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Old 11-04-2010, 11:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Progress not perfection...


This post is reminder to myself that I mustn't forget that I'm making progress and moving forwards positively and if anybody can relate, well then that's great too.

For most people then simple things related to social situations with particualrly the opposite sex and interaction just come naturally and it's stuff that they did years ago. So did I too, but ultimately most of my interaction and getting numbers and such was done in bars/clubs and when under the influence. It's funny but often I think that my drinking always gave me an activity to do and created entertainment, I can sometimes feel like people are quite boring! ha-ha. But I guess that's just life lived on a normal level.

It's a balancing act between trying to move forwards with certain people with the knowledge that they probably won't like you in that way or whatever but at the same time they might do so not wanting to not do anything for the fear of getting hurt.

I find that I have quite an obsessive mind when it comes to waiting on txts and stuff and in the past I juust drank over getting rejected or what i perceived rejected and just gave up bothering. I do have faith now that things willwork out in good time and that if they don't then they obviosuly ain't meant to be.

This is all new stuff as I have to do it all sober and feel the frustration and i think frustration was a big thing I used to get wrecked over.

Life on life's terms and I mustn't forrget that I have come a long way really and to stop comparing myself to others. I am myself and if people like me then great and if not then well at least I can say I tried.



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Old 11-04-2010, 11:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just re-reading this and I have to stop being so hard on myself. A big issue of mine was this self-love thing that you hear about and also feeling of resentment at myself. I've always thought that I would probably relate quite well to people with eating disorders and the relationships that they have with themselves

The glass really is half-full. I need to stop automatically thinking the worst and negative stuff. I think I have a lot to offer and need to stop being so negative. It's easy to say I know, but I guess it's just experincing the unknown in sobriety and recovery whilst all the time not wanting to get hurt. But I guess that people only experince stuff to learn from through experiencing knockbacks and rejections and stuff.

It's all good and I'm actually feeling pleased with myself in many ways as I can see the progress in myself, hwoever small that maybe to others. I think I have to stop assuming that most people find this stuff easy. I'm usually doing better than i give myself credit for. I guess it's the alkie in me! ha-ha

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Old 11-04-2010, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i needed that reminder in the worst way today. thanks. been beating myself up about my people pleasing and flight instincts when life shows up, which it has big time recently. i have to remember that we are sick people(getting better).
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey man, I know the feeling. This past weekend I attended a Halloween party, and it was the first kind of party I have attended since getting sober. With over 300 days, I thought it was going to be ok-which it was, but man how boring it was! People were so un-interesting...

As for the negative stuff, since I have been sober, I am way more positive than I ever was and its awesome. SOmetimes though, I fall into a trap of being so negative that its really bad. This week I hit a really negative patch and thankfully I am coming out of it. (THANKS SR!! & MEETINGS)

You're right in mentioning that this stuff takes time and while its frustrating some times, I still focus on a comparison between how I used to be and how I am now. Even though I am not perfect now, and never will be perfect, stuff is way way better these days.

Hang in there, and all the best.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augustwest View Post
i have to remember that we are sick people(getting better).
Thanks for this. It can be a source of great comfort to always remember that we are sick people who are healing and recovering 'one day at a time'. Not everybody agrees with this of course, but I do.

I know that I suffer from alcoholism and this makes me vulnerable to certain personality characteristics/traits or defects as others refer to them as.

It always serves me well to remember this and sometimes it can seem like "when is this issue or certain thing your striving towards going to eventually happen/work itself out?" I think the crucial thing for me is to keep working at my recovery and keeping rigorously honest with myself as I can. Sometimes it can seem like I'm too honest and I wonder if I reveal too much but then again I believe in the "to thine ownself be true" stuff and I know that if I am always true to myself then what will be will be. I am grateful where I am in my recovery and for where I've come from. I ain't got nothing to be ashamed of, as afterall it would be easy to live denial of my alcoholism. Things will all work out in good time. I have faith in this. Nothing scientific about this but then again that's why I ain't too bothered about Psychology being a science! ha-ha. Science never kept me happily and gratefully sober! lol. But maybe that's the inherent lazy streak in me! ha-ha.

Thanks SR for letting me share. It's a huge source of support and inspiration for me and it keeps me alkie head in check 'one day at a time'.

Peace
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Noone wants to get hurt - but I've realised it doesn't happen nearly as much as I thought it did, and doesn't hurt nearly as much now when it does...

