Author Topic: Covid - an inflection point?  (Read 5625 times)

mr.slurps

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #100 on: June 20, 2020, 04:05:48 PM »
Hi UK,  I've been reading journals lately and an example of your wisdom has struck again. (You know how hard this is for me to admit this. hahaha)
Remember when I was struggling w/ edging and didn't count that as a relapse? I even resorted to a double count. You were pretty adamant that it was not a wise idea. I've now relapsed plenty w/ the std. counting system. (today is #11)
But reading these journals, there is a definite correlation between peeking, sipping, not o'ing... and ultimately having a full blown relapse.
I'm not sure why that is. Maybe the brain can't distinguish betw a peek and a whole dose.
Anyway, keep on pushing- full steam ahead.

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #101 on: June 21, 2020, 04:38:54 AM »
there is a definite correlation between peeking, sipping, not o'ing... and ultimately having a full blown relapse.
Thanks for raising this Mr S. I am increasingly of the view that understanding this is fundamental to ones recovery - my evidence for this is all the times I failed to resist in the past before I connected the dots and realised. The thing is, that this addiction is insidious in nature -  the second or third look at a woman's body whilst our running/in supermarket, the choice (or complete lack of awareness in choosing) to lie in bed and fantasise, 'just a peak won't hurt', 'it's only some pics on facebook',....it builds...triggers aggregate...and in my experience once you start at the thin end of the wedge, there's only one place you're going - the thick end of the wedge and full relapse. And if by chance you do have some miraculous self discipline to stop it once it builds momentum, you've still caused yourself a load of needless emotional distress and kept the cocktail of dopamine circulating in your head deferring the ultimate 'reboot'.
Choosing where to build your wall of resistance is key. For me, I've learned it's before engaging in any type of fantasy. If I'm careless (or just unaware) and allow that to happen - I'm usually on my way, and next thing (whether that minute, hour, day....or even the next day) I'll know have the iPhone out and...and... BOOM.  :( It's happened so many times to me, but now.....now I get it, and it's much easier to resist when sober and my brain cells are not swimming in dopamine, than to allow that to happen and then try to resist.
I guess an analogy would be with alcohol abuse. If an alcoholic doesn't have the first sip, he isn't going to end up getting hammered and relapse. BUT, if he allows himself a sniff, or maybe a weak beer, a sip of a toast at a special event....well, the chances of relapse increase significantly.
The question is .... with PMO, what's your first sniff? what's the weak beer? Once you have identified that, or those mild first steps on the escalator, remember them, practise spotting them, and ensure that you kill them dead every time they crop up. If you do that, the rest becomes soooooo much easier.


ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #102 on: June 21, 2020, 05:01:50 AM »
Choosing where to build your wall of resistance is key. For me, I've learned it's before engaging in any type of fantasy. If I'm careless (or just unaware) and allow that to happen

This is so recognizeable and paramount to all my relapses. There is, to me, a very short window of opportunity/decisionmaking that determines if you will have a relapse or not. And what you described in your last post is everything that leads up to and adds to that decision point. So the choices you make, that build up the momentum so to speak have an immense impact on that decision point.

The mechanism that you describe with your alcohol paralel is something that once you understand it fully, will be a more powerful tool than the 6PP. While the 6PP is a method of defence at a pivotal point. When you've identified what will start the urges, the whole need for emergency contigency will decrease.

I will contemplate on that for now...


Stay safe my friend, hope you are safe. I am rooting for you
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

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UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #103 on: June 22, 2020, 02:20:32 AM »
I think you've nailed it there Shade, my friend. The two principles complement each other, but are different in purpose. I'm think I'm going to refer to them as 'choosing where to build your resistance wall' and the 6PP. Key parts of the recovery toolkit. Onwards!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 02:39:42 AM by UKGuy »

mr.slurps

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #104 on: June 22, 2020, 06:19:45 PM »
Hello Fellow Travelers,  Success breeds success. That's a big reason I'm listening to you UK and Shade.
It's not really the # of days you have, but that sure helps.
I'm hoping for a 2 week party tomorrow. You guys are honored guests.

