DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit

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DecimalRocket

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DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« on: October 28, 2017, 09:05:52 AM »
I have a problem with thinking Iím worth listening to.

So first I hope someone would reply ó because Iím not sure if I could go on with this project without some hope. The more effort in a reply or the more people ó usually validates that fear for me more. But I understand if you donít want. Sorry for asking.

Iím not sure why. I canít remember. Maybe my mom made me feel like I donít deserve to be listened to ó especially when communicating my stress. Always telling me it was natural for her to yell or get annoyed by my stress. Or whenever I discuss something Iím interested in, she would often be busy on her phone.

Maybe itís that my interests tended to be nerdy ones that have a reputation for being hard to understand that most people donít bother with. Maybe itís because I find it hard to read body language so I get shy when I canít read whether people are interested or not. I tend to think rather slowly and deeply ó and the nature of most conversations that switch topics quickly in real life tend to get confusing for me. My therapist said something about social skills delay but I have to wait for a week for him to explain.

Iíve tried forums on the internet to discuss things. I could often see views. But I could not see whether they liked it. Or hated it. Or cared about it. Or anything. When I had a response, I always assumed they hated my response in some way and was lying when they said something good. I wrote over 100 long effortful articles for personal development that totaled 100,000 views and I could count the comments I received on my two hands. I wrote a journal on another forum but barely anyone bothered to read or talk to me.

In real life, I have friends ó itís actually easy for others to like me despite a lack of social skills in some areas. But I would always go with the conversation topics they chose and the interests they had. Iíve learned how to listen to any topic and I felt a warmth with people I didnít have for a long time, but it seemed something was still missing. Whenever Iíd get the chance to talk about what I wanted and someone responded well, I felt an incredible relief on a deep sadness I hadnít realized was there.

Then I came here. People seemed to respond more here ó and in a more compassionate way I need. Even if I keep getting ashamed on communicating here ó I keep thinking I donít deserve it.

I tend to have a particular insecurity with how detailed my thinking is when I communicate ó but I canít seem to control how my brain canít switch between topics that quickly and secondly, because I keep fearing being misunderstood in a way that makes people hate me.

Sigh. But Iíll give it a try, and here I am.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 12:53:36 PM by DecimalRocket »

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sanmagic7

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 03:18:29 PM »
here you are, indeed, d.r.  i hear you.  you're absolutely worth listening to.  you've got a unique perspective (as everyone does) and it deserves to be heard.

i'm with you on the communication thing.  i can't always come up with quick answers in conversation, can't always change gears, so to speak, in order to follow along.  it's like i still had something to say, but the conversation changed and my thoughts had lagged too far behind. 

i guess we're all different that way.  no right or wrong, no shame or blame.  just different.  and what a dull world it would be if we were all the same.  so, here's a hug celebrating our differences and individuality.  i'm very glad you didn't get too shy to post.  thanks.

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Three Roses

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 07:03:51 PM »
Validation always feels nice.  :hug:

A couple of things about this forum:

If your post doesn't get enough responses, try asking a question, or say you're looking for feedback.

Lengthy posts seem to get fewer responses.

Lastly, we're all in the same boat - afraid to come out of the dark, convinced no one wants to hear what we have to say. And so every post and every response really counts! They are like small treasures, given in a spirit of wanting connection.

You matter here. Each of us does. Our voices are meant to be heard.

 :grouphug:

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woodsgnome

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 08:01:56 PM »
First, I'll note that at least in what you've posted here you're a skilled, creative communicator. And I also recognize the insecurity you exhibit, as it's reflective of my own story, and probably of many others here.

There's also a lot of care evident in what you've written, an enthusiasm to want to communicate what is important. This can be suspect in a society driven by sound-bites. So you're starting from a good place, showing an eagerness not to impress, but to really share what you want to get across. You want to get into the crux but want to explain it fully, too. It's crucial for that to happen.

I know that one well, too--I felt instantly rejected in many ways as a kid. I loved learning, though; and I think there was a slight persona of nerdiness, as neither my FOO or the school (private religious outfit)  tolerated anyone outside their preconceptions of what a kid is for (shut up and don't ask being the dominant themes). Anyone deviating from the norm was rejected, ostracized, shamed, and humiliated as an unwelcome oddball or persona non grata. 

My social development was thus stunted, but the curiosity never was wholly beaten out of me (thanks to the libraries discussed in another thread). What had already been implanted, though, was this sense that no one understood me then, or ever have. So I recognize what seems to be a similar pattern in what you've written.

