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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:50 am 
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Recovery Workshop: Month 1; Week 2; Day 7
Healthy Monitoring I
1. Did I give my girlfriend a hug today?
2. Was I attentive/supportive of her needs?
3. Was I honest (not deceptive) with her?
4. Am I content with life? Have I been using daily mantras? Have I been writing in my diary?
5. Have I been taking regular time out during the day to relax and recharge?
6. Have I been moderate in my actions and tasks today (i.e. not extreme)?
7. Have I been communicating my feelings opening to people?
8. Have I been free from ruminating? If not, did I right things down? Did I create a physical break? Did I try to change topic/task?
9. Did I seek harmony in most of actions and interactions with myself and others?
10. Did I laugh and smile today?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:52 am 
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re: "daily monitoring"

Perfect timing for tomorrow. Don't do anything with this until we talk...we will then review what you have done and I will be creating an online form that uses what we will talk about and what you have done here as your daily monitoring.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:59 am 
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Recovery Workshop: Month 1; Week 3; Day 1

Exercise 15
I. Take a minute to review what you have learned over the past two weeks. Of what you have learned so far, think of one example of how you have actively integrated that information into your day-to-day life. Share this in your personal thread.

I have actively integrated some of my proactive action plans into my life, although, admittedly I do have to review and use them more than I have been. For example with doing daily exercise I now plan my week in advance on the calendar and check of each day after completion, I text friends to see if they are playing sport and I try to exercise straight after work. This goes beyond exercise, I’m starting to see what is important in my life.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:34 am 
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In addition to what you have been working on with implementing the proactive action plans, I hope that you also have seen development in your overall emotional awareness and value prioritization. Where you are heading now will be more into the mechanical heart and soul of addiction...make sure you don't suspend the 'healthy' side of what you have been doing. Ultimately, you will need both sides (healthy and addiction) mastered.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:33 am
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Recovery Workshop: Month 1; Week 3; Day 2
Exercise 16

Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)? Understanding the functional role of your addiction is important in removing the power, mystery and fear from that addiction. To begin seeing it in terms of practicality, rather than supernatural. Share a few positive aspects of your addiction in your recovery thread.

Exhilaration, relaxation, accomplishment, instant gratification, escape, pleasure, stress relief, enjoyment, confirmation of masculinity, confirmation that I’m attractive/desirable/wanted, suspense


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:57 am 
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Recovery Workshop: Month 1; Week 3; Day 3

Exercise 17
Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread. It is important that you understand the principles involved in identifying the stimulating elements of compulsive rituals...so if you are not comfortable with this concept, ask questions! Also, recognize that the elements listed above are not the only elements associated with compulsive behavior. And so, you will want to identify those elements that are specifically related to YOUR compulsive behavior.

Drinking then searching for sexual gratification (be that from picking up women, prostitutes or porn).

Fantasy~ the compulsive ritual usually starts here. It’s usually triggered by seeing women other women in bars or by friends that I’m with and desiring them. I fantasize about what we could do together in bed.

Sensory stimulation~ sight, searching for glimpses of cleavage, legs etc. Later when involved in the act of sexual gratification then sound, touch, taste and smell play a part.

Suspense~ When flirting with girls wondering if things will progress. This is a very exciting time.

Accomplishment~ Picking up women is an accomplishment. If I can’t find someone then by occasionally using massage or prostitutes I can feel the accomplishment.

Power~ If I can’t find sex then there is a sense of power by visiting massage girls/prostitutes.

Past~ Related to fantasies for me. Often when having sex I’m reliving daily fantasies e.g. if I have seen and fantasized about a beautiful girl with a short skirt during the day I might go home to my partner and get her to dress in a shirt skirt and relieve that fantasy. There are various different examples that that I use from my past.

Poly-addiction~ sex addiction, porn addiction, binge drinking addiction

Orgasm

Enjoyment/pleasure~ Part of the effort of searching/screening for women is because I know how good it feels when I do pick up (or see a prostitute) and engage in sexual activity. Ironically, pre-picking up I drink more to lose inhibitions to try and increase my chance of picking up, but in doing so I reduce the enjoyment of sex later on.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:48 am 
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Recovery Workshop: Month 1; Week 3; Day 4

Exercise 18
Consider one of your own compulsive rituals. Identify circumstances when each of the three filters (time, habituation and intensity) have come into play. Make sure that you understand each filter to the point where you are able to identify them as a ritual is being performed. Post these personal examples in your recovery thread.

