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Battle Fatigue

Old 11-08-2012, 01:47 PM
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Battle Fatigue

I feel like a wounded soldier escaping enemy territory. I am limping along armed and ready to shoot at the first glimpse of the enemy. I am tired of marching I am weary from watching for any sudden moves. They come out of anywhere, nowhere. There aren't as many of them as there were but they are still there.

When will I cross the enemy line and stand on safe ground?

I have not drank in over 3 weeks. It enters my mind sometimes but not nearly as much as it did. I am committed to my sobriety. Drinking has held me captive and has me on death row. I cannot fail. I will not fail. I hope I never forget how I feel right now.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:54 PM
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Seper Fi I suffer every day but will not give up ground hang in and and on and long
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:00 PM
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I know the post is symbolic but I had a bud who fell asleep on a march and fell off a hill. I felt like that drunk.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:30 PM
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I would also encourage you to notice there is no real enemy here, there is no reality to your desire, just concepts you're giving duality to, constructed in your mind, but they have no substance. Your perception is now creating anxiety and a "me vs. it" belief system which has you creeping around corners awaiting an attack by something that is not real. An attack by what?! An empty thought you've vilified?

You said it yourself, you're tired of running and marching away. You've set yourself up for failure now as you'll raise the white flag in this imagined war, tired of the anxiety from being on the run, and drink.

I would consider allowing those so called enemies to become your guest. You are the one who armed them, so go ahead, disarm them. Let them come into your mind so you can see who they truly are, absolutely nothing, just thoughts you've attached substance to.

Just something to think about.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by escapist View Post
When will I cross the enemy line and stand on safe ground?
You can draw the line anywhere and at anytime you choose, escapist. It's all about boundaries, and awareness of differences between you and your so-called enemy.

The fight is yours to win or lose, as you desire. Being more and more indifferent to the battle would actually win the war, yeah?

Have you tried indifference to your "war" as an answer to your need for peace?
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:58 PM
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You all are right but the PTSD can hit you in the guts, Stupid.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
I would also encourage you to notice there is no real enemy here, there is no reality to your desire, just concepts you're giving duality to, constructed in your mind, but they have no substance. Your perception is now creating anxiety and a "me vs. it" belief system which has you creeping around corners awaiting an attack by something that is not real. An attack by what?! An empty thought you've vilified?

You said it yourself, you're tired of running and marching away. You've set yourself up for failure now as you'll raise the white flag in this imagined war, tired of the anxiety from being on the run, and drink.

I would consider allowing those so called enemies to become your guest. You are the one who armed them, so go ahead, disarm them. Let them come into your mind so you can see who they truly are, absolutely nothing, just thoughts you've attached substance to.

Just something to think about.
this dude always says the raddest stuff!
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:19 AM
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I was reading your post escapist, and couldn't help remembering a recurring dream I had as a child. I would be running through a jungle or forest while being chased by some sort of lion or other creature. I would run and run until finally I would say I can't take it anymore and would turn around to face whatever was to come. The animal would jump and then disappear and I would be fine.

This is very similar. Like others have said, turn around and face those that chase you and perhaps they too will disappear. I can get very wrapped up in thoughts at times and almost lock up. I feel that this occurs most often when I am alone in my home office. At that point I have to get up and go out or talk with someone, not about alcoholism...just about anything. That seems to break the lockup of thoughts as I have to focus on something else. Distraction perhaps.

When do you feel most concerned about the enemy(metaphorically speaking)? Does it happen in any one circumstance more than another?
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:33 AM
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I decided that this whole deal was only going to be as difficult as I chose to make it. I made the call to quit this *****, that was just the way it was going to be. No muss, no fuss.

The problem became a much different one at that point. How could I make this as easy as possible? I learned to separate myself from the addictive thoughts in their ability to make me act on them.

I used that idea for about a year, but lately, I have come to a new place. My mindful awareness now has let me become the watcher. I can see my rational mind and my addictive mind. Neither of them are me, because I am the one that watches them.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dybehfar View Post
I was reading your post escapist, and couldn't help remembering a recurring dream I had as a child. I would be running through a jungle or forest while being chased by some sort of lion or other creature. I would run and run until finally I would say I can't take it anymore and would turn around to face whatever was to come. The animal would jump and then disappear and I would be fine.

This is very similar. Like others have said, turn around and face those that chase you and perhaps they too will disappear. I can get very wrapped up in thoughts at times and almost lock up. I feel that this occurs most often when I am alone in my home office. At that point I have to get up and go out or talk with someone, not about alcoholism...just about anything. That seems to break the lockup of thoughts as I have to focus on something else. Distraction perhaps.

