Page 4 of 37 FirstFirst ... 2345614 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 365
  1. #31
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Monday, April 10th 2017 (Bully and Attack – Part One)


    I'm waiting on the bus so that I can make the trip to my own town this afternoon for my session with my clinical psychologist when I am approached by a young woman. She's asking if I have a light so that she might ''enjoy'' a cigarette while she waits. This is the first time this has happened to me since I stubbed my last one back in early February. It's nothing special – it's just interesting, that's all. But let's get to the session I had with my clinical psychologist later in the afternoon. I mention to him that I've been to ACA meetings (Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families).

    Dr. Bacon – ''Could I just ask what prompted that? Because you said you weren't going to AA meetings for three months so I was just wondering....''

    Stevie – ''A new meeting just happened to start up last Saturday and I got the invite so I went. Everyone in her phone would have been asked to try to get the numbers up, get a little group going and a little money coming in, so I went....''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Can I just ask about that? Can I just ask what your thinking and reasoning around going there, saying that you were taking a step back from going to AA but then going to this, just so that I can sort of get a sense of where you're at.''

    Stevie – ''Lots of different reasons, it's something different, Lindsay wanted to go, there's.....I saw someone from AA today, well I say he's in AA but in truth he came for a few weeks and then never came back. I worry when that happens. I don't care about those who are in it for the long haul but I worry when too many new people pop in and then disappear, like they are almost spying on us for a little while without actually committing to being one of us. ACA seems to have a better group in this way.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I'm just really unsure about the decision making behind going to that....''

    Stevie – ''I don't know. I just thought I'd check it out.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''What were you hoping to get from it do you think?''

    Stevie – ''Maybe a part of me knew that around fifty per cent of the members at that fellowship also go to AA meetings and so I wanted to touch base with some of them.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Was there a sort of sense of needing to do that?''

    Stevie – ''No, there was a sense that I was actually cheating with my ninety day abstinence thing....I don't know.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I think that there's maybe something important there that we might want to tap into....''

    Stevie – ''Don't you think that maybe you're just overthinking it?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Possibly, that's a possibility, but it seems to me that part of your original decision in having that ninety day clean break was so that you could establish a life separate from that kind of identity, that section of people and the community in a way, and then this – and the way you put it is that it's not quite AA so it's not quite breaking the rules but doing a little bit of that anyway, it just seems like a mixed message to me about what you're actually looking for at the moment.''

    Stevie – ''Looking for how?......''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I mean satisfying some need that we all have. I guess that one of the things I'm wondering.....there's probably more than one reason why people get something from the meetings they attend.....social contact, structure, validation, all of these things that are important to making it a success – but you were talking about separating from that, with a clear idea in your mind about why you were doing that, but I'm wondering if part of what you're attempting to do here is where it becomes relevant for us and our work, is actually attempting to satisfy some psychological needs.....and I just think that's worth pointing out because if that's true, recognising that doing this is an attempt to satisfy a psychological need is extremely important for us to understand because satisfying our psychological needs is at the heart of this Schema Therapy approach, and seeing that our psychological needs have gone unmet in the past is what we think causes problems in the first place, and so understanding how we're meeting our needs in the moment, how conscious we are of them, how aware we are of them, and what we're doing to meet them, is really the crux of what we're trying to do here.''

    Stevie - ''…..''

    Dr. Bacon – ''So I'm just wondering if cutting yourself off from AA, for the reasons you've previously explained, you've cut yourself off from some of your psychological needs being met and that this is an attempt to satisfy them again?''

    Stevie – ''It's possible – the meeting takes place in the very same room as the Tuesday night Step meeting.''

    I'm thinking that we're spending too much time talking about this ACA meeting but is my impatience here related to my not wanting to perhaps accept the point he's pushing? AA meets some psychological needs I have and by not going I am cutting myself off from having them met? It would explain a lot. I did go to two ACA meetings recently (although to be fair they did only just start up and I was invited) but after fifty odd days away from the fellowship I award myself a goal the other day in my match against them. Was this goal just a diversionary tactic? It terrifies me that this whole time I've been away from the rooms that some of the daily faces I had got to know have been in a meeting every single day I've been away. No one can say it is in any way positive recovery. It's total and utter dependence!

    Dr. Bacon – ''All our behaviours are motivated internally to some degree where it's as simple as the urge to eat, sleep or procreate, or whether it's something more complicated in terms of psychological needs that have to be met, ultimately our behaviour is motivated, it's driven by something..''

    Stevie – ''Well I hope it isn't something I've criticised some members for ever since I sobered up.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''What's that?''

    Stevie – ''There are a few people I've known in AA since I started going who I think go for reasons that are very sad. They go to meetings every single evening, and there's a reason I think that they go and it's not the reasons they say that they go, and I hope it isn't the reason I went to the ACA meeting on Saturday, and that is it's because they're old, and when we get old we get lonely and I just hope that that wasn't why...''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Why would that be such a bad thing?''

    Stevie – ''Because I'm too young for that. I already have problems about getting old and I think that if I go to meetings more often it makes me feel older. AA is a beautiful thing in theory but its founders could never have predicted the way it would be abused by its members. Old people going to meetings because they're lonely? That's fine, but don't hog the limelight! People who want a safe place away from drink for an evening but who don't have their hearts set on ever being sober? Agan – cool, just don't tell us that you're there to help the new guy when he comes through the door.''

    I like this though. This idea that everyone in AA goes to the meetings because they have some unmet psychological needs going on which motivates them to attend. Dr. Bacon finishes this half of our session by mentioning something I take as being filled with great hope for the future:

    Dr. Bacon – ''What we're identifying here is a need asking to be satisfied, and I'm not at all saying, and I want to be clear here, this is not to say that attending meetings is the inappropriate way of doing this, more important I think is to try to figure out what this need is, and we're not going to be able to figure that out today, that's going to be a much longer term discovery that we'll have to make, but what it's telling us is that getting that need met is really important, but what is it? Knowing what it is matters, you know!? But whatever it is I think there's a sense that AA was meeting it for a while but wasn't meeting it fully or adequately for you to want to take a step back from it, that's just one perspective.

    Stevie - ''…..''

    Dr. Bacon – ''The other thing I wanted to talk about today.....was.....to give a little feedback about the questionnaires that you completed. You'll remember that we were looking at modes.''

    We were. The Detached Protector being one we covered in the greatest detail.

