Giving up something you love

Today I decided to stop riding motorbikes. For me this is a huge decision. I’ve been a daily rider for 22 years, bikes have kept me sane, taught me to be a better driver, kept me fit. But with an ever increasing number of vehicles on the crowded British roads, it’s just no longer a sensible or relaxing place to be.

Getting off the bike today and putting it up for sale I felt a profound sense of loss. A couple of hours on a sequencer seeing what I could do with just two samples helped. The result was quite melancholy. But the feeling of loss remains and I imagine will for a long time. I feel a little hollow.

What have you all had to give up and how did you cope with that feeling?

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Letting go of attachments is a daily spiritual practice and a perennial challenge for me.

I’ve learned that the sense of loss is temporary but the lightness of freedom from a previously detrimental attachment is permanent.

But there is also grief for loss of something (or, far more likely, someone) beneficial. This is a far more complex and time consuming process, and one of life’s biggest challenges. Also an incredible opportunity for spiritual growth, but this can be very difficult to see through the tears and/or the anger…

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The hardest things I’ve given up were God (I didn’t want to, at first) and some of the relationships I’ve been in.

I used to play a lot of the game Hearthstone. It entered my life at a pretty lonely/stressful time and made a nice escape. It’s genuinely a fun game, pits you against a real person, and the games finish in around ten minutes. So I got very sucked in; and I got quite good at it. I never really liked that I played it. It felt like a waste of my time, that it would suck me away from other things my superego would rather be doing.

I was on Twitter for nearly ten years, starting in 2009. It made me feel informed, even if mainly informed on memes. I was never focused enough in my tweeting to amass a following, but it was a fun way to be witty. I used to worry that I had conditioned myself to think in tweet-sized aphorisms.

I read somewhere that it’s common for recovering addicts to transfer some of their attachment to their addiction into something new. Anecdotally the recovering alcoholics I know tend to drink a lot of soda.

When I quit Hearthstone originally, I tried to replace it with similar games that were less addicting. Over time I realized that games that last ~10 minutes and pit you against another player over the internet are just too much of a weakness for me. I play Sudoku or Duolingo on my phone, and Slay The Spire on my computer now when I want a little brain-rinse or something to do on the bus. I wish I read more novels, but maybe we’ll get there one day.

I guess I joined Lines around when I started intentionally trying to leave both of those things. Maybe it’s my soda.

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I’m totally with you. I gave up riding a little while back but just this week listed my bike for sale. I have had this R60 for almost 30 years and it never once stranded me. I have to let it go so it doesn’t rot in the garage but it hurts so much.

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that is a very nice bike :slight_smile:

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lines has been my twitter soda for around two years now but I don’t rlly consider it to be a bad thing.

a little distracting from time to time, but also kinda changed the course of life in some ways so ooooo ¯\ (ツ)

pretty similar situation for instagram actually

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Feels strange to say but I grieved smoking like I had done so with personal relationships. Even when I started to feel the health benefits, which took a lot longer than I had imagined to arrive, I was still feeling a significant sense of loss. I learned to not replace it which took much training. I realised that I was smoking often to fill time, and that instead doing nothing is valuable. There are moments (almost a decade on) where I still miss it - I am often in France where amongst certain friends smoking seems to remain a national sport - but having learned some lessons, I know that I could never love it (or convince myself that I love it) again.

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Its a bit too early but I am on my third attempt to give up a marijuana habit turned addiction for almost 20 years. I have tried to enjoy it casually now and then but it has always drifted back into a daily vibe. Having a social circle built around it makes it harder to imagine a life without getting high but I also know there is much to reclaim and fresh perspectives to grow into through sobriety and clarity.

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Where do you live?

I’d be tempted to store it with my other one in the house :slight_smile:

I guess the problem comes when our identity is tied up in external activities or objects.

The hardest one for me was amphetamines in my late 20’s - they had largely started to define me and my life (which is why I gave them up - my enthusiasm and appetite for them was large) - that was brutal and the fallout lasted a long time.

