Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:12 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 60 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 29

This lesson reminded me a lot of my meditation practice observing thoughts and emotions has been helping me a lot with my recovery so it was cool to seek something so similar in this workshop.

I experimented with many types of thoughts to see the emotional repercussions of them. I consciously thought of my son and depending time with him and I could feel the joy of that in my body. I thought about the different things going on in the world right now with protests and riots and the virus and could feel anxiety as a tightening of my chest and throat. I thought about my compulsive sexual behaviors and I could feel the anxious emotions that usually trigger it and I could also recreate some of the pleasure that I feel while looking at porn as well as the guilt and shame that I feel afterwards.

It’s amazing how these emotions can be felt just by thinking thoughts, without any external stimuli at all. The mind is powerful. Yet it also takes some of the power away from compulsive behavior because I realize that it’s all just emotions and thoughts!

Anxiety extremes...the least anxious is when I’m with the people that I love and don’t have any major responsibilities to worry about. No conflict. Just enjoying life and each others company. Happens most often on vacation, where we can get away from day to day life.

Most anxious...is when everything in my life feels like a mess. When there is conflict with mud spouse and family. And when work is busy or I’m not able to earn about money. And I don’t take the time to relax or regroup.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 31:

Stressors from the last week:

Conflict with best friend (moderate)
Conflict with my wife (moderate)
Worry about finances (mild)
Fear and sadness about current events (moderate)
Too little sleep cause of toddler (mild)
Too little sleep cause of drinking 2 beers (mild)
Guilt and shame from my most recent slip ups (mild)
Stress from family and friends visiting (moderate)
Stress about work (mild)
Stress about a long to-do list (mild)

My interpretation of this lesson is that a perfectly balanced life would mean that all of the stress in your life (at least the voluntary stress) should be a result of pursuing your values. I would say that I’m more aligned with my values then when I started this workshop to the point where I can say that all the above stressors actually are at least tangentially related to pursuing my values. That being said, I also feel like I’m becoming more aware of the ways that I’m not living according to my values and I can see that not only do I get less positive stimulation (from my values), I also get more stress because it’s stressful to violate my own values!!! Compulsive behavior may make things better very short term, but soon after it throws you deeper off balance! I also see that by spending more time with certain values, such as finances, the stressed caused by not taking care of that would be eliminated.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 32

Family

Mom & Sister: been talking weekly about, but also started a group online to stay connected. Feels like in a good place.

Brother-in-law: seen quite often lately. More then once a month but would to aim for deeper connection.

Aunt: have talked to her a little. Would like to more soon.

Other family: started family happy hour on zoom. Has been really cool to talk and see everyone that I normally see so infrequently.


Creativity

Create: I haven’t done a great job with consistently here. I want to figure out a way to include it into my day to day.

Learn: I haven’t worked on learning to be more creative yet.

Enjoy: I consume a lot more art then I create. Particularly television, I would like to limit the amount of time I spend watching shows and spend more time on creating.


Physical Health

Movement: started a new program that I really enjoy. Still haven’t been able to fit it in every day, but I’m becoming more consistent.

Food: Doing pretty well here, eating healthy stuff most of the time and enjoying cooking.

Water: Good here. Been drinking water 1st thing which has helped.

Supplements: reading about micronutrients now and trying to see if I have any big gaps in my diet.

Grooming: still only doing ok. Want to schedule a weekly grooming time. To cut nails, shave, etc.
Sleep: this wasn’t on the original. But see the need to add it! Bad sleep effects my mood greatly.


Simplicity

Possessions: feeling the desire to go through some of my stuff again. I feel stressed sometimes about the amount of things that I’m always needing to take care of.

Analog life: not done great here. I feel like my default is still to be on my phone or doing something with screens. I need to refocus here.

Gratitude: been doing this as a family before bed. It’s been so cool. Really liking it.


Generosity

Give 10%: we have been doing this, but I want to be more aware and thoughtful of where we are giving this money.

Volunteering: the prospect of doing this feels overwhelming right now. I’d like to find ways to volunteer, but my life feels really busy already. The place I work also runs a non profit though, I’d like to spend more time doing that.


Lifelong Learning

Learning projects: I don’t currently have any projects, besides recovery. That’s my priority which feels right for now.

List: haven’t done this yet will start one in my journal.

Literature group: haven’t done this yet, don’t feel I have the capacity to right now.


Travel & Adventure

Get out: done a great job of this lately, been getting out multiple times a week.

Bigger adventures: had one recently with my wife for our anniversary.

Travel: not much travel with the virus. But hoping to take a trip in August.

Daily adventures:


Play & Laughter

Sports league: again...don’t have the time or energy to do this right now, though I would like to.

Play with my son: I do this almost every day. It is truly on of the great joys of my life.

