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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
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Hi All

I was chatting to the missus (should that be mssus) the other night, and said something that currently escapes me. The upshot was I was being defensive, and slightly evasive.

That, she said, is your addiction talking. It reminds me of the bad old days.

It got me thinking about moments when we catch ourselves thinking or speaking from our addictive and compulsive selves. The omissions, deviations, minimising and downright lies that we indulge in - as addicts and recoverers.

I wondered whether it might be useful to have a thread where we offer examples - both to aid awareness and to give a list of our delusionary tactics?

This can be hard. When are we exploring our behaviour and when are we justifying it?

So. I don't need to monitor regularly, I am past that stage. Or I am doing my lessons in my head - there is no need to write them down.

I will think on my own and try to come up with a list. All other contributions gratefully received!!!

Shaw


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:56 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3793
Location: UK
Hi Shaw
good question
are we in recovery or in abstinence?
are we in recovery or are we protecting the addiction "just in case"?

Obviously we can only answer indeed MUST answer for ourselves TRUTHFULLY and COMPLETELY

My ex told me after my slip that my fundamental way of thinking has not changed, she based this on the fact that I had watched porn (had a slip) and then denied it
I can see her reasoning but disagree with her conclusion
my way of thinking has changed as has yours
I know that because I AM ACTUALLY THINKING
I am not simply reacting to my compulsive needs as I was
I am not simply acting selfishly and in accordance with my ego

however like you ask I think it would be very worthwhile writing these "prompts" down and analysing them in turn
as said good post

_________________
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: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Location: UK
Hi Shaw a further thought

your wife has known you for years
She knew you prior to her knowing you were an addict
previously you were an addict but you were also more than that you were you
now you are still an addict OK in recovery but still an addict but you are also more than that you are you

So when you talk it should not be unexpected that she would pick up similarities between the two yous'

moreover is it really about what you say or how you say it or is it more about how you think and what you do?

your job is to recover and remain honest

Its great that your missus is supportive this will help and provide guidance indeed it is possible that she can see traits and changes in you before you can if so learn from her but do it for you, and I am not suggesting that you aren't

I still believe your post is a great idea and I for one will look inwardly as it is essential that I dont kid myself or protect any part of my addiction

just a thought keep it or 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


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Thanks Kenzo

I think for me this construction in conversation exposes some fundamental insecurity being transformed into anger or defensiveness (or both). It can be between me and my wife or family and friends

Q: Why did/didn't you do 'such and such'?

My A: Well, I didnt notice you doing anything (even though I had promised to carry out this task).

The act of throwing the weight of responsibility from my shoulders to a 3rd party feels like my addiction. Using fantasy (a 3rd party) to make up for voids in my own personality. It also often comes with a flare of emotion, that I refuse or cannot control.

Kenzo - I think you are right about the solution to the this cycle - anger - deflection - redirection. Which continues the anger.

It is about acting differently so you can think differently. And learn to handle emotions differently.

There are two mes, but they are always linked. I want to work on developing the healthy side of me, but maintaining awareness of the darker, Darth Vader me.

I will think of more silly phrases.

Shaw


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
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I was just writing on another thread. For me a sign of unhealthiness is sharp swings of emotion - from optimism to a sense of doom in a few short minutes.

I was thinking about trying to write or say learn the guitar. I start, and almost at once get discouraged. I assume because something is not great it must therefore be rubbish -and therefor I am rubbish. And so the ritual starts.

I think replacing this short-term panic with long-term values is one of the big goals of recovery. At least I think it is. Placing my emotions in context - realising the ups are fine, but keeping my head about them. Similarly, acknowledging the lows, but not being dominated by them.

Cliched as it is, it makes me think of If by Rudyard Kipling:

Quote:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools


If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

Could be the motto for RN itself????

Shaw


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Posts: 176
I like this post. Not so much because my addiction never speaks :w:, but that I really relate with the topic. An area of my self esteem that I am presently researching concerns self acceptance. How can I ever change something that I deny even exists? When I am talking with my wife, often I am defensive, on edge. If I look closely at this, I am resisting taking ownership of what is real. I have had to practice accepting my feelings. Not just identifying and acknowledging but fully accepting them. This doesn't mean I like it, but I am not in resistance to what is. Now there is a whole lot of spiritual practice wrapped up in that last statement as well. The key word is PRACTICE.

I am recuperating from knee surgery this week and off the pain meds now. One of the issues that came up with me and my missus was that fact that she felt like I was enjoying being home with bed rest a bit to much. It reminded her of when I would say I was in recovery, but I would appear complacent. Now, I have to accept that she feels that way, that's the way it is. I got defensive and said, "look, I just had surgery, and I'm looped, I'm not going to be functioning on all cylinders this week!" Of course she knows that, but it still reminded her of a painful time. I have to accept that it bothered her, and reassure her with words and actions that just because there is a similar appearance, life is indeed different at this moment.

NL


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:18 am 
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Posts: 1377
Thanks NL

Great post. I think you catch another part of the question I didnt see - how our partners hear the addict talking when perhaps we dont? Perhaps my failure to see this was my own unhealthy side blocking my ears.

Your opening paragraph is exactly how I feel. As I went through recovery, I found myself desperate to say goodbye to the addict in me. I remember finishing the workshop and thinking that was that. I remember too writing on the forum how happy I felt at achieving this.

I think this reflected a failure on my part to transition. I felt I had gotten rid of the addict in my. But more than this -I felt that this is what recovery means. A perfect and pure new identity. Whenever I felt an old urge, or got complacent, I ignored it and turned away - I was recovered and could not (MUST NOT) hear this voice. Suffice to say, this was part of the reason I relapsed earlier this year.

I think recovery - for me right now - is balancing respecting the unhealthy parts of me while I chip away at them. I dont want to ignore the addict in my as I did before - but I dont want to focus on this as a concept (Addict v health) as it runs counter to recovery.

Another question. I think I have begun to change the way I act. I think I have made inroads on the way I think.

Can we ultimately change the way we feel?

For me right now, I do still feel the old tugs from time to time - if there is heavy stress, if I am not prepared or doing monitoring, if I get complacent.

The challenge then is to react to those feelings - recognise them and deal with them.

But is full recovery a complete overhaul - not only of action and thought, but of feeling?

Thanks NL

Shaw


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:31 pm
Posts: 279
Interesting topic and one that comes up between me & S__ from time to time.
There have been times, particularly in early recovery, when the addict has defintely been taking over the conversation, usually in the form of self protection (lying, defensiveness etc) but I also wonder if the techniques developed during addiction live on past active addiction?
Take for example defensiveness.
Is it the addict talking if I get defensive about something, or is defensiveness a behviour acquired through addiction?
Is defensiveness itself addictive behaviour, or just an inapropriate learned technique for deflecting criticism or perceived blame?
Is defensivesness learned through living in addiction, or is it symptomatic of the low self esteem that helped lead to addiction (chicken/egg anyone?)?
I know if I get defensive, S__ would see it as "the addict talking": I'm not so sure the seperation of personalities is that clear cut?

_________________
"..And be a simple kind of man, Be something you can love and understand" - Lynyrd Skynyrd


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