Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:35 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 64 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Continuing thoughts on the relationship between emotions, values, and decisions:

I have come to see that while I don't get immediate emotional gratification from value-based decisions, I do experience feelings of contentment and peace as a long-term result. Following on this, I concluded that

    1. I am addicted to the brain chemistry that follows from immediate gratification. I need to rewire this part of me. (Not sure how, but maybe meditation?)
    2. I need to slow down and take care of myself so that I can experience those moments of calm, because I usually rush through them in an endless round of chores and self-improvement and self-blame.
    3. I'm so traumatized that slowing down scares me because it brings up the possibility that I might feel something I don't want to feel, like sorrow. I'd rather feel sexualized, or self-hating, or even just blah; sadness feels like it might drown me. I want to work on being able to feel sadness and grief but not in a self-hating way.
    4. I need to be patient. The emotional numbness of addiction will shift over time if I keep working my program.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:51 am 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi RM further to Tim,s positive observations and advice I remind you
Quote:
The loneliness of recovery is almost unbearable

it is actually the addiction that carries loneliness
addicts hide and indeed wallow in our secretness, our seclusion which is our illusion
RN and our community advise us to literally come out

Dont be lonely, be brave, be open and honest with yourself and choose your direction of travel
you will be that better person but you need to make that choice

_________________
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: Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
"wallow" -- wow, that's pretty harsh. But fair point, the only hope I have of ever making any real connections with people is to get off the computer and away from the fantasy world and connect with real human beings. COVID doesn't make it easy but I can't let that be an excuse.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Quote:
Lesson 31 Exercise:
In learning to effectively manage your life (e.g. maintain relative emotional balance), it is important to develop an ongoing awareness of where the majority of your energy is being exhausted and where it is being derived. In your Personal Recovery Thread:

A. Make a list of all identifiable stressors that have affected your emotional health over the past week. For each, document whether it is a mild, moderate, severe or extreme stressor. Example: 1) Facing Possible Divorce: extreme; 2) Lost respect among friends and family: moderate

B. Return to your values list created earlier in the workshop. In a healthy life, the majority of energy being drained (e.g. stress) should be related to the pursuit of your highest prioritized values (top fifteen or so). Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the way that you are expending your energy?

C. Likewise, in a healthy life, the majority of meaning and stimulation that you gain should also be related to your highest values. Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the quality of life you are living?
Share any insights in your Personal Recovery Thread.


A.
--politics--extreme
--anxiety about finishing project before the end of the month--extreme
--fence repair--moderate
--driveway repair--moderate
--taxes--mild
--kidney functions test--mild
--K being remote and cold-moderate
--anxiety about hiring process--mild
--arranging socially distanced time with friends --mild
--returning emails -- moderate
--disputed credit card charge -- mild
--maintaining sobriety--extreme

B. Positive pattern: all of these stressors are related to advancing one of my values in one way or another. I would not have been able to say this a few months ago.

C. Meaning and stimulation: not so sure about this one. For instance, I don't think taxes are meaningful or stimulating, although they are related to my value of being a responsible and independent person. I guess that's meaningful, in a way. Addiction leads to unmanageability -- unpaid bills, failure to meet professional obligations. There's not much happiness or pleasure in that list, though I suppose this relates to that issue of immediate gratification I mentioned a few days ago. Maybe I will feel happy when the fence is repaired? I don't think so. I think I'll just feel relieved and slightly irritated about how money it's going to cost, if I go by previous experience with contractors.

