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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:54 am 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values.

8. Be true to myself and know myself, including my true feelings and my true best interests.

--Learn more about the Mr. Nice Guy syndrome, including reading books like "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Robert Glover.
--Have the mindset that it's OK to think of myself and my needs, not just the needs of others.
--Spend time in quiet reflection to creatively visualize who the real me is and what he wants and needs. To let my mind wander freely over all possibilities without judgment.
--Reflect on values and interests that have been consistent throughout my lifetime. Determine true priorities.
--Learn how to be more assertive: read books, practice, seek feedback.
--Focus on my values and interests, not those that others may expect of me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:58 am 
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Good work GetAGrip! I like how you are breaking these lessons down into smaller pieces and making progress on them bit by bit. That's how to get there. :)

On your list of values. I like them. I feel like they are well rounded and give you a solid base. When I say 'base' I mean a solid foundation that supports you when some part of life gets unstable, so you can rely on these other parts that you are getting value from. I know in my list of values, one that I tend to lean on in times of stress is an appreciation of nature. When I'm stressed or overwhelmed, I try to go outside and at least look at the leaves in the trees swaying in the wind, or listen to water flowing, browse the garden, etc. It really helps. I hope your solid value foundation helps you in those times of need too!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:32 am 
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Thanks, River! It's nice to have some feedback. I would so much love to get out into nature but it's really hard in my location as typical weather from May to September is mid 90's temperature, plus 80-90% humidity. It's simply not comfortable outside. I am yearning for cooler winter conditions. In the meantime I might try to find a location within a few hours drive that might be cooler. I also get a less effective but still pleasant effect from looking at peaceful nature images online. Thanks again for the comment!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:54 am 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values.


To give up being such a control freak-- to know when to let go.
--Pray to/converse with HP about arrogance and humility. Oftentimes I am so prideful and arrogant that I think I have the answers for everything and that I can fix everything/everyone.
--Taking a cue from the traditional Serenity Prayer, learning the difference between what I can control and what I cannot control.
--Not being so prideful that I think I am the answer to everyone's problems. Sometimes leaving someone alone is the best thing I can do. My control attempts may often not be welcome.
--Live more in the present moment so as to not always be thinking about things/people I think I need to control.
--Efforts to control are in a loop with stress and anxiety, so practice relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values.

Be more aware of my feelings and how they may change during the day. Learn to express these feelings.

--Each hour or so, check in with my feelings. How am I feeling? Am I feeling differently than I was an hour ago? Why? What has changed?
--Understand that feelings can lead to urges and then to porn and/or overeating. Therefore, if I can identify and process the feeling first, maybe the urges won't arise. All emotions can cause me to want to escape to my addictions, but especially anxiety and happiness.
-- Especially focus on anxiety. Sometimes when it feels generalized or unfocused, it's because I haven't really taken the time to understand what I'm anxious about.
--Verbalize and/or write about my feelings daily. I can do this with journaling, writing to my accountability partner, or talking/texting with my sister.
--Pray to/converse with my HP for insights into my feelings.
--Learn not to judge my feelings or criticize myself for having certain feelings.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:42 pm 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values.


To help in small ways to raise awareness of certain global issues.

--First of all, I need to become better informed. For most of my adult life, I have kept tabs on current events and the news, but in the last couple of years, I have isolated myself and rarely read/watch news. Now I just skim headlines.
--Find and follow credible and relevant news sources on a daily basis.
--Possibly use social media to raise awareness.
--Possibly use social media to raise funds for certain causes. Find other ways of gathering financial support.
--Write to my elected officials.
--Possibly volunteer with organizations that raise awareness of the issues I'm interested in.
--Read books that make be better informed.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:24 pm 
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Lesson 10 Exercises:

I. Consider those lies that are still being perpetuated in your life. Who you are deceiving. Why you are deceiving them. Consider the 'risks' of coming clean. No need to do anything about these thoughts...just have an awareness of them.

I don't have a partner to "come clean" to but I do have an accountability partner from another site and I will continue to be honest with him. In general, and not pertaining to addictions necessarily, I want to be more honest with myself and with others about who the real me is, and stop hiding behind the Mr. Nice Guy and People Pleaser facades.

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior. List these items and their locations in your Recovery Thread. If you are uncomfortable sharing this in the forum, email or PM the list to a Coach.

I am a real worry-wart and I am careful not to leave evidence of porn use on my computer. I have this somewhat neurotic fear that if I were to get seriously ill or die, how horrible (but would it really be that horrible?) it would be if close family members found a porn stash. At various points, I have had a few folders on my PC desktop that were innocently named "airplanes" or "baseball" that had triggering images, but I always wound up deleting those folders for the fears I have just mentioned.

