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Tobbe

Tobbe becomes a Recovery Warrior

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34 minutes ago, Dragonwolf said:

Don't expect to get into the stereotypical meditative state right away. Odds are very good that you'll have trouble the first few times with keeping your mind calm for more than a few dozen seconds, let alone getting deep into any kind of trance/semi-conscious state. Don't give up.

 

Thanks for your advice. I've actually been in a trance/semi-conscious state before, but only when dancing for several hours at rave parties (no drugs involved). But it's been a long time since I did anything like that.

 

35 minutes ago, Dragonwolf said:

You probably didn't start being able to do pull-ups/muscle-ups. Think of the deep meditative states as muscle-ups for your mind.

 

I'm still working my way up to a pull-up, but I see what you mean :)  Like everything else new it takes practice :)  I'll let you know how it goes!

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I got a reply from our teacher regarding the meditation. This is what she said

 

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Yay, your first meditation, Tobbe! It will be a guided one, meaning I will talk while you breath in and out. An important thing to remember with meditations is that it's very normal for your mind to wander with thoughts and to feel uncomfortable with the stillness. It gets easier and more comfortable with time.

 

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9 hours ago, Tobbe said:

When we got our first boy and I was home alone taking care of him I sometimes just sat at the floor crying to myself for not being able to love him as a father is supposed to love his kids.

I've heard this been said by moms. It's called post partum depression. Hormones change for the dad too during pregnancy and having them out of balance can do crazy things to your mind. Maybe you can have your hormone levels checked? It might explain some of your symptoms. 

 

About the meditation: imagine your thoughts to be clouds. They will enter your mind, but you don't have to pay attention to them, just let them drift away. This visual helped me a lot. 

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29 minutes ago, Terah said:

I've heard this been said by moms. It's called post partum depression.

 

Yes, I've read about that before too, and I think that's what I had. I also know it gets better and better as the kids grow up and I can talk and reason with them. I don't like small children, and I don't like pets. A big reason for that is that I can't reason with them. I prefer adults that I can have a proper conversation with, and that understands what I'm saying, and the consequence of actions.

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54 minutes ago, Tobbe said:

I also know it gets better and better as the kids grow up and I can talk and reason with them. I don't like small children, and I don't like pets. A big reason for that is that I can't reason with them. I prefer adults that I can have a proper conversation with, and that understands what I'm saying, and the consequence of actions.

I think that's common in a lot of men. My husband also likes that he can teach the boys things now, like prime numbers and programming :D  (Yes, he's a nerd too). And he loves roughhousing with them. When he comes home the boys jump him and try to work him to the ground, he really needs to defend himself so he can hang his coat ;) 

Is there an activity that you like and can share with your kids? Maybe playing board games, or multiplayer in mine craft, kicking a ball around or something like that? It doesn't have to be big, and it doesn't have to take long (kids are distracted really fast anyway), and it might give you the chance to create a bond with them. 

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Yes, we do boardgames sometimes. It's alright. I'd rather spend the time here on the forums, but yeah, boardgames are alright. I've taken both boys climbing, and that's been okay-ish too. Sometimes we go out in the woods and light a fire and cook something. That's something I can tolerate too. But that one will have to wait until the weather gets a bit better :) 

 

I think one problem right now is that I don't have enough energy to spare on much anything/anyone :( 

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13 hours ago, Tobbe said:

One thing we'll do later this week is try our hands (heads?) on meditating. I've never done that before! @Mad Hatter IIRC you recently got (back?) into meditating. Any beginner resources you can recommend? Anyone else have any n00b tips to share?

Yes I just recently started! I tried a few times before in the past year but never managed more than a one or two days. That was because I was approaching it with the wrong mindset, I thought it was boring and like I wasn't doing anything and wanted immediate results. But since I started to approach it with a sense of curiosity and like each session is only practice it's been much, much better. I'm using the Headspace app which I find is extremely beginner friendly, straight forward, not at all woo woo and I find the guy nice to listen to. It also has a basic introductory course that explains how it all works. One part is to set an intention with the meditation, a simple reminder about why you're doing it. For me it's a commitment to take care of my mental health, and just that little intention has made a big difference in motivation and why I've stuck to it for so long now, almost 6 weeks. I don't know how or even if it's working but I've decided to trust the science and that it will have some positive effects.

