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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:14 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3955
Location: UK
Hi V4J

Quote:
I joined the website more than 10 years ago and still struggle with my triggers and compulsions
.,
Joining this SELF HELP site is a positive but it alone is not a commitment

Quote:
I haven't given up either.

Nor should you, but what positives have you undertaken to rid yourself of these damaging compulsions?


Quote:
YOU consistently measure the success of YOUR recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction.

YOU continue to identify YOURSELF with YOUR addiction and cannot imagine a life without such an association.


This realisation and subsequent admission can become a real turning point in your RECOVERY journey if you choose it to be
what do you have to lose
look beyond a life of addiction
do you want that? really want it?

Then choose to have it, this is not brain surgery it is simple step by step changes

let that belief that you have no choice go

you choose

_________________
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: Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:57 pm 
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Posts: 82
Thank you Coach Kenzo. I wasn't aware that the site is moderated. Your encouraging words give me positive energy to keep making effort towards a better and healthy life.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:15 pm 
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Posts: 82
Lesson 13:
I think I am in-between middle recovery and late recovery. In the past, I was impatient for success and so even a small effort would raise my expectations and I would soon lose my initial momentum for change. I wanted to be liked by people, I wanted to be with people. I am still a peoples' person, but I am also happy being with myself and working towards my goals. This is a BIG change for me.

I. Healthy behavioral patterns:

- I still do perceive "powerlessness" as "helplessness" and "desperation", especially when I am struck with triggers that compel me to act out. This is my most severe nightmare as I would often say, "just one more time cannot hurt".
- I have accepted that I have struggled with certain immoral behaviors that contradicted my values, but realize that what matters is what I am doing, not what I did. I realize that no successful recovery ever took place by changing the past, only by changing the present.
- My motivation to recover comes from the desire to live a life that I can be proud of, especially when no one is watching.
- I would like to make decisions based on what I believe is the right thing to do, rather than on what I think I can get away with.
- I am not focused on controlling/ending my past behavioral patterns, but on developing new patterns that will take the place of those related to the addiction.
- I do now see my life as a continuous process of growth and development, rather than an episodic book of starts and stops. (e.g. "When I was addicted" "After I recovered").
- I have some confidence in my ability to manage my life.
- I have some ability to produce the same emotional stimulation from value-based actions as I once derived solely from impulse-based actions.

II. These are the values that are inconsistent between my prioritization and how I am acting:
- I am still impatient for quick recovery as if that is the only end result that matters without giving the process a chance.
- I think too much, as a result I am lazy.
- I want to change all areas of my life, which overwhelms me. I quickly fall into the rut.

The healthy route that I have realized:
- making effort every day, as that comes before anything else. This is: lesson a day + my work (6hrs).


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:50 pm
Posts: 82
Lesson 14: Daily Health Monitoring

1. Did I make progress today towards healthy behavior by continuing with the lesson?
2. Did I engage in any compulsive behavior?
• If yes, did I maintain an awareness of the elements involved?
• Did I create a break as soon as I became aware of that ritual?
• Did I role play a past or possible future compulsive ritual to ingrain confidence in my ability to manage these rituals?
3. Did I make progress in my professional goal by doing quiet, deep work?
4. Was I tender to my wife at least once?
5. Was I gentle with my son at least once?
6. Did I remind myself about patience?
7. Did I make progress towards my health goal by exercising?
8. Did I do any spiritual practice?
9. What did I do for meaningful, joyous fun? Read/music/nature….?
10. Was I light and gentle?

. Name and the mind becomes aware…


Last edited by values4joy on Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:03 pm 
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Posts: 82
Lesson 15: Sorry the first part of the following post could be triggering

Hard truth: the workshop over the past two weeks somehow convinced me that I was on the mend, that the hard work was over. How wrong I was! I was at the mall yesterday and say numerous women in summery clothes, what to my addicted mind appeared as levels of nakedness. I was so fixated on them that my heart was throbbing and I couldn't take the 'pain'. I came back home and indulged in my ritual 'one last time'. Watching internet porn, looking for models that resembled the women I had seen in the mall, and then repetitive masturbation. Its been 24 hrs and I have lost precious time, but I am still in the throes of this blind tag game. Why me? Why now? Why even now? I cant answer these questions, except to somehow continue on doing the workshop and making progress in my journey...

