“Real life is elsewhere!” a man in one of my favourite director’s movie, Koterski, exclaims, and I think – what a wonderful metaphor for how we often feel when we reach a certain age and suddenly it turns out that it is not what it was supposed to be. The phrase “real life” was still ringing out in my head, and I couldn’t help but wonder: Are we really immersed in the depths of our imaginations, waiting for this perfect life and we do not notice that it just flows past us, leaks through our fingers?
Is real life somewhere else?
It happens that we suddenly wake up and, looking at the time that has passed, start to wonder: is it all? This is really my life? We feel not only disappointment but also disbelief, because how could it happen that so many years have passed and nothing significant has happened? Why we are not who we want to be? Then we start to whip and blame ourselves for everything that did not happen.
You pay for delaying and pointless waiting with what will never happen, with what you will never experience.
Probably you know many people suspended in life waiting for IT. And by IT I mean anything: some girls waiting to be discovered by a powerful film director who can make them a star. Some guys are waiting for this special woman, but somehow she never knocks on their door. Some waiting for the right time when they can finally start doing THIS GREAT THING. This way we have many novels that are still in the minds of authors, not on paper and many businesses that will never be established. Then we also have a lot of grudges against the world.
Unless you reach for it yourself, no one will give it to you
Whatever happens in our lives and whatever not happening – both have a source within ourselves. There is nothing out there, no special force that will make it for us. You are responsible for all things that don’t happen. Taking on the burden of this responsibility is the first step to building your own efficiency.
Why the things we desire hasn’t happened yet? Why is the ideal scenario of our lives so different from what we really have in life? It’s important to answer that and be totally honest about it. Totally. Even if it were to hurt us deep inside.
The answer to this tends to be similar for many of us. It’s fear, a lack of importance, and a failure to assume 100% responsibility for our own lives. Without taking total responsibility for our lives, we can always blame something that did not work out on the circumstances or someone else and feel better about it. Only when we understand that we are in control of what happens or not can we begin to really live. Because what does not happen in our lives is also the result of our actions, just like what happens.
I’ll leave you here, with beautiful and wise words of Gurudeva Subramuniyaswami: “We must realize that every moment in our life, every joy and every sorrow, can be traced to some source within us. There is no ‘out there’ making it all happen. We make it happen or not happen according to the actions we perform, the attitudes we hold and the thoughts we think.”
If goals are our destination and trip there is our life – do you enjoy the journey, are you focusing so much on the destination that what along the way ceases to matter?
That was unexpected holidays a few years back when it happened that I had almost two weeks to be used before the new tax year. Middle of fall, but still sunny and I could enjoy doing nothing. For some reason, I couldn’t fly anywhere then. Then I thought that I really want to use this time, I want this vacation to end with wonderful memories, no to just pass as any other days. So I made a plan. A plan of all the cool things I wanted to include in these two weeks. I stuck to it and happily ticked off a list of things like Tarantino’s new movie at the cinema or a very long walk in the forest. We’d all like to have a checklist like this, right? So why don’t we?
Pleasure planning should become our habit as well as planning duties
It often seems like things like enjoyment and pleasures do not require planning. However, even more often, in the chaos of everyday life and the rush of things, we simply forget to make ourselves happy. We tick off duties and tasks from the daily list, where there was no room for regular joy. And yes, we are getting closer to the goals, we are getting closer to the destination, but we don’t enjoy it on the way.
Even when I reach my biggest goals, which will take a lot of time and energy, I want to turn around and see more than the tedious path towards them, I want to think: It was a damn good time!
How can we be sure that we will fill this time with moments that we will remember fondly? Simply: plan it!
Plan your pleasures as you plan your tasks
Now when I make the monthly plan alongside the deadlines and things that have to be done I create a special section. This is where the things I want to do in a given month that will bring me joy end up.
Even if it seems silly at first, believe me, even planning your pleasure is already fun. You can combine the pleasure list with anything that brings you joy, peace of mind, everything that correlates with self-love and life affirmation.
On my list of joys, there are things that I love or want to try. Let me share with you few examples from one month:
✓ watching a black and white movie with a glass of wine
✓ reading in bed for several hours
✓ beer tasting evening with my friends
✓ watching old horror movies and snacking
✓ wandering in the streets of the city
✓ watching sunset
✓ cooking new delicious food
✓ home spa evening
✓ picnic in the park instead of dinner
✓ digging internet to find new, inspiring music
Of course, coming to favourite things, we are limited now by current situations, but there are still so many of them that can bring us joy! If you are not sure what to include in this list, just think about your favourite stuff. This may refer to hobbies, entertainment, other people, places, new things to do.
