226: Busy Doesn’t Mean Better: Redefining Productivity in Recovery (Sort Of)

We’ve been reflecting on our self-imposed obligations lately, realizing they’re taking a toll. Balancing work, social life, family, and personal projects feels overwhelming. There’s this pressure to excel in everything, but we’re dropping the ball in many areas, leaving us feeling unfulfilled. It’s time for a reevaluation of what truly matters and what we can let go of.

We’ve noticed a pattern of seeking relief from our daily struggles through constant activity. Whether it’s work, household projects, or distractions, we’re always on the move. But in our quest to stay busy, we often neglect self-care and moments of stillness. We’ve started to recognize the importance of slowing down, investing time in restorative activities, and being present in the moment.

Navigating relationships, especially with our spouse, presents its own challenges. We struggle to balance our need for solitude and productivity with our partner’s desire for connection and relaxation. Finding a middle ground where we can honor both our needs and those of our loved ones is a work in progress. It’s about learning to communicate openly, set boundaries, and prioritize self-care while nurturing our relationships.

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Email: RecoverySortOf@gmail.com

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Transcript:

welcome back it’s recovery sort of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and Recovery in the spaces between we express our personal views on life here and this podcast is not meant to replace medical advice or tell anyone the right way to live this podcast is best used as a place of curiosity and questioning to accompany you on your journey be aware there is strong language here we go

[Music] [Applause] [Music] obligations is that the topic we’re talking about is it obligations I guess I don’t know I realizing lately uh and and this is weird CU these are for me at least self-imposed obligations like I’m totally cool and on board with that I don’t have to do [ __ ] for the most part that’s not totally true I definitely feel like I got to go to work um at some level some days I have to go to work but like I’m not and I’m trying to do all these things in my life right um I have a full-time job kind of sort of I own my own business now so I’m trying to operate that I’m trying to do some social media marketing advertising creating space of people I like and things I like and say things I like outside of this space and like doing this and trying to get clips for this and editing This and like couple other things be a good dad be a good husband don’t let any of these things or work interfere with my home life like all these these Grand ideas um realize this week I’m I’m

like not doing all of them well uh and I don’t feel good about me when I don’t do all of them well or when I do things that I don’t do well and I’m like dropping the ball in a lot of ways and feeling like I’m not keeping up and like that feels like [  ] and so like what I realized this week is I need a re-evaluation of what matters and what balls I need to drop because I ain’t doing this right we we said it earlier in the other episodes like write down them six things you want and then limit that list to three because that’s I can only juggle three [  ] balls Billy right you know so I I don’t know you were saying you had a similar feeling yes feeling the same way exactly this week and I said that to my wife laying in bed I’m like why is my [  ] week filled with things I don’t want to do yeah you know why is my life all these

obligations and it’s like one obligation to the next obligation to the next obligation and none of them are things I want to do yeah yeah now the tricky part there for me like as a a you know recovering person what I think is addiction or whatever is that there’s that constant battle in my my head of like well of course I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it which a lot of times is nothing and in the past that attitude hasn’t always served me well now maybe I have some new information that could help me do better with some of that but there’s always that scary like slippery slope idea that if I start down that path right am I going to cause more harm than good here’s the funny thing that I’ve realized for me at least is that uh similar I’ve been called lazy my whole life I don’t want to do anything this that and the other Billy I don’t [  ] stop I don’t I have this concept that I’m a lazy guy and I do so much like when I stop and step back

and look at my life and and if you do this holy [  ] because you do way more than I do uh you do so much it’s crazy how [  ] productive we are and like yes when I did nothing and still today when I do nothing on some days it feels like [  ] and I think 98% of that is because I was told that I was doing nothing and it’s bad honestly because nobody told me I needed time for my body to rest nobody told me that it was important to have time for leisure and connection with my my humans in the world and with my you know with nature itself and like all these things feed my soul and feel important so like when I give myself these things my body feels better right my weekends have been very very not anything on them for I don’t know three four months now like I’ve just refused I’m not planning [  ]

