## 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

This is the place to shave off that long white beard and stop being philosophical; a forum for members to just talk like normal human beings.

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Things have lied to me about when my death was going to be a few times. I'd say it's annoying, but it's more a sign of them being emotionally compromised to the point of not being able to see the truth clearly; coupled with event horizons that they could not see beyond because of interactions that were necessary for me to continue living. Death can not be cheated; no man or woman or child can escape their fate. But, there is a certain amount of respectable combat and fighting involved in life and living. I've recently proven that soul mates exist. After a few false values in recent years, I ran into the true thing and it was literally beyond a shadow of a doubt at that point. It burns me that, like me calling ahead of time when my death would be, which turned out to be me calling liars out when the moment passed and my own doubt was eased in the passings; that even talking about a soul mate and proof of it at this juncture of my life can so easily be poked at with doubts and dissensions.

In the course of making theories and putting them to the scientific test to find results, I've since faced a multitude of fears, insecurities and inadequacies, have seen some of the worst twisted insanity and depravity; but have unerringly proven that afterlife exists, that god exists, that the supernatural and paranormal exists, that time travel, alternate realities, layers of reality exist. That the universal mind with all its complex convolutions and confusions exists; even sans illusion. I have met my own future afterlife self and have proven that beyond base animal emotional instincts and cause and effect and the emotional damage done in the exchanging of experiences that I we were not pressed to kill each other or wish undue harm on each other. In fact, we get along pretty well. I have met my own insanity head on, multiple personality disorder at its finest, from accidental to purposeful, coinciding with my future self. Not to mention my alternate selves, which might also be my future self.

And all of this I have done as rationally and reasonably as possible, even finding and proving the relatable irrationalities between sane and healthy men and women, disproving a common stereotype of both women and men and exposing it as unhealthy, twisted and childish. The idea that woman matures faster than man is only true in some cases and often only in women who die younger than the man. In cases where the man dies younger, it becomes truer for the man to be more mature. The coincides with our fates/destinies and our free wills and proves them all the same in the same breath. I have done this on drugs and off, all to strengthen and sharpen my mind. I am doing this slightly to boast and slightly to etch another publication into outward reality to cement and secure my legacy. Also, slightly to tickle the curiosities and interests of others; and can I point out that all of this becomes advanced morality, as I point it out in statement, not question format and who cares if I got the English language wrong at that point. <That just made it right.

I bet it's a nice book, though.
(Reality isn't so kind. Everything doesn't work out the way you want it to. That's why...) As long as you don’t get your hopes up, you can take anything... You feel less pain.

(Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views.)

What do you think? To tell you the truth... I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it.

The Eternal Warrior
Philosopher

Posts: 2571
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:26 am

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Good read, Eternal Warrior. What's it from?
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

Posts: 8912
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

gib wrote:Good read, Eternal Warrior. What's it from?

It's from the ass-kicking that I gave to so many other things after they fallaciously gave me the ass-kicking they thought that I deserved.

As in, I actually wrote it myself and came up with it myself. You're still struggling. This is where you fall down and go boom and when you begin to realize just how little you actually succeeded in getting off drugs and alcohol because you went about it the wrong way. This is when you begin to realize how right I was months ago and where your failed success gets seen for what it is. Will you redeem yourself by the time your life is over? Certainly, especially since there is no way for you to take back this current course of idiocy that you've been on. It'll help you succeed and when you succeed, you'll realize how much I knew before you did and how stupid and idiot your gloating and laughter has been. How false your smugness.
(Reality isn't so kind. Everything doesn't work out the way you want it to. That's why...) As long as you don’t get your hopes up, you can take anything... You feel less pain.

(Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views.)

What do you think? To tell you the truth... I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it.

The Eternal Warrior
Philosopher

Posts: 2571
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:26 am

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

The Eternal Warrior wrote:
gib wrote:Good read, Eternal Warrior. What's it from?

It's from the ass-kicking that I gave to so many other things after they fallaciously gave me the ass-kicking they thought that I deserved.

As in, I actually wrote it myself and came up with it myself. You're still struggling. This is where you fall down and go boom and when you begin to realize just how little you actually succeeded in getting off drugs and alcohol because you went about it the wrong way. This is when you begin to realize how right I was months ago and where your failed success gets seen for what it is. Will you redeem yourself by the time your life is over? Certainly, especially since there is no way for you to take back this current course of idiocy that you've been on. It'll help you succeed and when you succeed, you'll realize how much I knew before you did and how stupid and idiot your gloating and laughter has been. How false your smugness.

You, Pedro, and Arc... three peas in a pod. You all seem to want to send a nebulous message that my success doesn't count, that somehow it's really "failure". I gotta tell you, I really don't get it. I don't get the punch line. Was I supposed to stay on the drugs until I'm "ready"--whatever that means--did I quit for the "wrong" reasons? Are you still waiting in the wings for my impending doom? Are you under the impression I've already fallen? That I'm back on the booz and the drugs?

Come out with what you want to say, instead of being all vague and mysterious. Then at least I can know whether to agree or disagree with you.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

Posts: 8912
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

gib wrote:
The Eternal Warrior wrote:
gib wrote:Good read, Eternal Warrior. What's it from?

It's from the ass-kicking that I gave to so many other things after they fallaciously gave me the ass-kicking they thought that I deserved.

As in, I actually wrote it myself and came up with it myself. You're still struggling. This is where you fall down and go boom and when you begin to realize just how little you actually succeeded in getting off drugs and alcohol because you went about it the wrong way. This is when you begin to realize how right I was months ago and where your failed success gets seen for what it is. Will you redeem yourself by the time your life is over? Certainly, especially since there is no way for you to take back this current course of idiocy that you've been on. It'll help you succeed and when you succeed, you'll realize how much I knew before you did and how stupid and idiot your gloating and laughter has been. How false your smugness.

You, Pedro, and Arc... three peas in a pod. You all seem to want to send a nebulous message that my success doesn't count, that somehow it's really "failure". I gotta tell you, I really don't get it. I don't get the punch line. Was I supposed to stay on the drugs until I'm "ready"--whatever that means--did I quit for the "wrong" reasons? Are you still waiting in the wings for my impending doom? Are you under the impression I've already fallen? That I'm back on the booz and the drugs?

Come out with what you want to say, instead of being all vague and mysterious. Then at least I can know whether to agree or disagree with you.

You're pissing me off. You've got an attitude problem about me simply using my own life experience to look at where you are, know by the tone of your body language, how you lay your words, where you are in your life, your experiences, etc. and put it down to you exactly how it was going to be. Your reaction now; petulance; only shows this to be true. Your very emotion as you typed up 'this' reply is something palpable and able to be felt. You're in the moment, instead of distanced and couldn't help but respond naturally.

When I was younger, I was having trouble in school and decided to go into Job Corps. Before I went in, my step-dad told me I was going to fail. He used his life experiences to size up where I was at as a child and I was a bit upset about him telling me, but he did turn out to be right. It's one of those things where I learned how to overcome people telling me I was going to fail. That reason coincided with actual emotional growth in my life and made it easier for me to seize success later on for other things.

I'm sure you've heard people talk about how the places they grow up in are black holes they can't escape from. Same concept.

My own experiences with drugs and alcohol... mixed with watching the experiences of others that were going through rehab; the 'buzz' or 'word' passing around society at the time, etcetera.

When I quit drinking, it was after I wrecked my car. I didn't wreck my car because I was drinking, I wrecked it because there was gravel on the road. The loss of my car; and I loved that car; coincided with me wanting to get my head on straight and quit doing 'stupid' things while drunk. Things that 'dont exist', including my own weak emotional psychology and mind at the time (I've since strengthened my mind quite a bit) were causing me to do things I wasn't proud of. My lack of self-worth and insecurities and inadequacies mixed into it had me being able to be talked into doing things that I have been ashamed of and easier for me to be too weak to fight off the other things that I also was ashamed of. Without getting too much into detail about those things, I'm sure you can relate. You don't see those things the same way I do because you have yet to be broken, which means that you are weaker than I was throughout all the personal experiences I've listed in this response. You're at the point of making excuses for the things you do, even while sober.

