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Ending the Loop


Pochatok
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On 10/25/2021 at 5:03 AM, Pochatok said:

Not much from this week; it has been fairly productive and fun overall, I've enjoyed visiting my family during break and am a bit unexcited about coming back to school since its *work*, but thinking of my class projects does get me excited- they're going to be a lot of fun 🙂

What's your relationship with "work"? Do you find it in some way inferior to the other parts of your life?

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Day 103. I've had some stronger urges recently, but they're much weaker now. Something else always comes up, and I keep pushing gaming aside. Hopefully, this will be enough to get me to 200 days without gaming!

A random thought:
I found an interesting way to describe my experience with gaming as a way to deal with my problems:

"Imagine you're falling from a cliff and, in midair, manage to hang on to a branch of a tree to prevent yourself from falling further. Suddenly, you feel pain- the branch has thorns. You want to let go of the branch because it is hurting you, but you're not sure if you'll be able to hang onto anything if you continue falling- it's foggy below you, and you can't see much. What if you fall down all the way? After awhile, the fog clears up, and you can see more branches to hang on to down below. You let go and continue falling, since you will bleed out if you continue to hang on. As you continue falling, you now can see that the branches below don't have thorns, and will allow you to gain strength to climb back up over time. "

This week:

Has gone pretty well! I have been reducing my screentime on social media, finally, and it feels so weird! As if I have hours worth of extra time on my hands, when really all I am doing is not using the phone in the first and last 20 minutes of my day. I feel stronger, and more satisfied with myself. Feels good to finally have control over this habit of mine. 

Good stuff:

  1. I have completed some neat Art Projects.
  2. I played Volleyball for 1.5 hours- it was such a blast, I learned a lot. Hope to improve next week. 
  3. Regular exercise is paying off- I can finally do a one arm chin up. I think I should focus more on doing it properly, injury-free now, cuz it be ouch sometimes.

Bad stuff:

  1. Not being super time effecient. I need to push myself to do some things faster. I am super productive, but my efficiency is low. 
  2. I am definitely breaking my iPad. The keyboard is bareky functioning, iPad is having some freezes here and there. Should stop dropping it maybe?
  3. Losing a lot of hair for some reason. The last time I washed it, there were 30-50 hairs in the drain. I am not sure why 😞

That's all for now, thank you for reading 🙂 
Hope that today you will feel better,

Po

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 110. So tired, and so much work to do! The last few days have been good, but now I am so tired once again. It's a bit difficult to just get through the day without giving up for a bit. Have been forcing myself to stay productive and avoid poor stress management for the last 3 hours; one hour left until bedtime. Let's keep my posture up and head straight! I'll journal a bit more tomorrow; some interesting things have happened that I'd like to share. 

Po

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On 10/27/2021 at 6:54 AM, Ikar said:

What's your relationship with "work"? Do you find it in some way inferior to the other parts of your life?

Ahh, just noticed that I totally missed this reply! I think that I generalize "work" as anything that needs to be done that I am not feeling super passionate about. For the most part, those things are very valuable, like getting better at my campus jobs (which are good resume builders) or doing homework. But, not so many of them are fun in their process- the end goal might be rewarding, but the path there is long and rough. 

Going home changes the responsibilities I have quite a bit- rather than doing a lot of thinking-heavy tasks, I am more focused on physical and emotional tasks, like walking the dogs, doing dishes, cleaning up the house, and taking care of my siblings. I think it is highly relaxing in smaller quantities as it allows my brain to relax and focus on myself and my immediate surroundings more. I also enjoy doing physical labour-heavy work. 

However, this was my perspective a few weeks ago. Since then, I've improved my goal setting ability and worked on mindfullness under more stressful conditions, and have been able to enjoy work and be more effective with it more. I still have trouble enjoying it as much as I do my hobbies, but I certainly find the process more rewarding. 

What about you Ikar?

