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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:11 pm
Posts: 16
Lesson 12: Recognizing Unhealthy Recovery Patterns

Patterns that I currently recognize in myself in relation to an unhealthy recovery
  • Relapse triggers are seen as opportunities to act out - I may say something myself like "go on you already have seen it, you may as well act out."
  • Often attempt to convince others of my recovery by offering my "new identity" as proof - previously I seem to have changed my lifestyle to try to give the appearance that I have changed into a different person through religion and ethics. I think I was more trying to convince myself that I had changed, rather than convincing others.
  • Relapse triggers are feared, and so my life continue to be altered as a result of addiction - If I saw a relapse trigger than I was afraid I would relapse.
  • Tending to focus on controlling past behaviour, rather than learning new behaviour - I tried to stop my behaviour through abstinence rather than use tools that are available to me to develop new behaviour. I also have an all or nothing mindset. That is, I convinced myself that recovery meant that I needed to act like an "angel". If I didn't meet a goal, then I took it as excuse to relapse.
  • Measuring the success of recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction - I would keep a journal and wrote about the number of days I have been abstinent. i would criticise myself in the journal. I saw the more days I was abstinent the more successful I was, without taking into account my emotional stability and personal satisfaction.
  • Often experience extreme emotions in relation to acting out - I would often relapse and then the emotions would propel me to the chaser effect to try to dampen these emotions to more acting out, until I was exhausted.
  • Tending to hyper-analyze my actions, thoughts and feelings - I go through things in my mind quite a lot and not focus on future actions.
  • Continuing to identify myself with addiction and cannot imagine a life without such an association - I put myself down by saying that nothing is ever going to change and identify multiple relapses as proof. This makes me want to engage in the behaviours again, in order to stop the negative emotions

Last edited by Radio on Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:11 pm
Posts: 16
Lesson 13: Assessing Healthy Recovery Patterns

I. Patterns that I currently recognise in myself in relation to a healthy recovery
Early Recovery: "Understanding/Recognising the Behaviour"
  • Significant doubts relating to their ability to change - I need to stay vigilant at reviewing self-talk
  • Extremely negative emotions are the norm - I need to stay vigilant at knowing my emotional state
  • "test the waters" of recovery by attempting recovery for a few days, then act out. Attempting recovery for a few weeks, then acting out - I must really want to recover if I am constantly attempting recovery.
Middle Recovery: "Actual Recovery"
  • Accepted I have struggled with certain immoral behaviours that contradicted my values, but realise that what matters is what I am doing, not what I did - the best thing I can do for myself and everyone else is act consistency with my values.
  • Not focused on controlling/ending their past behavioural patterns, but on developing new patterns that will take the place of those related to the addiction - I cannot change the past I need to focus on developing new patterns. It may feel slow at times and difficult, but I am willing to have these feelings in order to grow.

II. The consistency of my values and my healthy and unhealthy pattern and how any awareness of this changes how I will manage my your recovery
My unhealthy pattens are not consistent with my values. I value self-improvement, however I find opportunities to act out. I value integrity, however I trick myself into thinking I have changed and am not transparent with myself. I value acceptance, however I berate myself for little mistakes that do not harm anyone but myself and not trying to learn from mistakes. I value being present, however, I go over and over in my head past mistakes, little or small, and do not make a . determination to learn from mistakes and try developing new behavioural patterns. I value self-care, but I hyper analyse a lot, which makes me emotionally drained and does not help me grow and be a better person to others and myself. I need to be aware of my values and ask myself, "am I acting in accordance to my values every day". I should look at my behaviours and think about the consistency of my behaviours and values.

My healthy patterns in middle recovery are consistent with my values including self-care, self-control, improve myself, compassion, integrity and being present. I should congratulate myself for acting in accordance with my values and encourage myself to continue with acting in congruence,

Last edited by Radio on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:54 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 336
Hi Radio,

I was interested to read through your thread. In particular under Lesson 11 you documented your recent behaviour and activity. I am not sure what the term "acting out" means for you (and I don't need to know but you will know it about yourself which is all that matters) but I get the impression that it revolves around fantasising about various people coupled with masturbation. You have then recorded a fair degree of activity in terms of porn and masturbation over the last 30 days which confuses me a little if you are suggesting that you are not currently acting out? As I say, that is for you to think about but what I would say is that if masturbation represents you acting out then you might like to think about deciding to stop, at least for a while? Part of the process of masturbation generally involves fantasising which, if performed on a frequent basis, will serve only to further engrain the act of fantasising which sounds like it is what you are trying to avoid. My suggestion may sound terrifying and as someone who did that on a daily basis for around 40 years I can tell you that it terrified me too. But you will find that nothing will drop off, you won't die or be in any pain and you may quickly find that avoiding fantasising will make you realise that it is perfectly possible to achieve what you want out of your recovery. You just need to be brave in taking that first step and trust in the process.

The decision is entirely yours, I just offer it as something to think about. On reading your thread it just sounded a bit chicken and egg to me. Good luck with the deliberations.


"Should you fail to permanently recover from your addiction, it will be due to your inability to fully commit to recovery"

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:11 pm
Posts: 16
Thanks L2R, greatly appreciate the feedback and encouragement.

I definitely need to focus on not allowing myself to engage in sexual fantasies. Fantasises seem to be a quick way to escape reality for me and it is easy to get hooked by them. You are right, fantasy will lead to a further engraining of the act of fantasising. I think fantasy can easily lead me to other unhealthy behaviours and can push me into a relapse.

I’m trying to stop my use of porn, sexual fantasy and masturbation. I think I have been using these things as a way to escape, instead of processing problems and emotions in a healthy way.

I would say that I have been acting out in the last 30 days, as per answers to lesson 11. I think I may have implied that I’m currently not acting out in lesson 13, by saying I have exhibited some health patterns found in middle recovery. I think what I was trying to say is that I have exhibited some healthy patterns found in middle recovery, from time to time. However, having thought about it, exhibiting a healthy behaviour from time to time might not actually be the same as exhibiting a healthy pattern? So, I am thinking I need to still need to build those healthy patterns.

Since 1 January 2019, I have been abstaining from porn, sexual fantasy and masturbation. I have tried abstinence many times. Most of the times it ends with me binging, as I did not build healthy patterns around my recovery. I will commit to building healthy patterns.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:11 pm
Posts: 16
Lesson 14 – Health Monitoring I

I - Daily Monitoring List

  1. How would I describe my overall emotional balance and stability?
  2. Did I engage in any compulsive behaviour? If yes, did I maintain an awareness of the elements involved? Did I create a break as soon as I became aware of that ritual?
  3. Did I take time to engage in self-growth activities, such as reading and learning?
  4. Did I go to bed at a reasonable time in order give myself the best chance of having a productive day?
  5. Did remain present during interactions with others?
  6. Did I act with compassion towards others?
  7. Did I follow through with everything that I said I was going to do?
  8. Did I give myself encouragement to continue with recovery?
  9. Did I take some time to be with my own thoughts?
  10. Did I carry myself as a person worthy of respect today?

Note: daily monitoring to be conducted every night for the next two weeks. Starting 14 January and ending 28 January 2019.

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