The sleeper awakens

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Mendoza, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Great post Mendoza.

    Belief, yes, but I think also love. When we love and feel loved it is so much easier to believe because then we feel we have something worth believing in. Love is a great teacher too.

    I don't find too many people here write much about their family backgrounds, but if one were able to gather a lot of data I'm sure what would emerge is a correlation between successful rebooters and chronic relapsers and their respective environments.
     
  2. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Thanks, TheScriabin. I stand corrected: love can ALSO be a great teacher... with or without a woman. Love can be just about giving your best to the world.

    10-day summary:

    The good
    No cravings PMO-wise. Had a mini-craving for a game which did not last more than a few minutes, which then left me alone. A turbulent mind that is slowly coming back to peace. No desire to cling onto someone or imagine romantic/sexual fantasies. I've also become very aware of all the things I need to get my life kick-started again. The challenge lying ahead is huge, daunting and exciting at the same time. Like entering a new zone.

    The not-so-good
    Feeling depressed on several days. Knowing that I won't pursue grad school this year feels like abandoning a dream and facing a hard truth. It's up to me to re-frame it in a more positive light, such as: maybe not this year, but after working for 2 years and fine-tuning my idea, I can always go back and try again. But still, it's not feeling rosy, so as counter-measure, brought a coffee pot to the workplace just to get going and offset the downer days. Last thing I want is to jump onto another addiction, but one coffee a day won't kill me.

    I noticed than in the past ten days, I have been a little more preoccupied, as in trying to control my future. But the issue with the project not happening, there were many outwardly signs that were telling me the door was closing. So then I thought: do I slug it out against destiny or do I allow destiny to draw my path? Destiny (or the universe) is not conspiring in my favor for said grad school objective... so at what point do I fight for the dream, and at what point to I accept that maybe, this isn't the path that was meant to be? To be honest, I wasn't sure that spending 4 years studying away was the best vision imaginable.:(

    Those worries also detracted from my general readings... been reading a lot less lately, and feel bad about it. However, I am pushing myself to exercise, the one positive change I've done since the turn of the year.

    Well, forwards it is (what other choice is there?) for another 10 days...
     
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  3. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Agreed, I don't think the occasional coffee is anything to worry about. We need our little perks, especially when we are going through such a significant emotional challenge as cutting out more intense forms of stimulus.

    Yes, I didn't mean specifically romantic love. But love for or from something. Maybe I just mean that feeling of wanting to feel life in a deeper way.
     
  4. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Mendoza, referring to your post in Thebegs journal I wanted to encourage you to go on an after work drink with your project coworker and and then go for it, if the opportunity arises ;-)

    If I had followed the same thoughts and objections as you I wouldn't be married today.
     
  5. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Time to man up. Yesterday, I crashed and burned. Like, really bad. Back to zero.

    And this gets me to think: the more I relapse, the longer the binges get. And then I mention it to mom, who in a way, has become an accountability partner... not because she suggested, but because admitting it openly is, to me, much better than hiding it away. Of course, I got some tough talk from her about being active, fighting for one's objectives and goals. Lately, I have become indolent and passive. Not going to grad school made me somewhat depressed, but this got me into a stagnant state of mind, instead of going back to the drawing board and figuring out an alternate path.

    Solving this addiction is no walk in the park for me, in fact I've been a consistent chronic addict that keeps going back to the substance, because the tiniest of triggers snowball into tremendous obsessions that make it practically impossible for me not to relapse. If I were to apply cold hard logic, then then culprit is location... for any snowball to get larger, you need an incline, or momentum. The same goes with triggers. An unfortunate thought, be it wanting to play a game badly, or a sexual thought, a fantasy, whatever... will feed on a mind that allows it to gain momentum. If I remove the conditions for triggers to enjoy momentum, then they truly shouldn't ever bother me.

    So question is WHAT are those inner conditions and how do I change them? I am speculating here, but as much as I hate to admit it, probably lack of self-appreciation... but especially, no belief that I can live an adventurous life, with meaning through work I like and connections to people whose company I enjoy. And it should start from within: to harbor the belief that I can and will live my life IN MY TERMS. Without this I cannot act. Without action, it's back to the cycles of relapses. Ten days ago, I was confident I'd be well on my way to a healthy recovery. Now I realize that recovery is whole lot more than getting rid of bad patterns... a lack of vision and passion is even more destructive.

    So tonight after work, I'm going to hit the kitchen table with pen and pad, and brainstorm ideas for something I would really like to learn and start doing.

