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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 120
Location: Ireland
Hands up - I am one of those half committed as L2R has called out..Why is that?
I got stuck on a recap of 'boundaries'a few weeks ago and instead of taking time to work though it I procrastinated...
I.am lucky to enjoy healthy food options and also enjoy excercise, how many people sign up to a new gym or excercise program full of commitment and gusto only to falter afzer a few weeks / months and look back in the mirror feeling defeated and a failure.
The truth is continuing ANY healthy lifestyle change is difficult with addiction being more difficult again.
If it was a case of just turn up, complete the lessons and then live the rest of your life free from any compulsion, even with that promise students would not make it all the way ghrough the program or ( like me) be so inconsistent.
Just like diets and excercise programs - if you eat less and excercise more YOU WILL become stronger and lose fat - its a biological fact yet very few do it.
Many join RM or similar sites in desperation and are committed to change theur ways...until things become difficult...
Thanks for the reminder, I have found this site a fantastic resource but I wont achieve anything if i don't commit to it.
I plan on doing that excercise on boundaries when I have a gap tomorrow night ( I am away for the night which brings its own triggers) and commit to using that time productively....

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"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:51 am 
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Location: Ireland
Oops! Just realised I posted in that in L2R's thread, apologies.

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"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
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I was interested to read Kenzo's comments on the Firm Commitment thread that Anon posted into the Community Forum. In particular there is reference to gaps being left which he felt hindered his recovery at one stage which may not have been altogether accidental. I can certainly relate to this as I know that I have gone through phases where I have tried to kid myself that I need to test my recovery by allowing myself to think about inappropriate behaviour before I then head it off. I know that in fact what I was trying to do was to allow myself to have a little taste of what I used to enjoy. This is just playing with fire and I noted on my second tour of the workshop that CoachJon comments that:
Quote:
If you are going to lie to yourself — play games with yourself...your recovery is a farce anyway.


Recovery will only occur if it is taken seriously, if dangerous games are not played with it and therefore if there is a full commitment.

Kenzo also wrote in his post:
Quote:
I know that my sex addiction is over and I am free


Those 11 simple words are the envy of almost everyone on RN. But Kenzo arrived at RN as we all did with his life turned upside down and wanting to change. He made promises to himself in his first lesson and came through the same workshop that is all offered to us. So why has his sex addiction finished whereas most of the rest of us continue to struggle? It is because he realised part way through that he was not doing it properly and in line with the guidance provided in the workshops. That changed and his full commitment took effect and there was then no turning back. That is full commitment and it is what we all need to sign up to if we are also going to succeed. The tools are all here to recovery, we just need to apply ourselves fully and CHOOSE WISELY.

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A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 361
I haven't posted for a while and have been putting it off because part of my can't face posting because I am always honest and don't really want to post that I am struggling. I also put pressure on myself to offer hope to others which (completely self-imposed) makes me feel like I need to be seen to live the perfect "recovered" life which I know is ridiculous but is how I see myself. I also don't like mentoring when I am feeling like this as I feel two faced in offer guidance (which I know is suitable guidance) to others when I am not necessarily following it myself.

I have been struggling for a few weeks now and have spent a lot of time trying to work out what the problem is. In some ways I feel like I am back at the beginning again because of how I am acting but I know I have learned too much for that. After a lot of reflection I think I felt that I had got to the stage where I had managed to avoid acting or thinking inappropriately and had achieved the holy grail of only having any desire purely for my wife only to find that she wasn't much interested. That is perhaps oversimplifying it but I also think that is the crux of it. She is not someone who likes to talk about feelings and emotions although I have tried so that door is shut. I have tried talking to her about our sex life (or lack thereof) a while back on a couple of occasions and that was also made clear that it was a conversation that was not welcomed. So I was then faced with a future with much uncertainty, I realise that sex is not the be all and end all but it does have a place and it is scarce. I tried to get myself into a position where I accepted that it may rarely happen if at all and to just take complete focus off of it which to some extent helped. But after a while I felt that I was becoming quite down and almost depressed. The wider issue is that 90% of the time my relationship with my wife is very good, we are like best mates and laugh and joke and get on well. There is 10% where we see things differently and if things are not done as she wishes then there is a very bad reaction to it which on the one hand I realise that I need to stand my ground at times (and experience the stress that goes with that) or (more often than not) I give in and then feel resentful that my wife has complete control over everything which irritates me. Conversations that I have tried to initiate calmly about this are short lived and not really tolerated. Over the Xmas break where I was spending a lot of time around my family I could feel myself getting dragged down and feeling depressed about it all.