Over the last few weeks, redoing this workshop has rekindled my belief that I can overcome my compulsive behavior. There are somethings that are in my peripheral vision - that I need to be patient, that the daily health monitoring need not be intellectual, that the daily health monitoring will somehow work, and perhaps my values will give me strength to live a healthy life. However, none of them is yet an active part of my life. But, I will continue...thanks RN.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:14 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 450
Hi V4J,

No-one on RN will ever judge you but the coaches and mentors are here to offer support, guidance and the occasional kick up the backside.
Quote:
I came back home and indulged in my ritual 'one last time'.

I don’t think there is a member of RN who has not had this thought go through their and most if not all of those who have gone ahead and then used it as an excuse. I would also say though that without exception each of those individuals will have immediately regretted it afterwards, as we always do. The truth is, it never is the last time that we have promised ourselves to be as we stick to it until the next trigger or opportunity arises and then that same promise is made again, only once more won’t hurt will it?? It is the very nature of the vicious circle that we find ourselves in as addicts and the only way we can get out of the hole is to make a firm decision to change ourselves once and forever and then to throw everything at making sure that happens. If you want to succeed then you need to get the tools to do that which are contained within the lessons and then apply them. In the meantime, as CoachJon says, knuckle down and avoid acting out when temptation strikes because it is going against your promise to yourself, it will become a lot easier when you have the tools and that should give you motivation to crack on. You must draw the line once and for all and not look back.

At the end of the day the choice is yours, no-one can make you other than you. But think back now to your ritual after the mall, was it worth it? Did it make you feel good? I suspect not afterwards, and it is crucial to keep that thought in the forefront of your mind, however tempting things can be, the only certainty you have if that acting out will make you feel rubbish afterwards, it is a clever illusion that it will give you something you want, but the opposite is always true.

So a moment of reflection on what you gained and what you lost this time, and then you hopefully realise that the bad outweighed the good you can have renewed vigorous to push on. Good luck with it.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:46 pm 
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Posts: 82
Lesson 16
Until recently I thought that my compulsive behavior had only a negative role in my life and so I will give it up 'soon'. That soon never arrived. And more recently when I have amplified my attempts to get rid of the compulsive self, I have become more aware of the positive role of the three main rituals I indulge in - fantasizing, watching internet porn, and masturbating:

- When I first started, the main role it filled was helping me to deal with loneliness and uncertainty, and even fear of future.
- then, escaping from my low self-esteem especially when it came to my laziness, and not looking after my physical fitness.
- Fantasizing, helps me to escape reality and 'crush' any celebrity or even strangers that I see. That way I feel more powerful than I am in reality.
- Mood altering porn and masturbation - lifts my mood anytime I want.

Yes, it is a chemical dispenser in my mind that gives instant gratification at any time. Except that, the real joy is enhanced when I defeat these urges - thats when I have a great relationship with my wife, can concentrate on my work, bond with my son, be physically active - in other words have a great time!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:50 pm
Posts: 82
learningtorun wrote:
Hi V4J,

No-one on RN will ever judge you but the coaches and mentors are here to offer support, guidance and the occasional kick up the backside.
Quote:
I came back home and indulged in my ritual 'one last time'.

It is the very nature of the vicious circle that we find ourselves in as addicts and the only way we can get out of the hole is to make a firm decision to change ourselves once and forever and then to throw everything at making sure that happens. If you want to succeed then you need to get the tools to do that which are contained within the lessons and then apply them.

So a moment of reflection on what you gained and what you lost this time, and then you hopefully realise that the bad outweighed the good you can have renewed vigorous to push on. Good luck with it.


Thank you coach L2R, you are absolutely right. The bad outweighs the good, every time. I am reminding myself of that everyday.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:40 pm 
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Posts: 82
Lesson 17
" From there, urge control and the ability to isolate emotions from values becomes a rather simple process." This is what I need, my goal.

Elements of compulsive behavior

At first, I thought that only a few elements applied to my compulsive behavior, until I read through the list and realized how all the nine elements had combined over the years to produce the intoxicating, out of control compulsive behavior.

1. Sight: I see someone in the mall, at work, on TV, in movies, in the park...can be anywhere. I get fixated by how hot the women look. I constantly scan my surroundings and very quickly identify women who I consider as hot. I try to get a closer look to imagine how they will look naked. Voyeurism is rare unless in the mall or in the gym when I can look through the tops as women bend down. Sometimes I wait at the window to see if the women in the neighborhood would walk past.

Touch in the form of masturbation is essential every time; in the past it could be multiple times a day.

