Procrastination affects us differently

170958_me_myself_and_i.jpgI have written several posts on procrastination because it is such a traumatic experience and common to many of us. Procrastination affects us differently – some worse than others, as can be seen by Terry’s comment below. Regardless of how immobilised you feel when procrastination takes hold, there are different strategies that you can choose from to assist you. The most effective technique or strategy is that you learn how to relax so as to let go of the fear the task is causing you. Then give yourself permission to wait until you feel ready to begin. Plan a small step to begin your task once you have relaxed – the momentum will overcome your procrastination. You can find what works for you or you can choose to be a victim of procrastination. You may need some professional assistance to overcome the block.

What about when the procrastination paralyses you and when you are unprepared you perform badly and feel awful and embarrassed. Its as if something inside is hoping for failure. Or when you have a deadline for a task and leave it till the last minute and the stress builds up but there is a block to complete the task. Terry

me myself and i, photo by Davide Farabegoli, Milano, Italy, howto relax

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Madness of addiction

Almost mad ii, photo by Lucretious, Thessaloniki, Greece, insanity Addiction plays tricks with the mind, a form of insanity. People who are in denial about their addiction resent the notion that they are suffering the insanity that goes with the condition. How else can you describe the madness of addiction other than insanity, when you make yourself promises you don’t keep, when you find yourself lying, when your life becomes unmanageable and still you do the same? Is that not a form of insanity? Those of us who make it to the serenity of recovery, reach a stage when we are not ashamed of admitting that to be addicted,and remain that way, is insanity.

as I enjoy my serenity from
nicotine and food addiction
I value my freedom from being
compelled and yet not having enough
which is what the insanity of addiction
meant for me – not enough and yet
not being able to stop
so I attended 12 Step meetings
spoke about my innermost feelings
especially the ones I buried deep because
I didn’t like them for being unaccceptable
had regular visits with my therapist
and explored the madness of addiction
I remembered from the 12 Step program that
I am not responsible for my addiction but
I am responsible for my recovery
so today I carry that message as part of
my personal and professional life

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Isolation

Black 5, photo by Ana Labate, Santos Brazil, alone timeIt’s so easy to justify isolation as being time alone. When you prefer to be alone rather than being a part of the community and feel intolerant about everything and everyone then it’s a warning sign that all is not well. To ignore that is to toy with serious consequences. Many people would rather suffer than do whatever it takes to heal. Sometimes all it takes is writing about how we feel until the core anger or fear is released. Other times it may take joining a group to share similar interests or hobbies. Another solution is seeing a doctor or therapist to sound out your innermost thoughts. Perhaps there may be a need for a change in diet, exercise, or taking supplements (vitamins). It could be you need medication or anti-depressants under doctor’s supervision. Or all of the above. Whatever it is, don’t let the dysfunction or ill health ruin your life and that of others. Deal with it and turn your life around to be more joyful and fulfilling.

she’s in her eighties and totally alone
full of complaints about her family
whom she feels has abandoned her
over the years she’s had interesting friends
for short periods of time because
she constantly ‘leaves bodies in her wake’
her dysfunctional behaviour shows as
meanness and blame levelled at all ages
any suggestion for therapy or medication
incurred her wrath
then one day as a result of some
medication for vertigo for 2 weeks
she seemed so sane and serene
then she stopped taking the meds and
life was misery again, for her and others
yet she could not see the difference!

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Addiction and anorexia

Mannequins, photo by Marco Michelini, Firenze, Italy, beauty mythMuch has been written about the effect that thin models and movie celebrities have on young women. In an effort to look like these role models young women develop eating disorders. Addiction and anorexia are the same condition. When a person suffers from anorexia it is on the same eating disorder continuum as compulsive overeating. Just as life threatening as other addictions anorexia results in a distorted perception. The afflicted person does not see themselves as being thin and continues to do without food in order to lose more weight.

she was such a loveable person and
so thoughtful too, not to mention how
talented she was in writing
poetry straight from the heart
however, she battled addiction and anorexia
she managed to become free of the heroin
but not of the need to avoid eating
no matter what she tried it worked only
for a short time and then she was back
to her old ways which eventually led her
to her heroin addiction and death from starvation
some more fortunate are rescued from this fate

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Panic

Fear in the eye, photo by Joonas Lampinen, Kuopio, Finland, stay coolToday I’m writing about panic as the cause of whether we handle situations well or not. Panic is fuelled by anxiety and different people react differently to stressful situations. The need to fight or flight is natural and some of us under such circumstances will appear cool, calm and collected making the necessary appropriate decisions which resolve the emergency. Others may become flustered and make mistakes that can be fatal. Then again people may experience both reactions at different times.

The best solution is to be prepared by developing relaxation techniques beforehand, like breathing evenly in a circular fashion; repetition of words to steady thought patterns, e.g. “I can do it, I can do it” over and over again (otherwise known as affirmations or self hypnosis); asking for help or making a loud noise, if possible and so on.

PANIC DEFINITION: in American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition [DSM-IV]. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 394-403
The symptoms the DSM-IV list are:

  1. palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  2. sweating
  3. trembling or shaking
  4. sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  5. feeling of choking
  6. chest pain or discomfort
  7. nausea or abdominal distress
  8. feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  9. derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  10. fear of losing control or going crazy
  11. fear of dying
  12. paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations.
  13. chills or hot flushes

This definition of panic is from (and for more information) (Ask Tog)

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Soulmates or love addiction?