My drinking was starting to get out of hand when I wrecked my car and I was starting to turn into an alcoholic. I quit drinking for a couple months before the urge to drink came up again. That's where you are, pushing off the urges and trying to consider yourself healthy for it, successful. What I did that was different than you? I realized the urge to drink again for what it was and what it could be: I like drinking and drugs, and if I ran from that; like you've been doing the entire time you've claimed to be clean; then my fall would be worse just like those people in rehab and AA. So, what I did was choose to drink again, to allow myself to face that fear instead of run from it and fought to keep my mind during drinking and using drugs.

You're still running. When you stop running, when the urges catch up to you again and you 'binge' as you're going to do, it's going to be worse than you've ever had it be before, but it will make you strong enough to start fighting the way that I've already been fighting. Since my first response in this thread, I have had time to learn many other things, get my mind to a more cohesive and sharper edge to where now I can pick up on things about you that were impossible for me to do before. My mind is 'clearer' even when on drugs and alcohol. Your mind remains fogged and cloudy even while sober.
(Reality isn't so kind. Everything doesn't work out the way you want it to. That's why...) As long as you don’t get your hopes up, you can take anything... You feel less pain.

(Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views.)

What do you think? To tell you the truth... I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it.

The Eternal Warrior
Philosopher

Posts: 2571
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:26 am

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

You also wouldn't have listened to anybody tell you differently back when you started this project. You can know by looking back at your past that with the 'blinders' you had on, people did try to tell you and tip you off and you just blew them off. They let you instead of banging their heads against the wall.
(Reality isn't so kind. Everything doesn't work out the way you want it to. That's why...) As long as you don’t get your hopes up, you can take anything... You feel less pain.

(Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views.)

What do you think? To tell you the truth... I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it.

The Eternal Warrior
Philosopher

Posts: 2571
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:26 am

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

The Eternal Warrior wrote:You're pissing me off. Moi? You've got an attitude problem about me simply using my own life experience to look at where you are I can't have an attitude problem with something I know nothing about, know by the tone of your body language How the hell do you see my body language?, how you lay your words, where you are in your life, your experiences, etc. and put it down to you exactly how it was going to be. Your reaction now; petulance; only shows this to be true. Your very emotion as you typed up 'this' reply is something palpable and able to be felt. You're in the moment, instead of distanced and couldn't help but respond naturally.

Still don't know what the hell you're talking about.

The Eternal Warrior wrote:When I was younger, I was having trouble in school Not a surprise. and decided to go into Job Corps. Before I went in, my step-dad told me I was going to fail. He used his life experiences to size up where I was at as a child and I was a bit upset about him telling me, but he did turn out to be right. Not a surprise. It's one of those things where I learned how to overcome people telling me I was going to fail. That reason coincided with actual emotional growth in my life and made it easier for me to seize success later on for other things.

So now you think you can size other people up--like what goes around comes around; well, tell you what sparky, maybe the reason your step-dad told you you were going to fail is because you are a failure--a big fucking no good failure--at everything in life--maybe what it means that he said you were going to fail and you did fail is not that what goes around comes around but that it begins and ends with you--you are a failure and that's all you're ever going to be--you don't get to pass the buck on, you don't get to tell me that I'm a failure now--you're stuck with that buck and that's the way it will be for the rest of your life.

The Eternal Warrior wrote:I'm sure you've heard people talk about how the places they grow up in are black holes they can't escape from. Same concept.

My own experiences with drugs and alcohol... mixed with watching the experiences of others that were going through rehab; the 'buzz' or 'word' passing around society at the time, etcetera.

^ Did you want to complete that sentence?

When I quit drinking, it was after I wrecked my car. I didn't wreck my car because I was drinking, I wrecked it because there was gravel on the road. The loss of my car; and I loved that car; coincided with me wanting to get my head on straight and quit doing 'stupid' things while drunk. Woaw, woaw, woaw, so were you or were you not drunk when you wrecked your car? Things that 'dont exist', including my own weak emotional psychology and mind at the time (I've since strengthened my mind quite a bit Everyone always thinks they're stronger now than they used to be.) were causing me to do things I wasn't proud of. My lack of self-worth and insecurities and inadequacies mixed into it had me being able to be talked into doing things that I have been ashamed of and easier for me to be too weak to fight off the other things that I also was ashamed of. Without getting too much into detail about those things, I'm sure you can relate. You don't see those things the same way I do because you have yet to be broken, which means that you are weaker than I was throughout all the personal experiences I've listed in this response. strength=broken... got it. You're at the point of making excuses for the things you do, even while sober.

Again, not being very clear. You really gotta pin down some examples. What excuse did I make for myself?

The Eternal Warrior wrote:My drinking was starting to get out of hand when I wrecked my car and I was starting to turn into an alcoholic. I already was an alcohol--been so for a while--does that score me more points than you? I quit drinking for a couple months before the urge to drink came up again. That's where you are I'm actually almost six months in., pushing off the urges and trying to consider yourself healthy for it, successful. Mmm... nope... no urges yet. What I did that was different than you? I realized the urge to drink again for what it was and what it could be: I like drinking and drugs, and if I ran from that; like you've been doing the entire time you've claimed to be clean; then my fall would be worse just like those people in rehab and AA. So, what I did was choose to drink again, <-- Ah, there's the punchline! to allow myself to face that fear instead of run from it and fought to keep my mind during drinking and using drugs.

Well, finally we have some clarity from you. You're jealous! You couldn't last two months and here I am six months and still going strong. And of course, you can't live your life thinking of yourself as the failure your papa knew you were, so you think to yourself: drugs=strength (I guess that's what you mean by 'breaking').

Tell me, did it feel like strength when you caved to the urge to drink? If that's what you think, then anything can be considered strength. I cave in an arm wrestle, feeling that the will to resist the other guy is just me being too weak to face what I really want: to relax my muscles and just let go... that would feel really good... it takes real strength to just give up.

The Eternal Warrior wrote:You're still running. This does sound a lot like Pedro... but for totally different reasons, I now realize. When you stop running, when the urges catch up to you again and you 'binge' as you're going to do, it's going to be worse than you've ever had it be before, but it will make you strong enough to start fighting the way that I've already been fighting. Shall we come back to this conversation in 40 years? 'Cause sometimes I feel like I have to die before *some* people will believe I can do this. Since my first response in this thread, I have had time to learn many other things, get my mind to a more cohesive and sharper edge to where now I can pick up on things about you that were impossible for me to do before. You lack a mechanism for verification. My mind is 'clearer' even when on drugs and alcohol. Your mind remains fogged and cloudy even while sober.

The mind always feels clearest in the moment--it's called projection.

Since you bring it up, I think a report on how I'm doing is in order. You mentioned that I'm struggling. Well, that's probably one of the few things you got right, but that shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. Struggling is part and parcel of recovery. I don't think I've ever heard of an ex-addict who doesn't struggle. But you're absolutely wrong about the urges. I said it to Arc and Pedro, now I'm saying it to you. What I'm struggling with is not the urge to drink or do drugs--I can still go to the bar and not even consider whether I'll just have one beer this one time--I go to the bar and I know I won't be drinking--I know it so well it's on auto-pilot--what I'm struggling with are the achievement of my goals--the one's a set out to meet since July 1; self-esteem and confidence, energy, wakefulness, happiness, true happiness, fulfillment... all these things are still outside my reach. And the reason I'm struggling with these and not with the urge to drink or do drugs is because I keep looking forward--forward towards my goals--and never back. He who looks back to the things he gave up has nothing to live for, no reason to go on without those things, and so always looks back longing for the days when he could at least drown his pain in the soothing comfort of the anesthetic. The only reason you think of yourself as strong is because the drugs fuel that type of delusion. Believe me, I had my fair share of drug-induced delusions of grandeur... so long as I went back to them, it kept the delusion alive and I could feel all kinds of awesome. But in time I came to understand the difference between feeling awesome and being awesome (which I believe I explained somewhere in this thread), and with the drugs, the two are mutually exclusive. You feel awesome (strong) but in reality your not. Strive for awesomeness (strength) in real life, and you may achieve it though you may not feel it. If I were you, I'd have a second look at those two months of your sobriety and consider whether that was really your strongest moment though you may not have felt it.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

Posts: 8912
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

You can get mouthy all you want, but it's still you just putting on an act. Know the worst part? You've got years before you get on top of even half the things you want to be on top of, and then you still won't be on top of them at all times and will have to accept that.
(Reality isn't so kind. Everything doesn't work out the way you want it to. That's why...) As long as you don’t get your hopes up, you can take anything... You feel less pain.

(Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views.)

What do you think? To tell you the truth... I worry too much about what others think of me. I hate that side of me... That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it.

The Eternal Warrior
Philosopher

Posts: 2571
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:26 am

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

The Eternal Warrior wrote:You can get mouthy all you want, but it's still you just putting on an act. Know the worst part? You've got years before you get on top of even half the things you want to be on top of, and then you still won't be on top of them at all times and will have to accept that.

Hey man, if I could accomplish half the things I set out to accomplish, I think that would be well worth the effort of getting off drugs.

But enough about you, let's talk about me!

I wanted to show you guys this video:

Johann Hari, in this video, explains how Portugal almost completely got rid of their drug and alcohol problem by not only legalizing all drugs and alcohol but astonishingly cured, more or less, almost all users of their addictions by "connecting" them to their communities and reintegrating them into society. It is a lack of "connection", Johann explains, that most makes an addict--the nearly wholesale deprivation of human interaction or sense of belonging and trust--not just in the physical sense of being secluded from people but in the psychological sense of having no real deep or intimate connections with others. He furthermore points out that people who have strong and healthy bonds with friends and loved ones can take copious amounts of drugs and not get addicted (he gives the example of hospital patients who can be drugged up on morphine for weeks and not become addicted upon their release).

Now, I find this very interesting because it really resonates with me. I've always been a loner. I don't have a lot of strong ties with other people. I live by myself, I don't see my kids as often as I'd like, my best (and only) friend lives 500 miles away, and my immediate family lives all over the globe (my oldest sister lives 200 miles away). I don't socialize much, don't feel that comfortable around people, and frankly don't trust anyone a hell of a lot. I am, for all intents and purposes, disconnected. It's no wonder I used to booze and smoke up all the time.

It was the agony of the deafening silence. When you're at home with no one around, the quiet can be loud enough to drive you mad. Getting drunk and high really took the edge off that. Now I just listen to music and watch youtube videos all the time.

So my drug and alcohol problem may have been caused (or at least allowed) by a severe lack of connection with people. But you know what the truth is? I still don't really want to socialize all that much. It's not quite the same thing as filling the void of loneliness, just the void of under-stimulation. Even though I still go to the bar and order non-alcoholic drinks, I've been going less frequently, and when I go it's to bars where the staff don't really know me so that I don't have to socialize.

The only exception here is that I long for love. I've said before in this thread and I'll say it again: I would have given up the drugs for love. And I mean deep love. Intimate, sexual, absolute trusting love. But alas, girls won't even give me the time of day. Nonetheless, I've given up the drugs anyway. Now I'm just left with loneliness and emptiness.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

Posts: 8912
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Hello everyone...

Forgive me, I'm a little distracted... watching my all time favorite late night talk show host, Craig Ferguson. You won't notice that I'm distracted because my moments of distraction have no way of being recorded in this post. I just stop writing for a brief moment. But rest assured, I'm distracted.

^ This is absolutely unimportant and has no place in this post... but there it is.

You know what else is unimportant to this post? Mexican cuisine... so let's not talk about that.

Anyway... today is July 1! Which is not only Canada Day, but the 1 year mark since I quit drugs and alcohol. I've been clean for 1 year.

How am I feeling? Idunno, kinda bored. Not feeling like a superstar the way I wanted. I'm not terrible but the "blah" I was hoping to get rid of is still with me. Some days I get depressed. Other (much more rare) days I feel good. Most of the time, I feel nothing (blah).

At least with the drugs, I had the occasional day of fun and ecstasy.

(God I love being miserable )

But I do have to admit, there are tons of benefits that come from not being on drugs. Most of which I can't feel, so it comes down to that motto I made up earlier in this thread: feeling awesome without being awesome vs. being awesome without feeling awesome. I'm not feeling that awesome, but I've taken many strides towards being awesome... successful strides.

My business is taking off. I still have to maintain my day job, but I've got a couple clients I work for on the side (evenings and weekends). And this eats ALL my time. I'm swamped with work. I live, eat, breath, and fuck my work. It's exhausting but also rewarding. I'm going to be presenting an estimate of work for one of my clients pretty soon, and if she accepts it and has the means to fund it, I'll be hiring a couple coders under me (which will hopefully free up some of my time). Then I'll network for more clients. At some point, I'm gonna have to give up my day job, and that's gonna be a huge risk. Ideally, I can simply work less hours rather than give it up wholesale, but the day will come when I have to make a move like that. Maybe I can get a government grant. Maybe a bank loan. <-- That would really help.

I'm also getting pretty good at public speaking (er, comfortable at least). I frequent toastmasters every Thursday (or I try to). I'm not nearly as nervous as I used to be.

I'm also taking Udemy courses--React and SASS--great place to learn a whole bunch of new skills.

Making a shit ton of money, none of which is being spent on booze.

No hangovers.

Finished my book in December, but you know that (if you read my previous posts).

All these things are making me pretty damn awesome, but I'm still not satisfied with myself. I want more out of myself.

Things I still have to work on:

* Still tired. I still need my nap in the afternoon. I thought getting off the caffeine would get rid of this but it hasn't. It has gotten rid of the all-day tiredness I'd experience during withdrawal, but typically between 12:00 and 4:00 every day I'm drained of energy. I'm currently explaining this as SCT (more on this below). I went to see a naturopath about it--we tried dieting, vitamin B12 shots, acupuncture, and other stuff--but nothing worked. I remember once reporting in this thread that getting off the caffeine helps with the afternoon naps--like I only need half an hour instead of a full hour--don't know where that went.

* Deal with confrontations more effectively. I need to be able to handle confrontations with people without buckling. Right now it's too nerve racking and I just succumb to the fear reaction. Within the next several months I might look for a confrontation therapist.

* Think on my feet. I need to be able to come up with the right responses at the right times. I'm still too much of a reflective person. This especially ties into my inability to handle confrontations. People who handle confrontations well are fast. They know how to whip up come backs to snappy comments right on the spot. They also know how to deliver wit right on the spot. They also know how to answer challenging questions with bang on answers. I need a faster brain, something like what caffeine gave me.

* Something else.

* More stuff.

* Yada, yada, yada...

I am now being distracted by Rob Zombie videos.

I completed the Dale Carnegie course at the end of October. At that point, I figured I need to narrow my focus, and public speaking became that focus. Thus, I joined toastmasters soon after. That's paying off (thank God).

I also found a hypnotherapist whom I've been seeing since January. I can't tell if it's working. If it is working, it's very slow and not that effective. Confidence and self-esteem is one of the things we've been working on, and I think that's been improving. Instead of being so hard on myself when my boss gives me a hard time at work, I now just get pissed off at him (not to his face). She's promised me that when she's done her work, I won't even feel anger towards my boss, but that hasn't happened. Still, I think I'd rather be pissed off at my boss than down on myself 'cause at least that means I don't think I'm the one doing something wrong. My boss is just an asshole.