2. Fantasy: my worst element. I can fantasize for hours, I have done it for many many years. I fantasize having affairs with the women I just saw, or with celebrities, or with TV/movie models - anyone. Even with neighbors. In the past I spent more time in non-sexual fantasizing, how I will help the damsel in distress and she would fall for me. Now, the fantasies are mostly sexual as I imagine them naked and having sex with them. I have only one delusion: that of falling in love at first sight with V and how she would be perfect for me. How I missed my chance of scoring a sexual exploit with her. The following is so true, "This type of imagery fantasy can be done anywhere, anytime, and can involve absolutely anything. This often translates into a tremendous loss of time and energy in the person fantasizing, and to do so frequently would involve the inevitable loss of that person's ability to reach their full potential. Frequently, this person would suffer from the inability to establish intimacy with long-term partners". Even when I am enjoying an intimate moment with my wife, I usually fantasize being with someone I saw that day or with a porn model. That is usually my way of achieving orgasm.

3. Danger: the danger is usually in the form of stalking a woman in the mall and try to catch her when she is bending down. The urge to masturbation is so strong that I often indulge in it in my office or the office washroom. There is a danger of getting caught - one time I was almost caught and that would have destroyed my life, my family, everything I have built. The thought of that incident brings me crashing down to earth, but yet i have continued!

4. Suspense: is mostly if I will get to see women that I consider "hot" in public places. One part of me is praying that I dont get to see anyone, while the other is excited about the prospect, the suspense that accompanies it.

5. Accomplishment: is always in the form of orgasm that must be achieved. Sometimes, if I am able to see cleavage or a part of a woman's breast while she is bending down I replay that 2 second moment in my mind for weeks.

6. Power: is usually in my fantasies where I am dominating (or sometimes dominated) by the woman I am fantasizing. In reality, I am quite shy, but in my fantasies I am powerful, dominating, and a very desirable man.

7. Past: My past is not demonic, but there are elements that played a huge role in intensification of my compulsive behavior - loneliness, boredom, insecurity, and lack of other values/accomplishments in my life that could enhance my self-esteem.

8. Poly-addictions: I am not addicted to food, but I cannot stop if there is good, tasty food around. It gives me comfort, especially when I am fighting my sexual urges, I have no willpower left to say no to food.

9. Orgasm: the final nail in the coffin so as to say, the most important peg. Its like a chemical dispensing machine in my mind that lifts my mood every time. All compulsions including people watching, porn watching, and fantasizing ultimately lead to orgasm through masturbation. Any stress, uncertainty, loneliness, boredom, powerlessness, and I indulge in my compulsive ritual to dispense the chemical via orgasm. Except that there is suffering, guilt, and lasting sadness once the instant gratification is over.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:50 pm
Posts: 82
Lesson 18
Situation 1: what a bizarre behavior from Jerry? And thats what someone else would say when they come to know about my own compulsive behavior. Bizarre. All this behavior, loss of time, energy, accomplishments, fulfilling life - just to self-inject a dose of chemicals into the mind that lasts only a few seconds! Bizarre. Anyways, back to the situation:

Sensory stimulation in the form of sight is an important element for Jerry. He is always scanning for the perfect woman with whom he could complete his fantasies for the day. Another is touch in the form of masturbation, first when is clicking the photos of his genitals and later when he is waiting for the right moment to reach orgasm through masturbation. Both exhibitionism and voyeurism are at play here. Jerry is a voyeur when is scanning women, and an exhibitionist when he displays his nudity.

The whole game is based on fantasy - how the woman will react when she sees the photographs that Jerry has kept for her.

Danger is always in play. When Jerry is scanning women at the store, he can be caught. He can also be caught while is masturbating in the locker or clicking photos of his genitals. The worst or the most intense danger is when Jerry leaves the photos at the doorstep or on the windshield - he could be caught at any time, especially as he is sitting in his car stalking and masturbating. Will destroy his whole life.

Suspense - the element of suspense is when Jerry is waiting for the woman to open his envelope. Will it be the same person, or someone even hotter? What would they do when they open it? Maybe they will like Jerry so much that he can have a sexual experience with them. Also, will he see a woman at the store who is hot? Will she pay by check so he can see her contact details?

Accomplishment - locating the woman later, leaving the envelope, her opening the envelope in front of him, and him having orgasm at the same time - all of these provide incremental accomplishments with the final act as the real gain.

Power - Jerry has power on the women he preys on because he almost forces them to look at his genitals. In his mind, he has power when he masturbates while looking at them or fantasizes about them.

