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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:25 am 
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re: "Just so it's clear that I am not just doing the negative stuff..."

Good for you. Both in the empathy and the protection of her safety boundaries.

re: "PONR"

Now, you are getting to a point in your development when you should begin to recognize that there really is no 'point of no return' in a ritual. That is an arbitrary concept that was created just to develop your ability to assign concrete terms to abstract concepts. What you should be realizing now...and break through any mind games that may be keeping you from accepting this reality...is that EVERY point of awareness within a ritual...every element that you become aware of...is a potential point to end the ritual. To begin urge control.

So from this point forward, no longer identity the PONR...instead, consciously recognize (and practice) beginning urge control from all different points within the ritual. We will be doing this in coaching as well...but don't limit yourself to that.

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Jon Marsh
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:01 am 
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CoachJon wrote:
re: "PONR"

Now, you are getting to a point in your development when you should begin to recognize that there really is no 'point of no return' in a ritual. That is an arbitrary concept that was created just to develop your ability to assign concrete terms to abstract concepts. What you should be realizing now...and break through any mind games that may be keeping you from accepting this reality...is that EVERY point of awareness within a ritual...every element that you become aware of...is a potential point to end the ritual. To begin urge control.

So from this point forward, no longer identity the PONR...instead, consciously recognize (and practice) beginning urge control from all different points within the ritual. We will be doing this in coaching as well...but don't limit yourself to that.


This is an iteresting point. While I was doing this exercise, I was having trouble identifying the PONR. I was thinking along the lines of 'Well, even if I do this, I can stop here' and 'The only real PONR here is finishing the ritual without stopping myself'. What I ended up doing was assigning each of them a PONR that might be a tipping point for me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:49 am 
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Good talking with you earlier. Remember, you are entering a new phase of this transition...where you will be moving away from the intellectual learning and more toward the practical application of what you have learned. Actively look for opportunities to gain this experience. Even now, not a single overt urge/ritual should go by without you seeking to drain the life out of it through over-analysis. This phase won't last long...but it is important to go through. You have to get really comfortable in handling the mechanics of all you have learned so that we can further implement the deeper applications of it.

Also, remember that next week...really nail that weekly assessment. Heck, if it helps, have those six-to-eight areas that you found meaningful already written down. There's no law against that. Eventually, you will want to manage your life with a constant scanning for opportunities to seek out such stimulation. But for now, it is enough just to recognize them in retrospect.

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Jon Marsh
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:38 am 
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I have been working on the three development skills.

I am happy with my ability to role play and anticipate. I am less than happy with my actively seeking. I am able to do this with myself (seeking opportunites to role play, seeking acting out scenarios). I would like to continue to work on seeking apportunites external to myself but for now I believe I am ready to move past this lesson.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:30 am 
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I received your action plans and they are really well thought out. Some adjustments will be necessary, but the effort was excellent.

With your permission, I would like to post them here in your thread so that we can more easily refer to them, but also so that others can learn from your work. If there is a reason that you wanted to send them to me privately, that is okay...we can make that work as well.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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 Post subject: Action plans
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:07 am 
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Hi CoachJon.

Thanks for the positive feedback and please feel free to post them here. I sent them to you first simply to get your feedback and had intended to post them here after they had been reviewed.

jond


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:40 am 
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I have been sending my wife my actions plans for her comments. She has been giving me excellent feedback and asking some very good questions. We just had a quick conversation about the latest ones I sent her and she asked me about one in particular. It involved seeing and attractive woman on the bus and starting to fantasize about her.

