A Fun Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by trapped7, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 40

    The initial "brain cooling down" phase should be over now, now the actual rebalancing should be starting.

    How does one accept the past.
    Now I can see many of the reasons why I've experience some many blocks, so much paralysis during my late teens and twenties, even early thirties.

    I can see that none of it was actually my fault. Addictive behaviour was a natural consequence, and I wasn't aware of that entire process either.

    I am getting better at mindfulness, having practiced it for long. I am able to identify negative thoughts quite fast when they arise, and I am about to identify with them.
    While it's not beneficial to follow these, the reality of opportunity cost and missed chances in the past that are gone has to be met.

    This is still very hard for me to accept, but not accepting it fully doesn't help.
    It should be seen and there is value in grieving for these, but needs to be fully embraced.

    Thanks for your post. I have been practicing Zen meditation for many years, which is in quite a few ways similar to Vipassana.
    Mindfulness, a term that is quite popular these days and heard frequently, is nothing more than the clear perception of the contents of consciousness, and that obviously includes thoughts.

    Aquiring the skill of mindfulness definitely means cultivating something like a superpower to have in daily life. It enables us to see when we act on desire or aversion as you say. That is to say it is of fundamental importance if we want to want to practice what the Buddha called "The Middle Way", which means no grasping, no pushing.
    Good luck to you, I imagine a 10-day retreat with 10 hourse of meditation daily must have been quite an experience!
  2. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 48


    - Don't run from pain
    - Don't pretend everything is ok if its' not
    - Don't distract your mind with media/internet/other crap
    - Don't criticise, condemn or complain
    - Don't stay around people that freak you out
    - Don't eat processed food/white flour/sugar/other crap
    - Don't be a people pleaser
    - Don't waste time, cause wasting time equals wasting your life
    titan_transcendence likes this.
  3. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Hey Trapped, nice to hear from you again. Congrats on doing so well, btw.

    I think it's quite a burden to carry on a list of missed chances and opportunities. But I understand your point of facing the results of those misses in your current reality. One could think of a marriage never materializing (as opposed to the rest of the immediate social cirlce). Ditto with "career", the social ladder, fame fortune. Even Buddhism states without hesitation that most people are still afflicted with unhappiness in spite of all the things they may have (including healthy relationships). And what difference does it make whether you attained a career that fit you like a glove, versus a good craft that provides some satisfaction? In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter.
    Thebeg likes this.
  4. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    Agreed with @Mendoza. Only use past 'mistakes' to learn from. But if you dwell on them you're only hurting yourself.

    What you may consider as 'mistakes' were actually not opportunities. You were never supposed to get that successful thing you may still be fantasizing about. Because at that moment you made the best choice you could. Even if you did nothing out of fear, it was still the best choice at that time (to stay safe). It may not have been the best choice in hindsight, so that's why you try to learn from it. It's the false notion of thinking you were ready for things that make you dwell on the past.

    So start learning from all your choices, especially the bad choices.

    And don't forget that dwelling on the past makes you less susceptible for new opportunities that present themselves now, in this moment. Let go of the past.
  5. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    I just read this exchange on another journal and thought of you-
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  6. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 2

    Here I am, already 5 years after starting my path on recovery, and still acting out.
    The longest streak I got was 11 months a couple of years ago.

    Over the last months I had no motivation anymore to end my frequent acting out, or to try to prevent it from happening.
    It's depressing, but this is the reality of it.

    Since I have started my journey I have certainly changed my life circumstances for the better.
    I have also gained insights about what things exactly had been so difficult in my past, I have gained these insights especially over this last year.

    It's no wonder this addiction happened to me.
    And yet, if I keep following down this path I am paying the ultimate price.

    Not acting out is a start, but there is deep psychological recovery work that needs to be done.

    One thing I have found that might be useful is emotional literacy, to write down exactly what emotions we are feeling, in order to get in touch with them.
    To find a way to describe in words exactly what it is we are feeling. This might be a gateway to recovery.

    The other would be to start working with a therapist, however I know from past experience this only makes sense if it's the right person and that search requires time and effort.

    I will start with tiny day and again focus on basics, nutrition, exercise, enough rest and not following down fantasies.

    I reread my journal from a year ago, it's unsettling that I am basically in a similar place still, with the same ideas, thoughts and challenges.
  7. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Hey Trapped- good to see you back. You can do this bud. 40New30 said "Keep quitting till you quit" and it's so fucking true. Nobody succeeds at this straight out of the gate.

    I'm reading Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron. She's actually describing the point of meditation, tying it in with principles to live by. I think you'd like it, if you haven't already read it.
  8. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    Same here mate same here. To be honest I almost gave up hope that I'll ever be able to quit. Even if so it'll probably take another few years. This thing goes so deep it's insane.
  9. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 4

    Why hasn't it worked yet?
    What is the reason I keep relapsing?

