Recovery Nation

The long road ahead!
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Author:  Kenzo [ Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Hi T
A happy anniversary to the both of you
hope that you both enjoyed the day and that all went well
I know that I am in a better place now, I know that I am a better person than the one that existed before this date last year.

you bet
and you can take it to the bank that next year will be even better so long as you continue to choose the recovery path

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Thanks Kenzo.

I look back at the last 10 months and am proud of myself for making this change and leading a healthy lifestyle, my hope, over the coming months, is that I can begin to see some recovery in my W too

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 33 summary review

Overall my week was quite level – there were ups & downs of emotions depending on the circumstances.
I spent time everyday assessing my emotional state, although a couple of days did not make 5 times.
I would say that my current emotional level is balanced, but I know I do not have complete control over it.
I had some really nice times with W and with my grandchildren, but also some stressful thoughts about W and work.
I still have to think about the highs & lows and not get over excited about either, but I am beginning to see some mature thinking, I need to continue to work on that and keep a level head.

I wrote this on the 14th Jan this year.

Where am I today?

My weeks overall are very level and I still monitor my emotional state daily, I would say that I now have a lot of control over it.

The stress I feel about W has not changed much, but I am learning to cope with the "ups & downs".
For example: Yesterday I was out all day with work and I could tell she was stressed when I came home, there was also an atmosphere. The difference in me now is that I understand her thinking, even though I know that the last thing I am thinking of is acting out. So I try to calm her fears and understand that I caused the emotions she goes through.

I find that I enjoy my time with W, my kids, Grandchildren and family so much more, there is nothing sitting in the back of my mind now saying that I would rather be acting out.

Finally, I definitely think that I am maturing as each month passes.

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 34) Obstacles to Emotional Maturity review

This review has come around at a very appropriate moment, this time last year my acting out went into overdrive and eventually led me to be caught by W. I had gone away on business for 4 nights and saw 2 prostitutes while I was away.
My emotional maturity was at an all time low, I was so blinkered, and only had thoughts of my darkside.
I had not forgotten that, and the thoughts of what I was doing last year had crossed my mind a lot recently, not in a negative manner but thinking about how far I had come.
In the back of mind was also the fact that as the year approached, W would also be having the same thoughts and so some anxiety has come into my life.

I had hoped that this next month could pass quietly and nothing would occur heighten the potential triggers W may have, but yesterday my boss called and I am now away for 2 days next week!

I feel stressed and anxious about it and can see it in W.
The positive side is I know I will not even think about acting out!
The negative is knowing how much it will be stressing W.

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 35) Health Monitoring II — Daily, Weekly - Review

Specific Daily
“I will stop and think about my emotional balance, find areas that require attention and try and level my emotions if required”
Posted beside my laptop.

Weekly monitoring
1. Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment.
2. Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go? As in, was there chronic stress/pressure I had to manage? Were
there any major traumatic events? Any intense emotional events?
3. Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance
through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means
(e.g. compulsive behavior)?
4. Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard?
Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.
5. Was I attentive to my wife?
Did I check on her emotional state?
6. Was I completely honest with my wife ?
7. Did you have “date time” with your wife or plan an activity/date?
8. Did you organise or discuss any future events, holidays etc?
9. Did I spend time doing my leisure activities?
10. Did you check on any family members ?
11. I will improve my work ethic and give it more focus, did you succeed ?

Interestingly, I do not have a lot to say when reviewing this lesson because nothing has really changed.
I still try to monitor my emotional balance daily and my checklist is exactly the same, the only difference being I do it monthly now.

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 36) The Role of Boundaries - review

I) Visiting a prostitute, for my own self gratification – I did not think of the basic boundaries and sanctity of my marriage. The boundary of knowing that was wrong was crossed so many times.

II) My main boundary is complete faithfulness to my wife, this I keep at the forefront of my mind in everything I do, it is a red line that must not be crossed.
Also I have stopped to think about my own moral code and will improve it drastically.
Any thought or fantasy that comes into my head that does not meet those criteria must and will be rejected!

I) The more I think about point 1 the more disgusted I am about the route I went down. It is a sickening feeling to think about the lack of boundaries I had in my life, it is good to think how much I have moved on from then.
II)My main boundary has not changed since I wrote this and I feel it has become ingrained in me. I have spent a lot of time on my moral code and it now extends well beyond my marriage, to include the way I treat family and others.
I have found that any thoughts, which mainly are old reminders of my past, are ejected very quickly.
If I find myself looking at a woman on the TV or in real life, I look away and remind myself that objectification is outside of my boundary and it works for me so far.

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 37) Identifying Personal Boundaries

I. Strengthening my role as a husband to my wife
1) I will not do anything that I cannot tell W about.
2) I will be openly honest with W.
3) I will be openly honest with myself
4) I will ask W about her emotions every day.
5) I will not be unfaithful to W

II. Self-discipline
1) I will monitor my own well being & emotional state daily.
2) I will complete my daily/weekly tasks, be it work, household or leisure.
3) I will be proactive regarding my time with W.
4) I will live by my values, boundaries and goals.
5) I will keep a structured lifestyle.
III. Communication
1) I will tell W everything that goes on in my head.
2) I will openly discuss work, finances, anything that arises on a daily/weekly basis.
3) I will check on all my family weekly.
4) I will not communicate with prostitutes.
5) I will regularly check in with my SAA group friends.
Absolute Boundary #1 - I will not do anything that I cannot tell W about.

