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Fantabulous Secular Connections Check-in Part VII

Old 02-02-2010, 08:07 AM
  # 261 (permalink)  
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awww, I miss my goats! They are funny critters
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:04 PM
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This amazes me: I drank so much that even after quite a while without alcohol I feel this sort of entitlement to it. I had a take-home exam that I just finished. It's not due until Friday but I had some spare time. Now that I'm done with it I feel like I've earned a beer. Mind you, this feeling comes with any minor accomplishment. Even when I've been a slacker for a week and half my to-do list remains undone if I do one thing off it I feel like I should get to "celebrate." Basically I felt like I needed an excuse to drink so any little thing would do, even if it was the fact that I went to class that day. And of course when I didn't make it to class I'd feel bad about it and that was also an excuse to drink. And then go get some dope.

One of my drug buddies is in the class and is trying to get me to take his exam for him. But he's always mean to me unless he wants something, then he calls to apologize and ask a favor. I don't answer his calls any more. Besides, we had strict instructions to consult any resource we want--properly cited-- except other students. Not that I've always paid attention to such rules--ya do what you need to get by when you're more interested in drugs than class, after all-- but occasionally you can use the rules to your advantage.

Though I'll admit it would be fun to charge him $200 cash and then write whatever I please, regardless of how correct it is. It might be fun to try out some new geological hypotheses, right? LOL.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:49 AM
  # 263 (permalink)  
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Not much is going on with me. I had a fight with a friend who seems to be throwing every thing away for her man. When she's with him she acts more like his daughter then his girlfriend. He can do no wrong, and everyone who finds a fault with him is wrong. I suspect he might be trying to control her.

Jesus, I hate it when people become so obsessed with their boyfriend or girlfriend that they can't think straight anymore and become a different person. But it's her choice. I'm sure she'll snap out of it but in the meantime I won't be speaking to her. Its not healthy for me.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:24 AM
  # 264 (permalink)  
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Jesus, I hate it when people become so obsessed with their boyfriend or girlfriend that they can't think straight anymore and become a different person. But it's her choice. I'm sure she'll snap out of it but in the meantime I won't be speaking to her. Its not healthy for me.
jee erotia...i can soooo see friends saying that about me and my reltionship with alchohol and drugs

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Old 02-06-2010, 07:34 AM
  # 265 (permalink)  
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Ananda, I still have trouble comparing a real physical dependence to say meth or heroin... to being "in love" or being a codie. When you're mean because a chemical has hijacked your brain its more understandable than being mean because you "love someone". When people leave their loved ones they'll be deeply sad of course but they'll suffer no physical withdrawals, unless its an extreme scenario like the loss of a child. I personally believe there is no such thing as addictions to people, sex, food, or gambling-at least not in the same boat as drug dependence. (Maybe soon they'll have recovery groups for rapists and murderers too.) But, hey, I'm not making millions of dollars off of self-help literature so what do I know?
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:54 AM
  # 266 (permalink)  
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All those things you listed-- gambling, love, food, etc-- release chemicals (dopamine, the happy chemical!) in your brain that act on the same receptors as meth or whatever your chemical of choice is. So in effect a chemical has hijacked your brain. And the fallout is the same: Your friends have moved on because you're not acting right and it makes it all the harder to get out of the situation because your world revolves around [pick your behavior of choice] and you have no other coping skills and no support system. Life sucks.

I got a pair of firebelly toads a couple days ago. They are by far the best roommates I've ever had.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:30 AM
  # 267 (permalink)  
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People who murder and rape have a similar effect with dopamine on their brain, so why don't we classify their behavior as an addiction? Are they mudering because they can't cope with life? No, they're bad people because they're of sound mind yet they just don't care. Yes, I agree that we repeat behaviors we enjoy, but its natural, because its going on in our bodies. No foreign toxic substance is introduced. Stimulants and narcotics release huge (like a million times more) amounts of dopamine into our brain-making it near impossible to stop. Even if we ate or f*cked all day, the brain wouldnt go through tolerance and dependence the way it does with drugs.

People who cheat on their partners want to absolved of their morally bad choices by saying "I'm addicted to sex". This makes a mockery of real drug dependence. Self help gurus want to define addiction as broadly as possible, to include anyone with "resentments" or any problem. Once someone is diseased, then they'll helplessly buy up any "cures" that the author has in his books.

