Thirty days, yo!

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“It’s a celebration, bitches!”  –  It seems this squirrel has gone a little gangsta.  Who are we to hold it against him?!

THIRTY DAYS: A Retrospective
What an exciting and rewarding day for me.  Not only is there a pretty decent sense of accomplishment, but it wasn’t even as difficult as I thought it was going to be, looking back on it.  Most things in life seem to be that way – while you are in the midst of getting through whatever challenge it may not be the easiest thing in the world, but by the time you get through it and look back on it, often times you won’t think it was that bad.  It’s because you MADE IT through it, and were successful.  Triumphant over the circumstances, let’s say.  So we’ll just say to all those circumstances: Bite my sciurine tail!

Now that we have that out of the way, apart from being awake at midnight with some annoying stomach acid reflux from eating Panda Express and then curling up in the nest, I can honestly say I had a pretty awesome day.  There was much celebratory feasting, and got a lot done I’ve been wanting to take care of around my tree.

Something feels so much more real about this time; maybe the fact that I am keeping track of my progress indicates that I care.  Even when I am busy with work, taking the time to think about what day it is helps me have something to hold onto – something to stand for if you will – when thoughts turn to nuts temporarily.  And the thoughts ARE fewer and farther between, and easier to ignore or divert.

It’s important for squirrels like myself to be very conscious about our thought patterns.  It’s not necessary to constantly mentally perpetuate a bad idea in our heads, if we can distract ourselves and think about something else the thought will pass.  The opposite end of the spectrum is obsession and maintenance of a thought – if you do this it is almost a guarantee to relapse: relapses often start long before you munch that first nut.  The IDEA of the nut becomes all consuming, until you complete the actions that fulfill that addictive desire.  Then the cycle continues after that, unless it is broken.

So what does the future hold for me?  Thirty more days, one day at a time sounds like an attainable goal.  As far as progress, I suppose we can consider Phase I over, and Phase II beginning tomorrow.  What will be the difference?  After the completion of Phase I, a detoxification and reeducation phase, Phase II could be considered to have a more pronounced focus on mindfulness, avoiding complacency, and the beginnings of therapy to explore the roots of issues and solutions to help deal with them.  I’m not sure what Phase III will be yet, but I think I’ll figure it out in the next thirty days.  (For the origins of the 3-Phase plan that I am making up on my own based on other programs I have experience, visit my earlier post.)

P. Squirrel out!

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Squirrel update

Although I’ve posted plenty, I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and write something myself.  So I’ll take the time to do that now.

It’s almost been thirty days, and although it hasn’t been easy, it’s actually been easier than I thought it would be.  Once I commit to something, and truly commit to it for my own reasons and not for anyone else, then I can make the decisions I need to make that will benefit me.

The answer to everything: that’s what nuts used to do for me.  Stressed?  Nuts.  Tired?  Nuts.  Happy?  Nuts.  All those nuts get you pretty worked up and worn out to where you don’t really enjoy anything anymore.  Of course in the moment it feels like the answer to everything: that’s part of what the dopamine releases do – you feel REALLY GOOD about whatever you are doing.  And that’s a very attractive feature!  But it doesn’t stay that way.  Ever.

As a slightly older, wiser squirrel than I used to be, I am trying to take the long view of things and work for more future goals, rather than trying to focus on instant gratification.  And along the way, it turns out I am much happier doing that.  I can think about things, be motivated about things, etc.

A big thanks to the rest of the squirrel community for their support!  It’s nice to know there are other squirrels out there who know how to use computers!