 

The main tip that I've got from other people is that it's a bit like going to the gym, at first it will be difficult and you won't notice immediate results, but after a while it gets easier and you'll notice subtle positive effects, and if you take a break it will become very apparent.

 

There are loads of other resources and apps, Calm is popular, but I haven't tried any of them yet so can't give any other recommendations. 

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13 hours ago, Tobbe said:

Thanks for your advice. I've actually been in a trance/semi-conscious state before, but only when dancing for several hours at rave parties (no drugs involved). But it's been a long time since I did anything like that.

Clearly I'm a noob, but for me I would have been turned off if I had entering that state as a goal. I think that for me treating it as a mental/concentration practice makes it a lot less intimidating and just being able to let the "clouds drift away" as Terah said is a plenty difficult goal. Or attempt to anyway. :P I think I've started to get tiny glimpses of that meditative state, but for daily life simply having a bit of a buffer between my thoughts and how I react to them is worth a lot more, especially if I would be able to do that when my mindset is not on top. Verdict's still out on that one though.

 

1 hour ago, Tobbe said:

I think one problem right now is that I don't have enough energy to spare on much anything/anyone :( 

When you do I think/hope you'll find that a lot of things that seem boring right now will start getting shiny again!

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2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I thought it was boring and like I wasn't doing anything

 

I can totally see how I'll feel like "I'm not doing anything". I have that problem trying to read a book too. Now that I think about it, it's kind of weird, because I don't have that problem with for example stretching... 

 

3 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I'm using the Headspace app which I find is extremely beginner friendly

 

I've heard about Headspace before (probably in your thread ;)). We'll see how the guided meditation goes. If I need additional help I'll look in to the various app options.

 

3 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

The main tip that I've got from other people is that it's a bit like going to the gym, at first it will be difficult and you won't notice immediate results, but after a while it gets easier and you'll notice subtle positive effects, and if you take a break it will become very apparent.

 

Yeah, that's what others have been saying too :)  I'll try to come in to it with an open mind, and let things happen in the pace they do. Not trying to rush anything

 

3 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

especially if I would be able to do that when my mindset is not on top

 

Yeah, when things are going well, everything is easy :)  The real test is what works in darker moments!

 

Thanks for your input!

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Copy/paste from our classroom at The School of Recovery

 

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It's only 8:30 am, and I want to start this day off on a positive note, so here are three things I'm grateful for today
1. My boys being old and independent enough to get ready for school on their own in the morning
2. Morning walks. I love the fresh air in the morning!
3. Inspirational podcasts and the people who create them (thinking of you @Jessica Flint! (and many others too, of course)
Celebrate: Nothing yet, but I've got a long day ahead of me with plenty of opportunities to do things to be proud of and to celebrate later. So I'll get back to this tonight :) 

 

Quote

This morning I wrote my list of gratitude, but couldn't come up with anything I was proud of that I wanted to celebrate. I cooked soup for lunch today, and my wife was really skeptical. When she saw the soup she was even more skeptical. But when she tasted it she said it was really good. My oldest son loved it too. So I'm proud of surprising my wife with my cooking and want to celebrate the act of sharing tasty food with your family!

 

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We have more assignments to do this week than just the daily gratitude and celebration, but I haven't started on those yet.

 

Today started out with more of a struggle than I anticipated...

 

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1. Music that makes me smile Note
2. Music that makes me dance Note
3. Music that gives me energy Note

 

Celebrate: The small victories; I did my workout before breakfast today. So I decided to eat a little more for breakfast than what my ED said I was supposed to eat, because I knew my body needed it! Strong Weight Lifting  Plate Well, that didn't happen :(   More thoughts below

 

