The land of no self-hate – Episode 11

Last weeks have been dark and then some insight popped up. Right now I would word that as: ‘The darkness is liveable, it is the running away which causes the pain.” I eh, hahahaha…. hmmm…. see some connections with life and excessive drinking here….

Writing this and finding out that I took a 48 year D-tour to find out that ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” or in Dutch:

Een mens lijdt dikwijls ‘t meest,
door ‘t lijden dat hij vreest.
Doch dat nooit op komt dagen.
Zo heeft hij meer te dragen,
dan God te dragen geeft.

Which roughly translates into: Often people suffer from fear of situations which will never occur anyway. That is how people suffer more than God/The Universe has given them to bear.

Currently I am trying to sustain this insight which means practising being in the now and accepting what is. I am practising this with my mind but it seems my system is wired to be continuously stressed out. Guess that did not surprise you. It does surprise me however. The more I find out about myself the more I understand why I once thought drinking was a good ‘solution’. This continuous state of stress is pretty nasty. I can truly not remember the last time I was relaxed for say, half a day. It must have been some holiday in the ’90.

Today is my 3 year, 11 month sober monthyversary. I have discovered much in this time. I chose this my blog name because I realised I used alcohol to not feel. So in order to get sober I thought I might as well dive into my feelings. Hahahaa….. sigh. Gheghegheghe…. sigh…. Don’t wish too hard, it might come true 😉

I can tell you now: people (i?) have many layers. And layers can be approached from different angles at different times while I am in different ‘states’ of being. What I am trying to learn now is no different from ‘being in the moment’, from ‘breathe, relax and drink water’ from practising ‘what are your hopes, your fears and your expectations’, from ‘taking Life at Life’s terms’. 🙂 Nothing different from ‘feeling my way back into life’. Not different from ‘trying to not judge’. And you know, sometimes all of these insights come together at one point and then it all falls apart again for me to rebuild and leave out what does not work. I guess for some it might seem I am going in cirlces. I guess for some parts I am but I am not ready to find any help and also I feel that I really really need to find out what I am like, inside, without interference. Well, in other words again: not ready for help.

So, many layers, different moments, situations, attitudes all to be explored and currently active is my attempt to accept the darkest darkness which I know up to now. Not running for it. Not fighting it. Not blaming myself for it – just having a look at it without judgement. Experiencing how I want to run away from what is happening inside, how I grab my new phone to start playing a game, how I read a book to forget what is bothering me, how I eat, watch Netflix – so much running. Constantly informing myself ‘this is me’, ‘this is me too’, ‘this is ok’, ‘it is ok to feel this’, ‘no need to run, you have lived through this before’, ‘this is me too’.

I have set my phone timer every 15 minutes to remind me to check if I am still on track. Time and time again I am amazed at how much energy goes into fear and worrying. Having said that…. I have several letters laying about here which need to be opened. I suspect invoices.

Other subject; the hug-buddy dropped by yesterday, informing me that he has lied about 2 things. He still works his second job and does not play sports when in the evening hours.  He lied deliberately because he saw me lifting an eyebrow when he mentioned the 2nd job. Next to his way too tiring 45 to sometimes 50 hours a week job he has added another 2-3 hours a day of food delivery to his watch. I know this is pretty normal in the USA where a lot of people with a 40 hour job in services can not even make a living wages. But it is not normal in The Netherlands. I know how tired he is daily and his health is failing but he keeps on adding responsibilities to his life which wear him out. Also, the tax system in the Netherlands is progressive, so with way more work he is only going to gain a little more but he is not aware of that. I informed him of that earlier. And together that was enough to make him lie. He said he had quit the job. I was happy about that and thought nothing more of it. When, in the evening we connect online and I enquire after his day he lies and says he has been sporting with his roomies.

Why? We are not even in a relation where I have the power to demand anything of him. Also, he seemingly does not have the idea he can speak to me, even about the small stuff. What about the big stuff? What if he had, say a VD? Or, well, why lie all together? I just wonder what somebody’s interior is made off if they feel they can not speak to me about this. He speaks about every big and tiny shame he has about sex, it is sort of unload of shame whenever we meet. Me being witness to his pain helps him process stuff and it helps me process mine. So why oh why lie about something so, so tiny?

The hug-buddy has financial issues because he has financial obligations to his estranged wife, his kid and the family in his homeland. It is very strange to, with my Dutch / Western culture, run into this family blackmail system they are all involved in. And the hug-budy gives way, and gives way, and gives way to all the blackmail in his family because ‘first born and only son’ – all these things which have totally lost their meaning in our society and are therefore difficult for me to understand. Worse: they make me angry because I see it as a prison they all create for each other. But that is not my business and when he enquires after this I speak from that place in space where I know it is not my business and where I am aware of the cultural differences and my lack of family ties on top of that.