    I really appreciate your kind encouragement. I am seeing her tomorrow, but I'm feeling all fucked from what happened. I'd like to do that when she returns from an overseas trip early next month. I'll be less volatile then, so whatever her answer I can take it in stride, without letting it affect me too much. I know this sounds like delaying, but I have to be better mentally and emotionally. Your last line though strikes home: if I don't do anything, then I'll be rewarded with loneliness. And if I do, who knows...
     
  6. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear what happended but I feel there's better times to come for you if you work on it.

    Those last line about me not being married today is because I was in your position. My wife was a coworker (assistant of the CEO) and I was chatting with her for 6 months every couple of days in a friendly way. One day I asked her out for an after work drink, although I knew she was in a relationship and - as mentioned before- assistant of CEO. so high stakes for me, considering I was also pretty fucked up from a binge drinking episode aka festival. But in the end I managed to take her out anyway, despite having tons of excuses and doubts about it. Fortune favors the brave sometimes, I reckon ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  7. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    Hi Mendoza, sorry to hear you are having a hard time there. I really enjoyed your earlier post and it seems like you had a real mental breakthrough. It isn't easy learning to smash the glass case and cast P out forever. For me it took a real emotional shock that shook me to my core.

    Have a think about acceptance. For me, acceptance means knowing that no matter what happens - good days, bad days, romantic disappointment, shitty career, shitty family - P will not help the situation. It's hard, and black moods came that lasted for a day or two (but are now far less frequent), but eventually I discovered that I could just sit with my shitty feelings and experience them. When you can do that without recourse to P, even feeling bad feels good, because it feels like something other than numb.

    For a long time I tried action to overcome my addiction and improved my life and person in many ways, but it was acceptance that cracked the nut.

    Even if you have no intention of getting involved an going to meetings, have a look at the SAA literature and see if any of it rings true.
     
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  8. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    The more you relapse the longer the binges get. Same here. I used to sob that I’d only made things worse with this whole PMO abstinence thing. But I’ve not made them worse, I’ve made them a lot more difficult, which is exactly as it should be.

    But I think this is because we are finally finding a way to become adults, and like Odysseus, that doesn’t happen without having to battle the Cyclops, or an end-of-level boss, who only comes back bigger and badder until he is finally vanquished for good. Then we have passed the initiation and we are real men, having saved the village, and we finally get the girl! I am sure nature only gives us as much shit as it knows we can handle, so if it gives us a lot, it’s cos it knows we are bad asses who can take it. Our culture doesn’t have enough archetypes for becoming men. Men are tough motherfuckers. But boys...
     
  9. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

  10. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Haha. When I went to google search ‘Yourbrainrebalanced’ I unconsciously typed ‘Mendoza’ instead! Shows how much of an impact you’re having on me!

    At least I’ve now learnt a little bit more about Argentina.
     
  11. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Day 5 in the books.

    Just finished an early evening meditation. I thought of escaping to games, but came here to post on a few journals instead. Then off for a quick dinner followed by some reading. It is a nice feeling to be content with simplicity. It's a learning process but meditation helps me realize it's all it takes to be happy.

    Sounds like an awesome story! :) I bet it's something your teenage kids will someday very much appreciate, in our age of marrying the Tinder date...

    I am still struggling with the concept. Deep down, I know that accepting things as they are is the way to go. That's what allows one to let go of something that isn't working... rather than grasp it or become crazily attached. That's especially true with relationships. Acceptance would definitely be the healthiest choice by far. But with regards to career and other objectives, is it right to just accept without further question? I wouldn't want acceptance to be the excuse not to act - if you know what I mean. We can become too fervent with 'acceptance' that we train ourselves not to react and remedy situations - that can be helped. But going back to P, here acceptance is 100% on the mark, because P can never be in a position to improve our lives. So in this case, we have to learn to let it go since it cannot be of help. We learn to accept that we no longer will live with the rush of dopamine, and indulging in that 'forbidden thing'... because acceptance allows us to experience loneliness, sadness, gloom, boredom in ways we never have before. Am I getting it right?
     
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  12. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Live in the Northern hemisphere, but have been to the city of Mendoza for all of 24 hours, while on a trip. What made it memorable was stopping by a nondescript restaurant, and having a chew at their famous Pampa grasslands-fed beef. Totally not the inspiration for my avatar, btw!:p
     
  13. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    Good work on 5 days. The first few days were always tough for me :)

    Maybe there are different kinds of acceptance. Perhaps with regard to careers and objectives you're talking more about resignation?

