Healing Depression: Recovering our Repressed Creative Energy.

Depression is a familiar state of being for many individuals in the world. I have visited this state many times. And no doubt you are close to someone or are someone for whom depression is a danger.

The “World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s also the world’s leading cause of disability.” This is what healthline.com reports.

With my tendency leading to becoming another one of those more than 300 million people, this is how I keep myself not depressed and continuing on with living a successful life.

A View on Depression.

Psychologist Sigmund Freud referred to depression as “anger turned inward.” But what does that mean?

In My Life Experiment’s last article we described anger as an expression of our creative energy attempting to break free from resistances.

The more of our energy that doesn’t find it’s way into the world through us, the more aggressive the energy becomes. And the more aggressive we may become.

Now there are many ways to dysfunctionally attempt to express aggression. It can be taken out on others in a way that produces more shame and anger toward ourselves. Or we can just skip the middle man and take it out directly on ourselves.

Whichever way our angry energies don’t find a way out they will still begin or continue the growth of a depressive cycle.

Too Hard on Ourselves?

On many occasions, while navigating my way through a chemical addicted life, people would tell me the same thing. “Travis, you are way too hard on yourself.” And honestly, I couldn’t even comprehend what that meant.

It is as if the hyper-self-critical voice inside of my head was so convinced that life could only be an anxious mess that I couldn’t even see that I couldn’t comprehend what lightening up was.

I understand the problem for myself now though. I was stuck. Stuck in a cycle that never ended up releasing the powerful energies that grew inside.

Almost all the ways I found to help ease the inner tension, were dysfunctional and bore very little helpful fruit. Yet all the dysfunctional ways found themselves to be much easier than the healthy.

Many individuals in this world have either never found out how or have forgotten how to be healthy and happy. It is a sad thing to realize how many people are stuck on being too hard on themselves. But thankfully I know there is a way out, mainly because I have found mine.

Depression Man

Turning the Volume Down on Depression.

With a state called Depression, it would seem that there shouldn’t be all that much mental activity happening. But I for one know that in a depressed state, the mind is painfully loud. I say painfully because the messages being repeated are about all of the unfinished emotional business that has built up over the years.

Every ended relationship, passed love one, thing that wasn’t said or was said, and unmet expectation desires all of our attention. Desiring it so badly that it feels almost impossible to think of something else.

The pain and built up anger fuels the harshness of the internal voice. It desires to be heard so badly as if it is a victim of bodily torture saying anything to find a way out of its present moment.

I paint a desperate internal situation here because it certainly can be. But even though, there are certainly ways out of this seemingly hopeless situation.

But there is hope and the volume can be turned down. It may seem impossible but I believe that is depression doing the talking.

More on Depression and How to Turn the Volume Down.

Before I show you a list on how to turn the volume down on depression I first need to tell you that these are only my personal insights. Though I find them to be true and helpful, they are not a prescription from a trained professional.

Also, it is important to know that depression and sadness are nowhere near the same thing. Sadness is a normal emotion, and to me is very important to healing and moving on with our lives. And even though constant feelings of sadness are a symptom of depression, depression is it’s own beast altogether. For more on the symptoms of depression and the difference between depression and sadness check out this Healthline.com article.

Lastly, it is important to know that there are different types of depression. Some forms of depression are more situational and may be easier to find our ways out of. Others are clinical and are more persistent than situational types. Both types are serious and need immediate attention. For more information on the difference between situational and clinical depression check this article out.

Now on to our list for getting on top of depression and turning the volume down.

1. Talk to a Trained Professional.

If you are feeling deeply depressed or don’t know if you are simply feeling sad more often than usual, please get your yourself checked out.

A trained professional can help ease the pain of all that pent up energy. They may prescribe a medication, give advice about taking care of ourselves and just as important as both of those, give us a judgment-free zone to express feelings. Though even if we visit a professional we are the ones that have to put in all the hard work.

2. Follow the Doctors Orders.

So you went to see a trained professional and they gave you some ideas for taking care of yourself. I advise to do them. By visiting a professional you have already admitted there is a problem that you didn’t have an answer to. Many of us don’t want to feel controlled by the orders of a trained professional. We may think they are just trying to make money off of us or numb out our creative potential by giving us drugs. And maybe on some occasions, this may be the truth but for the most part, they create a safer atmosphere for healing than we can conjure alone.

There may also be shame and self-anger involved in not being able to fend for ourselves and needing the support of another. But just remember. Who made the visit to the professional? And who is deciding to go along with the prescribed plan? Nobody is being forced into anything here. Though I definitely gained a great deal by not fighting the suggestions that were offered to me throughout my mental health recovery.

For my recovery, I took meds when they were needed. Later on when in a very good place I decided that I wanted to see what life was like without them. I went to the Dr. and expressed my desire to wean off. They said that it was worth a shot, so we came up with a plan to come off of them safely.

Depression community3. Join a Community of Healthy Like Minded Individuals.

As a recovering addict, a huge part of the health of my being has been showing up to 12 step recovery fellowship. In this fellowship, I have found my wife, a mentor, many friends, and helpful acquaintances. These people have helped me expose my anger and have supported me as I find new ways to express my energy.

My family has also been crucially important and can also play the role of a helpful community. Though I feel I have learned how to be a healthy part of that dynamic by having a large fellowship in recovery to spread my energy through. Many individuals that suffer from depression have a painful dynamic with family. Having a larger community to be a part of can relieve the stress and pain that the family might go through as we recover.

Please find your way into a 12 step program, a church, a large group of close-knit friends and family, or all the above. Being connected to these healthy supports can help us navigate our way through depression. And our continued connection with them will help whenever the symptoms of depression rear their ugly head once again.

4. Get on the Path of Self-Discovery.

It is easy to become completely disconnected from who we are as human beings. From birth, we are told who we are and what we should believe. As life goes on the battle with self continues as we judge ourselves against the paths of others and think less of ourselves as a result. Coming back home to who we are is of the utmost importance. Although it is a path with many heavy emotions, it is also the path opening up our repressed energy to find it’s way into the world.

