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 Post subject: ZsaZsa Darling's Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:35 pm
Posts: 26
A
1) actively committing yourself to change:
I feel I am ready for this, finally.

2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change:
This one is hard. But I have lost everything, and see what NOT changing has done to me over the last 6-10 years. What do I have to lose?

3) allowing yourself time to change: This I feel I have, but I have felt this before, and have always gotten sucked back into a relationship. However, now, after several disasters, I can feel how no relationship is going to work and be truly satisfying until I am satisfied with my life on my own.

B) 15 things to motivate me:
1-I had a healthy life before and I was happy. I know it is possible, and I want to be there again.
2- Because if I am not at my best, I am not confident, I am not at ease, it poisons every interaction with every aspect of your life, and life becomes unpleasant rather than joyous. I have had a joyous life before. I know it is possible.
3-because when you are not at your best, you are not able to give to the world. You make no positive contribution to life. You are not fulfilling your potential
4-life as it is right now is not satisfying
5-I have lost at least 10 years of golden opportunities. I don't want to lose 10 more.
6-I have lost the respect and admiration that I used to deserve because of my behaviour
7-I am in a financial mess because of my irresponsible behavior
8- I lost a person I wanted to build a life with because I was so emotionally unhealthy
9- I lost many friends I love and admire because of my behavior, and I miss them
10- My addictions are many faceted but all stem from the same place. Alcohol has damaged my cognitive functions. Without your brain, you are at the mercy of the world.
11- Creativity comes from intelligence. Low functioning minds cannot be creative, cannot express themselves properly, and so become miserable. I want my intelligence back.
12 - I was not put on this earth to fail at being me
13 - I want my old happy, successful life back
14 -I want to feel accomplished and competent
15- I want to feel I am of equal worth to others


Last edited by Zsazsadarling on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:57 pm 
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LESSON 2:
A. Take at least twenty minutes to be alone. If you have a family, ask them to respect this time that you are taking. Make sure that you leave your cell phone off. That the dog is fed. That there will be no distractions. Take a walk by yourself. Sit alone on the beach. Find somewhere secluded and then, think. Think about who you are, the life that you have led, and the life that you want to lead from this point forward. Think about your legacy. Create a vision that you would feel comfortable committing yourself to pursuing. One that, as you someday look back upon your life, will allow you to feel proud of the person that you developed into. Of the life that you led.

This lesson may have to wait until I have done more lessons. Or at least the life vision will not be specific until I've done more work. I used to think I knew what I wanted my life to be, but I failed at all of my goals. Now I have lost the passion for them, so I think they are no longer realistic. It wasn't that they were impossible to achieve, indeed I am surrounded by people that achieved all of the things I ever wanted to, and they aren't all geniuses or over achievers. My life spiralled downwards over the past 10 years, and especially the last 3. My life has been dominated by seeking instant gratification, either through alcohol and "partying", or attention from men. Ultimately without any real accomplishments of my own in the past 10 years, I have become miserable, unfulfilled. Not to mention broke. I had all the things I wanted, and lost them all.

So really, I don't know if I could EVER look back and be proud of the person I became at this point. I would have to somehow achieve all of the things I have failed at, and that prospect seems daunting.

So as a start, let's try this:
I would like to be a person who doesn't get sloppy drunk and embarrass herself, and ruins people's opinions of me.
I would like to regain my cognitive abilities that I've lost due to drinking.
I would like to have a fun, loving relationship that is free of dependency or ownership. One that doesn't take over my life, that I never lose myself again. I would like to be loved.
I would like to have meaningful friendships with the many intelligent, wonderful people who surround me.
I would like to figure out what my gifts are, and start contributing to the world again.

That is about all I got for now.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:14 pm 
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Lesson 3 Exercises:
A. Note: In the previous lesson, you were asked to write out your vision for the life that you want to live. If you have not yet completed this task, do so now, before beginning this exercise.
B. On your computer, extract the values from the vision you have created and list them. Your goal for this lesson is to create a single, comprehensive list that involves all of the primary ways that you derive stimulation from your life. Or, those areas that you want to derive stimulation from. Most lists will contain between 50-100 items. When you are done, post this list in your recovery thread.
If you feel you need some guidance as to what you are looking for, or for examples of how to list each item, see this example values list.
C. When you have extracted every possible value that you can think of from your vision, do the following:
1) Review this example values list for any additional values that you may want to add to your own list. List them.
2) Consider the 'dark side' of your decision-making. The compulsive behavior. The sexual behavior. Take some time to extract the values that went into those behaviors, and list them as well.


B)
1)To regain respect for myself
2)to be taking care of myself and my life
3) to be responsible
4) to be reliable
5) to be respected by others again
6) to have decorum
7) to be intelligent
8) to make people laugh
9) to inform through wit and humour
10) to have many friends again
11) to have a healthy romantic relationship
12) to be fit
13) to be financially stable
14) to be loved
15) to be proud of my achievements
16) to achieve something
17) to be accomplished
18) to learn how to work hard and practice
19) to be expressive of my unique ideas
20) to express myself through art
21) to help solve some of the world's problems **
22) to regain the love from those I lost it from
23) to have an interesting unique life
24) to contribute to the world
25) to be independant
26) to be determined
27) to overcome where I have failed before
28) to be a better dancer
29) to make art people find amazing (some at least)
30) to understand what's going on in the world
31) to be at my best ***
32) to reach my full potential
33) to never waste another minute being overly drunk or hungover
34) to be efficient
35) to be admirable
36) to inspire joy and wonder
37) to have healthy life habits (self care)
40) inspired action
41) to be acting from my highest self
42) to act passionately
43) to achieve "flow" with my activities
44) to become a person of substance again
45) to perform
46) to be so solid in myself I never get lost in someone else again***
47) to follow my own boundaries in regards to romantic relationships***
48) to be financially responsible for myself
49) to be able to support my family and friends financially
50) to not let gluttony make me greedy with things that are not mine
51) to be a person people admire and respect again