When do you feel most concerned about the enemy(metaphorically speaking)? Does it happen in any one circumstance more than another?
I often visualized my situation as being caught on a high cliff. My addiction took the form of wolves barring my exit from the cliff. My only escape was to face the wolves or jump. At first I thought that jumping was the right way to go, "leap of faith" and all that. But after a while, I came to realize that the real solution was to face the wolves. Because when I did, I realized that I put the wolves there myself, and I could make them go away, too.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:07 AM
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my friend gave me this book written by a buddhist nun called, "feeding your demons". it was sort of like what vinyl was talking about, as far as inviting them in as guests. i havent read the entire book, but there is an entire visualization process that goes with this; giving it an image, sitting down and having tea with it, asking it what it wants from you, etc. theyve been practicing this in tibet for quite awhile.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JJK View Post
my friend gave me this book written by a buddhist nun called, "feeding your demons". it was sort of like what vinyl was talking about, as far as inviting them in as guests. i havent read the entire book, but there is an entire visualization process that goes with this; giving it an image, sitting down and having tea with it, asking it what it wants from you, etc. theyve been practicing this in tibet for quite awhile.
I happen to be Buddhist, Soto/Rinzai Zen to be precise. So this is where my understanding comes from. Tibetan Buddhism is still under the Mahayana way, which is the same as my school of Buddhism, we just practice it differently. Very simple stuff, a non-duality approach.

I have been working very hard this last month at my Sangha (community/Buddhist center) and working with my teacher there, so as my practice strengthens my own understanding of my alcohol dependency begins to unfold. I guess that's why I've been in here discussing it so much lately. It's been an incredibly enlightening experience and my dependency has all but washed away through my meditation and hard work with my practice of zazen (meditaion). This is what works for me.

I have learned these cravings are no more than disillusions that can be handled with compassion and realization through practice which is very hard work. I have begun to see no separation from myself and you, or anything for that matter, in slow progressions. I'm no where close to my ultimate potential in this regard, but I'm working hard and getting better.

I have begun to see thoughts for what they are, arising clouds that enter and leave your mind. I have had very brief moments of kensho, which is seeing life as-it-is, which is empty (in a very good way) and that we add so much **** to our lives that it complicates our way of thinking and we forget that there is nothing more than this very moment, and when you begin to add thoughts, cravings, anxiety to this moment, you complicate this space which is already perfect and joyous.

This is why adding names, giving substance to my thoughts is nothing more than delusional and creation of unnecessary anxiety (for me anyway). There was once a time when I would give an intense craving for alcohol in my mind substance, or it's own reality, a "me vs. it" process which would consume me for weeks, until it ultimately beat me down and I would drink. Then, after I began my take my practice seriously, those cravings, though still giving it substance and life would only last days util eventually giving in.

Then, after even more practice I began to let go of giving it a name, a character and began to treat it as no more than what it was, my own belief system which was simply not reality and pure ego driven duality. Those cravings still arose but lasted only hours and I was able to get back on my zafu(cushion) and back to Zazen (meditation) until I was back into just this moment, this space of reality where following my breathe and leaving mysenses open allowed me to see a glimpse of true non-duality.

Now, the cravings still arise, but they are fleeting, just as fleeting as a thought to itch my nose. The bigger question is, when you have an itch, can you truly sit with it? Can you allow your nose to itch and realize it too will pass if you allow it and are gentle with it? Can you be with it, see it, and allow it to dissipate? This is my practice and how I've managed to breathe through these cravings, so far.

I know it sounds preachy and I'm sorry for that. I only have my experience to share and this is it. I wish all of you well on your own path, whatever that may be.

Keep up the not drinking.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:14 PM
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Yes Soto Zen too. Still today covered in snow and a toothache. Life it it is just one thing after another.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:14 PM
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no, vinyl, its all good. i appreciate your posts a lot and understand where youre coming from. ive studied zen and practiced zazen and attended tibetan meditations. nothing too serious though, although i see myself getting more serious about it.. someday!
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:57 AM
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I have been wanting to begin a meditation practice for some time. This thread reminds me of just why I need to begin a regular meditation practice.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by lilac0721 View Post
I have been wanting to begin a meditation practice for some time. This thread reminds me of just why I need to begin a regular meditation practice.
Give it a shot! I'm not a teacher but have been practicing off and on for over 10 years. Only this last attempt has been serious enough to make a difference. If you work hard at it, the unfolding and space really opens up.