Absolute Boundary #2 - I will not be unfaithful to W

Absolute Boundary #3 - I will live by my values, boundaries and goals

I can say that I have manged to keep to all these boundaries without exception.
One slight difference, regarding recovery, is that I check in with W regularly, we sit down and discuss our individual thoughts and emotions, approximately every fortnight or at least each month.
Daily life and other things I tell her straight away.
I go to SAA meetings weekly and check in with my group, I find it a great place for contemplation, to listen to others and let them know where I am mentally.

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Today is the first anniversary of my breaking W's heart!
That to me is the only way I think of the day I was caught.

It is a day of 2 parallel events:
It is a year since I changed, forever, my relationship with the woman I love and adore.
It is 1 year of health, no slips & no thoughts of acting out.

I wish I was sitting here happy about that, but I cannot, the damage it has done leaves me scared for the future of my relationship.
I am determined to continue down this path of recovery and hope that I do enough to prove to W that I have changed and that one day she can, maybe not forgive, but at least accept the new me.

I am on my own all day to day, and I have already sworn to myself never to return to that compulsive behaviour that has destroyed so much and to continue with my own healthy recovery and to help others with theirs.

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 38) Developing Healthy Boundaries - review

Complacency after a few months have passed.
Being away from home, especially more than one night.
Illness to myself or W: stopping the ability for intimacy for a period of time.

I said at the time that the boundaries I have in place would cover these situations and they have so far.

I have, in one way or another, had each of these situations arise over the last year and it has been a big benefit to be tested, for want of a better word.

I have written a few times that complacency was a big worry to me, but the truth is that it does not enter into it, as long as a stick to this health based recovery.
The situation of no intimacy for a long period time has arisen also and not once has this been a negative for me.

It gives me a bit pf pride to think that I have stuck to my plans etc.

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 39) Sexual Boundaries - review

I have kept to my healthy list of sexual boundaries, the main part of which is that if sex does not involve W, then I have no interest in anyway.
And YES, I keep to those boundaries!

Here is my ideal ending.
Step 2 Define an Ideal Ending
1. I will only have sex with W
2. I will not have sex with prostitutes
3. I will not use porn for my own private sexual gratification
4. I will openly discuss my sexual thoughts with W

That was my ideal ending in Jan and it is pretty much the same, but my update looks like this, not so much my ideal ending but how I run my life now:
1. I will only have sex with W
2. I do not masturbate (rightly or wrongly, I feel it would be wrong of me to do so and I have no requirement to for now)
3. I will openly discuss my sexual thoughts with W
4. I do not build fantasies about other women
5. I do not have sex with prostitutes
6. I do not look at porn

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Lesson 40) Respecting the Boundaries of Others - review

I. W’s boundaries
• Total monogamy
• Unconditional love
• Total honesty
• A fulfilling sex life within the marriage
II. Consider what you could do should YOU become aware that you have violated a boundary of theirs.
I would have to find a quiet moment to sit down and explain exactly what I have done, and why I did it. Apologise and discuss how to move forward, accepting that the consequences maybe dire and the point of no return!
III. Consider your reaction should they tell you that you have violated a boundary of theirs. Think beyond defensiveness...keep working until you grasp a healthy reaction.
My reaction would be a devastated feeling, not because I was caught, but because I did not own up in the first place, it would mean that I had learned nothing and was as bad as I had been before. I would not be defensive, but liable to capitulate and say very little.
I cannot imagine how the relationship could move forward as I had promised so much in my recovery.
I know W’s boundaries well, and nothing would sit right with me, I would not act like a wounded animal, but would appreciate that, depending on how badly the boundary was crossed, the consequences could be costly.

In this health based life I see how many boundaries I crossed before, and how many bridges I am still trying to repair.
I think that my comments were correct the first time round, to think that I would violate her boundaries ever again goes against the way I think now, but if it happened I know that the consequences would be dire for the relationship.

Author:  Kenzo [ Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Hi T
the consequences would be dire for the relationship.

and for the people in and around that relationship

people matter

values matter

recovery matters
but you know that , you journey continues at an ever increasing rate of knots, a credit to you :g: :g: :g:

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

people matter

values matter

recovery matters

Yes Kenzo, you are dead right. :w:

Author:  Theseus1112 [ Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Starting a New Year!

I pondered what to write today and a few thoughts entered my head, some of which I thought might be repetitive from previous posts.
I have now been through a full calendar year without acting out or even the thought of doing it.
Over the past months I cannot say that I have not thought about acting out, but it would be in memory of the past only, not an urge to go there!

I ask myself often, how have I changed so dramatically and how have I done it so easily (This is not something I could not imagine at the start)
The thought crosses my mind that maybe I was not that addicted in the first place?, but I take that as potential complacency so I do not allow that thought to linger.
I can only say that I had a determination to stop from D-day and it is as strong now as ever. I can also say that things may well have been different if I had not done the RN workshop and taken everything on board that Coach Jon has written about. Going to SAA meetings has also been a major factor, although I continue to wonder about the actual 12 steps, it does not stop me from going and sharing with my group.

What I want to share is the immense feeling I have of a healthy lifestyle where I do not spend hours of everyday hiding things/thoughts from my loved ones and the sense of peace that brings.
Everything is far from rosy with W, but I am determined to show her that I can be the person she thought I was and that can only be done through my actions.

Wishing everyone on RN a happy & peaceful new year!

Author:  learningtorun [ Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The long road ahead!

Hi T,

Congratulations on a successful year, your progress will be inspiring to others on RN who believe themselves to be incurable as they will see that a bit of learning and hard work can have a massive positive impact on your life. Your mentoring work on here is also very much appreciated by all on RN. Keep up the good work my friend!

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