Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:35 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 287 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 16, 17, 18, 19, 20  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:41 pm 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi L2R
Quote:
Nothing we can do will ever heal the pain we have caused our partners so the VERY LEAST we can do is to have the decency and respect of our partners to give absolutely everything to recover and to do whatever we can to help them heal as far as they can.


aint that the truth

well put
hopefully all here will heed this advice, remembering the last of your words
Quote:
as far as they can.

_________________
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: Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:16 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 262
learningtorun wrote:
As well as keeping an eye on others' thread with a view to offering advice, guidance and thoughts, I also take time to read the threads from the Partners' side of the side. Each person obviously has their own story but the theme is very consistent, recounts of the devastation of D Day and how trust can never be rebuilt. It is heart wrenching to read this stuff and even more so knowing that this is exactly what I had done to the person that I love.

The selfishness of an SA is only too apparent and I read in my own and other peoples' threads about how the temptation becomes too great and how we can't help ourselves and give in to the process of acting out. In the cold light of say it is so pathetic, we blame everyone other than the person who actually needs to be blamed, ourselves. I often think about what if it was the other way around, that i had found out that my wife had been off having affairs and paying men to have sex with her. It would be shocking and would also make me feel worthless. Could I have handled that, could our marriage have survived it? Maybe or maybe not but i certainly hoped (selfishly "expected" perhaps?) that she will make ours survive despite what i have done to her. It is no fun when the shoe is on the other foot.

So my point is this, recovery needs all sorts of things, a commitment and desire to succeed, an acceptance of being in the wrong and to make things right again, to take on the significant amount of learning available on RN and to complete the exercises, a will to stick with it when the original wave of fear subsides a few weeks/months after D Day, etc, etc. Key to all of this is to have the right motivation to drive you forwards. Nothing we can do will ever heal the pain we have caused our partners so the VERY LEAST we can do is to have the decency and respect of our partners to give absolutely everything to recover and to do whatever we can to help them heal as far as they can. My suggestion to people on our side of the fence is this, read the threads of those on the other side and gain a much better appreciation of what the consequences of our actions has been. It is easier to read threads of people who we have not affected because we can probably be more objective and less defensive about it all and it will give you some perspective and hopefully the right motivation to push on with your recovery. But remember that if your partner were to post there about the harm you had caused then the story would essentially be the same. So let's do what we can for ourselves to recovery but also let's do everything we can to help our partner's heal too.


This whole post is so insightful and should be read by all of us.
Thanks Ltr.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:33 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
Thanks Both, much appreciated!

I was watching a TV programme the other night about an illusionist who was explaining how some of his acts worked. The power of suggestion is one area which he exploits with those people that he brings on stage and they showed a TV clip that i remembered seeing when it was originally broadcast of a girl that was locked in a room for 2 minutes and there was a timer in red LED letters that counted down to zero in front of her. In the room with her was a cute little kitten in a glass box and next to it was a big red button. She was told under no circumstances was she to touch the button because if she did it would electrocute and kill the kitten, all she had to do to win her challenge was to survive the 2 minutes without pressing the button. As the clock started to tick down she grew increasingly uncomfortable, she looked like she loved the look of the kitten but she began to battle with an overwhelming urge to hit the button. With 1 second left on the clock she hit the button and burst into tears. The illusionist immediately came into the room and reassured her that the kitten was OK and that it had not been electrocuted but she was inconsolable. Afterwards he talked to the camera and explained that when you tell someone that they must not do something they find themselves battling against a compulsion to do just that regardless of whether the act goes against their moral instincts or not. He then said that if you are setting out to achieve a certain outcome then you should phrase it positively (i.e. to do something) rather than negatively (i.e. not to do something). In the case of the kitten, if the girl was told to make sure that the kitten remained safe rather than being told not to press the button she would have had no problem at all in meeting her challenge.

