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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Hi, I've read a few posts here, and I really appreciate being here, and that this resource is available online. I can't thank the people responsible for it enough, and I am so grateful for the honesty that is on this forum. I really feel good about my chances...this time.
I think I am actively committed to change. I say "think", because I know from experience I'm like a leaf blowing in the wind when it comes to this addiction. I know in my mind I want to make this the day to change, I know from my readings that this is the most important step, that I must be committed to changing, first. I?m ingesting this, and will keep this topmost in my mind: I am committed to changing. But I know this will not be easy as I already get pangs of the ?sadness? spoken about when something is gone...I won?t let guilt/shame sabotage my commitment to change. In fact, as I write this, I won?t let anything sabotage this; however, even as I write, there?s a little voice saying, yeah right. But this isn?t the me that wants change, this is the voice that wants to keep things going the way they always have...the compulsive part of me?
I am going to allow myself time for change. I will attempt to commit everday an awareness that I am in the process of change, and that this is the most important thing I can be doing for myself and my family. This is new to me. I am the classic relapse/recover case. I have never really woken up each morning and thought, hey I?m going to change, it was more like, this thing is going to be with me forever, glad I?m not thinking about it now.

 
Why I seek permanent change:
I?m sick of this, I know it isn?t me. I want to be done with it. Forever.
I look back on all the time I have wasted; years, I don?t want to waste any more time. What I could have become? What I still can?
For my wife and daughter. They think I?m the best in the world. I want to feel the same way. I could do so much more for them if I was honest with myself and them.
To beat the hell out of it for convincing me all these years that ?I? am ?it?, when I?m starting to understand that this isn?t true. I want to kill it.
The real me is dying to have top billing. I?m looking forward to getting to know him...again?
My music. God, again, I?ve created a lot of music, but how much more I could create, instead of this getting in the way, mucking up the creative juices.
I want to think RIGHT. I want to know reality. I?m confused, and I know I?m on a path to help achieve clarity.
When my wife leaves me alone and I say, ?I?m going to..(insert something productive)? it?s usually a lie. It means I?m really going to act out (and, ?what time are you leaving??). I don?t want this guilt anymore.
One of these days I?m going to get caught, somehow, and this will ruin me...the REAL me, the innocent one, the one that didn?t ask for any of this in the first place. How fair is that? Anyway, I?ve managed to get away with it up to now, I can only thank God for that (?), at least I can begin recovery without hopefully, hitting that rock bottom.
I will be better at work, with friends, and with family. All round, I know there is so much more to life...and I CAN?T WAIT to be doing what I?m supposed to be doing, not being dictated to by a compulsion or urge, or drive.

Looking at my pic:

Recognizing the lack of addiction in the boy in my picture at 4 years old, really hit home, but the most powerful feelings are the ones I can?t even put into words. I just stared at this child and a full range of emotions swept through me. It?s a powerful image I?m going to use in my arsenal. It?s a new one. Man, I?m human. I didn?t have this crap then...what happened to me????


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 Post subject: My Vision Draft
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:22 am 
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Posts: 29
My vision of my life is I’m a man who learns and grows in, and remains aware of the virtues. I haven’t decided yet which virtues will come to the forefront (such as determination, or honesty), there are too many to name, but for now, and for the sake of this exercise, I will just state that I will be a man who puts virtues first. The rest of this vision will no doubt be steeped in many of these virtues, and perhaps I’ll be answering my own question as I move along.

I often get this vision of myself, when I’m trying to be strong, of walking strong in the desert, away from the chaos behind me, toward something healthy, being tempted by something, but coming out the winner. Whatever this means it has meaning to me and I will continue to nurture it.

I am a man who believes in God and prayer. I will encourage spiritual experiences on a regular basis.

I am going to be the best husband I can be. I am going to make my wife feel special, I’m going to give her more of my time, and I’m going to learn (for the first time?) how to be intimate with her. I will initiate special conversations with her.

