Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:05 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 117 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:40 pm 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
I posted this in the community forum, and I realize that it also belongs here.

In my coaching session the other night Jon asked me a question which, was along the lines of 'was I ready to give up my addictive compulsive behaviors?'.... It is something I've been thinking about for a while.... I am in recovery and yet there is a part of me that is scared to let go.... One of the reasons is that in letting go of my addictive/compulsive behaviors I will finally have to come to terms with the fact that I have wasted a large part of my life.... Maybe wasted is too harsh a word, so instead I will say that I have lived a large part of my life at something less than my true potential.... The pain of this feels equal to wasting a large part of my life. The other thing this scared part of me fears, is missing out on something...... It's like I can imagine myself on my death bed and feeling regret that I never had certain experiences. I communicated these fears to Jon and he said a few things that were very useful. The most important one and the one that struck with me was his invitation to take the step.... That one day I may lie on my death bed and regret not having certain experiences.... That the fact is that my addictive/compulsive behaviors sabotage and contradict to many of my values, boundaries, and my vision. And to see if I was ready to take that step.
Today, out of a clear place, I have made my decision. I have decided to leave my addictive/compulsive behaviors behind me for good. This is the end. I know that it will not be easy.... That there are things that I will have to face, and I stand by my choice. I have been going well so far in recovery, and yet it has felt a bit like trying to row my boat out into the ocean but with the rope still tied to the shaw. I have untied that rope now, and in that I have set myself free to truely build a healthy foundation for living the life I want to live. To fully commit to recovery and a life of fulfillment. It's been a good day :-)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:10 am 
Offline
Recovery Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:32 pm
Posts: 4572
re: "Today, out of a clear place, I have made my decision. I have decided to leave my addictive/compulsive behaviors behind me for good. This is the end. I know that it will not be easy...."

You got that right. This is the BEGINNING of recovery, not the end of your addiction. Thankfully though, you already have several months of insight and experience (even imperfect experience is valuable to learn from) on your side...and now that you are coupling that with this attitude, there really shouldn't be anything that stops you. Save for you losing this attitude. So find a way of ingraining it. I don't care if you have to write yourself a letter and read it every day for a year. Ingrain what will serve as the foundation for the rest of your life. What you will use to generate meaning in your life. What people will know when they think about you and your character. Ingrain this with any approach you have available to you.

_________________
Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:17 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
Thanks Jon... I will find a way to ingrain this attitude. I like the idea of writing myself a letter and reading it every day. Maybe I'll also post it here.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:52 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
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)

The healthy consequences of a values-based decision are that I make another step toward living a healthy life. That I strenghen my foundation of values. That I can be clear and transparent with those around me because I have nothing to hide. That I feel positive, strong and grounded, and knowing that I am living my integrity.

The negative consequences of a values-based decision are that I will have to face the emotions that I am experiencing, and these may not be pleasent. That I don't have another way to guarantee 'escape'. That there may be things that I have to face about myself that acting out has helped me to avoid.

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

The positive consequences are that I'll have instant escape from my painful emotions. That I can postpone the potential pain of facing myself and the failings of my life for another day. That I can remain in a place that's familier to me, it may be horrible, but it's familier. That I can keep myself small and unfulfilled in my potential.... It's safe here... I don't have to take risks.

The negative consequences are that I'll sabotage my values and whatever I've built of my healthy foundation. That I'll stay unfulfilled in myself and live at less that my potential. That I will feel pain and shame for the betrayl of myself and my marriage. That I'll have to hide myself from the world around me. That I strenghen my compulsive behavior. That I will feel worthless, lost, and without hope.


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

The long term effects of value-based decisions is that I will grow more and more into the person that I want to be. That I will be living my true potential. That I will strenghen the things that are most important to me (my values). That I will have a very positive identity because I know that I'm living my integrity. That my values can grow and develope as I live them. That I quite naturally pass this on to those around me. I'll be strong in myself.... Like Aragorn when Frodo offered him the ring. He was tempted by it but he stood his ground and refused it.

