Sunday, 15 April 2012

Thirty four years stoned . . . What's self-discipline?

Well I've spent fourteen hours cleaning out the nine hamster cages, vacuuming the carpets, mopping the tiles, changing all the bedding . . .  only taking a break now and then to do the automatic daily stuff like washing, cooking, peace-keeping, toilet seat wiping (boys!), picking up anything that's on the floor  . . . and so on. Now I can relax . . . It's ten pm. (Saturday night).

I'm at various stages of various posts, ranging from the "Archives" to more soul searching and behaviour dissecting stuff. I tend to add to whichever one I've been thinking on through the day. Today I've been thinking about all this self-discipline milarky . . . but as I began that post a few days ago and have progressed somewhat in this area, I'll start again . . . That's progress.

I'm not sure if I was ever taught about self-discipline. If I was, I didn't hear it and I somehow doubt that. As children we were disciplined, there's no doubt about that, maybe even over-disciplined . . . which could be of some relevance another day. However I wouldn't have said that I had just drifted through life doing what I wanted, now I'm not so sure. I was always employed until the kids "happened" and always worked hard at whatever I was employed to do. I didn't steal. I never dropped litter. I didn't lie. I cheated plenty . . . I never learnt to say no there, but I was I always honest about it. Yeah, yeah, so you said . . . well done. I'm coming to the conclusion that I did really do pretty much what I wanted; just that most of it was, to some extent, acceptable. Not without consequences though.

I somehow never learnt to make myself do things that I didn't particularly want to do . . . or to stop myself doing things that I did want to do. Could it be that nobody is taught this. How would I know. Do we need to teach our kids how to resist self destructing at every corner. Or just give them reason enough to not want to self-destruct. Say no to strangers. Say no to drugs . . . yeah well that should come easy enough, knowing as we do, the consequences. Should.

Maybe I lacked the "training" to stop myself. To stop and think that perhaps just wanting to do something didn't necessarily make it a good idea. No, if I felt compelled to do it then it must be what I wanted . . . so it must be right for me. Wrong. In the same way if it were suggested to me that something might be good for me that I didn't want to do it . . .  then why would I force myself to do it.

I don't always want to do the weekly shop or the cleaning, cooking and a whole list of other things but I do them . . . the necessities. And really for the most part I do enjoy doing these things so I'm hardly exercising self-discipline when I cook meal. But to go against what I wanted or didn't want to do? Well I would've seen it as not being true to myself . . . myself! (my-allfeelingnumbing,selfdestructing,dontlovemeorIwillhurtyou-self) I would've thought I was trying to be someone else. O God forbid. To change. I can't imagine why I thought that would be such a bad idea. Eh? Change?  . . . What on earth for. I'm alright, nothing wrong with me.

I don't want to go swimming or go to the gym, so I won't . . . I'm not that type of person, never will be so why try to be. It never occurred to me that half the people in the gym might be there under duress . . . I mean why would they bother if they didn't want to. They wouldn't. Wrong.

This is a drawn out way of saying that it's taken me until now to realise that I have to make myself do things and stop myself doing things to be beneficial. To be good to me. How simple is it. How simple am I. No question mark. Considering it's taken me thirty four years to discover this concept, it's perhaps not so drawn out.
So with my brand new revelation, I'm gonna give it a go . . . try it out right here.

I don't want to go and skip (jump rope) on the patio right now . . . I'll do it later. No you wont. You don't want to now and you won't want to later. Why would you. It's highly unlikely that you're gonna become the kind of person who wants to do this in the next four hours . . . or days. Years? So pick up that rope and make yourself go out right now and skip. Now. Right.

I want  . . . . (you can insert anything from a triple chocolate magnum to a bag of heroin here) so I'll have one then. Obviously. No, no, no you won't. (much shaking of head) What do you mean, No? Why wouldn't I  . . . if that's what I want. (OK, we all know many good reasons why not) Forget it, you're not having one. End of. No discussion. I said no and I mean no. Right.

I'm having to talk to myself like I talk to my five year old daughter and I thought she could be stubborn. To discipline myself in exactly the same way. Do I have no more self-discipline than a five year old?  . . . Less!? Good grief. Well given that since the age of fifteen until a few weeks ago, a total of Thirty-four years, I had not spent a day without some sort of drug/alcohol or both in my system,  I could well be fifteen . . . And whilst we're on the subject, at fifteen I was described by an English teacher as socially and emotionally retarded. He could've said quiet and sensitive . . . but he didn't. I might as well be five. Or seven . . . or eleven. Yes that would make sense.

When I named this blog "When I grow up" I actually meant "When I grow up a bit more" I didn't think I literally meant grow up from a child to an adult . . . But  that's how it feels. That's how it is.

OK then . . . that's how it is. That's fine. At least I know now and can start on this. I'm quite excited to see who I become. Who I Would've been, I Will be. Who knows what will emerge with a bit of a load of discipline and a clear mind.