Compulsive ritual ~ I used to come home from work and sometimes spend hours trawling through websites looking for photos and videos of whatever flavor porn I happened to be into that week. There seemed to be about a half dozen regular themes that I would look at. Sometimes I could spend up to 5 or 6 hours on a Saturday or Sunday totally glued to the screen while I sifted through images with little thought of eating or getting out of the house. At first it was enough to orgasm then I would finish. But later I would need to orgasm two or three times over a period of time before I would stop. Also I noticed the photos and videos needed to change and get more extreme or I would get bored of them. When the content changed for the last time a few months back I wondered if it was legal to view those images, that’s when I put a stop to and sought help.

Elements:
Sensory~ Obviously sight but sound was a major part for videos too. I would get upset if I finally found ‘the perfect video’ only to find out it had no sound.

Danger~ This element was present at the end and I didn’t like it, it was enough motivation to seek help.

Suspense~ A lot of suspense built up during the day wondering what images I would find when I got home. Suspense at finding a new website and wondering what lay ahead.

Accomplishment~ Finding ‘the perfect’ images after hours of trawling. This accomplishment was short lived and I soon was trawling again wondering if I could find better ones. Accomplishment in reaching orgasm or holding of orgasm for a long time. This was also followed my guilt and sadness at what I had done and wasting so much time.

Power~ That I could look at whatever and whoever I wanted from the privacy of my home.

Fantasy~ Almost always imaging that I was there joining in or watching. I believed it was almost real and would often try to relive that situation with partners later in the day or week.

Orgasm~

Filters:
Time~ I noticed that after too long of continually masturbating to porn it would have an undesired effect. I would get sore or the need to get out of the house and eat or do something would kick in. The opposite being if I didn’t view enough images for long enough, when I orgasmed I wouldn’t be satisfied and would have to do it all again.

Habituation~ Looking at the same genre for more than a week or two produced boredom. I would regularly rotate through several themes. It would also change from photos to videos and back again. As the months moved on the images needed to be more graphic.

Intensity~ It all started off in high school when a friend gave me a photo of Elle McPherson nude. I orgasmed after several short minutes. After many porn magazines, videos and years down the track I found myself at home viewing porn over the internet. It is easy to see that more and more stimulation was needed to reach that same intensity. I got very good at playing multiple videos on the screen or having several photos open at the same time. Finding exact moments on videos and replaying to hear and see a particular scene to reach that intensity.


Last edited by Inspired on Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:05 pm 
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Recovery Workshop: Month 1; Week 3; Day 5

Exercise 18

Interesting exercise today. I can see where a few of my problems are arising. One of the biggest conflicts of values has been causing me a lot of stress lately.

Value 1) I have everything I need, money is not important to me. I'm free from attachment and would rather spend my free time with my partner, socializing, exercising, learning language etc.

Value 2) I have a student loan and a goal to pay it off by May 2009. I'm doing extra tutoring 3 nights per week after my normal work hours finish.

This conflict of values is causing endless stress/worry which in turn conflicts with another higher value of having a relaxed attitude towards life. Even though I know my workload will decrease in 6 weeks time I find myself ruminating a lot. This has become a boring/frustrating ritual which I don't like. How do I cope with this ritual? I fantasize often. Often is the wrong word here, I fantasize all the time. Sometimes hundreds of times a day. It's usually seeing women that initially trigger me. Before recovery this fantasizing would trigger a want/need to be fulfilled sexually. I used it as a way to alter my mood and feel better. I didn't want to feel bored, agitated/frustrated/stressed at my conflict in values. I knew sex/porn/drinking could relieve those tensions.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:00 pm 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:33 am
Posts: 26
Recovery Workshop: Month 1; Week 3; Day 7
Exercise Twenty

A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?
B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?
C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.


