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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:39 pm 
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Recovery Goals (21)

Learning in the Blink of an Eye- this is something I have been struggling with lately. I have been trying to stop staring at women. The first few days I could do it, but as each day went on I found it increasingly difficult to stop myself to the point where I am finding it impossible right now

Exercise:

A. I failed my goal to eliminate social anxiety from my life- porn and masturbation relapse set me back by destroying my confidence and draining my motivation. I also failed it because I hadn't fully planned out my schedule. I was doing well up until I didn't know how to improve further. I stalled my progress and then got lazy. This allowed the addiction to creep back in as I lost my way.

B. I completed one of my main spiritual goals last year through determination and careful planning. I scheduled times that I would accomplish certain things by and stuck them. I relapsed a few times during that period strangely enough, but still managed to complete the goal. I can't remember if I minimised by binge and so minimised the damage. This was a fairly short term goal, rather than the long term goal of defeating social anxiety.

C. I ma hesitant to put down one of my goals, as I am scared of committing. What if I relapse again? It will only make it more difficult to complete the goal. I will revisit this shortly


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:13 am 
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Hi RG,

Quote:
as each day went on I found it increasingly difficult to stop myself to the point where I am finding it impossible right now

Whilst you are currently working through some of the lessons again, you had previously covered the concept of acting out comprising a chain of events and you are approaching those lessons again where you will hopefully be able to better digest what important role they play and therefore how you can stop acting out by breaking the chain. For now though, you might want to think through a scenario of you staring at women, getting a rush out of it but then see the scenario (the chain) through to its end which is where you then experience something like seeing your partner and feeling guilt and shame at having been staring at women earlier. I have spent a lot of time contemplating this point recently and it is clear to me that an SA will make a point of ignoring the inevitable last part (I refer to it as the "missing link" of the chain) as it might otherwise put us off pursuing our rush. But we all know it is there. So when you come across a woman and are tempted to stare at her, have the words "MISSING LINK" pop into your head and it will remind you that if you carry on you will have those feelings of guilt and remorse a little later on. By cutting the act off it may feel uncomfortable (i.e. missing a change to stare at a woman) but it won't hurt you and I can assure you that will feel good about yourself afterwards for having made a healthy choice. It's perhaps worth having a go as you've nothing to lose and it may help whilst you work through the lessons and get a deeper understanding of these principles. If you keep doing this it will quickly become a new habit and before too long will become an automatic reaction not to stare.

Quote:
C. I am hesitant to put down one of my goals, as I am scared of committing. What if I relapse again? It will only make it more difficult to complete the goal.

And what are you scared of exactly? Scared of recovering? I suspect you are scared of failing but you won't know until you try. Trying does not guarantee you will get it first time but perseverance and learning from your mistakes will get you there. The only failure you are guaranteed of is if you don't take the risk of trying in the first place. This is your life you are talking about and recovery takes effort and commitment, you can have all of that but you have must make the choice to commit. You might find it helpful to re-read your first (Lesson 1) as to why you joined RN and then as you skim through your various posts there is a scattering of reference to relapses - there seems to be a theme of you questioning commitment. You can do this RG but you need to make a decision to do it and do it properly if you want to succeed. Good luck and I hope you decide to make the right choice.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Measuring Compulsive Behaviour (22)

Watching porn
- Sensory (visual) [3]
- Fantasy (imagery) [1]
- Sensory (physical stimulation) [2]
- Orgasm [3]

~ Sensory (visual)
*Time- being able to watch as many videos as possible increases the stimulation (9)
* Intensity- the intensity of the videos in terms of violence increases stimulation (10)
* Habituation- the weirder or more novel the videos are, the more stimulation is gained

~ Fantasy (imagery)
*Time- fantasy is rarely used and if used, it will be in brief spurts (2)
*Intensity- the intensity relates to how much the actress looks like someone I know (3)
*Habituation- because fantasy is only used in specific circumstances, habituation doesn't play much role (5)

