Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:28 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
First post!

Exercise 1


1) actively committing yourself to change
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
3) allowing yourself time to change.


Where am i in relation to each of these keys?

1. I am in the process of actively committing myself to change, I thought that i was recovered, I thought by shutting it all out and trying to behave normally, i was well on the road to being recovered, I may have even thought i was “recovered” 100%. One year on and i might not have undertaken the activities that i used to do but after recently starting reading this site and beginning this program, I realise i am not recovered at all, all i have done is shut everything away behind a big wall. I excel at shutting away feelings and emotions, and pretending things are not as they really are.

2. I feel guilt all the time, whenever i look at my wife, i feel shame, whenever she gets upset i feel terrible. I think this is the hardest part without a doubt in the recovery process to not let this sabotage my commitment to change. Its going to take a lot of resolve.

3. I know i have allow a great deal of time to complete this process, and i have to commit. Previously i have delayed starting on it, and i am not sure why, probably because i was more comfortable shutting everything away and pretending i was normal and my mind was mended. I know this is something i have to do and i and want to and will find time to do it. I know its not going to be an overnight process.

Reasons to seek permanent change.

1. I owe it to myself and my family to be a better person
2. I want to get back to the person i was before all this started.
3. It will make me happier and more at peace
4. My wife deserves my 100% effort.
5. I deserve my 100% effort
6. Its what i want to do.
7. I want a healthy body and healthy mind and vica verca
8. i don't need anything in my life other than what it is important, and what is truly important is a small list.
9. I know i am not a bad person and so i can do it.
10. I want to gain the 100% trust of my wife again
11. I need the be the person my kids already think i am.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Exercise 2

My Life's Vision

My Vision on the surface is a simple one, yet i know it will take hard work and commitment to achieve. I know it won't be easy and there will be distractions and pitfalls along the way but i won't be deterred.

My vision is to achieve clarity of thought and to lead my life in a simplistic way with a set of morals and codes which benefit me and my wife and children.

My vision is not to be helpless or fearful, but to manage and organise my life in a healthy way and so reap the benefits, and for my loved ones to reap the benefits of my work to achieve my vision. My vision is to recover the principals i once had and rediscover the person i once once. My vision is to find the passion for laughter, fun, and life, again all the things I once had and all the things i shared with my wife who was my girlfriend before my wife and my soulmate before i lost my way and became a destructive person driven by the negative selfish parts of me.

My vision is to be free of negativity and selfishness, anger, self loathing and destructive actions and thoughts which lead to nothing but pain and misery, unhappiness and regrets, wasted time and lost opportunities.

In striving to achieve my vision the benefits will be numerous and will serve to empower me and make the process easier. It will become a virtuous circle of positivity instead of a vicious circle of destruction. My wife will start to look at me for the person I used to be again, rather than the person I had become. She will be able to forget more about what i did, she will tell me that she loves me, and we will find the fun, and laughter and intimacy not only that we once had, but hopefully more than we ever had as i lean more about myself, learn how to communicate feelings thoughts and emotions in a way i never thought i was capable of. It turn I will cherish her, respect her, be affectionate and intimate, love her like crazy and open up more and more to her. My vision to be not “dazed and confused”, but to to be “clear of thought” and mindful of every wrong i have done and the effects it had on my wife and family, in order to never make the same mistakes again.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Thank you for your help and your post, I am ashamed that my recovery thread had now slipped to page 3, and it has been a month since you posed this to no reply from me, and no update on working on my lessons and road to recovery.

I was initially angry at your response, i thought that i was been criticized. I thought i had put in a lot of thought and effort into my goals and values and it was being criticized or pulled apart. I felt like i was being told "its not good enough, go back and do better" I know that however this was not the case, and i was just being typically selfish in this train of thought.

I now feel foolish and stupid that this is how i felt, when this site is full of people who have been through exactly the same journey and know better that me and are here to help.

