Meltdown

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Meltdown

Postby Victor » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:05 am

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

This is a long-winded and terribly self-centered post. Silly that it should be my first one on this board. I just need for someone to hear it, and here I know there is at least one thing we all have in common.

I got started on this path a couple of years ago, fumbling my way through the dark. The Book of the Law fell into my lap during this time. A series of shattering experiences followed. All the ways in which I had continually been sabotaging my life, and the ways I tried to explain them away, became clearly visible. All the ways in which I had been trying to build an identity around superficialities and pretensions, to mask my insecurity. All the ways in which I felt myself unjustly and harshly treated by the world, when really I was just as big of an ass myself most of the time.

I realized, deeply, the role I played in my misfortune, how my own behavior drove me into despair.

But at the same time this meant that my life was in my hands. And I really felt I had the means to change it. There was no doubt. For the first time in my life, for as long as I can remember, I really felt a sense of purpose, of direction. I was invigorated, fearless, brimming with optimism.

Long story short, I eventually realized I was in a rut, and made a violent break with my then-present life. I relocated to a new city, haven't seen or spoken to any of my old friends since, for various reasons. Got rid of old habits and distracting influences (drugs, porn, facebook etc). Made attempts at developing structure in my everyday life, which worked rather less well than more, but still. Was getting ready to start school again (I dropped out of high school).

I started school in August, and past insecurities and fears have come back to hit me at full force. People reach out to me, and I push them away. I try to reach out to others, and I block myself. Every way I wanted this to be different, every way it is the same.

I can rationally observe my behavior in a new light, it is true, but it seems pointless. I continue to revert back to old patterns, sensing hostility everywhere, shielding myself. I have so much love to give, so incapable of giving it.

Even if I were to gain a connection, what do I have to give? What I really thought was me turned out false, I had to completely rethink everything up to that point. I don't know where I am, what I am. My life looks to me only a stream of failures and missed opportunities. I'm not skilled at anything, have no knowledge to speak of, nothing to show for all my years. My words and expressions feel forced, dishonest, merely masking emptiness.

This sense of empowerment that I felt, this conviction that I was on the right track, I can't find it anymore. I feel like I have been wandering in a dream, and this is me waking up. Was this all a trick I played on myself, trying to forget the painful reality of my situation?

Such high hopes I had for this. How I believed in it. How far away it all seems.

I feel so alone. So powerless.

Love is the law, love under will.
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:39 am

Victor wrote:I started school in August, and past insecurities and fears have come back to hit me at full force. People reach out to me, and I push them away. I try to reach out to others, and I block myself. Every way I wanted this to be different, every way it is the same.

I can rationally observe my behavior in a new light, it is true, but it seems pointless. I continue to revert back to old patterns, sensing hostility everywhere, shielding myself. I have so much love to give, so incapable of giving it.

So... what changed? Was this triggered by going back to school? If so, by what exactly (if you can tell), e.g., the discipline, the energy expenditure, the locale, the performance expectations and judgments, etc.?

It's true that getting free is a separate step from doing something with that freedom; but that's probably too vague an assessment. Something triggered you stopping yourself, or invited you to stop yourself (and you took the invitation). Can you identify this?

Even if I were to gain a connection, what do I have to give? What I really thought was me turned out false, I had to completely rethink everything up to that point. I don't know where I am, what I am. My life looks to me only a stream of failures and missed opportunities. I'm not skilled at anything, have no knowledge to speak of, nothing to show for all my years. My words and expressions feel forced, dishonest, merely masking emptiness.

So start from now. You gave yourself a more or less clean break from old definitions and contexts. It does appear, though, that you are still really holding onto the old patterns and, given the opportunity, will reenact them.

The sense of not knowing who you are is a good thing, not a problem. You have to get to Zero (Nuit) for your starting point - you can't learn an answer if you think you already know the answer. So being empty of any idea of yourself is a starting point. Be patient, be enraptured with the wonder of "starting empty." Don't expect yourself to "deliver the goods" right away. -- I think this is important, because I think it's a matter of not meeting your own expectations that throws you into a defensive pattern... but I may not have that right (since I have so little information).

This sense of empowerment that I felt, this conviction that I was on the right track, I can't find it anymore. I feel like I have been wandering in a dream, and this is me waking up. Was this all a trick I played on myself, trying to forget the painful reality of my situation?

But it's really the opposite: You were awake, and now you're back in the reactive, disoriented, "other language" of a dream.

Such high hopes I had for this. How I believed in it. How far away it all seems.

You might examine the syntax of your thoughts (more than their content). In between the lines of your post, I think I'm hearing something like this: "This wonderful thing happened to me. It changed my life. Now it's not happening anymore. Why isn't it happening to me anymore? Why did it go away?" Change this to first person construction: Nothing happened to you but, rather, you did something to make all that happen. It's all in your hands. If you feel powerless, then what are you doing with your power to create that? Etc. etc. etc.

