Author Topic: Resolved to conquer this  (Read 1745 times)

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2020, 05:58:59 PM »
Two weeks in the PMO-free bank.  I'll be counting in weeks henceforward.  But if I were to relapse for whatever reason, the level of guilt I will feel will be... drum-rolls... a big fat 0.

Hey Mr. Slurps, thanks for passing by.  I always appreciate listening to others' thoughts.  On the reading, I try, but I have been very lazy of late... perhaps because of the weather getting unbearably hot.  I have read Man's Search for Meaning, still have the book on a shelf.  But it's been a while... funny how easy it is to forget a book's material after one reading.  I would like to revisit that, for sure.

Meaning of life is where it's at: even if the PMO were still lurking in the background, it wouldn't really matter for me at that point.  When meaning is present, the whole perspective changes: you become grateful for what you have, do not become troubled by what you don't, and enjoy the simplicity of every moment.  Funny enough, when things become meaningful, the other problems have this way of 'magically dissolving away'... There's a reason why so many of us are stuck in a rut (with the addiction or whatever else may be) and seem to have a hard time finding a way out.  I over think it -- so I gather that many others are also over-thinkers.  It may sound enterprising to try to cultivate the skills of a Zen/Kung-Fu master to repel away the triggering thoughts... but the problem is that: A) it's a hell of a lot of toil n' grind n' sweat; and B) not everyone has the disposition to even want that.  And yet, a simple and elegant solution remains at our disposal: just figure out a way to get more meaning out of every day.  The rest of the pieces will fall into place over time.

I used to fight with myself.  A lot.  Never again will I commit another act of self-inflicted hatred.  So for me, the way forwards is: keeping the eyes open for an opportunity to discover something new.  And build from there.

Joel

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2020, 09:14:10 AM »
Well done on the streak, mate. Frankl is a definitely a shelf book - I've dipped into it throughout my life - just one of those books with lessons to be integrated into our lives.

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2020, 05:21:41 PM »
Thank you for your words of support, Joel!

Relapse counter reset to 0!  Back on my feet for another run.  But before I tied up my shoelaces, some thoughts need clearing:

About a week ago, my drive seems to have dwindled.  By mid-week, I felt a negative tension with a family member.  I knew it was some sort of sour emotion the other felt, but she did not communicate why she was feeling that way.  Not wanting to push anything, I just let it pass.  Strangely, I felt glum myself.  And got this idea that watching a lil' video here might not be a bad idea.  Of course, knowing full well it would be a relapse.  But I am not 'fighting the fight', I am not after some vain-glorious campaign of accumulating 100 days or something like that, so I gave in.

However, the next day something curious happened.  My mood went to the toilet and stayed there for 4-5 days.  I went through the motions feeling utterly dead on the inside, in a haze of low energy and depression, seeing no point in accomplishing anything at all.  And that's when it hit me: I've been speaking about getting a better life... but I myself am nowhere near the kind of life I want to live.

The negative feelings arose from months of unemployment (quit last job in January to pursue coursework), then COVID, then applications to jobs and continuing online education.  But what I felt was that I was carrying awful sensation that it was all for naught, that somehow the career transition I was hoping for is really just a pipe-dream.  That I was too old compared to others in the field.  That I am not competent enough or not connected enough.  And here's another: that it might not even be the dream work after all.  Was I right about this choice of career change?  Am I sure it's not this other career with lots of adventure work or rather this one involving animals?  These hushy voices put everything I did these past few months into question, throwing me into a state of hopelessness and chaos.

Anyway, that is what I felt this past week.  Do I blame these emotions for the relapses?  Nope.  If anything, I am very grateful for having had the wake-up call.  And if it takes a relapse for it, then so be it.  All I know is that this is telling me to put a bit more focus into writing or re-writing a simple life plan.  What are the tangibles I would like to have in the next 6 months?  Is there something fantastic I would like to experience in the longer term, such as a trip or ideas for a community project?  Could I realistically choose to re-orient the career change again, or do I persist with the one I chose 5 months ago? The relapse is screaming at me for not having tended to this self-check.  Alright then.  So let's get to this long awaited self-check and draw up an update to the plan.

jixu

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2020, 07:56:11 AM »
Hope you have been able to get some clarity on the way forward in your career path and plan.  There is an interesting statement that is attributed to that great American philosopher Mike Tyson that goes something like this: "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."  Maybe we have to implement planning yet simultaneously keep on the watch and be flexible to go with the flow and keep the eyes open, as you mentioned in your prior post. 

