Caoimhín's Way

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Caoimhín, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. chicken

    chicken Guest

    I am noticed that there is a lot of discussion on meditation here on the forum. It is something that I have never really been drawn to in my life. I find a lot of solace from being outdoors and often take the time to enjoy nature but have never really "gone into myself" which is what I imagine meditation to be. It seems many people find this inner reflection helpful. My question is Caoimhin, is this something you did before your reboot or part of your reboot only?
  2. fcjl8

    fcjl8 The only path for me

    Glad you are steaming along towards your second 90 days! Yeah!!

    Sorry, my enthusiasm does not seem very reflective and certainly not meditative, just happy for ya!
  3. nofapado

    nofapado Guest

    Interesting. In the Willpower Instinct the author discusses heart rate variability as a predictor of Willpower. both walking in nature and mediation will increase heart rate variability.
  4. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Chicken, no, I did not really meditate but had tried a bit. I kept on hearing from numerous sources about how good it is for you. The idea of going for a walk, as far as I am concerned, has the similar benefit as meditation, or even listening to that poem, music... I think it all depends on being able to focus on the present moment, awareness of your body, what you are seeing and hearing (not a hundred random thoughts and worries). I am still just a beginner.

    The important thing for me is that meditation is part of a suite of things that I am trying to do in order to get at the root cause of my issues. Eliminating PMO is another thing I am doing.
  5. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    I stumbled across this which seems to be a perfect sequel to the discussion about meditation and to the role of PMO in our lives. From the Pocket Thomas Merton:

    "Our being is not to be enriched merely by activity and experience as such. Everything depends on the quality of our acts and our experiences. A multitude of badly performed actions and of experiences only half-lived exhausts and depletes our being. By doing things badly we make ourselves less real. This growing unreality cannot help but make us unhappy and fill us with a sense of guilt. But the purity of our conscience has a natural proportion with the depth of our being and the quality of our acts: and when our activity is habitually disordered, our malformed conscience can think of nothing better to tell us than to multiply the quantity of our acts, without perfecting their quality. And so we go from bad to worse, exhaust ourselves, empty our whole life of all content, and fall into despair. There are times, then, when in order to keep ourselves in existence at all we simply have to sit back for a while and do nothing. And for a man who has let himself be drawn completely out of himself by his activity, nothing is more difficult than to sit still and rest, doing nothing at all. The very act of resting is the hardest and most courageous act he can perform: and often it is quite beyond his power. We must first recover the possession of our own being." (from No Man Is An Island, 1955)
  6. chicken

    chicken Guest

    Wow, I had to read that about 5 times for it to really sink in. Powerful stuff. At times it seems like this forum is a whole research department at my disposal to help me overcome my PMO addiction. You guys are awesome, I am doubling you salary!

    Nofap I guess I will have to read that book to understand what heart rate variability really means but it sure sounds interesting that both meditation and walking have that. People here seem to recommend both as and aid to no PMO.
  7. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Paul Garrigan's Blog

    Paul just published this and, even though it is about alcoholism, just replace every word "drink" and "alcoholism" with PMO and it works wonderfully well. It touches all the things that I have been thinking about:

    Seven Secrets to Long-Term Recovery from Addiction

    Posted: 22 Jan 2014 12:56 AM PST
    I gave up alcohol in June 2006. I struggled this addiction for almost two decades, and I’d almost lost all hope of recovery. My new life is such a gift, but it doesn’t always feel that way. I’ve needed to change so much, and all of this change has been a result of pain – what can I say, I’m a slow learner.