I then realised I had started playing mind games with myself and playing trade-offs with myself by saying that I could better accept my lot if I made myself feel better by doing stuff I should be doing. Before I knew it I was finding opportunities for making myself feel better which was drifting back to a world of immediate gratification. It is a bit of a downward spiral as you can see it happening, it makes you feel rubbish then you need to do more of it to make you feel better and it only makes you feel worse.

I have mentally told myself to draw a line and start again countless times over the last couple of weeks only for me to allow it to happen again. So by posting to my thread I am making myself more publicly accountable so that I can't keep shifting the goalposts. The line is now officially draw in the sand again right now and I will commit to resuming healthy behaviour again from this point on.

You think that sex makes you happy because it has given so many pleasurable experiences over the years. But that is not right, sex has brought me excitement, it has not brought me happiness. In fact I would say that sex has brought me misery which is what brought me to RN in the first place. I reached a point last year where I was following all of the guidance on RN where at last I felt happy with myself and proud of myself too. I haven't felt that way for a while now and it is because I have stopped living my life that way again now. I have tried tinkering with the rules and despite me knowing deep down that that will spell disaster I have been stupid enough to think I could do it that way. It doesn't work, it is all or nothing which I why I put that in my sign-off and I get so irritated that I keep avoiding doing just that. Full commitment, what is it going to take for me to get that into my thick skull?

So, things which I need to focus on now so that I can get back on the right track:

1. Healthy masturbation does not work and trying to make mental justifications as to why it does is just a complete waste of time, I am kidding myself
2. If sex does not naturally arise in my relationship then it isn't a big deal, I need to adopt an approach assuming nothing will happen and then anything is a bonus.
3. I went several months on joining RN without masturbating and it was completely fine, there is absolutely no need for it and it was during that spell where I felt happiest. Get back there
4. I have set myself boundaries for a reason, stick to them
5. I will start weekly monitoring again knowing that I have avoided it recently because I knew I was not acting healthily (pathetic!)
6. If I am not comfortable with the 10% relationship issues then I need to find a way of dealing with it so that I do not find myself resenting what is going on around me. I can be assertive in dealing with things rather than letting my frustration build up and lead me to handle those situations badly

I do my weekly monitoring on Fridays so by next Friday I aim to be back on an even keel and will report back honestly and publicly on my thread.

Happy New Year (bah humbug!)

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:18 am 
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Posts: 361
I wrote this time last week that I would formally draw a new line in the sand and then would record my progress a week later.

It has been a difficult week in many ways but interestingly not in respect of my recovery. It has been incredibly hectic at work and probably as stressful as it gets with something particularly difficult to manage that came out of left field towards the end of the week. I knew that this would be a tough week so had readied myself to expect a lot of emotions to be surfacing and to anticipate a possible reaction to that. But however difficult it got I managed to take everything in my stride. It is the first time in a little while that I was not concerned about reading down my weekly monitoring list this morning and was able to positively answer each item. I have felt good about myself this week and I have not been able to say that for a bit which is satisfying.

Drawing a line in the sand is fine as long as it is taken seriously. I have achieved a week with no problem so another week should not be either. I am not going to be counting but the back of it has been broken and I can see a healthy path lying ahead of me again. Thank goodness for that.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:50 am 
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Posts: 361
I took the decision to read Coach Jon's story this week. There are strong warnings around this for those in recovery and I would certainly reinforce that as it would be easy to be triggered by a lot of what is being recounted until you have learned the tools to manage that. All of that said I found it fascinating.

There was so many tales recounted where I felt like I was reading my own story. The thing that particularly interested me is that he had this underlying theme that he knew he was a good person and that often stopped him from recognising himself as an addict. It is like someone who has a drink problem (I did) but does not associate himself with someone who drinks vodka out of a bottle in a brown bag as soon as he wakes up in the morning and therefore concludes that he isn't addicted to drink. (I was and I stopped successfully 2 years ago, same thing with smoking) An SA comes in all shapes and sizes and you don't have to be a serial killer or child abuser to have a problem with sex. A major first step in the process of recovery is being honest with yourself and recognising that you have a problem. Some members may be asking themselves that very question as they embark on the workshop but to be perfectly honest, you have already come to that conclusion by joining RN in the first place. So we need to let go of the stigma attached to the label of SA and just get on with learning and recovering.

