Looking for feedback

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Doofus, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    First of all, @Saville : You are very kind. Thank you. I don't hear that from people very much. Your post is like an oasis. You also make a good point about the negative self-talk.
    When I was young, I was bullied in part for being nerdy - the smartest kid in the room. As a defense, I developed a habit of being self-deprecating. But lately I've confusing that old habit with truth-telling. I'll work on it.

    @Caoimhín : Thank you, too. You're right. My work has not been good for my mental health. It's hard to let this particular situation go, though, since it's money my family needs. I'm trying my best to be businesslike about it. We'll see.

    So, slept 7 1/2 hours last night. That's 3 straight nights of more than 6! That's rare for me. Better still, though I woke up (at 2:30, of course....) I was up only long enough to pee. I fell right back to sleep, no booze! This, by the way, is what I am going to commit to here in terms of my booze use (booze uze?): I'm going to stop drinking when I wake up in the middle of the night. The fact is, it hasn't really helped much for quite a while now. I've been using it more to ease the anxiety I feel about being up and about what's keeping me up. If I stop drinking in the middle of the night, I'll likely cut my alcohol consumption in half - or close to it. That's a good first step. (or second step... the first was giving up vodka last fall).
    If I can't sleep, then I'll work. I've been saying I'd do this for a while, but it's time to commit, like I did with PMO. Hopefully, I'll have as much success.

    Looking forward to a future with a dryer me, here in the middle of day 94.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
    Saville likes this.
  2. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Yea, the anxiety about insomnia is the killer. Personally, I think that you need to attack that as your first priority. And yes, eliminate the boose uze. Perhaps getting up to work would be good. I use reading... because reading, sadly, makes me sleepy. Or meditation. Or what about a glass of warm water or herbal tea? Turn being awake at night into a "sort of positive" where you have some quiet time to do something that takes concentration or simply to have a healthy, calming beverage. This is not easy and I hear of soooo many people who are in states of alarm and crisis because of not sleeping.
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  3. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Feeling tempted again and peeking a little at letterboxes of racy movies. So, I'm going to write to help me get past it.

    First, gaaah. I really thought it would get easier, not harder to resist temptation, as I continue my streak, but the last few days have been bad. My theory was that as I built more discipline, more discipline would be easier to build. Today it seems that maybe will power is a finite quantity and that I was right to tackle just one addiction at a time. Now that I'm addressing my drinking, it seems P is harder to resist. Speaking of alcohol, I had another good night last night. Only woke up once (this time at 4!). Went to the bathroom, came back to bed and fell right back to sleep. Another W for zinc and melatonin. I got (just...) over 6 hours because wife and I went to see The Favourite last night and I didn't get to bed until after 11 - I had coke and popcorn for dinner at the theater and coke, another vice that I kicked a year ago, now really keeps me up. Also the nudity in the movie was a bit triggering. As a result of the coke I didn't get up until 5:45. My morning routine is so tight that those 20 minutes really makes it impossible to get everything in. Although, I almost did get everything in and would have if I'd known T was going to be pokey this morning again. I cut my cool down short so that I could make him breakfast and get him to school. Ha!

    I have two stressful things today: 1 a phone call with my collaborators at MGH in a few minutes. They've scheduled this call and canceled it many times. I'm both stressed about the call and stressed when they cancel. I have no idea what they want to talk about, so, even more so than usual, I feel unprepared. 2. A budget meeting right after after which I'll have to (or not...) confront administrators who have power over whether I get paid the money for last semester. I'm thinking about maybe just communicating in writing. The face to face two weeks ago didn't go well.

    As well, N is not calling me back. He has communicated with my wife a bit. He hasn't gotten a job, nor an externship nor, really, anything. I don't know what he's doing there, besides hanging with his girlfriend. We need to go get him.

    Duking it out the best I can, here on day 95.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  4. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Wow!!!So well said! I'll be referring back to that statement for some time to come for my own life.
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  5. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yup, you are!! Keep on trucking!
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  6. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    So, I haven't posted in a couple of days. I'm still here and still on the PMO wagon, but I've been on the struggle bus in some other ways.

