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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Posts: 29
Lesson 1: Why I want to change:
I want to bring my writing projects to completion and into the world
I want to be present and live in the here and now while my children are still living with me
I want to be a better role model to my children
I want my children to feel safe, secure and stable and for them to trust me
I want to have self-respect and feel pride in my choices
I want to feel in control of my choices and take responsibility for them
I want to be honest with myself and live with integrity
I want to have peace and stability in my daily living
I want to be present to my friends, co-workers, acquaintances
I want to be connected to nature and my higher power
I want to work consistently towards my goal of running my own successful business
I want to live in reality and be aware of all of the unique and changing dimensions of reality in each moment
I want to experience inner joy and contentment
I want to have more love to give and more time to give to the people and projects that I value
I want to experience genuine intimacy and love in a committed, lasting romantic relationship[/list]


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:53 pm
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Lesson 2: My Life Vision

What do I value and want to invest in for the next 10 years of my life? I want to develop an active writing practice that leads to published work, fiction, creative nonfiction and nonfiction. I want my writing to help others find hope, meaning and purpose in their struggles, to feel less alone, to be honest and courageous. I want to be honest and courageous. I want to develop a private practice that serves the neurodiverse community in new ways, that allows me to use my skills and expertise in more useful and practical ways, and that leaves a legacy I can be proud of. I want to help create a world of acceptance, inclusion, compassion and joy. I want to build and share knowledge with others and put this knowledge into practice. I want to follow through on my commitments to writing and a new career and make a sustained effort to achieve these goals. I want to remain focused, seek out support and help that will keep me moving forward, and build momentum. I want to respect myself and trust myself and know that I can rely upon myself to do the things I say I will do. I want to be persistent and dogged and wilful in making these dreams a reality. I want to be in charge of my own destiny, my own career, be my own boss, work my own hours, make my own success. I want to belong to a community of like-minded people who support my writing and career goals, who enrich my personal and family life, who inspire me, whom I respect. I want my life to be guided by my close, personal relationship with to God/dess and align my wants and desires with my higher power, which is pure love and aliveness. I want regular connection and awareness of nature, one of the primary sources of my connection with God/dess. I want to be consistent and present in my relationship with my children while balancing their wants and needs with my own. I want to be a good friend who is capable of showing up for the ones that I love, of giving and receiving.


Last edited by Writergirl on Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Posts: 29
Lesson 3: Values derived from my life vision

Universal: self-respect, courage, honesty, integrity, persistence/ determination/ steadfastness/ consistency/ reliability, trust in my self and trusted by others, compassion, respect from others/ acceptance/ inclusion/ connection/ community/ belonging, hope, knowledge in practice, curiosity, independence/ self-determination/ autonomy, reciprocity, joy/ humour/ playfulness, peace/ order/ harmony
Practical: I am practicing mindfulness/prayer through journal writing and time in nature on a daily/weekly basis; I have a daily writing practice and show up to my writing studio weekly; I look for and take opportunities to share my writing with others; I check in with my children daily and friends weekly; I support my children/friends in meeting their needs and goals, and I ask them for their support in meeting mine; I am developing a business plan and a schedule for following through on it; I am creating a network to support my business plan; I invest time each week in creating an orderly home environment; I invest time at least 3 times a week in activities that connect me with nature/God/dess and that bring me joy; I seek knowledge and vehicles for sharing my own knowledge with others; I seek to share my true self and be recognized as an expert in my field;
Shadow Values: feeling powerful, being admired and desired, sexual pleasure, being in control, avoiding reality/fantasy, irresponsibility, disconnection, avoidance of work, fear of connection/intimacy, desire to be taken care of, emotional immaturity


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Posts: 29
Lesson 4: Prioritize Your Values
    Compassion and connection to myself through the daily practice of mindfulness and self-care
    Autonomy in my career and relationships; clear boundaries between self and others
    Share my true self in my career and relationships; honest presence
    Writing practice as form of mindfulness and sharing with the world
    Earn my own trust by acting in ways that are trustworthy and being reliable/steadfast in my commitment to myself and my values
    Earn my own respect by respecting myself and others and acting in alignment with the values above and below
    Healthy living through food, sleep, exercise, relationships
    Healing for the planet through lifestyle and spiritual choices
    Sensual pleasures are also very important to me, I can’t deny it, and these include the pleasures of touch, taste, sight, smell, including sexual intimacy
    Offer Compassion and connection to others through mindful, honest, kind presence
    Offer Freedom and autonomy to others and respect others’ boundaries and choices
    Act and communicate with Respect
    Put my knowledge into practice in my career
    Earn respect and recognition from others based on my knowledge/expertise
    Earn the trust of others based on my consistent, reliable, effectiveness
    Have joy, play, fun and add more of these to the world
    Create a healthy, respectful, joyful, compassionate intimate relationship
    Create an orderly, harmonious environment
    Appreciate and add beauty to the world