It's Ten pm Sunday now. Re-writing and editing. Prison visiting tomorrow, another change of prison. A right bastard to get to. Trains, buses, taxis, long walks in between and that's just the journey. Then there's the visit.
Do I want to do it? No.
Will I do it? Yes.
Why? Partly because it's not about what I want and partly . . . well, that's another post.

I'm off. This is long. But goodnight to someone in Pakistan and someone in Russia who were reading a few posts today. I love looking where people are from who are reading.
Goodnight to Nepal, that's a regular now :-)
Goodnight to you all . . . Thanks for being here.


  1. Doing what we don't want to do.....heavy sigh. Lots to think about here. My problem has always been doing doing doing all the responsible stuff, whether I wanted to or not. At least you know how to have fun. ;o)

    1. Hi Annette, got a small 25 min to spare before twelve hours of travelling/visiting.
      I thought of you when I wrote this post with your treadmill . . . See, you inspire me.
      Take care, hugs and love and have A FUN day ;-)

  2. Self-discipline is something I'm severly lacking as well. I'm working on it too. Easier said that done and you're right that our kids are probably better behaved than we are. Okay, now go do what you have to do! Keep on keepin' on... :)

    Nepal, really? Very cool!


    1. Hi JJ ... I just read your post and I can relate to those doubts. I will come back and comment later as I'm rushing here. I will try and think of something helpful to say . . . can't promise though. It must be hard to think of your Granny at home like that.
      Nepal, yes . . . It's my neice and she is super cool (doing voluntary teaching work with orphan monks)
      I Hope you feel a bit better today. Hugs and love x

  3. I'm not much good at self-discipline - as in doing things I should. I've not done many things I wanted to for various reasons - consequences, rejection, worry about what people would think - there's a big one.

    I think that all of us are affected differently by the various choices in life. You likely got much more pleasure out of those things you enjoyed that other people get from the same thing. I've never gotten much satisfaction from anything - good or bad which really sucks. But I`m starting to really get into the art now. I hope I can keep up the momentum.

    1. Jeannie . . . Yes there's a lot of satisfaction to be had in art (and a lot of frustration ;-) I like your new portrait ... I am coming back to comment later . . rush, rush!
      So now could be the time to do all those things that you wanted to do. I worry less about what people think as I get older, not that I ever worried much about it before.

  4. Loved this post! I'm off to grab a cookie and head to bed! NO! Damn-it! I won't! Even though I want to...NO! I won't! Self discipline!! Thanks. I love your blog!
    Shelley in SK

    1. Shelley in SK
      I expect the (SK) is obvious to some ... But me? No idea ;-) enlighten me.
      Did you have that cookie?
      Thanks for reading Shelley, glad you enjoy x

    2. SK is the abbreviation for Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is a prairie province in the middle of Canada. Yeah! I had too cookies! Damn it!

  5. Yeah I can relate, I call it lack of motivation, I am very good at putting things off till tomorrow or the next day. I always write things to do in my diary, then I end up crossing them out and transferring them to another day in the diary. Therefore, 'clean out basement' has been transferred from week to week for a couple of months now. I might as well just buy next years diary already at the rate I am going.
    And I like to say to myself, "Well, I am a grown-up if I want ice-cream for dinner, I'll damn well have it!" but I know I can't do that everyday, so I just don't have sweet stuff in the house, cos lack of motivation will stop me going up the road to get it!
    Always a pleasure to read your posts.
    Kiwigirl xo

    1. Kiwigirl
      I love the next year's diary idea ... lol.
      Your lists sound like mine . . . "sort clothes" has been transferred many times.
      I've told the kids that once all that wretched Easter chocolate has gone, there will be no more in the kitchen . . . They'll have to stash it.
      Thanks Kiwigirl, have a good 'un x

  6. Funny thing - people who aren't addicts think that addiction is a lack of self-will where really it is totally the opposite!

    I remember these battles, I remember the ones I lost...

    Last few days of my drinking, I've come to the conclusion I have to drink to live - what other way is there? I'm in a pub sat on my own at a table and the pint of Guinness is nearing the end. I determine to finish that and walk straight out and go home, I've had enough for today surely. I drain the last dregs and put the glass down. I stand up. "I'll just take the glass to the bar like a nice customer" I think. I know what is going on here but I'm powerless to stop it. Up to the bar, glass on the bar, look at the barmaid and say "Pint of Guinness please". In my head another voice is screaming "What! You were leaving you piece of shit! Leave now - just go!". I pay for the pint, return to the loneliest table in the pub and start drinking it... inside I was dying and part of me absolutely hated myself.