This statement about negativity immediately hit me. I realised that I have tried to reprogramme myself into not doing the things that i used to do rather than reframing it more positively as doing something that supports my values. The former therefore takes willpower but the latter requires a change of mindset. A lot of things on RN came to mind and i felt rather stupid as I then recalled one of CoachJon's lessons talking about this very point and to make goals positive on things that you want to achieve rather than making them negative about things that you want to avoid. I read all the time in others' posts about people doing their best to avoid looking at porn whereas they should be talking more about using their times of stress of poor moods to actively engage in some of their new healthy pursuits. In my own mind I have reframed how i think and am now not consciously thinking "I must not fall back into that trap" but instead have a positive message in my head which is "I am faithful and am pursuing my values". I continue not to act out but something so simple has suddenly created less stress and far more certainty. I can also see this as being instrumental in changing the mindset to achieve my following goal which is one of my favourite CoachJon quotes about recovered addicts:
Quote:
"They identify their future with a healthy person that once used addiction to manage their life; not as an addict that is managing their life with healthy behaviour."

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:05 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
As a follow on to my last post i noticed something else recently which ironically was off of the back of a Sheryl Crowe song that I was listening to. One of her lyrics is:
Quote:
"It's not having what you want, it is wanting what you have"

It really struck a chord with me as I have spent much of my adult life looking for opportunities to experience new and exciting things. I felt like I had a kind of a radar that use to let off an alarm in my head when I noticed someone that could potentially be another notch on my bedpost. I had engrained that way of thinking and the sense of denial if it didn't come off was immense. It could perhaps be argued by SAs that they are looking elsewhere because they are not happy with the things that they do have in their lives but i would strongly refute this. For anyone who has gone through a D Day (and for any partners reading this what I am about to say pales into insignificance to what you have had to go through on a D Day but this is just to make a point to SAs that might read this) they will know the feeling of terror and panic that they might be about to lose everything that they have in terms of partner, family, home, etc, etc. If we were so unhappy with what we had then why would we experience those feelings? It is for the simple reason that we are so obsessed with trying to find things that we do not or can not have that we completely blindside ourselves to what is right in front of our noses that we do have. There is a close correlation I think to my last post which talked about focussing on positive thoughts (e.g. "I am faithful") rather than negative ones (i.e. "I must not do this or that") Similarly, we should be standing back and being objective and thinking "I am so lucky to have my wife/family/home/life/[fill in the gap]" and to appreciate it/them rather than thinking "I would be happy and able to stop acting out any more if I could just this one time have [fill in the gap]". There is an AA adage which is that for an alcoholic, one drink is too much and no number of drinks will ever be enough - the same analogy can easily be applied to our own addiction.

So for anyone who may have read my last post and is trying to put some of those thoughts into practice you might also, like me, want to make a point of taking stock of what you do have any to truly appreciate it right now and not wait until it is too late and you have lost it.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:29 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
I provided feedback to another member today and as part of that I copied their response to their first post on Lesson 1 just after they joined. I did that to help them reflect back to see how far they had come on their journey. I decided to do the same thing with mine and although nearly 3 years ago when I read it back i can remember writing it. I was away on business (ordinarily an excellent opportunity to act out) in Glasgow in a hotel room and I remember how desperate i felt that this addiction appeared to have complete power over me but at last I had found a glimmer of hope in this workshop. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since that time but recalling those feelings puts a knot in my stomach. I am pleased to be this end of the programme and knowing that I have digested the learning and knowing that it does enable a full recovery and it is not just some money making scam which is useless. The beauty of the model is that not only is it full of valuable information that is put across in a very logical and systematic way, but it is free for all. There is no need to doubt in your mind if the creator had an alternative angle when he put the workshop together as he had no benefit other than to fulfil his objective of ridding the world of this addiction as far as possible. Every member is indebted to CoachJon for his foresight and generosity.

