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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:21 pm 
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Andrew
Quote:
Just face it, be honest and deal with it.


and that my friend is the way of recovery
:g:

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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 Sep 28, 2016 1:48 pm 
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Well I survived last night - only a little battered metaphorically...

Whilst in the shower this morning it struck me that I am really carrying a lot of guilt around with me, for my past behaviour, for the way I failed in recovery to date and for what I might do in the future even. I feel anxious and guilty if I have time off unsupervised, if I spend money on myself, if I sit for a while without doing anything in particular when I could be doing recovery work, reading or typing, or doing some household task and more areas I am sure if I think about it for a while.

I realise that this guilt that I am still carrying (and that I get strongly reminded of at times like last night's discussion) breeds a certain amount of resentment and tension inside me that I find hard to alleviate. I can if i work at it, distract myself by concentrating on a task or tell myself to worry about it in half an hour or something like that, but I would much rather deal with it more effectively and quickly. Just being in the negative situation drags me back from proper recovery and at times I feel I am merely going through the motions of life and not really taking part as I don't think I deserve to.

I can't stop my wife ever bringing up my behavour ever again, so I need to be more effective in dealing with this. I read the comments in Lesson 70 about guilt and how they are a warning sign and show that your values are being threatened. I agree with that, I'm just trying to work out the best way for me to deal with them. I can never lose the guilt of my past, it is part of me, part of my makeup and will be around me in some form for the rest of my life. It drives my behaviour at times, especially when I'm out with my wife somewhere and I need to not only do my best but be seen to be doing my best as well. There can't be any 'slip ups' in terms of objectification or similar and I know that and feel guilty about my past and how it's coloured my present and she is feeling tense and on edge and looking for signs of behaviour that she can pounce upon as an example of my failure. Not a happy scenario when I spell it out like that! It's a wonder we get out anywhere at all with all that undercurrent of tension, guilt and shame going on. So, in reality it's not all like that, but there are certainkly times when it is like that and this can make or break an outing. We are getting better at dealing with the above scenario, but I would very much like to remove the tension, guilt and shame from my side of the equation so that will help my wife's side of the equation along the way. I can't cure her, all I can do is look after my side of the street to the best of my ability.

Thinking back, I've had some comments in the past about seeming to be motivated primarily by fear, which I have accepted, but in some ways a large percentage of that feeling is, I think, guilt.

I guess as a starting point I need to recognise the guilt and acknowledge it as soon as I can and then understand what a proportional amount of emotional 'value' I can attach to the feeling. Also acknowledging that I can't change the past now and while I can feel proportionally guilty about it, the best thing I can do is not make the same mistake again as that action will only magnify the problem.

I certainly need to do something to break the cycle I seem to be in and get back to the warm, sunlit uplands of life :g:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:54 pm 
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Still thinking about guilt and how I can best work through it and while not removing it from my life, using it in a more positive, proactive way somehow. I need to do some thinking and reading about this. I know that some of my reading has talked about guilt and shame and I need to track down those books again and reread the sections. I had some pressured, triggering moments today when I could have easily gone back into the addiction, but I kept up the internal dialogue, kept up the self coaching and discussion and got through the day. I remembers the comments about triggers just being internal emotional reactions and I do not need to do anything in response to them. They are only triggers in terms of how I react and respond and I have the control and choice on that score.

Overall it was a bit hassled, but I was happy and relieved to get through the day safely and without any drama in terms of addiction. I need to celebrate that at the very least!

I really need to work through this as until I do I'm rather caught in a 'holding pattern' and it's as if I can't move forward as I'm held back by a giant elastic band of guilt that I can't overcome. I need to be careful to not use this as any sort of excuse of my actions and behaviour any more either as I know I have justified things to myself in the past on that basis. Plenty to be getting on with!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:09 am 
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Doing some more reading about the place and reminding myself of the difference between guilt and shame and how they can cause different reactions and responses. While guilt can motivate me into trying to do better, shame holds me back and tells me I have little worth and value, so perhaps my current problem is more wrapped up in shame rather than guilt. I do have guilt and do feel it regaularly I know - from when I eat something I shouldn't, through to spending money on myself up to acting out in some way. The shame of my past behaviour is more overwhelming and difficult to deal with.