If I take it a step further, though, I can identify:

Positive stimulation in the past week:
--watching sports on tv
--walk with Julie
--yoga
--reading fiction
--progress on project
--progress on hiring process
--Spanish practice
--food
--listening to podcasts

Most of this list is related to my values, although I'm not so sure about sports and food. These are both fine, in moderation. But they can quickly become ways of numbing, coping, and escaping.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
1. Driving home, mind kept wandering to fantasy
2. Thoughts of entitlement, e.g. "I deserve a break, times are hard and lonely"
3. Was tired when I got home
4. Decided to take a nap
5. Decided to listen to relaxation audio on my phone
6. Listened and fell asleep
7. Woke up and picked up phone, which was near me on bed
8. Turned off wifi
9. Searched for porn
10. Masturbated
11. Orgasm

The fantasizing while driving home was the point at which I knew I was in danger.
I did struggle with it, tried to listen to a work-related podcast.
Probably the nap was a bad idea -- I should have fought off the sleepiness by going for a walk or calling someone up. (4) here was the emotion-based decision
I knew that listening to a relaxation audio would keep my phone nearby. If I was that sleepy I didn't need an audio to fall asleep. I could have dealt with the natural urge to sleep without using the phone.
Turning off the wifi was a clear move towards acting out as the network where I am temporarily staying for work reasons does not allow porn.

What I learned: Accessing my phone needs to be monitored carefully. I do want to learn from this experience and break the cycle. I do not want the objectifying and meaningless images from porn to pollute my mind. They conflict with my values as a feminist and educator.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:39 pm 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi RM
Quote:
What I learned: Accessing my phone needs to be monitored carefully.


IMO in the early stages of recovery most of our "alone time" actions need to be monitored
hence

Quote:
I do want to learn from this experience and break the cycle. I do not want the objectifying and meaningless images from porn to pollute my mind.


:g: :g:

_________________
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: Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Continued reflection on my recent slip:

Being tired + fantasy + envy of others = feelings of entitlement. Entitlement leads to narcissistic and destructive behavior.

I need to be aware of when I feel envy, because it is then that I want to self-medicate with acting out. Combining fantasy and envy also can lead to compulsive rituals where I compare myself to other women and feel inadequate. This ritual often ends in trying to find approval and attention in acting out. It doesn't even have to be about whether those other women are sexier or more thin. It can be that they are good wives and mothers who keep a beautiful home and are good cooks.

Triggers that make me feel envious: romantic movies, tv, and books. social media, holidays, my family. Even certain kinds of recovery work can be triggering if centered around the ideal of a devoted husband and wife; I start comparing myself to all the good women, feeling shame for all the ways I was a bad wife, and longing for someone to support me emotionally.

Frequent writing of gratitude lists might help with feelings of envy because I can remind myself of all the positive things that are in my life. Going to meetings also helps because it makes me realize that I am not alone in being alone or in having painful memories.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Lesson 32 -- in progress

Evolving practical values:

Value: autonomy and independence
--actively explore my own value system and remind myself of it through prayer and journaling
--find support for boundary maintenance through therapy and support groups
--come clean with others about K so that they know what I value.


I can see that I am still wary of making my boundaries clear and so I isolate instead of having to communicate clearly. I have been keeping up with prayer and journaling several times a week. I want to make this a daily practice. I can see clear progress in this area. I have been doing some groups but have not started therapy yet. I still have not been open with other people about K. I guess I would give myself a C as far as evolving this value and acting on the action plan.

In other areas my action plans are progressing. I have made social connections albeit somewhat superficial ones. But it's a start. I have kept up with studying Spanish and working on my writing project, daily. Doing yoga once or twice a week: should set a clear goal of 3x a week. Have managed to take at least one walk in nature every couple of weeks, but would be better to make this once a week. Health eating: have only had fast food once a month in the last three months. Salad for lunch 3-4x a week.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Continued work on Lesson 32:

This is the first week of doing some kind of workout every day. I have deliberately chosen small, easy workouts so that there will be less of an excuse for not completing them. The idea is to get momentum towards the values of compassion, independence, and health.

add'l:

--first thing upon waking up
--make plan for creating dedicated home gym space by next Friday


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Quote:
Lesson 33 Exercise:
1. While you have no doubt already deepened the awareness of your emotions...you now want to begin the process of mastering them. You want to make it a goal of yours to turn what was once a debilitating fault into one of your greatest strengths. That can't be done by reading. It must be developed in your day-to-day life. And so, that is your assignment. To take this next week to seek out opportunities to deepen an awareness of your emotions — both as they occur and as they can be anticipated. Each day, find at least five opportunities to assess your emotions. Don't do this retroactively...as in, you are about to go to bed and so, you review the day's activities and how you felt about them...this must be done in the here and now.

