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I am feeling far from home

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I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/9/17 3:15 PM
" How do you fell ? " is the question that gets the anxiety going. 

A little bit of backround on my experience in life so far. I was raised in a family where expressing our feelings, talking about what I feel and think didn't seem to be a very good strategy. My father was verbaly and phisically abusive with us and my mother tried to compensate by doing even the things that were supposed to be my responsabilty. Every conflic was wiped under the rug , and after not talking to each other for a while we would pretend that everytinhg is fine. And it was not. In high school I got into computer games, as a way of not dealing with the stuff that was going on I guess. I would play video games for hours, years in a row. In middle-school I was bullied, and then in high-school I became a bully and sort of an alcoholic. Never in my life since high-shool have I felt like having real friends and making profound connections with people.  I became a " nice guy " afterwards, trying to please everyone, avoid conflict, do whatever I would think other people would consider a nice guy would do. I have repressed my emotions so much that nubness settled in in high school as well and now I'm 27 and I don't think I remember ever feeling joy or happiness since then ( 90% of my feelings were anxiety and fear ). College was about weed and alcohol abuse, but mostly weed. I'm also gay and until 3 years ago I have been hating myself for this and tired to repress this attraction. I also live in a country where homosexuality used to be punished by imprisonment untill 15 years ago. 

Three years ago I realised that I couldn't pretend I was fine anymore so I started being a bit more introspective, and realised some lies I was telling myself. Since then I started living a healty lifestile, eating good food, exercising ( lost 65 lbs ), quit smoking weed, quit getting drunk, quit playing videogames, quit biting my nails, hated myself a bit less, went vegetarian. But it still feels like I'm very far from home.

At the moment, I feel like I am stupid, worthless, my life seems meaningless, i fell insecure, i feel afraid, i feel disconnected , i feel absent from life, i fell like i am a very slow learner, i keep falling in the same traps over and over. I feel like something is supposed to happen, i feel like I am not intelligent enough to figure things out, i feel like i can't think for mysefl, like I have no personal opinions or preferences, no authenticity, i feel sad, i feel immature, i feel like a child, i feel like i never knowwhat i want or need, i feel like giving up. I feel like I try too hard.

 I feel like i have tried everything I could but with no results in terms of how I feel about my life.

I have started meditating 3 years ago and have since been to two 10 day retreats and on average i have meditated once every two days ( body scanning, concentration, metta, vippassana ) but now I am not sure if this is helpful or not. I am feeling very lost. I don't even know what the question is here. Maybe I just felt the need to share this. Felt some sort of release while writing it.  

I have started therapy a few mothns ago, but my main difficulties are mistrust fear and shame. I also get very anxious when I talk with my therapist about this stuff face to face and I find it dificult to focus on the topic, be coherent and follow his words.
I would appreciate some perspective on this, some advice and I am willing to talk about anything. Seems easier behind this computer screen.

Sorry for the random unfolding of thoughts but restelessness is the trap i'm in right now.

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/9/17 10:12 PM as a reply to nothingherenow.
There is a layer in your mind that is happy.  You just have to figure out how to let yourself access it.  What makes you happy? 

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/10/17 5:00 AM as a reply to nothingherenow.
I have some problem with writing so please don't take this to be a cold listing (it is just easier for me, and maybe easier (and to the point) even for you).


1) Try to reconnect with "others". The more disconnected your ego is from the "others" the more distorted and depersonalized the feeling of the world and the self. Begin by simple acts of truthfulness and sharing about your inner world: 

instead of 
-how are you
-im fine  

lets say 
-how are you
-i am bit worried, i had a problem with my tv and trying to fix it. 

And progressively and with small steady steps open more of your inner to others. 

2) Do you suffer from ocd (obsessive intrusive thoughts to which you get into countless dialogues?). If so, try to let obsessive thoughts to just be (withought push or pull, meditation will help you), BUT NOT feed them with the compulsion (aka to give in dialogue). They will come and do their act,  and you just continiue with your job with a smile. No reason to resist 

-BLAH BLAH BLAH 
-  :-) (as you continiue to wash the dishes compationate for the immature visitor...)