Forelove @ Backlight, photo by Ertl Balázs, Soroksar, Hungary, true loveThere is a fine line between having a loving relationship and love addiction. A loving relationship involves soulmates having a fulfilling life based on like-minded friendship. Love addiction is a relationship that brings extreme highs and lows with unmanageablity as the distinctive characteristic which gets progressively worse. Soulmates or love addiction, which will it be for you?

he had experienced great unhappiness
and yet mad passionate love with her
he was finally free of that madness
and it hadn’t been easy to achieve!
in therapy he tried to understand
why he felt disinterested with his new love
and yet he knew he loved her deeply
it took a while for him to realise
that he needed to adjust to the reality of love
in other words: soulmates or love addiction?
he finally understood the difference
and since then his life has been
what he’s always hoped for and yet
thought he’d never have
together with serenity at last
as well as three adorable young children to love

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Sex and love addiction

Heels, photo by Marko Matovic, Cacak, Serbia, obsessive compulsive So many people nowadays suffer with sex and love addiction and yet are in denial about it. They are seen as rogues and the behaviour is condoned. Or it seems easier for people to believe that a person is worthless because they lose control of their desires for sex and love. Whereas if there was more understanding that this behaviour is a disorder or disease which can be treated, then it could be corrected. It is described simply by the need to have sex and love in order to get a thrill, only to feel guilty afterwards because the consequences are bleak and people are hurt. At times it is life-threatening when those involved are careless too.

he said that he couldn’t understand
what happened and that he took such a chance
he had not intended to have a one night stand
and yet he felt driven and what’s more
he didn’t use a condom
now he was stressed as he may have
signed his own death warrant
this was not the first time this had happened
and yet he is a good looking, successful guy
any number of women are attracted to him
something had to be done and right away
he agreed he couldn’t do it alone and needed help
he’d been to have his Aids test and
now he made a commitment to go to
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous which
he had resisted for so long
when I saw him next he seemed
more serene and spoke about how
surprised he was at meeting people
he respected and some who had
been through the same thing as he had
but were free of the madness
and now he felt there was hope for him
I saw him again one year later and he
was in recovery and grateful for his health
emotional physical and spiritual

[SLAA Sydney telephone: 9358 6605]

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Touch to stay alive

Danny and Me, photo by Joe DeCarlo, Sparksville, United States,  love therapyWithout touch babies have been known to die, that’s why attachment in the early years of childhood is so important. We need touch to stay alive. To touch and be touched is the necessity of life. That’s why one of the methods of torture or punishment has been isolation, it can make a person go crazy. It is important to teach children from a young age that sulking (withdrawal) is counter-productive to having their needs and wants met. Communicating what they are feeling is vital to their own wellbeing and future relationship development.

they argued constantly
from early morning and then
when he came home from work
late into the night
sometimes they wouldn’t talk for days
sulking so badly that you could
cut the air with a knife, so to speak
I often wondered how they managed
to get through the day in such an
atmosphere of bitterness and misery
with no touching
then after 13 years they divorced
and took their dysfunctional behaviour
to their new separate relationships
which did not last long either
we need touch to stay alive
in more ways than one

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Recovery through education

beer, photo by Arjun Kartha, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, sobriety, AAAddiction creeps up on a person before they realise it’s too late.? Then they can’t stop repeating the debilitating behaviour.? Becoming free of the grip of addiction is possible through education and an experienced helping hand.? So many have succeeded to be set free from such compulsion.? Recovery through education about the addictive process can only be achieved successfully with the support of others, especially those who have had the same experience and recovered.? You cannot do it by yourself, so reach out.

it was such a long hard struggle
and she tried over and over
each time the sobriety lasted
maybe a day or two
and then she had a drink
and it was a downward tumble again
she told me she was contemplating
suicide to get free of the torment
until she came into detox and
the support of Alcoholics Anonymous
she was so amazed at how many
successful people had reached the same
hopeless situation as she had done
and how they found recovery through education
because it’s not enough to just stop drinking
you need to deal with the feelings for which
alcohol is used to cover

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Power of Music

Pure Music 1, photo by sanja gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/517854, mood managementThe power of music can be easily overlooked. Notice which songs or tunes grab your heartstrings – varies with your mood doesn’t it? When we are in a good mood, happy songs complement our mood. When we feel unhappy, songs that are sad and almost like crying make us feel supported in that mood. When we are happy, hearing sad songs can be annoying. Residents of institutions, recovering from mental illness, can become more settled in their mood if classical music is playing. Research showed that monks listening to baroque music became more productive, similarly monks who chanted had the same productive outcome. Sometimes when I’m listening to sad music I can feel myself crying inside and at other times I feel impatient and need to change the music to something unemotional or perhaps classical. Music also helps me to be more aware of ‘where I’m at’.

when I ran halfway houses for people
recovering from addictions or
residential homes for wards of the state
it was apparent that
the music playing in the house
affected their moods
so I recommended that they avoid
as much as possible
heavy metal or loud thumping music
and this not only made a huge difference
to their inner peace and wellbeing
but also helped them feel more empowered
choosing to listen to such music in
shorter spurts and at
more appropriate times
for them and everybody else

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