The other big thing that I took from the story is that because of there being so many similarities between Coach Jon's story and my own is that he was able to recover fully and therefore there is absolutely no reason why I can not do that same thing myself. It is so easy to put obstacles in your own way (e.g. "I know that others have problems with sex that can be cured by RN but I am different and it has been going on for too much of my life for me to realistically have a chance of recovering" or "I understand the theory of the workshop that addiction or health comes down to making wise rather than unwise choices but deep down I'm not sure if genuinely believe that I have control over that"). We always have the opportunity to choose. Acting out does not just happen to us, we need to actually do something and make a decision to do it for the acting out event to take place. That means that we have made a conscious decision to go against our values on something and at this stage we are only too aware that it is an unhealthy decision. The workshop gives us knowledge so we can no longer play our ignorance cards. Does that make the decision to choose wisely easy? Of course not, it can be really hard at times but having gone through cycles of it being easy and it being hard over the last year or so I have been able to reflect on what was different in each cycle. When it was going well I had all of the key positive thoughts running through my head at all times and was very aware of what was going on around me. When a threat comes I am able to snuff it out almost before it starts which means that there is little or no stress left to manage afterwards. It is a quick habit to form and it leaves you with a warm sense of self respect for how you are now managing your life. When a bad cycle emerges I would say that I have become complacent, I became lazy and did not have all the good stuff flowing through my mind and I did not snuff things out quickly, I stupidly allow the reminder of the feeling of excitement from urges to arrive briefly before I cut it off. That is stupid and dangerous and very quickly throws me off balance and into a downward spiral. I would not allow myself to have a sip of alcohol under any circumstances as I know how dangerous that would be for me. Likewise, I can not allow any urges to develop, however briefly, for the same reason.

I am someone who tends to learn things the hard way at times and my recovery is certainly testament to that. I can not let my guard down, ever, and I must keep all of the positive thoughts and trigger snuffing in place constantly. Recovery can be hard work at times but it is achievable, the tools are all here but it requires total commitment WITH NO EXCEPTIONS and a confidence that I am not different from other SAs and that if Coach Jon can recover then so can I and I will.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:43 am 
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One of the points made in the workshop is that there can at times be a difference comparing the theory of the lessons to how things work in practice and whilst taking on board all of the learning from the workshop it is also important to realise that in practice there are other challenges to take into account too. One of the most important ones is that we are human beings at the end of the day which means that we have emotions (and an SA has more than their fair share of these!) Naturally, then, something that seems quite straight forward one day to us when we are feeling fine can appear far more challenging the next day if we are feeling differently about ourselves.

We all know that emotions are one of the cornerstones of addiction and if we are in a negative mood (e.g. tired, angry, depressed, bored, whatever) then we are far more vulnerable to triggers and we need to be aware of our mood and be more vigilent. Whilst the learning from the workshop is being digested and the approach towards triggers is being automated, I feel that it is important to have proactive plans in place for handing triggers as is outlined in the lessons. Each person will have their own plan to suit their own needs but there is one thing that was mentioned by CoachJon in the workshop which particularly resonated with me. This point was also made in the book that I used to give up smoking a number of years ago. In many ways the principles of both recovery approaches were broadly similar looking back and the key part revolved around expecting to have moments when you will be triggered (e.g. negative mood) and to have a sudden overwhelming desire to go and buy some cigarettes and have one. The book talked about trying to calm yourself down in order to make a rational decision. Some days I found this easy (when I was in a positive mood) and other days I found it difficult as I was constantly being bombarded with urges to have a cigarette. At the height of an urge where you are clearly struggling and you are reaching the point of no return the book (and CoachJon) suggests that you ask yourself "What is the problem, are you actually in physical pain? If so what actually hurts?" I found this very helpful back then and I also apply it now. Thankfully most of the time I can ward off urges almost before they happen as I can sense them but I also have days where I am tired or bored and these become more challenging. When I ask myself what actually hurts it puts things into perspective, I am actually in no pain and I know that if I switch off and think about something else that I will be calm again within a minute or two. I have become so used to this with smoking that I no longer need to use it for that which gives me encouragement that, in due course, the same thing will happen with my sexual addiction. It is like that part of the your brain that wants to throw temptation your way eventually gives up because it realises that it will never be successful.