In my recovery, I have done this by sharing about myself in hundreds of recovery meetings and many hours of one on one work with a trusted mentor.

There are ways I have gotten more in touch with myself that don’t actually require other peoples input as well. Meditation has been a very important part of getting in touch with my body. Another immensely important part of my recovery today is what I call Therapeutic Writing. Here is a link to check out the Therapeutic Writing process I use to get in touch with what I am feeling and find out more about myself.

By discovering more about ourselves we can find out what behaviors only fuel anger, shame, and depression. Then we can finally leave these behaviors that don’t work for our spirits, behind. As well as come to understand what new behaviors would work better for us. Whatever way you end up learning about yourself, get on it immediately.

5. Stay Active with Multiple Hobbies.

As we leave our old Depression causing ways behind, we need new outlets for our energy. As human beings, we have far too much creative energy to just be wasting it. Whether that means finding new hobbies or getting in touch with hobbies we enjoyed in the past we need to be using them as an outlet. Not finding outlets for our energy will only enhance Depression.

To me, a hobby is simply an outlet for our energy. So whether you hit the gym, hang out with friends, read, underwater basket weave, or whatever get busy with them. That is unless your hobbies are harmful to yourself or others. In that case, please find some new hobbies!

6. Find Ways to Give Back.

In recovery, I have been able to get in touch with and release a great deal of that built up creative energy that was fueling depression, anxiety, and obsession. There is soo much-repressed energy that lies latent inside a depressed individual. Finding ways to use this energy for the individuals that have helped us when we couldn’t help ourselves can be extremely gratifying. It can also be very rewarding to help those who are currently unable to do much for themselves.

We can give back to a community that helps us, our family, our career or society as a whole. Helping others is an important piece of staying aware of our importance in the world. All of that energy that has been locked inside of our bodies for years may be pleased that is getting used for something meaningful.

Keep up the Fight. Whether you Battle Depression or Simply Desire to Feel Better.

Depression Strong CoffeeIt is important to understand that we need to stay grounded and in the moment to maintain our mental and emotional health. This is something that the above things on this list will help you do. But it is also very important to remember that us individuals that have become acquainted with depression, risk relapse when getting too comfortable. We must remember that recovery and maintaining a healthy, happy and content life requires a commitment to finding healthy avenues for our creative energies.

When we don’t feel so hot, we must keep moving forward. Also when we are feeling on top of the world we need to continue moving forward as well. We must never give up, vigilance is key in maintaining our own sanity.

Just navigating the world is tough enough as it is for the average human being. I believe anybody can benefit from the message and tips we have given here today.

So whether you are prone to depression or not, stay strong your life is worth fighting for.

 

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Move Through Trauma or Stand Still

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I have been reading a book called “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel Van Der Kolk. This book offers an incredible view of how our Brains and Bodies deal with the effects of Trauma. It walks you through the effects of trauma and how you can recover.

Even if you are someone who has never gone through trauma this book gives you insight as to what those who deal with it go through. But honestly, I feel far more people deal with serious trauma in their systems then are probably aware.

Healing Trauma Requires Feeling.

People can never get better without knowing what they know and feeling what they feel (pg. 27).

I have a tendency of downplaying my feelings, telling myself that other people have had it worse while trying to cast my feelings aside. And yes, others have endured far worse events in their lives but I can’t let this be the reason that I dismiss the emotions attached to the trauma I have gone through.

No matter what the situation may be, it is better to move through than stand still.

Downplaying what we are feeling is just a means of justifying not dealing with feelings and finding ways to avoid them. There are events that I would rather not recall and things that I have repressed and do not recall. But, there is such deep importance for me to deal with these feelings so I may free myself up to feel more like myself.

Acceptance and Having Purpose when Working Through Trauma Feelings.

We need to acknowledge, experience and bear the reality of life with all its pleasures and heartbreaks (pg. 27).

Without acknowledging, experiencing and bearing the full reality of life, I am truly stunting my own growth.

Acknowledging something whether good or bad brings a level of acceptance which keeps me out of the vicious cycle of denial. Acceptance is just the very beginning of healing.

Accepting makes it possible to experience my feelings again, whether good or bad. It takes me to the present where action can be taken to heal. To bear or move through emotions so that I may enjoy the pleasures of life for exactly what they are. 

I don’t have to live paralyzed by my past and miss out on the rest of my life. And, today I choose not to! Past events do not define me.

My life has a purpose today. Knowing this is a powerful tool that allows me to move beyond the past and live my life.

And as the Philosopher, Fredrich Nietzche states:  “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

Meaning that with strong enough commitment to purpose comes the ability to work through any of life’s difficulties. Including the current emotional manifestations of past trauma.

Getting to Okay after Trauma.

I’ll be honest, it took me years to start dealing with the emotions that came along with the things that happened in my past.

I had to be open to confront, talk about, feel, and accept the things that had happened. For me, I had help from a psychologist and the recovery meetings that I attend on a regular basis. I was willing to be vulnerable and share honestly.

It was not easy and there are still moments where I feel hijacked by memories and emotions. I can feel scared all over again and it takes me a minute to realize that I am safe. Fight or flight becomes a real thing for me as a defense mechanism. It is our brains response to survival. Even trying to defend us when simply reliving trauma feelings in a relatively safe moment.

In the end, though I know that I am ok and I can move through these moments a lot faster than I did in my past. It can be done. It is not impossible to deal with trauma but it can be hard as hell.

I have to make the decision at the moment to move on and free myself from my past. It is not fair to myself to rob myself of the beautiful life that I know have. This choice, even though very painful at times, allowed me to move through and stop standing still.

As a result, my life has more of a positive outlook and fear does not rule me. I have freed myself from being stuck in the past. And I believe that if you are feeling stuck that you can find your way out as well.

Breaking out of Trauma

To buy the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” click the link below!