~ Sensory (physical stimulation)
*Time- the longer I can masturbate for without orgasming, the greater the experience, however if it takes too long it can become draining (8)
*Intensity- stable, never really use any new form of physical stimulation (1)
*Habituation- no effect (1)

~ Orgasm
*Time- the longer I take to orgasm, the better the experience (10)
*Intensity- timing of the orgasm along with actors/actresses and intensity of porn can lead to greater release (7)
*Habituation- no real effect (1)


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 1:12 pm 
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learningtorun wrote:
Hi RG,

Quote:
as each day went on I found it increasingly difficult to stop myself to the point where I am finding it impossible right now

Whilst you are currently working through some of the lessons again, you had previously covered the concept of acting out comprising a chain of events and you are approaching those lessons again where you will hopefully be able to better digest what important role they play and therefore how you can stop acting out by breaking the chain. For now though, you might want to think through a scenario of you staring at women, getting a rush out of it but then see the scenario (the chain) through to its end which is where you then experience something like seeing your partner and feeling guilt and shame at having been staring at women earlier. I have spent a lot of time contemplating this point recently and it is clear to me that an SA will make a point of ignoring the inevitable last part (I refer to it as the "missing link" of the chain) as it might otherwise put us off pursuing our rush. But we all know it is there. So when you come across a woman and are tempted to stare at her, have the words "MISSING LINK" pop into your head and it will remind you that if you carry on you will have those feelings of guilt and remorse a little later on. By cutting the act off it may feel uncomfortable (i.e. missing a change to stare at a woman) but it won't hurt you and I can assure you that will feel good about yourself afterwards for having made a healthy choice. It's perhaps worth having a go as you've nothing to lose and it may help whilst you work through the lessons and get a deeper understanding of these principles. If you keep doing this it will quickly become a new habit and before too long will become an automatic reaction not to stare.

Quote:
C. I am hesitant to put down one of my goals, as I am scared of committing. What if I relapse again? It will only make it more difficult to complete the goal.

And what are you scared of exactly? Scared of recovering? I suspect you are scared of failing but you won't know until you try. Trying does not guarantee you will get it first time but perseverance and learning from your mistakes will get you there. The only failure you are guaranteed of is if you don't take the risk of trying in the first place. This is your life you are talking about and recovery takes effort and commitment, you can have all of that but you have must make the choice to commit. You might find it helpful to re-read your first (Lesson 1) as to why you joined RN and then as you skim through your various posts there is a scattering of reference to relapses - there seems to be a theme of you questioning commitment. You can do this RG but you need to make a decision to do it and do it properly if you want to succeed. Good luck and I hope you decide to make the right choice.


Thanks for the feedback LtR.

1. I don't have a partner right now, but I know that when I stare at women for too long I can actually feel my mind being numbed- it's akin to the feeling I get from watching a few sketchy videos on Youtube. I prayed for strength the other day when I was suffering with particularly strong urges and God helped me thru them, so I know He would be disappointed in me if I was purposefully checking out women throughout the day. I will make more of an effort to curtail this habit.

2. You are completely correct- my main fear is relapsing again, as I know each time I have relapsed, doing one of my social challenges for instance, has become harder than the last time. But this is my life, what am I waiting for? I know that my loneliness and social anxiety causes me great pain. I think I've always been lonely, but have just been too numbed to feel it. Last year when I was 100+ days clean from porn and I actually started to cry I was so lonely- this has never happened before. I've got to do something about this now with URGENCY.

EDIT: Changing my goal for something more realistic in my current circumstances

GOAL: Gain 1 new friend
TARGET DATE: 31st August 2018
PLAN: 1 social activity a week to practice socialising
- go out once a month to a new city


Last edited by RenaissanceGibbon on Mon May 14, 2018 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:22 am 
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Hi RG,

I appreciate your honesty.

