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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Hard to control fantasy

I am finding it difficult to control fantasizing today. Summer means the dresses get shorter and with that the flight of fantasy and the accompanying acting out is really hard to stop. Watching women creates a stress and I have been acting out on it (fantasy, followed by porn/masturbation) for years. I am holding on till now and praying that I stay like this. Why, because fantasizing and porn are against my values. Perhaps I will feel proud of myself when I can successfully win over these urges even without thinking about them...


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Lesson 13: Healthy recovery Patterns

I. Patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery.

•Often experience significant doubts relating to ability to change.
•"test the waters" of recovery by attempting recovery for a few days, then acting out.
•Explore many different trigger situations to see how well I can handle myself.
•Experience relief in having my behaviors understood, and immediately seek understanding in all areas of life. Unfortunately, this tends to overwhelm, distract, etc
•Many similar traits as to those in the "Those Who Will Occasionally Struggle With Relapse" category above.
•Perceive "powerlessness" as "helplessness" and "desperation".

Middle Recovery : "Actual Recovery"

•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.
Motivation to recover comes from the desire to live a life that I can be proud of, rather than a desire to create the illusion of a life.
•Make decisions based on what I believe is the right thing to do, rather than on what I can get away with. I know that whether these decisions end up being the right ones or not is irrelevant. That all that matters is that they were made with the right intentions in mind.
•Not focused on controlling/ending past behavioral patterns, but on developing new patterns that will take the place of those related to the addiction.

The following are what I would like but haven't experienced yet:

•Relapse triggers are experienced not as a threat, but an opportunity.
•Recognize failure as a learning experience--but only when that failure occurs with on-the-spot sincerity, as opposed to pre-planned deception.
•Recognize that the feelings that I am experiencing are the same feelings that others deal with every day in many different situations. That I am not "defective", but "deficient".
•Identify future as a healthy person that once used addiction to manage his life; not as an addict that is managing his life with healthy behavior.
•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").
•Take a long, hard look at anything associated with the destructive past, and voluntarily make the decision to remove these objects from life. This refers to pornography, fantasy, etc.

Late Recovery : "From Recovery to Health"

•Complete confidence in the ability to manage life and moving forward with my dreams in a rational, planned manner.
•No longer avoid "trigger situations" as I have developed the skills necessary to make confident, healthy choices in just about any situation I may face.
•See my past as something rather unbelievable. Can sometimes achieve distant emotional connections with those behaviors, but can no longer visualize a situation where the pleasure once achieved would be worth the risk of all that would be lost inside. Not be able to comprehend a situation where such a risk would ever be taken.
•Ability to produce the same emotional stimulation from value-based actions as once derived solely from impulse-based actions.
•Eliminated all previous connections to recovery, except that which will be included in the ongoing plan for a continuing evaluation and assessment of my life. I no longer associate myself with addiction, but with health.
•Significant others tend to experience people who have made this transition with greater respect and admiration then they ever had previously for the person. Additionally, trust and closeness in the relationship will take on a very real quality. One that has never actually been present previously--only assumed. The partner's believing in the "recovery" will no longer be a matter of crossing their fingers and hoping, but of having no doubt.

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.


Two most important reasons for unhealthy recovery patterns:

1. My laziness (e.g. I can intellectualize, plan, but not put in effort. I haven't yet completed my proactive plans)
2. Need for instant gratification (instant returns, instant relief, instant orgasm)

The above two are in conflict with my vision and prioritized values. As I read through my values I find that they make sense and are in harmony with healthy recovery patterns.

Vision
To be healthy - physically, mentally, and spiritually. In my work, to have a positive impact on the society from which I derive satisfaction and recognition. Build relationships of love, trust and respect with my parents, spouse, children, family, and friends (but sometimes allowing them to take the first step too). Be financially secure and live in a beautiful place that gives me joy. Become part of a community where I belong and where I provide service as a way to nurture myself and the community.

Commitment
I commit to no porn (alone) and no fantasizing. They are at the crux of my problem and produce anxiety and compulsive behavior.

Why?
- it is crucial to my happiness - personally (not looking on my shoulder, being in control of myself),
- I want to be professionally productive and concentrate on my work, producing regular outputs,
- feel proud of myself as a familyman.