Tasks are important, goals in life are important, but it’s just as important to go through life and be able to say it was fun! What I sincerely wish you!
Share with us what nice things are you planning to do this month?
In Mann’s “Magic Mountain” young Hans looks at the family memento on which the names of his ancestors are engraved: father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather and so on…His mind is slipping out of the present. Time acquires a different dimension, more tangible, yet fleeting. This is the essence of our being – we are like bubbles appearing on the surface of boiling water only for a short moment; we disappear quickly, but are we really? After all, we are making up this boiling water.
We are part of something bigger, something that we cannot comprehend
Our life depends on what meaning we give to it. We are only a tiny part of the universe, but each mechanism is made up of small parts that interact with each other. Every particle matters.
What is your reason for being?
During your life, you change, grow up, learn, evolve. It is not uncommon that you are completely reinventing yourself at some point. Sometimes it may seem that you are completely different than you were years ago. That’s good. It just means your journey continues.
You don't have to be a fully formed individual by reaching some age defined by social standards. Forget about it. You are closest to the essence of reality and your purpose as you grow, develop and change.
That’s why it’s so important to look inside yourself.
I’ve always partially known why I was here, in this world. Which does not mean that I was doing anything in that direction. Because sometimes, even if you have glimpses of what you would like to do with your great goal, you are scared, insecure, and full of doubts.
So you procrastinate, you tell yourself that you are not ready yet (ha! you never will), you wait until you become better, more experienced, perfect. You are paralyzed by how other people perceive the thing you want to do. And so years go by and it’s getting harder and harder to get started.
I knew my purpose (well, a bigger part of it) a long time ago. It took me many years to do anything to orient my life in a direction that I wanted for myself.
I was afraid that I will suck at it.
But I’ll tell you one thing – don’t be afraid to suck. We all do sometimes. I think one of the greatest life skills is to know how to deal with rejection.
One of the most widely read writers of our time, Stephen King has often talked about how his work was rejected by publishing houses and magazines. He hung each refusal on a nail on the wall at his desk and continued to work. When asked for advice on how to finally achieve success, he said: You need a bigger nail.
Because success is a bigger process and refusal is a part of this process.
Try to find that sacred place within yourself, a place where divine part of Universe whispers to you in a language you understand only. While listening to that voice, start doing your part. Even if sometimes you will suck at it. This is the way of things – you learn all the time. At some point, this suckiness will turn into something miraculous.
That was pleasant Saturday morning when I sat with a cup of coffee after eating my favourite pancakes for breakfast. Little by little I started losing focus on a book I was reading. I felt trapped. I felt that I’m losing not only a breath but also a mind and ground beneath my feet. The walls surrounding me started to get closer, while the same thing was happening inside my mind.
Sounds like I experienced something horrible? Like I was part of some disturbing accident? Well, you know – in fact, nothing had happened. Just another panic attack.
Anxiety attack is not only a crushed stomach and trembling hands – it is above all a paralysis that overwhelms the body and mind. As if you were squeezed in a black hole from which you cannot get out.
Even when everything is fine, relapses will come back
It is typical of neurosis and panic attack that they often appear for no good reason. If you’ve ever experienced a breakdown like this, you know the trigger can be anything, even something you wouldn’t think of. It is just happening at some level of our consciousness. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on yourself. Accurately and honestly assess ourselves and the situations we are in. If it weren’t for my physical symptoms, I would never have thought that lockdown and the pandemic had any effect on my well-being.
Despite being one of the lucky people (who have not lost their jobs, whos business going well, and who have exiting opportunities appearing on the horizon) I can notice that the whole world has turned upside down and it had some destructive effect on my psyche. And if you are dealing with any of those dark friends like anxiety, depression or addiction you should realize that there’s no end to that story. Sometimes, even if everything seems to be just fine, they might come back and knock on your door. Now, it’s only up to you if you open and invite them in.
How naive I was that not being able to sleep for almost 3 weeks has nothing to do with my state of being. Of course, I tried to explain it somehow – overwork, stress as we were finishing accounting year, an upcoming deadline for that damn book that I have no idea how to end. My mistake was to take it as normal and pretend everything is ok. Maybe it was until that fateful morning when my unwanted neurosis guest not only entered the house but made himself at home for good.
