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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:46 pm 
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Posts: 66
Thanks Kenzo, I'm going to try to be more disciplined this month. I realised I am happier when I don't stare at women and ignore my values.

This past week has been rough; I went out for a date with a girl and it went fairly well I thought. Things quickly turned very bad after that and now I've been dealing with a lot of self-doubt, indecision and general gloominess of spirit.
Ahh I really feel unready for a relationship right now, I get way too strung up on all this. Maybe I should just concentrate on other things until I am more stable- just been feeling so erratic and uncomfortable in myself of late. I feel like my life is out of my control atm. I could do with just a couple of days to re-stabilise myself, but life doesn't stop coming at me

Lesson 39: Healthy Sexual Boundaries

how do you achieve the emotional intensity that makes you feel 'normal'? That makes you feel alive? That makes life worth living? This is where the void of recovery takes place
~ this is what I've been going thru these past several weeks; that feeling of emptiness and a lost enjoyment of life.

Guilt and anxiety accompanies normal feelings of passion and sexual enjoyment
~ I've found I can't even enjoy having feelings for a girl anymore without feeling guilt or analysing if I am only thinking about her in a selfish way

I feel so sad right now. I am a lost soul. What have I done to myself?

Lesson 39 Exercise

I will build this over the coming days...

Step 1
- I have an unusually strong sex drive
- Porn is disgusting and yet exciting
- Masturbation is a selfish and weak act
- Women are sexual creatures
- I need sex or some form of sexual release otherwise I will explode
- I was born with a very strong desire for sex
- I am sexually desirable and women should come to me
- Women are meant for sex
- Sex has always been a part of me
- Watching videos on forced sex is alright as long as you don't act on it
- Anal sex is amazing
- Women are meant to be dominated
- Sexual displays of dominance are more exciting
- I find it difficult to express sexual interest with others
- Sex outside of marriage should be alright although I know it is wrong
- I want to have as much sex as possible
- Sex with many partners is my right as a man
- Porn is an enjoyable form of recreation
- If you're not having sex, watching porn is acceptable as a form of release
- Most women love me
- I want to have sex outside of marriage
- I have more wet dreams than the average person when I abstain from pmo
- Physical characteristics are more important in a potential partner
- Personality is very important for a long term partnership tho
- I must feel sexually excited by a mown to enter into a relationship with them
- I shouldn't have to approach women
- Masturbation weakens you, but the release is good temporarily
- The weirder the sex, the better it is
- Porn is a part of me
- My sexual drive is extremely high
- It is ok to stare at women
- Women secretly enjoy being objectified
- Women should be cherished
- Women are meant to be looked after
- Women deserve protection
- Sex is an expression of love


Last edited by RenaissanceGibbon on Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:14 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3829
Location: UK
RG
Quote:
I feel so sad right now. I am a lost soul. What have I done to myself?

Simply
you have made poor choices driven by your emotions
so going forwards remember that your sadness is temporary as are all emotions
bounce back
learn to like and then love yourself
Choose wisely

_________________
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


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:52 am
Posts: 66
I messed up this past week. Went out to party last week with some friends and didn't have a great night- I was so focussed on finding a girl there that I forgot to have a good time. I was too nervous about speaking to anyone and got really down about how bad my social skills are despite going 70 days clean. Made the mistake of drinking a lot and then coming home and sleeping with my phone next to me. When we got back to my place we watched a program which contained sex scenes. I let this play on my mind when I went to bed and began edging the next day. I realised it was my emotions doing this to me; I was feeling sorry for myself after 'failing' last night and questioning what the point of rebooting was if I didn't even know how to have a good time anymore.

Anyway, I ended up relapsing and then another 15 (!) times over the course of the week. I'm disappointed in myself, but I'm not disheartened- I see how I let my emotions get the better of me and will try harder this time. I need to focus on recovery rather than these streaks tho, there's no excuse for binging on porn as much as I did.

Lesson 39 continued...

Step 2

- I will only have sex once I am married
- I will learn to find healthy ways of releasing tension and stress without the use of porn and masturbation
- I will not use the bodies of others as a means of distraction
- I won't engage in sexual activities with anyone I don't see as a future partner
- I will not partake in any sexual activities that I know to be wrong


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:52 am
Posts: 66
Lesson 39 Continued...

Step 3
When I strip down my current sexual values, this is what I am left with...
Quote:

Step 1

- Personality is very important for a long term partnership
- I must feel sexually excited by a woman to enter into a relationship with them
- Women should be cherished
- Women are meant to be looked after
- Women deserve protection
- Sex is an expression of love


Step 4
Identify potential obstacles
- Falling back into a porn and masturbation cycle, this warps my view of women- I can literally feel all the toxic thoughts circling in my mind as soon as I start watching any type of porn again. Anything like this will only strengthen some of the twisted thoughts in the back of my mind. These thoughts only really manifest when I am watching porn, but they are disturbing none the less.