One thing I have learned about SA is that it took up large chunks of my day and life. To then remove it creates a void which needs to be filled. Perhaps reflect back on your original vision and think about what healthy means you can use to get back out there and do things which you will enjoy and give you new positive experiences. Not only will the spare time be taken up by more healthy activities it will hopefully avoid you being left with feelings of loneliness. It can be scary doing new stuff at first but I'm sure that you will look back and be pleased that you took the plunge. Now is your chance to shape the person that you want to be moving forwards. Good luck with it.

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A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 2:53 pm 
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learningtorun wrote:
Hi RG,

I appreciate your honesty.

One thing I have learned about SA is that it took up large chunks of my day and life. To then remove it creates a void which needs to be filled. Perhaps reflect back on your original vision and think about what healthy means you can use to get back out there and do things which you will enjoy and give you new positive experiences. Not only will the spare time be taken up by more healthy activities it will hopefully avoid you being left with feelings of loneliness. It can be scary doing new stuff at first but I'm sure that you will look back and be pleased that you took the plunge. Now is your chance to shape the person that you want to be moving forwards. Good luck with it.


I think you're right- I just realised today how hard doing this challenge would be. I still plan on doing it at some point, but I just don't think it's realistic atm with my current work-life situation.
I'll look into joining a club which I can attend weekly instead.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Practical Uses for Measuring (23)

It can be used to map out behaviours and become more aware of the elements involved in a ritual and how each element can be used to affect the emotions. Relapse occurs during emotional imbalance, or a loss of awareness on how following through on a ritual will influence the emotions. By being able to measure these behaviours I can become more aware of what I am doing and why I am doing this. This will help me to realise that I am in control and that starting down a ritual isn't a predetermined route towards relapse. I will know what to expect from indulging in certain behaviours and I will also be able to expand on these behaviours to potential actions I might take and what effect this could have on my emotions.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 8:50 am 
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Identifying Your Compulsive Elements (24)

(i)

FANTASY
I tend to fantasise a lot in my head about past events or future events both realistic and unrealistic. This can create a pleasurable sensation and take me away from anything I don't want to focus on

SENSORY
What I take in through my eyes has a major impact on me. This can be seeing women in real life or through pictures on the internet, magazines, TV etc

DANGER
The danger of getting caught can be very arousing for me in certain rituals

SUSPENSE
I use suspense a lot to trick myself that I was triggered without warning and so am not responsible for my actions

PAST
I use past events/history to reason that I am unable to move forward with my life and so should just be comfortable now

FRUSTRATION/NEGATIVITY
I let frustration or negative feelings build up to the point where I no longer value myself or am past caring about what I do

LAZINESS
There's a million things I could be doing, but lack of effort or defeat stop me from doing them

(ii)

Watching porn/Masturbating

~1) Feel some form of frustration or negativity throughout the day and allow it to settle in my mind (frustration/negativity) [3]
~2) Seek some sort of distraction from these thoughts such as staring at women (sensory) [4]
~3) Stare at the women too long or start to fantasise about their bodies (fantasy) [5]
~4) Get home and lie on bed browsing through phone
~5) Open up a social media site and start browsing hoping to be triggered (suspense) [4]
~6) See a girl with a nice body or in skimpy clothing (sensory) [6]
~7) Feel guilty and annoyed with myself and tell myself I can walk away now (frustration) [2]
~8) Decide to let fate decide how much further I go and open up Youtube
~9) Browse Youtube hoping to find something triggering or make random searches hoping to be triggered (suspense) [6]
~10) 'Stumble' on triggering video and decide to watch more (sensory) [7]
~11) Feel guilty, but believe it is too late to control my actions now (past) [7]
~12) Open up porn site and watch videos (sensory) [9]
~13) Masturbate to orgasm (orgasm) [10]