The best part is it's open to anyone, secular or religious. We have several athiests, catholics and even a mormon where I attend for Zazen (meditation). It really brings people together and wakes up their true nature.

Sit well!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
Give it a shot! I'm not a teacher but have been practicing off and on for over 10 years. Only this last attempt has been serious enough to make a difference. If you work hard at it, the unfolding and space really opens up.

The best part is it's open to anyone, secular or religious. We have several athiests, catholics and even a mormon where I attend for Zazen (meditation). It really brings people together and wakes up their true nature.

Sit well!
I;ve dipped my toes into the meditation waters before. I did one of the Chopra centers meditation challenges a little over a year ago and have practiced yoga sporadically for many years.

I busted out my zafu this morning (purchased nearly a year ago when I last vowed to begin a meditation practice but never really did), put some clary sage and rose oil into my diffuser, set my watch alarm for 10 minutes (seemed like a reasonable time to start with) and sat. What an incredible feeling. I really could have sat for a lot longer. I'll get up earlier tomorrow to do so.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:15 AM
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wow, last night i was doing some meditation. then i was up all night tossing and turning and thinking. it blew me away to realize just how many people, places, and things i had "armed". what is cool about it though, is like what vinyl was saying, i was the one who armed them, i can disarm them. theyre not really armed, at all. i just did that in my mind.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by lilac0721 View Post
I;ve dipped my toes into the meditation waters before. I did one of the Chopra centers meditation challenges a little over a year ago and have practiced yoga sporadically for many years.

I busted out my zafu this morning (purchased nearly a year ago when I last vowed to begin a meditation practice but never really did), put some clary sage and rose oil into my diffuser, set my watch alarm for 10 minutes (seemed like a reasonable time to start with) and sat. What an incredible feeling. I really could have sat for a lot longer. I'll get up earlier tomorrow to do so.
How awesome! Glad you decided on 10 minutes. So many folks burn out because sitting zazen for 20-45 can really be very difficult, hard on the body and worse, hard on the mind. Counting your breathe and allowing thoughts to arise and leave is HARD WORK!

Many also go through a "honeymoon period" where their meditation seems so wonderful and joyous. The true mark of a student is the one who reaches the other end of that honeymoon, a month or so later and realizes, wait a minute, this sucks and nothing is happening! My legs hurt, I'm tired, I'm this, I'm that, I'll just do it tomorrow, etc. The student who can just sit through that, meditate and realize they are building these barriers themselves, those are the one's who will truly benefit.

When you reach that point you are actually making progress because you're peeling away all those layers of expectation and anxiety and simply just being here, in this moment, without craving. That's progress that many people mistake as boredom or "not getting anywhere". The beauty of Zazen is no longer chasing or running away and just being present.

Once a day, that's all it takes, but it's the hardest thing you'll ever love. Oh, and just like AA or any other practice, go to a local Sangha(community) and get support. When you sit Zazen (meditate) with others you realize this crazy **** you're doing isn't so crazy after all.

Keep sitting and be well.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JJK View Post
wow, last night i was doing some meditation. then i was up all night tossing and turning and thinking. it blew me away to realize just how many people, places, and things i had "armed". what is cool about it though, is like what vinyl was saying, i was the one who armed them, i can disarm them. theyre not really armed, at all. i just did that in my mind.
That's my favorite part too, seeing all the crap we design in our monkey brains after a good sitting. I would only suggest that we don't struggle against it at all. For me, it was that fight against an embodied "beast" that I kept losing to when I give up and return to drinking.

There's no need to put up any fights anymore. There's nothing there to fight, just your monkey brain, flailing around, uncontrolled and noisy. If you sit just once a day, 10-20 minutes, completely still in zazen, you will see the mind in it's wild state. In time, it will settle and pass.

Whatever you decide to do, be patient and forgiving to yourself. If you're anything like me, you've been through hell with drinking. It's ok to have all these insane emotions and thoughts and you WILL suffer through sitting. But be compassionate with yourself and let it all unfold. This is suffering in a very good way, believe me.

I remember just two weeks ago, about 15 minutes into zazen at my sangha (zen center) I began to cry. Tears poured down my face into my robes. I think I may have been finally breaking through, forgiving myself. It was the first joy I had felt in years, maybe my entire life. But it wasn't "happiness" or some attached emotion. It was just space and unaltered joy, something I can not articulate because there is no definition for what arose in me. But I cried, and it too of course passed.

Sit well.
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