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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:51 am 
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Hello Recovery Nation

Well I'm back, after 5 years. I've been sliding down a slippery slope...possibly all that time. Just a quick peek I told myself, then back to work. And then, no doubt after a couple of drinks, alone in a hotel away for work I masturbated to porn and knew I wasn't going to tell my wife about it. What I didn't appreciate until today is how much else has been caught up in that broad brush of concealment - all the little faults and embarrassments and the things that don't fit my ideal image of myself that I also concealed. So I take responsibility that that fiction, lacking any authenticity and ring of truth, has been the reason that my wife and I have not healed our marriage.

To tread over a well worn phrase, I've let myself down and I've let her down. It's a hollow feeling in my sternum.

I've actually been doing really well in myself this past year. I don't lose my cool anymore, I have a deep sense of gratitude for my family and my life. Perhaps that's why I cracked now - I was ready to. My wife is angry with me, for sure, but that's not plunging me into existential crisis the way it used to, I feel like I've retained a sense of self in the face of it.

We went to see a couple councillor who - on our 2nd session - said something along the lines of "Don't underestimate the addict, or the addiction" which, days later, prompted my wife to ask me flat out when I'd last looked at porn. I admitted I had, but gave her a date a couple of months ago. I also lied and said I hadn't masturbated to it, and then a minute later got caught in that lie. Gargh! Text book minimizing and drip feed revelation. It took 2 days for me to finally put it down on paper as part of a longer admission/apology/please-don't-leave-me that I've fallen back into habitual use and masturbate to porn on average once a month (checking....yes I think that feels honest), and looking at porn without masturbating every week.

D day was 8 years ago. My wife feels like it's all been wasted, that we're starting again. I don't agree, like I said I genuinely feel I'm in a much better place - positive, grateful, able to sit with feelings of neediness and abandonment without needing to self medicate - for days sometimes, I do have periods when I'm completely "dry". But then I guess many addicts do. It's the tough times that needed me to reach out for help, and I didn't. Having said that, trust between is is completely broken, again, for sure. And worse, how can she trust me if I say I'm doing fine when I've proved I can say that and it not be?

I'm going to an SLAA meeting next week.

I'm sorry to see this website falling into disrepair, because the material here is so valuable and was a lifeline to me.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:04 am 
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I've been so long away from this site I've forgotten most of it, so I think it's appropriate to start a new thread.

I was caught a few days back, having relapsed several years ago and settled into a functioning and stable addiction using pornography as a quick "pick-me-up" when I was feeling a bit flat, and then masturbating to porn maybe once month to avoid that feeling of being overcharged. But it's not the porn particularly that is devastating to my wife (and I think perhaps I was missing or lost this fact when I thought I was safe to stop doing weekly monitoring - and that's a conversation I failed to have with my wife), it's the lying. At some point when my wife asked me if there was anything she needed to know, I lied. I lied so I could keep doing it, I now realise. I lie automatically as a knee-jerk reaction and it takes a substantial presence of mind to step back and say "no that's not right" (plus the double whammy of admitting the thing, and admitting having lied).

I'll fill in the relapse assessment here now, and then decide if I want to redo the whole thing from scratch or...yes I think might be interesting, I think I can do that now from who I actually am rather than what I want to project to the world.

1) Do you have a Relapse Monitoring Plan developed?
I'm sorry to say that I've no idea what a Relapse Monitoring Plan is. I'm struggling to find where in this site we get taken through that. I'll ask.

2) Balance of Values. If I were to assess the balance of my life right now, I would have to say that my value system is:
Moderately out of balance with my priorities.

3) Issues. The biggest issues that I am struggling to manage are:
I'm actually feeling like I'm doing OK except that I've been medicating some feelings of boredom and loneliness away with pornography. Not all the time, sometimes I just sit with it. Sometimes I sit with it for days, sometimes it passes and I don't even notice. What I've not been doing is doing something positive to counter those feelings. It's good to be able to be "Okay with not being Okay" but it's not a long term solution.