I never really switched myself, but things have been pretty decent overall.  Recently, maybe the last 3-4 years, however, has seen the stress level go all the way past the Spinal Tap 11 scale for sure.  I am kind of stuck but I have made peace with it and channel my creativity and other such desires into other areas of my life. Work stress is easily far and away my biggest trigger so I have to stay alert. 

I'll bet your career change idea was correct-now I hope you can continue on, even in the midst of the factors you enumerated.  Even just pursuing this career switch itself will provide you with skills for the future, regardless of the endeavor at hand.   Looking forward to hearing your latest!  Take care and you can do it!


       

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2020, 10:03:55 AM »
Jixu: your hunch IS correct with regards to the choice of career change I mentioned.  If I may elaborate: the choice I made was not some whim of the imagination, but more of a no nonsense tally of my strengths coupled with the field of application I would feel best suited for.  So this isn't a grandiose plan to become an underwater sea explorer -- although I must admit I like the fantasy!  Flashy work descriptions were always a bit of problematic fantasy for me... not in that they were bad work ideas, but that they kept me unfocused and seeking refuge away from what I was doing in the present.  Something of that sort might have been going on in my head... as a way to once again jump ship and escape.  But now that I am calmer and more at peace with myself, I can easily accept that craft does not define the man.  It is an important part, so it DOES matter to choose work that provides some degree of fulfillment... but I no longer believe one must be hopelessly in love with what one does. Funny thing is: it is like feeling a load off my shoulders.. all that pressure to find THE craft.

Mike Tyson's, aka "the philosopher"  ;D, quote is simple and not too deep... but it reveals something interesting: that for all the careful planning one can do, in the end we shouldn't forget that life is being played out in the open.  I like the idea of being flexible as things arise... something may happen, an opportunity might come up which is nowhere near what one planned... an yet may prove equally capable of providing satisfaction and growth.  Reminds me of the Romans: always learning from their failures, watching what others were doing better, making adjustments and trying again.  Empire was made possible by keeping a modest outlook and a flexible disposition to change.

jixu

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2020, 06:30:56 AM »
Being calm and peaceful with oneself in the midst of a major decision is a great accomplishment.  Sounds like is was well thought out.  Hope you will post updates on the craft quest once in awhile!

Best wishes on the other battle as well-take care!

Georgos

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2020, 05:28:14 PM »
"We must never believe that they are not watching our every move" - Fidel Castro

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2020, 02:06:37 PM »
3 days in the books.

Feeling encouraged today.  Dividing my time between study, reading and job hunting.  Most incorporate more exercise, for the sake of health but especially to feel the sensations of movement and flex out the limbs that have remained motionless in front of the computer.

Started reading more.  Got books out of the library, with post-Covid regulations, but possible.  It's easy to forget to make it a habit, but whenever it is part of my life, it feels great.  I'm keeping a watch as to how things progress and how that makes me feel.

Jixu: as a bonus, the craft can keep changing throughout life.  So even after passing 60 or more, there will still be room to try something else, who knows?

Georgos: Nice quote!  He was a brilliant orator, from what it seems.

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2020, 10:46:04 AM »
6 days so far...

Feeling ok overall with the activities I set up around work.  Reading more, exercising more.  Finding some time to practice music.  But it is really the reading that has surprised me.  I am currently into Seneca's Letters on Ethics... I got to it from a friend's suggestion but also because of my fascination for Ancient Rome.

Work-wise, still have part-time duties.  But I have the worst of tasks, which is to organize material destined for a scientific article, which is the least likable thing but it must be done.  It feels like drudgery. but then isn't it true that the most amazing line of work can also come with its own thankless tasks?  This is where I need to simply "plow through".  A few more days of this and I'll be in the clear.