It is a helpful tool for me and others passing by may also benefit from this tip.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:14 am 
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Over the past few weeks I have been really struggling again. I have become very complacent and have not been undertaking monitoring or reading through my action plans in order to keep things fresh in my memory. It's laziness and that means that when I meet with temptation I am not as prepared as I should be which is a recipe for disaster. I have got quite annoyed with myself because I have been through the workshop twice now and am confident that I understand that theory of what is being taught and it makes perfect sense to me. However, I appear to have a mental block at times when I am trying to turn the theory into practice and my own situation which is nonsense. I can go through spells of weeks and months where things are fine and I can head off potential urges almost immediately with ease and then I will hit a brick wall. I think that the timing is probably related to the strength of appeal of the urge concerned which means that minor urges are fine but larger ones cause me problems. It all points to the groundwork that I have done not being enough and I need to strengthen and reinforce what I am doing.

I have spent the weekend doing a lot of reflection and have come to some realisations. I think that a big part of what has thrown me on many occasions is coming to terms with reaching a healthy stage of recovery which will leave me to focus solely on my wife in terms of intimacy and a healthy sex life. She has a lot of things that she is trying to deal with (health and otherwise) where her interest in sex is limited. I have tried to talk to her about his on two occasions in the recent past and it was made clear to me that these conversations were not welcomed and we should just see how things happen naturally. I decided not to mention it again and we have now gone several months with no sex life. I actually don't blame her for this, I have no doubt that I am at least partly to blame for her lack of interest but I need to find a way of managing this for myself. I have come to the conclusion that I need to make a vow of celibacy to myself. This may sound dramatic but it is the only way that I think I can get my head straight where I have no expectation of anything sexual in my life at all and I think I can cope with that. Dipping in and out of sexual thoughts causes me problems and, much like my issues with alcohol, it is easier for me to prepare for there being nothing rather than occasional things from time to time. A close loving relationship should not be about sex but rather intimacy and I have made a point over the last year or so of being more tactile with my wife but have found this difficult as it makes me realise how much I want to make love to her which then can't happen and throws me off. If you remove sex from the equation then my wife and I get on really well on the whole. I feel that this approach will just take a lot of tension away and will make our relationship easier. I have been mulling over what happens as and when my wife is interested on the odd occasion but I think I will cross that bridge a bit further down the road.

I have been giving a lot of thought to what I want from my life and it is living in my current home with my family. If I can stick to what I have proposed here then I see no reason why that can not be the case for the rest of my life. I have tried to put what I am striving for into a few words and came up with "A clean life; a clear conscience". I know that achieving this will bring me happiness and I will make this phrase core to my action plans and my approach towards recovery. I have replaced this in my sign-off too in order that it is in my face at all times on RN.

I am reworking my action plans and monitoring plans. I will resume daily monitoring for the next couple of weeks and the revert back to weekly and in the meantime will resume reading through the lessons again for a third time. Coach Jon talks about failure being when you give up and turn your back on recovery, I still have a lot of fight left in my and I will overcome this.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3793
Location: UK
Hello L2R
Quote:
Over the past few weeks I have been really struggling again.

great that you recognise and then decide "choose" to act upon this fact


Quote:
I am reworking my action plans and monitoring plans. I will resume daily monitoring for the next couple of weeks and the revert back to weekly and in the meantime will resume reading through the lessons again for a third time. Coach Jon talks about failure being when you give up and turn your back on recovery, I still have a lot of fight left in my and I will overcome this.

:g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g:

your journey continues, you will succeed because you have chosen to do so, look how far you have come thus far and applaud yourself for doing so

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Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 292
L2R,

Next month will make 2 years since you joined RN. My 2 year the following month... we’ve been through a lot my friend.

Although your recent posts discussed struggle...
Quote:
Coach Jon talks about failure being when you give up and turn your back on recovery, I still have a lot of fight left in my and I will overcome this.

I know this to be true. Should you feel inclined to return, know there are many here standing in solidarity with you no matter what season of life you stand in. Wishing you much health as you live
Quote:
"A clean life; a clear conscience"

Be well,

Anon


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