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:21 am 
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Lesson 5: Value Congruency

I haven’t been that successful at incorporating orderliness and beauty into my life. I don’t value that as much as I do my relationships. I hope one day to be able to value them though. I added having an intimate relationship, because I really want it very badly and keep trying over and over again to have it. The thing I thought I had with my most recent girlfriend, that I wanted so badly - the friendship combined with sex, the playfulness, I think I can have that for real, not a transitory delusion - if I really commit to healing myself and loving myself and not acting out of my compulsions, but from my values. I’ve added sensual pleasure to my values because I am sensual and I guess that’s nothing to be ashamed of. I just have followed my compulsions to who I share my sensuality with instead of my values. I also added healthy living and healing for the planet to my values, as I act on these choices daily, as a vegetarian, as an animal rights activist, in how I choose to spend my time and money, in the political parties I support, and in my spirituality.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Posts: 29
Lesson 6: Building Proactive Action Plans 1:

Share my true self in my career and relationships; honest presence
    Share self through my writing practice
    Find opportunities to read my writing with others
    Share self through new career narrative
    Develop my new narrative
    Build website and social media strategy
    Build network

Put my knowledge into practice in my career
    register for RSW
    find space to practice
    develop marketing materials
    build network
    make business cards
    think up a business name
    get books on how to start a private therapy practice
    find out what added knowledge I need re autism/therapy
    investigate Second Career to get additional training if needed

Autonomy in my career and relationships; clear boundaries between self and others
    develop my own strong identity
    situate myself in relationship to and differentiate myself from others
    get the book Therapy with a Coaching Edge
    build a network with other entrepreneurs; schedule appointment with Alina in Guelph
    investigate funding sources, grants, etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:31 am 
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Posts: 29
Lesson 7: Absolute Honesty in Recovery

I don’t have items, or not very many, stashed away to stoke my compulsions. It’s all in my mind. I have some pictures on my phone of my ex-girlfriend that I haven’t been able to bear to delete. She is my main compulsion at the moment. I used to have pictures on my computer of students, but I don’t know if they are even there anymore. I have been obsessed with 3 students in the past, in fantasy only. I have used 9 lovers in the past 9 years as compulsive sexual or romantic objects. Two of these were 2-year relationships. I go to women’s dances and have been to a sex club 2 or 3 times. I just cancelled my membership to a dating website, but I haven’t met anyone through this method. I just don’t want to use the site to fuel my fantasies. I mainly joined the site to check up on my ex-girlfriend. I usually meet the objects of my compulsions in day to day life, at political events, in my neighbourhood, through house parties with friends. I sometimes, rarely, consume porn online. It's impossible to eliminate access to that if you have a computer and an internet connection. I started reading romance novels this spring as research for writing these kinds of novels, as they are one of the ways a writer can actually make a living. They do encourage me to live a world of sexual and romantic fantasies though, so I am taking a break from them. I am writing a novel based on my own experiences as a love/sex addict and I'm not sure if the process of writing this novel fuels my obsession or is helping me heal from it. It includes a number of sex scenes based on my most recent ex-girlfriend and my current compulsion. I'm trying to stay away from writing the sex scenes for now. I've shifted to writing the plot outline and the earlier chapters, setting the scene, developing the characters.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:52 am 
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Exercise Lesson 12: Unhealthy Recovery Patterns:
1. I believe that I am uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings. Maybe not uniquely, but irrevocably defective. I believe that this false belief was embedded in the structure of my personality at such a young age that it can never be corrected.
2. I am afraid that I may see relapse triggers as an opportunity or excuse to act out. I have been acting out the past two days because I lost my job and can’t manage the stress in a healthier way. I don’t have the life skills, and so I feel justified in resorting to what I know, even though it interferes with my ability to seek work.
3. I find comfort in knowing that I can play the "relapse card" should I ever act out. I would only be playing this card to myself, in my own head, but it does offer a loophole of escape.
4. I often experience selfish thoughts when faced with the consequences of acting out. I may use these thoughts to intensify my feelings of shame or guilt.
5. I believe that I am emotionally defective and experience emotions and urges with much more intensity than "normal people" and that this compromises my ability to ever live a "normal life". I think this is probably the truest of all of these statements and something I have complained about many times. Why do my feelings debilitate me? Why do I need so much recovery time from experiences that roll off of other people’s backs? This may be another version of the selfishness in point. I think it may be a skill deficit that hopefully I can overcome rather than a character deficit that I am stuck with for life.
6. I struggle with perceiving myself as powerless and especially powerlessness over strong emotions that trigger compulsive urges. Again, I think I have often felt powerless because I lack the skills to manage my emotions and urges, but I need to overcome the perception that this is who I fundamentally am.
7. I am strongly identified with my addictive behaviour and find it hard imagine a life without such an association. Yes. This is my biggest challenge. I am a successful, attractive, healthy, fit, respectable, highly educated, professional, skilled, talented, well-loved friend and parent. I have overcome a lot of adversity and escaped much of what destiny can have in store for people like me who experienced childhood abuse and neglect and oppression and marginalization as an adult (queer/woman). For the most part, or compared to others who act out much more publicly or get caught in bigger crimes, I have been able to hide my ‘defectiveness’. It is getting harder and harder to hide. My inability to sustain an intimate relationship or sustain being happily single is the biggest outward badge of my struggle. I am the only one who truly knows about the number of hours of my life that are lost living in fantasy, obsessions and delusions and missing out on reality and failing to realize my life goals. My children are tired of being put through my latest delusional ‘love’ relationship. My friends worry about my choices and what new pain I will bring onto myself. I can’t imagine being “me” without living in this chaos. I don’t know who I would be or what would be left of me.    


