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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 7:34 am 
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Lesson 37 Exercise:
I. List three of your highest values (values prioritized within the top five).
II. For each value, list at least five concrete boundaries (rules) that you will use to protect that value.
III. Absolute boundaries are those boundaries that under no circumstances will you ever cross. These must be realistic AND you must hold them in reverence. Typically, everyone should have at least three such absolute boundaries. List three that you will use to help manage your life.


Honest

1. I will be honest with myself.
I must be honest with myself. It's ok to be upset and have a bad day and if someone asks what is wrong, I will take a moment to do a self check.

2. I will be honest with others. After all deception is part of the reason I'm finding myself the need to be on this site.


Understanding
1. This is a long road for both myself and GG.
2. I realize that this is just as difficult, if not harder, for her than it is for me at times. But I will
continue to walk the path with her and provide support where I can, words of encouragement and
help when asked.


Loyal
1. I will be the best friend we once were.
2. I will be the man she deserves.
3. I will respect her boundaries and give her the space she needs to heal
4. I will do nothing that would take away from my loyalty to her.
This includes placing myself in places that could lead to acting out.
This includes lying, being deceitful or shutting down/off emotions


Absolute boundaries include:
- Honesty
- Being emotionally open (no more shutting down)
- Anything that would hurt GG (vague I know, but that is now a boundary)


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:16 am 
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Exercise 38
Threatened Boundaries

Emotionally shutting down or attacking:
At times of stress, arguments or unknowns I have shutdown emotionally and refused to move beyond snip answers. "I'm fine", "Nothing is wrong"...etc. I need to look out for these signs and pull myself out of the situation before getting rooted.

Loyalty:
I will continue to avoid those scenarios where I am in a place to act out, or lead me to "want" to act out. If I am to find myself in a places where acting out is evident I need to stop, think and react as if she were there with me.


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 6:36 am 
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Lesson 40 Exercise:
I. Choose someone in your life that you feel close to. A spouse. A child. A parent. A friend. Rather than assuming what boundaries they have; or what values they want protected...take some time to step into their lives. Refresh those perceptions that you have. Consider how you can HELP THEM reinforce those boundaries. Post a few thoughts about this in your thread.
- Trust is most likely the biggest boundary which is closely followed by love and affection. I would think that by being present, not just there, for her would play a big part in helping to develop that. Touching her in a non sexual way, holding hands, kissing, rubbing her back, all feed that affection side.


II. Consider what you could do should YOU become aware that you have violated a boundary of theirs.
-Take ownership and not try to,explain it away as a non issue. Listen to her concerns and fears.


III. Consider your reaction should they tell you that you have violated a boundary of theirs. Think beyond defensiveness...keep working until you grasp a healthy reaction.
-See number 2 above and use it as a means to start again. Listen and learn, learn and listen.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:39 am 
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Exercise 41

spouse.

HONESTY
LOVE
INTEGRITY
JOY


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:47 pm 
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Exercise 44

A. Describe in your recovery thread the role that your core identity will play in helping you to establish/maintain a healthy life.
- My core identity, the happy go lucky and not a dare in the world rebel, was lost. Since I've been acting out my self esteem was low and I just didn't feel like I cared much about myself any longer. I still cared about my spouse but I was way down on the list myself. I realize now that I have to be just as happy with myself as I am with her and my life. It's ok to be stressed, why because it's only temporary and whatever it is will either pass or work as twelfth out. I just have to remember to enjoy life now and don't dwell on what might have been or what might be.... just the here and now. Enjoy it.

B. Describe the role that value-based experiences will play in further developing your core identity.
- Feeding those positive values such as happiness, shenanigans and love will help me achieve maintain that core in a healthy manner.

C. Take some time to examine the current state of your core identity. How in tune with it are you? When you engage in activity that is destructive, what role does your core identity play in that decision? How is it affected by the consequences of that decision?
- Over the past years I have not been in tune much at all. In fact it was just a small ember and faint glow in the darkness. When acting out (very destructive in my mind) my core was always there trying to get out. Which is why I was always depressed and mad at myself afterwards


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:06 am 
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Exercise 45

A: Mapping the ritual
Anxiety - Knowing what I was about to do was wrong
Knowing that I had a short window to act out
Knowing what I was doing is wrong
Excitement - The search for the perfect image or video
The actual "ACT" in Acting Out
Guilt - Realized that I was unable to stop
Knowing what I did would hurt GG emotionally
Shame - That my "attractions" or "triggers" are different and could never be
discussed.
Anger - After acting out for not stopping
For hurting GG and then trying to hide it