More recently, I've been seeing an ADHD specialist. I went to her to get a measure of my cognitive functions. She gave me the WAIS and confirmed that one of my weak points was processing speed (I'm slow). On the other hand, a nice boost to my confidence was supplied by the other measures. 95th percentile in perceptual reasoning, 90th percentile in verbal comprehension, and 96th percentile on the general ability index. So not too bad. I came to her with the suspicion that I had sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT), a condition characterized by sluggish/slow thoughts. The jury's still out on whether this is a subtype of ADD or a different (but very similar) disorder. The slow cognitive processing confirms this. However, she thinks I've just got ordinary ADD (which could still be comorbid with SCT). Some of the symptoms of SCT match up perfectly with what I experience:

* Excessive day-dreaming
* Behaving lethargically and sluggishly
* Poor memory retrieval
* Trouble staying alert or awake in boring situations
* Slow processing of information and confusion
* Acting apathetic or withdrawn
* Negative emotions
* Makes mistakes more often than normal

I'm not sure if I day dream more than other people (but I wouldn't be surprised if I do), but all the other symptoms are bang on.

Every therapist I've been to in the last handful of years (including my son's) has been plugging this theory about the rational brain vs. the primitive brain. It goes like this: the primitive brain, which is responsible for the fight/flight response, works antagonistically with the rational brain, which is responsible for our rational thinking and (uh) being happy. They are antagonistic in the sense that when one is active, it shuts off the other. This is why one's mind goes blank when one is nervous (for example, stage fright). This is the primitive brain undergoing the fear response and shutting off the rational brain, thereby making it difficult to think and therefore speak. This is also why people in an angry fit become incredibly irrational, and why depressed people become totalistic and defeatist--they aren't thinking straight because their primitive brains have taken over. They also say that if you can engage your rational thinking, you can overcome the negative thinking of the primitive brain. Rational thinking means more realistic thinking, which (usually) means recognizing that your life, or the world, isn't nearly as horrible, scary, menacing (or whatever) as your primitive brains makes it out to be. The rational brain releases serotonin which is responsible for our happy moods, which is to say rational thinking tends to make us happy.

This has never worked for me. I give positive/rational thinking a good try every time I hear the negative voice of the primitive brain, but it feels more like holding my breath than a relief from my misery. I feel like I'm just suppressing the thoughts of my primitive brain, and I don't notice any improvement in my mood. As soon as I take a break from positive/rational thinking, the negative thoughts come back in full force.

I've been making sense out of this with SCT. If SCT is supposed to be a disorder of slow thinking, it could explain why my rational brain has such a tough time suppressing the primitive brain. I think most therapists imagine that the primitive brain and the rational brain are on an equal footing--like two men with equally beefy arms arm wrestling--and it's the therapist's job to supply the tools to the one man necessary for beating the other man. But what happens when the first man's arm is weak. He doesn't stand a chance against the other guy no matter how hard he tries. Therefore, at least with me, the primitive brain tends to take over more often than the rational brain, which not only explains the frequency of my bad moods, but why moodiness tends to be a symptom of SCT.

It helps to think of SCT not only in terms of "slow" thoughts, but "weak", or "ineffective"--some term that means it doesn't exert as much power as it otherwise could. This is why caffeine was such a crux for me--it "hyped up" my rational thinking such that I became more like your classic ADHD than SCT. And surprise, surprise, it never failed to put me in a good mood. You can also see similar effects with marijuana--while it doesn't seem to increase one's "rational" thinking, it does increase the power of one's thoughts such that one is prone to believe whatever thoughts enter one's mind--suggesting that the more powerful one's thoughts, the more believable--and if they're positive, this might be enough to override those of the primitive brain.

For this reason, I've been considering medical treatment.

Now this goes against my conviction to do this drug free. On the other hand, this is why I'm limiting this trial to a year and a half--I need to come to a point where I can look back and reassess--and I've always kept this in the back of my mind: what about drug therapy? Should I consider that an exception to my convictions or not? And what are my convictions in either case? If I don't consider drug therapy an exception, then my convictions are to avoid using drugs as a crutch. If I do consider drug therapy an exception, then my convictions are to avoid unhealthy attachments (or addictions). I've been careful not to attach myself too soon to the one conviction or the other, principally because such an attachment could be dangerous if based on a mistake. This way, I at least allow myself the option of a treatment that could be good for me and might possibly solve a lot, if not all, my problems. One of the early therapists I went to visit not long after July 1 last year echoed this sentiment: "drug therapy is not the same as dropping acid." So if I do decide to take the drug therapy rout, my convictions will have to be to avoid unhealthy attachments/addictions.

Having said this, my resolve has weakened a little. Ever since I started taking the prospect of drug therapy seriously, thoughts of returning to the drugs and alcohol at the end of 2019 have been surfacing, thoughts that this whole project has been a failure and that I'd be happier on the drugs and alcohol. These are obviously very rash thoughts that aren't really grounded in anything solid, so I'm not worried about them fully destroying my resolve. I think it's just the introduction of the idea that drugs (some drugs) can, under certain circumstances be ok, and maybe also the idea that if I turn to drug therapy, it means I couldn't do it without a crutch. My unconscious probably sees this as an opportunity to submit its cravings for the excitement and the rush I used to get from the drugs to consciousness for consideration. But my better judgement knows better. None of this means anything more than giving drug therapy a chance.

And at the end of the day, the benefits of a drug/alcohol free life are still there--it's just that the majority of them are not about feeling good--they're about being good. I just miss the feeling.

But all that's still half a year away. I'm thinking of quitting the hypnotherapy pretty soon--probably at the end of July--if my mood doesn't improve by then (I'm trying to focus on something consistent--mood--so as to get as good a measure as I can on the effectiveness of the hypnotherapy). Then, until the end of 2019, it'll just be me and the other therapist (the ADHD specialist), and we're gonna try to work out ways of finding happiness without the drugs, and also ways of ramping up my brain so I can have more energy.

I guess if getting rid of the drugs and alcohol is supposed to be a journey to find the true source of my problems, so far it's yielded the fact that SCT seems to be the culprit. And if SCT can't be overcome except through some kind of drug therapy, this is really fucking ironic. Before July 1 of last year, I couldn't wait to start my drug/alcohol free life, thinking that the drugs were the only thing holding me back from true awesomeness and happiness. Now I can't wait to start my medication dependent life, thinking that drug therapy is the only thing holding me back from true awesomeness and happiness.

The never ending cycle of despair keeps spinning.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

Posts: 8912
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Hello gib!

I have not done half , no 10% of Your treatment methods, but I am doing cognitive biofeedback and it seems to work. In another more specific terminology it is called. CBT short for cognitive behavioral therapy, and taking the opportunity to self gage , whether it's workable generically. It has , so far been a help, re: Karen Horney.

My basic motive is dynamic, I simply can not afford other means, for many reasons. Some means would involve basic existential jumps to freedom, yet I have become so bound into the responsibilities occasioned by my family, that any drastic action would entail a far greater grievance: that of a drastic sense of guilt. So I guess I am choosing the better of available choices.
Last edited by Meno_ on Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Meno_
ILP Legend

Posts: 5833
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Congrats on your one year anniversary and Happy Canada Day to you and all your fellow Canuks.

I had just written a large blurb about coding to you gib but when I went to post it, I found I was logged out and lost the post. Arghhhh!!! It was about frameworks like React and preprocessors like SASS and the general state of the IT business in general and your goals then bam!!! Gone. Normally, I copy what I've written before I post in case there's a problem but I was racing to get it done and forgot.

If this site doesn't warn you when you've been surreptitiously logged out then deletes your posts because you have been logged out, it's just too unreliable to use. It's simply not worth the time and energy so good luck gibby. Hope you get to 'awesome' one day. Bye peeps. It was fun (until today).

(yes, I copied this before I posted in case I'm silently logged out again)

Chakra Superstar
Philosopher

Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:42 am

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Meno_ wrote:I have not done half , no 10% of Your treatment methods, but I am doing cognitive biofeedback and it seems to work. In another more specific terminology it is called. CBT short for cognitive behavioral therapy, and taking the opportunity to self gage , whether it's workable generically. It has , so far been a help, re: Karen Horney.

Really... so how does the feedback work? Do they hook you up to a machine or something?

