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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:06 pm 
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I've just worked my way back again throughLesson 10: The concept of Absolute Honesty. I can remember having a very strong reaction to this lesson the first time around, and feeling that it could potentially be a very brutal exercise to engage in absolute honesty with my wife. At that time I was still struggling with some behaviours and so I was caught up in that place of hiding aspects of myself from her. Now that I have worked through everything and gained over 6 months of total abstinence from my compulsive behaviours, it's an absolute joy to be in a place where I no longer feel torn between a desire for secrecy and the need for honesty. I just dont have any skeletons in my closet anymore to linger in the background and make me feel guilty and uneasy, just in case they come out to haunt me. There is a huge release in just being able to be myself with my wife and not put on a "front". Our relationship now is probably better than it ever has been, despite all of the crap we have gone through over the years. And not just with her but I am also able to finally be "myself" with others around me too. That feels enormously liberating, rather than always trying to cover up or pretend to be something that I wasn't. It's another reminder to me of the transformational impact that the workshop has had on my life and the lives of my family too.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi Tim
congratulations on your becoming a mentor
:g: :g:

you have progressed far in your own journey and I know that others will benefit from you sharing your experiences
additionally the benefits of helping others will also help you

again well done

_________________
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: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Hi Tim,

Congratulations on becoming a mentor.

I can see how much RN has worked for you and know that your guidance will be of benefit to others.

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


Last edited by Theseus1112 on Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:46 am 
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Posts: 459
Hi Tim,

Let me add my congratulations too for becoming a mentor. You will gain much insight from seeing addiction from a different perspective and the members will certainly benefit from your experience.

Good luck!

L2R

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:27 am 
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Hi Kenzo, Theseus and L2R

Thanks very much for your messages and for your congratulations. I really appreciate that and especially the support I have received along the way. The workshop really has made an incredible difference to my life over the past year, and I'm looking forward to being able to help others experience that transition to a new and healthy way of life.

Tim :g:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:36 am 
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I've just worked back through Lesson 12 again. I first did that lesson back on 5th December last year, almost a year ago. I can remember how strongly I identified with the description of those people who continue to experience an ongoing pattern of relapse - usually triggered by intense guilt and shame. I very much identified myself with my addiction, to the extent that I just couldn't really envisage a life for myself other than through that particular 12 Step lens. I saw myself as being unlike other people - they could find recovery but for me it was somehow impossible because I was different and because I had failed so many times. And I continued to minimise my behaviours and to believe that I was doing well for the most part - even though I regularly fell back into extreme and damaging patterns of behaviour. At that time it seemed impossible for me to achieve lasting change.

Looking back now, I can honestly say that my thinking has completely turned around as a result of working through the workshop (not just doing the lessons for the sake of it but actually engaging with them and properly applying them to life). And going back through the lessons again is giving me an even deeper insight which is helping me to embed my new thought patterns even deeper. If you're struggling with that sense of hopelessness that you can ever find real and lasting change, please do stick with this workshop and keep on putting in your best effort. It takes a while for the thoughts and actions to change, but if you fully engage with it then the rewards for you and the people you love can be absolutely life changing.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:55 pm 
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I've just worked back through Lesson 13: Healthy Recovery Patterns. I noticed these 3 traits in people who are successfully making the transition to a healthy way of life, which really jumped out at me as being very true to where I am at just now. I'm very grateful for that.

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 behavior.

They will have eliminated all previous connections to their recovery, except that which will be included in their ongoing plan for a continuing evaluation and assessment of their life. They will no longer associate themselves with addiction, but with health.