    So, my phone call with my collaborators at MGH went very well. We have a plan moving forward, we've agreed to identify funding sources to make spending more time up there next year possible, and I genuinely like the head of the lab. He reminds me of a younger me - at least intellectually. So that was good.

    What wasn't good was the budget meeting. My college is f-u-c-k-e-d, fucked. It's very bad. We've been in financial trouble for a while now, but this is the first time it hit me that we're almost certainly not going to make it. Sure, a miracle might happen - some billionaire might just decide to give us 100 million dollars tomorrow, but, short of that (literally and figuratively) we'll be on public sanction next year and, probably, lose our accreditation not long after.
    Worse, if that's possible, is what's going to happen over the next year or two as they try to save the place. Furloughs, salary cuts, maybe, speaking selfishly, I don't get my sabbatical in the fall and my primary life boat is taken away from me....

    I've lived with this sort of low-grade awareness that I wouldn't be finishing my career here. It never bothered me that much because it seemed abstract, something that will happen down the road, 5 years, maybe 10, maybe not at all. Thursday hit me pretty hard. Next year we will have - hopefully - two children in college, and, even with my job no realistic way to pay for that. Now?

    This is galling, because I kind of knew that this might be the situation, but, rather than apply for jobs this year (for next academic year) I threw my fate to my sabbatical. Now, it's pretty late in the hiring season to be applying and I might not get my sabbatical.

    Anyway, this is all by way of saying that I'm pretty upset and, while I still am on the P&M&O wagon, I did look at some P both Thursday and Friday. Not for long, but.... And, while I had a 4 day streak going with booze and sleep, both Thursday and Friday nights I was up,and, eventually, drinking. Maybe because I hadn't been for a few days it worked in getting me back to sleep, but my weakness came out under duress.

    The good news is that I slept through last night (7 hours!) and though I drank with dinner and afterward, I drank less than I usually do. Yesterday was also good in that I made out with the wife, got 2 hours of exercise in (12 minute w.u., 1:30 running and 12 minute c.d) I did core again, too (3rd day in a row), made out with the wife and, actually plucked up the courage to start working on our finances (this is probably a result of being scared straight more than a new found discipline...). I've got a pretty good streak going, too, of doing my morning routine. I feel the desire to improve my numbers working a little on my battle with booze. It's why I drank less last night (still drank about a bottle of wine over the course of about 4 hours... still too much, but better).

    It was a good day, too, in that N called and we talked for an hour. We had also spoken a bit on Thursday We plan to talk again today and he is very open to coming home. T is letting me help with his sleep issues. He's seeming less and less an adolescent. At least yesterday.... I have a good relationship generally with the boys, but they often go dark.

    The bad news about yesterday is that I may have overdone it a bit. When I woke up this morning, my foot and ankle were killing me. I'm icing while I type this. It's kind of weird because it didn't hurt at all while I was running. It was bothering me a little before I went to bed, but, I figured it was.... I don't know. At my age things just start hurting sometimes. Of course, often they just stop hurting too. I'm hoping that that will be the case today. I really wanted to get out for a longer run today - exercise is key for me both in improving my sleep and giving me strength to fight my more negative addictions.

    Anyway, though yesterday was good in many ways (I also cleaned the house...) I got no work work done, though I tried. I'm battling my emotions about the situation; it's hard to decide how to best spend my time right now - research, MGH stuff, applying for jobs, grading papers?? And so I ended doing none of those last night, choosing instead to drink wine and read a book about diet.

    So, as usual, a mixed bag. But in terms of PMO, I'm starting the final day of week 14, number 98.
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  7. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    98 ! In the bank moving along!
  8. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    It's always a mixed bag, isn't it? You're doing great!
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  9. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    One thing that helps me, when I feel overwhelmed by a situation, is to make a point of deciding that I will not try and deal with it immediately. Rather, giving myself a day, or even a few hours, to process lets the spike of panic subside. You have a lot going on in your life so try and identify the spaces where there is calm and you can get the physiological response calmed down and therefore better able to use logic in decision making.
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  10. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thanks everyone!