I’m going to do what we feel like doing we’re going to tend to our house and our things and each other and like I I don’t know I still get that thought though that brain thing that says you’re not doing anything you’re not getting anything done and it’s like I have to actively counter that and be like my body is sore it needs rest I go all week yeah and well the tricky part for me right now what’s where I’m trying to watch is because I have this obsessive nature is that I am in the middle of this project working on it in my bathroom and Jim was laughing at me the other day so it’s been slow at work and my work’s only like five minutes from my house so I go home on my lunch break and I’ll work on the bathroom project through like the hour of my lunch break and then go back to work that’s czy and she’s like what are you doing she’s like are you coming home on your break to work on the house stuff I’m like yeah that’s like it’s boring at work

I just [  ] sit there because we’re slow you know it’s like our off time right now so it’s like I’m sitting there I go in in the morning I do my half hour two an hour’s worth of paperwork and email and catch up on what I got to do and then I sit there for [  ] two hours and hope that no problems come up and I try to find things to do I mean I try to be productive there but why don’t you just work from home one day a week and tackle that [  ] deal with problems at work while it’s slow or two days a week or [  ] three

bro you run the company like what the hell are you doing well well that’s I mean part of the issue is I do like and that’s what people ask like what do I do at work I’m like I’ve handled problems when they come up so job but I need to be there when they come up no you don’t they’re all by phone and computer you don’t to be there but uh and I have actually done you know like I’m going to take a day off here a day off there and working home but that’s thing like now that’s what I want to do is work on my home project and nothing else like and but there’s nothing necessarily inherently wrong with that so we we’ve gotten this message that we’re obsessive people right obsessive in nature and and what I want us to think of that as as picture a number line zero to 100 just like you’re in prek right 40 you get out of bed we wake up at 42 every day and we’re looking for relief from that yucky ass feeling that’s what we call Obsession we’re trying to find relief from how shitty we feel living the life we’re living currently cuz it’s awful and miserable and our society does not provide what it takes for humans and human life to feel good it Champions things that does not feel good which is chasing money chasing things chasing belongings none of this [  ]

is really all that rewarding for us except for the story we’ve told oursel that we need to do it right and so it’s like we don’t have any of that information going on and yeah then we just judge ourselves and call it Obsession but when we can see what we’re doing okay every time I eat that ice cream pick up my phone and scroll social media buy something gamble any of these things think about sex whatever distract myself with a TV show I’m escaping I’m giving myself a little hit of feeling not as bad as I am but I’m also not putting in any time to make it feel better it’s like blank time that I’m just avoiding the yuck instead of time that I’m spent investing in me and my life and creating it and making it feel plus 10 overall by the next week you know what I mean where I wake up at a 502 and now I don’t need to seek those behaviors that I called obsessive or I don’t have quite as much intensity behind my obsession because I’m not in so much pain I don’t need the relief as badly I can make better choices you know what I mean so it’s like when we look at it from a judgmental place of oh I’m just an obsessive person I got to look out for myself okay got to see me coming but when we understand we’re in pain and the better we can relieve that pain through positive things connection hugs warm teas moments of quiet and Stillness outside like been spending a lot of time just sitting on my porch digging up my [  ]

yard for different things like it feels good it feels good to like be taking care of me and what I want and I don’t think you’re don’t get me wrong the the Twisted part about the bathroom and fixing the bathroom I I think it’s beautiful because there’s a very healthy part of you that wants to tend to your environment and make it the most comfortable for all your family members and yourself that’s the beautiful part and I think the the pain relief part that we seek is the it’s got to be done now or so I mean at least for me per like the tricky part and this is what I get into with you know my wife all the time it’s like some of these projects like when you’re getting into something like say running the electric or running the plumbing like it’s very hard to like just start and stop on a timeline it’s so much easier to like I need to get all of this done because to get half way and then have to pick everything up and clean it all up and put [  ]

away and then come back three days later and try to remember like oh what exactly what we doing here where was I and what was you know like that [  ] is annoying it’s it’s very annoying to have all my stuff and be going and have to stop and you know so some of it’s that some of it’s that once you know I just need to get this A to B and then once I’m at B I can take a break and then B to C and then I can take a break Billy we’ve been hanging out for like five years and you’ve done a [  ]