Values
1. In control of myself, free from addiction – spirituality
2. Physically healthy - exercise regularly
3. Spiritually healthy - read, meditation and healing breathing
4. Focused on accomplishments/outputs – not wasted by distractions
5. Warm and intimate relationships with family and friends
6. Joy – losing myself in activities that relax (enlightenment, cooking, music, nature, travel)
7. Belief in myself
8. Trust in God
9. Financially healthy - savings, investments
10. Perseverance – keep walking
11. Relaxed – in the moment
12. Celebrating the opportunity to help others
13. Doing, rather than thinking or planning alone
14. Quality work with positive impact on society
15. Connectivity with the world and the community


C. Dark side
1. Urge to satisfy 'now'
2. Too much pressure to succeed
3. In ability to relax completely
4. Negative body image
5. Suscept to triggers
6. Taking up too much emotional stress
7. Fantasizing, dreaming too much
8. Want instant gratification
9. Too much planning, little action
10. Too much thinking, little action


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:42 am 
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Lesson 14: Daily Health Monitoring (stage 1 started on May 8, 2012)

1. Did I participate in active recovery today? How did I feel?
2. Did I face triggers and urges to watch porn/fantasize/masturbate today? Did I deal with these urges effectively? If not, was I aware that I had decided to ‘act on them’?
3. Did I participate in some spiritual activity today? What was it? How did it feel?
4. Did I show love and tenderness to my wife today? If not, why?
5. Did I attend to my son’s needs today with pleasure? If not, why?
6. How much effort did I put in my work today? What were my outputs?
7. What was my biggest stress/distraction today? How did I manage it?
8. Did I do something nice for my body today? How did it feel?
9. Was I content and grateful to God when I went to bed today?
10. What gave me the most joy today?


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:22 am 
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Posts: 1377
Hi Values

Very interesting to read your recent posts. What I would like you to do is to think deeply about the connection between using pornography and mastubation and the sense I have of your emotional ups and downs - you talk at one point about the difficulty of keeping your mind still.

this is very common here. my own basic pattern went something like this:

1. Begin worrying about something - work for eg.

2 Feel that upset feeling in my stomach. A slight dizzy feeling.

3 Want to get away from those feelings - and the worries beneath

4 Move into my practical sexual rituals - of fantasy, searching for porn and masturbation

5 feel relief and then guilt and then finally the worries return.

Linking fantasy to distraction may be a key for you. Realising too that the distractions are futile and unhelpful may also be key.

I think it will help to continue thinking how you began this emotional attachment to masturbation - interesting to read that it gave you a sense of comfort, that has had a negative effect on your relationships.

Learning to communicate these issues openly and clearly is another way out - talking openly about our weak points is very hard, but it leads to a new levvel of confidence.

As with so much in recovery, awareness is key. This can be practical and short term - the kind of awareness you detail in your Health Monitoring. In other words, awareness of your sexual feelings, your rituals and your emotional wellbeing.

But there is s deeper, or possibly a broader kind of awareness. Of who you are, who you want to be - how you got where you are and where you want to go. This awareness is pretty much the same as honesty. There is no point running ffrom who you are. But learning to accept who you are will help you become who you want to be.

That sounds vague, I realise. What I mean is, don't hide from your compulsions. Accept them. Take responsibility for them.. In doing so, you shold realise that you can change. You ccan change everything, It takes time but you can do this- by crreating new patterns and structures for each day, both to stop negattive patterns and to create positive ones.

This is practical and real. It might be getting to bed earlier, limiting the use of your computer, getting exercise, going on date nights. Be open and clear and calm. This allows you to think clearly and feel clearly. This fights the laziness you talk of, tthe lack of direction. Plans breed awareness which fight the drift that allows our reliance on compulsive behaviours.

Take care

Shaw


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Hello Shaw,

Thanks for your insights. I appreciate your frankness in sharing your own experience with me. Over the last few weeks I have realized that my urge to watch porn, or fantasize and then indulge in compulsive masturbation arises due to either (or combination) of the following two states of mind:

- I have found this as the coping mechanism when under stress, anxiety, or anger. This acting out creates my personal haven, an instant relief mechanism that has been reinforced by years of repitition. In fact, the subsequent guilt is a part of this ritual. A more objective analysis has shown me inklings of how to separate the behavioral part from the emotional part, but I am still far from complete success. My intellectualization is part of the problem and so I want to focus on recovery process, putting a good and honest effort everyday.