C 2) the dark side of values that have influenced my life

1)inability to finish projects on time or at all
2) not putting that which is most important first: mis-prioritizing
3) immediate gratification at all costs
4) desire to be desired
5) laziness and procrastination when I realized how much work was involved to achieve my goals
6) complacency in relationships once they had been established; ceasing any and all personal development or working towards anything for myself
7) losing myself in someone else's life and achievements
8) desire for accolades despite no longer actually achieving anything
9) lacking determination in the face of difficult challenges
10) complete irresponsibility for my finances, health and direction in life
11) giving up
12) succumbing finally to vanity as my only means of gratificaton when everything else had failed
13) doing the bare minimum in all activities to get by
14) dragging my ass in all of the work that I do
15) not expecting that anything good could happen -lack of positivity


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:15 am 
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LESSON 4
A. In the previous exercise, you identified a list of the majority of your practical and universal values. Now, prioritize this list. This should take you about fifteen minutes at the most. If it is taking you longer than that, you are thinking too deeply. The deep thought was in constructing your vision and extracting the values...this is the 'easy part'. Simply identify an initial order of prioritization that 'feels right' to you.
Take a snapshot of where these values lay in terms of helping you to achieve your vision. DO NOT worry if a particular value is a few items above or below another (for instance, don't worry about choosing between 'Strengthening My Role as a Father to My Son' and 'Strengthening My Role as a Father to My Daughter'). You should be looking for a general sense of prioritization — not an exact representation. Remember that values change. Priorities change. And so, to try to imagine all possible situations for which prioritization may apply would paralyze you. So don't. Think only in the current moment — and in relation to what you believe would be the most direct path to building that vision in your day-to-day life.
B. When you have completed this priority list, post it into your Recovery Thread.
Note: The first ten to fifteen values on this list will form the crux of your initial value development and monitoring. Make sure that you pay particular attention to the top twenty or so values. They must be areas of your life/identity that you truly value.


1)To regain respect for myself
2)to be taking care of myself and my life
33) inspired action
3) to be responsible
4) to be respected by others again
5) to be at my best ***
6) to reach my full potential
7) to love who I am again
8) to help solve some of the world's problems ** (speak out through art and humour)
9) to contribute to the world: easing suffering so that others can achieve joyous lives
14) to be loved in a relationship that is mutually fulfilling, that does not take over your life
10) to be fit
17) to make people laugh
12) focused practice towards goals that has movement, not stagnation. My practice can not seem like a chore or it will not succeed. It must be inspired practice. Not going through the motions.
13) to live my life consciously: alert and aware of what is going on around me and in the world, and interacting with it, not just passively observing
14) to reach my athletic goals (aerial cartwheel, ideal weight, muscly legs/behind, acrobatics)
15) to be financially stable
14) to regain my intelligence
15) to be reliable
16) to be admirable
11) to perform

18) to use my wit and humour to somehow help the world
19) to create artworks that are compelling
20) to be a better dancer
21) to stop killing my gifts with alcohol and let them shine for my benefit and the benefit of others
22) to have many friends again; to be welcome and wanted in social situations again
24) to be proud of my achievements
25) to achieve something
26) To achieve mastery in at least something, and certainly mastery over my life which is currently out of control
26) to be competent, and regarded as such
27) to be accomplished
28) to learn how to work hard and practice
29) to be expressive of my unique ideas
30) to express myself through art
31) to inspire joy and wonder
32) to have healthy life habits (self care)

34) to be acting from my highest self
35) to have decorum when needed
36) to regain the love from those I lost it from
37) to have an interesting unique life
38) to be independant
39) to be determined
40) to overcome where I have failed before
41) to make art people find amazing (some at least)
42) to understand what's going on in the world
43) to never waste another minute being overly drunk or hungover
44) to be efficient
45) to act passionately
46) to achieve "flow" with my activities
47) to become a person of substance again
48) to be so solid in myself I never get lost in someone else again***
49) to follow my own boundaries in regards to romantic relationships***
50) to be financially responsible for myself
51) to be able to support my family and friends financially
52) to not let gluttony make me greedy with things that are not mine
53) to be a person people admire and respect again


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:36 am 
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LESSON 5: listing your values in order of priority.
I feel this will be a work in progress for a long time as I come to realize what is most important to me throughout this process. Some of them are kind of redundant, but I've put them down anyway.


1)To regain respect for myself
2)to be taking care of myself and my life: healthy life habits -> self care
33) inspired action
3) to be responsible for myself and finances
4) to be respected by others again
5) to be at my best ***
6) to reach my full potential
7) to love who I am again
8) to help solve some of the world's problems ** (speak out through art and humour)
9) to contribute to the world: easing suffering so that others can achieve joyous lives
14) to be loved in a loving sexual relationship that is mutually fulfilling, that does not take over your life
10) to be fit: to reach my athletic goals (aerial cartwheel, ideal weight, muscly legs/behind, acrobatics)
17) to make people laugh
12) focused practice towards goals that has movement, not stagnation. My practice can not seem like a chore or it will not succeed. It must be inspired practice. Not going through the motions.
13) to live my life consciously: alert and aware of what is going on around me and in the world, and interacting with it, not just passively observing. To participate creatively in the world.
15) to be financially secure
14) to regain my intelligence
15) to be reliable
16) to be admirable
11) to perform
18) to use my wit and humour to somehow help the world
19) to create artworks that are compelling
20) to be a better dancer
22) to have a rich circle of funny intelligent friends again; to be welcome and wanted in social situations again
24) to be proud of my achievements
26) To achieve mastery in at least something, and certainly mastery over my life which is currently out of control
26) to be competent, and regarded as such
27) to be accomplished
28) to learn how to work hard and practice
29) to be expressive of my unique ideas through art, and any other ways
31) to inspire joy and wonder in others


