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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:02 pm
Posts: 21
Kenzo wrote:
Hello TM is New
Quote:
I am committed to making change.


This community does hope so
You
Well you need to do so before the enevitable forthcoming changes turn to destructive negatives
for sure , if you do not beat addiction, any addiction, then it will beat you

good luck


Thank you - I appreciate this.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:25 am 
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Lesson 12: Recognizing Unhealthy Recovery Patterns

I found myself relating to several patterns across the different group-sets.
Mostly I found myself relating to group #4.
I also feel like I share characteristics in both the group who will continue to struggle with relapse along with the group that will occasionally struggle with relapse. I relate more so to the patterns of those who will occasionally struggle with relapse even though I have not yet experiences long periods of ‘sobriety’.

I’ve listed out the patters I relate to below with some additional notes:

they wanted to be taken through recovery, rather than being expected to participate

I can sometimes feel myself lacking the real desire to participate. Especially on my own and since being in lockdown due to COVID. When I was actively going to a 12-step meeting, I had no problem sharing, and keeping in touch with other members. But when my life is not ‘blowing up’ then I think I tend to subconsciously look for something or somebody to ‘take me through’ rather than doing it myself.

they often return to the workshop several weeks/months later with a renewed hope and enthusiasm

This definitely happens to me. I think of the saying “ignorance is bliss” and sometimes I think I behave that way when it comes to my addiction. If I just ignore the fact that I am doing these things I don’t want to do, and suppress all of the emotions that come along with it, I can get by… but only for so long until I pop my head out of the sand again, and realize just how much of my life I’ve wasted- and then have the renewed enthusiasm to get better.

they will continue skipping from recovery program to recovery program over the course of many years...and perhaps forever

I won’t say that I’ve skipped from program to program, but looking back over the past 2-3years, I was in and out of a 12-step program, then I tried some self-help and counseling, and now I’m doing this workshop. That may not be the same thing, but this behavior stuck out to me as one I could see myself in down the road if nothing changes.

They will have completed the majority of exercises with sincerity and passion, but they tend to move on to the next without ever thinking much about what they have already learned.

I am very sincere and passionate while doing the lessons. I read them carefully and thoughtfully and put in the time to respond and go through the work… but when I’m done, I am not doing as good of a job as I could be recalling what I have learned or looking for opportunities to put it into practice. This tends to make me feel like maybe I’m doing these lessons just to check a box….and once all the boxes are checked I will be better for it. I know that is not how this works.

They believe that they are uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings

I would use the word “unique” in the sense of comparing to other “normal” human beings. I fully realize there are thousands of others out there in the world just like me, with the same problems, behaviors, struggles. But since learning I was a sex and love addict a few years ago, I certainly figured out what I was doing was not ‘normal’ and felt like I was defective / damaged.

They believe that they have suffered so many consequences from their compulsive behavior, that it will be impossible for them to reach their lifetime goals

Not only the suffering – but all the time wasted. I feel like I’ve wasted SO MANY YEARS of my life that it is impossible to be the man I wanted to be…I can’t change the past, only the future.

They find comfort in being able to use "powerlessness" as an excuse for continuing to engage in their behavior.

Yes. The more I learned about addiction and the true powerlessness it gives me, the more I think I wanted to use it as an excuse. I wanted to blame my actions on the fact that I’m an addict. People should be able to understand that… I am damaged, I’m defective, I have a disease or something, so please excuse my behavior. I’m not doing these things intentionally, I don’t want to hurt anybody, it’s just me and I’m trying to get better, but please be understanding. These are the types of thoughts I’ve had in the past.

They believe that they are suffering from a disease that is beyond their control, but not beyond all hope.

I don’t view this as a negative thing. I do believe this addiction is beyond my control and it’s not going to be out of my own will or strength that I can overcome it. As a Christian I need to draw my strength from God. To give things over to him…day at a time, even hour at a time if necessary.

They believe that they are defective in the sense that their emotions, urges, impulses, etc. are experienced with much more intensity than "normal people". And this puts them at a disadvantage for living a "normal life".

