What did I replace with my gambling? Part – 12

One of the key tasks in treatment is to discover the causes of addiction. After almost three months of treatment in the hospital, after many therapeutic talks and workshops, I presented my debate topic in front of the whole department entitled “What did I replace with my acting?”. I will share the original with you.

What did I replace with my gambling?

The more books I read, the more I debated and thought about it, the more it became clear to me that I was replacing many things.

It’s impossible to point out just one thing and I don’t even know what the main thing is. All I know is that during the treatment I discovered a lot of things about myself that I wasn’t even aware of.

I will start with the most obvious pattern that we addicts have. The father is a dull figure, and the mother is the main one who controls everything and comforts the child. Parents can very often be strict in their child’s upbringing once and very dull next time. I remember that sometimes it was not clear to me what my parents wanted from me. In general, the father was very temperamental, but when he calmed down, he took everything back. That made me very angry. But my mother was and still is more strict and the main one at the house. She took all the responsibility on herself and made decisions instead of everyone at the house, including me. The father was absent for most of the childhood, so the mother automatically took on both roles in the family. I, on the other hand, never really had a male role model.

I have always been insecure and unsure of me at key moments. I was never sure if something was good enough. A feeling of low self-esteem can arise in a child because parents demand too much. I always had to be the most diligent, to set an example for everyone. Successful everywhere, especially at school. And so I was. I always had nice manners, I was responsible for the fact that we children, who hung out, behaved well. If something went wrong, I always took responsibility because I was the oldest. I was also bothered that parents compared me with my peers and only with the best ones. Good was not acceptable, the question was always, why couldn´t you be even better? Well, I know my parents just wanted to motivate and encourage me. The problem was that I never knew how to stand up for myself. This is where my feelings of uselessness and inferiority, which I carried into adulthood, come from.

Thinking about this, reminded me of a quote that says:

“Only those who do not value themselves will allow their lives to be destroyed by addiction.”

During the treatment, I also found out that I am not able to express certain emotions. I am a man of a cheerful nature, always smiling, which is good in principle. But I don’t know how to express sadness, even less anger. I don’t know how to get angry. I don’t know how to protect myself and stay true to myself.

As a kid, I learned not to get angry, that it isn´t appropriate, because anger is destructive. I unknowingly learned to suppress anger. When I read somewhere that repressed anger can manifest as a stomach ulcer, elevated stomach acid and as gnashing of teeth, I was stunned. All of this is constantly happening to me and made me think. When this is happening, I was supposed to relive the feelings from my childhood, that my own space has been taken away and that things did not belong to me. I miss my father’s role here, which is very important as I am supposed to get a sense of security and feeling of belonging from him. He should be a place where I can go back if I experience disappointment.

Now I remember the moments when my addiction first expressed. I was a student in Ljubljana and I was repeating my first year of study. Now I know that at that time I fell into severe depression and addiction to playing sports betting. That’s when my world collapsed. I completely shut myself in and struggled with myself, with repressed sadness, anxiety, guilt and a sense of emptiness. When my family and I later debated about these times, they wondered why I didn’t share anything with them and hid everything. It seemed normal to them that I probably knew that I am always welcome at home and that there are no such problems that I could not share with them. However, this was not the case. I was extremely afraid to say anything at home and afraid to admit my problems. But I don’t know why.

At the same time, I remembered the words:

It is easier to raise strong children, than to repair broken adults”.

I also have trouble taking responsibility. A lot of the time I do everything for others but I neglect my own needs. I don’t know how to set functional boundaries for other people. I did not learn to take responsibility for myself, for my actions, and I did not dare to finally grow up and become independent. The problem was that I didn’t somehow spontaneously learn to accept responsibility, step by step. So I still live at home with my parents. Although I know that I have greatly complicated my life with high debts, it still remains a priority to become independent as soon as possible and move to my own, and take responsibility for myself. A lot of the problems are related to the fact that I had to make a number of compromises because of the addiction. I lost personal dignity and self-respect because of fake relationships. I took on a fake ego, that wasn’t real me. I feel like this because I want to and I know I can do more. After you stop with sports betting, the resulting behavioral patterns will not change on their own. So I’m working on getting back in touch with myself. Adults solve problems, and we gamblers run away from them in a daze. It was easier for me to escape than to face the truth. So we fall into a vicious circle, the bigger the problems, the bigger the debts, the more we want to escape. In stressful situations, I withdrew and isolated myself instead of seeking emotional support from my partner or friends. I have completely failed in this area. Now I am learning anew how to talk about problems. The irony of gambling is that the more you are in debt, the greater the desire and need to play because in it you see the only possible way out of the situation. Another thing I’ve replaced with playing is emotional arousal, an excessive need for love and approval. I usually wanted to cater to everyone. In a person who surrenders to addiction, this need is over-expressed and, of course, unmet. This, too, can originate from childhood in someone who had domineering and uncompromising parents. In my case, this was my Mom. So I remained completely dependent on her, on her decisions. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t resist her. I have an eight years younger sister, who is the complete opposite of me, a real fighter for her rights. Even as a child, she knew how to stand up for herself and assert her opinion. So we all have a choice. If I kept resisting, my parents would also adjust to my demands, but they didn’t have to. I remember being told many times that it was much easier with me as a child than with my sister, I was too obedient.

I also find myself in the fact that a person who is insecure and at the same time full of hidden needs for love and affection, finds it difficult to express emotions, as he is afraid that emotions won´t meet the desired response. So as a result, I would lose that little bit of confidence. Everyone, especially an insecure person, experiences the rejection of their emotions as their own devaluation. Suppressed emotions in childhood can cause addiction in adulthood.

But I will end with the thought that most often came to me during my treatment.

“No one else can feel what we feel in ourselves, so no one else is responsible for how we feel.”

I am determined to fight, I am fighting and I will fight so that the addiction will not defeat me, but only transform me.

So I identified my causes of addiction at the time. The more time passes, the more my view of my problems changes. It’s a little bit different every time. It’s a little easier for me every time.