    Stevie – ''It seem like we're going down the Borderline Personality Disorder route, would that be accurate?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Well, at the end of the day a diagnostic approach is very different to what we're trying to do in psychology. We tend to think that we all have these modes, they're intrinsic human qualities, it's just that we all have different combinations of these modes to different degrees and with different intensities if you like. What's really important is the modes, and the patterns that these modes create in your life.''

    Stevie – ''Okay.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''So – when I scored the Schema Mode Inventory that you completed it gave some results that gave what we were thinking but also some things that we had overlooked which I think would be interesting to have a look at.''

    He whips out a little diagram.

    Dr. Bacon – ''One of the modes that we hadn't talked about, and one that came out as one of the strongest, was this mode.''

    He points to one he's drawn on his diagram marked ''Bully and Attack.''

    We decide to have a look at that for the second half of the session.

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Done with the first half.

    1761

  2. #32
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Tuesday, April 11th 2017 (Bully and Attack – Part Two)


    Bacon and I are sitting looking over the different modes that make up my personality, or at least that we think do, and this session we're looking specifically at the Bully and Attack mode, which apparently stood out quite strongly in my questionnaire results.

    Dr. Bacon – ''The name of this mode makes it sound really harsh but I think the key thing to understand here is that this is a coping mode, so it's a defensive mode and so it's all about protecting ourselves and protecting this vulnerable child part of ourselves. So, the way you did the questionnaire you scored quite highly in some of the questions related to that and so it might be interesting to look at how that might play out, how it might play out in therapy and how it might play out in other areas of life as well.''

    I catch a glimpse of my marked results on the questionnaire which are on the desk as he's flipping the pages and having a look. It's difficult to see anything really but I manage to catch sight of one or two of my results.

    Stevie – ''Is five the highest?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Yes, five's the highest.''

    Stevie – ''I see three fives in a row there.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Well, I'll go over the questions that relate to that mode and see what you think about that. Actually six is the highest actually, so the first question: ''I demand respect by not letting other people push me around?'' - you'd scored five which is pretty high. You also scored five for, ''If you let other people mock or bully you then you're a loser?'' This would relate to this mode as well. You also scored five for, ''Attacking is the best defence?''

    Stevie – ''Fuck!''

    Dr. Bacon - ''...''

    Stevie – ''It's amazing how I don't remember putting my scores in for any of these questions, I suppose that's why there's so many of them.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''One which is also in there, you scored three on that, which is ''I mock or bully other people?'' So it's important to remember that this mode is all about defence, it's a defensive mode, one that exists to try to protect us by.......maybe taking control of a situation, perhaps sometimes at the expense of others as well. But, for example, things that you scored completely low on were any kind of violent or attacking behaviour, physical violence or anything like that......you really don't engage that way and I don't think that describes you very well, judging by that and getting to know you quite well so I don't think that you're any kind of dangerous person because of this.''

    Stevie - ''...''

    Dr. Bacon – ''As far as I know, I think what it's more getting at and maybe what we could see as attributing more to the Detached Protector Mode is this, ''Woah, get back from me a little bit here!!'' and maybe sometimes that comes across as a bit cutting.''

    Stevie – ''Yeah. This isn't new. I go through little phases of this I think, or have been through phases of that, my whole life I think. There were times when it would be pointed out to me that I'd said something rude and I didn't even know I'd said it. Then there were times when I'd say something and others seemed easily offended by it. I figured some people are just more sensitive than others but then I realised that I should watch what I say. Now I'm at the stage where I can't trust myself and so tend to be quieter, or at least try to be, make a conscious effort to try to be.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Uh huh! Well I'm just wondering – let's just think about today's session.''

    He points out a couple of examples from the session where I have, very subtly but surely, tried to use assertiveness and ''bullying and attacking'' types of methods on him when things are going in a direction I'm not too happy with.

    Stevie – ''You're right.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''How do you think that would come across or be experienced by others?''

    Stevie – ''Well if everyone has their own version of these modes we're talking about like you're saying they do, if you've got a Detached Protector Mode then it would likely bring out your own or worse, but.....ummm....I don't have much experience in what healthy adults do but I would suspect them to be strong enough that it wouldn't phase them too much, I don't know – it would depend on how invested in me they were.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I think it might be happening just now.''

    Stevie – ''Ummmmm....''

    Dr. Bacon – ''But that's okay, and I want that to be clear. It's totally fine for that to come in here, you know, I'm okay with that. I accept and acknowledge that that's going to happen. I'm very accepting and tolerant of that, I want to be clear. Actually it's more helpful if that happens here than if it doesn't because I can give you pointers but I can only do it by-proxy if we're talking about how it plays out in other situations, but, you know the first thing you said there was, ''Well if YOU'VE got a Detached Protector!!'' which, on the face of it, is not an unreasonable thing to say, but there's an emotional quality to a message like that as well and I think that's what we're getting at here, an emotional quality that can perhaps feel a little persecutory.''

    Stevie - ''….''

    Dr. Bacon – ''And I don't think that you want me to feel that way. I don't feel that you have any ill intent towards me, but I do wonder.........this is hard stuff, to take onboard. It's hard to open yourself up to someone like this and for someone to be giving.......effectively what amounts to nothing more than opinions or thoughts about you as a person. And that can be really hard, that can feel really unpleasant, and I think it would be really natural to want to push back against that sometimes.''

    Stevie - ''...''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Don't overthink.''

    Stevie - ''…...What was the question?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''So I wasn't really questioning. I was more just observing perhaps that that was happening there. My word isn't gospel so it might not be that. And, for me, again, it's not something that deeply offends me in any way. I'm okay with it. It's important that you know that I can handle that happening. But at the same time it's something that's.....that would perhaps be emotionally noticeable in an interaction or in a relationship. So even something as small and subtle as that has an emotional rebound for people, and here I am okay with that and actually prefer it to happen than for it not to happen, but sometimes other people might not expect it in the same way, or might not tolerate it, or might not even consciously recognise it but be a bit averse to it. Is any of this ringing any bells?''

    Stevie – ''Yeah.......I think that I have begun to notice when I'm doing this stuff and have my moments where I am silent, or certainly quieter, which has much to do with not knowing the group I'm with very well and so not knowing what they will be tolerant of.''

    Which in itself can bring about feeling as though it is THIER fault that I am having to subdue myself. Talk about psychological needs being met? Sometimes I wonder if the only psychological need not being met in my world is my need to not have to analyse my every waking moment so as not to step on another of God's super-sensitive little children. Or is that me going into Bully and Attack Mode again? Aaarrggghhhh!!!!

    Dr. Bacon – ''That would be a really understandable way to protect yourself.''

