2 months--no drugs or alcohol

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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:32 pm

This 2018 July 1st, Gib?

4) Take acting classes

I took Acting 101 at a community college to get over my crazy fear of public speaking where my mind goes blank. Mentally freezing up hurts my ability to interact and debate in groups. I aced the class, but my overall fear remains with some improvement though, my mind only goes partially blank now (LOL!).

5) Talk to WendyDarling about astral projections

Oh snap, I'd forgotten about your tutorial. I'll get to crackin' on my instruction manual for you. The most important aspect of astral traveling is having an energized positive disposition/outlook. You need a great deal of feeling both physically and emotionally good.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:04 am

Arcturus Descending wrote:All right. So these past five years your main focus and GOAL was NOT about getting off the drugs and alcohol. Yes and no. You were simply experimenting. I still do not get the reasonableness of it all but I am perhaps coming from a place where you have not been ~~ or perhaps you have. Did alcoholism touch your life as you were growing up? You do not have to answer that if you do not want to.
The bottom line is that you have the freedom to come to consciousness in whichever way you choose.


My dad was a bit of an alcoholic, but not a drunk. He liked to have a glass, maybe two, of cognac every second night or so, or sometimes a glass of wine. He was very rarely drunk. The only time I really remember him being drunk was at a Halloween party at our house. He invited all his work colleagues. It was fun. One of his friends was dressed like a monk, and my dad knelt down in front of him pretending to confess: "Oh please father, forgive me for I have sinned." <-- Or some shit like that. He was joking around, of course. It took me several years to get over the scars.

Arcturus Descending wrote:It would still not have made any difference to me, gib. I still see no logic in it considering what alcohol and drug addiction can do to lives, what it did to my life. That is my right. Of course, you have the right to live your life the way you choose but people also have the right to disagree with your way of thinking but it is still your way of thinking. I am coming from a place of experience and knowledge though I can understand your choosing to deny that. You really have no idea *where I live* at my core or where I *lived* at my core.


That's fine because this thread isn't about you.

Arcturus Descending wrote:
gib wrote:Also, I'm conditioning myself to be extra sensitive to criticisms/attacks on my approach, and I'm doing it on purpose. I'm conditioning myself to take pride in my approach, to put all my value into it (that's why it will work), which therefore means that criticisms/attacks against it are going to sting more. It's called the migration of value. I talked about it above. You can search it.
Doesn't that seem a bit counter-intuitive? To you, maybe.
If you truly believe and value what you are about then why give way to such negativity? It's called choice Wouldn't questioning what others say be a more reasonable thing to do and then afterwards, if you actually disagree, just affirm and validate yourself.

Would that turn off the 'insult' switch in my brain?

We cannot, ourselves, always be *impartial* judges and witnesses to ourselves. Can we, gib?


I can be a lot more impartial than you ever could.

You're talking as though it's completely unnatural to be insulted when our personal values are attacked. What you're talking about can be done but it's not an alternative to being insulted, it's done despite being insulted. Given that, one can still say "I was insulted" while affirming and validating one's self. And furthermore, one can still respond.

Arcturus Descending wrote:...to the point where you will make the conscious decision to STOP drinking and drugging, continue in an ongoing way to get help and to give the gift of that promise which you made to your children to stop by July 1st? Yes, it's already done (the decision, I mean, not the drinking and the drugging).
One day at a time of course or one hour at a time.


Arcturus Descending wrote:What was the most important thing which you learned about yourself over the last five years insofar as your addictions go and how it might help you in your journey into sobriety ~~ in case I missed it somewhere?


Oh, I've learned a ton over the past 5 years, but if I were to pick the most important, it might be this:

What it means to take care of myself. I used to think taking caring of yourself meant fending for yourself, doing what you want instead of what others want you to do. I essentially thought of it as doing whatever you want. But now I think of taking care of myself as taking care of my future. Thinking long term. Which sometimes means not doing whatever I want in the moment.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Hmmm...the first attempt? I may actually be wrong in what I am thinking here but is it a good idea to think of it as an attempt? You're reading waaay too much into it. Your mindset right there means that you realize you may fail. Of course, that is possible. There are setbacks and relapses. I think it is important to see that ahead of time. As I said, I may be wrong but considering it as an *attempt*? Is that healthy? I do not know. It was just a thought.
I suppose that it IS important to give ourselves permission to have failed, to be loving toward ourselves through it and then get back up and continue on...and not to give up on ourselves.


I was being clever with words (er, I thought I was 8-[ ); previously, I was trying to correct your misinterpretation as "failed attempts"; I thought calling July 1 a "first attempt" just flowed. But you're right, it's not an attempt, it's a decision.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Other times it can be just the opposite, gib. We take both of them.
What are some of the things which you have done in the past, during your two-month stints, to keep yourself off the alcohol and drugs, when you were in the throes of boredom and dullness? Just making the decision seemed to work.
Where do you find your bliss, gib?


That's the 64 million dollar question, isn't it? How to be happy without the drugs. This is one of the more damaging things drugs have done to me. My happiness--pleasure--has become intricately connected with the drugs. It's like getting to experience what it's like to be a billionary and then having to go back to making a mediocre living. Small things which used to bring you pleasure, like seeing a movie, seem pittiful afterwards. Hopefully, that will fade with time.

I'm also going to ask the therapist if he (or she) can refer me to an energy specialist. I swear that if my body could just generate a bit more energy, or my brain work just a little faster, I could have happiness set on auto-pilot. And it wouldn't have to be intense happiness. I think I could be satisfied feeling like I had a couple shots of tequila and a cup of Joe... all day, every day.

Actually, I lied. The decision to abstain from drugs/alcohol during my 2 month stints wasn't the only thing motivating me. Posting in this thread helped as well. It's another one of these psychological tricks. Therapists recommend announcing your commitments. The more people you tell, the more likely you will be to stick to your commitment.

But other than that, I didn't try anything. Rather, I just looked ahead to the day when I could drink or do drugs again. I just endured the two months. Taking at least two years (or forever) off drugs and alcohol is forcing me to look for alternatives.

Arcturus Descending wrote:All of these things do sound interesting.
Do you believe that in the midst of doing all of these things you will not feel the need to drink? Well, sure I will. The question is, how strongly. I know that from my experience of quitting smoking, the urge hasn't been that strong. Eeevery once in a while, I see someone smoking or a full cigarette lying there that hasn't been smoked, and I get a slight urge... but even that's short lived and I just move on with my day.
At some point, you may get tired of them or they may not offer you the excitement which you seem to need. This is possible, you know. What then?
Again perhaps I am wrong but it is good to be prepared.


Ok, fine:

gib wrote:1) Therapy

2) Take a Dale Carnegie course

3) Get a tattoo

4) Take acting classes

5) Talk to WendyDarling about astral projections

6) Talk to my good friend Rita about other forms of spirituality

7) Get exorcised

8) Join AA <-- There, you happy?


Arcturus Descending wrote:Maybe you need to take things a bit slow. Allow yourself to be a bit bored with life. Anyway, you will be talking with a therapist. Perhaps it might be a good idea to find one who has been a reformed alcoholic for years but I may be wrong.
I am quite aware of how very often I have been wrong but if you use this against me, my wrath shall be visited upon you, gib. lol Only kidding.


I can deal with a bit of boredom, just not depression.

Arcturus Descending wrote:How often do you feel you will see a therapist? Proly once a month. AA meetings give you the opportunity to *be there* when you are feeling down and shaky...if or when that happens. That is the beauty of the meetings. There will be like people there who have experienced what you have and will want to help you. You will need a strong sense of inter-connectedness.


Tell you what, Arc. Let's compromise. I'll think about joining AA if I fall off the horse after July 1. I'll be forced to ask myself: what have I got left? And I'll remember you: well, Arc did suggest AA. What have I got to lose now? For now, however, I want to give myself a chance to do it on my own. <-- That's something I can take pride in, and pride fuels my will to succeed. The opportunity (and the vanity) to say I did it on my own.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I would be very interested to know how this comes about. I was going to make a negative comment being the skeptic but I figure that I will just shut my mouth and wait to see what you have to say about it.


TBH, I expect it to be a big nothing burger. But I think I owe myself this just as a formality.

Arcturus Descending wrote:So, what do you think will *actually* be the first thing you say to him/her after the initial pleasantries have been done away with.


I don't know. I'm not going to actually adhere to a script (although I have a few lines prepared); I know what I want out of therapy though, so I know the ideas I want to get across. I probably *will* say "help me be awesome" (as a joke) but I'll use that as a segway into the details of what I want out of therapy.

Keep in mind, however, that finding substitutes for the drugs is only part of what I want out of therapy; I also want to pick up my software business and I think I'll need a therapist to help me gain the skills needed to run a business (hence: influence people rather than be influenced). This is all part of a larger goal to improve myself. I feel like July 1 is a deadline I'm giving myself to grow up. I feel like I know what I need to do to improve myself (like get therapy) and I'm just waiting for July 1. I know I can be like a superhero if I really wanted, but I will need a coach (therapist) to help me get there. I'll definitely lean on the therapist to help me find substitutes to the drugs, but I feel like I have to get them out of my life first before I even start to kick this into high gear with the help of a therapist. <-- That's the general gist of what I want to say.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Does this mean that come July 1st, you believe that you will not need the therapist?

Won't 'need' one per se, just going to leverage the help of one.

I just deleted the sentence which I had typed here and I will ask you this instead: In what way do you mean "that there's nothing wrong with me"? Can you explain that attitude and how it will serve you?


Think of it as digging myself out of a hole. I'm in the negatives right now, below ground zero. But I'm climbing out. Once I stand on solid ground, I will consider myself "OK". <-- That's July 1. But OK only means nothing wrong with me. It doesn't mean anything great. Standing on ground zero is not the same as soaring through the sky, and I want to leverage the help of a therapist for that. I want to be more than OK. I want more than for nothing to be wrong with me, I want to be awesome!

Arcturus Descending wrote:Do you believe that of July 1st you will be reformed and healed?
Ah, no. I think that you are much too intelligent and aware to believe that.


I believe that I will no longer be able to fault myself for anything. Right now, I can't deny that the drugs and alcohol are a bad choice and that I am choosing. <-- I can (and should) blame myself. Although I will continue to have flaws even after July 1, I think the majority of them (or the main ones) are just a part of who I am (ADD for example), and so I won't blame myself for having them. I took the MMPI a couple years ago, and there were three main findings: drug abuse and alcoholism, ADD, and self-doubt. <-- I'm not worried about any of those. The drugs and alcohol will go July 1, ADD is just a part of who I am and so I don't really consider it a flaw, and self-doubt, if it remains after July 1, will be an illusion (like fearing nothing but fear itself).

Arcturus Descending wrote:Why do you feel you want to be awesome? What will that do for you? <-- Did you really just ask that? #-o
Also, do you not, in some ways, already feel that you are awesome or capable of being awesome, in a humble way, :evilfun: albeit you have these problems?