Kaj sem nadomeščal s svojim igranjem? Del – 12

Ena od ključnih nalog pri zdravljenju je odkrivanje vzrokov za nastanek odvisnosti. Po skoraj treh mesecih zdravljenja v bolnišnici, po prestanih številnih terapevtskih pogovorih in delavnicah sem pred celotnim oddelkom predstavil svojo debatno temo z naslovom ˝Kaj sem nadomeščal s svojim igranjem?˝. Izvirnik bom delil z vami.

Kaj sem nadomeščal s svojim igranjem?

Več knjig kot sem prebral, več kot sem debatiral in razmišljal o tem, bolj mi je bilo jasno, da sem nadomeščal marsikaj.

Nemogoče je izpostaviti samo eno stvar in sploh ne vem, kaj je tisto glavno. Vem samo, da sem tekom zdravljenja odkril veliko stvari o sebi, katerih se sploh nisem zavedal.

Bom začel kar z najbolj očitno situacijo oziroma vzorcem pri nas odvisnikih. Oče medla figura, mati pa tista glavna, ki vse nadzira in otroku daje potuho. Starši so v otrokovi vzgoji enkrat zelo strogi drugič pa zelo medli. Ob tem se velikokrat spomnim, da mi včasih prav ni bilo jasno, kaj starši želijo od mene. Sploh oče je bil zelo vzkipljiv, ko se je umiril, pa je popravljaj za nazaj. To me je zelo jezilo. Mama pa je bila in še vedno je bolj stroga in tista glavna pri hiši. Vso odgovornost je prevzemala nase in sprejemala odločitve namesto vseh pri hiši, vključno z mano. Oče je bil večino otroštva odsoten, tako da je mama avtomatsko prevzela obe vlogi v družini. Jaz pa nikoli nisem zares imel moškega vzornika.

Že od nekdaj sem bil v ključnih trenutkih negotov in nesamozavesten. Nikoli nisem bil siguren, če je nekaj dovolj dobro. Občutek premajhnega samospoštovanja lahko nastane pri otroku zaradi tega ker starši zahtevajo preveč. Jaz sem moral biti vedno najbolj priden, vsem za vzgled. Vsepovsod uspešen, sploh v šoli. In sem tudi bil. Vedno sem se vzorno obnašal, jaz sem bil odgovoren, da smo se mi otroci, ki smo se družili, lepo vedli. Če je bilo kaj narobe, sem jih vedno poslušal jaz, ker sem bil najstarejši. Motile so me tudi primerjave z vrstniki iz  šole, vedno so me primerjali samo z najboljšimi. Dobro ni bilo sprejemljivo, vedno je bilo vprašanje, zakaj ne bi bil še boljši? Pa saj vem, da so me starši želeli samo motivirati in vzpodbujati. Problem je bil, ker se jaz nikoli nisem znal postaviti za sebe. Od tod izvirajo moji občutki nesposobnosti in manjvrednosti, ki sem jih prenesel v odraslo dobo.

Ob tem se mi je vtisnil v spomin en citat, ki pravi:

˝Le kdor se ne ceni, bo dovolil, da mu življenje uniči odvisnost.˝

Med zdravljenjem sem ugotovil tudi to, da ne znam izražati določenih čustev. Sem človek vesele narave, vedno nasmejan, kar je načeloma dobro. Ne znam pa dobro izražati žalosti, še manj pa jeze. Sploh se ne znam zdravo jeziti. Ne znam se zaščititi in ostati zvest sebi.

Kot otrok sem se naučil, da se ne smem jeziti, da se to ne spodobi, ker je jeza destruktivna. Naučil sem se potlačiti jezo, nevede. Ko sem nekje prebral, da se potlačena jeza lahko kaže kot čir na želodcu, kot povišana želodčna kislina in kot škrtanje z zobmi, sem bil osupel. Vse to se mi neprestano dogaja in mi je dalo misliti. Ob tem bi naj podoživljal občutke iz otroštva, da mi je bil odvzet lasten prostor in da mi stvari ne pripadajo. Tukaj mi manjka očetova vloga, ki je zelo pomembna, saj naj bi preko njega dobil občutek varnosti in da bi vedel, kam pripadam in kam se lahko vračam, če doživim razočaranje.

Zdaj se spomnim trenutkov, ko se je moja odvisnost prvič izrazila. Takrat sem kot študent v Ljubljani ponavljal prvi letnik študija in zdaj vem, da sem takrat padel v hudo depresijo in odvisnost od igranja športnih stav. Takrat se mi je podrl svet. Popolnoma sem se zaprl vase in se boril sam s seboj, s potlačeno žalostjo, tesnobo, krivdo in občutkom praznine. Ko smo kasneje z družino debatirali o teh časih, so se čudili, zakaj nisem ničesar delil z njimi in sem vse skrival. Normalno se jim je zdelo, da najbrž vem, da sem doma vedno dobrodošel in da ni takih problemov, ki jih doma ne bi mogel s kom deliti. Vendar ni bilo tako. Mene je bilo izjemno strah karkoli povedati doma in priznati moje težave. Vendar ne vem zakaj.

Ob tem sem si zapomnil besede:

˝Lažje je vzgojiti močne otroke, kot popraviti zlomljene odrasle˝.

Težave imam tudi s prevzemanjem odgovornosti. Velikokrat imam težave z izpolnjevanjem potreb drugih ljudi na račun zanemarjanja lastnih potreb. Ne znam postavljati funkcionalnih meja drugim ljudem. Nisem se naučil prevzemanja odgovornosti zase, za svoja dejanja in nisem si upal dokončno odrasti in se osamosvojiti. Težava je bila, da se nisem nekako spontano naučil sprejemanja odgovornosti, korak po korak. Tako še zmeraj živim doma pri starših. Čeprav vem, da sem zelo zakompliciral svoje življenje z visokimi dolgovi, pa vseeno ostaja prioriteta, da se čimprej osamosvojim in se preselim na svoje, ter prevzamem odgovornost zase.

