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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:06 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Thanks, your comments are appreciated Coach Kenzo

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 2:51 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Lesson Fifteen - Perceiving Your Addiction

practical reasons = understanding compulsive rituals, leads to transition
personal reasons = understand experiences affected my value system, leads to healing

Addiction/behaviour developed naturally and logically due to a lack of effective life management skills.

Im assuming 'life management' skills = emotional mgmt skills + things like time mgmt, goals

*/ Just realised I grew up learning bad behaviour wasnt discussed or considered, it was shutdown and punished. I carried this behaviour to adult life */

Goal = functional awareness of compulsive behavior & isolate it from my identity and urge control

Make a distinction between the reasons I began a particular behavior vs why I continued

The main lesson learnt:
Im realising that this process is actively solving the single biggest issue to have affected my entire life and that I am learning skills, about myself/ emotions

The route fwd is to rely on a considered values based decision system, not emotional ADD type responses

Others lessons: real lasting change - requires a desire to change along with work, committment, honesty and a sense of urgency.

How have I actively integrated this into my life:
I've tried giving more gravitas to values as I go through my day and trying to figure out what emotions I have and how I react to them. Im starting to realise when I begin to act out
I've shown committment by engaging this workshop seriously and regularly. Im rather proud :)

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:28 pm 

Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 9:57 am
Posts: 74

Good to see that you have such commitment towards recovery, I hope the workshops will continue to benefit you.
Just a suggestion, maybe the prioritised values that you have listed in lesson 5 could include more details?
For example, for self respect how would you like that to be acted upon?
For me, I would look into the mirror every morning and tell myself that I am worthy of myself and my family and friends.

I have also used the list of values to help me diffuse tense situations where I might have slipped.
For example, when I have arguments at home and feel stressed out or feel like acting out I will go take a walk or do some physical exercises to help me clear my mind. Then, I will reassess the situation again and communicate accordingly.

Best wishes on a healthy recovery! :g:

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 4:53 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Thanks for the comments, I will consider incorporating them.

The walk thing has become a huge help for me. When I get a bit overwhelmed, stressed, anxious a walk does wonders. Its empowering to witness the state change directly before and after a walk.

Edit: I covered Self Respect in more depth in Lesson #7

Self Respect
-this is a big topic for you.
-you've done okay considering lifes curve balls (emotionally stunted since a kid). You've tried your best and had a bit of luck but the old approach doesnt work
-self harming has stopped, keep it that way
-set realistic expectations, exceed them rather than set high expects and fail. be gentle with yourself. give yourself time and space
-get past stupid compulsive behaviours. finish this course & if needed 1:1 therapy afterwards
-work on self awareness and emotional management
-each day find something in your day to remind yourself of self respect (a bit like the gratitude thing)
-work on stopping doing things you don't respect, Recovery Nation workshop + watch yourself & learn why you are doing things

Last edited by To_Be_Real on Sat May 20, 2017 6:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 5:17 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Lesson Sixteen: Understanding Addiction I

Your fantasies become associated with who you are; while who you are gets relegated to the role of fantasy.

Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What short term purposes has it served

Its only recently through this site Ive realised that my compulsive, addictive behaviours are simply a means to feeling good. Its been a bit depressing realising how lacking I am in life and emotional skills. I literally had to google emotions to get an idea.

A lot of people would say Im relaxed, fairly together. I didnt realise I was anxious, not even after having panic attacks.

So to answer the question, what postive role has addiction played (Fantasy, porn, mb, alcohol)
  • relief from stressors & uncomfortable feelings
  • supressed anxiety
  • warded off loneliness
  • escape from facing up to life problems and issues
  • relax, zone out, a safe space to go and feel fine
  • a thrill, sense of excitement
  • stimulation, sometimes nearly constant
  • creativity thru intricate fantasy construction, story writing
  • occasionally some discipline thru role play
  • made me feel good, or at least somewhat better.. esp when down

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:55 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Lesson Seventeen: Understanding Addiction II ... op_017.php

"imagery fantasy can be done anywhere, anytime, and can involve absolutely anything. This often translates into a tremendous loss of time and energy in the person fantasizing, and to do so frequently would involve the inevitable loss of that person's ability to reach their full potential. Frequently, this person would suffer from the inability to establish intimacy with long-term partners, would have difficulty in maintaining relationships"

"Multiple addictions are common, and most frequently occur in those who have failed in previous recovery attempts (after being forced to control their compulsive sexual behavior, they begin managing their emotions with other compulsive behaviors (most often eating, shopping, smoking or drugs)."

