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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:56 pm 
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Posts: 54
Lesson 1 Exercises

I feel ready to commit all my resources to recovery. I’ve been fighting with one hand behind my back trying to recover while keeping it secret from my wife. But I came clean and am ready to do what It takes.
I for sure struggle with guilt & shame. It is the force that pushes me to not be fully honest. I struggle with it, but want to overcome its control over me.
Right now, I feel patient, I’m just glad to be heading in the right direction and to be supported in it.

Reasons for change:
I want to have integrity
I want to be a great father
I want an intimate and honest marriage
I want to deal with my emotions wisely
I want to be really happy and fulfilled
I want to be free
I want to be courageous
I want to live with no “secrets”
I want to be fit and healthy
I want to live life to the full

Uncontrollable weeping. I felt all the pain and suffering that has taken me from that child in the picture to now. It reminded me that I am, somewhere deep inside, still that innocent child. The picture I looked at reminds me so much of my own son, and I feel sad for the suffering that he too will likely endure. But I hope that I can be a father to him like mine was to me, someone I dearly love and respect. Someone who will be there for him no matter what he goes through. I desire to do right by my child self, to be that child again in some ways, while of course still carrying the wisdom and experience I have gained.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:03 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 264
Welcome to RN Prophet,

There is a journey in front of you and if you stick to it the world seems so much better at the other end.

You will get all the support you need here and I wish you luck :g:

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


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
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Theseus1112 wrote:
Welcome to RN Prophet,

There is a journey in front of you and if you stick to it the world seems so much better at the other end.

You will get all the support you need here and I wish you luck :g:


Thanks Theseus, I’m looking forward to the Journey and it’s destination!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:08 pm 
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Posts: 54
Vision for my life

To Love & Serve: this is the center of who I want to be. A man who deeply loves all those around me. Starting with God and flowing to those closest to me and continuing out to all those whom I come in contact with. God, the source of all, is the foundation because God is the only thing that can never be lost or taken from me, and that relationship with the divine will always be there even if everyone I love were to be suddenly lost. I also take care of my body and mind so that I can show up fully for those around me. My wife whom I see as my partner through life, is my most important relationship. We support each other and call each other to be the best humans that we can be. I aim to trust her, to be fully honest with her, to respect her to be humble and patient and to continually grow in the depth of knowing that we have for each other. All while enjoying the beauty of life. Through our partnership we support and build a family. My vision for our children is to teach them to be confident, kind, content, and loving people, and to learn all that they have to teach me. To be there for them and make the most of the limited to time we have together. Beyond all that I aim to serve the world around me, to bring value to other people. and to work to make the world a better place through my specific gifts and skills.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:33 pm 
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Posts: 54
I really enjoyed coming up with my values. It was a great experience to really consider what I enjoy in life and what makes me feel good. It was also honestly helpful to soberly look at my dark-sided values and see that I don’t want to be defined by those values or pursue them in my life. Anyways, here is a the full master list of my values:

Full Values List

Relationship with God
Fitness
Family
Honesty
Loving with integrity
Expressing creativity
Building wealth
Serving others
Nature
Play
Laughter
Community
Intimacy
Friendship
Living my purpose
Sharing wisdom
Vulnerability
Happiness/Contentment
Entrepreneurship
Humility
Faith
Mindfulness
Good Nutrition
Travel
Healthy and vibrant sexuality
Looking good
Physical ability
Continual learning
Competition
Simplicity
Emotional health
Open hearted
Good sleep
Healthy Masculinity
Consistency
Speaking my truth
Loving my wife
Generosity
Financial Freedom
Being excellent at work
Non judgmental
Autonomy
Pleasure
Communication
Relaxation
Being a good father
Strengthening relationship with sister
Strengthening relationship with mother
Mentoring
Thoughtfulness
Working with my hands
Making music
Peace

Dark side:
Anxiety
Fear
Avoidance of pain
Depression
Pleasure/excitement
Autonomy
Novelty
Boredom
Exhaustion
Isolation
Shame
Guilt
Inadequacy
Strong emotions
Lust
Unhealthy eating
Conflict
Disappointment
Failure


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:46 pm 
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Posts: 54
Prioritized Top 15 Values

Spirituality/Connection to God
*Loving my wife
*Being a great father
*Community
*Connecting with extended family
*Integrity
*Healthy Body (Sleep, Nutrition, Movement)
*Living my purpose (Service to humanity)
*Financial Freedom & stewardship
*Simplicity
*Generosity
*Lifelong learning
*Creativity
*Adventure & travel
*Play & laughter


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:57 pm 
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Posts: 54
Lesson 6/7 Exercises:

Proactive Action Plans

Connecting w/ extended family:
Calling mom & sister 2x a month to catch up and check in.
Call brother-in-law 1x a month for mutual encouragement.
Spend time with Ken father-in-law 1x a month
Call my aunt 1x every other month
Periodically send pictures or thoughts to my other aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Creativity:
Practice some form of creative expression, ideally every day.
This could be experimenting with recipes, playing music, photography, creative writing, or any other activity that gets my creativity flowing.
Read more about creativity and how to grow in it.
Listen to great music, watch great movies/tv, read great books.