She wanted to know if this was a ritual or scenario that I had engaged in in the past. I told her no. My rituals in the past have revolved around surfing porn and masturbation. I have done several different action plans around this (and I am still working on a couple) since I have been working mostly on dealing with not using porn. I wrote this one as an attempt to head off any new ways that I might try to act out. When I told her this she really liked the answer and suggested I post both her question and my answer. (so that's what I'm doing ;-))


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 Post subject: Action plans
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:54 pm 
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In an effort to lighten CoachJon's workload a tiny bit, I am posting some of the work I did with my action plans. He was planning to post some of the ones I sent via the submission form. These are a first cut and do need some work but here they are anyway. I hope they help or at least provide some interesting reading :s:

Scenario
While getting milk at the corner store, I notice the porn magazines on the rack. I am tempted to buy one. I stop and quickly scan the titles to see if any interest me.

Options
1. Select and buy one of the the magazines. Use it to masturbate. Do not tell anyone
2. Do not buy the magazine but do not mention it to anyone
3. Do not buy the magazine, tell my wife about the incident
4. Buy one of the magazines, discard it on the way home, don't tell anyone
5. Buy one of the magazines, discard it on the way home, tell my wife

Consequences
1. This is the start of my way back to my addiction, my secret life of hiding and lying.

2. This is not really any better. I didn't act out but I am still hiding. This is actually a transition step back to #1.

3. This would fit best with my values. Honesty, integrity, being a better husband. Telling my wife about this would boost my confidence in being able to deal with other situations.

4. This is a variation on #2 and #1 and is probably the start of returning to #1

5. While not adhering to all my values, I will be able to look at myself and say, that I slipped but acted with integrity after the slip. I applied the honesty value and boundaries as well as the being a better husband value.

Decision
I will choose #3.

Additional observations
I will realize that I had probably noticed them before and done nothing about it. I will question myself as to whether I made the trip to get milk just to see the magazines. I will also take this urge as a message to myself that something may be out of whack a bit.


Scenario
Wake up after an erotic dream, recall dream. An erection starts and I have an urge to masturbate.

Options
1. Continue to recall dream. Extend it into fantasy. Masturbate. Do not tell anyone.
2. Continue to recall dream. Extend it into fantasy. Masturbate. Tell my wife after the fact.
3. Ignore or suppress the urge. Do not tell anyone about the urge
4. Create a break from the urge. Write down what I remember of the dream. Tell my wife about the urge and the dream


Consequences
1. Start of a slippery slope back to relapse. Will violate my boundaries the following values:
a. Integrity. A person of integrity does not hide what they are doing. nor do they fantasize about other people
b. Honesty. Not telling my wife would be a lie of omission
c. Be a better husband.
2. Not much better but I am protecting the value of honesty in that I am telling her about it
3. Slightly better still. I protected part of my integrity (not acting out) but honesty would be compromised as it would still have a lie of omission
4. The best option. Allows my integrity to remain intact, builds trust, honesty and helps with communication

Decision
I will choose # 4

Other notes
Need to talk to my wife about why this happened. Try to determine if there was an external cause.


Scenario.
Wake up when my wife leaves for work with an urge to surf porn.

Options
1. Get up and surf porn until it is time to get ready for the day. Masturbate while surfing. Do not tell anyone. Make sure I clean up the computer well.
2. Get up and surf porn until it is time to get ready for the day. Masturbate while surfing. Tell my wife after the fact.
3. Roll over and try to go back to sleep. Don't say anything
3. Create a break to get past the urge. Go on with my day as if nothing happened
4. Create a break to get past the urge. Tell my wife about the urge and ask for time to discuss it later in the day.

Consequences
1. This would lead to the shame guilt spiral ending back in full blown relapse. I would be throwing away all that I have worked for and abandoning the values I am working hard to protect. Specifically the values of integrity, honesty, being a better husband, being a better father.

2. While slightly better, this is still not acceptable. While I would be able to say I salvaged honesty, integrity, being a better husband and father would be out the window.

3. While my integrity would be fairly intact, my honesty (lie of omission) would be damaged as would being a better husband. Also, this could quickly lead to #1 or 2 above if I am unable to fall back asleep.

4. There is a slight difference between this and # 3. This is an active attempt to get past the urge rather than the passive attempt as in #3. While actively trying to deal with the urge by creating the break is good, hiding the urge is not.