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On 11/8/2021 at 10:32 PM, Pochatok said:

Ahh, just noticed that I totally missed this reply! I think that I generalize "work" as anything that needs to be done that I am not feeling super passionate about. For the most part, those things are very valuable, like getting better at my campus jobs (which are good resume builders) or doing homework. But, not so many of them are fun in their process- the end goal might be rewarding, but the path there is long and rough. 

I see, I think we all have issues with that from time to time. Then again, I think it's important to take the chill pill sometimes and not sweat things too much. I can't imagine a single area in which my life couldn't be better, but I feel fine with most of them as they are. I'll focus on them once I feel they are becoming more change-relevant.

On 11/8/2021 at 10:32 PM, Pochatok said:

Going home changes the responsibilities I have quite a bit- rather than doing a lot of thinking-heavy tasks, I am more focused on physical and emotional tasks, like walking the dogs, doing dishes, cleaning up the house, and taking care of my siblings. I think it is highly relaxing in smaller quantities as it allows my brain to relax and focus on myself and my immediate surroundings more. I also enjoy doing physical labour-heavy work. 

I actually enjoy doing household chores, such as washing the dishes or doing the laundry. The occasional gym is also good. Cleaning I'll live with, haha.

On 11/8/2021 at 10:32 PM, Pochatok said:

However, this was my perspective a few weeks ago. Since then, I've improved my goal setting ability and worked on mindfullness under more stressful conditions, and have been able to enjoy work and be more effective with it more. I still have trouble enjoying it as much as I do my hobbies, but I certainly find the process more rewarding. 

It's funny, but in a way I believe everything I do needs to be done anyway! I think that's why I made the "future direction" section in my monthly report. I can track how my goals evolve in all the relevant categories and also to give me ideas where to start at some point in the future.

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Day 117! The last 30 minutes of the day have been very stressful; I've been unable to keep my productivity up, sadly. Time to relax and journal here 🙂

Journaling

Gonna let out some steam, so feel free to skip this lol. I was having dinner with my partner and their friends, and one of them (let's name them Ruby) seemed to be not feeling well. Now, they are younger than me and my partner, and are not yet fully understanding the how-to's of taking care of other people. They asked Ruby just once how they were feeling, and after getting a mild "okay" they proceeded with their own business. I just felt really uncomfortable, because it was difficult to see everyone having a good time BUT Ruby, and noone caring enough to give them a helping hand. Including me- I wish I got up and talked to them for a bit, because I am really not sure what is daunting Ruby. 
It's upsetting how easily some people can dismiss others' troubles to avoid sacrificing their own good time. People do say that I am too self-less when it comes to resolving issues like this, but I still feel like this could have been handled better. 

Just texted them, feeling a bit better haha. The simple act of offering help makes all the difference.

OTHER THAN THAT, it's been suprisingly awesome! There is something funny I want to talk about...

Progress and all that BS

Over the last few weeks in my wellbeing tracker, I noticed that there is a continuos decline in most of my areas, like

Sleep

image.png.ccfa620db21c4b508ed09debee28012d.png

Exercise

image.png.ed148669d5f54e84e29bb57b84c4480a.png

and Relationship Quality

image.png.a9c03b8cb4e509c70e3c9e6394396935.png

Yet, a couple areas have been showing very steady improvement... Time management and Working Environment Quality!

image.png.9117e473c543938a7b4126d755ae754a.png

image.png.c57e7394cea927e71f6854e737d186a4.png

What's even more interesting, is that I feel like these last couple of weeks have been my most productive ever. I feel very good. So, it is very funny to be seeing an overall decrease in my self-perception when I am feeling like I am doing my best. Hopefully this is not a bad sign; either way, though, I should take better care of my physical health and social activities. 

 

Good things from this week:

  1. I've quit social media pretty much entirely! I check twitter once or twice a day for about 2 minutes total, and Instagram for 3-4 minutes. Facebook, maybe once a week.  
  2. I'm making a lot of progress with personal projects.
  3. My back injury has been getting better, and I am able to exercise more again. I love being able to move my body around more- getting the back injury, suprisingly, has reminded me how precious my physical wellness is, and how much I value full range movement (and how priviliged I am to have access to that most of the time, too).

