleeping 1-2 hours less than normal each night, and my resting heart rate has been higher than I would like it to be.

So I slept. In the middle of the week. All day.

I didn’t waste a day, I took care of myself. I didn’t shirk my responsibilities, I finally acknowledged my responsibility to take care of my mind and body. I was grateful that I could do this. I was grateful that I finally engaged in deep rest.

Those 13 hours of sleep gave me a new perspective.

I get really invested in other people, other efforts, other battles, other (fill in the blank). I do not get really invested in me. I thought it was selfish, self-serving and not what I should be doing.

Should. What a terrible word.

I can be a much better self when I care for myself. When I give myself time, when I let myself rest, when I give myself permission to take a mental health break and do things that are healthy and beneficial for me. The world doesn’t stop when I do.

And I can be such a better version of myself when I do.