5. This will allow me to continue with my values and boundaries intact. It will also help me strengthen the bond of trust with my wife.

Decision
I will choose #5

Other notes
I will need to carefully look at my life to see if I am maintaining the balance I need. I will step up my weekly monitoring and start logging how I am feeling throughout each day. I will be hyper alert for stresses and other factors that may be throwing me off balance.


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 Post subject: More action plans
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Posts: 126
Scenario
Find myself alone with an unmonitored computer with little chance of getting caught.
While visiting a friend's house they step out to go to the store while I wait. I notice that they have left their computer on and are logged in. Have an urge to surf porn.

Options
1. Surf porn. Clean up before the people I am visiting return. Don't tell anyone
2. Surf porn. Clean up before the people I am visiting return. Tell my wife after the fact. Tell my friend as well.
3. Surf porn. Masturbate. Clean up before the people I am visiting return. Don't tell anyone
4. Surf porn. Masturbate. Clean up before the people I am visiting return. Tell my wife after the fact. Tell my friend as well.
5. Find something else to do to take my mind off surfing. Ignore the urge. Don't tell anyone.
6. Create a break. Turn off the computer. Don't tell anyone.
7. Create a break. Turn off the computer. Tell my wife about the urge. After talking about it decide whether or not to tell the friend.

Consequences
1. A return to my secret hidden life. The violation of my boundaries around integrity, trust, honesty (lie of omission), being a better husband. There is also a great risk of getting caught and damaging the friendship I have. It would violate their trust value boundaries at least.

2. Slightly better in that I am not hiding it. I am still violating my boundaries around integrity, trust and being a better husband. There is also a great risk of getting caught and damaging the friendship I have. It would violate their trust value boundaries at least and probably .

3. Basically the same as # 1 with a more involved ritual. I would be in violation of the boundaries around integrity, honesty, trust and being a better husband. I am also probably violating my friend's trust value boundaries.

4. Similar to # 2 except it has a more involved ritual. I would be preserving my honesty value boundaries but be in violation of the boundaries around integrity, trust and being a better husband. I am also violating my friend's trust value boundaries.

5. A passive solution to controlling the urge. It is a small step from here to a real slip, then to relapse. I am preserving my integrity value boundaries but violating the ones protecting honesty and trust.

6. This is an active act of urge control and is slightly better than #5. This protects my boundaries around integrity, trust. It is lacking however in that it allows my honesty value to be damaged (lie of omission) and being a better husband (not sharing and being intimate).

7. This again is an active act of urge control. It is better than #6 in that it protects the boundaries protecting my values (Integrity, honesty, trust and being a better husband)

Decision
I will choose #7

Other Notes
I will need to assess whether this was simply a spontaneous urge or whether there was something deeper going on. Need to check my life balance
I will also need to decide if, after talking with my wife if my friend should be told.


Scenario
In shower with urge to masturbate
Enter shower after having finished working outside. Feeling a sense of accomplishment. Have an urge to masturbate while showering

Options
1. Masturbate. Finish shower. Don't tell anyone
2. Masturbate. Finish shower. Tell my wife after the fact
3. Ignore the urge. Finish shower. Don't tell anyone
4. Ignore the urge. Finish shower. Tell my wife about the urge
5. Create a break by lowering the temperature of the shower. Finish shower. Don't tell anyone
6. Create a break by lowering the temperature of the shower. Finish shower. Tell my wife about the urge and what I did to deal with it


Consequences
1. This would lead very quickly back to my secret life of porn and lying and hiding. I would be damaging the boundaries around my values of integrity, honesty and being a better husband

2. Slightly better. I would still be violating boundaries around integrity and trust but keeping them somewhat intact around honesty. I say somewhat because I am hiding it at the time, only being honest about it after the fact.

3. While this protects my integrity, honesty (lie of omission) and trust take a hit.

4. This is still a passive attempt to deal with the urge. I emerge with integrity, honesty and being a better husband intact. It also helps with building trust as I am telling my wife about it.