It's scary to put yourself out there, but you have questions, ideas and things you want to say. I'm hoping you find this to be an outlet where you will thrive, even as you struggle to find and build a new way of life, one in which connection and communication will find its rightful place. 


« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 08:10:25 PM by woodsgnome »

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DecimalRocket

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 12:22:19 PM »
Thanks guys. Iím still anxious, but I feel a bit more at ease around here. Iíve been reading many of the Recovery Journals around here. They all seem to point to how accepting people are here. Man, guys, what makes you all so nice? I wish I can repay peopleís warmth here by joining in more, but Iím too shy.  :heythere:

I canít seem to open up that much about the bad things in life now ó my memories are blocked and overwhelming. So I figured Iíd practice opening up about good things that happened in my life first ó Theyíre easier to share and even if itís ďgood memoriesĒ, I canít open up well with it without hesitating over and over. I tend to think saying anything good about myself is lying to myself or bragging. So let me start by telling you an achievement that changed my entire life ó .especially my recovery itself.

Iím afraid you guys are going to call me crazy, but I saw a glimpse of some hardcore practioners of Buddhist meditation call. . . the Truth. Just glimpses ó not everything ó yet it was enough to change my life. You donít need to believe me, what I need most is validation that would accept me even with claiming to  have experienced something as crazy as the ďTruthĒ.Seeing it is what Buddhists call the key to a life of no suffering. Enlightenment.

Not a removal of suffering as in no negative emotions. You can only appreciate positive emotions when you have negative emotions so thatís a no no. To understand, there are two types of emotions. The initial reaction to a situation. And the secondary reaction to the initial reaction. For example, you can have initial reaction of depression towards bullying. And you can have the secondary reaction to getting angry at yourself for feeling depressed. Removing all suffering is making the secondary reaction completely accepting towards any initial reaction.

The Truth is a lot like seeing the world like a newborn baby. The baby doesnít see the teddy bear as a teddy bear or hear twinkle twinkle little star as twinkle twinkle little star because she has no language to discriminate between different sensory experiences. She only experiences a jumble of sensory experiences as one thing ó that is what Buddhists mean by being ďone with the universeĒ because with no language, there is no separation between you and the rest of the world.

Itís also why many people tend to be deeply skeptical with this. Itís hard to rally for something that you canít explain with specific words since the Truth is wordless experience itself. And most people donít bother trying because it requires an incredibly advanced skillset with meditation.

So armed with an experience of meditation since the age of 11, I practiced a technique that promised the fastest results ó self-inquiry.

Iíll tell you about it more, but thatís enough for me for today. Opening up too quickly for me have given me panic attacks before and can trigger some intense flashbacks.

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DecimalRocket

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 06:28:01 AM »
When I first saw the Truth, it was terrifying. A world without words was a world without the assumptions made by language ó political assumptions, societal assumptions, assumptions of your own life, your thoughts, your emotions, cultural assumptions, education assumptions, relationship assumptions, even assumptions about the nature of reality and every single thing I have ever believed in.

Enlightenment (As an oversimplification) is when youíre able to experience this state for every moment of the day for every single day for at least a year, and be at ease with it. There are also deeper stages of the Truth ó that can allow more and more insights over decades. That glimpse lasted for 10 minutes, but from that day on, I was obsessed with it.

Trigger warning *** Suicidal thoughts

Whenever I saw the Truth, it tended to cause extreme emotions. I threw up once out of extreme disgust and on another day, I had experiences of ectasy so strong that I was literally running around the whole day from 5 am to 12am. I was depressed to the point of considering suicide and I was overjoyed to the point of mania.

I knew this would happen from what Iíve heard. The thing is is when I was deep into it enough, I CANNOT STOP. Because from Daniel Ingramís research on the stages of meditation, the extreme emotions will continue unless I continue meditating enough to finish the cycle. The insights were significant ó it could allow me to change my life and even otherís lives. Iíd sum up my philosophy about recovery as ďStrict AccuracyĒ ó know what is true or false even if it hurts you, and you will find the truth of how to change things.

Trigger Warning End***

As time passed, it would gradually come down and come to a stop. I was still traumatized somehow. Still having overwhelming flashbacks throughout the day, anixety about my lack of confidence, more physically exhausted than other people my age but I noticed a dramatic change in my secondary reactions.

