Free from Suffering

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Professor Chaos, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Oh cool, there are like buttons on here. Awesome. Thanks for the kind welcome guys. It’s good to be hearing from people who are also trying to battle the same issues that I’ve faced in the past. It’s an ongoing battle. Today has been fine and I just finished a really nice relaxing meditation. Finished a project I’ve been working on, went to a friends engagement party and mowed the lawn. The key to beating the urges is to keep busy. The devil makes work for idle hands as our Christian friends like to say. My counter looks a little lame and I’m looking forward to trying to put up some big numbers. I need to stay accountable and post up how I’m feeling. Today is great. 10/10. But usually the first week is fine. It’s the next two weeks when the storm clouds really start together. Hang in there my friends, this ride is totally worth it.
     
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  2. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 11.

    Woke up this morning feeling great. So far everything had been smooth sailing. Was really feeling in control. However this afternoon I could feel some massive mood swings. Angry for no really good reason and feeling a bit numb to a couple of things I should feel proud of. Just to remind myself that things today went well:

    Got some high praise about a solution I presented at work.

    First proofs of a book I’ve been working on for over 18 months arrived from the printer.

    Off to play D&D tonight with good friends.

    Went to the gym and lifted some heavy weight.

    Got a good massage this afternoon.

    Had a really beautiful meditation at 6:00am this morning.

    See, I say to myself. I should feel happy. Instead I feel I bit grumpy and triggered. Just cause there was a miss communication with someone doing some work on our house. All that good buzz went away. What’s up with that? Gotta chill and let it go. These next few days are usually the rockiest after a relapse.

    Sending everyone else good vibes. Hope you are all hitting your goals and staying healthy.

    PC
     
  3. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Some days can be frustrating like that. I remember hearing though we need to be aware of "I should" statements which are sometimes subtle ways for our inner critic to put pressure on ourselves instead of self compassion. I guess we feel as we feel and that is okay. Whatever we feel is all right. Sometimes we'll do good efforts and not feel to happy about it and that's okay, other times we'll mess up and, despite that, feel a strange sense of grace and lightness that same day. We're mysterious like that.
     
  4. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    I agree. There is a really good book my Psychologist recommended call The Happiness Trap. We a big boost to my recovery first time around. Think I might need to dust it off and have a re-read.

    I know I have the tools to beat this. I just need to access them. Thank you for your wise words Thelongwayhome27 , you rock!

    PC.
     
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  5. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 12

    Feeling good today over all, But still feeling very restless this afternoon. Can’t seem to settle or sit still. Found the article I was looking for with regards to procrastination and it’s like to stress. Given that my last relapse was the result of putting off an important task I found this very insightful.

    I think I’ll do some meditation when I get home.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/...e-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-self-control.html
     
  6. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I have it too somewhere with some dust on ! I had read about 2/3 of it a few years ago. I have also been thinking about getting back to it. I remember it was a good self-help book and I think it might have chances of helping even better now. But next one on my list is The six pillars of self esteem by Nathaniel Branden.
     
    Living likes this.
  7. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    This is without a doubt my favourite therapy book and was also recommended by my psychologist. I actually dusted it of myself last weekend;)
     
  8. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 14

    Two weeks in and I keep waiting fir the cravings to start. But they haven’t. I think all the work I have done in the past means that my life is more used to not having this cross to bear.

    I have momentary flashes of stuff, but nothing all consuming. I watched a doc last night with my wife about Anorexia. I was struck by how similar so many mental disorders are. You feel a low sense of self worth and then choose something to numb the pain. With some of us it’s booze, some food, some escapist entertainment and for an increasing number of us it’s Porn.

    I’ll keep you posted. Gotta go. Stay strong.

    PC
     
  9. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 18

    Strong urges today walking to bathroom at work. Didn’t get much sleep last night. Slow to get up out of bed this morning. Can feel depression on the edges of my mind. My wife calls it ‘gluggy’ when I feel like I’m trying to swim through glug to get anything done.

    Last couple of days my mind has been traveling at a million miles and hour. New projects I want to start and the chronic feeling of running out of time.

    Long weekend coming up for Easter. Looking forward to a break. But need to be extra vigilant as I’ll be staying with In-Laws and won’t have the normal filters online.

    Need to meditate and breath deep. Maybe I’ll sneak off and do that at lunch. Try to relax a bit. Hope everyone else doing ok.

    PC
     
  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Well done on 18 days PC !

    I've often felt a slouch in the 16 to 21 day period of a streak. It seems right before I reach 3 weeks I am tested in one way or another (usually a mix of strong cravings and depression).

