Continued adventures of the recovering squirrel . . .

I wanted to check in with everyone and let you know how I’m doing these days.

Let me start off my saying that the therapist I’ve been seeing is absolutely wonderful.  She makes me feel like I can talk about anything that is bothering me, and I won’t be judged.  I feel like I’m in a safe place to talk about everything I’ve been through in my life, and that’s been a LOT.  I’ve already been illuminated to a lot of ways I act and feel that I wasn’t fully aware of, or even if I was aware of it I wasn’t sure how to really deal with it.

I’m working on self-acceptance . . . the idea that I am OK just the way I am, and I don’t have to change a thing.  This was quite the concept to thing about, since I’ve been so intent on CHANGING myself to not be an addict, to be a successful person, etc.  I always thought there was something I was missing, or something I needed to mold myself into.  I’ve also been working on being present in the moment, not dwelling on the past or wishing for the future, but that RIGHT NOW was a good time and place to be in with plenty of opportunities for success.

It’s amazing to have someone care about me in a way that is totally unconnected to any relationship – just someone who I can talk to and who will listen and has helpful suggestions.  I also get to talk about how I feel – and have been working on accepting that the emotions I feel are ok, normal, and healthy.  Instead of trying to squish them back down inside me for anyone else’s benefit, I can let them out and be alright with it.  I’ve already been able to talk about my feelings more with other people who would have before maybe just dismissed me as overly emotional.  Yes I am emotional.  Yes I am a male (squirrel)…  That’s another thing we’ve been talking about – cultural perceptions, whether verbal or non-verbal, about traditional male roles.

I don’t know why, but something (or someone) somewhere along the way caused me to want to squash my emotions down and suppress them for other people.  Maybe it’s because that’s what I watched other people do, at least until they erupted into a overflow of an outburst.

I’m a little bummed out my therapist was sick today, so I couldn’t go in.  All in all I feel ok, but was looking forward to continuing to explore and learn about ME.

Another thing we’ve been exploring is my propensity to put others needs, wants, desires, etc in front of my own, often in an effort to show them how much I love or care about them I will subjugate myself.  Why?  Not sure.  I feel like it’s always been that way, but we’re working on it.

Believe it or not we’re also working on my addiction too.  I love how she helps me to confront the reality of addiction without trying to make me feel bad about it.  She believes that addiction is a disease, but that no disease is bigger than any person.

In regards to not being on here and posting as often as I used to… there are two reasons.  First, my new job affords me LOTS of time to compose blog posts, but unfortunately also restricts access to the WordPress site.  So it’s difficult to get on here and read, write, and respond like I used to enjoy so much.  Second, I feel like this blog has helped me grow as a person.  I’m no longer the squirrel of over a year ago when I started this project… I was able to write, examine myself, and grow a small support system that has been there for me more than a few times (I’m talking about you Evil Squirrel, GentleStitches, and wonderful others!)  I’m pleasantly surprised at how this blog continues to live on despite my slowing down on new posts, and I hope that others who read will be inspired by watching my successes and motivated by my failures.  I’ve learned so much, and plan on continuing to learn as much as I can about myself.

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25 days and counting!

This Pensive Squirrel is still at it – yes, still nut free after 25 days, and feeling pretty good about it too!

As far as one on one counseling, it was different than what I expected.  I’m not sure what I expected, exactly, but it sure was different.  It took me about a full week and wrap my head around what I was being told.  I have been so wrapped up in trying to figure out WHY I am the way I am, and it seems I should have been concentrating more energy on the present and future instead of the past.

I’m not sure if I 100% agree with that technique.  There is certainly something to be gained from looking at the past, but I suppose the point is that it’s nothing that is going to help me IMMEDIATELY.  Sure I might gain some perspective, but it’s not going to help in the short term.  I’ve already got plans to start talking to yet someone else about my deep-seated issues not related to addiction, but more to my life in general.  I’m scheduled to go back in a week and see this guy, so we’ll see how it turns out.

In the meantime, everything seems to be going well in other areas of my life.  I started my new shift yesterday evening, so I’m now working in the afternoon and evening hours as Technical Support.  I’m the voice at the end of the line after 4:30pm when you call for technical support for my organization.  Thing about it, most people go HOME after 4:30pm, so as you can imagine there haven’t been that many calls.  Perfect time for me to relax, meditate, dedicate some time to myself and my other projects of interest, and whenever the phone rings, I’m on!  I really enjoy helping people, and that’s what my job is now.  So that part of my life has been going fantastic!

I’m looking back and almost can’t believe it’s really been 25 nut free days so far – it feels like the time has flown by.  I’m certainly not missing all the cravings and ill feelings I had, or the dependency on those nuts to help keep my mood regulated.  Funny thing about that though, I thought they were making me happy and calm and relaxed, but I would seem to fly off the handle at any little thing, and in general I had a much shorter temper and was more easily aggravated with the nuts.  So, good riddance to bad nuts!

Hip squirrel

Don’t be like the squirrel on the right . . .

Still working on the concept of making a life where it’s easier NOT to use – so far so good.  There have been some trying times where I felt like it would be easy to slip back into the comfortable numbness that the nuts provide – but that wouldn’t be a SOLUTION.  Sometimes things in life that we have to face are uncomfortable, unpleasant, or upsetting.  But they are never permanent; life is fluid and ever changing.  I feel I gained a lot by being able to work through my problems by facing them head on, and was able to resist the urge to just cover up the issues (and make more problems) with nuts.

Thanks for reading everyone!  My new job keeps me pretty busy but I’ll try to keep everyone as updated as I can! =)

P. Squirrel out!!