Last edited by Zsazsadarling on Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:59 am 
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Posts: 26
LESSON 6
A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones. For instance, "Strengthening your relationship with your wife" is complex. "Developing a closer bond with 'Chewie', your dog" (probably) isn't. For now, choose 'Chewie'. Post these plans into your recovery thread.
Note that your goal here is not to map out perfection. You only need to map out the next few steps in the developmental process of strengthening and/or maintaining this value (if it is already at full strength


ONE
3) to be responsible for myself and finances
15) to be financially secure
-immediately: cease all unneccesary expenditures and put everything towards debts and savings
-today: write e-mail to Great West Life financial advisors
-get financial plan in place and follow
-start studying and get prepared for being a PSD within a month in order to take IC shifts to make more money
-develop possible freelance work-> practicing drawing: life drawing, storyboarding, simple animations, editorial -> need to remake website

TWO
2)to be taking care of myself and my life: healthy life habits -> self care
10) to be fit: to reach my athletic goals (aerial cartwheel, ideal weight, muscly legs/behind, acrobatics)
-excercise, even if only 4min tabata, everyday. Ideally a 1hour workout everyday
-cease drinking
-ensure hydration and sufficient minerals and nourishment
-help brain/liver organs recuperate from alcoholism
- to take time out for nail care, baths, massage, therapies

THREE
15) to be reliable
-finish projects that I have started (Mike, Kelvin, Dave's card, the Mandala)
- make good on my promises to myself first and foremost

FOUR
18) to use my wit and humour to somehow help the world
19) to create artworks that are compelling: follow your heart. Do something creative everyday and publish it, even if it is "bad"

FIVE
22) to have a rich circle of funny intelligent friends again; to be welcome and wanted in social situations again
- stop drinking
- take in all of the culture I've missed out on in my self absorption in the last 3 years and take an interest in those world issues that are important to me. Allow the problem solving to germinate

SIX
28) to learn how to work hard and practice: this will be: athleticism, art, music and dance

SEVEN
31) to inspire joy and wonder in others - learn how to sing again, play ukulele or instrument. Learn how to dance->make choreographies for youtube. Crossover with animation?? Make animated cards for friends. Finish flashcards for work and forward to Habib.


Last edited by Zsazsadarling on Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:11 pm 
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LESSON 7
A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values. It is essential that you develop plans for at least the top ten, but if you can reach fifteen...wonderful. These plans will be used to form the basis of your health monitoring system (which you will begin at the end of next week). Post these plans in your Recovery Thread.
Do NOT allow yourself to become overwhelmed with this task. Each action plan should probably take you between five and fifteen minutes. Some of the most complex (like those pertaining to partnership) may take you up to thirty minutes. What you share in these plans will not be used all at once — so don't worry about what you 'can and can't do'. Focus instead on what you think needs to be done.
Over the next week of lessons, you will be switching your focus to other areas of recovery. These lessons will be important (especially if you are in a relationship), but not critical to your recovery. This is by design. If it takes you a week to complete all of your proactive action plans, so be it. The goal is to have them done by the time you get to the Health Monitoring I lesson. But, to work simultaneously on other lessons as you go...not to put your efforts on hold until they are done.


These last two Lessons are hard because so many of my values overlap or are hybrid, so I don't have exactly 15...I created 7 "action plans" in my last post...I will sum up the rest of my initial 31 in as many "plans" as it takes. I doubt it should be more than 7 more. Let's give it a shot.

EIGHT
28) to learn how to work hard and practice (and thus progress and accomplish/succeed)

-I have to learn to concentrate on one thing at a time. I am currently trying to:
-organize my finances with a planner
-plan trips abroad
-make art and publish it
-learn animation
-learn ukulele
-go to the gym everyday
-start going to acrobat school
-meditate everyday
-do Recovery Nation
-reading 4 other self help books
-read the paper/watch news/listen to podcasts to find out what is happening in the world
-have a social life and make new friends/attend events
....on top of this, I am chatting with a man I am interested in, which I'm not sure is a good idea as I am a compulsive romantic, and why I'm doing this Recovery Nation work.

....honestly, this is just too much. I cannot do all of these things at once. I am going crazy. And this is what I do all the time. And then I fail at everything, get discouraged and give up. I have to let some things go for right now. Prioritize by the things I know I absolutely have to do first.

-go to the gym. This is the only thing that is having an incredibly positive effect on my mood, self esteem and enjoyment of life. Very grounding. I am not letting this go. I will let go of acrobat school for now, but ultimately, I really want to learn to do an aerial cartwheel.

-Finances. This can no longer be ignored. I have started with a financial planner. I have to fill out some forms for him then have another meeting. I must follow through with this asap as my dreadful state of finances is eating at my self esteem, and stopping me from ever reaching my goal of owning a small home or retiring.

-Recovery Nation work. I have to finish this this time. I saw what NOT finishing it did to my life over the last 7 years. REREAD VALUES EVERYDAY AS A REMINDER/MEDITATION. EDIT AND STREAMLINE AS I PROGRESS.

-Do something creative everyday. Publishing at this point might not happen everyday. I will aim for 1x per week. That should be doable. So: drawing-> fairly straightforward. Animation->involves learning software. Ukulele->involves learning something I have no idea how to do. These 3 things are huge. I'm not sure how to tackle doing all of them at once. I don't have time to do all 3 every day when I'm working. Do one every 3rd day? How am I going to track that? That seems joyless and a horrid way to live. Is that how I have to be to get these things done tho? FOCUS.

Those will be my primary things I have to do EVERYDAY...everything else will have to fall into place as I get myself more organized.
Most of all: PRACTICE EVERYDAY. No more wasted days. No more grasshopper playing violin in the summer.