ton of projects on your house and never once have you said hey man in like three weeks I really want to get all this wire knocked out I could use a hand it would make it go so much quicker why don’t you come over for a couple hours yeah you don’t never mention that I’ve always kind of waited so it’s interesting I and that was in our previous episode I was thinking of some of that it’s like not having the ability to like I have other people too that do that know that kind of stuff and do work and people have even said hey I’ll give you a hand sometime like yeah right yeah man I mean that’s but okay so if that’s what the way you want to do it like what stops you from being able to plan out that that’s the most important thing to you this week or this weekend or like why do all these other have toos get in the way of that or you know you were talking about the one with the the spany and uh you know we talked about it on the previous episode and like just thinking about that yes you committed to the spony one first so you missed out on the the wedding tasting that came and got planned after that and yet I know for me there is absolutely things that could come up after I had said yes to that spany event that celebration that would make me not be able to be there right right critical emergencies whatever there’s definitely circumstances that would make me able to say no so that tells me I’m the one set in the line and then I get to pick where the [  ]

I want to put it yeah you know well and in that case it was like you know there is a thing where it’s like how would I feel if my sponsor wasn’t at my anniversary and even if they had a good excuse it still doesn’t feel good to me if they weren’t there how would you feel if your sponsor was wasn’t at your anniversary that you didn’t talk to for 11 months and then texted a month before your anniversary and then they said they could have make it like I don’t know I’d be pretty understanding like I didn’t [  ]

do nothing sure I get right oh yeah yeah but yeah they’re all the lines are all lines that I make up nobody puts them on me but there’s always trying to balance out between like when when can I begin to trust my own judgment versus when when you understand serving well when you understand that everything you’re thinking ain’t your judgment that’s when you can start to trust your own judgment when you know that not every thought that goes through your head is Billy and that some of them are these other parts like the part that uh your caregivers in society gave you that’s going to make you keep questioning if you’re doing enough because it doesn’t you know it always says people are looking at you and they’re judging you and you got to do this so it doesn’t look like that and you got to do this so they don’t think this and all that like that’s the part you’re arguing against so that’s the part we got to find a way to separate that from who Billy is cu even so like my week nights aren’t like I don’t last week I did but like most weeks I go home and chill at home and watch TV after work and then and like that feels very [  ]

unfulfilling yeah I don’t think TV is fulfilling at all honestly I don’t think any of the stuff we do that takes us away from what’s right here in front of where our feet is is actually going to feel fulfilling personally yeah well I just mean like I I at least it feels to me sometimes and and again this is the battle right I feel like I feel better about myself and my life and who I am like if I go home and be like Oh I got like three hours I can go [  ] do some [  ] in the yard or maybe go out and clean up and have a campfire and you know whatever like doing something like that versus like I’m going to go sit inside with Jen and the kids and watch TV or do nothing you know no I don’t feels I wouldn’t want to sit in my house and watch TV all the time I’m saying every once in a while we watch a movie sure that’s great whatever but like I don’t feel like it’s connecting and I I actively so the way our houses and the flux of kids in and out of the rooms all the time like and the modern technology my older kids are almost always on video calls wandering around the house into the room where you can hear the conversation they’re talking their person on phone’s talking or they’re watching something on a tablet and that’s talking and I hate all that [  ]

and I actively tell everybody that like that’s not going to happen while I’m sitting in the room like oh see mine are the other way they all sit there with headphones on so there’s three people in the room with headphones on listening to a thing right I I no I’m going to do what feels right like and I’m going to invite my family if they’re young enough I’m going to make them uh strong invitation but like the older ones hey I want to do this like this is connecting why don’t you come out and connect with me and it is interesting I’ll see our kids so they do a a I don’t know I guess it’s as connecting through television or movies as you can is like they’ll have some friends over and they’ll all sit in there but then they’re all like commenting and talking to each other throughout the show almost like the old [  ] you know Mystery Science Theater 3000 yeah and they’ll do [  ] like that and that’s always like it’s interesting to sit in another room and watch the kids like I’ll call it Bond like that like I cuz I didn’t have like healthyish relationships as a teenager it was all based around using and getting high and partying and trying to [  ]