I can do abstinence now, I know I can as I have done in the past, it's just getting away from the shame, the worthless, low self esteem/self confidence feelings and growing out of that situtaion that I battle with. I know I have 'reinfected' myself way too many times and caused this problem myself, so I have to take responsibility for that and now start to look at the ways I can grow and be more positive about myself and my life. I am improving, I know. I am more confident in my judgement at work and when I feel anxious or unsure I'm better at seeking out ways to deal with it, from asking questions through to calming myself and double checking what I am doing and saying, but I realise it's going to be a long, slow process. I can help that process along by not acting out though and making that clean break, that clear choice, as things only go backwards when that happens...despite what lies I tell myself!

Now to get back to reality and life and enjoy the weekend!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:57 pm 
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I had a pretty relaxed and calm weekend overall, but it did leave me a bit unmotivated yesterday and then I felt a bit guilty and unsettled about 'slacking off' so then I feel more anxious and start to pressure myself, so I need to get the balance better internally. If I laze around too much just watching TV or similar, I then feel more unmotivated, more deserving and more selfish, so I know that I need to handle that sort of situation better. It was exacerbated by my wife having to go to work to finish off a project, so I didn't have her around as a motivating factor to get up off my backside. That sort of situaiton and mindset can too easily lead me down the wrong path, so it's a warning note for me to think about what I'm doing and how I'm thinking and acting. Need to make sure I look after myself in terms of not being harsh on myself and giving myself rest and relaxation time, but there needs to be a realistic balance and a level of self-motivation to achieve things along the way.

I guess I look at some of the more long term tasks that I need to do and sometimes I find that a bit overwhelming so I retreat from them a little. I know that there are some tasks that I can peck away at, slowly making progress on them, so that's a better approach to take rather than running away and hiding from them! Part of dealing with the reality of life rather than living in any sort of fantasy world I suppose :w:

I'm certainly a lot better in so many areas of my life than I was, but I still do find it hard to just sit with myself and do nothing for a while without it causing me any problem or emotional stress. More meditation will help there, so that's a message for me too. I know what to do, I know all the technical actions I should take and the choices I should make, but I seem to either to be slow to implement them at times or even contrary enough to not want to implement them!

So, celebrate my improvements and achievements over the last four+ years and use that as encouragement to keep improving! It's a little tense at home over the last few days as my wife doesn't want me to sleep in same bed as her. That always unsettles me and knocks my sleep patterns around, which does not help, but we are getting along well and I hope that if I keep demonstrating improvement and commitment to recovery and sobriety that our physical situation will improve as well. Whenever I am tempted/triggered/conflicted I just need to remember what I want in terms of the future and what is important to me and have that internal dialogue and I can handle it better.

I do sometimes wonder what I think the porn or acting out will do for me. What value to I derive from the behaviour, or even just taking a sneak look at something for the illicit 'thrill'. Why do I need this, or more accurately, why does my mind think I need this? Even today I had my mind start to wander into fantasy and then I stopped myself just by asking myself why? What is in it for me? Being able to intervene in that sort of situation is a healthy, positive thing for me and important for me to maintain. Always be prepared to question my thoughts and immediate reactions to situations.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Wednesday night and a chance to sit down and talk with my wife finally after some days of planning to do so and then life in it's various forms getting in the way. I'm always trying to improve my communications and this is part of the process. So often I seem to start explaining things or putting across my point of view and she misinterprets it and it ends up annoying and/or upsetting her, so it's good to have a calm, quiet rational discussion and to try and get my idea across to her in a way that cannot be misinterpreted. There is so many times when I end up being unsure about what to say and how to say it and I tie myself up in knots about it and end up not communicating properly, or maybe at all which is worse! You would think after so many years together that we would understand each other well - and in some areas we do - but in talking about emotions and feelings and explaining myself to her we seem as cross purposes so often. Even talking about a TV programme can be misunderstood, so I need to do this better!

Back to reading and understanding the communications lessons I think!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:12 pm 
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Monday night and while I'm in a pretty good place overall, I feel a little bit out of control and like I'm trying to do and juggle just too many things at the moment. It's been busy at work for various reasons and I'm letting the pressure get to me a little too much. I need to slow things down and get some focus and control back again. Much healthier for me that where I seem to be at the moment. I'll go and do some meditation after I type this out and get myself more centred as well. I just feel like I'm not looking after myself as well as I should be currently and it's time to rebalance the euqation a little.