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Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Making Changes Before Great Emotional Pain

In my last post on My Life Experiment, I talked about Staying out of Default Mode Living. Today we are going to talk about emotional pain, which I feel is generally the reason we hold ourselves back from living the fullness of our lives.

After I put that article out, I got the answer to a question I didn’t even realize I was asking.

Why do individuals (including myself) continually go back into living On Default, and neglect to create more positive experiences for themselves?

That was the Question. The answer that came is that LIFE HURTS.

The Truth About Life And Emotional Pain.

The unfortunate truth about life is whether we show up and attempt new things or not, there will be emotional pain. That and LIFE doesn’t really give a damn if we are experiencing pain or not. It will not slow down and wait for us to catch up. If we don’t change, the pain will only intensify.

In the recovery community, I am a part of, there is a saying about pain and change.

It goes “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

Well, actually I just stole Tony Robbin’s paraphrasing of the statement. But it captures the essence of an issue all beings face.

Over my last 9 years in recovery, I have experienced a great deal of success! But there have been many occasions where I have had to experience great stress and worry before making a new change.

Don’t get me wrong I am not a using addict anymore and that type of pain was pure torture style suffering. Even though I do suffer at times these days, the type of suffering pales in comparison to what it once was.

The emotional pain is still pain though and says something needs to happen. It is my bodies way of signaling that I need to make a move.

Stress and Pain as a Sign for a Problem.

When my hand touches a hot stove top, the pain receptors in my brain tell me that I need to move my damn hand. The same goes for when I am caught in a situation where I need to make a decision to move into a new direction! When I procrastinate on changing, stress builds.

Stress is pain. It is the equivalent to the burning sensation from the stove. Throughout a great deal of my life, unfortunately, I have been a glutton for punishment, unable to “take my hand off of the hot stove.” Even though my flesh was searing.

For many years I came to believe that the intense stress I felt, was just the way I was. So I accepted it, and then tried to numb it out with chemicals, living inside a fantasy in my own head, and many other fruitless activities.

But then the stress was even greater than my ability to numb it out. At 26 years old, my Liver, my Pancreas, my Kidneys, my Nervous System were all ready to give up on me.

For me, there was nowhere else to go. I had a dilemma.

  1. Keep using, and probably kill myself.
  2. Quit using and enter into a world that freaked me out almost as much as the idea of death did.

I took the latter option and entered recovery.

This is only my bottom and it was extreme. I realize that most people (whether an addict or not) do not have to go to this extreme to change. And I am immensely grateful that I no longer do either!

Change Before Great Emotional Pain.

We do not have to wait until the pain of staying the same is more painful than that of changing.

Great amounts of pain DO NOT need to build for us to enact substantial changes in our own lives.

Like I said above. “Our bodies tell us when something needs to change.” For all those years, I had no intellectual clue that stress meant I needed to make a change. Thankfully I know this now.

I would say that these days I deal with the kind of stress that your average human being does. I feel it coming, usually procrastinate some, and generally take care of things before things get too crazy inside of my head. And before the stress builds to the “pulling my hair out stage.”

I am an individual that is susceptible to high anxiety fairly easily. This means that the level of self-care I need to have in my life needs to be on point.

That or my stress reaches a point where I find myself wondering if I need to be on anxiety medication once again. There is nothing wrong with medication, but I try to look through all my other self-care options before I move in the medication direction.

self care for pain

The options that I look to reduce my stress and pain are as follows:

  1. Take time to listen to my body.
  2. Make Decisions promptly when they come up.
  3. Find some relaxation.
  4. Meditate.
  5. Talk to others.
  6. Maintain a Therapeutic Writing process.
  7. Stay physically active.
  8. Have some fun.
  9. Put the phone down for a while and breathe.
  10. Maintain a Healthy Diet.

A Life With Manageable Stress Levels.

What these self-care options do is help me to keep my stress at a manageable level. With my stress at a manageable level, life does not hurt quite as much as it could. And when I am not in so much emotional pain, it is so much easier to step up and take on the next amazing opportunity. Though I also realize that emotional pain is also the reason why I wouldn’t want to do everything on my list that would help reduce my stress. Self-care can be hard to want to do as well sometimes. But that may be for another article…

No matter what, I need to act. I just need to just toughen up and do what I need to do knowing that if I don’t, more unnecessary pain awaits. I have chosen to live. And if I am going to live, even though i know pain is inevitable, I would rather not suffer.

This is the message I want to leave you with today. I hope you choose to live today, to step up and keep moving through the pain. Because in my strong opinion, it is entirely worth it. Don’t give up. When the hard work gets put in, the beautiful rewards may be just around the corner. It would be a shame for anyone to give up just before “the miracle” of positive change happens.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

 

Tips for Getting Life Off Default Mode.

Hey everybody. In this post, I’m talking to you about Living Life on Default Mode.

So, what is Default Mode?

Default Mode turns Creativity into a Devils Plaything.

Living this way requires no real creativity. This Psychology Today article claims that “Creativity of all types is a premier form of psychological adaptation.

Now I’m not just talking about just writing, drawing, and all that kind of creativity.

Creativity is simply about using our energy to affect change in the world in any form. Well. Change that goes along with the morals we adhere to of course.

If we create outside our morals, then there is the old saying “idle hands are the devil’s playthings.”

This is said to mean that when we don’t busy ourselves with productive things, we are likely going to start causing problems.

Addict Self-Destruction Begins with Default Living.

The problems can start innocent enough, maybe telling a few more fibs than usual. But, if the devil is allowed to play for too long the more the problems become increasingly troublesome.

I am an addict in recovery. Before I got clean, my problems were of high intensity. I was dying and harming those around me.

The years I was rapidly destroying my life, I don’t contribute to living life on Default. That was a different beast altogether. That’s what I call Addiction.

In recovery, I have heard the Disease of Addiction described as having to live an amped-up form of what it is to be human. This means the higher intensity of emotion, intensity of thinking, and intensity of desire. And let’s not forget the intensity of anxiety. By this logic, there also must be a high intensity of creative energy.

