1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Concerned about addiction recovery and TMS recovery

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Guest1, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. hopeful_guitarist

    hopeful_guitarist Peer Supporter

    Good question! It seems to routinely come down to "emotional discomfort" - so, it can be anything that causes a rise in emotions I don't like. And there aren't very many emotions I like. :)

    I've long been the even-keeled calm and patient guy who never gets visibly riled up. Back in college I remember a passenger being impressed that I didn't swear or freak out when I got in a (minor) car accident - I just calmly took care of things and went on. Now I realize I actually did get riled up inside - I was just expert at keeping it hidden. And then I'd self-medicate to numb that growing tumor of un-dealt-with emotion. And then I'd feel guilty about self-medicating and try to stop (without addressing the root cause) until things shifted from obsessive behavior to chronic back and leg pain - like squeezing one end of a water balloon so it expands somewhere else.

    I'm somewhat better at it now, but I still take a lot of pride in being the good boy, the people pleaser, the non-complainer, the guy who can handle anything with a smile on his face. And I get a lot of positive feedback from people around me - you're so reliable, you always know what to say, I wish I had 10 more employees like you, you're such a good listener [while I shift in my seat as they vent about something I don't care about and wish they would stop].

    I keep an anger journal (it's a fun read!), I'm a lot more open with my wife about things that fester inside me (I'm sure she loves it!), I meditate, I exercise, I met with a therapist for several months, I read for pleasure and to find a cure. And it's slowly improving - I can definitely say I'm happier and better off now than I was 2 years ago at the peak of my "sciatica".

    But. . . every few weeks it's like I black out mentally. The effort is too much, I don't want to journal or exercise or breathe deeply or talk to anyone. I just want to sit down and relax with an old "friend". I know she's bad for me and I'll regret it an hour later, but no one understands me like she does. Everyone else wants something from me - she just wants me to be happy and forget about all that for a while. And then I wake up! What am I doing?! I made a commitment! I don't want this! But it's too late - her arms are around me and she's smiling and she's so interested in me and nothing else matters. It's so relaxing. It is such a relief to give in. I know the guilt is on its way, but so is the dopamine. It's like a monthly reset in my emotions - a short bath in guilt and brain chemicals and I can deal with things again. I have renewed energy and commitment - that was definitely the last time and I'm on top of the world again.

    Well, that was a lot more than I intended to write, but there you have it.
  2. Secret Habit

    Secret Habit Peer Supporter

    Hey thanks for the reply and the time to think deeper into this! I can relate that we don't like these "uncomfortable emotions" and the routine of numbing them is uncomfortable to break so its a double discomfort lol

    So it sounds like you are aware and are doing the work to get healing. Do you feel like you are trying to be "good" with the healing too? This is something I struggle with and had a pretty great realization yesterday: As a Disciple of Jesus, the way I can truly heal is not by "digging" my way out of something or thinking my way out... but by simply (And I say simply not as it being easy) letting go of everything so He can reach out to me. So often I try to reach out so its under my conditions and I can feel good about my own work being done... Not sure if this is relevant to you or related but it was a big deal for me

    Why do you think "Everyone else wants something from me"? Do you feel you want things from everyone else?

    My foavirte quote of the week "If we are in control of our success, then we are in control of our failures too" - We will always feel pressure to keep it up and feel guilty when we fail... Seems like this quote may of been for you as well

    Blessings! Look forward to your replys
  3. hopeful_guitarist

    hopeful_guitarist Peer Supporter

    For sure. Reading about the "goodist" personality in Sarno's book was a revelation to me. What's tricky, I guess, is I feel like this part of my personality has mostly served me well. I enjoy being reliable, dependable, easy to work with, even-keeled, etc. But part of me really despises it, apparently.

    I'm not sure. I don't think of myself as too demanding of others. I do get critical of others not keeping commitments. Maybe it's less about others and more something like: It's exhausting to hold myself to this high standard - I imagine others are holding me to it (and I resent them for it), but it's really just me.

    Something that seems to be helping right now is a meditation series I'm following on Headspace. It's called "Coping with Cravings" and it's helping me reduce fear about compulsive thoughts. By the time I start thinking about self-medicating, the battle is practically lost. I've already thought about how futile resistance is and there's a sense of, "Do you want to get this over with and give in early, or fight it for a few hours/days and then give in?" The meditation is to practice letting your mind do whatever it wants and just bring your focus back to your breath for a few seconds at a time. It relieves the pressure of "Gotta control these thoughts!" My mind lets me focus on my breath without panic because I've committed to return to its chatter after just a few seconds. And what I'm finding is when I think "Ok, brain, feel free to go back to what you're obsessing about" it has lost interest. By giving myself permission to obsess I have defused some of the obsession.
  4. Secret Habit

    Secret Habit Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the reply

    I believe being all of these things are good things (reliable, dependable, easy to work with, even-keeled) BUT only when we don't feel like we "have to" or "should" for reasons that are from pressure or performance - Something I have really struggled with and have learned a lot about the past few months myself - Do you feel these cause you to want to seep into porn because you have pressure from the world to be these things?

    I struggled and still do with much of what you're saying... It, unfortunately, is us that is causing this problem. Forgiveness is an antidote for you and I NOT for the others. Its crazy when we are troubled by things and others when they have no idea the harm its causing us

    Did you buy that app or is it a free version? I have heard of this one so would be curious to check it out if you are seeing such results - Thanks for sharing!
  5. hopeful_guitarist

    hopeful_guitarist Peer Supporter

    The free version lets you get a good taste. I ended up finding it useful enough to subscribe. If you end up liking it, check Groupon for a discounted subscription.

    Thanks for your thoughts! I like the feeling of resolution in my life - a book finished, a work project fully wrapped up, a speech delivered, a task checked off. These things that take a lifetime to resolve are frustrating for me. :)
    Secret Habit likes this.

Share This Page