    How come then I'm less than a month off 8 years sober? Beats me - just one day I was able to not do it and have carried on doing that

    Take strength

    1. Furtheron,
      It's amazing how we try to fool ourselves isn't it. Like "I'll just get a bag of gear in but not smoke it ... Just so it's there" (this was at the time of my relapse) . . knowing full well that within 5 mins of it being in the house, it would be on the foil!
      I can relate to hating oneself when we are stuck in that behaviour . . . vicious circle.
      8 years! that's lovely. I'm so pleased for you and your family. It beats me too that I said NO that one day ... and saying no keeps getting easier (most days)
      Thanks for your help . . . prison now! x

  7. Furtheron summed it up in one word: "Powerless" Once we get that part into our minds and go, hmmm, maybe I am, no wait....not maybe...crap...I AM powerless over this addiction, once we allow ourselves to admit it, it begins to slowly fall into place. Piece by piece.

    Don't know how I was able to do it either. I just got tired of it having that power that I should have, I think?

    xoxoxo Lovey!!

    1. Hi Lovey,
      Yep it's all falling into place ... Most days!
      Some days I find I've hardly even fought which is always a nice surprise ;-)
      Thanks for taking time to read and comment. I know you have much going on. Hugs and love Lovey x

  8. Self discipline is the opposite of impulsive. Most addicts (I hear/read..I'm no behavioral specialist!) have impulsive personalities. They act without thinking of consequences. We can change these tendencies, but it takes work...

    it's called self discipline. It takes practice but it's a habit (just a different kind of habit) and it takes time. I've also read it's best to change one habit at a time. Don't try to quit smoking, drugging, and biting your nails all at once, sort of thing.

    What I read is you are becoming aware... I remember with my son that was the first (real, truthful) step to getting clean. Don't quit before the miracle, as they say in NA.


    1. Lou,
      You have no idea how much this helped ... The timing. I came here during a liitle battle after I got home last night. Thanks, it all makes good sense.
      I'm looking forward to my top up dose of N/A tomorrow ... It's been a long week . . . But A CLEAN week! with a few less battles.
      Thanks again Lou. Hugs and love.

  9. Does it help in any way to read how many of us battle the 'I wants' every day? I want to do a whole lot of things I am (probably) not going to do today. I think it is partly about looking past today and examining the impact my choice today will have on my life tomorrow and partly (shudder) accepting responsibility for who I am and what I am doing.
    Neither of them are easy. I beat myself up each time I fail (most days) but will not let my failures stop me from trying again. And again.
    I do hope your marathon on the trains/buses/taxis/legs was OK. Sending so many good wishes your way.

    1. The E's C,
      Yes that does help, it helped a lot last night when I read it during a battle. A Lot. Thankyou.
      O it was a marathon, I was so pleased to get home and come here to read exactly what I needed to read at the time ... And have a laugh at "The penguin" looming over SP whilst he ate, Boy did I laugh.
      Love and hugs to all five of you x

  10. Self discipline is no fun, at all. thats probably why everyone struggles with it. i mean, you dont see the effects of self discipline straight up, so its a lot easier to do what we shouldn't and get something out of it straight away, if i make sense. woah, fairly sure i just typed a massive run-on sentence with no full stops that made no sense whatsoever.

    love your blog! /follows/
    ^ -seedy wink-

    1. Seems I commented chez toi at exactly the same time ... Spooky. I hadn't even heard of self-discipline at your age! You sensible girl ;-) Thanks for reading x

  11. My daughter had a lot of issues with implusiveness - and she knew it. She beat herself up a lot over it and that really bothered me. She was self-aware to the point where she knew it was wrecking her life but she never once tried (to my knowledge) to get serious about it.

    I look at you and see you are very self-aware and serious about your fight - and that's going to give you more power over time.

    1. Sherry,
      It's so difficult to work out why we/others behave the way we do . . . And when we think we have it worked out, it's only an opinion and there are thousands of them! O I go in circles some days.
      I really do want, more than ever, to do this.
      Yes I think the power will come with honesty and un-ravelling.
      Thanks for being here Sherry Hugs and love x

  12. Oh I love this post... I got a few laughs too....Oh my thanks for the wake up call about self-discipline, I'm the worst! Can completely relate to the not doing anything I don't want to and doing everything that I do....I can justify ANYTHING....Good reminder to just MAKE myself. Now. You're the best...Love and strength from Nepal <3 xxxx

    1. Yeah! Yeah! YAY and double YAY for the "Nepalese" Bunnyskin ;-)
      Well funny you should say this because hours after I'd written this birth of the lads came to me with issues of Self-discipline! Geekster's homework and Stropster not making his monthly pay last till the end of the month(they don't read on here) . . . I'd realised while wrting that I can't have taught them any, as I didn't have any . . . So they're learning now. At least Hamper will learn some early ;-)
      Chances are if I did't have any . . . then Bluebell aint got none (surprised?) . . . And if she aint got none . . .??
      Love you heaps bunnyskin x x x x

    2. BuNnY!! that was meant to say "both of my lads" not "birth of my lads" . . . although with the amount they're about to learn . . . they might as well have just been born!! . . Me Too x x