Recovery Nation

Arete Recovery Thread
Page 4 of 4

Author:  anon523 [ Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

can emotions be managed or just experienced? What a great question.

If emotions can be managed and not just experienced, my intense emotions can be the result of the way that I am choosing to live my life and not just "how I am". Wow, this is something I need to think a little more about.

Arete, you just leveled up ;) Are you, the true Arete, your thoughts? Are you, the true Arete, your emotions? Or are your thoughts and emotions separate from you?

When we change our response to emotions from "I am stressed," to, "I am feeling stressed," we gain choice. We choose to act on what we are feeling, instead of acting out because, "that's who I am".

I argue that we are our core identity, values, and boundaries around those values. We are not our emotions and don't always have to believe what our emotions may be telling us! And therefore we can choose to manage them. You'll learn more about this in Lesson 44... so stay the course and job well done.

Be Well,


Author:  Arete [ Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

Hi Anon523,

Thanks so much for your feedback and encouragement! I really appreciated your comments and they gave me a sense that I am on the right track. I feel that what I am learning about emotions is challenging me in a good way and I agree with what you said. I am not my emotions and that the realisation of this can lead to a freedom - a freedom to make choices in my life not based on emotions but on character, who I want to be and what I value. Not easy stuff, especially since I am so used to getting lost in my emotions.

Lesson 31:

Just looking at my last week and some of the stressors that I had, I had the following:

1. I am in the process of making an application for a visa and it is complicated! Mild.
2. I have constant work deadlines that I have to achieve each week. Moderate.
3. I have one major project deadline that is looming. Severe.
4. I had to work last week with a colleague that I don't at all get along with. Moderate.
5. I had some concerns over the status of some friendships in my life. Moderate.
6. I had to prepare for the start of a new project with new people that I did not know. Moderate.
7. I had litterally no free space in my entire week last week. Moderate.
8. Finding time for writing poetry. Mild.

Just looking at these stressors and whether they contribute towards my top 15 values. Firstly, it was interesting. Initially, I did not list N° 9 because I don't see something that I find rewarding a stressor. Finding time to write poetry is me being creative and it is a joy to do for me. I do not see it as stress. But I suppose this gets to the very heart of what immediate gratification is all about. If I only build up my values when it suits me, or when I am free or when I feel like it or when it feels fun, then immediate gratification rules my life and not values really. I do work in my week, since starting Recovery Nation, towards building up my vision and values and I do my daily monitoring. And it is true, some of the things that I do to build up values do take work. But to see this as a stressor in a healthy way, that is, something that takes work and that can be at times hard work, is a transition that I think I am still making. What it interesting is that the work that I do, I do value. But I would say that about only 20 percent of my stressors go towards building up my top 15 values. Not great to realise.

Finally, where am I gettiing my meaning and stimulation from? It is true, I do get some meaning and stimulation from my work. But just looking at the picture emerging from my week, I place too much emphasis on my work and not enough emphasis on value based activities. I am feeling a call to rebalance my life even more towards those values that I have identified.

Author:  Arete [ Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

Lesson 32:

Having a look at my proactive action plans. With daily monitoring, I have begun to deepen some of my values quite substantially. I have focussed on 10 of my 15 top values and have made progress in the majority of them. One of the things that I have had some difficulty with is the value of taking care of myself so that I can be at my best for others and for God. All of the things that I have listed in my proactive action plan I have neglected. I think the things that I listed in this value are still good, so I do not think I need to change them. But especially reading the material for this lesson, I want to try to implement my ideas.

Some of the things that I listed in my action plans involve relationships and these are always fluctuating and changing. I have already responded to this in my daily monitoring by changing some of the things that I am aiming for, to take into account these fluctuating relationships and the changes have been good. The value of flexibility has turned into quite a value for me. I have started to pay attention to how I am interacting with others and trying to be more present to them, throwing away ideas for my day if I enter into a good conversation with someone. This is huge for me. I realise that my plans for the day may or may not actually be deepening who I want to be, whereas actually I want to have deeper interactions with others.

After reading through my action plans, I realise that, with daily monitoring, I am not doing too badly in terms of developing values. But I still need to put into practice some of the great ideas that I have had. I think I will try to update my daily monitoring to better reflect these plans.

Author:  Arete [ Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

Lesson 33:

I really liked this lesson. It was challenging and I think I still have some questions about it. But I did find it enlightening. Just giving some perceptions of my emotions during this week. I have really tried to be attentive to my emotional experiences during the week. The beginning of the week was better for me, because I had a lot of stress and I had lots of opportunity to have a look at the extremes of my emotions. And some of my insights were the following: I noticed a difference between so called peak intensities and duration of emotions. That is, I had numerous 'ups and downs' during the week, but while all the ups and downs registered on the same level of intensity, more or less, some peak emotions lasted longer than others. I asked myself whether we have to measure emotional impact not only by intensity but also by duration? If so, duration is not finite and can last prlonged periods of time. I also noted that there is a difference between peak emotions themselves and anticipating these emotions. So, for example, an experience can be stressful, but the anticipation of an experience can also have its own type of stress, which may be different from the peak emotion itself. Finally, I noted that peak emotional experiences can not only have an impact on my emotional life, but also my body. During some peak emotional experiences, my breathing changed and some stress during the week impacted my stomach, for example. Being more conscious than usual this week allowed me to see this.

