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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:29 am 
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Lesson 19:

Thoughts on awareness exercise. Loved this lesson, such powerful explanatory power. It was so enlightening to consider all of my actions throughout the day as a response to thoughts and emotions. I found myself using my phone, listening to music or audiobooks or checking email when I was bored or uncomfortable. I found myself eating a lot of chips when I was feeling tired and sad. I also savored some things more then usual, I enjoyed eating and the positive emotions that came from it.

Also thinking of long term vs. short term decision making. Making choices for longterm reasons benefit seems to almost always have the better ROI. Not just a financial principe, a life principle.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:36 am 
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Lesson 20:

My story of compulsive behavior...
As I put all the pieces of my past together I realize that I’ve had a wide variety of compulsive behaviors that I’ve participated in. I’m still unsure as to what started them as I don’t remember having any traumatic event or anything as a kid. But whatever was the cause I learned to manage my emotions through many behaviors. The 1st compulsion that I can remember was probably video games, I was obsessed with video games, it was really the only way I wanted to spend my free time from elementary school on and off all the way into college. Then I think in early middle school I discovered porn and masturbation through finding an old vintage porn VHS. When I discovered this masturbation became a big part of my life, I remember even doing it under my desk at school. I also remember printing off porn pictures I had downloaded and giving to other guys on the school bus. I think food has also played a compulsive role in my life from those early days all the way to present times. Eating candy or salty snacks has been a way for me to get “a break” from challenging emotions. Once I got into my junior and senior year of high school substances became my main compulsive behavior of choice. There were 4 years where I pursued any drug I could get as often as I could. It was cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, lsd, mdma, nicotine, etc. also during this time I lost my virginity and found sex as a way of coping. When I went to college all of these compulsions essentially became my life. I didn’t go to class much and fully pursued it all sex, video games, porn, drugs, alcohol, food, masturbation. I truly was living in compulsive behaviors.

A great change happened around my sophomore year of college when I essentially decided to go cold turkey on basically everything. I quit porn, sex, masturbation, drugs, smoking, drinking, and video games. All within about 6 months. That’s when religion came into my life, which to be sure, was an incredible source for good, in fact my faith is still one of my greatest values, but looking back I think it did play a compulsive role as well. I became very legalistic and my identity was completely wrapped up in a group mentality. I lost my individuality in some ways and I now believe that this took the place of all the other addictions I had let go. Around the time I graduated college I got into 2 back to back codependent friendships that were deeply emotionally unhealthy for me. I was obsessed with making these friends feel loved and I got my self worth from they’re happiness with me. Both of these friendships ended with these guys confessing they’re love to me and me having to cut them out of my life because I didn’t want to be in a homosexual relationship with them. These were deeply traumatic events, and it has taken a long time to trust myself In male friendships after this. Around the time I left those friendships I met my wife to be who was a breath of fresh air, in that we had a relationship that was drastically more emotionally healthy then what I had just gotten out of. We moved to a different town together and I kinda got a fresh start. I feel like I began to heal and grow slowly, but still was emotionally quite immature. We got married and eventually got pregnant. Around this time I really started to dismantle some of my religious beliefs and reconsider what I truly believed. This was and is a challenging experience and an open wound because I do t feel like I fully fit in the religious community that I’m a part of. But I do feel like my beliefs are healthier for me. My father also died around this time which was unarguably the most traumatic experience event of my life. With it porn and masturbation came back into my life as a coping mechanism for my grief. It became a habit that happened once every couple weeks where I might binge for a few days and then feel guilty and stop and it became a cycle. This cycle happened for over a year before I finally confessed what was happening to my wife. Who was hurt and sad, I tried so many different things to figure out how to stop but I couldn’t seem to ever connect the dots. This brings me basically to present day, where I’m trying to truly heal for the 1st time In my life. I desire to actually be healthy!!! Not just find another thing to be compulsive about. It’s hard to realize that this is something that has limited me since childhood. And I deeply want to see who I can be in health.

In future times of trial and trauma I plan to face my emotions with as much awareness as I can muster. To learn how to manage them and accept the, in a healthy way. I’m not sure how to do this yet, but hopefully I can continue to learn that in this workshop.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:53 pm 
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Lesson 21:

Goal I’ve failed at: I’ve wanted to develop a consistent workout habit for a longtime now. I think a big reason I fail is because I have a lack of focus on it. I don’t treat it as priority or schedule or in and it tends to get lost in the mix of all the other things I need to do on a daily basis. Or I’ll get started and get in the habit and then something will happen, like getting sick, that throws me off.

Goal I have completed: graduating college. There was a lot of social pressure which helped. Also there were lots of checkpoints. I just had to focus on one semester at a time rather then focus on 4 years. It was also something I enjoyed and was really good at so that helped too.