    Addiction is a way of dealing with emotional pain.
    Why do so many people become addicted? Because it works, that is the reason why.
    It numbs the pain, and all the emotion with it. It gives us an insanely high biochemical reward without having to work for it.

    And because of the addiction I could move from overwhelmed with distress to surviving, that is it.
    But then that is all life becomes, surviving. Going on about daily business, emotionally numb, the pain being bearable now, at least a lot of time.

    And what is the price we are paying. Everything.
    Feeling emotions, feeling connected to others. Being able to find excitement and joy in the real world.
    All that is gone, forgotten. As if these states wouldn't exist.

    I want to move from surviving to thriving.
    Today, here, now.

    Already after a few days I can feel the emotional pain.
    What is it, what it could it be?

    I am scared, I am sad, but there is more.
    This I have to find out and understand.

    Time is running out. There is no more time.
    I cannot run anymore. I cannot distract and disociate.

    I must feel into it and see what it is.

    good to hear from you and thank you.

    I realized at some point that this isn't a matter of years.
    Maybe the emotional recovery is. But the addiction and the potential for relapse will always be there, even in 30 years from now.

    Thanks for checking. I'm familiar with Shadow work and that is basically what I mean I have to do.
  10. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 0

    I didn't expect it or see it coming.
    It happened as usual, following F to more F, leading to borderline material, and then at some point it seemingly doesn't matter anymore.

    What can I do.
    Be carefeul not to have more relapses right away. Don't follow F.

    And do something, anything about the psychological cause for the relapses.
    Seek to understand the pain.
  11. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Don't let yourself be discouraged by this. Setbacks are always around the block. But the sum total of what you are is so much more than one slip. Pursue life and all the beauty that comes with it, but also leave it absolutely clear that addiction is the slut you do not want to welcome in your life.:)
  12. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 2

    Don't know what to say at this point other than, I've seen that if I keep trying I can get in a streak eventually.

    First maybe just 5 days or a week. Then 2 weeks, eventually a month. And so on.
    I made it 11 months once, so I can get there again.

    However it's easy to forget how hard it was in the beginning.
    There were many relapses after just a few days or a couple of weeks.
    If we can move past that, the streaks _can_ get longer.

    Thanks man.
    Mendoza likes this.
  13. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about what you did in the past. It's great to have accomplished 11 months, but hanging on to previous accomplishments is a form of attachment... let it go.

    Now focus on the present. It's tough, but try to let go of any judgments or preconceptions... you're not two steps back, you haven't undone progress. Look at your relapses and dissect their causes. Figure out what led to the latest slip, your emotions at the time... create associations until you get a 'Aha! that's why!'. Relapses can be seen as sources of teaching, not nececssarily as horrible experiences to be feared of.
  14. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 1

    I am currently asking myself different questions.
    Amazing how the mind comes up with concrete answers once I phrase questions accurately.

    You can even ask "what would be a good question to ask" and the mind comes up with some good ones.

    I don't feel like I am holding on to the past at all in that regard. It's just a reminder for me that this is actually possible.
    Also I don't experience relapses as horrible/ It's just that after a few of them I enter a lethargic state of indifference and that doesn't feel good. In fact it doesn't feel like anything.

    The reasons for relapses are deep. I don't think it's just in that moment, it's deeper. It has to do with pain from the past that we couldn't understand.
    I have some understanding about those reasons now. It still amazes me how even though I know acting out is not healthy, I just do not mind in that moment.
    Bezoechow likes this.
  15. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day ~15

    It's been a while since I posted here.

    Years ago I heard about the concept "managing the addiction" instead of "curing", in the meantime I think I understand the meaning of it.

    If there's one important thing it's the lifestyle you're living, the habits, the things you do every day.
    At a certain - I am in my late thirties now, your lifestyle starts showing more and more.

    While you're still young it's harder to make out in what fashion a man is living his life.
    As you get get older, it just shows. In your personality, your self-esteem, your physique, your health.

    I've learned that integrating good habits into your daily routine can be a game changer, however it's equally as important to make sure these habits are realistic.
    I"ve been overly ambitious with many goals, from learning new skills, to fitness to being free of the addiction, only to leave newly formed habits behind as I ran out of willpower.

    I've learned that a little bit of something good that's repeated will show huge payoffs eventually.
    So I am trying to be realistic in my goals and expectations, and not dismiss small changes as beneath, but instead see the potential that lies with in them.

    If anyone is interested in buddhism, I came across this buddhist path to recovery.
    Just a buddhism has its 4 noble truths and the 8-fold path, this group has created their own adaptation for recovery, following the buddhist perspective on life.

    To be continued...
  16. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 2

    Starting over.

    I can easily say I feel emotionally by far the worst I have ever have since I started this and by a large margin and I have physical symptoms that make most of my every day extremely tough.