I felt that i was progressing without the need for a regular plan for updating lessons. Things were getting a little better, things were feeling a little more on track. However it has took a massive setback to jolt me back to reality, with the brutal reminder that my life wont get better, i wont be recovered unless i stick to the plan.

newme wrote:
I notice you've posted just three lesson responses in the three months since you signed up. I often had similar breaks in between lessons but my recovery came on leaps and bounds when I decided to create a daily routine of getting up earlier and working on a lesson or writing in my journal before the rest of the day's activities. It became a very real reminder that recovery was the number one priority in my life and the rest of each day was a classroom to apply what I was learning. If you can find a routine that works for you where you can build some momentum in working on the lessons then you'll be increasing your chances for success.


Three lessons in three months is pathetic, its not good enough, i need to do this for myself. Thanks for this advice. I should not have needed this advice, i should be able to do this for myself but i havent and you have correctly pointed it out. A belated thank you. The early morning idea sounds like a sound plan and i am going to give it a go.

newme wrote:
Quote:
RE: Your vision

It's clear from your vision that you want to be a better husband to your wife. I'd encourage you though to expand your vision further as it needs to be capable of providing you with meaning across many aspects of your life. Coach Mel's Vision Guide is a great place to start exploring what a meaningful life looks like for you. It might include areas such as exercise, hobbies, friends, social activities, spirituality, giving... whatever ingredients add up to a life that you think could provide balance and meaning to you (and can be evolved as your life and interests change). The more practical and measurable you can make it the more useful it will be to you as you continue the lessons.


Revisiting my vision and expanding it is my first task in a new early morning routine. Thanks again for your input and advice.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 4

Prioritising Values

1. Having Love and Compassion, Warmth, and Devotion
2. Improving my general health and fitness
3. Finding a healthy mind, - with calmness, clarity, awareness and equinamity and kaizan
4. To have more quality time with my family
5. Discoveringa great sex life and having fun while doing it and not feeling guilt
6. To think of others before i make decisions
7.Being passinate and intimateand romantic with my wife
8. Strong marriage with fidelity, faithfulness, truthfulness, and respect
9. To get secure financially
10. Being appreciative, and considerate and thoughtful and warm
11. Be Positive
12.Finding the outgoing but honest personality i once had
13, Being determined, with perseverance, resolve and self control
14. Being courageous to do the right thing when its the difficult pat
15. Have good organisation skills


Last edited by dazed and confused on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:30 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:24 pm
Posts: 569
Quote:
I was initially angry at your response, i thought that i was been criticized. I thought i had put in a lot of thought and effort into my goals and values and it was being criticized or pulled apart. I felt like i was being told "its not good enough, go back and do better" I know that however this was not the case, and i was just being typically selfish in this train of thought.

One thing the founder of the site Jon Marsh often said when commenting on people's recovery journals was that he was only giving his view based on what he could gather from what they'd written. He'd be the first to say that each person knows their own lives better than he ever could and if something he wrote didn't resonate with their situation then to leave it and apply only what did.

I'm glad you found my feedback helpful after initially feeling anger but I hope you also take from this is that you know your own situation better than anyone else (when being totally honest with yourself) and coaches and mentors feedback will always be secondary to that. We can only share our own experiences and insights based on what's worked for us and common patterns seen from mentoring others - but we're all different and will find our own unique path through the lessons and our lives. You might have taken three months for three lessons but I took over 3 years before I really made recovery my number one priority so it's definitely all relative and my past will never be the moral high ground to be able to criticise anyone!

Quote:
I now feel foolish and stupid that this is how i felt, when this site is full of people who have been through exactly the same journey and know better that me and are here to help.

Trust me we've all been there! I thought I'd made some pretty good progress at times and often found it hard to accept feedback that pointed out some holes in my thoughts and actions. When I was honest with myself (as you've been here) I was able to redirect that anger into positive action.

Quote:
it has took a massive setback to jolt me back to reality, with the brutal reminder that my life wont get better, i wont be recovered unless i stick to the plan.

Likewise I'd usually return here after a massive setback with a renewed awareness that my life wouldn't get any better unless I made recovery the biggest priority in my life.