Additionally, add a few opportunities for developing this awareness by anticipating, role playing common rituals surrounding your past behavior. Or possible future behavior. Consider your emotions at the height of a compulsive urge. On the death of a loved one. On the experience of a child's birth. Think of the extremes.

The insights you are searching for throughout this exercise will be in relation to the finite qualities of emotion; the lack of fear/anxiety that comes with developing confidence in being able to anticipate emotional intensity; and the confidence that comes with the same.

2. Each day over the next three, share a few insights relating to these topics in your personal thread. Insights that you have gained from that particular day's focus.

3. At the end of the week, assess the level of effort you put into this task. Did you remember to consciously seek out such developmental opportunities each of the seven days? Post your assessment in your thread.


Insights related to day one:
--my emotions are closely related to how much I sleep, exercise, what I eat. This shouldn't be a big revelation, but it is.
--I often feel kind of okay, not great, not terrible, sort of blah
--when I'm not okay-ish I'm depressed or anxious
--moments of happiness are fleeting but mostly connected to music or nature

Insights related to day two:
--staying in the present moment helps calm my emotions
--internally praising myself for getting things done feels good even if a bit cheesy
--*not* acting out does create feelings of tension and stress and confusion in the short term
--feelings of loneliness tend to be short-lived and originate from comparing myself to others -- I'm good on my own, it's more the feeling that I *should* be with someone and that I have failed as a woman because I'm not a wife and mother.

Insights related to days three and four
--I tend to zone out a lot, and forget what I'm doing or why. There's that numb feeling.
--I seem to need a lot of low-intensity stimulation to stay in the moment: ambient noise, fidget toys and the like.
--I'm tired a LOT and often lack the energy to solve problems proactively, and this becomes a vicious cycle
--exercising every day doesn't seem to make me feel better but it's a start and I will be mature enough to wait for results instead of wanting immediate gratification

I think a lot of this numbness comes from my childhood, where I wasn't given any tools for coping with painful emotions other than "don't feel that way, we don't like you when you are emotional" and then my marriage, which was more of the same: why are you always upset, you stress me out, etc.

Honestly I don't like myself when I'm emotional either. I wish I could be a machine with no feelings, but it doesn't work that way, and that wish itself is a sign of emotional immaturity. I need to learn to deal with feelings whether I "like" myself or not.

Final comments on this exercise: Yes, feelings are temporary, and realizing this enables one to manage emotions more effectively. Just because I feel a certain way, that doesn't mean I have to act in a certain way. I can feel one thing and do another, if that would advance my values.

It is very hard for me to have compassion for myself because it feels like it's merely opening the door to whiny self-pity and rationalizing my addiction. However, I have tried doing recovery from the standpoint of no compassion, harsh judgment, drill sergeant self-talk. Didn't work. Compassion might work better. Worth a try....


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Quote:
Lesson 34 Exercise:
Immediate gratification plays the primary role in the lives of most people who struggle with addiction. In your Personal Recovery Thread, share the following:

A. Describe a time in your life when the "Immediate Gratification" principle has come into play:
Example: When I was twenty-two, I was approached by my best friend's wife, who wanted to have an affair with me. I knew that I shouldn't, and I knew that it wasn't worth the possibility of losing my friend or my marriage, but I did it anyway. Somehow, the feeling to have sex with her was just overwhelming, and it would have caused me great stress if I had said no.
B. As best as you can, describe the anxiety you feel when you are trying to NOT ACT on a compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Be specific. Compare it to other feelings of anxiety that you experience. The purpose of this exercise is to begin to define the limits of your emotions — and where your compulsive urges stand within those limits.

