It's a beautiful Saturday morning. Yesterday afternoon some clouds started to roll in and I thought it was going to finally rain. But the sky is bright blue and it's roughly about 61 degrees. Just another dry California winter. Outside a cacophony of lawnmowers, leaf blowers, music blaring, kids playing, and circular saws..uh...circulating, penetrate through my window.
It's not uncommon for me to wake up irritated. I'm always irritated. Well, except when I'm "not". It was the lawn mowers that woke me up. But instead of letting my anger dictate how the rest of my day is going to be, I used some of the skills I have been learning in treatment. My treatment program is based on the CBT method (Cognitive Behavioral Theory). It's a very interesting theory. I guess we all have these "cognitive distortions", and it doesn't matter if we are diagnosed with a mental illness or not. According to the Therapist and Psychiatrists at the hospital, we "ALL think like this". (I think that statement would be considered "Over Generalization" or "Jumping to Conclusions, no?)
The difference between not having a mental illness and just thinking negatively depends on how much time is spent in the negative thoughts. I indulge mine. I'm sure we've all at one point or another have had thoughts like, " I'm a loser." or " I can't do anything right." or " I'm just going to fail, so why bother?" These thoughts have been "triggered" from an event. From that event comes the negative thought/trigger, and from that thought comes an emotion/urge to our eventual action/use. And if you don't know what your triggers are or catch those negative thoughts, that little snowflake of a thought can cause an avalanche of emotions, thoughts, and feelings you have absolutely no control over.
These behavior modifications are handy skills to have, I know them if anybody wants to give me a written test, but can I apply them? To my own life? You mean in "real life" situations?? Well, I tried to... I was able to identify my trigger, and I recognized what I was feeling- I was feeling mad by the way- then I thought about using my "stop thought and replacement" skill, but then that thought kind of flew off on it own and started thinking about the events that happened yesterday at group which triggered another feeling and then I just got mad again...Soooo...no. I don't know how to apply them. Instead I used the one skill I knew would work, I sat down at my computer and loaded up my pipe.
I went to bed about 5AM this morning. I sat down at my computer yesterday afternoon around 3PM and did not move from here till 5AM. I got a good 7 hours sleep. I needed it after only getting around 3 hours of sleep in the past 36 hours! (those fucking "shadows of light" were multiplying rapidly! But that's some other post..) I know damn well, it's not the internet, or updating my blogs or this forum that keeps me here and awake, night after night. I was binging and well aware that I hit a limit. I couldn't smoke anymore, but I kept picking it up even though it was doing nothing for me. I think I logged onto the forum later in the afternoon. After scrolling through some threads, I didn't feel like posting anything. It's not that I didn't have anything to say, or add or contribute. I just felt like a hypocrite. And what good is a hypocrite's advice??
I'm going through treatment with a dual diagnoses, but I don't know if I have any intention of treating my addiction. I've only talked to a few people in the Chemical Dependency group. I just realized that one of them wasn't there yesterday because he probably relapsed, which means he's probably in jail again. Every once in a while the therapist/facilitator will ask us when was the last time we used. And most of them have admitted to me they lie too. It hasn't been a week or a few days, or even last night when they used last. You didn't really "relapse" when you never quit. There are a few in there who are absolutely making honest efforts and I commend them for that; wish I could say the same for me. But my diagnoses go hand in hand, if I fix one with out the other, am I really accepting treatment?
Life continues outside on this beautiful Saturday morning... or should I say afternoon now. It continues for everyone but me. I've made a nice "nest" around my computer screen. I'm trying to figure out how to stop time or at least slow it down...Three hours have passed since I first sat down here; I don't need another blog, and this wasn't the reason I joined the forum. But since I didn't "feel" like contributing to threads last night, I just started fucking around with my profile and stuff. Scrolling through thread after thread of people "scared" and "lonely", wore me down last night. I can tell them all I want that they are not alone, and they have support here and give suggestions on getting treated. Everything I tell them, I've done and/or gone through, and somehow, I still feel scared and lonely. At one point, I thought that I should just quit logging on to the forum if I'm not helping or contributing. I'm only able to blog because I donated, and who knows if I can again next month....And just like that negative thought after negative thought kept coming up last night. I didn't even notice, not until I read this and edited it, just now. I've identified my trigger, stopped the thought, but I'm not going to replace it. I'm still feeling insecure. I want to be here, but right now, I just feel like hanging back for a bit and watching others continue to move forward and wonder why I can't. I guess this my way of isolating but online; "online isolation". Heh. I coined a phrase! Unless it exists already???
By mid afternoon, the blue skies aren't as bright, which is really the only way you can tell it's winter. The temperature drops, the sun sets earlier; in California we "sense" that it is winter, we do not experience it. I should feel so lucky for living where I do. I lived on the East Coast for about 2.5 years, which is nothing really. I hate snow!! The fucking winters there are brutal! Deep in the middle of winter over there, which is about now, the sun doesn't rise till 8AM then sets at 4PM. It's soo depressing to hardly ever see the sun. And I'm sorry, being born on an tropical island then growing up in California...well, I don't know what the fuck I was thinking!... I just remembered why I moved, I was "running away" or at least trying to again. In a way, I kind of knew I was, but things were going on in my life that kind of skewed that line. So I left under the guise of that lie, but absolutely believing it. And now I' m actually questioning whether or not I like snow. Maybe when I'm better, I'll try again.