Allow my true personality out: I’m working on figuring out how to do this better. I have lots of thoughts and things that go through my head that I think would be fun to share, but I have a strong filter that always worries about what people would think.

Play games: have done a little, but would like to do more.


Financial Mastery

Saving 20% of income: not really possible for us right now, but we’re working our way up.

Maintaining: doing good here.

Assets: working towards this, but it’s been kind of on the back burner.

Business: has been inconsistent. I have a lot of fear of failure that I’m working through.


Living my purpose

This is a little difficult to assess, but I do feel like I’m on the right path.


Integrity

My compulsive behavior has done a number on my integrity. But it’s something I’ve been rebuilding. Being honest with myself is difficult sometimes, because part of my addiction has involved convincing myself that everything’s ok and I just need to make a few minor life tweaks to stop acting out. When I’m brutally honest with myself and others it is painful to look at where I’m truly at, but it’s also freeing. I’m definitely growing in my honesty and integrity and it’s keeping me accountable to my own recovery.


Community

Community has been challenging with the virus and all the restrictions placed on meeting in groups. My main focus lately has just been deepening my close friendships and family relationships. As things open up more, I look forward to meeting and practicing community in larger groups.


Being a Great Father

In general I’ve been doing well in this area. Sometimes I will be on my phone or something and not present when I’m with my son, which is a habit I’d like to break. But I enjoy being a father and I feel like I’m doing my best to love and support my son.


Loving my Wife

This ones the most complex! Our communication has been good lately, although we have conflict, we normally deal with it quickly. I’ve been making it a habit to share with her my thoughts and emotions on a daily basis, which I think has been helping her feel closer to me. We have also had good dates lately although I’d like to do them more frequently. Same with our sex life, it’s enjoyable but less frequent then I’d like. She’s pregnant though so that makes it hard. Our parenting has been solid, we talk about everything with our son and make choices together, which is really good. The last 2 weeks, since I last acted out has been good with my faithfulness. I’ve been able to keep my sexual desires and thoughts towards her. Our spiritual life together could use a little work, we do talk about things but I’d like to know more about what she’s learning and how she’s growing. Financially we’re a little behind in our communication. We need to look at our budget together. Overall, I’d say our marriage is on the right track with plenty of room to grow!


Relationship with God

My relationship with God is always there to some extent. But in some ways it is neglected, and I think this may be a place where my values are falling short. This is listed as my top value for a reason. When I feel like I’m solid in my spiritual life, so many other things just fall into place. I need to spend more time and attention rebuilding this value.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 34

Immediate Gratification...haha! Wow so many options. Let’s see, my first year of college my girlfriend left for a foreign exchange program. Initially I wanted to stay single and wait for her because I loved her. Instead I basically slept with as many women as I could over the next year or so. The immediate sexual gratification overcame the long term desire of being with the girl I really wanted to be with.

When I’m trying not to act out...it feels kind like quick sand, like I’m sinking slowly and trying to grab onto something that will keep my from going under. There’s a gnawing feeling in my chest and throat, I feel empty and constricted and afraid that I can’t stop from acting out. I suppose this actually quite similar to other times that I have anxiety. The bodily feeling is very similar. But the cause is different.

How I feel when I’m acting out...part of what makes it so tempting I think is that the anxiety mostly goes away when I’m acting out. So it acts as a way out of the anxiety caused by resisting acting out!! Vicious cycle. I think when I’m acting out, the anxiety doesn’t entirely disappear, it goes quiet though and it hangs out in the background. I feel calm and focused on seeking pleasure, everything else fades away. The pleasure comes in waves almost as a warm slightly tingly feeling that travels through my body into my face and chest. I vacillate between the warm pleasure and the calm focus. The pleasure is almost the opposite of the tight constricted anxious feeling. It feels expansive and joyful. The culmination is the orgasm where the pleasure becomes all consuming for that brief moment.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 35

When I reviewed my proactive action plans, the biggest area that needed work was my connection to God. So the first thing I’m going to focus on is seeking more connection with God throughout the day. I have it in the lock screen on my phone to remind me.

My daily monitoring will be kept track of in my journal as I write in there everyday anyway. I will asses each day whether I want to continue focusing on the same thing from yesterday or something new and wrote what it is in my daily journal. Then once a week, Saturday or Sunday I will go through the 4 questions from this lesson, and quickly go through my proactive action plans to monitor longer term values.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 36

Lack of boundaries... I had a close friendship with a guy who I allowed to control the direction of our relationship. It turns out that he was gay, but hadn’t really admitted it to himself or others at the time. He wanted our friendship to grow closer and closer. Spending more time together, asking to hold hands, eventually asking to kiss. I didn’t have good boundaries and allowed the friendship to progress to a place that was semi-romantic, co-dependent, and extremely emotionally unhealthy before I finally realized how bad it was for me and created space between us. My lack of boundaries made me question my sexuality and my ability to have healthy friendships. It was a deeply traumatic experience in my life.