    Stevie – ''Or I'm protecting everyone else in the room.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Yeah, so a way to protect them from this?''

    Stevie – ''Yeah, I might not always be completely selfish.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Why would you say that?''

    Stevie – ''I'm a human being so I'm selfish personified.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Okay.''

    Stevie – ''Dress it up, sugar-coat it, but I'm human....so.......''

    Dr. Bacon – ''We're getting a bit isoteric at that point, let's pull it back a little bit, what makes you think that you're.......I don't really see that. I think actually you're a very considerate person from what I've seen.''

    Stevie – ''A considerate person who bullies and attacks.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''And this gives slightly the wrong impression. Really it's about defence.''

    Stevie – ''Yeah, it's not sadism.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''No. You're not doing this to hurt people for the sake of hurting them so that you can feel good about yourself for hurting them. You're trying to keep yourself safe.''

    Stevie – ''Yeah....''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I think you're doing a really good job though, even being able to have these kind of conversations and bear that in mind at the moment. Because you could actually be doing this right now, couldn't you!?''

    He points to his diagram on the desk in front of me – the section called: ''Bully and Attack!!''

    Dr. Bacon – ''You could be saying, ''Well what do you know, Bacon, really!? You've known me for all of five appointments.''

    Stevie – ''I think if I was to speak with people who know me best, then and now, I think they'd be able to identify with this bullying idea here.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''How does it come across in other situations, in the rest of your life?''

  3. #33
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Stevie – ''I think it comes across in cheeky, sarcastic ways. Like you say – I don't appear violent, but there's a desire from within me sometimes to come across as cheeky to offend. I've always had the skill to be able to suss out quickly what someone might be easily offended or hurt by and keep it close to hand, just in case I need to bring it out, and if I need to then it's an effective weapon I've got. And the opposite as well I think – with the Detached Protector making it difficult for others to suss out what it is that will easily hurt me, and so it....''

    Dr. Bacon – ''That's a good piece of insight.''

    Stevie - ''…..makes me a formidable foe when it comes to verbal warfare.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''So for this verbal warfare you've got this really strong armour which is your Detached Protector....''

    Stevie – ''Yeah, and homing missiles flying over the top.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Yeah, it's quite a lot for us to get through.''

    Stevie - ''…..''

    Dr. Bacon – ''I think that although it's okay for you to have this armour all around you, and for you to know that I don't mind you firing off the occasional missile, is for you to realise that this isn't necessary in here. I think that ultimately what we need to do, to move towards at some point, putting down that armour, putting down those weapons and letting me connect with that other part of you. What do you think?''

    Stevie – ''I keep remembering you saying that we weren't at the stage yet where we could start looking at how to defeat these modes meaning that there will come a time when we cross that line and are able to look at ways forward with this, and when it'll be outlined – rights, here's what we have to do to get over some of this stuff.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''We're still at the assessment phase.''

    Stevie – ''Yeah, we're not just walking down this dark alley together, blindly, with no plan.''

    Dr. Bacon – ''This isn't an insight-focused therapy so the focus is part of it, we're not just trying to hope that by understanding things we're going to see things differently, that's a very important part of it, but the other part is by thinking about how to get around some of these patterns, bypass some of these modes, and there are different practices and methods for doing that, none of them miraculous, but what matters more is having a thorough understanding of how to do some of that, and doing it in partnership as well, with direction and focus.''

    Stevie – ''You did say that people get over the Detached Protector which made me kind of think that the main goal was then to defeat that, now there's this Bully and Attack Mode too.....''

    We look at the diagram on the desk. There's Little Stevie in the middle. To his right are his two coping modes, feeding out: Bully and Attack and the Detached Protector. To his left, feeding into the Little Stevie, is the Critical Parent.

    Dr. Bacon – ''This isn't a coping mode, this is something different, this is just causing grief if you like, for Little Stevie. This isn't a coping mode, it's not about helping Stevie in any way. It's more like an internalised voice, a message if you like, that's been picked up and carried forward, that's negative and critical and unrelenting to some degree. The part of us that calls ourselves stupid and tells us we're not good enough.''

    Stevie – ''What causes that?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''Most often it's the messages we've received from our caregivers. For some people it can almost have a voice similar to an actual parent's voice, it can speak in a tone. For other people it can be other things. Depending on your place in society – for some people it can be like a societal message, like you're unacceptable, victims of societal racism and things like that. The point is that it's a part of ourselves that we hold onto in our mind that is attacking. It's kind of like the Bully and Attack Mode but on the inside.''

    Stevie – ''Will Critical Parent be next session?''

    Dr. Bacon – ''We'll probably need a few sessions to get into all of that, but I'm conscious of our time and I just want to check how all of this is sitting with you.''

    It's a good question. I've been asked to look at these patterns and how they pan out in real situations over the coming weeks. Retrospectively at first will be good enough. I guess I'll have to wait a few days to see how this stuff sits with me as it's all a bit new really. My next appointment isn't until the beginning of next month (which is a bit of a pain in the ass actually) so I'll have plenty time to look over what we've been talking about.

    Detached Protector Mode? Bully and Attack Mode? It's all a little obvious now that I think about it. I've been doing a lot of thinking about my past and upbringing but mainly in good ways these last couple of weeks or so and I'm noticing more and more these modes popping up.

    In slightly less developed ways back then, no doubt.

    But just as devastating at times.

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Thanks for reading, and thanks to Lindsay's Olympus digital voice recorder DM-650 for making these posts possible.

    2585

  4. #34
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Wednesday, April 12th 2017 (Reflecting On The Modes)


    The differences between Dr. Bacon (my clinical psychologist) and Stu (my former AA sponsor) are enormous. In saying that, there has been something similar this year in talking through some of my issues with Bacon as there was last year and the year before when I would sit at Stu's house once a week. It's just that the methods are so different, while at the same time so very similar.

    I'm armed with my replacement laptop battery and so am writing down my thoughts on the Loser's Bus on the way to my girlfriend's town. It's good to have that freedom again and it'll relieve the pressure of posting every day I have to say. I don't have to be sitting next to a power supply to tick the box that is writing my daily entry. I have a little confession to make actually: I didn't write at all yesterday or the day before. I wasn't feeling well at all and couldn't really face writing, sleeping seemed like a much more attractive way to spend the afternoon and early evening, and I had thought about just leaving those two days blank. Fuck it – why do I have to write in this blog every single day anyway? But then I got up late this morning and thought it would be a good idea to use Monday's psychology appointment as a two-parter and got to work. I'll write a post for every day because I said I would and sobriety is all about doing the things I never could while drinking, the main one being – do the things I tell myself that I will!!