Well, according to those descriptions it seems I've been somewhat predictable, except to me.

Lesson 17 Exercise:
Identify the elements of a compulsive ritual

Without doubt I have poly 'addictions', or rather: poly-impulsive- behaviour. I dont need to be dealing with more addictions right now, though I suspect alcohol medication is rubbing up close

With rituals, a basic outline would include
  • Fantasy .. at worst they were epic constructs but now it's short flashes to bring up a humiliation/shame/power dynamic
  • Sensations, self administered pleasure and mostly pain. Porn.
  • Danger/adrenaline used to be a big component but not anymore (~3 months)
  • Past... childhood experiences colouring today. No understanding or emotional skill development. Shame/humilation/guilt/discipline/punishment/shutdown. Fuck you 'dad'.
  • Power. Always. Control, humiliation. No intimacy. No arguments. Obedience.
  • *Heightened* Not sure what to call this, but basically causing myself to be in an unbearable heightened state brought on by edging/denial & a cocktail of libido enhancing supplements along with porn/ crazy fantasies and discipline. This could go on for weeks. It supercharges everything to the point where real life is obscured by a miasma of heightened sexuality

  • [Edit:] Suspense After reading peer threads I realised this has been a huge source of intense stimulus. Waiting for the phone to ping, waiting for someone specific to log on, compulsively checking. The agonising suspense waiting for their next move, decision. Seeing if I managed to manipulate them into doing what I wanted them to do. Oh boy....

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 11:54 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Lesson Eighteen: Understanding Addiction III

This section is as clear as mud to me.

Im a bit lost here. Not sure if Ive got whats being driven at:

Weekend meant longer rituals that would sometimes build up, starting friday pm and become more elaborate and intense by sunday pm.
Allotment of time slots during day to allow sexual activity, eg only allowed to stimulate for x time or have to stimulate for y time.

Denying gratification for x time. Hours, days...

I dont count consciously setting aside time to have a sensation based 'vanilla' session a problem. For me this is a pinacle of healthy success.

habituation examples
changing it up, tweaking the scene, introducing fresh actions or direction
Fantasy is a constant re-write, always tweaked on the fly. Even now when I slip, I tweak a scene to give that perfect bump over the edge.

Different role plays with same person or different guys, similar themes but always gets more intense on control/masochism side as things progress.

intensity examples
repeated edging, intense frustration,
Application of pain, to a degree that was 'pleasurable' despite being intensely painful.
Sometimes very mild, playful pain
Sometimes just playing.
Increasing control of my freedom/autonomy by someone else

To sum up a current solo mb example:
Usually when feeling freaked stressed bored or bleak
Start with non pornographic but exciting material. Do this for a bit, physically stimulate a bit., clothed. "I'm not really mb or doing porn" yeah lol.
Debate going a little more hard-core, eg the 'soft core' section on my fav fetish site. Well its not really a debate, just a natural progression. Sometimes I start out here ,not thinking, but ive locked that account now.
Perhaps take a break from net but not entirely stop physical stimulation. Keep the dopamine flowing.
Introduce some fetish pain, just a little. increase intensity as i go on.
Intro some fantasy and unhealthy internal dialogue . Up the pain n shame factors
Probably back on the laptop by now and phys stim is higher
...and so on a d so forth.

Other examples -with someone else - would be agreeing time allotments, and increasing the scope of allowed play.

Edit: Just realised when early evening comes about I generally have a compulsion. I dont want to deal with my day or anything anymore just zone out. ..EDIT2: Perhaps loneliness boredom guilt drivers too?

Last edited by To_Be_Real on Mon May 22, 2017 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 5:32 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Note to Self

On previous times when I skimmed through various bits of this course in an unstructured way I came to realise that I had a problem, though I didn't notice to what degree or understand the mechanisms at play and so I was left in a state where I had identified behaviour, in some cases rooted it out and in others mitigated it somewhat but I was left in a no-mans land of now what, what next, unfulfilled. An existential meh.

It's now starting to sink in that a value led life is what was missing. Now that I'm adopting a values based strategy I feel real fundamental and above all natural change. Perhaps its recovery euphoria or some such thing but I'm not feeling euphoric, my feelings tend towards daunted and weary with a dash of hope.