Exposure

~1) Feel a pleasurable sensation [1]
~2) Dwell on the thought of exposing myself (fantasy) [2]
~3) Begin to rub myself (sensory) [3]
~4) Strip naked and admire myself in mirror (sensory) [4]
~5) Stimulate myself by playing with sexual areas (sensory) [5]
~6) Open up door and glance outside (suspense) [6]
~7) Run outside briefly naked (danger) [7]
~8) Stay outside longer and masturbate (sensory) (danger) [8]
~9) Become bored or start to feel silly [2]
~10) Come inside and start masturbating (sensory) [8]
~11) Open up porn site and watch videos (sensory) [9]
~12) Masturbate to orgasm (orgasm) [10]


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:56 am 
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I gave up on this for a while because of multiple relapses, I didn't seem to be getting anywhere and each relapse sucked at my motivation to continue the program. I've just recently come off 89 days clean from porn and masturbation. I'm going to try again with the workshop since I've got more time on my hands atm. I'll set a new goal and keep up to date with my monitoring checklist.

New Goal: Release 1 song on Soundcloud
Schedule: Complete 5hrs music practice a week
Target: End of the month

Lesson 25: Identifying Compulsive Rituals

Compulsive Rituals
The key is that there has been a historical use of the behaviour to the point where a pattern of anticipated emotional response to that behavior has been ingrained.

This is key, I am often undone by an urge that its experienced so strongly I feel powerless:
there is no such thing as compulsive behavior. At least, compulsive to the point where you have no control over your actions. As you will learn, all behavior has the potential to be broken down at the time it is experienced. All "compulsive behaviour" can be stopped.

Sometimes I have made extraordinarily illogical decisions by running on emotion, e.g. constant checking of my phone for messages even though I know it's going to make me more agitated just to appease the building feeling of anxiety or going on instagram/facebook, since it will make the uncomfortable urge subside for a it, even though I know it will usually lead to a relapse.

your decision-making process was relegated to more or less a single question, "How will it make me feel?"

Exercise: Pornography

#1- Negative emotion is experienced
#2- Conscious thought of the emotion takes place
#3- Urge to watch porn to reduce pain arises
#4- Thought isn't immediately dismissed [PoNR]
#5- Let an image of porn play in my mind for a second
#6- Open up social media site and scroll through the page 'innocently'
#7- Believe I am in control and can stop whenever I want
#8- Continue looking, but now click on several pages that may lead to triggers
#9- Follow chain of pages until I accidentally discover a pornographic image
#10- Believe that it is too late and escalate searching for porn
#11- Open up Youtube and watch videos of sexual dancing
#12- Masturbate to orgasm
#13- Wake up from 'porn coma' feel slight guilt but convince myself it was just the 1 time
#14- Clean up, get shower, try and continue with day as if nothing happened
#15- Eventually end up mindlessly searching phone again repeating steps 6 - 9
#16- Urge to masturbate becomes too strong and decide to open up porn site
#17- Masturbate to porn until orgasm
#18- Feeling of shame and guilt
#19- Clean up and sleep if end of the day (if not usually play out ritual several times throughout day until oblivion)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:23 am 
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Hi RG nice to see you back.

Quote:
I gave up on this for a while because of multiple relapses, I didn't seem to be getting anywhere and each relapse sucked at my motivation to continue the program. I've just recently come off 89 days clean from porn and masturbation. I'm going to try again with the workshop since I've got more time on my hands atm. I'll set a new goal and keep up to date with my monitoring checklist.

There is a lot I could say here but the most important thing I would recommend that you think about right now is your motivation to come back to RN. Whilst I know more than anyone that the lure of urges can at times feel overpowering, I would suggest that you have come back because a) you have become fed up with the constant cycle of excitement/orgasm/guilt and that b) you (correctly) see that RN holds the key to get you out of that hole. It is important to hold on to my first point because I can tell you that retaining focus on how crap you feel after acting out is what will motivate you to recover more than anything else. Our brains are very clever at ingraining how exciting acting out is and purposely throws a cover over how we are likely to feel afterwards as it will put us off. You are entering the series of lessons that are going to give you the tools to manage your way back to a healthy life but for now please keep in mind the feelings of guilt and shame to carry you through these next few lessons.