    I'll be getting weighed at the Slimming World class this evening as well so have that to look forward to but given the way I'm feeling at the moment I don't think I'll be staying for the class. There's a little of the sniffles sticking around and I'm not used to this one bit. This is the longest I can never remember feeling under the weather for. Normally it is more intense but over very quickly. This is something altogether different. I'll be paying and staying for the weigh-in and then I'll be off into the night. The nights are so different now that we are in peak spring. It just feels like late afternoon, we don't seem to get evenings anymore. It just transitions seamlessly from late afternoon to the dead of night. It won't be long before we don't even get a night and the afternoon simply moves straight into the next morning. I can't wait.

    So inevitably I am thinking about the session I had with Dr. Bacon on Monday and even more since I typed out much of it this morning. Bully and Attack Mode. I must remember, however, that this is a coping mechanism and is geared towards defence more that it is a case of me going out of my way to be nasty to people. I have been asked by Dr. Bacon to keep close watch on this mode (and the Detached Protector) to see if I can spot when they come about. I'm not trying to stop them just now (although the God of my understanding could be useful for this at times) but more we are just trying to gain insight into what causes them to come into action. How threatened and in what ways must Little Stevie be threatened before he calls upon one of these modes to help him? This is more what we're trying to do at the moment, to gain as best an understanding as we can so that we can later work on these in greater detail.

    Due to my being ill this week so far I haven't had much in the way of social interaction and so haven't been able to create opportunities for Little Stevie to feel the need to call upon one of his modes but I have been thinking of one or two instances in the recent past when interesting scenarios have presented themselves and Little Stevie has called upon a mode.

    I can remember one instance fairly recently with Lindsay when she said that I can be very piercing with my words. I'd said something and it had hurt her. At the time I hadn't a clue what it was that I'd said (and to be honest I still don't really know) but whatever it was had had the effect that Little Stevie had been looking for. We were in a position where it looked very much like an opportunity to have sex was going to arise and it would be very difficult for me to talk my way out of. Little Stevie started to feel threatened and out they came. The defensive modes. It's unclear as to whether I might have gone straight for the Bully and Attack mode or if I might have tried to work some Detached Protector on her first. Failing that I've then called upon my trusty Bully and Attack. I'm not sure. I do know, however, that continual behaviour like this and I could be in big trouble. The shame of it is that I wouldn't really have deliberately have done anything to cause it either.

    I am thinking about how lucky I am at the moment. I'm not freaking out because I have a bunch of modes that make me sound as though I'm some kind of total fruit-job (and let's face it – they do make me appear so) but instead I am loving the fact that I can get to work through this stuff and, possibly, learn to defeat it and act appropriately. There is, quite literally, an astounding amount of scope for growth and personal development in working through this stuff with Dr. Bacon. I'm thinking of Jagger.

    Long term readers might remember him. He was a long term sober AA member who I bonded with early on. When things were looking tits up with Stu and me I sought his guidance and met up with him as a possible replacement to sponsor me. Jagger died at the beginning of the month. I don't want to speak ill of the dead (there's no mode I could claim to have which would excuse me for doing that) but Jagger did always say, and was one of the very, very few in the fellowship I ever heard say so, admit to, that he was really poor at relationships. Of course, everyone took it to mean ''intimate, sexual relationships'' but I don't think that's what he meant at all. He had poor relationships all through his life, even in AA. Conversely he was a very likeable guy, but, like he fearlessly admitted on many occasions, he suffered from poor relationships with people.

    I've no doubt he worked the AA Twelve Step program to the best of his ability. The problem with this though, is that it is not designed to help in this way. How can it be? It's using vague philosophy that's eighty years old. It says a big fat NO to all of the scientific research that has been carried out since then. It's a real shame because it meant that Jagger and millions like him die without ever conquering their problems. They don't drink, okay, I'll admit, that's great, really great, and it is, and so his life was probably infinitely better than it otherwise might have been, but......

    It was once said to me (actually three times, but from the same person so I'm only going to count it once) that if you overthought things and overcomplicated them then there was a risk that you might be too smart to take on board what AA has to offer. I have to say that I am glad I was smart enough not to listen to all of the stuff I was told and to continue to pursue my trip into psychology services. As long as it did take I think that the rewards will be enormous.

  5. #35
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    I'm like Jagger. I suck at relationships. I don't like people and I can't relate to them. He died twenty two years sober with the same problems in this regard as he did the day he put down the drink. Through putting in the work outside of the rooms I might not have to die like this, die the way I am now, for that would mean that I died the same as I am now, which would have meant I did not change.

    AA has two tricks. Both of them are very handy tools to have. They have the God of our individual understanding; and they have the unity and fellowship meaning that we talk to each other when we are feeling blue. No one is going to argue with these tools. Friendship and Mindfulness. For those of us for which these two are not enough there is little else. Dr. Bacon says that the reasons for me taking a step back from AA meetings for a while is because I have psychological needs that are not being fully or adequately met when I go there and I quite like that idea. I think there's a lot in there. I think of some other guys I know in AA and wonder why they continue to go when it's obvious that it also does not meet fully or adequately their needs. I think it's maybe because AA continues to tell its members that there is nowhere else to go and that this is the final straw, the only place they can get well.

    I'm going to, when I return to the meetings the week after I next see Dr. Bacon, ask three different AA members at different stages in their recovery for some help. I'm going to mention to them about how I struggle to connect with other people and what they think the cause might be, what they suggest I do about it, and how much they ask about it. It'll be my next little experiment. I'll try not to feel as though I am manipulating them as I go about discussing these things with them, and to their credit I may receive some wonderful advice and guidance, but this is for next month.

    I have a good chance now of not ending up dying in twenty two years without having worked through my issues. It's not at all that Jagger didn't want to, or even that he was afraid of doing so which is what Stu told me, but it's more to do with the fact that he just did not know how to. AA told him that it had all the answers and he believed them. As a result he died feeling quite bitter with the word ''stubborn'' being used most frequently to describe him.

    I can't wait to get to my next psychology appointment so that I can start looking a little deeper into things. I have two wonderful nieces who are still young enough to never know this current Stevie but only the new and improved one I am in the process of creating. I have a mother I barely have a relationship with. I have friendships I'd like to strengthen. I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend I want to bond with in much deeper and more intimate ways.

    It's all possible.

    How many meetings I go to while this is happening will not be a reflection at all on how successful I'll likely be. I'll just be going there when I have psychological needs that have to be met on those nights.

