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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Lesson 38 Exercise:
I. Review the boundaries created to protect the values listed in the previous lesson.

Honesty:
1. “The truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth” as I understand it to myself my Wife and anyone else;
2. If I discover a lie or run into a previous lie, I will take full responsibility for it;
3. I will accept my Wife’s perceptions/choices about me and my behaviors in ALL circumstances;
4. If I discover another’s lie, I will, if possible, make them aware of it privately;
5. If I cannot make them aware, I will remove myself from the situation/person;

Genuiness:
1. I will be myself, and ONLY myself in ALL situations that I find myself in;
2. If I find myself trying to be anything other than myself I will immediately remove myself from the situation to sort out what is going on;
3. I will accept any and all criticism and assume it is meant to be constructive;
4. I will offer criticism only if it is sincerely asked for;
5. I will NOT try to change myself for anyone else, EVER.

Forgiving:
1. I will forgive (NOT excuse) myself for my past bad choices;
2. I will forgive my Wife unconditionally;
3. I will do my best to understand my Wife and her choices
4. I will forgive (NOT excuse) others for their bad choices;
5. I will do my best to understand others choices.

II. Consider at least two situations where this value may be threatened. Are the existing boundaries enough to protect against this threat?

A. My Wife believes that I have been scanning on my way to work every morning, although I am sure that I have not.

~“I will accept my Wife’s perceptions/choices about me and my behaviors in ALL circumstances” takes over here, even though it hurts and makes me angry;

~”I will accept any and all criticism and assume it is meant to be constructive” also takes over here although it is difficult to accept at times.

~ Both “I will forgive my Wife unconditionally” and “I will do my best to understand my Wife and her choices” kick in here.

Yes I believe these existing boundaries will be adequate.

B. I am approached at work by another employee who shows what I mistakenly perceive as “interest”. I find myself attracted to her and consider pretending to be the “plastic me” that I’m not, even though I know that it is entirely innocent.

~” If I find myself trying to be anything other than myself I will immediately remove myself from the situation to sort out what is going on”

~” If I discover a lie or run into a previous lie, I will take full responsibility for I” and admit it both to myself and whoever else is involved even peripherally;

~” I will be myself and ONLY myself in ALL situations that I find myself in”

Again, I believe that these existing boundaries, if applied, will be adequate.

I noticed and made a minor revision to Honesty 1.

My biggest problem here is, as usual, keeping these boundaries in mind 24-7 and NOT becoming complacent and lazy as I have so very many times before.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:27 pm 
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Lesson 40 Exercise:

(Lesson 39 in progress)

I. Choose someone in your life that you feel close to. A spouse. A child. A parent. A friend. Rather than assuming what boundaries they have; or what values they want protected...take some time to step into their lives. Refresh those perceptions that you have. Consider how you can HELP THEM reinforce those boundaries. Post a few thoughts about this in your thread.

There is only one that I feel that close to, my Wife. Helping her reinforce most, if not all of her boundaries and reinforce her values all comes down to one critical thing, REALLY working my recovery. EVERYTHING else is secondary to that.

I have, once again, been giving lip-service to this, and little more.


II. Consider what you could do, should YOU become aware that you have violated a boundary of theirs.

Tell Her as soon as possible; sort out what happened; how and why it happened and how to reinforce her boundary(s) and mine so it will NOT happen again.

For Her it’s most critical to know immediately that it did happen, for me how and why.


III. Consider your reaction should they tell you that you have violated a boundary of theirs. Think beyond defensiveness...keep working until you grasp a healthy reaction.

In my particular situation, being defensive is both stupid and extremely hypocritical.

If it is one of my boundaries, given that they are mostly new and in need of refining :

Was the boundary really violated/broken, just pushed, or was it a misperception?

Was the boundary really valid in the first place?

Bottom line is, shit happens. Figuring out how and why so it doesn’t happen again is FAR more important than anything else.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:59 pm 
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hey "young man"
I know that you have had / are having a tough timr
remember that RN is here for you
but
and yes you know the Kenzo but
you need to be there for you to
do not become a stranger

_________________
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: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:44 pm 
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Kenzo wrote:
hey "young man"
I know that you have had / are having a tough timr
remember that RN is here for you
but
and yes you know the Kenzo but
you need to be there for you to
do not become a stranger


THANK YOU COACH KENZO!!!!

Life has been up and down recently as usual. We welcomed twin grandsons three weeks ago, I lost my "second" Mom two weeks ago, got our house stuff straightened out last week and was let go from my job earlier today.

I'm back and it's time for me to "walk the walk".


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:00 pm 
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62
deepest condolences and congratulations
lets focus on the positives :g:

_________________
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: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:00 pm 
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Posts: 246
Lesson 44:

A. Describe in your recovery thread the role that your core identity will play in helping you to establish/maintain a healthy life.

It IS the basis for a healthy life as well as a messed-up one.

As stated above, my core identity IS who and what I am. It is basic to my life, healthy or fucked-up. My true values live there even though they are at least well hidden, usually ignored.

In a healthy life I will find those parts of me, values, that are good, bring them forward “into the light” and use them to help define me and my beliefs. This will help me to create (or recreate actually) the boundaries that I use to define and defend my actions and choices and to help me accept the consequences of those actions and choices.

I understand that not everything in my core identity will be “good” but in seeing and accepting that some of me is “not so good” I can define and use boundaries to “contain” those parts of me until I can sort them through and either discard them or acknowledge them and contain them permanently.

