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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Monitoring 2

Daily.
My First thing to strenghten will be.
I will work on letting go of the guilt of the past.

Weekly

Question #1: Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment.

Question #2: Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go? As in, was there chronic stress/pressure I had to manage? Were there any major traumatic events? Any intense emotional events?

Question #3: Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage--how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means .

Question #4: Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard?

Question #5 How has the relationship with my girlfriend been over the past seven days? What were the good moments that produced meaning to me. Where there any stressful situations? If, how did we handle them. What have I done to help her heal? Have I initiated conversation about how she is feeling, how she is coping with the trauma, how is our relationship going.

Questions #6 What has the relationship with my family been like in last 7 days. How did I act, How did my parents act? Have I done anything to make it better? I'll just add Have I stood up for myself and demanded they treat me as an adult? Was I myself. Did I take the responsibility and make shure they didn't pressure me. Have I made shure that my partner was ok in their presence?

Question #7 Did I push myself into stressfull situations at work? How soon I found myself stressed? How did I handle it? Did I work on my diploma last week?

Question #8
How has my honesty been. Did I stay in the moment. Did I speak of my worries? My emotions. Did I speak up on what I desire? Have kept any secrets during the week?

Question #9
Have I stayed in the present. Did I just relax and enojoyed myself, by myself and with my partner.

Question #10
How responsible was I? Did I do all that needed to be done. Have I kept my agreements? Did I work on finishing colledge? If I didn't work on it now for at least an hour.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Lesson 37

Being absolutely honest to myself and others, learn about my dishonesty and how to change it
-I will be honest with my partner at all times.
-I will admit all the problems I have with myself.
-My partner or anybody else does not need to ask for information she desrves to know.
-When she asks me something I will share the full story openly
-She has the right to not accept or belive my anwser

Strenghtening the relationships I cherish
-I will try to understand how others are feeling and share sympathy
-I will not be share my thoughts and not hold resentments
-My partner has the right to leave me any time she wants
-I will not blame others for my missdoings
-I will give my partner my full attention when I am with her. Or anyone for that matter.

Getting fit
-I will work out and not just get lazy.
-I will eat as healthy as I can, allowing certain situations when I can eat what I'd like.
-I will actively spend my free time.
-I will not let myself get fat.
-I will stay in shape so I can do sports.

Absolute boundaries

-I will not do anything I can't openly share with those close to me. Especially with my partner.
-I will be fully emotionally and intelectually present at all times.
-I will always act in a way with what I want others to percive me.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:41 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Lesson 38

Being absolutely honest to myself and others, learn about my dishonesty and how to change it

A situation when this value might be threatened would be where I wuold belive the trought would cause pain in others, where my future would be in jeopardy.. It was probably the case with all my dishonesty in the past. A situation where I would feel I've done nothing wrong. Like running into porn or an ex.

Strenghtening the relationships I cherish

I could violate the boundary in a situation when I would feel that my own boundaries were violated. Like someone has hurt me. Say my partner saying hurtfull things to me. Usually I just got to my eogcentric world and start a proces of resentment. Another situation might be when someone else is making comments or suggestions on another relationship. I was really suceptive to such stuff in the past.

Getting fit

The danger would be in a setting in a vacation or extensive celebrations, where I could take a break for a while, but would then totaly fall out of rhytm and forget my focus and commitment for the future. It would also be in jepardy if I would let myself be influenced by others on how I should eat or be pressured into eating unhealthy. Diner with my parents for instance, or even friends, where I woudl want to be percived as cool.



Being absolutely honest to myself and others, learn about my dishonesty and how to change it

-I will not make judgemts of what is good for others to know, or I will not "protect" others from the truth.
-I will not shield myself by being dishonest
-I will not be afraid to share unplesant troughts.
-I will be honest with my partner at all times.
-I will admit all the problems I have with myself.
-My partner or anybody else does not need to ask for information she desrves to know.
-When she asks me something I will share the full story openly
-She has the right to not accept or belive my anwser


Strenghtening the relationships I cherish

-If my own boundaries are violated, I will try to understand others and how they are feeling, and share my boundaries in a calm and peacefull manner.
-I will not let others influence me and my relationships.
-I will try to understand how others are feeling and share sympathy
-I will not be share my thoughts and not hold resentments
-My partner has the right to leave me any time she wants
-I will not blame others for my missdoings
-I will give my partner my full attention when I am with her. Or anyone for that matter.