They tend to confuse addiction recovery with general mental health issues — creating a hypersensitivity to all of the emotions that they experience. Depression, anxiety, anger — they are all tightly related to "recovery" and an imbalance in one often leads to an imbalance in the other.

They perceive "powerlessness" not as absolute powerlessness over their life, but a limited powerlessness over their urges.

Yes – it the easy way out to again just blame the fact that I can’t control my actions because I’m an addict.

They tend to focus on controlling past behavior, rather than learning new behavior.

I had never thought of this one before, but it stood out to me for some reason. I certainly tend to focus on the past and all the wrong I’ve done and recalling all of the behaviors that led me here.

They often experience extreme emotions in relation to acting out — extreme guilt, extreme shame, depression, anger, hatred. Or, they experience very mild emotions — when it has become a pattern that they have resolved to accept as a part of their lives.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:20 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4020
Location: UK
Hello 2 morrow
ref posting into the threads of others
For sure you were being supportive and meant well but posting in another's thread is strongly discouraged as per

Quote:
Just a reminder:

Know that while you are welcome to review other people's Personal Healing/Recovery Threads for possible insights and experiences to apply to your own healing, you are asked not to post directly into another person's healing/recovery lesson response thread.

Hugs -

Coach Sue

found in http://www.recoverynation.com/partnersb ... 13&t=23183

no harm done indeed quite the contrary but for now please concentrate on your own journey, that said feel free to read and follow the experiences of others, learning as you go


good luck

_________________
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


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:02 pm
Posts: 21
Lesson 13: Healthy Recovery Patterns

1. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery.

Below are the patterns that I feel I can most closely relate to:

    In early recovery, they tend to experience relief in having their behaviors understood, and immediately seek understanding in all areas of their life. Unfortunately, this tends to overwhelm them, distract them, etc., but it is fairly common...and a good sign that their desire to change is sincere.

    Their motivation to recover comes from the desire to live a life that they can be proud of, rather than a desire to create the illusion of a life that they can be proud of.

    They recognize that the feelings that they are experiencing are the same feelings that others deal with every day in many different situations. That they are not "defective", but "deficient".

    They tend to have an emotional relapse in terms of the consequences that they have effected on others — especially those closest to them. This frequently triggers true remorse, temporary depression, temporary helplessness — but is soon resolved with a commitment to making it up to people in other, more healthy ways.


2. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values?

Yes – I believe they are consistent with my prioritized values. Mainly living a life to be proud of, the desire to help and make up to others, and having a sincere desire to change, not just a perception of change.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:52 am 
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Lesson 14: Health Monitoring 1

1. Did I pray today other than at the dinner table?
a. If not, how many days has it been?

2. Did I make time to specifically listen to anything my wife wanted to share today
a. If so – what I an active listener / did I engage?

3. Did I look at anything that would cause me to lust today?
a. If so – did I do it consciously?
b. If so – did I act on it

4. Did I spend quality time with each of my children today?
a. Was I present with them – not distracted?
b. Did I enjoy the time? How did it make me feel?

5. Did I spend quality time with my wife today?
a. Was I present with her – not distracted?
b. Did I enjoy the time? How did it make me feel?

6. Did I ready my Bible today?
a. If so – did I actually read for understanding and learning?
b. Did I read it just to check the box?
c. Did I learn anything from what I read?
d. If not, how many days has it been?

7. Did I do something kind for somebody else today?
a. If not – did I not look for an opportunity to do so?

8. Did I carry myself as a person worth of respect today?

9. Was I honest is my communication with others today?

10. What gave me the most joy today?

11. Did I feel good about my efforts at my job today?
a. If not, is there something I can do different tomorrow?

12. What gave me the most stress today?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:29 am 
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Lesson 15: Perceiving Your Addiction

Think of one example of how you have actively integrated that information into your day-to-day life:

The two things that stick out to me most from these workshops in the past few weeks are:

1. Defining my vision and my list of values really helped me to ask myself “does what I’m doing line up with my vision? Does it align with the values and what I believe is important to me in my life?” This has been a helpful tool in fighting the temptation / urges.


