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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:12 pm 
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Posts: 8
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Lesson 1 Exercises:
A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are:
1) actively committing yourself to change
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
3) allowing yourself time to change.
Consider where you feel you are in relation to each of these recovery keys? Briefly share your thoughts in your Recovery Thread.


1. I will do my absolute best to commit to change and follow the process of recovery all the way through until it is no longer at the forefront of my life.
2. I will not allow guilt or shame to get in the way of my commitment to change, as I only recognize those emotions to be contributors to the perpetuation of my addiction rather than any useful or pragmatic tools for my benefit. I must remain aware as I cope with cravings/temptations, that these emotions will inevitably follow the act, and thus land me not at the beginning, but further back with additional addictive habits, cycles and hurdles to overcome.
3. As time goes by, I know I will continue having moments of weakness where I try to persuade myself to succumb to my compulsive behaviors. During these times, I must remember the process, and remember the motivational advice provided to me from various sources, and I must remember my reasons for doing this.

Quote:
B. Beyond an active commitment to change, another important factor in determining your ultimate success is your motivation. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life. Don't stop at three or four obvious ones, really examine your life and what is important to you. Phrase these in the positve. For example: " I don't want to keep deceiving my wife" would serve you better if written like "I want to be honest and transparent with my wife". Positive statements have much more power in our mindset than negative ones. List these in your recovery thread.


01. I want to live up to my FULLEST potential, and see how far I can take myself in this lifetime.
02. I want to have honest, positive and fulfilling relationships with family and friends.
03. I want to have honest, positive and fulfilling relationships with women.
04. I want to spend my remaining time on this earth accomplishing major life goals.
05. I want to be regain my mental clarity and re-focus on the things that matter
06. I want to have more time to do the things I actually enjoy.
07. I want to be more confident.
08. I want to overcome the weak compulsive behaviors so that they don't continue to manifest in other forms, with other compulsions.
09. I want to get my act together and take responsibility for my life.
10. I want to create positive experiences for others and help them connect with themselves.
11. I want to be there for all of my loved ones.
12. I want to be able to depend on myself to achieve results consistently.
13. I want to only contribute to minimize suffering and never add to it.
14. I want to be able to help others without having to concern myself with my own faults.
15. I want to be emotionally and physically capable of managing my remaining faults and ultimately eliminating them.

Quote:
C. One of the most powerful insights you can gain in establishing a foundation for permanent recovery is to come to see your addiction within the scope of your life span. In other words, to not just see your addiction as it is now, but to look across the span of your life to see the role that addiction has played in your development. Much of this will be explored throughout the workshop, but to put yourself in the right frame of mind to develop such a perception, do the following:

Find a picture of yourself when you were a small child. An innocent child. For those with early childhood sexual abuse issues, do not mistake this abuse for a lack of innocence. You were absolutely innocent. It will be hard to derive the full value from this exercise without an actual picture so if it is just a matter of needing to find one...wait. Wait until you have the picture in your hand. If such a picture does not exist, try envisioning a moment in your life when you were 3, 4...perhaps 5 years old — but only do this as a last resort. The power of this exercise rests in your ability to look into the eyes of your own innocence — something that is very hard to do through memory alone.

Now, with the picture in hand, look into that child's eyes. Feel their innocence. Acknowledge that this child is you at a point in your life. Feel how vulnerable you were. How trusting. Recognize the lack of addiction in your life...and the desire for little more than love, compassion, teaching and support. Think of the trauma you faced throughout your life. Think of the times when you felt alone. Confused. If you feel like it, cry for this child. Allow yourself to feel love for this child. Do whatever you must to emotionally connect with this child because it is for this child that you are now reclaiming your life. It is this child who lost their way and you are the one now showing the courage to guide this child, who is you, back to health.

If you would like, share your experience with this last exercise in your thread.