Getting fit

-I will not let others influence me in my eating habbits
-I will not take breaks from healthy living for extended periods, like more than a day.
-I will work out and not just get lazy.
-I will eat as healthy as I can, allowing certain situations when I can eat what I'd like.
-I will actively spend my free time.
-I will not let myself get fat.
-I will stay in shape so I can do sports.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:42 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Lesson 40

Thinking of my partner. First of all what I can can do is provide her with a safe enviroment. An enviroment without addiction, blaming and negative emotions. A honest enviroment. I can acknowledge when I realise I have crossed her boundaries, appologize and find and accept the solution or consequences. I can aske her of her boundaries for certain cituations that might arrise. I try to understand her boundaries, what they mean to her and importantly not try to influence them. I can look for solutions on how not to cross them and what the cosequnces of crossing them might be.

2. Tell her that I belive I have crossed her boundary. Try to understand why, without blaming anyone else. Appologize. Try to make amends and accept the consequnces. Look for a way that it will not happen again. Work with her to posibly redifine the boundary.

3. First of all understand I have crossed a boundary. Understand if I have been aware of the boundary. Understand why I have crossed it. Appologize. Accept her consequnces. Ask her more about the boundary. Find a way so it will not happen again. Talk to her about similar situations where I might cross


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:47 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Hi On the Road

I read over your thread. It sounds like you are mainly doing well, though with some bursts where you describe yourself as out of control emotionally - especially in relation to your partner and issues about your past. The great thing about this thread is identifying the areas that can be a trigger - describing them - and formulating plans to deal with them.

I admired your frankness in detailing your negative ritual with your wife. These things are very hard to do - but the more clearly you see your action, the more honestly you take responsibility for them, the better your chances of making a full and lasting recovery.

Some observations. I thought the review of your childhood and parents was positive in that you connected those experiences to the ways you created ritualistic patterns, both sexual and secretive. Control is one thread througout your posts. We all do this - impose a story that WE LIKE on reality. Of course, this may have only the slightest connection to that reality. But the desire to order and structure the world and its people according to our needs and desires can be strong. It is also dangerous, as you know yourself.

This seems to be at the heart of the ritual you describe with your wife. You are right. It was dangerous, even bordering on abuse - about control, power, fantasy and your own sexual needs regardless of where she was.

You did a great job inworking through it - connecting it to other rituals. The use of marajuana and booze., This is not a judgment - just realise how your compulsive nature expresses itself in many ways - that can work togehter.

The trick for you is to descibe this underlying compulsive nature. What role does it serve? When are you most vulbnerable to it? Observe it - learn to recognise it. Begin to refuse and replace it.

So this explains this post for instance:
Quote:
Well just some quick thoughs about some compulsive practices in the past days. I think the most terrible thing was worying about the past, stressing myself. Just the other day I had some dreams and I felt terribly guilty about it and I just couldn't let it go. I was so nervous and I just failed to deal with it in a healthy way. I ended up compulsively smoking. One other thing I obseverd in myself lately was compulsively reading stuff on the internet, like blogs and stuff. Just going trough everything pointlessly.


Also, look at your use of control and self-empowerment through fantasy. We are inour fantasies. It is not just about hot chicks - we are attractive, we are cool,we are desirable. We are in control. Only this is an illusion - in our heads not our lives. EG

Quote:
At some point in my late teens I finally fetl powerfull enough to speak with strangers.. So enter the girls. I felt like I needed to have sex, to make myself feel normal.


Here is the classic cycle. We create a fantasy to soothe and empower - then it becomes normalised through repetiton and habit.

Identify these chains and rituals - also video games. Be ruthless at breaking them as early as you can. Work on awarness of what you are doing and feeling. Also have a clear response: Take a break - Walk - Get some peace and quiet. Calm and think,

These rituals always address short-term problems. Look at your post about weight loss. This is a classic compulsive's response about control but also short termism. So we diet for a while. LOse some weight. KLook and feel better without creating a long-term solution to our underlying problem. In other words, we tend to put weight back on. We starve oursleves, rather than organise healthy exercise and good nutrition - we dont engrain into our lives.

Work on active changes in behaviour./ This is a practical way to teach us the nature of a value. It is hard to know about honesty. So be honest and then consider what it meant to you.

This also goes for another part of your thread - emotional detachment. This is very common here. We have chosen the ritual over sitting with our emotions. The ritual displaces and distracts from emotion and empathy. It is hard thought to just attach or to empathise. This needs work and practice - it wont just happen. We have spent top long detached form the world and those closest to us.