These were more accepting. Not always óI still have a lot to go ó but it had the most dramatic change in accepting myself Iíve ever seen in my life. Once in a flashback a few days ago, I cried tears. I was shaking. I had snot all over my nose and my entire body was aching. But I noticed ó I was completely accepting of it.

I finished the day feeling terrible yet because of my accepting secondary reactions, entirely satisfied by my life as it was.  This state is still here and it often lasts for several hours straight no matter how strong the pain. I learned from seeing the Truth ó that the idea of good and bad emotions is an assumption of language itself.

From seeing my assumptions removed from the Truth, I used it to rebuild my life. Iíd question basic assumptions that solved problems I had for years in about every area of my life. And especially my healing. Years of intense reflection, intense pain, intense research and the insights came flooding like never before.

Later on, Iíd begin to question how I viewed my past and how I came to be . . .

Thatís when I found a book about childhood trauma. Hmmm. . . Well, this is interesting. Wonder what I could find. . .?

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sanmagic7

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 06:19:37 PM »
i've found acceptance to be freeing.  i don't do it all the time, but it comes on more often than in the past.  i think it's a good thing.  just accepting myself and my world as we are.  tough at times, cuz i don't always like it, but battling either uses up energy and brings on stress - two things that don't do me any good.

so, practice, practice, practice.  and forward . . .    big hug, dec. rocket.

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DecimalRocket

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 08:18:33 AM »
Thanks Sans. Youíre having such a hard time yourself but you go around replying to all these journals. Itís nice to feel heard, and while itís not perfect, itís easier to open up now. I hope you can find more acceptance in your life too. You deserve it.

My 11 year old inner child was crying. Panicking. Screaming.

We were both in a flashback ó triggered by trying to open up here.

He said no one cared. That he was going to be abandoned. Called too Sensitive. Crazy. In my mind, I held him close and said I cared. He told me over and over that I was lying.  It seems he must have said this over 50 times and I must have said that I cared even more than that. He shook in my arms and was hyperventilating to the point of having trouble breathing.

He couldnít take it any longer and broke free from the embrace. He curled up in the corner. I managed to approach him to give him a blanket. I was about to leave the room in my mind but he mumbled for me to stay. And I did so in silence.

Later, he would say in a soft voice for a hug and I did so gently. Heíd rest in silence in there for some time. Heíd become more and more transparent and disappeared. He couldnít trust me anymore. But he was a part of me after all, and I could still feel his grief heavy in my chest.

They say that one of the sure signs of an EF is feeling tiny and helpless., I remembered a flash of a memory in my bedroom crying over the blankets ó no parent or outside guidance have offered help for my emotional problems for months and my pain often  remained invisible throughout the years. Each time Iíd cry ó theyíd tell me to stop crying. Sometimes, the tears forced their way out. Even when I was surrounded by my a sweet comfort ó my books.

Not one of those good days, is it? I thought to myself.

I put a hand over my heart and managed a chuckle. My muscles were aching.

Yeah. . . Didnít even get to read my books. Damn it. I just got to the part where the moon used to be so close to the Earth that it took up nearly the whole sky. With volcanoes and lava. Thatís . . . Thatís metal.

I heard my inner child roaring with laughter.

Heh. I did it.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 08:44:33 AM by DecimalRocket »

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sanmagic7

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 08:10:41 PM »
may i commend you on what great care you took of your 11-yr. old you.  that was so wonderful to read.  they will come around eventually as they learn to trust us. 

with my last ef, i was triggered by my t.  i was able to take care of little me by confronting her, after figuring out what was going on.   i haven't had many of those dialogues that you wrote about.  i'm still not very in touch with feelings, but the action i took was my way of showing little me that i'd take care of her.

it really does work differently with everyone.  i'm really glad you're feeling safe enough here to open up a bit more.  it takes courage.  sending a warm, caring hug to both you and little you.

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DecimalRocket

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 05:27:37 AM »
Trigger warning for the whole post ***

I talked to my 15 year old inner child. She (My inners have different genders for some reason.) demanded that she speak and that Iíd type it all down as she goes.

She sat tapping her fingers impatiently on a wooden table in the room of my mind. Her back straight and with a glare.

ďYou donít care about me, donít you?Ē she said.

ďI do,Ē I said. ďNo, you do not. Shut up and let me speak.Ē I nodded.

ďPeople do not care about liars. And I am one,Ē she said, her eyes downcast and with a frown.