    The short term fix.

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Starting to see that this can actually be done.

    1966

  6. #36
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Thursday, April 13th 2017 (Giving Them A Goal)



    I've written a lot of words in April. I like to try to monitor it so that I can gradually keep the monthly word count lessening from one to the next but it isn't going to happen this month unless I consciously limit myself over the next two weeks which wouldn't be a bad thing to be honest. Perhaps I start with this post.

    I've received an email from Marshall. He's designed the flyer for the Recovery Through Music class that we are to be starting up next week. It's okay, if nothing more. He's left a little note telling me that:

    ''
    The 19th is now a no go, as i think a Tuesday suits Stew better so I suggest not this coming Tues, but the next, at least it gives us another week to work on stuff.

    See ya tomorrow.
    ''

    ''Stew'' in this case is the guy who would be sitting in the building while we work this class. It works better if there is a member of staff on duty while this class is running. It's common sense given our lack of training and it was in our risk assessment. I'm not sure if I'm too enamoured by the decision to just decide to change the night we had agreed upon. He's given his reason as it being better for Stew but I think that there's more to it than that.

    Marshall, from what I've managed to learn about him so far, suffers from the same shortcomings and character defects that I have (I am not quick to ask the God of my understanding to temporarily remove them which, let's face it, I very rarely am) and almost every drinker and drug user who hasn't quite entered recovery or has only been there for a transient period of time suffers from. One of them is selfishness; another is an unreliable but very vocal ego. I can tell that his ego switches quite dramatically between telling him that he's really important and that what he has to say is extremely profound one minute; and then telling him that he's worthless and that he should just shut up the next, a bit like mine to be fair. He also suffers badly from fear and it is this defect I feel is at work here. I am being punished for him feeling inferior as, not really a player as we don't know, but in terms of theoretical knowledge and experience? I hope not, but when I return to AA I won't always be able to manage the Tuesday evenings. He knows this.

    Lindsay has fallen asleep on the couch. It would seem as though she has caught whatever bug it was that grounded me for most of this past week. As she usually does when she's trying to sleep she has put on a video from her phone, this time it's a lecture about the human digestive system. It's been quite interesting stuff listening to it for the last half an hour even though she fell asleep not long after it started. They are supposed to be talking about what happens when you don't feel hungry in a little while which was something I struggled with while sobering up. I never felt hungry. I still struggle with it to this day actually.

    Slimming World weighed me in at eleven stone and twelve and a half pounds last night meaning that I've managed to knock a further pound off and am that little bit closer to reaching my target weight of eleven and a half stone. After that I'll be able to attend for free providing I manage to stay within a couple of pounds of this weight either way and that I attend at least once a month. This'll be handy and is one of my current goals.

    I haven't managed to keep up with my training program for the big walk in June this week since I have been ill but I guess this means it'll be plain-sailing from now on. I hope so. This coming weekend I'll be back on it. There are a few miles to get through. I might take a walk to see Barry the Bullet. At least walk to his town. I'm not sure exactly where he lives but I know the rough area. I could do with talking with him face-to-face about what's happening with that business of ours. That was a full two weeks there where it doesn't seem as though either of us worked when ideally both of us could have been. At this rate the business will be dead by the time the summer holidays come. There are ten teaching weeks left starting next week when we return after this Easter break and then I have ten weeks off until we start the next year. These ten weeks would be best spent working.

    That's me now into the third and final month of my AA abstinence, meaning that I'm into the final half hour of this football match I am having against it, and I think that it would only be fair to give it a goal after that session with Dr. Bacon that I had on Monday. Going to ACA? What was I looking for? Perhaps some of it was a longing to be able to get back to the rooms. I'm not sure but the possibility that it might be this is enough for me to want to level things up a little. Let's give them a goal and it'll be back to a draw.

    Stevie (1 – 1) AA Abstinence

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Less words this time (just).

    954

  7. #37
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Friday, April 14th 2017 (Another Rising Word Count)


    Women seem to forget a lot of things when they board the Feminism Freight-Train. There were four guys standing at the stance awaiting the bus we're all currently on and then one woman arrived. The last to arrive and so the one who waited the least, and yet still somehow she manages to be the first to select her seat. Guys may do unspeakable things to women on occasion but in general I feel that we, us guys, often get a very raw deal with regards to our treatment of the opposite sex. I notice how often men hold doors open for Lindsay – they never do it for me. I notice how cars stop at crossings to let her pass rather than try to make it before I get there and just about knock me down in the process. Being a woman has many perks and one of them surely is being treated nicely while out on day to day business. It's a side of humanity I, being a male, don't get to experience while out on my solo travels.

    Lindsay was very understanding with me yesterday after there was a little incident. We were on a very busy bus and for some reason I just could not hand it over to the God of my understanding. I could actually feel my fists clenched as an attack of anxiety overcome me. When the bus pulls up at a stop a half-mile from our destination at the town centre my fight or flight response chooses the former and I apologise to Lindsay, quickly explaining to her that I'll meet up with her when I get there, and then I am out of the bus. As soon as I hit the fresh air outside I am fine. It was really weird, claustrophobic, like the onset of some panic attack or spell of hyperventilation. It was very sudden and I'm happy to say that Lindsay seemed to completely understand. She has suffered from anxiety in the past, most drinkers will have.

    I think that this is perhaps one of the disadvantages in not being able to just switch off, shut down, and just accept everything placed in front of me without having to question it all the time. Maybe that way I would just be able to practice AA's tools and hand everything I found undesirable over to the God of my understanding. I'd be bloody good at it now. But as things stand, the way I see it at the moment, I look upon handing everything over that we don't like to our Higher Powers a very limiting tool. Obviously the defect will resurface the next day, or perhaps even later on in that day, as all we are really doing when we hand things over like this is ignoring them, burying them for the short term. When they resurface – just bury them again! There's a sense that this is just another form of denial.

    It's really handy for things like......say.......when I'm in a queue waiting at a shop to be served and there's a massive hold up. People often start moaning and groaning whereas I can close my eyes momentarily and hand over my impatience to the ever loving God of my understanding, or more accurately I can ask Him to replace my impatience with patience. This gets me through small problems like this. It's just that AA promised that the Twelve Steps would tackle my grosser defects.

    Down town yesterday I saw Vanessa from a distance. She should really be doing what I am currently doing and seeking professional help from psychology services and such like. With her history of childhood sexual abuse and prostitution and violence it is clear to me from miles away that AA can never see her needs met. AA is the route she's trying though, again and again for the last eight or nine years. Over and over she'll try this program, she's on another sponsor now so that's her stuck in this same approach for another couple of years at least.

