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gradual improvement


Ralph

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Right now it feels like main cause of past problems was anxiety created by procrastination created by perfectionism. Relaxing perfectionist tendencies has made me less anxious, which in turn reduces the craving to drink.

Working on clearing the procrastination backlog. Anxiety usually goes up right before I get started but there is a bit of relief once it's off the list. Focusing on mindfulness during a task to make sure I start and finish it. This is very hard. Most of the time I will start a task but not finish it.

That's where my perfectionist tendency says it's hopeless. Instead I've been checking on my breath when I feel anxiety and every time I've stopped breathing. Making a conscious decision to check whether I am doing better than I did yesterday (did I get more done, have I made fewer mistakes, have I met my commitments, etc.). This helps relax the perfectionism part and strangely I get more done when I relax than when I am all balled up with having to do everything perfectly.

Current experiment is whether keeping up spiritual practice can reduce the desire to self destruct. So far, so good, but I am still assisted by Xanax, so who knows. Getting stuff done on Xanax, though, is noticeably better than staring at the walls on Seroquel.

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It's so awesome to watch your progress!! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Procrastination has been my big problem many years, too :). I don't admit I'm a perfectionist - maybe that's a problem. I'm rather a pessimist and I used to have strong tendencies to think that "nothing really matters, so what's the point doing something" :) :)... That's one of the reasons I enjoy reading about you - I see a real proof (not only in a book about procrastination!) that somebody can work it out.

Good job, Ralph!!!

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but I am still assisted by Xanax, so who knows.

It's not about Xanax, it's about YOU! :) The drug just allowed you to focus on your relevant thoughts and not to be disturbed too much by some issues. But once you can do it with Xanax, you'll be able to do it without it when the right time will come to stop taking the med! I'm saying it based on my experience with mirtazapine, which is different, of course, but... the principle is the same, I suppose: When you really change your habits, attitudes, ... , then you'll be able to live w/o the med the same way.

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Whether anything really matters is a philosophical question though. What are the best things in life? Art, music, dancing, literature, etc. are all things we do just because they are fun. They have no greater meaning whatsoever. The music and paintings and sculptures that do have a "meaning" or a message are comparably boring compared to the ones that just exist in and of themselves.

The point of a painting isn't to convey an anatomy lesson any more than the meaning of a symphony is to get to the end. Anything done with a purpose is just work. Ewww. I mean work is necessary but it's only what you do to get through to the good stuff, right?

re: xanax- see my next blog. It's complicated so I turned it into its own posting.

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I agree woth you :(...

I just question this:

I mean work is necessary but it's only what you do to get through to the good stuff, right?

It depends as there are people for which their work is also "a hobby", or even "the meaning of their life". I think it's great when somebody can do something (s)he can really enjoy. In my case, everybody has supposed that I was doing something I really loved, just... me I was hiding the fact that it mainly makes me stressed and "depressed"... Now I'm at the point of telling people I'm not going to do it anymore and... I fear every reaction as... it's surely something shoking for many of them as it's the contrary of what they were sure about... - Oh, about me again :(! ... I'll see your newest blog later...

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