The other thought that occurred to me today when reading through others' threads was that there is, not surprisingly, a very common theme, particularly over the first half a dozen or so lessons and posts where each person writes as if they are almost scared to admit that they are some kind of monster with a massive secret that they are reluctant to share in case people react in shock and horror to what they have done in the past and maybe present. I remember this having a bit of a therapeutic effect on me at the time because it felt like i was at last saying it out loud and admitting to it which took a weight off of my shoulders. Once you settle in to RN and realise that looking at others' threads is permitted then I was also somewhat relieved and interested to learn that I was not unique at all and whilst everyone's story is different they are all a variation of a theme. Knowing that others that felt exactly like you at one stage but had managed to recover was a massive encouragement.

It may be just me but i am getting a sense that the traffic on RN is dropping sharply again. It seems to go through waves but we certainly seem to be more in a trough than a peak at the moment. This always bothers me as it shows that people are not taking advantage of what is being offered in the workshop. I suspect that those not returning have not recovered from their addiction. I may do a little analysis on this to put into a future post for reasons of interest.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:40 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
In my last post I observed that I thought that the volume of traffic on RN had fallen in recent weeks. I also sensed that the regularity of posting had fallen away too so decided to do a quick bit of analysis on it. I have gone back over the last month or so and broken it down into two categories (but no names) being those who have got through less than the first 10 lessons and those who have done more than that. The findings are below and show the average number of days between posts and for those who have gone through less than 10 lessons it also shows in brackets how many lessons they have got through so far.

Under 10 Lessons
5 (1 Lessons)
6 (4 Lessons)
9 (3 Lessons)
10 (5 Lessons)
9 (1 Lessons)
5 (5 Lessons)
23 (2 Lessons)
25 (2 Lessons)

Over 10 Lessons
1
2
4
7
11
10

What this shows me is that (bar a couple of outliers) those who have stayed the course and are much further into the workshop appear to post more regularly whereas the gap is much wider for those newer members on the whole. Of course this is very crude analysis and it may well be that some members are doing a lot of reading but not posting which would explain some of these gaps. There are no firm rules around how often people need to do the lessons and each person needs to be able to work this around their other commitments but a something of the order of 3 lessons a week (i.e. an average of 2-3 days between posts) are recommended in order to maintain momentum. I would suggest as a sweeping statement that those who post more regularly are more likely to complete the workshop. Certainly when I was working through the workshop myself I felt that the regular contact with the site kept my recovery at the forefront of my mind whereas if I had only come back every couple of weeks I don't think I would have had the same focus on it. As I repeatedly say in feedback to members, the gut reaction to this sort of thing by most people will be "I'm sorry but I have a very busy life". I would respond to that by asking the individual how many hours a day/week/month were wasted chasing your addiction? I dare say that this added up to a lot more than 3 hours week which would comfortably be enough to do 3 lessons a week?

No judging here, I am just flagging a concern that I had and am trying to offer some advice to others as to what I think is needed in order to recover. We all give a strong commitment in our post to the first lesson that we will do whatever it takes to get out of our hole, but how long does that commitment last for? If we truly want to recover then the commitment needs to be total. How badly do you want this??

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:56 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
I will caveat this post by saying that these views are my personal ones and not those of RN which will always wish to be seen as neutral as regards religion, ethnicity, etc. I would add that am also not inferring any views on religion here either , instead I am hoping to make a point which makes reference to religion but with the aim of flagging an important thought to other members.