ďYou see,Ē she continued, ďPeople do not care about attention seeking people in this world. And for all these years without it, I so badly wanted it. Remember, we were smart kids. Always praised from my teachers about being intelligent and learning faster than other kids . . .

I worked my butt off till I was coughing violently. Until I was feverish sometimes. Until I just collapsed and if I wasnít allowed to collapse, I cried hysterically. We . . . we did.

I went on the more unpopular social media sites ó the ones that didnít make you mention your real name. And I lied about how good my life was to myself and others. Barely anyone listened or at least to me, not enough people did. When I finally admitted that I was a liar and a braggart, what did I get?

Hatred. Absolute hatred.

I told someone about my needing praise and she blocked me. I confessed and no one payed attention. I confessed somewhere too and all anyone ever did was reply that I accidentally put my info on the wrong forum. I told people on another forum that I did everything I could for months to deal with this lying habit. . . and that I was tempted again and needed help. Someone told me I was stupid for being so tempted. Another told me I was some selfish ****.Ē She was shaking now. Laughing. Crying.

ďHaha. Like all these years reading about not caring about what others think was for nothing. All these years doing exercises, CBT, mindfulness, affirmations and more just for validation was all for nothing. Like I did no effort at this at all!

Hahahaha. Iím a liar? If thatís all the world is going to treat me as . . . then LET IT BE. IíM A LIAR. A NARCCISTIC ********. AN ARROGANT AND SHALLOW NOTHING WHO NEVER TRIED! I AM. . .,Ē she looked down and said in the most vulnerable voice she said in the entire conversation,

ďA liar . . . Just a liar.Ē

She was silent for some time there.

ďI care,ĒI said.

And she drifted away like smoke . . .

How ironic. I lied to her too. . .
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 07:39:38 AM by DecimalRocket »

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rbswan

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 10:16:35 PM »
Thank you so much for sharing your inner life decimal.  You are heard and very talented at writing your inner experience.  I completely relate but feel that I can't express what is in my head most of the time.  I admire how you can interact with your inner children.  I know I have inner children as well but they have only communicated with me in group therapy.  I'm not at the point yet where they trust me.  What is weird is they trust my T and most of my group members, but not just me.  I've tried a few things like meditation (which I'm not good at yet) and opposite hand writing with no real results.  They will grieve (cry) and anger if I give them a safe place. 

May I ask you how you got to the point where you can understand what they are telling you?  How did you get them to start communicating with you?  I really relate to your experiences and am greatly appreciative that you are on this forum.

Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 10:28:18 PM »
Thanks for sharing Decimal, was interesting to read. I can write to myself like this at times too, it's rather... relieving to do.

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DecimalRocket

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 12:24:47 AM »
Thanks for listening, you two. I was starting to worry that no one would bother to drop by. I kinda got a bit emotional over all this honestly before I saw people replied. . .

To answer your questions, rbswan, when I first tried the idea of inner children, it was already as direct as that. But that doesnít mean I can answer your question. I have some theories on what made me skilled at this.

First, Iíd have to introduce to you about an analysis of mine. You see, when I was younger, I noticed some mental health treatments worked better at certain times and made things worse at other times. So I made my own categorization system that could allow an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of different therapies.

There are three major areas intersecting with another three major areas.Treatments that aim towuards being aware of, accepting of or changing thoughts, feelings or the body.

The idea of the inner child seems to point towards thought and feeling awareness or acceptance. Here are some treatments for that.

Feeling awareness : Journaling, the creative arts (Poetry, singing, dancing, drawing, etc. You donít have to be good at it ó sometimes slapping on some random colors about your feelings or dancing your feelings even if youíre absolutely terrible at it can work.) ,Meditations with reflection

Thought awareness : Automatic writing ó a type of writing where you let your thoughts flow without restraint. It tends to be incoherent at first but it becomes more and more directed the more you practice. This trains your brain to stop being so hesitant on letting or blocking your flow of thoughts.

Feeling acceptance : Self compassion meditation, Self forgiveness meditation, Any meditation that focuses on specifc emotions (Envy meditation, anger meditation etc. just google the word meditation next to a specifc emotion. )

Thought acceptance : Shadow Work. I recommend Scott Jeffreyís article on that online for a good start. Itís based on the idea that people you despise are people you hate because you secretly hate a similar trait hidden in yourself. These are techniques to find it.

Yeah. . . While I often deny it, I guess I am pretty talented at expressing this stuff. Growing up, my best subjects were Science and English. I was a pretty good creative fiction writer for my age then and I read about teaching concepts like science so I can make better notes to myself.