    I have a constant feeling of strong anxiety in my chest that comes in waves and gets even stronger on occasion, but it's always there.
    I suffer from debilitating fatigue, yet I can not sleep well or long enough. I have muscle twitching all over my body and and often I feel so fatigued I get double vision.

    I went to the doctor and even did blood tests and everything came back normal.

    It's not that I haven't been trying, I have been trying again and again.
    However, relapses happened again, and so did longer periods of acting out.

    So I am thinking of what has worked in the past.
    Posting here regularly was one of those things I did during the times when I was able to follow the path of recovery longer, so I will make it a point to post here again and to listen to others.

    Other things include obvious ones as good nutrition, exercise and trying to do improve sleep.
    Then there's psychotherapy and meditation.
    Maybe 12 steps, learning about anxiety.
    And discourse with others here.

    I never thought that life could get this tough when I was younger.
    I have to try and fight and see if I can get better again.

    Thank you for reading.
    titan_transcendence likes this.
  17. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    Trapped7, after reading about your symptoms you might want to check out the book Adrenal Fatigue from James L. Wilson

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  18. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    have you heard of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

    its something i suffered from, and was lucky enough to make around 80% - 90% recovery over about 10 years. Sometimes its a case of ruling everything else out, then if symptoms persist one can be diagnosed with this. Its not well understood but is often post viral, for example having very bad flu one year and feeling like you never fully get over the symptoms

  19. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Day 3

    Wanted to go out yesterday, but suddenly experienced an episode of ectopic beats that took away my breath for a second, followed by heartracing.
    I'm not talking about single ectopics that some of you might now you can feel when lying down, but rather an episode of multiple ectopics that is quite terrifying.
    I've had them since a couple of years, but only once every few months, recently I had them once or twice a month.
    I had another one today, while walking on the street, a bit shorter.

    I"ve had my heart checked out a couple of months ago, and doctors say in general that ectopics are nothing to worry about, if your heart is structurally normal, which thank god mine is.
    Still everytime one of these happens I'm scared the heart rhythm won't go back to normal and that I'm going to die.
    I know it sounds ridiculous, but subjectively it is frightening to terrifying. Any of you ever had them.

    Apart from that, I've had a quite productive language learning day, since I'm on holiday right now.
    I also was able to to do meditation, 2x 25 mins yesterday and 1x 25 min today.

    Thanks for the the comment. I've heard of Adrenal Fatigue, HPA-Axis dysregulation and so forth and even own an array of supplements, anything from adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea and Ashwagandha to Siberian Ginseng.
    I personally haven't felt any improvement from taking these.

    Unfortunately as with so many things in the medical world there is no clear consensus whether Adrenal Fatigue is an actual medical condition.
    There has howver been a metastudy looking on 52 studies about Adrenal Fatigue that concluded it doesn't exist

    However I appreciate the thought

    Yes I have - There seems to be more of a consensus about the existent of CFS but as you said, it's hard to diagnose and can only be done so by excluding all other possible sources of debilitating fatigue during daytime.
    Also, once you have the diagnosis there's the problem that while there is an unending amount of info about how to cure CFS (ranging from Amygdala Retraining to herbal supplements) there is also no clear consensus on what works.
    Also I don't have any flu like symptoms which are often mentioned in conjunction with CFS.
    You mentioned you got better - what was it that helped you?
    Thanks for your post.

    One aspect that might cause many of my problems is certainly anxiety - it is probably not all of the problem but I'm sure it's part of it.
    So this is something I want to learn about more and work on on a daily basis.

    The other thing that obviously always creates some kind of improvement in the long run are lifestyle changes, as I mentioned in my previous post.
    nutrition, excersice, regular sleep, meditation.
    And of course not engaging in activities that are detrimental, like too many stimulants, either nutritionally (caffeine, alcohol) or visually (TV, video games, internet) is equally important.

    This is what I will focus on, as well as posting here.
  20. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Hey Trapped, as I said, nice to see you back here. Ofcourse it would have been better if neither of us needed this board anymore, but clearly we both do, so glad you're still determined to make life better. I haven't followed you in the last 2 or maybe even 3 years or so. How have things been going in that period? Are these physical problems something of the last months, or were they gradually developing? To me it seems a lot like severe stress. Can that be? Last November/ December I had very strong ectopics and heartracing as well. I was also thinking I was going to die. I was very scared. I looked stuff up on the internet and calmed myself with the idea that it was probably stress related. Those months were really tough for me at work, while at the same time I was waking up may times at night. So heavy stress and anxiety, unhealthy food and disturbed sleep. After the Christmas holidays things got better at all fronts, and I didn't have the ectopics and heartracing anymore at all. Where do you think the anxiety comes from? Is that also work related, or is it just there? Maybe it is at the root of all this?

    OK, now going to look for that post about the breathing exercises. Later!

    edit: ok couldn't find the post back. Here some (youtube) links.


    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018

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