The long term effects of emotion-based decisions would be a continuation of what I have known. A life that has potential but the potential remains unfulfilled. A life lived in shame, guilt, and regret. A life that slips through my fingers or passes me by like a puff of smoke that I grasp at in desperation. In the end I will be like an empty shell, knowing that it is to late to make change, knowing that life has passed me buy, knowing that my gifts have remained ungiven, knowing that I have wasted the chance that life has given me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:27 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
Exercise 51.
A. Consider one of your specific compulsive rituals. Or, if you feel comfortable, consider an entire compulsive chain. Identify the point in that ritual/chain when you should begin considering the options that you have available. What are these options? (consider reasonable options only)

1.Working all morning on various work related things.
2.Work is finished and I put my computer to the side.
3.Sitting on the sofa doing nothing.
4.Pick up my computer and begin surfing around, for 'Something to do'.
5.See a story in Yahoo news about The Playboy Mansion and decide to read it, out of (duh!) harmless curiosity. THIS IS DEFINITELY THE POINT OF CONSIDERATION!
6.I read the story and notice that some of the playboy girls are named in the artical.
7.I Google a couple of the names and find a few pics.
8.I remember a particular girl who I had been meaning to investigate for some time. I suspect that she does some hardcore porn work so I go to a clipsite that specializes in pornstars.
9.I make the decision to act out. My boundaries subside and I prepare myself for the ritual.
10.I begin to masturbate and start to look for harder material.
11.I am really in the flow of my ritual now. Going from girl to girl, subject to subject.... Exhausting possabilities.
12. I keep going...My possabilities are nearly exhausted now. I notice that I've injured myself slightly.
13. I stop.
14. I go to look in the mirror.
15. I start to prepare for leaving the house.
16. I fill out a Urge accessment form before I leave.

Options.....

1. Turn off my computer and do something do something else, like call a friend, clean my appartment, work on my marketing plan, etc.
2. Step away from the computer and call my wife to connect with her.
3. Click on the link to satisfy my curiosity.
4. Ignore the link, but decide to check out a few soft porn clips or pics.
5. Ignore the link, but start fantasizing about what might be there. leave the computer and masturbate to my fantasy.
6. Decide to ignore the link and do something else on my computer, like emailing a friend, or watching an inspiring documentary.
7. Stop where I am. Close my eyes and experience whats going on in my system. Tension, emotions, internal conlict, etc.

B. Of the options listed above, which would be automatically filtered out because of your boundaries? What would you do in the case of a value conflict? (i.e. when the same option would create both positive and negative influences on your value system)

3. Click on link to satisfy my curiosity. Not an option.... Just clicking the link and reading the story doesn't really violate any boundaries or values except that I know where this impulse is coming from and I know that my curiosity will not be satisfied just by clicking this link. This option puts me in danger of violating boundaries, and therfore is not an option.

4. Ignore link, but decide to check out a few soft porn clips or pics. Not an option.... I know where this leads. It weakens my bondaries and values, and is therefore not an option.

5. Ignore the link, but start fantasizing about what might be there. leave the computer and masturbate to my fantasy. Not an option.... I have a place for healthy masturbation in my value system as I have a place for healthy sexual intemacy with my wife. This option is niether of those because it is based on a compulsion/trance. If I indulge this ther will only be a negative outcome.

I do not find any places of value conflict with my remaining options.

C. Of the remaining options, what would be the anticipated consequences of the following:

i. You make the decision to act on this option:

ii. You make the decision NOT to act on this option:

iii. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision becomes known by others:

iv. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision remains secret:

1. Turn off my computer and do something do something else, like call a friend, or clean the kitchen.

If I make the decision to act on this option then I have strenghened my values and boundaries. There may be a short term increase in anxiety.

If I make the decision not to act on this option the hopefully I would choose another healthy option, thus strenghening my values and boundaries. If the option I chose was an unhealthy one the I would have the oppsoite effect and weaken my values and boundaries.

It's fine if people find out or not... There's nothing secret or shameful going on here.

2. Step away from the computer and call my wife to connect with her.

This decision strenghens one of my main values, which is to deepen the imtemacy within my marriage.
Hopefully if I chose another decison then that decision would be a healthy one.