    I'm not judging her – I'm judging AA. I'm judging those would-be sponsors who choose not to tell her the truth in that AA will not work on some issues, that the tools at their disposal are useless for some problems, that she should work this program alongside proper help. They won't though. A true statistic would be impossible to attain but there's definitely a high number of members in the fellowship who believe that AA is the answer to all problems and that doctors and nurses are only out to get us, they don't get it because they aren't alcoholic. And so people like Vanessa will continue to drink and use forever.

    I'm on my way to see Barry the Bullet. I'm hoping that we can chat about what might be happening with this business that both of us seem stuck with. There has been a sense for a long time now that it has been an indestructable business, incapable of being killed no matter how much either of us seemed to want to be the case at times, but I am beginning to feel a little unsettled at how things have been this last year regarding this business and the thought of being unemployed fills me with something I can only describe as the beginnings of terror. Barry hasn't answered his phone and so I'm not sure if he even knows I am on my way to see him but I'll be there by the time this post is finished.

    On Tuesday evening Lindsay will have her appointment with Relationships Scotland, a counselling agency which helps people with problems in their relationships. There are times when I feel a little silly about it all as we are still so new to this (in the same way I often feel a little silly standing in the queue at Slimming World waiting to step on the scales while surrounded by people who really do need to be there) but I'm all for accepting that we do need some kind of outside help. There's no shame in that, I don't think. Dr. Bacon mentions that of all of the five modes I seem to have (Little Stevie; The Detached Protector; Critical Parent; Bully and Attack; and Healthy Adult) by far the least developed and unexplored of them is the Healthy Adult Mode. With a great deal of practice and work I can bring this one up to the level the others currently are at while hopefully reducing each of them sufficiently. It'll not be easy, fuck no, and continually keeping my head in the sand by handing everything over to the God of my understanding all the time won't make anything any better long term, but I'm sure that there's a way out of this for me. This forum is called My Way Out after all, isn't it!? It is unless you happen to be reading on Ryver that is.

    So the next session Lindsay has after that will be a double session, meaning that both Lindsay and I will be taking the counselling session together. I actually think it's a really good idea. It'll give us the chance to accelerate our getting to know each other much more than would otherwise be possible. There won't be any hiding places for any of us if I can presume that the counsellor we are assigned is anything near the quality of Dr. Bacon. There is a sense that too much therapy can be a bad thing, of course – I am more than aware of this – but there's no crossover, everything will be in its right place. Dr. Bacon will be working with me on the Modes; this newer thing will be looking at the sexual problems Lindsay and I are having, or, more specifically – that I am having. I won't deny that it's been quite difficult at times sobering up and having to face all of the stuff that has come up for me in the last two years, this being perhaps the most awkward so far (actually – definitely the most awkward so far), but if I want that Healthy Adult to be the most dominant Mode in my (admittedly rather) complicated personality then I just have to keep chipping away at my fears and anxieties.

    Unlike that trip on the bus yesterday when I bent over and acted the slave to them.

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Hoping to locate Barry the Bullet.

    1442

  8. #38
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Saturday, April 15th 2017 (A Lifelong Job)


    I've missed a few walks recently on my training plan for the Walk the Walk charity thing in the middle of June. Two back-to-back marathons in under fourteen hours. It's a huge task for someone like me. If I wanna have a hope in hell of doing it then I'm gonna have to keep up with the training pan from now until the day itself. June 10th. It's not all that far away. It was super important, then, that I got back to it this morning, which I did.

    This coming Monday evening will be the last Monday evening in which the current SMART meeting that I sometimes attend will be running. The facilitator will be leaving for her new job after that and so the meeting is expected to close. There seems to be no one capable of running it. The crazy thing about SMART is that the training is so simple and it is run by its members (slightly ripping off the ideology of certain Twelve Step fellowships) that there should literally be a half dozen of us lining up to take over Lauren's job for her. As mad as it seems (and actually is) she currently works for an agency called Frontline Fife and so has to be paid to run the SMART meeting. None of the member-run meetings involve any payment whatsoever. Addictions services are paying to have a SMART meeting running. After this coming Monday there will be no meeting. I think I'll go. Pay my respects.

    I seem to go back and forth between AA and SMART. Or AA and certain people within it and SMART and certain people within it. Or between one of them and another of them, or anyone and everyone. It seems as though as long as someone is getting a little dose of criticism from me then I am happy. Or, as Dr. Bacon might try to point out, my Bully and Attack Mode comes out. I'm not sure about this though. Of course I subscribe to the idea of me having a part of my personality which is dedicated to attacking and bullying others in order to make me feel safer, I really do and have done for a lot longer than the few weeks I've been working with my psychologist, but I'm not sure that when I make these critical observations that it is the work of this mode.

    There's most definitely still a part of me that hates very much. I couldn't pinpoint exactly what it is that is hated quite so much for it to be the daily issue that it is – it's just hate, and so it would seem that every day there must be a target for this feeling. It could be seen as bullying and attacking behaviour but I'm not really sure that it this scorn of mine is helping me to feel in any way safer than I might be were I not doing it. But then what do I know really!? Not much. If this daily attack on the someone or something of my choosing IS a result of my Bully and Attack Mode trying to keep me safe for the day then I must be scared of a hell of a lot! Or is it a case of me being so used to pointing out flaws and imperfections in the world that I do it to feel safe without even really knowing that I'm doing it? I can't say that I can remember a day passing by when I did not use this tactic to get through it and so in some way it must be my Bully and Attack Mode at work, criticising to ensure that no one can criticise me? Or making sure that if they do it's only leaving open for criticism by them the fact that I criticise a lot. I can handle being criticised of that.

    I didn't get any luck in tracking down Barry the Bullet yesterday and so I guess you could say that at the moment I am without a job. I'm unemployed. I will be trying again but on Monday I go back to college and am in there for three of the five working days. With charity shop volunteering taking up a full morning on a Friday (and I'd like to keep doing this as it's better for getting a reference for the future than my old window cleaning job) and so I plan to get out to work on a Wednesday (my only free day at the moment) but it's difficult at the moment because of all the other appointments I seem to have going. The latest is from the Citizen's Advice and Rights Fife office who are following up on the home visit from Cosy Kingdom last month after all of that abandonment cuffuffle. My housing officer will also be looking to meet up with me at Castle Furniture to sort out that referral he made and this coming Wednesday I have someone from Scottish Power coming out to my home as a follow up interview, again from the Cosy Kingdom visit. This is all being arranged for Wednesdays up and coming. It's a pain in the ass. Wednesdays are becoming my busy days when I need to be freeing them up.