So how should you deal with relapse?
I have to admit that drinking a whole bottle of gin to deal with it was not the healthiest solution. Well, I’m writing here so you don’t make my mistakes. There’s nothing worst than covering problems with another problem. Like dealing with anxiety on a huge hangover. Don’t do it, kids.
Here are a few steps that you can follow to avoid the destructive effects of relapses:
Watch yourself and accept; you need to observe your emotions – don’t ignore and push through, it only makes things worse.
Name your enemies; you need to recognize the triggers to eliminate them before an attack occurs. Avoid situations and people that make you feel uneasy. I know this is the taught one, (especially coming to people) but we are talking about your mental health – this should be your priority, not trying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Co-workers dilemma about Kardashian’s life annoys you? Don’t go for a coffee break together. That super slim athlete friend with PhD makes you feel like old wrack? Mute his/her feed on social media. You don’t need to compare yourself to someone’s ideal world created for instagram, especially while you dealing with anxiety.
Apply a mind detox; cut your screen time and go offline for a while. You know, there is a pretty awesome world outside there. Don’t watch the news, don’t read upsetting articles. Pick up some uplifting book or a podcast and go for a long walk. Move your body, jog, meditate. Connect with your inner energy – that peaceful place is somewhere inside you, sometimes you just need to dig really deep to discover it.
Rely on medication if needed; in case you feel that the situation slips out of your hands and you lose control, it’s always a good idea to seek professional advice. We are not always able to deal with everything alone.
And the most important of all: be kind to yourself. Always.
Your brain has approximately 100 billion neurons, and every each of them can create synapses witch 10 thousand, thereby creating a complex network. Neurons pick up, send out, and process electrical impulses, such as your thoughts. According to latest research led by Jordan Poppenk of Quinn’s University in Canada, an average person has 6200 thoughts per day. * What does it mean for your life what these thoughts are? Everything.
The human brain is an incredible and powerful, yet ambiguous tool. The great thing about it is that we can learn to use it to achieve what we want. How to do it? By learning to control the mind. At this point, I want to indicate that brain and mind are not the same things. In short, we can say that the mind is part of what the brain does; it is related to perception, thinking, self-awareness, as well as other unknown processes.
We can distinguish two modes in which our brain works: automatic and direct. In a direct mode, we are aware of what we think or do, while the automatic mode is responsible for all habitual activities. This isn’t just about automatic actions like using the right or left hand, brushing teeth or driving a car; here we are dealing with thinking patterns, and this is why it is so important to set up a “thoughts filter”.
You are what are you thinking
Recognizing and working on changing negative thoughts patterns is the first step you need to take if you want to develop, heal or simply improve the quality of your life.
Life isn’t comfortable if your thoughts are filled with fear, doubt, sadness, hate, or jealousy. It’s not easy to make your dreams come true when there’s a little saboteur in your head who whispers you can’t make it, you don’t deserve it, you’re worse, you’re too stupid, too ugly, too fat, too thin, too old, too poor…Most of us had to deal with these unpleasant promptings at one time. But how to deal with it in the long run?
How to develop the skill of cultivating a positive mind?
Have you ever decide that you want to adopt a dog – let’s say a German Shepherd – and then you see this species everywhere? It’s not a coincidence – this is how reticular activating system works. RAS isa group of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information, so the important ones gets through. It ‘sieves’ the world through the parameters you give it. In the same way, it seeks information that validates your beliefs. RAS connect subconscious part of our brain with the conscious part. To put it simply – you are getting what you focus on.
“When the phenomenon of the universe is seen as linked together by cause and effect and energy transfer, the resulting picture is of a complexly branching and interconnecting chain of events(…)” 2 If you are channelling your conscious energy towards a specific goal, RAS focuses on that goal.
It is incredible that in this scientifically backed up theory, we can find reflections of many ancient beliefs. Buddha himself said: “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”
There are many techniques of visualizations that you can adopt for yourself. I would recommend that in whatever way you set up your “mental movie”, try to to do it regularly and always involve emotions in the process. Try to feel what you would feel if you really were in the situation you imagine. While you are creating this image, experience it as if you were living it yourself at the moment.