Actually, so much energy at times that I have no clue what to do with it. And all this energy, when not used responsibly becomes intense anxiety.

I mention my battle with addiction partly because that is what I have to deal with. Many others have there own energy burden to bare. I am fully aware that every human being has huge pools of creative energy. Whether an addict or not, that energy needs to find its way into the world.

Above I said that Life on Default is life in the comfort zone. Or maybe more like the habit of reducing anxiety to as much of a degree as possible.

Excessive Comfort Seeking can Turn into the habit of living on Default.

The dilemma I find is that whether I choose to create, or refuse to, there is going to be anxiety.

When I choose to create, I get the anxiety up front. Because to create is to challenge ourselves, and doing things that are challenging can be stressful.

The funny thing is that more often than not when I am sliding into Default Mode, it isn’t realized. I may fool myself into thinking that I don’t need to challenge myself like I once needed.

Even still, whether I know I am holding onto too much creative energy or not, there will be psychological consequences.

Over time that “old anxiety devil” begins talking more loudly, and guiding me to act in ways that may not be acceptable.

Now I hope you aren’t thinking that I am talking about some sort of evil possession. Just, that the unused creative energy is going to find a way to do so.

We seem to be back full circle to the area where I am in danger of addiction rearing its ugly head. Also in the spot where most human beings are going to find themselves working with unproductive stress.

This is likely the time when poor decisions find themselves being much more easily made.

If you are following up this point I hope you are getting the picture that being sufficiently creative is necessary for good health. And not creating sufficiently is hard on humans of all mental and emotional capacities.

A balance needs to be struck between being comfy and using our creative energies.

Committing to Live Life, not on Default.

In the last post I put out titled “Making the Commitment to Live Life”, I laid out my history with making positive commitments.

To tie that article into this article I think we need a list. A list of tips for staying in the right headspace for making positive commitments, and keeping ourselves in the driver’s seat of OUR CREATIVE ENERGY.

TIPS FOR STAYING IN COMMITMENT AND OUT OF DEFAULT LIVING:
    1. Surround ourselves with healthy people that will push us to take healthy risks.
    2. Keep ourselves out of Fearful Thinking.
    3. Develop Self-Awareness to get in touch with our own Consciences.
    4. Use a Therapeutic Writing practice to stay in touch with our emotional states.
    5. Set aside relaxation time to recharge our own batteries.
    6. Develop as much Gratitude as possible.
    7. Share the gift of our creative energies with other people, be of service.
    8. Teach all that we learn, to others.
    9. Allow ourselves to stretch our abilities to learn new things.
    10. Take plenty of opportunities to just breathe and be cool with the present moment.

Using these tips basically every day of my life, I don’t know where I would be without them…

I have been able to guide a brain that so easily slides into insanity, and use it to create consistent success that I am very proud of living!

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Game Plan for Avoiding Postpartum Depression.

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Postpartum depression is something that affects from 1 to 7 of women after childbirth according to the American Psychological Association. 

One of the best moments of my life was when I held my little girl for the first time! At first, I was in shock and the next moment I fell in love. Also, when I looked into my husband’s eyes, I feel even more in love with him.

This has been one of the biggest transitional periods of my life but, it is worth every second!

In a way I feel as though I am going through a grieving process. I am letting go of the life of just my husband and me. Now we share our world with our new little girl, Ada.

I have gone through a lot in my life, which means several transitions.

-I left my old unhealthy life of using, to getting clean and finding a new way to live.

-I learned how to step out of physical and emotional isolation and went from hating myself to loving myself.

-I learned how to develop healthy relationships with others and maintain a life that I enjoy living.

These are all examples of significant transitions that I went through. But, none of these seem as big as the one that I am currently experiencing. Don’t get me wrong, I am so in love with this little girl that we brought into the world, and motherhood is simply amazing.

baby.jpg

My husband and I have waited a long time to meet her and she is everything that I could have ever dreamed of! That being said, our lives completely changed the moment she was born.

Now I am going through strong emotions and almost everything makes me cry. I have been able to laugh through most of these moments, which is extremely important. This lets me know that everything is truly okay and that I don’t need to let these feelings take over. With all of this there is definitely some fear that I feel.

I knew this event would change a lot of things for us. The other night I cried as I told my husband that I missed going to bed at the same time, as we take shifts so that we can both get some sleep.

Later I was able to laugh at myself! It is such a small thing in the grand scheme of everything.

I confessed that I was scared for when he goes back to work. I feel fear of course that things might be too hard by myself. Keeping myself accountable for my feelings and sharing them with him has helped me a tremendous amount.

Deep down I know that I can do this, that I am a great mother. I know that everything will be just fine when I am home alone with Ada. Sure, there are going to be some rough days but, I have more support than I could ever ask for.

So now I feel that it is important for me to have a plan in place so that I do not fall into postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is something that affects from 1 to 7 of women after childbirth according to the American Psychological Association. And this is not a state that I will be falling into!

Without a game plan I will lack structure, balance, and accountability. These three things have always been important for me to maintain a healthy balance in life. I have come up with a few things so far to help me obtain this goal.

1. Keep talking to others- because this gets the fear and anxiety out of my head. This allows me to receive feedback from others. It also allows other people to know how to be there for me. I need to let others know what I need right now so that they know I need their help.

2. Believe in myself- because this helps to eliminate self-doubt. I know that I can do this and that I am not alone. I am a good mother and that Ada has all that she needs. When things get tough, believing in myself will help me to see the other side.

3. Getting to meetings- because this has always been one thing that helps me to maintain consistent balance in my life. I can go there and share how I am feeling and I always leave feeling better than I did when I got there. I cannot use Ada as an excuse for not being able to get to a meeting!

4. Keep breathing- because this is something that helps me to relax. When I forget to breath I become wound up and I have no release of negative energy. Taking deep breaths keeps me in the moment, which is exactly where I need to be.