    There are ten teaching weeks left and then I'm off for ten weeks over the summer. I'd love to use this ten week period to go out and try to build back up some of the window cleaning business. I've learned that even me showing face for a few days seems to give the business a lift and it does better for a little while afterwards. Barry the Bullet really struggles when he's out on his own. It'd be great if I could get it to the position whereby I could find another worker to take over from me for the days when I go back to study. This would make life easier on all of us I think. The thing is that I know this can be done. I did it all once before. I just have to go out and do the same again. If things keep going as they are though then I fear there might not be enough of a customer base to even say that there's a business to get back up and running. I'll hunt Barry down but there's a sense of futility about it this time.

    Over all I don't know what my reasons might be for being so hateful from day to day. Things are going relatively well all things considered. Then I remember that I'm not nearly as bad as I was. When I first sobered up I was kinda quick to anger and was running often on a very short fuse. This has changed. I'm not comparable to Buddha, not yet anyway, but I'm definitely better than I was, there's a definite improvement. This is, I guess, why I've never had a problem with being myself in the pages of these online journals I keep. I leave the ''writing to be liked'' to the others (and they bite my hand off to take me up on that!!) and don't mind showing as many of the sides of my personality that it's possible to capture while I'm sitting on a laptop either in my cave, in Lindsay's flat, or on a bus, in a pub, library, park bench, and all of the other places I've sat and typed out posts for would-be readers.

    I think that this is because I know that this is a lifelong job and so I'm only ever looking for improvement. This is exactly what I've managed to find. Now I'll go in search of some more improvement. It's not quite enough improvement for some people (but then some people do sober up when there was very little wrong with them to begin with so I tend not to get much from their experiences or ''wisdom''), but any improvement on what I was is a worthwhile improvement. I guess that the question is: ''What could I be doing to improve more quickly?'', as well as ''Am I doing everything I could be doing to improve?'' and I don't suppose that I could answer that my heart and soul goes into my personal development like it probably ought to.

    There's still a part of me that likes moaning and groaning, being negative, bullying and attacking.

    But it'll die off given enough time and practice.

    Loving this sunny weather.

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Loving the sunny weather.

    1441
    Last edited by Lunarer; April 15th, 2017 at 03:41 AM.

  9. #39
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Sunday, April 16th 2017 (Ferrari John)



    Correction – it's next week that is to be the final SMART meeting at the local psychiatric hospital, not this coming Monday. But anyway – yesterday I arrive at the ACA meeting (Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families) in the nick of time. I've agreed to do as they suggest and attend for six consecutive meetings but I have to say that the jury is still out. The problem is the same as I find in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (and all such meetings I'm afraid) in that we are great at telling each other what it was like and what it's like now but never talk about what we did to get there, we never discuss the ''what happened'' part of our stories. I'm there just in time for my third consecutive week just in time because I tried to measure it exactly so that my fourteen mile walk for the coming charity walk training I was to do ended up at the ACA doors but slightly undercooked it and so had to do a little super walking to make it in time. I am slightly out of breath and more than a little sweaty. There are the usual suspects but there's something very rare for an ACA meeting this time – there's another guy!

    Other Guy – ''You alright?''

    Stevie – ''Yeah, I'll be fine in a minute, I'm doing the Over The Moon walk in June so have training walks to do every weekend. That's sixteen miles just done.''

    Other Guy – ''Sixteen miles, that's a heck of a walk.''

    It used to be but now my body can take to it no problems. It's nothing compared with the fifty two miles that make up the event on the day itself. AA's Gina chips in as well saying that her son has, in the last few years, done the Moon Walk (marathon distance and half of what I'll be doing in June) and last year did the Tough Mudder. I had fancied that myself but it's the week after the walking events and I'm told not to take part in any exercise for a full fortnight after the walk. Tough Mudder would just be pushing it.

    I'm going to call the ''Other Guy'' a different name for this post and any I refer to him afterwards. I'm gonna go with ''Ferrari John.'' He doesn't drive a Ferrari but I think that'll be on the list of things he's trying to achieve while he's sober. He's one for the finer things in life I feel and cash isn''t something he struggles to obtain in the same way that the majority of us drunks do, him admitting to me later to being a ''binge drinker'' as opposed to daily drinker. I think it's the daily drinking that fucks you up the most, takes away most of the opportunities for the future, shakes away any of the confidence that may or may not have been there in the first place. He managed to stop before it got to that phase but for some of us it never gets to that stage anyway. Either way he's three years sober and has used AA to get there. He approaches me after the meeting and we talk AA, ACA and shopping for therapy, to plagiarise Super-Zoe.

    Ferrari John – ''Hey, I liked what you were saying there about handing things over (to the God of our understanding) only working up to a point and having to search for other tools to progress from that and build on that.''

    I'm beginning to see that others in AA don't take everything that is said there as gospel and that they too struggle while trying to find other ways to strengthen their sobriety and life, to tame the negative thinking, and can't find others to talk with about this stuff because AA is so closed minded to any form of help that isn't AA. He's through for the day but his usual haunting grounds are in Glasgow, this is where he lives and where his AA home group may be found.

    Ferrari John – ''A lot of the meetings where I stay, most of them I'd say, are extremely bread and butter – stay away from the first drink and you'll not get drunk, all that sort of thing, which was great for the first couple of weeks or months when I arrived but doesn't do anything for me now. At my home group we talk about recovery.''

    Stevie – ''Every Tuesday night, in this very room actually, there's a meeting I used to like where it just goes through the cycle of Steps round and round all year. There's a lot of recovery talk in there. I prefer those kinds to the bread and butter meetings as well but I still feel as though there's something missing.''

    Ferrari John – ''Another of the members at my home group suggested something the other week and we are hoping to get it started up soon. It'll not be an AA thing but it'll be open to members. It's the idea of selecting tools and then going off and working them through the week and coming back to meetings to talk about our experiences in how they worked.''

    Wow!! He doesn't even have to finish the sentence before it clicks in my head what this idea might be worth. Rather than attend an old folks social club every week with the odd talk about drinking vague recovery you would have meetings that spoke of recovery tools, tools from all walks of therapy, be it CBT, meditation books, acupuncture, the Schema Modes I talk about with Dr. Bacon, anything and everything, and then meet up again to reflect upon our experiences during the week in trying to work these tools. I'd imagine that one tool at a time would be selected. Maybe stick to one tool per month. That really would cover the ''what happened'' part that is so sorely missing from my experience. I think it really would struggle to take off where I stay because not all that many people in AA where I come from are interested in recovery or self-improvement at all, they just are happy to meet up for a free coffee and biscuit and chat with those of their age group. Also – they wouldn't be top dogs anymore. We'd all be back to square one and many of the old timers wouldn't like that I fear. It would threaten their sense of importance.