Create that vision in your mind that will give you real feelings and ignite your desire.
Why don’t you try it yourself? Take control of the powerful tool that your mind is; filter your thoughts, be aware of them, and set time every day to visualize. You will be surprised how much your life can change.
Most families seem normal, but if we look closely, we will notice that they are indeed dysfunctional. Sometimes we are growing up in households where the pattern of anxiety and depression have been passed down from generation to generation. No wonder that we did not develop a healthy approach to life as a younger person.
Don’t get me wrong – I have no desire to blame anyone for my mental state. Just need to outline the point that since I remember ‘loving myself’ was something unimaginable. Encouraging humility, modesty and putting the needs of others in the first place prevented me from developing the feeling that should be the most important thing for everyone – love for oneself.
Our parents love us, but they don’t know how to teach us loving ourselves merely because they don’t know how to love themselves.
As a teenager, I put on a mask that didn’t show how vulnerable I was. The very thought of someone seeing that I was weak, fragile, scared and feeling unworthy scared me. Hence I played the role of someone who doesn’t care about anything. Sinking into neurosis accompanied by overuse alcohol and drugs made all the fears that consumed me from the inside grew. Because sometimes you think you’re killing fear with drugs, but you’re just feeding it.
And then you enter adult life equipped with luggage filled with guilt, low self-esteem, fear of other people, fear of the death, lack of a sense of purpose, traumas, lack of self-confidence, timidity, toxic perfectionism, inferiority complex, comparing to others, self-harm, insecurity. It’s a lot to take for one person. Sometimes it seems unmanageable to find warm feelings towards ourselves among all these harmful emotions. But nothing is impossible.
Learning to love yourself is not about standing in front of a mirror and repeating ‘I love you’. It’s not about forcing yourself to take actions that you think you should do but don’t feel at all. In my experience, the smallest steps we take every day are the most important. Because self-love, among other things, it’s a mixture of everyday habits and small things you can do that make you feel worthy.
saying ‘no’ if you think ‘no’ and saying ‘yes’ if you think ‘yes’
limiting contacts with people who are bad for your well-being
removing someone from your life
knowing that it’s ok not being productive all the times
resting when you are tired
investing in your development
surrounding yourself with things that make you happy
not spending time on things and people that are not worth it
not meeting people if you don’t feel like it
make yourself feeling comfortable
applying for a better job and more money
taking care of your body – nourishing it with healthy food and keeping it in good condition
doing things you love to do
taking alone time when you need it
getting enough sleep every day
realizing that you don’t have to be nice to everyone
IF YOU ASK ME WHAT THREATENS OUR DEVELOPMENT THE MOST, I WOULD TELL YOU WITHOUT BLINKING. THE TRAPS OUR MIND CAN GET CAUGHT IN. AND THERE ARE MANY OF THEM SET UP: ANXIETY, DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS, DEPRESSION, OCD, PHOBIAS, PSYCHOSIS, MANIA AND THE BIG ONE – ADDICTIONS – DOUBLY DEVIOUS BECAUSE THEY CAN APPLY NOT ONLY TO SUBSTANCES.
Another kind of high – brain on an emotional boost
The mechanism of any addiction remains same no matter what is the substance. And what interesting, it is still same, if there is no substance at all. Well, not in a physical form.
Every addiction causes specific reactions in the brain and is associated with impaired function of neurotransmitters and hormones, mainly in the structures of the reward system. Simply speaking, even if you don’t supply the brain with a specific substance, such as a drug, brain can still make it. All you need is the right stimulus. In this case, we can talk about behavioural addiction. Gambling, sex, internet, food and even falling in love – it can all be related to our internal emotional catastrophe.
Much of addiction issues I’ve touched on already here: Dealing with an addicted mind. As this is very personal topic to me, I’d like go deeper into in areas which are less talked about.
Erotomania is not only sex addiction. Its variation is the ailment of being addicted to being in love. This is where a person needs that specific kick of pleasure – dopamine secreted by the brain – which equates to being high. Think, when you are falling in love you feel that an amazing inflow of pleasure and ecstasy. In a healthy mind, this evolves into a deeper feeling or simply disappears. For some, there is that the irresistible need to re-trigger it. And here we have a problem.