A couple of other suggestions:

First, this is what good (insight-oriented) psychotherapy is for. Get some.

Second, your horoscope is probably an important key. It will show basic patterns in your psyche, and probably showed the liberating burst you had; then, either that particular push faded and left you to your own next step, or there is another pattern you're going through now. You might want to go over to www.solunars.net and post some version of the above with your complete birth data and the dates of the main events, and ask for some help.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com
"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Hermitas » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:44 am

I just wanted to add an idea or two to the others Jim listed.

A psychologist once taught me that all of our unworkable beliefs about ourselves can be boiled down to two deep-seated, core-beliefs:

1. "I am unlovable."

2. "I am incapable."

Some people may struggle with only one or the other while others may struggle with both. It sounds like something re-triggered an old, familiar way of feeling and believing about yourself. When that kind of thing happens, if you can figure out what the trigger is and "why" the trigger is, then you can better arm yourself against it - 'cause it'll happen again.

Also, "two-steps-forward, one-step-backward" is still progress. If nothing else, you have personally experienced the initiative, confidence, and determination of overcoming old emotional thoughts and patterns of thoughts. You now know it's achievable, and that's better than your previous state of not even knowing if it's achievable.

Analogy/Anecdote: My aunt and uncle built a little house beside this great spring-fed pond.
They lived there happily for years and raised their daughters there.
One night, it burnt to the ground.
Then my aunt and uncle built a house that they like way better on the same spot.

Rhetorical question: What were you doing - actually doing - when you started climbing out of the hole before? Reading? Meditating? Breathing? Exercising? Vitamins? Vegetables? What was it that started letting in the required amount of light initially?

Anyway, if I were you (and sometimes I am), I certainly would repost your story with your birth data on http://www.solunars.net. If you could also post the basic date (time period) that you started feeling like you were losing your mojo, that may prove helpfully insightful as well.

Peace.
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:18 pm

Victor wrote:This is a long-winded and terribly self-centered post.

Everything you ever can and will write will be about yourself. You are the only person you can ever really know anything about. This is not a bad thing. Try not to beat yourself up over doing exactly what you should be doing with your life: exploring the full extent of your own being.

Victor wrote:I got started on this path a couple of years ago, fumbling my way through the dark. The Book of the Law fell into my lap during this time. A series of shattering experiences followed. All the ways in which I had continually been sabotaging my life, and the ways I tried to explain them away, became clearly visible. All the ways in which I had been trying to build an identity around superficialities and pretensions, to mask my insecurity. All the ways in which I felt myself unjustly and harshly treated by the world, when really I was just as big of an ass myself most of the time.

You're writing my biography here. :wink:

Victor wrote:Made attempts at developing structure in my everyday life, which worked rather less well than more, but still.

This was my sticking point as well. In fact, I would say this was the single most important hurdle that I had to get over in order to actually start making the necessary changes. The catalyst that got me over it? Keeping a magical diary. Religiously and without excuse. I had sorta kinda kept one a bunch of times over the years but always lazed my way out of it, only to judge myself for lack of consistency which then led me down the spiral of self-loathing and questioning my self-worth, etc. etc. etc. Then, I had a big turning-point moment last August and, starting last Autumnal Equinox, I haven't missed a day. I got myself into a pattern by performing Liber Resh. At first, that was pretty much all that was recorded but I didn't let myself be discouraged by it. I'd also miss practices but, rather than let that discourage me and allow for empty days, I'd force myself to write down that I missed a practice. No judgement, no excuses. Just a simple record that I have to keep every single day that records what it is that I am doing towards figuring out the full extent of my being.

I credit that one simple moment of resolve to consistently do that one simple practice 4 times daily without fail as the single most important decision I made on this path.

Victor wrote:Was this all a trick I played on myself, trying to forget the painful reality of my situation?

In a way, yes. Realizing that you played that trick on yourself is a good thing.

Victor wrote:I feel so alone. So powerless.

Also, very good things to realize. Now... time to start figuring out where those feelings are coming from.

Again, in regards to Resh, if you really get into the practice and allow yourself to fully embody the God-forms as the instructions suggest, you'll likely find that a feeling of power will start to overtake you in the performance. Standing on the deck of the boat of the Sun, hawk-head held proudly aloft in the morning breeze, the wisest being in the world, Tahuti, guiding your ship along the Nile while Ra-Hoor, the most powerful being ever known, pushes you through the water... Once you feel that, it becomes much easier to start manifesting it in your day-to-day life.
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Victor » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:13 pm

Thank you so much for your responses.

I will have to reply in segments or I'll be here all night.

Jim Eshelman wrote:So... what changed? Was this triggered by going back to school? If so, by what exactly (if you can tell), e.g., the discipline, the energy expenditure, the locale, the performance expectations and judgments, etc.?

All of the above, probably.