I will be a better father to my daughter. I will spend more quality time with her, make her feel special, and try to teach her in my own way, lessons that will help her succeed in her own life. I will love both of them as much as I can.

I will be a man who has very clear boundaries, and make decisions based on what is right and wrong for me.

I will be a friendly, non-judgemental family member, someone all family members can count on and trust.

I will try to keep all things in perspective and live by the “100 year ruleâ€ÂÂ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:59 am 
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re: "I know from experience I'm like a leaf blowing in the wind when it comes to this addiction"

Then anchor yourself. Take the POSITIVE motivators that you have listed in your thread...add a few more that relate to things like what makes life worth living for you. Where do you want to derive your meaning and fulfillment in your life from. Then, write this out on a piece of paper and review it every day for a few weeks. In a few more days, you can also add your top values (which should mimic these motivations pretty closely). My point, take a different approach than you have in the past. If you know that you have a weakness and you are sincere about changing, then challenge that weakness. If you don't know how, have the courage and determination to ask. There are no obstacles left that myself or someone from this community has not found a way to overcome.

re: "your vision"

Excellent vision. Varied enough to sustain a healthy life; practical enough to serve the purposes it will be serving in the coming lessons.

_________________
Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:33 pm
Posts: 29
This is definitely a different approach to how I've dealt with this in the past. It feels very right to me. It feels so good to think I actually do have the power to work on this...something I've always felt, but...then the fight that I may be powerless over it...that's why I'm so psyched that this new approach will be the ticket to my ultimate victory...
Right now I'm operating on getting at my values, though these are drafts, and as you've said any vision is better than no vision. So I think I'm at least choosing a path.

Extracted virtues from my vision...

Living within the world of the virtues.
Strengthening my role as a husband.
Developing my relationship with God and spirituality.
Strengthening my role as father.
Strengthening my role as family member.
Strengthening my role as friend.
Disciplined in my boundaries.
Wisdom to control worry or anxiety.
Overcoming/surviving personal struggles.
Healthy eater, clean person.
Financially practical and stable, not idealistic.
Disciplined in daily activities.
Eager reader.
Appreciating natural beauty/nature.
Indulging in creative inspiration, development.
Staying active.
Writing and recording songs.
Wisdom to know how to spend my time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:58 pm 
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Posts: 29
III. Extracted virtues from my vision (plus new ones)...

Practical = PracticING
...the universal values...
Living within the world of the virtues.
Strengthening my role as a husband.
Developing my relationship with God and spirituality.
Strengthening my role as father.
Strengthening my role as family member.
Strengthening my role as friend.
Disciplined in my boundaries.
Wisdom to control worry or anxiety.
Overcoming/surviving personal struggles.
Healthy eater, clean person.
Financially practical and stable, not idealistic.
Disciplined in daily activities.
Eager reader.
Appreciating natural beauty/nature.
Indulging in creative inspiration, development.
Staying active.
Writing and recording songs.
Wisdom to know how to spend my time.
Living with integrity
Living with compassion
Being charitable, giving
Providing quality in my work
Establishing competence in my field
Being respected as a professional by others
Being playful
Sense of humor
Being considerate of others
Being considerate of myself
Loving others
Developing emotional maturity
Being a teacher/mentor
Sexual intimacy
Feeling masculine
Feeling empowered
Passionate about life
Encouraging my wife's independence
Being respected
Being judged trustworthy
Developing patience
Living a humble life
Sharing my true self with the world around me
Nurturing children’s creativity/maturation
Being known as reliable
Connected to my own feelings
Being a survivor
Resourcefulness
Connecting to purpose, meaning of life
Instilling healthy values in my kids
Adaptability
Feeling needed, desired, loved by others
Experiencing uniqueness
Avoiding conflict
Improving my social interactions
Being a leader
Vulnerability
Experienced in conflict resolution
Taking care of others in need
Feeling happy and content
Respecting Mother Earth
(B) I never really thought about how there are values that LEAD to my compulsion; in fact, I've never really considered my values! So good values can lead to the bad stuff too?
Being loved by others
Risk taking
Physical beauty
Physical pleasure
Sexual contact
Sexual intimacy
Experiencing euphoria
Developing superficial relationships
Companionship
Curiosity
Letting go of control