Meno_ wrote:My basic motive is dynamic, I simply can not afford other means, for many reasons. Some means would involve basic existential jumps to freedom, yet I have become so bound into the responsibilities occasioned by my family, that any drastic action would entail a far greater grievance: that of a drastic sense of guilt. So I guess I am choosing the better of available choices.

I guess the moral choice is always a testament of character, wouldn't you say?

Chakra Superstar wrote:Congrats on your one year anniversary and Happy Canada Day to you and all your fellow Canuks.

Thank ya!

Chakra Superstar wrote:I had just written a large blurb about coding to you gib but when I went to post it, I found I was logged out and lost the post. Arghhhh!!! It was about frameworks like React and preprocessors like SASS and the general state of the IT business in general and your goals then bam!!! Gone. Normally, I copy what I've written before I post in case there's a problem but I was racing to get it done and forgot.

Check this out:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=193418

Please, please, please take some time and rewrite it, Chakra. I know it's a pain, but you can take your time--write one sentence per day--then after a month (maybe) PM it to me. A discussion about some Javascript tech stack with a smart guy like you, Chakra, would be delightful.

Chakra Superstar wrote:If this site doesn't warn you when you've been surreptitiously logged out then deletes your posts because you have been logged out, it's just too unreliable to use. It's simply not worth the time and energy so good luck gibby. Hope you get to 'awesome' one day. Bye peeps. It was fun (until today).

You're leaving ILP?!?!

Chakra Superstar wrote:(yes, I copied this before I posted in case I'm silently logged out again)

Smart man! I'll always ctrl-a ctrl-c on my post before hitting submit.

PS - Check is out: you even contributed to the thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=193418#p2683438
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

Posts: 8912
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Gov, moral choice does not always credit of a testament to character, sometimes they become reflexively conditional in explicitly derivative situations of the kind, that choosing any other would prove disastrous

Going down a one way street, and having to return from it's darkly lit no exit, becomes a well recognized pattern after a while, diminishing hope of s breakout, as if the souls bound could not drill at night, to get out into some magical new found environment.

The road traveled least is a used up metaphore, by the time of choosing the more accustomed route if the daily endeavor to resist the danger of grinding out another defense against catastrophic reality divergence.

Simply put, mist lives gave been thumbed enough to have to become an open book, other then that, homeless images of laying around street corners , unfamiliar as to whereabouts, can indeed lead to permanence on relying on the charity of the kindness of passers by.

No you don't hAve to be hooked up to simulations, you just need to accept the vacancies implicit in the explicit beauty of routine maintenance, even if, repetition drives you to tears.

It takes a mind of biometric checking when the internal system measures up to the cold states , by insinuating an air If disconcerm, and when that transforms into a measurable antidote, then understanding and pleasantries may abound in any unforeseeable situation.

A drink sneaked in regularly here and there to cover the soft spits is not a good plan long term.
Meno_
ILP Legend

Posts: 5833
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

As of today, my commitment to the year and a half of abstaining is officially fulfilled. It was 100% successful. For those of you who don't know (or don't remember, or didn't read), July 1 2018 was when this commitment started, and then on Dec 5 2018, I published my book. Both together counted as the prerequisites to letting go of "unhealthy attachment" (or unproductive attachments to put it another way). I wanted to spend at least a year away from all such attachments, and if I found it necessary to cling to some attachment, to let it be a healthy or productive one. So I've done that. Today is the final day.

That doesn't mean I'm going back on the drugs and alcohol first thing tomorrow, just that I've attained my goal.

I found it virtually impossible to stay away from some set of attachments. My self-improvement goals compelled me to become attached to work, to my career, to different forms of therapy, and to focusing on my children. Attachments are inescapable, but at least I've learned that you can condition yourself to navigate your attachments such that you steer towards healthy ones and away from unhealthy ones. I don't think I can ask much more out of life.

So I suppose I should wrap this up with a summary of what I've learned over the last year and a half, and what the experience has been like. Well... I wish I could say the experience was a pleasant one. I wish I could say it was hopeful... but I can't. I wouldn't quite say that abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and other unhealthy, unproductive attachments was a mistake, or not worth it, but if anyone has the misconception that giving up drugs and alcohol leads to a happier, more fulfilled life, my experience proves otherwise.

Life was relatively good the few months after July 1 2018--not really an improvement from how it was before, but I didn't have much to complain about--I switched jobs from one in which I was making a salary that couldn't quite keep up with my expenses (and my expenses weren't frivolous, even after giving up the booz which did save me a lot of money) to one where I was actually able to save a few thousand dollars every month. The money situation was good for about a year but the working environment sucked. I hated my boss. He was a fucking asshole who made me feel like shit every day. I wasn't happy and I felt incompetent at my job. I was actively looking for work elsewhere. Then on August 6 of this year, my boss terminated my contract prematurely. I was pretty depressed for almost 3 months. Then finally on Nov 5, I started a new contract at another company as a senior software developer. The people were great but the job was very demanding. It didn't last long either. Just last Thursday, I was terminated. The reason they gave was that I wasn't "senior" enough. They were expecting someone with a lot more knowledge and who could work a lot faster, and I guess I didn't meet their expectations. So I'm jobless now. I do have one side job building a website for a guy, but it's not full time work, and he's struggling to find the funds to pay me.

What I'm trying to say is that life continues to be a struggle even when I'm clean, and I feel just as unhappy and unfulfilled as when I was taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Some of this can be chocked up to random circumstantial events, market forces, life... that sort of thing... for example, not being a good fit at my most recent job, which can happen to anybody... but I also wonder how much of this has to do with my ADD.

I was diagnosed with ADD in grade 3, went on ritalin which put me on the right track educationally, but then lived the rest of my life unmedicated. I did great in school after going off the ritalin, all the way through university. But when it came to jobs, I've had terrible experiences. I've never quite been able to experience being "good" at my job, and at the best of times, the feedback I'd get from managers, bosses, and peers was that I need to try harder, to be more careful, to pay more attention to detail... I could never quite feel adequate enough for them... and I've always wondered how much of that was due to drugs and alcohol and how much to ADD. I could never quite tell... until now.

Now, I'm quite certain the bulk of my struggles can be attributed to ADD. So this is one good thing that came out of quitting drugs and alcohol... I get to see more clearly what the source of my struggles really is. Of course, not being "senior" enough has nothing to do with ADD--that just comes with more experience--but I noticed myself making stupid mistakes on the job, the kind someone with ADD would make, and I'm sure if I stayed with the company long enough, it would become evident that my level of seniority was not the only issue. In hindsight, I think these two issues--ADD and level of seniority--could account for a lot of my struggles even at ATB (where I worked from September 2018 to August 2019); I've been putting myself forward as a senior software developer for the last year and a half, or thereabouts, and I base this on the number of years experience I have working software, but I think my struggles with ADD have been limiting my performance (careless mistakes, poor memory, being a slow learner, and especially finding it difficult to explain myself in complex situations) such that my employers get the impression that I'm less than senior. And I think being a slow learner and having a terrible memory in general have been retarding my growth along my career path for years. I find that a lot of my peers who have worked in the industry much less than me tend to know more than me, are faster than me, can solve problems more easily than me, make less mistakes than me, and generally seem to advance more quickly in their career than me. I feel I'm twice as slow as most of my peers.

Even if I were to assume ADD is not a major factor in degrading my work performance, I could still say it plays a major role in my emotional life, leading to depression, anxiety, and anger. Also fatigue. This is where the other description of ADD--sluggish cognitive tempo--comes in handy. I described this before in my last post--SCT is a disorder very similar to ADD, and the jury's out on whether it should be considered a separate disorder or a sub-category of ADD (if it's a sub-category, it would fall mainly under the non-attentive type... I'm definitely not hyperactive). Working with my therapist over the last several months has convinced me it's a sub-type (she's certain I qualify for ADD). SCT is known for its symptoms of fatigue and moodiness. I'm convinced it's directly tied into the antagonism between what psychologists call the "primitive brain" (which is responsible for the fight/flight response and deals generally in negative emotions) and the "rational brain" (which is responsible for our rational thinking and self-control, and is generally associated with more positive moods). These two brains tend to play off each other, inhibiting and antagonizing each other. My experience with SCT could very aptly be described as if my primitive brain dominated because my rational brain is always in a fog. I often feel like King Theoden in Lord of the Rings when he's under that spell with Grima Wormtongue speaking for him and general taking control of him. Wormtongue would be my primitive brain, keeping my rational brain (Theoden) in a foggy haze while he takes over. This is very much what it feels like to have the SCT brand of ADD.