Again it's fine if people find out or not.

6. Decide to ignore the link and do something else on my computer, like emailing a friend, or watching an inspiring documentary.

I am fullfilling my values on many different levels when I follow this option. If I chose not to follow this in favour of acting out then I know what the effects are.

Again It doesn't matter if anyone finds out or not.

7. Stop where I am. Close my eyes and experience whats going on in my system. Tension, emotions, internal conlict, etc.

This really supports my values of growing in maturity, and of being at peace in myself. If not to follow this option and choose something else that is less healthy then this is a learning opportunity that is lost.

Again it not a problem if anyone finds out or not.

I hope I didn't miss the boat here :? The consiquences of people finding out or not about my value based decision making seems meaningless to me. It's only if I've got something to hide, then there are consiquences such as pain, shame, and guilt. Did I miss the point?


Last edited by munkfish on Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:23 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
Exercise 52.

I am very familier with the process of the eastern spiritual practices. They have been a great help to me in the past, and continue to be in the present. The invitation of these practices are to directly experience the emotions so they become a doorway to self realization. It has been amazing to directly experience fear and to fall through it into peaceful emptyness. I have rarely been able to do this with my urges however. I think this is because they are so strong and complex, and have been ingrained over many years. So to learn to isolate the emotions will be very useful. The time may come when I am able to welcome all urges and directly experience them, but I have to be honest and say that I'm not yet there. Isolating the emotions will be a useful stepping stone towards this for sure.

In the urge control exercise I roleplayed the isolation of emotions by performing a physical movement as if to remove the emotion from my body. For example, if I was experiencing tightness in my chest and felt anxiety with it I would visualize actually pulling it out of me like a part. Doing this along with the physical movement was a great way to disociate from the emotion. I then would imagine putting a ring around it to further isolate it. Again, I did this all in my head, with my eyes closed, usually. I found it useful to have my eyes closed because that removes the distraction of visual stimulation.

I my day to day life I can see many ways in which I isolate emotions. For example if I am feeling sadness and I have to see a client, It's amazing how I can just put that sadness on the shelf for an hour.... Or when a situation comes up at work, when 'I think' someone has done something which needs addressing, like trying to steal one of my clients. It has been very helpful to put my emotions such as, Anger, fear (of confrontation), Anxiety, to one side. Aswell as the extra components of mental commentary and judgements. In doing this, I've been able to assess the situation and make inquiries from a neutral perspective instead of just acting on my emotions. 9 times out of 10 it turns out to be a misunderstanding of some kind, with noone to blame. I'm always so happy that I didn't allow my emotions to run the show and make a mess.

Hopefully I'm on the right track here :w:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:02 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
Exercise 53.

A. Describe a situation where you would consider masturbation to be against your values--and therefore, a destructive act. Describe a situation where you would consider masturbating to be within your values--and therefore, a healthy act.

If I masturbate as a way to manipulate my emotional and relieve stress then I am going against my value of growing in maturity. If I use fantasy, like fantasizing about sexual acts with pornstars, then I am going against the life I am trying to build by weakening my health and strenghening my addiction.

If I have had a 2 or 3 weeks without orgasm then my sexual energy builds up to an unhealthy level. What I mean by that is that I feel a strong desire to have sex and I begin to objectify woman, look for opportunities to act out, and fantasize. At this point it would be good to have healthy sex with my wife. If however that it not possible then masturbation would be fine as a means to re balance my sexual energy. It has to be done in a healthy, loving way thought.

B. In your recovery thread, list other common value conflicts involving sexual and/or romantic behavior that you have found yourself engaged in? Or that you may find yourself engaged in, given your history.

When I have sex with my wife and it becomes compulsive. At this point I am no longer connected to my values, or to my wife. This is very painful. Fantasizing is getting much less now, and I still need to be vigilant and be aware of my thought process, as it can creep back in at any time.
When I get stressed I am vulnerable to fantasy or flirting. Although flirting didn't happen for a long time now. Fantasy is more in my face. If I come out of work feeling stressed and tired, it is all to easy to ogle every attractive girl in the street (and there are many of them!).