A. Failed goal ~ to go through university without student loan. I wasn’t specific with how I was going to achieve this. It wasn’t consistent with other values of enjoying my time without thinking about money and immediate gratification.

Failed goal ~ Abstain from alcohol. As this workshop explains so well I hadn’t set up alternative ways for dealing with emotional pressure. Reflecting, all my ‘major’ problems have been because of this e.g. depression, sex addiction, porn addiction, binge drinking, ruminating/worrying. They all stem from not being able to deal with emotional pressure in my life. These last few exercises have been very insightful.

B. Successful goal ~ Finish university. Specific goal, measurable, important to me, consistent with values.
Successful goal ~ Complete 1 year work contract. It was generally consistent with my goals. There were times where there was conflict and emotional pressure that lead to an increase in my addiction. However the goal was specific, measurable, achievable and important to me.

C. Recovery goal ~ Finish workshop by March 1st. This will be six months of recovery. It’s specific, measurable, important to me and consistent with values. It is also a realistic goal with consideration to other life commitments.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:47 pm 
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re: "Drinking then searching for sexual gratification"

For the next month or so, we are going to separate the 'drinking' part from the rituals we explore. By definition, linking sexually compulsive behavior and drinking would be a 'chain' rather than a single ritual. Once we have...scratch that...once YOU have mastered your sexual rituals, then we will expand this awareness to include alcohol as a linked ritual or, as a predicator.

What does this mean for you? Not much in the long run. But in the short run, it means eliminating the identification of alcohol as the predetermining element in your rituals. Right now, it is more important to understand the 'what' of sexual rituals than it is the 'why'.

re: "Filters"

Very good.

re: "conflicts of values"

When you break down the mechanics of life management, you inevitably come to this end: that managing life is about managing value conflicts. To manage these conflicts, you have to master an awareness of your values (ALL OF YOUR VALUES--not just those you are proud of), how you prioritize them, how they interact as clusters to conflict/enhance other value clusters. It is a very, very complex thing to master. But, it doesn't take mastery to learn enough to successfully manage a healthy life.

Here, you have identified one such value conflict. In reality, every decision you make involves value conflicts. Every conscious action you take involves value conflicts. Don't believe me? Throw out some of the most benign conscious actions you can imagine, and then take a few seconds to think about how those actions will effect other areas of your life. Think about time spent. Energy expended. Whether or not that time/energy could have been better spent. Most value conflicts are imperceptible...thank God...or we would be mentally paralyzed. But too, many that need to be recognized, aren't. They are instead taken for granted, which leaves you to manage your life through the emotions that such conflicts produce.

You have to reverse this.

The best way that I know of is to establish that clear vision for your life...the one that acknowledges your top ten or fifteen values...the one that you can use to contrast the great majority of decisions that you make...whether or not those decisions will drive you closer to that vision or further away. It is IMPOSSIBLE to simultaneously grasp all value conflicts that you have. It is reasonable for you to take the time and energy to master the potential value conflicts involving your top ten or fifteen values. Not easy, but reasonable.

A few times a week over the next month or so, think about this. Have fun with identifying hypothetical situations to see the conflicts they might produce. Don't just focus on obvious sexually compulsive rituals...have battles between two healthy actions/options. Ones that involve multiple high priorities that conflict. For example, 'my wife want to go to Texas to visit her friend for our vacation; my kids want to go to DisneyWorld; I want to go to Yellowstone'. We can't afford any of them at the moment.

There are so many potential conflicts in that situation that I could spend hours breaking it down. All you need to do is to take fifteen minutes every now and then. Not on that situation, but on more relevant ones to your life. Make it a goal to develop proficiency in working through major value conflicts.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:00 am 
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm still thinking of your response to what I wrote about conflicting values. I'll look more into this.

After about 2 months of abstaining from my addictions and thinking that I was doing well it all boiled over this week. My girlfriend is overseas at the moment, together with being busy from work I guess emotional pressure has been building for sometime. Result = relapse into my addictions. The positive side has been this time I'm a lot more aware of what's going on. I can see my emotions and where the roller coaster ride takes me. The physical break is not enough at the moment, I think I'll start carrying my top 10 values with me.