Bad things from this week:

  1. Academics could have been better, iffh. Doing fine, but worried about finals- I am not spending enough time studying. Hope to make some serious improvements soon.
  2. My sleep schedule has been improving, but inconsistently. I've also been feeling slightly more distanced from my partner
  3. I've gotten quite better with quitting porn, but it has been draining me and affecting me a lot. It's still difficult to comprehend how much of an effect it has had on me all life, and how much there is to unpack and fix. 

Have an amazing week folks! Thank you all who read this journal, I appreciate your attention and your input 🙂 

Po

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7 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

What's got you going to porn even though you're in a relationship? I noticed my pirn usage dropped to historic lows for me since building a relationship. 

haha, good question! 

My relationship has been going for about 2 years, and both of us are heavily committed to it. 

Back when we started, I've quit porn completely without any effort- the relationship was supplying everything porn did, but in a better, healthier way. However, I still had a habit of going on porn sites occasionally, and over time it has gotten worse- especially when I would be physically distanced from my partner or experienced lotsa stress. I've been able to keep this issue fairly low, but never fully quit. 

About a year ago, due to health complications and just me and my partner changing as people, we've kind of toned down our sexual life. Suprisingly, I feel like there has been little to no long-term downsides to this choice- at the moment, our relationship is stronger than ever before. But, my brain didn't think so for a while- initially, got the impression that I needed more, and for quite some time porn became a much larger issue. 

Since this summer, I've pretty much completely quitted porn (after spending time what I really want from my life and what role porn has played in my life this whole time etc. etc.). I think that the last time I've actually visited a website on purpose was a couple months ago; there are still other things that I define as porn that are an issue though. Quitting porn addresses some bad habits and makes the world a better place, but I want to be an even better human, and so am trying to quit experiencing anything that stands against my moral values.

Hope this answers it!

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On 11/10/2021 at 3:13 AM, Ikar said:

I see, I think we all have issues with that from time to time. Then again, I think it's important to take the chill pill sometimes and not sweat things too much. I can't imagine a single area in which my life couldn't be better, but I feel fine with most of them as they are. I'll focus on them once I feel they are becoming more change-relevant.

I actually enjoy doing household chores, such as washing the dishes or doing the laundry. The occasional gym is also good. Cleaning I'll live with, haha.

It's funny, but in a way I believe everything I do needs to be done anyway! I think that's why I made the "future direction" section in my monthly report. I can track how my goals evolve in all the relevant categories and also to give me ideas where to start at some point in the future.

Hmmm, I do agree with your last point quite a bit, but it doesn't motivate me enough most of the time lol. These past few months I've discovered that in order for me to fully be interested in something, it has to have a strong purpose in my life- a set of goals, aspirations, and a deep understanding of the subject. Else, I don't feel like it really "matters". There are downsides to this thinking, but it offers some valuable benefits. I think that your thinking process is highly beneficial too, just not for my lazy butt lol. 

Yeah, the chill pill is really needed in my life lol. I am extremely improvement-focused, and sometimes I forget to sit back and enjoy the process. More of an issue recently, since I have been getting more busy with the school term ending. I'll try to chill more, thank you!

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8 hours ago, Pochatok said:

haha, good question! 

My relationship has been going for about 2 years, and both of us are heavily committed to it. 

Back when we started, I've quit porn completely without any effort- the relationship was supplying everything porn did, but in a better, healthier way. However, I still had a habit of going on porn sites occasionally, and over time it has gotten worse- especially when I would be physically distanced from my partner or experienced lotsa stress. I've been able to keep this issue fairly low, but never fully quit. 

About a year ago, due to health complications and just me and my partner changing as people, we've kind of toned down our sexual life. Suprisingly, I feel like there has been little to no long-term downsides to this choice- at the moment, our relationship is stronger than ever before. But, my brain didn't think so for a while- initially, got the impression that I needed more, and for quite some time porn became a much larger issue. 