Seeing a photo of my younger self, at four years old, I quickly became overwhelmed with emotion. I smile humbly in the photo, scared to reveal my cavity stricken tooth. However, what got my attention the most was looking into my own eyes. They shined in this photo, with curiosity and energy; infinite potential for success. Yet, it was a bit saddening. As I tried to envision my future success, his future success, I couldn't. It simply wasn't certain. But that's not the truth. Those are my fears talking because I realized that I'm more aware now, in the present, and that means I'm more in control of my life. It's still me today so it's my responsibility, my burden to bear, to see this to the end so that I get to begin again.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 276
Hey Anonyfix,

Welcome to RN and your journey to health.

Quote:
It's still me today so it's my responsibility, my burden to bear, to see this to the end so that I get to begin again.


An incredible insight that you've disclosed here. However I truly believe that as you move through your recovery you will instead begin to wear this responsibility of health like a badge of honor instead of a heavy ball and chain!

You cannot unknow what you now know—that your life has come to a point of dissatisfaction and that you’ve been managing it with unhealthy decisions. The circumstances which bring you here may indeed be unique, but the path you will take to recover from them is not. What am I saying? You’re not alone and recovery is possible.
Your firm commitment to your life beyond addiction will make all the difference—don’t forget that it is your choice. So if health is what you want, then commit to yourself with conviction and complete the exercises with absolute honesty. The path is long and hard, but it has been done countless times before you.
Although we recommend completing around 3 lessons a week, we encourage you to read or post daily. That being said, recovery is not a race and it’s important to go a pace with which your body and mind can safely handle—many believe recovery to be a journey, not a destination.
If you find yourself challenged or have questions with one of the lessons, utilize the help forum as help is readily available.
Coaches and Mentors are likely to drop by occasionally. If they don’t, no worries, it’s generally a good sign that you’re on the right path.

So, Anonyfix, do you accept this invitation to your new life? The choice is yours.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease,

Anon


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:54 pm
Posts: 8
anon523 wrote:
Hey Anonyfix,

Welcome to RN and your journey to health.

Quote:
It's still me today so it's my responsibility, my burden to bear, to see this to the end so that I get to begin again.


An incredible insight that you've disclosed here. However I truly believe that as you move through your recovery you will instead begin to wear this responsibility of health like a badge of honor instead of a heavy ball and chain!

You cannot unknow what you now know—that your life has come to a point of dissatisfaction and that you’ve been managing it with unhealthy decisions. The circumstances which bring you here may indeed be unique, but the path you will take to recover from them is not. What am I saying? You’re not alone and recovery is possible.
Your firm commitment to your life beyond addiction will make all the difference—don’t forget that it is your choice. So if health is what you want, then commit to yourself with conviction and complete the exercises with absolute honesty. The path is long and hard, but it has been done countless times before you.
Although we recommend completing around 3 lessons a week, we encourage you to read or post daily. That being said, recovery is not a race and it’s important to go a pace with which your body and mind can safely handle—many believe recovery to be a journey, not a destination.
If you find yourself challenged or have questions with one of the lessons, utilize the help forum as help is readily available.
Coaches and Mentors are likely to drop by occasionally. If they don’t, no worries, it’s generally a good sign that you’re on the right path.

So, Anonyfix, do you accept this invitation to your new life? The choice is yours.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease,

Anon



Thank you for taking the time to provide such insightful advice.

You're right. I'm focusing more on the journey of recovery as a problem, as it relates to my life, rather than a positive pursuit of good health for its betterment. The former has been my default mindset and has most likely been a contributor to my past failures. I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea that this is ongoing. It's difficult, but I know I'm preaching to the choir here. Thank you for those words, I appreciate the guidance.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:54 pm
Posts: 8
Quote:
Lesson 2 Exercises:
A. Take at least twenty minutes to be alone. If you have a family, ask them to respect this time that you are taking. Make sure that you leave your cell phone off. That the dog is fed. That there will be no distractions. Take a walk by yourself. Sit alone on the beach. Find somewhere secluded and then, think. Think about who you are, the life that you have led, and the life that you want to lead from this point forward. Think about your legacy. Create a vision that you would feel comfortable committing yourself to pursuing. One that, as you someday look back upon your life, will allow you to feel proud of the person that you developed into. Of the life that you led.