_________________
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
J. Krishnamurti


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:19 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
Exercise 54.

A. Select a VALUE-BASED decision that you have made in the past year. What were some NEGATIVE consequences that resulted from that decision?

In the last year I have made a change in my work that was based on a value of wanting to be of service and support to others. It has been a great decision and I have no regrets. The negative consequences of this decison are that it put a strain on myself and my wifes finances, and that has held us back in some of our long term goals, such as buying a property.

B. Select an EMOTION-BASED decision that you have made in the past year. What were some POSITIVE consequences that resulted from that decision?

A few months ago I decided to spend an entire day surfing porn. My rationalisation was that if I could investigate every single fantasy, fetish and sexual kink that I could imagine, then I would finally exhaust my addiction and would be ready to leave it behind. By the end of that day I felt exhausted, and I was in deep despare. The positive consequence was that I knew this addiction had to stop. This addiction was out of control and would eventually ruin my life. It was at this point that I found this site and slowly began to recover.

_________________
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
J. Krishnamurti


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:17 pm 
Offline
Recovery Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:32 pm
Posts: 4572
re: " If however that it not possible then masturbation would be fine as a means to re balance my sexual energy. It has to be done in a healthy, loving way thought."

It is important for you to recognize that there are no right or wrong answers to this. YOU are the only one who can define and prioritize your values. And, many times, you will be the ONLY ONE who will be able to identify when you violate those values. Perhaps not through specific action, but through intent. That is where mastery takes place. Not just in perfecting the behavioral application, but the subtle intent that accompanies your behavior. Get really comfortable challenging yourself on areas of your life that only you have access to.

re: "Hopefully I'm on the right track here"

You are.

_________________
Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:54 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
I know it says there is no need to document this exercise in my recovery thread, and I want to. Somehow, this is what feels right to me. Sometimes when I do exercises in my head I doubt that I've done them thoroughly enough. Buy documenting at least one ritual here I will lay the doubt to rest. I have done this exercise with quite a few of my past rituals. Actually looking back, It's painful to see how much my addiction controlled my life. I feel so grateful to be where I am today.

In looking back over the years of my addiction, I can see many behaviors that I had forgotten about, such as, calling sex lines, sex with strangers, masturbating in dangerous places or places where I might get caught. This particular ritual is one that stands out. It was alomost 10 years ago, when I paid a street protitute to give me oral sex.

Practical Decision-Making: Past

1) Were you aware that you were experiencing a compulsive sexual event at the time?

No. It seemed like an adventure. Like I was fullfilling a need and a fantasy. If anyone had mentioned compulsive sexual event at the time, I don't think I would have known what they were talking about.



2) How intense were the emotions that were triggered by this event--BEFORE you chose to act on it?

Very intense. Excitement (the thoughts and fantasies of having a new experience), fear (of getting caught), Anxiety (of putting myself in a dangerous situation), Some slight internal conflict which contributed to the emotions before the decison was made.


3) At any point did you look to your values in a sincere effort for guidance in your decision-making?

Well, yes. After the event.... I don't think I really knew what my values were at the time. My mother had died just a few months before, and I was struggling to come to terms with this. I remember afterwards thinking the thought 'What would mum think if she could see me now?' I felt bad about this. I also felt a lot of guilt and shame about having done what I did. I didn't actually enjoy the event itself and never did it again.


4) After making the decision to act on this sexual event, how long did the emotions elicited from the event last? Hours, days, weeks, years?

Well I still feel bad about it today. It's not a 24/7 feeling bad. It's just one of those things that maybe as a young man I needed to try. I had already been addicted to Porn for years and this seemed like the next step. So in a way maybe there is some internal scar from this event. I've used it well though, in that I learnt from it and made sure it never happened again. There has been temptation to pay for sex since then. Especially when I was in Amsterdam and Thailand. I never crossed that line again though.



5) In the aftermath, did you make a conscious effort to evaluate the consequences of your decision? If so, what did you conclude? If not, do so now. What were the consequences--even if benign?