5. This is an active attempt to deal with the urge. Again, my integrity is preserved. I also am building my confidence in my ability to deal with urges. My honesty, being a better husband and trust values all take a hit though.

6. This is an active attempt to deal with the urge. My integrity is preserved. as are being a better husband, honesty and trust. More confidence in my ability to deal with urges is being built as well.

Decision
I will choose #6

Other Notes
As always, I need to review why the urge happened. I will review my life's balance to see if there is something amiss.


Scenario
While at work I am doing boring/frustrating work and I get an urge to surf porn as a diversion. I have access to an unmonitored/unfiltered computer.

Options
1. Surf porn. Cover my tracks. Don't tell anyone
2. Surf porn. Cover my tracks. Tell my wife after the fact.
3. Don't surf. Suppress the urge. Don't tell anyone.
4. Don't surf. Suppress the urge. Tell my wife about the urge.
5. Create a break. Don't tell anyone about the urge
6. Create a break. Tell my wife about the urge. Talk to my boss about my current workload

Consequences
1. This is a slip and may quickly lead to a full relapse. It would be a violation of the boundaries around integrity, honesty and being a better husband

2. While slightly better in that my honesty is protected, my integrity boundaries are violated. Some of the boundaries around being a better husband (being honest, sharing) are protected but others (respecting my wife) are not.

3. Integrity is protected by not surfing. Honesty and being a better husband are damaged in that I am hiding and ignoring the urges. It is also a passive way to deal with the urge rather than a more active approach.

4. Integrity is protected by not surfing. Honesty and being a better husband are also protected when I tell my wife. It is still a passive way to deal with the urge rather

5. Integrity is protected by not surfing. Honesty and being a better husband are damaged in that I am hiding. It is an active approach to dealing with the urge.

6. Integrity is protected by not surfing. Honesty and being a better husband are also being protected by telling my wife. As well, by talking to my boss, I am trying to take an active approach to heading off future urges. (Anticipating, possible role playing)

Decision
I will choose #6

Other notes
Regardless of which option is chosen, I will need to evaluate my current work conditions. I will also carefully evaluate my current life searching for imbalances.


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 Post subject: Still more action plans
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:01 pm 
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Posts: 126
Scenario
While riding the bus to work, an attractive woman boards at one of the stops. I watch her as she sits and get an urge to fantasize about her.

Options
1. Fantasize about the woman. Don't tell anyone about it.
2. Fantasize about the woman. Tell my wife about it after the fact.
3. Don't fantasize. Return to my book and ignore the urge. Don't tell anyone.
4. Don't fantasize. Return to my book and ignore the urge. Tell my wife about it.
5. Create a break. Don't tell anyone about the urge
6. Create a break. Tell my wife about the urge. Discuss it with her.

Consequences
1. Integrity, honesty (lie of omission) being a better husband and fidelity are all compromised with this choice
2. Honesty is protected albeit after the fact. Integrity, being a better husband and fidelity are still compromised
3. Integrity is protected as is fidelity. Honesty is damaged as is being a better husband (not sharing)
4. Again, integrity and fidelity are protected. Honesty is also protected as is being a better husband (not sharing). The main problem with this is that it is a somewhat passive approach to urge control (ignoring and suppressing the urge)
5. My integrity and fidelity are protected. Being a better husband and honesty take a hit. This is practice in active urge control.
6. All my values that may be affected are protected with this option. Integrity (don't fantasize), honesty (tell my wife about it), being a better husband (sharing) and fidelity (not fantasizing)

Decision
I will choose #6

Other Notes
Review my current situation to search for what may be causing an imbalance.