I'm troubled that we'll eventually get to the point where you can do whatever you want, then cry addiction to garner sympathy. "I beat up my wife, I'm addicted!" or "I molest little boys. I have a disease". No, you just have no personal moral compass or you're a sociopath. In essence, you're a bad seed, not diseased.

And the fallout from being codependent (another scientific-sounding word that was not arrived at scientifically) is not the same as fallout from drug addiction, at least in my opinion. Everyone has problems and everyone has to deal with "love" at one point or another (or you can avoid it, but I'm single and I want a boyfriend), but that doesnt mean everyone is diseased either. Who's normal then? lol

I guess you all can believe that they're all the same, but dont expect me to agree with you or to "support" the way you identify yourself.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:02 PM
  # 268 (permalink)  
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Well here we are back at something we've discussed numerous times on this forum: what exactly is an addiction? We don't have a definition, so we don't know how to classify different behaviors. Not that I necessarily want another discussion of that right now! lol

Here are some random musings, not exactly an opinion on the subject but take from it what you will:

I am addicted to drugs but when I did them it didn't directly harm anyone else (yes, I know I did a lot of sh!tty things to people because of my drug use, and I probably deserve a punishment commensurate with those actions but they are side issues caused by my drug use, not the drug use itself). When someone rapes or murders another person they obviously directly harm them. Is rape or murder an addiction? Who cares; lock 'em up. And I'd say the same about, say, a meth addict who beats someone up and steals their wallet to get drug money.

These toads are awesome. I've had these critters for 3 days now and I just love them. It's good to be responsible for these little guys. Everything I do is for myself, I'm not really responsible to anyone. If I fail a class or fall behind on my thesis work no one comes and yells at me (though my funding could be pulled. Don't want that to happen). But if I'm late getting crickets into the toad cage I hear about it. *Chirp chirp chirp. Where's breakfast?* Structure is good for me.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:43 PM
  # 269 (permalink)  
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Here is the best description of Addiction I have ever seen, I believe if someone displays these qualities they suffer from addiction, and it's always based on "terminal uniqueness", people who view themselves by their intentions and inner monologue then by their actions

Addiction means always having to say you are sorry Ó and finally, when being sorry is no longer good enough for others who have been repeatedly hurt by the addiction, addiction often means being sorry all alone.

Addiction is often said to be a disease of denial Ó but it is also a disease of regret. When the addictive process has lasted long enough and penetrated deeply enough into the life and mind of the addict, the empty space left by the losses caused by progressive, destructive addiction is filled up with regrets, if-onlys and could-have-beens. In early addiction the addict tends to live in the future; in middle and late addiction he begins to dwell more and more in the past. And it is usually an unhappy, bitterly regretted past.

The first casualty of addiction, like that of war, is the truth. At first the addict merely denies the truth to himself. But as the addiction, like a malignant tumor, slowly and progressively expands and invades more and more of the healthy tissue of his life and mind and world, the addict begins to deny the truth to others as well as to himself. He becomes a practiced and profligate liar in all matters related to the defense and preservation of his addiction, even though prior to the onset of his addictive illness, and often still in areas as yet untouched by the addiction, he may be scrupulously honest.

First the addict lies to himself about his addiction, then he begins to lie to others. Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are necessary parts of the addictive process. They precede the main body of the addiction like military sappers and shock troops, mapping and clearing the way for its advance and protecting it from hostile counterattacks.

Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades. The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of the addict must be justified and rationalized so that the addiction can continue and progress.

One of the chief ways the addiction protects and strengthens itself is by a psychology of personal exceptionalism which permits the addict to maintain a simultaneous double-entry bookkeeping of addictive and non-addictive realities and to reconcile the two when required by reference to the unique, special considerations that Óat least in his own mind- happen to apply to his particular case.

The form of the logic for this personal exceptionalism is:

o Under ordinary circumstances and for most people X is undesirable/irrational;

o My circumstances are not ordinary and I am different from most people;

o Therefore X is not undesirable/irrational in my case - or not as undesirable/irrational as it would be in other cases.

Armed with this powerful tool of personal exceptionalism that is a virtual "Open Sesame" for every difficult ethical conundrum he is apt to face, the addict is free to take whatever measures are required for the preservation and progress of his addiction, while simultaneously maintaining his allegiance to the principles that would certainly apply if only his case were not a special one.

