Papa Coco's Recovery Journal

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Papa Coco

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #240 on: February 20, 2023, 09:46:08 PM »
San and Dolly

I'm discovering a real sense of joy and release from trauma through my spiritual focus. Churches couldn't provide the freedom for me to experience God and eternity with such vibrant energy as I do now.

I would enjoy finding a place where the spiritual methods of healing my traumas can be shared freely with others of similar interest. I suspect this forum would be the wrong place. I barely grasp the rules of when a little spirit talk is okay, but a little more is not appropriate.  Perhaps I need to go on the hunt for a second forum to join, one that is centered around miraculous stories of healing and joy.

All I know is that since I've begun connection with spiritual thought, that for the first time in years, I feel like running and jumping and dancing and making friends wherever I can.

I think my therapist is right on the money when he says to me "When we claim what is ours, what isn't ours falls away."  As I claim a more spiritual lifestyle, my trauma lifestyle seems to be fading out.

Again: Only time will tell if this is permanent or a flash in the pan.

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Papa Coco

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #241 on: February 25, 2023, 10:40:52 PM »
Journal Entry for Saturday, February 25, 2023

It's been 5 1/2 weeks since I had my first hypnotherapy appointment. And I haven't felt this good in years. I feel connected to the world but not to my traumas. I feel Independent, and like I have the right to be alive. Iím ready to go back out into the world and socialize again.

I don't feel fear of people like I did 5 weeks ago. I am now okay with the truth that life is filled with plot twists and good versus evil. It's the world we are all living in. so I don't need to personalize the world's bad behaviors. The narcissists. The liars. The greed. It's not my issue.

I still have EFs but they donít stay around. They just show up, and I let them go as quickly as they appeared. I know that I have trauma disorders. But I donít feel connected to the disorders anymore.

For the first time in nearly two decades, Iím actually happy. From the inside.

Time will tell how permanent this new change is. But one thing the science is teaching me is that it's up to me to keep it going. The hypnotherapist I used also taught a lot of ďletting goĒ skills. I know that if I choose to not do my daily meditations and get myself out in the world while I feel so inclined to do so, I will revert back to my unhappy state. So Iím committed to daily meditations and holding firm my new perspective on life.

The world still sucks but none of that is my fault. I donít need to connect to the chaos and hate. For the first time ever, I can now say "I'm a good person. I'm above the hate and pettiness and narcissism of this world. I don't need to ruminate about it anymore. I make friends with good people. I'm immune to the lies of the narcissist. I have a good life apart from all those nasty aggressors."

I hope this is the new me, and not just a temporary high. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about all this. Fingers crossed it becomes my baseline emotion from now on. And my crazy times of the year are yet to come upon me. I want to get as strong as I can right now so I can weather the crazy EF months when they come back around. Fingers crossed. Both eyes on the prize. It's up to me to make this work. 

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dollyvee

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #242 on: February 26, 2023, 08:55:37 PM »
This is really great PC  :cheer:

Even if it weren't to last per se, you found something that did bring you relief that you can return to again if needed. Healing is like peeling back the layers and sometimes you do the work on a deeper level. I understand the drive though to be "strong" so that you are not triggered so much. I think EMDR helped with me in a similar way, so it could very well be that the hypnotherapy will do the same for you.

Sending you support and a hug for the emerging you  :hug:

dolly

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Armee

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #243 on: February 26, 2023, 11:23:10 PM »
 :hug:

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Papa Coco

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #244 on: February 27, 2023, 12:08:47 AM »
Thank you Dolly and Armee for the hugs!

I truly love getting them.

Here are my return hugs.

 :hug: :hug:

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Armee

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #245 on: March 01, 2023, 12:46:17 AM »
Hi Papa Coco,

I'm sorry I didn't say more sooner other than a hug. I deleted a lot of posts the other day not trusting myself.

I'm really really happy you're feeling so much joy and spirituality right now. Even if it isn't permanent with this cptsd roller coaster we ride, I love those moments of relief and joy because it helps me know what state of being I am aiming for and capable of reaching. A North star of sorts.

I hope it stays for a really long time and when symptoms return that they are lighter and shorter than before.