Good job in getting yourself back on track :g:

Newme


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 6

Pro Active Action Plans for Three Values

Being Organised and having good organisation skills

- Maintaining my to do lists everyday
- Prioritising my to do lists every day
- Put meetings and appointments on the family calendar
- Dont ignore something that takes less than a minute to do.
- Asking my wifes help to stay organised.
- Plan out the week ahead with my wife (family jobs, shopping, food menu's dog walking etc)
- Keep a tidy desk
- Get a filing routine and stick to it
-Schedule time each month for filing, paperwork, bookeeping.
- Keep the house free of mess
- Review my calendar in advance daily
- Ask my children to stick to their planned tasks (music practice, homework etc)

To have more quality time with my family

- Plan out all the necessary family jobs with my wife so we can all have free time to spend doing cool stuff
- Have at least 2-3 Sundays every month where we go out and do something for the day
- Plan a camping trip when there a god weekend of weather
- Stay off mobile phones and computers when we are all together
- Play more games or cards
-Learn to play the guitar with my eldest daughter
- Watch less TV
- Foster an environment with less TV, and Computers and more communication
-Have active conversations with my family about their days, their news and their thoughts

Improving my general health and fitness

- No Alcohol during the week.
- Limited Alcohol at the weekend
- Walk the dog at least 5 times a week
- Do my back exercises every day
- Buy a foam roller and kettle bell - and do 10 mins stretching and lifting every day
- Go back to regular running with my brother
- Do three long runs a month on Sunday Morning 7.00am
- Maximum of 1 takeaway a month
- 10 mins on the treadmill everyday
- One long bike ride a month on Sunday Morning 7.00am
- Eat 80% less than i normally do on portion sizes


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 7

To get secure financially - Proactive Action Plans II

-Write my new business plan in agreement with my Wife
-Stick to it
-Chase leads, Make the calls, get the meetings
-Discard photoshoots that done earn
-Concentrate on money making areas rather than creative ones that don't earn
-Be focused and stick to the plan
-Take more responsibility in home finances
-Have specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely GOALS
- Be 100% motivated, committed and positive.
-Move in 1 Direction
-Don't get distracted
-Be Ultra Organised
-Spend 20 mins a day on my Business Plan

Be Positive

- Avoid negative influences
-Look for a bright side in every situation
-Put Anger and Frustration to the back of my mind as soon as I can feel it develop
-Re Read The Happiness project
-Smile more
-Spend 10 mins a day on my business plan to confirm that its acheiveable
-Don't be afraid of knockbacks or setbacks
-Go to bed knowing that i have achieved something that day
-Be aware of negative thoughts and challenge them
-Start a Yoga Class

Finding the outgoing but honest personality i once had

- Laugh and Smile
- Have Sarcastic Banter with my Wife
-Contact all my Uni friends even just to say hello
-Go Camping with another family this summer
- Go Cycling with my mate once a month
- Go see humorous movies at the cinema
-Go see a live stand up comedy act
-Turn the music up loud when I am in the Kitchen on my own and sing to it

To think of others before i make decisions

-Analyse my activities - do they fit with my goals and plans
-Talk things through with my wife before making any major decisions
-Ask myself - do i feel even slightly guilty about what I am about to decide to do? if so stop and re evaluate
-Have more family decision making meetings
-Think would my family be proud or upset if I took this course of action

Being determined, with perseverance, resolve and self control

-Stick to the plan!
- Don’t Give Up
-Don’t get down when negative things arise
-Don't let problems get in the way of achievment
-Re evaluate where I am once a month
-Look at the big picture
-Increase the value of my goals, and decrease the value of my temptations
-Avoid my bad habits
-Affirm values by reading through the action plan every week
-Recognize when my self control tank is low, and be more aware at this time
-Work more to deadlines and stick to them
-Stay off the computer unless i am working or researching - keep it on the desk not on my lap
-Read some self improvement blogs

Finding a healthy mind, - with calmness, clarity, awareness and equinamity and kaizan

-Exercise - 10 mins day treadmill, walk dog every day, one long run a week, stretching every day, Kettlebell every other day - 10 mins, One long Bike ride a week
-If i get angry think about this post until i become calm
-Try Yoga Class, good for my bad back, good for calmness
-Keep my eye on the big picture and not irrelevant pointless detail that doesn't contribute - clarity of thought, to keep focused
-If anger or aggression forms take 10 deep breathes
-Get off the Cilatropram in 6 months
-Have a go at meditation see if it benefits
-ask myself every month - Have I improved as a person from the month before?