I am not a particularly religious person myself but do respect the many and varied beliefs of others. I have noticed though that there is an increasing reference by members in their threads to their faith and their desire to align to their God's teachings. In some cases perhaps this is because they are particularly religious people anyway, or perhaps some may be turning back to religion in their time of need following the chaos and fall out arising out of their addiction in a similar way to how people nearing the end of their lives do as they look to sense and purpose as they contemplate their immediate futures. I have no particular views or criticism in any of that, I merely mention it as something I have noticed become more prevalent in recent times. But here is my point, I think that there is a fine line here. Whilst it is fine to look for inspiration from whatever appropriate source you can in order to support you in your recovery (the more tools in your toolbox to help you do that the better in my opinion), there is no escaping the need to take responsibility for your own actions. If you have acted out then by all means appeal to your God to give you strength to get back on course but it is important that the individual realises that it was their choice and their choice alone to act out and therefore it is important for them to accept full responsibility for it. As addicts we are very cunning and devious and we are (consciously or subconsciously) always looking for the opportunity for a Get Out Of Jail card. I sometimes sense in others' posts that the blame is being directed away from them and on to their God for not making them strong enough to resist their urges which for me is a complete cop out. The other classic is flagged by CoachJon later on in the workshop where he talks about not seeing relapse as failure - beating yourself up about what you have done can start the negative spiral again and it is better to try and understand why it happened and to learn from it and move on positively - but some may use this as an excuse to act out because CoachJon has given us all a freebie. The point he is making is subtle but ingenious in what it is trying to achieve but it can easily be twisted by those who choose to for their own purposes.

As always, it is down to us to make sensible and informed decisions. I think we also all know deep down when we are trying to pull a fast one under the guise of "well it was in the workshop?". In order to make healthy choices we need to be straight with ourselves, we need to be adult enough to know that we must accept responsibility for our own actions. If you choose to blame others (whoever they may be) for your actions then you have missed one of the most important steps in lesson 1 which is to take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Without that you will have no chance of ever making a full recovery.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:36 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
I continue to be intrigued by how the mind works and how the brainwashing we put ourselves through to become addicts in the first place happened and then how it can be counter-brainwashed back again once there is a clear understanding of how everything works.

One of CoachJon's quotes that continually catches my eye is the following:
Quote:
"Think about the difference between being in a marriage as a man who is keeping all options open, and being in a marriage as a man who is committed to developing infinite depth within that marriage. The former is based on fear of not losing out on things, the latter is based on a commitment to one's vision of being in a partnership."

When I contemplate the next significant milestone in my recovery I see it as me considering myself as being the latter rather than the former. If I am being completely honest with myself I probably see myself as currently being somewhere between the two as I transition from one to the other. But the point about the married man not wishing to let an opportunity pass him by and have the feeling of missing out on something has generated a lot of thought in my head over the last few weeks. It revolves around the idea of why is it supposedly OK for the addict to seriously contemplate acting out with someone other than their partner and the associated (nonsensical) justifications that go with that but were the roles to be reversed they would look very much different.

It led me to pick a hypothetical (but perhaps typical) member on RN, let's assume that they either had affairs and/or used escorts and then at some point along the way they get caught and have their D Day. At that point the addict is in survival mode and will do and say almost anything to firstly avoid the fall out and then secondly when they realise that is a hopeless aim, the minimise the fall out as far as possible. The words coming out of their mouths at times would surely be comical if the whole situation were not so tragic. So i thought it would be interesting to plant the idea with those who read my thread that fall into this hypothetical category of a scenario where subsequently the roles reversed. A year or so on from D Day, let's say something happens where it suddenly becomes obviously that the addict's partner has been unfaithful too. The addict then has a conversation with the partner which goes something like this:

ADDICT - (angry) "These messages I have just found on your phone clearly show that you have had sex with them, how often has that happened?"

PARTNER - (in tears) "It only happened just that once, I promise and it didn't mean anything!"

A - "But they are 10 years younger than you and you met them at the gym, they are really good looking and fit and you expect me to believe it was only the once, what do you take me for?"

P - "I didn't mean for it to happen, we just started talking and then one thing led to another. I honestly tried to tell them to stop but I couldn't help it"

A - "So they forced themself on you?"

P - "Well, no not exactly but I made it clear to them that it couldn't happen again"

A - "So were they better endowed and better than me in bed?"