Veliko težav je povezanih z dejstvom, da sem zaradi odvisnosti moral sprejeti številne kompromise. Zaradi zlaganih odnosov sem izgubljal osebno dostojanstvo in samo spoštovanje. Prevzel sem ponarejen ego, to nisem bil pravi jaz. To čutim, ker želim in vem, da zmorem več. Po prenehanju z igranjem športnih stav, se nastali vedenjski vzorci ne bodo spremenili kar sami od sebe. Zato delam na tem, da vzpostavim nazaj stik s samim sabo.

Odrasli ljudje težave rešujejo, mi hazarderji pa bežimo pred njimi v omamo. Lažje mi je bilo pobegniti kot, se soočiti z resnico. Tako pademo v začaran krog, večje kot so težave, večji kot so dolgovi, bolj te vleče, da pobegneš.

V stresnih situacijah sem se umaknil in izoliral, namesto, da bi poiskal čustveno oporo pri partnerki ali prijateljih. Na tem področju sem popolnoma zatajil. Sedaj se na novo učim, kako se pogovarjati o problemih.

Ironija hazardiranja je, da bolj kot si v dolgovih, večjo željo in potrebo po igranju čutiš, ker v tem vidiš edini možni izhod iz situacije.

Še ena stvar, ki sem jo nadomeščal z igranjem, je čustveno vzburjenje, pretirana potreba po ljubezni in odobravanju. Jaz sem po navadi želel vsem ustreči. Pri človeku, ki se predaja odvisnosti, je ta potreba pretirano izražena in seveda nezadovoljena. Tudi to lahko izvira že iz otroštva pri nekom, ki je imel nekdo gospodovalne in nepopustljive starše. V mojem primeru je to mama. Zato sem ostal popolnoma odvisen od nje, od njenih odločitev. Ne vem zakaj, ampak nisem se znal upreti. Imam osem let mlajšo sestro, ki pa je popolno nasprotje mene, prava borka za svoje pravice. Že kot otrok se je znala postaviti za sebe in uveljaviti svojo mnenje. Tako, da vsi imamo izbiro. Če bi se jaz sproti upiral, bi se tudi starši prilagodili na moje zahteve, ampak se jim ni bilo treba. Spominjam se, da so mi večkrat povedali, da je bilo v otroštvu z menoj precej lažje kot s sestro, jaz sem bil preveč ubogljiv.

Najdem se tudi v tem, da človek, ki je nesamozavesten in hkrati poln prikritih potreb po ljubezni in naklonjenosti, le s težavo izraža čustva, saj se boji, da ta ne bodo naletela na željen odziv. Tako bi posledično izgubil še tisto malo samozavesti. Vsakdo, posebej pa še nesamozavesten človek, doživi odklanjanje svojih čustev kot lastno razvrednotenje. Zatrta čustva v otroštvu pogojujejo nastanek odvisnosti v odrasli dobi.

Končal pa bom z mislijo, ki mi je tekom zdravljenja največkrat priplavala na površje.

˝Nihče drug ne more čutiti, kar mi čutimo v sebi, zato tudi nihče drug ni odgovoren za to, kako se mi počutimo˝.

Trdno sem se odločil boriti, se borim in se bom boril, da me odvisnost ne bo porazila, ampak samo preobrazila.

Tako sem svoje vzroke odvisnosti opredelil takrat. Več časa kot preteče, bolj se spreminja moj pogled na moje težave. Vsakokrat je malenkost drugače. Vsakokrat mi je malenkost lažje.

Why don’t we talk about problems? Part – 11

During treatment, I found that men find it really difficult to express their emotions. It is hard for them to talk openly about anything. There is no need, because they are fine anyway. It could be worse. There are problems but we will get through somehow. Why would one spent time with friends for talking about pointless problems. Who even wants to talk about them. That was usually my opinion. It’s not that important, I’ll take care of it myself. I will fix everything, just so that luck turns around and I earn enough with the bets. The rest will be solved somehow.

There were mostly men in the treatment. One more incapable of talking about his emotions than the other. All addicted but without real problems. We didn’t even know why exactly were we there. In our free time, during lectures and lessons, we had a lot of fun. You could learn most of the truth through humor. In jokes, anything is allowed. Through humorous stories, I discovered the depth of the problems and unimaginable horrors from the youth of many patients. I have also found that many have already given up and the likelihood of their bright future is small.

Men are still brought up in a sense that emotions are reserved for women. We are taught that men must always be strong and that men endure pain instead of crying by clenching our teeth and fists. The result, however, is that we do not solve all our small and big problems but suppress them. We often show our distress indirectly through the abuse of gambling, alcohol and illegal drugs, or through overwork. Thus, even the smallest everyday problems can guide our lives, but we are not even aware of it.

I began to realize that everyone has their own life story. Each is unique and many have walked the hellish path. It is difficult to come to terms to with the uneven distribution of life’s trials. Why do the lives of some involve so much trouble and pain while others live almost like in a fairytale. At least a shallow perception of reality gives such a feeling. Obviously, everyone needs to learn different lessons and experience the moments that are meant for them. It is pointless to compare yourself to others because your path is only yours and is unique.

The hardest part in the process of my addiction was recognition. First to myself and of course to everyone around me. What will others say? It will be a disgrace and a humiliation to my ego. This will spoil the opinions of others about me. I was immensely afraid and ashamed of this. How could I get so deep into trouble? What kind of a man am I? Of course, I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I tried to hide everything from others. I didn’t dare, I didn’t know, and I wasn’t able to take a realistic look at the problems.

Instead of worrying about what’s going on with me, why is it happening to me and where is it leading, why don’t I talk to anyone about this, why am I scared to death of my life, I was concerned about the opinions of others if they found out about my secret.

Already in one of the previous records I mentioned that reading and reciting poems became popular activities during my treatment. In the next poem, which is the work of Andrej Rozman Roza, there are many answers to the questions I asked myself. It stuck in my heart.