C. As best as you can, describe the feeling that you experience while you are engaging in a certain compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Is it a trance-like feeling? Is it a hyper-alert feeling? If someone could get inside your mind as you were experiencing such a ritual, what would they find?
D. Share these insights in your recovery thread.


A. Earlier today when I ate the entire candy bar and most of the bag of veggie straws. I feel as if food is one of the few pleasures that I have and I end up binging. I know that I can eat a little and save the rest for later -- rationally, I know this -- but emotionally I am terrified of being deprived of this source of comfort.

B. Anxious, but not as anxious as one might think. The anxiety doesn't come from the not-acting. It comes from other sources, and then acting out seems like the cure (I know it's not). Maybe I don't quite understand what is being asked here...

C. It's a trance, there's nothing going on in there, like a flatline. It's just numb. Sometimes the only thing that can end it is when a guy tells me I'm ugly and I should get off the cam. Like a cold bucket of water being dumped on my head.

Much of my emotional immaturity is related to my childhood traumas, where I wasn't given much guidance or support in developing healthy patterns for dealing with things. I can grit my teeth and fake it, and be a sort of functional person, but I don't think I can get to a longer-term change without the courage to deal with some of those issues.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:30 am 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hi RM

Quote:
I don't think I can get to a longer-term change without the courage to deal with some of those issues.


as you know change other than permanent change is not recovery
abstinence is a step but is only temporary

but your awareness stands you in good stead to continue to move forwards in health

deal with all negative issues do it for you, you know that you want to and that you can
dispel those doubts

_________________
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: Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
I look for ways to overcome the emotional immaturity of "all or nothing" thinking. One way of doing this is to be proud of small victories. I usually downplay these -- if I'm not perfect, then obviously I am contemptible. Then I feel such despair and isolation that nothing matters.

While doing some work with my laptop today, something came up that was a small trigger. I deleted it and went on solving the problem at hand. I didn't get distracted or disturbed. This is a small victory, but I am going to give myself credit for it. I think Jon would say that this is the kind of daily practice that makes for a healthy life.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:35 pm 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: UK
Hello RM
I see that you have posted in the partner community forum WITHOUT the invitation of BOTH SIDES WELCOME

for sure your post is well meaning and supportive however it does go against the rules as set out years ago by THE Coach

no harm done but please do be advised


Posting is encouraged and should have an addiction / emotion / recovery or healing related purpose

Posting in the personal threads of others is restricted to Mentors and Coaches

When posting in the community forum have a Purpose for Your topic and or questions / responses, be supportive and avoid potential triggering comments

Cross posting into the community threads is restricted by invitation eg “both sides welcome”


When posting in the community forum, advice, insights and suggestions made should be done so in an effort to support and educate, relating back to the original inquiry. If you wish to have a conversation about a new subject that comes up within a discussion, please start a “new topic” for that purpose.

Share and learn from your experiences and the experiences of others within our communities

_________________
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 Feb 25, 2021 6:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 59
Kenzo wrote:
Hello RM
I see that you have posted in the partner community forum WITHOUT the invitation of BOTH SIDES WELCOME

for sure your post is well meaning and supportive however it does go against the rules as set out years ago by THE Coach

no harm done but please do be advised


Posting is encouraged and should have an addiction / emotion / recovery or healing related purpose

Posting in the personal threads of others is restricted to Mentors and Coaches

When posting in the community forum have a Purpose for Your topic and or questions / responses, be supportive and avoid potential triggering comments

Cross posting into the community threads is restricted by invitation eg “both sides welcome”


When posting in the community forum, advice, insights and suggestions made should be done so in an effort to support and educate, relating back to the original inquiry. If you wish to have a conversation about a new subject that comes up within a discussion, please start a “new topic” for that purpose.

Share and learn from your experiences and the experiences of others within our communities


Okay, duly noted.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 64 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 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