Make an action plan to practice listening. To spend time concentrating on anything at all. Get in touch the world. Dont listen to an ipod. Switch off the TV. Sit with yourself in silence. Engage with your thougthts and feelings.

I dont mean this to be a hippie thing. |Just learn to engage directly.

This is a good way to deal with feeling out of control. If you do so, it is because you are doing nothing to stop the rush of feeling. Of course emotion is strong, but you can learn to respond. You are an active, autonomous person. /they are your emotions.

Quote:
Yesterday was really tough. For both of us. We were both really sad for loosing everything and it was our aniversary on top of it all. I guess I was just depressed all the time. I heard her crying in the other room, and I started thinking of her how she is feeling, how she's put everything in the relationship and lost it all, it made me even sadder. I went to talk to her and tried to showe her some empathy.We calmed down and just started to watch some tv, it was pretty good, but I got nervous and afraid that I wont start doing it again... And did it at points..


Good. Get to a calm, quiet place. Dont let your emotions push you about - no matter how strong. Create an environment in which you can observe and define them. Whay are you feeling out of control? What can you do to calm yourself.?

Awareness, recognitoon and response. Dont fear the worst - prepare for the best. Of course you must acknowledge the hurt you have caused. But dont be defined by this. You cant change the past, but ytou can change your future.

On this note. I think you can define some of your boundaries a little more. They are the one place you can say what YOU WILL NOT DO. Draw a line between a healthy and an unhealthy self. recognise what dishonesty will cost you and refuse to cross that line.

Also, recognise your partner has her boundaries to protect herself as your boundaries protect you. You may not understand them - but respect them.

Your relationship is central to you from the looks of things. Good. Make time to talk. Make rules if you need to. Communicate. Collaborate on how you are doing in your life. This is one way to learn empathy.

I have written too much. You are doing well. Your posts are raw, honest (I hope) and you combine admission of being out of control with good analysis.

Go deeper into the areas that trouble you. Make plans. Get discipline to counteract the feeling of being out of control.

Good work. Keep going. I will check back.

Shaw


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:56 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Hi Shaw,

All I can say whoa. Thanks for the reply. I am kinda tired from work right now and I can't really graps all that you have said. I am going to come back tomorow and reply a bit more. How I am really doing? I have ups and downs. The good things are that I don't really have triggers of compulsivity or something like it. I am able to enjoy myself without the need for some sort of intense stimulation like sex or drugs. It seems that in the past I always wanted more and more of everything. I am learning to take the best from the now and really enojoy it. I can say I understand myself and my thnking better.
The bad. At times I just seem to forget where I am, my responsibilities, the consequnces of my actions. Like not doing things when and how I say a will, like going to the bank on time. I am having problems with relaxing. Lately I was just worrying all the time, if my thoughts are ok, if there is sometihing from the past to haunt me still, just looking for negative aspects of everything. I ended up feeling awfull all the time. And these are things I have talked over and over with the missis. I am making progress. In the past days I am feeling better and letting go. I think I got caught up in over examing my past and my thoughts. Also coupled up with just a negative view of everything I have ever done.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:14 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Exercise 44

a. My core indentity will help me make descisions that I can be proud of. It will help me guide my life in a way I see myself now and in the future. It will remind me to who I am and who I want to be. It will help me proud of myself and It will help me accept myself. It will help me be true to others around me.
b. Good descisions will help me strenghten my connection with my core identity. They will help me evolve my core, so I can be proud of myself more and more. They will also help me accept myself. I will show myself I can do good in life and that I am not a bad person, and that others can see me as a good person.
c. Right now I try to connect myself as much as I can, especiallly in stressfull situations. I try to stay calm, understand myself, my emotions and the emotions of others. Still at time I expirience so much guilt and hatred for myself. I just go to a really awfull mood and spread discomfort to everyone around me. I tell myself that I am no good and noone will love me. Really need to try and accept myself and see some good.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:52 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Lesson 53.
a. Unhealthy mastrubation would be something I would do to avoid stress, to avoid my problems. If I would to fantasize of porn, other women or even my partner in unapropriate ways. Heck if I were to do anything I would be ashamed to admit to anyone or at least to my partner. Any situation I would desire to keep a secret at least from my partner. Anything I would expect to feel shame about later.

Feeling relaxed, expressing love to my self. Not thinking about the past or any sexul images. A situation my parntner would be aware and ok with. The problem is that I don't think she would accept anything at this moment. Plus she would never accept me mastrubating if I have thought of my past acting out, some other women or anything like that, wich is happening all the time to me right now as I am constantly thinking of what to get away from.