- a lack of confidence about my physical sense plus general insecurity, resulting in compulsive fantasizing and masturbation whenever I see 'hot' women in person or in print/online/tv/movies. In these fantasies, I can escape reality as I am the one in control, the one who is wanted. Regular indulgence in this behavior accentuates insecurity and negative body image instead of addressing it. The habit to intellectualize comes here handy.

I am making progress with the recovery and I will continue with my effort, neither feeling euphoric when I see a positive change not falling with guilt when the slips happen.

Thanks again for writing.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Lesson 15: Perceiving addiction.

Its amazing, the following lines from the lesson describe me completely:

"You will begin to see that sexual addiction did not just happen through fate and/or genetics, but that it developed quite naturally and quite logically through your own lack of effective life management skills.

A person can develop sexually destructive patterns not by trauma, but by a progressive pleasure/pleasure pattern where both the introduction to sex, as well as the natural ongoing development of sexual values produce positive emotional fulfillment. In such instances, additional behaviors are added to the sexual repertoire to further expand this pleasure. Much like the altering of ingredients when baking a cookie--more on this later. Eventually, while only pleasurable sexual experiences have been accumulated, there comes a time when NOT engaging in sex becomes emotionally uncomfortable. Or when other stressors develop that far exceed the ability of that person to manage them through other values. This then requires that sexual activity be engaged in to escape from the stress and regain the feelings of comfort and stability.

Why the behavior continues is likely the same reason why all compulsive behavior continues: because it has become an efficient way to manage your emotions."

Yes thats me. I was introduced to masturbation by a random discovery, found it an instant relief and got addicted to it over years as it became the most efficient way to deal with everything going around me. But no more. I have discovered how this compulsive behavior has distorted my sense of reality, affected my relationships, and my self-esteem. I am ready to be free of this behavior for myself and for my loved ones.

I. What I have learnt and integrated in my day to day life in the last few weeks:

I have realized that even the simple meditation/healing breathing done everyday has a profound effect on me. It helps to keep my mind still and calm, which in turn helps me to stay away from urges and triggers much more frequently than ever before. Plus, I have realized that putting in effort is much better (and more rewarding) than lazy intellectualizing. This realization has helped me to keep on doing recovery lessons everyday. Again, that has convinced me that complete recovery and freedom from my compulsive behavior is possible.


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:52 am 
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Posts: 1377
Hi Values

Good work here. I think understanding the role fantasy has played in your life is important when unpicking its power. I share your need to impose control on chaos. I think on RN we also dont discuss the importance that feeling attractive has in our fantasy.

This has been a recent thought for me. That one reason I used porn was to imagine that I was attractive to these women. But they were two dimensional and illusory - as was my fantasy.

To put this in a more constructive mode. What else can I do to make me feel more attractive? How can I change my body image? I have tried to exercise more - on and off, but not too bad. I have lost some weight by cutting back on wine and chocolate- two other possible compulsive areas.

I have tried to be honest about the way I feel about my body - not just lacerating but honest. I am, like, ok!

Most importantly, I have tried to reach out to my wife. My sense of attractiveness is not just self-generated. It can be because my wife finds me attractive. This leads into questions of exxternal validation. Of intimacy. Of depth. And of love.

One issue builds a larger picture.

My questions is what can you do to address your insecurity in these areas? Not just thought but action too. Practical solutions work - they also teach you about more slippery ideas and values. These thoughts in turn push your actions. And you create new rituals only healthy this time.

Take care out there

Shaw


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Dear Shaw,

Thanks for sharing more insights. One thing that has helped recently is daily walking. Hasn't done much on the weight front, but just being on my own and walking along with trees - even if going on the same route everyday tends to strengthen my feeling of well being and self esteem.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Lesson 16: Positive roles of addiction

When I first started fantasizing/watching porn, followed by masturbation, it was a random discovery, almost a process of coming of age. But the orgasm and the joyous feelings it released in my brain had me hooked for a long time to come. Cannot believe it happened, but it did (and can happen even now if I am not cautious and cannot see the triggers coming). For me, the process of porn - fantasy - masturbation is exactly the way it is described in this lesson. Some positive roles it has filled over the years:

- escape from reality into my fantasy world where things happen as I want them to. It has let me avoid growing up, as I could imagine, 'older, more experienced women' teaching me the joys of sex.

- dealing with my persistent insecurity since childhood. However, I have only realized recently that my complusive behavior actually accentuates my insecurity.

- good way to deal with loneliness. Again, the periodic cycles of porn/fantasy and masturbation actually intensify the loneliness.