    I only have a few minutes, so, just to be sure I write today, I'll make a short entry:

    Yesterday was a good day in some ways, revealing, brave even, if I may brag on myself. But it really ratcheted up my anxiety levels. I spent most of the day engaged in a high leverage activity, rather than focusing on more immediate but less important activity. I'm not sure why that makes me anxious, but it's the case that that anxiety has been what's prevented me from doing it in the past. I guess this is good in that I'm now facing things that I haven't been. Maybe I am getting stronger.

    I slept through last night (just short of 7 hours). I did drink with dinner and afterward, but I now have not drank after going to bed for 6 of the last 8 nights. Baby steps, but I'm not unhappy.

    I've started measuring my blood sugar too each morning. I probably wasn't fasted 8 hours - I guess 7 based on my sleep - but it was 103 this morning. I'm a bit worried about that. There are sources (on the web.... but still) which say anything over 100 is pre-diabetic. I guess this should motivate me to cut back on the wine.

    I'm dreading today, though I'm not sure why. Generalized anxiety, I guess. It's weird. Since I've been sleeping better, I've been more anxious. I thought it would be the opposite.

    Anyway, gotta go and get ready here on day 99.
  11. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    I only have a few minutes (again...), but, also again, I'm going to write a short entry just so I get something down today.

    First, I woke up last night at 1:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. I waited it out until 3:30 and then succumbed to a glass of wine and corn chips. Ugh. It got me back to sleep almost immediately, but I then slept through my alarm. I finally woke up at 6:15. I did my numbers and made breakfast for and got T to school (on time! zinc and melatonin seem to be working for him..) but I didn't get out to run until after I came back from dropping him off. Anyway, I took a step backward last night in this new battlefront I've opened up.

    Also, whatever resources I'm expending to battle the bottle - will power, etc. - has weakened me in my battle against PMO. I peeked again this morning at P. Not for long, and, I didn't M or O to it, but, still.....

    There's some good news though: I biked to the grocery store that I prefer to shop at, but, which is further away. I've been mostly biking to shop, but I've been going to the closer one because of the distance/time and because of the steep hills. This is the first time I biked to the more distant one. And? It wasn't so bad! I'll try to do it again today, as well as biking to my therapy appointment.
    Also, my numbers today were, in spite of my late night boozing, really good! Blood sugar was 91 - not sure why when I didn't drink it was higher, but... and, for the first time in a long while, my bp was in the currently acceptable range: 118/79. (Barely....Although, quick rant: to be normal now, no matter what your age, your bp is supposed to be below both 120 and 80. The same thing happened with blood sugar a decade ago: It used to be you had to be above 110 fasted to be considered pre-diabetic, now it's 100. I swear this smacks of drug companies influcencing medical boards in order to sell more drugs...)
    And, importantly, I've reached the beginning of triple digits in my no PMO streak. I've got to go shower and head to work, but I'm feeling a little less tempted than I was when I started this post here on the morning of day 100.
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  12. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Oh, and one other piece of good news: My foot feels better! Actually it felt better yesterday, but, to be on the safe side, I didn't run. I only ran 15 minutes this morning, but I'm pain free. Hopefully getting my run in will help me in my battles against addiction - and, in particular, help me to sleep through the night. OK. Now I'm late. Gotta go, but thank you all who post on here. You're really helping me.
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    DAY 100!! Woo Hoo!!
  14. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

  15. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Congratulations on 100! and on the bike ride too. The buzz you get from physical activity is a good buzz to get on!
  16. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    First, thank you @Caoimhín , @Bobo and @Saville ! In some ways it's just another day, but, in others, it's pretty significant. I'll have to check, but my current streak is now somewhere around twice as long as 5 years ago, the last time I tried to break myself of PMO. I've spent a lot of time lately yearning for the halcyon days of yore, when I was stronger and more diligent. I think getting to 100 shows I still have some strength in me yet.

