CV's Journal

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Re: CV's Journal

Postby drbob1a on Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:26 am

Wise thoughts! Becoming the man we want to be is a lifelong pursuit I suspect.
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby constant_vigilance on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:28 am

drbob1a wrote:Wise thoughts! Becoming the man we want to be is a lifelong pursuit I suspect.


I take it you know a thing or two about that ;)

==

Three things I'm grateful for:
1. My life experiences—it sounds cliche, perhaps, that I didn't realize it at the time but I've had the opportunity to do lots of interesting things that make me who I am. I'm coming to appreciate those more now.
2. Kindness from others—I am fortunate to be around lots of people that are genuinely kind in many areas of my life and that is definitely something I am grateful for.
3. Opportunities to learn and grow—from spaces to pause and reflect to spaces to actively learn such as at work.

Emotions: At my work retreat right now. It's a little intense in that it seems like a lot of folks are interested in meeting lots of new people for 30 seconds whereas I prefer to get to know a few people better. I ended up going to bed a pretty early yesterday last night while others were still out—I just talked to my wife and went to sleep—but I feel better physically that I did, and I think I just need to give myself permission to not feel guilty or ashamed that I did. It is definitely progress that I listened to my body and my emotions a bit more and did what was healthy for me rather than give into some imagined pressure to hang out.

Still I do feel like as the newest person I am feeling pressured to put on an act a bit, but I realize now there's no need for me to do that. I was hired as I was (which admittedly the interview process is its own act) and I should feel comfortable being who I am and comfortable in my own skin. I think underlying these fears are fears about being perceived as not being good enough at my job. I think perhaps there's also a certain element of high expectations around me given the experience I'm bringing into this particular role that I keep hearing from folks when they meet me—that I feel I have to live up to but I can't really control that. I guess it's weird for me to come into a role where there are these kinds of expectations—I suppose it's a learning experience though—it's nice in one way to have done things that people respect and assume make me good for this role—but I also know that inevitably in some, even many, areas I'm going to fall short so perhaps helping set realistic expectations for folks about the fact that it will take time and that the outcomes may not be exactly what people are expecting (nor can any one person fully control them). At the end of the day I need to keep learning and growing, stay focused on my work in the present rather than obsess about the future or what might go wrong, and continue trusting in a higher power, and let the cards fall where they may.

Beast/boundaries: I had what I think was a suggestive dream last night so make sure I'm in a good headspace when I'm going to bed. The Beast is being a little loud right now being away from home so make sure I'm continuing to take care of myself and watch any negative self-talk as well.

Plan: Just keep a small eye on cell phone and laptop usage at night before bed as I didn't fully disable my phone's internet browsing before leaving home. It's mainly a precaution to make sure that I don't end up in complete free-fall. Review my plan for traveling again and follow it as best I can.

Becoming a better man: Practice integrity today—especially in terms of practicing honesty and humility about my experiences and who I truly am around others rather than feeling the need to exaggerate or pretend to be someone I'm not. I know the things that are most important to me—my loved ones first and foremost, then my work, and then my other interests—and it's good for me to own that.

==

CV
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby constant_vigilance on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:01 am

Three things I'm grateful for:
1. My wife first and foremost. I'm grateful to have a partner like her in my life every day.
2. A decent night's sleep this past night.
3. This board for being a place to continue to work out my thoughts every day.

Emotions: I have a meeting today that is a bit of a handoff meeting with a partner from a colleague who is transitioning out of the organization to me. I feel some fear around it and some anxiety and stress to make a good impression but I have been communicating with them over email and phone a bit so hopefully it goes okay.

Other than that I do have some lingering longer-term projects that I just haven't been able to get to yet, so I'm feeling a bit stressed about that too. I am also feeling a little off in terms of eating healthy and exercising given all the traveling over the last few days.

I am glad I followed my recovery plan a bit and was able to sleep through the night peacefully in a hotel this past night, which makes me feel good about maintaining solid sobriety if I'm traveling occasionally. One thing that helped a bit was listening to sleep sounds (e.g. rain falling, etc.) so I might try that from time to time too.