5. Enjoy the current moment for exactly what it is– because this allows me to stay away from falling into depression. When I focus on the current moment I am not worrying about everything else.

6. Making time for Travis and myself- because it is important for us to have our time together. Although every moment we spend with Ada is wonderful, we still need to have our moments together as well. Our date nights will still exist!

So far, I feel that I have come up with a great plan for myself. Making a practice out of it is the next step and positive results will come because of this, without a doubt.

If you are finding yourself in a similar position, first of all please find your supports. Don’t try to deal with this process alone. If that means professional support and finding the right medication, then go that route as well!

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.

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Hello, we are Travis and Casey Hagen the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds to find healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. There is plenty for us to share with you about finding better ways to live. So please follow us on our journey as we share what we know, and continue to share as we invitably learn more.

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Being a Fortunate Individual in Recovery

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Today I am feeling deeply fortunate.

The time finally arrived for my wife to bring our first child into the world at 4:27 a.m. on April 6th!

Now I am relaxing on paternity leave with my new family, soaking up the reality of my new life.

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Today, as I was laying down to take a nap after rocking in the chair with Ada Ray, I began thinking about how fortunate I am.

I feel fortunate for a couple of reasons.

I am ridiculously grateful to be able to have the pleasure of hanging out with my baby. Another thing I have been thinking about is how crazy it is that I have ended up at this place in life.

Something I have made clear on My Life Experiment, is that I am an addict in recovery.

There was a time in my life when I was at an extreme bottom, my liver and pancreas were very sick. And my mental, emotional and spiritual health were virtually decimated.

I was a 26 year old little boy, very scared, and hopelessly lost. My chance at any sort of better life was quickly fading way.

Fortunately, the state of being I knew then, is a state of being that is distant in the past. Though also close to my heart so that I don’t forget where I’ve come from.

Today I am living in the manifested possibilities that I could have never imagined possible in 2008!

My new live has all been made possible because of the recovery program I follow. It has helped me keep my mind in reality and have healthier, mutually enjoyable relationships.

Over the last TWO YEARS ALONE I have been able to.

1. Graduate from College.

A lot of money was spent on multiple attempts at college years 19-23. I simply could not stop using long enough to get my head straight.

The failed attempts did a great deal to fuel my shame and convince myself that I was not a very smart dude. But December 2015, I received Bachelors’ Degrees, in Philosophy and Psychology, earning a 3.75 GPA. Not bad for someone who received 45 days of suspension his senior year of High School, and a D- average throughout his high school career!

It felt amazing to rewrite the history of my past failed attempts and wasted resources!

2. Got Married.

The history of romantic relationships throughout my life was a complete mess before recovery. I put myself in dangerous situations to maintain them.

I also spent many years isolating myself from potential relationships, after an early heartbreak that I used to amplify my using. But October 2016, I married a wonderful woman and the cowriter of My Life Experiment!

3. Bought a House.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I would be able to live in my own house!

My life before recovery was mainly about cramming multiple people into single bedroom apartments, basement dwelling, and running back to my parents place after another failed attempt at living somewhere else.

On December 15th of 2017, my wife and I moved into our new house!

4. Became a Father.

As I said above Ada Ray came into the world just 6 days ago in the wee hours of the morning. Of all the other beautiful developments that have arrived in my life, I don’t know if any of them can top her arrival.

I was pretty much convinced that with the way I treated my body for so many years, that I wasn’t going to be able to become a dad. But here she is now, crazy beautiful and has my heart forever.

Why the Fortunate List?

I put this list together to reflect on the crazy journey my life has been from active addiction and into recovery.

Reflecting on these life victories, has me feeling very fortunate that I didn’t die and that I found this new way to live!

This list also represents lost hopes and dreams that reawakened in the course of my journey!

I didn’t create this list to brag about getting my way in life to all of you. But, definitely to attempt to inspire a little hope into some that may feel hopeless about potentially recovering their lives. And thus, even more hope for myself.

I know that feeling of hopelessness very well. But now know that it need never return at that level.

Hope for Becoming One of the fortunate.

Whether in recovery from active addiction or other mental illness, there is hope! There is a path back to sanity. I found mine in a program for addicts!

But there are mutual support groups for all sorts of personalities, disorders, and traumatized individuals.

There are resources available. If you are struggling please reach out and find them. You are worth it 😊

I know that reality can seemed stacked against us when it comes to thinking of the lost time and all the family members we might have hurt. But there is no time to waste, get help as soon as possible, and get on the path to wake up your lost hopes and dreams!

Recovery support

Here are few a web pages set up to help individuals get hooked up with support!

www.samhsa.gov/find-help This website is a national resource with links to help find the nearest treatment centers to you, the Suicide Prevention line and other great mental health support resources.

www.NA.org Website for Narcotics Anonymous. Despite the name, NA is not just for users of Narcotics, but all sorts of substance use disorders (whether diagnosed or not). If you are looking to stop using any type of drug (including alcohol), and recovering your life, then check it out.

www.AA.org Website for Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous focuses on recovery from alcoholism. If you are looking to stop drinking and recovering your life, then check it out.

The beauty of Living a Fortunate Life.

Life is a beautiful thing. I have not always been able to see that life is beautiful, but now I consistently live in this reality.

And now, because of the fortune I have had in recovery, I have great hope to know that only more amazing opportunities and experience is possible.

I have no idea what my life is going to look like over the next 5 years, but what I do know is that the path I am on will ensure that it will be amazing!

Thank you for checking out My Life Experiment today, it was my pleasure to fill you in on my experience.

As well as the resources above, Therapeutic Writing has been a tremendously helpful habit to keep. If you join My Life Experiments email list on the sidebar, you will receive a printable copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide. You will also receive our articles directly to your email.