- helping to deal with fear and any other negatives (stress, anger, loss of control) that my environment throws at me.

- Not expensive in terms of money spent. I have never bought any online memberships or even expensive dvds. However, I started finding out how costly it was in terms of a waste of my time and the joyous moments that I was missing out when I could have been with my family. In time, the simple act of watching photographs was not enough so I moved to videos and then to watching porn in office. Thats what scared me - it was a really dangerous act, but gave me thrills spending hours watching online porn in office. But then the guilt that followed, would almost take me into depression. There were like unending crests (high from watching online porn in dangerous situations, masturbating in office toilets) and troughs (feelings of shame, fear of discovery, extreme guilt and paranoia). However, when I was unable to control this, even when I wanted to, was the time when I realized I had serious issues with compulsive behavior.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:25 am 
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Just failed

I just failed once again. I had this burning desire to do another lesson on recovery workshop and instead I decided to catch up with work. Soon, the stress built up and I was drawn into porn, and masturbation. I feel awful because I should have listened to myself. Need to learn how to control urges and triggers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Hiatus

The last two weeks, life took over and I lost all sense of my recovery. Its not as if I returned to porn, but I did lose my control. I was busy, but what took away my joy was not being grounded, or focused on my values. But I am back. And I have also been wondering why do I want to end my addiction.

Because:

- it is crucial to my happiness - personally (not looking on my shoulder, being in control of myself),
- I want to be professionally productive and concentrate on my work,
- feel proud of myself.

Otherwise, it takes away all my mental space and thats why I have been unable to achieve my true professional potential and happiness all these years. I dont want to die unfulfilled. Plus, it does not let me enjoy my true happiness with family and friends as my mind is always occupied, never free to focus on things for long or for creative tasks. I feel guilty and never in control.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:59 pm 
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I am stuck

I have been stuck the last three weeks. I made good progress for the first several weeks when I started recovery but over the last few days, I am just stuck. And with this, my compulsive behavior has returned. I am not in a relapse, but in a non-action kind of situation where I am unable to take charge. I do not want to start at the beginning and yet suddenly I cannot make myself pick up the next lesson in the workshop.

Fortunately, I came across coach Mel's insights on values and creating a vision for yourself. This is what I need right now. Its time to reassess myself a little bit, reflect, and move on. Its a little overwhelming, but I am going to try...

-------------------
A huge part of the work of healing and recovery has to do with creating and connecting to a vision for our lives. The more I experience life, either through my role here as a coach, or in my personal life, the more strongly I feel that vision work is cornerstone to living an empowered, health based life--regardless of whether or not one's life has been impacted by sexual addiction. Creating a vision for our life, extracting and deepening the meaning we derive from our values, is not something that is taught in schools and sadly, it is not something that we are often intentionally taught by our families, either. Not surprisingly, it is the part of the workshop with which many people struggle and get stuck on and is what motivated me to I write this "how to" for creating your vision. This is an incomplete work in progress, and I am not certain how it will unfold exactly but as it does, I will post the updates here, in this thread. I hope that you will find these exercises useful and practical, inspiring and motivating you in creating your life's vision!


A well thought out vision, one that considers the totality of your life, will serve you well--especially when you are met with conflict or major life decisions!

So, how does one go about creating a vision for their life? Good question! Most of us have never done this kind of work before, so being given the task, especially so early on in the process of healing and recovery, can seem daunting. This is why I decided to write this little "how to" on creating an effective vision. Let's begin. First, read through each exercise. Do them all, or choose the ones that most appeal to you. I suggest at least 3, including number 5. The more you do the better, as each one will contribute something to the others, but it really is up to you! Just like the workshop--and life--what you get out is relative to what you put in!

1. Start at the Very End. This one is a little confronting for people who may not deal well with the idea of their own mortality, but let's face it~we are all going to die, sooner or later! But, as the quote goes, "are we truly going to live"? Yes, you are and your vision is going to show you the way! Imagine that you are able to be at your own funeral. Who is there? What are they saying about you? Think in terms of what you would want them to say, as this is an exercise in creating a vision for the person you are committed to being, not an exercise in beating yourself up for falling short of your, or anyone else's, expectations! Another approach to this exercise is to imagine that you are able to do a review of your life after you have taken your last breath. What was your life like? Was it everything you wanted it to be? What did you like about it? What would you change if you had the opportunity? Again, think about the roles you filled, the people you surrounded yourself with, how you spent your time etc. ...and don't forget the values you lived by!