Joel

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #105 on: June 23, 2020, 04:43:19 AM »
If an alcoholic doesn't have the first sip, he isn't going to end up getting hammered and relapse. BUT, if he allows himself a sniff, or maybe a weak beer, a sip of a toast at a special event....well, the chances of relapse increase significantly.


Great stuff here, Guy. I was about to quote your whole post, but cut it to the above for neatness :) My recent 'edging' really did feel like an alcohol going to sit in a bar with the intention to not drink. Just to sit, sniff the stale booze and soak in the ambiance. Such a dumb form of torture. But will have to put my money where my mouth is now, now that summer is in full bloom and the ladies are on display. Your book recommendation is great for this - as it touches on dropping thoughts. Also, dropping old habits (morning fantasizing) for new ones has been key for me (a writing discipline for me, maybe an activity with your kids or something for you). Have a great day, try not to melt!

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #106 on: June 23, 2020, 12:09:05 PM »
Thanks for the feedback Joel - I’m glad it resonates with you. The realisation was a real breakthrough for me. I found my brain was so creative at finding things to do that weren’t technically P, but with hindsight had exactly the same (but milder) effect on my brain chemistry, that then left me wanting more! I was stuck in that cycle for years. Just the awareness of what’s going on is so empowering and has revolutionised my approach to my gameplan. I know what you mean about the ladies and summer - a great opportunity to practice choosing where to build the wall! Glad you like the book too. Enjoy the sunshine....but not too much! Cheers and take care.

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #107 on: June 26, 2020, 07:08:13 AM »
Hi all,
This is day 83 for me today, so one week to go until my goal. I've still not worked out what my approach will be after that in terms of goal setting, but at the same time, am more relaxed about it.
Onto other matters though... I wanted to share an aspect of my personality which is affecting me a lot at the moment. Partially as 'getting it off my chest' may help me, and partially as some of you may be able to relate to it and give me some advice. It doesn't relate directly to PMO, although I am sure that in the past I have used PMO to escape from the emotions it brings out in me. It relates to a tendency I have to control the environment (and particularly people) around me. I wouldn't regard myself as a controlling person in the negative sense - not with my wife, perhaps a little with my children, although at 16 and 13, they are pretty good at pushing back on me anyway! The issue rather relates to me needing to get other people to operate by the same moral code as me. I think I have always had it, but it has been manifesting itself in a number of areas recently:
- getting annoyed with my friends in the whatsapp group if they don't show up to our scheduled call / explain ahead
- reacting adversely to people who don't show consideration with social distancing when out walking etc, or cars that drive too fast near our house.
- there is a woman near us who lets her dog out of the house in the morning to foul a public footpath that runs by the side of her house. She cleans it up an hour or two later when she gets up. I pass it regularly when out running - find myself anticipating it being there - bang on her door to remonstrate etc etc
- I try and avoid social media, especially twitter as the conflict there is so objectionable to me, but I found myself earlier this week getting exceptionally irate about comments made in The Times newspaper app relating to racism, and in a debate with people whose points of view I strongly objected to - the emotional response within me was so great, I have had to ban myself from looking at any of the comments.
- And the big one, or straw that has broken the camel's back this week for me: we have a neighbour who doesn't abide by the same level of consideration as we do around noise in the evening/night - I've challenged him before on the matter, along with other matters (some justified, some with hindsight not), but whilst he is a bit of a selfish nob, who is naturally a loud person, what he does isn't frequent or loud enough to justify any intervention by the council etc, yet today and yesterday after two nights on the run where its been hot and he has been inconsiderate, I have been in turmoil about it - should I or shouldn't I go around, projecting forwards, wishing bad thoughts (he'll lose his house with the recession and have to move etc.). This isn't about a resistance to conflict - I have no issue in going around, but I know within myself that my reaction is excessive, and that most people would not react. (As with the dog mess - it's only been me that's been knocking on the door I suspect!)
I've just done a lake meditation by Jon Kabat Zinn followed by a loving kindness meditation to try and reduce my reaction to the situation. I also spoke with my wife on our walk this morning about trying to reframe him as 'an angel that had been sent to allow me to work on this aspect of my personality'. I asked her how much of the pain I was feeling was down to his actions, and how much to my reaction. Her answer was 80% my reaction. 20% his activity. We agreed that rather than me continue to struggle with the decision to go and see him again, I would relinquish that responsibility and leave it for her to tell me when I should be going round - her view was that it would be an over-reaction right now. I need to trust her on that. I will prioritise instead my journey in working through the broader tendency I have to control what I regard as 'not right' in society and the reactions it brings out in me, rather than engaging in specific mini battles (which will just keep coming unless I change my relation to the world.)
As I alluded to in your journal Shade - I felt I could see a similar pattern in your reaction to the work situation and the 'wrongness' of the selection process for people to be fired. Not sure if this is the same thing or not?
Can anyone relate? Does anyone have any advice for me? The good thing is that this isn't impacting on my PMO journey which remains strong, but at the same time it is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. I've always been a worrier and a catastrophiser - perhaps these are related issues?
Thanks for listening. Take care.


ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #108 on: June 26, 2020, 08:20:09 AM »
Hey UKguy,

I think i can relate in the broader sense of what you've described; an overall irritation towards wrong-doing and people who don't care for others or disregard their well being. The part that you did write about 80% your reaction 20% their action is something I recognize as well.. I do always ask myself the question "Why the hell do i let myself get so worked up about this, what is making me so agitated about this?"
Another approach can be to look at it from a point of compassion. Like "this person must be in a really bad place to display such behaviour" and stuff like that. While I also condone anti social behaviour or a lack of consideration for other peoples feelings/effort, i do also understand that i have displayed this behaviour myself and this was greatly reduced when my overall mood and happiness improved.

I wonder if you experience the following as well; I also have noisy neighbours, and it can really tick me off. But, i do find that on days that I am not my best I am almost pro-actively looking for it to piss me off because i sort of anticipate it. While, on the other hand if I am in a good mood, i am much less proned to notice it because my mind is focusing on other things. This lead me to conclude that when I am in a bad place the internal struggle manifests itself on the actions of others and that I take it very personal while it is And when I am in a good mood I tend to be more forgiving or not even notice these things.

So all in all i totally understand your feelings. The sad reality is that the majority of people take comfort in being blissfully ignorant. I don't mean that in an accusing fashion, but more in the way that I think these people were not taught to embrace kindness because it is easier to point outward than look inwards. It's running away from your own negative feelings. Also, it is much easier to generalize and make short rhetoric remarks than viewing things from a perspective of true compassion and understanding.  What you described about avoiding social media (which I've done for years now, because to me it's a facade) is something i understand. Sometimes i read the comment section of news articles and it is infuriating how shortsighted people can be.. I also know i am totally powerless and cannot change it, however I want to. If I have read your post clearly, that is what is troubling you, the need to want to change people, but the realization that you can't.

And that is where you can win something I guess, acceptance on the fact that you can't change people. The best thing we can do is be compassionate and trying to understand their behaviour and be the best example/teacher to the people around you.

I hope my post has helped you gained some insight or recognition.


Take care my friend

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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

workinprogressUK

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #109 on: June 26, 2020, 11:44:54 AM »
Did you ever hear of Fundamental Attribution Error, Guy? Richard O'Connor writes about it in "Rewire". Along the lines of..

We judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions. Our own failings are driven by situational factors, whereas theirs are driven by character flaws.

As I understand it, the vast majority of people are wired that way, and it's part of the emotional self-defence mechanism built into the "assumptive world" we develop in our brains through experience. But if you're plagued by "Victor Meldrew" moments (perhaps a UK-only reference), maybe a little Serenity Prayer would help from time to time, or some other way to let your rational mind have a look at a situation before you emotional mind gets too steamed-up? But your neighbour does sound like a nob :-)

Joel

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #110 on: June 26, 2020, 04:18:20 PM »

Can anyone relate? Does anyone have any advice for me? The good thing is that this isn't impacting on my PMO journey which remains strong, but at the same time it is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. I've always been a worrier and a catastrophiser - perhaps these are related issues?
Thanks for listening. Take care.

