Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:59 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 101 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Lesson 56

Another productive exercise.

“You are getting to a point in the workshop where you need to begin withdrawing from the need for accountability and external feedback; and instead begin to take pride in your own work.”

Having thought about this I’ve found it informative, and helpful. A few lessons back I was concerned at the lack of feedback here fearing I might not be on the right track with some of the detail. Having now moved along a bit, I certainly see a clear path towards healthy. I’m feeling that I am building the tools to get there and maintain it. So if I’m happy I’m on the healthy path, that I’ve got a set of ‘good’ values to guide me, and that I’m capable of following it, it doesn’t really matter about a lot of feedback. In the same way that I need to 'own' the recovery process, I don't need my hand held every step of the way and its good to build one's own confidence.

Looking back over the past eighteen months I can see a lot of progress, and I do indeed take pride in it. Much as I take ‘sorrow’(?) in events prior to that. Another value/emotional balance perhaps.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Exercise 58

5 rituals for the next 2 years, with value based reactive action plans.

1. Internet porn

Porn has played a big part in my life, and in my acting out. Although I’ve a block on accessing adult sites that doesn’t mean porn is unavailable – a google image search still works!

Key value is honesty, so let me ask the question: “Would I sit on the sofa with my partner and say: ‘Hey, look at these two bonking, pretty hot, eh? Mind if I have a wank over it?’”

I think the answer is no, I wouldn’t ask the question. Interestingly I might just get a ‘yes’ if I did, but somehow, I doubt it. So if I need to be secretive, however mild the actual activity, it’s a no-no. The action plan is simple, don’t go looking for porn.

2. Internet contact

Here I’m talking about an old ‘friend’ making contact, or me seeking contact, with some form of sexual motive. Perhaps discussing past events, a bit of flirting, however unlikely any future events it’s the sexual overtones, in the broadest sense, that’s the key driver.

Again honesty is the main value. Any such contact would not be admitted. No “Just talking about the weather”. And so the action plan is quite simple too – if contact is made by another, then I politely say no thank you. Maybe I might say why, i.e. recovery, it rather depends on who, and how much they press for an explanation. Similarly, I will not initiate the contact. Its possible to still talk with ‘old friends’ with a history, but it has to be very clear what the boundaries are. As it happens those that I’m in touch with have very much moved on romantically, so the boundaries are as much from their side as mine.

3. Internet cam

This is like porn, above, but more so. Its unlikely that the blocks would allow it, though of course they can be avoided. Its not likely that I’d receive a request, any initiation would be my doing.

So if I ‘feel like’ doing so I should be clear with myself, it’s not consistent with my values. It can’t be done honestly, only in secret. And it doesn’t produce the desired result, maybe some short term pleasure, but far outweighed by guilt and ‘failing’ in recovery.

The action plan is an inaction plan – don’t do it. If that doesn’t enable me to cope with the situation/trigger, then find an alternative – go for a walk, take a photo, read a book, but keep well away from the computer!

4. Naughty thoughts

Here I mean some thought, situation, or event that gets me thinking in a sexualised way. That in turn would have led to some form of acting out, most likely viewing porn on the ‘net.

I can’t totally avoid the initial thoughts, but I can take charge with where they lead. If I can’t see good in them, then I have to avoid the bad. As with 3, it may well be sufficient to realise the situation and move on. If that’s not enough to control it, then some alternative activity, away from the computer.

5. Recovery discussions

Here I’m talking about discussing my recovery, and in particular my past acting out, with a friend giving support to me. On the whole its pretty clinical, for want of a better word. Obviously, it does little to encourage me to act out, very much the reverse.

However, it’s possible, especially as we’re talking a longish period into the future, that reminders of past actions could get me thinking ‘Was it so bad?’. A sort of sliding scale from ‘harmless’ porn to ‘there was a need’ escorts. As recovery gets more ingrained will the perspective change? There have been one or two occasions when discussing events, e.g. a business trip, where I’ve been asked about the possibility of acting out although it hadn’t occurred to the ‘healthy’ me.

I don’t think there needs to be an action plan more specific than those above, just an awareness that when things ‘come to mind’, however that happens, there needs to be thought given, and these plans in place to deal with it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Lesson 59 (Part 1)

“At this stage of your transition to health, you should be seeking out ways of strengthening your foundation on your own.”

“You have reached the point in your recovery where you have learned everything you need to be successful in eliminating addiction from your life.”

Both those ring a bell, I’m feeling as I come to the end of stage 4 that I’m well on the way to recovery, or rather the transition from recovery to health. It’s had its challenges, and I’m sure will continue to do so, and I’m feeling I have a good foundation for the future. I feel this is a good point to ‘take stock’ and revise action plans. I think this will help identify areas that could pose a danger to recovery and areas that might need further work. The tools I now have and whether/where additional focus is required.

