A New Beginning

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by -Luke-, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey man, that website looks really interesting. Thank you very much for the tip!
     
  2. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    Agreed. I used a meditation from that website, but I only ever had the URL to the meditation. I don't think I ever went back to this page. Thanks for sharing this @Living
     
  3. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    <NerdMode>
    Was looking at the front page of YBR and noticed the statistics for the journal sections (#Discussions and #Messages). I calculated the messages per topic and found it interesting that the number constantly rises for older age groups. While the age <20 guys have 14,92 messages per topic that increases to 32,49 for 30-39. In the 40+ section that figure more than doubles to 70,06. That’s impressive. The 40+ guys have their shit together. Thumbs up!

    I wonder if that’s a reflection of today’s society. The younger the age the lower the attention span and patience?

    Of course that statistic is biased: There is no section above the 40+ section, so journals don’t “move up” anymore. And younger guys move up faster. Maybe it’s just that.
    </NerdMode>
     
  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    A Quote in @Professor Chaos Journal reminded me of the children's book "Momo". I looked for a quote that came to mind and found a website full of quotes from that Story. And wow, that books is a goldmine. Additional to the quote I posted in PC's Journal here are a few others I find very interesting:
    Calendars and clocks exist to measure time, but that signifies little because we all know that an hour can seem as eternity or pass in a flash, according to how we spend it. Time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart.

    But there was another thing Momo couldn't quite understand - a thing that hadn't happened until very recently. More and more often these days, children turned up with all kinds of toys you couldn't really play with: remote-controlled tanks that trundled to and fro but did little else, or space rockets that whizzed around on strings but go nowhere, or model robots that waddled along with eyes flashing and heads swiveling but that was allAll the games were selected for them by supervisors and had to have some useful, educational purpose. The children learned these new games but unlearned something else in the process: they forgot to be happy, how to take pleasure in little things and last, but not least, how to dream

    What's so clever about working hard ?" he said to Momo. "Anyone can get rich quick that way, but who wants to look like the people who've sold themselves body and soul for money's sake ? Well, they can count me out. Even if there are times when I don't have the price of a cup of coffee, I'm still me. Guido's still Guido!”

    One day, you don't feel like doing anything. Nothing interests you, everything bores you. Feel more and more empty inside, more and more dissatisfied with yourself and the world in general. Then even that feeling wears off, and you don't feel anything anymore. You become completely indifferent to what goes on around you... You forget how to laugh and cry - you're cold inside and incapable of loving anything or anyone... There's no going back... The disease has a name. It's called deadly tedium.

    Funny how a book for children can hold up a mirror to us. As adults we read 100 self-help books without changing anything and we disregard the wisdom we learned as children. I think I should read that book again.
     
  5. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    @-Luke-

    The first quote and your mention of "tedium" in the last one reminded me of this passage from Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. It's quite a whopper, but it always stuck with me. Here it is:

    "There is, after all, something peculiar about the process of habituating oneself in a new place, the often laborious fitting in and getting used, which one undertakes for its own sake, and of set purpose to break it all off as soon as it is complete, or not long thereafter, and to return to one’s former state. It is an interval, an interlude, inserted, with the object of recreation, into the tenor of life’s main concerns; its purpose the relief of the organism, which is perpetually busy at its task of self-renewal, and which was in danger, almost in process, of being vitiated, slowed down, relaxed, by the bald, unjointed monotony of its daily course. But what then is the cause of this relaxation, this slowing-down that takes place when one does the same thing for too long at a time? It is not so much physical or mental fatigue or exhaustion, for if that were the case, then complete rest would be the best restorative. It is rather something psychical; it means that the perception of time tends, through periods of unbroken uniformity, to fall away; the perception of time, so closely bound up with the consciousness of life that the one may not be weakened without the other suffering a sensible impairment. Many false conceptions are held concerning the nature of tedium. In general it is thought that the interestingness and novelty of the time-content are what “ make the time pass ”; that is to say, shorten it; whereas monotony and emptiness check and restrain its flow. This is only true with reservations. Vacuity, monotony, have, indeed, the property of lingering out the moment and the hour and of making them tiresome. But they are capable of contracting and dissipating the larger, the very large time-units, to the point of reducing them to nothing at all. And conversely, a full and interesting content can put wings to the hour and the day; yet it will lend to the general passage of time a weightiness, a breadth and solidity which cause the eventful years to flow far more slowly than those poor, bare, empty ones over which the wind passes and they are gone. Thus what we call tedium is rather an abnormal shortening of the time consequent upon monotony. Great spaces of time passed in unbroken uniformity tend to shrink together in a way to make the heart stop beating for fear; when one day is like all the others, then they are all like one; complete uniformity would make the longest life seem short, and as though it had stolen away from us unawares. Habituation is a falling asleep or fatiguing of the sense of time; which explains why young years pass slowly, while later life flings itself faster and faster upon its course. We are aware that the intercalation of periods of change and novelty is the only means by which we can refresh our sense of time, strengthen, retard, and rejuvenate it, and therewith renew our perception of life itself. Such is the purpose of our changes of air and scene, of all our sojourns a cures and bathing resorts; it is the secret of the healing power of change and incident. Our first days in a new place, time has a youthful, that is to say, a broad and sweeping, flow, persisting for some six or eight days. Then, as one “ gets used to the place,” a gradual shrinkage makes itself felt. He who clings or, better expressed, wishes to cling to life, will shudder to see how the days grow light and lighter, how they scurry by like dead leaves, until the last week, of some four, perhaps, is uncannily fugitive and fleet. On the other hand, the quickening of the sense of time will flow out beyond the interval and reassert itself after the return to ordinary existence: the first days at home after the holiday will be lived with a broader flow, freshly and youthfully — but only the first few, for one adjusts oneself more quickly to the rule than to the exception; and if the sense of time be already weakened by age, or — and this is a sign of low vitality — it was never very well developed, one drowses quickly back into the old life, and after four-and-twenty hours it is as though one had never been away, and the journey had been but a watch in the night."
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
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  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @NewStart19:
    Thanks for that quote. I haven't read that book yet but a colleague at work talked about it a few weeks ago. I didn't know it was that insightful. I wasn't a big fan of Thomas Mann but then again I only read two books of him so far, "Buddenbrooks" when I was at school and "Mario and the Magician". I guess it's something different when you are in school and you have to read a book.

