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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:41 am 
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Posts: 67
Emotional stimulation

In the past week, there have been three occasions when I went into compulsive m even when a side of me was trying to stop. I also tried to think about the emotional stimulation I gained from these behaviors. I couldn't identify any except a short relief from the tension that had built up inside me. I realized that the rituals (I see a hot image or a woman that seems hot because of her appearance or clothes, I fantasize, rationalize that I shouldn't do this, this further builds up tension untill masturbation seems the only cure) have become so engrained that the pace of events is too fast for me to even reflect on whats going on. I just become a rubber ducky that loses all control. Instant gratification and a kind of emotional release from tension is all I get.

I have to work harder on this.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:18 am 
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Lesson 20 (trigger inducing words below)

(1) Stages of addiction

I had a happy childhood. Dont remember being distressed or unhappy for long moments of time. The only drawback was that I had to change schools every couple of years as my parents moved to a new place - but I turned it into a strength as I became good at making friends. I also had lots of friends who were girls and I didn't really feel shy or constrained with them. I first felt an uncomfortable urge when I was about 15. Older boys would tell me how they were attracted to girls. I couldn't understand this because I liked girls but wasn't attracted to them. That was the first time I felt I needed to change something inside me. Though it happened more than 25 years ago, there was this one time when a neighbor of ours (I remember her to be a pretty girl) was taking shower in a bathroom that was adjacent to our house. I knew she was there because I could hear her inside and it made my heart race. I tried to peep in but didn't succeed.

I felt ashamed but still couldn't stop fantasizing her inside that bathroom (in fact I never managed to see her but fantasized this for years). That was perhaps the first innocent fantasy that I experienced. However, I didn't know how to masturbate and so I stayed at the level of fantasy itself. Later, in college I heard lots of boys bragging about their masturbation skills and I felt ashamed because I still didn't know how to do it (I was 18 at that time). One day, I was sitting in my room with an old copy of playboy when I felt my penis growing. Instinctively I rubbed it with my hand and soon had a warm feeling of orgasm. That felt very nice. Over the next few years, I practiced it almost daily, sometimes several times a day. The almost certainty with which I would experience orgasm and joy reinforced the habit.

During this time, I faced a major trauma as I had a standoff with some of my best friends at college. It was a misunderstanding that turned into a disaster. I was shocked when they ganged up against me and caused me a lot of emotional pain (though no physical injury). I was afraid and lonely and this event continued to affect me for several years after (even now I am unable to forgive them). During this time, I turned to masturbation more actively as it brought instant relief. I cannot say for sure that one caused another but they kind of happened at the same time. I started fantasizing about any hot woman I came across from teachers to fellow students to models on TV or in movies. Over the years, I told myself it was an innocent habit that I could shake off whenever needed.

However, I realized it wasn't easy when I started dating a girl who grew from being a friend to a girlfrind to wife. At every stage I tried to let go of my fantasy and masturbation habit. And when it wouldn't go away, I would just tell myself that it would in time. But it didn't. This filled me with guilt and affected the quality of my relationship with my wife. Even today I think that I donot have the level of intimacy with her that we both deserve.

My habit became more pervasive as I added rituals - including more and more internet porn, first still images and later online videos before masturbation. I wasted innumberable hours when I could have done so much more. Fantasy, porn, and masturbation became a source of everything - especially to experience relief in times of stress, to escape boredom, or even to celebrate a personal success or a professional achievement.

One day I came across a book on sexual addiction in the library. It had a small test in the first chapter and when I did the questions I realized that I was sexually addicted. Although I somehow knew about it, but this was the first time when the realization dawned on me with such a force. This was about 6 years ago. In time I found a website that was mainly devoted to alcholics but had a sub-section on other kinds of addiction. I joined the group and felt euphoric. However I realized after a few months that I wasn't going anywhere. Fortunately, one of the members mentioned Recovery Nation and thats how I came across RN about four years ago.

