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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
Lesson 34

A.) My Immediate Gratification Moment - The one moment in my life where I felt I needed instant gratification was back when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. The gratification or distraction I needed was an escape of emotional distress and sadness. I escaped by immediately distracting myself and my emotions by playing video games. The distraction allowed me to forget the pain or to not feel the pain.

B.) The best way I can describe the anxiety I feel during the moment where I'm trying not to act out on a compulsive sexual thought or behaviour is that of pure panic. Knowing that If I choose to act out the cycle begins. The feeling that I fall deeper into the unknown. It's truly like I have an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other and both are giving persuasive arguments as to who I should listen to. The feeling of instant bliss is usually what wins and the consequences never really come to the fore front until after I've acted out.

C.) The feeling I experience during an episode of acting out that i can remember is acceptance through anonymity and numbness. Feeling accepted while feeling nothing. Sometimes I feel a high of being accepted but then it usually leads to a constant need of gratification and praise. Leading me to dive deeper and deeper into behaviours that are way beyond my comfort level normally. It's a feeling of escape of the here and now which eventually floods back in like a tsunami when that initial high of acting out ends.

I'm currently on day 278 of my process of recovery and a healthy life. Understanding consequences now is a huge change in my thought process.

Recently I was at my children's school dropping them off. My youngest met a child in the classroom and became good friends. Because of this friendship myself and the mom of the other child began planning play dates. During this I found out that this mother was having a conflict with her neighbour. This escalated at the school about a week after this all came to fruition. Being in a good place for once I never allowed myself to get carried away or allow myself to lie to myself feeling that something could happen between us. For once this was just another human being and I was trying to set times up for my child to play. Out of no where one morning the two women had an argument on the school grounds, and the unknown woman lashed out and called me her new boyfriend. (We're both married) To me, because of the struggles I've gone through to be in a healthy place in my recovery this festered inside me throughout the day. Initially I told her that the school grounds was not the place to do what she was doing and I turned and left to go home. While at home I had many thoughts including whether I should tell my wife what happened. Many voices said no, those were old habits and fear coming through. By the time school pick up was due I lost my $#@& on the lady expressing that she has no right, we don't know each other etc. After the dust settled and I was at home with my kids the first thing I did the moment my Wife came home was tell her. She doubted my story for some time asking me many questions. I answered each of those questions honestly and addressed her concerns. The rollercoaster of emotions I was on debating this whole situation ended on such a positive note I feel it has allowed me to embrace this new habit and forget the old habit of deceit and lies.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:51 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Hi FR,

Your post at the end of lesson 34 was really good and it proves that if you want to become healthy and live life in a completely different way, it is truly possible.
Well done! :g:

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


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
Self Assessment and Pro-Active Entry

I am here today recognizing I have not been here for a few weeks.

I do recognize also that I am highly agitated today. I'm angry, frustrated, stressed.

This is my outlet to release these feelings. I have several high stress situations occurring right now that I feel are the cause for these feelings.

I need to find a way to breathe through these thoughts, pray to my higher power for the free will to let go of these feelings.

From here I will go contact another person that I know from a weekly group meeting I attend routinely and also discuss this with them.

I want to thank you all for being here for me, and knowing that with all of you reading my entries, in some way we are connected and going through very similar experiences. Stay safe, sober and healthy!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
I've been doing really well considering everything. I'm proud of the journey I've made although I know there is lots of work yet to be done. I need to focus on these lessons more and my other workbook to continually learn.
I've changed many habits and learned to cope differently than my past in many experiences/triggers.
I've also learned to be honest with myself and others. The honesty is telling me to get back to business in here so that I can continue my progress.
It's also telling me that in my current situation, which is a major life crossroads, that I need to slow down and really understand the meaning behind each choice.

My choice is to move, uproot our family and move clear across the Country. I'll still have my employment and it's cheaper by far out there. This change however brings lots of unknowns which is very scary, but I'm as prepared as I can be.