Capable? Yes! That I am awesome? Depends on if I'm caffinated/drunk/stoned. That's what the drugs did for me (mind you it was often an illusion). It's made it difficult for me to feel that way without them. Feeling awesome is a substitute for drugs. If I'm lucky, this lack of feeling awesome will just fade with time.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Hmmm...Will your mind also have the humility to admit that you cannot go it alone and that it will take a lot of time, patience, energy, struggle, honesty, exorcising of any (unsupernatural) :evilfun: daemons and stick-to-itive-ness?


Ha! Ha! Stick-to-itive-ness. :lol:

Time, patience, energy, honesty, exorcising of demons... yes. Cannot do it alone? I wouldn't mind sharing the journey towards awesomehood with someone, a special person who knows how to support me in my goals, but I just want July 1 all for myself. As I said, it's a matter of pride, and pride is fuel. After that, I might relax the intensity (depending on if I think I still need it or not).

Arcturus Descending wrote:lol
I do not know, gib. You may want to ask all of the men with tattoos of their girlfriends' faces or names who they were so obsessed with but who have long since gone the way into history.


I don't think you can compare relationships to drug addictions. Sometimes it's healthy to end a relationship. Sometimes people change and they have to go their separate ways. I don't think there's very many situations in which it's healthy to become an addict.

Besides, I'm not expecting the tattoo to be a guarantee. Nothing I listed above is a guarantee. But I definitely think it will help (and besides, I'd just like to have a tattoo).

Arcturus Descending wrote:I think that imagining the faces of your two smiling happy children might be by far a much stronger imagery to hold onto to solidify your commitment but then I am thinking as a Mom.


The imagery of salvation works for me. It's not just an image, it's a drawing that I created. Though it may sound bad, I haven't drawn any images of my children. I'm letting you know some of the multiple dimensions to this journey I'm on, but there are other dimensions I haven't told you. The imagery of salvation has to do with demonic experiences I've had, which are tied to my drug use, and have a lot to do with why I'm approaching my drug problem the way I'm approaching it.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I have a little tattoo. Anyway, at what point would you get tattooed to ACTUALLY symbolize that you HAVE earned it? Prior to July 1st or how many months past that time when you become conscious of the fact that you indeed earned it or are earning it?


Shortly after July 1; I'm cocky, Arc. I actually believe that by July 1, I will be drug and alcohol free. I don't need to give myself time to see if that's true. July 1 will be the day I earn a tattoo.

And besides, the tattoo is instrumental. It will keep me from falling off the horse just as much as it will symbolize my not falling off the horse.

Arcturus Descending wrote:The journey which you will be on to get off and stay off of the alcohol and drugs WILL BE part of an exorcism though perhaps a different one than you mean.
You really appear to be *raring to go* gib. You need to slow down but you probably will not.


Remind me of that after July 1, Arc. Raring to go? Yes. I feel like I need to rev myself up in order to make July 1 significant and meaningful, like getting a running start in order to jump over a chasm (in fact, you might even think of the past 5 years as backing up in order to get a good run). After July 1, however, I may switch gears depending on how my life is going. I'm not running to win a marathon, just to make that initial leap.

Arcturus Descending wrote:That is okay gib and I appreciate the apology. You did not hurt my feelings at all. I just questioned your response.
You may consider me hereby validated.
:angelic-blueglow:


Excellent! :D

We seem to have switched to discussion mode, not trolling mode. ;)
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:05 am

WendyDarling wrote:This 2018 July 1st, Gib?


No, the other one. ;)

WendyDarling wrote:I took Acting 101 at a community college to get over my crazy fear of public speaking where my mind goes blank. Mentally freezing up hurts my ability to interact and debate in groups. I aced the class, but my overall fear remains with some improvement though, my mind only goes partially blank now (LOL!).


Yeah, speaking in front of crowds is one thing. Spontaneously thinking of witty things to say is another.

Do you think the environment has anything to do with it? Acting classes might provide a more comfortable environment, whereas speaking in front of crowds feels more like "the real world".

WendyDarling wrote:Oh snap, I'd forgotten about your tutorial. I'll get to crackin' on my instruction manual for you. The most important aspect of astral traveling is having an energized positive disposition/outlook. You need a great deal of feeling both physically and emotionally good.


That could be a problem. :lol:
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:00 pm

gib,

Thank you for sharing about your father, gib.

That's fine because this thread isn't about you.


Basically, this is correct. We are in here having a discussion so what does this mean? I would suggest that it mostly means that what is being said will be about you and at other times will be about whoever else is in here doing the *sharing* or the *speaking*. When I made the thread about me (as you put it) I was trying to give you some insight into my reasoning based on my history.

We cannot, ourselves, always be *impartial* judges and witnesses to ourselves. Can we, gib?

I can be a lot more impartial than you ever could.


You mean to say that you can be a lot more *impartial* where your self is concerned? That is what I said or asked you.
We are often more impartial with others than we can be with ourselves.
I wonder if it is far easier to see others as being awesome than it is to see ourselves in that same way albeit I do not think that our main focus in life is to concentrate on being awesome. But that is an individual thing.

Aside from that, you cannot actually make a statement like that because you are not a fly on the wall of my entire life.

But give me examples, gib, where you *believe* that you are more of an impartial person than I am.

You're talking as though it's completely unnatural to be insulted when our personal values are attacked. What you're talking about can be done but it's not an alternative to being insulted, it's done despite being insulted. .


No, I suppose that it is not. It may be part of our natural instinct toward self preservation in different ways.

Given that, one can still say "I was insulted" while affirming and validating one's self. And furthermore, one can still respond.


Ah, but wouldn't it be so much easier if we were capable of just letting it all go. What would be the secret to that? Knowing ourselves and what we are about and just letting ourselves flow like water ..

Oh, I've learned a ton over the past 5 years, but if I were to pick the most important, it might be this:

What it means to take care of myself. I used to think taking caring of yourself meant fending for yourself, doing what you want instead of what others want you to do.


I do not necessarily see anything wrong with that. There can be a sense of personal freedom there unless one has to walk all over others to do it. The right kind of self ~ ishness is an art.

But now I think of taking care of myself as taking care of my future. Thinking long term. Which sometimes means not doing whatever I want in the moment.


I think that the above is true too. But I also think that a part of that is doing what one must do in the *here and now* like going to AA meetings :mrgreen: and seeing a therapist. I do not see us as going from A to Z in one giant leap.


I suppose that it IS important to give ourselves permission to have failed, to be loving toward ourselves through it and then get back up and continue on...and not to give up on ourselves.

I was being clever with words (er, I thought I was 8-[ ); previously, I was trying to correct your misinterpretation as "failed attempts"; I thought calling July 1 a "first attempt" just flowed. But you're right, it's not an attempt, it's a decision.


I really do not know if I am right or wrong here. I guess it depends on the one who is looking. But in one sense, looking at it as an attempt just might set one up for failure. Again, I could be wrong. But I like where it can be a *decision*.


Where do you find your bliss, gib?

That's the 64 million dollar question, isn't it? How to be happy without the drugs. This is one of the more damaging things drugs have done to me. My happiness--pleasure--has become intricately connected with the drugs. It's like getting to experience what it's like to be a billionary and then having to go back to making a mediocre living. Small things which used to bring you pleasure, like seeing a movie, seem pittiful afterwards. Hopefully, that will fade with time.


If you could have more of happiness or meaningfulness in your life, which would you choose?

I'm also going to ask the therapist if he (or she) can refer me to an energy specialist. I swear that if my body could just generate a bit more energy, or my brain work just a little faster,


I have never heard of an energy specialist so I googled it. It was not what I expected...nothing that has anything to do with rejuvenating yourself. The way I look at it, energy begets energy. Do you like to walk?


I could have happiness set on auto-pilot. And it wouldn't have to be intense happiness. I think I could be satisfied feeling like I had a couple shots of tequila and a cup of Joe... all day, every day.


We do need to be happy sometimes in order to want to survive but I think that you focus too much on wanting to be happy. You might find it easier if you do not look for it.
Is *following one's bliss* necessarily about being happy all of the time or finding and doing what makes life more meaningful to us?

Perhaps if you would take the time to consider all of the human beings out there, especially children, who are usually never happy but struggle everyday of their life, even to have a bit of food, you might find a balance and not *need* to feel happy or be happy.

Therapists recommend announcing your commitments. The more people you tell, the more likely you will be to stick to your commitment.


I get that but then again, how would people know for the most part whether you have stuck to your commitment?

Taking at least two years (or forever) off drugs and alcohol is forcing me to look for alternatives.


https://www.soberjulie.com/2012/10/yest ... -tomorrow/

Ok, fine:

8)[/color] Join AA <-- There, you happy?


I am neither happy nor unhappy as I type these words.
BUT I think that making *Join AA* as No. 1 would be a much more practical and wise thing for you to do. But you know what they say: "You can bring a horse to water but you cannot make him drink it." But at least you are capable of seeing the water, gib.

I can deal with a bit of boredom, just not depression.


Do you have the kind of depression that can be worked out by following a particular regime or no?

AA meetings give you the opportunity to *be there* when you are feeling down and shaky...if or when that happens. That is the beauty of the meetings. There will be like people there who have experienced what you have and will want to help you. You will need a strong sense of inter-connectedness.

Tell you what, Arc. Let's compromise. I'll think about joining AA if I fall off the horse after July 1.


A stitch in time saves nine, gib.

I'll be forced to ask myself: what have I got left? And I'll remember you: well, Arc did suggest AA. What have I got to lose now? For now, however, I want to give myself a chance to do it on my own. <-- That's something I can take pride in...


One question: What kind of pride are we speaking about here?
I personally feel that any man or woman who goes to AA, determined to help him/her ~ self get off the alcohol, with all of the hard work and struggle that that entails ought to give themselves a nice pat on the back and good affirmations like *good for you* and *keep on keeping on*.

...and pride fuels my will to succeed. The opportunity (and the vanity) to say I did it on my own.


A little voice is telling me to be silent here. That is for you to reflect on or not.


Keep in mind, however, that finding substitutes for the drugs is only part of what I want out of therapy
;

For instance, what might some of those substitutes be?

I feel like July 1 is a deadline I'm giving myself to grow up.


lol I kind of thought that *growing up* is part of a journey that lasts until death.
Why do you seem to be in such a hurry for everything?

I feel like I know what I need to do to improve myself (like get therapy) and I'm just waiting for July 1.


Well, the therapy might wait until July 1st, but you will do absolutely nothing until THEN to continue (hopefully) to improve yourself?
Maybe I am just mis-reading what you mean here

I know I can be like a superhero if I really wanted,


Define what YOU mean when you say *superhero*?

but I will need a coach (therapist) to help me get there. I'll definitely lean on the therapist to help me find substitutes to the drugs, but I feel like I have to get them out of my life first before I even start to kick this into high gear with the help of a therapist. <-- That's the general gist of what I want to say.


I do not know, gib, and I may be wrong here but my instinct is telling me that you are putting the cart before the horse.

I want to be more than OK. I want more than for nothing to be wrong with me, I want to be awesome!


Where do you think that your wanting to be awesome is coming from?
If I were you and perhaps in some ways I am similar to you, aswe can all be, that is one of the questions which I might ask the therapist or reveal in an AA meeting.