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natureluvr

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #246 on: March 02, 2023, 03:37:39 PM »
Journal Entry for Saturday, February 25, 2023

It's been 5 1/2 weeks since I had my first hypnotherapy appointment. And I haven't felt this good in years. I feel connected to the world but not to my traumas. I feel Independent, and like I have the right to be alive. Iím ready to go back out into the world and socialize again.

I don't feel fear of people like I did 5 weeks ago. I am now okay with the truth that life is filled with plot twists and good versus evil. It's the world we are all living in. so I don't need to personalize the world's bad behaviors. The narcissists. The liars. The greed. It's not my issue.

I still have EFs but they donít stay around. They just show up, and I let them go as quickly as they appeared. I know that I have trauma disorders. But I donít feel connected to the disorders anymore.

For the first time in nearly two decades, Iím actually happy. From the inside.

Time will tell how permanent this new change is. But one thing the science is teaching me is that it's up to me to keep it going. The hypnotherapist I used also taught a lot of ďletting goĒ skills. I know that if I choose to not do my daily meditations and get myself out in the world while I feel so inclined to do so, I will revert back to my unhappy state. So Iím committed to daily meditations and holding firm my new perspective on life.

The world still sucks but none of that is my fault. I donít need to connect to the chaos and hate. For the first time ever, I can now say "I'm a good person. I'm above the hate and pettiness and narcissism of this world. I don't need to ruminate about it anymore. I make friends with good people. I'm immune to the lies of the narcissist. I have a good life apart from all those nasty aggressors."

I hope this is the new me, and not just a temporary high. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about all this. Fingers crossed it becomes my baseline emotion from now on. And my crazy times of the year are yet to come upon me. I want to get as strong as I can right now so I can weather the crazy EF months when they come back around. Fingers crossed. Both eyes on the prize. It's up to me to make this work.

It sounds like you are doing fantastic!  I hope to get to the point you are at someday.  I really want to be able to stop personalizing the bad behaviors of other people.  I'm working on that. 

What are EF's?  emotional flashback? 

Your post is giving me lots of hope and encouragement! 

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sanmagic7

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #247 on: March 02, 2023, 05:31:59 PM »
i think coming to the point where you can now say 'i'm a good person' is a real biggie, PC.  i've just been able to come to that myself lately.  there's a lot of relief involved in that.  so glad this is helping you, and that your perspective is changing for the better.  i also like the idea that you need to do your part to keep this going.  it reinforces the idea that there is no 'miracle pill' for this.  it just sounds like you've been able to break thru barriers you were stuck behind in the past.  it sounds like a wonderful start.

you are a good person, PC.  you are kind and caring and loving.  love and hugs to you :hug:

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Papa Coco

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #248 on: March 03, 2023, 03:47:59 PM »
Armee,  Thanks for the follow up. And just sending a hug, as you'd done before, still means a lot to me. So hugs are always appreciated.

Natureluvr, Yes; EF means Emotional Flashback and it refers to the period in time when something has triggered our trauma responses. An EF can last for any period of time, from a minute to a season or even longer. The term comes, I believe, from Pete Walker's book, Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. 

San, Thanks so much for the kind words. Iím glad to hear youíre also starting to sense the truth that youíre a good person too. It sure smooths over the EFs when we are finally able to start understanding that we donít deserve to be tormented by them.

UPDATE on progress:

San is right, this is not a silver bullet. A silver bullet would be something requiring no effort on my part, like how penicillin cures strep without any effort on the hostís part. This is not a penicillin shot, itís a new way of experiencing my identity, which I am fully responsible to manage from now on. Like exercise, spiritual awakening works only if I work it. Ongoing, daily participation is my responsibility. Hypnotherapy may be what finally triggered this new perspective. The timing certainly points to it.

Viewing the "bigger picture" is something that can be done by most anyone who truly seeks to do so, whether they are religious, gnostic, or flat-out atheist. I don't negate anyone's religious beliefs through what I'm experiencing. There's a lot of room for God or aliens or spirits or guides or angels in this new view of life. This is about meditation on peace and the size and eternal nature of the universe. Nowhere in my posts am I talking about gods or angels or aliens or any other human belief. It's about quieting the mind and experiencing our small existence within the bigger picture.