Much Love,
Travis Hagen

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_blurb title=”My Life Experiment” image=”https://mylifeexperimentdotblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/9db50-3ca83-2-1.jpg&#8221; _builder_version=”3.0.106″ saved_tabs=”all” url_new_window=”off” use_icon=”off” icon_color=”#919191″ use_circle=”off” icon_placement=”top” animation=”top” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” global_module=”3875″]

Hello, we are Travis and Casey Hagen the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds to find healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. There is plenty for us to share with you about finding better ways to live. So please follow us on our journey as we share what we know, and continue to share as we invitably learn more.

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The Gifts of Self-Awareness and Finding Conscience.

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Today I have been thinking about some of the gifts that recovery has given me. Many of the things that recovery has blessed me with are more tangible things, things like being in a happy marriage, a very soon to be father, owning a nice house, and having a decent job.

But many of the gifts of recovery are what have actually made those more tangible gifts possible. Recovery has helped me develop sanity by finding a principled way of living. Helping me learn, Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness, Patience, just to name a few. Without practicing these in my life, I don’t stand a chance at staying sane, and staying clean.

There was a thought I had today that spurred me writing on this topic. The thought was “what is the most important thing I have learned from recovery?”

Although it is difficult for me to pick a most important thing I have learned. The self-knowledge and self-awareness I have learned seem to be a clear stand outs for the most important!

Most of my life before recovery I spent bouncing off one experience to another without really any clarity of why I was doing it. If there was “clarity,” the logic came from a very foggy mind, and I could convince myself of some crazy stuff..

What is very interesting is that I didn’t happen to bounce from one healthy experience to the next healthy experience. No, it was quite the opposite!

The actions I took seemed to be led by two puzzle pieces:

1. The easiest action I could take.
2. The most exciting action I could take.

Now I realize I am staring at another question here. Was it easy to deal with the consequences of committing crimes, or to create so many more problems for myself and others? Hell no, it wasn’t but those were not things that I thought through before tearing off into the next, probably not so good decision!

Of course, I felt remorse and regret when I caused problems. And when I felt those things, I desired to change my behavior. Sometimes I would change them, for a little while. But eventually I would find myself sliding back into old behavior.

Sure, through my life I have caused a lot of problems, but to me there is one main problem. I had no clue who in the hell I was. I lacked self-knowledge and self-awareness!

To me, without self-knowledge there is no self-awareness. And without self-awareness, there is no maintaining the required actions to hold my best possible life together. There is also no keeping me from destroying my life with the tendencies I resort to on default.

Lost.png

A huge piece of self-knowledge I didn’t have for many years, is that I am an addict. That there is something in my brain that, when triggered, begins a downward spiral of negative thinking and negative actions.

Getting control of this spiral, keeping myself out of it, and learning how to move myself in the other direction has been what recovery is all about.

So today I know that I am an addict, and I am aware of what I need to do to recover. I am more aware of what thoughts and actions, bring me closer to starting my downward spiral, even subtly.

I have also learned how to separate my feelings about myself from the negative behaviors I habitually engaged the world with! And the troublesome thoughts that lead me to feel like acting on those behaviors are mostly nipped in the bud, as soon as the arrive in my mind.

Over the years I have come to learn more about who I truly am. I know that if I am seeking excitement by something that is illegal or destructive, that there is a bigger issue. Up above I mentioned two puzzle pieces that guided my addict behavior.

Here are the puzzle pieces that primarily guide my actions today:

1. What is best for my family?
2. Does this fit positive direction I have?
3. Do I really want to behave like this?
4. Am I going to regret this behavior later?

I notice that the above puzzle pieces were not based on questions, but these ones are. That is because I have a good relationship with my conscience today. When I ask it questions I get answers back that are more in tune with who I am!

found.png

For many years I didn’t have a good relationship with my conscience, I didn’t ask many questions about what was best for me. Like I said I seemed to just bounce from each experience to the next, basically lost. Unaware of the conscience I had, and the possibilities that existed on the other side of the insanity I lived within.

Gaining self-knowledge and self-awareness are beautiful things. I don’t necessarily like everything I am learning about myself, but at least my thoughts and behavior are not such a horrible waste of my time and energy! On the flip side of the bad, I am growing quickly into the kind of life I adore living.

Now, I don’t claim to have full knowledge and awareness of who I am today. I would be a damn fool to believe I had that. If My Life Experiment has taught me anything up to this point, it has taught me that there is much more to be discovered about life. There is also much more to be discovered about myself!

I wish you well on your path of learning how to communicate in healthier ways. And thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. Please like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
  3. Follow our Facebook page!
  4. Join our email list below, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.

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Hello, we are Travis and Casey Hagen the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds to find healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. There is plenty for us to share with you about finding better ways to live. So please follow us on our journey as we share what we know, and continue to share as we invitably learn more.

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Leadership with Healthy Expectations.

For as long as there have been leaders, the argument for how they have been made has probably been going on.

The argument goes like this. Are leaders born, or are they made.

Over the last 9 years I have come to terms that I am and probably always will be a leader.

Leaders inspire. Leaders push for movement towards shared goals. Leaders also make sure their expectations for what needs to be done are expressed to everyone involved with the relationship.

follow me

In order to make expectations for relationships I am a leader for healthy, I can clearly see some things that need to be in place:

1. Relationship Development- When I have managed at my job, people have needed to do what was expected in order to receive a paycheck and receive good reports. But most of the areas I lead in do not have a monetary reward for meeting expectation. To get people on board with my expectations, I need to develop rapport with them. And I need to give them a damn good reason to want to build something with me. Just berating people with my expectations without a mutual and enjoyable relationship, means that these people will probably tell me where to go (and for good reason)!

2. Reasonable Expectation- What I mean by this is that I need to get a gauge for what people can perform. I believe that this requires me to study people’s behavior, also setting a high bar for initial performance. Setting the bar higher at first can give me a gauge for how much someone can do and cannot. If I set the bar too low I may never get to know what someone is capable of doing.