In treatment and rehabilitation centers this personal exceptionalism is commonly called "terminal uniqueness." The individual in the grip of this delusion is able to convince himself though not always others that his circumstances are such that ordinary rules and norms of behavior, rules and norms that he himself concurs with when it comes to other people, do not fairly or fully fit himself at the present time and hence must be bent or stretched just sufficiently to make room for his special needs. In most cases this plea for accommodation is acknowledged to be a temporary one and accompanied by a pledge or plan to return to the conventional "rules of engagement" as soon as circumstances permit. This is the basic mindset of "Iăll quit tomorrow" and "If you had the problems I do youăd drink and drug, too!"

The personal exceptionalism of the addict, along with his willingness to lie both by commission and omission in the protection and furtherance of his addiction, place a severe strain upon his relationships with others. It does not usually take those who are often around the addict long to conclude that he simply cannot be believed in matters pertaining to his addiction. He may swear that he is clean and sober and intends to stay that way when in fact he is under the influence or planning to become so at the first opportunity; he may minimize or conceal the amount of substance consumed; and he may make up all manner of excuses and alibis whose usually transparent purpose is to provide his addiction the room it requires to continue operating.

One of the most damaging interpersonal scenarios occurs when the addict, usually as the consequence of some unforeseen crisis directly stemming from his addiction, promises with all of the sincerity at his command to stop his addictive behavior and never under any circumstances to resume it again.

"I promise," the addict pleads, sometimes with tears in his eyes. "I know I have been wrong, and this time I have learned my lesson. Youăll never have to worry about me again. It will never happen again!"

But it does happen again Ó and again, and again, and again. Each time the promises, each time their breaking. Those who first responded to his sincere sounding promises of reform with relief, hope and at times even joy soon become disillusioned and bitter.

Spouses and other family members begin to ask a perfectly logical question: "If you really love and care about me, why do you keep doing what you know hurts me so badly?" To this the addict has no answer except to promise once again to do better, "this time for real, youăll see!" or to respond with grievances and complaints of his own. The question of fairness arises as the addict attempts to extenuate his own admitted transgressions by repeated references to what he considers the equal or greater faults of those who complain of his addictive behavior. This natural defensive maneuver of "the best defense is a good offense" variety can be the first step on a slippery slope that leads to the paranoid demonization of the very people the addict cares about the most. Unable any longer to carry the burden of his own transgressions he begins to think of himself as the victim of the unfairness and unreasonableness of others who are forever harping on his addiction and the consequences that flow from it. "Leave me alone," he may snap. "Iăm not hurting anybody but myself!" He has become almost totally blind to how his addictive behavior does in fact harm those around him who care about him; and he has grown so confused that hurting only himself has begun to sound like a rational, even a virtuous thing to do!

Corresponding in a mirror image fashion to the addictăs sense of unfair victimization by his significant others may be the rising self-pity, resentment and outrage of those whose lives are repeatedly disturbed or disrupted by the addictăs behavior. A downward spiral commences of reciprocally reinforcing mistrust and resentment as once healthy and mutually supportive relationships begin to corrode under the toxic effects of the relentless addictive process.

As the addictive process claims more of the addict's self and lifeworld his addiction becomes his primary relationship to the detriment of all others. Strange as it sounds to speak of a bottle of alcohol, a drug, a gambling obsession or any other such compulsive behavior as a love object, this is precisely what goes on in advanced addictive illness. This means that in addiction there is always infidelity to other love objects such as spouses and other family - for the very existence of addiction signifies an allegiance that is at best divided and at worst -and more commonly- betrayed. For there comes a stage in every serious addiction at which the paramount attachment of the addict is to the addiction itself. Those unfortunates who attempt to preserve a human relationship to individuals in the throes of progressive addiction almost always sense their own secondary "less than" status in relation to the addiction - and despite the addict's passionate and indignant denials of this reality, they are right: the addict does indeed love his addiction more than he loves them.

Addiction protects and augments itself by means of a bodyguard of lies, distortions and evasions that taken together amount to a full scale assault upon consensual reality. Because addiction involves irrational and unhealthy thinking and behavior, its presence results in cognitive dissonance both within the addict himself and in the intersubjective realm of ongoing personal relationships.