The more I meditate and read about focusing on a greater existence than my own life, the less I feel leashed to my trauma-dramas. I watch documentaries on Near Death Experiences (NDEs). British comedian John Cleese hosts one of my favorite documentaries on the topic. (Here's a link to that documentary on YouTube-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RGizqsLumo).  I have friends whoíve had NDEs who report that the documentaries are pretty accurate. A great number of NDE survivors report that their ability to let go of human issues is greatly improved post NDE. They now know that peace awaits. Suicides are not as peaceful, so I'm eternally grateful that I never fulfilled any of my past attempts, but surviving natural deaths by illness or accident seems to make a dramatic improvement in many people's abilities to let go of human problems from that day on.

Science supports the same sense of peace when viewing the bigger picture. Will Smith hosted a 10-episode docuseries called One Strange Rock on National Geographic TV. He had 10 astronauts helping him narrate this docuseries about the scientific history of the planet earth. The astronauts all expressed that their lives were profoundly improved by being able to spend months in space looking down at the entire earth. They said that when youíre in space, you donít see divided races and divided cultures and money problems and crime and abuse and corporate greedÖyou just see a silent, beautiful blue ball with one race of human beings. There are no map outlines of country borders, no huge letters naming cities, like on a globe. It's just one single natural ball spinning peacefully through space. Bette Midler used to sing a song called From a Distance, which told the same story as these astronauts, who were seeing the bigger picture from a window in their space station. The world is at peace when you see it from a distance. The farther away from earth you go, the smaller you realize it is in the vastness of space. To me, I feel like as Iím contemplating the Universe as a single place, and earth as just a small part of that space, that Iím somehow experiencing some variation of what the astronauts are experiencing. Seeing and knowing that the bigger picture is real shrinks my small trauma-dramas into something I donít need to stress over.

I've also watched some documentaries by mathematicians who try to help us grasp the mind-boggling concept of eternal time and infinite distances. That's mind blowing, but at the same time, really truly helps me grasp how small my life is compared to how big eternity and infinity are...again, something any religion or atheism can study without feeling like their beliefs are being challenged.

I'm not religious, nor am I an astronaut nor a mathematician. I'm just a guy who is choosing to look at the bigger picture, high above the walls of my own body and identity.

Whatever this is, it's working. I'm feeling better.

I still have the trauma triggers. I still cringe at the sight of people who remind me of my past abuse. The difference now is that I let go of the triggers as quickly as they come on me. No more EFs. At least not in the last 6 weeks. The triggers still make me cringe, but the knowing that they don't matter seems to not engage the usual EF. Iím still living in a world that is falling headlong into utter chaos. My past still happened. I still hope to never see my narcissistic family or former narc friends ever again. I think what my new perspectives are giving me is a new and real sense that Iím just visiting or witnessing this chaos, but am no longer required to participate in it. I'm allowing myself to view my life as small part of a big, infinite, eternal puzzle. I no longer believe it, I now know it. Knowing saturates my reality far deeper than believing does. I'm claiming my spiritual awakening as my new path in life. My true reality. Once again, I quote my therapist who says to me, "When we claim what is ours, what isn't ours falls away." I guess, as I'm claiming my place as an innocent witness to a crappy world, my feeling of participation and my former 62 years of claiming responsibility for its flaws are falling away. I guess I could say a plant not watered withers and disappears.

A few days ago, I was in a bad dark place. I felt like I was happy and not-suicidal, but at the same time, bored with life and uninterested in hobbies, chores, or anything at all. Those are the symptoms of clinical depression. So how could I be both happier than ever and clinically depressed at the same time?

I googled it. I entered in the words ďSpiritual Awakening is PainfulĒ and got a long list of hits. One of the top websites was this one, https://www.sherylwagnermedium.com/blog/symptoms-and-signs-of-a-spiritual-awakening.  the author names 15 symptoms of transitioning from a physical perspective to a spiritual awakening. It made perfect sense and calmed my fears that I was headed for a meltdown. As it turns out, transition, even from bad situations to good ones, is unnerving to the brain and body as the consciousness goes through the process of disconnecting old neuropathways and rebuilding new ones.

Even a good change causes mood swings. In fact, these NDE survivors whose lives have been transformed also often report that they lost a few friends and marriages because their partners couldn't grasp their changes. Their own families started calling them crazy. I believe it is frustrating for a non-spiritual person to be around someone who isn't leashed to the world's dramas as firmly as they are.