Since this summer, I've pretty much completely quitted porn (after spending time what I really want from my life and what role porn has played in my life this whole time etc. etc.). I think that the last time I've actually visited a website on purpose was a couple months ago; there are still other things that I define as porn that are an issue though. Quitting porn addresses some bad habits and makes the world a better place, but I want to be an even better human, and so am trying to quit experiencing anything that stands against my moral values.

Hope this answers it!

Thank you and I hope things even out a bit. I understand these things go in waves from year to year so maybe there's a huge learning curve we're all about to learn lol.

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On 11/15/2021 at 3:05 PM, BooksandTrees said:

What's got you going to porn even though you're in a relationship? I noticed my pirn usage dropped to historic lows for me since building a relationship. 

I haven't watched anything resembling porn for a long time either. It just feels the more I am in the real world, the less I need to fantasize about unreal things. I've actually always found the idea of porn kinda funny, thanks to the disjointed concept of those situations.

On 11/16/2021 at 5:11 AM, Pochatok said:

Hmmm, I do agree with your last point quite a bit, but it doesn't motivate me enough most of the time lol. These past few months I've discovered that in order for me to fully be interested in something, it has to have a strong purpose in my life- a set of goals, aspirations, and a deep understanding of the subject. Else, I don't feel like it really "matters". There are downsides to this thinking, but it offers some valuable benefits. I think that your thinking process is highly beneficial too, just not for my lazy butt lol. 

I mean, if I am driven to do something, I don't need goals or some arbitrary metrics to measure it - I just do it. I'm really not a fan of planning anything else besides my work-time. I think it's all good, as long as I don't end up overdoing something.

On 11/15/2021 at 3:08 AM, Pochatok said:

Gonna let out some steam, so feel free to skip this lol. I was having dinner with my partner and their friends, and one of them (let's name them Ruby) seemed to be not feeling well. Now, they are younger than me and my partner, and are not yet fully understanding the how-to's of taking care of other people. They asked Ruby just once how they were feeling, and after getting a mild "okay" they proceeded with their own business. I just felt really uncomfortable, because it was difficult to see everyone having a good time BUT Ruby, and noone caring enough to give them a helping hand. Including me- I wish I got up and talked to them for a bit, because I am really not sure what is daunting Ruby. 
It's upsetting how easily some people can dismiss others' troubles to avoid sacrificing their own good time. People do say that I am too self-less when it comes to resolving issues like this, but I still feel like this could have been handled better. 

Just texted them, feeling a bit better haha. The simple act of offering help makes all the difference.

I can see you are quite a compassionate person from what I've read. I think that I am not - I am more of an honest asshole. Here's my perspective on the situation:

a) I don't think age has much to do with how compassionate or considerate people are. What can be learnt is to be watchful and observant of other people and notice things about them. Then one can act upon them or let them be.

b) I take people for their word. If someone tells me that they are doing fine, I believe them. If someone wants me to "extract" their worries or problems out of them, I'm very unlikely to be around long for them to do that, especially if it's someone I don't know closely. On the other hand, I also understand if they don't want to share the problem in a group of people they don't know either, because who wants to be a center of attention for their problems.

c) People are primarily responsible for their own problems and how do they go around solving them. I believe the primary program for most people is "I want X, so I go get X." and not "I want X, so I hope others will somehow notice the hints I give them and help me get X."

The bottom-line is, the situation is about YOU. YOU feel better after sending that text and shaking off the unease of not acting on your gut feeling earlier.

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On 11/16/2021 at 6:34 AM, BooksandTrees said:

Thank you and I hope things even out a bit. I understand these things go in waves from year to year so maybe there's a huge learning curve we're all about to learn lol.

Yes, does feel that way! Not necessarily year-to-year for me, but definitely month-to month. Tracking daily improvement is kind of meaningless- it's very hard to notice. Thinking with larger leaps of time helps. 