Still, I did achieve a reasonable amount today and had no major dramas or stuff-ups, so have to be grateful for that, but I know I can do better. Sometimes I realise that I just care too much about doing as much as I can for my customers and I go to unreasonable lengths at times for them. I know I've been in that space the last few days and it ultimately burns me out and does me harm as I keep trying to do more and more for them - and of course they ask more of me - and I build up the pressure on myself, which just creates the inevitable problem. So, time to step back, take stock and pay attention to what I am feeling and deal with it in a healthy, positive, honest way.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:45 pm 
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A better, more stable day today. It was good for me to take the time to write that stuff last night as it made me stop and think more today, hence I was able to get a better grip on things generally and work through some of the things going on in a more productive way. I wasn't perfect, I did find myself triggered by something that came up, but I survived and I let it pass, so OK there, but it does remind me that I need to deal with that sort of situation better and don't let it hang around me. Use the trigger to check my emotional state and remember that they are not really doing anything, it's just the way I am reacting to them that means that they are triggers. I do feel that it would be nice at times to have a clear day when I can just work through things, get stuff done, come home and be happy and avoid the guilt and shame feelings popping up, but I guess in some regards that's life and it's my actions that have got me to the place where I am at now, so I need to take fresh actions and to keep taking them so that I don't generate more of the negative feelings inside myself.

Back to urge awareness and rethinking how I am approaching things. There was a thread on the Community forum that talked about the way you need to change your thinking from the first response being negative or addictive. I need to read and think on that more!

You will make great progress in your recovery when you see NOT acting out with happiness and pride, rather than with anxiety and a feeling like you're missing out on something. If you are still feeling anxiety by not acting out, this is because it is still a behaviour that you are avoiding...even though you secretly want to do it. Or, you actually don't want to do it, so you focus on not doing it...which ironically causes you to focus on it. This is still based in avoidance, rather than behaving in a way that is consistent with your life vision and values. Stop thinking about porn and just focus on how you want to live your life. When you make this switch, you will not see "not acting out" as something that creates anxiety, but rather a source of pride, a knowledge that you're acting in the best interest of your ongoing stability and the life you want to build for yourself.


Reading Lesson 47 again I'm struck how at times I still waver between 'The Student' and 'The Immature' as I've spent so long mucking about with my recovery. I do recognise the situation of having to give into the urge to regain some sort of stability - gratefully not in recent times, although the option has looked attractive at times, to my disappointment now that I talk about it. In reality it's the point of slowing down my thoughts, not reacting instantly and emotionally to any problems that arise, but taking a bit of time out to slow down my thinking, think about my response and then implement it. I am much better at recognising the internal reaction and calming that down, which helps a lot, but I can always improve and grow to the point where I change and redirect my reaction to any given stimulus. Will keep going, keep trying, keep growing and keep being grateful for my life and where I am at now. I am very lucky and am blessed to be in my current situation and any negative behaviour will jeapordise that, so keep looking for positives!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:16 am 
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Saturday evening and a chance to catch up and review the week. It's been generally a good and stable time, productive and calm, but I've had some rocky, unsettled moments along the way. I can deal with them, but it means I have to stop, reassess my situation and make a conscious choice as to what to do next and how to act, think and behave. I guess as that goes along and I close the door to the past and keep it closed, then that's not such a problem, but when I'm at that point of choice it is a bit stressful and tension making. Still, I put myself into that place and it's my responsibility to work through it in a healthy, adult way and extract myself from it.

I try and remind myself about the quotation above when I'm in that situtation - how do I want to live my life, how do I want to be percieved by others, how would I feel about being caught acting out, how do I want to feel about myself, how do I want to look after and take care of myself, how do I want to be in the future? Questioning myself in this way is a good way of intervening when I'm feeling like acting out, although I still need to work on the part about feeling happiness and pride at this stage, it's still more like a sense of the fact that I've interrupted the chain for now, but I'm going to have to do it all again sometime sooner or later. It's a bit like the old thing of not thinking about pink elephants or white bears or similar. I'm still finding it difficult to get out of that space, so more work required!

It sounds like I'm in a sort of constant battle in some ways, but in reality it's not that bad. The urges are not super strong, but they are still there. Most times I can coach myself past them pretty easily and the situation goes away very promptly, but there are still times when things seem overwhelming. I know in reality they are not, so I have to work on it and get that state of mind back to a more stable level as quickly as possible, but I hope that sometime sooner or later the overwhelming feelings dissipate. I do feel more stable and settled in my work and happy with my performance and my progress which helps. I know I can always improve my knowledge and experience, but that only comes with time now and I know that is improving all the time. I get more efficient and (I feel) productive and happy with how I am and how I am working.