Past - Jerry's past is not revealed here, but there could be several stories here. Perhaps, his life is too boring and he is too shy to do anything about it. So he hides his coyness in his compulsive behavior.

Poly-addictions - wasting time, energy, perhaps Jerry is fat too as he doesn't have the time or motivation to look after his body.

Orgasm: this is the final act, the one if reached at the appropriate time gives Jerry an instant high, that remains perhaps for 3-5 seconds after which he is returned to his sorry, guilty self.

My own compulsive behavior

I fantasize, watch porn, and masturbate until orgasm is reached.

Time: In another post I read how one would indulge in time wasting behaviors like watching useless youtube videos or going through social media posts to soften up the mind and then indulging in compulsive behavior. This applies to me on a daily basis. If I am struggling with compulsions but haven't yet given in, I will waste several hours doing practically nothing until my mind is so soft and willpower so low that I can transition into watching porn. While watching porn, I spend hours looking for the right model, doing the right acts that stimulate me. I am ready to masturbate at any time, but will not go with it until in my mind I am ready to ejaculate as I am satisfied with my internet searches, during each of which I can scan hundreds of videos.

Intensity: When scanning women, I know where to look. The intensity is enhanced if the women are wearing tight fitting, revealing, or low cut dresses. I will take a quick look at the place and then shortlist women that need a more thorough stare. While watching porn, I will scan hundreds of videos, incrementally increasing in intensity. However, my most destructive behavior is to continuously scan women, on airports, in malls, on roads while driving - anywhere and everywhere - this drives me mad. One part of my mind is tired and wants to escape this drudgery, while the other just cannot stop fantasizing at how hot these women will look when they are naked.

Habituation: This is more when watching porn, while in the past playboy images would do, now I am always looking for videos. The videos need to be more and more realistic, with high definition content, and longer and longer in duration.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:53 pm 
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Lesson 19
Actions for instant gratification but leading to long term chaos and underachievement have become the norm for me. Procrastinating work, fantasizing, managing stress and boredom through artificial orgasm...are some of the most ingrained elements in me. I will need to read this lesson a few more times to understand whats going on in the mind as I choose my actions.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:05 pm 
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Lesson 20

Compulsive behavior that I most struggle with
Compulsion that is mainly caused by endless fantasy when I come across an attractive woman whether in real life or on TV/movies and then just cannot stop imagining how hot they would look naked, to the point that it becomes so painful to bear as I move from fantasizing one woman to another until I can watch porn and masturbate to relieve myself. Over time this has become a dangerous energy/time sapping compulsive ritual.

1. Past examination
Growing up I was a healthy teen, I had friendships with lots of girls and I was confident around them. I didn't feel the need to ever stare at a girl twice, I was fun loving and there were a lot of activities I was involved in - sports, studies, getting together with friends.

Teen-adult: my first sexual experience was finding out that the girl next door was taking shower and the washroom had a window that opened on our side. I never did see anything, but I can still feel the magnetic pull of that experience as I hear the sound of running water next door. During this time I was also engaging in harmless fantasies, especially with women tennis stars, and also came across some nude magazines in a friend's house. It was mostly innocent still and my fantasies were not too elaborate or time consuming.

early adulthood: uncertainty, insecurity, loneliness, inability to work hard (laziness) - first reared their ugly face when I entered high school. I have grappled with these ever since.

College: as I was dealing with insecurity and uncertainty, I came across Playboy magazine and discovered masturbation. I still remember that day. I was alone in my room and the experience was electric, the excitement from orgasm was ecstatic. During about the same time, I started being compelled to fantasize whenever I came across attractive women. If I had been engaged in active sports or had concentrated on my studies, I wouldn't have gotten so dirty as I eventually did. Soon, fantasizing and masturbation became active elements to soothe my mood. Everytime I felt guilty, I would say this was the 'last time', it was of course never that way.

Marriage and beyond: I met a lovely life partner and have stayed with her ever since. But my rituals got more and more ingrained as I continued to manage life stresses through masturbation. There were rare days when I didn't masturbate. I got into watching porn and also compulsion to act whenever I came across attractive women became stronger and stronger.