The phenomenon of sex addiction we refer to people who need closeness very much and are just as afraid of it, so they meet their needs by entering into relationships with the body of another person, and not with the ‘whole’ person. A quite different variation is the addiction to emotions that occur when falling in love.
behavioral addictions can be as toxic as those of substances such as alcohol or drugs
Why is the mind so vulnerable to all these pitfalls? It all comes down to this big, empty hole that we carry within us. Some trying to feel it by overusing alcohol or drugs, some by food, self-harm or uncontrolled shopping, and others trying to fix it with compulsive falling in love. As it might seem innocent, can lead to serious complications in various areas of life.
Firstly, it is difficult for a person with such a problem to build a solid, valuable relationship. Because if something begins to fail, she ( I use this pronoun, as this issue is most common among women) runs away and falls in love elsewhere. Here, the partner is not the most important – it’s addictive emotions that take over. Secondly, the person is susceptible to becoming obsessed. And this can be very damaging to mental health.
Love obsession is also an addiction that brings inability to focus on other areas of life besides the obsession object. We are missing something, and we think that only thanks to the other person we can become complete. And, I know – who read in the nineteenth-century literature may perceive it as something very romantic. But trust me on this – it is essentially unhealthy and destructive. Remeber, even Werter shot himself in the head!;)
Quick fix for the broken soul
Compulsive behavior is one that gives us emotional satisfaction. Is an easy, but ineffective way to deal with what bothers us. It’s like sticking a broken vase with adhesive tape – it seems to stick, but when you pour water into it and put flowers, it will fall apart immediately. For any emotional disorders, there is only one way – working on emotions.
Ways to reconnect with your emotions
When we lose contact with ourselves, we also lose control over our lives. To recover it, we can take steps that will allow to connect with what is happening inside us. Some of the effective techniques to help reconnect with emotions are:
Meditation – silencing the mind and putting it in an alpha wave state – you can start with a few minutes a day and gradually deepen your practice. Meditation is about clearing the mind of thoughts and focusing simply on ‘being’.
Mindfulness – practicing being here and now – focus on everything that is inside and around you, contemplate reality, see what is happening in your body – what you feel and how you experience it: smells, flavors, sounds, colors, touch …
Journaling – make contact with yourself by keeping a diary of feelings – do not focus on the form, just write what you feel, what you think – pour on paper everything that sits in your heart and head. Is a great way to cleanse yourself of overwhelming emotions, as well as to awaken creativity.
Exam yourself – as you might think you know yourself very well, there might be parts of you that you’re not aware of. Or parts of you that have changed over the years. Commit to a journey of self-discovery. Make list of questions and answer them. Write it down and come back to it in some time. You can make a list of things you love to do. Things you hate, things that makes you nervous, things that scares you, excite you, amuse you. Play with it!
Name what you feel – sometimes it’s not easy to recognize what we feel. Even if you struggle to define your own feeling and emotions, try to name them. If you are unsure what are you feeling make up a name for it. As example- jealove can be a feeling towards a friend you admire, but you also envy him a little. You can create your own personal dictionary of feeling and it could be a fun!
Problem of emotional addiction is not black and white. If you feel that somehow it may affect you, you should look closer at yourself. Even if it touches you slightly, you can still be exposed to its toxic effects. No better way to deal with it, as learning to recognize everything that takes place within you.
We have been equipped in the great and very powerful, yet fragile tool. Our mind. In ideal world we would be able to fully control it, same got control of whole our life. However, there’s no such a thing as ideal world. It always amazed me, that people can be strong and vulnerable at the same time. That, despite their uniqueness and intelligence, they can lose to a simple substance – a chemical compound, a cluster of elements. Maybe it’s because we are just cluster of atoms too?
Despite the fact that modern psychology and medicine explain more and more mechanisms of badhabits, addictions are still stigmatized. I think it’s because many people still doesn’t quite understand it. The addiction mechanism itself is rather simple. What is more complicated lies in the mind that creates these mechanisms. Many studies indicate that addiction to alcohol, drugs or medicines are a certain, ineffective form of self-healing.
We all have this idea of what addiction is. It’s medical problem. The diagnosis includes a bunch of physiological, behavioral and cognitive phenomena. However, it’s vital to distinguish a habit from addiction. There is a subtle difference between repetitive activity and impaired ability to control it.
So how to recognize the addiction mechanism?
