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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:17 pm
Posts: 4
Exercise 1

Tonka_135
Completing the letter exercise was terrifying, sobering, depressing, and liberating all at once. Reading over the letter really drives home just how far away from healthy I’ve been. Seeing it on paper brings concreteness to it that the addict cannot ignore.

Terrifying because I’m outwardly admitting to things only I have known. Things I’m scared to death can’t be understood. It’s not easy to say “Yes…I’ve no held my end of the bargain” or “I’ve not lived up to your or my expectations.” It’s terrifying to know change is coming….some known, more unknown, some good, potentially some not so good, some I can influence, and a lot I must simply accept.

Sobering because I can see the entire scope at once. What seemed like no big deal or unrelated is clearly connected and a key piece to the whole addition “machine.”

Depressing because acknowledging what I’ve done also acknowledges who and how my actions have impacted. I’ve always felt good when I know someone feels like they are better for having met me. The opposite results in a feeling of being so small, so distanced that it dwarfs the power of those good feelings. What do you say when you begin to wonder if someone you love would have been better off if you had never met them?

Liberating because it’s out there. I acknowledge it. I own it…at least to myself right now. It gives me hope that I’ve started down a path to a sustainable recovery.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:17 pm
Posts: 4
Tonka's Contract

My values…
• Maple’s partnership in mind, body, & soul (My marriage…)
• Our children’s love and my responsibility to them (My family…)
• My desire to leave those I encounter better for it (My friends & community…)
• The translation of my talents into value for both my employer & my family (My work…)
• Experiencing the beauty of this world through my passions (My hobbies…)
Boundaries I must not…
• Seek stimulation through pornography of any form
• Seek stimlulation through chat, email, or phone calls with people outside of my marriage
• Fantasize about, allow the possibility of, or carry through with meeting people for the purpose of sexual excitement
• (I must…) eliminate masturbation as a vehicle to sexual satisfaction
• Engage in any activities that are in contradiction to my workplace values or policies
• Allow issues to fester due to reluctance to confront difficult topics or situations

Unacceptable behaviors from partner
• Looking for opportunities to catch & shame rather than discussing concerns and seeking to understand
• Discussing our issues with individuals outside our marriage rather than with myself
• Dealing with issues passive/aggressively rather than upfront and to-the-point
Worrisome behaviors
• “Nothing is wrong…everything is fine”
Desirable behaviors
• The same openness that is expected of me (and that I’m working on)
• Compassion & genuine interest
Repercussions
For any of the unacceptable behaviors…
• For the 1st offense…acknowledgement of the behavior & apology
• For subsequent offenses….having to take a walk or drive to calm down & follow with an updated plan to improve to post in our thread


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:17 pm
Posts: 4
I, Tonka_135 do pledge:
To take personal responsibility for ending addiction in my life.
To not allow any excuses, obstacles or challenges distract me from this responsibility.
To act in accordance with my values and beliefs
To make the transition to a healthy life a top priority — above work & even saving my marriage/relationship.
An understanding that there are no guarantees inherent with recovering as a couple. That the decision to continue the relationship has not yet been made. That a healthy decision can't be made until two healthy individuals merge from this recovery or it becomes apparent that such health will not be achieved.
To invest the next six months (at least) of my life developing new life management skills and learning how to effectively use them.
To continue to evolve the skills that I learn (on my own and as a team), long after the workshop has ended.
To make decisions based on long-term health, not short-term advantage.
To encourage my partner in her healing efforts. Not to hijack or manage those efforts, but to support her management of them.
Not to seek/assign blame for the problems in our relationship but rather, to acknowledge that there are problems and work together to solve them.
To construct a value system that consists of no less than five active areas of my life that are capable of generating meaning and purpose
To mechanically monitor my life as laid out by the Recovery Workshop for at least six months. This will involve one month of (less than five minutes) daily monitoring and five months of (less than fifteen minutes) weekly monitoring.
To never consciously deceive my partner as a means of minimizing personal responsibility for my actions or 'protecting' her from pain.
That I have shared everything about my addiction to the best of my recollection/willingness. And that anything I continue to hold on to, I am doing so because I am not ready to share it openly.
That I have no hidden relationships, accounts, magazines, files, etc., that I have stashed away. All of them have been either destroyed or acknowledged.
That I will not allow a single compulsive urge to go unchallenged. I may not be able to control these urges, but I will never allow them to evolve into destructive action without putting up a conscious fight.
That I will immediately share with my partner, support system and/or recovery coach any ritual that I do not manage successfully.
To communicate to my partner and/or support system those times when I recognize complacency, confusion or conflict settling in to my recovery.
To monitor my recovery for signs of 'going through the motions' and take action when such signs are observed.
To seek as a privilege, not a punishment, opportunities to develop my emotional maturity and life skills.
To learn and respect the evolving values of my partner.
To accept all consequences of all my decisions. That includes any decision to withhold information, to engage in secret behavior, etc. I understand that it doesn't matter if the consequences are reasonable or just. Just as I have chosen to engage in the behavior; others have the choice of how they will respond. I am responsible for my actions.
To accept all consequences from having violated my partner's boundaries. This, as dictated by my partner's observations, not my own.
Keep mindful that my partner is imperfect and deserves understanding and patience. That she will make mistakes — some in direct contradiction to what is healthy.
To discover, acknowledge and eliminate all destructive communication rituals that I engage in.
To never use violence, emotional abuse, coercion or other threats to manipulate or otherwise control/repress my partner.
To respect my partner's boundaries surrounding sexuality: including a refrain from unwanted sexual advances, sexual pressure, sexual expectation, etc. I recognize that any sexual activity between us during this period of recovery must be mutually desired.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:57 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Quote:
Seeing it on paper brings concreteness to it that the addict cannot ignore.
The addict most definitely can ignore, and has ignored, compartmentalized, denied…. It is the part of you who is still connected to healthy values that cannot ignore.

Quote:
Liberating because it’s out there. I acknowledge it. I own it…at least to myself right now. It gives me hope that I’ve started down a path to a sustainable recovery.
Yes, admitting, acknowledging and accepting responsibility for yourself are definitely actions that will support a sustainable recovery. As long as you maintain this awareness and keep pushing forward.
Quote:
(I must…) eliminate masturbation as a vehicle to sexual satisfaction
Something that is missing in your awareness, evidenced by this statement, is the real purpose of acting out. On the surface it is about sexual gratification, but on a deeper level it is about escape; it is an avoidance of the uncomfortable, be it boredom, stress, anxiety, fear, anger, etc.

Quote:
Repercussions
The best “repercussions” are those things that you can do as a healthy response to someone who violates your values/boundaries. We cannot control another’s behaviour. Ultimately, it is up to you to protect your own values and boundaries.

On a final note, I merged your three posts into one thread, here. Please visit the welcome centre for “how to post in the forums”.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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