Wormtongue and Theoden 500x208.jpg (43.37 KiB) Viewed 310 times

My struggles with ADD/SCT have become abundantly clear over the past year and a half, which I suppose is something I needed in order to realize this, and I'd even go so far as to say it is the main culprit, so much so that I think the drugs and alcohol played maybe a 10% role in holding me back (the caffeine sometimes helping me to leap ahead!), the other 90% being driven by the ADD/SCT.

This is why tomorrow, I'm going to start doing drugs again. No, no, no, not the "bad" kind... the "good" kind. You know, ADD meds... prescribed by my doctor: dextroamphetamine. My therapist says it feels like caffeine (which would be awesome!). I remember the ritalin at least giving me the butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of feeling one usually gets with an overdose of caffeine (maybe they had me on too much).

I had to ask myself a serious question over the last year or so: what am I committed to? Doing this without a crutch? Or staying clear of unhealthy attachments? To go on meds of any kind--no matter how harmless, no matter how recommended by your doctor--is a crutch par excellence. It's an admission that you can't do this alone. Given my decision to go on medication for my ADD, the answer has to be: to stay clear of unhealthy attachments. And I had to leave this question open ended until it became clear to me what the wise choice is. If I had committed to never using drugs as a crutch, I would be making a different decision now. That would have been a disaster knowing what I know now.

Therefore, this is a most ironic turn of events. When I told my therapist I was still committed to no drugs until the bitter end--until Dec 6--despite the troubles I was having at work, she gave me the same look that Arc gave me when I had no good answer to why I wasn't quitting drugs and alcohol sooner than July 1 (I believe IDIOT was the word she used... all caps and everything). How ironic that I could be an idiot for both not quitting drugs soon enough and not starting drugs soon enough. How ironic that BOTH could be destroying my life. I don't feel like I'm playing chess with the Devil. I feel like I'm on the chess board being crushed by demons on all sides.

I'm done with ideals. Thank God! <-- That's probably one of the most unhealthy attachments anyone could be stuck to. Gonna try to be practical from now on. Sticking to the ideal of no drugs was the last vestige of my unhealthy attachments. I think it was healthy at the time--on July 1--I think I needed something with a lot of punch, something to drive me through at least a long enough period of time to not only clean myself up but to give myself a chance to figure myself out, see what makes me tick without muddying the waters with the confounding influence of drugs and alcohol. But I have figured myself out to a great extent, and in light of my new knowledge, sticking to a commitment not to do drugs has become unhealthy. Yet it was the only way to get rid of all unhealthy inflexible attachments. Invest all my attachment energies into this one (which definitely stuck!) and set an expiration date on it. Thus, when it expires, I just release that energy and the attachment is fulfilled. Now I intend to live a very pragmatic life, and being pragmatic means doing what works, including drugs if that be the case.

So let's see what goals I've accomplished. Let's bring up the list again:

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

====================================

1) Yes, I'm in therapy. It's an ongoing thing. Went through a few therapists throughout the year and a half. Started with a woman that specialized in meditation and hypnosis, and I think mood disorders but I'm forgetful at this point. I thought she might be useful for helping me experience altered states of consciousness through natural methods like meditation or hypnosis. But I didn't stick with her for very long. I felt she didn't offer anything very useful. Most of what we talked about was how I was doing everything right and to keep at it, which was much appreciated (don't get me wrong), but I don't need to pay someone $200 a session to be told to keep doing what I'm already doing on my own without having to pay a cent. Then I saw a naturopath for a while (I swear I listed "see an energy specialist" on the list but I don't see it above; must have just been mentioned in one of my posts). The focus here was to see about gaining more energy, to not always feel so drained. We tried a special diet, vitamin supplements, even B12 shots, and we also tried acupuncture... none of it worked. Then I went to a hypnotist. I had been doing some research on the powers of hypnosis and read that some amazing things can be done with hypnosis. If they can make a man believe he's Tim McGraw, a therapist should certainly be able to help me gain confidence, energy, happiness, those sorts of things. She told me that I didn't have to do any work. I just had to lay there and relax. She would go through a meditative script and all the work would be done on my unconscious. Even if I fell asleep (which I did quite a lot) and completely tuned out everything she said, I would still be registering it on the level of my unconscious. Over the course of several months, I felt it was having somewhat of an effect, but hard to tell. I couldn't tell the difference between a small effect and me wanting to say it was having an effect, and I have since then decided that such an outcome is unsatisfactory. If something is having the effects I want, I want to KNOW it is having those effect. I want it to be definitely noticeable. Anyway, the longer I stayed with her, the more she started to talk about me having to put some effort into it, how the hypnosis itself can only go so far. I recognized this as a different tune from what she had been singing at the beginning. I also remembered her saying: when we're done, you won't even be thinking about your boss at work (this was the asshole at ATB I mentioned), and from about January to July of 2019, I never got to the point where I could just flick my boss off my shoulder like a particle of dust. Needless to say, I didn't think I was getting my money's worth, so I quit going. Finally, I returned to a therapist who I visited back in the fall of 2018 (it was a one time visit just to explore my options). She specialized in ADD. At this point, I was convinced I should be focusing on ADD/SCT because my experiences at ATB made me realize there was definitely something there. I continue to see her now. She's good. I like her down-to-earth practical approach. I also like her critical approach to cognitive behavioral therapy, believing that while it's useful, it's not all it's cracked up to be (and can be harmful in certain ways), which I agree with. She actually has useful things to say, techniques and strategies and exercises, things I can actually try doing that I don't always know about. So I'm sticking with her for the foreseeable future and she's going to help me navigate life on medication. 2) Take the Dale Carnegie Course. Did that from September 2018 to November 2018. I'd say it was somewhat useful but hard to apply the principles. It's one of those courses that gives you the tools but you really have to put the effort in to apply them. I found it difficult because the principles for certain things--like making friends and getting people to like you--were things I already knew how to do naturally, while other things--like influencing people and being an effective leader--were more difficult for a number of reasons. For one thing, it's hard to practice them unless you're actually in a leadership position, which I rarely am. For another, the ADD/SCT puts me at a disadvantage in terms of skills and ability for doing some of these things. So does the social anxiety. However, that doesn't mean I can't do it. It just means I have a bit of prior work to do before I start practicing the Dale Carnegie principle on this front. For example, the social anxiety is something I'm trying to overcome by practicing public speaking. Shortly after I graduated from the Dale Carnegie course, I joined Toastmasters, and I still attend on a regular basis. The fear of speaking in front of crowds is something I'm veeery slooowly getting over. It's been a year since I joined Toastmasters and it's still there--not as much as it used to be--but it's still there. And as for the ADD/SCT, well, hoping the meds will help. One thing you need in order to be an effective leader and to be able to influence people is to be good with words and arguments--inspiring, convincing, enlightening--all things that the SCT side of ADD makes me terrible at (I can't spin an argument if my life depended on it, at least not on the spot, let alone inspire people with a persuasive speech). I could much more easily do so with caffeine, and supposedly the dextroamphetamine has a similar effect. Overall, I wouldn't say the Dale Carnegie course was a waste, but I did have to come to grips with the fact that I had some precursor work to do: get over my social anxiety and try out some meds to deal with the more rigid brain dispositions. But this is certainly a painfully slow process. 3) Get a tattoo. Well, you all know that's done. And if you don't: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=184818&start=275#p2708790 4) Take acting classes. Not done. I've prioritized my list of things to do, and acting classes is just not high on the list. I still think it would be useful. Being able to act can be a useful skill in dealing with people, but I definitely think I need to focus on public speaking and drug therapy first. Plus all the other things that take higher priority in my life at the moment: career, children, therapy. There's only so much time to devote to everything, and acting classes just doesn't fit right now. Focusing on just one thing at a time is a lesson I've learned along this journey (though admittedly I'm focusing on more than just one thing, but point is don't load your plate up too much). 5) Talk to Wendy about astral projection. I did talk to Wendy, and she pointed me in the right direction, but to be honest, I've dropped that aspiration. This year and a half has really brought my head down from the clouds and I'm WAY more practical right now. I'm hugely focused on practical matters, on just getting my shit together and living a normal, functional life. Maybe if I can master that I'll return to AP. But to be totally honest (again), this turn to practical matters is not just a shift in priorities, but in worldview as well. I don't think I believe in that shit anymore. The spiritual and paranormal was something I explored early in the last year and a half and quickly became disillusioned to it. I had a few reiki sessions and got absolutely nothing out of it. The naturopath and hypnotist also kind of shook me out of these alternative, non-mainstream approaches to self-healing. And without any psychedelics to keep alive the sense of reality in these sorts of phenomena, I slowly became firmly anchored to the ground. I don't doubt the experience of AP can be had, but at this point, I'm thinking it's a hallucination, and there isn't necessarily a means by which to trigger it. I think it just happens to some people because of their brain chemistry and not others. 6) Talk to my good friend Rita about other forms of spirituality. I don't speak to Rita anymore. She's psychotic... you don't wanna know and I don't wanna talk about it. 7) Get exorcised. I suppose you could say I had an exorcism. It wasn't the traditional RC type with holy water, crucifixes, twisting of heads and vomit and all that. Rather, the reiki specialist offered to preform one on me during one of my visits. I described to her why I felt I had a demonic presence with me and she had me recite some phrases which essentially amounted to a denouncement of the demon and a welcoming of new, more benevolent forces. So I considered that a done deal. Again, however, I didn't really feel all that different, at least not immediately afterwards. You might say, however, that over the last year and a half, I've become a lot less obsessed with demonology and superstitious beliefs. This is, as I said, partly a consequence of grounding myself and being way more practical, but also a total lack of psychedelics keeping beliefs like that alive (those might be the same thing in the end). I hardly think of Guessius at all anymore, though I still feel hounded by demons. I still have the sense that they're working very hard to destroy me (the whole chessboard thing) but also that there are benevolent forces trying to fight on my behalf. But there's no more "character" hanging 'round me. So that's 4 out of 7. Not bad. Let's also see which outcomes came true. I had my list of life improvements that I predicted would come to fruition if I got off the drugs and alcohol. They were as follows: 1) Better role model for my children -- Sure! I think my kids see what I've done and understand the gravity of it. And I think it influences, and will influence, their decisions to do drugs and alcohol in the future. 2) More energy -- No, not really. I still feel pretty lethargic most of the time. This expectation came from a few of my 2 month stints when I would abstain from caffeine. I do remember feeling like I had more energy around two weeks into it. I realize however over the last year and a half that the increase in energy seems to come in the morning when I wake up. But I still get tired and need a nap in the afternoon, at least an hour. It's like my body, no longer depending on the caffeine to wake up, wakes itself up in the morning. So I'm alert more quickly and with higher intensity in the morning. But then I run out of steam by the early afternoon, seemingly by the same amount, and it's only around dinner when I get my second wind. 3) Better health (especially for my stomach) -- Yes, for sure. Not only does abstaining from drugs improve my health but I no longer have the stomach issues I used to have. Caffeine and alcohol were the main culprits. I've found lately that large amounts of sweets can upset my stomach as well, and I'm wondering if my stomach is just getting more sensitive with age. 4) Save money -- Definitely. Booz put a hole in my wallet$500 to $1000 wide every month. Now, lucky if I spend$100 a month on my own entertainment. I've even stopped going out to bars to enjoy a virgin caesar or a non-alcoholic beer (it just wasn't the same).

