Journal to the Centre of the Self

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by TheScriabin, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day 7 no PMO
    Day 5 no MO

    I spoke to 4 members of the public out and about yesterday. I'm putting attractive ladies on the back burner for a while and trying to seek the pleasures in purely chatting to new people for the sake of it. It is interesting the conversations you find yourself having. I also made some new friends at a group for anxiety which I attended in the evening, and I telephoned the local wildlife trust to volunteer myself for woodland maintenance: clearing paths, coppicing trees etc. My doctor recommended volunteering as one of the best things for depression, and I was doubtful whether I'd actually consider this option, but now I have and I'm glad I did.

    So I feel good about myself this morning, but not looking forward to today as work always brings me down as my anxiety goes through the roof and I can feel the anticipatory anxiety building already. I'm looking to forge genuine connections in my life and it is not easy to do this in the workplace, in my experience, where everybody is wearing their own masks.

    I decided to video myself reading back my YBRB journal, which dates back to 2014, and observe my feelings and reactions to it today. It is a very interesting exercise and I highly recommend it. It was helpful to observe where I was tripping up, not just in terms of the practical errors I was making, but also in terms of my beliefs and attitudes, which have to be addressed in the battle for permanent change.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  2. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    I'd really like to do some volunteering myself - I believe that contributing and giving back will als help ones mental condition. The idea to do this for a wildlife trust is brilliant, I'm going to have a look in the organisation of my area since living close to the nature is one of the reasons I live in the city I'm currently living.

    Yeah it's really hard to form some genuine connections. It seems to ge harder the older you get?
     
  3. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Go for it! Working with nature is one of the great natural anti-depressants. I will admit though that it took me frickin ages to decide to volunteer, as I had a million excuses, preferring to focus on things that would make me money, and then I worried I was only volunteering because I felt guilty, blah, blah, blah. My mind can so easily sabotage and make excuses, when the only real underlying reason is that I am afraid of change and trying something new. Minds can be so full of shit!!
     
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  4. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    I'm probably at the very same spot, yeah.
     
  5. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    ^I forgot to respond to your last point about making genuine connections seeming harder the older we get. I think we have to do a little bit of detective work, hunt around for different kinds of social environments, ones we haven't tried before, and that will bring with it the opportunity to meet the right kind of people for us. Sometimes we may have spent our entire lives in the same basic social sphere, meeting the same types connected through our family or work, and we're missing out on what the world has to offer.

    At the same time though, it could be that we are the ones who have to change. I don't believe, as some people convince themselves, that people are superficial or difficult to get to know in a deeper way, but rather we carry around various masks and fears about revealing our true selves to others, so we prevent others from being able to see and appreciate the truer version of ourselves. We may have lived inside these fears for so long that we have convinced ourselves this is who we are. But our real personality sits beneath the surface of these anxieties that do a good job of ruining our lives. It is more difficult to admit when a problem lies with us, and not 'society', but it is nevertheless something we have to come to terms with on our journey towards greater freedom, happiness and authenticity. Another reason for volunteering perhaps! Have a great day
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  6. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day 1, no PMO

    Well I think I can say I've had a good week, the best week I've had for a long time, but then all chaos let loose last night. I wonder what that's about. Just gonna keep moving forward. I want to feel like I have value, but anxiety makes me feel bad. It's not just a feeling of discomfort or nerves, it's a feeling of feeling left out, disliked, unloved. I think this is at the heart of what anxiety is for me. These feelings make me restless, agitated, like there are lots of things I want to do but can't figure out which one to address first.

    Not going to beat myself up for my relapse last night though. I know what happened, and what lead up to it I think was actually positive. The attractive ladies in town had got my arousal going, and I even ended up sharing the train journey home with a nice girl from work who I bumped into on the way home. It was all positive, I must remember this, the positives outweigh the negatives, even though I relapsed. I was relaxed, confident and had a nice chat. She had lovely eyes and seemed to like my company. But these enjoyable flirty experiences are so alien to me, so new for me, that I think my system was quickly overwhelmed and I had to go home and release. Maybe next time, it'll be with a girl!!
     
