Yes, the Queen of your own Castle! (thanks Lady Gaga for inspiring me today)
As I pondered blog topics for today’s post I realized I had not done anything out of the ordinary yesterday. I got up, took a shower, went to work, sat there all day attempting to look productive, read a lot of healthy living blogs (my absolute favorite at-computer activity). I had a few options for post-work activities: gym (um, maybe tomorrow), homework for my class on saturday (I just, I just don’t want to), laundry (meh, ok I will).
So what did I do that was FUN last night? I hung out in my own apartment by myself! DVR, Thai Food and Laundry.
No, this isn’t the real Pad Thai I had, but it looks yummy, doesn’t it?! And my DVR fix for the night: Teen Mom 2!
Becoming the Queen of my own Castle was probably the biggest step for me in recovery and in adulthood. I was 14 when I first lived with a roommate at boarding school. I lived with 1-3 roommates each year for another 8 years until I decided it was time to move out on my own.
My first year in NYC I lived in midtown about two blocks from my office. Therefore, my whole world consisted of just a three-block radius during the week and it sucked. I was ready to move down to the East Village for something different and because there are a ton of great NA meetings down there. I found a shoebox second-floor walk-up in the Lower East Side – moved in, got some mini furniture and began the incredible adventure of living on my own. I discovered that I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I could leave dishes in the sink for a week, not share the remote, come and go as I pleased, play my music loud, sing in the shower (I don’t really do this, but I could if I wanted to), and decorate the apartment the way I wanted to! It was a tiny place that just wasn’t very nice in general, but it was the best decision I had made since moving to NYC. I found that living on my own also really motivated me to be social and put myself out there to make friends. As a recovering addict living alone you need to make a lot of effort not to isolate and that is just what I did.
I survived the shoebox for 11 months before deciding it was way too small and too far from work (30 minutes for a one-way commute in Manhattan to a job I work 80-100 hours a week at? No thanks.) I decided to move to back uptown since most of my close friends either live there or spend all their time there. And it would be a nice 12-15 minute walk to work – no subway necessary. I had major apartment envy (Ahem, Porscha) attending MV every week.
So I searched and searched and searched until I found my dream apartment in my price range. I had major apartment envy (Ahem, Porscha) attending MV every week. And I found it! A lovely alcove studio in an AA friend’s building. An amazing friend, K, helped me paint my new apartment “Lazy Sunday” blue and it really feels like home to me. I’ve lived in it for just under a year now. It took a while to fill it with furniture and decorate, but I love coming home at night. I’m pretty sure I’ll be staying here until somebody puts a ring on it.
Becoming the Queen of my Own Castle really helped me to gain a sense of healthy independence. I am also reminded on a daily basis that I have to make effort to have a life full of friends and fun things to do.
Are you the Queen (or King) of your own Castle today? Have you ever lived on your own? Did you like it?