NINE
26) to achieve mastery in something: drawing, animation, ukulele.
-I must have some sort of tracking system for practice if I can't do all 3 everyday. Some sort of routine.
The problem is I hate routine (Outer Child talking). I'm going to have to suck up some routine and learn to see the benefit in it, instead of just the boredom. Tackle these with inspired action (33) not drudgery.

TEN
13) to live my life conciously, aware of what is going on in the world, actively participating in it.
18) to use my wit and humour to somehow help the world (I need to be informed, involved)
-read the paper (the Now, Exclaim, the Globe and Mail)
-listen to podcasts
-catch up on movies
-catch up on TV series I admire

-AVOID FACEBOOK
-AVOID CHATTING TOO MUCH WITH MEN OR PAYING UNDUE ATTENTION TO POSSIBLE ROMANTIC INTERESTS


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:38 pm 
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Lesson 10 Exercises:
I. Consider those lies that are still being perpetuated in your life. Who you are deceiving. Why you are deceiving them. Consider the 'risks' of coming clean. No need to do anything about these thoughts...just have an awareness of them.

[b]-I am deceiving all the people I told or tell that I am "practicing drawing" or "going to do more freelance" or learn software, or learn animation. At this point, I am very discouraged with these things and not very motivated.


II. If you are involved in a partnership, choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving them in certain areas. If the answer is yes, acknowledge that you are willing to jeopardize the future of that relationship by maintaining the deception; AND, admit to yourself that you are intentionally sabotaging your own healthy foundation by allowing such a huge crack to remain.

I did not want to initiate any romantic relationship until I was done this work, and feeling more solid and confident in my life, but as always, when you're doing better and starting to feel good about yourself and your life again, you become attractive...and so a person I REALLY don't want to pass up because I'm "not ready" has come into my life. I DID actually "end it", but then it just blossomed in a way that felt healthy again...we are at the very initial stages of anything however, so I don't feel that I should divulge my darkest secrets to him. We both travel for work so there is an enforced distance. I am attempting to do the RN work at the same time as maintaining communication with him. I DID tell him very quickly about being in therapy, being broken by a breakup, about the self-help things I'd been reading. So he's very aware I'm not perfectly "healthy" but he doesn't know the details. Unless things become more serious, I don't feel he should. What I need to do is keep focused on my life and goals (values) and not become completely enamoured and have my life revolve around him. This has destroyed every relationship I've had before, because it destroyed my relationship with myself and my own life. That is what I need to regain. And it is this, my strength, my wit, my character, that attracted him to me.

III. If you are involved in professional coaching (or outside counseling), choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving those whom you are working with. If the answer is yes, acknowledge that you are not fully commited to ending your addiction. Acknowledge that you are choosing to 'go through the motions', rather than actively pursue real change.

This isn't too tough. I've told my therapist I'm doing this work, and shown her the website. She's added other complementary excercises and books to read. The problem is having enough time to do it all!

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior. List these items and their locations in your Recovery Thread. If you are uncomfortable sharing this in the forum, email or PM the list to a Coach.

-I used to look at my ex's facebook and Instagram, and our mutual friends, then his new gf's social media.
-I used to go to his house after our breakup. I would see when he was out and then go sit on his steps.
-I prayed and went to psychics and paid 2500$ in readings over the course of a year for guidance on how to win him back. Of course it was all BS. If I had listened to my inner guidance, I would have known the only thing I could do to win him back, or at least his friendship and respect, was to regain my independence and all of the character that had made him fall madly in love with me 2 years prior. Just be myself again, and communicate with him honestly and openly if I needed to. Instead I never texted or called him when I really needed to, and instead stalked him and cried myself to sleep every night.
NEW RELATIONSHIP: the behaviours I see that destroyed the previous one and all the others...the signs of an obsessed love addict
-constantly checking messaging to see if he's messaged me.
-frequently re-reading our message threads and basking in the pleasure of the compliments, the mutual admiration, the "romance". I think this is totally normal to some extent, but I do it WAY too much. At the expense of being productive, accomplishing things ----> IT IS A CHEAP HIGH
Also: why don't I do this with message threads with friends? why are potential or real "boyfriends" so much more interesting/important?
A: I think society/culture + I brainwashed myself in my early teens to believe that this was the most important thing one could achieve. This is hardly news. Look at many girls/women. Look at magazines. Look at all the failed relationships because women become too "needy". I'm hardly unique.
-saving pics he sends me to look at when he's not with me or chatting with me. Once again, normal, but I'm doing it too much, at the expense of other things --- goals/values.
-becoming completely uninterested in anything that doesn't involve him. Having no "life" of my own. This not only makes someone completely unattracted to you, but you MISERABLE because you're not really there. It's subtle. It sneaks up on you. Took me a while to catch on to this one, and even while I am AWARE it is happening, I find it difficult to impossible to stop. So far anyway. I wonder if I just can't have a boyfriend the way an alcoholic can't have a drink.

Note: this list may be small (or empty) for some of you, as your behaviors are more fantasy/affair oriented. That is okay. For others, it may be very,very long. That is okay, too. It is important that you get a complete and accurate account of everything...no matter how long it takes to complete the inventory.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object. Post this in your thread.

-my ex
-my current interest
- a few guys in between
...I would just look at their social media, text them, flirt with them

Like the previous list, it is important to include all sources of compulsive sexual/romantic stimulation — no matter how long it may take you to complete.

VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/romantically compulsive behavior. Post this list in your thread.

- I used to go to my ex's house when I knew he wasn't there: this is over a year ago now, (I had had a key made before we broke up) and I would lie on his bed and smell his clothes and put on his sweater that I had always used to wear. I snooped. I saw he had condoms now, so I new he was sleeping with other people. I read some of his journals, and so much of it was about me. I photographed it all and saved it onto my computer. I've only re-read it a couple times. It is too painful for me to look at now. As are any photos of him, or social media. This behaviour absolutely made me lose all respect for myself. Instead of being strong, and turning back into the woman he loved, I completely caved. I am completely defeated.

