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Messages - workinprogressUK

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1
Ages 40 and up / Re: Here I am again
« on: Today at 08:58:04 AM »
At times I think how different my life would have been if I had been stronger and had more self respect to avoid falling in this trap, these thoughts make me very sad, so many years gone, wasted. I hesitate to dream of a bright future because given my previous experience I find it hard to believe in one. Yet I must strive and not give up, else all is lost.

All you can do is be clean today, right? I share your sadness and sense of loss for years gone and wasted, but there's nothing either of us can do to bring them back. All we can do is make the most of now, which is what you appear to be doing very well. Congrats!

2
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: Today at 08:54:49 AM »
Continuing to invest time in doing things that connect me to people and nature. Seems to be working, even if it takes me out of my comfort zone. Spent yesterday evening at the local beach with my son. Amazing sunset. Off to the "proper" seaside tonight with daughter to continue my piss-poor but really enjoyable attempts at surfing. Covid lockdown being reintroduced here next Tuesday, which has my wife wound-up quite tightly. It'll be even more important to be able to find calm and happiness in the small things as a result. Staying on the straight and narrow isn't taking up too much bandwidth. That serenity is fragile but really welcome.

3
Ages 40 and up / Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« on: Today at 08:24:44 AM »
Congrats on a successful week, and on not being knifed. Energy levels fluctuate, don't you find? Hopefully you'll find the strength naturally returns to your affirmations. Could be the last warm, sunny, Friday evening until spring, so I hope you make the most of it and have a lovely evening.

4
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 17, 2020, 09:00:39 AM »
Checking-in. All OK. Trying to think of something worth saying but nothing's bringing me down right now, so I'm just feeling lucky and grateful. Coached my rugby team last night. Met my dad, brother & nephew for a quick beer afterwards. Worked hard this morning, then spent lunch break out in the fields in the sunshine, riding motorbikes with my son. Lots to feel grateful for. No anxieties and nothing causing me pain, so it's easy to stay on the right path.

5
Ages 40 and up / Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« on: September 17, 2020, 08:37:05 AM »
Sounds like a real positive build. Great work! Looks like you've found a therapist that really works for you. Congrats.

6
Ages 40 and up / Re: Bringing it around full circle
« on: September 17, 2020, 06:19:53 AM »
it all seems to unravel by the evening when I finally have a moment to myself. I'd say there's almost a sense of entitlement to it, like I've earned the right to act out after a hard day at work. It's a trap I've set for myself many times before, but one I know I can avoid simply by retraining my focus and not chasing the thought too far down the rabbit hole.

Isn't that internal "justification" a really common cognitive distortion, LIGA? I'm probably using the wrong terms, but I think it's something a lot of us have to work on.... I certainly do! That inner voice that tells me I deserve some sort of treat or reward every time I do something healthy or hard. I think Leonidas writes about it a fair bit, too. Ties in to things like willpower depletion and how winning one internal, emotional, battle often prompts us to let go on another? Maybe it's as simple as finding yourself another reward?

7
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 15, 2020, 09:58:02 AM »
Focused on reading and re-reading about living life in the moment, for the current moment, and not dwelling on past failures or future mirages. Thoughts magnified by a good friend dying of cancer today and another family friend's funeral tomorrow. My own journey will have a similar end and it's never felt more important to me to find the joy in the moment. I worry too much about dying, as if it's something i can avoid! As Richard Carlson writes "you know that you have no time to lose. there is no better time to live and appreciate your life than right now". Even with the spectre of a Covid-induced, winter lockdown on the horizon, there are too many small beauties in life not to appreciate them.

8
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 14, 2020, 08:23:01 AM »
Going through a relatively easy spell and can't work out whether it's by luck, design or a combination of the two. Hosted friends Saturday night. Had no intention of drinking heavily, but got drunk for the first time in five years and suffered a stomach-churning hangover yesterday. Probably fortunate that I had a packed and stressful schedule, so I couldn't malinger at home and lapse into the wrong kind of thinking. Avoided the usual fantasy by needing to have my head focused on real-world stuff. No cravings today. One thing I do know is that I'm not preoccupied with NOT being a P user. I know that I'm more likely to succeed if I stay focused on positive, non-P, stuff.

9
Ages 40 and up / Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« on: September 14, 2020, 08:16:58 AM »
Sounds good, UKG. Whatever it takes to create that positive dialogue with your inner self.
I enjoyed some mindful meditation myself, yesterday, until the repeated thought that my baldy head was getting sunburned could no longer be allowed to float away :-) Wishing you a great week, mate.

