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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Hi all

I hope this finds everyone well, making progress or trying to. I wanted to throw out a question about distraction and attention. Do other people find it has a link to their other addictions?

I think more about focus these days than anything else. What I think I have realised is that so much of what I called my emotional chaos had roots in my high distractability and low attention thresholds.

A lot of the most helpful reading I have done about the subject sounds very like the lessons on RN -

learn to calm down
get in the present
be aware and conscious
recognise what i am doing clearly
take action

I think some of my compulsive rituals respond UNHEALTHILY (I need to stresss) to the moments of chaos created by my mind going everywhere and focusing nowhere. They give the illusion of focus. whenI think back on my porn rituals, they were all about more distraction - not to mention all the surrounding problems that were created.

Do others face the same sort of problems, sexual or not. I guess it taps into that desire to find one more and better image, person etc. And another and another into addiction. Especially where technology is concerned.

What strategies have people used successfully?

Thanks
Shaw


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:46 am 
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Hi Shaw

Thanks for bringing this up for discussion, its one of those things that keep me entrenched in an unhealthy state which in turn affects my decision making resulting in poor choices and disastrous consequences. With the proliferation of all kinds of electronic media and devices that make it easy to have access to all kinds of good and bad things, its no wonder why there is an increase in social ills. One way or the other we all get distracted at some point but its the degree to which some of us let that go, it even get to the point of dependency. I have been at a point where i just could not find anything more interesting than chatting, i could be anything i wanted in cyberspace, i was completely disengaged from reality and much passed me by. I did not realize just how much precious time i wasted and worse still how much harm i was inflicting on my mental health. This was as you put it ...a forerunner to more sinister things.
I am not out of the woods yet but i have greatly reduced my online activities in terms of chatting, reading news or playing games. To make things interesting....(i say interesting rather than complex because complexity to some extend is borne out of our perceptions and attitudes) my work environment gives me access to all these things though there are restrictions to more hardcore stuff but the real danger is in the seemingly harmless or innocent stuff.
I use social platforms very sparingly and not for extended periods of time. if i need anything on the internet, i try to get to that and not follow links especially when i am reading news. I am trying to spend my time wisely, trying to complete my studies, try to spend time with my family, maintain a good work ethic by putting in more into my work. Basically trying to regain my focus

_________________
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.


Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.


Carl Jung


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
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Thanks Cumbersome - really useful to read your words. This caught my attention:

Quote:
I have been at a point where i just could not find anything more interesting than chatting, i could be anything i wanted in cyberspace, i was completely disengaged from reality and much passed me by. I did not realize just how much precious time i wasted and worse still how much harm i was inflicting on my mental health. This was as you put it ...a forerunner to more sinister things.


That disengagement with reality rings home. I often wouldnt just start with porn sites - my rituals tended to start with more innocenent places. I realise now this was part of the very disengagement you talk about. I could get myself into the state where any guilt or shame was put aside.

I guess what I am realising right now is that I am still left with some of those rituals. I think part of this is an inherent distractiability. but I am also aware that I allow myself to get distracted as an unhealth yway to deal with emotions. Just as once I used porn and fantasy.

It can be a site about music or soccer. Whatever. the problem as you rightly note is that it isnt real.

I remember vividly in one of the bursts of recovery that immediately followed a relapse, running outside away from my computer to literally hug a tree!!!!!!

My action plan was to get in touch with something - anything real - not to lose myself in the drift of online focus.

Thanks for your help. I realise I need a little awareness sharpening and always good to read other people's experiences.

Shaw


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:02 am
Posts: 116
I see a connection, between distractibility and addiction. My focus so far in recovery has been to a large extent focused on emotional stability and managing my time well. I feel like I can be emotionally stable but still fall into old patterns, just by getting off track and distracted.

I agree that awareness is hugely important. When I decided I wanted to become more aware of what I was doing, I started with being aware of what I was doing every 5mins through out a day, it was very eye opening, then moved to hour to hour. I found keeping a log of my time was helpful in becoming aware of what I was actually doing. That was the 1st step, then I needed to make a plan for my day and keep coming back to that plan through out the day... I've been doing this for awhile and still struggle in being consistent everyday, but I am ahead of where I was.

Exercise has been a help to overcoming distraction, something to do with flushing some not so good things out of my brain by getting my blood pumping and releasing some good things at the same time, not very scientific I know, but I just care if it works and it seems to. Sometimes just getting up and walking to get a drink of water can help if I have been sitting and focusing on one thing for a while, though it can also be a distraction :s:

All that to say distraction is a major area of focus for me and my experience so far tells me emotional stability and living a focused life are important keys to success in recovery.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:10 pm
Posts: 511
Addicition has been a big distraction from reality for me. I find now that I am better at recognising the situation when I'm getting 'off track' and I concentrate hard on just purely slowing down my thinking and that helps me a lot in all areas. I can find myself getting a bit overwhelmed at work and that leads me to seeking distractions as I feel I can't cope with what's in front of me. Even just stopping for a minute and doing some breathing exercises and regrouping my thoughts helps me and I can then get through some tasks and get back to the headspace I should be in.

I still find it hard to 'switch off' at times and relax while keeping in a healthy place - need to be better at stopping my mind working, but meditation helps that, as long as I keep practicing it! If you can maintain a good level of focus or concentration it will surprise you how more productive and effective you become and that helps with self-esteem as well, which we all need too! Keep at it.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Thanks all for the reply. It's a strange process trying to quiet your mind. Addiction I think did it a little. I remember answering the lesson in whch Jon asks, What are some benefits of addiciton, by saying it gave a focus. An unhealthy focus. But a focus.

Then I realised that the addiction itself - my obsessive use of porn - was just as distracted as anything else. I would go from image, to image to image without any sense of focus and with a kind of chaos that, I guess reflected, the emotional disturbance that was driving it.

For me, the challenge of the workshop was creating the peace I needed to concentrate on each lesson properly. To understand what was being asked of me, and to really think over my experience - with honesty and clarity.

In other words, RN helped me confront the idea of focus in the very act of doing the lessons, as well as confronting the underlying reasons for my sexual dysfunction.

Andrew WA - I think your use of the word overwhelmed is perfect. I constantly feel that sense of near-dizziness at things I have to do. Your advice is useful. I think it is all about taking a step back and away from a problem, not to avoid it - but to see it more clearly and see how to solve it.

Calming myself physically through breathing exercise is a good start to calming myself mentally.

I think we can use the same techniques when we feel an urge to act out. Get back from the emotional turbulence - both to calm yourself and to recognise and acknowledge what is happening.

D William. Your advice is great too. I like the glass of water idea. Something to break the compulsive chain and also to refresh oneself. Get into the present and get clear. Thank you.

Shaw


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