    I wrote yesterday that I should read Momo again. So I went to a bookstore and bought it, haha.
     
  7. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    Momo is one of my alltime favorites as well. Coincedentally, I recommended Momo to two other guys too not to long ago :D. I think it's as contemporary as ever.
     
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  8. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I read 200 pages so far and that’s exactly the thing I thought, too. Maybe it’s even more contemporary than ever nowadays where everything has to come with a click. For some people it seems to be a near-death experience if they have to wait in line in the supermarket for one minute.

    The reason I read 200 pages so far is that I couldn’t sleep again the last two nights. Weekend was pretty good but last night was tough. Slept two hours even though I was very tired. I try to be as stoic as possible about it but it’s hard if I’m in this state for many days in a row (the weekend was a positive break). Yesterday evening I did some yoga and some breathing exercises and felt relaxed afterwards but I still couldn’t sleep. I’m glad I don’t have to work on Thursday because it’s a national holiday.
     
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  9. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Yesterday evening I was lying on the couch listening to some relaxing music and I could hardly keep my eyes open. What a good feeling if you had trouble getting to sleep for a long time. After a while the whole perspective changes. A little nap feels so good and you appreciate it so much more. Just the feeling when you can’t keep your eyes open anymore is much better than everything else. So I went to bed at 9 PM. I don’t think I went to bed that early since I was a child. And last night I actually slept until 5 AM in the morning with only a short interruption. I remember a few years ago when I couldn’t sleep for three nights in a row (6 or 7 hours in total in three nights). The fourth night I slept 6 hours straight and when I woke up and looked at the clock I had tears in my eyes. Like I said, the perspective changes. And I was more grateful for that 6 hours than I could’ve been for a million dollars.

    Do I feel good today? No. I still haven’t much energy and I feel fatigued and brain-foggy a lot. But why feel bad about it? I still can make something good out of this day if I focus on what I can control and forget about the rest.
     
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  10. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I haven’t had trouble with fantasy, ogling and cravings lately. That’s partly because I’m more mindful while walking around outside and catching myself very early. The other part of the story is I’m in the heaviest flatline I’ve experienced in years. Since my binge relapse three weeks ago I’ve felt nothing below the belt. Nothing at all. I’m not worried about it because I (unfortunately) have gained a lot of experience over the years. But I find it interesting that one (really bad) relapse can have such a strong and powerful influence. To be honest, I’m kind of thankful that I have no libido at all at the moment. It’s a nice break from all the sexual thoughts floating around in my head. And since there’s no woman in my life I don’t really need it.

    Instead of the sexual thoughts there’s something else floating around in my head in times like this, and that’s uncomfortable in its own way. It’s the questions that always start with “What if...”. “What if I had managed to stay clean in late 2017 when I was almost 400 days porn free? What would I feel like now and how would my life look like?” But these thoughts are a coping mechanism as well. I don’t want to deal with the present moment if I ask these questions. And it’s not helpful at all. I don’t want to wonder about the What Ifs again in two years. And it’s my own responsibility if I’ll be in that same place in the future or if I don’t have to ask those questions anymore.
     
  11. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I know the feeling. I had that a couple of times this year. The complete absence of any sexual thoughts or tendency to ogle or fantasize. Like a day when there's not the slightest breeze of wind. I could really enjoy it, for the time it lasted.

    Maybe it is helpful to imagine how your life would realistically look like and how you would generally feel and use it as a focus point of how you want to live. My guess is that all of that is way closer by than you think.
     
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  12. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reply, Gil. I really appreciate it. And I think you're right. I guess the most important word in your post is "realistically". I tried it before with imagination and a life vision, but in hindshight it was a bit shallow and not very thoughtful. After a while I ended up a bit disillusioned with the Imagination because of my lack of progress or very slow progress. But I should remember the story of Beppo the street cleaner I quoted in Professor Chaos journal.
    You must never think of the whole street at once, understand? You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else.'
    [...] 'And all at once, before you know it, you find you've swept the whole street clean, bit by bit.