somebody and you know like that was the whole gist of my existence yeah it makes sense teen right but they don’t do that you know my kids are like do what I guess is healthier things I hope they’re healthier anyway and so they’ll have like kids over and they’ll play you know these weird games together or they’ll like watch weird old movies and then like talk about the movie the whole time they’re watching it and make fun of things and you know that’s funny it’s just it’s interesting to see does your daughter have Lambs goats is it are they baby goats she has baby goats yeah okay I think I saw her a tractor supply yesterday with her baby goats oh probably she works there it didn’t click until I got outside so she works there now a tractor supply and yes she has three baby goats and then her friend has three baby goats adorable oh know was great yeah she was probably in there showing them off to her co-workers that’s funny it all clicked when I got in the car I was like damn it I should have said hi yeah oh well um [  ]

where were we uh oh I’m talking about kids oh oh the kids yeah yeah I see some of that so I what witnessing my teenagers uh do some of that some of it I’m like okay this is like the modern version of connecting when it looks a little more interactive like that and then there’s quite a bit of time I watch them sit in the room and they just stare at their devices and don’t talk to each other oh yeah there’s plenty of and maybe they’re doing some online connecting who knows right I I try not to figure all that out but I’m realizing for me Billy like nothing else really feels all that good and like that’s all the [  ] that I’ve taken out of my life is the senseless running around and doing errands and all that [  ] and it’s just like what feels good is to be around the house and that’s my plan every weekend is how little can we have on our calendar and like what’s a few things we want to get done let’s not pressure ourselves let’s go leisurely maybe we’ll clean out a room maybe we’ll do some yard work and it’s wonderful and I think that’s a struggle though in my marriage in my relationship is that Jen is way more that and I’m not like she’s way more into oh I worked I just want to go home I don’t want to really do much I’m G to just chill and do nothing and watch TV and I’m like H that’s [  ]

boring like you know I don’t necessarily want to do that and then I feel bad you know just leaving her to do nothing and me wanting to do a bunch of things so and and this I’m not trying to solve your problem here or anything but like just that the first foundational thing that came up to me was why can’t you do yours one night hers the next like why wouldn’t that be a compromise because I feel like that’s what we’re all needing to go for is this compromise like no we can’t just have everything we would in life we we got to work towards it and I’m trying to earn my relationship every day and appreciate my partner and like this is where I’m willing to bend a little and these are the places I can’t really Bend much what can we do with that like what are your places you know I don’t know that it has to be all one or the other I don’t know you were talking about having a three hours I thought you were going to say like why not do more of this bathroom work or whatever but like I guess what are the other maybe there’s a some missing productivity pieces in your plan right like there’s you you’re you’re really great at productivity getting the finances knocked out making the money going to work every day right you’re [  ]

amazing at that and like home repair and home upkeep and upgrade you’re phenomenal at like doing all those things and making them look great what about other areas like how much time a week do you spend for Billy’s rest time to give his body time to just recuperate whether that’s a massage a float a a gentle meditation grounding in your backyard laying in the grass like how much time do you devote to Billy’s um I don’t know if you want to call it like spiritual or self-care well-being you know you know what I mean like maybe there’s time maybe that’s spent in meditation in your backyard like you were talking about around the fire or maybe that’s you want to whether it’s step work or you want to do some kind of therapy workbook to like get to know yourself better and become more familiar with you like there’s some areas of time you don’t invest that are Billy focused that like maybe that’s the place where we could go with that and just start investing time there and seeing what does feel good yeah I mean I’m sure like most things there’s a balance there that I’m not striking and yet and this is what I’m trying to be aware of it’s like the obsession part comes in it’s like I feel like all I want to do is be left alone so that I can work on this bathroom stuff but then when I’m doing that that doesn’t necessarily feel good because now I feel disconnected from my family and my wife I feel disconnected from my friends I feel like I don’t have any life because you know and like right but all I want to do is fix this Kim’s laughing right now listening to this I can tell you uh I have this I wake up early well before my family and I start getting into [  ]

and then when they start coming out I’m [  ] frustrated I’m like God damn it I was going to get more [  ] done and and she has you know been on the other end of the receiving that at points and like yeah my brain left unattended to and unmonitored has the narrative in the story of what’s next and I don’t even get to enjoy the thing I’m doing right now now and I’ve noticed this a lot it happens when I’m eating I start choking on food CU I’m not chewing it enough and I start getting heartburn because I’m swallowing in these gigantic pieces and my mouth is so full of food I can’t even respond to people that ask me questions and it’s all cuz I’m thinking about the next thing I got to do when I get done and I’m just trying to get done to [  ]

food so I can get there H what’s well what’s interesting for me I think one of the reasons I like and and sports will do this for me too when I’m playing any kind of sports or when I’m working like one of the things that happens I think that makes that so like addictive is that when I’m hyperfocused on that one thing I’m not thinking about anything else and it is almost like a form of meditation it’s like I’m so locked into this one thing that I don’t have to worry about relationships and bills and all this other [  ]

so I don’t know what the experience is like for different people my locked in like that at least the way I look at it now feels a lot like reading a book book feels a lot like being lost in a TV show or a movie like it’s an Escape to me I think it’s that that relief of not feeling the pain in that moment because I’m so concentrating on something else but not really the relief or the pleasure of being in the moment itself um I had this weird thing happen recently I was shaving or trimming up my beard and I had the electric or the battery trimmers going and they’re buzzing real loud and I noticed it was the only thing I heard and it reminded me of like I’ve seen movie scenes like this like right before somebody wants to hang thems or something they’re like shaving their head like maybe private Pile in the movie and it’s everything’s quiet and like the soundtrack of the movie is just the buzzing Clippers and it like emphasizes something I don’t know the loneliness the whatever and I got nervous when I when it happened I was like oh [  ]

am I depressed is this bad like am I going to hurt myself and what I realized cuz I’ve had it happened with some other things uh some birds chirping and other moments this is me just being quiet and and there’s nothing except the buzzing trimers and I’m totally here just doing what I’m doing being present I’m like feeling my body more and so I’ve been trying to actively do that a lot more like listen for these other parts of me like where’s where’s what’s the Stillness part of Jason have to say right now I I know the get [  ]

done part he’s got a [  ] narrative and he’s always going right I know his let me not listen for him though for a few minutes let me listen for still and quiet Jason on my porch and the birds and [  ] for a couple minutes and feel my toes and Billy I got to be honest even on a daily basis when this is what I’m trying to practice I [  ] forget it constantly and I go back into just operating on [  ]

autopilot all the time and and I’m not trying to Champion this I’m not saying this is how it works for everybody or this is good for everybody but the [  ] weed I walk outside on my porch I sit down I hit it my breathing Chang es because I’m hitting a [  ] joint so I’m breathing it a little differently right and in that [  ] instant every time I remember there’s more to life than just getting [  ] done and that I need to slow down and I need to take moments of Stillness and silence and it’s like I hate to give weed credit for that but [  ] right it happens like three or four times a day and I’m just like this is what I need is to slow down more I need to rest more I need to like just be here and enjoy my life and not just be getting [  ]

done all the time and I cannot seem to remember that well but I’m getting better yeah and and I guess the difference for me I don’t think it’s and I’d have to look at this a little more I don’t know if it’s necessarily about getting [  ] done as much as it’s just doing all the time and I think the difference is that like I I’m not concerned at all with being like productive per se I just don’t like to be bored and I think that comes from like I don’t like to sit still in my present very much you know no no I keep telling my kids to explore the boredom like boredom I truly think being curious about what we Define boredom as and what it means to us and our relationship with it I think that’s the [  ]

meaning of life yeah well they talk about so that was a big part of my kids school that alternative school that they go to so their dilemma in the last several years has been how like phones and the internet and all that has changed what boredom was and how it worked within their whole educational model because boredom was a part of the learning process you know when you know kids cuz in their school kids don’t have to do anything you can come there and you can lay on the couch and you can do nothing all day and they said there would people would do that for days and weeks and sometimes months and eventually they’d be like well I’m bored yeah I’m like okay well get up and do something then if you’re bored and then you know that would trigger their own internal motivation right to do stuff um I think for me and and I’m trying to think through this as we’re talking about it I think it more has to do with so we had a put our dog down last week and the like I it was interesting to see how like the avoidant part of me comes out and all that it’s like we’re dealing with this dog thing and like my like avoidant Tendencies are like all right everybody go to your own safe corner and figure out how you feel about this it’s not like get together and like huddle together and hold each other and you know all that it’s like I’m going to go over here and take care of me you go take care of you and

we’ll meet back when we’re ready to talk about it you know and that is also I think how I feel about like some of these projects and things that I work on is that’s my avoidant place maybe that’s why I don’t ask for help or why I do a lot of things alone is because then I’m there I’m in control of everything I don’t have to answer to anybody or be involved with anybody or don’t have to worry about looking bad don’t know doing for me right and and all that and that feels okay and safe and you know whatever and then when I’m outside of that I have to deal with life and what do I think you know the expectations are and blah blah blah and that’s uncomfortable yeah but that’s a lot of pressure when there’s expectations and and you know the part in our head that thinks other eyes are on us which I’m not saying it’s wrong other eyes are on us people are judging us but I don’t know that it matters outside of that part in our head you know what

I mean well and the the problem is though at least for me I know about myself is the more that I like isolate and get into those places the safer that feels and the more dangerous stepping out of that feels and it’s all internal [  ] in my head you know I was joking with you know Jen about issues at work and it’s like forever I you know I have to deal with problems and problem customers and all that stuff so like when I don’t have to get yelled at by anybody for a while cuz nothing comes up like then all of a sudden like oh Miss Jones is mad about this and you need to call her I’m like H I don’t want to call her you know what I mean like I don’t want to do it and the the tape starts playing how terrible it’s going to go and all that stuff but when I’m in the habit of making those calls right away you just oh yeah no big deal I can do it and so that’s what happens like I get into these places and these projects where it’s like I can go isolate in my bathroom by myself for days on end and not have to be dealing with life that’s my safe place I’m thinking of boredom as like I mean I talk all this stuff about what we got programmed for in our childhoods right and to me I mean haven’t you met humans that are super [  ]

fascinating and you can’t wait to ask them more questions to know more about them like I I’ve definitely met Fascinating People right and if they’re fascinating maybe I am too but like maybe my caregivers did not program an interest in me into me because they didn’t have enough space to be interested in me honestly they were interested in making me be what they wanted me to be which was like them so they didn’t really have any space to be interested in me and who I was so I just kept trying to block out all the me and who I was and then made me boring I had to Bland out all that [  ]

that people were going to judge and criticize so I just I’m boring right so I would say being bored by myself is literally I’ve never been programmed with an interest in myself and like don’t I want to sit with that board them an hour a week and figure out what’s so interesting about me because I’m interesting as [  ] Billy I don’t know about you I got a lot of interest in quirks I’m a weird [  ]

like for real I don’t know yeah and I guess yeah I mean I think I am too and I have not though spent enough time looking at emotion like I think I’m interesting in very intellectual ways I like to research topics I think I know a lot about things I you know right like to really dig into like facts and things like that but when it comes to like the emotional side I’m not as strong super interesting I sit here and talk to you I’ve been talking to you for like three four years now like definitely interesting bro huh it’s so fascinating we have these takes on ourselves yeah but it’s weird so what I notice is I feel like that in most areas except in my marriage like I don’t feel as confident it like I don’t feel as comfortable talking about myself in my marriage as I do with other people out outside of you know that which is a weird thing um I think I put weird expectations expectations isn’t the right word I put weird what I think my wife’s expectations are of me in there or what I think she wants out of me right and that twists me all up well and and this isn’t if I didn’t know you or Jen or anybody this is just the standard take on the situation you just described would be you left your caregivers home who never could have any interest in you and the way you see the world and then picked a person that felt familiar and comfortable in love just like that version of love and this person struggles to see you as a separate and different person with you know themselves and so now they’re constantly trying to make you look the way they think you’re supposed to look and you don’t like it and like yeah yes that’s exactly what the [  ]

you picked yeah it’s crazy though it is it’s weird but then what do we do from there like how do we help our partners who aren’t bad people who have loved us in a lot of ways when we’ve been terrible people and we’ve loved them when they’ve been terrible people right like we haven’t been doing well okay we’re here got it right we’re not doing that great at this marriage thing now [ __ ] what now how can I help my partner see me as a separate person when I know for the last 18 years she has really struggled with that concept how can I be soft and gentle and continuing to present this and kind and patient and waiting for her to get it how can I keep saying hey when you say that thing that doesn’t feel like I’m getting h on the side over here when I’m saying this other thing right I I’m not looking for you to fix the situation here I’m talking about this other feeling I get when this pattern happens you know can I continue to keep doing that day after day until they can hear it H

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