3. Effective Communication- I know that if expectations are to be healthy, they need to be communicated. People need to know what I need from them. If I don’t communicate the expectations, I am probably going to assume these people know what I want. Then I will be frustrated when these people are not meeting my expectations. Even though these people never even knew what I was expecting in the first place!

4. Consistent Evaluation- When individuals have accepted my expectations for their performance, for whatever reason, I need to let them know what I think about their performance. I need to show them my gratitude for meeting expectation, I need to show my dissatisfaction for performance not being met. I have also found that when I am expressing my frustration, I need to do it in a way that respects the individual.

5. Continued Support- To me it is not enough to simply express what the expectations are and to give reports on whether they have been met or not. I also need to let people know that I have their backs. People that I am in a leadership role with need to know that I am willing to do whatever it is that I expect from them. And if I am not skilled enough to do what needs to be done, I need to be willing to help find someone who can.

Now BELIEVE ME… Being able to write this list has come from struggle. I have pushed on people too hard without having a solid relationship in place and pissed them off too much. I have expected too little from people and watched them get bored. I have assumed too much, I have expressed too little. I have neglected to practice what I preach.

I don’t say this to guilt myself, I say this because this is My Life Experiment! It is only by experimenting with life, and examining the results of my actions thoroughly, that I have learned the skills I have.

In the article about Hustling to Maintain my Sanity I talked about all the things I need to do to maintain my sanity so that I don’t fall into my old way of life. Being a leader is just another one of these things I must do.

I have also found that when this leader does not lead, stress builds, and so do the tendencies toward depression and anxiety. But when this leader does lead, I find that a natural skill comes out that has positive effects for helping any relationship I am a part of, find consistent growth.

I know a lot of people may argue that leaders are simply born, they are not grown. I believe that line of thinking is pure rubbish. I believe that if individuals truly desire to learn the skills that are involved with being a successful leader, that they can do so!

Sure, I do believe that some people may be more geared toward being leaders than others. I also don’t know where this tendency came from for me. Was I born with it? Or was it something I developed when I was navigating a world as an insane man that could not stop using mind altering substances?

Whatever the case may be, this trait is a part of my personality now. And as much as I would like to remove the leadership trait at times, I cannot.

I don’t always appreciate that one of my first tendencies is to nudge people into new territory and place expectations on them. But I at least have been learning how to get the most out of the leadership quality, and have been honing how to have, communicate, and get positive growth out of the expectations I am developing for people today.

I wish you well on your path of learning how to lea with healthy expectations. And thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. Please like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
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Meeting the Healthy Expectations of Our Relationships.

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In an article a couple weeks ago, I wrote about some methods I use for dealing with disappointment. Now let’s talk a little about what makes disappointment a thing, in the first place. Expectations.

My History With Expectations Placed Upon Me.

Expectations from my relationships, are unavoidable. Whether they are placed on me by my family, the company I work for, or any other relationship I have, they are still mine to deal with.

As I look back on my life before recovery, I didn’t think I had trouble with the expectations of others. But I remember one time when I was talking to a buddy about having such a hard time with depression, he told me “Dude you are way too hard on yourself.”

Those words rattled through my brain for many years and still come around today. Honestly, I didn’t even know what in the hell my friend meant by being “too hard on myself.” It sounded right but It has taken years to figure out what he meant.

To me, being too hard on myself means that I am punishing myself for not meeting expectations. Expectations that for some reason or another, my mind and body feel like they should be meeting. Many of these expectations coming from the minds and pressures of others.

The words my friend spoke to me was in the middle of one of my hardest times battling addiction. For many years the only expectation I could commit to, was the expectation that I would continue destroying my life. During the midst of that I also had another expectation pushed on me. The one that pertained to me stopping using, growing up and learning how to productively use my potential. And that is ultimately what I desired. I wanted to hold down a job, be a part of my family, and create my own family.

Expectations In Recovery.

I got clean and made my way into recovery in November of 2008. And I was quickly reacquainted with the past expectations I was never able to meet. It showed up as anxiety, and I had a ton of it. All the things I “should” have been doing had stacked up, waiting for their turn to get some attention. I get the picture of an open door and 1000 people attempting to struggle their way through at the same time. Pure chaos.

Throughout my recovery the relationship I have with expectations has changed quite a bit. I have gone through periods where I was trying to meet every expectation possible. There have also been times where I have pushed back hard on any expectation that others may be trying to place on me. Trying to be superman for people has helped me to get in touch with many emotions from the past and has helped me to learn many new skills. It also helped keep me clean as I did service for my recovery community. But with all the ambition I have for growing a family and a business of my own, on top of maintaining a job, I found myself burning out from too many responsibilities.

There have also been times where I have pulled back too far and tried to convince myself that I didn’t care to meet hardly anybody’s expectations. This has led me to avoid places that keep me healthy. And would you believe it? I found my attitude getting crappier and crappier, and built up my anxiety to an unwanted level.

I have found that I don’t really have a choice about needing to meet certain expectations if I want desire to have a healthy life, and healthy relationships. For example, if I don’t meet the expectations of my boss for too long, I won’t have a job anymore. Neglect my wife too long, and you better believe that’s going to strain our relationship.

Managing Expectations

My Thoughts for Deciding Which Expectations to Make My Own:

Of course, I don’t have to meet every expectation that comes my way. And over the years I have developed some ways to decide what expectations I allow myself to take on, and here they are.

1. Decide if I care to have a healthy life or not.

If i care to have a healthy life, then I will be needing to accept a certain amount of healthy expectations from others. Since learning how to meet enough expectations is important for the continued growth for any healthy relationship.

2. Decide if I want this expectation on me.

If I am feeling this expectation to get something done, I can ask myself a question. Do I really want to take care of this expectation? If I do, then I will commit to doing so. If not, then I will likely turn it down. But in certain relationships to not meet enough healthy expectations might be the beginning of the end of something good.