I also like that you have copied key phrases that have stood out at you, I have done exactly the same thing and I look at them on a daily basis. This keeps these positive thoughts and images in my head and starts the process of ingraining the right stuff over the bad.

I will be interested to see your progress and good luck with your renewed efforts.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:29 am 
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Thanks LTR- the first few days the pain of relapsing and the mental torment I go through afterwards is very fresh and I can simply refer back to that feeling whenever I experience an urge. As the days go on though, this feeling gets more and more distant until I can convince myself it isn't that bad, making a relapse possible. I've written down in detail how I felt after my latest relapse now and will refer back to that if I ever try to convince myself that I can get away with 1 porn session.

Lesson 26: Mapping Compulsive Rituals

Compulsive Ritual: Porn and Masturbation

#1- I sit alone in my room and start to think about the past or current situation in a negative light
#2- I dwell on these thoughts and let them affect my mood
#3- An urge arises to watch porn, usually felt in the pit of my stomach, as that is how I usually deal with negative emotions
#4- Initially I resist the thought, as I know it will only help temporarily to watch porn, but in the long term won't change anything
#5- I lose motivation to do anything and just sit with my thoughts consuming me
#6- I decide to compromise and flick through my phone whilst I decide what I should do, with the idea in the back of my mind that I might find an image that will trigger me. The feeling in my stomach becomes more comfortable
#7- I go on an innocent website like yahoo news knowing that sometimes there are pictures of attractive women on there
#8- I convince myself that I am only killing time
#9- I see a picture of an attractive woman in an article and debate whether to click on it, as I know why I am really looking at the article
#10- I click on the article knowing that I am only interested in the pictures
#11- I stare at the pictures and I get a warm sensation in my stomach
#12- I escalate this to maybe Google searching some actresses names and flicking through the images that come up
#13- I log into my social media app and flick through the feed looking for more pictures.
#14- I tell myself that if I flick through the feed and don't find anything I will stop looking
#15- Even after breaking the rules I set myself ("I'll only look for 10 minutes, will only go through several pictures/videos"), I continue to look for images
#16- I eventually find a revealing image and keep going through the related images
#17- I tell myself that this isn't really porin and I can stop when I get bored whenever I wish
#18- I continue to look for more and more revealing images or videos
#19- I eventually find some form of nudity and tell myself it is too late, but I'll just continue to look and not touch my privates
#20- The images become slightly boring (habituation) and so I go on Youtube and search videos of sexual dancing
#21- I keep watching until I find the perfect video and masturbate to orgasm
#22- I feel guilt that I've done this, but convince myself that it was just the 1 time and if I don't do it again it doesn't even count
#23- I clean up and get a shower to make a fresh start
#24- I try to get on with my day as normal
#25- Sexual thoughts begin to resurface in my mind and I let them play in my mind
#26- I tell myself that as soon as I get chance I may as well binge to porn and start again properly the next day
#27- At night or later that day I go on Youtube again and watch more of the same whilst masturbating until I get close to orgasm
#28- Once close to climaxing, I open up the web browser and visit a porn site
#29- I watch porn videos and masturbate to orgasm
#30- Will usually repeat steps 25 to 30 whilst gradually watching more and more depraved videos until exhaustion
#31- One of the orgasms will lead to extreme shame and guilt, as well as the disappointment and realisation that watching the porn just isn't really that fun
#32- Start to realise what I've done and think about how this will affect my performance in future events (i.e. social gatherings, interviews I have planned)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:59 am 
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Lesson 27: Identifying Compulsive Chains

Exercise

Chain 1: Identify multiple rituals used simultaneously to increase stimulation
In some occasions I will try to make my surroundings as sexual as possible such as by putting some strip teases on my computer screen whilst masturbating to porn on my phone or listening to some sexual music whilst watching a strip video.