A slight awakening: 10 years ago, I first realized that the behavior had become an addiction and came across RN. Started RN workshop, but soon the relapse took over. Career and other personal stresses were too much to manage and I quickly reverted to my compulsive behaviors. 5 years ago, I was fortunate in coming across the book, "Breaking the cycle: free yourself from sex addiction, porn obsession, and shame". This book is worth its weight in gold. For the first time I felt that I can break the habits. I have read and reread this book several time and since then I am in a much better shape. However, the pull of compulsions when I come across attractive women or mood altering porn and masturbation is still very hard to bear.

2. Future
There would of course be lots of changes and transition in future. If however, the addiction came back with its ugly head, I would be miserable, lonely, and pathetic. I will feel that I have not achieved anything in life, it would have been an empty, dark life not worth living. But, I can see how the compulsions can keep me in a mirage to manage my life through the artificial dispensation of addictive chemicals. Save me God from this hell.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:23 pm 
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Posts: 82
Lesson 21
A. Goal that I have tried and failed
I wish to work hard and achieve professional excellence. I have mostly failed it. Similarly, I wish to play guitar and I cant even after starting several times. Why? Because once I start I am eager/impatient for achieving the goal without putting in the boring, consistent work day after day. So once the initial euphoria wears away, I am distracted to something new. Moral: impatience to enjoy the success without enjoying the labor.

B. Goal I tried and achieved
One summer I decided to learn swimming. I would take lessons and swim daily without worrying whether or not I was improving. I just swam everyday and over summer I ended up learning to swim! Nothing great or earth shattering, I am still a pathetic swimmer, but I can swim!

C. Recovery goal
Completing the RN workshop by sincerely doing one lesson a day:

- putting in daily, consistent effort
- not worrying whether I am improving or not
- reminding myself to be patient


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:05 pm 
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Gosh, I am stuck on lesson 22 for the past month! Time to make progress...


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:23 pm 
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Lesson 22
"The progression never ends until a conscious decision is made to end it. Even then, a conscious effort must be made to find alternative ways of providing that stimulation, or one will simply find themselves engaged in other compulsive behavior." Absolutely. I have been trying to end my addictions without finding healthy alternate sources of stimulation. In the last few months, some keys are emerging - I like to take long walks into nature by myself, I like to listen to melodious music preferably with a cup of coffee or tea, I like to paint...the problem is that I am so far behind on my work that I never really have the time to spend on my likings. And the reason I am so far behind in my work is the time spent in ritualistic behaviors. Oh! How to end this cycle of pain?

2 Rituals: compulsive behavior when I see a woman who I consider as hot, and mood altering porn and masturbation. I will consider compulsive behavior here.

Compulsive behavior:

Primary elements: Sensory (visual), fantasy, danger, masturbation, orgasm, accomplishment.

Values:
Sensory (visual): 3, this is the primary behavior
Fantasy: 2
Danger: more in the form of excitement, 1
masturbation: 2
orgasm: 2
accomplishment: 1

Filters:
Sensory (visual)
Time: 8, as I keep watching the same person over time the stimulation goes down a bit.

Intensity: 5, goes up and down depending on clothing.

Habituation: 10, very strong effect, increases over time so much so that each new incident is more triggering than the previous one.

Score = 3X8+3X5+3X10 = 24+15+30=69/6=11.5

Fantasy
Time: increases with time, many time even memories of past encounters generate fantasy. 5

Intensity: the better I concentrate, more the effect 5

Habituation: keeps increasing if I dont control 8

Score = 2(5+5+8)=36=36/6=6

Danger (excitement)
Time: The more time I spend, the more dangerous it becomes which gives me thrill and excitement. 6

Intensity: the initial encounter is so intense that I am unable to stop myself. 5

Habituation: I am not looking for it. 1

Score = 1(6+5+1) = 12=12/6=2

Masturbation
Time: . 10

Intensity: increases until I masturbate, 10

Habituation: with time, the habit part has so engrained that masturbation is must. 10

Score = 2(10+10+10)=60 = 60/6 = 10

Orgasm
Time: increases till I reach orgasm, then subsides immediately. 8

Intensity: the more I can play out the person in my mind, more the intensity. 8

Habituation: the need for orgasm has become a habit. 9

Score: = 2(8+8+9)=50 = 50/6=8.3

Accomplishment
Time: more time looking at the person, more the accomplishment. 8

Intensity: very high in the beginning. 7

Habituation: always scanning for women in public places.10

Score = 1(8+7+10)=25/6=4.2

Overall = 11.5+6+2+10+8.3+4.2=42.
The strongest elements are visual sensation, masturbation, and orgasm heightened by fantasy and habit (the mind starts expecting the chemical release that will come from orgasm).


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