I think perhaps, gib, that if you give it some thought, you might find that you ARE awesome in some ways, not in a way that is egoistical or vain, but in a way that is real, in the same way that you might look up into the night sky, and know instinctively how awesome that beautiful bright moon is.


I believe that I will no longer be able to fault myself for anything. Right now, I can't deny that the drugs and alcohol are a bad choice and that I am choosing. <-- I can (and should) blame myself.


Maybe seeing that is enough. I do not know where blaming gets us. If Rome was not built in a day neither were you. It took what? Almost forty years to build you? That does not mean you take no responsibility for it.

Although I will continue to have flaws even after July 1,


Join the club, gib. :evilfun:

ADD is just a part of who I am and so I don't really consider it a flaw, and self-doubt, if it remains after July 1, will be an illusion (like fearing nothing but fear itself).


As for the first, good for you.
As for the second, would you necessarily consider *self-doubt to be an illusion? I mean if it is there, it IS there and is it not a good thing to reflect on why it is there, what triggered it?


Feeling awesome is a substitute for drugs. If I'm lucky, this lack of feeling awesome will just fade with time.


“What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”
Alan Watts



Time, patience, energy, honesty, exorcising of demons... yes. Cannot do it alone? I wouldn't mind sharing the journey towards awesomehood with someone, a special person who knows how to support me in my goals, but I just want July 1 all for myself. As I said, it's a matter of pride, and pride is fuel. After that, I might relax the intensity (depending on if I think I still need it or not).


Didn't you mention that you have a very good female friend? I cannot remember her name. As for the other, it might be better for you not to look for a special someone. What do you think? They might just muddy the waters of your journey into sobriety but quien sabe!


I don't think you can compare relationships to drug addictions.


lol You certainly have that wrong, gib. But it would depend on the individuals and the relationships. Many relationships are very addictive and co-dependent.

Sometimes it's healthy to end a relationship. Sometimes people change and they have to go their separate ways.


Yes, it is.
This too can be true. Sometimes people refuse to change so another has to go his/her separate ways.

I don't think there's very many situations in which it's healthy to become an addict.

I do not see ANY situation where it is healthy to become an addict.


Shortly after July 1; I'm cocky, Arc. I actually believe that by July 1, I will be drug and alcohol free. I don't need to give myself time to see if that's true. July 1 will be the day I earn a tattoo.


I have no doubt that you can be. You have done it before.
Living in the NOW is the most important thing but do not forget that the NOW is always a continuation or a continuum.
We just see things differently.
I never did see the image of that tattoo.


And besides, the tattoo is instrumental.


It is? What piece of instrumental or classical music will you hear as you gaze at it?
What actual piece of music would go well with your journey into sobriety?
I would be interested in what you come up with.

I'm not running to win a marathon, just to make that initial leap.


Is the leap the beginning or the end of your journey? Will you already be there when your feet touch the ground?
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby The Eternal Warrior » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:01 pm

gib wrote:Tell you what, Eternal. You do you, and I'll do me. I'll quit the drugs but I promise not to put any pressure on you to do the same. That way, you can feel free to indulge in whatever drug habits you desire without feeling like you now have to live up to a new standard.


I dont care what you do in terms of quitting drugs, if you actually can, which you can't. It's the other things you're getting in the way of, beyond just trying to quit drugs, that has me getting involved. You need to knock your attitude off.
Slenderman can invoke memory loss in all but the most resolute - you could have already had a Slenderman encounter and not remember it.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:20 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:You mean to say that you can be a lot more *impartial* where your self is concerned? Yes, and in general. That is what I said or asked you.
We are often more impartial with others than we can be with ourselves. We also project our own issues onto others.
I wonder if it is far easier to see others as being awesome than it is to see ourselves in that same way albeit I do not think that our main focus in life is to concentrate on being awesome. But that is an individual thing. I think it's easy to be fooled by appearances.

Aside from that, you cannot actually make a statement like that because you are not a fly on the wall of my entire life.


I don't need to be a fly on the wall of your life to be more impartial than you, especially if we're talking about my life. I've had 41 years of experience with myself; I have direct access to my inner world, my personal memories, my tastes, my desires, my deepest most hidden secrets; and I have a lot more experience with my own children than you do. You don't even know if the person I present myself as on ILP is the real me; you have no idea when I'm lying and when I'm not. You've never met me, we've never talked person-to-person.

The way I see it, Arc, there is some truth to the idea that others can be more impartial about ourselves than we can (even though we are ourselves), but I find this idea is often misunderstood and misused (abused?) in discussions. People try to leverage this idea as if it were true of the whole person--but it's actually very rarely true; the rare occasions when it's true are usually those when it's over something very difficult for the individual to come to terms with and easy for the other person because they don't have a stake in it. But this happens maybe 10% of the time, and it involves maybe a small piece of the pie that is the whole person or the person's life. Even then, there's numerous other things to consider; for example, you'd still have to somehow confirm that the other person isn't projecting their own issues and prejudices on the individual; most people do bring their issues and prejudice to bear on judging other people, making others less impartial than one's self. Also, being impartial or having no stake sometimes means not caring enough to really look into the matter so that your opinion is at least a little bit informed rather than a knee jerk reaction; for a third thing, you'd really have to be someone close to the individual, someone like a good friend or a family member--definitely not some anonymous person you happen to know on an internet forum--otherwise, you're competing against a whole lifetime of experience and knowledge (like my 41 years of experience with myself compared to your, what? Maybe a couple days worth, cumulatively, of reading exchanging on ILP?); and of course, being a close friend or relative can make you less impartial, not more, right?

Arcturus Descending wrote:But give me examples, gib, where you *believe* that you are more of an impartial person than I am.


How 'bout the fact that you confuse your experience growing up with your mother for expert impartial insight into my life and who I am, and how that's affecting my children? I wouldn't make that leap when judging others. If I were raised by an alcoholic, I would at least consider the fact that that makes me biased.

Also, I've had my IQ tested and I show an exceptional aptitude for what Gardner called "intrapersonal intelligence"--the intelligence to know one's self. We all have this ability to one extent or another; it's when we lie to yourselves or go into denial, but then find a moment when we can drop the act and temporarily admit to ourselves the truth and what we're really doing. While this doesn't mean I don't ever go into denial, or distort the truth on myself, or play psychological games with myself unconsciously, it does mean that I have the ability to put that on hold for a moment and admit to myself the truth and what my motives are for playing these self-directed mind games; it's what I call the "higher self" within. To me, the experience is like becoming someone else; that is, treating myself as though I were another person; it thereby becomes a lot more like trying to make a psychological assessment of another person--not having to get by defense mechanisms and assaults to the ego--being more "impartial" in a sense--which really helps in nurturing self-awareness.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Ah, but wouldn't it be so much easier if we were capable of just letting it all go. What would be the secret to that? Knowing ourselves and what we are about and just letting ourselves flow like water ..


Easier in what way? Are you asking wouldn't it be easier if our brains were naturally wired differently, if we were a different species without the propensity to be insulted when someone attacks our values? I can imagine it would be easier not having to deal with hurt feelings and anger, but we were created this way for a reason.

Personally, I try to exercise choice. I recognize, first and foremost, that this is a discussion forum, which means that I don't have to respond... now or ever. Then I allow myself time. Time to reflect, to think creatively on a response, to decide on how to respond, if at all. Letting some insult go and not responding is one option I allow myself, but not the only one. Having enough time to think of an appropriate response often results in coming up with better things than letting go and not responding (better in my estimation, at least)--I allow for that option too--and I'm usually quite satisfied with whatever I choose. What I try to watch out for are situations where I find myself getting all caught up in defensiveness and frustration--you know, the negative emotions--responding reactively, almost in a panic, rather than proactively. <-- Then I feel like I'm just feeding negative unhealthy emotions where making the decision to let go much earlier would have been better.

In brief... choice and time, not following a self-imposed rule, is what makes discussions like this most enjoyable to me. <-- I don't know if that's the same as "easier" but it is the most fulfilling to me.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I really do not know if I am right or wrong here. I guess it depends on the one who is looking. But in one sense, looking at it as an attempt just might set one up for failure. Again, I could be wrong. But I like where it can be a *decision*.


TBH, I'm not oblivious to the fact that July 1 will be an attempt; even decisions are attempts, and it could be a catastrophic failure; I'm just choosing not to think of it that way. Like I said, my thoughts and attitude towards this are just as instrumental as they are reflections on truth--they are meant to create the truth just as much as to predict it. It's like an athlete competing in the 100 meter sprint. Typically, with 7 other competitors, he stands a chance of 1 in 8. But he doesn't tell himself this. He doesn't say: I've only got a 1 in 8 chance of winning. He tells himself: I am going to win. <-- It may not guarantee the win in his pocket, but it just might bump up his chances a bit higher than 1 in 8.

Arcturus Descending wrote:If you could have more of happiness or meaningfulness in your life, which would you choose?


Beh... that's a good question. Can I sit on it?

I know I want happiness, but that's the animal side of me. What would a higher being choose? I think a higher being might choose meaningfulness and from that, draw out happiness.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I have never heard of an energy specialist so I googled it. It was not what I expected...nothing that has anything to do with rejuvenating yourself. The way I look at it, energy begets energy. Do you like to walk?


Yes, I like to walk (particularly when I'm stoned :D ). I also like to ride my bike.

Here, I'm looking for a substitute to the caffeine.

In general, I'd like my brain to be more responsive. When I compare myself to others, I find others usually have a nack for being able to respond to things in real time, and usually it's the right respondse, and on occasion there's more than one response. They know exactly the right thing to say, how to say it, how to win people over. My brain's more reflective--it needs time to digest and come up with appropriate responses--but usually this only works on internet forums. In real life, it's detrimental. Caffeine fixes that, speeds up my brain, makes me more responsive, makes me more influential. It gives my brain the energy it needs to come up with the right responses on the spot. If I could get that energy without the drugs somehow, I will be one step closer to awesomehood.

Alcohol is a nice complement to the caffeine as far as being responsive and infuential goes, so coupled with the search for more energy is the search for more confidence and less inhibitions, but I think that will be a much easier problem to solve than the more energy one.

(though I've also learned that too much caffeine and alcohol just makes me an annoying prick--not very influential--so I have to keep in mind that maybe less is more).

Arcturus Descending wrote:I get that but then again, how would people know for the most part whether you have stuck to your commitment?


They don't need to know. I just have to have something to prove. Announcing my intentions drives me to want to prove myself (yes, I see the irony in that).

Arcturus Descending wrote:BUT I think that making *Join AA* as No. 1 would be a much more practical and wise thing for you to do. But you know what they say: "You can bring a horse to water but you cannot make him drink it." But at least you are capable of seeing the water, gib.


Eighth place is all you're getting, Arc. :evilfun: And if I think of other things to add to the list, you're getting bumped to 9th.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Do you have the kind of depression that can be worked out by following a particular regime or no?