[/b]


Last edited by Zsazsadarling on Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Location: UK
Hello Zsazsa
and welcome to RN

a solid start :g:
if you really do want to improve your life and to recover from your addiction then you are at a good place to make that wish reality
Commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting and reading
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness

remember to work at your own pace and its not a race indeed some consider recovery to be a journey rather than a destination

your vision


Quote:
So as a start, let's try this:
I would like to be a person who doesn't get sloppy drunk and embarrass herself, and ruins people's opinions of me.
I would like to regain my cognitive abilities that I've lost due to drinking.
I would like to have a fun, loving relationship that is free of dependency or ownership. One that doesn't take over my life, that I never lose myself again. I would like to be loved.
I would like to have meaningful friendships with the many intelligent, wonderful people who surround me.
I would like to figure out what my gifts are, and start contributing to the world again.

That is about all I got for now.


could be more positive and broader, you note that it is a work in progress but it is important
perhaps re visiting it would be worthwhile
remember the only person that can make these changes is you, so the hard work needs to come from you
looking forwards to reading your posts and wishing you all the best

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:49 pm 
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Thanks so much for the encouragement!
I know I will be revising revisiting and editing a lot as I work through this.
My "vision" of my life is no longer clear...clarifying that is part of what I hope to get from this process. Thanks so much!

ZZ


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Zsazsa
Quote:
I know I will be revising revisiting and editing a lot as I work through this.


:g:

but do not lose sight of the actual working through the lessons
consistent continuity is paramount

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:32 pm 
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Lesson 12 Exercise:
I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.


I identified with many different facets of different "types" listed in this lesson.
Interestingly, I see how I definitely used to be the first type.
I initially found this forum back in the fall of 2009, and made it through the 1st stage....and then succumbed to my romantic complusive addiction again and....then the next 6 years happened...And in the last 2 years of that I had an amazing giving partner I really could have had a future with...but the combination of my alcoholism and my addiction to being nothing but someone's girlfriend utterly destroyed it. I wasted the last 10 years of my life achieving nothing, learning nothing, and going deeply into debt. Needless to say my self esteem, self confidence and motivation to try to make my life anything more than bearable are not very strong. I'm so far lost and off track, it seems hopeless. Certainly many dreams I had will no longer be achieved. I'm 41 years old. One can never get one's youth back. But that's addressed in a previous lesson. It's time to give up on old dreams and make new ones.

The description of the 1st group REALLY applied to me 7 years ago...I no longer feel that it does, although I can definitely recognize myself in it. But I've learned my lesson from losing my husband. Not doing this work, just ISN'T going to work. The 1st type is the person I am changing out of...

1) The first group propels themselves through the first several weeks of the workshop on pure hope and enthusiasm...and as those emotions wane, they find themselves bored or frustrated that they are being asked to put forth effort...without receiving much in return. This is their perception, mind you...not the reality. But perception is all they are used to making decisions on, and so 'immediate gratification' gets the best of them, and they leave the workshop long before they ever truly commit themselves to applying any of the information.

The second group could be me, I've still only been at this for a couple months, but once again, I think living in a world without the person I wanted to be with is a constant reality check. I am sad every day about losing that chance. I am constantly thinking about what I did wrong, how my addictions destroyed someone's love for me, how I can see how my behaviours and words were intolerable for any partner to be around. So I don't think the 2nd group will be me either, but time will tell.

2) The second group act similar to the first, with the key exception being that they often return to the workshop several weeks/months later with a renewed hope and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, those feelings also die out, and they find themselves in a relapse/recovery pattern that is frequently seen in 12-Step programs. Occasionally, a small percentage will break free from this pattern, and the principles involved with a healthy recovery will attach. The majority though, will continue skipping from recovery program to recovery program over the course of many years...and perhaps forever.

Honestly, I feel I am most likely in the 3rd group, as even if I can't get to writing out my responses on the forum all the time, I am consistently thinking about how living a day without living according to my values actually now fills me with self-hatred, and how living a day according to my values makes me start to feel a little better about my life, myself. I am digesting the RN work even if I'm not actively writing. I am also working with a therapist whose excercises are very complementary to the RN work. I recently explained a little more to the person I have recently started seeing very distantly about the work I am doing here, at the risk of him being like, "uhoh. Don't want to deal with someone unhealthy" and getting out of the relationship. I realized I wanted him to know I wasn't "perfectly fine" and I also realized I would be fine with him leaving. This work is more important right now. What I need is ME. I haven't been in my life for years. I haven't even been here. So yeah. I think I might be in group 3.

3) This third group tends to work through the lessons with sincerity and passion, taking breaks every now and then to deal with "life"...but they never seem to lose that initial commitment that they have made to themselves. If a lesson doesn't make sense, or they feel as if they have not put forth their best effort, they go the extra mile to ask questions, or to return to previous exercises and update them. Their initial enthusiasm with the workshop is transitioned into a developing confidence in their recovery...and this confidence then produces the motivation to continue with the lessons. At some point, an epiphany occurs, and they realize that it is not the workshop that is changing them, but their own decisions and actions. It is at that point that recovery becomes an inevitability in their life, rather than a dream. They will have begun to focus heavily on the lessons that apply to them, and passively skim over those which don't.
Some at this stage, feel that they no longer have the need to continue with the workshop, as they are anxious to "get on with their life"...and believe that they have laid the foundation for doing just that. Others remain not because they think they have to, but because they want to continue the momentum that they have built. Both approaches can be healthy. Finishing this workshop is not critical to your recovery. It will be what you do with the information that you gain from not only here, but all available resources that will determine your fate.
People in this group will recover. Whether they continue with the workshop or not...they will find a way to overcome their addiction. And, barring any major traumatic event, will remain relatively healthy throughout the remainder of their lives.