P - "They were better endowed but that doesn't matter as it was just sex, there was no emotion involved so it meant nothing, don't try and compare yourself with them"

A - "When did it happen?"

P - "Last week"

A - "When you told you were out with your friends?! You are supposed to be out with them again this week or is that another date with your piece of hot stuff?"

P - "No I am really going out with my friends that night I promise!"

A - "How can I ever trust that when you say you are going out from now on that you are where you say you are going to be? You're going away on business for the week soon or are you in fact going away on holiday with them to some love nest?"


The dialogue could go on and on but my intention of all this is to try and change perspectives. I dare say that the above dialogue bears some resemblance to our own D Days and our pathetic excuses as we squirmed our way through the conversation that we just wanted to end. But now reading it back with the roles reversed how does it sound? Now picture that happening for real, the partner that you were 100% confident would never cheat on you has done just that and the pack of lies that they had fed you over time in order to disguise their deed or deeds. It would throw your brain into chaos and you would surely question if your relationship had been a complete lie. Your partner had risked everything to get into bed with another person willingly whilst knowing how devastated you would be if they found out. They are younger and better looking than you which will make you feel old and ugly. It's not so nice this way around is it?

So back to my original quote at the start of this post. For a relationship to work it requires a full commitment by both parties. If either or both of those parties are looking over their shoulder to make sure that they are not missing out on opportunities then it will never work. When reading this you would likely assume that we, as the addict, would be the one looking over their shoulder but the above dialogue shows that might not be the case and so we can't ever take things for granted. If we think how appalling betrayal is and how devastating an effect it has on the other person then it shows that it is never, ever, worth it. If our efforts are moved away from pursuing our selfish fixes and instead focussed on our partners with a view to understanding their needs and doing whatever we can to ensure those needs are met, then we can start to try and rebuild the foundations of our relationships and turn our backs on the complete nonsense that threatened it in the first place. If we would hate for the above dialogue to happen to us then you can be perfectly sure that it was a living hell for our partners when they had to hear it on D Day.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:15 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
I have now been a member of RN for 3 years which has given me reason to take stock of where I currently am. I have had a number of ups and downs in those 3 years but i have certainly always tried to learn from the downs in order to keep my recovery moving in the right direction. For several months now I have felt far more stable and can sense that the changes I have made in my life are in the process of moving from a manual to an automatic process. I have read through the week health monitoring plans that i used to use and was pleased to see that most of these items on there I now do naturally, although there were a couple of helping reminders on there of things which i will pick up again now.

I see a successful recovery as being in a place where my new life can sustain the stresses and pressures that are thrown at you without needing to resort to my old ways in order to make myself feel better. For a variety of reasons my work at the moment is probably the most stressful it has been and has been that way for weeks although should start dying down a bit now. I know that "opportunities" which I would have previously exploited have presented themselves over that period and feel good about myself that I have make conscious decisions to not go down that route. I would like to be in a place where these decision become automatic and instinctive rather than manual but I do feel like I am in the transition to that, repeated application will get me there. Also the acid test for me is wanting to be around RN, I know that when things are going according to plan I like being here, when they are not then I feel the need to hide away which is pathetic but honest. I am enjoying mentoring again too which is good and gives me a sense of helping others and giving back to CoachJon. Long may it continue!

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:11 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
Something that i have written in a previous post is that I was previously addicted to both smoking and alcohol but successfully managed to overcome both of those some years ago. I now look at a cigarette or glass of wine and have no sense of pull towards them at all and certain no sense of deprivation. I expected to be able to feel the same about SA but I just don't. After 3 years on RN I can still get a real urge to do something even if I bat it away quite quickly which makes me wonder why this one is so difficult.