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On 11/17/2021 at 10:44 AM, Ikar said:

I can see you are quite a compassionate person from what I've read. I think that I am not - I am more of an honest asshole. Here's my perspective on the situation:

a) I don't think age has much to do with how compassionate or considerate people are. What can be learnt is to be watchful and observant of other people and notice things about them. Then one can act upon them or let them be.

b) I take people for their word. If someone tells me that they are doing fine, I believe them. If someone wants me to "extract" their worries or problems out of them, I'm very unlikely to be around long for them to do that, especially if it's someone I don't know closely. On the other hand, I also understand if they don't want to share the problem in a group of people they don't know either, because who wants to be a center of attention for their problems.

c) People are primarily responsible for their own problems and how do they go around solving them. I believe the primary program for most people is "I want X, so I go get X." and not "I want X, so I hope others will somehow notice the hints I give them and help me get X."

The bottom-line is, the situation is about YOU. YOU feel better after sending that text and shaking off the unease of not acting on your gut feeling earlier.

I see your perspective- it's interesting how different we perceivee situations like this! But yes, ultimately I should just do what feels right to me and continue to improve my understanding and knowledge of various social situations like this to address them better.

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Day 125. My finals are officially over, and the idea of playing is getting to me- the winter break is long, and there is more opportunity. However, I hope to fill up my day with enough stuff to not think in this direction. Gaming is still not something I desire, and only in very specific circumstances does it actually give me substantial benefits without any side effects. 

This will be difficult, but I hope to plan everything out in a way that will neglect gaming. 

Other than that, I am feeling very very tired (finished my last final just a couple hours ago) and will take a nap; journal a bit later.

Po

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2 hours ago, The_Creative_Quitter said:

I'm struggling with those same thoughts about the Holidays.  Great idea to plan ahead, best wishes with it!

Thank you! Yes, filling up my schedule already with some hangouts, sports, music and art project, and some other stuff. Hope to figure some of my professional life out, cuz I really gotta start getting all of that together- 3rd year in college and still clueless about what I want to do post-grad.

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Hey Pochatok, since you've replied to my journal twice, I thought I'd check out what you've posted recently.  Or maybe its just cuse I like corn on the cob. heuheu 😅

On 11/22/2021 at 1:16 PM, Pochatok said:

[...] the idea of playing is getting to me- the winter break is long, and there is more opportunity.

TL;DR — Trying to avoid cravings by staying busy is a good idea but it not does not always fix underlying issues.  Cravings will still arise from time to time.  Therefore, we should also learn to face and handle our cravings.  Compassion and self-soothing is working for me.

As someone who is currently on long-term disability due to mental health issues, I can definitely relate to feeling like I have "too much free time" on my hands.  No doubt that what recovering addicts tend to imply by this statement is something more along the lines of "I'm not trying to avoid cravings enough".  I don't like avoidance focused strategies, mainly because gaming, for me, was an avoidance strategy.  I'm also not a big fan of "hustle culture".  However, I must admit that avoiding isn't inherently "toxic", after all, when looking at a single timeline at least, when doing something, we are avoiding others.  What we are avoiding and to which degree we do so will determine whether that particular case of avoidance "toxic" or not.

When it comes to avoiding cravings, avoiding some (if not most) cravings is a realistic and valuable goal to have, however, I have to be realistic; to not experience any cravings at all is not possible and therefor shouldn't be something I aspire towards.  To avoid cravings I must avoid the things that trigger them and there will always be times where I inadvertently experience some of these;  whether I experience these things or not is often outside of my deliberate control.  Having "free time" is one of those things that can't be completely avoid (at least not in a healthy and humane manner...); there will occasionally be "idle" periods of time, in between "active", where cravings can "sneak in" for whatever reason.

I personally believe that I don't "truly" choose to when or how I experience cravings; I don't really believe in "true" free-will or this free-time, there will always be some conditions beyond our ability to notice and/or consider (i.e., reality is just too complicated for my brain).  However, with enough mindfulness, I can at least influence how I end up coping with cravings when they arise, and with the "right" cognitive-behavioral skills at my disposal (i.e. preparation thanks to therapy and self-help) my chances of successfully making the "right" choice gets better and better.  So, while there is no sense to exposing myself to unnecessary triggers, I wouldn't go so far as constantly "filling" my schedule.  While I'm making some efforts to avoid cravings, I am also learning how to handle them when they occur.