In order for the addiction to continue it requires an increasingly idiosyncratic private reality subject to the needs of the addictive process and indifferent or even actively hostile to the healthy needs of the addict and those around him. This encroachment of the fundamentally autistic, even insane private reality of the addict upon the reality of his family and close associates inevitably causes friction and churn as natural corrective feedback mechanisms come into usually futile play in an effort to restore the addict's increasingly deviant reality towards normal. Questions, discussions, presentations of facts, confrontations, pleas, threats, ultimatums and arguments are characteristic of this process, which in more fortunate and less severe cases of addiction may sometimes actually succeed in its aim of arresting the addiction. But in the more serious or advanced cases all such human counter-attacks upon the addiction, even, indeed especially when they come from those closest and dearest to the addict, fall upon deaf ears and a hardened heart. The addict's obsession-driven, monomaniacal private reality prevents him from being able to hear and assimilate anything that would if acknowledged pose a threat to the continuance of his addiction.

At this stage of addiction the addict is in fact functionally insane. It is usually quite impossible, even sometimes harmful to attempt to talk him out of his delusions regarding his addiction. This situation is similar to that encountered in other psychotic illnesses, schizophrenia for example, in which the individual is convinced of the truth of things that are manifestly untrue to everyone else. Someone who is deluded in the belief that he is the target of a worldwide conspiracy by some organization will always be able to answer any rational objection to his theory in a fashion that preserves the integrity of his belief system. Even when he is presented with hard and fast data that unequivocally disproves some of his allegations, he will easily find a way to sidestep the contradiction and persist in his false beliefs. (He can for example easily claim that the contradictory data is itself part of the conspiracy and is expressly fabricated for the purpose of making him look crazy! Anyone who has ever tried -uselessly- to reason with delusional patients knows the remarkable creativity and ingenuity that can be displayed in maintaining the viability, at least to the patient, of the most bizarre and obviously erroneous beliefs.)

The addict's delusions that he is harming neither himself nor others by his addictive behaviors; that he is in control of his addiction rather than vice versa; that his addiction is necessary or even useful and good for him; that the circumstances of his life justify his addiction; that people who indicate concern about him are enemies and not friends, and all other such beliefs which are patently and transparently false to everyone but himself, are seldom correctable by reason or objective data and thus indicate the presence of genuinely psychotic thinking which, if it is more subtle than the often grotesque delusions of the schizophrenic, is by virtue of its very subtlety often far more insidious and dangerous to the addict and those with whom he comes into contact. For in the case of the delusional schizophrenic most people are quickly aware that they are dealing with someone not in their right mind - but in the case of the equally or at times even more insane addict, thinking that is in fact delusional may be and commonly is misattributed to potentially remediable voluntary choices and moral decisions, resulting in still more confusion and muddying of the already turbulent waters around the addict and his addiction.

In many cases the addict responds to negative feedback from others about his addiction by following the maxim of "Attack the attacker." Those who confront or complain about the addict's irrational and unhealthy behaviors are criticized, analyzed and dismissed by the addict as untrustworthy or biased observers and false messengers. Their own vulnerabilities may be ruthlessly exposed and exploited by the addict in his desperate defense of his addiction. In many cases, depending upon their own psychological makeup and the nature of their relationship to the addict, they themselves may begin to manifest significant psychological symptoms. Emotional and social withdrawal, secrecy, fear and shame can cause the mental health of those closely involved with addicts to deteriorate. Almost always there is fear, anger, confusion and depression resulting from repeated damaging exposures to the addict's unhealthy and irrational behaviors and their corresponding and supporting private reality.
People get addicted to sex, danger, drugs, adrenaline, soldiers get addicted to combat, abusers get addicted to abuse, people get hooked on relationships, to relationships with or as the abusers or abusees, or the designated patient, or having and so on.

Addiction is anything you do you are never satisfied, no matter how much you get it is never "enough", you always need more regardless of the consequences, it doesn't matter what you are addicted to.
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:21 PM
  # 270 (permalink)  
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jeez.....

this is real productive and helpful....

thanks to all for sharing

(yes driping with sarcasm)
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:23 PM
  # 271 (permalink)  
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Nevermind. I was going to continue this but I'm not sure how it's helpful in terms of a recovery website. Instead, enjoy this picture of my new pet toads, Jimmy and Annie.