My wife's job situation waxes and wanes, this week she is very down about her manager's behaviour. He has been told he will likely be moved out of his job, which she is grateful about, but he is responding by being aggressive, disruptive and marginalising her in terms of work allocation and generally making her life a misery, so she is unhappy and unsettled, which creates some tension about the place, but I'm trying my best to listen, be supportive, be positive and encouraging and help her the best I can. Good practice for me! I spent so many years just taking her for granted, so any small way that I can help or support her now goes some way in rebalancing the ledger on that score.

Time to get on with other things now. Glad to have the chance to sit down and type about how I am feeling and where I am and where I want to be! Hopefully more relaxed and peaceful time tomorrow and a more positive week ahead!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:33 pm 
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Thursday now - where has the week gone? I've been meaning to get back to RN all week, but a whole combination of things seem to have worked against that. Still, I guess that's life basically and if I can carry on with life, keep sober and as calm and stable as possible, then that's Ok. I try and think about the quotation above - seeing not acting out with happiness and pride, rather than with anxiety and feeling like I'm missing out.

Now I think back, I've had a lot of experience of that 'missing out' feeling over the years, even though logic has told me so many times that I'll never 'acquire' everything. It's taken me a long time and a lot of internal discussion to get past that. I still recognise it rising up in me at times and have to dialogue with myself to accept that it's not healthy and productive for me. It's a common thread for me, always wanting more, feeling like I'm missing out, feeling like I deserved more, better, extra etc etc. I've had to work to wind that back out of my life. It's been difficult to balance reasonable forward plans and aspirations with the unreasonable ones associated with addicition. Trying to find the right balance between being totally passive in this regard, being reasonably 'assertive' in my life and being unreasonably assertive. For a long time I have been totally passive in many ways and been wary of taking much in the way of control back in my life choices and decisions and in many ways that made it harder for me to take much in the way of responsibility for my actions, despite the lip service I gave to that. That gave me an 'out' in my addict head as I chose not to be responsible for anything, so therefore my addicitive behaviour/acting out could be blamed on almost anything else other than me, because I wasn't in control, I was purely reactive, not in charge. That's taken me a long time (too long!) to realise and now trying to have more responsibility in various areas of my life has helped to get things back to a better sort of balance. I'm still apprehensive about it in areas of my life, but I've got to learn and grow and deal with it better - in a more adult manner.

Always things to learn and improve. Being grateful for what I have, being willing to listen and learn and think before acting and trying to be mindful all the time!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:48 pm 
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Had a generally relaxed day today, but I did have an anxious, unsettled feeling for a while, that I can still feel about me a bit. I'm not sure why really, but I know it's there, so I've just been trying to keep calm and stable and do my best. So been reasonably productive and things gone OK, but had this slight feeling of tension around me. I know that this unsettles me and makes me closer to acting out, so I've been careful about that, but I would rather that I didn't have the feeling at all! Still, I have to deal with it and try and understand the cause behind it. I know I'm feeling a bit anxious about work and how I feel I'm not dealing with things as efficiently as I could be and letting things pile up on me, so that's certainly part of it, but I'm sure that's not all of the problem. I've felt it a bit difficult to engage fully today, so I've concentrated on trying to be as 'present' as I can be and contributing to preparing dinner, doing chores etc, but that's not a substitute for the emotional connection I should be making.

So, I will have to work harder at that and make more of an effort to be engaged emotionally and spiritually with my wife here and have a good relaxed evening and a fun day out tomorrow. We are planning a nice outing and hopefully all goes smoothly and we enjoy the day out and our time together. I have to be grateful for all I have and how fortunate I am in my life. I'm not really missing out on anything that I could be, I'm doing fine and have everything I need, so no need to bugger it up by stupid, selfish, harmful behaviour. Keep working, keep doing what I should be doing and keep making the right choices! Life goes along well when you do that and you have the ability to get through the work you have to do and make a positive difference.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:11 pm 
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Tuesday evening and generally been a better couple of days. Monday I felt a bit 'swamped' at times, but I worked through what I could and did OK in the end and today I made more progress again and cleared more stuff out. Feel like I was more stable and settled generally along the way, which helps a lot too. I need to remind myself at times that I have other people around that will help me and I don't have to feel guilty about passing off any other work to them that I can't achieve and it's OK to ask for help! That's still a struggle as I still feel like I'm having to prove myself and show that I do deserve to be there and that I can make a difference.