Healthy Body:
Some form of movement every day. Strength training, stretching/mobility, or conditioning all count. Time also doesn’t matter, just do something to keep the habit going.
Eat foods that nourish my body. Plenty of protein, veggies, healthy carbs and fats. Work on one eating skill at a time. Recognize and avoid compulsive eating.
Hydrate: drink the right amount of water not too much or too little.
Learn what supplements my body needs to thrive and dial that in.
Grooming/taking care of my physical appearance.

Simplicity:
Continually prune my physical possessions to only items that I truly love. Emphasize quality over quantity.
Keep as much of my life “analog” as possible.
Practice minimalism in all that I do.
Value experience over possessions.
Practice gratitude daily.

Generosity:
Aim to give around 10% of our income to people, causes, and organizations that we believe make a positive impact on the world.
Find ways that I can passionately use my skills and gifts to help those in need.
Evaluate and monitor my generosity periodically.

Lifelong Learning:
Conduct “learning projects”- times of deep practice/learning of new skills.
Create, maintain, and prioritize a list of all the subjects I’d like to learn more about.
Be willing to learn from people I don’t like/disagree with. See all sides of a topic.
Never stop expanding my knowledge and wisdom. There is always more to learn.
Read and discuss literature.

Travel & Adventure:
Get outside recreationally at least 1x a week.
Go on bigger adventures ie climbs, hunts, camping trips 1x a month.
Travel 1x a quarter.
Seek adventure in daily life try new things, take new routes, etc.

Play & Laughter:
Participate in an adult sports league.
Play with my son, see the world from his perspective.
Allow my true personality to come out in more situations, laughing, teasing, and telling jokes.
Play games with our family and friends.

Financial Freedom & stewardship:
Work up to saving and investing 20% of monthly income.
Maintain and care for the physical possessions that I have. Be a steward of all the resources that I have already been blessed with.
Buy cash-flowing assets, as many as possible, with the goal of having enough passive income to not be dependent on an employer.
Start or pursue ownership of a business that I can build for my family’s future.

Living my purpose:
I feel like I’m still learning my purpose and calling. I want to be open to whatever it reveals itself to be.
Right now I have bits and pieces of what it could be, things that I do in my work life and on the side that bring joy and excitement.
Focus on and cultivate those things in my life. Right now they are: farming, soil biology, business/entrepreneurship, community building, outdoor recreation, teaching, health, diet, fitness, and spirituality.

Integrity:
1st and foremost being honest with myself. So much of my failures comes from self deceit, but when I am truly honest with myself about my actions, my thoughts, and my emotions the path forward becomes clear.
Be the same person in private as I am in public.
Share my true self, failures and all, with others.
Live according to my own morals and ethics.
Be a man of my word.

Community:
Maintaining and strengthening a few very deep friendships through quality time spent together, frequent communication, and vulnerability.
Join local groups that have similar interests to my own.
Be active in my church. Participating and contributing to events. Being accountable and holding others accountable to spiritual growth. Loving, encouraging, celebrating, and helping others
Spending time getting to know my neighbors.
Building and supporting local business.
Serving the less fortunate in my community through volunteer work.

Being a Great Father:
Being present is #1. Having at least some time every day solely focused on connecting with my kids.
Quantity of time is also important. Having as much time as possible where we are together, working on things, or playing. Prioritize being together.
Being an example of health, happiness, and wisdom. Living out all my other values to the best of my ability as an example of a life well lived.
Boundaries and correction. helping my kids Learn to self regulate and correcting them when they need it in age appropriate ways.
Listening to their needs and providing them the resources they need to be successful and happy people.