I was thinking I dealt with that ok-ish but now I am confused. The ‘shame one another into the group’ culture seems to have gotten into his spine. I guess it is naive to think some years of appreciating the (relative) freedom of the West would magically change his make-up. This recent issue makes it look like dodging issues which ‘women’ present is his favorite way of not dealing with stuff and not being present to the woman in front of him. While trying to speak with him about why he lied he kept on interrupting me, did not listen, kept on inserting the words ‘women are like that’ in  and in the ‘conversation’ and in the end did not find anything I said of any importance and left.

I seem to be not a person, I am ‘one of the women’ and because of that whatever I say is not really important. My final conclusion is that he lied because he thought I would make a scene and chuck him out (wot?!) if he did not quit his extra job. Looking at it from a very dark point I would say he just wanted to keep his proverbial foot in the proverbial door.

Oh F! I’m angry. And as a logical decision I shut my emotional doors and threw him out of the tiny corner in my heart. I am getting way too well exercised in chucking people out of my heart. And then again… why be around people who are not willing to communicate and see me as a person worth speaking with. Not speaking to, speaking with.

And haha, the day before this happened I signed up at a dating site for outings in the city.  It is not a datingsite per se, it is more for outings, however some people do mention how they are tall, skinny and blond so I guess they are looking to date-date. I would like to visit some exhibitions, theater, musea and movies with others, male or female. While writing here I am making an appointment with another guy just because I am angry. Geez how childish is that. 5 Minutes later the other guy wants to meet along the highway – with airco. Nope. Not happening ‘along the highway’ = motel. I proposed a forest. And hahah, I can’t even say: “My way or the high way!” Ghegheghe….

Need to get out of this mode. This is not how I want to deal with people or myself. The my way or the high way joke says it all. I do not want to meet another person who diminishes me to boobs and ass only.

I just chatted with the hug-buddy on how I felt about what he did. He replied with patting himself on the shoulder for not lying anymore but telling me. Hmmm… that is not what I had hoped for. What about ‘Sorry’? Sorry has not shown up in this conversation yet. :-/ Why chat? Because I am so angry that I can not even be near him and he contacted me. Sigh.

My phone alarm goes off very 15 minutes telling me ‘this is me too’.  Every 15 minutes I am acutely aware of my emotions and hahaha, they are quite powerful. I do not think it is a good idea to be thrown around by emotions which is why I have to get to know them. Light and dark. Fuckerthefuckerthefuckfuckfuck.

Haaaa… that’s better.

thetruthwillsetyoufree

Ok! I am HAPPY THAT I QUIT!!! I guess this is it. This is me. This is how I walk this earth. I do not have to run from everything because frankly; running has become too tiring. Running internally for what I do not want to accept actually makes me fearful and depressed. I am here where I prefer the real shit instead of the running way, self invented school sick depression shit. And no, I do not say that I think this is true for other depressed people. At this moment, from where I stand now and how I look upon the things unfolding this is true for me. It is actually pretty relaxing to realise ‘this is me’. It is not ‘that I am’ – which is a term from the spiritual teachings world but I am currently looking at the system of e-motions – the things which set me in motion. I have some unpacking, cleaning up and settling down to do. 🙂

Coming to the end of this post I realise this acceptance is part of learning to love myself, of self acceptance so I changed the blog header to the self-love series. Being witness to what is inside of me, being witness to my emotional body.

Obviously I am not sure if I want to be / react in the reactive way I am but I am learning. Progress, perfection can wait. The egg timer is a good idea, again.

Wishing you a nice, happy sober day/evening. 🙂

xx, Feeling

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Progress, not perfection explained by Castle Craig

This is a copy of a post by Castle Craig – the organisation I would go into detox process if I had not at the last moment done an extreme addicty thing and decide to do things on my own. 😦

Well, I copied and pasted because their site is one of those who connect my real name to the comment section. Do not know how that works so I think/assume I can not share without my real name showing up some where. Hence the copy-paste. The original can be found here.

The Emphasis of Progress, Not Perfection in Recovery

“No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles,” the authors of Alcoholics Anonymous explain after listing the 12 steps. “We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.”