Iím not as fond of many other ways of expressing emotions ó like poetry or drawing even when people tell me Iím good at these things. They seem to lack the directness and precision I found in STEM subjects.

I read about a poet who talked about her feeling that no matter how much she explains her feelings in metaphor or prose, it never seems enough. In the same way, my thoughts never seem precise, accurate or specific enough.

Journaling seems to be a more direct way I appreciate. I have a whole world of definitions, patterns and categories Iíve made and found for myself like the above.

Itís like a whole language that only I can understand well enough . . .




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DecimalRocket

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 11:39:22 AM »
Epistemological boost or ELB.

Itís a certain upgrade I made to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. CBT is a therapy made on arguing against negative thought patterns and ELB is a name for what arguments I noticed made the most impact. ELB got its name after epistemology ó the philosophy of the nature of knowledge. Rather than only asking, ďWhat is true?Ē, it asks, ďWhat makes something true?Ē

My point is to ask these questions during CBT. What makes something true? What makes each opinion valid and in what situations? What kind of information is best appropiate? ó intuition, journals, logic, otherís ideas, scientific research etc.? And so on.

For example, Iíve been getting emotional today. A few hours ago, I felt anger at the people who wronged me, sadness at losing much of what could have been a happy childhood and fear that Iíll lose my place of support. Then I felt a weird sudden excitement that made me create happy beats in nonsense words like a fast talking drunk rapper. Also, I gained a sudden attraction to a pretty good looking lady in public. (Puberty. . . Also, donít think youíve found out my gender. I also have liked men. Bwahahaha. No one will know my gender.)

Also, slap it all off with some toppings of intense shame of not deserving all this and some sauce on people listening and overwhelming gratitude at the people who listen.

Yep. I kept rubbing my shoulder and telling myself . . . Take it easy, buddy. Sigh. Emotions. Iím just in the grief stage of my recovery and after I comforted myself, I did CBT with ELB.

Here are some examples I experienced today.

Asking what is true. Example #1:
ďI donít deserve this. If I kept looking through memories, maybe Iíd find something that disproves that Iím traumatized and that Iím actually reacting overreacting.Ē This would have prompted me to repeatedly shift through details through my memories that would be endless.

Asking what makes something true. Example #1:
ďWhat if I do not actually require to be aware of details here? There are three types of conclusions. Detail conclusions, summary conclusions and integrated conclusions.

In detail conclusions, you have to be aware of every single detail like math.

In summary conclusions, you just need to have a general summary of events like in making sense of how your life went ó after all, you donít need to know someoneís entire life to conclude something about them.

Integrated conclusions need both ó like planning for a celebration ó detail for the budget, summaries for thinking of how others might react etc.

Making sense of how traumatic my life is a summary conclusion so I do not need to collect details on this obsessively.Ē

Asking what is true. Example #2 :

ďMaybe Iím not really deserving like they say I am. Iím not smart/kind/hardworking etc. enough.Ē This could prompt me to go through my memories finding more and more proof around this without end.

Asking what makes something true. Example #2 :
ďWhat if Iím putting too much stock into my own experience of this? Traits like smart/kind/hardworking etc. are decided with two standards. The internal standard of ourselves and external standards. They both influence each other ó and the best thing is to be aware of otherís opinions and mine to make the best conclusion on myself. And from what Iíve heard here ó I have more strengths then I realize.Ē

The pros is that it allows a much more lasting effect on thought change.
But I guess the disadvantage to this kind of treatment is that it is intellectually more challenging than the classic use of CBT.

Eh. Iíll keep using it for today. See you guys next time.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 12:03:49 PM by DecimalRocket »

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rbswan

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Re: DecimalRocketís Recovery Journal : The Sky Is Not The Limit
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 04:23:27 AM »
Wow, so much great stuff and wonderful insight.  I'm going to look into Shadow Work and Automatic Writing right away.  I loved your take on CBT and on "what makes something true" and your thoughts on detail and summary conclusions.  I think it's good to make CBT more intellectually challenging as I never really got a lot out of CBT myself.  I think that's why I really liked how you have expanded it to be meaningful to you.  My issues with CBT is probably due to trust issues I have with most Ts.  Experiential or Relational Therapy "feels" safer to me right now as my inner child feels heard and I like gestalt, psychodrama and grief work, as weird as it seemed at first.  Thanks for giving me feedback!