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  7. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    I feel alike, Scriabin. I have relapsed now twice in pretty little period of time. Yesterday I relapsed even that felt basically good. I think it was close to what you felt, that need to be sexual. You was triggered by chatting those girls, for me it was something else. What was common in both cases was how there's this deep lack of something in our lives. It seems to be an intimacy, but the issues are likely even deeper than that. Anxiety stemming from feeling unloved, unaccepted. Because of the lack of intimacy we feel that way. For myself, I also feel the pressure that time is ticking away so fast. Like if I will be losing something very essential and wake up one day feeling old and realizing it is too late. That I have missed my last changes of having something different, maybe. I have felt like this nearly all my adult life, but still not have found the key to that puzzle. How to be truly alive, without fear..
     
  8. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day 3 no PMO

    The human mind is a wonderful masterpiece that has immense potential. Most of our potential, however, remains unused because our mind controls us. The mind runs through our life driving a car without a driver, so we are suffering from constant suffering and pain. But if we were able to control our minds, our lives would change completely. This speeding would change in a beautiful creative dance, giving us happiness instead of pain.

    The question is, therefore, how can we take control of our minds?

    In order to control something, we first need to know the nature of that thing, so we need to know our mind so as to be in charge of it. The most important thing we need to know about our mind is that it is not something that exists separately, individually, as an inanimate object. The mind is not an object but a process, a process of thought that is constantly streaming. This flow of thoughts is what we perceive as mind. When these thoughts disappear, the mind disappears with them, the two things cannot coexist. The basic nature of thoughts is that they are constantly moving, and this movement, almost automatic, creates the mind. A feature is that many times it works in automatic mode. Thoughts come and go. They can only be abolished after considerable effort, and even then only for a short time. During most of our waking time, our mind is vaguely in the past or in the future. In our thoughts we are dealing with our experiences of the past, events that have made us suffer, or we are dealing with our plans for the future, objectives and fears.

    Another feature of our mind is that it constantly evaluates things. This means that we are not only living through our own experiences, but also that we are classify them as good or bad. We judge everything that happens to us. This permanent categorisation can easily lead to a distorted perception of the world. If we find a negative experience, we will continue to maintain and strengthen that category of similar experiences in the future. Our perception will therefore be selective, and we will accept only the stimuli that will only strengthen our categorisation, and tend to ignore those who fall out of our usual categories.

    The third most important feature of the mind is that it produces. These stories often have a disastrous end. For example, I suddenly try to remember whether or not I closed the door. The mind immediately builds a story around the idea: I left open, a thief came in, my items were stolen, and the police, instead of chasing the thief, are harassing me with his questions. We often experience the emotional consequences of these stories. All of them include our personal stories.

    Most people tend to identify with their thoughts and personal stories, that is, with their mind. Many people are not satisfied with what they are, they dream of having a better and more beautiful personal story. That is why we have created a mental image of our personal development and how we can make the work of our minds more effective. In order to achieve the mental image that we have created, we embark on a stupid game, try to bring our minds under our control and to be the masters of our development. Since we do not know the nature of the mind, this company is doomed from the start.
    This game is pointless, because in reality one half of the mind tries to bring the other half under its control. A part of our mind leads us to growth, while the other is in practice. Mental Images Fight against each other, trying to exceeded them using the weapons of selective perception and making stories. A struggle continues with the change of "luck" for all our lives. Sometimes we think we're making progress, we're getting better, and a couple of weeks, months or years later, we let ourselves fall into despair.

