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Old 10-07-2018, 02:11 PM
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Self Confidence

It's hard. Maybe the hardest. The world I created for myself doesn't stop. It's incessant and the messaging - implicit and explicit - that reinforces old ways of thinking is ubiquitous.

But I'm seeing a sliver of progress. It comes in the form of fleeting thoughts - fleeting recognition - during moments of reflection. It comes only by doing. By experiencing.

In an attempt to reclaim my body from the ravages of untreated and neglected maintenance from a particularly nasty form of arthritis - ankylosing spondylitis - I've been... streching?....yoga? I don't know what to call it and that's ok. I'm not into titles these days, or icons. I'm into doing - even if it's just a little bit for a little bit. I breathe. And I stretch. And I pay attention to the feedback my muscles and joints provide. Tension here, unexpected tension there. Relief. The tensions - especially the ones in unexpected places - lead my mind to stresses I carry. So I breathe. Deeply. In and out. Stretch some more... and let go.

Little by little I'm feeling better. It takes me 5-10 minutes or so to get into a rhythm, and then it's blissful. Like being transported to another place. Dopamine probably. A sense of accomplishment and hope and empowerment.

This past week I wrote an article for a publication in November. I struggled for days. From an expertise standpoint what should have taken 4 hours took 4 days. It was a dark and frustrating place. Self doubt raged at me. Procrastination didn't just knock, it brought the battering ram.

But when I was done I realized it was good. By who's standard? By my standard. I'm finding my voice. It's unique, original, and deeply experienced. I don't know if anyone will care. I don't know if I can make a living on it yet. But I'm experiencing it. I'm going to go that direction as much as I can from now on. Blazing my own trail. I do not know the outcome. But I know at least I'll experience it. And I'll not die drunk and full of regret for never going there.

So, yes, slivers of self confidence. Fueled by self-compassion. Owing to myself and myself only to find my voice. To do the breathing. To connect and listen to what my body tells me it carries. Little by little.

It's about self-compassion. Learn to love yourself. Not just in words.
In action. Love is a verb. We walk alone. It's dark maybe - maybe a little unsettling - but it needs said, because it's true.

No one is coming (hi Less ) to pat us on the back, to validate us, to take our hand in the face of what sits in our shadows. Of course they occasionally do, but that's more sympathy than validation. Too much of that and we'll never look into the dark to find ourselves.

Do the work. Be sober. Choose. Live.

-B
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:38 PM
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Thank you for this. Beautifully written. Even though I am very new into recovery, I have moments now where my self confidence is peeking through. It seems like a lifetime ago (before I allowed alcohol to rule my life) since I had any type of genuine self confidence.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:30 PM
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Great stuff Buck. I'm chopping the wood and carrying the water over here as well. Some days are better than others, there are fleeting moments, at times almost transcendent, where a peace and a calmness floods me that I can never recall having experienced before. My spirit and soul and psyche are so grateful that I finally, like you, have given them the gift of sobriety.

Then, of course, my neck hurts, the bills arrive, my wife is unreasonable, an idiot is on line with me at the grocery store, and life drums on and on. But even then, in the moments of nerves and indecision and self-doubt and even when the old trusty demon of avoidance/procrastination stops by - I know those moments of peace are still going to come. Things will change.

Choppin and carryin, good to see friends like you doing the same along the way. Thank you for the post.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:00 PM
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I always love reading your posts Buckley, this was was especially inspiring. You have so much positivity as you move forward. I'm excited that you will be published, that's awesome!
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Chung View Post
Thank you for this. Beautifully written. Even though I am very new into recovery, I have moments now where my self confidence is peeking through. It seems like a lifetime ago (before I allowed alcohol to rule my life) since I had any type of genuine self confidence.
I think that's why your story caught my attention Chung. I saw how despondent you were in your first post, and then watched as you chugged along and bit by bit started to get your feet.

I want that so bad for people. I remember how difficult it is in the early days to believe or see that what was once unmanageable can become better than manageable - little by little. It's been so gratifying watching you recover.

Thanks all.

-B
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Buckley3 View Post
Do the work. Be sober. Choose. Live.
Boom

I waited 25 years for God to miracle my a$$ sober. Wishing, hoping, yearning, praying that I would wake up one morning and my unnatural compulsion to drink would be forever gone.

It never happened.

Then one day I woke up and went to work instead. I didn't know what I was going to find, I just knew I couldn't wait on God to fix it for me any longer.

Things have been better ever since. Maybe God was waiting for me?
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:55 AM
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This is a huge issue for me, but it always merges with self respect as well...or rather self hatred.

I can also relate to the benefit you gain from stretching. For me, at about the 10-15 mark on the elliptical (along with carefully chosen work out music, I lean towards the darker hard stuff RATM, jane's addiction, NIN, etc) I begin to feel the endorphin/runner's high. As those two coalesce, I begin to feel good, powerful even (slivers, lol). I push the effort to failure levels and finish in the 40-50 minute mark. It's very positive in my recovery.