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Posts: 29
Exercise Lesson 13: Healthy Recovery Patterns
Early Recovery:
    I have significant doubts about my ability to change and feel a lot of negative emotions: sadness, loneliness, fear.
    I "test the waters" of recovery. Last night I went on a date to see if I could tempt myself with a beautiful woman and just be friends. Today, I contacted my ex to wish her a happy birthday, wondering if I will end up back involved in some tortured negotiations/communication, or whether I can just say Happy Birthday, and let it go at that.
    I am relieved about understanding my behavior, understanding that I’m not just ‘unlucky in love’ and that I haven’t just given love my best shot in a healthy way. Understanding that it is an addiction and I can recover gives me more hope to ever have a truly healthy love relationship.
    I have some of the unhealthy struggles with relapse from unhealthy recovery patterns. For instance, I have been actively engaging in fantasy/obsession as a ‘reward’ for the hard work I am doing in trying to get another job. I have been giving myself excuses to continue, even though it doesn’t even feel good anymore because I know what I’m up to.
Middle Recovery:
    I accept that some of my behaviours have been immoral, and that I have used other people to fill up the emptiness in myself. I have let go of a view of myself as the victim and accept responsibility for my own mistakes and for treating other people that I am attracted to with respect, and not as objects, in future.
    I want to live a life that I can be proud of. I want to earn my own self-respect. I want to behave like the kind of person who deserves a healthy loving relationship, a career where I am respected, children who are proud of me and love me. I don’t want to fool anyone into some false appreciation or adoration.
    I am working at making decisions based on what I believe is the right thing to do, rather than on what I think I can get away with, and what feels good.
    I am focused on my future and developing new patterns. I am trying not to wallow in shame over the past.
    I am working at perceiving my  "powerlessness" as a skills deficit rather than an unchangeable  fact.
    I’m not quite at the stage to view relapse triggers opportunities. I don’t believe I have the skills yet or am strong enough.
    If I fail, I certainly plan to learn from it. If I end up re-engaged with my ex for some reason I will not beat myself up over it, but try to redirect my focus to the future I want to create, and remind myself of all that I have to lose.
    I am working at seeing myself as "deficient" not "defective". This is a hard one for me. I wish I had more guidance on how to correct a thought and identity that I have had for over 40 years.
    I visualize myself in the future as a healthy person that once used addiction to manage my life.
    I see my life as a continuous process of growth and development, rather than an episodic book of starts and stops. (e.g. "When I was addicted" "After I recovered").
    I will take a long, hard look at anything associated with my destructive past, and will remove these objects from my life. This is a bit hard because the main object is my brain, and the fantasies that I indulge in. I try to redirect to the future that I want to build, but this is hard because I don’t yet derive pleasure from this new values/identity based life. I still feel too ashamed of myself and afraid that I will fail.
    I have a lot of remorse and sadness  - temporary depression, temporary helplessness — about the consequences of my behaviour on my children and myself and my ex-lovers and my friends. I hope that it resolves itself over the next few weeks and months as I build a healthier life.
    I don’t have a partner. I don’t think the people closest to me really believe that I will change. They believe that I can change, and they don't think I’m as worthless or powerless as I feel at the moment, so that’s helpful I guess.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:03 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3681
Location: UK
Hello writergirl
you are posting your thread in the wrong forum
I suggest that you copy and paste into the recovery forum and then go to edit herein and delete the content in this forum
if you need further advice then simply ask

_________________
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: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Posts: 29
Hello Coach Kenzo,
I've moved my posts to the correct forum, but when I go into edit mode, I can't find a way of deleting these posts. In the other forum, when I go into edit there is a box to check off to delete, but that box does not appear in the Welcome forum posts.
Writergirl


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