Basically, we become addicted to something that we think helps us cope. The thing we reach for, stimulates our brain in such a way that we feel rewarded. Or relieved. Addiction develops in the context of human personality. You can be susceptible or not, as you would with self-destructive behavior. Because it comes down to it in a broader spectrum. And although the mechanism is the same for every human being, each addiction is different. Below you can see coping cycles of affected and healthy mind:
If you often seeking relief and running away from yourself into artificial states of mind, you might be in this dangerous spot where the roller-coaster ride starts. Why do I say this? Because this is how it looks from my own perspective.
Am I really an addict?
When I was 20 years old I ended up on rehab. After being locked for few weeks in institution I followed few years of group and individual therapy. What a fun, I’m telling you! While joining university (and you know how students life looks like) and starting over again, I wasn’t even able to socialize, cause most of human interactions are based on things I had to avoid to stay sober. Casual beer, parties, gigs, pubs and restaurants meetings. You know, all that things young adults like to do. I missed all of that in my first years of college. Instead, I spent lots of time with a bunch of ageing guys from AA group. Oh, and got emotionally involved with my therapist. Firmly I do not advise!
You can ask how did I manage to withstand it at a young age? Well, I really tasted it before, and I had it all too much. You know this slogan sex, drugs & rock’n roll? What can I say – I can’t describe teenager me better than that! Following years manifested themselves in depression and neurosis, and eventually a return to bad habits. What I can be proud of, I’ve never back to hard drugs. But there still was irresistible inclination towards that bottle full of happy percentage, not mention overusing holy herbs. It’s long and painful story. Anyways, it happened that I solved this problem in a way, that it no longer bothers me. Not so much. Amazing that I began to develop a healthy awareness of myself and these issues in my thirties. As they say – better late, than never! So, am I sober now?
No. For sure not in a way my therapist wanted me to be. But I’m not drunk or under influence of shitty stuff anymore. And here starts the tricky part. Before I write more, I would like to tell you, that I am not an advocate of ‘not staying away’ from stimulating substances. What I’m trying to say is that in some cases rigid separation from everything can be toxic.
I remember that obstinate thought I had once looking at people having fun - I want to have fun too. Like a normal person, not an addict. I don't wanna be careful with every thing around me, I don't wanna live in constant fear of triggers that might appear everywhere on my way.I like to try treat everything normal, not as a potential threat to my sobriety.
Not a therapeutic thinking at all. But you know what? I can tell you that for few years of total sobriety I wasn’t happier person at all. Withdrawal from any substance will not help much if you still have a mess in your head. My therapist used to call it “ass cramp” – when your body is sober, but your mind still high in drunken promised paradise.
All addicts needs revolution in the brain and some dabbling in mental guts.
Use of psychoactive substances is transformed into addiction, which further aggravates all previous problems. Without proper changes in your mind, nothing will come out of being sober. Those changes must touch every aspect of your wounded soul. I can tell you it’s not easy journey. And in my case very long.
Did you know that getting drunk or drug use is a self-destructive behavior that is associated with a deep personality disorder?
Overcoming problems with addictions it’s a matter of achieving right perspective. Pint of beer won’t harm you if you know how to approach drinking. Having awareness that you are looking for intoxication is the first step to understand the problem. If you realize that you are drinking to kill something inside you, better put the bottle down. Allow yourself to it only if you are sure that there is no hidden intention.
This applies to all other addictions, because not all of them result from the abuse of psychoactive substances. The same mechanisms apply to addiction to gambling or sex. In addition, different types of addiction can be identified. According to American biostatic and physiologist Elvin Molton Jellinek, who referred to alcohol addiction, there are five types:
Alfa – when the substance is used to relax, reduce stress and it leads to loosing control over drinking/using.
Beta – addiction combined with physical complications
Gamma – most common, is distinguished by a gradual increase in alcohol tolerance. An addicted person loses control over the amount of alcohol consumed, but drinks intermittently, maintains the ability to decide when to start drinking after a break.
Delta – can control the amount of alcohol consumed, but is unable to refrain from drinking.
Epsilon – periodic getting drunk, in ‘series’.
We can also identify four stages of addiction development: initial, warning, critical and chronic. As you can see all habits and addictions are complex issue. If there is anything that worries you about this topic, I suggest you take a closer look.
Bottle of wine is not a plaster for a broken soul.