5) Be awesome for my children -- Not sure if my children think I'm awesome. They like their dad for sure, but I think what I was going for with this one was something to tack onto 1), for my kids to see what I big shot I had become and to be proud of their dad. I can tell you I'm no big shot despite what I had anticipated, but I nevertheless have the love of my children.

6) Give myself a chance to become more Rick-like -- Ha! Hell, no. I don't know why I thought I'd be more Rick-like off the drugs and alcohol (yes, that's Rick Sanchez--I've always wanted to be like Rick). If anything, I've become more Jerry-like. Of course, what makes Rick Rick are (partly) the booz and drugs.

7) Better at my career -- Wish I could say yes, but I don't think so. I lost two jobs in the course of the last year and a half, so getting off the drugs and alcohol definitely did NOT help with that. Would it have been worse if I stayed on the drugs and alcohol? Who bloody knows. I do know this: the ADD/SCT is to blame well before the drugs, and as I said above, I could easily blame it on a lack of drugs (medication) rather than on drugs.

8) Earn my tattoo -- Well, d'uh! I got off the drugs and alcohol... got my tattoo... yeah, I think I earned it.

10) Sharper Mind -- Nope, duller mind. The caffeine helped me be sharp... until I became tolerant to it... and going through withdrawal probably dulled my mind more than it is now. But I wouldn't call my mind sharp right now by any stretch.

11) Can drive to the bar -- Yes, but I don't do that much anymore.

12) Shorter naps -- No, afternoon naps remain just as long.

13) Prove myself to others -- Those who are supportive of my decision recognize it as a great accomplishment. Those who don't probably couldn't care less. So I'd say this is a limited yes. Haters gonna hate no matter what.

14) Capable of running a business -- No, for that I think I need to start on my medication regime.

15) Get more work done -- Yes, definitely. With all the free time spared up, I've filled it with work--building my career and working towards my own business. No more hangovers so a lot more time and energy there too, which I fill with work.

16) Invite Guessius back -- No, this never happened. I think the idea was that the exorcism (whether that's through the tattoo or through an exorcist) would free Guessius to make his own decision, and I would invite him back into my life to play the role he's always played, but this time out of his own free choice. Instead, I think he just went to Hell.

17) More likable -- I think I'm as likable as I've always been, so I wouldn't say I'm more likable now.

18) More self-discipline/control -- Yes, much less lazy now, more ambitious, less distracted by urges to just get high or drunk. Still tired a lot though.

19) Easier to diet -- Yes, without the booz, I don't put on the pounds nearly as much.

20) Improved memory -- No, I think that's an ADD/SCT thing. Hopefully the meds will help with that.

I'm gonna say 9 out of 20. I'm counting 2) and 13) as half yes's. Could be better. A little disappointing.

Overall lesson? It's reeeally hard to change.

Despite my disappointment, I have to remind myself of my motto: feeling good without being good vs. being good without feeling good. Being able to enjoy life is only part of the goal. There's a lot of accomplishments that I get to boast about which don't necessarily come with good feeling: saving money, being a better role model for my children, better health, got a tattoo, have a story to tell, etc. And I have to look at the whole picture in order to assess whether this was all worthwhile--the feeling good and the being good.

Besides, I don't even know if I can go back to drugs: my tattoo is essentially a branding, saying "I will not do drugs or alcohol." <-- That's not something I can just go back on. I've also been telling people about my commitment to stay off drugs and alcohol--on ILP and elsewhere. There's also money issues. Even when I am employed, I struggle with income. If booz were still in the picture, I'd go broke really quickly. And this is all not to mention my stomach issues, which if I went back on alcohol and caffeine, I'd probably be throwing up twice a week. So going back to the drugs and the alcohol is not even an option.