C. Write out your vision. Use any format you would like. As a general rule, the more personal, the better. Post this vision in your Recovery Thread. There is no right or wrong to this vision...though it should be comprehensive enough for a stranger (such as a coach or mentor) to read it and have a pretty good idea as to what you value and the life that you want to live.

As we review these visions, what we will be looking for is the following:

1) Is it practical or is it idealistic? Practical is what we are shooting for. Idealistic visions feel good, sound good...but they serve very little purpose, other than to create unrealistic goals for which failure is already guaranteed.

2) Is this vision capable of sustaining a healthy life? Are there enough values identified that have the potential to generate fulfillment. To counter instability. To drive decision-making.


I've been scared for so long out of fear of failure, but I want to pursue my goals relentlessly; sit myself down and really put in the work that's required to accomplish them to their fullest and see how far I can take my potential. To devote all of my focus and attention towards this purpose, while maintaining and further building my relationships with family and friends, so that I can construct a solid foundation for myself to stand on. Also, to be ready and open to find love, and do so with courage and confidence; to start a family with and share a happy and fulfilling life filled with love and personal success.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:54 pm
Posts: 8
Quote:
Lesson 3 Exercises:
A. Note: In the previous lesson, you were asked to write out your vision for the life that you want to live. If you have not yet completed this task, do so now, before beginning this exercise.

B. On your computer, extract the values from the vision you have created and list them. Your goal for this lesson is to create a single, comprehensive list that involves all of the primary ways that you derive stimulation from your life. Or, those areas that you want to derive stimulation from. Most lists will contain between 50-100 items. When you are done, post this list in your recovery thread.

If you feel you need some guidance as to what you are looking for, or for examples of how to list each item, see this example values list.

C. When you have extracted every possible value that you can think of from your vision, do the following:

1) Review this example values list for any additional values that you may want to add to your own list. List them.

2) Consider the 'dark side' of your decision-making. The compulsive behavior. The sexual behavior. Take some time to extract the values that went into those behaviors, and list them as well.


001. Goal oriented
002. Driven
003. Ambitious
004. Hard working
005. Focused
006. Able to express myself and my individuality without worry
007. Confident
008. Living up to my potential
009. Living a life of purpose
010. Happy and fulfilled
011. Strengthening my relationship with my parents
012. Strengthening my relationship with my brother
013. Strengthening my relationship with my friends
014. Solid foundation of values and principles to rely on
015. Open to being loved
016. Open to loving
017. Willingness to commit
018. Courageous
019. Share knowledge and resources
020. Self-discipline
021. Being prepared to have children
022. Becoming a great father
023. Challenging myself everyday
024. Facing my fears
025. Resourcefulness
026. Knowledgeable
027. Developing intellectual depth
028. Wisdom
029. Great communicator
030. Selfless and charitable
031. Being a great leader
032. Open-minded
033. Grateful
034. Appreciate the beauty of the universe
035. Appreciate the beauty of other life
036. Appreciate the beauty of women
037. Help empower women
038. Caring (for other life and the environment)
039. Accepting responsibility for my life
040. Truthful and honest
041. Powerful
042. Results-oriented
043. Adaptability
044. Curiosity
045. Passionate about life
046. Being recognized as an expert in my field
047. World-wide recognition
048. Developing sustained friendships
049. Connected to my own feelings
050. Being identified by others as charming and warm
051. Companionship
052. Integrity
053. Establishing my legacy
054. Financial stability
055. Personal independence
056. Masculinity
057. Creativity
058. Striving for excellence
059. Establishing financial freedom
060. Experiencing fatherhood
061. Establishing a partnership w/someone
062. Overcoming/surviving personal struggles
063. Physical health
064. Physical beauty
065. Being a teacher/mentor
066. Risk-taking (danger)
067. Improving my social interactions; social butterfly
068. Indulging in creative inspiration, development
069. Being inspirational
070. Being helpful
071. Motivated
072. Living an adventurous life
073. Being dedicated
074. Competition
075. Building things
076. Showing appreciation towards others
077. Being tenacious in my pursuit of Music
078. Being tenacious in my pursuit of financial success
079. Expressing spirituality in my day-to-day life
080. Enhancing my spiritual awareness
081. Bringing joy to others
082. Providing quality in my work
083. Establishing competence in my field
084. Being respected as a professional by others
085. Being playful
086. Staying active
087. Dependable
088. Reliable
089. Humble
090. Sense of humor
091. Being considerate of myself and my needs
092. Emotional maturity
093. Being a role model for my family
094. Being a role model for others
095. Respectful
096. Being respected
097. Experiencing uniqueness
098. Patient
099. Experiencing euphoria
100. Feeling sexually desired
101. Sexual intimacy
102. Emotional intimacy
103. Feeling unconditional love
104. Feeling energetic
105. Inspiring others to want better for themselves
106. Minimize suffering
107. Maximize happiness and fulfillment
108. Provide joy to others through music
109. Influential
110. Fame
111. Positivity
112. Mentally healthy
113. Organized
114. Developing follow-through
115. Letting go
116. Decisiveness
117. Great storyteller
118. Great conversationalist

