Avoiding Stress in Recovery: Let Stephanie Out

I’m new in sobriety. Although it might seem like it’s the most stressful time to try and quit drinking (i.e. coronavirus), is there a more perfect time to give something up that’s bad for you then the here and now? I think this moment is the only one that matters – something that isn’t easy when you reside in anxiety. I won’t lie, the way society is with the threat of a pandemic disease has me worried. But, I want to avoid really getting into all of that and try and focus on something positive. So, that is what I’m going to do and by the end of this, I’m going to pick some of your brains too.

Last week, I posted something I titled “Cultivate Stephanie“, but the reality is that I’m not really sure how to do that. In previous blog posts, I have indicated that in an entirely different blog, I had explored a more feminine side of myself.  But I felt I had lost myself in it a little. The last thing I want to do is lose myself in anything – especially Hilda – but I certainly want to tap into those aspects of Stephanie that make me feel nurtured and at peace with myself. I remember times that I had taken bath with bubbles and candles (as recommended by a friend here on WP before), shaved my legs, worn panties or dressed in a skirt around the house. I felt relaxed doing these things for myself and in no way wanted to be out and about in public representing myself this way. But at the time, it felt fun and relaxing – almost peaceful.

I felt like I was tricking myself, however, I felt like I had gone too far with something like that. I felt as if I were trying to be something I am not. And I felt like it provided a pathway for Hilda to enter into my being and tear me down. Ultimately, this is not what I want. I want to bring out more of Stephanie’s good qualities, without allowing Hilda doorway into my being. There is an aspect of truth I find within Stephanie, but I also feel that sometimes my alcoholism has prevented me from understanding what is and what is not reality. And, I have a habit of running from anything that is important for me to understand about myself.

I know there is so much here I’m trying to say and I almost feel wrong for even letting any of it out. I feel like my vulnerability is something that can be used to make me feel bad about myself, but I’m also at a point in my life where I’m tired of my own bullshit and I want to gain some control over my emotional well being. I have tried facing my demons before, but now I want it to be different. I want this so bad.

So, I pose some questions to all of you, seeking advice:

  • Without losing who I am, what suggestions might you have to embrace and cultivate Stephanie?
  • In what ways can I tap into her to bring out the best in me?
  • Is it possible to embrace my femininity without losing my masculinity?

10 thoughts on “Avoiding Stress in Recovery: Let Stephanie Out

  1. you feel guilty i think and you argue with yourself a lot. you are masculine and you are feminine both and you haven’t lost yourself completely yet. my advice is give yourself permission to be be free and happy and who you are. you could always wear boxers under your skirt if that makes you feel better lol.

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  2. The world really isn’t either/or, and it seems like you tend to apporach some things that way. I have qualities of masculine, feminine, neuter, and it’s no biggie except maybe if I would try to argue with it or condemn it. You might just try things you like, slowly in the sense that, if doing five things or wearing five things feels costume-y, then try one little nice thing and see how it feels, with compassion for yourself. It’s all self-discovery. Be good to you, whatever version or aspect of you is present at that moment, and enjoy.

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  3. Isn’t Stephanie also who you are? The only answer I have is this: be you. I don’t think you will lose anything or any part of you by being you.

    Here’s an example. When I first returned to writing, I had a similar identity issue. How could I write what I wanted to write, while also being a professor? Do I have to be less of an academic if I want to do the type of writing I saw was important? What about my students? What if they read something I wrote by accident, because you know, the internet?

    I know it may not seem as heavy as what you’re dealing with, but stakes are high in different ways for different people. I found when I allowed myself to able to simply be me, then I stopped worrying about the other what ifs. I’m still a professor. I still share with authenticity. Everything is okay.

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    1. You know what?! You’re absolutely correct – Stephanie is also me. That was profound for me to read that, honestly. And I totally hear you on this… I can be multiple things all at once and choose to exhibit what I want or need to exhibit at different times. This was truly eye-opening to me.

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  4. …so maybe baby steps. Bubble baths are great, but did wearing panties feel great too? Could you wear panties out of the house, so that only you know what’s under there and no one else?

    Remember, you get to design your life and be who you want to be. Designing your life includes being as masculine/feminine as you want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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