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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Lesson 16 & 17 combined: Review

Quote:
Lesson 16) Understanding Addiction I

Positive role of my addiction.
a) Relieving boredom
b) A quick fix for an urge
c) Took me out of reality

Lesson 17) Understanding Addiction II

Watching Porn
a) I have time on my hands, maybe an hour or more
b) I think about what sites I will go and look at
c) I start to browse and after time narrow down what type of porn I am looking for.
d) I will start to touch myself and slowly arouse my brain, if I have a lot of time this will go on for quite awhile.
e) The ending may or may not have an orgasm; if it does I am finished and feel remorse, if I do not, the thoughts in my head stay for hours.
Paying for sex
a) I think about when I can get time to visit a prostitute
b) I imagine what I would like done to me
c) I get excited about the coming event
d) I go to the meeting and enjoy what is done to me, always finishing with an orgasm.
e) If I did not completely enjoy it, I immediately think about booking another prostitute.
f) If I did enjoy it, I feel remorse for a little while afterwards.


Reviewing these two sections was kind of bizarre, it is like reading someone else's behaviour.
I remember doing all these things, but I do not remember many of the actual events.
The biggest thing for me now is, I have the same time and opportunity but, it never occurs to me to go down this route, I have a different life now. I think one of the biggest changes would be not making time for acting out, it is filled with work or other things to do.
Early morning was always a time for me to act out and early morning is the time I use for RN and my own recovery.
Long may it continue!

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


Last edited by Theseus1112 on Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:03 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3815
Location: UK
Hello T
Quote:
it is like reading someone else's behaviour.

The biggest thing for me now is, I have the same time and opportunity but, it never occirs to me to go down this route, I have a different life now. I think one of the biggest changes would be not making time for acting out, it is filled with work or other things to do.

Long may it continue!


feels bloody good doesn't it :g:

well done to you and great to hear of your impending status change to recovery mentor, I am sure that you will help others by using your own experiences

your own journey goes on

_________________
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 Jun 30, 2019 1:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Quote:
Lesson 19) No written exercise.

Since there was nothing to write in this lesson, I thought I would share my feelings and understanding of myself since starting the workshop.

The more I get into this workshop, the more understanding I am getting of my addiction.
I now understand that although I had values, they did not connect with my thoughts on a day to day basis. My addiction ran my life and I fitted other things in around it.
I have, in this short time of 6 weeks, put new order into my life and seek to find a healthy lifestyle.
I now spend each day thinking about my recovery, how much I value my wife, family, work and other activities. I no longer spend days looking for a fix.

I really struggle seeing the pain I have caused my wife, it burns very deeply, but I have not been negative and not sought refuge in the darkside. It makes me want to be stronger and to continue on my path to a new life, free of urges, lies & hurt.


Just a comment on this post from Dec:
The workshop gave me a very good understanding of my compulsive behaviour and it has changed me.
I still struggle daily with the pain it has caused W, but I continue to use it in a positive manner

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Lesson 20) Mastering Your Addiction - review

Quote:
2) Look to future transitions in your life. Divorce. Death of a partner. Death of your parents. Death of a child. Loss of a job. Retirement. Having another child. Empty-nest syndrome. Consider many different situations that you will possibly face in the remaining years of your life. Situations that could potentially cause major instability to an otherwise balanced, fulfilling life. Explore the role(s) that addiction could play in helping you to manage these times. What would it feel like for addiction to come back into your life? Would it be a rapid collapse or a subtle progression? What signs would you look for? What actions would you take?


Quote:
The future
Losing my partner; through separation.
This is potentially the biggest risk to my health,
It may cause the urge to come back quickly and I would need to fight it with all the coping mechanisms I am learning through RN.
If it would possibly reappear through boredom, release from the real life situations I had got myself into.
After thinking about my life, and mayhem my addiction has caused, I would hate it to come back.
To try and prevent it, I would use RN and also think about the damage it has done, use the memories of the pain it has caused as a reminder that it is not a good place to be.

Losing my partner; through death.
Very much the same as above, but potentially slightly less risk as I would honour her memory as another tool to prevent the urges.

Losing my job.
Time & boredom would be the biggest risks.
I could foresee a slow progression of slipping into my old ways. I would hope to have the disciplines I am learning here in place and also think about time management.
Looking for another job would be a priority and maybe doing volunteer work to fill my days.
Make sure that my other activities are continuing to be done and enjoyed, even if they cannot be completely covered due to the financial restraints.
Support of my wife & family.

Retirement.
Very much like losing my job.
I must think about planning for those days ahead and making sure I can fill them with activities for myself and for both of us to enjoy together.

Illness to myself or my wife
Time and boredom; more likely if it was me who was housebound.
As with most of the other possibilities, I need to be be prepared mentally and have the disciplines in place to deal with it if the situation arises.

Signs
In all these cases the main threats could be time on my hands, boredom and the need to get away from reality.
The main signs would be;
Losing interest in what I was doing or what my wife/family were doing.
Fantasy thoughts returning to my head and the urge to look at these thoughts online.