Loving my Wife:
Good communication: this has many facets and is extremely important to my wife. It includes... sharing my thoughts and emotions vulnerably. Planning our schedules with sensitivity to the other. Dealing directly with conflict. Making choices about the future together, and speaking kindly and compassionately to one another.
Romance: going on fairly regular dates (1x a month). Spending one-on-one time connecting. Taking care of my physical appearance and body. Physical touch and connection. Communicating affection. Having great mutually enjoyable sex! Being thoughtful and getting gifts.
Parenting: making choices together about what’s best for our children. Being a unified front and not allowing our kids to take advantage of our disharmony. Learning and discusses how to be better parents.
Faithfulness & security: fighting to not be controlled by lust, but to express my sexual energy in our marriage. Being the physical protector of our family. Having strong boundaries that protect me from crossing emotional or sexual lines outside my marriage.
Spirituality: sharing in our relationships with God. Learning from each other. Calling each other to growth in all of the areas that we need to grow in.
Finances: making financial choices together. Having monthly financial meeting to determine our spending choices. Being thoughtful and considerate of each others material needs and desires. Planning our long term financial future together
Household stuff: monitoring the maintenance of our home. Partnering with my wife on chores and tasks. Balancing the work so that both of us feel that things are fair.
General values in relationship: kindness, patience, humility, thoughtfulness, leadership, openness, faith, peace, humor, playfulness.

Relationship with God:
Practice gratitude.
Practice silence/solitude, journaling, prayer, and meditation.
Read and study spiritual texts.
Serve the community and world.
Participate in a local church or spiritual community.
Seek communion with God.
Practice sabbath & rest.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:15 pm 
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Posts: 54
Lesson 10:

Absolute honesty... this lesson was really great as it solidified so much that I’ve been thinking about in regard to integrity and honesty. Im quite practiced at deception, both of myself and others. But lately since I’ve made a commitment to honesty and integrity, areas of temptation to deceive have been showing up, and I know deep down that if I go down that path of dishonesty with myself and others that it destroys my self respect and erodes my willpower to do what’s right according to my values. It’s hard for me to be honest when I know it hurts the person I love most, but it’s worse to not be.

Places I have materials stashed:
I used exclusively online pornography. Never saved bookmarks or proof that I had done anything. Always deleted search history and data after watching. I won’t list particular websites that I used, but I preferred social media sites that had amateur porn, but also occasionally the tube sites as well.

People I have used:
Mostly people I don’t know. It’s opportunistic In that I see something or someone when I’m out and about that gives me a sexual charge, then look up porn that had something to do with that person. Also would use celebrities from movies or shows that were arousing. Occasionally fantasizing about female friends or strangers that I had some emotional connection with in some way.

Places I go:
I have looked at porn in my car, somewhere I can’t be seen. Or at my house when nobody else is home or awake. I have also done it while driving...very dangerous.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:58 pm 
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Posts: 54
Lesson 11:

Patterns of compulsive behavior that I relate to:

Fantasy:
The 3-5 second fantasy is something I experience often I will see an attractive woman and the sexual fantasy is almost subconscious as in I’m not consciously thinking about sex with her, but I get a charge of energy and euphoria in my body when I look at her body parts. Sometimes it’s left at that, but sometimes I’ll follow it up, continuing the fantasy by looking at porn and masturbating. I’m not sure if the initial lust or sexual spark is entirely avoidable. Though dwelling in it and pursuing it further certainly is.

Masturbation:
Almost always in combination with internet pornography. But usually starts with mindless self stimulation while searching the internet non-sexual content. The Leading towards more sexual content as I get more aroused. Consistently associated with guilt and shame afterwards and also the desire to hide it from others particularly my wife. To pretend like it didn’t happen.

I have conflicting beliefs surrounding masturbation. I believe that it can be a healthy part of my sexuality, but am a part of a religious community that views it as inherently sinful, which is also the belief that I had for many years. Because it’s so often associated with porn though, it’s hard to separate my feelings towards porn which I find pretty much impossible to consume in a non compulsive way with my feeling on masturbation. It’s difficult for me to separate it all, and think that it’s best to abstain until I have more clarity on my values associated with it.

Porn:
This is for sure my most concerning behavior because it is something that I have tried to stop partaking in, but can’t seem to leave behind. It feels like I can’t control my behavior and once the trigger comes it is almost unavoidable to watch porn. Recently, with the help of my wife, I have put a blocker on my screens. This has made it near impossible to access hardcore porn. However, I have compulsively searched for and found arousing material such as Lingerie videos that I have essentially used to get some small amount of the pleasure that I used to derive from more explicit content.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:00 pm 
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Lesson 12

Thoughts on unhealthy recovery patterns...

Fear of overcoming addiction. Wow! That’s crazy how I’ve felt that, it seems like I want this desperately out of my life, but at the same time there is a sadness and fear of fully letting my compulsive behaviors go. What will it be like to never again rely on the comfort I get from these behaviors? I want to find out, but it’s scary and unknown too.

Those who struggle with major relapse...

Attempting to appease others?? Though the majority of my motivations come from my desire to change, I do recognize that there is a piece of me that is motivated by knowing that my relationship with my wife would be deteriorated if I continue my behavior. I don’t know if that’s trying to appease her or I just value the relationship or a little of both.

Minimize behavior?? I actively try not to do this, but I can feel the pull and the desire to do so. It’s something I have to actively try not to fall into.