I feel better now. In fact, Iím now viewing my mood swings as evidence that my spiritual awakening is really happening. For real. If I werenít struggling, then that might mean Iím not actually transitioning at all. No pain, no gain. Right?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 03:56:06 PM by Papa Coco »

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Armee

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #249 on: March 03, 2023, 04:24:13 PM »
I think you're absolutely right that these internal struggles are the signs of cracking free and moving to the next level. You're doing great Papa Coco and i love reading about your journey.

 :bighug:

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Papa Coco

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #250 on: March 07, 2023, 04:40:34 PM »
Journal Entry for Tuesday, March 7, 2023

I'm experiencing some slowing on my hot ride to happiness. I'm feeling some melancholy sadness again these past few days.  I'm feeling my old self tugging at me to come back into my natural funk. I'm feeling trapped in my overwhelming responsibilities, maintaining my yard and this old house and our old vehicles, which are giving me a run for my money. I'm so out of shape and fat that I can only work in the yard for a couple of hours before I feel like I'm going to have to call 911 if I cut down one more shrub or drag one more old fence board to the truck. All the while I'm in my own backyard, on the watch for the neighbor's aggressive, barking, growling dogs to knock down the fence and kill me.

A few weeks ago, I started to allow myself to watch news again. It's been okay, since it's mostly been about weather and nasty millionaires murdering their own nasty families. These are things that don't affect me. But as we come into election season AGAIN, I'm starting to have to fast forward past more and more stories of the monsters whose selfish greed can really destroy my way of life. I can't watch or listen to the hate and racism that our degenerated US politicians are currently spewing as if they are angry 13-year-olds without a lick of ethics or intelligence anywhere in their ugly heads and am starting to think I may have to put myself back on a time-out from the news just for my own sanity.

In my spiritual awakening I've learned that whenever I feel threatened, I immediately move to feeling helpless against such things as bad neighbors, dangerous dogs, a failing government, world wars, corporate greed, etc., and as I feel more and more helpless, my fear turns to rage, and rage turns inward to self-destructive desire to leave the planet altogether. Feeling helpless against powerful bullies leads me back into suicidal ideation. So, since I can't do anything about the dimwitted foghorns who are leading America to its own end, I'm better off just not sitting at the TV watching it happen. It's imperative that I keep my mind on happy thoughts if I'm going to survive every day from now on. I think the news might have to go back into its closet at my house again.

---

Last night it dawned on me that my new spiritual perspective on reality is still a good perspective, but as I'm learning how to adapt to it, I've accidentally gotten sidetracked a bit with daily human stressors. Any time a person has to learn a new job or a new skill, it begins with a time of an overwhelming feeling of trying to drink from a firehose. It becomes difficult to digest all the early information needed in order to become the new person wholly.  Last night as I was trying to access my meditational state, which had been doing me so much good a week ago, I realized that I'd forgotten to first give myself over to an attitude of gratitude.  I was doing the other parts of the meditation, but they weren't working. I now realize it's because I was forgetting to start my "prayers" with a gratitude exercise. Meditation doesn't access universal peace if it's not done in an attitude of gratitude and love. No point in praying if I'm angry or afraid, because those are not the language spoken in our souls. Our souls only know love and peace. I have to first put myself into a state of love and peace if I want my meditation to take me to my happy place.

I've learned new jobs, new skills, new talents, etc., and I know that false starts, stops and repeats are normal in the learning process. I'm not worried that my new spiritual endeavors are failing, because I know that I'm just experiencing a normal adjustment period as my neuropathways are still disconnecting from old habits and trying to connect to new ones.  Rather than giving up and trying something else, I'm going to stay the course.

There is a concept called the Dunning-Kruger model for learning. It's easy to find on a google search. It's a graph that shows the process for how we humans adapt to new things. New jobs, new lifestyles, etc. It's a graph. Across the bottom, left to right, is a timeline. Up the side, from bottom to top is confidence.  When a person learns something new and wonderful, they immediately fly to the top of the confidence scale. Think of a teen boy who just got his driver's license. He immediately feels confident that he's the best driver on the road.  The Dunning-Kruger scale shows a fast, sharp spike in confidence in the first few centimeters of the timeline. But then...accidents happen, and the spike drops right back down to the bottom again as the teen is shown that his dad's wrecked Buick proves he wasn't such a good driver after all. The teen then has to either quit driving, or admit to himself he still has more to learn.