I have to tell you something

There must be someone for everyone,
whom he trusts so much,
that he can be trusted,
when it is difficult for him.
There must be someone for everyone,
who understands and listens to him,
when his soul is frozen
and his heart is sick.
Someone you can trust even with those problems
which I would like to erase from my head,
and she can also tell him that
which is not easy to say.
But talking is for a man
even more important than the dress
and at the same time a rare thing today
for which no money is required.

Talking is not just for fun,
it is also healing when we have a problem
and we suffocate in our own minds,
until we share them with someone else.
Conversation is closeness and warmth,
by talking we are family and group.
By talking, man intertwines with man,
by talking we are a network even outside the internet.

Zakaj se ne pogovarjamo o težavah? del – 11

Strast je most, ki te lahko popelje od bolečine do spremembe.(Frida Kahlo)

Tekom zdravljenja sem ugotavljal, da imamo moški res hude težave z izražanjem svojih čustev. Težko se zgodi, da se o tem odkrito pogovarjamo. Saj ni potrebe, ker smo tako ali tako v redu. Lahko bi bilo huje. Problemi so ampak bom že nekako. Zakaj bi čas, ko sem s prijatelji zapravljal za brezvezne težave in pogovore o njih. Kdo si sploh želi pogovora o tem. To je bilo moje običajno mišljenje. Saj ni tako pomembno, bom že sam uredil. Vse bom popravil, samo, da se sreča obrne in s stavami dovolj zaslužim. Ostalo se bo že nekako rešilo.

Na zdravljenju smo bili večinoma moški. Eden bolj nezmožen govoriti o svojih čustvih kot drugi. Vsi hudo odvisni ampak brez težav. Sploh nismo vedeli, zakaj točno smo tam. V prostem času, med predavanji in učnimi urami, smo se kar zabavali. Največ resnice si lahko izvedel skozi humor. V šalah je vse dovoljeno. Skozi šaljive zgodbe sem odkrival globino težav in nepredstavljive grozote iz mladosti mnogih zdravljencev. Ugotovil sem tudi, da so se mnogi že vdali in je verjetnost za  njihovo svetlo prihodnost majhna.

Moški smo še vedno deležni vzgoje, v kateri je predajanje čustvom rezervirano za ženske. Učijo nas, da moramo biti moški vedno močni in da bolečino namesto z jokom prenašamo s stiskanjem zob in pesti. Rezultat tega pa je, da vseh svojih majhnih in velikih problemov ne razrešimo ampak potlačimo. Svoje stiske pogosto kažemo posredno z zlorabo iger na srečo, alkohola in prepovedanih drog ali pa s prekomernim delom. Tako lahko tudi najmanjši vsakodnevni problemi usmerjajo naša življenja pa se tega sploh ne zavedamo.

Zavedati sem se začel, da ima vsak svojo življenjsko zgodbo. Vsaka je edinstvena in marsikdo je prehodil prav peklensko pot. Težko se je sprijazniti z neenakomerno porazdelitvijo življenjskih preizkušenj. Zakaj življenja enih vključujejo toliko težav in bolečine, medtem ko drugi živijo skoraj kot v pravljici. Vsaj plitvo dojemanje realnosti daje takšen občutek. Očitno se mora vsak naučiti drugačnih lekcij in doživeti trenutke, ki so mu namenjeni. Nesmiselno se je primerjati z drugimi kajti tvoja pot je samo tvoja in je edinstvena.

Najtežji del v procesu moje odvisnosti je bil priznanje. Najprej sebi in seveda tudi vsem okrog mene. Kaj bodo rekli drugi? To bo sramota in ponižanje za moj ego. To bo pokvarilo mnenja drugih o meni. Tega me je bilo neizmerno strah in sram. Kako sem mogel tako globoko zabresti v težave? Kakšen moški pa sem? Seveda se nisem o tem z nikomer pogovarjal. Vse sem skušal skriti pred drugimi. Nisem si upal, nisem znal in nisem bil zmožen realnega pogleda na probleme.

Namesto, da bi me skrbelo kaj se dogaja z mano, zakaj se mi to dogaja in kam to vodi? Zakaj se s kom ne pogovorim okrog tega?  Zakaj me je na smrt strah svojega življenja? Namesto tega so me skrbela mnenja drugih, če bi izvedeli za mojo skrivnost.

Že v enem od prejšnjih zapisov sem omenil, da sta branje in recitiranje pesmi postali priljubljeni dejavnosti tekom mojega zdravljenja. V naslednji pesmi, ki je delo Andreja Rozmana Roze se skriva veliko odgovorov na vprašanja, ki sem si jih zastavljal. Meni se je vtisnila v srce.

Nekaj ti moram povedati

Za vsakogar mora obstajati nekdo, 
kateremu tako zaupa,
da se mu lahko zaupa,
ko mu je težko.

Za vsakogar mora obstajati nekdo,
ki ga razume in posluša,
ko mu je zmrznjena duša
in mu je v srcu slabo.

Nekdo, kateremu lahko zaupa tudi tiste težave,
ki bi jih najrajši izbrisal iz glave,
in mu lahko pove tudi to,
kar ni povedati lahko.

A pogovarjanje je za človeka
še bolj pomembno kot obleka
in hkrati danes redka stvar
za katero ni potreben denar.

Pogovarjanje ni le za zabavo,
zdravilno je tudi, ko imamo težavo
in se v lastnih mislih dušimo,
dokler jih še z nekom ne delimo.

Pogovarjanje je bližina in toplina,
s pogovarjanjem smo družina in skupina.
S pogovarjanjem se človek s človekom prepleta,
s pogovarjanjem smo mreža tudi zunaj interneta.

Do you believe in destiny? Part – 10

I have heard many times that our lives unfold as we are destined. That we are born with purpose and reason and that things happen as written in the stars. Things and events are predetermined. Is that really so? An old proverb says: “man is turning and life turns”. What about our free will? Don’t we influence the development of life ourselves with our decisions, choices and beliefs?