B. For each element, consider the likely impact that removing that element from the chain would have on the remainder of the event. Remember, decreasing immediate emotional pleasure (through guilt, fear, suspense, anxiety) is a technique used to ultimately increase the overall pleasure experienced during the act.
Anxiety- By removing this I would also decrease the excitement felt when the search
for the perfect one.
Excitement - This is only there because of the "thrill of the hunt". Removing that
would also remove the excitement and satisfaction to act out.
Guilt - Removing this would allow me to talk to GG so I do not hide it. Hiding the act
fed the excitement aspect as well as the anxiety.
Shame - Same as with guilt. Removing this aspect would aide in the ability to talk
about the thoughts and triggers in a positive way
Anger - Removing this wold break the cycle or downward spiral. I would have to
be careful that breaking this did not also make it easier to reinforce negatives
elsewhere in the ritual.

C. At what point in the chain is the 'point of no return'?
This seemed to occur somewhere between the anxiety and excitement steps. There would be a point that the excitement part overcame the anxiety and anger.

D. Consider the element identified just prior to 'the point of no return'
Excitement for finding the right picture or video. After all that is the urge or act that starts the spiral. That s the act that springboards me to other unhealthy acts.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:10 am 
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Lesson 46:
Searching for pornography

1: Urge starts due to boredom or stress
2: I begin to wonder what new pictures or videos might be out there for me to
find.
3: There is only one way to find out...so I open laptop and tell myself it's only a picture
or video what can be the harm.

4: Instead of porn I decide to read about distilling, Diesel engine repair or any other
interests that I have. This is the moment where I can change the cycle and build on
the positive values.
.

5: Learn something new, felt good for not acting out and can say I'm another day
"Sober"


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:56 am 
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Exercise 47 Practical Urge Control

Boredom
- Typically this has always been a huge trigger for me.
I would get bored, My mind would wander, I would then rationalize my thoughts. Start looking at porn on the internet (point of no return).
I would create a break by noticing the boredom and placing other tasks in my mind. There is always something to do, why not do "X"!
Think back and congratulate myself for breaking the cycle and know that eventually those thoughts will be the first thoughts in my mind will be positive and productive thoughts when that boredom returns.

Other Scenarios Include:
-Random erection
-See "triggers" on the internet
-See "triggers" in general
-Unable to sleep (boredom or frustration?)
-Frustrated with life
-Stressed out


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:29 am 
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Exercise 50

Positive Consequences:
By using the positive healthy based decision I anticipate a rewarding out come. An outcome that will further develop my core base values and ultimately lead me to a better place. GOOD!!

Negative Consequences:
Should I choose not to make a positive decision I would only add to the part of my life that is bad and consuming. This area is not part of my core values and would lead me back to the cycle of depression and acting out. BAD!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:21 am 
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Excersise 51

A. Consider one of your specific compulsive rituals. Or, if you feel comfortable, consider an entire compulsive chain. Identify the point in that ritual/chain when you should begin considering the options that you have available. What are these options? (consider reasonable options only)
- Honestly I should begin considering options as soon as the first thought to act out enters my thought process.
- Get up and move around
- Leave the area if possible
- Turn it into a positive by acknowledging it but not acting on it.
- Think of ways to allow the acting out to happen w/o being caught
- Minimize the thought and say "it's only one picture, post, etc."
- Give in and act out

B. Of the options listed above, which would be automatically filtered out because of your boundaries?
- Give in and act out
What would you do in the case of a value conflict? (i.e. when the same option would create both positive and negative influences on your value system)
- Go with the highest positive values. While acting out my satisfy both in the end
it will ultimately lead to more negatives.

C. Of the remaining options, what would be the anticipated consequences of the following:
i. You make the decision to act on this option
ii. You make the decision NOT to act on this option
iii. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision becomes known by others
iv. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision remains secret.


The remaining choices all lead to a healthy outcome. Getting up and moving around, leaving the area where the trigger is most prevalent and turning it into a positive all lead to strengthening the wall that was built to block the path to acting out.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:32 am 
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Exercise 52

Consider a situation in life (outside of addiction) where this 'isolation' of feelings/emotions has been known to occur and/or might prove beneficial. For instance, certain Eastern practices where people can isolate the physical pain they are experiencing from their spiritual selves and thus, manage that pain with ease. And no, you can't use that as your example! There are thousands of such potential applications — albeit not as dramatic. Share this in your thread.