3) Don't do "vipassana" and go to milder alternatives in order to find some stability and emotional coloring. Have in mind that compassion to others that suffer like us (and even more)   plays crucial role here. Compassion goes also strongly to the 1) point we mentioned about connection. Have in mind that the only truth we are looking is the truth of suffering and not get mislead by distorted! views of anatta. Try to accept the transitory visitors that emotions are, by gently letting them come, letting them be, and letting them go, with a metta and compationate feeling for the mind that suffers. Be aware of the patterns of bodily contractions as a reaction to emotions, and try to be relaxed when (and even before) they occur. Work to let the emotion and its energy to flow unobstracted withought facing contractive bodily resistanse.

4) Resolve to be truthful and kind, to yourself and to others

4) You have a work? 

5) Continue with the good health habits

6) Have in mind that there is no guilt in the world. People that made you suffer where themselves innocent victims of their negative conditions upon which they arrose. Their potentional to be caring and loving was wasted due to mistreatment, one way or the other. Light their situation with understanding, and resolve to be a better begining in this world by not reproducing the sickness. 

6) Be patient 


Looking forward to your response and if anything of the above resonates with your situation

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/10/17 4:33 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
There is a layer in your mind that is happy.  You just have to figure out how to let yourself access it.  What makes you happy? 


I know there is, I just feel like I can't access it, or don't know how to do that. 
See, this is the problem. I have no idea what makes me happy.  Things that used to make me happy in childhood don't anymore.
In the past 10 years I only remember being happy twice. Once I was in a park and I felt a feeling gratitude and happines for being able to percieve the beauty of that moment/ nature. The other one was at home, listening to music, when all of a suden I started dancing and I was a bit scared at first because it felt like my body was dancing on it's own, like I was just looking at it do it's thing.

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/10/17 4:55 AM as a reply to nothingherenow.
Service to others, some volunteer thing, something where you are clearly helping relieve suffering even in some very small way, is almost always reported to help most people who do it to get out of their little world a bit and find deeper satisfaction, connection and perspective.

While I would avoid vipassana except perhaps the very light side of it, you might check out the latest interview with Shinzen Young called "Enlightenment's Evil Twin" on the Deconstructing Yourself Podcast for his tips on dealing with some of that darkness.

If you haven't run into the work of Jay Michaelson, definitely find it. He has some good perspectives on this stuff.

Best wishes,

Daniel

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/10/17 4:57 AM as a reply to jonjohn.
jonjohn:
I have some problem with writing so please don't take this to be a cold listing (it is just easier for me, and maybe easier (and to the point) even for you).


1) Try to reconnect with "others". The more disconnected your ego is from the "others" the more distorted and depersonalized the feeling of the world and the self. Begin by simple acts of truthfulness and sharing about your inner world: 

instead of 
-how are you
-im fine  

lets say 
-how are you
-i am bit worried, i had a problem with my tv and trying to fix it. 

And progressively and with small steady steps open more of your inner to others. 

2) Do you suffer from ocd (obsessive intrusive thoughts to which you get into countless dialogues?). If so, try to let obsessive thoughts to just be (with ought push or pull, meditation will help you), BUT NOT feed them with the compulsion (aka to give in dialogue). 

3) Don't do "vipassana" and go to milder alternatives in order to find some stability and emotional coloring. Have in mind that compassion to others that suffer like us (and even more)   plays crucial role here. Compassion goes also strongly to the 1) point we mentioned about connection. Have in mind that the only truth we are looking is the truth of suffering and not get mislead by distorted! views of anatta. Try to accept the transitory visitors that emotions are, by gently letting them come, letting them be, and letting them go, with a metta and compationate feeling for the mind suffers. Be aware of the patterns of bodily contractions as a reaction to emotions, and try to be relax when (and even before) they occur. Work to let the emotion and its energy to flow unobstracted withought facing contractive bodily resistanse.

4) Resolve to be truthful and kind, to yourself and to others

4) You have a work? 

5) Continue with the good health habits

6) Have in mind that there is no guilt in the world. People that made you suffer where themselves inconet victims of their negative conditions upon which they arrose. Their potentional to be caring and loving was wasted due to mistreatment, one way or the other. Light their situation with understanding, and resolve to be a better begining in this world by not reproducing the sickness. 