B. I really want to get away from constantly thinking about all of my past sexuality. But the value conflicts were something like what I can get fom myself and not hurt others, if they never know. Sleeping with my friends exes or hiting on them, acting out and not telling my partner when I knew I would hurt her. Watching types of porn that I just knew were wrong and abusive. Touching my ex while she slept. I knew those things were wrong to me, but I was still looking for addictive gratification.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:07 am 
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Posts: 168
Lesson 54

Negative effects of healthy descions. I told my partner about some problems I was having or. events in the past I have not shared before. She was mad at me, we didn't have a nice time together, she resented me, she used the information as a "weapon" in future arguments, as was percived as even worse.

Positive effects of unhealthy descions. I got really drunk at a party. It made me feel like one of the guys. I percived to be gaining respect from others while drinking. It made me feel like I am strong, like I have nothing to fear, it helped me deal with my anxiety in social situations.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:01 am 
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Posts: 168
Had a big slip or even relapse with fantasy last week.
I had a problem with fearing invasive thoughts, about all sorts of things, past, other women porn etc. To get away from it I saw an option to think about my partner and sexuality I desire with her. I have gotten really carried away and was fantasizing all the time, started to think about stuff that was inapropriate, I was arousing myself with thoughts, even to a point of orgasm. I was doing it at wrong times, like working from home, while driving. And at a time she was mad at me. We were mostly in a situation of splitting up and I already saw myself mastrubating in the future and had thoughts like it's ok to explore my sexuality after abstinence.

Heck I knew I didn't want to go back to addiction as I was in, but I rationalized it that it was ok for me have some sort of sexuality and what was acceptable to me. I started to feel that I was off and getting somewhere unhealthy but I had a hard time stopping.

So. Why was it wrong? Firstly I was avoiding my problems. I was using it to escape reality. I was doing it to make myself feel better. I chose it over reall connection with my partner. I making her be someone she is not, at least not now, seeing her in unapropriate ways, ignoring her current feelings, thoughts. I was withdrawing to myself instead of looking for connection. I was infringing on time I should be doing something else, like working. I was endangering myself and others while driving as I was not comepletly present.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:24 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Hey onTheRoad,

Sorry to hear about your struggles. I can see a couple of areas that could require attention.

Quote:
I had a problem with fearing invasive thoughts, about all sorts of things, past, other women porn etc.


First off, why are you fearing invasive thoughts? I struggled with this as well...mostly due to the ingrained idea that if I had a thought, I would need to act on it. But with more experience (and my meditation practice), I've realized that thoughts are just thoughts. Even if you have terrible or invasive thoughts, they are just thoughts...they will pass. But if you fear them...this causes an emotional imbalance...which causes more fear, which causes more emotional imbalance, which leads you to balance yourself with compulsive behaviours. This is why you need awareness (and a plan) to head this off before the spiral starts, and also to work on your thinking long-term (which for me I've done through meditation).

Quote:
To get away from it I saw an option to think about my partner and sexuality I desire with her.


I can see your thinking here, but honestly, at this point when you're still struggling, I wouldn't suggest doing this (even though I can see the intent is healthy). It's clear you're still not firm enough in your identity and boundaries to be able to do this. When you're getting those invasive thoughts...you're already going to be emotionally compromised. So to think of sex at this point, even with your partner, it will probably just cause you to spiral more (as you said here). Stop your thinking, and engage in some other healthy activity.

As you said, you were doing this for escape. Hopefully you connected that your partner was mad at you at the time. Obviously, this doesn't make her responsible for your behaviour, but it undoubtedly contributed to your stress.

Anyways, take responsibility, learn from it, come up with a plan for next time. And assess yourself in terms of values, vision, and action plans.

Boundless

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:28 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 168
Thanks for the reply.

I don't fear I will act out on any kind of thoughts. At least not like I did in the past. But I do have a problem. And it's that my partner stated that she does not want to be near me if I have such thoughts, and that she doesn't get anything from me but crumbs. We had numerous fights becouse of it. But it didn't help me becouse I wanted to kill any kind of thought before it happened, or if it happened, I felt miserable becouse of it, lost emotional stability and obssesed with negative thoughts even more.

Yeah, it wasn't healthy I know. I am examining thoughts trough my values now, and looking for other ways to let go..