I made two previous attempts at going back, each time resulting in failure. This lack of discipline carried over into my normal life, with years of unemployment, feeling the simplest everyday tasks to be immense hurdles. Fear of falling into the same pattern was one side of the coin, causing anxiety.
(I am happy to say I have combatted this successfully. Doing the work and getting up in the morning proving far less of a problem than imagined.)

Social relations has always been an issue. Experiences in school during my teens caused me to develop social phobia. While my condition has greatly improved, I still find it hard to make contact, and maintain the relations I do have. I have doubted if it will ever get better, and it seems to overshadow everything I set out to do, all the dreams I have. This is the other, more ominous, side.

All of this is condensed into the past 2½ months. The night before the first day I felt a terror I had all but forgotten build up. For the first 2-3 weeks I was shocked, disoriented, exhausted. It evened out eventually.

Although the problems listed runs across the board, there is clearly a psychological thing about being-in-school itself. All the memories associated with it, the peculiar group dynamics, etc. I haven't been in this situation for over eight years. Which why I said I felt like waking up to reality. Like "I wanted it to be/thought it would be like this, but really it's like this".

Reading this, however
But it's really the opposite: You were awake, and now you're back in the reactive, disoriented, "other language" of a dream.

had me thinking "ah, of course!". Hm.

First, this is what good (insight-oriented) psychotherapy is for. Get some.

What is this, specifically? How does it work, as opposed to other types?

And while we're on the subject, how do I tell a good therapist from a bad one? I've been seeing one for a few months, but I feel like I'm just speaking out into the air, getting nowhere. She offers vague encouragements and nothing useful. Have had the same experience previously. But then I'm thinking, maybe I'm just not making the effort.
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Victor » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:26 am

Well well. Several times I returned to this thread, but just found it impossible to continue. Just a few short things to wrap this up.

I went out of town for a bit, getting some much needed respite. Since the start of this year, I feel oddly at peace. Vitality has returned, and none of the things bother me like they did before.

I resumed my daily practice during the holidays. Doing this, it dawned on me that I had all but abandoned it the previous half-year. No meditations, no banishings, nothing. I hardly even reflected upon it then. Funny.

I don't know where this is heading. But my head is above the surface, for now.

Thanks for your help, for what it's worth.

Happy new year!
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:54 pm

Victor, I wasn't sure if I wanted to suggest this last time around but, reading your last two responses, I'll give it a shot.

Prior to the daily record keeping mentioned above, there was another experience that helped me to figure out a lot of what was going on and how to get a handle on it. I got it from Christopher Hyatt but I think it was from one of his tapes or lectures rather than one of his books. He warns ahead of time that fully engaging in the practice is deeply self-changing and I'd guess that's an accurate assessment (I didn't complete the practice so can't definitely judge).

Basically, what you do is hop online and do a Google search for personality disorder test. There are a few options available out there. Pick the website that makes you feel most comfortable and take the test. It should take less than half an hour. At the end, it should give you an analysis with a ranking of which personality disorders most fit you. Take this with a big grain of salt. This is an internet multiple choice test with no controls and no trained psychologist analyzing the results. Everybody gets higher numbers in some and low numbers in others.

To follow Hyatt's exercise, the next step is to determine which of the list of personality disorders you rank highest for and research it to find out as much as you can about it. Spend a week getting it into your system. If it's "paranoid", for instance, really figure out what it would feel like to believe that everybody you meet is part of a conspiracy against you. If it's " bipolar", figure out what absolute euphoria and absolute depression feel like. But also look at the lesser indicators, the methods of speech, the sleep patterns, etc. Then, live the next week as though you actually have the personality disorder. Once those two weeks are done, move on to the next highest on the list and repeat.

That's the exercise. Go through the list, learning about each and then trying them on for size.

I can't vouch for the exercise as it stands, having never completed it, but what I can vouch for is the first part. Taking the test and getting a 93% for one of the clinical personality disorders opened my eyes to a lot of things about myself. The sorts of things you describe above about your experiences at school suddenly had a name. This doesn't make them go away but it did allow me to let go of a lot of the shame and self-judgment associated with them. As I said, everybody is above average on some and below on others but something in the 90s and present for most of my life was a pretty solid indicator of a hit. It was very much an experience akin the the magical doctrine that, once you name something, you own it. Now that I know what I'm likely dealing with (I still haven't had a professional analyze me but I don't really feel the need for it anymore) I can choose what to do about it. When I feel it starting to rear its head, I'm able to say: "Oh, it's you again. I know how you work. I know you're not going to go away but I also now know how to be okay with that and work along with you."
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Al-Shariyf » Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:09 pm

Victor,

Do the Landmark Forum.

Cheers :wink:
"To advance—that means Work. Patient, exhausting, thankless, often bewildering Work. Dear sister, if you would but Work! Work blindly, foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn’t matter in the end: Work in itself has absolute virtue." -Magick Without Tears
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Re: Meltdown

Postby Andie » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:06 pm

I agree with Shariyf. I'm signed up for a repeat course in March. It's fabulous. :)
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