I like this values approach. I like the concept of improving daily, taking stock of whats important, getting to recognise my behaviours. Life still largely sucks with lots of problems of my own doing but at least I'm making progress. That's it, I'm making progress and that's a good feeling after being so stuck, so frustrated and feeling so hopeless for so long. I'm making progress! I can finally see a glimpse of the me I know I am.

Right .. back to studies & chores... and well done for getting on with those :)

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 5:06 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Lesson 20 Exercise

Examine your addiction and the role(s) that it has played in your life to date & potentially the future

Clear memory - around 6 years - fantasy bdsm leanings.
Started masturbating pre-pubescent.
Lots of dark fantasies
Games with other kids, pre-pubescent, always coloured with bdsm/shame/gay tendencies

Home life - fear mentality, not nurturing or expressive
Grades never good enough, no faith in myself to achieve, uni was an impossibility
Physically abusive alco father (not sexually)
-eg, made to strip, kneel and beg for forgivness, get hit repeatedly with a belt. Screaming, pleading. Locked in room with bread/water. Mom trying to stop him.

Church -happy clappy fundamentalist
- Masturbation a big no-no
-- Gay an even bigger no-no
Terrible guilt - masturbation, couldn't stop. Physically punished myself.
Being gay in a homophic environment. I simply wasn't equipped to deal with this.
Messy parental divorce, mom gets hit about, me powerless
Father attempting to manipulate me into taking his side
Usage of fantasy/masturbation/self harm. Fantasy esp strong
Moving cities as a teen: A stealthy over night family run-away. Suddenly I'm at the airport, stuff literally in bin bags.
I don't even remeber saying goodbye to anyone. Just dissapeared. I was not missed.
I didn't have social skills, I was a nightmare.
New school, mid year, completely different curriculumn. - Alien everything.
Witnesing pain of my sister and their fathers non-responses, taking him to task and then actively rejecting him as a father.
Repeated panic attacks. Stopped school. Started drugs.
Fantasy/MB/Porn huge. As well as risky behaviours, eg naked outdoors, self bondage etc

Heavy porn / fantasy. BF's called me out on porn, just could not stop.
Years of fairly heavy (daily) drug usage. Mostly cocaine, mdma, weed, alcohol and cigs.
Often suicidal thoughts
Stopped drugs which prompted a messy break up with BF, loss of business, financially broke + I moved countries. All v stressy.
Settled into porn/alc/fantasy/mb. Other drugs massively reduced to occasional usage, driven by peer pressure
Risky behaviours reduced somewhat but online role play grew .. heavily addicted to this. Lost in this for years.

Last year I was burnt out and depressed. I knew something was wrong but I didn't realise in what a bad state I was.
Literally spent months in bed.
Porn and fantasy didn't help anymore, I tried hard tho.
Learnt to be internally nice to myself, for the first time in my life. I no longer constantly berate myself. I'm v happy about this.
Self harm stopped
Fantasy & porn mostly cut (as a result of insights gained skimming this site & others) - but not yet completely resolved
Started, for the first time in my life, identifying emotions
Realised I was exceptionally anxious, worked on recognising anxiety and dealing with underlying issues so I'm no longer anxious. I'm hugely proud of this.

Committed to this workshop, relieved to have finally found a way out of fantasy/porn/mb. I'm experiencing real gains and insights.
I still consciously use alcohol to avoid feelings, but at least it's a conscious action and I'm improving this aspect.
Unemployed & broke. Not freaking out tho. I am happy with my plans, e.g value committs. Anxiety stopped.
Generally the happiest I've been and for the first time have a vision for my life and think I may even achieve it. I feel genuine excitement :)

Considering I'm broke, unemployed, alone and nearly homeless chances are good the future won't be much worse.
There's a chance I may regress to limited porn/fantasy usage if something is super stressful but I hope to avoid that by implementing the lessons learnt here.
Honestly tho, I can't see myself adopting fantasy/porn, it does not hold the same allure/escape as it did before. A magic trick looses its magic once you understand the mechanism.
I know in my bones fantasy/porn/mb does not solve anything for me, it only obsfucates. Honesty and progression are values I hold dear.
I'm learning about the real me and I like this progress. I don't want to go back on that. I don't have time. There's to much I want to get done.
Perhaps I'm over optimistic but I think once I've properly cracked this 'addiction' then I won't ever reach back to failed tools of the past, why would I if they don't work or help?