For me, I shot up that spike, as humans do, feeling like I'd just learned the way of the world. Meditation! Oh man! I was so good at it! I really found my niche!  My confidence in my new spiritual awakening was fun and exciting, and I was having great successes with prayer and healing and letting go of my CPTSD. But then, the world hit me again, and I'm now sliding back down the right side of the confidence spike. That's where I am now.

But in the Dunning-Kruger model, this is normal and unavoidable. The DK graph shows that, in more cases than not, this is where people give up. They sell the business that is failing, they quit the music classes, they quit the exercise program and the diet, because they feel like they failed and that their self-induced confidence was a mistake. But for those who will ride the spike back down to reality, and continue moving along the timeline, still pursuing the new thing, they soon begin to rise back up in confidence, but at a shallower, slower, sturdier, more realistic angle of ascent back up to confidence. Earned confidence this time.

In my case, I'm learning to let go my human fears, and adopt a life of meditation instead of medication. Since I've experienced the Dunning-Kruger path so many times in life, I'm comfortable in knowing that this is just the normal setback. I know that if I keep going with my new skills, I'll begin the next rise up the slower, shallower, more controlled scale of earned confidence.

So here I am, feeling defeated, but not feeling like it's a bad thing. The feeling of defeat is actually a feeling of being humbled, which is what separates those of us who earn our lives, versus those who are handed good lives they didn't have to earn. It will drive me toward practice and future success in my new life of meditation rather than medication.

In the Dunning-Kruger model of learning, people who stay the course, and allow the defeat to make them stronger, eventually end up at the top of the scale, way over to the right side of the graph, which is when they become "experts" in whatever it is they chose to learn.

Today, I'm returning to the ascent of my learning curve by remembering that I forgot to list the things I'm grateful for before I went into a meditation. I say this in nearly every post, "When we claim what is ours, what isn't ours falls away." So, today, I'm claiming gratitude for the things that make me happy. Petting my son's dog. Texting with my 8-year-old grandson to hear his latest joke. Loving my new, amazing recipe for homemade chicken soup. Being able to get out of bed. Not being eaten by the neighbor's dog yesterday. My head gear that blocks the sounds of the dogs barking. My wife. I have a lot to be thankful for, and as I claim those things, and ignore the racist, hateful, greedy, incompetent government, I am claiming my gratitude and allowing the rest to fall away.

The Dunning-Kruger affect's basic message is this: Time plus dedication to learning leads to long-term, honorable, competency. It starts with a quick ride to unearned confidence, then a rapid drop to humility, followed by a slow, steady rise back up to genuinely earned confidence in whatever it is one is trying to master.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #251 on: March 08, 2023, 06:15:39 AM »
PC, the ups and downs you speak of sound like the natural progression of any kind of recovery, as in recovering oneself.  in 12-step meetings, that initial spike you described is sometimes referred to as being on a pink cloud.  then reality hits and we do have to do the work of maintaining recovery, maintaining our reality rather than continuing to ride a pink cloud.  that's not reality - it's like the honeymoon phase of recovery.

it sounds like you're learning so much about yourself, your progress, how you have to earn your way through the trauma to stay on a pos. note (not always, but more than before) and something that i think is quite rare - humility.  true humility, not the false humility we too often hear.  it's a roller coaster, for sure, but it sounds like you're on a good track.  keep going, ok?  you're worth it.  love and hugs :hug:

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Armee

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #252 on: March 08, 2023, 02:17:29 PM »
You are completely spot on about the ups and downs and I'm so very proud of you for seeing through the down, for seeing it as normal in any growth. And for putting yourself back on the graph instead of curling up and giving up.  :grouphug: way to go, Papa Coco.

You're an inspiration to me and many others. It's OK to have the lows as much as they suck. And they really do suck, especially when we think we've figured out how to beat the symptoms. But you are right, it's just part of the process of learning and growth.

I'm also reminded by your post of the concept of impermanence in Buddhist practice. I don't know a lot about that but it's something my T impresses on me when we do any kind of meditating together, the way the clouds are impermanent, the breeze comes and goes, a feeling or thought comes and goes, sadness comes and goes, and even happiness comes and goes. It's all impermanent and always changing.