My recovery goal: I want to go through the rest of the recovery workshop by August 1. That’s 8 weeks away meaning I have to complete slightly above six lessons a week. This will be a stretch, but I think it’s doable. I have been really inconsistent to this point taking months to do these first 20 lessons. But I really want to learn these skills.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:54 pm 
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Lesson 22

Ritual: Porn Use

Primary Elements: Visual Stimulation, Fantasy, Physical Stimulation, Orgasm


Values assigned:

Visual- 2
Fantasy-1
Physical-3
Orgasm-3

Filters Applied

Visual:
Time- stimulation increases over time until I fell like it’s been too long. 7
Intensity- fairly stable. 3
Habituation- some habituation to the imagery used. 4

Fantasy:
Time- fairly stable 2
Intensity- comes and goes 3
Habituation- dependent on imagery 2

Physical:
Time- increases until orgasm occurs 7
Intensity- very stable 1
Habituation- no effect 1

Orgasm:
Time- Delaying results in better orgasm 8
Intensity- almost unavoidable once chain starts 10
Habituation- no effect 1


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:55 pm 
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Lesson 23

This lesson was so helpful after goin the last one and thinking....”ok soo what’s the point!?” Got me thinking in practical terms instead of theoretical. So how do I think I could use it? one way is to asses ore deeply what happened after a relapse, to look back at the triggers and and emotional stimulation that occurred at every step and come up with better ways to handle this things in the future. Another is being able to turn back at any step along the compulsive chain. I think I usually don’t stop until the chain is complete because I feel like if it’s even started it’s a failure in my mind, so I might as well see at through. But the truth is being aware and stopping it early is growth and it is a success because it leads to greater awareness.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:56 pm 
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Brutal self honesty

I’ve been working on my recovery since February, but I just realized in a dream that I haven’t been being fully honest with myself about where I’m at. I’m taking this opportunity to be as honest as I possibly can so that I might be able to just get it all out. The catalyst for this push to recovery was a night where my wife and I accidentally ingested very very strong marijuana muffins, they stripped me of distraction and put me in a very chaotic and long lasting mind state where I was humbled to the point where I knew I couldn’t wait another moment to confess that my porn habit, which she knew about, had been continuing since the last time I has told her about it (which was about a year prior). Of course this resulted in the pain of betrayal and hurt in her. And the desire for me to change, so I came up with a plan that we both agreed to that included working through this recovery program and using a blocker on my phone, and a few other commitments.

The initial passion to do what was right carried me through the 1st few weeks. Until an opportune moment came where I tried to get around my blocker and found a way. I watched porn and masturbated, but stopped before orgasm. This became its own compulsive ritual. I was able to curb the usual guilt I would feel if I didn’t orgasm, And therefore not feel compelled to confess to my wife what I had done. It is pure self deceit, but it worked. It became an on and off pattern that I used approximately 1-2x a week until recently. Back in March, I essentially manipulated my wife by having her unlock my phone for another reason so that I could cover my tracks and also block the loophole that I had found. This made it so I couldn’t really look at actual porn. So the ritual became searching streaming services for the most sexual content I could find and masturbating to that, again getting close to orgasm but never allowing myself to. That was until about 2 weeks ago where I found another loophole when I was tempted and searching. I exploited it and watched real porn for the 1st time in months and couldn’t keep from going all the way to orgasm. As suspected this resulted in me feeling compelled confessing to my wife that incident, though I wasn’t as forthcoming as I could have been leaving out that I used porn.

Then last week my wife needed to use my computer and turned off the filter so she could do some work. This turned the filter off on my phone too and I resisted for one day before I caved in once again 3 times, following which I had my wife re-lock the phone. Then this past Saturday I once again exploited the loophole and gave in 2 more times! I desperately wanted to cover my tracks again and Reset my phone completely to get rid of the evidence. I haven’t confessed this to my wife yet but do want to soon.

This behavior is hard to look at with sober eyes. I have been deceitful, manipulative, and compulsive. But it feel right to lay it all out on this thread. Not sure anyone will read, but I guess it doesn’t really matter, because being honest with myself feels like the most important thing I can do right now. It’s time for me to give up these rituals to become the person that I desire to be in my vision and values.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:51 am 
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Hi Prophet,

Well done for being so honest on RN :g:
You now have to be honest with your wife, the longer you delay it the worse it will get!

I have said this a few times to different people on here, and I personally feel it is the major part of recovering.
You said you started RN in Feb and have been acting out regularly since then?
To me that means that the values and boundaries you set yourself were not strong enough, I would revisit them soon because you seem to be continuing with compulsive behaviour, but with a different routine?
You have to admit you have a problem!
You have to want to stop!
You have to set up Values & boundaries that will make you think twice!

After saying all that, all is not lost, you can easily get back to where you should be, it is still early in the lessons and there are many things in later lessons that will help you.

Stick with it!