Yes, the consequences were that I felt guilt and shame for a long time. I still don't like to think of this particular event. I have often wondered if I could make amends somehow. Maybe by volunteering my skills in some way. I am not proud of what I did. I sold myself out that night and committed an act that goes against jsut about everthing I value today. I learnt from it though and I never did it again.


6) If there were consequences, how intense were the emotions elicited from those consequences? How long did they last? Hours, days, weeks, years?

The initial emotions were very intense. I was afraid for a few days that someone may have seen me. I was also aware of how, if I'd been caught by the police, then I would have ended up in the local paper. This would have wrecked my business, cost me friends, shamed my familt etc. Luckily I got away with it and learnt from it. Although a part of me still carries the wound today.

_________________
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
J. Krishnamurti


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:29 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
So here is my first attempt at an Action Plan. I have looked at a few of the other threads for guidance as well as the lessons on action plans. I must admit to feeling a bit confused now. In my session with Jon the other night, I seem to remember that the action plan is what happens after the values based dicision has been made..... And yet, the lessons on action plans, and the action plans in the other threads seem to very much include a process of values based decision making. It's possible that I missunderstood something of course..... So as I say... This is my first attempt... Maybe a confused attempt, but a sincere confused attempt :? If you know what I mean.....

THE SITUATION. (Based on a very likely challenge... One I've often faced in the past)

It's late in the evening. My wife and I have enjoyed a movie and a couple of glasses of wine. She is in the bathroom preparing doing her 'girlie things' before she goes to bed. It only takes me 2 minutes to do my bathroom stuff before bed so I sit and channel surf for a few minutes. I know the numbers of the channels I need to avoid due to the time of night. I unexpectedly come accross a channel showing a swimwear and lingerie fashion show. I feel a strong urge to stay on this channel and enjoy a bit of 'harmless entertainment'.

THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS.

There is a surge of excitement and at the same time a fear of what could happen. I know that I can get away with watching this for a couple of minutes and nobody will know. There is some internal conflict as to what to do. In the swirl of emotional chemicals and thoughts it is difficult to know what to do. I know the pleasure of alowing myself these 2 minutes and I know that In allowing this I am going against my values and boundaries and strenghening my addiction.

REALISTIC OPTIONS.

1. I turn off the TV. I go to the bathroom and prepare for bed. I get into bed before my wife and spen a few moments assessing what happened, and being present with the emotional consiquenses of my decision. I look at how my decision not to act on the urge has strenghened my values and I feel good about this. My wife comes to bed and I take time to share with her what happened. I do this from a clear place.

2. I recognise the urge for what it is and turn off the TV. I am clear in myself that I came accross the channel by mistake. I sit with my eyes closed for a few minutes and bring my awareness to my thoughts and emotions. I also check back over what happened to see if I had any hidden agenda in my act of channel surfing. If I find any hidden agenda then review my last few days to see if there where any tell tail signs that I overlooked. I take pride in the way I deal with this situation and that I have acted in a way that strenghens my values. I share my experience with my wife. Again, I do this from a clear place.

3. I turn the TV off and ask myself a few questions.

1, If I decide to watch the channel for a couple of minutes what would the consiquenses be?

2, Would I go against any of my values?

3, Would I violate any of my or my wifes boundaries?

4, Is the desire to continue watching this channel coming from a genuine interest that is supportive to my values and living a healthy life? Or is it feeding an aspect of my addiction?

MY DECISION.

I like all of the options because they are all healthy. I think option 2 is the best and so that is the option I choose.

ASSESS AND EVALUATE.

Review the whole situation again from a clear place. Was everything in alignment with my values? Did I viloate any boundaries? Did I eliminate any information when I shared with my wife? How is my overall balance now?

_________________
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
J. Krishnamurti


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 9:39 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:25 am
Posts: 131
Not sure what to write here at this moment. I just want to acknwledge here, in my recovery thread, the huge support I have had from Jon, and the huge sadness I feel at his passing. Jon, I appreciated every post I received from you. You have been and will continue to be a light. You are always in my heart and you will be until the day I die. May you rest in peace.

_________________
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
J. Krishnamurti


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 117 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group