I have been trying this for a while. Sometime I even think what is it that makes me most proud when I look back at my journey till now - I think the biggest factor is facing personal challenges. So I think that being able to address my compulsive behavior which is the biggest personal challenge for me over the last few years will be the most important factor that will give me joy and satisfaction.


2. Start at the Very Beginning. Think back to when you were a child. What did you like to do? What kinds of activities did you do and what kinds of games did you play (dress-up, building with lego or blocks, drawing, reading, sports etc.)? What did you imagine yourself doing when you grew up? What were your favorite school subjects? Did you play sports? What were your hobbies? Where were your favorite places to go? What sense do you have of yourself as a child (free spirit, introspective, strong-willed, loving, helpful, outgoing, shy)? Also think about the things that you didn't like to do? Why didn't you like to do them? What things did you always wish you could do, that you felt you couldn't?


3. Your Ideal Self. What energizes and inspires you? What are your natural talents (those things you do that seem effortless, that you may even take for granted)? What would you like more of in your life? What would you like less of? Who would you most like to be like? Why? What personal qualities and characteristics (in yourself and in others) appeal to you?

4. Your Dream Life. What do you want more than anything else in this world? If you had no obligations, constraints, or obstacles and your resources were unlimited, what would you do? Where would you be? Who would you be with? What do your surroundings look like? What pursuits would you devote your time to? What do you most like to talk about? What motivates you? What could you spend an entire day doing and not grow tired, bored, drained from or frustrated with? Think beyond your response and answer the question of why in regard of your responses. Think about what it is about that person that you would like to spend time with them; what is it about that location that you are ever-inspired, peaceful, energized, etc.

5. Your Values Inventory. Using the list provided, highlight the attributes, qualities and values that appeal most to you. Cross out the ones you don't like. Add any that you don't see listed that appeal to you. Use a dictionary or use your own interpretation to define what these words (values) mean to you. Group similar value words together to form a value concept. Use one or two defined values to represent your value concept. To help you with your definitions and to develop your values concepts, it will help to think about what behaviours, actions and ways of being that a person with (insert value here) will be. For example, I value Integrity. The dictionary definition of integrity is “the state of being whole and undivided; the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction; the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; uprightness. My personal definition of a person with integrity is a person who honors themselves as their word, they do what they say by when they said they would do it, they practice absolute honesty, they are the change they wish to see in the world, they think about the impact they have on others and the world around them and they take responsibility for their actions. Integrity is the foundation for all of my other values; in other words, without integrity, my other values risk being compromised.

Alphabetical List of Values:

Ability, Abundance, Academics, Accessibility, Accommodating, Accomplishment, Achievement, Acknowledgment, Activeness, Acquiring, Adaptability, Admiration, Adoration, Adroitness, Advancement, Adventure, Advice, Affection, Affluence, Aggressiveness, Agility, Alertness, Allegiance, Altruism, Amazement, Amusement, Ambition, Amnesty, Anticipation, Appreciation, Approachability, Approval, Articulacy, Artistry, Assertiveness, Atonement, Attentiveness, Attraction, Attractiveness, Audacity, Austerity, Authenticity, Authority, Autonomy, Availability, Awareness, Awe

Balance, Beauty, Being, Being the/your best, Belonging, Beliefs, Benevolence, Bliss, Boldness, Bonding, Bravery, Brilliance, Building, Buoyancy

Calmness, Camaraderie, Candor, Capability, Career (mindedness), Carefulness, Caring, Celebration, Celebrity, Certainty, Challenge, Change, Character, Charity, Charm, Chastity, Cheerfulness, Choice, Civility, Clarity, Classiness, Cleanliness, Clear-mindedness, Cleverness, Closeness, Closure, Coaching, Cognizance, Collaboration, Comfort, Commitment, Communication, Communion, Community, Companionship, Compassion, Compatibility, Competence, Competition, Completion, Composure, Comprehensiveness, Compromise, Concentration, Confidence, Conformity, Congruity, Connection, Conscience, Conscientiousness, Conservation, Conservatism, Consciousness, Consideration, Consistency, Contentment, Continuity, Continuous growth, Contribution, Control, Conversation, Conviction, Conviviality, Coolness, Cooperation, Cordiality, Correctness, Courage, Courteousness, Craftiness, Creativity, Credibility, Cunning, Curiosity

