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Recovery and Rehabilitation

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Choosing misery?

I feel like I am doing this all the time. Mostly when I am with people who are closest to me, my brother, my mother. I feel like I hold onto the bad mood and even when something lights me up I will resist too stay there.

I just wonder if anyone can relate? I feel like sanity is emerging but it's still so miserable most of the time. I don't really understand humans and I don't think I ever have. The things they talk about and get so dramatic over, the gossip and the complaining. I obviously find myself doing these things too sometimes but i am so self aware I usually instantly chastise myself.

I have always been not very talkative because of the SA but I really feel at times it is too much effort so i hold long silences with people closest. Not so much with others. Maybe I have resentment towards my family? I just don't know what my game is ha. The joke is, I know that none of this really matters.

Is there anyone else who have been through this stuff similar? And has come out the other end without these ''problems''?

Hey Jim, I have.

When you say that you choose to be miserable I know what you mean. My ex recently said to me that this choosing the misery is just an old habit that the mind does just because it is used to doing it. After hearing this, it was easier for me to deliberately change the object of my attention when I am looking at bad stuff, with some force and authority. IE I don't choose the misery when it occurs (it's just habit, it's just there); but I do choose to look for what is relevant right now. It is hard and requires my sincere effort, it can be so tiresome when I have many bad thoughts and feelings, when I feel hateful or resentful to a situation, however in the end, to me, it worth all the struggle. It is easier to just allow the habit to run its course, for sure, but it is also much more painful.

For the last few days I have been going through a breakup with the girl I am in love with. Really gut-wrenching at times, I cry and I moan, which is all right, after all a breakup is supposed to hurt, nothing wrong with that. All of that will pass once the emotional wound is healed. But sometimes I see my mind resting on purely unnecessary irrelevant thoughts like "I wonder for how long she didn't love me" or "will we ever be able to hang out again" or the worst ones "we should have done this and this differently and then everything would have been fine by now" "maybe we can get back together" etc. These thoughts, thinked for more than a second or two, I deem excessive and undeserving of my attention. It really is up to me to choose to not suffer by them. They are forming out of habit and it is up to me to stop it, to intentionally direct the attention to things I'd like to see grow instead. It takes energy, yes, but what kind of a problem is that really? Only another thought. When I feel queasy and don't want to take control, I like to silently recite a mantra from the greatest Norwegian death-punk rock'n'roll band there ever was. Their song Get it On goes like this: Get it on, get it on, get it on get it on get it on get it on. Get it on, get it on C'MON! Their song is about sex but it also touches on something profound*, at least for me and reminds me that all I gotta do is to rock it out and get on with it.

On humans. They talk about drama and I don't know what to make of it. When I have seen them suffer enough I make them look. And I know, immediately, if they have. They don't know it, but to me it's clear as day, the moment it happens. Some go back to drama the next minute, get defensive or change topic for example, some get chilled out and stay undramatic the rest of the day, some actually change in personality from day one. I never tell them why I make them look, or give any background, that can wait until it is needed. And that's pretty much all I can do about it. If their drama is painful to you, or them, make them look. Then one day they too can choose to be un-miserable.

* many of Turbonegro's songs do this. They seem trivial but once you get a picture of what they're trying to convey throughout their albums, all pieces fit the puzzle and quite an interesting and deep message can emerge out of the ass-kicking sex alluding rock'n'roll, if you got it figured out.

Well said, roed. Amd the insight of your ex that "choosing the misery is just an old habit that the mind does just because it is used to doing it" is especially brilliant, and I will be using that when I am speak to people about the recovery.

Great post! The thing about habit is very good. Thank you.

Then surely choosing a new habit must be the way of getting away from the old one? I'm not sure focusing attention to something neutral could do this. Maybe we need to be a bit creative.

I sometimes mock my brother for writing down goals and reading washy new age books but since I have already looked, it's probably worth a try. I just find that stuff all a drag. I'm cynical. And that's a bad habit.

Let me contribute my first post here on this forum with a little anecdote. It might not be too similar to your story Jim, however it was my recent conscious experience of my mind choosing misery

About two weeks ago I was riding my bike. An approaching cyclist either didn't notice me or didn't mind I was on the road as well. I had to dodge him, swing to the right and press my breaks hard as his frowning face passed me without apologizing/looking whatsoever. I was directly pretty frustrated. I could not understand his ignorant behavior and it got me feeling mad at how he acted. Quite soon after getting back to speed, about 20 meters later, I noticed that my negative thoughts were somehow really strong, and I realized that there was absolutely no need for their existence. They would only take my energy, without any results. I knew that I could end my misery there directly, just by stopping to identify with it. I felt a huge relief and literally laughed out loud (mostly at myself and my mind for their response to the situation). I continued my journey with a big smile on my face.

I realized that my mind has been doing this a lot, and reading your story makes me realize the more social contexts my mind has been doing this in the past and present. I am recognizing these moments and trying to make the decision to step away from them as purposefully and successfully as I did there on my bike. It really is an old habit as roed states, and I am trying to gently show it its way out.

This is by the way also the only experience I consciously have had so far of symptoms of the fear of life that are intensifying after the looking, and it was actually pretty fun.

My pity parties are not the major events that they used to be. Quite profound. This change is nothing I could have brought about via mental focus. It's like I had a firmware upgrade while sleeping and there's less static. I still habitually go to funk mode but it doesn't stick the same. Also, I can recognize the cycles better than ever.


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