Just today I stopped following some boards on Pinterest that had images of women that were not in themselves pornographic but which could be triggers. I had been saving some of these images in a secret Pinterest board but now I have deleted that board. I just have to say "no" to all digital images of women or at least to actively seeking them out.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object. Post this in your thread.
VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/romantically compulsive behavior. Post this list in your thread.


These last two don't pertain to me because 100% of my addiction occurs on my PC or phone.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:37 pm 
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Lesson 12 Exercise:

I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.


This is a real can of worms for me, but it's a can I definitely need to open. The last two days gave me a lot of insight into the progress of my recovery. Early yesterday, I was hit by the idea that I am not taking my recovery nearly seriously enough. I felt like it was enough each day to do a lesson on this site, maybe write to my accountability partner, pray to my HP a little, and do a couple of recovery meditations. I realized that these small efforts were not going to be enough to see me through to recovery. I needed to take my recovery more seriously and integrate it into my entire day. But then I went into a state of hyper-recovery and today I remembered how easily I become obsessed with things. I was devouring every recovery quote I could find on Pinterest, saving the best ones, and reading and re-reading Lesson 11. It was an all-day affair. It seems to me that I do need to step up my recovery efforts in a significant way, but not to the point of making recovery a way of life. I felt like I had better balance today, doing quite a bit of recovery work but also taking some time to just relax and have fun. I just finished a couple of hours on my apartment balcony, having a cigar and a bourbon, just watching the traffic go by. (I'm a car nut and like to see what vehicles are passing by.) Plus, it felt so good to just set my phone aside and let my eyes focus on more distant objects and scenery.

In the lesson material for today, I was struck by the idea that sometimes we focus only on achieving abstinence, rather than having pleasant visions of what our lives will be like when we are well on the road to recovery. All I currently do is grit my teeth, try to avoid my triggers, and survive the day without addiction. I also need to have a picture of my future in which I acknowledge and deal with my emotions instead of turning to porn (or overeating, my other big addiction). I can see myself as a more self-confident, honest, and clear-minded person. I also want to see myself free of my erectile dysfunction, which may be partly caused by porn use, although other medical factors may be playing a part. Even though I'm 67, I would like to think I can still get my function back as I have a problem feeling like a man without my sexual function. So visualizing myself with healthy sexuality is another positive vision for the future.

So to me, it's a matter of finding the right balance: taking my recovery more seriously and being more diligent with my work on this site, but also not making recovery my life or defining who I am.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
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Hi Getagrip,

You have mentioned that you felt that you were not taking recovery seriously enough and then became obsessive about reading up on it. I don't think that you are alone in your thinking on this. CoachJon makes two relevant comments in relation to this:
Quote:
[Lesson 1]
"should you fail to permanently recover from your addiction, it will be due to your inability to fully commit to recovery"

and
Quote:
[Lesson 6]
"Your goal in recovery is not to learn to manage addiction, it is to learn to manage your life."

The first quote makes the point that you must be fully committed to recovery and to take it seriously in order to succeed. That said, many addicts are obsessive by nature and it is common place to try and swap one addiction (sex) for another (e.g. gambling, drinking, overeating, etc) It is also not uncommon to become addicted to the recovery process itself so there is a middle ground that needs to be achieved. For me, this is what the second quote above is trying to say, whilst the workshop is giving you the tools to effect your recovery it is really helping you to live your life in a healthy way.

So do take the workshop seriously and give it the reasonable time and effort that it deserves but also remember to start living your life in a more healthy way too. You painted a very nice scene on your balcony watching the world go by, so have this image in your head, as living your life with that degree of relaxation, satisfaction and a clear conscience is what you are striving for. These are your values that you are trying to pursue. If you are to become obsessive about anything then let it be about your values. Keep them in the forefront of your mind whenever you are making a decision. As SA will ditch their values for the sake of immediate gratification, so by keeping your values fresh in your mind and making every decision by them will keep you on the right path as your learning progresses.

I hope this helps and look forward to following your thread.

_________________
L2R

"Should you fail to permanently recover from your addiction, it will be due to your inability to fully commit to recovery"


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:03 am 
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Thanks so much, Learningtorun...

Yes, you're right. It's all about balance and living our values. I will go back and review my values and try to keep these more in mind as I shape my daily life during recovery. Yes, I am obsessive by nature (actually clinically diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) so I must be vigilant to stop myself when I find myself obsessing about anything, including my recovery and my recovery tools. Yesterday seemed like a good balance, and so far today, I've done some recovery work but I have also emailed my sister, found some cool photos of cars and planes on the internet, and done my laundry! And more time on the balcony in the evening.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:49 pm 
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Lesson 13 Exercises:

I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.

II. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If yes, wonderful. If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving/managing your recovery? Share your thoughts in the community forum.