Dark side
01. Short-term pleasure
02. Impatience
03. Instant gratification
04. Sexual intimacy
05. Physical contact
06. Desire to love
07. Desire to be loved
08. Lack of focus
09. Lack of energy
10. Compulsion
11. Physical pleasure
12. Feelings of guilt
13. Feelings of shame
14. Lacking freedom
15. Lacking confidence
16. Lacking control
17. Fear of failure
18. Fear of rejection
19. Feeling unmotivated
20. Trouble finding passion
21. Afraid to commit
22. Afraid to let (future) partners down
23. Afraid to reject (future) incompatible partners
24. Fear of missing out
25. Negativity/victimhood


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:35 pm 
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Posts: 8
Quote:
Lesson 4 Exercises:
A. In the previous exercise, you identified a list of the majority of your practical and universal values. Now, prioritize this list. This should take you about fifteen minutes at the most. If it is taking you longer than that, you are thinking too deeply. The deep thought was in constructing your vision and extracting the values...this is the 'easy part'. Simply identify an initial order of prioritization that 'feels right' to you.

Take a snapshot of where these values lay in terms of helping you to achieve your vision. DO NOT worry if a particular value is a few items above or below another (for instance, don't worry about choosing between 'Strengthening My Role as a Father to My Son' and 'Strengthening My Role as a Father to My Daughter'). You should be looking for a general sense of prioritization — not an exact representation. Remember that values change. Priorities change. And so, to try to imagine all possible situations for which prioritization may apply would paralyze you. So don't. Think only in the current moment — and in relation to what you believe would be the most direct path to building that vision in your day-to-day life.

B. When you have completed this priority list, post it into your Recovery Thread.

Note: The first ten to fifteen values on this list will form the crux of your initial value development and monitoring. Make sure that you pay particular attention to the top twenty or so values. They must be areas of your life/identity that you truly value.


001. Passionate about life
002. Facing my fears
003. Confident and able to express myself and my individuality without worry
004. Living a life of purpose, to my fullest potential
005. Happy and fulfilled
006. Goal and results-oriented
007. Focused and hard-working
008. Self-disciplined
009. Driven and ambitious
010. Positivity

011. Developing intellectual depth
012. Being a great leader
013. Great communicator, storyteller and conversationalist
014. Decisive
015. Establishing my legacy
016. Creativity
017. Physical health
018. Being tenacious in my pursuit of Music
019. Being tenacious in my pursuit of financial success
020. Living an adventurous life

021. Open-minded
022. Grateful
023. Enhancing my spiritual awareness
024. Sense of humor
025. Being considerate of myself and my needs
026. Inspiring others to want better for themselves
027. Minimize suffering and maximize happiness and fulfillment
028. Provide joy to others through music
029. Fame
030. Share knowledge and resources

031. Wisdom
032. Accepting responsibility for my life
033. Truthful and honest
034. Powerful
035. Courageous
036. Challenging myself everyday
037. Improving my social interactions; social butterfly
038. Being inspirational
039. Motivated
040. Sexual intimacy