“Progress not perfection” is a popular term in the world of recovery where people are striving every day to better themselves from a problem which has created complications in their life. For those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, progress not perfection is an elaboration of another familiar sentiment: one day at a time. Humans cannot be expected to be perfect. Those in recovery who are working the twelve step program are developing awareness regarding their character defects and personal flaws- that is, the parts of their humanity which make them less than perfect. Often, addicts and alcoholics in recovery will fall under the belief that confronting these character “defects” and working to overcome them necessitates perfection. In order to avoid being controlled by the subconscious elements of their character, which could contribute to relapse, they feel they have to be perfect. It’s an unrealistic and damaging belief, which is why the authors, immediately after listing the expectations of the steps, assert that the process isn’t about perfection. The process is about progress.

Mistakes are necessary. Without mistakes, there is no gaining wisdom. It is the mistakes we make and the lessons we learn from them which make us smarter, wiser, and more resilient beings. If we “skip the struggle” as it is sometimes said in recovery, we skip the valuable lessons which were waiting for us in that struggle. Progress not perfection takes a burden off of our backs in recovery and frees us to move at a pace that is comfortable. High expectations can create devastating disappointments, which, for an addict or alcoholic whose brain has been rewired for pleasure, could be triggering.

There is no doing recovery “perfectly” or doing recovery all at once. Like all things in life, recovery is a journey, not a destination. Sobriety, the abstinence from all mind altering substances, is a daily destination and the only thing that has to be done “perfectly”. To not pick up and use a drink every day is perfection. Everything else is progress.

I am happy that I quit. I am happy that I now understand the ‘progress not perfection’ too. I did get that I need to learn that perfection is unobtainable but I did not realise what it does for me. I took it as something to hammer into my system because people who know say it too. AND, I did realise that if I look at the progress I am happy, when I look at perfection I am unhappy. So that part I understood. What I did not understand is that wishing perfection is like emotionally and expectation wise reaching into the future towards the longed for perfection. And it makes me stretch myself thin and lose my centre (or losoe, you know the one). With losing my center I disconnect from the place where I am aware. When I disconnect it is easier to think that drinking is a good solution to anything. While it is not.

Perfection is emotionally living in the future. Pretty useless. The future does not really exist. I have been using it as a place to run away to. I have used my dream of perfection as an ideal to not have to deal with what is.

There is an aspect of wanting to be perfect so they will love me – an approach I upheld (t?) towards my parents. But actually my boss is teaching me that I do not have to be perfect. Funny. Then again, he seems to only accept me when I am honest about what I can and can not do. Where I would prefer…. to not be so honest sometimes. But then again, I’m a bad lier and he sees right through that anyhow.

Tomorrow is the last working day before my holidays. Need to carry over my work to my boss. Wish me luck. There are quite a lot of holes in what I do and he is most likely not pleased. I really need to leave with a good feeling otherwise there is very little use in having a holiday. I would be stressing out the whole 2 weeks. :-(. I am not sure I can learn to let that stress go. Or I need to do the total addict black or white thing where I go like “Ooh, don’t matter, I have another job in no time anyway!” I promised my higher self that I would make myself learn how to stay somewhere for a longer time. That is a difficult thing currently because I want to run! “Run, run, run, run, run, run, run awaaaaay, Oh oooh, oooooh oooooooooh! Ay ay ay ay ay ay aaaa!”

Breathe, Feeling. Breathe. And go to bed. Should have been in bed for 2 hours already but scared for tomorrow. 🙂 Ghegheghe…. sigh. How do other people do this? This work and living thing? Am I the only one who finds it so tricky? Am I complicated? Hmmm, not sure I would like an answer to that, ghegheghe.

I am happy that I quit. I know for sure that if I had not I would have already drunk to the holiday today and well, no,  I would not even have a job to screw up. 🙂 So, I am happy that I quit.

A woman who loves herself, would love herself. Calm down Feeling, have faith. “You worry too much. It’s gonna be alright….”

Wishing you a nice evening/day!

xx, Feeling

Life slowly returns to, well, what?

Life slowly returns to pre-ultra-active addiction phase. I am working at the level I did before I got into active addiction. And something is bugging me so I ask myself:

What would a woman who loves herself do? She would clean the room. 13:57 – 14:30 hours

I thought I could continue to write but ask myself: What would a woman who loves herself do and she would call a friend and ask for advice. Did so. Now I am back to the computer. And the sun is coming out. I need to change the mode I am in, not hang around here. Work is overwhelming. The external consultants think the deadline for the audit I am preparing for is not feasible but my boss is not happy to change it. I feel like I am being set up for failure. But pushing the audit out a few months, 3 would be reasonable, makes it so that it is after the end of my contract. So I feel I can not bring that up. Also, I feel that I am not making enough money for the responsibilities I have been given. Making double the amount would not at all be strange, I did not pay enough attention when applying, thought is would all be less difficult. I specifically do not make enough for the way I fill in the requirements for the function. But I feel I am in this tight spot where I say: “I am very good, do not earn enough, but I am not meeting the requirements and need more money and more time.” I have difficulty doing so. Don’t know how to deal.