10
Ages 40 and up / Re: New Start
« on: September 14, 2020, 08:10:31 AM »
Sincere congrats, Rookie. Great work.

11
Ages 40 and up / Re: Something needs saying here....
« on: September 14, 2020, 08:09:40 AM »
Just a quick update today. Had a few beers last night and was worried about waking up with strong urges. Instead, I lept out of bed and never felt so positive. Definitely back on track. Feeling super postive already and its only day 5. Lets go.

Nice one! Hope you can surf that positivity all the way to the beach.

12
Ages 40 and up / Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« on: September 14, 2020, 08:05:32 AM »
Well done on sacrificing short-term comfort for longer term benefit. Would have been easy to regress, but you forced yourself to get out there and engage with life on the front foot. Similar story here about drink, wife, DD and the rest. Yesterday saw my first hangover in 5 Years! It brought home to me why it's best that I'm always the one who stays off the booze and drives, and why I shouldn't resent anybody for that. Booze isn't a good drug for many of us, is it?

13
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 11, 2020, 06:40:09 AM »
May I recommend 'porn free radio' ep 90

Thanks for the recommendation, Joel. I haven't found episode 90 yet, but I subscribed this week to the podcast and I'm listening to the latest episode right now. Have to admit that I'm not yet "all in". I haven't made it impossible to reprise past behaviours. Grrrrr :-( Am I ready to disable that "back door" that I know I've left unlocked? One for me to work on.

Didn't make a trip to Brighton, UKGuy, but I did make a trip to Stafford to meet with a colleague for the first time in 6 months and found that connection really positive and energising. Kept up my exercise and training this week. Continued to read and study, although not as much as I should. Pushing to be sociable, even if I'd rather not be. Had a big grin this morning when I managed to box my chimp nicely at a moment of stress. Things are stable and manageable today. I'm grateful for that.

Take care and have a strong weekend.

14
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 08, 2020, 12:37:15 PM »
Dirt under my fingernails from clinging on today. Jaw aches from gritting my teeth so hard. Jesus.... you go through the mill with this, don't you?

Struggling to understand why I'm struggling. It's been a decent day all round. I'm two weeks and a day since my last slip-up. Somebody else wrote about two weeks being their breaking point earlier today. Maybe that's a common cadence? Fuck it. Not giving in today. Logging off and going for a walk.

15
Ages 40 and up / Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« on: September 08, 2020, 12:31:24 PM »
I've never for one second thought that you lacked humility. You brimmed with enthusiasm and a compassion for your fellow sufferer. You still have that compassion, maybe even more now that you have a couple of new scars. You're still a source of positivity for me.

16
Ages 40 and up / Re: Something needs saying here....
« on: September 08, 2020, 12:27:27 PM »
Hard to free yourself from an addiction that you can indulge without leaving the comfort of your armchair or even your own head. Do you have any practical obstacles set up to make your path to P more difficult, with a few gates to open? I always think that when we're triggered, we need to find ways to slow everything down, so we can remember for ourselves how fucked-up things are on P. Some days we're good, but on the days when your cravings kick-in.... a digital obstacle course to buy you some time?

17
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 08, 2020, 03:47:51 AM »
Thanks, guys for your support and input. Glad that you found something helpful, Slurps. I've relapsed on so many occasions. I guess it's just general "cycle of addiction" science and we all do it. All I can do is try to make the "in recovery" stages of my cycle longer and longer, until hopefully one day, there's no relpase. Until then, I have to define "courage" as it applies to me, as the ability to ignore the shame, guilt and hopelessness that blankets me when I fall over, and get back on my feet as quick as I can... put one foot in front of the other and get back on the positive curve of the journey.

Feeling triggered today and my chimp is filling my thoughts with rationalisation and minimisation. "A paragraph of erotic fiction isn't P"..... "Just a couple of pictures on Google and then stop".... "Quick M and you'll be able to concentrate". All bullshit, I know. Tried a bit of study. Found the following quotation, which resonated with me; 

"Nobody stays recovered unless the life they have created is more rewarding and satisfying than the one they left behind".

This is Back to School week for family WIP, and back to work for my wife for the first time in 6 months. Those peaceful routines and rhythms we've enjoyed through the extended summer went up in smoke yesterday morning with the chaos of uniforms, packed lunches, school buses and timetables. I know that I've worked really hard to create a more rewarding and satisfying life for myself and those that I love during the locked-down summer. This is just a short-term shock that will pass. Just taking the time to think and write about why I'm feeling stressed and anxious has really helped. I'm reminded of the things that have made life more rewarding and satisfying and I can make time and space for them in the next few days. Just thinking about this gave me a big, woozy wave of some Happy Hormone or other. Feels like a good place to log-off and make progress in my day. Wishing you strength! 