4) Neglected Values. The most important values that I am neglecting in my life are:
Honesty & authenticity. Actually these aren't values that I have locked solid at my core, they're more like nice-to-haves. I need to work on that.

5) How did you get here? Describe the mental process (as best you can) that led from your initial enthusiasm/motivation to rebuild your life to its current level of apathy, complacency, helplessness and/or hopelessness.
It's complacency for sure. I think it was a gradual increase of content - from the 'saucy' side of comedy websites back to actual pornography and thinking "oh I'll just have a quick peek and then get on with my work, but I won't masturbate" And then late night, away from home, a couple of drinks and bam.
And that might have been something to deal with, but I didn't come clean to my partner that it had happened and that's where the real damage was done. And then 3 years passed, ticking along, doing okay but feeling frustrated about the lack of connection with my partner and I didn't - until this week - see that that is entirely my doing. Because that concealment is a broad brush. Once I'm concealing one thing I don't want her to know, I'm concealing (or struggling to admit) every little thing that I think she's not going to appreciate hearing. Which is rubbish of course, what she appreciates is me telling the truth.

6) Warning Signs. Looking back, what signs did you see that might have served as a warning signal that action needed to be taken before this relapse occurred?
God it's so far back in time now I don't know. I guess I knew I was heading towards a thin line when I hit "Dating Fails" knowing that the content there is titillating.

Oh there was another thing that was certainly a red flag for my wife when I received a group text in a thread about a stag (bachelor) party about doing "steak and tits" and I didn't mention it immediately at the time. I waited until I was next asked "Is there anything you've omitted to tell me?" and it was only then that I came out with it. I think at some level she knew that I didn't mention it because I was considering if I was going to go or not and if I mention it then going would not be an option.

7) What was your reaction to these signs? For instance, I ignored them intentionally. I took actions, but the actions I took were ineffectual.
Arrogance. Thought I could handle it and it was "just that". Fool.

8) Consequences. The most significant consequence of relapse is the long-term disruption to the value system that has been under construction. From an awareness viewpoint, list the new obstacles that this relapse has created in your life.
Oh I've totally blown up 8 years of building trust with my wife, in fact put us somewhere even worse because this time I was supposed to have the tools and understanding to make informed values based decisions. So how can she ever trust me? I think the main 'next thing' for me is that I need to be sharing whatever it is that I don't want to share.

I think I need to just be doing weekly assessment in perpetuity. I think I stopped because I don't like thinking of myself as "flawed". I hope I can let that go and admit that I need to keep in touch here. I think I can, we'll see.

9) Regaining Perspective? The most important element of relapse is regaining healthy motivation and perspective. Without saying, "I don't know", how will you regain this healthy motivation and perspective?
That's the funny thing, I'm actually feeling really good in myself now. I can sit with whatever comes up, I'm feeling grateful for my life, like I "have enough". I suspect that it's actually because of this that, and where my wife is at, that this 2nd D Day occurred now. We'd gone to see a couple's therapist together because my wife was struggling to re-establish intimacy with me. She's quite relieved now to know there was a good reason for it, and it had nothing do with her.

10) Next Steps What will be the next immediate, active steps that you will take to get yourself back on a healthy track?
Well I think I'll redo the course. I'm going to an SLAA meeting next week.
I've blocked the only 3 porn sites I visit from my laptop and that will be a BIG RED FLAG if I disable that setting. I might see if I can do the same thing directly on the router so my phone is also blocked.
In terms of healthy behaviour I'm going to see if I can deepen a friendship with a male work colleague and also - if my wife agrees I'm not being weird - invite a neighbour who also works from home to pop in for coffee during the week.
I was saying that: what I've got to get good at, is saying the thing I most don't want to say. I've set an alarm for every 3 days to do this.


