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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:39 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:55 pm
Posts: 1209
My wife suggested tat I write about a recent episode for me here on RN, and I agreed with her.

Just last week, I had an urge or impulse to watch pornography. The moment hit me like a frying pan. Normally, my urges sneak in from the edges of my mind, trying to get me to see which rules or boundaries I can bend or fudge. This was not like that at all. I woke up and immediately I had the strongest impulse I have had in more time than I can remember to watch pornography. I was successful in putting it aside and to a lesser degree, I had the same impulse the next morning, and again I was successful in setting it aside and getting back on track with my day. I want to mention a few things regarding this experience.

1. I have been making some large strides forward in my recovery. For several weeks prior, I had been seeing myself and my recovery in a new perspective. The urges were probably in part a reaction to this success.

2. I had recently decided to get rid of all sodas, sugary drinks, and energy drinks, and I was in the midst of a series of rebound headaches as a result of the absence of caffeine.

3. I had been sick with a severe head cold the week before and was pulling out of it when the urges hit.


A few things I think are important about this experience. First, I think that the blatant nature of the urge actually helped me to successfully avoid acting out. The fact that it was so blatant, helped me to see the absurdity of negating this new happiness I had been experiencing at the end of the year and the beginning of the next. Second, I still have so much to learn about how long this addiction will try to rise up. Oh, I know we have to deal with addiction for the rest of our lives, but it is interesting to see that with new understanding, comes new challenges which hearken back to the very beginnings of the many issues of recovery. I had it in my head the challenges would be more nuances and subtle. Nope. This many years out and I am still being hit with base urges with no complexity.

Me being able to dismiss this urge was a matter of rehearsal and practice. Make no mistake about that. When it hit, I was ready for it, and even then it was a bit of a shock. However, the takeaway should be the first step I took was to remind myself of the success I have had, and to go over my values. It was almost like presenting a counter argument I did not know I had written, but because I had done the work, it was there, waiting for me. I think we all build the counter argument as we progress through recovery, and one of the ways we can succeed over our urges is learning how to access that argument and present it before we have a chance to act out.

Well, I don't know if this will make sense to everyone, but I hope some will find it of use. Yes, even in late recovery---even when we are years into it, our addict minds still want to take back what they once had. Yes, you can defeat those urges if you follow your action plans, and it does get easier as you practice.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:15 am 
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General Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Hi there, Coach, please send my regards to your wife for her suggestion, there is a lot to ponder and learn from your thoughts and experiences, as always.

As much as I don't like it myself, I have to admit that certain urges/impulses related to what I consider my primary addictive behaviour (more in the sphere of love addiction ... processing human connection and attention in a healthy non-delusional way), might still haunt me for many more years to come. Even though it is a frustrating situation having to put in conscious effort to manage my thoughts and feelings in certain situations, I know it can be done and I am not fearful. There is also a self-discovery dimension to all of this and it's quite a rewarding one when I succeed, and somehow it brings me closer to myself through recommitting to do better when things don't go as smoothly as I would want them to. The truth is I have a lot to learn and correct in all areas of my life if I'm to lead a better, more fulfilling life, more aligned to my values and goals so I try to view it as life long growth and embrace it as such.

Thank you for sharing and for validating once more the fact that we do have the power, should we choose to access, harness and grow it.

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:58 am 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 6:39 pm
Posts: 126
Hi,

i had to reduce significantly my sugar drinks because of problems with my stomach lining.
In the meantime it is healed and i returned to a sane amount of sugar drinks like cola, which
is around half a litre per week for me. It is immediate gratification and i am aware of.

From time to time some of the porn pictures and erotic chat partners of my addiction time
come in my mind. But it is not a strong urge to act out or start fantasizing. What is making
more problems for me are triggers and although i decide not to engage in, this few seconds
result in mood swings that can last days or even weeks. But i see some progress since a
few weeks in the direction that i can better handle this.


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