After thinking it through over the last week or so I think that the difference between my first two addictions is that I would look forward to engaging in those activities (but not get a rush in advance from them) but would actually really enjoying doing them both at the time of smoking or drinking. Afterwards I may feel regret for having done it (certainly when done to excess) but at the time I enjoyed them. I have come to realise that SA is almost the complete opposite. When a thought comes into my head about potentially doing something I will get a real rush from it and then if I go to the next level of not just thinking about doing it but to consider actually going ahead with it then the feel intensifies strongly. That sense of excitement feels great and I have come to realise that this is what I am addicted to. In most instances I can hand on heart say that when I am actually following through and doing something then the act itself (whatever that may be) is not usually that great, it can be OK, maybe some brief excitement but it is nothing compared to the rush of anticipation in advance.

This tells me several things:

1) I have been focussing on the wrong thing that I am trying to give up, it is the rush rather than the act that i am trying to avoid. My sense of deprivation when I avoid acting out is more about the denial of the pre-act excitement than about the act itself. That has come as a complete surprise to me and I wonder if this could be something major for me to have stumbled across which could be a game changer. If you think about it, the workshop is about emotions so it is probably rather obvious that this conclusion should be drawn. That makes me sound like I have misunderstood the workshop completely which I don't think is the case, perhaps a fairer way of describing it is that I probably thought that I was denying myself of the package (i.e. The rush during the build up and the act itself) rather than just the build up. The difference is subtle but could be significant in how my mind is processing it.

2) This is further reinforced by a surprise finding when I went through the workshop the first time and discovered that my key drivers were not sex at all but were in fact control and danger. Manipulating someone to (apparently) voluntarily do something that I want them to do holds a great appeal to me. When I think back to affairs that I had when I worked in London 20 years ago, they were all with girls either married or who were in well established relationships and were girls who had never cheated before. Being able to turn them inflated my ego significantly. Also, doing something which gave a real risk of getting caught massively amplified the rush. I can vividly remember occasions where both of these boxes were ticked which generated a massive rush but at literally the moment of finishing the act I wished I was somewhere else completely. So it was the thought of it and the anticipation rather than the act itself which appealed to me.

3) I can't expect the same approach for smoking and drinking to be applied here as they are clearly completely separate issues. I therefore need to get my head around what I am trying to achieve now I have that clarity of thought.

4) As my thread is always a place where i want to be honest with myself, I am aware that complacency is causing me problems in a different way that I had originally thought. In my head I had complacency relating to letting my guard down and succumbing to temptation. This means that on occasions I could allow a few seconds of thinking about something inappropriate before shutting it off. I can see now that I have been allowing myself a short fix of the rush before closing it off. No wonder I have struggled because rather than stopping the very thing that I am addicted to I have been feeding it and giving it everlasting optimism. How stupidly obvious and what a fool i feel. Carrying on like that gives me zero chance of recovery because I am focussing on completely the wrong thing.

I need to digest all of this and then think through how I need to approach things differently. The first thing that pops into my head is that the Point of No Return is a nano-second into Step 1 of the chain so that there is no fuel at all given to rise of the rush. I will post again when I have processed this all in my mind. I hope I have stumbled on something meaningful here though as I have felt for some time that something isn't quite clicking for me to move to the next level and maybe this is it.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:53 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
I have now had time to digest my previous post. I feel like a massive weight has been lifted from me and that the proverbial penny that I have been waiting for for so long may have finally dropped. I recognise how my mind processes these sorts of things, when I come across something that I feel is a key point and may make a difference to my recovery, it then systematically tries to test it against past experiences and only then will I fully be able to convince myself that it will work. Needless to say, going back over my past takes some time but whereas previously I could recall a previous event and sense the potential to be triggered by it that has not happened at all this time round.

It sounds so simple and obvious to say it out loud but by recognising that it is the anticipation rather than the actual carrying out of the acting out that I was addicted to it has instantly made me see that I did not actually want to carry out any of it in the past. As I see no appeal in actually doing anything now I can sense a massive sense of relief that I can tell that I will now never act out again. I am not stupid enough to think that complacency is not a major threat here but the point I am trying to make is that my autopilot is no longer seeing actually going through with something as appealing at all. So whilst I will obviously be on high alert over the coming weeks and months I can just feel that my reactions to situations that would ordinarily be a danger to me will not see them as triggers now.