6) Be patient 



Looking forward to your responce and if anything of the above resonates with your situation

1) I have been working on reconnecting with others. Started out with new friends and then family members. I am doing my best in being as honest, open and direct as I can in relationships with other people but I also have some trust issues and I feel like I don't know who to trust. 

2) Not sure if OCD, but most of the nights I have difficulties falling asleep because I think and fantasize too much about what is going to happen in the near future.

3) What would be a milder alternative?
Often times I catch my body being very tense in the shoulders, back, and jaws and I try to relax whenever I notice this.

4) I am trying. But sometimes I unconsciously lie to myself and treat me unkind. I seem to be a bit of a perfectionist. As to others, I am always kind, but some of the times I do manipulative things without the intention of doing so.
I am a freelancer. Doing good financially.

5) Will do. Some habits come and go, but most of the healthy ones I have kept.

6) I understand this, but I find it difficult to connect to my father. Maybe we just need to talk about what happened and how it made me feel. We never talked about this. Anyone who reads this post knows more about me than my father.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. Hugs !

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/10/17 5:08 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Service to others, some volunteer thing, something where you are clearly helping relieve suffering even in some very small way, is almost always reported to help most people who do it to get out of their little world a bit and find deeper satisfaction, connection and perspective.

While I would avoid vipassana except perhaps the very light side of it, you might check out the latest interview with Shinzen Young called "Enlightenment's Evil Twin" on the Deconstructing Yourself Podcast for his tips on dealing with some of that darkness.

If you haven't run into the work of Jay Michaelson, definitely find it. He has some good perspectives on this stuff.

Best wishes,

Daniel
That sounds like a good idea. I have always felt the need to do volunteer work, and I have been working with kids ( mostly playing with them and doing craft and arts workshops ). Maybe I should find something that makes it more clear that I am helping relieve suffering. 
I will check out the podcast and the work of Jay Michaleson.

Thank you very much for the suggestions!

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/11/17 6:01 AM as a reply to nothingherenow.
I had a verry similar story. There already been such good suggestions here so I dont want to make confusion with another one. I just want to highlight that I think its good to take it step by step and dont hurry. I been going way too hard with my meditation practice wich resulted in good progress but still so much unnecesary suffering. I just wanted to get it done no mather what, thats a back side of goal oriented practice when it goes too extreem. Effort is good when its right effort otherwise it blocks ones potential. Lazyness is too blocking so we need balance. Meditate every day but not too much. Short spontaneous meditations but often might be more helpful then long ones.

The non dual stuff like Shinzen Young is good!

Surround yourself with joyful and happy people who you can trust and talk with and who can be good friends to you. Who you might meet in volonteerwork. Maybe do woofing, service at a meditation center, find a nice community of some sort.

And do metta practice! Dont let any negative thoughts stay. If they are strong and dont go away, remind your self that you are doing progress! And they will cease eventually. Cultivate a positive, friendly, loving, compassionate and honest mind. Give a lot to others☺

I can tell by reading your post that you are deffinitely doing progress!

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/12/17 2:07 AM as a reply to nothingherenow.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tchPwFUNbus

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/13/17 2:46 PM as a reply to nothingherenow.
I am really grateful for all your answers

Thank you very much, you have all been very helpful to me !

RE: I am feeling far from home
Answer
9/13/17 6:21 PM as a reply to nothingherenow.
Oh, you are very right about this constant insomnia. I have been like this for a very long time and none of the " how to fall asleep" tips i have tried so far worked for me ( even tried some natural pills but zero effect). Progressive muscular relaxation did manage to help me fall asleep in half an hour instead of 1-2h. Some days I feel really tired no matter how much sleep I get. I often wake up at night and my sleep is not too deep.
Lately I've been back to that 1.5h average time to fall asleep. What I find interesting is that it only happens at night. If i want to take a nap in the afternoon it takes me a few minutes to do it.
Instructions for going to sleep seem pretty simple, and as you said, require no skill but I don't know why it is so hard for me. My mother has the same issue, but my sister and father are quite the opposite.