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 Post subject: Lesson 1 Exercises - A
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:40 am 
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Lesson 1 Exercises:
A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are:
1) actively committing yourself to change
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
3) allowing yourself time to change.
Consider where you feel you are in relation to each of these recovery keys? Briefly share your thoughts in your Recovery Thread.

1) Unfortunately, once again I'm here because I've been "caught", rather than the motivation coming from within, which means my basis for recovery is not ideal. I recognise that pornography, or more generally the excitement relating to sexual feelings, is my drug of choice and for this reason I can't have that in my life if I want to have a) intimacy and b) spiritual development.

I feel like I've actually made good progress and I've got the tools I need to recover from my first time here. I just didn't follow all the way up and out. I assume I was still in recovery when I stopped doing the weekly assessment - I don't remember making a decision that I could stop doing it. I can say "I actively commit myself to change"...with the threat of losing my family hanging over me, how much of me is in there?

I'll tell you what's different this time around, I'm not devastated by my wife's anger. It's not causing me to suffer existentially and feel like my world is falling apart the way it once did. I don't want us to stop being a family and I will do everything I can to make it up to her, but if she doesn't want to stay with me I feel like I could survive that, and I'd want to continue to a healthy lifestyle in any event.

2) Ah, my wife would say I don't experience enough guilt and shame. There's a voice in my head that says "Most men do it" link, "I only did it twice a week, and masturbated less". It's the lying that's the real issue here. I guess, rather than saying shame would stop my recovery, it's my shame (or more exactly my imagination of the discomfort) that stops me from being honest and admitting those times I "didn't do the right thing" - whatever that might have been.

3) Time...DDay was 8 years ago. I'm not expecting a magic wand to fix me. Personal development is the work of a lifetime.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:56 am 
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B. Beyond an active commitment to change, another important factor in determining your ultimate success is your motivation. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life.

  • I want to live with my children
  • I want to be a good role model
  • I want my wife to be happy, she deserves to be
  • I want to be able to say "I don't lie" without that being a lie
  • I want my wife to like me, to be proud of me
  • I want more feeling of contentment in my life
  • I like the feeling of relaxed confidence that comes from not having anything hidden, not worrying about what message might pop up on my phone
  • I feel like being authentic is the next step in my spiritual journey. Actually I thought I'd taken that step, I hadn't.
  • I like the comfort and closeness of an intimate relationship
  • I fear the path my life would take if I left my family and moved into a studio apartment. My motivation for recovery (and this isn't great motivation) stems from wanting to keep that family together. Without that I'm scared I'd head off down a very dark path.
  • My sense of a higher self is telling me this is the right thing to be doing, that spirit flees away at the first hint of a lie. There's a quote, I'll post it.
  • I don't want to go through this shit again.

C. One of the most powerful insights you can gain in establishing a foundation for permanent recovery is to come to see your addiction within the scope of your life span.
I've never not been addicted, in a sense. I was perhaps innocent at one time in that might not have lied, but that concealment of anything I thought would attract criticism started fairly soon after I could walk. My family was not tactile. I was placed in an incubator at birth, then my mother had post natal depression. She doesn't remember when she stopped breast feeding me, but my sister came along 16 months later. I was 3 when a girl first showed an interest in me and I loved that feeling of being "the most special one" to her. So when I think back to that young boy with eyes so deep brown they were like pools of black, I just want to hold him - give him that attention that his parents didn't.

Having said that, what's really odd is that my sister doesn't have this feeling of "lack" at all. She seems to think her upbringing was fine. Maybe it came into this world with me.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:28 am 
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I came completely clean with her today. At least I think I'm 100%, I don't know, maybe some memory will pop up. But when I ask myself "what am I holding back" nothing comes up.
It was a long list, 16 things I had to admit to on top of the 3 or so I drip fed yesterday.
I got the first 11 within an hour, the next 3 items in the next hour and then I was waking up during the night for the final 2.