Actions.
Use my values to tell myself that it is wrong and would be destructive to go back down that route.
Use the disciplines I am learning to control the urges.
I have promised to tell my wife if I am having these thoughts and would like to think that I would do so, even if it is a few years further on and get her support in fighting it.
Speak to my sponsor.

Lesson summary.
This has caused me a lot of soul searching and a huge amount of sadness.
In writing down my thoughts I saw how I had wasted huge parts of my life and that of others, all because of this addiction. It does not sit well with me at all and I am struggling with it.
On a positive note, it has me determined to beat my addiction.


I wrote all this back in Dec which was just over a month after I was found out and decided to start RN. I remember at the time wondering how successful I would be under any circumstance. My life with W has had its up and downs over these months and I cannot say it is particularly great at the moment, there are a lot of external stresses going on for the relationship to deal with, plus W is still having trauma over my past behaviours. The positive side for my recovery is that I am as strong as ever about not slipping, no amount of stress has made me the least interested in going back. I can sit here and say that in the past I would have slipped by now, but that was because of my priorities being all wrong. Even with things being tricky, I gain comfort from knowing that my head is in a good place.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Lesson 21) Recovery Goals - Review
Quote:
Failure
A. Starting a new activity, such as sketching, and giving up without really trying.
B. Work; never really giving 100% to the role I was in at any given time.


I never did start sketching again, but I have numerous activities that I do every week and enjoy immensely.
I now give a lot more to my work and I do not lose concentration, or let my mind wander.

Quote:
Specific Goal
I will remain faithful to my wife.*
• Monitor my own thoughts every day.
• Keep the daily monitoring going; also use it as a diary.
• Using my “NO PORN” Calendar to remind me how well I am or doing or not as the case may be.
• Using RN workshop in the same positive manner I use it for at the moment.
• SAA weekly meetings – Confirm to the group how I am doing.


I have kept to each of these goals and the only change has been the way I monitor, it is now done in writing on a monthly basis. I "check in" on myself daily.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Lesson 23) Practical Uses for Measuring - reviewed
Quote:
Assessment, Self-Awareness and Relapse Prevention

To work on what I perceive to be my rituals (I must admit that I am having difficulty knowing how I get to the stage of wanting to act out at the moment, but keeping a constant check on my health to try and detect the moment it happens)
I can learn to work out what my triggers are and what times I am most liable to relapse.
I already understand that having time on my own and having no other thought than to use it for my addiction is one of the biggest issues I have to deal with.
To learn when my brain is starting to move in the direction of my addiction, and do make preventative plans to stop it. I want to be in a position to deal with this at the earliest stage possible.


As I said above, I struggled with with this lesson first time round.
What I have done is to constantly health check myself, I mean on a daily basis.
I have predicted possible moments of weakness, be it time alone in the house or away for work.
Using the checks and thinking ahead has had me totally prepared and therefore I have not slipped.
I am very aware of complacency and I strive to stay alert.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
An update on my recovery.

I am coming up to 9 months now with no relapse and no thought of acting out.
That makes me feel really good and I am just as determined as ever.

My relationship with W is like a roller-coaster at the moment, she is going through a period of hating me some days and liking me others, I do not think she has much love for me right now.
All this I accept and I just try and hang on to her with everything I can.
I still have days of feeling intense shame and guilt over my actions, but I keep these as positives in my recovery and not negatives, I have to admit, I am still struggling to forgive myself.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 293
Theseus,

First, a much belated congratulations on completing the workshop. Impressive work and commitment to yourself as you heal and recover. Glad to see you continuing to learn and commit by reviewing previous entries and by becoming a mentor amongst countless other healthy choices you write about.
Quote:
I have to admit, I am still struggling to forgive myself.

This really resonated with me. We have the priveledge that our partners chose to give us the grace to stay with us through the ordeal. Completely out of our control, their healing from the trauma we caused is their own path. But later down the road, part of their healing will also include our own forgiveness of ourselves. With our partners still with us.. we are witness to their struggle and I think we often feel a sense of urgency to heal quick, fix it quick, forgive ourselves quick. But you and I both are so fresh in recovery and watching them is part of our journey.
Just dropping a note of encouragement-and reminder to give yourself grace and time. One of the first things we commit to in Lesson 1 is allowing ourselves time to recover. Self forgiveness surely takes time. Below is a supplemental lesson on forgiveness that may also be helpful to look through.
http://recoverynation.com/recovery/less ... veness.php

Be well,

Anon


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Thanks for the comments Anon,
That was an interesting article and I will keep it in my mind, especially when I am struggling.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:59 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3815
Location: UK
Hi T

Quote:
I am still struggling to forgive myself.


that is normal, after all 9 months is not a lifetime

focus on the positives that you strove for and achieved, remember that your journey is a positive one and whilst ever you are committed it continues

_________________
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: Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Lessons 22 to 29 combined review. My compulsive behaviour

I read over everything I wrote over these lessons and looked at it from where I am now and what has changed.

