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 Post subject: Compulsive rituals
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:25 pm 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:13 am
Posts: 687
Hello all,
A participant recently reminded me how mapping compulsive rituals are how we understand our addiction our seemingly irrational behavior, and later in the workshop how to interrupt the process and gain freedom. It starts to make sense why we do what we do. Like many, early in the workshop it is hard to understand why we would want to put ourselves "back there" purposely recall what we are trying to get rid of. I didn't like it, didn't see the point. Now I do. Confidence, feel in control of myself, feeling I can go most anywhere I want. That if a feeling comes upon me I can deal with it. Freedom, peace:)

What I see quiet often is generally identifying the elements. This is fine in the beginning but the more we can break it down, we will have more chances to intervene early before the trance sets in, we feel point of no return. We don't learn this skill till lesson forty but around lesson 17 we start brining awareness to how there are steps in our addiction.

For example, excitment, we can state that or we can say my heart started racing, my hands got sweaty, mind started racing. We can then pay attention at the earliest sign, instead waiting till it is totally out of hand and much more frustrating and overwhelming. It truly is the easier softer way to deal with urges.

Forgot about this one more tool to break it down. I see some of you are around lesson 40 ish, good work getting that far! thought I'd share it. When it says send to coach that is for people in private coaching:)


Recovery Workshop
Mapping a Ritual Worksheet
Rituals are the ritualistic elements associated with single compulsive acts. These elements are used to produce intensive change in one's emotional experience. Usually, to the point of achieving 'delusional actualization' or, temporary escape.
This worksheet is intended to help you map out a single compulsive ritual as taught in Lesson 27 of the Recovery Workshop. For a refresher on compulsive ritualistic behavior, please refer to those lessons. If you have not yet passed this part of the workshop, this worksheet might not hold much benefit for you.
First Name and Last Initial:

E-mail address:
Step 1: Choose a specific compulsive behavior that you want to map. Remember, you are examining a specific compulsive act, not a general pattern of compulsion.
Give this act a name:
For instance, Viewing porn on 9/24/12


Step 2: List the Emotional Elements Involved
Make a random list of the emotional elements of this compulsive act and what triggered them. Just brainstorm all of the emotions involved with this compulsive act. Include all times when certain actions (including thoughts) either enhanced or diminished your overall emotional intensity while engaged in this act.
Typically, there should be between five and fifteen elements identified in simple compulsive urge. Less than that and you are likely not connecting with the level of awareness needed to understand the urge. Any more, and you are likely overanalyzing and thus, missing the bigger picture.
For instance:
Emotion: Anxiety
Triggered by: knowing that my wife was going out of town
Emotion: Excitement
Triggered by: fantasizing about the opportunities to act out while she was gone
Emotion: Anxiety
Triggered by: realizing that I was facing a compulsive urge
Emotion: Guilt
Triggered by: realizing that somehow, someway, I was going to talk myself into acting out...and that all of my 'urge control preparation' was just for show
Emotion: Excitement
Triggered by: Sitting down at the computer with no possibility of being interrupted...
Emotion: Excitement intensifies
Triggered by: beginning my search for 'the right porn'...


Step 3: Timeline
Place the above emotional elements in a timeline, beginning with the first emotion that you associated with the urge and ending with your emotions upon completion of the active phase of the ritual.


This is typically all there is to mapping a compulsive/ritualistic behavior. The remainder of this worksheet focuses on some of the more important aspects of ritualistic awareness.
Step 4: Note the trigger(s) of this urge:
Important, identifying the true triggers is not always easy or necessary. It is only done to provide you with additional experience in preparing for future situations. Areas to examine include both overt triggers (fight with spouse, pressure at work) and subtle triggers (boredom, opportunity).


Step 5: Note your immediate reaction upon becoming aware of the urge.
Nothing will provide you with more value in terms of compulsive awareness and urge control than will be your ability to master the instant between your first awareness of an urge and your mental and physical reaction to it.


Step 6: Note the times in this ritual where you actually experienced negative emotions.
While it may initially seem contrary to the role that compulsive rituals play in generating emotional intensity, including simultaneous depreciation of emotion (through anxiety, guilt, shame, fear, humiliation, etc.) actually serves to produce a greater overall perceived intensity upon completion of the release phase of the act. Being aware of this during the compulsive urge is important.


Step 7: Note how you ended the ritual.
Typically, that ending will be in one of two ways. The most common is through the experience of guilt and/or shame. These emotionally intense feelings ensure that the individual is coming from the 'escape' generated by the release a;ready unstable. And thus, the stage is already set for additional acting out and release.
The other ending consists of the individual taking the approach of 'out of sight, out of mind.' In their view, they 'successfully' completed the ritual and it served the exact purpose intended. They go on with their 'regular' lives knowing that this is a card they can pull out at anytime to help them.


Step 8: Classify
Note whether this single ritualistic behavior is part of a larger pattern of life management rituals ...or whether it was used primarily as a temporary, isolated escape activity.

_________________
"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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 Post subject: Re: Compulsive rituals
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:17 am
Posts: 265
Quote:
Step 5: Note your immediate reaction upon becoming aware of the urge.
Nothing will provide you with more value in terms of compulsive awareness and urge control than will be your ability to master the instant between your first awareness of an urge and your mental and physical reaction to it.


This is such an important truth. I have trouble when I just let life happen, let my emotions take control, and pretend that I have no control over what will happen next.

While these are patterns that I developed over many years and may be hard habits to break it is always possible to stop and let my values take charge. I still remember in one of the lessons where Jon said that you can always stop. If someone came into the room and caught you looking, you would stop in a flash.

The key, as stated above, is to let the very awareness of the urge, key in a new responce where my mind and values take precedence. I choose life and love and goodness!


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 Post subject: Re: Compulsive rituals
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:55 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3745
Location: UK
Quote:
Nothing will provide you with more value in terms of compulsive awareness and urge control than will be your ability to master the instant between your first awareness of an urge and your mental and physical reaction to it.


:g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g:
however
it is more important with what you do with that value learned
recovering is not about being aware of urges and dealing with those urges
recovery is so much more
great post TaD
thanks for raising 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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 Post subject: Re: Compulsive rituals
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:55 pm 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:13 am
Posts: 687
Yes life is so much more than managing urges and I am sooo glad I am mastering being able to deal with them very quickly, instead of hours, days weeks to complete the cycle. I am really thankful that I had just been working with someone on their compulsive rituals, when I had a rare urge a couple of days ago, I went through my healthy ritual; awareness, admitting it, looking at values, decision making; "not worth it I would lose myself again, I am liking being with my self" It took maybe ten seconds. A very, very brief stress and imbalance and right back up:)

A very cool thing was after I did this sequence in my mind, I got on to what I needed to do and I forgot about it for hours. I got done working at my new job that I love and thought did he really call? It seemed so distant and irrelevant! To me this is the whole point of the workshop, work to know yourself inside and out, every nook and cranny, how to work with yourself and your rituals, then add stuff you really want to do in life and it crowds out the unhealthy rituals. They start to pale in comparison. And the energy it frees up when not caught up in the drama of my own mind, being able to really be present for others. Day after the urge, kids and dad were flying from the Middle East, layover in Paris, hours after the bombing. Had I followed that urge and been involved in acting out I would not have even known where they were, or I might have but not had been truly connected with them, would have been going through the emotions of concern but not really feeling it. Sorry to say it would have been seen as an interruption to my acting out, so sad. One of my first thoughts when I realized where they were going, was thank god I am in my right mind.

Wishing us all our right minds and hearts.

_________________
"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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