I started reading various posts and even began the recovery workshop. Again I felt euphoric because I identified so many things in the text that were similar to what I had experienced. However, I failed to let go off my addiction. Because I was impatient, because there was so much else that was happening in my life both professionally and personally. But, mainly because I was interested in quick results without putting in the hard work. This went on for a few months and I had lots of setbacks and finally a big relapse. It was almost that I had a magic pill but I wanted to wait before taking it.

I kept trying to return to RN workshops with partial success. And the porn, fantasy, masturbation kept on at the usual pace - except that I was more aware of what was going on than before. Finally, I made a commitment to end all of this, this year. At first I did very well with almost a lesson a day and large periods of abstinence not only from masturbation but also from porn and fantasy.

However, life took hold as there were some professional commitments that I had to fulfill. Over the last two months, I have tried to continue with RN as much as I can and I face setbacks and relapses quite frequently. I feel strong urges and triggers which I can sometimes win over but not always. However, I have not given up hope. In fact, with each passing day I feel confident that I will win in this battle. My compulisive behavior hasn't gone anywhere but I am more aware about it. I return to RN workshop and other recovery threads on a regular basis and remind myself about the commitment to end my addiction. I am putting in my effort with best intentions and I know that I will succeed.

2) Future

Its hard to talk about future though I often think about it. The biggest concern for me is that if I am still addicted when I am on my death bed, I will feel that my life has been a big failure no matter what else I achieve in my life. If, however, I can overcome the addiction and regain control over my life, I will see myself as a success and will be proud of my achievements till my dying day. That is clear to me. But my concious self plays games with me telling me there is time and I can postpone the change to another day, something I have done for more than two decades. I hope, I pray, I try that this process of change doesn't get postponed any longer and I can live the life that I was meant to live.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:43 am 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 21

A. Goals that I failed (not necessarily long term goals but goals that I have wanted to achieve for a long time)

* to lose weight
* to become more disciplined in my work
* to learn how to play a musical instrument

I have failed because of:

- a lack of commitment and the willingness to put in the donkey's work day in and out.
- bad habits including prioritising the present short term gain, instant gratification (enjoy the food this one more time; postpone work one more day, dont play the instrument if it doesn't sound good) over long term benefits.
- pervasive insecurity, loneliness, and potponing fun that would relax the mind and the body.

* I was reading someone else's post on this lesson and it is amazing how so many things are common between addicts. Perhaps the commonality arises from our inability to manage life, thats all. Anyways, the biggest long term goal that I have failed is ending porn, fantasy, and masturbation. The reasons I list above are still valid. But, I would like to add one more which hit me from the lesson today:

- Basically not having good habits that would fill the void left by bad habits. These bad habits or compulsions exist because of a reason - they do fill the mind with pleasure. Overtime, my mind has gotten addicted to this instant gratification yielding steriods. And this has happened because I have not picked up any other goos habits that will fill this vacuum and give me joy.


B. Long term goals that I have achieved:

* getting a graduate degree

I have succeeded because of:

* luck
* but, also because I kept at it. Because of my persistence, even if the progress was slow, it was steady over a long period of time. Wow, I never imagined that inspite of all the odds, pressures, challenging moments, and constraints - I did it. I actually did fulfill a long, long term goal of mine.

C. One recovery goal:

Strengthen my commitment to recovery.

(I) Dealing with bad habits (urges, triggers):

- read my notepad file on a daily basis
- visit recovery workshop on a daily basis
- only watch sports and news on tv
- talk more about personal issues and less about work with wife

(II) Inculcating good habits (to fill the void):

- remember that light exercise, meditation, and reading give me joy
- remember that spending time with family give me joy
- remember to become quiet
- remember that I need to plan at least one fun activity, at least for the evening when my mind needs relaxation and joy.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:09 pm 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 1
My motivation: I
- want to be free
- want to live a life of integrity
- want to be at peace, relaxed, deeply present
- not be troubled by my triggers, compulsive behavior
- want to be proud of myself
- want to live a meaningful life
- want to be happy, joyful which can only happen without the addictive behavior
- want to fulfill my dreams, aspirations...
- want to be rid of this distracted, meaningless life


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 195
values4joy wrote:
Lesson 1
My motivation: I
- want to be free
- want to live a life of integrity
- want to be at peace, relaxed, deeply present
- not be troubled by my triggers, compulsive behavior
- want to be proud of myself
- want to live a meaningful life
- want to be happy, joyful which can only happen without the addictive behavior
- want to fulfill my dreams, aspirations...
- want to be rid of this distracted, meaningless life


Welcome back Values4joy,
I see that it has been awhile!!!