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:33 pm
Posts: 29
A slip last night. I was trying to nail down exactly what the trigger was. Here's what I came up with...I get up and start doing part three of the personal screening inventory...as I was going through that and writing in details of my addiction, I found myself getting aroused thinking about it, but I pushed it away and concentrated on the task. Then, all day, I was in a funk, allowing myself to "take in the scenery", and maintaining a fight with the side of me that is attempting to make values the most important thing in his life. I was just doing mundane things, and important things: spending quality time with my daughter (we did a lot!); but I hated that I was only there 50 percent of the time for her...the rest of the time I was daydreaming, etc... (stinkin' thinkin'?) Sometime late in the afternoon I started drinking beer and then was able to work on a hobby and I felt satisfied. My wife and daughter went up to bed early...I watched a couple of shows on t.v. the WHAM; I got this sudden urge to just visit a site...even while I was typing in the address, I knew I shouldn't have been doing it. "Just this once..." (again). I ended up just looking and searching, as usual, and finding stuff I like then stimulating myself. However, I didn't allow myself an orgasm...the worst part is I ended up going to bed a 2:30, and now just got up 3 hours later. Here I am.
So, it was a slip, I'm going to try not to feel guilty about it, I'm committed to this change. I'm thinking these are the triggers:
-the screening exercise
-my allowing myself to "divulge" in fantasy through the day
-the alcohol
-I caught a glimpse of some pretty women in the last show I watched (I just remembered this)...I think I almost immediately went to the site after that
-stress about a big thing coming up
I guess I need a game plan for fighting these urges. I'm pretty good at being aware that they are there at this point.
Will tough it through work today.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1013
At this early stage, this kind of thing is quite common. That's not to say that you should feel okay about it. This was definitely a setback, undermining the very values that you are trying to establish. However, your efforts to analyze the experience show that you are learning from this setback, and at this stage, that demonstrates exactly the right attitude.

Keep going and don't get discouraged.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:32 pm
Posts: 4572
re: "This is definitely a different approach to how I've dealt with this in the past. It feels very right to me."

Don't get too comfortable with this feeling. As the weeks/months pass, you will at some point hit an emotional wall. You will find yourself going through the motions just to 'move forward in the workshop'. It is not inevitable, but it is common enough for you to anticipate it happening. When it does, recognize that this path you are walking WILL lead you to health, but that every step may not be directly linked to that health. Some steps are mere stepping stones for the actual steps that are required for this transition to occur.

Why am I sharing this? Because I know certain lessons that are coming where you will say to yourself, "Is this really necessary?" My only response is that I have worked hard to reduce this workshop down to ONLY what is necessary. All of the pieces work together, and missing one piece (be it emotional maturity, functional awareness, skill development, etc.) will keep the whole from being created.

Bottom line: even if at some point (say, when you get to measuring compulsive rituals, for example), it begins to NOT feel right, continue on anyway. Eventually, this will all lead to a single, natural life management destination.

re: "the slip"

I totally agree with Monica on this. Slips aren't inevitable, but at this stage, they should be expected. And, ongoing urges will actually provide you with tremendous opportunities for emotional growth and behavioral awareness. More on this the next time we talk.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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 Post subject: My Values: Prioritized.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:16 am 
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Posts: 29
Strengthening my role as a husband.
Strengthening my role as father.
Disciplined in daily activities, organized.
Feeling happy and content
Disciplined in my boundaries.
Connecting to purpose, meaning of life
Staying active, physically fit.
Writing and recording songs.
Providing quality in my work
Appreciating natural beauty/nature.
Strengthening my role as family member.
Financially practical and stable, not idealistic.
Developing emotional maturity
Overcoming/surviving personal struggles.
Healthy eater, clean person.
Being charitable, giving
Living within the world of the virtues.
Improving my social interactions
Sense of humor
Feeling empowered
Sexual intimacy
Sharing my true self with the world around me
Nurturing children’s creativity/maturation
Eager reader.
Instilling healthy values in my kids
Connected to my own feelings
Being a leader
Passionate about life
Living a humble life
Resourcefulness


