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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:26 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Kenzo wrote:
Hi T

Jacobs posts are gone
thanks for stepping in

:g:
Took a bit of time to report them all! :w:

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Recovery Workshop: Lesson 73 - review

When I completed this lesson first time I was 5 months into recovery, it is now just short of 2 years.
Quote:
The Insights/Skills that should be In place
At this point in your recovery, you should possess the following insights/skills:
• You should be experiencing a significant decline in the frequency of compulsive sexual/romantic urges. For someone with a daily pattern of sexually compulsive behavior, experiencing one or two significant urges in the course of a week should be anticipated. Experiencing one or two per month would be ideal. Experiencing no compulsive urges whatsoever is not natural.
• You should be comfortable in isolating each individual urge you experience — as it is experienced. You should not be thinking in terms of clusters or patterns anymore. •You should understand why this individual urge approach is the most efficient for managing compulsive behavior.

To some extent I come under the "not natural" part of this, but it is possibly how I interpret them.
I do not get urges to act out, but I do think of my past behaviour - I cannot say it is negative nor positive, more of "that's what I used to do", but now I do not want to as it is no longer part of me. More importantly I do not let the thoughts linger!
Quote:
You should have no existing triggering material in your possession and should have no 'secret stash' of destructive links, images or other stimuli that you can gain access to.

I have nothing that ties me to my past.
Quote:
•You should have your self-awareness enough to know whether you are being absolutely honest with yourself about whether or not a particular stimuli is destructive.
• You should possess the ability to understand the general flow of emotions in a single compulsive event. In the lessons, you worked on very specific emotional elements that make up such a flow...to move on, you only need to understand the general nature of these elements.

I continue to monitor my emotions, although sometimes it is hard to keep in check, but on a monthly basis I have been balanced.
Quote:
• You should be able to recognize the critical time in a compulsive urge where you are capable of logical and/or predetermined decision-making (e.g. engaging in a mechanical decision-making process or deferring to an existing action plan).
• You should have a clear understanding of the Urge Control process.
• You should have a clear understanding of the Decision-Making process.
• You should have a comprehensive Relapse Prevention Plan in place that addresses not only the most common behavioral patterns, trigger patterns and signs/symptoms of an unbalanced life, but that has objective, precise actions to take should the need arise.
• You should have documented Action Plans in place to all of your most likely compulsive behaviors/triggers.

Yes is the answer to all of this - I repeatedly mention complacency because that is a concern, I keep these processes and plans at the top of mind when required.
Quote:
Additionally, you should have at least partially developed the following:
• You should possess at a minimum, a fuzzy understanding of how the individual pieces of the workshop come together to form a cohesive addiction recovery strategy.

Yes
Quote:
• You should have a mechanical awareness of the individual pieces presented in the workshop, but not necessarily a functional one. This functionality will be developed in the next phase of the recovery process.

Yes
Quote:
• You should be experiencing mild to moderate anxiety/doubt about your ability to sustain long-term, healthy change.

I still have mild doubts, but they are rare.
Quote:
• You should feel some apprehension in anticipating your first real test to your recovery — usually related to either complacency or the recognition that secrets/dishonesty remain a part of your life management repertoire.

My real tests would be being away for a couple of days and this has not happened. I am fully prepared for that eventuality and the biggest amount of stress would be "what is W thinking?"
Quote:
• You should have started to prepare for this test, though confusion should persist as to just what this 'test' will look/feel like.

Yes
Quote:
• You should be getting in the habit of engaging in multiple mental role-playing sessions (lasting a few minutes each, several times per day) with the goal of furthering your awareness and ingraining healthy skills into the compulsive process.

I think about this most days.
Quote:
• You should have a list of solid, functional values that contains at least seven items. Each of these values should be capable of providing you with strength, stability and focus when called upon.

My functional values are;
To be monogamous and faithful to W
To be honest to W
To be honest to myself
Be free of secrets
Be patient with myself and others ( I sometimes fail with this one)
To communicate - regularly with the people that matter most to me.
Be dependable
Be responsible

Overall I continue to try and be prepared for any eventuality that could trigger me to go backwards.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 2:50 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Today is 2 years since D-day!
Today is 2 years completely sober without a single relapse!
Today is 2 Years since I broke W's heart and destroyed her world!

How do I feel?
Getting through to 2 years and how I feel about myself is great. In the beginning it was hard work with a ton of soul searching, but to be honest it then became easy, not because I am being big headed about it or because I am complacent. It is because I put the work in and continue to do so, there is no doubt RN has played a major part in my recovery.
My biggest regret is ever being in that place, I see what it has done every day, because the person most affected is W. There are many occasions when I wish I could change my past.
W has been so supportive and a huge influence on my recovery, she told me about RN & SAA.
She deserves the most praise as she has been prepared to stick with me throughout this. I find that amazing, knowing what is going on inside her head.
It is a massive incentive to keep going and stay healthy and I am eternally grateful for her support.
And thank you RN & SAA for giving me direction.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:31 pm 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 459
Hi T,

Congratulations on your milestone which will offer encouragement and support to many members on this site.

As you know, one of the things that CoachJon mentions is that those in advance stages of recovery:
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."

I wonder where you see yourself in relation to this? It might perhaps be an interesting idea to explore in a future post?