Goodness, can I relate. Needless to say, these things lead me to emotions that I used to feed into porn

I feel I have the same journeys daily (those fast drivers and near runners...) . And 'my standards' issue, as my wife refers to it as. I've found your Carlson book helpful, it's helped - but not cured these issues by any means. I noticed he wrote another book called Don't get scrooged - how to thrive in a world full of obnoxious arrogant mean-spirited people. Might have to read his whole back catalogue, which might bring me a bit closer to the answer!

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #111 on: June 27, 2020, 06:24:31 AM »
Thanks for the responses Shade, WIP and Joel - I appreciate them and it's good to know that I'm not alone in this particular struggle!
I like the wisdom in the O'Conner Quote WIP - The Rewire book looked good, so I've ordered a copy and look forward to reading it. The Victor Meldrew reference made me laugh too - that name cropped up yesterday when discussing the subject with my wife. For those that don't get the reference (I'm not that bad...yet!)
I feel better today, and have chosen to make this area a bit of a development goal for me over the coming weeks, trying to develop some of that compassion that you speak about Shade, and differentiating between intentions and actions on the part of others. I'll let you know how I get on.
Cheers all and good weekend.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 07:40:33 AM by UKGuy »

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #112 on: June 28, 2020, 05:42:03 AM »
Finished my run this morning and walked past two piles of fresh dog mess by on the public footpath by the side of the woman's house. Chose to smile at them rather than become incensed and bang on the door. I could argue with myself that I am falling short of my civic duty etc, but the peace I felt at choosing not to engage was remarkable. Will continue to play around with these different choices and see how things develop.

Joel

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #113 on: June 28, 2020, 05:59:54 AM »
Some interesting stuff here brought up by the community. Of course, holding the hot coal of anger only hurts ourselves.

I hate loud noise, and a lot of the time, people are being selfish; i live in a block of flats with terrible walls, so if someone blasts music -that's 'music' for everyone, thanks very much. But, I was younger once, in a house that had lots of parties. We weren't bad people, but only now I think of an old couple that lived next door - can't have been a lot of fun for them.

Also, love the Victor M reference. I'm sensitive to noises. Yesterday, our floor was vibrating from the music downstairs; our neighbour is a nightowl, so I hear her talking throughout the night, i could go on with half a dozen or more things. So I realised only yesterday, if all these things get to me, the issue may be with me, not all the other people in my building.

Talk about a serenity prayer, I think just picturing Victor M's face could help me. We have to be careful who we become! (UK TV reference if anyone is reading this confused!)

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #114 on: June 29, 2020, 03:16:22 AM »
But, I was younger once, in a house that had lots of parties. We weren't bad people, but only now I think of an old couple that lived next door - can't have been a lot of fun for them.

Yesterday, our floor was vibrating from the music downstairs; our neighbour is a nightowl, so I hear her talking throughout the night, i could go on with half a dozen or more things. So I realised only yesterday, if all these things get to me, the issue may be with me, not all the other people in my building.
That's very helpful insight Joel - I had the same conversation with my wife around our own behaviour when we were younger. It goes back to what WIPUK was saying around "We judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions. Our own failings are driven by situational factors, whereas theirs are driven by character flaws."

Have a good day.

Yours, Victor
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 03:18:08 AM by UKGuy »

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #115 on: June 29, 2020, 04:04:58 AM »
Just checking in. Didn't have a great day at home yesterday - eldest teenage daughter was living up to teenage daughter stereotype all day, caused building tension, all came to a head after dinner and my subsequent behaviour was an over-reaction to the situation which then caused tension between my wife and I. Nothing that won't blow over, but today I feel isolated, regretful and not myself. The key point is that the pull towards PMO is stronger than it's been for a long time - the attraction of the self soothing, the distraction, the instant 'feel great' that I can then extend by many hours of edging and wash away my concerns. I of course know that that's all a mirage, and a lie, with a crash at the end that will only exacerbate the feelings I have now. I won't succumb of course, but that's partially as I've come here to allow my feelings some release, to observe them and not run away from them and towards the short term fix, long term hangover of PMO. I think these are the times that if you are only doing something (getting clean) for others (wife, kids), you can find yourself in trouble as the motivation for staying clean diminishes when you feel rejection or a disturbance in the relationship with those people. I know as this used to be my motivation, and when I'd have a row with my wife or (not too often thankfully) or feel distant from her, PMO would be my go to place. When you're doing it for yourself first and foremost, that trap becomes less of a risk. Cheers all and have a good day.