    It came as a disappointment to find that giving up alcohol didn’t bring an end to my problems – it just meant that I could begin dealing with them. There have been some incredibly tough times, equal to my worst days as a drunk, but I’ve never even considered drinking – that’s a miracle. I’ve learned so much, and I’m sure to have plenty more learning to do in the future. Here are my seven secrets to long-term recovery:
    Self-Compassion is the Key to a Good Life
    I gave up alcohol, but I continued to abuse myself by allowing self-hatred to control my life. I created unrealistic expectations, and I berated myself for not doing enough. I turned on myself at the worst possible moments, and this led to bouts of depression. I now know that my problem has always been self-hatred – I’d be in prison if I treated other people as badly as I treat myself.
    One of my friends was sober five years but still committed suicide. I can never know what was going on inside of his head, but I bet it all boiled down to self-hatred. It is fucking unacceptable that we would treat ourselves so badly – all that self-criticism and bullying is bullshit. I’ve never met an addict who wasn’t full of self-hatred. If you want to have any chance of a better life, you need to stop that shit. This is not about becoming some type of narcissist – you just need to offer yourself the same level of compassion as you would want to give to a good friend.
    There is Only One Right Way to Recover from Addiction
    I do my best to advise people, but the only thing of value I can share is my own experience – what works for me might be poison for you. The problem is that there is only one right way to recover from addiction, but it is not the same for everyone. I needed to find what worked for me. If you want to build a good life away from alcohol, you need to find out what works for you. Learning from the experience of people we admire can be a help, but we still need to find our own way.
    Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
    I don’t believe anyone truly knows what life is all about. It’s a huge mystery and all beliefs are just our best guesses. I try not to judge the beliefs of other people, but I make a mistake when I take my own beliefs too seriously. I’ve found it is much better to approach life with the mind of a child – treat it like a great adventure and don’t allow my own bullshit to stink things up too much. I also found out the hard way that I don’t need to prove other people wrong in order for me to be right.
    Stop Trying to Fix What Isn’t Broken
    I turned to alcohol because I couldn’t handle my feelings. I wrongly believed that feeling bad was wrong, and I should do whatever possible to avoid this. Drinking made me numb to the bad feelings, but it also meant that I felt numb to the positive feelings as well. Even after I became sober, I continued to resist feeling bad, and this led to further pain. It took me a long time to realize that negative feelings are just part of life, and they are not that big a deal – it was my resistance to these feelings that caused my suffering.
    If you want to enjoy a good life away from alcohol, you need to be willing to face your feelings. This is hard in the beginning because we have been programmed to associate these bad feelings with something being wrong – our urge is to reach for some type of fix. If you sit with these bad feelings (this is a great time to practice self-compassion), they usually don’t last long, you find there is still inner-peace despite your low mood.
    Trust Your Intuition
    I didn’t stop drinking because I was an alcoholic – I stopped drinking because I didn’t want to be an alcoholic any longer. There was this inner-voice that kept insisting that life could be better – it was like there was an alarm bell constantly ringing in my head. I call this inner-voice my intuition, and it has consistently guided me towards a better way of living – every time I ignore this voice, I suffer.
    Your intuition is your bullshit detector – you may fool other people, but you can never fool this inner source of wisdom. Even when you were in the depths of addiction denial, this voice was there pissing on your parade. You need to learn to trust this voice because it holds the secret to your happiness.
    Understand That You Are Already Enough
    It’s always nice to have goals and dreams, but it is a mistake to pin your self-worth too much on these future targets. I went from being a hopeless drunk to a self-improvement nut, and it took me a long time to understand that both of these approaches were eerily similar – I was acting on the belief that I’m broken and need something to fix me.
    You are already a worthwhile human. You don’t have to become a different person in order to find happiness – that’s just a path to further suffering. You are already enough, and it is the failure to realize this that drives the self-hatred. Real self-improvement is not about changing who you are – it is allowing the real you to blossom.
    Always be Willing to Change Course in Recovery
    The most wonderful things that have happened to me since getting sober have all been completely unexpected. My life would have been far less satisfying if things had worked out as I planned. It is important to not get too hung up on where you expect your life to go – so long as you enjoy life, you are moving in the right direction. It is good to have a path to follow, but we need to be willing to change direction when the need arises.
    The Seven Secrets to Long-Term Recovery
    • Stop beating yourself up – show yourself the same level of compassion as you would offer a good friend
    • Find what works for you – the ‘one size fits all’ approach to recovery doesn’t work
    • Stop treating life like a test you must pass – don’t take things so seriously
    • Stop running away from your feelings – it is this that is causing your suffering
    • Learn to trust your intuition
    • Understand that you are already enough – the goal of life is not to become somebody else but to find yourself
    • Don’t expect the future to turn out as planned – life would be boring if it did.
  8. chicken

    chicken Guest

    Wow...I can learn from that. Thank you for bringing that over to this forum.
  9. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Hi Caoimhín,
    thats great stuff from Paul.
    You just made my day with this post, especially the point about self-hatred was right on the nail for me.
    Will print it and read it a few times.
  10. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Self-hatred, I think, is the component of all destructive behaviour where we actively participate and accept, on a conscious level, in our own destruction. It is like leaving your body and watching your life as if it were a film, yet still feeling victimised. It is the "knowing" element behind PMO, alcohol, smoking, weed, whatever... where we are complicite, even seeking the negative effects. It is that part of us that does not think that we are worth it. It is the real monster that teaches us that we deserve what we get.