Last edited by To_Be_Real on Mon May 29, 2017 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Lesson Twenty-One: Recovery Goals

Lesson 21 Exercise:

A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?
Saving: spend my money to feel good. Never frugal.
Buying a house: commitment, loss of freedom, no immediate requirement
Quitting Alcohol: escape, relax
Getting fit: body operated just fine, didnt need to put effort in ... until now
Sticking with a commitment: Failed maybe cos I'm just after stimulation from new experiences, not in achieving the goal or skill. Sometimes motivated by guilt/relief to do something but I never stick with it properly. Lack of discipline or perhaps lack of understanding commitment requirements and effort.

B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?

Stopped nicotine: finally cracked the psychology behind nicotine addiction + ill effects truly bothering me. I didnt want to have future regrets.
Stopped drugs: became obvious they were damaging. I didnt want to be dependant. Went against my core values. Rather high on life than high on drugs.
Passed required exams: no other option but to pass if i wanted reasonable work. Felt good, prove i could do it. Frightened of not having options.
^needs more work^

C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.]

Goal: Meaningful Relationship
1) get past addictions/compulsive behaviours, especially shame based. This workshop.
2) develop sensation based appreciation for sexual stim. Via masturbation first. Im sorta working on this now by not doing porn, trying to focus on body, not fantasy.
3) feel <mostly>good & happy with where Im at ... address issues bothering me, be in a position where I dont have to pretend cover up, lie or be disingenuous. This workshop + exercise, nutrition, work goals etc (lifestyle in general trending the right way)
4) enlist a therapist for 1:1 if I get properly stuck or abandon progressing.
5) Open myself up to BF opportunity and pursue via social groups etc.
6) be super astute about me and ppl so i dont waste my time.

Last edited by To_Be_Real on Tue May 30, 2017 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 4:18 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Note to self

Becoming more aware of my compulsions.

Two regularly recurring compulsion slots
1) Every evening, when I sit down to relax. Quite strong compulsions.
Im trying to figure this out.
Identify the feeling: Uncomfortable, antsy, ennui, bored, listless, perhaps partly not looking forward to being alone. Theres a feeling of i deserve a drink, a fantasy, a timeout.

Past evening ritual was I'd usually do porn/fantasy/masturbate have some drinks. Im doing well on p/f/m but alcohol urges seem stronger, to the point of mild distress. The urges are strong but dont last to long if i distract myself but that means being physically or mentally active and all i want to do is chill.
I need a plan for evenings... this is my biggest compulsive issue atm. Maybe a structure for a fun/pleasant activity: Let yourself off the hook completely in terms of 'having to do' and just go do something ...or not. Make this pure happy me time. No judgemet, expectations or regrets. Also no p/f/m/a ;) mmm This is sorta contingent on having made an effort during day so I dont feel bad/regret, feel good about getting stuff done.

Mornings, compulsions seems to happen when i think about the day ahead, think about what i should do that day, think about issues. I dont seem to have a compulsion if the day plan is a fun activity.
Sorta doing better on this because recently I actively started working towards stuff i need/want to do so am feeling less compulsive.

Computer Work
When sitting down to do work on computer I get mini compulsion to .. redirect my attention, its like a little zing to zone out of work and into fantasy which previously would lead to porn/ mb etc.

Last edited by To_Be_Real on Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 4:47 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
I'm convinced there are teenagers with better developed emotional, social and life skills than I have.

Much of my life behavior, battles and confusion makes sense when viewed through a lense of short circuited emotional management. I am literally at kid level for some of this stuff.

At least Im making progress, overcomming and improving.

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 5:09 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Lesson 22 Exercise: Work in Progress: Measuring Compulsive Behavior #TODO

Link To Compulsive Wheel

Groundwork to isolate the ritual from my identity; isolate the emotions from the ritual

Eventually, it requires an almost constant state of ritualism to maintain the same level of stimulation that once came easily

This describes a recent me. Insanely delusional fantasies with elaborate ritual upon elaborate ritual that sometimes lasted for days and over time became more and more sketchy as I 'perfected' them. Desperate as time went on but ultimately left unfullfilled by them and here I am trying to find an alternative between ritual and feeling unbearable and a void
value-based actions in a healthy person; dissociation in an unhealthy person

a conscious effort must be made to find alternative ways of providing that stimulation, or one will simply find themselves engaged in other compulsive behavior.