One of my colleagues is a very critical sort of person who is always looking for faults and criticising others and has an agressive nature and I don't handle that very well as a general rule, so I am consciously always trying to remind myself that I was once like that as well and in some ways he is probably covering up for a certain level of jealously and insecurity by being agressive and selfish and projecting a 'strong' image, so I don't really need to fear him or respond in any agressive manner or rise (sink?) to his comments, so I'm getting better at letting it slide past me. It's taken some practice, and I'm aware that I sometimes do dwell on what he says and how I feel about it, such as I am now :pe: but this is a part of working it out of my system now and letting it wash away. I stay calm, humble and think about how lucky I am and how good life can be and things always improve.

Otherwise I'm just trying to recognise scenarios where I am more likely to be challenged and triggered and working on ways to avoid or minimise the opportunity in those situations. I realise that in some ways it's utilising avoidance techniques and not totally dealing with the situation, but what I'm trying to do is to embrace more healthy situations and remove myself from potentially unhealthy ones, so that's how I'm looking at it. Important too to be acknowledging that I'm doing healthy, positive things and being happy about that too. I still think about the 'missing out' aspect at times and need to coach myself about that when it happens, but I know that I can fairly quickly and easily defuse that line of thought as I will never have everything so I will always be missing out and would I rather miss out on porn or miss out on real life and everything I have to gain from that.

Reading Lesson 48 again, I do need to work on some of my skills, so a good reminder of what to do. Sunday evening after a nice day out, without realising it I managed to irritate my wife and I didn't appreciate that she was annoyed and upset with me, I was just relaxing after a nice day out, and while she is understandably hypersensitive to my behaviour and can overreact at times, it is beholden upon me to be aware of how I am acting and behaving and be mindful of how it appears to her. Communication will help that and the most important part of that is probably listening and being more mindful of her. Discussing situations as they arise or as soon as we can afterwards will help too. I know at times I will still be a dull, obtuse, mindless male, but hopefully I can minimise those times in my life! I'm always working on attitude (being calm and relaxed and happy as possible) and now trying to anticpate potential problems by changing routines and habits, but I can always do more on that score. Will keep working away at it!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:33 am 
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Saturday and a chance to get back to RN. Been under the weather a bit the last few days, but my system is settling down now and hopefully back to normal soon. It's tested me a little bit, but I've survived and hopefully better from now on.

I am feeling a little on edge at the moment, so I need to be extra careful and question myself regularly. I'm about to head off to visit a work colleage who has a terminal illness and less than 3 months forecast to live, and along with that, this week was the anniversary of my mother's death, so feeling a little apprehensive about life in general and the fragility of it. It's also our wedding anniversary tomorrow and for the last few years my wife has not wanted to celebrate this in any way, the subject is sensitive for her, so I am apprehensive about what to do and how to deal with that situation. I want to be able to celebrate it, but I don't want to upset her at the same time...

I guess overall the healthy way to approach this is the 'seize the day' style of thing and to remind myself that I don't want to waste my life in my addiction, but to spend it in a more happy and positive and settled way and to enjoy all the benefits of my life and the situation I am in. Trying to work on that score and to make sure I make the most of things and make the healthy choices in my life. I can get derailed by making the wrong ones and reverting to old behaviour patterns too easily, which does not help me as that only keeps me in the addicitive 'zone' and the problem carries on until I 'crash and burn' again as I have in the past.

So, I look for positive situations where I can, keep stable and mindful as possible and remember how lucky and grateful I am for where I am at and what I have in life.

Dealing with my own minor medical issue this last couple of weeks reminded me too that I need to listen better to what my body is telling me. If I have a headache (for example), then slow down and take the appropriate medicine and look after myself. Don't try and ignore the problem and pretend it will go away. That's an unhelpful habit and reflects too how I've dealt with emotions over the years, so need to be aware of what my system is telling me and take it seriously. If I need to rest, then I should rest. Don't clear my plate just because I'm greedy, but be aware of how I am feeling and stop when I've had enough. If something is painful or hurting, then take care of it and attend to it.

Looking back, I feel that I've had quite a series of times recently when I've feel anxious or unsettled and in some way I think I'm making the choice to generate this feeling as if it will give me an 'excuse' to act out. I need to think more about this point as it's not a positive, productive way to act and behave and it's not helping me move forward. I can have times when I choose to be 'right' and things go fine and I have a good time, and other times when I dither over the choice and things are more of a stuggle for me. It's down to making the choice and dealing with the consequences, both positive and negative of that choice and getting better at understanding and taking responsibility for those consequences as an adult. Despite past experience my addicit with 'rose tinted glasses' never seems to realise that by acting out I cause so many problems in so many areas, so breaking that illusion is very important to me.