Strong marriage with fidelity, faithfulness, truthfulness, and respect

Listen to her
Value her individuality
Communicate more
Remember what i have always
Re Read His Needs Her Needs again from start to finish and use its action plans
Be honest with feelings and thoughts
Never be condescending, cutting or belittling, or show contempt it serves no purpose and is always destructive and negative
Say I love you regulalrly
make sure I give her her own time to recharge

Be passionate and intimate and romantic with my wife

Communicate about intmacy between us
Be Honest
Do somthing different and unexpected
Be sincere and creative
Think of different ways to say I love you, something different at least once a week
Give gifts as a surprise
Give her what she needs, and be available and be supportive
No that our personal relatonship is more important that other family members or friends
Find time for laughter
Praise, hold hands, kiss hug in public
Keep our sex life, invigorated, interesting, and passionate

Discovering a great sex life and having fun while doing it and not feeling guilt

Be intimate, (see checklist above) and be loving -Good sex with intimacy is always better
Remember good sex is always better than porn, its no contest!
Try something different at least once a month - and it doesn't have to be outrageous
Go with new positions rather than sticking to the tried and tested
Be spontaneous sometimes, doesn't have to be always though
Be playful, laugh and smile
Talk about what we both want
Keep talking through my past problems and be honest always

Being courageous to do the right thing when its the difficult path

Don’t crumble under pressure
Think Positively
Have a can do attitude
Stick to the plan
Don’t let short term distractions get in the way of long term goals
Believe in myself
Have a good attitude to my Wife and children
Don’t hesitate


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 1:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 12 Exercise:

I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.

They often jump from addiction to addiction,They put out fires by refocusing on other areas of their life. When these areas involve compulsive behavior — their use of addiction to manage their lives continue

I recognise this in myself. I have in the past become “addicted” to exercise, rather than to just have a normal program of exercise only for it to fizzle out.

They tend to confuse addiction recovery with general mental health issues — creating a hypersensitivity to all of the emotions that they experience. Depression, anxiety, anger — they are all tightly related to "recovery" and an imbalance in one often leads to an imbalance in the other.

I have just come off medication for depression after being on it for 3 years and have noticed a slight downturn in my mood and motivation There is a definitely relationship to depression and my addiction. I have not relapsed but maybe i am could be susceptible at this time, and I could easily “blame my depression” if i did relapse and use that as an excuse. I need to be aware of this, and know that if i was to relapse, there is no excuse. There is no get out clause. But I see this as my biggest struggle at the moment, dealing with not falling back into a depressed state and fearing the consequences of what this means to by addiction.

They tend to see life in episodes — with beginnings and endings — rather than as a process.

After 10 years of internet porn and chat room addiction which i completely concealed from my wife, when i was discovered i stopped (with one brief relapse) and have never gone back. I then viewed it as the end of a particular bad episode in my life, I tried to convince my self i was cured. I am aware more so that the recovery process in a “process” but i need to keep reminding myself of this, so i don't just view my time with addiction and something that is just behind me in a past episode to be forgotton about.

They consistently measure the success of their recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction.

Again as above this is me, and i need to be aware that its my values and goals that lead to recovery and not simply abstinence.

They minimize their behavior (e.g. "It's not how it seems"; "It's not that big of a deal.")

Although i have not relapsed i have done things that my wife had massive cause for concern and troubled her greatly. At the time I tried to minimize these things.

They believe that they are uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings

I struggle with this sometimes, wondering if i have some problem or defect in my personality which prevents me from being completely normal.

They are inflexible in re-evaluating their lifetime goals (e.g. "Since I have failed so far at being a professional actor, athlete, writer, etc., I can't be successful at anything." "Since I cannot be around to raise my children, I will always remain unfulfilled as a parent.")

I have struggled with this, it can be up and down. I guess it is an expected thought process when i have had an addiction followed by severe clinical depression, I am coming out of the other side with less of these thoughts but they are still there sometimes. However i see this as my second biggest struggle.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:13 am 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Hi dazed,

Welcome back. It's good to see that you're discovering for yourself how much of an active effort is necessary.

Quote:
it took me away from all the crap in my life i didnt want to face, culminating in a massive high.


To be more accurate: it temporarily took you away from all the crap in life you didn't want to face. It is really just distraction and avoidance. Part of recovery will be learning to deal with that crap in your life by confronting your problems. And when you do, life actually becomes much less stressful.

