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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:44 am 
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Lesson 36) The Role of Boundaries

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!

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:00 am 
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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

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 38) Developing Healthy Boundaries
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 feel that the boundaries I have laid out would cover these situations.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 39) Sexual Boundaries

Since this one takes a while and not so much to post, I thought that I would post somethings on it,
This section here is that I am looking at,
Quote:
There are no right or wrong answers — only a representation of your current sexual beliefs

In writing my list of values, I found that after nearly 3 months sober there are not many values that are negative, as my thoughts on this have changed drastically already. Before I would have said it is ok to have sex with prostitutes if I did not get found out, but now It is a huge no no!

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 40) Respecting the Boundaries of Others
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.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
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Lesson 41)Mastering Boundary Awareness
Started the log for 1 month

Lesson 42) Mastering Rituals and Chains
I have read over the lessons 24 – 28, understand what I was doing and already feel I have moved on from them. Although will always be weary of the signs.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 389
Hi T,

You have not had much in the way of feedback from the coaches and mentors during your journey to date but, as mentioned at the outset, that is usually a good sign that you are on the right track. Please be aware that we are keeping an eye on everyone's threads though so you are not alone on your journey. You are coming to a point where everything learned to date will start to be pulled together which you should find interesting and helpful. Keep up the good work.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
learningtorun wrote:
Hi T,

You have not had much in the way of feedback from the coaches and mentors during your journey to date but, as mentioned at the outset, that is usually a good sign that you are on the right track. Please be aware that we are keeping an eye on everyone's threads though so you are not alone on your journey. You are coming to a point where everything learned to date will start to be pulled together which you should find interesting and helpful. Keep up the good work.


Thanks LTR, I am finding the whole programme very useful, and it is giving me a huge insight into who I was and where I want to be.
A lot of the sections I am on do not seem to ask for so much posting on my thread, but I am still working away and will post something when I can or feel the need to.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 44) Urge Control: Your Core Identity

Describe in your recovery thread the role that your core identity will play in helping you to establish/maintain a healthy life.
My core identity is making me realise what is important in my life, my marriage, my family, my work & leisure activities. In the first instance it has prevented me from even thinking about acting out, I have had no urges at all, I know the consequences are too great and for the first time in my life I think about these every day. It has given me a new lease of life.

Describe the role that value-based experiences will play in further developing your core identity.
I think about my values each morning, what is important to me and what is not, it is keeping me sober. As above I have had no urges as yet and feel good about that fact.

Take some time to examine the current state of your core identity. How in tune with it are you? When you engage in activity that is destructive, what role does your core identity play in that decision? How is it affected by the consequences of that decision?
I would say that I am totally in tune with it at the moment; one of the main things for me is openly discussing my addiction with W, and my day to day feelings right now.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 45) Urge Control: Isolating the Emotions
I have had no thoughts of Acting out so using an old ritual for this lesson
A)
1. Know that I am going to be alone: Early morning, W going out, working away from home.
2. Think about what I can watch/read when having the free time.
3. Going on the internet, with suspense at what I might find today.
4. Browsing through the same sites I always look at, looking for things that I find arousing.
5. Physically touching myself.
6. Looking for more, different things.
7. Sustain the arousal, by not having an orgasm.
8. If I have an orgasm the act is over.
9. Feel guilty/ self conscious.
10. Make sure history is wiped.

1. Excitement, boredom
2. Excitement, suspense
3. Excitement, mild arousal
4. Arousal
5. Arousal, pleasure
6. Frustration if I cannot find what I am seeking that day.
7. Continuing the arousal, pleasure
8. Comfort, then anxiety or disgust
9. Feel guilty/ self conscious.
10. Nervous, anxious that I have cleaned up properly.

B) If I remove boredom & excitement from this, then it probably would not start at all.

C) PONR is the within a few minutes of browsing. Point 4

D) Point 3, I do not want to start browsing for porn. I get up in the morning with no thoughts of porn so I have no excitement in my head, I do not get bored as I already have a plan of what I need to do.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 46) Urge Control: Isolating the Decision

Element 1: Knowing I was going to have time alone to watch porn
Element 2: Thinking about what type of porn I could look at and fantasising.
Element 3: Sitting at my laptop and browsing.

Element 3 is my point of no return, I would stop before I even looked at at porn.
My values of honesty, being trustworthy, self discipline and being a good husband would kick in.
I would say to myself that the “quick fix” is not worth the effort I am putting into recovery, not worth breaking my new boundaries or breaking W’s boundaries.

Instead I would move away from the PC or look at something completely different, with no sexual connotations.

Side note: Boredom was one of my main causes of acting out, I continually strive to find things to do, my daily life has changed massively so these moments do not occur.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:34 am 
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Posts: 146
Lesson 47) Urge Control: Isolating the Decision

I am using an old chain to start with, but using my current thought process to re-write it.

Old Chain
1. Know that I am going to be alone: Early morning, W going out, working away from home.
Excitement, boredom
2. Think about what I can watch/read when having the free time.
Excitement, suspense
3. Going on the internet, with suspense at what I might find today.
Excitement, mild arousal
4. Browsing through the same sites I always look at, looking for things that I find arousing.
Arousal - PNR
5. Physically touching myself.
Arousal, pleasure
6. Looking for more, different things.
Frustration if I cannot find what I am seeking that day.
7. Sustain the arousal, by not having an orgasm.
Continuing the arousal, pleasure
8. If I have an orgasm the act is over.
Comfort, then anxiety or disgust

New Chain
1. Know that I am going to be alone: Early morning, W going out, working away from home.
Excitement, boredom
2. Think about what I can watch/read when having the free time.
Excitement, suspense
3. I stop here; I will not let it go any further.
If there is an urge I would fight the emotions by reminding myself of the long term consequences.
I immediately think about W and what would she think.
I think about my life in its current form of open honesty.
I still have this free time, but no longer think about wasting it on what my values say are wrong.
I know the time can be spent doing better things.
It gives me pleasure and I feel satisfied that I have, so far, beaten the curse of my life.