I most definitely don't feel like I fall into group 4, of which much is made in this 12th lesson.
Frighteningly tho, although I feel most like I'm like group 3, the last two "types"- the people who relapse, are the most I see in myself. It is certainly this doomed and negative thinking, in addition to my lack of success or progress in any field that finally caused my ex husband to become disgusted with me and cut off all contact from me. I will highlight those parts that are DEFINITELY problems I have that I am struggling to overcome with this workshop.

Those Who Will Continue to Struggle With Relapse
General Behavioral Pattern: Individuals who attempt recovery yet continue to struggle with significant patterns of relapse that may last for years at a time. Often it is an "on again/off again" recovery pattern, with the "on again" phase being triggered by being caught engaging in unhealthy behavior.
Those who struggle with major relapse, tend to exhibit the following patterns:
They often feel forced into recovery (e.g. legal consequences, social expectations, treatment demands)
Their motivation for recovery comes from an attempt to appease others (e.g. to save a relationship; to deflect attention from the behaviors)
They minimize their behavior (e.g. "It's not how it seems"; "It's not that big of a deal.")
They actively prepare their environment for successful acting out by: setting a preliminary foundation for excuses/alibis; seeking out times/situations where they will be unaccountable to anyone but themselves; laying the foundation for the emotional manipulation of others who may pose a confrontational threat (e.g. their spouse), etc.
They believe that they are uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings
They believe that they have suffered so many consequences from their compulsive behavior, that it will be impossible for them to reach their lifetime goals
They believe that what they are experiencing is their fate
They are inflexible in re-evaluating their lifetime goals (e.g. "Since I have failed so far at being a professional actor, athlete, writer, etc., I can't be successful at anything." "Since I cannot be around to raise my children, I will always remain unfulfilled as a parent.")
They suspect that they will never be able to overcome their urges, and so their goals are to establish the appearance of change, rather than to pursue actual change.
They find comfort in being able to use "powerlessness" as an excuse for continuing to engage in their behavior.
Relapse triggers are seen as opportunities to act out.
They often attempt to "prove" their sincerity to others through voicing dreams, sharing words and making promises, rather than through their actions.
They find comfort in knowing that they can play the "relapse card" should they ever be caught acting out
They often experience selfish thoughts when caught acting out (e.g. "Why didn't I see this coming?" "Why didn't I cover that up better?" "Why do I cause myself so much pain?")

They tend to be experienced by significant others across the entire emotional scale. Their emotional experiences are usually presented in their extreme: from shame and embarrassment, to aloofness, to placing their partner on the highest pedestal — the relationships tends to continue shifting between extremes. Which stage is currently being experienced by others will be directly related to the person's ability to manipulate others, how many times they will have been caught in contradicting behavior, and how willing/able the significant other is to leave the relationship.

Those Who Will Occasionally Struggle with Relapse
General Behavioral Pattern: Individuals who attempt recovery yet continue to struggle with occasional mild/moderate patterns of relapse. Quite often, it is the abstinence that can last for many years, with relapse coming in binges, rather than sustained patterns. Though it is also an "on again/off again" recovery pattern, the "on again" is most frequently triggered by their own guilt and shame for returning to the behaviors, rather than being caught engaging in such behavior.
Those who find relative success in recovery over the course of many, many years, tend to exhibit the following patterns:
They often jump from addiction to addiction, and are particularly susceptible to hyper-religiosity and hyper-recovery. (THIS HAPPENED AFTER MY BREAKUP FOR THE 1st TIME IN MY LIFE)
They put out fires by refocusing on other areas of their life. When these areas involve compulsive behavior — their use of addiction to manage their lives continues.
They believe that they are suffering from a disease that is beyond their control, but not beyond all hope.
They believe that they are defective in the sense that their emotions, urges, impulses, etc. are experienced with much more intensity than "normal people". And this puts them at a disadvantage for living a "normal life".
They tend to confuse addiction recovery with general mental health issues — creating a hypersensitivity to all of the emotions that they experience. Depression, anxiety, anger — they are all tightly related to "recovery" and an imbalance in one often leads to an imbalance in the other.
They perceive "powerlessness" not as absolute powerlessness over their life, but a limited powerlessness over their urges.
They often attempt to convince others of their recovery by offering their "new identity" as proof. Again, most often seen with hyper-religiosity and hyper-recovery situations.
Relapse triggers are feared, and so their lives continue to be altered as a result of addiction.
They tend to focus on controlling past behavior, rather than learning new behavior.
They tend to see life in episodes — with beginnings and endings — rather than as a process. THIS IS THE WAY I SEE THINGS, AS THERE HAVE BEEN SOME EXTREMELY HARSH ENDINGS OF "CHAPTERS" IN MY LIFE.
They consistently measure the success of their recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction.
They often experience extreme emotions in relation to acting out — extreme guilt, extreme shame, depression, anger, hatred. Or, they experience very mild emotions — when it has become a pattern that they have resolved to accept as a part of their lives.
They tend to hyper analyze their actions, thoughts and feelings...and make the possibility of living a "normal" life all but impossible.
They continue to identify themselves with their addiction and cannot imagine a life without such an association.

Significant others tend to experience these individuals as exhausting. Capable of achieving anything they set their minds to...though unsure of what it is they will eventually settle their minds on. The relationships themselves tend to be selfish, focusing on the "addict", more so than the partnership. While love and admiration and long-term stability can still be achieved, it is often at the expense of the partner's individuality.

This was definitely my husband before things started to go truly bad. He was very supportive and encouraging for a year and a half, before he lost hope in me, and gave up.