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:50 pm 
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Theseus1112 wrote:
Hi Prophet,

Well done for being so honest on RN :g:
You now have to be honest with your wife, the longer you delay it the worse it will get!

I have said this a few times to different people on here, and I personally feel it is the major part of recovering.
You said you started RN in Feb and have been acting out regularly since then?
To me that means that the values and boundaries you set yourself were not strong enough, I would revisit them soon because you seem to be continuing with compulsive behaviour, but with a different routine?
You have to admit you have a problem!
You have to want to stop!
You have to set up Values & boundaries that will make you think twice!

After saying all that, all is not lost, you can easily get back to where you should be, it is still early in the lessons and there are many things in later lessons that will help you.

Stick with it!


Thanks Theseus for the advice/encouragement.

I agree. I think I haven’t been taking it as seriously as I need to for success. I feel that sinking in more then ever. I will talk to my wife and look out my boundaries again. What do you mean by something that makes you think twice With boundaries? Do you have an example?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:11 am 
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Posts: 264
Hi Prophet,

Quote:
What do you mean by something that makes you think twice With boundaries? Do you have an example?


What I mean is that my values & boundaries are built around my recovery, so if I had the urge to look at porn for instance, that would go against my boundary that says " I will not look at porn"
The main one I use is just a simple, "what would my wife think about that"
It stops me in my tracks and makes me "think twice" about continuing.
I use this action not just in my recovery now but in daily life, I suppose you would call it a "cause & effect" evaluation.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:27 pm 
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Theseus1112 wrote:
Hi Prophet,

Quote:
What do you mean by something that makes you think twice With boundaries? Do you have an example?


What I mean is that my values & boundaries are built around my recovery, so if I had the urge to look at porn for instance, that would go against my boundary that says " I will not look at porn"
The main one I use is just a simple, "what would my wife think about that"
It stops me in my tracks and makes me "think twice" about continuing.
I use this action not just in my recovery now but in daily life, I suppose you would call it a "cause & effect" evaluation.


Right on, thanks Theseus, I get it now, it’s like a mental barrier to filter your choices through. Makes sense, will think of some ways to apply it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:28 pm 
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Lesson 24

My wheel of compulsion:
Anticipation
Sensory (sight)
Sensory (touch)
Sensory (sound)
Fantasy
Suspense
Danger
Past
Power
Accomplishment
Orgasm
Shame & Guilt


1.Porn masturbation orgasm ritual

opportunity of quiet and alone time. Usually tired and in need of some relaxation. This happens infrequently in my busy life.

I go to my room and lay down and get on my computer to look something up, usually non-related to sex.

Anticipation- I start to feel hints of the excitement and pleasure I get from looking at porn.

Sensory (touch)- I’ll start rubbing my genitals and getting aroused.

Fantasy- my mind starts to think about sexual imagery and what I could look up that would get me going even more.

Sensory (sight and/or sound): I start to look at pictures, gifs, and videos. Seeking what feels the most pleasurable

Suspense: I get to the edge of orgasm, but hold back. Cycling again and again getting to the edge of orgasm and pulling back.

I try to avoid orgasm to prolong the pleasure and avoid the pain of guilt and shame.

Orgasm: Eventually though, orgasm comes when an image hits my mind in just the right way and it can’t be avoided anymore.

Accomplishment: orgasm releases my mind and allows me to go back to regular activities.

Guilt & Shame: I feel emotionally drained and sad that I did it all again. I have thoughts that say “I’m such an idiot” or “why did I do that?”

I clean up and cover my tracks. To pretend almost like it never happened.



2. Porn, masturbation, no orgasm

This is a similar chain, but doesn’t end in orgasm

Have a free moment where I need to relax.

Go to my room to lay down and watch a show.

Sensory (sight & sound)- Pick a tv show that most likely will have a sex scene.

Anticipation- Watch as I start to feel the same excitement/pleasure feeling.

Sensory (touch)- Start feeling my genitals and getting physically aroused.

Suspense- fast forward through the show looking for the sex scenes until I find one, the. Start bring
myself near to orgasm.

Because it’s usually not as graphic as porn, I’m able to carry it on longer and not have an orgasm.
Eventually I get tired of the stimulus and feel like I’ve had enough. But don’t go further by looking at porn.

Accomplishment- I stop and continue with my day feeling a mixture of guilt and accomplishment that I didn’t orgasm, therefore I improved my self control...


3. Round 2 ritual

This ritual only happens after I have already given into the 1st ritual once that day.
Feel overwhelming amounts of guilt, sadness, and shame for giving in earlier

anticipation: I think about sexual imagery and feel relief and pleasure.

Danger: I find the nearest place to masturbate and look at porn.

Sensory: I quickly find the most graphic arousing video I can and masturbate quickly to it.

Orgasm: I have a quick orgasm that gives me temporary release from the difficult emotions.