I also thought a lot about this topic during the treatment. If destiny exists, why did I land here in the hospital? What is the purpose of my life? Did I have to overcome my addiction to be able to build new and better foundations for the future? Or maybe I just didn’t know how to listen and I was acting against myself all the time. Addiction could be the result of lifestyle and running away from responsibility and growing up.

But destiny can also be an excuse for everything that happens to us. An excuse for all the problems we don’t know how or can’t solve. As well as for situations in which we find ourselves and find no real reason for them. The belief I have formed about the meaning of destiny is that I believe in destiny, but not in its complete determination. I think it is determined (or we have chosen so) what we would like to learn and what we want to test ourselves in this life. But still, we have free will and power to change things.

I know that belief in destiny can be a kind of defense mechanism that is triggered when dealing with failure. When a man tries to success, he fails. He tries several times, but fails. Failure is hard to come to terms with and many give in to fate. They take solace in the phrase “it was not meant for me.” With each retry, there is less hope and weaker self-confidence, and the chances of failure increase. Guilt is easiest to attribute to “higher” force or fate.

The psychotherapist I visited says it doesn’t matter if we believe in fate or not.

˝If you believe in destiny and it helps you, continue to believe in it. If you think that destiny does not exist and that works better for you, also continue˝.

Belief in destiny has as much power as we allow it ourselves. It can have tremendous power. It can affect us positively or negatively, but only if we truly believe. Positive thoughts are extremely important in our lives because they affect our unconscious. If we believe that our destiny will be beautiful, positive and worth the effort, there is a very high probability that it will truly be so.

Ever since I accepted addiction as a part of myself and the path of overcoming addiction as my destiny, positive and amazing things have been happening more often.

The last such experience was unexpected and very special. A business routine meeting, which is expected to last 10 to 15 minutes, proved to be a two-hour therapy. The conversation “forced” me to admit my problems about addiction from the very beginning. I also told that I had undergone hospital treatment for addiction and that it was one of the best decisions in my life. Then things turned around. I noticed that the person sitting opposite me was touched by my words. He gave me a deep look that spoke more than a thousand words. Is this possible? The next two hours were amazing. Two complete strangers exchanged life stories with all the darkest details and unpleasant truths. I came across a “gambler” soul, felt it, and trusted it in an instant. We did not have to explain the behaviors, events, feelings, and doubts we experienced. Everything matched. I wondered if this was fate? Were we meant to meet? I met a wonderful person who has been struggling with addiction for half of his life. I felt a great desire of my interlocutor for a transformation. He is directing his energy in solving his problems that arose and he would like to find peace in his soul. I completely understood him.

But something that began to develop in early childhood intensified in youth and expressed itself forcefully in the transition to adulthood. This something is the complicated mind of gamblers. So if something develops for so long, even resolving, getting to know and accepting it is not easy. Accepting and arranging something that is deeply rooted in our personality is a process that takes many years.

Ali verjameš v usodo? Del – 10

Velikokrat sem že slišal, da se naša življenja odvijajo, kot nam je usojeno. Da se rodimo z namenom in razlogom ter se stvari dogajajo kot je zapisano v zvezdah. Stvari in dogodki so v naprej določeni. Pa je to res tako? Star pregovor pravi: ˝človek obrača, življenje pa obrne˝. Kaj pa naša svobodna volja? Ali ne vplivamo na razvoj življenja sami s svojimi odločitvami, izbirami in prepričanji?

Med zdravljenjem sem tudi o tej tematiki veliko razmišljal. Če usoda obstaja, zakaj sem pristal tukaj v bolnišnici? Kakšen je torej namen mojega življenja? Sem moral premagati odvisnost, da lahko na tem gradim nove in bolj trdne temelje za prihodnost? Morda pa se preprosto nisem znal poslušati in sem ves čas deloval proti sebi. Odvisnost bi lahko bila posledica načina življenja ter bežanja pred odgovornostjo in odraščanjem.

Usoda pa je lahko tudi izgovor za vse, kar se nam dogaja. Izgovor za vse težave, ki jih ne znamo ali ne zmoremo rešiti. Pa tudi za situacije v katerih se znajdemo in zanje ne najdemo pravega razloga. Prepričanje, ki sem ga izoblikoval glede pomena usode je neka srednja pot. Verjamem v usodo, ne pa v njeno popolno določenost. Menim, da je določeno (morda smo si izbrali), česa bi se radi naučili in v čem bi se preizkusili v tem življenju. Seveda pa imamo svobodno voljo in moč, da stvari spremenimo.

Vem, da je vera v usodo lahko vrsta obrambnega mehanizma, ki se sproži ob spopadanju z neuspehom. Ko se človek trudi uspeti, pa mu spodleti. Poskuša večkrat, a mu ne uspe. Z neuspehom se je težko sprijazniti in številni se vdajo v usodo. Tolažijo se s frazo ˝ni mi bilo namenjeno˝. Z vsakim ponovnim  poskusom je upanje manjše in zaupanje vase šibkejše, s tem pa se možnosti za neuspeh večajo. Krivdo je najlažje pripisati ˝višji˝ sili ali usodi.

Psihoterapevt, ki sem ga obiskoval, pravi, da je vseeno, če verjamemo v usodo ali ne.

˝Če verjamete v usodo in vam to pomaga, kar nadaljujte z verovanjem vanjo. Če mislite, da usoda ne obstaja in vam je tako bolje, prav tako nadaljujte.˝

Vera v usodo ima toliko moči, kolikor sami dopustimo. Lahko ima izjemno moč. Na nas lahko vpliva pozitivno ali negativno, vendar pod pogojem, da resnično verjamemo. Pozitivne misli so v naših življenjih izredno pomembne, ker vplivajo na naše nezavedno. Če verjamemo, da bo naša usoda lepa, pozitivna in vredna truda, je zelo velika verjetnost, da bo resnično takšna.

Odkar sem odvisnost sprejel kot del sebe in pot premagovanja odvisnosti kot svojo usodo, se pozitivne in neverjetne stvari dogajajo pogosteje.

