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Dual mind


Ralph

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I went to an NA meeting today. Suggestion of my meditation instructor type person. I'm trying to be Buddhist and that means no drugs as that interferes with meditation practice. The meeting wasn't as bad as I feared it could be, in fact it felt almost welcoming. Still I am not sure if it's a cult or not. <_<

I'm not entirely sure I have a problem. I keep using these pills so that's a problem, but once I'm out I'm out, right? Maybe. Hope so. Then again I haven't hit bottom or had any run ins with the law, broken relationships etc. I still get my stuff done responsibly and confine my use to times where it won't run in with my commitments. So do I really need help? Of course I am pretty shy about making commitments in the first place so that is a low bar. It's almost like my life is arranged perfectly to use in secret.

I don't want to use anymore though. I hate the way it makes me sick the next day, so why do I keep deciding to do it? The high isn't worth the crash, but I manage to forget that nine times out of ten. I think part of me must be hoping to die. The other part is struggling to live, but doesn't have any real reason. That's where the dual mind comes in. Sometimes I am operating in pro life mode, trying to do the right things to recover. Other times I do the opposite and find myself taking the same two steps forward followed by two steps back.

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Maybe this will offer some hope? My life is getting somewhat fuller, my self-hatred less, and my drinking before bed is tapering off.

As I wrote before, I consciously decided to substitute alcohol for obsessive/compulsive selt-criticism before I went to bed every night. I looked at it like methadone, maybe. I stopped drinking without a problem when I went to an intensive outpatient therapy program a couple of years ago. I told the admitting counselor and my psychiatrist about the alcohol use. They looked down on me for it, but what do they know? Do they currently have any category for addiction to self-hatred?

I hated the hangover effect, too, but even then I was too zonked to be beating up on myself constantly. It relieved the "tight" feeling of obsessive-compulsive anything.

So -- is it good for you to be using? Probably not. When I was feeling horrible and knew that alcohol could provide a release before I went to bed -- yeah, it was something to live for temporarily. Some pleasure and relaxation, for a bit. Looking back on how I felt about that one particularly bad day -- I'm thankful for the discovery/invention of alcohol.

I'm doing better, as I said, though still got rough spots. Yesterday I decided on the spur of the moment to go to a local petting zoo to see and feed -- and pet -- some animals. It was great! Relaxing, pleasant . . . so good to see and be with those animals just keeping on keeping on.

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animals are good for being in the moment. =) it makes me happy you did that DD!

I wonder if there are things you could volunteer for that involve working with animals? That would be nice outlet.

Ralph...I feel the same way! except for SA. This constant internal battle is brutal.

Sure, it would be great if I were the most wonderfully functioning person in the world...i should go to SA.

Im not the most wonderfully functioning person in the world, so maybe this is good enough...dont go.

Yaaa...i probably do some stuff that is destructive...go to SA

But...some of it helps me get by, and i like it, i dont want to give it all up...dont go...

Im sure i have 100 pros and cons.

so do you think it is helpful to you even if you are not sure what you do is a 'problem'?

and what is it like for you to reconcile the 'cult' like aspects, as well as the mixing of buddhism with the 'christian-like' notion of the program?

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DD - I am glad you are doing better. I am trying to avoid going so far as doing an IOP but I am just not sure if 12 steps is appropriate for me. I know I have to change something though.

JJ - The christian like nature of NA is not a problem for my Buddhism. Buddhism and Christianity are quite compatible as far as notions of how to live a moral life are concerned. It is certainly more of a problem to be using mind altering drugs. I'm not even that committed to Buddhism anyway, I am currently trying it out to see if it really reduces suffering as it claims.

As for the cult aspects, that is really what turns me off. I haven't been back because I don't know if I can commit myself to working the steps with a sponsor and I know there is a lot of pressure to do this. My old friends would definitely lose all respect for me if I were to become a "12-stepper" even though many of them struggle with addiction as well. I am only considering it because I feel like I have to do something and it's pretty much the only game in town for help getting off of substances. There are alternatives out there but they meet less often and much further away.

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