I feel OK, I'm better in myself than then first time I went through this. I'm open to the consequences of my actions. If my wife leaves me, well in many ways I think her life will be happier. I'd hope she doesn't.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:13 am 
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I'm a little perplexed here. I am so happy with, and proud of my life. I've made a beautiful home in a safe neighbourhood with an amazing woman, I've two kids who I'd die for, my work is important and fulfilling and I'm going at it, reasonably well paid. First world problems; I apparently still want to have my cake and eat it. Cakeism, my wife calls it. My neediness continues to arise from time to time. I think, coming through the workshops, I placed too much emphasis on "sitting with it". With "being OK with not being OK". I wasn't recognising that that's actually a very dangerous place to be, that my will power would eventually succumb and I'd find myself back where I am now - confessing a long list of sins that I've covered up for years. I didn't pay enough attention to balancing the other side of the seesaw, to filling my life with resourcing activities. I failed to reach out and admit - heck I didn't even admit to myself - that I was struggling.

So my vision, really, is my life exactly the way it is, only without the porn pick-me-ups and the lying. I've come to understand that a marriage that isn't 100% open is no marriage. I've been damaging my wife by holding her physically close, but spiritually at arms length. She accepted me at my worst before and I failed to trust her to continue to do so. When we were getting on so well, I was too much of a coward to burst that bubble and admit I'd done something I said I wouldn't do.

So there's that, but apparently my life needs something else because the one I've been living for the last 8 year has - it would seem - not had enough to it.

Reading about the 12 step programme that I'm going to be starting next week has made me really look hard at this question of allowing a higher power to run ones life - the only step that I think I'll have difficulty with. It's like I hear that still small voice inside me and I say "yes as long as it suits me, I'll do that", but I've always retained the option to do whatever I like. So my vision for myself is that I commit to ALWAYS doing the right thing. Which means not lying to my wife, and having a very not-selfish reason for lying to anyone else.

I guess keeping my fitness up is important, I've got a good regime going there. I'd like to remain as close to my kids as I am now. I'd like to have a marriage where I share fully, without concealment, without a glossy "touch-up". I'd like to strengthen my male friendships. In the list I read out today it was clear that I'm not a trustworthy friend when it comes to attractive partners. A friend of mine did not attend my wedding for this reason, so I want that to change.

I'm looking forward to talking about values and boundaries - that's quite relevant in this area. I'm very interested to look back at what I wrote last time and see what was real and what what the perfect façade that I present to the world - quite oblivious to that fact that my family know I'm not perfect.

What I didn't work through last time is that I'm selfish, that the first point of view I see anything from is how good or bad it makes me feel - considering other people always follows along later, and usually as a mental process not an instinctive one. I have a vision of myself as someone who considers others first. I've no idea how to move in this direction.

Update 1/1/20: I looked back to the vision I'd written the first time round and a posting from CoachCheryl which contained the following advice -
Quote:
Your Vision ... is nowhere where it needs to be. Your life vision should be specific, clear, balanced and incorporate as many areas of your life as possible. Some things that could be included would be relationships, family, health, fitness, friends, finances, hobbies, career, spirituality, travel, retirement etc, etc.
I might revisit my 2nd round vision in light of this.


Last edited by Guided on Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:24 pm 
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I don't even remember when I made the decision that I didn't need to do weekly or monthly monitoring - that's a big red flag. I assume that - at some point - I thought I was "fine". That won't be the case this time. I think I'll suggest a "graduation" page - even before the end of the course, where plans are put in place for 3months, 6months, 12 month checks.

I think what I wasn't getting in the last 8 years is that secrets are like walls. You can't fully open your heart to someone if there's a wall in there. And once you've hidden one thing, other things have to be hidden there too, otherwise a line of questions will expose the whole thing. The wall no only hides the thing from the partner, it hides parts of the addict from themselves.