Just getting out there and living life again has been a great liberation for me - I'm sure it will be for you too, mate

It's taken me nearly 4 years to get to this point but I've heard some great quotes in my journey of 'letting go' Neo:

Quote:
For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.
Quote:
If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a lot of times.
and a great Toni Morrison one:
Quote:
Wanna fly, you got to give up the **** that weights you down.
I think you're doing great, mate

D
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Dee. It's great to have your support mate and I appreciate it greatly. Thanks for the quotes too mate, theres some great stuff there and I think I'm getting there 'one day at a time'... sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly (to quote the AA BB).

Thanks again man, Peace
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thx for sharing Neo. I am very similar in the whole being too hard on myself. Even now in sobriety I have a tendency to be a bit caustic when evaluating my actions, etc. and so I give it a bit of time, revisit and then I say - helllooooooo why are you shortchanging yourself and just thinking of the negatives. Then I think of the good things and I glow.

I am a work in progress Neo so reading your posts always keeps me thinking.

Thx
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey, Neo, I've been focusing on this as well. Being in a University setting, I feel like if I'm not socializing constantly, then I'm missing out on something. People in our age group are supposed to cut loose and "have fun" after all

When I got really down on myself a few weeks ago because I wasn't progressing fast enough (code: my ego can't handle not controlling every damn thing), I looked back and every month in sobriety I've improved socially. Yes, LOL, it's took that much of a long-term perspective to see things. But I'm actually doing okay even when I don't feel like I am.

Opening up to people is tough. Alcohol was my armor and I always knew that whatever happened, I could always find euphoria/solace/relief in a bottle. There goes that. It's a struggle, and it's one that's tough cause I drank to stem the loneliness in the first place. Bleggh. But have faith, man. We're all getting better, one day at a time
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dee, I think I recognize that Toni Morrison quote from Song of Solomon, and I think the speaker is a character named Pilate? It's been a long time, but I used to like to read her.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's been maybe 20 years since I read her work so I'm not sure which book it is, but I think you're right Toronto
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"Progress, Not Perfection" is a good reminder in itself.

I think I lost track of that in the last few weeks.

When it comes to being afraid of being hurt, I can tell that I have that too. I have a hard time with criticism and also compliments. And as I was sitting here thinking, it dawned on me that I still carry around with me a notion that "people don't really care." That's something that alcohol took care of, I guess, since I thought it made me stronger and seemed to reassure me I didn't need others. Previous bad experiences with being hurt and settling for less than the ideal and then expecting better (and around and around again) are the backdrop for these negative notions I have to deal with.

Maybe I will see some improvements again if I put some more focus back into "progression, not perfection," since I seem to think I let myself forget about it.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good Stuff!!!!!
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Having that total commitment to my sobriety and not leaving any "boltholes" (to quote Dee) to run down is essential for this alcoholic. It's amazing how one day you can be talking about sobriety and recovery with such passion and really feeling it and inspiring the person you're talking to about it. The next day then the mind can be starting to run around and just generally feeling a bit sorry for yourself. It doesn;t last though and it makes me smile when i think about it and I know I'm an alcoholic. Theres a lot of humour to be gained although at the time you could cry! ha-ha.

That's why the commitment to my sobriety is so essential for me and knowing that I'm an alkie and an addict. I am thankful that I have AA meetings to go to and I look forward to them all week and it's the only place where I feel like I need to be at. For me then AA really has given me a purpose to live over the last month and evrybody else seems to go out to clubs/oubs/parties and I look forward to my AA meetings. I am grateful that I have the meetings because when I go into self-pity thoughts and put my favourite wallowing songs on then an AA meeting is where I need to go to to take me out of my own head. Of course SR is essential for this too and really helps me.

I noticed tonight that a bit of self-pity crept into my thinking as it's a Friday and for a while I was missing that buzz of looking forward to the 'sesh'. I am learning about life and life's terms and learning about my mind. I ain't necessarily finding this stuff particualrly easy/inspiring. In fact I had flashbacks to when i was 18 today and when I just used to give up bothering with women and just going out to get wrecked with the boys or go to a flat and get stoned and wrecked and just trip out listening to music.

I always enjoyed male company when getting wrecked really and then obviously just drank alone for the last few years.

I guess I have a sense that people and life can seem somewhat boring and mundane. When i share this it's not the mood I have been in all day. MY moods can change rapidly and i share what I'm feeling. I remember sitting at the pub with my old mate and saying how I wasn;t gonna bother with women as I couldn;t be doing with games and bullsh*t. I remember saying how booze never let me down and was always there for me and I knew what I was goona get; both good and bad.