The biggest example I see in my life, outside of the addiction, where the need to separate feelings/emotions would be at work. I cannot let feelings or emotions cloud a sound business judgement. There are times when it is needed but there are also times that it can hamper.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:40 am 
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A. Describe a situation where you would consider masturbation to be against your values — and therefore, a destructive act. Describe a situation where you would consider masturbating to be within your values — and therefore, a healthy act.
Anytime that I hide the act of masturbation. That is a violation because I am not being open and honest with GG.

B. In your recovery thread, list other common value conflicts involving sexual and/or romantic behavior that you have found yourself engaged in? Or that you may find yourself engaged in, given your history.
mutual masturbation with my spouse. This is a healthy act yet gets close to the line of violation if not properly kept in check.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:13 am 
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Lesson 54:

A. Select a VALUE-BASED decision that you have made in the past year. What were some NEGATIVE consequences that resulted from that decision?
I guess the one example that keeps swimming around in my head would be "Owning up to and admitting that I had cheated". There are many positives that came out of this one example but there were also some big negatives.
- Loss of trust from GG
- Loss of the perfect, "storybook" relationship
- Hurting the one I love the most on an emotional level 




B. Select an EMOTION-BASED decision that you have made in the past year. What were some POSITIVE consequences that resulted from that decision?
I really have worked on this over the past year and these emotional decisions are very few and far between. In the past I might have used an example similar to the one given. Stumbled on a website I knew I should not be on, to act out in ways I should not do, all for the quick emotional high. Now I look for those shortfalls before they happen and direct myself onto a better path.



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:28 am 
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Lesson 57 Exercise:
Create an action plan for managing your most common compulsive ritual using the following guide:

1) Define the situation:
It typically starts with boredom. My mind will wonder and the urge to look for specific images grow. I start out on websites with nothing but pictures and videos. The urge and arousal remains at low boil. Somewhere around this time my mind will either have become numb to what I'm looking at or a picture will trigger another "urge" and I will end up on dating sites, I say dating sites but it was CL. This is where I could see a "real" person, not just a model. Arousal would rise higher as I began looking for that perfect image or person looking for the same thing. (Trying to be somewhat vague so not to trigger anyone). We would then exchange emails and photos back and forth. We would also talk, via email, about how we would act out with each other. This could go on for a few minutes to a few days, most times (99%) it would end there but for arguments sake..... we finally decide to meet in person and act out fully.


2) Evaluate all realistic options:
"The BAD Option": I recognize in the very beginning that my mind is bored and the urge is rising. I give into that urge and follow the quickly downward spiraling path to acting out. I ultimately feel bad about acting out, depression sets in. Rinse and repeat until spouse finds out and we are back to square 0. This would also break the contract that we signed and thus the relationship would end.... NOT GOOD AT ALL!

"The GOOD Option": I recognize in the very beginning that my mind is bored and the urge is rising. I give into the urge but within a few clicks of the mouse and as my arousal starts to rise.....I STOP to ask myself "what can I do to change this situation?". I recognize that acting out has no good outcome and quickly move onto something productive.. be it a video game on my phone, searching for new cars under a certain budget (knowing I can't buy it but it is a fun time waster) or just going for a motorcycle ride.

"The BEST Option": I recognize in the very beginning that my mind is bored and the urge is rising. I don't give in even the slightest bit. Get up, Get out or Get a way.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:45 am 
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Lesson 58

Define the five rituals that you will most likely face in the next two years. For each, develop an action plan in five minutes or less...that focuses specifically on the immediate action you will take upon the awareness of the ritual; the anticipated emotions you will feel after you engage in that behavior; and the likely mind-games that you will play to get you to abandon your values-based decision making for emotion based decision making.
Post these in your thread.


Home Alone, Traveling Alone and Boredom
- Keep myself and my mind busy. Don't give my "dark wolf" a chance to feed. Research, researcher and research some more on any topic of interest.
- Work in the yard, field or garage. There is always something to be done.
- The key for me is to stay active mentally or physically.


Internet "Triggers"
- This one is harder because I don't always know what may "trigger" a thought or emotion. However,
when a trigger is observed I need to:
a) Recognize it
b) Leave the site immediately
c) Make mental note for future, so not to be triggered next time by either avoiding the site
altogether, or only going to that site with a strong mind and extra focus.


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