I've been noticing that my thoughts actually need a lot of work——I think healing my heart and mind is still something I have to keep working on so that I don't immediately frame or react to situations as I would as my old self.

Beast/boundaries: I had a few more extra drinks on Monday and didn't remember to watch my boundary around that. In turn I struggled with a few moments of urges to lust though I didn't act on it, the thoughts came up. Last night the beast had a few momentary urges to go into fantasy and rationalize that I was okay, but I didn't and went to sleep instead.

Plan: It's going to be a long day so practice eating healthy instead of junk-ish food like I have been. Give myself enough time to get from point A to point B so I don't have to get stressed about getting there. Generally just keep an eye on the beast today, as well as other negative thoughts towards myself or others.

Becoming a better man: Practice integrity in all that I do today.

==

CV
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby constant_vigilance on Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:41 am

Coming down with something. Sore throat, etc. Hoping that it gets better on it's own by tomorrow but also know that is probably a bit of wishful thinking.

Three things I'm grateful for:
1. To be back home and sober.
2. Small thoughtful gifts from my wife.
3. A comfortable home.

Emotions: Just a bit overwhelmed and tired at the moment. I've got a hundred things I'm trying to juggle and I'm definitely overcommitted.

Beast/boundaries: Had a few moments this morning when the beast was starting to talk and wanted to distract me with compulsive surfing a bit but stopped listening to it pretty quickly.

Plan: Illness is a particularly dangerous time for me so make sure I'm keeping sobriety my top priority. Keep a special eye on urges to zone out on technology or in my mind and instead remember that staying sober also helps my physical health and helps me recover faster.

Becoming a better man: Practice love towards myself and others—nurturing myself and others for our health and growth.

CV
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby drbob1a on Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:57 pm

Yup, being sick is a big red flag. Hang in there and take care of yourself!
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby constant_vigilance on Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:06 am

Thanks! Thankfully on the other side of the illness but still getting some of the residual stuff out of my system. Fortunately I am able to work from home so that helps.

In terms of sobriety, the last week has been tough. I was able to get through being apart from my wife for 5 days with my sobriety intact and most of my boundaries in place, but the illness was tough for me and I spent a decent bit of time pushing boundaries in terms of computer usage (youtube, TV) and struggled with mental boundaries (urges to daydream and fantasize).

The TV and computer usage boundaries are things that I know how to manage and did manage for some days by practicing what I know I need to do (e.g. setting a timer for my usage). But the mental boundaries are something I still continue to struggle with, even 10 months into sobriety, if I'm honest. And from my past experience I know that the return to full blown addiction and acting out, for me, didn't start from googling a triggering image or glancing at a suggestive magazine, it started with the choice to leave the backdoor of fantasy and mental lust open to my addiction even while getting sober from the other behaviors.

I read and talked with my wife about the mental boundaries a bit and did some reading and it seems like underlying this is something I need to work on that is tied to but not just about porn addiction. For example one thing I've struggled with for many years is staying up for an hour or more after turning off the lights because I'm daydreaming (not necessarily fantasizing). With meditation I learned to calm that a bit, but without that it came roaring back to the point that in the last month or two it's sometimes been 2+ hours of being awake daydreaming about something in my life. There's a bunch of different things that it seems like people are researching around this—maladaptive daydreaming is a term that some folks are using—I'm wary of putting a label on anything as an excuse to not deal with the fact that it may just be a way for my addiction to get a foothold, but I think there may be something to the idea of escaping into our minds without an external aid that can become habitual and obsessive to the detriment of our real lives.

Anyways, it's something I'm going to talk out with my therapist a bit more but I think getting back on track with my meditation is an important start to dealing with this and also just giving me the mental clarity and focus I need. I really do believe that if we keep our mind and thoughts in a healthy place then it makes it a lot harder for the addiction to even *start* to get any kind of momentum.

==

Three things I'm grateful for:
1. Ability to take time off work to rest and heal.
2. Relatively good health still (knock on wood).
3. Relatively good health of those that I love, esp. my wife.

Emotions: Glad to be healing and feeling better overall.

Beast/boundaries: Compulsive surfing around travel planning and more than one hour of TV yesterday. Struggled this morning for an hour last night and this morning with daydreaming and fantasy.