    I think it's good you are already anticipating ahead for the next weekend since it will be a little out of the routine, with Easter and in-laws.

    Best luck forward and let's try to take this one day at a time. I'm having some struggles most days on my side as well lol ! The relapse cave is always sort of open and asking me to jump right in lol.
     
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  11. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 21.

    So that’s three weeks down. Crazy relapse dream last night. Thought I’d brought a dirty magazine from a shop and smuggled it out. Was quite sure I’d relapsed. Went straight back to sleep and dreamed that I was then trying to disposed of my ill gotten gains. I had not yet read the magazine, but was running around in town trying to find somewhere to dispose of my purchase. I think I ended up stuffing it in a trash can on the street full of posters. Woke up and laughed it off. Told my wife about the dream and we had a good chuckle the next morning. Strong impulses this afternoon, thought I’d come and post on here as a way of breaking away from dangerous impulses. Hope everyone else is having a good holiday break.

    PC.
     
  12. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 22. - Highway to the Dangerzone.

    So I’m a little stressed at the moment. After the long weekend, my wife has gone to meet some friends for lunch and we are going to meet back at her families home later tonight. That means I have a whole afternoon to myself. It’s a public holiday so not much is open and I am alone, in the house with an afternoon free. I also have some stuff I need to get done online. This is where about two or three of my last major relapses have happened. I’m starting to realise as I type this that I can feel so low level anxiety creeping in. I need to take some steps to make sure that I can stay clean for the next four or five hours. My plan is:

    - Do some meditation first. Find some peace, find some stillness
    - Complete online taskes in a given time. No browsing or surfing, just do what I need to do and review data later.
    - If I start feeling like I want to relapse, LEAVE THE HOUSE. This afternoon is not worth my sobriety.
    - Get outside to my man cave out the back where I don’t have consistent assess to an online connection.
    - Post on here if I’m feeling worried or I catch myself coming up with rationalisation for explicit internet use.

    Wish me luck guys. I’ll check back in, in a couple of hours.

    I’ve got this.

    PC.
     
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  13. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    ^Best of luck Professor. You can do it! I’m on day 17 and doing similar things. The hardest days are when I’ve nothing much to do, so I just keep outside of the flat at all costs, no matter what, even if I’m just wandering around aimlessly. Also I’m not sure if you’ve got into the whole cold shower thing but that is also a good way of controlling urges. The sense of pride and satisfaction I feel afterward having braved it (I absolutely hate cold showers) brings my inner strength back and reminds me how important my health and my life is, as is yours.
     
  14. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 23

    Hey Matey.

    Yeah. Yesterday passed pretty quickly. I got a bit stressed trying to organize tickets online for some overseas travel, lost my cool pretty quickly and startled the cats. Apart from that I recovered it just as fast. Feel pretty proud of myself that I kept it together and didn’t fall into the void.

    Yet to try the cold shower option. Sounds like something I would definitely hate. Could be a good deterrent. Today going fairly smoothly. Having some strong flashes in the afternoon. Just have to remember to breathe and relax.
     
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  15. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 27

    Thought I would come on here and post. Wife is off getting her hair done and I’m alone in our Airbnb on an unsecured wifi network. I’m also on my iPad which doesn’t have the same level of lock down as my phone. I can feel a certain restlessness creeping in. I’ve noticed some mood swings today. We’ve been trying to get pregnant and so that’s one of the reasons I want to reboot. Still this morning I noticed a lot of brain fog accompanied by some really hostile thought patterns. Bad enough that my wife noticed as we were out on a lovely walk. I get moody, quiet, withdrawn, sleepy and sometimes my speech slows down. These symptoms only show up the further away I am from and the longer I have been recovering. I must admit I had never experienced depression symptoms until I tried to reboot. Not sure if they were already there or if withdrawal brought them on. I’m willing to guess that it’s a mix of the two. Writing in here I’ve realised what I need to do. Meditate. It’s been a couple of days and I can feel the dark clouds closing in. Need to be chill need to be calm.

    It’s really good to come here and write down how I’m feeling. Helps me get a map of where I am. Before I wrote this I though I’d come back to the Airbnb and just ‘browse’ online. But that is so dangerous in my current mind state. Addiction is a sneaky bastard and it will lull you into a false sense of security and then, boom pounce, you’re suddenly aware that you are crossing line after line and before you know it you’ve tumbled into a full relapse. I have a wedding to go this afternoon, friends to hang out with and my beautiful wife’s company to enjoy. Need to focus on what’s important. Stay strong my brothers (and sisters if there are any of you reading this) this is a constant battle to stay alert. I hope you are all doing ok as the weekend approaches (or is here, in my case) I think it’s a time when we are most vulnerable to relapse. Stay strong.