Daring, Decency, Decisiveness, Decorum, Dedication, Deference, Delight, Democracy, Dependability, Depth, Designing, Desire, Destiny, Detachment, Determination, Devotion, Dexterity, Dignity, Diligence, Diplomacy, Direction, Directness, Discernment, Discipline, Discipleship, Discovery, Discretion, Distinction, Diversity, Dominance, Dreaming, Drive, Dutifulness, Dynamism

Eagerness, Earnestness, Economy, Ecstasy, Education, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Elation, Elegance, Emotional maturity, Empathy, Empowerment, Encouragement, Endeavor Endurance, Energy, Enjoyment, Enterprising, Entertainment, Equinamity, Esteem, Evolution, Excellence, Exceptionality, Excitement, Exhilaration, Expansion, Expectancy, Expediency, Experience, Experimenting, Expertise, Expressiveness, Extraordinariness, Extravagance, Extroversion, Exuberance

Fairness, Faith, Faithfulness, Fame, Family, Fascination, Fashion, Fearlessness, Feeling(s), Ferocity, Fidelity, Fierceness, Finances, Firmness, Fitness, Flexibility, Flow, Fluency, Focus, Fortitude, Frankness, Freedom, Friendliness, Friendship, Frugality, Fun

Gallantry, Generosity, Gentility, Giving, Grace, Gratitude, Gregariousness, Growth, Guidance

Happiness, Harmony, Health, Healthfulness, Heart, Helpfulness, Heroism, Holiness, Holism, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Hopefulness, Hospitality, Humanitarianism, Humor, Hygiene

Imagination, Impact, Impartiality, Importance, Independence, Individuality, Indulgence, Industriousness, Ingenuity, Initiative, Innovation, Inquisitiveness, Insightfulness, Inspiration, Integrity, Intelligence, Intensity, Intimacy, Intrepidness, Introversion, Intuitiveness, Inventiveness, Invulnerability

Joyfulness, Judiciousness, Justice

Kaizen, Keenness, Kindness, Kindheartedness, Knowledge

Leadership, Learning, Legacy, Liberation, Liberty, Likability, Liveliness, Logic, Longevity, Love, Loyalty

Magnanimity, Majesty, Making a Difference, Marriage, Mastery, Maturity, Maximization, Meekness, Mellowness, Mercy, Meritoriousness, Methodology, Meticulousness, Mindfulness, Moderation, Modesty, Motivation, Mysteriousness

Neatness, Nerve, Normality, Nostalgia, Notoriety, Nutrition

Obedience, Open-Mindedness, Openness, Optimism, Order, Organization, Originality, Outlandishness, Outrageousness

Participation, Partnership, Passion, Patriotism, Peace, Perceptiveness, Perseverance, Personal Growth, Perfectionism, Perkiness, Persistence, Persuasiveness, Philanthropy, Piety, Playfulness, Pleasantness, Pleasing Others, Pleasure, Poise, Polish, Popularity, Potency, Power, Practicality, Pragmatism, Precision, Preparedness, Presence, Privacy, Proactivity, Problem-Solving, Professionalism, Progress, Prosperity, Protection, Prudence, Punctuality, Puritanism, Purity, Purpose

Quality, Qualifying, Qualification, Quietism, Quietude, Quirkiness

Realism, Reason, Reasonableness, Recognition, Recreation, Refinement, Reflection, Regard, Regulation, Relationship, Relaxation, Reliability, Religion, Religiousness, Resilience, Resolution, Resolve, Resourcefulness, Respect, Rest, Restfulness, Restraint, Results, Reverence, Richness, Rigor

Sacrifice, Sagacity, Saintliness, Sanctitude, Sanguineness, Satisfaction, Security, Self-actualization, Self-care, Self-control, Self-esteem, Selflessness, Self-reliance, Self-respect, Sensitivity, Sensuality, Serenity, Service, Servitude, Sexuality, Sharing,
Shrewdness, Significance, Silence, Silliness, Simplicity, Sincerity, Skillfulness, Solidarity, Solitude, Solvency, Soundness, Specialness, Speediness, Spirit, Spirituality, Spontaneity, Spunk, Stability, Status, Stealth, Stillness, Strength, Structure, Success, Support, Supremacy, Surprise, Survival, Sympathy, Synergy, Systemization

Teamwork, Temperance, Tenacity, Thankfulness, Thoroughness, Thoughtfulness, Thrift, Tidiness, Timeliness, Tolerance, Tradition, Tranquility, Transcendence, Transformation, Trust, Trustworthiness, Truth, Truthfulness