Most of the characteristics of the 2nd type of relapse are what I see when I go to support groups, and see right through it, so I don't relate. 12 step groups seem so fake and their literature superficial and for simpletons. It's like they're not really getting to the heart of the matter. I just don't feel it. It doesn't resonate with me at all. RN is the 1st addiction recovery group that makes sense to me. That makes me face the dirty heart of what's REALLY wrong with me, what's been wrong with me since I made my first mistaken foray into dating men at far too early an age.
For a long time I'd been thinking, "oh my god, I lost 10 years of my life to alcohol".
But the far more horrible realization is that I lost almost my entire life to men. Not because they wanted me to. They were always attracted to me because I was strong, unique, interesting. [b]I
would be the one who would erase myself, become nothing but their life. And every time, they were like,"where did she go? Where did that vivacious, intelligent, confident interesting person go?". And for the life of me, even tho I KNEW it was happening, I could see the slow motion car crash in action, I have NEVER been able to remain focused on my own life when I have a boyfriend. I cannot be in love and NOT lose myself. Once again I wonder if, like an alcoholic can never have a drink again, I can never be in a romantic relationship again because I inevitably just lose myself in that person, their life, their successes, and cease all effort or interest in my own life, my friends, family, hobbies, goals.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:30 am 
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LESSON 11

Question: I've tried to do the "Initial Assessment" from the bottom of Lesson 11, but there is no submit button.

Since I couldn't do that one, I did the 2nd one "Life Assessment 2" and submitted that one. No responses to either as of yet, but for me that is not that important. I went through the exercises mentally and I feel that was very helpful in clarifying certain things and moving on to the next lesson.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:30 am 
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Lesson 13 Exercises:

Early Recovery: "Understanding/Recognizing the Behavior"

In early recovery, individuals often experience significant doubts relating to their ability to change.

-YES. Since I started failing at everything I tried, it's just snowballed. The failures get bigger and bigger and faster and faster.
In early recovery, extremely negative emotions are the norm: especially as they relate to depression, anxiety, hopelessness and suicide.
-Yes. Depression and anxiety were first, but now hopelessness and thoughts of suicide predominate as the full ramifications of what has happened to my life have settled in.
In early recovery, they often "test the waters" of recovery by attempting recovery for a few days, then acting out. Attempting recovery for a few weeks, then acting out. Attempting recovery for a few months, then acting out. A weaning behavior similar to a toddler giving up a security blanket.
-Yes, but this has happened for 10 years.
In early recovery, they tend to explore many different trigger situations to see how well they can handle themselves. To see "how far they have come". This is a behavior that is often witnessed in adolescent wound care — where the adolescent almost compulsively tears open their bandages to "check the wounds". Of course, just like with addiction, such behavior is often problematic — as it opens the individual up to additional infection. But it is a behavior that provides comfort to the adolescent — no matter what stage of healing the wound may be in.
In early recovery, they tend to experience relief in having their behaviors understood, and immediately seek understanding in all areas of their life. Unfortunately, this tends to overwhelm them, distract them, etc., but it is fairly common...and a good sign that their desire to change is sincere.

-Yes, definitely, the Recovery Nation texts have hit the nail on the head about my life constantly.
In early recovery, these individuals may be all across the board in terms of treatment, and may display many similar traits as to those in the "Those Who Will Occasionally Struggle With Relapse" category above.
-Definitely. I mentioned this in my response in Lesson 12
In early recovery, they perceive "powerlessness" as "helplessness" and "desperation".
-I don't really know about these. I just feel it's too late and am hopeless about the future. I had the thought this morning that, no matter what I do from here on out, my life is irrepairable. I am disgusted with my life. I hate it. This is not what I wanted.
In early recovery, significant others tend to experience these individuals as very needy, pathetic, "lost souls".
-I no longer have a significant other because of all this. This was certainly the way he perceived me when he broke up with me, and why he found me repulsive. I just realized this is probably the way the person I have tentatively started a relationship with is already starting to see me and it makes me want to be sick. So humiliating.

Middle Recovery : "Actual Recovery"

They have accepted that they have struggled with certain immoral behaviors that contradicted their values, but realize that what matters is what they are doing, not what they did. They realize that no successful recovery ever took place by changing the past, only by changing the present.

-My first thought was "I can't live happily with my past." I don't care about now or the future. It's all gross. Marred.
Their motivation to recover comes from the desire to live a life that they can be proud of, rather than a desire to create the illusion of a life that they can be proud of.
-My next thought is, "no matter what I do with the rest of my life, there is no way I could ever be proud of my life after what I have done." There is nothing I could do to redeem myself to myself.
They make decisions based on what they believe is the right thing to do, rather than on what they think they can get away with. They know that whether these decisions end up being the right ones or not is irrelevant. That all that matters is that they were made with the right intentions in mind.
- One of my major flaws I identified in myself, that grew bigger and bigger as I moved from a healthy growing person to an unhealthy, stagnant one is: always doing the bare minimum to get by. I used to base decisions on what I believed is the right thing to do, and I slowly became lazier and lazier and more and more immoral about holding myself to accomplishing things, or doing things I said I was going to do.
They are not focused on controlling/ending their past behavioral patterns, but on developing new patterns that will take the place of those related to the addiction.
- I don't even know what these would be. If it means being able to accomplish things in a timely manner, I honestly feel it is impossible because I am incompetent, and don't seem to be able to do things as well as other people.
They perceive "powerlessness" as a temporary term that more accurately describes their lack of skills in managing their urges.
Relapse triggers are experienced not as a threat, but an opportunity.
They recognize failure as a learning experience — but only when that failure occurs with on-the-spot sincerity, as opposed to pre-planned deception.