Having good boundaries... on the same vain, I have another friendship with a guy who is also attracted to men. He is one of my best friends. Our relationship has great boundaries as I have learned from my past mistakes. If he ever did try to ask for something that I was uncomfortable Im not afraid to uphold my boundaries. I also trust his boundaries and know that he respects me and my wife far too much to ever violate my boundaries. Our friendship is probably the healthiest I’ve ever had, and feels safe.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Urge Awareness worksheet:

I acted out today 6/27 It was the 1st time in 3 weeks or so. I want to work through the urge awareness worksheet here.

Elements involved...
1. Woke up in the morning alone and aroused
2. Opened iPad to do recovery work, but went online to a site that is normally blocked.
3. For some reason blocker wasn’t working, I closed it so I wouldn’t look at porn.
4. Tried to do recovery work, but mind kept getting pulled to being able to look at porn.
5. Went back and forth and opened porn for a minute then closed not wanting to.
6. Eventually gave into watching porn and masturbating.
7. Had an orgasm then another one.
8. Cleaned up and took a shower feeling dejected.

Emotional comfort scale...
Throughout the week- 48
Prior to 1st element- 65
Just after initial urge to act- 40
As I struggled- 35
During the last few elements-100

When could I have turned it around...
Ideally right when I woke up I could have reminded myself of my values and maybe I would have just been happy doing my recovery work. But I could have easily turned it around in 2 or 3 as well. I think once I saw porn it would have been harder, though still possible.

Values that I violated...
Love for my wife: I allowed images into my mind that will effect my sex life with my wife. I also will tell her what I did which will hurt her feelings and damage her trust in me.
Integrity: I did something that I believe to be immoral and unhealthy. Broke my boundaries.
Love for my kids: I could have woken my son up earlier and spent time with him instead.

Unresolved elements...
I need to fix the internet blocker on my iPad so it blocks the sites I want it to.

Actions to rebuild...
Have a check-in with my wife and tell her what happened. Also try to set up a date soon to reconnect as a couple. Spend some quality time just focused on connecting with my son.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 37

Loving my wife:
Respect and genuinely consider her desires.
Always be honest and openly share my thought & emotions.
Always act as if she were in the room with me.
Include her in all my relationships.
Consistently seek outside wisdom to grow as a husband.
Make time to connect one-on-one.

Integrity:
Be 100% honest with myself and God.
Do the right thing even when no one is watching.
Don’t violate your conscience.
Be true to yourself no matter who you are around.
Take responsibility for your mistakes.

Being a great father:
Don’t act out of anger.
Always consider the example I’m setting.
Be present.
Seek their best interests out of love.
Listen to their desires.

Absolute Boundaries:
I will not do anything that I wouldn’t want my wife to know about.
I will not dwell on thoughts that I couldn’t freely share with my wife.
I will not participate in relationships that don’t respect my boundaries.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 38

Potential value threats...

I’m searching the internet for something and a porn site pops up inadvertently...my 1st absolute boundary would protect me from this situation as would all my integrity boundaries. If I follow my boundaries this situation shouldn’t be a problem.

I start working with a woman I’m very attracted to and we end up having to spend lots of time together...again always acting as if my wife were with us would be effective, also sharing with my wife about the coworker or even having her meet her or get to know her.

A close female friend starts to flirt or make advances towards me...hmm maybe this situation would need to evolve my boundaries slightly. I think my third absolute boundary would come into play, but I think as a friend, I would need to tell the person that they’re violating my boundaries and need to stop. Also sharing the situation with my wife would be appropriate. That said, I don’t really have friends who would do that!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:34 pm 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hello PT


Quote:
Absolute Boundaries:
I will not do anything that I wouldn’t want my wife to know about.
I will not dwell on thoughts that I couldn’t freely share with my wife.
I will not participate in relationships that don’t respect my boundaries.


Absolute boundaries are just that#boundaries that are absolute
now sorry if this seems harsh, but do reflect


Quote:
I will not do anything that I wouldn’t want my wife to know about.

but you did
Quote:
I acted out today 6/27
OK you might have told her but you still chose to do something that hurts her


Quote:
I will not dwell on thoughts that I couldn’t freely share with my wife.


Quote:
I need to fix the internet blocker on my iPad so it blocks the sites I want it to.


why?
if your boundary is real then you become the blocker


Quote:
I will not participate in relationships that don’t respect my boundaries.

perhaps "relationships" should read ANYTHING?
hope this helps if not then simply trash it

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Kenzo wrote:
Hello PT


Quote:
Absolute Boundaries:
I will not do anything that I wouldn’t want my wife to know about.
I will not dwell on thoughts that I couldn’t freely share with my wife.
I will not participate in relationships that don’t respect my boundaries.


