Time to heal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by forlorn, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I'm the guy that checks his phone every few minutes. Constantly looking to see if I have any received any messages, getting a buzz of validation every time I get a notification or hear a ping. At least, that's how it has felt for the last few weeks. So yesterday I did a 24 hour technology detox - no music, no TV, no phone, no computer. I think it was a valuable exercise, it allowed me to create a little break and re-evaluate the way I spend my time.

    Still haven't done any work on putting together any kind of vision for my life. Thanks @Gil79 for your suggestion about active visualisation. I will look into this approach because currently I am struggling to mentally connect to any type of vision. I remember reading somewhere that people who struggle to put together life visions are actually struggling with the issue of mortality, i.e. accepting that in life we only have a finite number of paths/experiences. Since I have a completely free day today, I will focus on making plans for the next 5 years, as Gil suggested. When I've tried doing this in the past I've always found it difficult and I have typically added a lot of detail, but maybe you're right, i.e. that too much detail can sometimes get in the way because it can create self doubt.
     
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  2. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I have finally put together a vision (goal/plan) for the next few years of my life. It's not perfect, but it's a start. I took a whole day to think about it (what could be more important?) and eventually narrowed down three main areas to focus on. I did this by identifying the 'must dos' rather than the 'should dos'. Broadly speaking the areas I chose were relationship, career and self development. Already I feel as if it's given me the impetus to use my time more effectively. I have a sense of direction, something to aim towards instead of plodding along and seeking temporary distractions. I'll be reviewing my vision daily, monitoring to see if I'm following through with the habits that move me towards my desired goals. I'll also be trying to visualise myself achieving these goals and living the life I want.
     
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  3. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    I can relate, forlorn. There was a time when I craved that external validation, which I needed to validate my significance. Today, not so much. When I focus on bringing my authentic self into the world, that seems to do the trick. Who would have thunk that it was an inside out proposition:D
    Sometimes the medium we use can greatly impact our ability to create this vision. Some people work best with visuals/pictures, some with detailed outlines, some with sounds/music as the catalysts, some with conversations with others, some using meditation, etc. Finding the right medium works wonders. Good luck!
     
  4. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It's been a month since I posted here. I had set myself a vision and for a short period I felt a renewed sense of purpose.

    The truth is that I didn't maintain my vision for more than a handful of days. The most painful part about this is that my actions weren't consistent with my intentions. I say I'm going to do 'x' but end up doing 'y'.

    This situation with the virus has meant I'm home all the time and I don't know if I will have a job to go back to. I always thought I was good at handling uncertainty, but it turns out I'm not. All these months at home could have been a time for wonderful growth and personal development but I fear I have squandered the days with inaction, distractions and emotional shortcuts.

    I also feel a growing sense of fear that I may end up going through relapse-recovery cycles for the rest of my life. Some of my behaviours this last month have been so self destructive, the complete opposite of my journal title, which is about healing. To make matters worse my behaviours have had financial implications, allowing myself to be manipulated in such a way is difficult to come to terms with. I'm not a stupid person but on some level, what I am doing is completely and utterly stupid.

    Sorry for all the negativity in this post, guess I needed to get it off my chest and process what's been going on. It's better for me to face up to reality, even if it's painful than to carry on in comfortable delusion.
     
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  5. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Hey forlorn. Thanks for sharing. Posting has many aspects. Sometimes writing thoughts down is helpful whether it seems positive or negative
     
  6. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Boxer17 you're right, writing things down has helped me recognise that I'm not happy with how things have been lately. It's ridiculous how many times I've given myself a fresh start. "From now on....etc etc". But anyway, I'm going to stop beating myself up about it. It will take a few days for me to lift myself out the misery but at least I am back on the right path again.
     
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  7. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    If we're not willing to take ownership of our 'shit', we'll never be able to get rid of it, forlorn. No apologies necessary:D keep postin:)
     
  8. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @NCBob for the reminder to take ownership of my problems and to carry on posting. It's easy to get into the habit of not posting here, but doing so helps remind me that I'm not alone in this struggle. And doing so consistently helps maintain focus and commitment to the cause. Slowly lifting myself out of the misery of the last few weeks, yesterday I found myself genuinely laughing at something, feels like it's been a while since I did that.
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  9. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    That may or may not be the case, in terms of squandering the days. However, it is what you do today that counts. I sometimes kick myself for time/life/relationships I squandered, but it never really does me any good. I just take things a day at a time, and try to make this one a little better than yesterday.
     
  10. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    Sometimes we need a really palpable sense of fear to get us to do or change something. For me it was the fact that I didn’t want to screw up the relationship I’m in, and all the spin-off ramifications of that happening.
     
  11. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    That’s great! Pleased to hear it.:)
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Clovis6 for your support and encouragement.

    I've been thinking about the town I grew up in. While it was quite a pleasant place overall, I have mixed feelings about it. As a teenager I remember feeling trapped living there, life felt so limited and boring. I still remember the layout of the town and the individual streets but huge swathes of my memory seem to be completely forgotten, for instance I can barely remember anything about the schools I went to. School was a painful time for me and I strongly suspect I have somehow repressed those memories to try and protect myself from some kind of emotional pain. I can't remember the entrance, classrooms, the corridors, the teachers or much else.