Quote:
I need my brain to make the automatic connection that living my life according to these lists and these values is what makes me feel better, its what makes me feel high in a healthy way that porn never did. This is the cure and the path to recovery. I need my brain to seek out this healthy high and for it to subconciously do this list so that it achieves that feeling of good healthy well being. It needs to become the norm without effort with the reward being that i feel better all the time.


This is true only to a point. It takes a lot of effort to change these patterns. However, one thing that you will need to overcome is looking for that "high".

Quite simply, your values will never provide you with that same high as your compulsive behaviours. They can't. I like to describe it in terms of waves. When you act out compulsively is like a storm at sea. The waves go higher when you act out...but they also drop lower. They also do not last that longer. Whereas when the sea is calm with normal waves, you will still get waves up and down...but they will be much longer lasting. The reason I like this metaphor is that, much like your emotions, the amount of water is the same. Basically, compulsive stimulation provides short-term emotional balance that is intense, but is very chaotic. Values-based stimulation is not as intense, but is much more powerful, long-lasting, and maintains your stability.

So you actually do not want to be looking for "healthy highs" as this will unbalance you just as much as compulsive stimulation...and usually, you will just end up getting frustrated that your values are not providing you with that same buzz as your compulsive behaviours and go seeking that buzz again eventually. This is why it's important that you both learn to deal with your day-to-day stresses in a healthy way, AND address the underlying patterns and perceptions that are the true drivers of the addiction, so that you no longer go seeking that buzz. In fact, I have found that once you have done this, seeking that compulsive high actually makes me feel rather uncomfortable now, as I know how unbalanced it will make me.

But, realize that it will never be "effortless". Life will still have struggles and frustrations. You will still need to put in effort post-addiction...but even this effort can bring its own fulfillment and you will be more confident in dealing with anything that comes your way.

Anyways, I hope you keep going on the workshop. :g:

Boundless

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Hi Boundless you have a way of putting things that make so much sense, thank you.

I did read your response of course when you wrote it. However i then unfortunately came off the site and stopped posting. I am trying to figure out why i am finding it difficult to keep working through this in a regular consistent way, it always seems to be fits and starts for me.

I suffer from extreme guilt when i am on here, and part of me thinks that this is then counterproductive. In the typical way i have always dealt with things its is easier to shut things away.

That inst to say i am reverting to type and acting out because i am not. I am at present i am focusing everything i have on trying to set up my new business in the middle of a recession because we need the money, and it seems to be taking all of my time and energy. I am not very good at multi tasking and i am not the most organised of people, and it feels like i can only deal with one thing at a time. However I dont know if that is me making excuses for my self and providing me with a reason to shut things away so i don't have to deal with guilt.

I know what the answer is, (I feel better just typing this) and its to work through the workshops all the way through to the end. So why do i find it so hard, its like sometimes i will take an hour to even read through a workshop to try and understand it properly and then afterwards the whole process then seems to occupy my thoughts for hours afterwards and then i become not very productive for the day to day things i need to get done. I need to find a way to resolve this, as I stil think RM is the way to sorting my head and my life out for the better.

Anyway back to the workshops!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 16 -Positives of my Addiction

I was using for a long time, over this time and with different things playing out in my life, and as i got more and more wrapped up and warped by it, the positive things that it was doing for me changed.

In the beginning, porn simply allowed me to view fantasies that were in my head, that i felt couldn't discuss with my wife.

It was an easy available outlet to turn thoughts into real world images.

I was running a business over these years that was growing and involved long hours and stressful times. I was often alone in my own office.

Porn became a sort of coffee break, somthing which allowed me to work hard knowing i could then take a break to look at it.

porn was a stress reliever, a very powerful short term stress reliever,

Later on when things got really difficult at work with my business, porn became the outlet i depended upon to get through the day. It was where i could take my mind for an hour and get lost in it and it was like the real world with all the shit in it, and all my problems both in my business and the problems that i knew were now taking its effect on my wife. I remember feeling that when things got really bad for me and i was in a deep depression and trying to look normal on the outside and run a failing business, it was the use of porn and chat rooms that was preventing me from taking my own life.