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Hi onTheRoad,

Quote:
And it's that my partner stated that she does not want to be near me if I have such thoughts, and that she doesn't get anything from me but crumbs. We had numerous fights becouse of it. But it didn't help me becouse I wanted to kill any kind of thought before it happened, or if it happened, I felt miserable becouse of it, lost emotional stability and obssesed with negative thoughts even more.


This is a serious obstacle...and one that will require your partner to change her mindset as well, if your relationship is to survive. Not regarding the "crumbs" part, but regarding the thoughts. I am unsure if she is working on the Partners' workshop (though if not, it could be something to suggest to her, as it will help her a lot), but she may even just benefit from posting about this on the Partners' forum and getting advice from other partners.

To have a boundary that you can never have such thoughts, or that she doesn't want to be near you if you do, is not realistic. Obviously, you shouldn't be trying to have these thoughts...but I don't think that's the issue here. To have them pop up occasionally in recovery, is standard, and it is up to you to develop the skills to respond to them in healthy ways. There is a difference between these thoughts popping up and you handling them, and indulging in them. I'm sure the difference is clear. But to never have sexual thoughts again is not possible, and will keep you in a state of panic and fear. Since every time you have such a thought, you will be gripped by anxiety, it is difficult to make progress even if you are completely sincere. You will both have to work on clearing this impasse together, as it can threaten both your individual recoveries, as well as your relationship.

And, just to be clear, I'm not saying your partner is to blame for this, she's not. She's entitled to her feelings. It's really just a difficulty that can come with the complexity and dynamics of recovering in a relationship. If your shared goal is to recover your relationship, you will have to work together. So it will take both your efforts and occasional changes in perspective and approach.

Anyways, I would suggest talking to her about this, and (if you haven't already done so), suggesting that she work on the Partners' workshop (for her own benefit) and/or post about this issue (since it seems to be a major one) in the Partners' forum. Or, she may benefit from speaking with a Partners' coach, which I could help facilitate.

Hope that helps.

Boundless

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Posts: 168
Hi. Thanks for the support again. I have to clarify some stuff up. We had a major fight and broke up, becouse of the same thing. The first thing I should say is that she told me I was lying about it on RN to make myself look like the victim and her like she is crazy. She said it was ok for me to have a tought about something stupid but not obsess about it. I was my misunderstanding that it was comepletly not ok for me to have any such toughts. The proces was the same for me. And yeah I was able to drop it if I forgot about it in a second, if I dragged it just a bit too long a started to worry about it. Thinking I have a problem with a tought and I should think about it. I mean I was perfectly ok with sharing everything, but she did see the addict in me when I was obsessing. The longer I thought about it the more I felt like I shouldn't do it, like I crossed a line that was just too far, the more I thought about it and I just spiraled out.
I felt out of control, like I didn't know how to manage my toughts effectively, wich is true. What can I say. She said it was just addict talk. I don't know how to handle it.
Again she told me stuff was triggering for her to and she is able to drop it, and would appreciate my support for her, like she was giving me. And she did gave me a lot of support. Today I just messed it up and blamed her for my obssessing said I can't help myself. I messed up hugely at least relationship wise.
I just need to calm myself down now and make it on my own.
She will probably be ok. She did finish her side of RN, and she is doing other workshops.


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 Post subject: Re: on the road thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Posts: 168
Just to share some stuff. I had another slip last week. I had a really big fight with my gf and we split up for some days. I felm miserable, sad and angry at the same time. The next day I woke up and I think I suppressed my emotions and I felt like I just don't care. I can make it on my own. I ended up masturbating. I didn't really plan to but it was inevitable as I eased myself into it. I even had fantasies in the past days of masturbing in a "healthy" way. But I know it was just an excuse for me. I wasn't aware of the sexual ritual at the time, but I know I was just full of excuses. I looked at my values at the time, but ti was just to justify what I was doing. I was thinking that I need/should learn about healthier sexuality/masturbation, but I never looked for reasons why it might be unhealthy. The elicted emotions lasted for about an hour as I felt like I expirienced something positive. At first I didn't want to evaluate the consequnces, but after a talk with my girlfirend, where I told her about it, I did see that, I was just running away from negative emotions, that I was slipping back to unhealthy behaviour, that I really let her down, that I was just shutting myself down, I expirienced guilt, lack of energy. I felt guilty for the next couple of days, I still feel bad, for how she might feel and the loss of respect from her.
We later made up, and had some nice times together. Was just reading lesson 55 and I thought I could share.


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