Quote
In my spiritual awakening I've learned that whenever I feel threatened, I immediately move to feeling helpless against such things as bad neighbors, dangerous dogs, a failing government, world wars, corporate greed, etc., and as I feel more and more helpless, my fear turns to rage, and rage turns inward to self-destructive desire to leave the planet altogether. Feeling helpless against powerful bullies leads me back into suicidal ideation. So, since I can't do anything about the dimwitted foghorns who are leading America to its own end, I'm better off just not sitting at the TV watching it happen. It's imperative that I keep my mind on happy thoughts if I'm going to survive every day.

This is a little painful and sad to read just because it puts me right into the heart of you as a little boy, who had no safety and no escape when you were threatened. Ending it was your only out. But you made it to safety now, where you do have control over your life and happiness, even if terrible neighbors and dimwitted foghorn politicians (lovely phrase for them!) threaten your safety, you still have control over your own life and body. There are so many choices now that you have that you didn't have as a boy. And most importantly you have a safe haven inside your home with Coco.  :hug:
« Last Edit: March 08, 2023, 02:19:02 PM by Armee »

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Papa Coco

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #253 on: March 08, 2023, 06:23:34 PM »
San and Armee,

Your support is so important to me. Thank you for sticking with me on this roller coaster. You both have such big hearts and are always so supportive to everyone, and on my daily gratitude exercises, you two, and a few others on this forum are always high on my list of what and who I'm grateful for today.  I say it all the time, We're stronger together.

San, your reference to twelve-steps is important. Not only for what was taught about the pink cloud, (Thank you for that), but it's a reminder to not try to make major life changes alone. I'm finding it difficult to locate face-to-face interactions with others who are working toward the same goals as I am.  AA meetings were critical in my early years of sobriety. Without them I'd have failed. If I could only find an AA group for people who are trying to break the addiction to the world's toxic, chaotic dramas. Spiritual thinking is a release from the daily dramas of life at ground level. I know churches were created for this purpose, but churches give me the creeps. I have reached the point where I can't set foot inside a church of any denomination, including Unity, without feeling sick to my stomach and like a dark, moldy blanket has just been thrown over me. That's my traumatic past: Religious hypocrisy and all the ways churches have abused me and many of my friends, and my former clients when I worked for Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy. My challenge, facing me as of this morning, is to find my "Spiritual AA groups". I just need to find physical locations where I can meet up and become part of any groups of individuals who want to pursue living our lives in our higher selves.  There are New Age book stores spattered around. Maybe I could access their events calendars and start showing up for various group activities. I'm not really New Age, but they aren't a church, which gives them one point on the pro column.

Armee: Your reference to impermanence is helpful. Yesterday, I watched another episode of Will Smith's One Strange Rock documentary on the scientific history of how the earth was formed. The topic of impermanence was visited. They showed the Buddhist practice of painstakingly creating absolutely beautiful, meticulous, huge, art projects with colored sand. They spend days or weeks making these amazingly detailed, absolutely beautiful pictures that can be as big as a house. And as soon as they're done, they destroy them. I always cringe when I watch them brush the work away immediately after finishing it. But they say it is how they teach themselves to let go of that feeling of permanence. I didn't really grasp why they would do that, but your reference to their believe in impermanence helps me grasp it. From a spiritual perspective I see it as genius. What a great way to change core beliefs and remove a sense of wanting to hang on to the past and the world.  You also referenced my past of being left unprotected and unempowered to defend myself on a daily basis for most of my life. I had temporarily forgotten about that. As I was focused only on a spiritual sense of reality, I was trying to forget where I came from. Being suicidal because of a sense of being helpless in danger, is actually a way of exercising FLIGHT.  I'm a Fawn, Freeze, Flight, Fight. When fawning and freezing don't work, fleeing is what's left. If it's the world that is scaring me, then death is really the only way out of the world. I'm hoping that spiritual awakening will be an alternative way to flee the chaotic, toxic dramas of the world without having to die. If I can stop being attached to this nasty place, maybe I can flee to being a crazy guy who believes he talks to God. Spirituality is a better place to run to than suicide. It makes sense to me when I think of it that way.  For the first time ever, I'm wondering if I should study and connect in some small way to the Buddhist teachings. I don't need to walk away from life and join a monastery, but I think Buddhism might be a way I can practice disconnection from human drama without having to join a church, Buddhism is not religion. It's meditation and support for letting go of toxic drama. Rather than just read about it, I think I need to find a way to connect with some live human beings who are on the same trajectory. The trick with any spiritual group is finding the ones who take it seriously but who don't start to turn it into a religion.