I feel I have a solid vision and values, and a well defined boundary for actions. With regard to action plans I feel the best process for me is to include the various aspects into one plan for each situation. They’ll be quite a few, and even though they’ll end up quite long in places I think that’s easier to relate the various parts.

Each action plan:
• Situation – summary of past event(s)/future possibilities.
• Proaction – actions before event.
• Action – actions initiated by me.
• Reactions – actions in response to ‘external’ events.
• Postaction – analysis, responses and revisions.

Action plans to be revised/created:
1. Managing a healthy recovery

These are the action plans to cover how I now run my life to complete recovery and the transition to a healthy life. How I intend to positively manage my interaction with partner, family and friends.

1.1. Me
1.2. Partner
1.3. Family
1.4. Friends

2. Work/Life balance

An action plan to manage the balance between work and other activities, including recovery.

3. Unhealthy possibilities

These are generally reaction plans to be in place to deal with any ritual based compulsive urges and their triggers.

3.1. Internet porn
3.2. Internet contact
3.3. Internet cam
3.4. Naughty thoughts
3.5. Affairs
3.6. Escorts

4. Recovery discussions and support

How I plan, initiate and react to discussions and other activities relating to recovery.

5. Contact with ex-lovers

How I continue to be in contact with those I shared affairs with in the past whilst maintaining recovery and a healthy life.

5.1. A
5.2. B
5.3. C

My vision is to be honest, honourable, healthy, inclusive, prosperous and happy.

My primary boundary is not to say or do anything that I’m not prepared to discuss openly with my wife.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Some reflective thoughts

Back to here after a bit of a break, a couple of weeks rather 'intensive' holiday with family, and a week 'catching up' with work and then a holiday weekend, again with considerable family interaction.

Apart from the lack of opportunity for acting out whilst away, I found that the, on occasions pretty intense, emotional/physical stresses did not give rise to any desire to do so. Reflecting upon my return I see something of a watershed at the end of Stage 4 with the transition to Stage 5. In my view Recovery is moving from a ‘battle’ to ensure I get/keep on the right path to a far better feeling of security that I now have a clear understanding of the way ahead. I have clear visions and boundaries set out and so far they have proved effective in managing my lifestyle. Obviously I will take care not to become complacent. There are certainly areas that require positive attention, the balance between work and other activities in particular, with recently some effects on family being highlighted.

Continuing with the road ahead metaphor, I see it having changed somewhat from being convex, ie trying to follow the high point in the middle with it being all to easy to slide off into a ditch if care isn’t taken all the time to keep straight. To being concave, ie the natural way is to follow the centre, to have a clear view ahead, and requiring extra effort to climb the sides to disaster. It doesn’t mean you can stop paying attention, the sides aren’t that steep yet, but its certainly a more relaxing, secure way of proceeding.

I’ve looked ahead a little to Stage 5, and I can see RN will continue to provide excellent advice and support for ongoing recovery. I’ll be popping by here as needed, while the path is clear and progress good, it may not need to be so often in terms of posting, though reading others’ experiences will, I’m sure, be informative.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 118
Hi John53,

A good reflection of where you are, and I particularly liked this analogy,

Quote:
Continuing with the road ahead metaphor, I see it having changed somewhat from being convex, ie trying to follow the high point in the middle with it being all to easy to slide off into a ditch if care isn’t taken all the time to keep straight. To being concave, ie the natural way is to follow the centre, to have a clear view ahead, and requiring extra effort to climb the sides to disaster. It doesn’t mean you can stop paying attention, the sides aren’t that steep yet, but its certainly a more relaxing, secure way of proceeding.


Keep up the goods work :g:

_________________
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Thank you, Theseus.

Happened upon this quote in another recovery thread, thought it worth recording, and thinking about:

"Today don’t think or say, "I’m tired," "I’m hurt," "I’m angry." Don’t even think or say, "I’m happy."
Instead, think and say, "I’ve chosen to be tired, hurt, angry." Or better still, "I’m choosing to be happy."
You don’t get “hit” by feelings, you feel them based on your perceptions, and you perceive based on your beliefs, and you believe as you choose."