A lot of my compulsive behaviour was planned, time alone or making time alone through deceptive means. That could be lying to my W or to my work.
Initially when starting RN it was a bit like stopping smoking, I changed my routines so that I did not have the chances to act out.
I would fill my time with other stuff, and I planned ahead to make sure that when there were opportunities, I was prepared and could deal with them.
Mornings were always a time for me to act out, I would usually have up to 2 hrs to spend. What I can say now is that it does not enter my head, I still have this time alone but it is spent doing productive, healthy things.

At the moment I am in full control of my actions and the elements that made up my behaviour have been pushed away, hopefully for ever!

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty - Emotions vs Values

Whilst this was not a written lesson first time round, I thought I would make some comments:
I would have to say that this section is key to my recovery and is probably the most important.
So far everything I do each day is thought through before I do it, maybe it only takes a micro second but the consequences are checked before I go ahead.
As I have said in other posts I have not had any urges or slips so far, but since day 1, I have taken on board everything John has written and not stopped at just sorting out my compulsive behaviour, I looked at my whole life and knew that a large percentage of it needed changing.

I would say that sorting out my values has made controlling my emotions so much easier, the recovery is hard not because of wanting to go backwards, but because of the damage I did to my W and others in the past. Even though there are still a lot of unhappy times, I do derive a lot of gratification from knowing that I am on a healthy path.
John said:
Quote:
As for living in a world without emotions — that is not our reality. Our reality includes the ability to feel, thankfully, and with this ability comes the responsibility for understanding and managing those feelings. You can manage them through behaviors (like masturbation, eating or alcohol) or through values. The choice — and it is a choice — will always be up to you.


I know what I want to do and it feels so much better than the world I used to live in!

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Lesson 31) Emotional Balance and Stability - revisited

Quote:
A. Stress
Relationship - mild
BREXIT – mild
Son unwell – mild
Step-Daughter planning issues – mild
Work - mild

B. Values
I do not feel stressed by trying to achieve my values, I have a positive outlook on all of them at the moment and I wake up each morning, thinking about them and how I will keep to them each day. I do get slightly stressed regarding my relationship with W, things are going well but I always want to know how she is feeling.
I am now quite sure that a lot of the stress I did have was because of my addiction and the deception I had to keep going 24/7!

C. Patterns for Healthy Life.
In looking at this week or in fact the last couple of weeks, I have been lucky enough to not have much stress in my life – possibly a lot to do with seasonal holiday etc.
The stresses I have had are mainly due to family factors (other’s illness, other’s stress) and also my social responsibility – The effect Brexit is having on my country.
Using my values above, I am sticking to them and feeling content in the knowledge that I am making good progress and keeping to them.
Work is probably the one thing that may start to cause stress if business does not pick up, but it is too early to know and I will need to check on that next week once the holidays are over properly.


Update, as of today

A. Stress
Relationship - High
BREXIT – Med
Son unwell – mild
Daughter, going to Uni - mild
Work - mild

B. Values
As I said in January, my values are still strong and there is no stress with them.
My relationship with W stresses me a lot more as I things are moving very slowly and W is not recovering very quickly, I sometimes wonder, if at all! Nothing I can do about it but hang in there.

C. Patterns for Healthy Life.
I have consistency in my daily life and none of it involves acting out or even thinking about, I am content with the life I now lead.
There are are few things to give me stress, as above, but quoting the serenity prayer, "I accept the things I cannot change"
Overall I personally am in a good place.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Today is going to be a difficult day, it is my 10th wedding anniversary.
This should be a day of celebration, a landmark period of time, but the reality is it marks 10 months since I was caught and I know it will be tough on both of us with emotions running high.

On a positive note for me it marks 10 months in recovery and NO slips,I think this makes the day worse because W will have a completely different outlook on it and I will not even mention the recovery time. what I can say is that I have planned for this day coming I will stay calm and stay very attentive to W and if it does not go smoothly, I will ride out the storm.

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.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 130
Lesson 32) Evolving Your Practical Values revisited
Quote:
I am currently managing my values well and I use daily monitoring to check on myself every day.
I have had no desire other than to keep to them, and shown W especially that I can be a good person.,
I am being proactive within my relationship and checking in on my close family regularly.
I am organising my days better and utilising free time to greater effect, I have already completed an online learning course and about to start another on Mon. I have been reading regularly too.
Going to the weekly SAA meetings, it is a great help from the social aspect and acts as an additional aid to my recovery.


Where I am now in regard to evolving my practical values:
I now do written monthly monitoring, which I share with W, I suppose you would say it is a "check in" at the same time she shares with me.
I continue to be proactive with all of my family, one thing that I want to improve on is my contact with my siblings.
I continue to keep my days organised, but I do not mean a rigorous structure, just that I make sure I am not idle. I have a few leisure activities that I enjoy and like to keep it varied as I do not want to get addicted to something else.
I continue with SAA meetings and although a lot of it's theory is not for me, I enjoy the meetings and I hope I am helping others in their desire to change.

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


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