Absolute boundaries are just that#boundaries that are absolute
now sorry if this seems harsh, but do reflect


Quote:
I will not do anything that I wouldn’t want my wife to know about.

but you did
Quote:
I acted out today 6/27
OK you might have told her but you still chose to do something that hurts her


Quote:
I will not dwell on thoughts that I couldn’t freely share with my wife.


Quote:
I need to fix the internet blocker on my iPad so it blocks the sites I want it to.


why?
if your boundary is real then you become the blocker


Quote:
I will not participate in relationships that don’t respect my boundaries.

perhaps "relationships" should read ANYTHING?
hope this helps if not then simply trash it



Hey Kenzo, thanks for the feedback.

You are entirely correct I did break my own boundary. Your response has reinforced in my mind what it means to have ABSOLUTE boundaries. You don’t break them...ever... it’s not an option any more. To be honest, trusting myself with boundaries is a little scary because I have made lots of promises to myself about not looking at porn and I’ve broken them. My past behavior has been to make a promise that I wouldn’t give in, but then when the draw or urge came it would override that promise. That’s why I guess having the security of a internet blocker has been like a crutch to place another barrier between me and acting out. But your right...truly committing to my absolute boundaries means that I don’t need anything external I just need to be a man of my word.

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 39

Define an ideal ending...
All sexual activity will be in the context of relationship with my partner.
Communication of sexual needs and desires will be common place between my partner an I.
I will not participate in compulsive or destructive sexual behaviors.
Sex with my partner will be about fun, intimacy, and growing individually and relationally.

Sexual values list (filtered)...
Sex should be mutually enjoyable
Adventurous sex is fun
Consent is a must
Regular sex is important to me
Faithfulness is physical, mental, and emotional
Porn is harmful
Fantasizing about other women is a form of unfaithfulness
Fantasy in marriage can be fun
Sex is powerful
Sex is an amazing experience
Sexual exploration is healthy
Sex shouldn’t be stigmatized or shamed
Sex is intimate
Sexuality is more then sex
Mindful sex is good sex
Intimacy is important
Honesty and openness with your partner is crucial
Don’t do anything you have to hide
Learning about sex is fascinating

Existing vulnerabilities...
Compulsive sexual behaviors are the major vulnerability and the reason I’m here working through this stuff. These behaviors get in the way of healthy sexual values am boundaries. I think the other big vulnerability is fear, I sometimes fear complete open communication about sex because it’s vulnerable and could lead to judgment. Then there’s stress and other challenging emotions that are often the triggers for compulsive actions.

Value to work on...faithfulness is physical, mental, and emotional
Avoid porn use and masturbation.
Be aware of thoughts I have throughout the day.
Be aware of the emotions I experience around other women I’m attracted to.
Don’t allow sexual thoughts about other women to continue.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 40

My wife’s boundaries...
Honesty is a big boundary of my wife’s, dishonesty deeply hurts her and breaks trust that she has for you. This comes up a lot in interactions with her mother who seems to bend the truth on a regular basis. She sometimes feels guilty for not believing her mom. I could support her boundary by reminding her that honesty is important and that you don’t have to give your trust to others if thy haven’t been trustworthy.

What if I break a boundary...
I think the best response is to be direct and take responsibility for the boundary that I crossed. A genuine apology showing that I understand why I hurt her by breaking a boundary and how I plan to avoid that same behavior in the future. I would want to show respect for her boundaries knowing that they protect something important to her.

What my reaction would be...
At first, I may be defensive or hurt or try to convince her that I wasn’t in the wrong. Sometimes it can be painful to take responsibility for harming someone, but hopefully I would be able to look past my own hurt feelings and have a response that showed genuine concern and respect for her boundaries. As above!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:04 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 41

In my mind I’m getting a little stuck understanding boundaries in the context of values and proactive action plans. Right now Im thinking that proactive actions are things that you “do” to build and maintain values, while boundaries are things that you “don’t do” and wont allow others to do that protect your values. Is that a good way to put it? Maybe not, a lot of the stuff in my proactive action action plans could probably also be considered boundaries...if you read, any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 pm
Posts: 54
Lesson 44

The role of my core identity...
I had to read this at least 3 times to understand what is meant by core identity, kind of difficult for me to grasp. I think your core identity determines how you process sensory input. It’s almost like a decision-making algorithm that we have to train to make decisions that benefit us in the long term rather then grasping for immediate gratification. Training or programming the algorithm will eliminate the need for compulsive behavior.

Value-based experiences...
To continue the analogy, value based experiences are the mean by which we can program our core identity “algorithm.” Repeating value based behavior makes future value based behavior easier and more rewarding.

My core identity...
Is in training. I’m working on molding it to my true desired values. When I engage in destructive behavior it trains my core identity towards that behavior. The opposite direction that I want it to go. It makes it easier to continue in destructive behaviors.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 60 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group