Top 10 values (revisited)

*Have a respectful relationship with my girlfriend i.e. open communication, faithful, fun/happy
*Have 'me' time every day
*Exercise five times a week
*See friends 2-3 times a week and engage in meaningful conversation (not just sport)
*Eat good vegetarian food everyday
*Study most days ~ Recovery & Language
*Enjoy my sexuality, feel good about having a healthy sexual relationship
*Lead a balanced lifestyle re: working hours, social, exercise, girlfriend, sleep
*Have fun, search for new stimulating activities to do every week
*Be competent with my job, prepare for the day/week ahead


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:32 am 
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Step 6
It’s not acceptable to sleep with other women while in a relationship

Step 7
I will reduce then eliminate fantasies of having sex with past partners and prostitutes
I will not go to massage parlours except legitimate therapeutic massage places for my back/neck
I will not have any text or email contact with past partners without my partner’s knowledge
If possible I will try not to be alone with women in social situations
I will try to be aware of and then stop flirting with other women
I will tell students and other women I meet about the fact that I have a partner instead of ‘forgetting’ to mention it


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:13 am 
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Exercise 52

1. Consider a situation in life (outside of addiction) where this 'isolation' of feelings/emotions has been known to occur and/or might prove beneficial. For instance, certain Eastern practices where people can isolate the physical pain they are experiencing from their spiritual selves and thus, manage that pain with ease. And no, you can't use that as your example! There are thousands of such potential applications--albeit not as dramatic. Share this in your thread.

1) At University while cramming for an exam or doing an essay. Sometimes there was intense stress. By indulging in immediate gratification it would be easy to give up. By isolating the emotion from the decision making process it was possible to continue (uncomfortable but not life-threatening). The decision was based on values e.g. completing this essay is beneficial for my degree

2) Running races. There is strong urge to give up because put simply, it’s painful. When we isolate the emotion of pain and assess the options it’s easy to continue. Decision based on values e.g. completion is important to me, by finishing it reflects the hard work I’ve put into training etc


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:19 pm 
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************************

New start

************************

4 1/2 years away... time to start over....


Goal 1: to have the 73+ lessons finished by my birthday in January (and to really engage in them)
Goal 2: to investigate mentoring upon completion to aid my recovery and help others


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:12 am 
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Lesson 1 Exercises:
A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are:
1) actively committing yourself to change
I’m ready for change. This old destructive behavior is not good for me. Drinking is killing me. Sex addiction and masturbation addiction is wasting my time and resources. I know I’m ready to change, but I’m still stuck. Thinking I’ll put recovery off until tomorrow…
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
Not sure I totally understand this question. Do I feel guilt/shame about seeking help and changing to a healthier lifestyle? No. Do I feel guilt/shame about my current behavior i.e. is it deemed socially unacceptable? Yes.
3) allowing yourself time to change.
Have allowed a little over three months to get through the workshops. This will also be my goal for reducing medication. Realized that there might be slip ups on my road to recovery, but will commit to doing my best.

B. Beyond an active commitment to change, another important factor in determining your ultimate success is your motivation. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life. Don't stop at three or four obvious ones, really examine your life and what is important to you. Phrase these in the positive. For example: " I don't want to keep deceiving my wife" would serve you better if written like "I want to be honest and transparent with my wife". Positive statements have much more power in our mindset than negative ones. List these in your recovery thread.
1. I want to participate in healthy behaviours
2. I want to start a relationship based on love and respect
3. I want to be sober
4. I want to live a life free of sex addiction
5. I want to live a life free from masturbation addiction
6. I want to save and spend money on something constructive
7. I want to remain healthy physically (read free from sexual disease)
8. I want to have an honest, loving and transparent relationship
9. I want to have control over my life
10. I want to be a good role model to others, including my future family
11. I want to be a good son
12. I want to be a good friend
13. I want to lead a normal life
14. I want to use my time constructively
15. I want to be respectful to women
16. I want to be proud of myself for overcoming my addictions

C. It was good looking at the picture. I will keep in near my computer so I can look at every lesson. Try to focus on what it was like before addiction and what choices I made in certain situations that got me here today.


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