workinprogressUK

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #116 on: June 29, 2020, 10:07:09 AM »
I think these are the times that if you are only doing something (getting clean) for others (wife, kids), you can find yourself in trouble as the motivation for staying clean diminishes when you feel rejection or a disturbance in the relationship with those people. I know as this used to be my motivation, and when I'd have a row with my wife or (not too often thankfully) or feel distant from her, PMO would be my go to place. When you're doing it for yourself first and foremost, that trap becomes less of a risk. Cheers all and have a good day.

That's the most on-the-money thing I've read in a while. You're absolutely right. I'm going to take that with me through the rest of the day. I hope today's stress blows over gently for you.

Joel

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #117 on: June 29, 2020, 12:37:54 PM »
That sounds tough, mate. But great resolve. It's a great thing to know your why.

Leonidas

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #118 on: June 29, 2020, 04:00:32 PM »
Did you ever hear of Fundamental Attribution Error, Guy? Richard O'Connor writes about it in "Rewire". Along the lines of..

We judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions. Our own failings are driven by situational factors, whereas theirs are driven by character flaws.
Fantastic post.  Good reminder to step down from the moral pedestal whenever feelings of irritability towards others emerge.

And about doing recovery for the self versus doing it for others: this is night and day.  It's about intrinsic motivation, what drives YOU to want to pursue a goal.  External motivators, the threat of death asides, cannot possibly compete with authentic personal drive.

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #119 on: July 03, 2020, 03:25:49 AM »
Hey UKGuy,

How's things going on your end? If i recall correctly, today will be your day 90 right? I don't want to jinx it so let us know how you are doing.
You've been a positive and insightful help for a lot of us, so I hope that you are able to celebrate this milestone!



Cheers my friend
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #120 on: July 03, 2020, 12:13:25 PM »
Hi Shade,
Thank you so much for remembering, and yes, it is day 90...a milestone that has taken me only 47 years to reach, and also one that after years of trying, I seriously doubted I was capable of.
I am going to take the time to write something a bit more reflective over the weekend - just enjoying the evening with my wife tonight.
Really pleased with your progress this week - I wasn't sure if your relative quietness was a good sign or not, but was delighted to read this morning that it was, and can see that you've been busy supporting others today as is typical of your selfless approach to the forum.
Thanks for all your support on this journey so far (and to all you other guys too!) It has given me something significant that I didn't have before I 'met' you all.
Cheers my friends.

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #121 on: July 04, 2020, 07:46:30 AM »
After some umming and aahing, I've chosen to share my 90 day thoughts within the success stories section. Link below:

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=18700.0

This doesn't mean I'm going anywhere - far from it, nor does it mean that I am declaring success any more than each day clean is a success for us all.

I just wanted to try and capture some of the good stuff that I have gleaned whilst here to share, and to mark the moment.

Thanks for your continued support and companionship and wishing you all a great weekend.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 12:15:10 PM by UKGuy »

Joel

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #122 on: July 04, 2020, 09:39:27 AM »
awesome stuff! Well done, Guy. look forward to reading the milestone post. There's a good deal of humility here too, which is great - really important to keep going, stay focused, continue growing and learning and all that good stuff.  8) 8)

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #123 on: July 06, 2020, 09:12:32 AM »
Well done ukguy, 90 days is a fantastic achievement.
Keep doing what you are doing as it is clearly working.

workinprogressUK

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #124 on: July 06, 2020, 10:23:39 AM »
Congrats. Wishing you continued success. Keep asking yourself those difficult questions :-)