Uh... idunno. :confusion-shrug:

Arcturus Descending wrote:One question: What kind of pride are we speaking about here?
I personally feel that any man or woman who goes to AA, determined to help him/her ~ self get off the alcohol, with all of the hard work and struggle that that entails ought to give themselves a nice pat on the back and good affirmations like *good for you* and *keep on keeping on*.


I know, you're an institutionalist, you'd be proud of that. I wouldn't. I just question why doing it on one's own is shameful to you. Should I not give myself a pat on the back for doing it on my own?

Arcturus Descending wrote:
gib wrote:...and pride fuels my will to succeed. The opportunity (and the vanity) to say I did it on my own.


A little voice is telling me to be silent here. That is for you to reflect on or not.


It's 'cause I said vanity, isn't it?

Arcturus Descending wrote:For instance, what might some of those substitutes be?


Astral projection.

Being awesome.

Raising my energy levels.

Arcturus Descending wrote:lol I kind of thought that *growing up* is part of a journey that lasts until death. I like Jack Sparrow's saying: "I don't know how to act my age, I've never been this old before."
Why do you seem to be in such a hurry for everything?


I've got a lot of catching up to do. There's tons of things I know I could be doing right now which I'm not. Just because they can easily be applied all in one go doesn't mean I need to take my time. I should just apply them. If it were more uncertain or seemed to require a lot more will power--you know, hit and miss--I'd probably take a more experimental approach (like my 2 month stints) which is best done taking one's time.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Well, the therapy might wait until July 1st, but you will do absolutely nothing until THEN to continue (hopefully) to improve yourself? I thought there's no rush.
Maybe I am just mis-reading what you mean here


Nope, you got me pretty well pegged. What if I told you I'm not doing anything to improve myself until July 1? What's the worst I can expect from you? Disaproval?

Arcturus Descending wrote:Define what YOU mean when you say *superhero*?


Being awesome.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I do not know, gib, and I may be wrong here but my instinct is telling me that you are putting the cart before the horse.


You want me to get therapy first and then get off the drugs?

Arcturus Descending wrote:Where do you think that your wanting to be awesome is coming from?


The drugs.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Maybe seeing that is enough. Yes. I do not know where blaming gets us.


It's temporary. It's just another motivator. Another one of those instrumental things (<-- You know what that means, Arc?)

Arcturus Descending wrote:As for the second, would you necessarily consider *self-doubt to be an illusion? I mean if it is there, it IS there and is it not a good thing to reflect on why it is there, what triggered it?


No, no, no, Arc, if the MMPI shows that self-doubt is the only thing wrong with me, then there's nothing wrong with me. What is there to doubt if drugs/alcohol are gone and ADD is not a flaw? Self-doubt itself? <-- Are you kidding? You wanna make that a self-fulfilling prophesy? It may not go away easily, but that doesn't make it any less illusory. In fact, it's most likely a chronic condition (my mother had it), like a schizonphrenic who has to live with hallucinations or delusions; just because he has them doesn't make them real.

There's a whole mess of things which cumulatively lead to my self-doubt--it's not a mystery why I have it--figuring that out doesn't make it go away; it just means the only thing left for me to do is to recognize it's illusory nature. What else do you think a therapist would prescribe? That I convince myself that I have reasons to self-doubt and then tell myself that it's illusory?

Arcturus Descending wrote:Didn't you mention that you have a very good female friend? I might have. I cannot remember her name. Me neither. As for the other, it might be better for you not to look for a special someone. What do you think? Not looking. It would just be nice if she fell from Heaven. They might just muddy the waters of your journey into sobriety but quien sabe!


Exactly. As Shieldy so eloquently put it: "What woman wants a man who struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction."

Well, the answer is: a woman who also struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction. Now, if I didn't have my July 1 goal, I might look for a woman like that, but since I have my July 1 goal, I think you're right--finding a woman who also suffers addiction problems would only bring me down, and before July 1 any woman who doesn't would never go for me. After July 1, however, the game changes.

(Not that I'd necessarily want a relationship even then--being single does have its perks.)

Arcturus Descending wrote:I never did see the image of that tattoo.


Let's try again. I just switched internet service providers and they won't let me run a web server out of my home. But we'll try forwarding on port 5000:

Image

Arcturus Descending wrote:Is the leap the beginning or the end of your journey? Will you already be there when your feet touch the ground?


Let's just call it the end of a phase.
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- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:52 am

WendyDarling wrote:
gib wrote:5) Talk to WendyDarling about astral projections

Oh snap, I'd forgotten about your tutorial. I'll get to crackin' on my instruction manual for you. The most important aspect of astral traveling is having an energized positive disposition/outlook. You need a great deal of feeling both physically and emotionally good.


I've always seen you, gib, as a Peter Pan character: a boy who refused to grow up, and Wendy? Well Wendy is Wendy :lol:

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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:07 pm

Chakra Superstar wrote:I've always seen you, gib, as a Peter Pan character: a boy who refused to grow up, and Wendy? Well Wendy is Wendy :lol:


Yes, that interpretation's crossed my mind too. :lol: Except I think if Wendy can help me with astral projection, she'll be the one in the lead.

BTW, I remember you saying you've astral projected too. Want in on this?
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A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:01 pm

BTW, I remember you saying you've astral projected too. Want in on this?

Yeah Chakra, contribute lots more. I could swear that I asked you for more about your astral experiences ages ago.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:17 pm

gib wrote:BTW, I remember you saying you've astral projected too. Want in on this?


Thanks for the invite but I think you and Wendy should do this alone. If you’re successful then you might consider adding another person but at the start, I’d suggest you keep the complications to a bare minimum. It’s a skill, not magic and it takes a lot of concentration and control. The fewer distractions, the better.

FTR: I’ve only travelled with one other human and that wasn’t planned. It was with one of my brothers when we were kids. We only realized it when he mentioned a weird dream he had with me in it and I told him I had the same ‘dream’. Our recollections were identical then, some time later, after gaining some astral projection (AP) experience I realized that the ‘weirdness’ was the energetic astral body and realm. The energetic body is quite different from the mental dream 'body'; it's more vibrant, more alive.

I did try to 'rendezvous' with someone when I thought it would be a good idea to sneak into a girls bedroom a couple of houses down (I was about 15, I guess :oops: ). On thinking that, I felt a thud and found myself back in my body. It wasn't punishment or guilt. It was simply because what I desired was a bodily desire so.... BAM!!! Back to the body. You get the body to meet your desires. Damn!!!

It will be interesting to see if guys can pull this rendezvous off.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:36 pm

WendyDarling wrote:.... I could swear that I asked you for more about your astral experiences ages ago.


Mmmm… you may have?…. I tend to disappear for a while then forget where I was… sorry ‘bout dat. I wrote a lot about astral projection on ILO but now it’s all gone. I wish I had kept copies….
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

OK, got that out of my system…. where were we? Oh, yeah, there were some awesome AP experiences -- and terrifying one’s, too. I’d love to share them. All of them are fascinating and one of them -- if it can be called an AP? It may have been a reverse AP -- anyway, it still blows my mind to this day. I still don’t know what to make of it. It was witnessed by half a dozen friends so I know it happened. I just don't know what it was.

Anyway, I’ll do my best with the fragments of time I have.... Enjoy your travels and be sure to ask questions and take notes. If anyone asks about me, tell them you don't know me. It wasn't me who pinched the flower fairy's bottom or cheated on the magick powers test. Honest :oops:

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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:08 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Thanks for the invite but I think you and Wendy should do this alone. If you’re successful then you might consider adding another person but at the start, I’d suggest you keep the complications to a bare minimum. It’s a skill, not magic and it takes a lot of concentration and control. The fewer distractions, the better.


Pretty volatile stuff, huh?

Chakra Superstar wrote:I did try to 'rendezvous' with someone when I thought it would be a good idea to sneak into a girls bedroom a couple of houses down (I was about 15, I guess :oops: ).


You dirty, dirty boy. :lol:

Chakra Superstar wrote:It will be interesting to see if guys can pull this rendezvous off.


I'll let you know. :lol:

Chakra Superstar wrote:I’d love to share them.


Please do!

Chakra Superstar wrote:It was witnessed by half a dozen friends so I know it happened.


What exactly did they witness?

Chakra Superstar wrote: If anyone asks about me, tell them you don't know me. It wasn't me who pinched the flower fairies bottom or cheated on the magick powers test. Honest :oops:


Your secret's safe with me. But I can't speak for Wendy (I hear she's a snitch, but only if you get on her bad side :D ).
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Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Chakra Superstar » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:46 pm

gib wrote:Pretty volatile stuff, huh?

Yep, the astral world is an energetic world. Forms, time and space are very sensitive to thoughts and emotions -- one rises and falls in direct proportion to one's state of mind.

gib wrote:What exactly did they witness?

I’d rather share the story in context because what we saw came at the end of an experience that lasted 6 weeks... but the elevator version is: a purple mist appeared on the lounge room ceiling where a group of friends and I were sitting. We just froze and watched the mist grow in size and slowly creep down the walls. When it got about a foot from my head, I had an urge to touch it so I raised my arms and flattened my palms as if I was trying to stop it from moving any further but it just kept going... pushing my hands back as it advanced... then one of the girls freaked out. She screamed her lungs out and totally lost it. The mist disappeared in a flash.

I thought the mist was pushing my hands back down but the others told me that I (I guess my astral/energetic body?) was actually rising up out of my physical body and began to enter the mist. They had seen it. I had no idea I was moving; I thought the mist was moving.

Not only did the others witness it but the girl that freaked out was an atheist and a super sceptic when it came to anything supernatural. She’d be the first to call bullshit if someone told her that a mist appeared on the ceiling blah, blah, blah... so it was even more convincing that a disbeliever saw it.

I contacted her about a decade or so after the incident and when I broached that episode (which was why I tracked her down), she suddenly got up from the table and told me not to talk about it again. It really disturbed her that much. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that.

Good luck with your travels. Send us a postcard when you get there. :P
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:39 pm

Meeting up? When did I say that we're meeting up in the astral world, gib? My goal is to teach you the steps I followed to get out of my body.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:00 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Meeting up? When did I say that we're meeting up in the astral world, gib? My goal is to teach you the steps I followed to get out of my body.


I don't think I said we're meeting up. Where did you read that?
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A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Chakra Superstar » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:41 pm

gib wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:Meeting up? When did I say that we're meeting up in the astral world, gib? My goal is to teach you the steps I followed to get out of my body.


I don't think I said we're meeting up. Where did you read that?

Oh, my bad. I thought your eventual aim was to see if you could rendezvous on the astral plane. I don't know why I assumed that? :-k Sorry 'bout dat. As you were.

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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:11 pm

gib,

I've had 41 years of experience with myself; I have direct access to my inner world, my personal memories, my tastes, my desires, my deepest most hidden secrets; and I have a lot more experience with my own children than you do.


I do not want to be harsh here but please tell me how ALL of that has served you over the years in wanting to end your addictions?
Does having direct access to certain things necessarily mean that we utilize that knowledge or experience?

I have absolutely no experience with your children!