-My failure has become a habit, one that destroys my happiness. but it seems that, despite my efforts, I can't seem to get better at anything. And now I'm so discouraged after years of trying and failing, I don't even try anymore. I am completely outclassed and outpaced in everything I do. I don't want to try anymore. I give up.
They recognize that the feelings that they are experiencing are the same feelings that others deal with every day in many different situations. That they are not "defective", but "deficient".
- I don't take comfort in knowing other people have these feelings. I don't want to be them. Those people are failures too. I wasn't supposed to be one of them. I've never seen a recovered addict with a life I'd want as much as the people I used to know who never fucked up and embarrassed and humiliated themselves over and over again for their entire lives.
They identify their future with a healthy person that once used addiction to manage their life; not as an addict that is managing their life with healthy behavior.
-My future is over
They see their lives as a continuous process of growth and development, rather than an episodic book of starts and stops. (e.g. "When I was addicted" "After I recovered").
- I do not want to see my life this way. I would like my past to be over and move on to the next successful chapter as I did once in the past. Then I had a regression that has been the last chapter for the last 10-16 years. I want to close this chapter and move on. Seeing one's life as a constant process of progress just makes it easier to regress and slip back down
They will take a long, hard look at anything associated with their destructive past, and will voluntarily make the decision to remove these objects from their life. This refers to pornography, internet accounts, etc. It does not necessarily refer to affairs where real feelings were experienced/exchanged.
-This will not be a problem
They tend to have an emotional relapse in terms of the consequences that they have effected on others — especially those closest to them. This frequently triggers true remorse, temporary depression, temporary helplessness — but is soon resolved with a commitment to making it up to people in other, more healthy ways.
-This is already true. But I have been cut off by those I would like to make amends to which is a huge source of pain for me.
Significant others tend to experience these individuals with cautious optimism. They can see the changes taking place, but remain unable to commit to their partners fully — as they continue to doubt their own judgment (a consequence of the shocking discovery of the addiction's reality).
- this was my significant other for the 1st year and a half we were together, until he gave up and threw me away like a completely forgettable piece of garbage. He's doing great now. His life is amazing. He met someone new who is everything I ever wanted to be, and moved in with her
in less than a year of us breaking up.

Late Recovery : "From Recovery to Health"

They have complete confidence in their ability to manage their life and are moving forward with their dreams in a rational, planned manner.

-I've realized my dreams are unrealistic given time constraints. I don't even want a life of dreams that are actually attainable for me now.
They no longer avoid "trigger situations" as they have developed the skills necessary to make confident, healthy choices in just about any situation they may face.
They tend to see their past as something rather unbelievable. They are sometimes able to achieve distant emotional connections with those behaviors, but can no longer visualize a situation where the pleasure they once achieved would be worth the risk of all they would lose inside themselves. Except at this stage, those thoughts are actually felt, rather than intellectualized. They will not be able to comprehend a situation where such a risk would ever be taken.

-I've been like this before, but regressed to my present state. Falling from such a height is part of why I no longer believe I am capable of anything
They have developed the ability to produce the same emotional stimulation from value-based actions as they once derived solely from impulse-based actions.
-This I've already seen the evidence for. I just don't think I was ready to move on from impulse based actions before now.
They will have eliminated all previous connections to their recovery, except that which will be included in their ongoing plan for a continuing evaluation and assessment of their life. They will no longer associate themselves with addiction, but with health.
-This makes sense to me, although I am obviously not there yet.
Significant others tend to experience people who have made this transition with greater respect and admiration then they ever had previously for the person. Additionally, trust and closeness in the relationship will take on a very real quality. One that has never actually been present previously — only assumed. The partner's believing in the "recovery" will no longer be a matter of crossing their fingers and hoping, but of having no doubt.
-I no longer have a significant other, and he will never know if I ever do have any success in life because he wants nothing to do with me; he is so much happier without me in his life. It absolutely kills me he will never see what progress I've made. It destroys me that because I didn't do this work earlier, I destroyed someone's love for me. It came too late to save my relationship.

I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.

-I am definitely in the either the 1st Stage of Recovery or "those who will struggle with relapse" from lesson 12.

II. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If yes, wonderful. If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving/managing your recovery? Share your thoughts in the community forum.

VALUES AROUND HEALTHY PATTERNS
-I feel just as satisfied or more by values based actions over impulse based actions. Actually impulse based actions tend to no longer give me any satisfaction at all. They immediately make me feel bad.

VALUES AROUND UNHEALTHY PATTERNS
-hopelessness due to not really seeing any value in the rest of my life no matter what I do. I could end war, cure cancer, win the lottery and become a rock star and I would still rather not have lived my life. I don't really know how to change this.
When I am happy these days, I'm just pretending the past didn't happen, or forgetting it. But it's always there. The evidence of it in my life cannot always be ignored.
-all I can think today is, "it's too late, it's too late".

-I've realized my current prioritized values are unattainable/unrealistic. I am too slow at everything to achieve what I initially wanted in my life.
Needless to say this is pretty depressing, and not exactly motivating to bother with life. I can barely keep up with laundry and feeding myself. I have no time to do much more, much less get good at art or music. I don't know how other people do it.

No matter what happens the following is true:
-I can't live happily with my past. At least I will never be as happy as I was had I not fucked up so badly.
- there is nothing I could do in the present or future that would ever make me proud of my life, at least not as proud of it as I would have been if I had lived up to my obligations to myself and continued to move forward successfully in life. I will always be disgusted with and ashamed of myself. I am so disgusting.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3880
Location: UK
ZsaZsa

Quote:
-I can't live happily with my past. At least I will never be as happy as I was had I not fucked up so badly.
- there is nothing I could do in the present or future that would ever make me proud of my life, at least not as proud of it as I would have been if I had lived up to my obligations to myself and continued to move forward successfully in life.


this is probably true and applies to us all
but
and this should never be taken as an excuse
we are all human addicts are not alone in making mistakes hence it probably applies across the human race



Quote:
I will always be disgusted with and ashamed of myself. I am so disgusting.


recover and you will be proud of that achievement
recovery provides us with the tools to own our past (not swept under the carpet) and believe in ourselves

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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