This describes where I think I'm am at. For the most part Ive recognised rituals and rejected them but I'm left with a need that is not fulfilled. Not a compulsive, uncontrolled need but an emptiness.

Wow, each time I look at this exercise I uncover another ritual. I did not realise how ingrained/ritualised I had made a stroll to the store.
Scoping for guys when walking to store: Sensory Imagery, suspense
Find target: Accomplishment
Develop a quick Fantasy: Fantasy Delusional, Suspense,
Scope them out for longer, get close if I can, innocently engage: Danger, Suspense, Sensory Imagery, Sensory Touch, Accomplishment
Cycle of Edging & settle on fantasy scene: Sensory touch, fantasy Imagery, fantasy delusional, Accomplishment, Past
Alcohol/Weed: Poly
Orgasm: Sensory Touch, Accomplishment

Nrs in spreadsheet

Notes, example MB session
Example, sit down to study/work.
start feeling a compulsion or want to feel something else so stim myself mentally/physically.
Probablybwork avoidance behaviour.
feels like horny but nothing to do with another human or sex
usually related to guilt (I didn't do xyz), or stress or boredom.... nothing to do with physical attraction
I start with minor physical stimulation and internal conversation (dirty talk, rule making, discussing the paramaters of the game). Perhaps remember a cute guy and what he would do to me. Or maybe a pure fantasy situation. I seem to think imagining and real people is a step better than pure fantasy.
Usually leads to writing out a sketch in notepad, designed to make me horny.
I also amplify the feelings. More genital phys stim.
I then do something else for a bit, keep noticing the urges, amp them a bit and relish them
Add in some activity or kinks in, expand the mental game.
Usually I have a timeframe in mind or a goal, eg attain a level of frustration or discomfort

May sometimes lead to porn usage, especially if I'm feeling lazy about crafting a bespoke scene or if there's something I saw that really turned me on & I want to revist and work it in. Or just use it to make me hornier.

Keep building up, edging a lot now. Not allowing myself to edge for a bit. etc

Last edited by To_Be_Real on Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:02 am, edited 13 times in total.

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 5:04 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Note To Self

I'm realising more about my rituals. I thought I had them all covered but just today I started a ritual that is so obviously a ritual but I had missed it completely beforehand.

Once I started breaking my compulsive actions down into steps I had to laugh at how ridiculous the whole ritual was. It lost power instantly and I feel good about that. It's a similar feeling to when I realised how much of a chronic fantasizer I was and how ridiculous it was.

I never properly planned or imagined my future but I have begun doing so with this course, one ill side affect I've noticed is that I've spent an inordinate amount of time immerging myself into the imagined details of my future. It's as though I swapped one fantasy world for another. Anyways I noticed this and am now more balanced about it, more present in the now. On the upside, I am bought into a future me and it help fuels me.

EDIT: I've started noticing a ritual that kicks off seemingly *each & every time* I sit down for a study session. Shortly I'm looking for an out and I can literally feel a little adrenaline (or is it anticipation) along with the compulsion. Usyually I'd start a little fantasy which leads to a little touch. Now I'm stopping it, well trying to stop it .. I've succeeded well the other day and was super efficient at work as a result.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:48 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:23 pm
Posts: 42
Its been almost a month since I restarted / properly committed to this workshop

I feel and see so much change.

I feel calmer. Less popcorn, more soufle`. Lets hope I dont collapse and start ricocheting again.

The daily values review is great and has slowly permeated my thoughts. Im so glad I stuck with this exercise. Officially I have another week to go but I may print the list out as a reminder, i dont want the focus to fall away. Its been so good for me.

Im waaaaay more aware of my emotions and compulsions
I feel fewer compulsions, more stable.

Previously talk of goals and vision was an entirely acedemic affair.
Now I have goals and a vision that seem real to me. Im energised and grounded by this.
Most of all i feel real hope, a huge sense of relief that Im making progress in areas that have mystified and escaped me despite my best and desperate efforts.

Im being nice to myself, Ive started really liking myself . I no longer berate, or harm. (This has just caused me to tear)

After exams on wednesdayl Ill focus on lessons again, for now the break from new concepts has been good and allowed me to re read over my posts, percolate thoughts and consolidate a bit.

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