The physical build up of relief/pleasure during a session as something i obviously wanted, in the absence of an intimate sex life with my wife, porn provided pleasure. At this point porn provided my with my only pleasure. I dont think i had anything else i derived as much pleasure from, even though i tried to cling on to the normal things in my life that should have given me joy and happiness in a desperate attempt to be a normal human being i was kidding myself that porn provided the only pleasure i wanted.

Just writing this now highlights how twisted and messed up i had become, when there are a million better ways of relieving stress and ways of getting pleasure happiness and enjoyment that are healthy and good and don't ruin people’s lives or mess with your brain.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 18

I am finding this part of the workshops particularly difficult. I think its because it has been a long time now since i looked at any porn and i have changed in a lot of ways. I know i am not recovered and i have a long way to go, but in these particular workshop sessions It is like i have to relive the details and in my mind actually put myself back there in order to remember exactly the things i did. Its horrible, and i am finding it particularly stressful. I have a natural tendency to shut things away that is my defence mechanism and historically how i cope with stuff, which i know is the wrong way to do things.

I am also deeply concerned that thinking about this at such a deep level to put myself back there might actually bring back feelings of desire or feelings that i am missing out and that i want to do it again which is a worry.

I can relate to these three filters of time, intensity and habituation. Or at least i think i can, the statement in the workshop “What's likely, is that you have only a fuzzy understanding of what and why this awareness is so important” holds true here, so this is my attempt at understanding to how these filters played out for me sometimes.

Time was a massive factor, i used to look at porn at work, as i ran my own business there was no internet checks and no boss watching my actions, later on when things got really bad i looked at porn at home too while my wife and children were in the house, but it was mostly at work.

Sessions of looking at porn would be different lengths of time depending on circumstances. I could dip in and out of it for short periods, i could have a spreadsheet open and a porn site open side by side and i could flick between the two, this felt like i was just topping up “whatever it was” that made me feel good whilst surrounded by stress and unpleasantness. This could last just minutes. Or there could be a session where i was in my office, i had much longer say an hour but couldnt masterbate o do anything else because there were people in the building and someone could enter my room, in this way such a session was visual only, more intense, but not as intense as when i had a lot of time.

Both of these could act like warm ups to the main event, this would be in the evening at the end of the work day when everyone left the building, and had served to raise the intensity levels just by the act of thinking and waiting for the moment to be alone where i had more time and privacy to be free with my actions.

The most intense sessions therefore came when i had no time restrictions or at least when I had enough time available. Like it said in the workshop to much time and the ritual becomes unpleasant of ineffective and this held true with me, a session of looking at hundreds and hundreds of mages and never finding the “right one” then leads to the intensity wearing off, masturbating for a couple of hours leads to discomfort and that leads to intensity wearing off.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:22 pm 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Hi dazed and confused,

Quote:
I am trying to figure out why i am finding it difficult to keep working through this in a regular consistent way, it always seems to be fits and starts for me.


If this is the case...then most likely your motivation still stems from avoiding the negative consequences of your actions, rather than truly wanting to change your life. This is the common reason for having a recovery/relapse patterns. After you act out, you feel guilty...this motivates you to do the work and not act out (in this case, the other factor is that your focus usually remains on avoiding your compulsive behaviours). But since guilt is an emotion and emotions are fleeting...as this guilt dissipates, you start to feel better. Your motivation to work therefore decreases, yet you have still not learned to manage your life. So it only then takes another urge to basically cause you to act out again, create the guilt and shame again, and propel you into another recovery attempt.

Or, you don't believe that recovery is possible. This will also zap your energy. It is absolutely crucial in this process that you connect to some kind of meaning...any meaning...for your life, that is more important than immediate gratification. Even if that meaning is, finding out what your meaning is. Understand?

Quote:
I am not very good at multi tasking and i am not the most organised of people, and it feels like i can only deal with one thing at a time.


Well, you really can only deal with one thing at a time, right? Efficient multi-tasking comes from being able to efficiently switch your attention and focus from one thing to another quickly, rather than working on multiple things at once (which has been shown to never be as efficient as just focusing on one thing at once). If you don't feel you're that organized (this is an area that I definitely need to work on too), one of your action plans should be focused on improving your organization...and perhaps even adding something into your life that improves concentration, like exercise, meditation, yoga, whatever.