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ED won this fight :( 
My wife was preparing breakfast, and I initially asked her to put what my ED wanted on the table. But then I thought "F* ED! I need more food to fuel my body after the workout!".  So I asked her to put some initial items on the table that I wanted to eat. This was when I was all happy and wrote the initial celebration. But then when I sat down at the breakfast table this happened:
1. Wrong bowl for my yogurt, so I couldn't have the yogurt (one of the extra things I had asked for).  - 100% ED voices :( 
2. We were in a rush to get out of the door, so no time to eat the yogurt anyway.  - True that we were in a rush, but ED voices saying I didn't have time to eat
3. We're having an early lunch, so better not eat too much for breakfast.  - True that we're having an earlier lunch than usual, but the better choice would still be to eat a proper breakfast, because that's when I needed the extra energy today, and then just eat as much as my body needs for lunch, instead of assuming I'll overeat at lunch ad restrict breakfast as a result.
4. We're eating lunch at a new restaurant, so rather have more of the food there than at breakfast, because the breakfast food you can have any other day, but the restaurant is really far away and you won't get to have that food anytime soon again.  - Shut up ED! You're just trying to make me restrict! :angry:  I still need to eat a proper breakfast!

 

So yeah, my ED voices won this fight. I did have breakfast, but only the small amount that my ED voices deemed "safe".

 

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The only item in the list in the image above I don't fully get is "Try to do activities that match the opposite of your emotions"

 

What does that mean to you? Could you explain it to me?

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50284255_123021408755986_6874024977173912478_n.jpg?_nc_ht=instagram.fbma1-1.fna.fbcdn.net

 

Quote

As we go into the weekend, remember this... your worth comes from within, warrior. Not from food, from your appearance, or how much or how little you exercise. You are worthy of happiness and fulfillment outside of those factors.

 

From Instagram

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3 hours ago, Tobbe said:

The only item in the list in the image above I don't fully get is "Try to do activities that match the opposite of your emotions"

 

What does that mean to you? Could you explain it to me?

I've no idea, is there a forum where you can ask?

 

It's probably not at all where she's going with this, but often when we're in a bad headspace we tend curl up. Doing something simple to physically counteract that, like standing up straight or doing a tiny back bend or smiling, can sometimes help just a tiny tiny bet. Or maybe she means that you should do a happy dance or whatever even when you're sad? Dunno.

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The list of items was not from our teacher. It was just random positive stuff posted. But I did indeed ask, and this is what the person who posted it said

 

Quote

I take it as a prompt to challenge your inner critic. If it is lying to me by saying I’m not worthy, I get in front of the mirror & speak the truth that I AM worthy. If the lies are saying I don’t deserve more... I get up, rise above & take action to receive all that I deserve. I think this is to prompt us by knowing WE ARE ALL WORTHY!! Use positive emotions to oppose/challenge the negative ones by taking action to move forward.

 

Don't know if I'm any wiser after reading that or not...

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Following up on my failed celebration this morning:

 

Quote:

"Today I'm proud of not letting my less than stellar breakfast experience ruin the rest of my day. So I'm celebrating the small victory in that :)"

 

I'm so happy that I've been able to make sane decisions related to food today! I've eaten lots of great food at different restaurants and cafes today. Both proper foods and lots of sweets too. But I've eaten it all in amounts that have been enough to satisfy me, but not too much to make me feel bad neither mentally nor physically. Even had unlimited access to a really tasty cake/cookie at the hotel we're staying at, but I only had one (pretty big, but still) piece of it. And it wasn't even that much of a mental struggle. I felt pretty content after that piece, and wasn't hungry and wanted to leave room for the three course dinner later in the evening. This is so different to how I would have acted and felt/thought earlier. I have no idea why it was easier/better today than it usually is, but I'm really happy about it and hope tomorrow feels just as good when the challenging situations will continue.

 

Stay strong out there!

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Today I'm grateful for:
1. Having the means to spend a weekend at a hotel with my wife
2. Having a wife that's the best possible mother to our children
3. Having friends in different cities to go visit
Celebrating: Meditation.
I've never tried meditation before, because it's always felt too woo-woo for me. So I'm proud of myself for really giving it an honest try. (And it's definitely something I'm open to trying again!)

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So we did a guided meditation together with our teacher today.

 

We started off just breathing. Trying to feel grounded in the chair we sat in, and then relaxing. Then we were asked to envision an empty Petri dish. In our mind we should grow an eating disorder in the Petri dish. And then make it go away again.