This is probably the most important thing – intoxication will not help you heal yourself of sadness, lack or emptiness. What’s more, it can increase their intensity. Substance abuse is like self-propelled destruction machine. Addicted mind is confused and fragile, it gets easily lost in the complexities of reality. I can certainly say that in my case it contributed to the deepening of nervous problems. Although it’s ok now, I know these problems will come back. Because this is life – take the bitter with the sweet. Relapses may appear unexpectedly. There was a time, bad time, when I was treated medically, but I gave up medication. I currently believe that a holistic approach can be equally effective. Of course, this depends on the specific cases.
To start dealing with any addiction we need to understand what wounds we want to cover with it. We need to look deep inside ourselves, even if we think this is really dark and cold place. We can’t close eyes to avoid seeing those scary shadows we are afraid of. We need to meet our demons – fears, disappointments, failure, rejection, guilt, emptiness. And we need to accept that they are there, inside. Otherwise will be impossible to fight them and transform. I know it might sounds naive, but once we deal with all unpleasant emotions, we will be able to move to the level where we can reveal in ourselves understanding, forgiveness, fulfillment, love. This is how healing starts.
Have you ever wondered what your life will look like in five, ten years? And do you remember that version of yourself from a few years ago, who wondered what it’s gonna be like in the future? What would you think of the person you are now, seeing yourself through the eyes of five or ten years younger you?
Most of us, unfortunately, would not be happy, and certainly there would be those whose such self-image would fill with horror. Why is it happening so often that we becoming someone we did not want to become?
Sometimes, despite being stuck in a situation that doesn’t suit us, we are not able to even change the state we are in. We forgetting about the dreams we once had, and we are not believing anymore that we can ever make them come true. We loosing ourselves in boring everyday life, we postponing life for later. As a result, we are not who we really would like to be, and we don’t do what we would like to do.
Have you ever experienced such a feelings? If you say yes, you know very well how much it sucks. And how difficult is to break free from it. However, it doesn’t mean that the changes are impossible, but before you try to make them, first try to find out why you stuck in this personal shit hole.
Once you realize what holds you back, you will be able to create and implement a dream vision of your life. And of yourself, because your life is reflection of what is happening inside you.
You are waiting for something that will happen by itself
Don’t we all waiting for some miracles? But you know what? Nothing will happen by itself! You don’t live in a fairy tale in which beautiful prince will come to save you and make you happy for the rest of your life. You are also not the lucky one from an old movie, where someone might notice your great talent and make you famous and rich. The only fairy you can count on in your life is YOU!
To get anything from life, you first have to give something of yourself. Perhaps some dedication, attention, time, patience and perseverance.
It depends only on you how your life will go. If you have a dream based on your passion, devote yourself one hundred percent to it, and it will definitely pay off. What is the thing that you really want to do? If you already know, I have one simple piece of advice: DO IT! Even if you have to start small and uncomfortable. Everyone started somewhere.
Lack of motivation and bad habits
Finding motivation is not easy, and maintaining it at the same level seems impossible at all. That is why it’s very important to develop proper habits. Achieving goals (we can also call them dreams) often requires tedious work, effort, dedication and time. Successful people go through this difficult path because they can control themselves. Self-discipline is the key. It might seems too simple, but just think about it: if you were able to control yourself to such an extent that every day, but absolutely every day, you would do the tasks you set for yourself (it could be anything: learning a language, training, playing the guitar, learning how to draw, programming, singing etc.), how far would you be today? By devoting some part of the time every day (or almost every day) and being systematic we are able to bring almost any skill to the master level. We just need to control our desire to switch to Netflix + pizza mode, which is not an easy matter.
Two deadly “P”
Procrastination and perfectionism are two words that you will have to cross out from your dictionary. Forever.
Procrastination, that is tendency to postpone everything, is the killer of our dreams. Be honest with yourself, how often you use a phrase that you’ll do something ‘another time’? Well, I will tell you one thing whatever your answer is. Too often. Another time is mythical land that doesn’t exist, is a cold space where dreams die. Another time it won’t be better, easier or otherwise. Another time there will be less time to do, what you can do now.
Next hideous ‘P’ is perfectionism, which often destroys our effort from the very beginning. When we start doing something, it is obvious that we are not perfect at it, and the awareness of it may deprive us of the motivation to try at all. We are not perfect even when we do something for a long time, and it does not mean that we do not do it right.