What that leaves of course is the addiction to the anticipation of acting out. But the whole thing is circular, if I now know that actually acting out holds no appeal to me then I am suddenly not able to get worked up without it. Previously the thought of "I could do XYZ" would generate excitement and then changing it to "I am actually going to do XYZ" would then amplify the feeling. But now I know I don't want to follow through with any of it then the excitement of both of these thoughts just disappears.

To be fair it would not be the first time that I have felt smug that things had apparently clicked into place and I may well be left with egg of my face again but for some reason it just feels very different at the moment. I certainly hope it stays that way and will report back progress over the coming weeks.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:26 pm 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
Jacob,

Show some respect for those who take this site and their recovery seriously. Stop posting to members’ threads.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:19 pm 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi L2R
his posts are gone
thanks for stepping in

_________________
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: Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:46 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
I bought a new coffee machine for our office recently. You fill up the clear contained at the back with cold water, spoon and press down coffee into the receptacle just like in the coffee shops and then press Go and it all hums to life and pour out a great coffee. This has worked well every day since I bought it until one day last week when I pressed Go and it made a strange noisehat it was not me. I was left wondering if it would ever be me and that so easily driffts into "is it because I am unique and different to everyone else ednt and didn't start. I checked it and re-checked it and couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. I stood back and stared at it starting to get quite annoyed as there must be something basic I was missing. I then noticed that the clear water container at the back was not sitting flush with the rest of the top of the machine. I hadn't clicked it into the base properly after had filled it with water. I pressed it down and heard the welcoming click as it slotted into place. I pressed Go and the machine came to life and poured me my coffee as usual.

Why have I bored you with that story? That is how I can best described what happened to my recovery a month or so ago. All of a sudden, the thing that I was missing fell into place and now everything works as it should. Complacency is our No. 1 enemy and I am very mindful of that, but, for now, it seems to continue to work. I have often described how I rarely even think about drinking alcohol now and therefore feel no stress whatsoever at avoiding it and I wondered if my SA would ever feel that way. Well now it kind of does. I am still aware of what is going on around me and have my guard ready if needed but the things that normally challenge me pop into my head and straight out again. It is completely welcomed and is more in line with how I handle alcohol temptation which is more of a change of how I live rather than applying action plans to it. Long may that continue! Of course it could all change again tomorrow but I doubt it because it feels like something meaningful has suddenly landed with me that makes complete sense about how my addiction started and was maintained.

Anyone who keeps an eye on my thread will know that I am very conscious about coming across at times as if I am blowing smoke up myself as that is the last thing I want to be like (particularly if it all comes back to bite me!) but the reason for posting is to offer hope to others. I have read others' thread countless of times where the member has recovered (or well on their way) and felt so frustrated that it was not me and I got to the point of wondering if it would ever be me. From there it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking "Maybe it is because I am different to everyone else and can not be cured of this" and the addict in you starts rubbing its hands together because you sound like you are giving up. So take it from me, if I can recover, knowing the totally disgraceful behaviour that I have displayed for most of my adult life, then anyone is able to recover using this workshop. There is everything here for you to succeed. The lessons will give you tools to recover but also will help you better understand why your addiction started and what it the key features of your addiction are. Those last two points are specific to each individual, we are all addicts and share a common problem but each person has their own story to tell and you need to understand your own properly before you can hope to overcome it. So put in the necessary hours to achieve that and then you will be able to turn your back on this problem for the rest of your life. That sounds like a fair deal to me?