3. Decide if I want the possible rewards from meeting the expectation.

In any healthy relationship, there should be potential rewards for being in the relationship. And I better be willing to put in the possibly hard work to meet the expectation, to receive them. For instance, when I started the My Life Experiment website! I knew that to get what I want out of this website, that a whole new world of expectations would erupt for myself. I decided that I was ready to take them on, because I sense great potential for future gains!

4. Decide If I am willing to deal with the risks of not meeting the expectation.

If I am at work, I may not always want to meet all the expectations that are placed on me, but I need to if I want a paycheck! Or if I don’t want to meet the expectations at home I am going receive dirty looks. Sure, I could always not meet these necessary expectations for healthy relationships, but I better stay aware that there are consequences for deciding not to meet them.

5. Decide if it is my Responsibility in the first place.

First of all I need to know if the expectation I am feeling is from a responsibility that is even mine. If I am feeling an expectation that I should be taking care of is someone else’s responsibility, then I probably need to drop the expectation. Because I am probably wandering into the overly codependent piece of my personality.

This list represents many moments of frustration and disappointment, and my learning what my experiences had available to teach me. I hope you are able to use them to help yourself. And thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
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Much Love,
Travis Hagen

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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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5 Methods for Easing Through Confusion.

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Today I’m going to touch on the topic of Confusion. I am seeking to answer a couple of questions here from my own perspective.

1. What is confusion?
2. Why can confusion be so painful?
3. How can I release the confusion?
4. What are the good aspects of confusion

Living a successful life is all about gathering information to learn new concepts and new tasks. This means plenty of potential confusion to deal with. So, what is confusion?

What is Confusion for me?

Let me work this out with an example from when I was attending College. I had to take an Intermediate Algebra class. I know for many of you a class like this might be a walk in the park but for an ex using addict like myself it was a different story.

But lets back track a tiny bit. For many years I lived experimenting in very unhealthy ways. I bypassed basically all forms of Algebra, and most other forms of healthy learning. This made my learning very difficult once I had to face it at University.

Sometimes I would sit and rack my damn brain trying to figure out the way to solve the equations. There were times when I was ready to throw my computer out the window and literally beat my head against a wall. But thankfully I never did either of those.

After a 45-minute study session, sometimes I would have my brain thoroughly twisted into a knot. Of course brains do not twist in knots. Though there are a ton of times where the gaps between what I knew and what needed to be known, were painfully very far apart.

I don’t know the exact science of what is going on inside my brain when I am confused. Though I do imagine great deal of neurons working hard to connect with one another.

Why the Pain of Confusion?

Just being mildly confused alone doesn’t seem to be enough to cause pain. The pain of confusion comes when pressure is applied.

The kind of pressure I am talking about is when something needs to be accomplished by a deadline and aren’t sure how. Throw in an overly critical self-voice  that doesn’t know healthy expectation to go along with this and we have a recipe for painful learning. 

When I am in the pain part of confusion I can become ultra-sensitive. I take it that I have a massive amount of electrical activity going on between my ears.

If someone even talks around me they may get a dirty look. I may even be on the verge of telling these unsuspecting offenders some unnecessary pieces of my mind.

head stress.jpg

Now this depth of confusion is hopefully not a constant thing for you. But when there is pressure to meet a deadline that we don’t exactly know how to meet, it is likely that we will find ourselves in this mental state.

If you are like me, having high desire for a successful life and working to get it, then you will not likely be able to avoid these feelings. But with some simple methods you can ease the pain of confusion, so it doesn’t have you throwing objects or cursing people out.

5 Methods for Easing Through Painful Learning.

1. Begin Projects early

Going to College taught me that if I leave things to the last minute, I am setting myself up for a great deal of stress.

Spacing out my learning over a longer period of time, makes it more likely that I will not be as hopelessly confused the night before something is due.

2. Breathe

When getting sensitive and angry while confused, concentrating on breathing is imperative. The breathes help create a space to settle down and relax the brain so that it isn’t so tense anymore.

3. Take breaks

I’ve found that if I work on a challenging problem for too long, it is easy to become pissed. When the stress is building to an uncomfortable level, it is time to put the work aside, at least for a little while anyway.

4. Stretch

Even taking a couple of minutes to do a little stretching can relieve a lot of that stress that is building in our extremities. This can help the brain relax since it ends up getting fewer messages of tenseness from the body.

The brain can receive more freedom to be creative on a project, simply by doing a little stretching.

5. Sleep on it

Sleep can be like a long break. It has a way of untangling the mess that is in a brain.

I have gone to sleep completely confused then woke up mentally clear and recharged many times.

That sleep recharge has helped bring important new ideas to problems being solved. If I would have just kept working on it through the night, I can only imagine I would turn these problems into jumbled messes.

The Good aspects of Confusion.

Where there is confusion, there is learning. To me, that is the good news. I, would even venture an assumption that the stronger the confusion, the more learning is happening.

That there is confusion, lets us know that we are challenging ourselves. Challenging ourselves happens to be uncomfortable. But not creating sufficient challenges for ourselves will lead to a boring yet stressful existence.

I also find it to be true that the greater the confusion equals a greater sense of satisfaction once the thing is learned and the project is complete.

There is great feelings in figuring out something that has been giving a good challenge. Knowing that many of those possibly dormant neurons got educated well and got to make new connections actually can give hope for more having more success in the future.

Being able to surprise ourselves with unexpected successful results feels amazing.

A few last words.

The last couple things I have to say to you all about confusion is, welcome it. Challenge yourself, make yourself think.

Learning more and challenging our abilities, actually can help ward off Alzheimer’s Disease.

Now I cannot say what is a healthy amount of challenge for everybody. I can only figure that out for myself. Everybody will have a different level of confusion that they can handle.

But I do believe that if we listen to our instincts close enough, they will let us know what is a challenge we should take on and one that is better left for later.

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. What was written here comes from experience, learning, struggle and growth.

We hope that you will take what you read here and EXPERIMENT with these principles in you own life. If you enjoyed what you read we would love if you could do a few things for us.

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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. Life is meant to be lived. That is why we promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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