    But we deserve better! My goal: be more compassionate to myself and others.
  11. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Encountered a few triggers today. They still registered but I felt almost nothing other than the recognition. I have not been in a situation with any really strong triggers in quite a while but I now that these would cause much more reaction. It is important for me to keep porn and near-porn images away from my attention.

    I had a glass of wine with supper. Did not have a second because I actually did not feel like it.

    Despite the cold keeping me indoors, I had a great day with good exercise, reading, played some music (I've restarted my fiddle lessons), and made some good, healthy food. I've been reading up on resistant starches which are being linked more and more with good health and, particularly a healthy gut biome.

    Plans for the rest of the evening include heading to bed early so that I am rested particularly after my workout today and ready for work tomorrow.
  12. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    You are doing quite well.
  13. colimpool

    colimpool Active Member

    great last posts Caoimhín particularly pauls, thanks for sharing.
    self-loathing? i feel a little of this at times, bound up in my habits, strange how we tend to think of these as props, but in reality they weaken who we actually are. interesting.

    i think i need(ed) dope to make my art. it did stimulate me to make my art, it will be interesting to see where this new adventure takes me and my work.

    thanks for your thoughts and words, keep on, 100 days was a big moment for me, big enough for me to test myself....and fail. you are doing great.
  14. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Something that I posted in Going for All 5's journal but that I want to remind myself of:

    You might be on to something really important here. There is a time when we let our ego down, face the fact that we can be wrong, accept the fact that to change one's opinion (even about important things) is ok, that we become more able to understand our true feelings and reactions to the world.

    We have been trained to think that any backing away from opinions is weak, corrupt, immoral. No, it just means that, given good evidence, we accept that we are not alway correct.

    Reading your post here, I realise that this is a major hang-up for me.
  15. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Great to hear man! I can hear the self-confidence and improved attitude in your writing. Also, great post by Garrigan.
  16. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Yesterday I found out that two close friends are splitting up after several years of marriage. I feel bad for them but what shook me was a more self-centred realisation. I recalled my last break up. When things became difficult, I was quickly, mentally, "out of there". It was too difficult. I had a flash of that difficulty when I heard the news - the mess that their lives are in now. I remembered what it felt like and how I wanted anything but feeling that pain.

    So, this is an example of one of the main things that I have been fleeing and self-medicating for most of my life. I can no longer wish to avoid pain, I have to lean into it (to borrow a quote from Paul Garrigan) and embrace it. I will never have a fullfilling relationship if I avoid the complications, seek the simple form of sexual release, escape into booze, numb my mind with aimless Internet.

    I had a really strong and sharp feeling of panic. Something touched a nerve.
  17. fcjl8

    fcjl8 The only path for me

    Dear Caoimhn, you have certainly "leaned into and embraced" something very powerful to you. This is good, I think. Facing that which makes us uncomfortable. We naturally seek pleasure and avoid pain or discomfort..

    What you wrote..."So, this is an example of one of the main things that I have been fleeing and self-medicating for most of my life. I can no longer wish to avoid pain, I have to lean into it (to borrow a quote from Paul Garrigan) and embrace it. I will never have a fullfilling relationship if I avoid the complications, seek the simple form of sexual release, escape into booze, numb my mind with aimless Internet." that is strong realization. Facing the discomfort.

    On the eve of your 100th, I think you know so well, that booze, or sexual self release et al is a dead end.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.
  18. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    It seems to come down to carrying our own burden in every facet of life without resorting to any form of self-medication. It's not easy, but it can be done.
  19. midge

    midge Guest

    Caoimhín, congratulations on achieving 100 days. Sounds as though you're coming to terms with other important life issues, too. I wish you well!
  20. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    Let me get a head start in on congratulating you too C.

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