 

We were asked to write down what images we got in our heads, what the ED looked like, and how we got rid of it.

 

I just got balls of different colors and textures
Black, dark purple, dark blue for the disorder. With sharp thorny things on them. And other sharp extrusions.
And pink, and red fluffy balls that took over when I got rid of it
The ED really quickly grew out of the dish. The dark balls multiplied super fast.
Some ED balls I could just punch a hole in with a sharp needle and they went away
But I found the initial "colony" of the ED really hard to get rid of
Finally someone just had to go in with tweezers and pull it out of the Petri dish


And for some reason I got really hot/warm during the meditation

 

We were also asked if any words came in to our minds or other thoughts on what the ED needed to grow, or how we can make it go away. But I got nothing of that. Just the balls...

 

After the session our teacher shared a quote with us that had given her the idea about using the Petri dish

 

"If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive," - Dr. Brené Brown.

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19186-Jewish-Proverb-Quote-I-ask-not-for

 

Longer version

 

My dear,

 

In times of hardship,

I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.

I ask not for an easier path, but for stronger feet.

I ask not for weaker enemies, but a stronger me.

Let life do with us what it wants, but let us be strong enough to handle it.

… We are strong enough to handle it. Our shoulders are broad, and they get broader with time.

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For the live video call with our teacher yesterday we got a PDF handout to be filled out during the call.

 

The fist thing we were asked to do was to think of changes we could do in our lives, and what the outcome of those changes might be. We were asked to see it as a scientist setting up experiments, with something to experiment with, and a hypotheses about the outcome.

 

"If I were to __________, then I hope/expect to see the following results: _________."

 

This is what I wrote down (there were four areas of our lives to focus on)

 

Relationships & Love

 

If I were to sleep more, then I hope/expect to see the following results: I'd get more energy to spend on/with my wife.

If I were to let my wife do more cooking, then I hope/expect to see the following results: My wife would be happier because she got to eat what she wanted more often.

 

Career & Money

 

If I were to spend a few minutes/hours every week to work on something outside of my day job, then I hope/expect to see the following results: I'd get a small side income.

If I were to put more money into my investment funds, then I hope/expect to see the following results: Possible to retire earlier.

 

Rest & Play

 

If I were to play more with the boys, then I hope/expect to see the following results: We'd be a happier family, and I'd have less time to focus on my ED thoughts.

If I were to try yoga, then I hope/expect to see the following results: I'd learn more fun ways to move my body and another way to release tension (both in body and in mind).

 

Mind & Body

 

If I were to meditate, then I hope/expect to see the following results: I'd get another tool to use to handle stress/stressfull situations.

If I were to sleep more, then I hope/expect to see the following results: A less tired mind.

If I were to eat more, then I hope/expect to see the following results: A more nourished body.

If I were to let my wife do more cooking, then I hope/expect to see the following results: I'd get practice challenging my ED voices.

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2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Those are all great changes to pursue. Something for future challenges. :) 

 

Thanks for showing that you're reading what I'm sharing here :) Was starting to feel a bit much like a monologue :P 

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Always reading, sometimes I just really don't have anything intelligent to say! Or even something dumb. :P 

It's very interesting to read about though, thanks for sharing in such detail!

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The second task was to fill out what she called a "Wheel of Intention". We were asked to fill it out with things we wanted to have in the next three years. She said we often over-estimate what we can do in one year, but under-estimate what we can achieve in three years. So we were told to think big :)  We were given the headlines/categories, but then we had to fill them in ourselves. Finally, for this task, we were to pick a word or phrase to focus on.

 

This is what I wrote down

 

Relationships

 

More quality time with my wife (time without distractions)

Vacations with friends/family

 

Career & Money

 

I'm still learning new things that interest me

I have gone to at least one tech conference abroad every year (or other interesting conference)

I have earned some money on the side (not from my day job)

 

Mind & Body

 

I'm free from my ED

I can do 5 pull-ups and 5 chin-ups

I can do a free handstand

 

Rest & Play

 

I'm averaging at least 7 hours of sleep per night

I'm going on fun and challenging adventures at least once a year, like climbing mountains

 

Focus-word

 

Fight

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