Chain 2: Identify rituals strung back-to-back to increase stimulation
In severe cases I have begun to anally masturbate myself in the mirror, then go outside in the garden naked for lengthening periods of time (the danger of being caught exposing myself increased stimulation). After reaching as much stimulation as I could through such an act I would then come back inside and masturbate to porn, sometime rubbing oils on my penis to make it more sensual.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:05 am 
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Lesson 28: Developing Compulsive Chains

1. Was bored at home and experiencing negative thoughts in my head
2. Felt like I should do something, but just wallowed in the thoughts instead
3. Decided to watch some TV (allowed me to escape my thoughts and fill some time)
4. Saw an attractive woman in the program
5. Let the thought pop into my head that I should stare at her legs to relieve tension
6. I didn't dismiss the thought and instead stared at her legs (gave me a rush of excitement that I was lacking in boredom)
7. Didn't dismiss the thought that this is what women are here for (trying to convince myself that I shouldn't withhold porn from myself)
8. Continued to stare at women and also had the thought that I should watch some porn after to combat the boredom (increases anticipation and excitement)
9. Went into my room and watched Youtube videos (gives rush and anticipation of being triggered increases excitement)
10. Eventually landed on a 'triggering' video
11. Convinced myself I had gone too far and should finish off ritual
12. Looked for perfect video
13. Masturbated to orgasm

To increase stimulation I could have rubbed my privates whilst watching TV, put some porn on the computer whilst I was watching on my phone and used oils whilst masturbating


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:16 am 
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Lesson 29: The Role of Emotions

I've got to say, after trying to really get in touch with my emotions, I found it extremely difficult to bring anything up. I felt a slight glow from thinking of some of my best experiences, but it was so minimal I might have just been imagining it. Likewise with my most negative experiences; I was thinking of my most embarrassing moments and some of my most devastating (girl cheating on me) and yet I just didn't feel anything. Same with fantasising about the future. I just feel emotionally empty atm. Is this part of the reboot? Sometimes I feel like I don't know who I am anymore. I hope I can begin to find myself again soon.

You will see that your addiction wasn't some spontaneous, evil entity that took over your life, but rather, it was a combination of poor emotional management, poor decision making, skewed perceptions and a significantly distorted identity that had all fused into a significantly destructive behavioral pattern.

~ This is reassuring; the amount of times I have come back to myself after a relapse with the fear that I am completely powerless before this uncontrollable demon is too numerous to count. When I look back on my life, I start to see the lack of emotional maturity on my part in how to deal with even simple emotions like boredom. Resorting to porn every time I am bored or a bit down has led to this foolish and immature coping mechanism. Skewed perceptions- I think I am often overly critical of myself, usually choosing to view something as negative before I can rightfully draw any conclusion. I.e. when texting a girl for the first time, if she doesn't respond soon, I start to doubt and criticise myself. If she doesn't respond I always assume the worst. I tend to beat myself up over things that weren't even that bad, i.e. getting nervous when doing a leaving speech at work and beating myself up for being a bit awkward when really it was such a small moment and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who will remember it as being awkward. Distorted identity- when I look in the mirror I am sure I see a different person to the one that is inside of me. I know the person inside, but it is shrouded from view a lot of the time or buried amongst my fears and insecurities. I would love to be able to get in touch with that 'inner self' more regularly. How am I going to do that? I need to get in touch with what I love to do more often and stop being so lazy.

It is knowing that when you feel like you can't control your behavior, that that it is not the same thing as being unable to. That your urges are merely a finite range of emotional intensity — not some unstoppable, unidentifiable force. And it is learning to manage those emotions in a healthy way.