    Let's play this stupid game all our lives, because we cannot recognise the simple fact that a mind is not able to overcome itself. We could, perhaps, with the greatest of effort, repress what we believe would be bad for us, washing away with it our sensitivity and capacity for tolerance. Now we can see that the way to control mind is not through it's suppression. It is not possible to control the mind in the common sense of the word. Partly because it exists only in its functions and in its operation, and partly because there is no one to control it. One half of the mind, as we have seen, does not control, only suppresses the other half.

    In order to control our minds, we have to get out. This statement may seem surprising for many of us, since it is intended to identify fully with our minds and operations. As long as this identification is strong, we will not be able to get out of the mad dance of our minds; we will only have to suffer the consequences. Today, however, more and more people have begun to realise that we are more than our minds, more than our thoughts and emotions, and more than our personal history of these thoughts and emotions that accumulate. Our attention is no longer fully committed to telling our personal history and to identify with it, we become increasingly sensitive to the deepest dimensions of our lives. We also begin to notice pause between thoughts, and we begin to turn to these doors that lead beyond the mind.

    In these pauses between thoughts, the mind doesn't work, it just fades. What remains is the warning to look at the conscience. If we are able to put down roots in that vigilant conscience, we realise that this vigilance is tolerant and look the mind and its operations. We will see that there is nothing wrong with our thoughts, nothing wrong with the operation of the mind. It is not necessary to fight against the mind, because it is not an enemy, but only an instrument that is without control, tends to operate in a chaotic manner.

    We only have the opportunity to know the true nature of the thoughts and functions of the mind, if we take off from them, we maintain a certain distance and do not consider them as enemies. We learn to look at them with affection, and we will see the subtle nuances of the mind, the games that play and the dreams it evokes.

    This behaviour will give us the chance to stop our thinking without effort. Once the thought has been suspended, the constant flow of thoughts stops, the mind itself disappears and stops working.
    Now we will not seek our identity with our minds, since we have found our centre, our true self, our conscience. We will be aware that thoughts and minds have not really disappeared, they are still there, I am only in a dormant state. Our attitude towards thoughts and minds will change at that moment. We think when it is necessary to use it and when we do not need it (e.g. when contemplate). The mind no longer dominates our life, it is nothing but a docile instrument that we use or do not use as we will.

    We realise how much the mind is a wonderful instrument, and now we can use it for its original purpose. And the purpose of the mind is to serve as a means of connection, which connects us to the world, to each other. Through the mind, used with vigilant conscience, creative energies are released for the world to create a wonderful harmony.
     
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  9. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Having a fairly tough time at the moment, and have been really miserable over the last few days. I have self-diagnosed myself (I know never recommended) as having narcissistic personality disorder, having just read Sam Vaknin's authoritative book on the subject, 'Malignant Self Love'. It applies to me I would say almost 100%, although I am not the stereotypical overbearing and arrogant, type, I definitely fall into the more passive type, no less needy and dependent.

    The sadness appears to be that there is no cure, and this made me quite suicidal, thinking that this was the only way to end the pain. I involve myself in many altruistic activities, but I still don't feel loved, or loving, which makes me think there is nothing I can possibly do to feel better. My failure to rid myself of anxiety, having devoted the last 18 years of my life to 'healing' makes sense if viewed through the spectrum of NPD, which is pathological and not curable, but can only, at best, be modified through educating oneself about the condition.
     
  10. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    To me it seems you're ruminating quite a bit @TheScriabin.. What's your current status?
     
  11. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Hey Fry,

    Do you mean relationship status? I've been single since toward the end of 2015 when I came out of a 6 year relationship. No companion in any form since then.
     
  12. Murky

    Murky Member

    Don't write yourself off as narcissist yet mate. Most people have those traits in this day and age, particularly those who lack emotional maturity. I think by labelling ourselves in these ways could create a sense of helplessness, drawing us back to porn. I don't think a true narcissist would care to journal and look for ways to improve their life through virtuous acts. Though I am no expert on the matter... and I hope I didn't overstep my bounds by replying in such a way to your journal. I just see little value in labelling ourselves in these ways when we are attempting to create positive change.
     