- Getting too involved in my emotions- this might be getting down about being single or being rejected, which could lead to me thinking of myself as unlovable and therefore cheapen my values in my pursuit to gain approval.

- Breaking my rule of staring at women- this will strengthen my thoughts that women are sexual objects and it's alright to stare at them. I never feel good after doing so and I get a similar hazed feeling in my mind to when I am watching porn.

- Getting too caught up in myself- this can lead to me being selfish and not looking out for others. If I get too wrapped up in my own problems I will only be thinking of myself which is similar to when masturbating to porn, ignoring the effect of my actions on others.

- Relationships with girls- this can always be a danger if I get messed about with a girl, if I get too obsessed about them or if the relationship goes south. I can't focus all my attention on women. I can't sacrifice myself or my values at their expense any longer.

Step 5
Please can a moderator reading this help me to develop my values in step 2?

RenaissanceGibbon wrote:
Step 2

- I will only have sex once I am married
- I will learn to find healthy ways of releasing tension and stress without the use of porn and masturbation
- I will not use the bodies of others as a means of distraction
- I won't engage in sexual activities with anyone I don't see as a future partner
- I will not partake in any sexual activities that I know to be wrong


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:52 am
Posts: 66
Relapsed again several times last week, I was very foolish, just got home from work knowing that I had a week off work now and with no responsibilities over the break. I got that little twinge in my stomach as soon as I got home and instead of dismissing it, I let it play in my mind and eventually relapsed.

I've just re-read some of my old posts and can see how each of my latest relapses have been exactly the same as I described in my rituals. I.e. negative thought arises, don't dismiss thought, go on social media, convince myself I am in control, end up relapsing, tell myself it was just the 1 time, end up relapsing again.

I am going to start re-reading my posts every day- I need to take this addiction really serious now; it's ridiculous how often I make the same exact mistakes.

Lesson 39 continued...

Step 6

Quote:

- Women are meant to be looked after


I feel this is a good value to develop; women are treated with such disrespect through porn and the way I sometimes view women is nothing more than as a sexual object. Learning to treat them with more respect will be good for me.

Step 7
RULES TO PROTECT THIS VALLUE:
- Will not stare at women in a sexual manner
- Won't speak of women in a sexual manner or with lust
- Will not click on links/sites/images if I am going there with the intention to admire a woman's body
- Will avoid thinking sexually about women or dwelling on such thoughts

Lesson 8
In progress... I will try and come away with 1 point each week which I can add to this section through observing people in life, through TV, books etc.

Step 9
I role-played certain scenarios that often occur in which I am tempted to stare at women in some way or obsess over a girl. I thought of how I will turn my head away, focus on something else and not make women the main focal point in my life. I don't have to put my life on hold every time a woman enters my atmosphere. I can do this, it's all decision-making, that decision to turn away when tempted.

Step 10
With this addiction I am very much aware of how each decision I make feeds into another decision later on the line. Choosing to disregard my rule of not staring at women may just leave me with a slight buzz 1 day, but I I repeat the habit the next day and the next, this creates a loop- suddenly my rules and values aren't that important anymore and so maybe other rules/values aren't that important. Heck, why do I need them at all? This is especially dangerous as I get further into my reboot as I will often convince myself that I am far away from my old habits and have progressed beyond needing to rely on these values on a daily basis to keep me in check. In reality, living by these values is the reason I have gotten so far and is what I will need to fully recover. Abstinence is not what is going to create a new healthy life for myself. Each time I stare at a woman or waste time on social media is building up more and more pressure in me until I eventually end up relapsing.

Step 11
I have decided to focus more on the following values, I think I am not active enough in my reboot. A lot of my values I tend to focus on are quite passive, so I will put more focus into these ones:
- Mastering skills
- Having a life I am passionate about
- Making time for family
- Trying my best
- Accepting my imperfection
- Living a clean/moral life
- Not comparing myself to others
- Being true to myself
- Living synonymously with God's standards
- Living honestly
- Being dependable

Step 14
such a process of value redevelopment — ANY VALUE REDEVELOPMENT — does require conscious, sustained effort.
~ I can't afford to become complacent, this is going to require actual effort on my part. It needs to be the main focus in my life right now.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:22 am 
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Posts: 66
Lesson 40 - Respecting the Boundaries of Others

Lesson 40 exercise

I. My mum has always been very loving and always works hard for the household. She cleans, tidies, cooks meals most days. I could do more to help out around the house or show more verbal appreciation of everything she does. My mum is always there for me as well if I am struggling with something. I don't always give my full attention when mum is asking me something tho, especially when in the throes of addiction, I am barely listening. If my mum is talking to me about something I could put down or stop whatever I am doing and give her my full attention to show her I take her problems seriously.