~ Love this thought. Emotions can feel so all-consuming at the time, like there is no escape and that they can't be resisted. If I take a step back tho, these emotions are only temporary. Same with urges; I start to feel like I am powerless to them and that unless I act out, I will be consumed by them, but add long as I don't feed them, they will fade eventually.

Lesson 29 Exercise

A. I couldn't bring up much emotion thinking of past events that were exciting or joyful, but I brought up plenty of pain thinking of past negative events this time. I felt real shame and regret when thinking about how I couldn't even offer a hug to my grieving cousin when his dad died. I thought about how I just stood there, too awkward to know what to do. He's my closest relative and one of my best friends and yet I wasn't there for him when he needed me. I felt really ashamed of myself. Regrets with women, so many of them, and most of them from failure to take action or literally running away. I felt shame that I acted with such cowardice in many of these opportunities. Disappointment that I didn't respond better when challenged and regret that I let many opportunities slip by. Going back to when I was 15 and had been clean from porn for about 6 months and then 'remembering' porn again was a major regret. What would my life have been like if I never rediscovered porn? Maybe I would've fallen back into those old ways again eventually, but this is a major regret for me as well. Mainly I feel regret, shame, embarrassment and disappointment from all those thoughts and all to do with myself and how I perceive my actions. Thinking positively, I felt excitement when thinking of my latest interactions with this girl I'm crushing on. The excitement of her touch, the warm fuzzy feeling of being near her.

When stirring up feelings of my addiction, I visualised one of my favourite striptease videos on Youtube and the music that was playing, I very quickly became aroused. I started to feel comfortable and at ease, like I was returning home from a long journey. I felt a warm tingling sensation and a buzz from imagining the girl dancing. I then countered this by thinking of how I can't live like that anymore- I knew I would feel great watching that video in the moment, but longterm it would set me back again. I would never be able to build proper relationships, find career success, achieve my goals and reach my full potential if I continue to live like an animal.

B. The time I've been least anxious has been times when I've had the house to myself on a weekend; waking up with no plans but to just relax, enjoying a late breakfast, watching my favourite programs, playing some music and dancing to it in my room, ordering a pizza and watching a gripping show. Maybe going over to some of my best mates houses and having a gaming night, just chilling together and just being my authentic self- having fun and making other people laugh. The most anxious state I've been in has probably been at the peak of my social anxiety when my addiction was at its worse. I was in college and for some reason I had a group of girls that liked hanging out with me, mainly because of my good looks, but I couldn't say a word to them. I was so socially anxious my mind would go completely blank when with them. I literally couldn't say a word without analysing it a thousand different ways before giving it approval to be mumbled out. I was an actual mute. Or the first time I realised I might have a problem with social anxiety was when this girl in my sixth form started flirting with me and I just got so self-conscious and awkward; I'd never experienced that before then.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:22 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 293
RG,
Quote:
I just feel emotionally empty atm. Is this part of the reboot? Sometimes I feel like I don't know who I am anymore.

As addicts, we managed our lives with our emotions... it was at once a survival skill, but now has been ingrained into our personality... to take a primary life management tool away like this absolutely creates a void and I can tell you so many in recovery will resonate with this feeling. To take away something that we have made part of our identity will make us question who we are and why we're here. What you're feeling is true and justified.. they are often feelings that we as addicts have been trying to numb with our acting out behaviors.
Quote:
I hope I can begin to find myself again soon.

As committed to in lesson 1, don't forget to allow yourself time to change. You have all the power here in that you'll not just find yourself, but create your self. Have trust that you're rebuilding a foundation that will be stronger than what you had before. It will be a foundation of commitment, values and your vision.
Coach Jon goes into detail about your feelings of emptiness in his Recovery Workshop: Orientation. Please give the following a read:
http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/ ... op_000.php
Specifically take a look at the headings "Endings" and "Emptiness". I have a feeling this may have some helpful reassurance of your feelings and concerns. Keep going, RG. You're not alone.

Be Well,

Anon


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