Understanding, Unflappability, Uniqueness, Unity, Usefulness, Utilitarianism

Valor, Variety, Verve, Victory, Vigor, Virtue, Vision, Visionariness, Vitality, Vivacity

Wackiness, Warmth, Watchfulness, Wealth, Willingness, Willpower, Winning, Wisdom, Wittiness, Wonder, Worldliness, Worthiness

Yearning, Youthfulness

Zaniness, Zeal, Zest


6. Identify your Domains. A domain, by definition, is an area of territory owned or controlled by a ruler or government. Therefor, your domains are the areas of your life that are controlled by you! What are those domains? Some ideas to get you rolling are Family, Friend, Career, Spirituality, etc. Some of these may be broken down into sub-domains, or you can separate them out as individual domains~your choice. For instance, Family can be divided into subdomains of Partner, Parent, Son/Daughter, Sister/Brother, etc. The more areas you identify, the more areas you will have to support you.

7. Vision Abstract Collage. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words! Using old magazines, tear out pictures that represent what you envision or want for your life. You can include personal photographs as well, creating your collage using the traditional cut and paste method, or create a digital collage, or perhaps a scrapbook or even a photo collage using a collage frame (with multiple openings). You can draw, write original work or include quotes that inspire you~anything that conjures up a rich mental image of the vision you have for your life. Think about the story told by each image you incorporate into your collage. Use each element of your collage to draw out your values.

When considering your vision, you also want to consider the values that you have inherited (from your family of origin, from your faith or spiritual based affiliations, from your peers, from your culture, etc.). Some of these values will "make the cut" but some might not. That is the thing about your vision~it is your vision!

Finally, As you are developing your vision, you want to keep in mind that, just as life is a process, so to is creating your vision: As you evolve, so will your vision. There is no "right" or "wrong" vision to have, only one that is right or wrong for you! Be honest with yourself, be true to yourself. If you are including something because you feel you should, or if it doesn't feel right~it likely isn't.


_________________
"Seldom, if ever, do people live to the limit of their abilities. They possess powers that they habitually fail to use." ~William James


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Lesson 17

My compulsive ritual usually starts with one of two situations:

I. There is a high level of stress or insecurity that produces anxiety. I am unable to concentrate on anything productive and my mind is distracted. I feel impatient and uncomfortable. So I look at porn - usually internet porn in the form of videos. The main element is SIGHT and I am aroused by images of naked women. However, I search for videos of a certain kind where I feel I have the POWER over the model in the image and she is doing it all for me. I can spend a few minutes to several hours looking for the right images. This builds up the SUSPENSE as I am looking for more life like situation. Finally, when I have four to five videos selected, I SELF-STIMULATION to masturbate. The ORGASM gives me instant sense of ACCOMPLISHMENT and ALTERS my MIND state so that the feeling of stress and anxiety is replaced by the sudden rush of chemicals in my mind. However, this sense of ACCOMPLISHMENT is short and soon leads to feeling of GUILT. However, it does change my mind state for a little while.

One lesson that I learn from this analysis is that whenever I feel stressed out or anxious I immediately need to pick up something that can alter my state of mind without resorting to the need for porn and masturbation. It has been this recovery workshop for sometime now. Other things I have found useful are healing breathing and walking out in the nature.

II. I see women in mall, office, or even just on TV that I find hot. Somehow this creates a tension, an anxiety to do something about it. There is a sudden rush of ADRENALINE and I start FANTASISING them as my sexual partner. The more I think, the more I FANTASISE untill I become OBSESSED by it and cannot concentrate on anything else. Depending on the situation I feel compelled to instantaneously STIMULATE myself FANTASISING about her, leading to MASTURBATION, ORGASM, and change in MIND state (e.g. in a mall where I cannot see porn). Or I come back to watching porn and follow the ritual described in (I) above. But, both producing the same temporary change in state of mind, and usually followed by GUILT and EMPTINESS.

Again, the main cure or break that I can see is just NOT FANTASISE the moment I start it. No rationalization, no justification, no thought process. Just Stop there and soon the anxiety will go away and I will not feel compelled to fantasise and masturbate.

Two important implications of these rituals are that I am unable to concentrate on work for long as I am always possessed by images or fantasies, and I am unable to maintain intimacy with my partner because I dont find her as hot as in the images or the hot women I see around me.