Plan: Turned on browser filters and set aside other non-work computers for the day while working from home. Meditate a few times in the day too for short periods of time to work on re-centering myself. I don't have to do it all at once, sometimes short breaks are fine or even better for me.

Becoming a better man: Practice integrity by talking with my wife about my struggles tonight, but also be aware of the other emotional burden she is carrying.

==

CV
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby drbob1a on Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:06 am

Getting to sleep can be a difficult time, even now. Does meditation help with that?
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby constant_vigilance on Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:54 am

Yeah, meditation and breathing exercises are definitely something I've found pretty helpful and am going to try to bring back in. I guess there's probably a certain amount of association for a lot of folks between night / bed time and acting out so changing that pathway probably takes some concerted effort and time.

==
Three things I'm grateful for:
1. Some sense of stability at the moment.
2. My wife's kindness towards me.
3. The natural beauty around us.

Emotions: I don't know if tired and slightly exhausted is a emotion per se, but am feeling that way right now. I think underlying that I can hear a hint of feeling under appreciated, which probably comes from feelings of being entitled to something that I'm not, which for me can be a pretty quick step to resentment, which is not ever helpful to me or anyone.

This is a bit muddled thinking, but: I think a better way to think about it is that I'm grateful to be me as I am and am thankful that I am able to play a role in helping many different groups and communities of people, but part of that also involves recognizing when I NEED HELP to carry out my duties and recognize that my ability to do something alone versus with help isn't actually tied to my self-worth but about the kind of character i have.

Beast/boundaries: Up late working and browsing til 1am. Some unhealthy eating.

Plan: Make sure to get to bed on time today and check in with my therapist again as well. Make sure to eat properly during the day. Also be sure to stick to my tv watching and browsing / mental boundaries at night again since I'll be alone for a few hours. Practice breathing or meditation for a few minutes before bed. Remember, I need to prioritize my recovery and sobriety and general health to give me the platform to sustain my efforts to do everything else I want to do.

Becoming a better man: Practice being responsible by asking for help as I need it, not just saying I can do everything even when I'm overwhelmed.

==

CV
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby constant_vigilance on Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:22 am

Three things I'm grateful for:
1. People picking up the slack on my team when I'm feeling overwhelmed.
2. Supports I have in terms of this board and my therapist that help me feel a bit more able to o deal with the ups and downs of life.
3. A route to work that is a bit more manageable and less stress inducing (fingers-crossed it stays this way).

Emotions: Feeling way overworked right now. :Work-work" is fine but I have so much I feel like I'm juggling outside of work—leading three big projects for different groups, getting over an illness, taking care of my wife who is becoming ill, trying to plan trips with family and ourselves in the next few months.

I guess I know that this too will pass, but I think perhaps I can learn from this and in the future be more cognizant of what I can and can't take on. I think I should have definitely let something drop formally because otherwise I end up holding that role but becoming really delayed in getting it done anyways. For now, I'm just trying to stay focused on keeping recovery and sobriety first and then trusting that if I do that and get balanced on that front it will eventually spread to the rest of my life.

Beast/boundaries: Up a little past 11 working last night and ended up falling asleep with the lights on again. Struggled with the beast a bit this morning when I woke up for a few minutes but pushed back pretty hard on going into fantasy.

Plan: Keep prioritizing sobriety and recovery. It sounds simple but it's not always so simple when life becomes busy so it's important to be explicit about it. Over the long-term I know that any time I've found balance in my recovery, it's led to good outcomes for my whole life so it remains the priority.

Specifically, make sure to get to sleep by 11pm tonight, and make sure to prioritize things like keeping my mental boundary (e.g. daydreaming) and computer boundaries (e.g. obsessive surfing) crisp. Make sure I remember what's important to me today (e.g. taking care of my wife today cuz she's feeling ill).

Becoming a better man: Practice love towards my wife today—take care of her while she's sick!

==

CV
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Re: CV's Journal

Postby drbob1a on Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:33 am

I'm glad you're keeping your priorities straight. We often feel like we don't have time, but if we let recovery slip then we waste even more time with the beast...
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
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