My outlook on my addiction is, that although you could say porn is not that bad, excessive use is.
To me it is the start of the slippery slope towards using prostitutes again, so I keep that in the forefront of my mind.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 48) Proactive/Reactive Urge Awareness
Role-Playing/Visualization
I am alone for a few hours and my laptop is on & ready.
I have an urge to have a look at the websites I used to like, to see what new etc etc.
I know at this point, that my new values will kick in.
My self discipline first: I talk to myself and remind myself that this is not really what you want, it would be 5 mins of excitement that could cause years of misery.
Being a good & honest husband: I have reached a stage where I have a life with W that has no hidden areas , I want to keep that clear conscience.
Emotional maturity: I tell myself to grow up, remind myself, that I do not need this in my life.
I remind myself of all my other values & boundaries: All of which that I do not wish to break.

Anticipating
I look at the week ahead and view potential risk areas and times, I speak to W about them as the risk areas can be on both sides because this includes her feelings when I go out to work (I did visit prostitutes when I said I was working)
I go over them and put things to cover these times such as activities for me when I will be alone.
Constant communication if I am away.

Actively Seeking
I look at communication as being one of the factors in this, and I strive to tell W everything, even if I initially say it is only a little thing, not worth mentioning, I now tell W.
I like to let W know that I am there for her and ready to do anything she requires of me, even simple things like tidying up etc. I am more proactive in finding ways to help out without prompting.
Contacting my 2 children, I do not see much of them and now make sure I contact at least twice a week.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Lesson 49) Life Assessment
1. In relation to your general mental health, summarize your progression/regression over the past thirty days:
I am still sober after 3 months, with no urges so far. I use my systems for certain times to make sure I do not relapse, but these are a lot more natural now.On most days I feel satisfied and positive that I am now living an honest existence.

2. Document your experiences with the following:
I have had no relapse of any kind

3. Using the scale below, rate the positive impact that your recovery efforts over the past thirty days have had on your:
(1-No effect 2-Slight 3-Moderate 4-Considerable 5-Extreme)
5 - Family
1 - Friends
1 - Co-workers
4 - Career
5 - Finances
5 - Romantic Relationships
5 - Self-esteem
4 - Stress level
5 - Time management
5 - Hobbies

4. Using the scale below, rate the negative impact that your sexual and/or romantic behaviors over the past thirty days have had on your:
(1-No effect 2-Slight 3-Moderate 4-Considerable 5-Extreme)
1 - Family
1 - Friends
1 - Co-workers
1 - Career
1 - Finances
3 - Romantic Relationships
3 - Self-esteem
3 - Stress level
1 – Time management
1 – Hobbies

5) Summarize the progress made towards your existing recovery and life goals over the past thirty days:
I do not know whether it is too early into my recovery yet, but I have had no thought of relapse. I continue to be completely proactive in wanting to end my behaviours forever. The damage I caused especially to W, has been enough to keep me on the right track, but I have to say that RN has been a massive help in re-wiring my thought process.

6) Describe the closest you came to a slip/relapse over the past month:
There has not been a moment at all

7) List the most likely relapse triggers you will face in the coming month:
I cannot see a point coming up

8) Approximate (in percentages) the amount of time over the past month that you have spent:
30% - Engaged in value-based (top three values) activity
25% - Engaged in emotion-based (top ten values)
0% - Engaged in emotion-based,unhealthy Activity
10% - Life Maintenance Chores
10% - With Family (Quality)
0% - With Friends (Quality)
5% - Alone (Quality)
0% - Engaged in Unhealthy Sexual Behavior
0% - Engaged in Unhealthy Romantic Behavior
20% - Self-Improvement/Recovery

9) Overall, how would you rate your emotional state over the past thirty days:
a) At it's healthiest: Extremely Healthy
b) At it's unhealthiest: Healthy
c) Overall: Very Healthy

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:02 am 
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Posts: 146
Lesson 50) Values Based Decision-Making

Quote:
A. When facing a compulsive urge, what do you anticipate the consequences of using a healthy, values-based decision to manage that urge to be? (think positive and negative consequences)

Positive - I will feel a satisfaction in knowing that my values were strong enough, to stop me from crossing the line and that I can walk around with a clear conscience.
Negative - Maybe a little frustration at not acting out, some anxiety in the short term.


Quote:
B. Now consider having made the decision to continue on with the compulsive ritual, what
consequences do you anticipate? (Again, think positive and negative)

Positive - I would feel good for 5 mins and then shame & guilt would wash over me.
Negative – The minute I act out will be for me going all the way back to the start. The consequences on my relationships maybe dire.

Quote:
C. For each decision (values-based; emotion-based), what long-term effects will these consequences have on your developing identity and values?

Value based keep me “healthy” in so many ways, and give me a sense of purpose in my life.
Emotion based is a slippery slope back to where I was, but probably the loss of everything that is dear to me.

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


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