    But of course, even if I take a one step at a time approach I need to know in which direction to go.

    Last night I dreamed about relapsing. It was a really realistic dream. I recognized a website I used to go to in real life and even recognized certain pictures that has been burned into my brain. When I woke up I needed a few moments to realize I was awake and the relapse didn't happen in reality. I felt stressed after waking up bet are grateful I was able to get another 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
     
  13. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I really like that quote. Isn't it that when we're really in the moment and congruent with outselves we're automatically going into the right direction?
     
  14. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Gil79: It's definitely a good feeling to be "in the flow". When you forget everything around you and immerse yourself in one thing.

    Today for the first time in three weeks I had morning wood again. And as if a button had been touched some porn flashbacks and fantasies floated around in my mind. But nothing hard to deal with. The meditation practice pays off, because I've become more aware and don't get lost in sexual thoughts that much anymore. But it's part of the process.
     
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I’m still feeling very fatigued. Felt better at the weekend but today it’s back to where it was the previous two weeks. A lot of brain fog and headaches. Couldn’t really concentrate at work and did only little things that didn’t require much brain function. Social anxiety was through the roof today. I just couldn’t bear being around other people. Will do some yoga and breathing exercises later and I hope that eases the situation a bit.
     
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear you're feeling a bit fatigued lately. I hope you're sleeping a bit better these days. I'm going through a pretty constant low mood for the past couple of days. I hope it passes. Working out has helped but some of the low mood stays. But best thing to try to keep on going. I hope the Yoga was of some help. That's a good exercise for such times. Have you been listening to those porn free radio podcasts ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  17. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey man, thanks for your input. Yes, the yoga session helped. I also did a guided body scan meditation right afterwards and felt a little calmer and it also helped with my anxiety. If I’m feeling fatigued and don’t have any energy, (intense) exercise usually tends to make it worse. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be strength training or running/rowing. I can always do some yoga, practice some handstands or train my core for a while.

    Today I feel a little better. If I had to rate it on a scale yesterday was 1.5/10 and today is 2.5/10. But yesterday evening I remembered The Underdog’s post again, where he talked about measuring success. Success isn’t the absence of symptoms. It’s how far you’ve come since you started. And in that regard yesterday wasn’t a bad day even though I felt like shit. I proved to myself I can get through a day like that, I did something positive for my body and mind (yoga, meditation) and I did some work, even if it wasn’t that much. At least I didn’t browse the internet all day like I used to do when I felt like shit. Under the circumstances I had some success yesterday.

    And yes, like planned I’ve been listening to one episode every day and I am at episode 27 now. It’s definitely helpful.
     
  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I'll have to think of this next time I'm tired. I sometimes push the exercise and maybe it's not always the best option. Though sometimes it can boost me up too. But it's an interesting point I never thought of.

    That's totally true man. I had to remind myself exactly this lately as I had such low moods at times. That's where knowing what to expect from recovery realistically, and knowing it's not always a fun adventure comes in handy. Kind of like knowing about PAWS as well and how it can really suck for no clear reason for a few days, or maybe even a little more sometimes.

    Also, yesterday was Monday. Not necessarily the funnest day of the week. Hopefully you can keep taking care of yourself, reconnect to things you enjoy doing and the mood will lift in the coming days.
     
  19. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 talked in his journal about going to the cinema on his own (I didn’t want to hijack your journal, LWH). I was impressed by that and realized I’ve never done that even though I thought about it before. When I was in my teens my buddies and I used to go to the cinema regularly, almost every week. In the city I live nowadays I don’t really have good friends (apart from one). I have some acquaintances from work, soccer or the billiard club and I like spending time with them, but those aren’t really friendships. Therefore I didn’t go to the cinema often in the last few years, even if I was interested in a movie. The thought of going to a movie all by myself always terrified me because in my head I was making up stories about what the other people might think. But that’s just the old “stuck in my own head” version of me. Why should I care if I want to see a movie and I don’t find any company? So that’s actually a goal for the next few weeks: To leave my comfort zone by just acting.

    Yesterday after work I was playing billiard in the club for three hours and even though my social anxiety was high again I enjoyed it. I was glad I had a good mindset yesterday. When difficult situations occurred on the table I viewed that as an opportunity to get better as a player instead of complaining about the circumstances. That’s something I need to remind myself more often in life. A good book I read on that two or three years ago was The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.

    Today I’m feeling a bit better again. The brain fog lifts gradually and I didn’t need to take aspirin today because the headaches weren’t as intense as the last few days. Energy levels are still low. Later I’ll do another yoga session.
     
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    It's not too bad. When I went, the other day, there were quite a few people on they're own (both guys and girls). It wasn't even packed, because it was a day time showing. And if you go when it's more packed, people would probably not notice. But, in any case, I agree that if we think about it and go beyond the preconception, there is not really anything to be embarrassed about going to the cinema alone. If we own this up, it's actually something to even feel good about ; the fact that we can enjoy something on our own.
     

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