Significant others tend to experience people who have made this transition with greater respect and admiration then they ever had previously for the person. Additionally, trust and closeness in the relationship will take on a very real quality. One that has never actually been present previously — only assumed. The partner's believing in the "recovery" will no longer be a matter of crossing their fingers and hoping, but of having no doubt.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 12:01 pm 
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I've just been working my way back through Lesson 19 again and I came across these words:

[b]"There is nothing mysterious about sexually compulsive behavior. It is quite logical and rational — though it often involves irrational and/or illogical choices. A life managed through compulsive behavior can often been reduced to our old friend: immediate gratification. You experience pleasure now at the expense of potential pain later. You avoid pain now (through deceit, let's say) at the expense of potentially amplified pain later"
[/b]

I needed to be reminded again that there is no mystery about compulsive behaviour. I was sitting watching the TV earlier this afternoon when I became aware of a growing desire for stimulation in the background. There was no fantasy or visual stimulation that I was seeing on the TV, and it felt like a bit of a mystery as to where the desire was coming from. I felt the need to engage with this a bit more, as I've been conscious of beginning to doubt my recovery a little bit over the past week or so. Again, nothing significant, but I know that I need to consciously challenge the thought process that tells me compulsive behaviours are inevitable and that I have no control over them. I used that as an excuse to justify my behaviours for far too many years.

Instead, I can recognise that my old compulsive behaviours are beginning to seem attractive again purely because I've experienced a lot of negative emotions recently. I've been feeling pretty low and at a loose end with the ongoing lockdown, and have engaged in a fair amount of negative self talk over the past week or so. This is totally out of line with one of my top values: "to accept myself as I am and not compare myself to others". Addictive behaviour was so hard wired in my system for so many years that my brain and my body are still telling me that there is a way I can make myself feel better very quickly. However, I absolutely know that the path of immediate gratification will take me to a place of longer term pain and heartache, both for me and the people around me. Today I choose to work the tools that I have learned through this workshop and base my choices on my values rather than falling back into that age old trap of seeking a fleeting hit of emotional pleasure.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:13 am
Posts: 95
Hi Tim!

I have read your latest post about your struggle with the current situation...

I think I was in your shoes when the pandemic started to hit our country and they initiated lockdowns. What helped me during those times was meditating, morning walks or jogs (physical exercise helped me), and trying to reconnect with my old friends. I started meditating this year in January, I used the HeadSpace app (it has a monthly membership subscription but there is a free trial, so giving it a try won't really hurt). Also, I started lifting weights and started exercising, you don't need to push yourself too hard in this part but becoming more physically active helps rebalance the brain. And also, part of physical exercise is your nutrition so try also to eat healthily. Sending a simple message or chat with your old friends can initiate a spark and create great conversations.

Hopefully, there is something that you can try from my advice. And there is a lot more to do in life. Look at the positive things that you can do. Still, you are the one who will make the choice for your life.

I hope you're doing fine brother!

_________________
"I Think For The Most Part If You're Really Honest With Yourself About What You Want Out of Life, Life Gives It To You" - Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:21 pm 
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Hi Dan

Thanks for the message and for sharing what has helped you during this time. I've been doing a lot of those things as part of my ongoing recovery journey but still experiencing some pretty low moods recently. Sometimes I have to accept that I just need to sit with it until I come through the other side, especially just now when so much of life is outside our control. And I will come through the other side if I keep making the right decisions and especially not making the wrong ones! That's a sure fire way to end up in a deep and very dark pit very quickly.

Thanks again and good to hear your story.

Safe safe.

Tim


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:50 am 
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Tim_Recovery wrote:
Lesson 23: Practical Uses for Measuring

I can really see the value in breaking down the behaviour into smaller and more manageable parts, and deconstructing the mystery of it. Over so many years, I have allowed myself to argue that it’s way bigger than me and way more powerful than me. That’s the 12 Step message, and I still agree with it to a large extent. But at the same time, I think that perception has become so deeply ingrained that to think in this new way is fundamentally different and challenging for me. Allowing myself to see it as a single act is really a way of me avoiding responsibility for breaking it down and fully trying to work out what is happening. And I think the more that I can do that, the less inevitable my behaviours will come to appear. It’s a process of demystifying the behaviour, and realising at the end of the day that it can be mapped out in a much clearer and more comprehensible way than I ever thought possible.

Hopefully as I continue with these skills, I will learn to step back when I experience that seemingly uncontrollable urge and actually work out exactly what is going on and why. And then realise that I do have choices that I can make which will lead me in a totally different direction which is congruent with my values and beliefs.