  13. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Hi Murky,

    Thanks very much for your reply - and you're absolutely right. This is why these boards are so great, full of helpful, wise and sound advice from other people more able to see where you're going wrong in your thinking patterns, which is sometimes difficult for us to see for ourselves. I have a bad habit of doing this with labels, trying to understand myself better, but just as you say, it tends to only create a sense of helplessness. In my journey to find the 'truth' I often take wrong turns. I realise why I do this seeking for explanations and theories all the time - it's easier. Being positive, courageous and determined to change takes a lot more effort. The other danger in my reading stuff like this is, in a weird kind of way, it's comforting, which is in itself a trap. It's related to suicidal ideation, in the sense that it offers an illusion of control to a person who's life is actually very out of control.

    I really appreciate your response. I think it was just a bit of a dip in my progress recently, going back to my old solutions rather than remembering to forge ahead with the new ones.
     
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  14. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    I meant your overall status in every aera of your life that matters to you. In short: how are you? :)
     
  15. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    ^Well there is much that needs improving! But I'm not too bad Fry, thanks for asking.

    I have been finding more work, as I considered my isolation the number one factor in many of my problems. The difficulty, though, is I always end up doing the work that is easy for me so I don't feel I am exploring new areas. Everything I do seems to suggest I'm not really changing, but merely patching up the holes that I made before, when I should really be investing in a new bucket! So work is just the same.

    However, my new hobby - teaching myself bushcraft and outdoors survival - has brought a lot of joy into my life because of the sheer pleasure of learning something new and not having to prove myself to anybody.

    I had a lovely evening drinks with a girl tonight, which was the first time since I broke up with my ex. I had a lovely time, but I've been so out of the game I really have lost the skills and it was quite a powerful experience realizing how dead I have felt for so long. I need to slowly get the motor oiled and working again. Depression really alters your reality and you can end up living a non-life that you just accept as normal, forgetting what it was like to be a bit more carefree and hopeful. I must feel a bit like a middle-aged divorcee learning how to flirt again feels. It's fun, I could feel my heart beating and that lovely feeling of wanting to kiss her across the table, and those awkward but nice moments where our legs brushed under the table. The really good stuff that I hadn't felt for years and had forgotten how intoxicating and alive it makes you feel. I'm not sure how to take it from here. I kissed her goodnight (as in a friendly peck on the cheeks) and she hugged me back and said how much she'd enjoyed the evening.
     
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  16. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    I can totally relate to this, for years I have settled for the life that has been more or less without any hope or direction. But I have too now seen little ray of light in the horizon, and yet remembered how I used to feel at some distant past, when I thought the future was still open for me. There can really be a more in one's life that just daily struggle and waiting for the death.

    Your story actually made a smile in my face. You are really living now, meeting the new girls and learning totally new hobbies. Carry on like this, you are making the right choices and going in the right direction. :)
     
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  17. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Thanks Titan!
     
  18. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    When you're negative you become unproductive and you end up neglecting adult responsibilities...

    When you're positive you do nice things for yourself... and you neglect adult responsibilities.

    Depression is a self-absorbed and angry child that doesn't want to grow up!
     
  19. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    I've enjoyed reading a couple of your posts @TheScriabin and it occurs to me that you're an exceptionally wise man.
     
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  20. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    That's very kind of you Fry. It is also an acknowledgement that I have wanted for for many years, so it means a lot to me. I don't mean I want this in an egotistic way, like I fancy myself as a wise sage or something, but I always hoped I could share insights that would help others, because it is the only way I could begin to make sense of my suffering and not view all these years I have lived as wasted.

    Also, everybody has that wise person inside them, if they go deeply enough into their past and their pain, not judging or discounting anything that they have lived. I think the mistake people sometimes make is to think that wisdom is to understand the entire world. It isn't, it is merely about understanding oneself. I always try to live by this famous Shakespeare quote:

    "This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."

    There is much truth in it.
     

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