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2020, 10:59:52 AM »
Had a brief fantasy slip on Saturday.  Part of the reasons for my choosing this journey was to veer away from engaging in those patterns of thinking.  It's no catastrophe, but a gentle reminder to redirect the course.  Not away from the bad, but towards something more meaningful.  This is day 2.

I have been sleeping poorly of late.  Today I am aiming to sleep early, get some much needed rest.  I have been thinking a lot about current circumstances.  Is there an idea lurking in the back of my mind that I have not given room to grow?  One that would dramatically change life, if only from a perspective-taking standpoint?  Why don't I imagine myself opening up to the widest possibilities, and accept an influx of ideas without rebuffing them outright, no matter how silly they may sound.  If I can be this week like a sea sponge, suspending disbelief and taking in as much as possible...  later THEN can I worry about wriggling out the excess water and consider the best ideas.

I always thought: turning around one's life is literally a book away!  (it reportedly did happen to a brother of a friend).  That's why keeping up with the reading is something I try to maintain constant.  But what if the greatest book ever written lay within?  And what if in it lay the best map, the one that can support my journey through life?  How would I go about finding it?

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2020, 11:49:50 AM »
Ok. A slip Thursday night so day 1 for me again.

I am finishing reading a book by a relatively renown local psychoanalyst.  There is a treasure trove of concepts that are exposed there especially relating to the male psyche... that stem from the ABSENCE of a good fatherly model in childhood.  The father's absence is either literal, as in gone from the house before the child was even born, or something akin to it... up to physically present fathers (but emotionally and intellectually absent).  If we were to consider sheer numbers for that range of 'absence' that would put it to somewhere around 50%..?

Well that would explain a lot of the modern man's plight: with roughly half the guys having had an inadequate or absent masculine role model throughout the crucial formative years, the transition to adulthood is incomplete or arrested as a result.  To share a concept that completely took me by surprise: ritual initiation of young males into manhood! I am paraphrasing this passage here:

"This lost art, once practiced by ancient tribes would have the adult males initiating the younger boys verging on their coming-of-age threshold... by having them go through a trial of mutilation!  I am not speaking of male circumcision here, but rather of a ritual that these boys would go through that would result in physical pain and suffering.  Mostly symbolic, the rituals' prime objective was to grant each teenager his rite of passage into the world of men, and to break free from the world of the mother."

Just thought of sharing it for now without trying to overlay my own interpretation of it.

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2020, 09:24:32 AM »
Day 2

There was a lil' slip on Wednesday that resulted from fantasizing the day before.  I have been reading some important takes on the meaning of others' personal journeys here, and it would seem that I may have neglected personal accountability.  I have been mostly advocating for self-compassion... and for me, I believe it is absolutely priority number one.  I believe most of us are here because we've entertained a poor relationship with ourselves.  But if that is first, then personal accountability should come a close second.

Obviously, the challenge is set: how to become accountable yet provide oneself with sufficient compassion to move forward in life, leaving behind the old unskillful behaviors.  It's a great challenge, at least for me.  But to be successful at this, I must integrate both implements: accountability and self-compassion.  They complement each other and make it possible to address the dual nature of our species:  we're hot one day, cold the next; blissful on the one hand, depressed on the other; gregarious last Summer, lonely in these strange times.  Damn the duality!  But if it weren't for it, we'd be predictable bores, wouldn't we?!

I also want to remind myself of a comment I left on another journal that may well come in handy in times of self-denial:

I imagine inviting my 'relapse-self' out for a cup of coffee and engaging in a simple conversation with him.  How would it unfold?  Could I momentarily resist the urge to reject him outright... and just listen?

TheNorman

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2020, 08:26:13 PM »
Accountability and self-compassion: They seem like opposite sides of the coin don't they? You're so right, it's hard to have them both. I think the compassion has to come first. Know that the changes you're making to be better are because you're worth fighting for. Then know that in order to get better you have to own your mistakes and learn from them. It's nice to hear that message from time to time because we do need the reminder.