So best to you, for real. Great topic
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cordeliatolear View Post
This is a huge issue for me, but it always merges with self respect as well...or rather self hatred.

I can also relate to the benefit you gain from stretching. For me, at about the 10-15 mark on the elliptical (along with carefully chosen work out music, I lean towards the darker hard stuff RATM, jane's addiction, NIN, etc) I begin to feel the endorphin/runner's high. As those two coalesce, I begin to feel good, powerful even (slivers, lol). I push the effort to failure levels and finish in the 40-50 minute mark. It's very positive in my recovery.

So best to you, for real. Great topic
I like your choice of music - great style. Another apathetic high-schooler of the early 90s maybe? F you I won't do what you tell me. Story of my life...

Tool is my go to. I mean... who does Yoga to Tool? Though I do so love the transcendental nature of their lyrics and music... their urging to keep pushing against yourself and what you've been taught.... to 'spiral out'... to see what is out there... and to look into your shadows and confront your demons. O if such inspiration could be in every bit of media we consume...

It dawned on me while doing my thing on Saturday that I really didn't care for whatever image is associated with the title Yoga. I was breathing... responding to what my body was communicating... inspiring myself with empowering and challenging art. It was my own unique thing and I need more of it. Pretty sure we all could use more of it.

I say quit drinking and playing small ball - go find who you are and what you do and then... do it.

-B
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
Boom

I waited 25 years for God to miracle my a$$ sober. Wishing, hoping, yearning, praying that I would wake up one morning and my unnatural compulsion to drink would be forever gone.

It never happened.

Then one day I woke up and went to work instead. I didn't know what I was going to find, I just knew I couldn't wait on God to fix it for me any longer.

Things have been better ever since. Maybe God was waiting for me?
There's a parable here somewhere... I'm sure of it.

Thank you and I'm so glad you found that 'click.'

-B
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Buckley3 View Post
I like your choice of music - great style. Another apathetic high-schooler of the early 90s maybe? F you I won't do what you tell me. Story of my life...

Tool is my go to. I mean... who does Yoga to Tool? Though I do so love the transcendental nature of their lyrics and music... their urging to keep pushing against yourself and what you've been taught.... to 'spiral out'... to see what is out there... and to look into your shadows and confront your demons. O if such inspiration could be in every bit of media we consume...

It dawned on me while doing my thing on Saturday that I really didn't care for whatever image is associated with the title Yoga. I was breathing... responding to what my body was communicating... inspiring myself with empowering and challenging art. It was my own unique thing and I need more of it. Pretty sure we all could use more of it.

I say quit drinking and playing small ball - go find who you are and what you do and then... do it.

-B
Aight, B....great post; this is some positive insanity I can get behind. I think I'll start a new thread in it's honor.


As to the apathy, no...I wish. A calm mind would have served me better as far as the booze goes, I think. And I was a teen in the mid 80's....mid 20's in the 90's.

I do like Tool as a studied model in music. Danny Carey's metronome like, lightning fast, and Bonham power is something to marvel at. Maynard is a force too (love the story of he and Bill Hicks as well). I think his side project's redundancy in it's title (A Perfect Circle) adequately describes the styles.


My tastes are eclectic though; I do find great inspiration in the complexity of Brahms, the humor in the Hayden's false endings, the sheer force of George Clinton's Atomic Dog and Maggot Brian, the songwriting genius (and playing) of Prince, the bombastic fun funk of the Chili Peppers...SO many more.

Thanks for the insightful reply. It made me smile, for real....and inspired my track list for today's workout.
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cordeliatolear View Post
Aight, B....great post; this is some positive insanity I can get behind. I think I'll start a new thread in it's honor.


As to the apathy, no...I wish. A calm mind would have served me better as far as the booze goes, I think. And I was a teen in the mid 80's....mid 20's in the 90's.

I do like Tool as a studied model in music. Danny Carey's metronome like, lightning fast, and Bonham power is something to marvel at. Maynard is a force too (love the story of he and Bill Hicks as well). I think his side project's redundancy in it's title (A Perfect Circle) adequately describes the styles.


My tastes are eclectic though; I do find great inspiration in the complexity of Brahms, the humor in the Hayden's false endings, the sheer force of George Clinton's Atomic Dog and Maggot Brian, the songwriting genius (and playing) of Prince, the bombastic fun funk of the Chili Peppers...SO many more.

Thanks for the insightful reply. It made me smile, for real....and inspired my track list for today's workout.
Ha! Well written. I too am an eclectic maniac...

I can go from Tool to Chopin to Arvo Part's minimalism, the strings of Shostakovich, and then dig up some techno with the master Solomun.

I've wondered sometimes what people must think when they see my music collection....

Glad for the positive vibes.

-B
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