    Speaking of which, last night I was back on the wagon (roughly....). I woke up at the witching hour (2 fucking 30...) but, just went pee and got right back to bed and sleep. So, yay! No 100 days of booze-free nights, but I've made it through 7 of the last 10 nights, I think. Not that I'm not drinking. I am. Every day. But this is a small step in the right direction. I did better today with peeking at P, too.

    Therapy was somewhat intense, but productive, I think. And I biked to it and back, even though it was pouring rain. So that was also good. I talked some about the anxiety I felt Sunday and Monday over how I spent my time on Sunday, which was trying to jump start my overgrown and nearly moribund organizational system. In talking about it, I realized that, regardless of my feelings about doing that it was the right way to spend my time. It's a bit more involved than that, but, while short of a Goodwill Hunting-ish breakthrough it felt like the session was helpful. They haven't been feeling that way and I ws thinking about giving it up. I get the sense that my therapist thinks I should quit sometime next month - that would make 6 months. I am doing better, but I really want to be doing a LOT better. Like my PMO recovery, I'm doing well, but I want to be doing even better.

    Speaking of which, I forgot to say that, yesterday night, I had a solid erection when I woke at 1:30. That's been distressingly rare of late. I'm not sure why other than I'm not healed yet. In particular, I still haven't had a true spontaneous erection.

    Anyway, I may write more later, as a way of taking a break from spending more time on my organizational system. Though it causes heart palpitations still, it's what I need to do to best face the myriad of possible unpleasant things ahead, down the road from now, the evening of day 101.
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  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Once the ball gets rolling it is self-motivating, so to speak. We don't have to figure it out consciously, because our unconscious mind is continually working a way for us forward. :)

    It all sounds positive, Doofus.
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  18. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thank you, @Saville ! I wish I had as positive a report today.

    Some positives, though. Got back to sleep at 1:30 without booze. Unfortunately, not so at 2:30. I only had a little wine, but I had it. I'm starting to think it might be that I can substitute carbs for booze. Lots of nights in the past, booze didn't work, but it almost always does when I combine it with junk food - last night it was pretzels that did the trick. Maybe I'll try that next night I can't go back to sleep. Some say that drinkers don't get good sleep because the body is processing the alcohol and there's sugar spike. My glucose was only 88, though, lower than it's been the other days I've measured it. And it was 88 again when I woke up, which I didn't do until 6:30. I got back to sleep at 4 so my total sleep was good, but, though I did do most of my morning routine, I didn't and haven't yet gotten any exercise, except for a V-day morning humping from the wife. (She's home because her school is closed today, I'm home because I have every other Thursday off).

    Just faxed financial documents to UChicago for T - it's a good thing we're both home this morning, it took both of us to do it and they're due tomorrow! (Eeek!)

    I was going to take my car in to have the wheel bearing repaired but I'm still waiting for confirmation that they got the fax which I have to be here to re-send, if necessary. Maybe no car repair today.

    Also, the stress of that caused me to peek for a second or two. No M or O, but I'm struggling with P right now. I still, I guess, haven't broken down those pathways. I'm not on long enough to get aroused, but the fact that I am navigating to those sites when I'm feeling especially anxious is telling. I don't think I saw that connection before. So, this 100+ day odyssey through semi-sobriety has at least helped me learn a little more about the nature of this addiction - and, I suppose, by implication, my other ones.

    In reading other journals on here (which I don't do as much as I'd like..) I see that some talk about developing the habit of just feeling those bad emotions. That seems to require more strength than I possess, or at least than I possess sometimes.

    Writing here helps, as it has today on the morning of day 102.
  19. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    Human beings are a impatient lot. Positive things happen but they do not happen fast enough for us. Consequently, we think nothing is happening or its negative in nature. Positive things are occurring to you but you may not see it and I don't think you do. Keep moving forward you are doing what needs to be done.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  20. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Bang on, @Bobo.
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