041. Strengthening my relationship with my family and friends
042. Solid foundation of values and principles to rely on
043. Open to being loved
044. Open to loving
045. Willingness to commit
046. Knowledgeable
047. Becoming a great father
048. Resourceful
049. Selfless and charitable
050. Appreciate the beauty of the universe

051. Being prepared to have children
052. Appreciate the beauty of other life
053. Appreciate the beauty of women
054. Help empower women
055. Caring (for other life and the environment)
056. Adaptability
057. Curiosity
058. Being recognized as an expert in my field
059. World-wide recognition
060. Developing sustained friendships

061. Connected to my own feelings
062. Being identified by others as charming and warm
063. Companionship
064. Integrity
065. Financial stability
066. Personal independence
067. Masculinity
068. Striving for excellence
069. Establishing financial freedom
070. Experiencing fatherhood

071. Establishing a partnership w/someone
072. Overcoming/surviving personal struggles
073. Physical beauty
074. Being a teacher/mentor
075. Risk-taking (danger)
076. Indulging in creative inspiration, development
077. Being helpful
078. Being dedicated
079. Competition
080. Bringing joy to others

081. Showing appreciation towards others
082. Expressing spirituality in my day-to-day life
083. Building things
084. Providing quality in my work
085. Establishing competence in my field
086. Being respected as a professional by others
087. Being playful
088. Staying active
089. Dependable and reliable
090. Humble

091. Emotional maturity
092. Being a role model for my family
093. Being a role model for others
094. Respectful
095. Being respected
096. Experiencing uniqueness
097. Patient
098. Experiencing euphoria
099. Feeling sexually desired
100. Emotional intimacy

101. Feeling unconditional love
102. Feeling energetic
103. Influential
104. Mentally healthy
105. Organized
106. Developing follow-through
107. Letting go


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:08 pm 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 276
Anonyfix,

You extracted an excellent amount of values in lessons 3 and 4. Well done! Now, how could you rewrite your vision in lesson 2 to communicate those values? Happiness and health can absolutely be achieved, but we must first be able to define it.

Please take a quick look at Coach Mel's "How To" Vision post which is stickied at the top of the Recovery Forum.

Quote:
put in the work that's required to accomplish them to their fullest and see how far I can take my potential.


Create a picture of words that describes what that potential means to you...

Quote:
construct a solid foundation for myself to stand on.


What does that foundation look, sound, feel, taste like?

Quote:
share a happy and fulfilling life filled with love and personal success.


What does happy mean to you? What does success mean to you? More importantly, what parts of you must be nurtured to achieve this vision?

Be Well,

Anon


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:54 pm
Posts: 8
anon523 wrote:
Anonyfix,

You extracted an excellent amount of values in lessons 3 and 4. Well done! Now, how could you rewrite your vision in lesson 2 to communicate those values? Happiness and health can absolutely be achieved, but we must first be able to define it.

Please take a quick look at Coach Mel's "How To" Vision post which is stickied at the top of the Recovery Forum.

Quote:
put in the work that's required to accomplish them to their fullest and see how far I can take my potential.


Create a picture of words that describes what that potential means to you...

Quote:
construct a solid foundation for myself to stand on.


What does that foundation look, sound, feel, taste like?

Quote:
share a happy and fulfilling life filled with love and personal success.


What does happy mean to you? What does success mean to you? More importantly, what parts of you must be nurtured to achieve this vision?

Be Well,

Anon


A bright sunlit room in a nice home, white curtains, wood floors, glass doors oversee a green vista; I wake up to birds chirping. The love of my life is laying next to me, still asleep, as are our two kids. I get up to start my morning routine. I don't check email, anymore, not in the mornings. This time is for me: gratitude, yoga, meditation, jog, breakfast, coffee, writing. In that order, most of the time. This prepares me for the day of fulfilling work I've soon to accomplish: writing music, producing, scoring, and some time dedicated towards managing my business and investments. The rest of the day will be spent with my wife and kids or close friends: a night out, a night in, travelling, possible date night with the wife; literally anything, as long as it's with loved ones. The habit of working hard and focusing on the things that matter has allowed me this life, and has helped serve to reinforce my purpose: to enrich the lives of others and minimize suffering. I wake up with this thought every morning. This is my mantra. On my deathbed, I would be satisfied if I've lived a life filled with adventure, joy, and laughter; if I've provided my family stability and fulfillment; and equally important: if the world is in better condition than when I found it.