Scenario
Watching TV late at night and come across porn
Wake up to let the dog out in the middle of the night and I decide to watch TV while waiting. While flipping through the channels, come across soft core porn

Options
1. Watch the porn until the dog comes in. Return to bed as if nothing happened. Don't tell anyone
2. Watch the porn until the dog comes in. Tell my wife first thing in the morning
3. Watch the porn until it ends. Don't tell anyone
4. Watch the porn until it ends. Tell my wife first thing in the morning
5. Immediately turn to another channel. Don't tell anyone
6. Immediately turn to another channel. Tell my wife first thing in the morning
7. Turn off TV and read a book instead. Tell my wife about the incident in the morning.

Consequences
1. My values of integrity, honesty and being a better husband are all damaged with this option.
2. My honesty value is protected but integrity and being a better husband are damaged.
3. Similar to #1 except that I am consciously extending it. The same values are affected but my integrity takes a bigger hit in that I when I am given an opportunity to end it (the dog comes in) I don't take it.
4. This one is similar to #2 but again I make a concious decision to extend the boundary violation.
5. Turning to another channel is creating a break, so my integrity is protected as is part of being a better husband (not viewing porn). Part of the value is not being protected as I am not sharing what happened. Honesty is also violated here as I am omitting details.
6. Turning to another channel is creating a break, so my integrity is protected as is part of being a better husband. Honesty is also protected here. The big problem with this is that I may be tempted to return to the porn during a commercial in whatever I end up watching.
7. This option protects integrity and being a better husband (not watching porn) as well as honesty. It creates a further break by removing further temptation to return during a commercial.


Decision
I will choose #7

Other notes
I will need to review my actions to see if this was truly accidental or if I was subconsciously looking for porn.
If it was truly accidental, try to use the experience as a learning tool and/or a role playing scenario for the future.
If it was intentional, then I need to review my emotional state and the balance of my life.


Scenario
My wife gone to movies with friends, my daughter is in bed. I log onto computer to finish and work for a while. I feel the need for a break and have an urge to surf porn.

Options
1. Go ahead and surf porn. Clean up after myself. Don't tell anyone
2. Go ahead and surf porn. Clean up after myself. Tell my wife when she gets home
3. Go ahead and surf porn. Masturbate. Clean up after myself. Don't tell anyone
4. Go ahead and surf porn. Masturbate. Clean up after myself. Tell my wife when she gets home
5. Don't surf porn. Suppress the urge. Don't tell anyone.
6. Don't surf porn. Suppress the urge. Tell my wife about it when she gets home.
7. Create a break by shutting down the computer. Get out of the office, go upstairs and watch TV (or read). Don't tell anyone
8. Create a break by shutting down the computer. Get out of the office, go upstairs and watch TV (or read). Tell my wife about the urge

Consequences
1. A slip that violates my boundaries around integrity (surfing porn), honesty (lie of omission), being a better husband (not sharing, surfing porn)
2. A slip that violates my boundaries around integrity (surfing porn) and being a better husband (surfing porn). The boundaries around honesty are preserved as is the sharing boundary around being a better husband.
3. A bigger slip since I have added multiple acting out elements and turned this from a ritual into a chain. Again it violates my boundaries around integrity (surfing porn), honesty (lie of omission), being a better husband (not sharing, surfing porn)
4. A bigger slip since I have added multiple acting out elements and turned this from a ritual into a chain. Again it violates my boundaries around integrity (surfing porn), being a better husband (surfing porn). Honesty is preserved as is part of being a better husband (sharing)
5. My integrity is protected by not surfing. Honesty (lie of omission) and being a better husband (not sharing) are problems though.
6. All my affected values (integrity, honesty, being a better husband) are protected by not surfing. This is a passive approach and relies only on will power.
7. While this is a more active approach and integrity is preserved, honesty (lie of omission) being a better husband (sharing) are damaged.
8. This is an active approach that preserves my values.

Decision
I will choose #8

Other notes
I need to review the circumstances around the urge. Was this simply a spontaneous urge or is it an indication that there is something amiss? I will attempt to increase my awareness and be more alert in either circumstance.

Scenario
My wife gone with daughter to visit her mother. I finish tasks on to do list and have an urge to surf porn.

