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Repetitive and obsessive thoughts.

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Metalhead, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. Metalhead

    Metalhead Video game and movie addict. V.I.P Member

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    I am now finally realizing that holding on to a lifetime of grudges constantly playing in my head is detrimental to my recovery. I will never move forward as long as my brain remains obsessed with the past.

    But how to get my brain to move on after decades of obsessing over this is tough. This probably is the toughest thing I have ever took on. Quitting alcohol is easier than this.

    Any bright ideas on ways to recondition and rewrite my neural pathways to move past this rather pathetic stage I have found myself in?
     
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  2. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Maybe try picturing yourself laying this burden of grudges down at the door of the people who perpetrated abuse, and walking away, free and unhampered? It's not yours, it's their's, and you're tired of it.

    It has been expressed, its old now, and only serves to keep you connected to them. Maybe say something like, "I'm not carrying this any longer, goodbye." Picture them crowding to the door aghast "No, don't leave us! We want to continue this fight, we need to! We like to make people suffer! We enjoy it! " They are calling. But you walk resolutely away. You are not their victim any longer. You have been very hurt, very angry, and now you are letting go all connection to them. It's over. You are moving on.

    It would be good to dig in to some new or revived interests too, perhaps? A new direction, some volunteering, a walking group, a gardening craze, get an allotment, start doing walking challenges, take up fishing or golf or, well, whatever you feel like!
     
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  3. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a way to start. Or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. The goal is radical acceptance.

    If you aren't able/willing to go there, take up the study of Buddhism. Or Stoicism, or Epicureanism. Look at the original philosophy, not "Stoicism for success and profit" or any of that modern %$#@.

    It is a long journey (years - decades) and some of it is simply intercepting those thoughts and telling yourself you aren't going to go there. And then forcing yourself to go somewhere else. Those bad feelings live in the amygdala (also the home of PTSD) which produces the physical reactions of stress and anger. The amygdala does not yield its fear and anger easily. Over time, glacially, the obsessions and grudges will recede. They lose their power because they are not being reinforced. Every time you indulge them you perpetuate them.

    The problem with psychotherapy that involves reliving those experiences is that they get reinforced. "Getting it all out" does not really help. What one really wants is to get to a point where you can say, "Oh yeah. That happened. Real bummer, that. Time to move on."
     
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  4. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It took me years to figure this out and make it work. I imagine and visualize grudges, insults, and offenses as water on a duck's back. It hits, it is there, then it rolls off leaving nothing but dry. It WILL be hard to change your thought process, but it should be worth it. This may be a form of what Au Natural is talking about in the previous post.
     
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  5. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Just keep trying, victory brings glory V.I.P Member

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    I think displacement, prayer and redemption.

    The affirmation displaces the darkness because it eventually starts to recur naturally.

    Prayer is an alignment within the self, and an invitation to change.

    Redemption is harder, but that's just for me. You are already doing that stuff. These things you do to help others? That's redemption, you redeem your dignity and humanity by deeds.

    So it should all work together, the prayers invite the intervention of Her Grace into your life, her Angels whisper to your meditating mind, the affirmations are a statement of Her Intention in your life. You feel called to action, as Her Servant, and so redeem yourself with good works.

    The affirmation is a simple statement in the present tense that indicates change, growth or values.

    I am full of golden light, I feel the light inside of me, shining forth. The light heals me.

    This one is famous

    There is only one life
    That life is perfect
    That life is gods life
    That life is my life now.

    The timing and repetition of the saying seems to be a key to its effectiveness. It needs to be repeated many times to work, over many days. You can use a new one each day or the same one for several
     
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  6. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Every time you have an unwanted thought, acknowledge the thought exists, know it is not serving you well, then gently, persistently push it away and deliberately choose a new thought.

    "Ah, it is YOU again. You have been hanging around for 20 years yet nothing has changed and I feel unhappy with you. Be gone! I wonder what is on t.v?"

    So simple. And it works! Really it does!
     
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  7. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No bright ideas, I have the same issue. It sucks. It's probably the ONE thing I'd change about being autistic, if I could.
     
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  8. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, yes, yes!
    I will spare you my long, meandering quest for enlightenment. But what started quest involved a huge amount of ridgid, repetative thought. Eventually I was able to connect these thoughts and habit to a.s.d. Until then I did not connect myself to a.s.d. at all.