    The kind I'm talking about isn't the same as giving up, or passively accepting a bad situation. For me, acceptance let me take ownership of my situation. It was something very active that enabled me to take the actions I needed to take go 101 days without acting out. It was actually the opposite of letting go. It was accepting it as part of who I am. Not embracing it, but looking it in the eye and telling it what it's place was in my life: taking back control.

    I'm also talking about acceptance very specifically with regard to addiction. I'd tried (and to some extent) succeeded in building a better life, but then I realised that I was still acting out. It didn't make sense to me. I could feel that I had done enough so that I no longer needed to act out to make life bearable: I had friends, I had natural dopamine highs... yet still I acted out. Although this was five years after first started trying to kick PMO, that was when I truly realised (and accepted) that I was an addict. I just couldn't help acting out.

    I accepted that I would always want to act out no matter what. The other side to this same coin is that I also accepted that I would not act out no matter what. I experience negative emotions, yes, but also positive ones. It can be tough to manage emotions sometimes but I'm genuinely grateful for them, and I feel stronger every time I don't act out.

    I'm also finding that my sobriety is letting me give serious thought to my life and career (I don't really like my job, either). I have so much more mental space.

    Hope that helps a bit. It's hard to express these things sometimes.
     
  14. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Clocking in at 10 days, for the 5th consecutive time. Will I hold it until day 11, for once?
    Day 5 no gaming (will stop counting when I reach 3 weeks without playing)

    I am also keeping tab of my latest game binge, which occurred late Friday and over to the morning, when I was starting to feel ill. Still feeling a little dazed, but the time away from the routine and living with discomfort and boredom have given me new perspective on life. There is no need to patch up loneliness or sadness with a game or flick every single time the emotion surges up. That's why being sick serves this 'grand purpose' of bringing me back to balance. Of course, let's keep it to once a year, tops.;)

    @HPMOF
    I think you understand my confusion. I took acceptance to be resignation, sorry about that. Now I understand the gist of what you originally meant. And to me that means admitting that things are as they are and taking ownership of the situation (i.e. taking action if I expect to see changes).

    One last tangent: acceptance can ALSO be about letting go. Accepting that a woman is not into you is not defeatist, it's realistic and allows you to cool down the insanity of believing that happiness can only be found in that one woman. It's even the prelude to meeting an even better match... so here letting go is not 'giving up'.
     
  15. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    If the 10th day is a big hurdle, try to plan that day as full as you can. Exercise twice if need be, once you break through this (psychological) barrier you should be able to progress further.

    Exactly this. Over time I've learned to ignore those feelings about a particular woman being "the one". It's difficult to do but afterwards, when you've met a new woman, you'll always think "now what was all the fuzz about?". As long as you realize this, it's just hormones and a sort of addiction to one woman, you can take your time to mourn her loss so you can move on.

    Onto better women! ;)
     
  16. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    Made it to day 14 then stumbled.

    It's an improvement. Now I am confident I can go consistently at least 10 days and more. Now I have to raise the bar higher.

    Now that the flu is gone, I have no more excuses to lie around being lazy. Complacency always gets its way in the end, so I have to keep busy and maintain a good control of my activities... otherwise a relapse will always be around the corner. Meditation, study, working with emotions, I know what I need to do. Days 10-20 are always toughest on me, so I just need to cover the basics and there's no need to fear relapses. I distinctly felt a little fear last night, and with the week off of meditation and little work, the slip was predictable. With the basics, I'll be prepared for when a fantasy, an urge or whatever troublesome behavior arises.
     
  17. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    You still see some good benefits from repeated 10-14 day periods of abstinence, in my experience. Nothing like the real deal though :)
     
  18. Mendoza

    Mendoza Well-Known Member

    A shame really, because I binged... which completely erased any headway accomplished through those 2 weeks.

    I don't believe in reaping benefits with little stretches of 10-14 days. Nothing short of re-hauling my life management skills (which includes correcting poor coping strategies) will provide any sort of benefit to my well-being, in my honest opinion. And besides, we aren't doing this for the 'benefits'... we are doing this to transform what we are from the inside out.
     
  19. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    I think every little effort counts. If not for the direct benefits, then for the fact that you are able to get further than before on a consistent basis. Remember that this progress is nonlinear, so eventually you'll break through that plateau and you'll reach much further. Better than 3 day streaks ;)
     
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  20. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    It's all time clean. Better to binge a day every two weeks than every day for years. That said, I think I was stuck in a similar cycle for about a year, so I know how much it sucks.

    Hope you break through soon.
     
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