Everything comes to light in the end. I really believe that, I don't know why I thought it wouldn't apply to my behaviour. And I could have come clean of my own accord at any point, that would have been so much better than (finally) confessing the truth when pressed directly.

I'm working on values today, lesson 3, and this quote from the lesson really spoke to me - this is what's been going on for me:
Quote:
Without a foundation of values, our lives would lack even the most basic sense of significance or meaning. People would be reduced to nothing more than animals guided by whatever made them feel good in a given moment, regardless of the consequences.


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 Post subject: Lesson 3 - Values
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Quote:
Without a foundation of values, our lives would lack even the most basic sense of significance or meaning. People would be reduced to nothing more than animals guided by whatever made them feel good in a given moment, regardless of the consequences.

I've been looking forward to this question, and to answer what's actually true for me, rather than what I think someone wants to hear. Jon said "Which is why, as the progressive nature of addiction begins to take root, the values of the emerging addict diminish. And as that behavior continues to progress, the connection with their values can be lost altogether." I do wonder if that's happened to me. My wife so obviously has such strong values that she really lives her life by. Mine seem more like...preferences.

Being Helpful (U)
Kindness (unfortunately usually applied in the moment, rather than with a longer term, wider perspective)
Being a good Dad (U)
I prepare the kids stuff for school every morning, make them breakfast, help with homework, play chess with them.
Being insightful, clever, wise (not much evidence of that this week!)
Looking after myself (U)
I have a good regime of running, sit-ups, press-ups and swimming. (P)
Spiritual development (U)
I'd like to meditate more. I have had a gratitude practice that I've done most mornings since the summer, that's had positive results. I've been appreciating the increasing depth of connection that a meditation group I belong to. (P)
Experiencing a sense of spiritual connection
Helping everything to fulfil its purpose (U)
I sing in a choir (P)
Being dependable (U)
I do the tasks that I commit to, and turn up to appointments punctually (P)
Being organised (U)
I put things in their right place, and maintain diaries / TODO list (P)
Keeping the planet healthy (U)
I enjoy my projects with solar, rain capture, picking up litter (P)
Being capable (U)
I build and fix things around the house, working with wood, electrics, plumbing (P)
Feeling competent (U)
Being financially responsible (U)
I've always prioritised long term savings / paying off mortgage rather than buying things. I have pride in my lack of attachment to material possessions as a spiritual value.
Being in nature (U)
Doing a job well (U)
Security (U)
Being well stocked with supplies - wood, food, savings.
Being supportive to my wife and her careers (I'm good at this at a practical and intellectual level)

Values picked from the example list:
Companionship
Avoiding conflict (this one leads straight to the dark side)
Walking the same path as equals (more the equality part of it, we walk many paths some of which are the same)

I was thinking that "Honesty" isn't actually one of my values, but it felt so good (and perhaps that's a clue there) to come 100% clean to my wife yesterday, to feel that weight of lies and deception lifted from my soul. So I want that, I want to look into my wife's eyes (if she lets me stay) and know she's seeing all of me, that I'm holding nothing back.

"Dark Side Values"
I enjoy pleasurable bodily sensations (alcohol gets included here, as well as physical touch)
I enjoy being looked after

Sunshine was expressing the opinion that I'm not addicted at all. I just want to do the things I like doing, while also having a family life, and since the two are not mutually compatible, I obviously have to lie in order to have my cake and eat it. So it's just a case of cakeism rather than addiction.

Sunshine says a Dark Side Value of mine is having what I want when I want it. And I do agree that a sense of entitlement has been part of my issue here - that I "deserve" sex and if I'm not getting it then there's something wrong (and in fact there is something wrong, but I was a) casting blame and b) casting it in the wrong direction).

More generally, there is a spiritual affliction of not accepting the world (or one's life) the way it is. Some days I accepted things and some days I was frustrated by them. Something I need to look into was why I didn't express that frustration to my wife. Was I avoiding putting pressure on her, or was I setting up the justification for my bad behaviour?