Options
1. Surf porn. Clean up after myself and don't tell anyone
2. Surf porn. Clean up after myself. Tell my wife at the earliest opportunity
3. Surf porn. Masturbate while surfing. Clean up after myself and don't tell anyone
4. Surf porn. Masturbate while surfing. Clean up after myself. Tell my wife at the earliest opportunity
5. Don't surf porn. Ignore and suppress the urge. Don't tell anyone
6. Don't surf porn. Ignore and suppress the urge. Tell my wife about the urge the next time I talk to her
7. Create a break by writing down my emotional state and how I am feeling. Don't tell anyone about the urge.
8. Create a break by writing down my emotional state and how I am feeling. Tell my wife about the urge.

Consequences
1. This violates my boundaries around integrity (surfing porn), honesty (lie of omission, hiding by covering my tracks) and being a better husband (not sharing)

2. This violates my boundaries around integrity (surfing porn), honesty (lie of omission, hiding by covering my tracks). I protect being a better husband by sharing.

3. This is a bigger slip as I extend the ritual by adding masturbation in. I am violating my boundaries around integrity (surfing, masturbating) honesty (lie of omission, hiding by covering my tracks) and being a better husband (not sharing)

4. This is a bigger slip as I extend the ritual by adding masturbation in. I am violating my boundaries around integrity (surfing, masturbating) honesty (lie of omission, hiding by covering my tracks). I protect being a better husband somewhat by sharing albeit after the fact.

5. While this preserves integrity by not surfing porn, honesty (lie of omission) and being a better husband (not sharing) are problems

6. This preserves integrity, honesty and being a better husband. The problem here is that nothing is being done to address or analyze the cause of the urge.

7. A more active approach to dealing with the urge. Still not the best as I am not sharing the urge or the results of my evaluation

8. A more active approach that allows all my affected value to be protected. Integrity (not surfing) honesty (telling my wife about it) being a better husband(sharing the urge and the analysis)

Decision
I will choose #8

Other notes
Regardless of which option I do choose, I will make time to evaluate my current emotional state as well as my life balance. I will also be on guard for other more subtle rituals that I may engage in.[/b]


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 Post subject: Exercise 50
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:38 am 
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Posts: 126
Quote:
A. When facing a compulsive urge, what do you anticipate the consequences of using a healthy, values-based decision to manage that urge to be? (think positive and negative consequences)


Positive
- I will be able to hold my head high knowing that I have made a choice that aligns with my values (integrity, honesty, being a better husband, being a better father).
- I will be positively reinforcing my value based decision making. I will feel pride in my ability to manage my life constructively.
- There will be no guilt or shame associated with my action.
- It will also provide an opportunity to strengthen my relationship with my wife by sharing the struggle with her.

Negative
- I will not get any immediate emotional stimulation.
- I may look for different ways to act out.

Quote:
B. Now consider having made the decision to continue on with the compulsive ritual, what consequences do you anticipate? (again, think positive and negative)


Positive
- I will get the temporary emotional stimulation I am looking for.
- For a short time I will feel good.
- I will fool myself into believing my life is in balance.

Negative
- I will feel guilt and shame over my actions.
- I will be tempted to return to lying and hiding and being defensive about my life management.
- Feeling the guilt and shame again may lead to more acting out. Which leads to more guilt and shame...

Quote:
C. For each decision (values-based; emotion-based), what long-term effects will these consequences have on your developing identity and values?


Emotion based
- Violate my boudaries around my values, eroding them (at least in my mind)
- Unbalances my life which may lead to seeking other ways to try and find that balance
- It may cause me to withdraw from my marriage
- It may cause me to withdraw from my daughter

Value based
- Protects my core identity values
- Positively reinforces my life management skills
- Helps me bring balance to my life
- Strengthen my relationships


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:14 am 
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Posts: 4572
Looking forward to talking with you again. We have A LOT to go over. Great work here.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
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 Post subject: An updated action plan
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:55 pm 
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Posts: 126
I am posting an updated version of one of my simpler reactive action plans. I have done a couple more exercises since I started writing these and I have also reviewed them with my wife. She suggested that I needed to add emotions to them and after doing the exercises mentioned above, I realize she is completely correct. So here it is.