You don't even know if the person I present myself as on ILP is the real me; you have no idea when I'm lying and when I'm not. You've never met me, we've never talked person-to-person.


This is true. That would beg the question, gib? Are you wasting my time and energy in here by lying? Am I responding at times to lies? I am NOT saying that you are.

How 'bout the fact that you confuse your experience growing up with your mother for expert impartial insight into my life and who I am, and how that's affecting my children?


So are you saying that your addictions do not affect your children?
As for the first part, you do have a point. My situation with my mother was different, hopefully, where it counts than yours with your children. But it was about how your lifestyle CAN affect your children.
I hate to be an absolutist but I am sure that it has in ways. I was going to ask you: "Am I wrong"? but you do not have to answer that. Have you reflected on the ways in which your addictions have affected your children?

I wouldn't make that leap when judging others. If I were raised by an alcoholic, I would at least consider the fact that that makes me biased.


I know that it makes me biased in some ways (I examine them) but in others I see things which those who were not raised or influenced by alcoholics CANNOT see. They are also biased from lack of information and experience. They tend to make judgment calls based on their more or less normal lives.

Also, I've had my IQ tested and I show an exceptional aptitude for what Gardner called "intrapersonal intelligence"--the intelligence to know one's self.


Again, how has that ability served you? Do we at times not squander our talents?

Easier in what way? Are you asking wouldn't it be easier if our brains were naturally wired differently, if we were a different species without the propensity to be insulted when someone attacks our values? I can imagine it would be easier not having to deal with hurt feelings and anger, but we were created this way for a reason.


No. That is not what I meant. But perhaps change our brain patterns by simply letting things go more and more. I realize that this is not easy ~ it is a process. It can be a challenge but each time will get easier.
If we have to defend our values to others, do we really believe that they are so worthy and meaningful? It is just a question.
I am not saying here that if our way of life and personal freedoms are in jeopardy we do not defend them. That we do.
Maybe you will define what YOU mean by *values* - an example? Have I insulted your values?


Personally, I try to exercise choice. I recognize, first and foremost, that this is a discussion forum, which means that I don't have to respond... now or ever. Then I allow myself time. Time to reflect, to think creatively on a response, to decide on how to respond, if at all. Letting some insult go and not responding is one option I allow myself, but not the only one. Having enough time to think of an appropriate response often results in coming up with better things than letting go and not responding (better in my estimation, at least)--I allow for that option too--and I'm usually quite satisfied with whatever I choose. What I try to watch out for are situations where I find myself getting all caught up in defensiveness and frustration--you know, the negative emotions--responding reactively, almost in a panic, rather than proactively. <-- Then I feel like I'm just feeding negative unhealthy emotions where making the decision to let go much earlier would have been better.

Ah, intelligent and wise words and thoughts. I do hope that you will take the above to heart in fighting your addictions, take the bull by the horns and dropping him to his knees. (I love animals though).

TBH, I'm not oblivious to the fact that July 1 will be an attempt; even decisions are attempts, and it could be a catastrophic failure; I'm just choosing not to think of it that way. Like I said, my thoughts and attitude towards this are just as instrumental as they are reflections on truth--they are meant to create the truth just as much as to predict it. It's like an athlete competing in the 100 meter sprint. Typically, with 7 other competitors, he stands a chance of 1 in 8. But he doesn't tell himself this. He doesn't say: I've only got a 1 in 8 chance of winning. He tells himself: I am going to win. <-- It may not guarantee the win in his pocket, but it just might bump up his chances a bit higher than 1 in 8.

What I still do not understand is this July 1st thing. Why put off what can begin now?
Why postpone it? Where is the best place to begin? NOW.
Perhaps this is being nosy and you do not have to answer it but are you sober NOW and drug free? If you are waiting, then I just do not get it. There is no magic in July 1st.

Arcturus Descending"]If you could have more of happiness or meaningfulness in your life, which would you choose?

Beh... that's a good question. Can I sit on it?


Sitting on it would only STOP its flow. Perhaps another question that has gray areas.


I know I want happiness, but that's the animal side of me. What would a higher being choose? I think a higher being might choose meaningfulness and from that, draw out happiness.


I think that there is a difference between happiness and the constant need for pleasure ~ hedonism. I think that even animals enjoy their contented moments without needing more. Let us not denigrate the poor animal. Might it all not come down to balance?!

Could you be content in a world where your life had meaning, you know that it had great meaning for you and others, but at the same time it never made you happy ~ if that is even psychologically possible. I kind of intuit that it is.

Yes, I like to walk (particularly when I'm stoned :D ).

lol This made me really laugh. I imagined that while you were walking, you were being *literally* stoned - and yet you kept on walking. That might be a good image to put into your mental toolbox. LOL

Aside from that, that is a shame. You have no idea what you miss then. Be Sober, Silent, Watchful and Walk.


Here, I'm looking for a substitute to the caffeine.

There is none. :mrgreen:
It is always such a process, isn't it, letting go of things physically and emotionally which we are so used to? Anyway, I do believe that coffee is served in AA meanings. :P

In general, I'd like my brain to be more responsive. When I compare myself to others, I find others usually have a nack for being able to respond to things in real time, and usually it's the right respondse, and on occasion there's more than one response. They know exactly the right thing to say, how to say it, how to win people over. My brain's more reflective--it needs time to digest and come up with appropriate responses--but usually this only works on internet forums. In real life, it's detrimental. Caffeine fixes that, speeds up my brain, makes me more responsive, makes me more influential. It gives my brain the energy it needs to come up with the right responses on the spot. If I could get that energy without the drugs somehow, I will be one step closer to awesomehood.


How do you know that their response is the right response if you are being a tad too judgmental with yourself and less judgmental/observant with them. Is a quick response necessarily the right or best response? These people may not necessarily be *real*. Or they may simply be Irish and have the gift of gab. :lol:

They don't need to know. I just have to have something to prove. Announcing my intentions drives me to want to prove myself (yes, I see the irony in that).


Ever heard of those things called *New Year's resolutions? lol
Well, just as long as you Yourself are in the driver's seat, not the intentions.
What else will help you put these intentions into action?


Eighth place is all you're getting, Arc. :evilfun: And if I think of other things to add to the list, you're getting bumped to 9th.


IKYK ~ but I will not be the one getting bumped gib. It would be you ~ your Self.

I know, you're an institutionalist, you'd be proud of that.


No, gib. Really not so much at all. And what is there to be proud of in that? BUT if something can work, use it. AA is known to work.

I wouldn't. I just question why doing it on one's own is shameful to you. Should I not give myself a pat on the back for doing it on my own?


It is not shameful to me. But I do find it to be really impractical not to use a tool that can work. I think your use of the word *shameful* might just be a projection on your part, gib. :-"

I asked you this question before. At what point will you give yourself that pat on the back?

A little voice is telling me to be silent here. That is for you to reflect on or not.

It's 'cause I said vanity, isn't it?


No, not at all. I just do not want to say anything that might actually discourage you though in reality a part of me would like to discourage your *island* attitude here. But I do believe that your ego and pride is getting in your way.
Basically, this is your own life and no one can live it for you.

But it was YOU yourself who used the word *vanity*. Humility is needed on your journey into sobriety, gib. Those with addictions have been there...are there. They know the pitfalls. AA would also give you a sponsor.

For instance, what might some of those substitutes be?

Astral projection.


I would think that as an addict in recovery, the focus would be to try to plant both feet firmly on the ground ~ not to want to soar through the ether. I certainly can understand the ecstasy of soaring but there needs to be more balance and do you not think that in your case you might just stay away from soaring since it seems to be so important to you - or maybe I am wrong.

Being awesome.

Is that awesomeness about yourself or about others?
Do you hear the Weeping Willow shout out to the world: "Look at me. I am so awesome?" It does not have to do anything except just BE.

Raising my energy levels.

Page attention to No. 5 especially.
http://www.myrkothum.com/the-5-most-eff ... rgy-level/

Arcturus Descending"]lol I kind of thought that *growing up* is part of a journey that lasts until death.

I like Jack Sparrow's saying: "I don't know how to act my age, I've never been this old before."


Why do you seem to be in such a hurry for everything?

I've got a lot of catching up to do. There's tons of things I know I could be doing right now which I'm not.

For instance? Anything pressing?


Nope, you got me pretty well pegged. What if I told you I'm not doing anything to improve myself until July 1? What's the worst I can expect from you? Disaproval?


What do you mean by *to improve myself*? Are you still drinking and taking drugs? Still waiting?
I am not even sure how to respond to the second part of that, gib. If the answer to my question is Yes, then the first thought which comes to me is IDIOCY! I cannot know though unless you tell me so.

Define what YOU mean when you say *superhero*?

Being awesome.

Joseph Campbell said that "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."
Do you think that focusing on your sobriety and staying clean from drugs would fit here? I certainly DO.

Williams James said and I have always loved this saying: "The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it."
Getting sober and addiction free and staying that way ~ just consider what that can do to and for your children and yourself.

Or are you waiting to save some damsel in distress from a mugging or a rape and having your picture in the paper? I have a feeling that the "real" heroes do not count themselves as such.


I do not know, gib, and I may be wrong here but my instinct is telling me that you are putting the cart before the horse.

You want me to get therapy first and then get off the drugs?


It is not a question of what I want. I am just in here suggesting things to you. I really do not want to step over any lines here.
What I would suggest is that you do both in harmony at the same time. No time like the present.
It seems to be that you are not being that whole-hearted about it if you are indeed waiting until July 1st to STOP. I see no logic nor practicality in that but maybe that is just me. Perhaps others in here can see where you are coming from.

After all, this is not the same thing as one saying that he/she will wait until after the holidays to go to a gym.

Arcturus Descending"]Where do you think that your wanting to be awesome is coming from?

The drugs.


Maybe you need to think much further backwards in time. The drugs are a symptom of perhaps what came before...and before that...and before that. You might also look at it as some kind of panoramic map...aside from your chronic conditions.


As for the second, would you necessarily consider *self-doubt to be an illusion? I mean if it is there, it IS there and is it not a good thing to reflect on why it is there, what triggered it?

No, no, no, Arc, if the MMPI shows that self-doubt is the only thing wrong with me, then there's nothing wrong with me. What is there to doubt if drugs/alcohol are gone and ADD is not a flaw? Self-doubt itself? <-- Are you kidding? You wanna make that a self-fulfilling prophesy? It may not go away easily, but that doesn't make it any less illusory. In fact, it's most likely a chronic condition (my mother had it), like a schizonphrenic who has to live with hallucinations or delusions; just because he has them doesn't make them real.


So are you saying that it is highly unreasonable and unlikely that those who do not have your conditions, are not addicted to alcohol and drugs, cannot be capable of experiencing self-doubt at times? I would say that it comes with being human and recognizing that we are after all, not perfect specimens. Perhaps I am must misunderstanding what you are saying.
Is your self-doubt a chronic condition, always there, always threatening to take you over? Is it due to a chemical unbalance? I am ignorant where your chronic conditions are concerned so I will not say anything else about that. Yes, a therapist would be good for you ALSO.