Journal Update: Wednesday, March 8, 2023:

Today I can clearly see that my next step in turning my focus to the spiritual realities, and loosening my grip on the ground level dramas, is to find people I can interact with who are on the same journey I am. Now that I'm off the pink cloud, where I proclaimed how important it is to be linked with others who share my interests, it's time to put in the work. Time to stop saying it. It's time to actually do it. Put my money where my mouth is. It's so easy to know what I need. It's more difficult to put on my shoes and go out and DO what I know needs to be done.

But that's what happens after the pink cloud. The excitement ends and the work begins.

Time to put in the work.

*

Papa Coco

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Re: Papa Coco's Recovery Journal
« Reply #254 on: March 16, 2023, 07:12:21 PM »
Journal Entry for Thursday, March 16, 2023\

I want to send a shoutout of gratitude to Kizzie for getting this forum back up and running. It seems there was a certificate that expired, but Kizzie did what needed to be done to get that certificate issue renewed, orÖwhatever. Anyway: Thank you Kizzie for keeping the forum up and running!

Trigger warning: This post is written from a place of deep depression.

In Tuesday's therapy session, T and I were talking about my spiritual awakening. He's very spiritual himself, so he is helping me to understand what I'm learning. My post-hypnosis drive toward understanding the world from a spiritual position has helped me immensely, in that I no longer have EFs. I still have triggers, but they are now just rogue memories that are stored in my brain somewhere. They show up, I don't react, and they leave. That's been a good thing. 

He still finds it sad, however, that while my spiritual life is thriving, my physical life is tanking. I have lost all interest in living a physical life as a human being. I exhibit most of the symptoms of clinical depression. I have no interest in doing anything that used to interest me. My bicycles haven't been out of the garage in half a year. My kayak hasn't been in the water for close to 7 years.  My woodworking tools are lost in the mess that is my neglected garage. My car hasn't been washed in almost a year. I am fat and out of shape because I eat sugar and salt and processed foods and I do nothing for exercise. I just...don't...care anymore about any of it.

Once again, I resonate with a line from one of my very favorite movies about CPTSD: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In the very beginning of the movie, 16-year-old Charlie is writing to someone. We never find out who he writes to, but movie and novel authors often use diaries as a way to give the audience a glance into a character's head. He writes, "Only you can understand how I can be happy and sad at the same time."  That's how I feel as I learn about spirituality. I'm happy about the good things I'm experiencing through meditation, prayer, and a less-physical way of understanding all that is.  But at the same time, as a physical being, Papa Coco is sinking deeper into clinical depression.

Today, with the forum back up and running, I've been trying to say meaningful, uplifting things to my friends on the site, but I think I had best stop for now. I'm feeling like I'm not making sense. I'm misinterpreting things my friends are saying and I'm giving back confusing answers.

Luckily, my T has scheduled another session for me on Monday. I get to address with him what I might need to do to keep pursuing the joys of spirituality without losing any more zest for physical life here. 

Looking at my life from a strictly physical viewpoint, it has been sad and lonely since birth. Then in 2008, my little sister's suicide, and the follow-on collapse of my entire family due to the abuse of my older sister, brother and parents, has not left me. Sadness is all I see when I look at my first 62 years of life. I made the best of it for as long as I could, but the 2008-2010 deaths and betrayals by my own family have knocked me into a mire I can't get up from.

No matter how confused I am right now, not being drawn back into EFs has been the very best part of all this meditation/prayer/spiritual exercise. I'm sad, but I'm not in an EF. That's a good thing. I just don't think it's healthy to love one life because I hate the other. I have to find peace in both physical and spiritual activities. I want to believe that I'm moving toward joy. Right now I suspect that what I'm doing is more about moving away from pain. Same direction. Good direction. Bad motive.