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 Learning to accept less-than-ideal feelings 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 7:54 pm
Posts: 216
Maybe analysis and self-knowledge aren't the ultimate answer but I can't help some amount of it...

As the title says, I believe its a hard lesson to learn. I think the expectations I set earlier in life and the habits I formed in regards to dealing with emotions and feelings are a major factor in what they call "emotional recovery".
I would have a bad day or deal with family issues and my habit was to self-medicate. That's a pretty common thing for addicts isn't it?
Compound those early years of establishing the habit with years of living that way and reinforcing the habit. Now, in recovery, I see myself often instinctively reverting to those sort of coping mechanisms. Without games it then becomes food or tv or whatever else my body thinks will fix my "less-than-ideal feelings".
In moderation, "treating" oneself is not uncommon. Some people may have a rough week and allow themselves a night of letting loose with friends or a "cheat meal" or something of that nature.

I don't seem to have that ability of moderation though. Not with anything that gives me that shot of dopamine. That is it, isn't it? That's what my body is reacting to, no? Well, whatever it is, I always seem to go overboard. And if not right away, I'm white knuckling a form of moderation until an eventual collapse.

This just isn't any way of living. It's black and white for me with many things. I either have to set extreme limits for myself or once I push that envelop, I go to excess again and seemingly revert completely back to my old ways and old self. Games may not be in the picture but it's hard to see much else that's different with that way of living.

I don't know what to ask and I don't know what else to say. I just saw this happen again for the past week after giving myself a LITTLE bit of a relaxed treat last weekend...and then I go crazy for the following week. I'm just so goddamn sick of this same pattern in my life.

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Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:08 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 906
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Thanks for sharing this Jesse. I sure can relate.

A couple of things I noticed about myself: In early recovery or after a long relapse, I was very vulnerable to impulsive behavior and relief seeking. When I stopped gaming, TV and web surfing became compulsions for me for several months. Back when I stopped drinking, it was a sugar compulsion that controlled me for several months. I have not been nearly as impulsive with these things in the years that I have been taking good care of myself in recovery. It seems that the impulsiveness disappears completely when I'm very active in my recovery, and it appears sporadically and weakly when I'm moderately active in recovery. It's definitely connected to how much emotional pain I'm feeling, mainly driven by stress, negative thinking, self loathing, and/or loneliness.

I can relate to being completely sick of this pattern. I did a year-long wilderness program in 2005/6 where my diet was severely limited and I was far away from everything familiar and comfortable. It was extraordinarily challenging. Afterward my food compulsion (which had previously been very occasional and weak) raged out of control for almost three years. It was during this time that I also became compulsive about gaming.

I've had month-long stretches of compulsively watching videos. Sometimes I get frustrated that big chunks of my life were eaten up and I felt so out of control. This was not part of my vision of long term recovery when I started on this path.

It helps me to remember that this pattern is typical for addicts, that it's very counter-productive to beat ourselves up about it, and that it is eased as one of the positive side effects of working a recovery program. Hang in there. And let's remember, progress not perfection. My goal is to be less impulsive this week than last week, to have less emotional pain this week than last week, to take good care of myself a bit more this week than last week. Bits of progress.


Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:55 pm
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 7:54 pm
Posts: 216
Thanks for the response Scott.

It really is important to remind myself of the slow growth...the patience and the importance of being more regularly active in recovery.
More meetings and more contact will be a strategy this month. I'm optimistic that I indeed will notice a difference.

Take care

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    other: Ascender or Zenn


Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:12 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Detroit, MI
I am a master of running and hiding from unpleasant feelings. In fact, I'm so good at it that I usually find out that I have something unpleasant going on when I find myself going "what have I been running away from the past few days?" Consistently, self-acceptance is an important part of the solution, and maybe someday I'll find myself going there early enough in the process to find out that I'm feeling something unpleasant when the unpleasant feeling comes up instead of when I start running away from some unknown monster.

Pretty consistently, the things that I'm running away from are actually the things that are pointing me to where God intends to perform His next miracle...healing me from something, teaching me a new way of looking at something...whatever new piece of work He wants to see happen in my life. Sometimes it takes me a while to become willing to let God do whatever that work is, but it always winds up being better than I expected it to be.


Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:34 pm
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 3:35 am
Posts: 5
State/Province/Country: Sweden
Thanks for sharing

The biggest reason why i gamed seems to be that i tried to run away from my feelings. This worked very well until it didn't any more. Your shares brings back an anxious feeling in my body. I can still remember the complete misery of trying to stop gaming only for one day and continiously failing, betraying myself and those around me.

Thanks for this forum, and especially your meetings :)


Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:37 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:21 pm
Posts: 91
State/Province/Country: NC, USA
Thanks for sharing Jesse. I think some of what you are bringing up is a part of why having some form of higher power in our lives is so important. Reading your post reminds me that I can't fix me. I can only turn my life and my will over to the care of a power greater than myself that I believe, on some level, in some amount of time, can actually restore me to sanity. This applies to my gaming addiction and other addictive habits as well as to my character defects (Steps 6 and 7 are all about revisiting powerlessness and the need for a higher power's help).

Right now I am kicking my ass over my character defects and other aspects of myself that I view as being "broken." As was mentioned and as I have experienced it in the past, being gentle with myself is the only way I grow and change. I just need to remind myself of that from time to time by writing and talking about it.

Easy does it!

M


Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:49 pm
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