My Wife's choice is to stay where we are. She wants to further her education. I know the reasoning behind it and I support her but I'm struggling in many ways.
This further education is in a field she already has a diploma in but the industry tanked right after her graduation. This would more so be for her to make herself relevant again in this field. She just graduated Nursing school but with Covid she has learned this is not the field for her. I understand this.
This is her passion, and I know she loves it. I want to be supportive but we're struggling so bad financially that I'm not sure we'd make it through this session of schooling. Money was a massive stressor for me before but I've learned many routines to lesson that load but this is really pushing that level for me.

We are often disagreeing on this topic and it leads to us needing time apart and or tears because of how we each feel.
I needed to come here to talk about this to get it off my chest so I could sleep tonight, so thank you for listening. I am anxiously awaiting my next appointment with my therapist.

See all of you soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
Lesson 35

In my journey through recovery I have found that I am seeking healing devices/mothods/approaches.

I am aggressively seeking a healthy me in every way. I've dropped 20 lbs by eating properly and exercising for the first time in my life.

In this lesson I am going to dedicate the next 4 weeks to different more important areas I need to focus on.

Week 1.) My first step is training myself to create moments where I can continue to focus on my health. Removing unhealthy foods and habits and replacing them with healthy options. This will also include creating moments to remain active and not sit on the couch doing mindless things like being on my phone (an old trigger) and/or watching TV.

Week 2.) I will create moments where I will grow my relationship with each of my kids. No longer allowing myself to succumb to routine and letting them go on screens. I will grow my relationship and connection to my children. I will initiate a daddy - child day of fun for each of them. I will listen, love, talk and share moments with them and get to know them better.

Week 3.) I will put dedication into becoming a better employee at work. I will no longer remain complacent. I will seek to learn new skills and be effective in my troubleshooting skills.

Week 4.) I will choose to find time to remain honest and open with my Wife. Telling her how I feel about our situation and at the same time I will focus on her responses with zero distractions.

Daily: In moments where I have a tendency to over react or simply react in a manner that impacts others, I will close my eyes and focus on my breath when I inhale and exhale. If I feel the need to ground myself in the moment I will run my hands under running water or wave them in the grass. I will focus on my effects on others, especially my children.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
Lesson 36

Past experience where I allowed a situation to take control because I didn't have boundaries set and or defined.

In my past an ex girlfriend moved in with me quite quickly. We were intimate with in a short amount of time. In the 4 months we were together she repeatedly cheated on me without knowledge, took advantage of what my family and I provided for her. After I became ill she refused to drive me to the hospital leaving my brother to come and take me. While I was admitted she destroyed my dad's house and disregarded using any common respect. Not once did she visit me. My sister kicked her out while I was still in the hospital. Shortly after her eviction she began communicating with me sending me threatening emails and calls because she wound up pregnant.

My lack of boundaries in this situation were as follows:
A.) Met a girl online that I had no real experience with or knowledge of who she truly was, and I moved too fast. I should have slowed it down before jumping in crotch first.
B.) This snowballed into her taking advantage of what was provided and her using me.
C.) It also made my family situation tougher because of the effects she had on all of us.

A current situation where my boundaries are set to a level where it allows me to properly manage and protect my values.

Anything that involves my children. This includes me making sure I stop the cycle of addiction by learning and growing in my recovery and path to a healthy life.

I am very protective of my children and my core values always allow me to make the proper decision for their best interest.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
Lesson 37

The lesson itself holds very true to my values and boundaries that I have come to learn and set. I am choosing some of the examples shown but out of commonality and not laziness.

1. Build trust with my Wife
a.) I will always remain honest with my Wife without exception.
b.) An omission of truth is the same as a lie.
c.) If I don't provide all of the facts about anything in my life, for my Wife, she has the right to assume I'm lying about the main details.
d.) If I lie or am untruthful about something, I will accept responsibility and will be held accountable for my actions.
e.) My partner has the right to take into account all of the circumstantial evidence to come to their own conclusions towards an event. They do not need absolute proof.