What can I say, if you really want to change then RN will teach you how to deal with your behaviours and move on.
We will be here to support you, but it is down to you to stick with it and make progress.

Good luck with your new attempt!

_________________
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:21 am 
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Posts: 67
Thanks T for your support and positive feedback. I will try my best.

Lesson 2
Vision: my vision of myself and my life

I envision myself to be free of distractions that include compulsive behaviors, grounded, and deeply enjoying my work, producing quality outputs. I see myself being present for my family, caring for them and being recognized as a warm and light hearted father and husband. I see myself playing guitar for joy, making progress in my learning and taking on my other hobbies with excitement. I also see my spiritual practices being deep and my physical self in good shape.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:05 am 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 3
B: comprehensive list of values

1. Be aware of my present
2. Building competence in my field
3. Providing quality time to my work
4. Providing quality outputs in my work
5. Warm hearted person
6. Liked by others
7. Joyful and happy
8. Deep spiritual practices
9. Exercising for fitness
10. Dependable husband
11. loving father
12. grounded, in the present moment
13. quiet
14. playing guitar
15. improving in guitar playing skill
16. daily work
17. daily chapter on ending my compulsive behavior
18. distraction free life
19. meditating everyday
20. playing with my son
21. enjoying quality time with my family
22. achieving financial freedom
23. travelling to places I wish to visit
24. free of compulsive behavior
25. proud of who I am
26. high moral strength and courage
27. improving my professional competence through self-learning
28. regular quality outputs
29. positive contribution to society
30. enjoying life while being grounded
31. gently saying no to distractions
32. not affected by what others think of me

C. Dark values that led to compulsive behavior

33. living in fantasies
34. being loved by others
35. artificial mood management
36. disappearing from life by taking refuge in compulsive behaviors
37. artificial spicing up of life through fantasies
38. powerless against triggers and urges
39. avoiding work
40 coming up with excuses
41. postponing life
42. belief that I am great, without putting in the work
43. scared of being left alone, not saying 'no'
44. hoping that people think I am so smart
45. wasting time and energy in porn, masturbation
46. instant gratification
47. continue to imagine domination over hot women - mentally pleasing
48. living in a made-up world of my fantasies
49. not avoiding triggers or urges.
50. Giving in to urges every single time


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:50 pm
Posts: 67
Lesson 4
Prioritized values
A
1. daily chapter on ending my compulsive behavior
2. quiet
3. gently saying no to distractions
4. Providing quality time to my work
5. Building competence in my field
B
6. Deep spiritual practices
7. Exercising for fitness
8. Dependable/sexually intimate husband
9. loving father
C
10. playful
11. playing guitar
12. playing with my son
D
13. free of compulsive behavior
14. enjoying nature
15. travelling to places I wish to visit
16. achieving financial freedom


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:50 pm 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 5

Main decisions in life:
- entering into relationship
- marrying under trying circumstances
- grad school
- son

Yes, would make the same decisions today except perhaps the one about entering into relationship.