Well done and keep up the good work. :g:

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Thank you L2R,

With reference to John's quote
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."
I have to say that I am a healthy person that once used addiction to manage their life.
My reasons are simple, although I have all the tools ready to deal with any triggers or urges, the fact is they don't happen!
I can sit all day at my laptop be it for work or pleasure and never once does the thought cross my mind to head off into porn.
If that was not the case and I had to fight an urges then I would see it differently.
My life is no longer taken up with being on my guard anymore.
The one thing that I do not want to sound is complacent, that is not the case. I have found a new outlook on life that does not require me to be stimulated half the day.
I gain meaning and fulfilment in other ways.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Over the last few months I have seen a few of my fellow addicts slip or relapse and it had me thinking about quite a few things.
What causes them to slip?
Why do they lose, what can be, years of sobriety?
Where am I in relation to this kind of behaviour?

I obviously cannot answer the first two questions! Except I go back and think about goals, values & boundaries.

My own list is set out because
1) I never want to hurt W, who I love so much, ever again!
2) It has taken me 40 years to find out that I was an addict, I don't want to spend any more of my life like that.
3) I do not need to have an all encompassing desire/compulsion that prevents me from enjoying so many other things in my life.

These and many other things keep me on track and I know that I am lucky to have W in my life, she is a constant reminder to me of where I was and how I am now.
I know there are others that lead single lives and that must be much harder, but as with all addictions it is all about commitment.

I do believe that the lockdowns will not have helped anyone and I posted a thread about it way back in March, but there has to be a better way of getting through things other than slipping back.
The people I know that have slipped, have my full support to get back on track, be it through RN or SAA.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:48 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Thinking back over 2020 and how it affected my recovery, I thought I would do an overview similar to my monthly monitoring.
Quote:
1) Over the past year, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfilment.

I had huge satisfaction from knowing that I had continued to remain free from acting out and that I continued to improve my lifestyle.
I enjoyed the few times W and I managed to get away and do something together (Covid obviously killed a lot of plans)
I enjoyed being in the moment with my kids and grandkids.
I had a better work ethic.
Quote:
2) Over the past year, how did I manage my stress levels

Covid has had a huge part to play in everyone's lives this year and things have been tough, but I feel that I coped pretty well.
The hardest thing has seen W continue to struggle with my past behaviour and knowing that there is nothing I can do directly to change the way she feels.
I have just tried to show her that I have changed and that I am becoming a better person as each day/month passes.
Quote:
3) Was I completely honest with W

YES - I can definitely say that I have been honest at all times
Quote:
4) What can I still improve on

Communication with W - More check ins
Be more proactive on what we do together

My life feels disjointed because of the fact that I feel so much better now, but W does not, as I said above it is hard to see her still hurting.
I understand that the trust issue make take many more years to improve and that I may never gain her full trust ever again.
What I would love to see eventually is comfort and peace to return to her life.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Over the last few weeks I have been writing letters to those I hurt through my compulsive behaviour.
This is part of Step 8 & 9 in SAA, but I thought I would mention it here as it has bearing on my recovery.
For those that do not know SAA 12 Steps,
Quote:
Step 8 says;
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9 says;
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

There was only going to be one person that I actually read a letter to and that was W, which I did yesterday.
The rest were a good exercise in reminding myself of where I was over the last 40+ years, where I am now and a sobering reminder of what I was like.
The letters/amends are meant to give some closure in SAA, but I did not take it that way, as I will always feel guilt to those I have wronged and that will never change.
My reason for mentioning it here on RN, is because I am always looking to keep the motivation of my recovery at a high level and this is one of these reflective times that helps so much.
It is too easy for someone to finish RN or 12 Steps and think they are cured, my experience of seeing others is that you can never get complacent or it will come right back and bite you.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:58 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi T and a happy new year to you

Quote:
I will always feel guilt to those I have wronged and that will never change.


IMO that is fact and is the way it should be
however in recovery we need to own that guilt and not let own us
We did what we did our history is fact, we need to accept and not deny nor minimise its destruction

Quote:
It is too easy for someone to finish RN or 12 Steps and think they are cured,

I agree the end of the programme is only the start of real and permanent change requiring continued consistency, commitment and diligence

Quote:
my experience of seeing others is that you can never get complacent or it will come right back and bite you.


here we differ in our thinking
your way seems to embrace the old SA addage of one an addict always an addict, correct me if I am wrong
IMO post recovery then return to addiction , any addiction, is a matter of choice
for sure complacency is a negative, but not a foregone conclusion

You have the life skills and mindset and are sharing these with others, you can and will own that guilt

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:49 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Hi Kenzo
Happy new year to you too!
Quote:
here we differ in our thinking
your way seems to embrace the old SA addage of one an addict always an addict, correct me if I am wrong

You were wrong :w: I personally have a few issues with the SAA way of thinking, but I think I have said it before, I enjoy the meetings and looking at things from a different angle - It helps me, but RN is my main route to recovery.
It was purely an observation on what I have seen since starting my own recovery.
Quote:
IMO post recovery then return to addiction , any addiction, is a matter of choice
for sure complacency is a negative, but not a foregone conclusion

I totally agree with that sentiment. :g:

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
It's been a month since I posted something and not a lot has happened in that time.
The groundhog day effect of lockdown continues, but it has no effect on my recovery, which is as strong as ever.

I feel a sadness, knowing that W still has trauma, something I caused and cannot fix!

I know that our relationship together will never be the same again, at the moment it feels like we are just great friends, but we are together and I am very thankful of that.

I truly hope that one day she finds peace, with or without me!

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:29 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi T
Quote:
I feel a sadness, knowing that W still has trauma, something I caused and cannot fix!


but you know that you will not stop trying

you "fixed" you

the old T and W relationship has gone but remember that good even great can be bourne from ashes

hoping for you both

_________________
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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