Might come back to this later if I get the chance today. Various thoughts in my head and I need to get them corralled into some sense!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:12 pm 
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Wednesday night and finally got some clear time to write again here. In sad news terms, my ill colleague passed away on Monday night, so I am grateful that I had the opportunity to see him on Saturday for an hour or so and to also meet some of his family. It is a sad time though as he was a nice guy and good to work with and I will miss him.

My wife has challenged me and has been upset with me lately about being on a 'plateau' with my recovery and she rather bluntly (but fairly) said to think about how I would want to be remembered and how would I want to live out the closing time of my life, with someone who cares about me, makes sure I am looked after and have all the right treatment etc, or to suffer alone with no one around me. Not particularly what I wanted to hear when I was starting to grieve over my colleague, but ultimately she is right and I have to absorb this lesson and live according to these principles. If I want to be surrounded by friends and family and have people that care about me, then I have to always remember this.

I guess in some ways this ties into thinking about future goals and what sort of legacy I would want to leave to the world around me. Do I want to leave a positive impact behind me, or do I just want to be remembered as some sad guy who didn't get along in the world anything like he should have - one of life's losers. So, it's up to me to look at what positives I can take from the whole situation and apply them to my life going forward.

Otherwise, I've been trying to be positive and calm and happy over the last few days as best I can. My wife is upset with me generally and challenges me on various points, but I'm trying to cope with that and feel better and more happy in myself. Today for example I had a good positive day at work, despite the now empty desk beside me, and I came home from the day feeling happy with myself. It helps me deal with the tension at home and how my wife doesn't want to spend much time with me at the moment. I'll get through this and get back to a better space at home. The only problem I'm dealing with right now is poor sleep as I seem to have problems with this when I'm not in the same bed as my wife. I can keep my head in a safe place, but I don't sleep very well. That will improve though and we will move on.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:24 am 
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Saturday afternoon and I'm back in a better, more stable place at home and doing OK at work, but ironically, when I'm in a better situation with my wife, then I find that I'm more likely to go into fantasy mode. Perhaps a part of me subconsciously 'relaxes' a bit and weakens my ability to make the right choices in my life. That is counter intuative however, as technically when I'm in a bad situation with my wife, I should be more stressed, more on edge, more anxious and closer to acting out, so I don't quite understand why it pops up in my head more often when I'm in a more settled place emotionally. I need to think on this.

I know that I've spent so much time and effort and energy over the years on sabotaging my own life and my recovery, so maybe it's part of that bad character trait that I'm not dealing with as effectively as I should be. I know it's part of poor self esteem which I've had a lot of problems with. It's like a part of me can't bear it to have things go too well for me - that I don't deserve good stuff and a nice life and all the things that go along with that. I've been consciously trying to work on that over this last week and coach myself into a better frame of mind in that regard, but I realise that I need to put a lot more committed time into that and to make sure I am enjoying myself and being happy and grateful for what I have and appreciate the efforts that myself and my wife have put in over the years to get to the situation that we are in now.

So, I keep asking myself 'How good can I bear it?' at various time over the day and using that as a springboard to to keep myself going onwards and upwards in my recovery programme. I need to keep working on this point as I need to 'grow past' the need for acting out and get myself properly settled into 'normal' life from here on. I know where I want to be in life and how I want to live my life and where I want to be in the future and acting out to porn and fantasy and objectification isn't going to get me there, despite what the addict in my mind tells me. So, it's a simple message for a complicated person I guess :s:

Self esteem has been one of the overriding issues for me I know. About 3 years ago a therapist told me that this was the main issue I had and if I improved how I felt about myself and worked through a lot of the shame and guilt I had, then things would be better and easier for me. Why am I such a slow learner in all of this and why to I sometimes push things to the brink before I acknowledge the issue and do something about it. I must be a pain in the ass to people around me at times... So, asking myself the above question has helped me somewhat in this regard and, I realise, in an odd way, is the situation at work with my now departed colleague. It's given me a certain feeling that I want to step up now and take some of his experience and ability on board and carve a niche out for myself where I can make a positive contribution to my employer and the service we provide to customers and actually create a bit more of a legacy for the future. Now that my colleague has gone, I can no longer rely on his knowledge and experience, so I need to build it up myself.

So, I need to keep on this positive course, recognise that it's my best option for the future and keep the goal in sight. I can be happy and that's OK and I can enjoy my life, enjoy my work and have a real future without being scared of it and wanting to metaphorically run and hide in the addicition when it all seems too good to be true.


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