    PC
     
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  16. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 31

    My wife is downloading a game for me to play today that she loved growing up. It's called Mass Effect and I've heard about it but never played it. I feel free lucky to have such a woman in my life who just wants me to be happy and share the things that she loves.

    So that's the first month down. Today is also a bit of a danger day. Danger days are when I am home alone and also have some task or job I have have to do that I want to procrastinate on. I'm sick today, down with a rather nasty cough and after staying up way too late last night to finally catch Endgame, I have succumbed to this bug.

    It's good though as I was able to get a few things done I needed to get sorted out. I don't really feel nervous, maybe I should. Recklessness always precedes a relapse. I just have to be gentle and kind to myself. I think some afternoon meditation will be in order.

    I think the most important thing right now is to take very small steps and see what I need to do to get this last remaining task down without stressing myself out too much about it. It's funny how procrastination works. Even writing on here is a form of avoidance for this task. That's usually how I tend to avoid starting something, start a hundred other things. Large tasks as well, one's that are going to use up a lot of my time. So here is my plan of attack.

    1. Sit down at computer
    2. Do some deep breathing exercises.
    3. Complete task which will take me about 10 - 15 minutes.
    4. No browsing and no distractions. Set a timer.
    5. When I've finished eat reward chocolate that I just remembered I have in the fridge.

    Plan for the rest of the day. Clean up the house a little bit, maybe do some vacuuming. Rest and give myself a break, play a bit of this Mass Effect game. I know I'm going to be home alone again this weekend and that kinda scares me a bit. Will need to say a prayer to the gods of productivity. Hope you are all doing OK as well.

    Peace out
    PC.
     
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  17. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    ^Yeah Mass Effect is a cool series of games; my brother is really into them. Enjoy! :)

    Re. reward chocolate: I just saw chocolate mentioned in a list of 15 good slow-burning fat energy foods, so great for exercise, long distance marathons etc. Chocolate is definitely in the good books!
     
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  18. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Day 34

    So I had two days off work because of my cold and went back today. Did a presentation and it went really well, got a spontaneous clap from the crew for the tools I'd been building. Yesterday I got quite a bit done, including some tasks that were challenging. Basically it came down to making sure I meditated and managed my stress levels. Also print copies of my book arrived today.

    This weekend I am home alone until Sunday. I have some stuff I want to do, but I noticed driving home this evening I was feeling VERY anxious. I think I know why. I've had a couple of cracks in the armour in the last couple of days.

    1. Was looking up a news story by a journalist regarding sex work, followed a hunch, found her Instagram and on here were some sexual posts that link to a specific fetish of mine. Closed the link and didn't go any further, but I definitely felt like I was edging towards not being in control.

    2. While cleaning out an old hard-drive I stumbled some P related material yesterday. It wasn't all that hardcore, but it was enough to catch me off guard. I caught my breath, was a bit of a shock. I purged everything almost seven years so I was surprised to find this burred with my iPhone photos. Deleted it very quickly from several spots and purged it from the hard-drive, before I felt the urge to peek. Took a break for an hour in case I'd been triggered.

    3. While at work today I had a strong re-occuring fantasy involving a particular actress. I wanted go look up a video her on Youtube that had a sexual undertone. I resisted and walked away from my computer. That has always been a dangerous and slippery slope that I need to be very mindful of. Having fantasies and then looking up vanilla supporting material is a shore fire ticket to Relapsetown.

    I felt very anxious on the car ride home. I knew I was going to be alone as my wife had left already. Just the cats for company. Successful strategy was:

    - Stay off computer / phone
    - Read Graphic Novel for 20 minutes
    - Read Kindle book for 20 minutes.
    - Call my mum for a chat (If you haven't done that for a while boys, give your mum a call)

    This was the cold shower I needed. I saw that we've lost a couple of good soldiers recently and I hope they are doing OK.

    It's sobering for me not to get too complacent and to make sure I identify dangerous patterns early.

    Keep up the good fight gang!

    PC.
     
  19. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    Relax: Everything is out of control

    This is a talk by a Monk that I really like called Ajahn Brahm. Here he's talking about one of the keys to happiness which is letting go. For me, who has a tendency to be a bit of a control freak, I find his teachings to be very helpful.

    Might be a good watch for any of you out there struggling with fantasies and problem thoughts.

     
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  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Very true. Addiction and isolation coincide. We gotta reach out to people.
     
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