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:33 pm
Posts: 29
Ok, I can see that I lack these skills (of who I am and what I value) and that my emotions are experienced as compulsions, which lead to me making bad decisions. This will take a while to sink in, but it seems to be the crux of it. It makes so much sense. Reacting to compulsive crisis (urges? seemingly overwhelming desires?) with my emotions is not the answer because my emotions are unstable and will affect my judgment and perception and “numb reasonâ€ÂÂ


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 Post subject: Week One Day Five
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Value Congruency:
“Does this value reflect the person I am committing myself to becoming? Is this something I TRULY value? Look at these values in relation to major decisions I have made in life.â€ÂÂ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:20 pm 
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Posts: 29
Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones.

Staying active, physically fit.
-do at least four cardiovascular workouts per week.
-start jogging instead of biking all the time.
-weight lift three times a week.
-write up a weekly workout schedule and stick to it.
-morning jog/bike?
-walk whenever I get the chance.

Being charitable, giving
-discuss with wife to set up a system where we give to a different charity every month, instead of just once in a while.
-lend when people ask.
-share knowledge, skills with friends, colleagues.

Eager reader
-begin thinking about a specified time for reading, instead of always just before bed
-for one night this week, instead of t.v., read.
-start a “books to readâ€ÂÂ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:18 am 
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Posts: 4572
Quick summary of where we left off:

finish lesson seven and schedule our next session

actively seek out opportunities to put in that early urge control strategy we talked about. Remember, at this stage, the goal is more than just 'urge control'. It is about establishing the roots of ritual awareness and soon, emotional maturity.

_________________
Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:10 am 
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Posts: 29
Got it. I understand the goal, at this point is not to completely control the urge, to conquer it (even if I am somehow able to); the goal is to become aware that I am in one of my typical rituals and then do something physical, for around 10 seconds. To become aware within the ritual, and take a “breakâ€ÂÂ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:18 pm 
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My proactive plan (draft and ongoing)

Disciplined in my boundaries.

-what are boundaries? Take the time to read about boundaries. Get Jon to help me with understanding them.
-I think I used to have boundaries, but somehow I ‘ve lost sight of them. It seems I don’t have boundaries anymore.
-investigate how to make boundaries a part of my daily thinking and life.
-establish my own personal boundaries by writing them down.
-this could be my most important value right now?

Disciplined in daily activities, organized.

-I’m actually not too bad at this, UNLESS you-know-what takes over, then any time management skills I think I have are out the window.
-I think, tho, I already have the skills to know how to schedule my time, especially at work. My main problem is I don’t use these skills consistently, so...
-make this a priority for work and at home. Perhaps set aside a time each week to plan it out.
-home time is where I waste most of my time in activities that need to be tossed aside. The BIG activity is obvious, but there are others, mindlessly surfing (not sex stuff), watching t.v., drinking...
-attempt to spend time in activities that promote time in my personal values, such as spending quality family time, working at music, keeping fit.

Writing and recording songs.
-again, I think I’ve been pretty good at making this happen; it’s a value that I haven’t really ignored. But I could be doing more of it; THE OTHER THING has sucked and robbed me of many of my creative chances. Don’t let this happen again.
-work on studio skills, building up knowledge and keeping it a place I want to come back to again and again...
-invest in songwriting opportunities
-make music important; play when you get the chance; become a “jammerâ€ÂÂ


Last edited by castaway on Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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