Next thing: I think and fear the external consultant is gas lighting me to sabotage the project. The project is very extensive, includes a manual requirements for procedures to be set in place which is 200 page long. Those are only the descriptions. Each sentence can mean a day of work to get the procedure in place. They say it takes about 3 years to know the whole process. The consultant is helping but he does not give boundaries and priorities. He also contradicted himself the other day on a point where 2 weeks earlier he had said was ‘on of the most important procedures’ to show ‘we’ve got this system up and running for at least a few months’ while now he said ‘no need to do so’ and ‘go make those drawings’ (which in my eyes are of little importance) of which he says ‘well, everything needs to be done, this too’.

It brings me trouble because I do not want to work like I am checking a person and keeping a record. But he probably is. And the details are so many that I can not see through them anyhow so… Nasty.

And I need to keep sober. Not that I think drinking will solve anything but that is the person now who can, but only just, take care of me. If this continues there comes a time that I do not want to take care of me and that I want to forget and not feel.

I rewrote my ‘About‘ page today. Should have kept a copy of the old. Did not. The new page says that:

I compare being sober with a pressure cooker: I would build up pressure because of not/underdeveloped life skills, experienced pain and stress followed by ineffective coping techniques, then I would drink to let the steam off. Obviously the way to let steam off only got me into more trouble but it took me to age 44 while to find that out. In sobriety I think I need to:

1 learn to not build up steam and
2 let go of it differently.

I need to learn to not build up steam too much. I thought I did so by leaving my former job and looking for a new one. I guess I underestimated the level of overwhelm that this project brings. If I would still be a consultant myself I would be working around the clock to set things straight. But then I would be making 6-8 times my current salary AND I would be drinking to deal with the stress. I find it difficult to come to a

So yeah, I have, unknowingly been set up for failure. My boss admits that he has underestimated things. He has another project which is going haywire because the people he put on it are not doing their job. At some point last year he made 3 decisions which do not at all support the structure of the company and now it needs all his time to set these straight. I see that. Me being self-supporting makes it very easy to forget about my project. However… is it possible that he was as enthusiastic about them as he was about me in the first place? And now I am looking for a way to quench the fires  and the overwhelming powers of shame about my assumed incompetence, of shame because I am being lied to by the consultant, of shame and pain about the memories of the culture of deceit I grew up in, of pain about not being in contact with my brother and SIL because of what happened due to that, of anger about my salary, of shame about my incompetence of dealing with salary, shame about me having been addicted and being in such a state at age 47, all of these fires are burning inside. First drink thought since ages came up last Friday. I was very happy that the friend I went out for dinner with drank tea instead of alcohol. I guess if she would not have done so I would have asked her to change to soft-drinks.

I now understand how I got myself into drinking in my early working time by being overtaxed and needing to rewind quickly. It is Sunday afternoon now. I have been thinking of work 24/7 for a few weeks now with breaks only when I sleep and even then I can dream about this.

I need an arm around me. The realisation that having a partner can make a change in this is big. A friend of mine is moving out-of-town, she and her boyfriend are buying a house of 500.000 Euro’s, it needs rework. I feel ‘left behind’. I suddenly feel all the work I put into getting sober and being sober has been stupid because I was stupid to become addicted in the first place.

You know, dealing with addiction is not a big thing when all goes well, it is difficult when I come to the point where I do not want to care anymore because I feel stupid. Where I think I have no value anyhow. Where I am convinced I have less right to be here because of who I am. A woman who loves herself would: love herself. But I can’t currently.

In my head I hear Anne (Ainsobriety) (hi!) saying ‘compassion, show yourself some compassion’ and I realise I do not do that. Now I step outside me experiencing this attack on me and try to be the observer. The observer sees a very frightened girl who is afraid to fail bully another with shame, denial and all types of emotional abuse. The observer thinks I identify with the one being bullied. I wonder who the fuck the bullied person is. I do not recognise me from the outside. Strange this is. Don’t worry if you can’t follow, I don’t understand it either. I’m thinking I am dissociating in 2 steps here.

The frightened girl is very effing frightened. Need to go talk with her. She is very afraid to fail. Feels like she will die if she fails. Wonder where this comes from. I only remember my father once saying “If I would have built this faulty bridge I would have committed suicide.” He meant it. I was going to write I can not understand where the fear of failure would come from but my mother was a perfectionist. My whole photo album reads like a manual to the defected daughter. A lot of criticism hidden in wittyness. I can’t even read it anymore. My brother and SIL laughed at me when I mentioned that I found this painful. Adding insult to injury. And I do the same to me: not taking me seriously, not valuing myself, killing/selfdestructing when confronted with possible failure. Patterns are difficult.