There's a whole mess of things which cumulatively lead to my self-doubt


One can say that about everyone, no? A whole mess of things, like the molehill into the mountain, leading to self-doubt. I may very well be wrong here. Again, I know almost nothing about your conditions so I have no right to speculate.


Exactly. As Shieldy so eloquently put it: "What woman wants a man who struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction."


Perhaps the wife who still loves the man and will stand by him AS LONG AS he is seeking help for himself. Otherwise, why be an enabler and a masochist?

Well, the answer is: a woman who also struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction.


I am not so sure that that would be mentally, emotionally or physically healthy for either party.
By struggle, do you mean trying to get and to be sober?


Now, if I didn't have my July 1 goal, I might look for a woman like that, but since I have my July 1 goal, I think you're right--finding a woman who also suffers addiction problems would only bring me down, and before July 1 any woman who doesn't would never go for me. After July 1, however, the game changes.


Why would the game change then, gib? Do you think that after July 1st you will not be struggling? Well, I do remember some ways back you said that you realize that it would only be an attempt. Perhaps a better way to look at it would be to think: "One day at a time". That works for many situations in our lives.

But yes, perhaps some kind of woman within your surroundings might be there for you as long as she sees you are doing everything possible to get clean and stay clean.
If you look for a mother figure or a nurse-maid, you will both be doomed.

(Not that I'd necessarily want a relationship even then--being single does have its perks.)

You would have to be really careful - to make sure that any relationship was not a substitute for what you are giving up. That could get very messy and become detrimental to your sobriety.
What is your main focus to be?

What is the tattoo and what is its symbolism? I do not get it. That does not mean that there is none though. lol

Feel free to take your time answering this post. I am really swamped.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Arcturus Descending
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:31 am

Arcturus Descending wrote:I do not want to be harsh here but please tell me how ALL of that has served you over the years in wanting to end your addictions? That was harsh? :lol:
Does having direct access to certain things necessarily mean that we utilize that knowledge or experience?


While that wasn't the point of this branch in the discussion, I can confidently say that it has served me in wanting to end the addiction. This thread wouldn't exist otherwise.

Arcturus Descending wrote:
gib wrote:How 'bout the fact that you confuse your experience growing up with your mother for expert impartial insight into my life and who I am, and how that's affecting my children?
So are you saying that your addictions do not affect your children? No, I'm saying there's no way you could know how my alcoholism and drug addiction are affecting my children.
As for the first part, you do have a point. My situation with my mother was different, hopefully, where it counts than yours with your children. But it was about how your lifestyle CAN affect your children.
I hate to be an absolutist but I am sure that it has in ways. I was going to ask you: "Am I wrong"? but you do not have to answer that. Have you reflected on the ways in which your addictions have affected your children?


Absolutely I have! I think I'm a terrible roll model, that I need too much recovery time (napping while my kids play on their ipads), that my caffeine crashes cause me to be grouchy and "not fun" while my kids are expecting more energy out of me, that the money I spend on booz *could* be spent on my children... oh yeah, I've thought about this plenty.

However, I do want to say I don't think it's leading to abuse or childhood trauma. I only have my experiences with seeing my kids, how they act, what they say, how they seem to feel about various things, but based on this experience, I can honestly say, I think they're growing up healthy, happy, smart, doing good in school, healthy social life, and I know they feel comfortable around their dad, I know they feel loved (my daughter is constantly jumping into my arms, wanting me to play video games with her, sleep with her at night)... but I know I could be doing better, I know I could be doing more to contribute to their already thriving lives.

If I didn't have the intention to quit on July 1, I think the shit *might* hit the fan once they become teenagers. My daughter's already old enough to understand the pros and cons of drugs (and she knows her dad's a druggie... I've had plenty of talks with both kids), but I'm not sure if she understands the stigma that comes along with that. When she becomes a teenager, however, I'm sure the thought of being the daughter of a druggie alcoholic father would fill her with shame; she'd be afraid to admit it to her peers (or to anybody) and this *might* have effects on her self-esteem (she might even be teased harshly if her peers found out). I think it's good, therefore, that I'm deciding to quit at this point in my life.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I know that it makes me biased in some ways (I examine them) but in others I see things which those who were not raised or influenced by alcoholics CANNOT see. They are also biased from lack of information and experience. They tend to make judgment calls based on their more or less normal lives.


Can we just chock it up to: no one is impartial, but we all have different experiences to contribute?

Arcturus Descending wrote:Again, how has that ability served you? Do we at times not squander our talents?


The point was to show in what ways I can be impartial about myself. Intrapersonal intelligence helps you to know yourself, not to keep you off addictions.

Arcturus Descending wrote:No. That is not what I meant. But perhaps change our brain patterns by simply letting things go more and more. I realize that this is not easy ~ it is a process. It can be a challenge but each time will get easier.


Well, if I felt that was my only option (like I get caught up in frustrated and agitation every time I get into a heated debate with someone), I might have to consider it seriously, but it's not. I feel that I'm quite capable of standing up for my values and my beliefs in such a way that I'm usually satisfied with my delivery. And again, I do sometimes let things go. Options, not obligations.

Arcturus Descending wrote:If we have to defend our values to others, do we really believe that they are so worthy and meaningful? It is just a question.


Well, it's an interesting question. I think the answer is yes: we are driven by some inner compulsion to defend our values because we feel they are worthy and meaningful. But I suppose what you're asking is: do we really have confidence in our values? I think in the one direction, lack of confident in the values you try to uphold *can* lead to more defensiveness when someone attacks those values, but I don't think it necessarily works the other way around: that if you defend your values against attacks, it means you lack confidence in them. Like I said, I think it's a natural response. It's like an army trying to attack a city fortified by walls. If these walls are made of wood, it wouldn't be that hard for the army to break through, and so the citizens of the city will put extra effort into fighting the army off. But even if the wall is made of stone, the citizens wouldn't just lay back and say: meh... we have a stone wall, they'll never get through. Usually, the common sense response is to fight them off regardless.

Now, you're sitting there trying to convince me: if you really believe in the fortitude of your stone wall, what's the point in engage in war when the bloodshed and pain is so not worth it? And you might be right. The attacking army may just wear itself out attacking an impenetrable barrier. Why not just let that happen. But my point is: that's not the way the human brain works. Defending yourself against attackers is typically the better strategy regardless of how strong your defenses are, whereas sitting back and ignoring the attack is not (at least, in the grand evolutionary scheme of things). But again, this is evolution's strategy, not a rational argument I'm putting forward for why I shouldn't just let certain issues go... I'm just saying it's natural of the human brain and need not indicate lack of confidence in my value.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I am not saying here that if our way of life and personal freedoms are in jeopardy we do not defend them. That we do.
Maybe you will define what YOU mean by *values* - an example? Have I insulted your values?


At first, yeah, but now I just find you annoying. No, I will not give you an example.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Ah, intelligent and wise words and thoughts. I know, right? I do hope that you will take the above to heart in fighting your addictions, take the bull by the horns and dropping him to his knees. (I love animals though).


THANK YOU, ARC!!! :clap: Nice to see some encouragement from you.

Arcturus Descending wrote:What I still do not understand is this July 1st thing. Sucks for you. Why put off what can begin now?
Why postpone it? Where is the best place to begin? NOW. Not necessarily.
Perhaps this is being nosy and you do not have to answer it but are you sober NOW and drug free? Like, right now? Well, I had a bunch of coffee this morning. If you are waiting, then I just do not get it. There is no magic in July 1st.


There is some psychological "magic", at least for me.

Look Arc, I don't have a good enough reason for you to be satisfied with my plan to quit July 1. It's just part of the plan as I've designed it, and since I have confidence in the plan, I don't want to change it.

It's like giving my kids 5 minutes before bed time. They accept it far more readily when they're given a 5 minute warning than when I barge in on their play and tell them: bed time, now!!! <-- That's pretty much it.

The last 2 month stint was intended to be just that: a stint, not the moment when I finally quit all drugs and alcohol. Ergo, I allow myself a short period of a few months after that stint before I officially quit.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Sitting on it would only STOP its flow. Perhaps another question that has gray areas.


No, it's pretty black and white. Sitting on it is often the best way to come to a sound and wholesome answer.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Could you be content in a world where your life had meaning, you know that it had great meaning for you and others, but at the same time it never made you happy ~ if that is even psychologically possible. I kind of intuit that it is.


Sure it's possible, but GYAWD!!!

Arcturus Descending wrote:lol This made me really laugh. I imagined that while you were walking, you were being *literally* stoned Yeah, we have weird traditions here in Calgary. - and yet you kept on walking. That might be a good image to put into your mental toolbox. LOL

Aside from that, that is a shame. You have no idea what you miss then. Be Sober, Silent, Watchful and Walk.


Spoken like someone talking out of their ass. You really think I've never taken a walk sober?!?! I have both experiences, you only have the one. You get the same experience except the beauty and peace is 10 times amplified. You're not in a position to claim sober walks are better than stoned walks.

Image

Arcturus Descending wrote:There is none. :mrgreen: Proly not.
It is always such a process, isn't it, letting go of things physically and emotionally which we are so used to? Anyway, I do believe that coffee is served in AA meanings. :P


Geez, maybe I shouldn't go then. You do realize caffeine is one of the drugs I intend to quit (might even say it's my worst drug). Is there a CAA? Caffeine Addicts Anonymous?

I'm not counting on there being any substitutes that will actually match the caliber/potency of the drugs and how they make me feel, but I am holding out hope that maybe there are ways to feel like I'm on just one cup of coffee. The usual three cups on my "caffeine days" is something I'm going to have to be okay with giving up. <-- I think I can do that. I just need enough of a substitute to feel like my life is "not dull".

Arcturus Descending wrote:How do you know that their response is the right response if you are being a tad too judgmental with yourself and less judgmental/observant with them. Is a quick response necessarily the right or best response? These people may not necessarily be *real*. Or they may simply be Irish and have the gift of gab. :lol:


I know this: I know those who are truly successful in life are those who can think on their feet, those whose brains know how to come up with quick responses and the right responses. By "right" response, I mean responses that have effects on people, responses that influence people in the way the responder wants to influence them, responses that gain them respect. I've seen it happen, I know it works. If I stand any chance of making a successful business for myself, I'm going to have to learn this skill. I also know that I gain this ability when I caffinate myself, and a bit of alcohol helps to loosen the flow of the interaction; I find people are more impressed with me when engaging with them in these states, more readily inspired by what I say to them. Of course, I've also experienced how this impression others get from me tends to degrade with too much caffeine or alcohol, so it typcially works with moderate amounts only. Hopefully, how moderate these amounts are is within the range of possibilities capable of a sober brain.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Ever heard of those things called *New Year's resolutions? lol Yeah, they don't work... for precisely the same reason AA doesn't work. (Remember the 90% relapse rate?)
Well, just as long as you Yourself are in the driver's seat, not the intentions. <-- Huh?
What else will help you put these intentions into action?


What is this, a job interview?

Arcturus Descending wrote:IKYK <-- Do you know what that means? ~ but I will not be the one getting bumped gib. It would be you ~ your Self.