I recently listened to an episode of the Secular Buddhist Podcast (by Noah Rasheta) entitled "I See You, Mara!".  Noah talks about this popular Buddhist story where Mara, the demon of greed, hate, and delusion (the 3 poisons), comes to influence The Buddha and all His Holiness does to subdue the demon is recognize his appearance (hence the title of the podcast) and invite him in for some tea.  First of all I find this story funny as heck, a big bad monster subdued by treating him kindly is a common comedy trope.  But seriously, when I experience cravings, it always has to do with one of the 3 poisons:  Sometimes I crave games for the dopamine rush of getting achievements and quests done (greed).  Sometimes I want to vent my frustration at trash mobs and unsuspecting newbs (hate).  Sometimes I underestimate/forget how addictive gaming is to me (delusion).   To be honest, often times it's all 3.  The first step to subdue my cravings is compassion and self-soothing.  A few times since then, I've managed to cope with small cravings by telling myself "I see you, Mara." with somewhat of a half-smile.  It's kind of like the meme I'm sharing.

Anyways, I hope you're doing well, and I hope you're satisfied with your education and that you find ways to enjoy a significant amount of what the future has in store for you.  Peace out.

oh_you_steam.png

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Day 131. Getting closer to beating my previous streak. If I manage to get through the entire break with no gaming, I will be close to 170 days, and once school starts it will be a no-brainer. 

Some things that might challenge my ability to get there: 

  1. Some of the video games I am interested in are having releases during the break, duh. Holiday season!
  2. I am on break and have less things scheduled by others for me (classes, work, etc.). Less things are "mandatory"
  3. Being at home triggers memories of previous relapses- a year ago at this time I was still playing, and two years ago... uh ewwww don't event want to think about it!
  4. I am away from my partner and a lot of other responsibilities and interests too- social interactions, volleyball, music, and classwork is all gone at the moment. 

What I am doing to challenge those issues:

  1. In general, staying away from getting invested in those games:
    1. Keep my social media usage to a minimum, and avoid doing activities that increase my interest in playing rather than simply the game itself, like checking out detailed playthroughs and/or reviews of the games. 
    2. Continue to journal here, perhaps twice a week, to remind myself why I do not want to game. Lately, I've been in the mindset of "I shouldn't" more than "I don't want to"
  2. Schedule my day more! Already have started that to some capacity, and need to simply keep my to-do list full and active.
  3. Remember the bad memories, duh. Thinking of how much I also struggled during those "good" times helps me remember why I am different now.
  4. Create a schedule for myself!
    1. Make a musical goal, and create a schedule to achieve it
    2. Join a volleyball club- already am on the lookout for places to go to, but nothing found yet
    3. Make a list of things I want to "learn"- as if I am in class! Perhaps, I could get ahead on some school reading, or just take notes and quiz myself on a personal topic of interest. 
    4. Reach out to friends and write letters to others 🙂 I need to make goals regarding my social interactions and that should keep me going.

Journaling

Since the break started, I've been doing pretty well. I've had a lot of anxiety in the days leading up to my return home- it's not always the best environment for me to relax and have so private time in. However, I feel like if I take better initiative and react to things that happen at home in a more positive way, my- and my family's- wellbeings improve. I'm pretty happy so far. It has not been that way for my partner, sadly- their home environment is extremely toxic and isolating; they are not feeling well and their mental health is diteriorating very quickly (we're less than one week into break...). Hope that I will be able to do more about it in the coming days. Distance sucks.

Other stuff

So far it's been a lot of relaxation and small tasks, but there are some things I'd like to highlight:

1. I've made an awesome painting. Thanks to continuos feedback from my father, people online, and my resilience, I've been able to create one of my best ones so far despite a 3 month break. Onto the next project- I need to think of what kind of paintings I want to do, what subjects I want to depict...