I suppose its like the saying "You can see good in anything", and likewise bad in anything. I'm blessed with being an optimist, perhaps that makes it easier to see good, and choose the happy. Others aren't so lucky.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:51 am 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: UK
Hello John


Quote:
I feel I have a solid vision and values, and a well defined boundary for actions.
:g: :g:
a great way to live


Quote:
With regard to action plans I feel the best process for me is to include the various aspects into one plan for each situation. They’ll be quite a few, and even though they’ll end up quite long in places I think that’s easier to relate the various parts.

we all have many values hence action plans can be and are numerous
so perhaps prioritorise into bite size chunks expanding as these chunks become ingrained into your core

keep up the progress it really is worth it

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Quote:
so perhaps prioritorise into bite size chunks expanding as these chunks become ingrained into your core


Thanks Kenzo, I will.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Lesson 60

I believe I am in the ‘am doing it’ camp rather than the ‘can do it’. I have a vision, I have clear boundaries, I feel they are becoming ingrained. I feel recovery is a process, a path to a healthy future. The path feels clear, and stable. That said, before reading this lesson I was concerned at complacency, at feeling that I shouldn’t think everything done and dusted. It’ll need ongoing work and attention. This lesson seems to have summed that up well.

A personal plan for the five actions:
1. Prior to an expected event

Much of the work has been done by changes in circumstances. I now work from home, as a consultant, and so no corporate environment, no business trips away, no colleagues being hired or making advances.

At home my wife has retired, so little time ‘home alone’, and whilst I still work in IT, very much using the internet, there is much less opportunity – the main driver in my acting out.

There can still be some expected events, a visit to a client is the best example. An opportunity to extend the journey and act out with, for example, an escort. Equally easily planned for in my mind – recently when such trips have occurred I’ve hardly thought of the ‘old times’, of how I’d engineer the day/timing/explanation to allow for acting out. I feel no need, and indeed when the thought crosses my mind I take comfort in that, a quiet satisfaction that I’ve conquered one aspect of my past.

2. Prior to an unexpected event

Although as with 1. the opportunity for an unexpected trigger event has diminished, by its nature of being unexpected it cannot be eliminated. I see the danger not in similarities to past events (if a neighbour made a pass, however remote a possibility, I believe I’d see the similarity and be ‘wise’ to the dangers).

The danger is with something totally unexpected, not only in timing, but by its nature. Here I can see the role of fantasying. Letting my mind wander to the most unlikely scenario that could lead to a trigger. Seeing in my mind how in my unhealthy times I would have taken it further. Then, I believe, I can be as best prepared as I can be for the unexpected. It should cover comments, events, and from any source – family, friend or stranger.

3. On an urge

In a nutshell I see this as ‘watch for the urge’. I feel I know the train of events that follow an urge. I feel I have the knowledge to break that chain, provided I catch it at the start.

Some urges are easily seen, are easily seen as unhealthy. Other urges are perfectly healthy, a natural way we conduct our lives with stimulation and reward. The tricky one is being aware of an unhealthy urge, perhaps better said an urge that can lead to unhealthy acts, that appears OK at the start. Values and especially boundaries should help here. So whenever something crops up, a quick ‘is this OK?’ check, with self honesty, and I know what to do if the answer is no.

4. On being off track

I’m clear what to do if I head off track and I believe I have the tools and lessons to regain control. The issue as I see it is being aware of getting off track. With the above in place, and the ‘backstop’ of 5. I think it unlikely I’ll deviate from the healthy, but there’s always complacency. An ever watchful eye on the process is needed.

5. On schedule

I have monitoring in place, briefly now daily and more substantial and formal now twice monthly. Its reassuring to have that in place, to stick to it. I can see it provides a good check too on 2. One needs to be sure that fantasising is indeed just that, and not an opportunity for a bit of sneaky acting out. Monitoring will, I think, ensure it is is, or at worst alert to being off track, ie 4.

All the above sounds reasonably confident, that I feel in control, that I’m not frightened at the prospects for the future. Whilst that’s true, I also feel I need to take care. There certainly can be difficulties ahead and I’ll need to stay focussed at times. Not everything in life is rosy and I need to be aware that life’s difficulties can easily provide the emotional turmoil for acting out.

Motivators – here’s that list from Lesson 1:

1. I want to stop lying.
2. I want to stop kidding myself.
3. I want to be totally honest with my wife.
4. I want to be totally honest with my family.
5. I want to be totally honest with my close friends.
6. I want to enjoy life without guilt.
7. I want to have a smile on my face, a spring in my step.
8. I want to wake up and look forward to the day, even Mondays.
9. I want a cuddle.
10. I want to have good sex.
11. I want to be a good, true and honest model to my children and grandchildren.
12. I want to have fun.

The thing that strikes me most is the word ‘honest’ and the number of times it occurs. My previous behaviour was basically dishonest with myself, and with those involved both within the family and beyond. Being honest, and being seen to be honest, is still the best motivator I believe. Living an honest life, in all its aspects.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 118
Hi John53,

Your lesson 60 reminds me of my own thoughts and controls, for me I can only say that so far it has been a total success and I do not expect it to change as "I am doing it" too :g:

_________________
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 66
Thanks, Theseus, that's encouraging!

J


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 101 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group