It was interesting to go back to my first round and look at my values there. They don't seem so different...there was reply from CoachCheryl that I'll edit back in to my vision posting above.


Last edited by Guided on Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:10 am 
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It's galling to be back here, so much time wasted. In some ways. In other ways it does also feel so different, I have grown (honest guv). I haven't raised my voice at all since D-Day2 kicked off. What I'm interested in today - and I think this is relevant for me going to an SLAA meeting later in the week - is that PMO is not my real issue. My problem is that I lied about it. It's similar to having a family member who's an alcoholic. There are many relationships where a couple might go out Friday Saturday night, get pissed, suffer a hangover and have a laugh the next day about how absolutely trashed they'd got. I'm not saying it's healthy, but it's not necessarily that much of a problem. It's when one partner doesn't want that behaviour in their lives and the other one starts hiding it, and then having to also hide the emotions around it, that it becomes a problem.

Sunshine and I were discussing this over breakfast (feeling grateful that we're having breakfast together given where I've put us - again) and we agreed that I'd spend some time looking at what goes on with the lying. That exercise done, there's some interesting things in it. Something that's big in there is lying so I can keep doing it or, in the future, that I want to keep the option open in case I decide to do it. Jon said something about that in an introduction let me find that quote...here:
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.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:23 am 
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I discussed with my wife (who was 'Sunshine' when we last worked in here) that I'm redoing the workshop from scratch. She's of the opinion that that's not a good use of my time, that the first part of the workshop is about "feeling good about yourself" and the next part is about understanding addiction and that I should move straight on to actually tackling it.

Something that's different this time around is that I'm clear about my faulty decision making and I don't trust myself. I hope that lack of confidence is going to help with avoiding complacency. I've said I'll just do whatever she suggests since I don't trust myself to get it right. But if I do feel a red flag come up then I'll discuss that. If Sunshine is on the controlling side I can understand that - she wants to be safe, and living with a liar isn't a safe environment. She deserves to feel safe in our marriage.

Anyway I thought action plans are probably worth my while looking at again, and then I definitely need to look at boundaries, but I see that comes much later. So I might hop about a little.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:45 am 
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Being a good husband
  • 3 day alarm set to "Share something you don't want to" - spend 10 minutes quiet allowing this to percolate
  • Weekly "plan date night"
  • Daily check in with Sunshine
  • Get into habit of asking myself "What's going on with Sunshine right now" - and reflect that back to her - before having a reaction about how that contact affects me.
  • Take responsibility for planning next holiday (reminder set for 2 months)

Being a good co-habitor
  • Cook every other meal as per alert
  • Take pride in sweeping out the fire, setting, cleaning etc
  • Tidy up kitchen while waiting for the kettle to boil
  • Encourage habit of moving things to their rightful place

Being a good Dad
  • Ensure I see both children when they come home from school
  • Ask about homework every evening
  • Plan 2 join activities per week - include in projects or do some craft activity

Being a good role model to my children
  • Max 1 drink if evening TV
  • Meditation before TV
  • "Lets have a family conversation about that"

Spiritual / Personal Development
  • Daily gratitude practice
  • Daily make space to allow my higher self to come in
  • Take proactive role in planning meditation group activities

Looking after myself
  • Daily situp/pressup/run routine
  • Don't be lazy - cycle!
  • Tuesday swim
  • Monday choir - appreciate the company and camaraderie as well as the music

Friends and Family
  • Follow through on catch up call with P
  • Continue with weekly calls to Parents - try to share more with them, not paint an "everything going great" picture

Existing good habits
  • Continue work TODO list workflow, being conscientious and proactive employee.
  • Continue to fix broken things where possible
  • Continue to maximise contributions to savings

Being here again, the following paragraph of Jon's really spoke to me:
Quote:
Far too many people abandon this tool because they can 'do it in their head'. And yes, when your life is going well, you likely can manage such things in your head. Value-building should become a quite natural process in your life. But make no mistake, when life isn't going so well...when your thoughts/emotions begin to fall out of balance...your ability to manage your values efficiently will be compromised. And without this system ingrained, you will be vulnerable to the 'shortcuts' that feed addiction.