2. The idea that I need to focus on creating new healthy behaviors rather than focusing so much on trying to change / remove old un-healthy behaviors.
#1 is integrated in my day-to-day life by being a question that I ask myself when I am tempted to feed my addiction in any way
#2 isn’t really something I am practicing day-to-day yet, but I think I’m using it as a foundation to build upon.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:45 am 
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**I will need to come back to Lesson 16 - I accidentally skipped it and moved to Lesson 17.**

--------------

Lesson 17: Understanding Addiction II

Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual:

Rituals: Finding woman to sext, video chat, talk with online / Finding a woman to fall in love with or make fall in love with me

Elements:

Fantasy – The idea of finding a strange woman, and then convincing them to share dirty pictures, videos, and ultimately have phone or video sex. The anticipation of it all. This could suck up massive amounts of TIME trying to find somebody and then once finding somebody investing all the time and effort to convince / manipulate them into doing what I what I ultimately wanted.

Accomplishment – I suppose this fits in as well, as I always had a main goal in mind. Get the woman to have virtual / phone sex with me. I also wanted them to adore me, to have a strong desire of me, to wish they could actually be with me.
Orgasm – this would always be part of the main end-goal. To achieve orgasm WITH somebody else.

I can see many other elements fitting into my compulsive / addictive behaviors.
I also consider myself a ‘love addict’ and it was clear from an early age I always needed to have somebody next to me. I thought I was ‘in-love’ in 1st grade, then 6th grade, 7th grade. Even in my adulthood – I’ve claimed to have been in-love or found my soul-mate 5 different times.

If I am getting high on “new-love” and all the excitement it brings (the honeymoon stage)…then I am easily able to avoid porn, or masturbation, etc.
If there is no love interest in my life – then I resort back to getting a temporary high from sex.
The deadliest thing is when I combine these two. I find somebody that is equally as “sexual” as I am, but also end up creating real feelings for them and ‘falling in love’. This then has turned into an actual affair.

When thinking about the elements involved in these compulsive rituals I can see where the sensory, fantasy, and orgasm are most intense. I don’t gain much from danger or suspense. Perhaps I could relate to ‘poly-addictions’ in the terms of being both a sex and love addict.
What stimulates me I feel like is two-fold:

1 – the feelings I get when I meet somebody new that maybe I can convince to fall in love with me. I can then be their hero and rescue them. Feeling accomplished and maybe even powerful. Ultimately though, it will lead back to wanting to have sex with them.

2 – fantasizing and using multiple senses to achieve masturbation. I believe mostly done to ‘escape reality’ because I don’t know how to deal with my emotions.

It’s easy to believe the lie that without these things life isn’t worth living. Or that I truly don’t feel alive unless I am involved in these types of behaviors.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 119
2morrow_is_new wrote:
Top 15:

1. I do things to enhance my relationship with God
2. I do something healthy for myself a few times a week
3. Strengthening my role as a husband to my wife
4. I make time to listen to my wife
5. I tell my wife how I’m feeling
6. I am open to being involved at church
7. I limit my time online
8. I treat my sexuality as a gift from God
9. I seek God’s will for my decisions
10. I am open to Godly counsel
11. I don’t grow complacent in my spiritual walk
12. Raising my children according to the Bible
13. Strengthening my role as a father to my kids
14. I work hard to provide for my family
15. I look for ways to spend time with my family


Hi again 2morrow

Great to see that you're still making progress through the workshop. I hope you're gaining some real insight into your behaviours and thought processes as you continue. You mentioned that it can sometimes be a case of ticking the box, and I found that could definitely be a trap for me too. Not all of the lessons will resonate as much for you, but it is really crucial to stick with this process and as you get towards the end things really start to come together in a coherent way. It can still seem a bit disconnected at this early stage.

You've mentioned your values a few times recently, and that is the absolute core of the workshop. If you're engaging in activities that are conflicting with your values, then you either have to change the behaviour or consider if your values are actually truly held by yourself. I noticed that there are 3 values in your top 15 that are about your wife, and I wanted to challenge you about the affair again that you mentioned before. You have to decide now what are the most important values for you and start to live in that way. If you're truly serious about making things right with your wife, then you have to find the courage to do what you need to do.

