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Old 03-20-2019, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Getting out of your own way


Simple concept, profound implications.

My life as a drunk was all about self-imposed disappointment, self-inflicted suffering and self-driven disasters. For whatever reasons, (in my opinion not worth the time to analyze), I became addicted in life to constant sequences of letting myself down, of being called out, of walking the thin line between getting by/success/utter failure.

As I've said before, I'm realizing that sobriety does not instantly fix the patterns and habits and obstacles developed over the course of 40+ years. Instead sobriety is a search light, on max wattage, shining into the depths of the Self. The same complexes of avoidance, fear, shame, that drove me towards alcoholic oblivion persist. I can see myself still setting myself up to fail - in small ways and big ones - via procrastination, avoidance and other self-injurious means. The horrible masochistic poison is gone -but I still am the same man, with the same inner child who wants it to rain so he doesn't have to go on the class trip...

The work of "getting out of your own way" is the work I'm thinking of these days as I get further along the path of sobriety. Some of the work is analysis, and I'm thankful to have an awesome therapist who has been with me from the darkest days of my drinking. Jung and Echart Tolle are my two major sources there as well. And the rest of the work is channeling my inner Teddy Roosevelt - action for the sake of action alone. So many ills - physical, mental, spiritual, psychic - are cured or at least alleviated by taking action. It feels to me like the most direct and simple technique of getting out of my own way.

Action of any kind, even half-hearted, even slightly misguided - action. And on that note, time to get to work.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you're feeling this way. I can very much relate to what you are saying. And you said it well...about the searchlight of sobriety. Great metaphor.

Also, your observation on taking action is very helpful. I feel very frozen by fear and anxiety right now, probably most of it is because I'm only on day 4.

So glad you've found a good therapist! I think it really helps to have that kind of support.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I’m sure you’ll smooth those edges now you’ve identified them.
This recovery thing takes time, not a bad thing though.
We are trying to make the best version of ourselves but at the same time we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves.
Same rule applies treat yourself as you would treat your best friend.

I have every faith that you will get past this obstacle and have a big grin at your achievement.

All the best.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old habits and patterns die hard . It takes a lot of effort to “ Get out of my way” . So satisfying when I pull it off during the day. We gotta change
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old habits and patterns die hard . It takes a lot of effort to “ Get out of my way” . So satisfying when I pull it off during the day. We gotta change
We were responsible for getting into alcohol, and we are responsible for recovery. Really, the only one in our way is ourselves. Others can frustrate and enable, but the big problem is us. That's the real demon in the picture.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for sharing this lessgravity.. I identify with what you've written tremendously. For me, drinking was part of a much deeper and more insidious pattern of avoidance, anxiety and self-sabotage. Like you, at just over a year of sobriety, I'm just getting up the strength to shine that search light into the darker places and figure out how to go rebuild and truly recover. No advice, but empathy and a pat on the shoulder from someone feeling much the same way, and thanks for your words.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lessgravity View Post
Simple concept, profound implications.

My life as a drunk was all about self-imposed disappointment, self-inflicted suffering and self-driven disasters. For whatever reasons, (in my opinion not worth the time to analyze), I became addicted in life to constant sequences of letting myself down, of being called out, of walking the thin line between getting by/success/utter failure.

As I've said before, I'm realizing that sobriety does not instantly fix the patterns and habits and obstacles developed over the course of 40+ years. Instead sobriety is a search light, on max wattage, shining into the depths of the Self. The same complexes of avoidance, fear, shame, that drove me towards alcoholic oblivion persist. I can see myself still setting myself up to fail - in small ways and big ones - via procrastination, avoidance and other self-injurious means. The horrible masochistic poison is gone -but I still am the same man, with the same inner child who wants it to rain so he doesn't have to go on the class trip...

The work of "getting out of your own way" is the work I'm thinking of these days as I get further along the path of sobriety. Some of the work is analysis, and I'm thankful to have an awesome therapist who has been with me from the darkest days of my drinking. Jung and Echart Tolle are my two major sources there as well. And the rest of the work is channeling my inner Teddy Roosevelt - action for the sake of action alone. So many ills - physical, mental, spiritual, psychic - are cured or at least alleviated by taking action. It feels to me like the most direct and simple technique of getting out of my own way.

Action of any kind, even half-hearted, even slightly misguided - action. And on that note, time to get to work.
I so relate to your post. This work is a slog but rewarding. Almost 2 years in and I've made progress, but have a long way to go.

It gets better, but sometimes feels like two steps forward one step back.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you, less. I really relate to this. All those same things you describe drove me to alcoholism as well. You are right. We are still the same people without the alcohol, and we must change our beliefs and habits for lasting sobriety. We are working out the emotional sobriety part. I think it’s the same as emotional intelligence, which I don’t think I had a good foundation in prior to starting drinking in my younger years. I think I had a fear of both failure and success and didn’t believe I deserved anything good. I am so much more confident and self accepting after two years of sobriety and everything I have worked through (and still am).

Glad you are working through this with a good therapist. Isn’t therapy a trip? I loved it. Still go occasionally.

Be careful not to overthink things, though
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Love this post. I relate to it, so very much.

Thanks, LG. This helped me tonight.

-b
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wheekie View Post
I'm sorry you're feeling this way.
I appreciate the concern but I think my post was perhaps not written with the best clarity. I feel great. Growth hurts right? Good things take work. Life is not a bowl of cherries, nor do I want it to be.

The moments of peace and transcendence that come with the the work that sobriety both requires and then engenders are some of the highest highs I've ever felt in my life. Clouds passing over a city sky, my baby's snuggle, just a simple breeze that I can feel in a way I never had before when I was drinking.

Many good things in life come with luck and happenstance, but it seems to me that the best things come through work.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks, for this, Less. It gets me to thinking in a more concrete way about the stage I'm at in my recovery. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how I tend to sabotage myself, a lot of the time without realizing it. It's all due to old patterns of behavior I haven't broken yet. I can SEE a lot of the patterns now, and that's a step in the right direction, and sometimes I can stop myself and re-direct. When I do that, it feels great, so I'm trying to slow down and recognize what my behaviors or emotions are actually about more often.

Progress, not perfection.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i always loved the quote from the Big Book:

Trudging the road to happy destiny.
no unicorns, no pink clouds, no fairy sparkles, just trudgin' along, left right repeat with the goal of a better life to be had ahead.

but then i'm also a fan of the rather succinct:

Suck it up, Buttercup. Nobody said this was gonna be easy.

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