II. If I had been unappreciative I could show my appreciation by doing something else i.e. tidy the living room

III. If I was told that I had violated a boundary, I would feel very defensive and irritated at first. I would have to put this feeling aside and listen to what they are saying fully so that I can show respect for what they are saying. I could then apologise and assure them that I have taken notice of what they are saying and will try not to let it happen again.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 293
RG,
Quote:
each of my latest relapses have been exactly the same as I described in my rituals. I.e. negative thought arises, don't dismiss thought, go on social media, convince myself I am in control, end up relapsing, tell myself it was just the 1 time, end up relapsing again.

...it's ridiculous how often I make the same exact mistakes.

The honesty you continue to use in your posts is so important. Keep it up.

The great thing about patterns, is that when they come up again (which they always do), you get to CHOOSE if you're going to do the same damn thing you did last time or CHOOSE to do something different.

We cannot achieve what has not yet been defined. RG, can you describe what you'd like your new pattern to be upon the start of the ritual? How would you like to respond next time? If willing, define it here in your thread. Doing so will help you see clearly that relapse is a choice, not a thing that happens to us.

Lastly, this may be a good time to revisit your vision and make it even more practical now that you have 40 lessons of knowledge under your belt. Doing so may continue to reignite your motivation and drive forwards. What is RG's new and improved vision of health?

Be well,

Anon


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:52 am
Posts: 66
anon523 wrote:

We cannot achieve what has not yet been defined. RG, can you describe what you'd like your new pattern to be upon the start of the ritual? How would you like to respond next time? If willing, define it here in your thread. Doing so will help you see clearly that relapse is a choice, not a thing that happens to us.


Good idea, I always feel like there are multiple Points of No Return during my rituals, but often the first PoNR is as soon as I let the urge/emotion play on my mind. I'll break down the list:

#1- Negative emotion is experienced
#2- Conscious thought of the emotion takes place {instead of thinking about the emotion here, I should use my meditation techniques to just notice the thought and move on}
#3- Urge to watch porn to reduce pain arises
#4- Thought isn't immediately dismissed [PoNR] {I could choose to dismiss the thought or consider how acting on the urge would lead me down the same dark path as usual}
#5- Let an image of porn play in my mind for a second {as soon as this happens I could stop and pray and then immediately busy myself with something else}
#6- Open up social media site and scroll through the page 'innocently' {realise and accept why I am doing this action and immediately exit the app/site}
#7- Believe I am in control and can stop whenever I want
#8- Continue looking, but now click on several pages that may lead to triggers
#9- Follow chain of pages until I accidentally discover a pornographic image
#10- Believe that it is too late and escalate searching for porn
#11- Open up Youtube and watch videos of sexual dancing
#12- Masturbate to orgasm
#13- Wake up from 'porn coma' feel slight guilt but convince myself it was just the 1 time
#14- Clean up, get shower, try and continue with day as if nothing happened
#15- Eventually end up mindlessly searching phone again repeating steps 6 - 9 {Instead of repeating the cycle I should accept I slipped up and recommit by re-reading my values, visiting this site etc.}
#16- Urge to masturbate becomes too strong and decide to open up porn site
#17- Masturbate to porn until orgasm
#18- Feeling of shame and guilt
#19- Clean up and sleep if end of the day (if not usually play out ritual several times throughout day until oblivion)

By stage 8 I believe that is a solid PoNR for me, by then it feels like the animal side of my brain has taken command or something. Looking at that tho, there are multiple chances I have to change my course before I let things get that far. It's up to me to notice that I am entering the ritual and that it is my conscious decision whether or not to carry on.

anon523 wrote:

Lastly, this may be a good time to revisit your vision and make it even more practical now that you have 40 lessons of knowledge under your belt. Doing so may continue to reignite your motivation and drive forwards. What is RG's new and improved vision of health?



Thanks Anon, I've got some spare time over the weekend, so I think I'll set aside some time to consider my vision.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:57 pm 
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Lesson 41: Mastering Boundary Awareness

Started facebook stalking this girl at my work when I got home today, I looked at a few of her pictures, but stopped myself from looking too much. I broke my absolute boundary not to stare at women and my mind feels a bit fuzzy from the dopamine rush, but I feel like I'm in control. I have been thinking about girls a lot lately and struggling to keep them off my mind or stop staring at them. Need to use this weekend to refocus.