    I have 'friends' from those days on my Facebook but I don't interact with them. I don't even look at their pages to see how their lives turned out. And some of these 'friends', I can barely remember them at all. There must be something I find deeply uncomfortable about that period of my life. I am planning to revisit the town in the near future to see if it stirs up some memories.
     
  13. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    The last couple of months my memory is really improving. I have been writing about it a couple of times. At unexpected moments I can get associative memories I had completely forgotten and I am better able to just think about my past and just remember things (also like actual places and how they looked). On the YBOP webpage there is also some info about it (both associative memory and actual short-term processing memory). It makes me really happy and I consider it one of the best superpowers of rebooting.
     
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  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Gil79 interesting to note you feel your memory has improved through the process of rebooting.

    Yesterday a friend's wife asked me what I've been up to for the past few months. I didn't really have much of an answer. It felt as if I should have been able to say something like "I've read loads of novels, learned how to play a musical instrument, or learned a new language". But I had nothing to say. It's made me question how I have been spending my time. I don't have a routine as such, I tend to just fritter the time away through TV, the Internet, gardening and a bit of exercise. And so many evenings I have sat around drinking alcohol to numb the senses.

    I will take her question and my non-answer as a wake up call. Several posts ago I identified 3 areas of my life to work on - career, relationship and self improvement, progressing in these areas would be a more productive use of my time.
     
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  15. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    That’s a good way of looking at it. Rather than thinking of the last couple of months of having frittered away your time, maybe you needed to do that to realise that you really do want to work on those 3 areas of your life that you metioned.
     
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  16. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    One of my goals involves trying to improve the relationship with my wife. As part of that goal I set myself the challenge of trying listen more and have at least one meaningful conversation with her every day. Harder said, than done. Sometimes it seems she isn't really interested in what I have to say and seems mildly annoyed at the interruption. Admittedly my timing could probably be better. I need to be careful not to feel as if her behaviour is rejecting towards me, as that can be a trigger.

    For a few days I've been mentally concocting a plan to get away for a while, to my favourite city in Europe. I doubt the wife would agree to travel because she's overly cautious about everything. I think the travel would be possible despite the current restrictions due to Covid-19, but it's a little vague and guidelines are changing by the day. And I wonder how I'd be judged by our family and friends if I were to take a trip away, alone. I'd say there's about a 25% chance of it actually happening, but whenever I spend time researching it, my brain can't seem to tell the difference between the fantasy and reality. I look at maps, hotels, flights and get excited reading about the different neighborhoods I could explore.
     
  17. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Things have improved in the last couple of weeks, I feel as if I'm back in control of my life. However in order to make sufficient progression I know I have to keep at it consistently - carry on building good habits, carry on working towards those new goals. Presently I'm having to look back over a paper journal to review my goals daily. It helps to remind me of what I'm aiming towards and keeps me focused.

    Saw my father over the weekend for the first time in ages. He was working in his yard laying paving stones and cement. I admire the way he takes pride in everything he does. When the paving stones weren't looking right, he stopped to re-flatten the turf to ensure it was perfectly even. He's in his late sixties, but remains very active, both physically and mentally. He has a fair amount of stress in his life but seems to manage it well. He's well respected by many people and has achieved a lot in life - I'll never live up to his level, but seeing him this weekend has helped to put some things into perspective. I like the way he makes the most of each day and uses his time effectively. It has served as a useful reminder for me to improve my own standards.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  18. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Trying to continue positing here as regularly as I can, it's part of a broader strategy in which I identified areas of my life (relationship, career, self development) that I want to improve. Although I'm feeling confused and anxious today, I will continue to focus on actions that lead me towards my goals. I recently stumbled across a meditation clip which I really like. I don't have any kind of religious or spiritual interest, but this guy's voice is very soothing and the music has a nice healing effect. For the past few days I've been listening to the audio on my headphones whilst looking at plants in my garden and I've found it to be quite a therapeutic experience.
     
  19. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Things are ticking along steadily at the moment. I am mildly stressed about the uncertainty over my job and the lack of sexual intimacy in my marriage, but am doing my best to respond to life's challenges in a healthy way. I have planned a little leisure break for later this week. The wife doesn't want to travel, so I will be going alone, to a wonderful capital city. It feels a little self indulgent paying for a hotel just for myself, but I'm kind of excited about it. I don't mind going to pubs and restaurants on my own and as someone who loves to travel, I actually enjoy the experience of researching the trip beforehand.
     
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  20. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Feeling anxious this morning but I am avoiding the temptation to escape. Finding it helpful to take deep breaths to calm myself. I think part of it stems from the fact I have to take care of some financial matters relating to my property. I've never been great with handling finances. I struggled in my 20's and 30's and never earned as much as those around me. I had a few painful situations around money back then. As my addiction developed I got caught up in 'Fin Dom' which is one of the most self destructive things I've ever engaged in. That behaviour lasted around a decade and only ended recently. Nowadays I do have some savings, but I'm sure it's less than others of the same age. I can't off the top of my head say how much is outstanding on my mortgage. I don't know how much my monthly outgoings are. But now, ahead of my trip away in a couple of days time I am determined to take responsibility, face reality and take greater control of my finances.
     

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