Zadnja takšna izkušnja je bila nepričakovana in prav posebna. Poslovni sestanek, ki predvidoma traja od 10 do 15 minut, se je izkazal kot dvourna terapija. Pogovor me je že na začetku ˝prisilil˝ v priznanje mojih težav in odvisnosti. Povedal sem tudi, da sem prestal bolnišnično zdravljenje odvisnosti in da je bila to ena najboljših odločitev v mojem življenju. Nato pa so se stvari obrnile. Opazil sem, da so osebo, ki je sedela nasproti mene moje besede vznemirile. Vrnila mi je globok pogled, ki je govoril več kot tisoč besed. Ali je to mogoče? Naslednji dve uri sta bili neverjetni. Dva popolna tujca sta si izmenjala življenjski zgodbi z vsemi najtemačnejšimi podrobnostmi in neprijetnimi resnicami. Naletel sem na ˝gamblersko˝ dušo, jo začutil in ji v trenutku zaupal. Ni nama bilo treba pojasnjevati vedenja, dogodkov, občutkov in dvomov, ki sva jih doživela. Vse se je ujemalo. Spraševal sem se ali je to usoda? Nama je bilo namenjeno, da sva se srečala? Srečal sem čudovito osebo, ki se že pol svojega življenja bori z odvisnostjo. Začutil sem veliko željo mojega sogovornika po preobrazbi. Energijo usmerja v reševanje nastalih težav in rad bi našel mir v duši. Popolnoma sem ga razumel.

Ampak nekaj, kar se je pričelo razvijati že v ranem otroštvu, se je v mladosti okrepilo in se silovito izrazilo na prehodu v odraslost. Ta nekaj je zakomplicirani um hazarderjev. Če se torej nekaj razvija tako dolgo, tudi reševanje, spoznavanje in sprejemanje tega ni enostavno. Sprejemanje in urejanje nečesa,kar je globoko zakoreninjeno v naši osebnosti, je proces, ki lahko traja več let.

What to do, when crisis strikes?part – 9

No matter how good an abstinence plan you set for yourself, no matter how strongly motivated and determined you are, a crisis occurs. It has surprised me at first. I felt helpless and listless, but I didn’t realize I was in a crisis.

Over time, I learned to observe and recognize myself and my feelings. It was then that I realized that the signs of crisis have been appearing for a long time. When they occur, it shows in different ways, for example I get tired, as if my energy is just pouring out. Before exhaustion I am often restless and irritable. Everything feels hard to do. I am tired, but not because of physical exertion. Something is consuming me from the inside out. I would rather sleep to avoid these feeling, I want it to disappear. In such period I instinctively isolate myself. Suddenly I see everything pessimistically and hopelessly.

It is important that each addict prepares a plan for himself. What will you do when a crisis strikes. You should make a list of things you can do to avoid being stunned. You need alternative ways to regulate your emotions, through which you redirect your energy somewhere else where it doesn’t hurt you. Good examples are running, exercising, talking to a friend, walking in nature, talking to a mentor or therapist, talking in a therapy group, you can also write a diary or a blog. Because everyone is different, each individual must find out what suits them.

My first “safety valve” is running. I’ve been running since ever. When I was in a good or a bad mood, even during hospital treatment I ran a lot. Energy expenditure needs are different: sometimes I run for more than an hour, other times 20 minutes is enough. It has also happened to me that I already calmed down when I put on my running shoes. So far, I have tested myself in a marathon on 10km and 21km. Now that I am in the process of rehabilitation and I am more disciplined, I also have a new goal – I want to run 42km.

Calm running, which we perform regularly, is an extremely important part of rehabilitation. As Sanja Rozman says in the book Hell’s Swing:

˝Running is a rhythmical movement that is man’s most natural movement pattern. When we run slowly and don’t think about accomplishments, efforts, or self-overcoming, but lightly sway into the awaking morning, self-forgetfulness occurs. In such moments, the defense mechanisms can weaken and we experience contact with our soul or direct contact with nature.”

This is the highest goal of running in the process of spiritual transformation!

During treatment, we had daily morning and evening exercise at the hospital. Always at the same time. This has a positive effect on patients for at least two reasons. The first is a discipline that all addicts lack and without which spiritual growth is impossible. The other is health promotion through aerobic exercise.

Dr. Rugelj says:

“A treated alcoholic who will exercise in the morning will not violate abstinence that day. Before he starts drinking again, doubts and a drop in motivation will show up in him by not exercising regularly. Motivation is the main indicator of successful treatment.”

I concluded that the situation with treated gamblers is the same.

Regular daily exercise helps me a lot. I have put together an exercise schedule that I regularly monitor and correct. Being able to keep track of progress is very important, at least at the beginning of abstinence. The feeling of progress is crucial in raising self-confidence.

If we consider ourselves important enough, we will work towards well-being and health. A well-kept exercise record can serve as an aid in monitoring our emotional state. The deviations we see there may indicate an impending crisis, so we can take them as a warning.

Kaj storiti v krizi? del – 9

Ne glede na to, kako dober plan abstiniranja si zastaviš, kako močno si motiviran in odločen, kriza nastopi. Mene je na začetku vedno presenetila. Počutil sem se nemočnega in brezvoljnega, vendar se nisem zavedal, da sem v krizi.

Čez čas sem se naučil opazovati in prepoznavati sebe in svoje občutke. Takrat sem ugotovil, da se znaki krize pojavljajo dalj časa. Postajam utrujen, kakor da moja energija kar izpuhti, pred tem pa sem velikokrat nemiren in razdražljiv. Vse postane težko. Čutim utrujenost, ampak je drugačna kot tista od fizičnega napora. Nekaj me razžira od znotraj navzven. Najraje bi spal, da bi se izognil tem občutkom, v želji, da bodo izginili. V takem obdobju se nagonsko izoliram. Naenkrat vidim vse črnogledo in brezizhodno.