    Regardless, the mindfulness technique of acknowledging thought and pushing it away was enormously helpful to me. I even gave my negative thoughts a name like they were coming from a third person. Doing so helps you to seperate tbe thoughts from your emotions.

    Thinking "This and this happened and it is all his/her fault. Why did they treat me so poorly?" (Or your personal flavor of repetative thought) feels bad. Very bad and you can't out think your own logic.
    But when the thoughts pop up you can assign those thoughts to a third party. It is easier to ignore a third party and easier to see them as wrong even if you can't argue back.
     
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  9. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Ah.. it isn't an autistic thing. It is a human thing. A nearly universal happening at dysfunctional family gatherings the world over.
     
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  10. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    I’ve found a lot of help with mindfulness practice. Also reading the book,
    *The Body Keeps The Score

    He, the author, showed me that in order to get control over some things that were still -& had been bothering me for years, first I had to honestly remember & look at the trauma(s) I’ve experienced. That is harder than it sounds because some of the memories are squashed into boxes, and not at all comfortable to re-visit.

    We can bring all our experiences into a managed whole. The memories stop being so painful when I learn & calmly implement care for all of myself. All of my selves.
    It opened up a good, strong part that’d been there all along.

    *
    author’s website
     
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  11. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's been a hard one for me all my life.
    Time and distance from what caused the thought that is held onto will actually work.
    The sting of the incidents become less and with time, I've found, the mind eventually
    lets go and sometimes practically forgets.

    Find something to do that gives a positive outlet until time lets the obsession go.
    Along the way, I've found positive repetative affirmations help.
    Your body believes every word you think.
    It doesn't feel that way at first, but, practice keeps the thoughts on something positive
    and away from the negatives. Even if it is only for a few minutes several times through the day.
    One day you may find the bothersome thoughts have disappeared without you realising it.
     
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  12. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is definitely something to chip away at. Distracting yourself is a great strategy, especially because aswell as the effects of trauma, autism seems to often make us prone to ruminate and go over stuff. Get up and do something when you are having those thoughts. Try saying or thinking phrases like, enough of that! Or, that's old stuff, I'm not going there again.

    Exclude these thoughts, try doing more than one thing at once (so hard!) to crowd them out. Like, watching TV while also making a felted Christmas tree dog.
     
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  13. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    For me, if the feeling(s) behind the thoughts is briefly acknowledged and calmly validated, the thought-a-round stops. (as in a very unpleasant merry-go-round)

    To be clear, I do not often even have a clue what to label the feeling. I just pick an approximate word or words, and I breathe, giving a moment to that part of self.
    I literally tell it that even though I am uncomfortable, it is welcome.

    The obsessive thoughts are told to stop, for now. Then the mind moves on.
     
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  14. NB79

    NB79 Active Member

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    Forgiveness is healthy, the bible talks about this, but even if you don't believe, try to forgive if you hold grudges and resentment you are only hurting you, and is even scientific that this kind of bad feelings, deteriorates people spiritually and physically.
    About painful stuff, take it out of your chest with someone, and let go if you can.
     
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  15. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Your beliefs affect your emotions and your emotions can result in automatic thoughts. Trying to change those thoughts when they occur is difficult or impossible. Changing your beliefs about what happened and the people involved will change the emotions you experience and the automatic thoughts that result from them.

    For example, suppose you hold a grudge because you believe someone who harmed you is a horrible person who deserves to be punished for how they treated you. Re-evaluating what happened and concluding they weren't a bad person but harmed you because they had mental or emotional problems that may have resulted from poor parenting, people treating them poorly, or something else that wasn't their fault will make it easier to forgive them and let it go. The less negatively you view what happened to you and the people responsible for it the less emotions you will experience that negatively affect your life.
     
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  16. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I like to think of them as bad weather. One doesn't "hate" storms and blizzards and droughts as such. They just happen. You figure out how to adapt and overcome the damage

    Hating a person for wronging you in the past is useless. You can't "unwrong" the wrong and the person who wronged you doesn't give a flying fart. You can't hurt them. Bullies, in particular, do what they do because it makes them feel powerful and knowing that you're hating on them makes them feel even more powerful. Instead, accept it. "Yup. That sure was a bummer. Time to move on."

    There's a saying that bitterness is a poison you swallow, hoping to hurt the other person. Perhaps we hang onto grudges and anger long after they become meaningless because we keep punishing the perp in our own head (since it can't happen in real life or we would have done it for real) and that gives up a perverse kind of pleasure. But that poison you swallow is still poison and can eventually destroy you.
     
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