Exercise

An example from today. I was due to finish work at my usual time at 4.30pm, but was told I might need to stay a bit later to send off some reports. It wasn't my fault that the reports were going to be sent out late, but there was nothing I could do, so agreed to stay later. I later questioned whether I was being true to myself by agreeing to stay later, should I have questioned it more? This would have affected my value of honesty and being true to myself. My coworker later said that I don't have to stay, but I told him I don't mind helping him out. I had to stay an hour extra, but we managed to get it done and I think he was glad for the help. This strengthened my value of looking out for others.

To strengthen the boundary around being true to myself: I should take a second before being asked to do something I feel affects this value. Before responding, use that second to feel what I want to do and then go with it. Take into consideration if you have any real reason for saying no, before you do. It is good to sacrifice for others at times.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:11 pm 
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Lesson 42: Mastering Rituals & Chains

This topic came at the perfect moment- I was starting to experience heavy urges and decided to come here and do another exercise. It was greatly helpful remembering that the urges only have finite intensity. I would say the urges I were experiencing came in at around 60 on the urge meter. I briefly considered watchingg porn, but as soon as I noticed the thought I tried my hardest to change my thoughts.

Exercise

Lesson 24 recap
Sensory - this is a large part of my rituals, as building up little actions throughout the day can often be building my ritual without me even knowing it. I could be staring at a woman at work, maybe glancing at an actresses legs on a TV program or seeing lots of pictures of women on social media. Letting myself stare at such things builds intensity throughout the day or even weeks until I am fit to burst.
Past - I felt this have an effect on me just now as the thought entered my mind that there is no point trying to beat this thing, as I have wasted too much time in my life already and it would be far better to just be comfortable now. What a foolish thought, especially considering how after each relapse it makes me realise how miserable I truly am.
Laziness - there is always something I could be doing; when I find myself staring at my phone or aimlessly browsing the internet for pictures of women, I could be tidying my room, the house, talking to my parents, reading a book, doing some study, meditating, doing some exercise, drawing, listening to music, brushing my teeth, making food etc. There is no reason I should resort to porn to alleviate boredom.

Looking at my chain, there is also a strong link between the initial negative emotion experienced and then the need to reduce that stress by seeking pleasure in something else, in the case of my addiction, staring at women's bodies/fantasising. If I can realise when I am doing this or notice the negative emotion initially I can cut off the first and most important part of the chain before it even begins.

Lesson 25 recap
Quote:
This is key, I am often undone by an urge that its experienced so strongly I feel powerless:
there is no such thing as compulsive behavior. At least, compulsive to the point where you have no control over your actions. As you will learn, all behavior has the potential to be broken down at the time it is experienced. All "compulsive behaviour" can be stopped.


I just proved this now, a while ago I might have caved to these urges, but instead I noticed them for what they were and didn't let emotions exacerbate the situation.

Quote:
your decision-making process was relegated to more or less a single question, "How will it make me feel?"


I need to get better at this, a lot of how I act is still based on how I am feeling at the time. If I get in an irritable mood I might find myself giving in to the urge to check women out or if I'm tired I might waste time browsing social media for a quick dopamine hit.

Lesson 26 recap
Looking at my compulsive chain mapping it is apparent just dishonest and slippery my mind is when getting me to watch porn. I need to be aware of the half truths I might tell myself and look beyond these to the truth of what I really want.
"I'm just killing time" - I could do something productive then rather than browsing thru my phone, I know deep down I'm just hoping for a trigger to set me off
"You can look for 10 minutes and I'll quit" - when have I ever stuck to this rule? This is like giving someone who is fasting a bite of chocolate during the day and telling them to continue, it's just going to make it 1000 times harder for them
"You're still in control" - this is my time to step away and think about what I'm doing to myself if this statement is true.

Lesson 28 recap
It's the small actions which I view as insignificant which build up and get me. The thoughts, the negative emotions, the need to relieve tension, staring at women etc. It's all important and all part of a larger chain built up of familiar rituals which I've developed over many years. I need to remain focused, if I keep doing the same habits of checking out women, beating myself up, procrastinating, I am predictably going to land in deep water again.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3829
Location: UK
RG it has been a while IMO too long
you wrote
Quote:
I need to get better at this, a lot of how I act is still based on how I am feeling at the time.


also how good we as addicts are at denial and providing ourselves with self justifiable excuses

If you need to get better then get on with getting better
For sure in addiction change is inevitable
either recover or gradually sink lower
I say this from my own experiences and thus suggest that that you make your choice sooner rather than later

_________________
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


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