At this point in my recovery, I see myself in parts of the first two phases. Combining everything, I see myself as somewhere between "Early Recovery" and "Actual Recovery."

Traits of Early Recovery that I display:
-- I still have doubts about my ability to recovery, although in the past week I have felt a surge of confidence in my ability to fully recover.
-- I do have a lot of negative emotions-- sadness, anger (more often expressed as irritability), and a lot of anxiety, but gradually these feelings are being replaced by more positive ones.
-- I do tend to "test the waters." Until very recently, I kept images on my computer of beautiful women, but in my way of rationalizing, these women were not "my type." However, I have seen in the past where even these images could be triggers to search for women who were "my type" so in actuality these "safe" images were not safe at all. I was particularly struck by the Lesson 12 definition of pornography that included all digital images of any kind that might even lead to a trigger. I have therefore removed these images from my computer and I have eliminated several categories on Pinterest I was following that provided these "safe" images. Looking at the healthy side of this, I have replaced these feeds with healthier, non-sexual ones.
-- I have experimented with other recovery techniques, such as listening to a series of guided meditations based on the 12-step programs, as well as following a Pinterest board called "Recovery" and saving images and quotes from this board. Today I deleted that board and will only finish the last two meditations I mentioned. My brain can only a certain amount of information and so I will focus my recovery on the Recovery Nation lessons.

Traits of "Actual Recovery that I display:
-- Increasingly I am motivated by a vision of what my life will become-- who I will become-- once my recovery is further along. In the past, I had focused only on abstaining a day at a time, with no vision of what an abstinent future might be like.
-- I want to do what is right, instead of skate around the edges of what I might get away with, e.g., the example of saving so-called "safe" images of women. If I see a pop-up image of an attractive woman in an ad, I keep scrolling, rather than looking at it or clicking on the link.
-- I am working on developing new patterns of behavior, although I would really like to find new passions, new pastimes.
-- I don't feel powerless anymore. A little shaky, perhaps, but not powerless. I do feel like I can control the outcome of my recovery, although I will always rely on strength from my Higher Power.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:52 pm 
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Exercise Fourteen

I. Develop your Daily Monitoring list. Construct it in some sort of word processing document (Word, Notepad, Wordpad, etc.) so that you may update it as needed. Post this list into your Recovery Thread.


1) Did I spend quality time today with my Higher Power in terms of prayer, meditation, and conversing/listening?
2) Did I spend time today doing healthy, enjoyable, relaxing activities?
3) Did I eat reasonably well today and avoid late-night bingeing?
4) Did I reach out to my sister, who suffers from a chronic illness, via text, email or phone call?
5) Did I get some physical exercise?
6) Did I practice simple relaxation techniques like deep breathing and doing everything at a slower pace?
7) Was I honest and direct with everyone I encountered today?
8) Was my contact with EKH healthy or compulsive, or some of both?
9) Did I have a smile or kind word or greeting for a total stranger?
10) Was I aware of the day’s feelings, either through journaling or conscious thought?
11) Did I spend my money wisely?
12) Did I live more in the moment and take time to notice the simple beauties around me?
13) Did I pause for a few moments during the day to make sure I am considering my own needs and not just being a “people pleaser,” concerned only about the needs of others?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:30 pm 
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GaG,

Quote:
-- Increasingly I am motivated by a vision of what my life will become-- who I will become-- once my recovery is further along. In the past, I had focused only on abstaining a day at a time, with no vision of what an abstinent future might be like.


Motivated by your vision instead of abstinence?

This is a monumental achievement.

Visions indeed evolve over time. Take a look again at your entry on Lesson 2. Are there some additional details that you'd like to record? Specifically about "who I will become"? If not, no worries. Just glad your vision is beginning to act as fuel.

Be Well,

Anon


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:42 am 
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Hi Anon...

Thanks for the thoughts. You pose some interesting questions. Yes, I am in fact more motivated now by a vision of my future rather than just achieving abstinence. What's interesting to me, though, yet exciting at the same time, is that although the idea of a vision for the future is a positive one, I am not sure what the vision is right now. It's foggy. I think that's because my addictions have made a mess of my emotions and my self-image. Therefore my current thinking, still in the early stages of recovery, isn't clear enough to know what my vision is. It's exciting to think that sometime soon, my thoughts and emotions will become more clear and will lead me to a vision that's in line with my values and who the "real me" is.

Thanks once again for bringing up some great points!

GaG


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:49 am 
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Lesson 15 Exercises:

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 think the daily monitoring list from Lesson 14 has proved the most valuable tool for me. It is a concise summary, in concrete, action-based terms, of how I would like to live my life each day. My daily monitoring list is based on my values and will be an important guide to me as a travel the road of recovery, and eventually shape my post-addiction life.


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