Quote:
So why do i find it so hard, its like sometimes i will take an hour to even read through a workshop to try and understand it properly and then afterwards the whole process then seems to occupy my thoughts for hours afterwards and then i become not very productive for the day to day things i need to get done.


Probably one of the hardest parts of the workshop and recovery is transferring yourself from an intellectually based recovery (where you think about recovery, understand the concepts...but don't translate them into your daily life, thereby keeping recovery separated and compartmentalized from your "real life) to a real recovery, where you start to apply the principles in substance. And this is unfortunately one of those aspects that you must figure out for yourself...but I would say the key is being able to allow yourself to feel your emotions, and also stop yourself when you are at a decision-making crossroads and make the decision that you know is right, even if it is the one that is emotionally harder at the time. As you learn to do this, it will become easier.

As well, you're only on lesson 18 of the workshop...so you haven't even gotten to some of the more crucial lessons on understanding emotions and decision-making. So I would suggest speeding up on the lessons, since you've currently had a few weeks between each one, which won't provide you with enough momentum to made substantial change.

Quote:
I remember feeling that when things got really bad for me and i was in a deep depression and trying to look normal on the outside and run a failing business, it was the use of porn and chat rooms that was preventing me from taking my own life.


As you can see, addiction can play a rather substantial existential/survival role in helping people lacking emotional management skills in dealing with what is perceived to be overwhelming stress. Therefore, it can be important to make "survival" a healthy value of its own. And there are of course healthier ways of dealing with stress...for instance, in your case, it sounds like as things were getting bad, you started isolating yourself from others, which can be common, but also just increases your stress and often these can end up where you feel spiralling down...without realizing our own choices and fears (such as talking to your wife) are contributing to this spiral. This can be yet another action plan.

Quote:
Ritual

Going into work on a saturday to look at porn or engage in sexual chat with someone on my chatlist.

The elements of this as a ritual, would start a couple of days before. I would start thinking about an uninterrupted long session on the computer looking and porn and engaging in chat, rather than a quick porn viewing session whilst at work during the day which coulnt lead to ogasm and could not go on for a long time.


For this ritual, what step do you think is the start of the ritual (you will explore this further in the upcoming lessons, but you should start thinking about it now, as it will help you identify when action is needed)?

Also, there's a definite fantasy element here.

Quote:
Accomplishment - he final act of orgasm, which culminated in the extreme high,


There may be other accomplishment elements in your ritual other than this...could you think of possibilities?

Quote:
It is like i have to relive the details and in my mind actually put myself back there in order to remember exactly the things i did. Its horrible, and i am finding it particularly stressful.


This may be blunt but...good. If you cannot relive these details in your mind, confront that stress...and realize that those emotions both have a limit, and are impermanent...and realize that you are still in control of your decisions, you will not be able to end your rituals. You MUST be able to allow yourself to become uncomfortable in this process; there is no way to recover without doing so. It is part of gaining emotional maturity.

Of course, if you feel like things are getting too uncomfortable...feel free to take a break and do something else. But the more in-depth you come to understand your thoughts, emotions, actions, rituals...the better you will be at confronting your addiction and seeing it for what it truly is.

Quote:
I am also deeply concerned that thinking about this at such a deep level to put myself back there might actually bring back feelings of desire or feelings that i am missing out and that i want to do it again which is a worry.


This too...you must face this. Because the fact is, the feelings will come back. The desire to want to do it again will come back. These are things you must prepare yourself for. Recovery will not bring an end to these feelings, nor completely scrub you of forever wanting to look at porn, etc., again (as can be what people starting recovery think). What it will do is allow yourself the emotional understanding and maturity to understand how your choices are made...understand your own identity and what is important to you...and recognize that when you make choices, those actions have consequences, and that you take responsibility for those consequences.

For instance, is masturbating wrong? Is looking at porn wrong? These are questions you can only answer yourself. Recovery is not about stopping these behaviours. It is about finding your true identity, about understanding yourself, who you are, and who you want to be...and giving you to freedom to choose whether you want such behaviours to be a part of your life. Not getting to the point where you NEVER think about engaging in behaviours...just that when you do, you recognize that to do so is a choice and that each choice has consequences.