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:04 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
When I stopped smoking many years ago I did it using a book written by an ex-smoker called Allen Carr (if you are thinking of stopping smoking I would highly recommend it). One of the interesting comments that he made early on in the book is that as soon as you put out a cigarette you are a non-smoker and you remain so until you choose to light up another one. I found that mindset quite interesting as there was a psychological barrier to overcome of making you believe you cold become a non-smoker but in fact you were a non-smoker for most of the time already. In some ways that helped me make the transition as it was then a case of not lighting up another one and then I was free of my addiction. There was more to it than that obviously but the process was simple, it was more of a case of getting your mind straight. He made the point that you were not born wanting to smoke (see parallels with the Lesson 1 exercise of looking at a photo of yourself as a young child) and so something has happened along the way that had changed your thinking. Most people think that their first taste of alcohol or a cigarette is horrible but most people get through that (perseverance and/or peer group pressure) and end up loving both - but what has changed along the way, it is not the cigarette or the alcohol but rather your perception of it? You have brainwashed yourself into enjoying them and so the process to stop merely requires a counter brainwashing back to your original mindset pre-addiction.

My sister stopped smoking by going to one of his clinics in London over the course of 3 days. The class were given regular breaks to go outside and smoke with the idea being that the course is spent absorbing the lessons and not worrying about supposed withdrawal symptoms. Towards the end of the last day they are sent out for their usual break and he gives them a minute or two to light up. He then goes outside to see them all with cigarettes in hand and tells them to enjoy this cigarette as it will be their last one ever. He then turns away and says he will see them back in the classroom shortly. When they all arrive back in the class they all look very sheepish. He asks them how they all felt when he told them and it was all along the lines of them getting a panicky feeling inside them that they could not cope with. They all agreed that their feelings were very similar to when they had tried to give up using willpower and then cravings had started. He then announced that that was not in fact going to be their last cigarette (it was an hour or two later) but he had told them that for a specific reason. A sense of relief spread throughout the classroom. At the start of the workshop there was a general agreement that everyone felt that they could not give up because they were addicted to the nicotine and they felt powerless over it because their body could not cope without it. But when they experienced these similar feelings outside a moment ago they were all actually smoking at that time. It therefore rubbished the idea that the difficulty in giving up was a chemical need by their bodies, it was all just their mental perception of it. The moment that they all realised that the issue was in their heads they realised that they had overcome a massive obstacle in their recoveries.

This got me thinking about SA. Rather than lighting up a cigarette we choose to act out. We feel powerless over our urges and see ourselves as addicts with the thought of becoming a non-SA being some distant dream. But using the above analogy, perhaps we are all non-SAs the moment we have finished acting out and we remain that way until we choose to act out again. If we consider ourselves in this way does that help us overcome any kind of mental barrier? Rather than thinking of ourselves constantly as addicted, why not picture that we are instead constantly choosing to become addicts again and again - so if we then CHOOSE NOT TO ACT OUT then are we not immediately non-SA and well on our way to recovery? As with the smoking there is obviously more to it than that but it is a very simple and logical first step surely? Also, why do we choose to act out? It is common place to feel that we are powerless over our addiction, there is something wrong with us that we can do nothing about which drives us to act out so we just give in to it. But when we think back to the Lesson 1 photograph we know that we were not born that way. Something has happened along the way (perhaps some kind of trauma and how we managed that situation as a coping mechanism that then got repeated endlessly or whatever) which brainwashed ourselves into thinking this is just how we are. But the workshop will give you the tools and understanding to recognise that it is just all in our minds and we can counter brainwash ourselves again too.

Having a healthy life is all about making the right choices. No-one has a gun held to your head when you act out so you can CHOOSE not to act out. Ask yourself if you are actually in pain when urges arrive and if so what is it that hurts? If you can't answer that clearly by pointing to where the physical pain is then you know it is just in your head. Choose wisely and engrain that as your new habit whilst you develop your greater understanding of addiction through the workshop. The starting point really is that simple.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 287 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 16, 17, 18, 19, 20  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 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