Those who struggle with occasional minor relapse...

These responses I relate to deeply. I’ve totally seen how shame and guilt feed the cycle of compulsive behavior. I’ve had times where I’ve been hyper religious and used religious
Fear to avoid sexual misbehavior. I’ve also had substance abuse issues in my past, I was addicted to smoking for a few years I compulsive eat sometimes. I have totally traded out behaviors and addictions and obsessions for a long time. I have also really struggled with trying to delve into my emotional issues as they seem to magnify and expand when I focus on them.

Measuring success through abstinence... I was convinced it was helpful for me to track how often I slipped and how bad it was and I saw progress as doing it less often though I could never get to the point where I was fully abstinent.

Extreme emotions...I have vacillated between extreme emotions and almost numbness. Numbness being worse.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:27 am 
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Lesson 13:

Healthy Recovery Patterns I relate to...


Early recovery:

Doubts...comes and goes sometimes I feel confident in change others I feel like I’m making no progress and I feel discouraged.

Emotions...again comes and goes, but I do have bouts of anxiety or depression maybe once every other week or so.

Testing the waters...yes! Haven’t fully acted out but have flirted with the idea and tested my boundaries. Every other week or so. Often is associated with the strong emotions as above.

Exploring triggers...somewhat, I haven’t thought of it that way, but I have tried to loosen some boundaries to see how I’d do without them.

Desire for understanding...I relate to the sense of overwhelm. I feel like there are so many areas I need to work on in my life that it sometimes seems hard to track it all. I’ve recently worked on focusing more on THE most important things.



Middle Recovery:

Accepting the past...more often then not I have excepted my mistakes and am focusing on the present. Though I do fluctuate and lose that mindset sometimes.

Desire for a life I can be proud of...yes! I want genuine change in my life and want to achieve my goals, though doing what it takes can feel scary.

Focusing on building new behaviors...I do think my focus is more on new behaviors and building positive habits then obsessing about past behavior. Though, again, when I get trapped in the old ways I can feel preoccupied with the old behaviors.

Relapse triggers...still feel like a threat to me. But trying to see as an opportunity to learn.
Failure...also hard for me to see as opportunity, but trying to work on this as well.

Identity...I’m not sure I’ve ever identified myself as an addict, but also haven’t identified myself as emotionally healthy. More just emotionally clueless!

Willing to remove anything associated with past behaviors...yes I’m in the process of remembering all the places I’ve used online, and cutting my access off from them. When I’m tempted I regret it sometimes and wish I still had access to some of them. But know it’s for the best.

Significant others...cautious optimism, yeah, that pretty much sums up where my wife is at right now.


Full Recovery:

These sound great, and like where I want to end up, but I can’t say as I’m there yet with any of these descriptions. But do feel like I’m headed in the right direction.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:29 am 
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Lesson 15:

One of the biggest things I’ve learned so far is to live according to my values intentionally not just on a whim. This has been something I haven’t been perfect with, but it is getting me thinking about my choices. The other is self honesty, learning to be honest and aware of when I am acting compulsively even if it’s small are brief. This mindset is something I think about almost every day.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:29 am 
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Lesson 16:

What good comes out of your compulsive behavior? It gives me temporary relief when my emotions feel out of control. It helps me to have pleasure when it feels like all I can feel is emotional pain. In some ways it feels like self care and rest.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:31 am 
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Lesson 17:

Porn use elements involved...
Sensory stimulation: sexual imagery, sexual sounds, feeling of my body.
Fantasy: the theme or genre of the content often pertained to some fantasy I previously thought about. Picturing myself in the situation shown.
Danger: only sometimes...but using porn at work or while driving. Or in another place I could possibly be caught with serious consequences.
Suspense: I would often start a “session” by seeking out very mild imagery until my desire grew to the point where I wanted to look at more graphic content.
Accomplishment: mostly associated with orgasm or finding some content that was particularly pleasing to me.
Orgasm: this was almost always the eventual outcome of porn use.
Relief: often used as a break from emotional pain of some type. Porn acted as a reprieve.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:33 am 
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Lesson 18:

Three filters- Porn & Masturbation

Time: my usual pattern has been to delay orgasm so that I can enjoy the waves of pleasure that comes with viewing particularly arousing material. Eventually I go over the edge and have an orgasm.

Habituation: at times I’ve had more 3,4, or up to 5 sessions in a day that progressively were less enjoyable and shorter. Also experience habituation in the type of content that is most arousing. Becoming more graphic over time.

Intensity: during a session I progressively view more graphic and stimulating material. It might start with semi-nude pictures then move to fully nude, then to gifs with no sound then to full on videos all as I get closer to orgasm.


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