I guess at times I can feel very lonely and almost like I want something to happen but it doesn;t and most people don;t want to create that madness. I guess that my persoanlity always liked to create that sense of something magical happening with booze and drugs. Even on my own as I drank 99% it felt like something was happening. I no longer cared about all of the bullsh*t of life and people and women.

Don;t get me wrong I ain't in a bad place, just sharing what was racing through my head in an hour long drive home from uni and also at Uni.

It's all a learning experince and I'll be grateful of it.

My friday night meeting has kept me feeling OK that I'm doing something recreational and that's what I'm pleased about. I am glad that I have AA meetings to attend and although at first my ego can try to talk to me about a Friday night soent in a church with people much older than me, then i have to remember the alternative.

I guess I'm just a sensitive person and vulnerable in the sense that my mind is quick to make irrational judgements and there's always a sense at times like I I'm always having to work to keep myself on track, but maybe evrybody is like that and they just don't have the self-awareness? One things for sure and that's if I ever drank again I don;t think I'd be coming back from it as once I tasted that indesribable quick-fix again i don;t think I'd be able to come back from that.

Peace and Love
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It was easy to compare my recovery to others recovery.......mine always seemed a bit lacking........it wasnt much to do with my progress ...it was more to do with me keep pushing the bar..up and up..

perfectionism is an age old problem to me....i watch for it constantly.....because it rooted in fear.....i must do better....i must achieve more...i must get this and that done....blah..blah.

and then sometimes do nothing........fearful of not being able to achieve unrealistic goals.

i say to myself often......im shaun.....a simple guy with a simple life....i dont need to prove myself to anyone.....i dont need to be the best or achieve the best..i dont need to run the show.

there is no spiritually perfect human......even if i try realllly hard it isnt gonna happen...
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Neo, do you think you have enough of an outlet to rid yourself of negatives? I know we're supposed to be of the mindset that we free ourselves and have a recovery that is much more secure via an Awakening. But we aren't automatically angels either if we do have the Awakening; we aren't immune to things that bring us down temporarily.

This is where I wonder whether physical exertion and the natural chemistry it enacts can contribute to the mental work. I talk about my walking activity to th epoint where I wonder whether people are sick of hearing it (since it's not "working out). But it's something that I really find value in. In the case of others who are more physically-oriented than I am, and if they are not making use if it already, I wonder whether they can realize some benefits that way, and eliminate some of the random negatives. Nothing new in what I am suggesting, obviously.

What you said about alcohol being "reliable" in the sense that you knew what you were getting most of the time - and "exempt" yourself of having to feel an investment in things that have hope attached to them (romantic interests as one example) is familiar. I exempted myself from caring about romantic pursuits via my drinking too. Obviously that didn't accomplish anything. And of course that is yet another example of alcohol being but a symptom, I guess.

Boredom doesn't affect me in the same way as you (and I'm sure you would mean no offence if you agreed, ha ha), but I do have a similar issue and more things to learn about how I can keep myself properly activated (sounds like I am describing myself like an old person, but I am thinking in terms of your Equilibrium thing).

I've rushed thoughts together for a reply at the moment, so hopefully that makes a decent amount of sense.

Till later.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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That's wonderful! Gotta remember that one!
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Just got back from AA meeting. I was asked to do the main share when I got there and I gladly took them up on the offer. It was just what I needed and I really enjoyed it and got some fantastic, positive feedback! Felt really good.

I feel totally different now with gratitude, clarity and sense of purpose and direction. I was already feeling better before the meeting after posting on SR and also getting out what was in my head with my mother, with who'm I apologised to before i went to the meeting for ranting on! ha-ha, thats recovery for you, Promptly admitting when we're wrong and accepting it and apologising and moving forwards. I wasn't so much wrong but I just need to get stuff out of my head and of course this inevitably affects the person you're ranting on at.

The great thing about recovery is that I no longer need to bottle this stuff up and drink over it anymore. I share it and get feedback on it and learn from it.

It was a great AA meeting and an absolute privilege to get asked to main share.

Grateful to be sober. What I find is that when I'm off balance then it's usually a lack of gratitude creeping in. Once the gratitude starts to slips then other crucial tenants of my recovery follow suit, and quickly. Reaching out here on SR and also doing the main share at AA was just what I needed to get my sense of perspective and clarity back thus awakening my gratitude for being an alcoholic. When i have that then i feel peaceful and on balance and all of the other good stuff stems from there.

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Old 11-05-2010, 04:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Neo, The depth and clarity of your sobriety, is inspiring. I like how you think...and how you know when you're trying to fool with yourself.

I have kids your age. They drink. I so wish they could know you.

Thank you for this thread. Very Awesome.
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