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#276 - 03/12/06 02:22 PM obsessions and distractions
Kid A Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/05
Posts: 85
I can't seem to slow down my obssesions, addictions, and habbits. For the most part they all just help me avoid recovery. Tonight I'm wondering why its so hard to stop engaging in things like excessive tv, internet, food, work, and play to name a few. I'm no addict to any one thing in particular but I can spend days on autopilot lost in passionless obsession. I suppose its a good skill to have, but it is like being in a near constant state of disociation. All these things are ways to escape and avoid looking and feeling inward. I want to look inward because its where my freedom lies, but it is often so hard to break the habits that keep away the pain. Any advice on how to break away your soul when its stuck in obssessive distraction? I suppose ultimately I just have to do it and stop hiding in these false comforts.


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#277 - 03/12/06 02:51 PM Re: obsessions and distractions
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Kid A,

I think the answer to your question is already right there in your post:

Quote:
All these things are ways to escape and avoid looking and feeling inward.
We fill our days with manageable things that relieve us of the responsibility to face our real issues and still enable us to feel good about having "done something" that day.

Sometimes this is a medical problem having to do with depression; in that case, meds will help. They sure helped me. Another thing to do is to make sure you are getting enough sleep, and certainly try to resist the temptation to take on new projects that simply mask what remains undone.

At the end of the day, for survivors I also think this is a self-esteem issue. We hesitate to take on the big issues and problems because we fear we will fail or discover terrible new things about ourselves. Here I think what we need is encouragement to believe that the truth about our past really cannot hurt us. It's the present and future where we will be spending our lives, and once we recognize that it becomes easier to see that dealing with our problems - as they are right now - HAS to be our priority.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#278 - 03/12/06 03:15 PM Re: obsessions and distractions
Lost looking up Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/06/06
Posts: 2
I have spent my recovery swicthing from one night romps with other men, porn, food,alcohol, spending, exersize, codependency with my wife. This is not revovery. It is not enough that I am in therapy. It is not enough that I have stopped the family cycle for my kids. It is not enough that I confronted my father and mother. It is not enough that I am envolved church. It is not enough that I am publishing in my feild. It is is not enough that we enjoy regular intimacy in our marriage.It is not enough that I have two incredible kids. It is not enough that I am at the top of my feild. It is not enough that ...


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#279 - 03/13/06 02:47 AM Re: obsessions and distractions
John Oarc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 633
Loc: Louisiana
I have published in my field and as you stated, it is not enough, well it is getting close to being enough but I still feel like I haven't done much, down playing my accomplishments is part of the problem.

You know if I hit the lottery or power ball it would not matter, happiness comes from within and being happy with myself and who I am is the only source of true happiness in this world. Except for knowing God in my case. All of this is easier said than felt or done.

_________________________
Whatever It Takes, God


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#280 - 03/13/06 03:49 PM Re: obsessions and distractions
scooter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 76
I found that I just have to stop. It takes self control, but is possible. But when I stop I feel. And when I feel I break down. But I survive and am stronger.

I have found that as I break down the physical obsessions (and I fall into them again and again - but breaking free more and more) I find that the ideas and ways of thinking are even more elusive and difficult to stop. And these mental obsessions underlie the physical obsessions.

I need to stop the physical obsessions and remember and feel before I even begin to touch the mental obsessions and attachments.

Hang in there. It's a long process and goes way slower than any of us would like. It's when I think I'm finally healed that I am less vigilant and fall back into old habits.


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#281 - 03/13/06 07:16 PM Re: obsessions and distractions
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
This discussion is related in various ways to an earlier thread I started in January on "procrastination". If you want to see the perspective that comes up there, here's the link:

http://malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=006522;p=1#000000

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#282 - 03/13/06 10:07 PM Re: obsessions and distractions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
This is a problem that seems to affect so many of us, I still struggle with my obsessions after many years of therapy and a great deal of success in most aspects of my healing.

But I wonder if this is a problem that affects other people, not just CSA survivors, as well?
I think it is.

Larry mentions 'depression' as a reason, and I know that my depressions bring on more of my obsessive behaviours.
Some are fairly harmless, such as hours spent here at the computer looking at 4x4 sites, this site, and sometimes porn. Which is getting less and less.
But the overriding problem is that 'we' seem to mask our problems by attaching greater importance to our obsessions than they actually deserve.

I can easily convince myself that I "must check to see if anyone's replied to a message I've left" when the reality is that it could wait.
I justify my time spent here, at 4x4 sites, to myself when I don't actually need to.
And I think 'we' can do exactly the same thing with other obsessions such as overeating, I also do it with my smoking. I justify having a smoke because it's been 2 hours since the last one, or some other equally weak excuse.
Then 'we' feel guilty.

Like any dysfunctional behaviour we need to get into the cycle and break it, but that's easy to say and very hard to do.
The obsessions that I have broken though have been broken by breaking in and disrupting the cycle, but at a different point than I have done, unsuccessfully, in the past. I found that my sexual acting out was stopped by shifting the point that I focused my efforts to stop, and I did that by understanding and recognising the cycle in therapy and then moving my efforts 'backwards' and not trying to stop right at the beginning when the cycle was at it's strongest.
I found that if I let it run a while I began to think more rationally about the WHOLE scenario of acting out which included the very negative consequences, which then became stronger and killed the cycle.
Before I would try from the very start, realise that the urge was too strong and give in, allowing the cycle to continue to it's inevitable conclusion.

When I've spoken to other survivors who act out sexually they invariable say that during the build up, when the fantasy is raging, they also have thoughts of the cosequences of getting caught, getting some disease and all the other negative stuff.
But the urge is so strong that 'we' push the negative thoughts aside and carry on because ( I believe ) that we've already given up the fight.
So move the fight to this point, when the negative aspects make an appearence build on them.

I don't know if this makes much sense to other people, but I found that it works for me.
I do look at gay porn sometimes, it's a part of my very old and ingrained coping stratergies. But I don't bother about it untill the negative thoughts come along then I run with those thoughts.
Perhaps there's an element of partially satisfying the old coping stratergies? I'm not sure, but I do know that I don't feel guilty about doing it this way because it works for me.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#283 - 03/13/06 11:31 PM Re: obsessions and distractions
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Dave,

You are so right, as usual! For a long time I was expecting that my meds would take care of my procrastinating and temptation into distractions. But my doctor pointed out that doubling and tripling the meds isn't an answer when what is needed is a change in behavior.

What I find is that I have to identify one significant thing and then work on it until I achieve some result. I enlist my wife as an ally, and away we go.

If I don't do that, I would fritter away endless time by - how shall I put it? - procrastinating over my procrastinations and fluttering from one to the other. Grrrrrr.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#284 - 03/14/06 01:19 AM Re: obsessions and distractions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Mmmmmmmmmm

so why am I still sat at the computer 3 hours later??????

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#285 - 03/14/06 06:13 PM Re: obsessions and distractions
Kid A Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/05
Posts: 85
I sometimes feel like my obssessions are just a form of self-punishment. If I smoke this cigarrette, drink these beers, and run from my problems it means that I am just a helpless baby which I believe to be true so I might as well smoke these cigarrettes, drink these beers and run from my problems.


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