Oooo, you're profound! :icon-rolleyes:

Arcturus Descending wrote:No, gib. Really not so much at all. And what is there to be proud of in that? BUT if something can work, use it. AA is known to work.


No, it's known to not work.

Arcturus Descending wrote:It is not shameful to me. But I do find it to be really impractical not to use a tool that can work. I think your use of the word *shameful* might just be a projection on your part, gib. :-"


Of course it's a projection on my part; I'm projecting how I think you feel about it (and exaggerating to get a response from you).

What I've been trying to tell you about AA is that it's incompatible with the approach I'm taking. You're assuming it's just something to add to the list, but what I'm saying is that it works against my approach. I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out why.

Arcturus Descending wrote:I asked you this question before. At what point will you give yourself that pat on the back?


July 1.

Arcturus Descending wrote:No, not at all. I just do not want to say anything that might actually discourage you though in reality a part of me would like to discourage your *island* attitude here. That *island* is what's gonna make this work. But I do believe that your ego and pride is getting in your way. No, it's what's driving me.
Basically, this is your own life and no one can live it for you.


Arc, you're just used thinking of addicts and alcoholics as being incapable of quitting on their own. That's the stereotype (and usually true). What would it mean if I succeeded? Would it mean that your mother had no excuse? That you can no longer think of it as a disease?

Arcturus Descending wrote:But it was YOU yourself who used the word *vanity*. <-- Ya think? Humility is needed on your journey into sobriety, gib. <-- Oh, look what Arc just farted out. Those with addictions have been there...are there. They know the pitfalls. AA would also give you a sponsor.


Yippy!!! A sponsor!!!

Arcturus Descending wrote:I would think that as an addict in recovery, the focus would be to try to plant both feet firmly on the ground ~ not to want to soar through the ether. Now why would you think that? I'm not trying to make my life less interesting or exciting, I'm trying to let go of unhealthy attachments. I certainly can understand the ecstasy of soaring but there needs to be more balance and do you not think that in your case you might just stay away from soaring since it seems to be so important to you - or maybe I am wrong.


Yeah... you are. Typically, the argument goes like this: you're using the drugs as a crutch. Therefore, what you need to do is find healthy alternatives (like taking a walk). But you seem to think even that is unethical. To you, it seems, one only lives a worthwhile life if one lives in self-deprivation--like an ascetic--enduring dullness rather than seeking excitement. I wonder if this is a remnant of your Catholic upbringing... you know, being meek, humble, downtrodden, anti-ego, self-flagellating.

Arcturus Descending wrote:
gib wrote:Being awesome.
Is that awesomeness about yourself or about others? What does that even mean?
Do you hear the Weeping Willow shout out to the world: "Look at me. I am so awesome?" It does not have to do anything except just BE.


Can a weeping willow run a business?

Arcturus Descending wrote:Page attention to No. 5 especially.
http://www.myrkothum.com/the-5-most-eff ... rgy-level/


Yeah, #5 was the only one that didn't make me laugh.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Why do you seem to be in such a hurry for everything?


I thought July 1 wasn't soon enough?

Arcturus Descending wrote:
gib wrote:I've got a lot of catching up to do. There's tons of things I know I could be doing right now which I'm not.


For instance? Anything pressing?


Yeah, but I think I'll leave this unanswered (practicing letting go).

Arcturus Descending wrote:What do you mean by *to improve myself*? Whatever you meant when you asked the question. Are you still drinking and taking drugs? Still waiting? Yes and yes.
I am not even sure how to respond to the second part of that, gib. If the answer to my question is Yes, then the first thought which comes to me is IDIOCY! I cannot know though unless you tell me so.


Oh no! It's worse than disapproval! Arc thinks I'm an IDIOT!!! :o

I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm always striving to improve myself in one way or another... I just started biking again, I constantly learning new technologies (a necessity in my line of work), my financial advisor and I are working on ways to make me more money, trying to find more opportunities to volunteer for my kids activities, and so on. But as for the drugs and alcohol... I'm just gonna wait 'til July 1.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Joseph Campbell said that "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." Works for me.
Do you think that focusing on your sobriety and staying clean from drugs would fit here? I certainly DO.

^ I do too, especially if I can do it on my own.

Williams James said and I have always loved this saying: "The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it." Works for me.
Getting sober and addiction free and staying that way ~ just consider what that can do to and for your children and yourself.

Exactly.

Or are you waiting to save some damsel in distress from a mugging or a rape and having your picture in the paper? I have a feeling that the "real" heroes do not count themselves as such.


That would certainly be nice--I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to do so--but no, being awesome doesn't hinge on that. I think your thinking and mine are aligned at least on this point--quitting drugs will definitely be one of the building blocks making me awesome--for myself and my kids, as you said--but there's a lot of other examples. My sort of "go to" measure of what it is to be awesome is to be capable of running a business. Doesn't mean I have to run a business, just get to a state (psychologically) where I feel I know I could do it if I wanted to. Another measure is: being able to influence people rather than be influenced. <-- Things like that.

Arcturus Descending wrote:It is not a question of what I want. I am just in here suggesting things to you. I really do not want to step over any lines here.
What I would suggest is that you do both in harmony at the same time. No time like the present. Ok, well, that's not quite what the expression 'putting the horse before the cart' means, but maybe I'm misreading.
It seems to be that you are not being that whole-hearted about it if you are indeed waiting until July 1st to STOP. I see no logic nor practicality in that but maybe that is just me. Perhaps others in here can see where you are coming from.


Well, this doesn't hinge on you understanding. But you're right, I'm not being whole-hearted. I'm focusing more on strategy rather than effort. Working on ways to automate the process (with psychological tricks) rather than will power (er, well, both, but more emphasis on the former). It's like the Buddhist concept of "right effort":

Barbara O'Brien wrote:Practice "Right," Not Hard

You might think Right Effort means practicing hard, but that's not necessarily so. [<-- Rarely so in my opinion. :D ] Do not forget the Middle Way, between extremes. Don't force yourself to endure aesthetic practices or push yourself to exhaustion. If your practice becomes a "chore," that's a problem. Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, "The Fourfold Right Diligence is nourished by joy and interest. If your practice does not bring you joy, you are not practicing correctly."

The Buddha taught that practice should be like a well-tuned string instrument. If the strings are too loose, they won't play a sound. If they are too tight, they will break. Practice should be nourishing, not draining.


Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/right-effort-450065

gib wrote:Maybe you need to think much further backwards in time. The drugs are a symptom of perhaps what came before...and before that...and before that. You might also look at it as some kind of panoramic map...aside from your chronic conditions.


This is a common misconception held by those who have never tried drugs. It's usually taken as a foregone conclusion that the only reason a person would ever do drugs is to fill a void or to ease some pain (is that why you drink coffee?). While I can't say that I was a happy kid at the age of 19 (when it all started), I assure you I wasn't out looking for drugs because "I just need something to kill the pain, something to fill the void." It was curiosity and a rebellious disregard for social norms (I was skeptical of all the warnings about drugs, thought I could try it a few times and let it go). It was only much later when I realized the things drugs could do for me, and that when it started to fill a roll in my life which later created a void that could only be filled by more drugs. IOW, it doesn't always start with a void/pain, but can create the void/pain after extensive use.

(^ You don't have to fight this Arc, it's still a reason to say no to drugs.)

In any case, I know what the factors are in my life that lead to my drug use, and I know the traumas I've been through that lead me to become the person I am today (regardless of whether they lead to my drug use or not). I don't have to "search deep". Just because I don't tell you what they are doesn't mean I'm oblivious.

Arcturus Descending wrote:So are you saying that it is highly unreasonable and unlikely that those who do not have your conditions, are not addicted to alcohol and drugs, cannot be capable of experiencing self-doubt at times? No, I don't think the two have anything to do with each other (nothing major anyway). I would say that it comes with being human and recognizing that we are after all, not perfect specimens. Perhaps I am must misunderstanding what you are saying.


This is another common misconception. People often think they having ADD because they sometimes can't focus. They often think they have depression because, well, they get depressed sometimes. If something shows up on the MMPI, it indicates an excessive predisposition to lacking focus, being depressed, or whatever.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Is your self-doubt a chronic condition, always there, always threatening to take you over? Is it due to a chemical unbalance? I am ignorant where your chronic conditions are concerned so I will not say anything else about that. Yes, a therapist would be good for you ALSO.


Well, when I saw that on the MMPI, the idea occured to me. It's quite possible that it could be a genetically rooted thing, or some hardwired brain disfunction. But then again, I don't think I suffered much self-doubt until I went through a significant amount of bullying in school--I mean, everyone bullied me, even the nerds--but on the other hand, I think a lot about my mother when it comes to self-doubt--she had it pretty bad--but I also remember her telling me that she too was teased and bullied in school. So the jury's out on this one. Whether it's genetic, or my mom drank too much when she was pregnant with me (she didn't), or it's purely a consequence of the environment I grew up in (the bullying), it's there today, and it showed up on the MMPI.

(I'm also told, by my father, that I was really treated poorly by a daycare they would drop me off at when I was too young to remember; when my dad came to pick me up one day, he found me crying in the corner, no one tending to me, shit and piss leaking out of my diaper; he got royally pissed off at the staff there and never took me back; he claims I was abused there, but I have no memory of that.)

Arcturus Descending wrote:One can say that about everyone, no? A whole mess of things, like the molehill into the mountain, leading to self-doubt. I may very well be wrong here. Again, I know almost nothing about your conditions so I have no right to speculate.


I'm sometimes confused when people respond this way. Certainly everyone can say there is a whole mess of things that lead to them having the occasional moment of self-doubt, but when people say this, are they saying "That's no excuse" or "I understand"? I could be taken both ways. Welcome to the club often means: you're not special, quit complaining. But it could also mean: you're part of the club, ergo we care for you.

But in any case, the difference between my self-doubt and that of others is mine showed up on the MMPI.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Perhaps the wife who still loves the man and will stand by him AS LONG AS he is seeking help for himself. Otherwise, why be an enabler and a masochist?


Exactly, but would such a woman have chosen such a man in the first place if she knew he was an alcoholic or drug addict? If he was going to become one? That would be one hell of a woman! :D

Arcturus Descending wrote:I am not so sure that that would be mentally, emotionally or physically healthy for either party.
By struggle, do you mean trying to get and to be sober?


I don't know Arc... if you read further ahead, you'll see where I was going with this.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Why would the game change then, gib?


Um... perhaps because I don't have to tell her I'm an alcoholic/druggie? I mean, at some point, I should probably tell her that I used to be, but to me that seems far less pressing than telling her I am an alcoholic / drug addict, and I think it comes across as far less of a turn off. In fact, it might even come across as a strength... that I was able to rise above my addictions.

In any case, the ideal woman for after July 1 would be someone who also rose above her drug or alcohol addictions--we'd have that much more in common, much more capable of understanding each other.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Do you think that after July 1st you will not be struggling? Not as much as you seem to think. Well, I do remember some ways back you said that you realize that it would only be an attempt. Perhaps a better way to look at it would be to think: "One day at a time". That works for many situations in our lives.