My dedication to my physical, mental and financial health, my time management, my work ethic and ability to contribute to others creatively and technically, are all very important to me and to my success. I've hurt myself enough with the time I've wasted. I won't lose sleep over it but I know change has to be made to minimize that and as long as I'm alive and capable of doing something about it, I'm going to try without stopping.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:54 pm
Posts: 8
Quote:
Lesson 5 Exercises:
A. In previous exercises, you identified and prioritized a list of your personal values. This list should represent those aspects of your life that you want to use to define who you are and how you will be managing your life. Take a moment to look over that list with a fresh view. As you read through it, ask yourself, "Does this reflect the person that I am committing myself to becoming?" If so, continue on; if not, add those missing values that are congruent with the life that you want to lead and remove those values which are not.

B. Consider two or three major decisions that you have made in your life (i.e. marriage, career, getting a dog, etc.). Examine the values involved in the decision-making process that went into your options. Consider having to make those decisions today. Does your current prioritized values list reflect the choices that you would make? If so, then you have done a good job of creating a practical values list. If not, then you may still be leaning more towards 'idealistic values' than practical ones. You want...no, you NEED this list to function on a practical level. Continue refining it until it does.

C. Finally, examine the list one more time for its realism. Do this by briefly grasping each value and thinking about the role that it would play in your day-to-day life. This does not mean that you must use the particular value on a daily basis, only that it can serve as a realistic, functional part of the identity that you are building. For instance, if I choose 'spirituality' as a top priority for myself, but in reality I am only listing that value out of fear and/or social acceptance...then my list is not real. It is not practical. On the other hand, if I list 'Strengthening my relationship with my brother' — whom I have not had any contact with in twenty years and with whom I would like to rebuild a connection with...then that is practical. Also, remember to examine the values that are not necessarily socially accepted/idealized. This is critical. If you build a life based on what others expect from you, you will fail in your transition. If you build a life based on a mastery of what it is you truly value, then you will succeed. So examine values such as 'sexual gratification', 'being sexually adventurous', 'feeling sexually desired', 'being promiscuous', etc. If these are important to you, then prioritize them within your list. Leave them out because they don't 'sound right' and you are dooming yourself to that dual-identity that pervades sexual addiction.

D. Take the top fifteen values that you have currently listed and post them in your Recovery Thread. To be successful in recovery, you will need to learn to derive about 75% of your life's meaning and fulfillment from these values across any given week or so. It is okay if you are not currently doing this, because that is what the following two lessons are for: to help you develop this ability over the coming months.


My Top Fifteen Values:

01. Fearless and confident; action-oriented and able to express myself/individuality
02. Develop strong relationships with my overall network of family and friends
03. Focused, hard-working and self-disciplined in all endeavors
04. Living an adventurous life
05. Living a life of purpose; to minimize suffering and maximize fulfillment for others
06. Decisive and inspirational leader;
07. Positive, happy and fulfilled
08. Develop intellectual and spiritual depth
09. Great communicator, storyteller and conversationalist
10. Physically, mentally and spiritually healthy
11. Open-minded and wise
12. Charming, witty, and humorous
13. Grateful and caring
14. Being famous and powerful in my sphere; establish my legacy
15. Being sexually desired


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 276
Hey Anonyfix,

You said:

Quote:
As time goes by, I know I will continue having moments of weakness where I try to persuade myself to succumb to my compulsive behaviors. During these times, I must remember the process, and remember the motivational advice provided to me from various sources, and I must remember my reasons for doing this.


I know that Lessons 6 and 7 are lengthy, but please do not let that deter you from achieving your highest potential.

Where are you, my friend? Don't forget your reasons for doing this.

Be well,

Anon


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