It seems a bit strange to be quoting myself!! But I was struck by what I wrote the last time I went through lessons 22 and 23. I found them difficult the first time round, and I still struggle to conceptualise my behaviour in this way. Measuring all the compulsive elements in this technical way doesnt come very naturally to me at all. However, looking back at my post helps me to see how important it is to step back and gain an objective view of my behaviours. Close up they always seemed to be like a huge mountain disappearing into the clouds above me - totally insurmountable and terrifyingly overpowering. By viewing my behaviours in this way, I was able to claim that it was too much for me and to justify my compulsion. I can totally see the value now in deconstructing my behaviours and breaking down exactly what is happening and why. I can no longer play the "get out of jail free" card I always used to play, pretending that I had no option because I could never change.

As the end of 2020 approaches, I'm going to take a few moments to give myself credit for where I'm at just now. I've struggled recently with negative emotions that have tended to cloud my judgement. But taking a step back and looking with objective eyes, I can honestly see that my life is so much better and more peaceful and fulfilled than it was this time last year. I'm now over 7 months clear of all sexually compulsive behaviours, which has made a tremendous difference to my life and especially to my relationship with my wife. I no longer lurch from relapse to relapse, always living in fear of being found out and with a sense of incomprehension in my own behaviours. And as a result, I'm able to deal with life much more effectively on it's own terms these days. Its not a walk in the park by any means. This past year has been an incredibly tough one with so many massive changes in my life. That actually gives me even more confidence that this workshop has made a radical difference even in the most difficult of times. I've said this a few times, but I want to state again how thankful I am for the RN workshop and for this new emphasis on a transition to health, and also to all those who have encouraged me along the way.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:33 am 
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Lesson 27

Quote:
Many have come to identify such an event as "hitting rock bottom". But the reality is, there is no bottom to addiction. A person's life can always get worse; just as it can always get better. And so, 'rock bottom' becomes the time in a person's life when the positive emotional stimulation received from engaging in such behaviors become incapable of balancing the overwhelmingly negative feelings that the person is experiencing.


I've just been working my way back through lesson 27 again and was struck with these words above. I always struggled with the concept of 'rock bottom' in 12 step groups because I never seemed to reach it, and also because it is such a black and white concept. You have either experienced it and will then recover from that point onwards, or you havent yet experienced it and will continue on a downward trajectory. Being such a black and white person anyway, I never found it an especially helpful idea. I still feel to some extent that I have a bit of a 12 step 'hangover' in some ways. That's not to negate the value that the 12 Steps played in my life over so many years, and the difference it makes for so many other people. But the concrete ideas of the 12 Steps still exert some kind of influence in the background, and I need to recognise that and how it can sometimes undermine the progress that I've made in this workshop. It can be much more comforting at times to hold on to absolute 12 Step statements and philosophies, whereas the RN approach can feel a bit more slippery to grasp hold of and to apply. However, I'm realising more and more how liberating it is to be set free of that black and white absolutism that often comes so naturally to me.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Location: UK
Hi Tim
Quote:
As the end of 2020 approaches, I'm going to take a few moments to give myself credit for where I'm at just now. I've struggled recently with negative emotions that have tended to cloud my judgement. But taking a step back and looking with objective eyes, I can honestly see that my life is so much better and more peaceful and fulfilled than it was this time last year


credit to you my friend :g:

as has been said so often
emotions need to be managed remembering that they are what they are - emotions
your'e doing well so as said credit to you

_________________
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: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 122
Thanks very much for the encouragement Kenzo, it's much appreciated.

And thanks for your help and support along this journey too :g:

Tim


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:08 pm 
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Lesson 31
- again!

I've just come across this sentence in lesson 31:

Quote:
To summarize, your values create your identity. When you artificially replace those values with addictive behaviours, your addiction becomes your identity. The goal, then, is to redevelop your identity by forming a foundation of values that represent who you want to be. That represent the person that you know you are inside.


It struck me as being a fantastic wee summary of what the RN programme is all about. Always good to be reminded of the bigger picture.

Tim


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