I really got a lot out of just looking at my emotiions this week. I still have not quite worked out the impact of an emotion in terms of its intensity or its duration, but the main insight of this lesson strikes me. Even if I believe that my emotions can be intense, they are always intense in the same kind of way. My peak emotions always peak at the same level. I caught myself thinking of an image to try to understand this. The image I thought of was a beach with its own particular weather patterns and tide etc. So, while a certain beach may have stronger ocean currents than other beaches, its weather patterns are predictable over time. Sometimes it is a windy day and the peaks of the waves may be high. But their height on a very windy day is predictable. When the weather is a bit calmer, the waves return to their 'normal height'. I found this image helpful during the week. To think of the weather on the beach of Arete and to see whether it was a windy day or a sunny one. Ultimately, if you know a certain beach, you will know its normal weather patterns and you can plan for them if you are going to visit the beach. In the same way, my emotions are regular as a beach would be. Sometimes my emotions are strong, and sometimes not. But if they are strong, they are only strong in the way that we can anticipate. Therefore, I can learn to deal with my emotions as I would watching the weather patterns on a known beach. So, I suppose the whole point of lesson 33 is to get to know our beach.

Author:  Arete [ Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

Lesson 34:

I have been absent for the last three weeks because life just seemed to come at me with a whole lot of stress and deadlines and overwhelming stuff. So, I am sorry I have been absent but I want to start my regular input again.

So, instant gratification comes up again as an important element in the workshop. I have realised that instant gratification is so prevalent in my life, to identify one instance is quite difficult. Pretty much every time I have gone online are times when I have given in to instant gratification. I need release NOW. I suppose the one thing that is driven almost exclusively by the instant gratification principle is the way that I shop, especially for stuff like kindle books. Kindle is wonderful and I really love it. It has made finding and buying books so easy. But do I actually read the stuff that I buy on Kindle? I usually surf the web, find a book that I think I would love to have, buy it easily on kindle, read one chapter, then stop. And I have not just done this once. I have done this mnay, many times. Shopping like this is just about immediate gratification. I want that book now, because it makes me feel better now.

The anxiety experienced when I am trying not to act out? So, I experince the desire to act out and then I resist. There is an internal struggle between what I know I should be doing and what I want to do. I see in my mind the stuff that I could be looking at and I get excited. Then I think about the things that I should be doing to resist: ie, going for a walk or closing my laptop or whatsapping a friend to tell them I am in trouble. This space is certainly uncomfortable and stressful. How does it relate to other kinds of stress? To be honest, it is not as stressful as when I need to do public speaking! Or have to write an exam. That is really gripping stress. Saying no to something nice is very different to having to do something really stressful. I would say that the real stress and anxiety comes after acting out online. The kind of stress in acknowledging that I have lived in conflict with who I am, with my values, is much more stressful.

Finally, the experience of engaging in a compulsive ritual. Definitely a trance-like feeling. A stopping of intense feelings. All that I experience is a heightened level of excitement and a numbness that comes with that. It feels like a giving up of a fight or letting go of a struggle. I suppose this is what makes it so attractive. The prospect of spending hours in that state of dream-like suspension where I do not have to feel so intensely the struggles of my life. Who wouldn't want that? But as I have said, the real stress comes after, when I realise that how I have lived is not in line with my value system. It is the extreme difference between the two states, before and after, that make going online so dramatic. It is so good and then it is so bad.

Author:  Kenzo [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

remember posting
I am sorry I have been absent but I want to start my regular input again.

well it has been a while :pe:

What do you have to lose?
What can you gain actually living in health?
It really is a no-brainer

Author:  Arete [ Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

Hi Kenzo,

Thanks so much for your message! It has been a while since my last posting and I really appreciate you following up on me and how I am doing. I had a pretty rough ending to my year last year. I arrived at the end of the year really exhausted and over the Christmas break, I took time to relax and to have a look at the year that had past. I realised that I had been trying to do too much. I am on a study programme which is quite demanding and it is not in my native language, so my context at the moment is quite demanding. With that, I realised that, while this programme is really awesome and I have learnt so much up till now, I am not sure I have the capacity at the moment to do justice to it. This may be because I am spending too much time on the lessons, but I am finishing up my studies and this is my final 6 months. So, bearing in mind what many would so about addicts resisting change, I have decided to put this programme on pause for now.

I really want to thank you, and also everyone who has been reading my posts, for your support and help so far on my journey. I want to say that I hugely admire your courage in tackling some pretty intense and intimate stuff. Not easy to do! Thanks to all the coaches who have taken the time with me. I really appreciate it.

Courage and strength to all of you for your own journeys!



Author:  Kenzo [ Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arete Recovery Thread

Hi A
I have decided to put this programme on pause for now.

fair enough, your life your priorities hence your choice

I do hope however that putting the programme on hold means just that and that you do continue to live healthier than you chose to do at the outset
change in inevitable so please do be aware of the temptation to regress, perhaps "just one more time "
" what harm can come from it?"
"for old times sake"

Good luck with your studies and see you in July

Page 4 of 4 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group