2.) Build healthy relationships with my children
a.) Lead by example. I will not allow my short comings to be handed down to my children.
b.) I will not resort to childish behaviour such as name calling during a disagreement with my Wife in the kids company.
c.) I will not tolerate misogyny in my household. I will teach my boys to respect, see and hear woman.
d.) I will not lie to my children. Teach them honesty is the best course always.
e.) I will always make my children my top priority. Laziness is not okay.

3.) Be a healthy me
a.) I will not allow my emotions to take control of my decisions. Learning to sit in them and make sound decisions is the new me.
b.) I will not let past experiences define new ones.
c.) I will no longer allow black and white, all or nothing thinking to remain in control.
d.) I will not allow myself to isolate or remain in solitude in times of need.
e.) I will never stop loving myself.


Last edited by FreedomRequired on Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
It's been 1 year and 8 days of sobriety.

Over this past year I have learned many things.

1.) I need to truly feel. An example would be: In times of grief I need to feel angry, sad, guilt, loathing, fear etc. Without those feelings I never actually am able to move on from said experience.
2.) I heard this many times in my past but I now truly believe honesty is the best policy. Consequences are natural, and more often than not, way less harmful when those consequences follow honesty.
3.) Recovery is up to me. I need to trust in my higher power. I need to make my recovery a habit which is currently what it is. Bad habits can be replaced.
4.) I need to make my healthy life my number one. Understand myself before anything else. Meditation and mindfulness have helped me slow down and focus.
5.) Seek all avenues that help me to my healthy life, programs like this, reading materials about my addiction and addictive behaviours, continue with therapy, continue attending groups, connecting with others who are also going through this and continue growing my relationship with my Wife.
6.) I have also learned through therapy to expose myself to triggers when I've had enough mentorship to handle those triggers so that I can learn new behaviours.

There are so many ways to become a healthier me and I am enjoying getting to know each and every one of them.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:09 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
FreedomRequired wrote:
It's been 1 year and 8 days of sobriety.

Over this past year I have learned many things.

1.) I need to truly feel. An example would be: In times of grief I need to feel angry, sad, guilt, loathing, fear etc. Without those feelings I never actually am able to move on from said experience.
2.) I heard this many times in my past but I now truly believe honesty is the best policy. Consequences are natural, and more often than not, way less harmful when those consequences follow honesty.
3.) Recovery is up to me. I need to trust in my higher power. I need to make my recovery a habit which is currently what it is. Bad habits can be replaced.
4.) I need to make my healthy life my number one. Understand myself before anything else. Meditation and mindfulness have helped me slow down and focus.
5.) Seek all avenues that help me to my healthy life, programs like this, reading materials about my addiction and addictive behaviours, continue with therapy, continue attending groups, connecting with others who are also going through this and continue growing my relationship with my Wife.
6.) I have also learned through therapy to expose myself to triggers when I've had enough mentorship to handle those triggers so that I can learn new behaviours.

There are so many ways to become a healthier me and I am enjoying getting to know each and every one of them.


Well done FR, keep up the good work! :g:

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


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
In the last few days through the culmination of events, from things like fear of job loss, feeling like I compromised over our decision of moving and now staying and everything that brings to the table, I have come to realize I have no joy/happiness in my life beyond my Wife and Kids.

I know for me to make it much further I need to sort through these thoughts and the emotions they bring.

I believe I am going to step away or transition out of my IT job in the near future and looking into schooling to get a masters in counseling/therapy. I have decided this is the best path forward as my love and understanding for the IT field doesn't seem to be there or come naturally to me. I feel like the best way I can give back to society is by helping others who are going through what we go through. I feel it will bring me joy, accomplishment, relevance and understanding.