Last edited by Guided on Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:46 am 
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I relate to most of the statements in the "Middle Recovery" section.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:42 am 
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Spiritual Personal Development
  • Did I meditate this morning?
  • Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today?
  • Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting.
  • Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making?
  • Have I opened myself up to the universe today?

Being a good Dad / role model
  • Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it?
  • Did both children get a 7 second hug?
  • Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday?
  • Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of?

Being a good husband / co-habitor
  • Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes?
  • In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding?
  • Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance?
  • Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday?
  • Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so?
  • Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today?
  • Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that?
  • What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them?

Here is my daily monitoring plan from 2011.


Last edited by Guided on Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:11 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 411
Hi Guided, welcome back to RN.

It sounds like complacency is the main reason for your return and, as you know, this is an addict's worst enemy. Whatever your choice of course over the coming months then a weekly health check does sound like a good plan for you.

Some comments on some of the things you have written in recent posts:
Quote:
3) Issues. The biggest issues that I am struggling to manage are:
I'm actually feeling like I'm doing OK except that I've been medicating some feelings of boredom and loneliness away with pornography.

If you think about how much time that viewing porn can soak up it can be quite surprising, hours can disappear in the blink of an eye. When you turn your back on it you should therefore anticipate that there are two huge voids created, on being the supposed interest you gained from it and the other the activity it gave you to fill in those hours. You should therefore try and anticipate this and perhaps find new (and/or reactivate old) interests to help fill in this time and to give you something healthy to get excited about. There is an element of displacement with this but as long as you continue to explore and deal with the underlying issues then i would suggest this might be a helpful technique to consider.
Quote:
I was 3 when a girl first showed an interest in me and I loved that feeling of being "the most special one" to her. So when I think back to that young boy with eyes so deep brown they were like pools of black, I just want to hold him - give him that attention that his parents didn't.

For me the object of this exercise is to understand that we addicts were not "born this way". Instead, events have occurred during our lives that we have handled immaturely and we have engrained over time and then have this as an auto response. Therefore the point here is that what has been learned can be unlearned. Yes it takes time and effort but it can happen. The easiest response for an addict (which you mention elsewhere) is that you are just the way you are and can not change - this passes the blame on to someone else. To recovery requires taking responsibility for it and to be honest with yourself (again you mention lying elsewhere - another classic addict's trait)
Quote:
I discussed with my wife (who was 'Sunshine' when we last worked in here) that I'm redoing the workshop from scratch. She's of the opinion that that's not a good use of my time, that the first part of the workshop is about "feeling good about yourself" and the next part is about understanding addiction and that I should move straight on to actually tackling it.

Remember that this is your recovery and you must make your own choices. If you do something just because your wife suggests that you should then you risk having that free card up your sleeve that will justify a slip or relapse because she recommended a certain course that you did not agree with. That said, your wife may have a point and perhaps focussing on certain parts of the workshop that you had not fully digested before might be a wise strategy - but you must decide for yourself and then take responsibility for it.

I hope the above comments help, feel free to take on board any part which are useful and ignore the rest as you see fit. Remember that you are a different person to the one that joined here in 2011, you have learned a lot even if there are some aspects you have lost sight of. In that sense you are not starting from scratch which may make your journey seem less daunting. I wish you every success on your journey, feel free to ask questions along the way and mentors and coaches will stop by to lend a helping hand.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:18 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
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In order to keep things tidy it is perhaps best to record your responses to the workshop and exercises and also your own musings to your own thread rather than in the community forum. Anything posted here should relate to questions where further clarity is required on a certain matter. Coaches and mentors will stop by on your personal thread to offer thoughts and guidance as needed.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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