2. I've been practicing fairly consistently on trombone, but can do more. I still don't have a very stable goal in mind, though find more value in it. Will tinker more on this tomorrow.

3. I'm much more invested in a lot of my hobbies, especially volleyball- I have already seeked out multiple games to attend, and will continue to look for better opportunities. It is such an amazing activity- when I do well, it is incredibly rewarding, motivating, and reassuring. Playing volleyball makes me feel like everything is within my reach- I just need to stretch my hands more and jump higher. Excited!

 

That's about it folks, thank you all for reading and I hope that you'll have a nice week! @pdallair91I appreciate your message and willl reply in some time- I think I need to gather some thoughts first...

Po

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On 11/28/2021 at 10:50 AM, pdallair91 said:

I don't like avoidance focused strategies

Yes, this is definitely a problem for me too haha. I am not really focusing on the issue itself, but rather find a way to tone it down by doing something else. I have been trying to address this issue more lately by journaling and developing more concrete strategies, but I don't think I am doing enough yet. Thank you for reminding me about this!

 

On 11/28/2021 at 10:50 AM, pdallair91 said:

The first step to subdue my cravings is compassion and self-soothing. 

Hmmm, I think I am overall familiar with this pattern of thinking- I also think that something is trying to "trick" me into playing, but rather than it being Mara, it's my addicted stoopid brain. However, this coping strategy is new- I'll try it out! I'm not super sure what compassion and self-soothing means for you, but I think I know what I'll do.

On 11/28/2021 at 10:50 AM, pdallair91 said:

Hey Pochatok, since you've replied to my journal twice, I thought I'd check out what you've posted recently

Awhhh thank you so much! Though I am actually not very active here, I really appreciate your input on this forum! Your entries are helping me- and others- resolve our addictions.

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TL;DR — To me, compassion = understanding how someone feels + desire to help.  Self-soothing is acting on self-compassion in order to feel a little better.

On 11/29/2021 at 9:19 PM, Pochatok said:

I'm not super sure what compassion and self-soothing means for you, but I think I know what I'll do.

It's true that compassion and self-soothing can mean something totally different from one person to another, especially when we get down to the specifics.

Personally, there are 2 fundamental components of compassion:

  1. Empathy — Understanding how someone feels.
  2. Desire to help.

I think these are abilities inherent in human beings — I mean, there are experiments where babies show compassion.  How accurately, "deeply" and towards whom we experience these can be nurtured.  We can become more "skillful" at applying it. 

While many people, off the top of their heads, tend to define compassion as being towards "others" the recipient of our compassion can be ourselves as well.  When I resort to addictive behavior, it is often because I, like my parents and peers too often (and probably inadvertently) did, am neglecting to understand my own feelings.  I'll always remember that time I came home crying after being bullied and my dad just yelled at me for not resorting to violence.  Just like my dad, didn't take the time to "skillfully" understand (the first component of compassion) how I felt and help me, I've inadvertently learned to do the same towards myself.

Having "skillfull" understanding of one's own feelings and desire to do help ourselves is fundamental but acting on it... like, what do I do now?  Whether we can do something about what is causing our distress or not, a reasonable amount of self-soothing, can be helpful.  You know, as they, just take some of the edge off.  There are a lot of external means to do this but I try not to rely on those because, well... I tend to become addicted.  What I need to nurture the most is "intrinsic soothing" that doesn't rely on my environment.  Personally, after a lot of therapy, I know that the most effective means for me now seem to be thanking or congratulating myself, and, knowing that my primary "love language" is physical touch, even gently caressing my own body can be really comforting.  Basically, it's what my dad should've done instead of what he did.

So, that's pretty much what these words mean for me.  I'm glad that you know what you'll do.  In fact, I'm curious.  If you don't mind sharing, I'd like to hear what these things are so that I might learn something or two.  Either way, keep taking care of yourself buddy.  The same can be said to anyone else who reads this.

Peace out!

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