As Sheryl Sandberg said Done is better than perfect. You don’t need to be perfect to be great. You can achieve amazing things by being wonderfully imperfect. And this way is more fun too. It’s totally enough if you’re becoming better than yesterday, wherein you compete only with yourself, not with someone else.
Look at people who are successful in the field in which you would also like to do something, they are not perfect in what they do. Many great musicians having bumps on the stage, many writers creates things that are not always worth the Nobel prize, many active actors have a failed role in their achievements. None of them are perfect, but each of them is great. You can be too.
You are tired of life
You get up very early so you don’t won’t be late for work. Work you don’t like. You are in too much of a hurry to enjoy your morning coffee, and you quickly swallow breakfast, so that you “don’t waste” too much time – a time you want to use to do things that you don’t enjoy anyway. At work, you count the hours to the end. Returning home, instead of thinking about a free afternoon / evening, you think about all that you MUST do. Shopping, supplies, cooking, washing, setting up the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, replying to e-mails, calling the bank … over and over again. Well, to feel a bit better, please realize that you don’t have to do anything! Think in terms of choice rather than coercion.
If you’re burned out you don’t have the strength or even the desire to fulfill your dreams and goals. If you are tired, let it go and just relax. In the multitude of obligations that we often impose ourselves, it is very easy to lose a healthy approach to life. If you do not vacuum the apartment once, but instead you’ll be lounging in a hot bath reading the most inspirational novel, will something bad happen?
The above thoughts are the harvest of the fights with my own inner lazy demons, and it doesn’t mean that I won the fight. Sometimes I win, sometimes I loose. The fight is still going on. You know what helps me to keep going? To refresh my dreams from time to time, so I’ll never forget what I’m standing for.
When I started my journey to a better life I really throwed myself out there. I decided to leave my comfort zone and step by step reach for what is the best in life for me. I felt like I have to quickly make up for all those years I spent living below my potential. I had an urge to compensate all shity jobs, all unused ideas, wasted talents and wasted time. And I wanted to do it RIGHT NOW, with the feeling like the world is ending.
As I always been creative person with a thousands ideas popping into my head every minute, I started doing a lot. I changed a job, I learned some new skills and opened my own small buisness, I started seriously work on my first book and I still felt like this is not enough. I started to practice drawing and learn portugeese, I begin to write two different blogs. I was doing gym three times a week and also I’ve tried to learn yoga. And there was more things to do on my long as devil’s tail TO DO LIST. One day after working whole two weeks day and night for my full time job and for the events related to my buisness, I back home, sat down and almost cried in relief that finally after so long time I’m going to have a day off. But in fact it wasn’t to be a real day off, in fact I had a long list of things I planned to do already prepared. What did I do?
I spend all day reading absorbing book and late afternoon I sacrifice myself to bottle of wine and Netflix. That was the best day ever.
Don’t get me wrong – having things done and ‘to do lists’ are great.Goals are great, and development is great. But sometimes when we are starting our experience with selfdevelopment, we sink into an immeasurable amount of things that come to our minds. Very often while we are trying to squize the best of our lifes, we are forgetting about the most fundamental thing. We all need rest. We all need relax. We all need to take it easy sometimes. We are here to enjoy ourselfs, life is not a copmetition for who will do more.
We all need that fucking bottle of wine and free evening from time to time!
While you might thinking that you cannot spare any of your precious time to be wasted, the truth is we can’t afford not to relax. Repeating after Russel the time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Let’s treat doing ‘nothing’ as a recharging our batteries, as a way to change our personal mode. Proper rest leads to so many benefits, that is hardly to believe, that so many people still underestimate the art of rest. And anyone can do it on it’s own way. Without feeling of guilt that we squander something.
When you rest-deprived you’re not able to reach your full potential. When your body and mind are overwhelmed your health suffering. Whole machanism of your human shell doesn’t work as it supposed to.
So, if you want to be someone who easily achieves goals and fulfills his duties, has a fresh and creative mind and feels full, learn to rest. If you seriously think about selfdevelopment it is a MUST for you.
When you slow down you achieving totally new perspective.
Study shows taht rest sharpens your creative abilities, when you rested your brain cells communicate effectively and also your relationships become more harmonious.
There are spiritual benefits too – by deeply resting your mind you can discover your inner windsom. This is why we can distinguish physical rest, mental rest, and spiritual rest.
So next time when you feel that you are totally wiped out don’t force yourself to finish all the tasks. Take a nap, some things can be done tomorrow.