Last edited by values4joy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Lesson 18

I described two rituals in my previous post. The first is when stress and insecurity produce anxiety that leads to impatience and diturbed mind. In order to alter the state of my mind, I watch porn, with the sensory stimulation being no longer confined to images alone. It has to be videos especially which appear natural and involve beautiful women. I spend hours searching for the right videos which builds suspense, all the time holding myself from actually masturbating. Once I find the videos that seem new and most appropriate I watch them while I masturbate myself. I feel accomplished when I can ejaculate at the same time when the model in the video takes off her clothes or achieves orgasm.

So in terms of time, the main filter is that I am ready to spend as long as it takes to find the videos that seem the most natural and hot. However, I only maturbate when I have collected a set of videos that appeal to me and then time my ejaculation to coincide with a specific act in these videos.

Intensity: I have become good at finding free videos online that are neither too short nor too long and appear the most natural. They usually involve a setting - teacher student, old woman young guy, striptease etc. The supsnse associated with what I will find and how it will arouse me pumps blood in my veins. Finally the orgasm associated with a certain act in the vidoes gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Habituation: Earlier, watching images was enough for me. But new rituals involve looking for videos, then videos that appear most natural, and the videos that show certain settings. Still more rituals involve fantasising myself in these videos or juxtaposing a celebrity or the mental image of a woman I saw in real life, in these videos.

The other situation is when I see a woman who looks hot to me which makes my heart race and creates anxiety. I start fantasising myself in a sexual relationship with her where I have the sexual power to command her to my orders. I feel like a macho and the fantasy continues to disturb me untill I can fulfill it through masturbation, sometimes with porn and sometimes without it.

Time: The time spent in fantasising about the woman and sometimes folliwng her in public and taking mental pictures of her body creates suspense and builds tension.

Intensity: I objectify the woman by looking at her sexual organs and imagining how she would look when naked. Newer rituals involve searching for any traces of undergarments she might be wearing and mentally taking them off. Or fantasising myself in a sexual relationship with her.

Habituation: Repeated masturbation while fantasising and achieving orgasm has reinforced that the best way to find relief when I have seen some hot woman is by completing this act. By doing this over and over again, my mind can already sense the mood altering fluids that will be produced once I can successfully masturbate.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:25 pm 
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Lesson 18: insights from another post.

I read the following insights on lesson 18 which are phenomenal, because they are exactly how I would describe my rituals. Thanks friend:

Quote:
BillOIAMBack’s Responses to Lesson 18

Exercise 18

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

I’ll address this lesson using my fantasy and masturbation ritual and my compulsive activities and choices associated with it.

Time - The time that passed in the preparation and participation of my pornography addiction was an essential element to the stimulation generated as I would keep subconsciously telling myself that downloading/watching just one more picture/video would provide the ultimate image/movie. Each time I would get close to the time threshold I set for myself, the more stimulating the experience was. Once the time threshold passed, I would reset the threshold to a later time (e.g., five more minutes, one more download, etc.) to regain the pleasure. Not resetting the threshold would produce a negative stress response. I used a Time filter to envision the role that its passing played with respect to maintaining emotional intensity. In general, there was a range of time for me that maximized the emotional intensity experienced in each compulsive act.

Intensity - When I first began to fantasize I would use very rudimentary ascii text images, similar to what is produced in a newspaper image when you hold a magnifying glass up to it. The suggestion of a naked woman was the primary stimulus. When I fantasized, I was limited to images that I could download over a dial-up connection to a bulletin board system. I knew that the fantasies I was having were fantasies. As time passed, I began to seek actual photos, then color photos, then more explicit photos, then videos, so I could fantasize more, longer, or more intensely focused/zoned out/in a trance. Over time, I turned what was once infrequent escape and fantasy into a tool that altered my feelings. At times, I no longer needed imagery as I could readily play back images that were in my head. This led to more frequent masturbation rituals. I used an Intensity filter to envision the role that experience/skill at selecting “objects” for my fantasy played in establishing and maintaining emotional intensity. In general, the more skilled, the more intense the resulting experience.

Habituation - Over time, the usual photographs and images no longer provided the effect they originally created in my mind. They reached a "saturation point." Following the same ritual repeatedly made the ritual lose its "power." I altered the ritual in many ways or introduced new rituals which renewed the power of the stimulation. I used a Frequency filter (i.e., habituation) to envision the impact that repeated behavior has in diminishing the emotional intensity derived.


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