My Wife is not super supportive towards this goal because she still feels I have a long way to go. I understand that I do but I am also putting her through a third degree/diploma for schooling in the last 12 years and have always supported her, even this time when she is going back into what she originally studied, had the industry tank and lost out on all of that time effort and money she put into it, and than having us pay it off with my inheritance. (This is not resentment or anger coming out here) I understand it's more fear of the unknown. She is a dreamer and is rarely ever okay with staying where she is. I fear that we spend all this time and money in this schooling again for it to only add more cost to us monthly and low income to no income after she's done. I want her to be happy and succeed and this is why I have and will continue to support her through this. I am going to make my happiness happen too, i need to.

Beyond school I need to find a hobby that sparks joy in me. This lock down has certainly made this hard.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 78
Location: Canada
Lesson 38

1. Build trust with my Wife
a.) I will always remain honest with my Wife without exception.

Situation a.) My Wife wants to know what I'm doing or where I am. This has occurred twice and I chose to lie instead of be honest, in the second occurrence an overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame came over me and I confessed afterwards. b.) Someone who I have no control over attempts to cross my boundary. In this case I truly don't know if my rule/boundary is enough, but I feel as though I would be able to shut the rule breaker down but realize I would battle internally about whether I should be forthcoming with my Wife. The good thing about this is I am aware of my body language, and have managed to learn to be honest even if I can'tmanage to be honest immediately.
b.) An omission of truth is the same as a lie. Situation a.) The above situation really defines a & b. b.) Previous answer.
c.) If I don't provide all of the facts about anything in my life, for my Wife, she has the right to assume I'm lying about the main details. Situation a.) Current experience occurred where I was a part of a group program and I received a direct message offering to stay in contact with a female member. Although I was forthcoming and honest about my situation of where I am in my life and my unwillingness to accept or continue the communication with this person, I did not share this experience with my Wife even though it was a successful outcome for me and my recovery. b.) Another issue for me with this is with has been with our finances. I aim to please her and have had compulsive issues with buying sweets or treats for myself. Not telling her this is a lie or a deceptive action. I have learned to curb my compulsevity lately and not cause this trigger. So I feel what I've learned has been a healthy and sustainable boundary.
d.) If I lie or am untruthful about something, I will accept responsibility and will be held accountable for my actions.
e.) My partner has the right to take into account all of the circumstantial evidence to come to their own conclusions towards an event. They do not need absolute proof.

2.) Build healthy relationships with my children
a.) Lead by example. I will not allow my short comings to be handed down to my children.
b.) I will not resort to childish behaviour such as name calling during a disagreement with my Wife in the kids company.
c.) I will not tolerate misogyny in my household. I will teach my boys to respect, see and hear woman.
d.) I will not lie to my children. Teach them honesty is the best course always.
e.) I will always make my children my top priority. Laziness is not okay.

3.) Be a healthy me
a.) I will not allow my emotions to take control of my decisions. Learning to sit in them and make sound decisions is the new me.
b.) I will not let past experiences define new ones.
c.) I will no longer allow black and white, all or nothing thinking to remain in control.
d.) I will not allow myself to isolate or remain in solitude in times of need.
e.) I will never stop loving myself.

After taking time to think my boundaries will potentially be challenged. The most effective way for me to make sure that I either elevate my boundary or recognize that my walls are under attack is to always remain honest with myself and others close to me. To not let guilt and shame bury deep with in myself. To remain constant in my recovery process. To take time for myself and recognize my feelings and emotions. Mindfulness and meditate to bring myself back into the moment even if it's briefly exercised. Remember that the best method is to avoid triggers and habits but to also listen to my therapist and use his hints to create new habits in place of bad ones, and when safe learn how to deflate and reverse triggers so that i can regain some control in my life. I wasn't always like this, I just learned these negative patterns.

I am a healthy individual going on just over one year and one month of sobriety. I will not become complacent.


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