Your understanding of the 3 filters (at least when talking about your compulsive behaviours in general) looks good. I hope this post was helpful. :g:

Boundless

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 21

Large Goals which I have Failed

The obvious one are goals i set my self to end my addiction, they all failed time after time. I would set a goal of being healtly and off internet porn by this time next year for example, and i wouldnt event last a month.

I failed because i didnt understand what i was caught up in and how it worked, and i failed because i didnt seek any help, didnt talk about it and tried to achieve it by myself. Looking back i was never going to achieve this as a goal without outside help.

Goals which i achieved

I set a goal to run a half marathon some years back, it suceeded and it was the first real long distance run i had done. I suceeded becaue i did it with 3 other people and therefore we all had to train togther. Bauecaue i was bought into this is a task to complete, i imgaine my internet addiction would have decreased in this period, it also had the effect of making me feel healthy and just better about myself.

Recovery Goal

To complete the recovery workshop by 12th July

I have 52 lessons left, so my goal is to complete 2 a week, and be complete in 26 weeks that would take me to the 24th July, so i am going to have to do a few more lessons in some weeks to bring it forward to the 12th. This is good because its my birthday on the 12th, and i had already set myself a goal to lose a stone and half in weight from january 1st to the 12th july, and so far that is going well. And now i have two really importnat goals both to finish on my birthday, they are both achievable and will mean i finally have something to celebrate other than getting a year older.

This aslo ties in nicely with my third goal which was to compete in a triathalon this year which is in June and whch i am doing with my daughter so like when i ran a half marathon it will be hard to back out and teh training will help my mental and physical well being whch will help the recovery goal and the weight loss goal.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:17 am
Posts: 54
Lesson 23 Exercise:
In your recovery thread, share a brief summary of what practical uses the skill of measuring compulsive rituals can have in your recovery. Don't just copy the headings of this lesson, take a minute to see how you can practically use this information in YOUR life.


The understanding of my compulsive rituals is something i really want to master, understand and get to the bottom of.

My main areas of sexual addiction at the height of my problems, were looking at internet porn, masturbating while looking at internet porn, internet chattooms, and masturbating during chat sessions. I haven't done any of these activities for a long time now. However i know i am not healed and potentially i could start it all up again.

Other compulsive sexual behaviours i used to engage in although they were not as severe, were scanning women such as joggers as i drove by. I dont think i actively engaged in creating fantasies with such people although i am sure i did, i don't specifically recall that happening to a great degree, i think i kept my problems within the boundaries of a screen and closed door, (although i was looking towards the end to break out of the confines of the internet by seeing if i was able to meet anyone i chatted with, i never did in the end and i don't know if i would, however after the last exercise and understanding how habituation was setting in then i am sure i eventually would have.

I know I now engage in many compulsive rituals now that i think of it, that are not sexual related.

I drink an obsessive amount of coffee, even when i have had enough, i still go downstairs and make another pot and drink it. I look at a bunch of different websites (not sexual related ones at all, sites relating to my work, or news sites) too much, I can sometimes look at the same site, several times in 10 mins, even though i have seen everything of interest on it.

I can see the urge to engage in the sexual side of compulsive behaviours but so far i have resisted the urge although i have come close,

When i see a female jogger running down the road in front of me, i first became paranoid that i am going to look at her, then i become paranoid that i am even thinking about it, then if i happen to glance as i drive by even if it is accidental, i get paranoid that it will lead to some dark path where i start scanning every female form.

I want to be skilled at understanding and measuring these rituals, so i can find out if they are hindering me in progression to recovery and so i can spot signs that they are getting worse (or better)

After thinking about a lot of my rituals i think they are related to the inability to concentrate on doing what i know needs to be done, In the past the porn use was certainly (although not the only reason) related to this. Looking back i don't think i was ever really happy doing what i was doing for a living, added to that a lot of stress and lot of stuff from childhood that shaped my personality and i chose to lose myself in porn that face the stress and overcome the problems that needed to be overcome.

Now i have a real problem sometimes with motivation and concentration and my compulsive rituals (non sexual) i think are a manifestation of this.

As for the potential sexual compulsive rituals returning, the act of understanding and the ability to measure will hopefully aid me in preventing this from happening to me again.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 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:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group