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:00 AM
  # 272 (permalink)  
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I agree that this conversation isn't really about recovery but then neither is my chatting to Fizzy about football on his thread.

Sometimes it is good just to chat about stuff!

This is a check in thread FFS where we get to talk about things that matter to us and OMG that doesn't always have to be about drinking.

Are Gneiss s toads (very cool by the way) helping us all to stop drinking?

It is good to get to know our fellow travellers.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:32 AM
  # 273 (permalink)  
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SIT UPS how dare you !!!!

You sir are banned forever (just kidding).
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:38 AM
  # 274 (permalink)  
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and whether or not house cleaning counts as exercise for the 12 week fitness challenge.
yes...i've lost 10 lbs just by doing housework for a month..only excersise I get

(big grin)

(wish the smiley page was working )
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:02 PM
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I said helpful OR positive, not helpful AND positive. Don't make me post another toad pic. :P
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:42 PM
  # 276 (permalink)  
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Geez. My day has had this low, annoying level of suckitude. I woke up late so didn't have time for breakfast before I had a root canal (guess what? Apparently doing dope is bad for your teeth. Who knew, right?). The dentist gave me lortab. But I can't take it until I'm done with my homework because it will put me to sleep and this homework is due tomorrow. So I can't eat because it hurts. I can't take the pain meds because I need to get through my homework. I can't focus on my homework because I'm starving and half my face hurts. Gah!! I decided to attempt some mac & cheese because it's soft. I spilled the pan of noodles down the sink while draining it. FML.

But I'm still sober...
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:54 PM
  # 277 (permalink)  
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gneiss (hug)

I hate tooth ache crap!!!!!!

you just hang in there girl....maybe get a delay on your homework due to medical reasons????

I mean it happens even to non-addicts
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:45 PM
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Thanks, Ananda.

I think I can get the homework done tomorrow. It's due at midnight (on a Friday. That's so wrong). That professor is pretty laid back though; if it doesn't look good tomorrow I'll go deliver the sob story. Not that I haven't had 3 weeks to work on it!

Just to top off my day I made brownies for a bake sale tomorrow and they stuck to the pan. They look horrible. I greased the pan!! Gah!!! Sale starts at 8:00 am tomorrow, so I better go get that other box of brownie mix in the oven. Just shoot me.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:19 AM
  # 279 (permalink)  
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So tuesday through friday I teach a music theory class for college freshman.The actual professor of the class meets with everyone in lecture on mondays. Then the students get split up into small sections.

I feel terribly guilty and pervy for thinking is, but I'm very attracted to one of my students. This has really never happened to me before in my 4 or 5 semesters of teaching, other than noticing of course who is attractive, but to the point where I try to avoid eye contact with someone? No. Anyway, it doesn't help that he asks so many questions. Of course I won't do anything but I spend so much of my time fantasizing about having sex with him! Sometimes I think he might be attracted to me too, but of course that doesn't matter. I don't want to get fired and my number one priority is my job.

So why question is, how do you deal with being attracted to people you have to see all the time? Not only do I see him every morning, I see him often throughout the day in the music school. Of course I lower my eyes, when I see him. (And I usually always make eye contact with others) But when he asks me questions after class, I can't even explain things because I get so distracted. Help!
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:13 AM
  # 280 (permalink)  
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Erocia (hug)

Yeah i know how hard that can be....

Not sure of your situation, but the inappropriete is only when he is your student, right? So...things could change in what 3 months time....???

I have someone I am very attracted to, and know that for reasons I won't go into..it's important I not act on that....At first it was pretty hard, and I did have the option of running away if it got too overwhelming...not an option in your circumstances ....but i have found that by not totally giving in to the "lowering my eyes" concept....most days I can interact without too much panic.

Mostly I just try to remind myself before and after each interaction that this is not something to pursue at the moment...and that I need to leave the future to the future.

ok..so some nites I go to bed really hurting..but most of the time i'm ok with it. But that took me several months of interacting in the relationship as the relationship currently is. At first it was hard..but the more i practice...the less awkward it becomes...although i still have the option of runing when it's too tough...

Wish you best Erotcia...it's hard to deal with and you have your head on straight about it (hug)
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