Stay safe.

Tim


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:44 am 
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Posts: 21
Tim_Recovery wrote:
2morrow_is_new wrote:
Top 15:

1. I do things to enhance my relationship with God
2. I do something healthy for myself a few times a week
3. Strengthening my role as a husband to my wife
4. I make time to listen to my wife
5. I tell my wife how I’m feeling
6. I am open to being involved at church
7. I limit my time online
8. I treat my sexuality as a gift from God
9. I seek God’s will for my decisions
10. I am open to Godly counsel
11. I don’t grow complacent in my spiritual walk
12. Raising my children according to the Bible
13. Strengthening my role as a father to my kids
14. I work hard to provide for my family
15. I look for ways to spend time with my family


Hi again 2morrow

Great to see that you're still making progress through the workshop. I hope you're gaining some real insight into your behaviours and thought processes as you continue. You mentioned that it can sometimes be a case of ticking the box, and I found that could definitely be a trap for me too. Not all of the lessons will resonate as much for you, but it is really crucial to stick with this process and as you get towards the end things really start to come together in a coherent way. It can still seem a bit disconnected at this early stage.

You've mentioned your values a few times recently, and that is the absolute core of the workshop. If you're engaging in activities that are conflicting with your values, then you either have to change the behaviour or consider if your values are actually truly held by yourself. I noticed that there are 3 values in your top 15 that are about your wife, and I wanted to challenge you about the affair again that you mentioned before. You have to decide now what are the most important values for you and start to live in that way. If you're truly serious about making things right with your wife, then you have to find the courage to do what you need to do.

Stay safe.

Tim



Hi Tim -

Thanks so much for making time to respond in my thread. It means alot to me and it's exactly what I need to hear from time to time.
Yes - staying conscious about how my behaviors do or do not line up with my values has been a big benefit.

I am no longer seeing the other person, and have very limited contact with them. I know I need to cut off all communication 100% and am working on that. As you can imagine, in the past 20years I've tried anything and everything to rid myself of all temptations, but I did it without any type of understanding about sex/love/addiction etc. Most of the time it was a 100% honest and genuine attempt. Other times I lied to myself knowing it wouldn't last.

Thanks again for your input, I don't take it lightly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:24 am 
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Posts: 21
Lesson 16: Understanding Addiction I

Quote:
Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)?


This was challenging for me. It’s hard to think that addiction has played any actual positive role in my life. Sure, it was used as an escape, or it made me feel good temporarily, but are these really ‘positive’ things? I view my addiction as the un-healthy way of managing situations / emotions / etc. Or the negative way to achieve some of the feelings we all want.

I definitely acted out in my addiction to cope with anger / frustration / stress.
Finding a new love interest made me feel special, wanted, appreciated, loved.
Fantasizing allowed me to escape from my current reality – or put off dealing with life that I felt I could not handle at the moment.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:50 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 119
Hi 2morrow

I notice that you havent posted online for over a month now. I know this has been a busy time of year, but thats probably all the more reason to commit to moving forward with your recovery. You have been given a great opportunity to make this transition, so please make the most of it rather than letting it slip through your fingers.

Tim_Recovery wrote:
I am no longer seeing the other person, and have very limited contact with them. I know I need to cut off all communication 100% and am working on that. As you can imagine, in the past 20years I've tried anything and everything to rid myself of all temptations, but I did it without any type of understanding about sex/love/addiction etc. Most of the time it was a 100% honest and genuine attempt. Other times I lied to myself knowing it wouldn't last.


I was pleased to see that you are no longer seeing the other person, although it sounds as if you are struggling to break off contact completely. Its impossible to commit fully towards your recovery if you're still wanting to have your cake and eat it. You have to make the tough decisions. You also said above that you knew your commitment to change wouldnt last. I also used that excuse for way too many years, kidding myself that compulsive behaviour was a mysterious power that would always hold me in its grip. Basically its a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody is saying that change is easy, but it can and will happen if you commit fully to it.

Hope to see you back posting soon.

Stay safe.

Tim


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