Pomemben je načrt, ki si ga vsak zasvojenec pripravi zase. Kaj boš storil, ko nastopi kriza? Sestaviš si seznam stvari, ki jih lahko storiš, da se izogneš omamljanju. Potrebuješ nadomestne načine uravnavanja čustev, skozi katere energijo preusmeriš nekam drugam, kjer ti ne škoduje. Dobri primeri so tek, telovadba, pogovor s prijateljem, sprehod v naravo, pogovor z mentorjem ali terapevtom, pogovor v terapevtski skupini, lahko tudi pišeš dnevnik ali blog. Ker  smo si ljudje različni, mora vsak posameznik ugotoviti kaj mu ustreza.

Moj prvi ”varnostni ventil” je tek. Tečem že od nekdaj. Ko sem dobre volje, slabe volje, pa tudi med bolnišničnim zdravljenjem sem veliko tekel. Potrebe po izdatku energije so različne: včasih tečem več kot uro, včasih je dovolj že 20 minut. Zgodi pa se tudi, da se umirim že, ko obujem tekaške čevlje. Do sedaj sem se preizkusil v maratonu na 10km in 21km. Sedaj, ko sem v procesu rehabilitacije in sem bolj discipliniran pa imam tudi nov cilj – želim si preteči tudi 42km.

Umirjeni tek, ki ga redno izvajamo je izjemno pomemben del rehabilitacije. Kot pravi Sanja Rozman v knjigi Peklenska gugalnica:

˝Tek je ritmično gibanje, ki je človekov najbolj naravni gibalni vzorec. Ko tečemo počasi in ne mislimo na dosežke, napore ali samopremagovanje, ampak se lahkotno zazibljemo v prebujajoče se jutro, pride do samopozabe. V takih trenutkih lahko popustijo obrambni mehanizmi in doživimo stik s svojo dušo ali neposredni stik z naravo. To pa je najvišji cilj teka v procesu duhovne preobrazbe!˝

Tekom zdravljenja smo v bolnišnici imeli vsakodnevno jutranjo in večerno vadbo. Vedno ob istem času. To pozitivno vpliva na zdravljence iz najmanj dveh razlogov. Prvi je disciplina, ki je primanjkuje vsem odvisnikom in brez katere je duhovna rast nemogoča. Drugi pa je krepitev zdravja z aerobno vadbo.

Dr. Rugelj pravi: ˝Zdravljeni alkoholik, ki bo zjutraj telovadil, ta dan ne bo prekršil abstinence. Preden bo spet začel piti, se bodo dvomi in padec motivacije pri njem pokazali tako, da ne bo redno telovadil. Motivacija je glavni pokazatelj uspešnega zdravljenja.˝ Sklepam, da je situacija pri zdravljenih hazarderjih enaka.

Zelo mi pomaga redna dnevna telovadba. Sestavil sem urnik vadbe, ki ga redno spremljam in popravljam. To, da lahko sproti spremljaš napredek je vsaj na začetku abstinence zelo pomembno. Občutek napredovanja je namreč ključen pri dvigovanju samozavesti. Če se zdimo sami sebi dovolj pomembni, bomo delali v smeri dobrega počutja in zdravja. Vodena evidenca vadbe nam lahko služi kot pripomoček pri spremljanju našega čustvenega stanja. Odstopanja, ki jih tam opazimo, lahko nakazujejo na prihajajočo krizo, zato jih lahko vzamemo kot opozorilo.

Life begins where fear ends part – 8

As Osho, Indian guru and mystic, says, life begins where fear ends. I found his books when I was solving my mental problems. I discovered, that deep inside me I had problems with fear. I didn’t appreciate my choices and I always sought other´s opinions. To me it was always very important what other people think about me, my acts and what are they going to say about it. I grew up whit that kind of thinking. It was always important how do I look and act like on outside, and didn´t matter what I really think or how I feel. I was afraid that real me would not suit others, and because of that I tried to do everything to satisfy everyone else but me. Many times fear slowed me down, paralysed or totally stopped me. In some point of my life I stopped moving forward and I started gambling. That’s how I forgot about my problems. That was my escape from reality.

Strong impact on my treatment came from my decision that I really want to get rid of addiction and that I am willing to fight for this. I am ready for changes. With help of positive thinking and positive looking on life I started moving forward. Osho teaches us that we had to transfer our focus from our mind to our heart. Think less, feel more. We shouldn’t be afraid of new. He says:

˝Commit as many mistakes as possible, remembering only one thing: don’t commit the same mistake again. And you will be growing.˝

When I was reading his books I started to look differently on my gambling addiction. I cannot change what has already happened. But I can accept what I have done so far and learn from my mistakes. I figured out that I don’t know how to express positive anger. I suppressed that feeling in my childhood, because I was thought that being angry is accepted as bad manners. I also don’t know how to express sadness. I suppressed both feeling and moved on with my life like nothing have happened in between. Osho says that ˝Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the center of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it is. The bigger the tree, the bigger the roots. In fact, it is always in proportion, in balance.˝ At this point I accepted myself as I am. Apparently my roots were too shallow for my life goals. That means that I am in a phase of getting stronger and deeper roots. Of course it won´t happen without work. You have to put in a lot of effort and hard work.

I caught myself thinking too much about many scenarios and possible outcomes. I frequently got lost in my mind. Overthinking and complicating about things won´t get you in the right direction. I tried to do more and think less.

˝Remember, the head as a slave is a beautiful slave, very beneficial. But as a master it is a dangerous master and can poison life.˝

Gradually I got more motivated for treatment and determined that I will overcome addiction. I slowly got more courageous. I remembered thoughts from book: ˝Courage is not the absence of fear. It is, rather, the total presence of fear, with the courage to face it˝. I set new little goals daily. With every accomplished goal my confidence grew up. I broaden my horizons. I noticed more and more. I started to admire everyday little things.

˝Once you start seeing the beauty of life, ugliness starts disappearing. If you start looking at life with joy, sadness starts disappearing. You cannot have heaven and hell all together, you can only have one. It is your choice.˝

That really was very different way of thinking compared to what I was used to. Some quotes seemed too easy to me. It has to be more difficult than this. It is hard to accept all this thinking and stay calm. Day by day I stared using these approaches and responses in situations that happened to me in real life. When I accepted myself as I am, and not as I wanted to be, when I convinced myself that I am responsible only for me, everything started to feel a little bit better and easier. And what was the most important for me, I accepted my addiction.