Meditation helps. Plan to wake up half an hour early to meditate again during working days too. Meditation makes that everything I attach to; thoughts, opinions, fears, feelings of all kinds sort of seem unimportant, become unimportant and it helps me to energetically set to zero. I used to not know ‘how’ to meditate but the navel staring of the last years has helped me greatly to find what I was looking for; it helped me see how I attach to things, to feelings, where they, well ‘enter’ my ‘aura’ for lack of another word.

Hmm, don’t feel like writing anymore. Suddenly all of this seems superfluous. It is not. I know that. It is a log and it is a set time for me to force myself to check upon my sobriety. To see what drives me, what puts me in (e)motion. People say ’emotions are not facts’ – which is often true. But emotions will fuck up sobriety – which is why I think it is a good idea to keep a good watch on them. 🙂

A woman who loves herself would now read the book which she has wanted to read for the whole week. Turn off the computer and wifi to ensure better quality of sleep later. And make the bed now, not at the moment she goes to bed so she then dislikes herself for putting it off. So, that is what I will do. 🙂

I am happy that I quit. I find going through this time very informative. I need to take care that it does not take me over and I need to delegate and take care of the girl who is so afraid of failure. She is afraid she will lose me because I have left her. This is such strange territory. With these descriptions I am ‘just’ phrasing how it feels/what it looks like, in order to give voice to what is happening, putting words to what I feel, how I experience things helps me to see and experience things. Or maybe it helps me to take seriously what I experience. Not sure. Guessing this is a phase I need to go through. Because it is here. Let’s see what it brings. What is in the way, is The Way. I can only get out by going in. 🙂

Sorry for an unfulfilling post with no ‘solutions’ to yet another drama. :-D. I’m off to read, make beds and meditate. Better than staring at a screen. Wishing you a good night/week.

xx, Feeling

 

 

 

 

 

and I can see now what difficulty got me into drinking more and more.

Yeah, 1,5 kilo down!

Yeah, 4-5 days continuously without sugar and I lost 1,5 kilo without changing anything else in my ‘diet’. Eh….. 30 to go. 😀 No… not. I am happy that I quit sugar. And I am guessing you will be happy that I quit moaning about it. Progress is good, it makes me happy. Happy is good, it keeps me from drinking. Well, not that I think I would drink if I was unhappy. Not sure, it is an addiction after all. But ha! I don’t have to worry about it because I am making progress and I am happy and I am not there where I would like to drink so no worry. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I just noticed that I am pretty exact-like in anything, boring and possibly shocking people with details on anything but I never told anybody how much I weigh. Funny isn’t it. There must be a taboo there. Let’s see what happens if I let the beast out: I am 1,67 and 82 kilo’s now. I come from 87,5 kilo’s. Ha, it very much feels like it is none of your business (sorry, this is an experiment) and I feel uncomfortable mentioning it :-D. My mind is making up all kinds of things why I should not mention it. Funny how I wrote in my ‘About’ exactly how much I drank because I need that out there to ‘come clean’ and I am hiding my weight. It feels the same but is it? Not sure. Does knowing my weight change anything for you? (You are allowed to say that you are happy that I am fatter than you :-D)

I am happy that I quit. Because otherwise I would be in the same trouble but have not way to figure it out.

I am happy that I quit sugar, not doing it 100% strict but 99%, and that is good. And no pressure. Just see how it goes. I think today I am happy because the fog is leaving and also because I DID IT!! It is so peaceful to not having to hide from the talking that says ‘I should actually quit’. Why worry so much: I have a mild version of hypoglycemia and diabetes runs in my family so obviously our build is such that we do not stomach sugar well. And it gets me sooooo depressed when eaten in large quantities. Ooh, and I am an addict so I can only do the black or white, not the grey and not the moderation.

I am proud of having done that, I am proud of how I have, in the last days tried to find ways to lower my BP, exercise, Falun Dafa, relaxation, be with people, go to bed on time, breathe, lessen the screen time.

I want: everything to be easy, no I would be lost if that was the case. :-/ Hmmmmm.. food for thought.

I need: to get a move on but without the stress and since I can not yet do that I need to take it one step at the time. And I guess that is EXACTLY the lesson that is in there. Hmmm.

I fear: the same shit. And I fear that I, by now (actually by a month ago) have started really boring you with my non developments and moaning.

I take: a few salts on high BP.

I hope you have a nice day / evening / night!

xx, Feeling