Since then I’ve tried, over time as I worked the above out, to tangle my identity in external things less and less. And I guess that is working - when I had to give up driving (not forever although it wasn’t clear that it wouldn’t be permanent for a bit) after my cardiac arrest (& I absolutely love driving ) - it was interesting (to me anyway) to see how quickly I shifted that from being a thing I do to a thing I did

Dunno - this is a personal thing I’ve worked on for the last 20 years so there isn’t an easy answer - but perhaps thinking of it in terms of identity and externality might help.

(it occurs to me that this is related to one of the things I used to deal with the depression I suffered a lot of my life but seems to have ebbed away in the last couple of years - “this too will pass” - that idea that everything is temporary - has, again this is a very personal solution ,helped a great deal)

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Definitely not strange at all. I stopped participating in my smoking hobby of thirteen years about two and a half years ago. When I walk by smokers, the fragrance brings a rush of fond memories (I believe smell is most closely linked to memory?) followed by despondency - I will never enjoy it again.

I had to relearn so many things when I quit: writing, music, coffee. These were all cohorts in my smoking endeavor. It took substantial effort to sit down (I actually always stand) and work on a song without a cigarette.

I have friends who can do the whole “while I’m drinking” thing, but I lack that willpower.

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I live in San Diego which is great for riding if it wan’t for all the distracted drivers. This has been the most reliable machine I’ve ever owned, 57,276 miles and still feels strong. I almost convinced myself to keep it under a tarp but I think someone should be riding it.

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I gave up motor bikes when I was 22 years old when I realized I was having too much fun going too fast on the hwy and was a danger to myself and others.

Now I ride Mt bycyles on trails. While that activity still has some risk, that risk is in my control and not from a distracted driver on a cell phone.

Same with climbing mountains and skiing in avalanche terrain where my decision making, skill, experience and education help to mitigate risk.

Its always a risk vs reward equation and not allowing desire or peer pressure to subjectivity influence decisions that should be based on objective observational information.

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I recently gave up playing video games for the second time in my life. It was an obsession in my earlier years, but I gave it up for about 18 years until I picked up a Switch last year. I have tendonitis and playing really inflames it; I only enjoy playing action-adventure games and have no interest in turn based games, etc. that might be gentler. Also, I tend to get obsessed and found that it was taking up more and more of my time; my social life and sleep was really starting to suffer and I was reading less and less. In general I have an addictive personality and have substance use problems as well. Really trying to focus more on exercise, music, reading, and inter-personal relationships.

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15 year ago I gave up TV, when I realised I had turned into a couch potato. I’ve since stopped my daily 3-4h computer game habit, and make do with the occasional game on the Switch, and Sudoku with breakfast. I still spend too much time on the interwebs, imo, and I’d like to cut that down - at least now I’m mostly on music sites, though.

I too used to think these were a waste of time and that I should be doing something better with my time, but I came to see that as bull - they were who I was at the time, and I’m done feeling guilty about it. This was huge for me.

I still haven’t gotten over a relationship which ended 2 1/2 years ago, and can’t seem to stop smoking, so there’s that.

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I gave up drinking alcohol a little over 7 years ago and it was scary because I didn’t think I could.

I gave up my DJ “career” shortly after as well. I found being in a club completely sober listening to the same kind of music for hours at a time unbearable. Most of the time I would be getting paid with drinks anyway!

I gave up my record collection to a friend that owns a record store about 3 years ago. I was extremely obsessive about record collecting and it felt amazing to just stop.

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I didn’t give it up, but rather my practicum contract at a position I really love ended today. The sense of community and relationships the clients and families I worked with are unparalleled to any other experience thus far in my life. I’m glad to see this thread today, as a reminder that I’m not the only one dealing with loss. :heart:

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Your loss is far more significant than mine. Be good to yourself.

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I don’t know that it’s necessarily more significant, just different :slight_smile: Thank you though, I will!

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This is something that I think about often. So many friends of mine I have made through records, and have definitely amassed a huge cultural knowledge through record collecting and trading. But I often just look at my records and wonder what the point of it all is. I fear I would regret selling it all, as some pieces I wouldn’t find again but I definitely think about just stopping. If you don’t mind me asking, what prompted you to make that step?

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