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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Hi everyone,

Here is another post that I found by CoachJon from the old version of the website and workshop, specifically geared towards those who are in middle recovery, who have made some strides in improving their life and are on the right path, and want to move on towards the final transition to health. Strangely enough, from my own experiences in recovery, I had always thought that one lesson that seemed to be missing from the current version of the workshop was something in the Advanced section about "Identifying Remaining Obstacles To Health"...and lo and behold, I find this lesson on the old site, which discusses that exact concept (well, a similar concept...Jon discusses obstacles here specifically in terms of compulsive behaviours remaining, while I think that can be expanded to mean identifying ANY obstacles, many of which are purely mental).

In the old version of the workshop, this lesson went just after the lessons on boundaries, and just before the lessons on Urge Control, so it'd be around lesson 40 now, though I think it could also fit into the Advanced Health Maintenance section. Not sure why CoachJon took it out of the current version of the workshop, since I think it's a great lesson that could even still be reworked and incorporated into the current workshop, but here it is for anyone who is interested.

Quote:
Beginning the Transition to Health

Today's lesson is intended to mark the beginning of a significant change in your approach to recovery. Until now, the main emphasis of each lesson has been to expand your understanding of the functional role that addiction plays in people's lives, and to help you develop an awareness of the role that your specific compulsive behavior has played in your life. With this, the majority of your attention was spent focused on the past. You looked at the consequences of your addiction; the emotions/feelings surrounding your behavior; the areas/times in your life that may have promoted the development of such unhealthy patterns; and the behaviors themselves. A working understanding of each of these areas was necessary to generate a more realistic perception of both addiction and recovery.

It will now be assumed that you have developed the foundation for such an understanding, and so it is time to move forward in your transition from recovery to health. This movement requires a shifting of your focus from the past to the present. Not forgetting that past by any means, but rather, altering the base of your identity from what you have done to what you are doing. Evolving the focus of your life from what has occurred, to what will occur. This will not be a permanent change, as ultimately, you will learn to examine your identity within the scope of your entire life span...but that comes with your ability to manage your life in the here and now. Now, it's much too simple to suggest that addiction recovery can be achieved simply by changing the way that you see yourself. But there is some truth to it. A lot of truth, in fact. Especially if you have implemented a policy of absolute honesty when communicating with yourself.

By definition, a person cannot both be an addict and be healthy. Having an addiction means that you are engaging in a pattern of behavior that is unhealthy. And so, to reach the ultimate destination of health, there must come a time in your life when your identity becomes disassociated with addiction. Those who refuse to evolve their identity from the past to the present (i.e. use of addiction to pursuit of health) continue to see themselves as addicts. Likewise, their continuing focus on addiction/recovery/relapse fosters a foundation that openly conflicts with the redevelopment of a healthy identity. Does such a change happen instantly? No. Can it occur with a simple decision? No. It comes with experiencing progressive success in transitioning to a healthy life--once the conscious decision to pursue such a change is made. But in order for it to occur, you must prepare for such changes to occur. Which means, now that you are beginning to develop a more healthy, realistic awareness of who you are...you must make the shift from your past to your present. Begin evaluating, learning, assessing...the person you are now. Begin making decisions that affect...the person you are now. Begin seeing yourself as...the person you are now.

This does not mean that you will ignore your past. Nor does it mean that you get a fresh start. Nor will this evolution translate into a decrease in urges, poor decision-making, or destructive actions. Not yet, anyway. Changing your focus from a destructive past to a learning-oriented present means that you have opened the door to making immediate, meaningful changes that will affect your identity. A temporary focus on the present removes the pressure of having to overcome all the crap that has piled up in your life over the years. It allows you to begin moving forward--immediately. It means the transitioning of your thoughts from "I am an addict" or "I was an addict"...to "I am developing into a healthy person." It means separating the behavioral pattern of addiction with who you are as a person.

Why is changing the focus of my life from the past to the present so important? It is important because there is a world of difference between someone who sees themselves as an addict having to work twice as hard as a healthy person to remain healthy...and someone who recognizes that they are capable of walking the same path available to the healthiest of individuals; but who, because of life choices, life circumstances and just plain life, got knocked off that path.

This leads us to the remainder of the workshop, and...well, your life. Over the remainder of the workshop, you are going to be asked to do two things. First, as mentioned above, you are going to be challenged to focus all addiction-related work on the here and now. Second, you are going to be asked to remove the existing obstacles that lay ahead of you on your path.

1) Focusing on the Present

With an understanding of your past behavior, there is no longer a need to continue focusing on it. Your goal now will be to deal with each urge, behavior, consequence, and question as it relates to where you are now in your life. Not as an addict, but as a person developing the skills to live in a healthy way. This will not be a permanent request, as a returned focus to your past behavior will occur towards the end of the workshop, but rather, it is a request that should occur over the next several months--long enough for important changes to take place in the way that you perceive your ability to manage your life.

2) Remove the Existing Obstacles

This second action involves the setting up of your environment so that, from this moment forward, you will be struggling with/focusing on/learning from only those new urges, behaviors and decisions that will occur. You will not be setting out to simultaneously overcome the entire history of your addiction--all behaviors, consequences and decisions that you have made; instead, you will begin to apply the information that you have learned, apply the skills that you have developed to the person that you are now. Trying to apply these developing skills retroactively is all but impossible, and attempts to do so often leads to a person becoming overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and utter failure. Applying these skills to the person that they are now...taking on each urge as it occurs now--as a single urge, rather than a composite of numerous past urges...sets up a clear path for making a successful transition to health. How do you set that path up? Well, you begin by looking down that path as far as you can see (requires absolute honesty with yourself) and removing all known obstacles that might cause you to stumble.