18
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 04, 2020, 04:44:20 AM »
Back in the commercial gym for the first time in months last night and loved it. Feeling beaten-up in a very positive way today. Lifting heavy weights keeps me present and mindful. Head can't be in the clouds when I'm under a heavy bar. Planning and analysing sessions helps stop me getting bored too. Glad to be back in one of my happy places. It's definitely helped me get over the post-holiday blues. Work is unusually engaging this week and I've felt very few cravings for P in the last couple of days. Socialising tonight. Note to self to set a limit on alcohol units. Can't be arsed managing dehydration, blood sugar spikes and tiredness tomorrow. 

19
Ages 40 and up / Re: Time to quit....again
« on: September 04, 2020, 04:32:04 AM »
Hope you managed to hold out and not give in. Try to let those stressful thoughts drift away. Don't dwell on the troubling stuff. What might be happening around you may not be in your control, but the thoughts you choose to fill your brain with are. Those negative sensations will pass, if you let them. Good luck!

20
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 03, 2020, 03:14:26 AM »
Note to Self for future reference.

https://www.thefix.com/dont-relapse-now

21
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 03, 2020, 03:00:35 AM »
That's a really strong quote, Joel. Thanks. I like it. To an extent, I've followed it. Coached my junior rugby team last night. Chimp didn't want to and I could have swerved it, but knew that would be a step in the wrong direction. Today I've phoned the local Starbucks to check that they're open, and decamped my home office down there for the morning. The extrovert in me desperately needs some external energy after being cooped-up for months. I feel really lifted and glad I did it. Oh.... almost forgot that I rejoined my old gym yesterday, too! I've been pretty good at home workouts and HIIT's and the like but noticed I was running out of steam. So I guess I can say I've doubled-down on proactive measures to keep my environment positive, energised and stable. Generally... feeling much better today.
Wiishing you all a solid day too.

22
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: September 02, 2020, 05:58:48 AM »
Made it through yesterday and coping today. Guilty of stealing a living yesterday, not for the first time in the last couple of weeks. No cravings for P but I'm prevaricating, distracted and not feeling like there's any point in putting a proper shift in, which have all previously been P triggers. So I need to break some habits that have crept in recently. Nothing heavy, but some tweaks needed, and I'm grateful for having seen them nice and early.

23
Ages 40 and up / Re: Bringing it around full circle
« on: September 02, 2020, 05:17:40 AM »
In his book Breaking the Cycle, George Collins poses the question "How good can you stand it?" It's a pretty powerful question, and one I've been asking myself a lot lately. Basically, he's daring the addict to lean into the idea that they deserve something better. By leaning into it, they are forced to confront their self-limiting beliefs, like the belief that they don't have what it takes to recover or that they don't deserve it.

I wonder if this is based on a recognised therapeutic theory? Looks very similar to Richard O'Connor's theory in his book "Rewire - Change your brain to overcome addiction" that those of us who repeat self-destructive behaviours have a profound "fear of success". Certainly resonates with a core belief that I've suffered from for years that I don't deserve success, happiness or fulfilment. To your point on self doubt, that belief's about as conducive to recovery as shooting holes in your own boat. I hope that you can keep hold of your belief that "it can get so much better" for you. I'm sure it can! And maybe tomorrow, or later today, that self doubt will have moved out of your consciousness.

24
Ages 40 and up / Re: Nofap Consciousness II
« on: September 01, 2020, 04:16:39 AM »
I have MOd twice in seventy two days, I'm still aiming at having looked at P less than twenty times in the coming year, taken together that will still be by far my best year ever,

I feel good today, much better than last night, when I was having yet another existential crisis,

Having by far your best year ever must represent success. And if you carry on with the current cadence, you'll achieve your goal easily. Glad to read that you're feeling good today. "Learning how to learn" would be a game changer for me. Words go in through my eyes, jangle about a bit and don't tend to lodge in my computer, so maybe "book knowledge" is already a long way along the learning spectrum, compared to some of us, even if you've not quite YET achieved the deeper appreciation you're looking for. Reads like you're doing everything you can to keep growing, though. Congrats and thanks for sharing.

25
Ages 40 and up / Re: Started Friday July 3rd
« on: September 01, 2020, 03:44:45 AM »
Hope the back continues to relax for you. Can't make those fireside chats with your SO any easier if you're having to work hard to manage pain and mobility. Well done on maintaining your positive outlook. Positive vibes coming your way from me.

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