Scenario
While getting milk at the corner store, I notice the porn magazines on the rack. I am tempted to buy one. I stop and quickly scan the titles to see if any interest me.

Options
1. Select and buy one of the the magazines. Use it to masturbate. Do not tell anyone
2. Do not buy the magazine but do not mention it to anyone
3. Do not buy the magazine, tell my wife about the incident
4. Buy one of the magazines, discard it on the way home, don't tell anyone
5. Buy one of the magazines, discard it on the way home, tell my wife

Consequences
1. This is the start of my way back to my addiction, my secret life of hiding and lying.
Emotions
Positive.
- I will get some emotional stimulation.
- I will feel good for a short time
- I will fool myself into thinking that my life is in balance
Negative
- I will feel guilt and shame for acting out and hiding it
- I will be tempted to start to withdraw from my wife

2. This is not really any better. I didn't act out but I am still hiding. This is actually a transition step back to #1. In some ways this is actually worse than # 1 in that not only do I not get the stimulation from acting out but I don't get any positive re-inforcement from not acting out
Emotions
Postive
- I will feel pride for not acting out
Negative
- I will get no immediate emotional stimulation
- I will feel that my life is somehow out of balance
- I will feel guilt for not sharing with my wife

3. This would fit best with my values. Honesty, integrity, being a better husband. Telling my wife about this would boost my confidence in being able to deal with other situations.
Emotions
Postive
- Pride for not acting out
- Pride for sharing the incident with my wife
- Sense of accomplishment for seeing that I am making a change in my life
- There will be no guilt and shame associated with my actions
Negative
- I will not get any immediate gratification or emotional stimulation

4. This is a variation on #2 and #1 and is probably the start of returning to #1
Emotions
Postive
- I will get some emotional stimulation.
- I will feel good for a short time
- I will fool myself into thinking that my life is in balance
Negative
- I will feel guilt and shame
- I will be tempted to start to withdraw from my wife

5. While not adhering to all my values, I will be able to look at myself and say, that I slipped but acted with integrity after the slip. I applied the honesty value and boundaries as well as the being a better husband value.
Emotions
Postive
- I will get some emotional stimulation.
- I will feel good for a short time
- I will fool myself into thinking that my life is in balance
- I will have a sense of sharing
- I will have a sense of accomplishment knowing that I can stop a ritual at any point (I will know there is really no point-of-no-return)
Negative
- I will feel guilt and shame for having started the ritual

Decision
I will choose #3.

Additional observations
I will realize that I had probably noticed them before and done nothing about it. I will question myself as to whether I made the trip to get milk just to see the magazines. I will also take this urge as a message to myself that something may be out of whack a bit.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:16 am 
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Recovery Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:32 pm
Posts: 4572
Just as a refresher...

What you have shared here is the end result of the values-based decision-making process. When you create a reactive action plan, there should be NO options that you have to choose from in terms of the immediate behavioral response. Your action plan should start off with what you will be doing behaviorally--then focus on the anticipated emotions/mind games that will likely follow. Once you have mastered this simple reactive action plans, they we can expand them to situations where your awareness kicks in at times other than at the beginning of the ritual. But you need to get this first part down pat. So, I'm looking forward to seeing an action plan from your that is simple, but with the right structure:

Awareness (that a ritual has started)
Action (to be engage in immediately, without critical thought/emotion)
Anticipation (emotions/mind games)
Assessment (of effectiveness when applied)

_________________
Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:49 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 8:25 am
Posts: 126
I am posting this as I feel it is at a point where I should post it. It's not finished yet as I feel I am missing something in the Awareness and Assessment sections. I will review and make more updates later.