It's not such a bad philosophy--this one day at a time thing--I just don't see how it fits into my current approach. In fact, I'd worry that it could be used as an excuse to fall off the horse, to make exceptions. Today, I will do no drugs or alcohol, but tomorrow? Well, we'll leave that 'til tomorrow (and then my unconscious takes over, planning on how to sneak a drink or a caffeine pill; maybe the excuse will be: One day at a time? Well, then surely the occasional bad day is foregivable). Believe me, Arc, I know how my mind works; it really has to be all or nothing for it to stick.

Arcturus Descending wrote:But yes, perhaps some kind of woman within your surroundings might be there for you as long as she sees you are doing everything possible to get clean and stay clean.
If you look for a mother figure or a nurse-maid, you will both be doomed.


Ha! Ha! Isn't AA like a mother or a nurse-maid? Someone else to take care of you because you can't? I'm a full take-responsibility-for-yourself kind of guy; I don't want to lean on crutches of any kind. I have two wonderful women in my life who I know will be supportive (other than my daughter, sisters, my X, etc.). Rita is one of them and Bertha is the other (not their real names). Both these women *could* have been lovers but I wasn't interested in them that way. Still, they are great friends and we keep in touch.

Arcturus Descending wrote:ou would have to be really careful - to make sure that any relationship was not a substitute for what you are giving up. Ee, er, uh, that might be a problem. That could get very messy and become detrimental to your sobriety. Are you kidding?
What is your main focus to be?


You mean, in a woman? Just to be in love, and for that love to last. I say this could be a problem as a substitute for the drugs because, as I said a few times in this thread, being in love is one of the things I'd give up the drugs for. I don't think that would be disastrous unless one day she fell out of love with me and left me. But I think that would be disastrous regardless of whether or not she was a substitute for the drugs. Being in love, and then having that torn away from you, crushes a person. I think two people being in love is not only one of the most beautiful things in the world, but one of the most healthy things in the world... and remember, I'm not after complete detachment of all worldly pleasures, but trying to nurture healthy attachments. Don't you think being in love is a healthy attachment (I mean, assuming the other person reciprocates your love)?

Arcturus Descending wrote:What is the tattoo and what is its symbolism? I do not get it. That does not mean that there is none though. lol


I'm going to let this one go too.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon May 07, 2018 3:13 pm

Hi gib,

....You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done


Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep....
The Gambler


On that note, this will be my last post in here to you at least for some time. I did not want to simply ignore your latest post to me altogether. Perhaps sometime after your magical day, I shall return.

My main reason for being in here was to help you a bit, giving you some feedback, and trying to persuade you that going to AA meetings could ALSO be beneficial to you along with others things which you have decided to do after the magical :evilfun: date of July 1st.

I do not believe that we can go any further than we have. I think that to do so would simply be a study in redundancy at least on my side.

I have found a hyperlink which I think is pretty unbiased insofar as the pros and the cons and the in-betweens go of AA. Anyway, the bottom line here is that you do what you feel best serves you but I would consider all that the hyperlink presents.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... mous-work/


The below is also an interesting article and it speaks to me (but that is just me). I think that it is a good thing to be reminded that we are not always seeing the other guy's or girls point of view (as perhaps I was not so much seeing in your view of AA), that we (universally speaking) are not responding in a way that is more balanced and mutually beneficial to both sides. It is a really good read. I think that for the most part we realize these things but it is good to be reminded of them.

The hyperlink is in a way in response to what you wrote here:

I know those who are truly successful in life are those who can think on their feet, those whose brains know how to come up with quick responses and the right responses. By "right" response, I mean responses that have effects on people, responses that influence people in the way the responder wants to influence them, responses that gain them respect. I've seen it happen, I know it works.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... d-yourself


So, I do wish you well, gib, and come July 1st, I hope that you will be doing everything in your power to work on conquering and transcending your addictions. It is a process and I think that you ARE up to the task.

Carpe Diem but not all at once nor too tightly. :evilfun:
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Tue May 08, 2018 4:32 am

Thanks for the links, Arc. I will probably read them on the weekend.

If that's it for now, it was a pleasure troll--er, talking with you. And yes, I ... *sigh* ... did learn a thing or two from you (even if I don't want to admit it :D ). In fact, you caused me to have a few more conversations with my son about my alcoholism. I asked him what he doesn't like about it most. He said: "I don't like when you stop at the liquor store." "Why's that?" I asked. "Because," he said, "it takes to long." I had to laugh. "You mean, it takes time out of your busy schedule?" "Yeah," he said, "I wanna get home to play Roblox on my iPad."

^ Well, I'm glad that's the worst way my alcoholism is affecting him. And I hope this adds some perspective. If that's the worst thing about my alcoholism from my son's point of view, I don't think they're suffering that much. I do realize the suffering might come later... or even if it doesn't, that my alcoholism is holding me back from being the best father I could be.

Also, there's a few things I regret saying to you in all the foregoing (was either immature or too rude even for my tastes). For example, this:

gib wrote:Yeah, #5 was the only one that didn't make me laugh.


#1 was actually the only one that made me laugh. The rest I know about, but still #5 remains the real challenge. Numbers 2 to 4 seem in my control though I don't always have the opportunity to do them. Then I actually read through #1. I said "...oh," and stopped laughing. 8-[

Anyway, maybe if there's one thing I can say before wrapping up this exchange, it's that my challenge with the drugs and alcohol has never really been about resisting urges. It's about the excuses I give myself (it's an ADD thing). That's why my focus is on my thoughts and my values (reprogramming them) rather than will power (in which case I probably *would* need extra help). Whenever I make a solid decision to quit or abstain from drugs/alcohol, it has always stuck. Every one of my 2 month stints has been a success. Quitting smoking has been a success (though I fell off the horse once with that). And none of these come along with urges or hankerings. My resolve pretty much stomps that out. I would even go to Moxie's on my usual Friday afternoons and Wednesday week nights on my no-alcohol stints and order something virgin plus an appi. The waitresses there are always very impressed. And you know what? It's not even a challenge. I don't feel I have to fight any internal urges to order a drink when I'm there. These two month stints mean something to me; the whole 5 year plan means something to me; <-- It's that which stomps out the excuses. The fact that I want it. I don't want to quit all drugs and alcohol before July 1--which is why the excuse to just wait 'til July 1 so easily gets in there. And I'm OK with that, I'm not worried, because I know the door to all excuses will be closed and bolted tight by this plan once it comes to fruition on July 1.

So again, thanks Arc for your challenges and your contrarian personality; I know I'm an asshole who doesn't mind being rude, but it doesn't go unappreciated (plus it's somewhat of an act). So I'll talk to you after July 1 if you decide to pop in.

PS - I'm glad you think of this as "magic". Means I will have performed a miracle on July 1. <-- How much more awesome can you get!!! :lol:
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A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:04 am

July 1 is finally at the door step. I'm thinking of opting out of this. Maybe do it July 1 2019 instead... just kidding. :D Gonna happen tomorrow.

Last night was my last binge drinking night. Spent it mostly at the strip club. Sat down and had a drink with a really nice (and sexy) exotic dancer. She showed me their list of non-alcoholic drinks, inviting me to come back and watch her perform next weekend. I told her I'd have my kids but I'll definitely come back some time. And I mean it! I don't want to stop going out, doing all the things I'd normally do (which is not limited to the strippers). Maybe not as often, but I don't want to stay cooped up at home every evening. In fact, I owe it to myself to go out. The point of this whole exercise is to learn to do the things I would normally do using booz and other drugs as a crutch. I want to be able to flirt with these strippers girls without the booz and caffeine. So I gotta go out at least once in a while.

I bought snacks for the cabby who drove me home. I gave him a choice between cheesies, a chocolate bar, and these BBQ flavored roasted bread crumbs. He took the bread crumbs.

I've already paid for the Dale Carnegie course (almost $2,000!!! :o ). Haven't booked an appointment with a therapist yet, but I'll do that after the weekend. It's a long weekend. Canada Day! And I'm taking all of next week off, spending it with my kids.

Today I just rested up. Having some pizza now. Did a bit of caffeine earlier. Smoked some cannabinoids. Went for a bike ride. Will have a couple drinks tonight, then go to bed. I'm not really all that excited about tomorrow. Not really scared or happy or anything. I think it's going to feel like an ordinary day. But I will be able to change my thinking on a whole bunch of things. For the first time, I'm going to be able to say "I am drug and alcohol free" and believe it. This is bound to change something about my self-image. And I think it's going to free me up psychologically to want to pursue a whole bunch of things that are good for me.

As for ILP, I really don't know how often I'll be back here. I usually sign in once a day to check if anyone's responded to my posts or PMed me, and I'll probably still do that, but as far as participating in discussions, it will probably be like I disappeared off the face of the planet. The only exceptions to this is my Rick and Morty thread (which is still not done, but I'm almost there) and maybe a few PMs to some of you. But beyond that, I'm usually not motivated to post without a bit of caffeine. HOWEVER, if I succeed in finding other ways besides the drugs to find that kind of extroverted talking/thinking energy, that could change. That would be in the long run though. In the short run, my presence here will be very minimal.

I'll poke my head in here one more time tomorrow--just to shove it your faces that I did it--and then I'll be done with this thread. Who knows, though. I may want to report on my progress or experiences, or just some relevant thoughts, but I wouldn't count on it.

Anyway my American friends across the boarder, please remember to pay tribute to Canada Day tomorrow. I'll be very upset if you don't.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:02 am

Well I for one will be sad to go, and I can only say, do not make a severe cut of getting away, people leave unnoticeably, then pop in, bit really, I feel your pain and I guess can honestly say that I've been through it and know the problema of dependency dependency withdrawal. I never. could, so I kind of used am iron will method of using limits beyond which I can't go beyond.

But of You must be alone while in sobriety, please except my wish of good. luck with it.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby MagsJ » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:57 am

Good luck on this journey Gib.. I couldn't do it, so I wish you well.

Will DM you later.. oh, and happy Canada Day. :D

..and I agree with Meno.. try not to be a stranger ; )
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:52 pm

Praise be to the leafs up North on their day of rapturous victory! :lol: Ah, now on this first of July your mine to mess with so don't bounce just yet, we have astral progress to make Mr. :evilfun:
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Postby gib » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:58 pm

Thanks all for your support.

Like I said, I always pop in here to check responses and PMs, so if ever you wanna keep in contact with me, PMs are always an option.

But anyway, had me a bike ride this morning. Could have really used a cup of coffee but that's not happening anymore. I'm feeling OK about this. No big hype going on in my mind. I thought maybe as soon as July 1 hits, it will suddenly hit me like a sack of bricks: no more drugs for the rest of your life! But no, nothing's hit me... yet.

WendyDarling wrote:Praise be to the leafs up North on their day of rapturous victory! :lol: Ah, now on this first of July your mine to mess with so don't bounce just yet, we have astral progress to make Mr. :evilfun:


Now that, Wendy, is what I call a tribute! Thanks! :flags-canada:

I'll definitely be contacting you about astral projection, but first... need sleep.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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