Practical/prioritized values

1. daily work on ending my compulsive behavior
2. quiet
3. gentle no to distractions
4. Quality, alone time to work
5. Building competence in my discipline

6. Deep spiritual practices
7. Exercising for fitness
8. Loving but with some formality with wife
9. loving father

10. playful, light
11. playing guitar
12. playing with my son

13. enjoying nature
14. travelling to interesting places
15. financial growth

16. strong man
17. fewer and fewer slips
18. controlling urges/triggers successfully


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:22 pm 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 6: Action plans

Action plans on top 2 values:

1. daily work on ending my compulsive behavior
- one chapter a day of the main book I use
- once that book is finished, then one chapter of another resource I have identified
- back to main book, then another...
- all other non-work reading is secondary, this reading is most important to me
- daily work in the morning can start with this chapter so that I feel accomplished in the morning itself
- recognize there will be days when I cannot get to it
- recognize there will be some slips in my behavior when I will feel this chapter work is meaningless
- don't let too many gaps, just get back to it whenever aware, without thinking or evaluating too much


2. quiet
- recognize deep work is the best way to be quiet
- start early (try different times and see which one is best over long time)
- sleep early so you can start early (try different times and see which is best over time)
- at least two shifts of 3-hour deep work every day
- be quiet, whenever aware
- don't try to win arguments
- smile and tenderness is better than talking and analyzing too much
- don't aim for too much efficiency
- good bye things for joy
- guitar, reading, coffee, nature, painting, coloring for joy


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:46 pm 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 7

Values 3, 4 and 5 have the same actions plans.

3. gentle no to distractions (mostly same as 'quiet')
4. Quality, alone time to work
5. Building competence in my discipline

- recognize deep work is the best way to be quiet
- start early (try different times and see which one is best over long time)
- sleep early so you can start early (try different times and see which is best over time)
- at least two shifts of 3-hour deep work every day
- be quiet, whenever aware
- don't try to win arguments
- smile and tenderness is better than talking and analyzing too much
- don't aim for too much efficiency
- good bye things for joy
- guitar, reading, coffee, nature, painting, coloring for joy
- deepening spiritual practices


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 12:20 am 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 7 contd.: Action plans

I can categorize my values into 3 broad groups:

1. ending compulsive behavior
2. professional achievements
3. personal growth

1. ending compulsive behavior:
- fewer and fewer slips
- controlling urges/triggers successfully

==> a chapter a day...


2. professional achievements:
- quiet
- gentle no to distractions
- Quality, alone time to work
- Building competence in my discipline

==> try 2 shifts of 3 hours each

3. Personal growth:
- Deep spiritual practices
- Exercising for fitness
- Loving but with some formality with wife
- loving father
- playful, light
- playing guitar
- playing with my son
- enjoying nature
- travelling to interesting places
- financial growth
- strong man

==> manly


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 4:53 pm 
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Posts: 67
Lesson 10
In many ways lesson 10 has been the hardest for me. When I read it last month, I was so triggered that I went on a frenzied trip for several weeks, fantasizing, imagining things, and acting out. It was very very tough to return to normalcy. Thankfully, there is a higher power looking out for me that brought me to my senses. Slowly, my brain started listening to me.

There has never been anyone in my life except my spouse. I have some deep friendships, completely platonic and full of mutual respect. And yet my mind fabricates stories on what could have been with one particular friend - V. She is married with kids. And we have known each other for a long time. Never has she ever indicated anything except warm friendship. But every so often, I go on a trip of fantasy where I seduce her in my mind followed by a sexual encounter. Invariably I masturbate within a day or two. I feel awful afterwards, both because I have a loving spouse and also because my friendship with v is equally warm and based on trust and respect. What would she think if she knew of my secret fantasies?

What else triggers me? Basically so much. A hot woman on road, in the mall, in a movie, in a photograph, in a meeting...anywhere can launch me on a trip of fantasy, compulsion, guilt, and shame. Afterwards, I spend hours watching internet porn followed by several rounds of masturbation.

Twice I have gone for body rub massages that I occasionally replay in my mind. Twice I have visited pros, one time leading to a full encounter and the other time nothing. I never want to remember these as I am ashamed of them like hell.

Here's what I have discovered recently; I have two basic issues that I need to address:

- I feel compelled to act out whenever I come across women that I consider hot, and
- I frequently alter my mood with porn and masturbation.

If I avoid these two activities, I am not missing out on any fun, in fact the joy in my life is enhanced.


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