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#22675 - 02/12/04 01:08 PM unlearning old ways...
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
Well, I have been trying to retrain myself to process day to day life differently, but I am finding it very hard. It turns out I am a real pro at not feeling the things that come at me each day. Instead, they hit me, are processed and tucked away to stress me out before I even realize it.

I am supposed to be stopping every couple of hours to take a mental inventory of the past few hours to see if anything is there bothering me. I try to do it, but just draw a total blank. I know those advents are there because I can feel the tension from them, but if you asked me to list them I canít. I donít know what specifically is stressing me, because it just isnít standing out in my mind.

I have gotten so good at putting all my feelings in a sack for later that it is almost like I feel nothing at all now. I know there are things making me happy, others sad, and still others angry, but as they are happening, I couldnít tell you what any particular thing meant to me.

Slowing down and evaluating things in a new way is much harder than I would have guessed. When unhealthy detachment has become so engrained itís hard to defeat.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#22676 - 02/12/04 01:51 PM Re: unlearning old ways...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hey bro trying to change old habits are definitely not easy.

If you are like me this might help. I was going to do it all in a day (figuratively). I set myself up to fail. And boy was I good at that. Because I knew I was worthless and could not accomplish anything. I was like a trained seal.
I started taking little baby steps. Just deal with one emotion or feeling when it hits you. Deal with it, recognize it and write it down if possible. And above all remember it. After a while one becomes two and so on.

I have been in AA for over 27 years. And I drank from 11-36. Now that is trained behavior. Before I was sucessful I would promise my wife and myself that I would never drink again. And you know what I didn't till the next time. Large promise and poor performance. See the trend here.

When I finally got into AA I did it one day at a time. Sounds trite but that is it. I never promised never to drink again just promised not to drink today. It became easier and easier to live up to that simple promise. Small promised huge performance. I think that is how I also treat emotions. Just today and nothing more. Hey I am not always sucessfull with emotions but I have not and likely never will convince myself that all emotions will kill me. Some can but!!! With alcohol I made an identifying connection to an early and horrible death. My day at a time philosophy is like baby steps and I am still taking them

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#22677 - 02/12/04 02:08 PM Re: unlearning old ways...
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
thanks Mike. no i guess i hadnt considered that point. perhaps i am expecting too much to do this quickly. the biggest problem is that so many things happen, and i really dont know how i feel about them. i'm not used to feeling anything at all really, so it's hard to know what all these feelings are sometimes. i guess i feel a bit overwhelmed by them at points

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#22678 - 02/13/04 01:25 PM Re: unlearning old ways...
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Its about being patient and forgiving with ourselves, isn't it, Jeff?

You don't have to be 100% perfect in the re-training that you are undertaking. I admire you for undertaking it at all. You remind me that I don't have to be perfect in the re-training I am doing too.

Sounds like you might be hung up on the all-or-nothing thinking like I get into often but maybe less and less.

Its really scary--getting into these feelings, trying to understand, trying to heal. Little bit at a time is okay--it has to be.

I'm with you.

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#22679 - 02/14/04 03:39 PM Re: unlearning old ways...
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
phoster,

The old ways are deeply ingrained within us. It takes time to 'unlearn' them and replace them with a positive and healthy response. Some of the old ways have served us well at the time, whether they worked or not, in making us feel secure in a bad situation, some are natural responses.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#22680 - 02/16/04 10:14 PM Re: unlearning old ways...
faceinthecrowd Offline
Member

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 40
Phoster,I am the king of no feel.When you dont let it in,you dont have to feel it.baby steps [WHAT ABOUT BOB ?]is working for me.A little at a time,means a little more next time.////////faceman


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#22681 - 02/19/04 02:56 AM Re: unlearning old ways...
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I am glad that you are having some success in 'unlearning'. I have been trying that so much, it is hard hard thing to do. I wish you continued good luck to do that.

Leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#22682 - 02/19/04 03:52 PM Re: unlearning old ways...
FlyWM Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Michigan
You just need to keep working, I know it is hard but in the end it will be worth it. Detachment can be rather common, but you will be able to 'retrain' yourself so oyou no longer detach the feelings, just will take come time and work. I wish you good luck with it, I am sure it will get easier.

scott

_________________________
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible in not a declaration, it's a dare.

--Adidas

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