˝The ego is a process, not a reality. The ego is the owner of desires and fears. He uses both at the same time. The ego is driven by desires, it gives it vitality, strength, energy. Without desire, the ego stops. There is no method to expose the ego. Insight is needed.˝

Kaj sem nadomeščal s svojim igranjem? Del – 12

Ena od ključnih nalog pri zdravljenju je odkrivanje vzrokov za nastanek odvisnosti. Po skoraj treh mesecih zdravljenja v bolnišnici, po prestanih številnih terapevtskih pogovorih in delavnicah sem pred celotnim oddelkom predstavil svojo debatno temo z naslovom ˝Kaj sem nadomeščal s svojim igranjem?˝. Izvirnik bom delil z vami. Kaj sem nadomeščal s svojim igranjem? Več knjigContinue reading “Kaj sem nadomeščal s svojim igranjem? Del – 12”

Življenje se začne, kjer se strah konča del – 8

Tako pravi Osho, indijski duhovni učitelj, avtor knjig na katere sem naletel med procesiranjem svojih težav. Odkril sem, da imam globoko v sebi težave s strahom. Ne cenim svoje izbire, vedno iščem drugo mnenje. Seveda se mi zdi zelo pomembno kaj drugi mislijo o meni, o mojih dejanjih in kaj bodo rekli na to. S takim načinom mišljenja sem odrastel. Pomembno je bilo kako izgledam in delujem navzven, ne glede na to, kaj zares mislim in čutim. Strah me je bilo, da pravi jaz ostalim ne bi ustrezal, zato sem vedno, če sem le zmogel, skušal vsem ustreči. Strah me je velikokrat ohromil, upočasnjeval ali celo povsem zaustavil. Tako sem preprosto obstal na določeni točki življenja in se zatekel v odvisnost. To je bil izhod iz realnosti in umik od težav.

Zelo močan vpliv na moje zdravljenje je imela odločitev, da želim ozdraviti in da sem se za to pripravljen boriti. Pripravljen sem bil na spremembe. S pomočjo pozitivnih misli in pogledov na svet, ki jih opisuje Osho, se je v meni začelo nekaj premikati. Poudarja, da naj pozornost prenesemo iz glave oz. naših misli na naše srce. Razmišljaj manj in čuti več. Naj nas ne bo strah novega. Pravi, da:

˝Tudi če vas novo zapelje v jarek, je še vedno vredno, kajti učimo se samo na napakah, rastemo pa samo, kadar imamo težave.˝

Ob takem branju sem začel na moje gemblanje gledati nekoliko drugače. Za nazaj ne morem spremeniti ničesar. Lahko pa sprejmem to, kar sem storil in se učim iz napak.

Ugotovil sem, da se ne znam zdravo jeziti. To čustvo sem potlačil, ker sem že v otroštvu sprejel, da se jeziti ne spodobi. Tudi žalosti se nisem naučil izražati. Vse to sem samo potlačil in živel naprej, kakor da se vmes ni nič zgodilo. Osho pravi, da žalost daje globino, veselje pa višino. Žalost nam krepi korenine, veselje pa krošnjo. Sreča je kot drevo, ki raste proti nebu. Žalost pa kot korenine, ki segajo globoko v zemljo. Oboje je potrebno, višje kot je drevo, globje so korenine. Vedno je v ravnovesju. Na tej točki sem sprejel sebe, takega kot sem. Očitno sem imel preplitve korenine za svoje cilje. Torej sem v fazi razraščanja korenin, kar pa se seveda ne zgodi samo od sebe. Potrebno je vložiti veliko truda.

Zalotil sem se, da pogosto predelujem številne možne scenarije in dogodke ter se v mislih kar izgubim. Prekomerno kompliciranje in razmišljanje brez ukrepanj ne vodi v pravo smer. Poizkušal sem več delati in manj misliti.

˝Glava kot sužnja je čudovita sužnja, izjemno koristna. V vlogi gospodarja pa je nevarna in zastrupi vso življenje.˝

Postopoma sem postajal bolj motiviran za zdravljenje in odločen, da premagam odvisnost. Razvijal sem pogum. Zapomnil sem si misli iz knjige: ˝Pogum ni odsotnost strahu, temveč popolna navzočnost strahu ob tem pa ima človek pogum, da se spopade z njim˝. Vsakodnevno sem si zadajal majhne nove cilje. Z vsakim uspešno opravljenim ciljem sem si krepil samozavest. Začel sem gledati širše in opazil vedno več podrobnosti na drugih in na sebi. Občudovati sem začel vsakodnevne stvari.

˝Ko enkrat opaziš lepoto življenja, se prične grdo razblinjati. Če pričneš gledati na življenje z radostjo, se začne žalost razblinjati. Ne moreš imeti raja in pekla istočasno. Le eno lahko imaš. Izbira je tvoja.˝

To je popolnoma drugačen način razmišljanja, kot sem ga bil vajen. Nekatere izjave so se mi zdele preveč preproste. Tako lahko pa vseeno ni. Težko je vse sprejeti in ostati miren. Tako da sem postopno razvijal takšen pristop in odzive na situacije, ki sem jih doživljal. Ko sebe preprosto sprejmeš takšnega kot si in ne takšnega kot želiš biti ter si dopoveš, da si odgovoren samo za sebe, stvari postanejo nekoliko lažje. In kar je bilo za mene najpomembnejše, lahko sem sprejel svojo odvisnost.

˝Ego je proces, ne realnost. Ego je lastnik želja in strahov. Oboje uporablja hkrati.
Ego poganjajo želje, to mu daje vitalnost, moč, energijo. Brez želja se ego ustavi.
Za razkrinkanje ega ni nobene metode. Potreben je uvid.˝