    I'm getting a lift in Ferrari John's car back to Lindsay's. He does okay for himself. He'd getting married the weekend before I go on the big charity walk and he says he'll pop back to that ACA meeting shortly after that. He went through a suicidal spell at the end of last year.

    Ferrari John – I've been there before but this time it was a bit scarier as I was starting to think about how I'd do it and how it would effect other people, should I leave a note, that sort of thing.''

    I can honestly say that I get it. Everyone was critical of my counsellor Margaret when she suggested I talk with my brother about things when I was feeling that way. Counsellors aren't there to give us advice. But the truth is that talking with Gary let me see how my family would react were I to follow through. I could see that it would have an effect on them. Once it was out there I felt a little pathetic for saying it too. Ferrari John works in IT.

    Ferrari John – ''What do you do yourself?''

    Stevie – ''Not much. I'm a sound production student and I do a little volunteering on the side.''

    I have to say that I feel a little terrible about myself as I am saying this but I have to remember that I am starting from the bottom up because the daily drinking destroyed what I had, not that I ever had much. I wasn't just a binge drinker.

    Stevie – ''I think I'm gonna stay on and get my diploma. Who knows if I'll go to university after that!? I'm maybe a little old but we'll see.''

    He says what so many say in that they admire anyone who goes out and learns something new, tries to start again. I guess......

    We are parking up at the shops just around the corner from Lindsay. She's asked me to bring milk back in with me. Ferrari John asks for my number and so we trade. I am leaving the car.

    Ferrari John – ''Here, let me give you something to put towards your fund for your walk.''

    He whips out his wallet and hands me a tenner. I dip my hand into my pocket to look for some change.

    Ferrari John – ''Just keep the tenner. It's a big thing you're doing.''

    I guess it is. He drives off into the day leaving me not knowing if we will ever meet again.

    I head to the shop, pick up the milk, and then fire back to Lindsay's. She's battering on with her university workload but that's okay because it's Saturday and so the football is on.

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Loves the football.

    1569

  10. #40
    Banned User.

    Join Date;
    17th March, 2017.
    Location;
    Scotland.
    Posts;
    366.

    Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

    Monday, April 17th 2017 (Easter Synning)



    That was a difficult walk yesterday. I think the week off due to my ill feeling has taken its toll on my poor legs and they are feeling a little stiff despite my stretching. The back-to-back long walks are tough and there's no sign of them letting up any time soon. I have walks on every Saturday and every Sunday until the actual event on June 10th. This weekend saw me add another twenty seven miles to my total and so since I quit smoking I have totalled two hundred and sixty seven miles. It's quite a lot of miles building up now. Next weekend I have a few more to add on; fourteen on the Saturday and twelve on the Sunday, with a ten mile walk midweek.

    Tonight I'll be at Slimming World for my weekly weigh in and this week I am hoping to have knocked another half pound or pound off my total. I'm nearly at my target weight (to be fair – I started at nearly my target weight) and plan to get there before I make my return to AA in less than four weeks. This'll make me my optimum weight for this coming walk and will also in itself be another challenge I can tick off the list. I managed to quit smoking and then within three months knock ten pounds off my body to get to where I wanted to be. Last night Lindsay and I traded Easter eggs and so I had a little chocolate but I'm sure it won't have too negative an effect on my weight when I stand on those scales this evening.

    The way that Slimming World works is quite interesting. It's not a diet as such. It says that it's a healthy eating plan instead. As a result of this it actually says that we have to indulge in fatty extras and treats. We call the calories in these foods ''Syns''. If we don't use up our daily Syn allowance then we are dieting and this is not what Slimming World is about. I don't mind a little dieting to be honest to get myself down to my target weight as one of the main benefits of doing this is that I don't have to attend every week and I don't have to pay for as long as I remain at this predetermined weight. Once I'm at target then I can use this philosophy of Synning to watch what I eat in the future. I still don't think that I use the Slimming World ideas as well as I could. I haven't looked into cooking options and haven't practised even familiarising myself with the kitchen as I promised myself that I would when I went to my first class. I know what happens when I don't do the things I said I would do.

    One thing I said I would do was complete, or at least try to, the college course that I signed up for last year. It may be only a lowly Level Six National Certificate in sound production but I can only take on what is directly in front of me. I attended college courses back when I was a drinker and drug user but they always ended up in failure and I never managed to get as far into the course as I have done with this one. There are ten teaching weeks left until I've managed to tick this box off as a success. Ten weeks left until I do the unthinkable and complete something that actually required a bit of effort and consistency. It shows I'm getting a little better which is what this is all about.

    I'm on the bus on the way to rejoin my studies after being off for two weeks for the Easter holidays. A holiday that I happily admit hasn't been all that welcome. I would rather have been out working with Barry the Bullet and trying to make some cash but it wasn't to be and instead I fell ill for the first time in a long time. It was actually the longest running cold I can ever remember having and it's still lingering to this day......a little. It's not been great though. I would much rather have been studying and working through another project.

    I'll be at the college in around ten minutes and will be first in the class as is always the case. The others will waltz in shortly afterwards one at a time and I'll find out if they all resented the break as much as I did. Probably not. People seem to enjoy taking time away from their duties and responsibilities more than I do. I guess that it's because others know how to relax whereas I still haven't really got to grips with that and figured out how to make it work for me.

    Another thing I said I would do would be to keep a house plant alive for a full year and I think that my Dragon Tree is going to make it. Last year I lost both of my plants over winter and my Leopard Lily died during this winter. The Dragon Tree is going strong though. The main thing is that the winter is now over and while it has to make it until the end of June before it can celebrate its first official birthday the weather is now at the stage where I'm on easy street. It doesn't get fully dark now until after nine which is amazing when I consider what it was like just a few weeks ago. The Dragon Tree will make it. It's only a matter of time.

    So it's an early morning post again today and I can't really think of anything else to say. Too much in the way of distraction on this bus I think. I always think a little more clearly when I can shut the rest of the world out and just let the fingers free associate.

    See you tomorrow.

    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    '
    Stevie

    Heading to college after a fortnight away.

    1030

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •