Layout and Structure
For the rest of this series, I’ll be breaking my steps down into the activities I’ve engaged in on a week by week basis. Each description will include why the step is there, what I gained from it, what I could have done differently, etc. I will include as much relevant detail as I can with as few words as possible, but there will be a lot of ground to cover in some areas. As I work through new challenges and make new discoveries – or when I might hit a wall or fall down, I’ll post those here to.
While I’ve been looking for other input from other narcs, none has yet been forthcoming. However, if others begin to test things out – or if they come up with new things that they want to share, I’ll add a separate section to this blog and tie it into this series, so they can be gathered in a centralized location and reviewed as needed. I’m not worried about gathering data from other sources – but again, all we have is trial and error! So let’s share!!!
Testing for Truth
One of the biggest tools – THE BIGGEST TOOL – and really the only true ‘cure’ for NPD is mindful awareness, or developing the ability to stay grounded in the present moment, aware of what is happening within your mind, and being at ease with yourself and your dysfunction. I know that sounds backwards, but we’ll get there. You’re probably going to need to do some initial work here before things start to ‘click’. We’ll get into that later though.
My main point here is: You’re probably going to have a really tough time being honest with yourself – especially in the first week or two. The only real guide you can follow is your experience. DO NOT trust your mind OR your patterns!!! You’re brain does not work correctly at this time – that is why you are where you are today! Instead, learn to stay grounded in the present moment and to test anything that comes your way for its value as a truth!
At the end of the day – if you have a direction you want to move in (say – a more authentic self), ask your present experience for guidance – IS THIS STEP TAKING ME CLOSER TO THAT GOAL? OR IS IT TAKING ME BACK INTO THE DARKNESS? You have to apply this CONSTANTLY! Because you are literally trying to shake off the remnants of having been asleep for YEARS! If you fail to test for truth, it is very likely that the darkness will swallow you whole again!
Don’t Get Trapped!
Remember, the idea here is to use a periodization training model to induce the benefits of neuroplasticity and force the mind to reshape itself and establish new neuro pathways that reinforce and reinvigorate the healing process. Each step gives new strength and offers new resolve – plus each step opens up new avenues, pathways, and lines of thinking that create new points of clarity and identify new ideas and concepts to explore via your experience and test for truth!
I call this the popcorn popper in my head. It’s been going off CONSTANTLY since this process began – and it is absolutely AMAZING to watch – it invokes my curiosity and peaks my interests, but more importantly – the popcorn popper IS my narcissism being slowly morphed from an unbalanced destructive version, to a balanced and healthy version. All it takes is commitment, introspection, insight, and action! I TRULY BELIEVE THIS!!!
It’s easy to stop and slow down though – to see something shiny that grabs your attention and takes you off your path. In my case – there was an on-line forum that was incredibly helpful during my first week, but after that I started to find myself limited – I’d stayed within this ‘period’ of growth for too long. Instead of asking real questions and trying to find real answers, I found myself arguing and feeding my dysfunction. This is exactly what you CANNOT DO! As you will see, a number of steps I’m trying are about FORCING myself to grow up WITHOUT leaning on others as a crutch. THIS INCLUDES ON-LINE FORUMS!
It’s not that you shouldn’t participate – just take a measured approach to it and remember that you are trying to stop an addiction here! Your addiction is narcissistic supply and IT IS LIKE EMOTIONAL HEROINE to you! If you find that you are ‘feeding’ your dysfunction and are continuing to remain trapped in your delusion, then take a step back, work on yourself some more for a day or two and then try again. Eventually you’ll find that the forums are less problematic and you can start being more helpful instead of more demanding or grating on others – again, it’s all part of the process.
I struggle – THIS IS HARD! However, the alternative is simply unacceptable to me. Hopefully it is to you to. What I stay focused on to maintain my resolve is two-fold:
1) I remind myself of the misery that was my life; and
2) I imagine a life without my dysfunction.
Again, this reinforces the ideas of moving TOWARDS an authentic self, and AWAY from the faulty patterns of behavior that have been learned since the narcs break with reality.
This is just the start of things – I’ll add other key points later if they feel true!
So – on to part 4 and the DAWNING REALIZATION period.