Earlier in the workshop, you were asked to take an inventory of all items you had access to that might help you to perpetuate your compulsive behavior. This included all magazines, tapes, photos, subscriptions, relationships, etc., that you might use to engage in any ritualistic sexual or romantic behavior. At that time, you were asked only to identify them, without an obligation to act. Some of you took it upon yourselves to act anyway...throwing away your porn collections, ending unhealthy relationships, wiping out your online chat identities, deleting hidden e-mail addresses--all of which should have produced a most wonderful, liberating moment in your lives. But, now is the time to take another look at that list--as it is rare that one could give up such an important part of their past identity in one fell swoop. Most likely, a few "security blankets" were left in place...or new items have begun to creep back in. This is nothing to be ashamed of, as it is a natural, expected pattern relating to the need to protect our known comfort zones, but...

You now face a crossroad in your life. You have the opportunity to make a final decision as to whether you are going to commit yourself to seeing your recovery process all the way through to the end (or more accurately, all the way through the transition from recovery to health); or whether you are going to leave a safety net or two in place should you stumble in the future. To choose the latter is to remain in ‘recovery’. It is to continue on with your dual life—and all the stress, pressure and anxiety that comes from such a life. And most importantly, it is to allow the roots of addiction to remain a part of your identity, with the constant pressure of those roots spreading the moment you let down your guard. So, take a long, hard look at the life that you want to live. Do you want secrets? Do you want shame? Do you want to spend the rest of your life battling self-destruction? Or do you want to try a new way of life? Not some magical, mystical life, but one that is real...that is healthy...that you can manage?

Should your decision be to make that transition to health, you will now need to take the most honest, open look at your compulsive behavior that you have ever taken. And, you will need to take action with each and every item that you identify as being a potential obstacle. What action, of course, will be up to you, but do know that by consciously holding on to anything that you know to be associated with your compulsive behavior...you will be holding on to the very core of your addiction...and it will set you up for a potential relapse in the future.

What is your decision?

There is no need to tell anyone what decision you have made. Why? Because words are of little consequence to someone you have hurt. People will know of the decision that you made by watching the life that you begin to lead...and the consequences of that life. One constant in addiction is that you can never escape the consequences of your behavior. You may be able to hide from them, but always will they affect you. And those around you. So, the rest of the world need only to sit back and watch...as you either begin to transform into a healthy person, or maintain the chaotic life that you have no doubt developed. In other words, make the decision with action, not words.

To remove the obstacles in your path:

#1: Take some time to update your list of compulsive items, objects, locations and relationships. You know what you have used in the past to engage in unhealthy sexual and/or romantic behavior...so you must now choose whether or not to include this on your list. If you have not yet made such a list, do so now. Focus specifically on those behaviors, relationships and objects that you already have in place. DO NOT omit anything.

Important: there will be nobody that you will be sharing this list with. Nobody that will know the depth of your honesty and sincerity...except you. Now is the time to search your soul for just how sincere you are about leaving your past behind you.

#2 Go through each item on the list and make a decision as to how to best remove them from your life. Then follow through with that decision for each item. Ensure that, once you have eliminated every item on the list, with no secret safety nets to fall back on. Some items may not be so clear...especially as they relate to relationships, the Internet or similar everyday, healthy events. Use common sense in making decisions relating to each of these. Your goal here is not to eliminate all triggers from your life, it is to use your developing self-awareness and honesty to remove all known triggers. Thus allowing you to deal, one at a time, with any new triggers/urges that may appear down the road.

#3 Celebrate. If, after completing the task as outlined above, you are now free of all known objects relating to your compulsive behavior...do something to celebrate the beginning of the end. And make it something special.

If you decide to consciously hold on to anything that you know to be harmful because you are just not ready to give it up yet...then pat yourself on the back for coming this far in the workshop. And then stop. There is no reason for you to go any further, as the remaining lessons will only be effective with those having a clean slate. This is not a punishment, it is a fact. If you find yourself unwilling to move forward at this time, take some time to review previous lessons, perhaps try starting over again with some other recovery approach...but for your sake, do not go forward with the remainder of the workshop. Not yet. Wait until you are certain that you are ready to let go of your past...at which time you will have begun your final transition to health.

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:51 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3846
Location: UK
Thanks coach B

as always his brilliance shines through
I intend to post this lesson into my recovery thread

Quote:
There is no need to tell anyone what decision you have made. Why? Because words are of little consequence to someone you have hurt. People will know of the decision that you made by watching the life that you begin to lead...and the consequences of that life. One constant in addiction is that you can never escape the consequences of your behavior. You may be able to hide from them, but always will they affect you. And those around you.


my ex asked me how can I convince her that I am serious about my recovery
I responded by saying
Quote:
by doing not by saying


Coach Jon says it much better
as said thanks

_________________
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: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:14 am 
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 2:28 pm
Posts: 120
This section is exactly what I needed to read today... a wonderfully constructed, simple version of what we need for health.

Thank you for finding it and sharing, Boundless.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Bump. :g:

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:08 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Bump. :g:

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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 Profile  
 
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