I clean up and feel emotionally numb and off balance with vague trace of shame and guilt.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:37 pm 
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Lesson 25

Compulsive ritual: porn & masturbation

1. Feeling tired from a long week and wanting to relax without anyone demanding my time.
Being alone

2. Feeling the excitement of sexual release. Feeling like nothing else in life gives me this excitement.

3. Getting on my computer and having the excitement peak.

4, Searching for something arousing and getting the 1st look.

5. Touching myself and feeling the pleasure of the combination of imagery and stimulation.

6. Feeling a little doubt that I should stop before I go any further.

7. Say I just want to see one more image, the. Forgetting about my doubts.

8. Bringing myself to the edge of orgasm. With more and more arousing imagery.

9. Pulling back because I don’t want to feel the guilt that comes with orgasm.

10. Seeing more imagery and repeating the process

11. Eventually getting to the point where I can’t hold back orgasm any more.

12. Having an orgasm. The emotional peak.

13. Feeling regret, shame, and guilt.

14. Cleaning up and covering my digital tracks.

15. Returning to my normal daily activities. But feeling heavy hearted and sad.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:43 pm 
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Lesson 26:

Looking at porn most recent time

1. I had some alone time and felt tired. Like I needed rest from all the ways I expend energy.

2. I had the thought, “I could look at porn now” and I began to feel the urge and excitement in my body. The prospect of pleasure.

3. Then I felt conflicted and I shouldn’t, but maybe I’ll just get on my computer and do something else to relax.

4. As soon as I get on though, I felt another urge to see if I could find some porn, again the feeling of excitement and energy.

5. I searched for a website that wasn’t too graphic because I still felt conflicted about looking at porn again.

6. Once I saw images and was touching myself the pleasure began to override the conflict.

7. Then I was looking for the most arousing pictures. That brought the most pleasure and excitement.

8. The conflict still existed because I tried to avoid orgasm so that I wouldn’t feel as guilty afterwards.

9. But over time I kept looking and becoming more and more aroused until orgasm came.

10. With orgasm came the moments of ecstasy followed by the regret that comes with a more sober mind. I then felt sad, guilty, and ashamed of my actions

11. I cleaned up and tried to find something to do that helped me avoid the negative feelings I felt from the ritual.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:44 pm 
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Lesson 27:

Compulsive chains...

One that contains multiple rituals simultaneously: I would say porn with masturbation for me would be a combine chain, because much earlier in my life before I even discovered porn I got plenty of stimulation from just masturbating to thoughts and fantasies in my head. Then I discovered porn and its ability to add stimulation to the ritual and they became I combine chain.

One that links multiple rituals together: as I outlined in a previous lesson sometimes when I feel guilty after acting out with porn once it leads into repeated times of acting out a condensed ritual to ease the emotional pain caused by the 1st ritual. On my worst days I have repeated it up to five times seeking the pleasure and momentary emotional relief.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:38 am 
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Lesson 28:

Looking at porn most recent time...copied from lesson 26

I had some alone time and felt tired. Like I needed rest from all the ways I expend energy.

I had the thought, “I could look at porn now” and I began to feel the urge and excitement in my body. The prospect of pleasure.

Then I felt conflicted and I shouldn’t, but maybe I’ll just get on my computer and do something else to relax.

As soon as I get on though, I felt another urge to see if I could find some porn, again the feeling of excitement and energy.

I searched for a website that wasn’t too graphic because I still felt conflicted about looking at porn again.

Once I saw images and was touching myself the pleasure began to override the conflict.

Then I was looking for the most arousing pictures. That brought the most pleasure and excitement.

The conflict still existed because I tried to avoid orgasm so that I wouldn’t feel as guilty afterwards.

But over time I kept looking and becoming more and more aroused until orgasm came.

With orgasm came the moments of ecstasy followed by the regret that comes with a more sober mind. I then felt sad, guilty, and ashamed of my actions

I cleaned up and tried to find something to do that helped me avoid the negative feelings I felt from the ritual.


How could I increase the stimulation from this compulsive chain? I could have thought instead of looking at porn, “I’m going to see if I can find someone to chat with or hookup with.” Either of those would likely have increased the stimulation considerably. I also could have gone straight to the most arousing graphic porn being unhindered by the conflicting feelings that I had. I could have put headphones on or set the environment up with less distractions. I could have found imagery that looks like someone I know in real life and fantasized about them while I masturbated. I could have left comments or chatted with the people who posted the porn I looked at. I could have paid money to join a paid website. Honestly the things that could add stimulation are endless. I’m sure that the further I went down this path the more extreme and strange ideas I could come up with and they would seem more and more reasonable the deeper I would be in addiction.

Wow! That’s crazy, that exercise made it click, unexpectedly. I can totally see how each element is just a means of manipulating emotion and how it can progress so easily!


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