Now, it was always in the plan that by this time--when I was done with the year and a half away from drugs and alcohol--I would allow myself to experiment with new and exotic drugs--I'm done with the three categories of drugs I considered to be a problem for me: alcohol, caffeine, and cannabinoids--but it was in the plan to be open to trying out new drugs just to explore the experience. At this point, I don't think I'm going to jump into that right away--perhaps not ever--but I'm just not going to make a decision either way--I'm done with commitments--so I'll just let that resolve be. As it stands right now, I have no interest in experimenting with new drugs and I'm not going to disturb that. But if the time comes in the future when I'm really intrigued by the idea of exploring different altered states of consciousness, well, I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

One thing I am sure about--and this was always in the plans too--is that I'm going to get sloshed and stoned when I retire. I figure, with my life behind me at that point, who gives a f**k. What have I got to lose? But that's a long time away, and depends on whether I get put into a retirement home or not. Plenty can change between now and then.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

"So I suppose I should wrap this up with a summary of what I've learned over the last year and a half, and what the experience has been like. Well... I wish I could say the experience was a pleasant one. I wish I could say it was hopeful... but I can't. I wouldn't quite say that abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and other unhealthy, unproductive attachments was a mistake, or not worth it, but if anyone has the misconception that giving up drugs and alcohol leads to a happier, more fulfilled life, my experience proves otherwise."

I know this is annoying, but I'm gonna say it just that it registers in your mind as something someone said.

Stopping the consumption is the essential first step, but that is all it is. I am impressed you lasted a 1 1/2, but am slightly suspicious that there may have been some level of cheating by way of medications. More than a little likely. Don't be offended, I know because I know.

You were laughing and insulting at me way back when I was telling you it took a lot more. This is why. It is not because we want to cramp your style.

Anyway, duty fulfilled here. This is also annoying, but I reach out for me more than for you. Shalom.

Pedro I Rengel
Philosopher

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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Shalom, Pedro!

Glad to see someone is actually reading this?

I wouldn't say it's cheating at this point. I always left medication as an option after I fulfilled my commitment. At the beginning, I had to see if I could do it without medication, but now that a year and a half has gone by, I can easily draw conclusions on that front. I'm afraid I do need meds to control the ADD and the depression. Cheating would have been breaking my commitment and going on meds before the year and a half. Everything I've done is well within the rules I've set for myself. My goal was to stick to my commitments but at the same time to not make stupid commitments that end up ruining my life rather than improving it. The goal of taking care of myself remains, and meds, as long as they're not abused, is a form of taking care of myself self.

I'm sorry you felt insulted, but please humble yourself. You don't know what a person needs, or what counts as a good decision for their life. No one does. We're all idiosyncratic. Your life experience is yours alone, and while drug abuse and the commitment to withdraw from it might be something we share in common, my 43 years on this planet has taught me that that's never enough. I know the urge is there to claim an understanding of someone else's life when your own is so similar, but that's the first step in falling from the grace of wisdom.

Tough? Yes! Going it without drugs of some kind--whether that's illicit or prescription--is tough. I never said it was otherwise. I didn't insult you because I didn't believe it. I insulted you because you came across as judgmental. You had a certain arrogance about you. <-- Sorry if that still comes across as insulting, but I want to be honest with you.

I just didn't know what to expect in the beginning. I had hopes that the depression would lift, my skills at thinking clearly and dealing with people effectively would slowly improve. At the time, I was going with the perspective that drugs, while they may make you feel good, only hold you back, dull your mind, destroy any potential you might have to be your best. Seemed to make sense to me. So naturally, the expectation was that without the drugs, improvements on this front would come naturally. But I still regarded it as experimental. I had to see whether that expectation was true or not. Now I see there is something else within me that's doing the holding back, the dulling of the mind, and the destroying of my potential, something that overwhelmingly eclipsed any effects the drugs could ever have had. And I'm not sure what to do about it. The very nature of this thing (ADD/SCT) has been shown repeatedly in the literature to be biologically hardwired, there for life, with very few non-medical coping strategies being adequately effective. So meds seems to be the only viable option.

I'm not overly worried about this. What I want is to improve my life, not to prove anything to anybody, certainly not to prove my conviction to stick to a commitment no matter how much it isn't working, and I'm trying to be very practical about how to do this. Meds may be a form of "drug use" but it was never about the drug use itself, it was about the destructive effects of the drug use, and I don't see how meds for ADD/SCT are more likely to be destructive than constructive. So it seems to be the most logical and prudent choice to make at this point.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu

gib
resident exorcist

Posts: 8912
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Hey Gib, its a pretty interesting ordeal youve got going here. I appreciate that you took the time to see this through and report on it. Its science, if nothing else.

What occurs to me simply is that society is not healthy enough for you to simply get better by being inside of it without the states of costly joy with had overtaken your life rhythms.

All I believe as far as true restoration is concerned is harsh treatment like the Russian shamans did, using a lot of ice water and physical exertion.

You take drugs because they genuinely expand experience.
No need to assume that experience simply shrinks back to its original form and is content with that.
One can never simply correct a drug-influenced physiology back into place - one can do without drugs very well if one simply has a reason for the endorphins to activate without them. These aren't going to be knitting circles or yoga classes, nor self-disciplined karate or something - they need to be shamanic, "crazy" - one simply needs the craziness to continue without the drugs somehow.

We do use drugs for a reason. We evolved on them. Addictions are just addiction to a certain evolutionary mechanism. DNA gets addicted. DNA can get us out.

The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
- Thucydides

BTL

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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

That means I suppose Im with Reich on this too - DNA activation is after all based in sex. Regeneration has to draw on sexual impulses, these have to be brought to couple with the Earth of ones soul. If Id be to put it in yogic terms it'd be a mulahadara-swadhisthana path that needs be forged. and from there on, to the ego, manipura.
The holy grail of the recovering addict is to restore the ego, and I believe the ego can only be built from the ground up.
The higher centres form rather an impediment to reconstruction of the ego until they are "enlisted by the dirt".

Earf - by Ceres!
Thrive, you weird chemical experiments.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
- Thucydides

BTL

Fixed Cross
Doric Usurper

Posts: 9623
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:53 am
Location: the black ships

### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

"What I want is to improve my life, not to prove anything to anybody,"

As long as this is true, I think you're on the right path. Unfortunately though, for what I am offering, you have to get to admit that before improving your life, it is about stopping the destruction. It has to hurt, you have to allow yourself to feel the extent of it. Because the means are so harsh, self-improvement is not really nearly enough of a reason. To begin with.

Shalom

Pedro I Rengel
Philosopher

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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

At my rehab, we call him the Enano. I guess that's literally midget, but it also has all the connotations of dwarf and leprechaun and troll. I guess in our case the real translation would be gnome.

Sometimes he's pale and horrible, more often he is cute and friendly.

That you have pinpointed him speaks of an acute philosophical mind and is an important step, too. He's a thirsty bastard, he is.

Pedro I Rengel
Philosopher

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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

I'll even give you a sneak peek (to our thing): the entire thing is about becoming friends with him. Learning to pamper him. For you cannot ever, ever defeat him. He is stronger than you. No matter what, if there is ever a choice between what he says and something else, it will always be what he says. You can test this out. And perhaps ask yourself: was it the king that decided you have ADD and need medication for it, or was it Wormtoungue? I mean I think that's kind of rude, calling him that. But who's idea was it really?

And a warning: if you truly have been abstaining, to some degree, for 1 1/2 years, he will be very thirsty. And he is insidious, it might not happen the first or third time you drink or do some drug. Like amphetamines.

Pedro I Rengel
Philosopher

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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Annoyingly, FC is right philosophically. But that is absolutely useless knowledge as far as stopping the destruction goes. For that, you can only really trust people that have the same thing and have figured out a way to lead a happy, a HAPPY life, withoud drugs or alcohol.

"Like a motherfucker," my rehab therapist used to say. We were all spitting at him in our minds. Hah.

Pedro I Rengel
Philosopher

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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

Btw, it is possible I am arrogant. Sobriety doesn't cure that, unfortunately.

Pedro I Rengel
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### Re: 2 months--no drugs or alcohol

I know it's unlikely, but if you tell me the city you live in, I can tell you which rehab I would recommend, just so you have it in your records.

Pedro I Rengel
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