Scenario
While getting milk at the corner store, I notice the porn magazines on the rack. I am tempted to buy one. I stop and quickly scan the titles to see if any interest me. The act of stopping and even considering the titles is the start of the ritual.

Options
1. Stop and scan the titles. Select a magazine. Buy it. Use it to masturbate. Do not tell anyone.
2. Do not buy the magazine but do not mention it to anyone
3. Do not buy the magazine, tell my wife about the incident
4. Buy one of the magazines, discard it on the way home, don't tell anyone
5. Buy one of the magazines, discard it on the way home, tell my wife

Consequences
1. This is the start of my way back to my addiction, my secret life of hiding and lying. This is a non-starter. It violates my boundaries around integrity, honesty and being a better husband

2. This is not really any better. I didn't act out but I am still hiding. This is actually a transition step back to #1. In some ways this is actually worse than # 1 in that not only do I not get the stimulation from acting out but I don't get any positive reinforcement from not acting out. This is a non-starter. It violates my boundaries around integrity, honesty and being a better husband

3. This would fit best with my values. Honesty, integrity, being a better husband. Telling my wife about this would boost my confidence in being able to deal with other situations.
Emotions
Positive
- Pride for not acting out
- Pride for sharing the incident with my wife
- Sense of accomplishment for seeing that I am making a change in my life
- There will be no guilt and shame associated with my actions

Negative
- I will not get any immediate gratification or emotional stimulation
- I will probably feel some anxiety both for having the urge and for not acting on it.

4. This is a variation on #2 and #1 and is probably the start of returning to #1. This is a non-starter. It violates my boundaries around honesty and being a better husband. integrity is protected somewhat as I haven't actually viewed porn.

5. While not adhering to all my values, I will be able to look at myself and say, that I started to slip but acted with integrity after the fact. I applied the honesty value and boundaries as well as the being a better husband value. After filtering through my boundaries, this remains a potential option. I have started the ritual but have recognized it as such and stopped it, thus preserving my boundaries and values. However, after considering my wife's boundaries around trust (that I will do the right thing) strength (rise above the temptation, make the right choice) this is no longer a realistic option.
*** Further note *** Since this could potentially develop as an option, I will need to review my boundaries around my value of integrity, adding a boundary to keep it from becoming a realistic option


Decision
I will choose #3.


Further plan development
Awareness
Ritual start. As mentioned above, the act of stopping and even considering the magazines is the start of the ritual.
Life balance. This may be a spontaneous ritual or an indication that something is out of balance
Emotions. I will need to become hyper aware of my current emotional state. I will look specifically for un-noticed and/or unanticipated stresses and generally for how I am feeling and how my past week has been.

Action
1. I will immediately phone my wife to tell her about the incident even if I am still in the store. I will not explain everything in detail, just let her know that it happened and that when I get home I will give her the details.
2. I will seek the earliest opportunity to talk this over with my wife
3. I will realize that I had probably noticed them before and done nothing about it. I will question myself as to whether I made the trip to get milk just to see the magazines.
4. I will also take this urge as a message to myself that something may be out of whack a bit and start a review of my current life balance.

Anticipation
Negative (beating myself up)
I may run through the following in my head
- Why am I even considering this?
- What the is wrong with you?
- What will my wife say when she finds out?
- I should not tell anyone and just try to forget this
- No one can know about this
I will likely feel anxiety for not acting out
I will likely feel further anxiety for having had the urge in the first place
I will likely feel as though I have failed because I had the urge even though I didn't act on it

Positive
I will feel pride for protecting my values by not having acted out
I will feel pride for sharing with my wife, thus enhancing her boundaries
I will feel pride for having helped reinforce my values and my newly found ability to handle urges
I will feel pride for having chosen the healthy way to deal with my emotions
I will have enhanced the intimacy of my relationship with my wife.

Assessment
I don't see any wiggle room for me. Each of the options described in the options section (except #3) leads to a violation of either my boundaries of my wife's.


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