Maintenance is, basically, continuing vigilance of my core and through that, my values and boundaries.

As I understand it, this will become almost “automatic” further on. I can only hope that is, in fact, what happens.

B. Describe the role that value-based experiences will play in further developing your core identity.
As I understand it value-based experiences are those experiences that occur as a result of picking a course of action/making a decision based on a value (or values) instead of emotional gratification/pain~guilt~shame avoidance.

To me this means stopping myself long enough to decide if/how my reaction to a situation will or will not fit my core identity (currently jumbled up mess) through my values (these are a bit more well formed) and filtered through my boundaries (this is where I have real problems, with my boundaries or lack of boundaries).

I see that value-based experiences (both good and not so much) will give me positive feelings that feed back into my core and strengthen it, my values and my boundaries.

C. Take some time to examine the current state of your core identity. How in tune with it are you? When you engage in activity that is destructive, what role does your core identity play in that decision? How is it affected by the consequences of that decision?

My core identity is constantly “in motion”. I’m beginning to pick out some solid parts of me, some good, some not very good, but all part of the whole. I am getting more “in tune” with it, but still have a looooooong way to go.

It seems that, in destructive behavior, my core identity is just “along for the ride” until my behavior crosses some of the parts of my core generating the guilt, shame, disgust and other negative feelings that I use to reinforce feeling worthless which feeds back into the need to feel good inviting more destructive behavior, kind of a negative feedback loop…..


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3907
Location: UK
hey
been a while
lets get back in the saddle
but at our age we may need a hoist :s:

_________________
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: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:08 pm 
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A. Map a compulsive ritual that is based on your unique behavior.

Element 1. Have an argument about something with my Wife;
B. Feel angry, frustrated and resentful;
C. If removed, this would eliminate the entire chain;

Element 2. She leaves, angry and frustrated, usually to go visit one of our kids;
B. Feel guilty, scared that she won’t come back, angry/resentful that I didn’t go
C. If removed (she stayed home) we might talk it out, or continue to be angry with each other, but she
would be home and the opportunity would be removed;

Element 3. I try to calm down;
B. Fear, anger, resentfulness grow, I pout;
C. If removed probably wouldn’t change anything;

Element 4. I replay the fight in my head over and over;
B. Feed fear, anger, and resentfulness and start thinking about porn/masturbation
C. If removed, I could actually calm down and not act out;

Element 5. I decide to go online to “calm down”;
B. Give myself an excuse/justification to be online, feed the excitement;
C. If removed, would at least slow the chain, possible break it, without the visual stimulation;
u]The Point of No Return[/u]

Element 6. I end up watching pornography, “just for a few seconds”;
B. Justification, emotional salve to my guilt and shame;
C. If removed, as above, would slow it down, possible break this chain

Element 7. I decide that “I’ll show her” and masturbate;
B. Justify my fear, anger and resentment to feel “good”;
C. If removed, probably would still finish out the chain, but feel “less bad” because I didn’t masturbate;

Element 8. I feel intensely guilty and ashamed;
B. Justify my “victimness” and hold myself back from recovery;
C. Not sure how this could be removed…..

Element 9. I swear that “I will never do that again”, again;
B. Soothe the guilt and shame that is overwhelming me;
C. Removal would intensify the guilt and shame feeding the next chain;

Element 10. I feel relieved and “stronger” because of my “oath” to myself.
B. Feel relaxed and confident that this will be “the last time”;
C. Same, removal would intensify the guilt and shame moving me more quickly to the next round of acting out.


B. For each element, consider the likely impact that removing that element from the chain would have on the remainder of the event.
C. At what point in the chain is the 'point of no return'?

For me Element 4 the continued “instant replay” is the one that feeds everything and continues to feed it all and push it along. I feed my anger and resentment which builds up until I "have" to let it out, through acting out since I am still learning otherwise.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3907
Location: UK
Hi great to see you posting
from the shoulder and I mean this as a constructive comment not a criticism
please stop looking for excuses
you are the owner of your issues but you are also the resolution
we both are too old for more F*** Ups in our lives
so lets go my friend before it really is too late

_________________
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: Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3907
Location: UK
Hey kiddo
lets have you back doing what needs to be done

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


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:34 pm 
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Posts: 246
Holy Crap Kenzo, it's only been...... two weeks and a day

A. In the long run, addiction is eliminated by altering the existing compulsive behavior (destructive, based on immediate emotional needs) to more stable, constructive chains that solidify the foundation of your life in a progressive manner. Before such compulsive chains can be reversed, it is necessary to begin mastering the ability to reverse single compulsive rituals. Begin this process now by considering a previous compulsive chain; identify the element immediately preceding the 'point of no return' and then rewrite the remainder of the chain so that your actions are based on healthy values, rather than immediate emotional response. Share this in your recovery thread.

1. Wife decides she wants chocolate ice cream from our local ice cream shop. This is both because she wants the chocolate ice cream and because she wants to give me another opportunity to use my recovery tools and skills in a situation that has not gone well before;

2. I immediately become angry and resentful. We have been through this many times and I almost always fail. I have managed to white knuckle my way through it a few times, but usually disassociate, deny and lie.

3. We get in the truck and head into town. I use my anger and resentment to feed my growing apprehension, which makes me more angry and resentful which feeds my apprehension and rinse, lather and repeat…..

4. As we get closer we have to go through a lot of traffic which I use to feed the apprehension winding it waaaaaay up. I have now fully set myself up to act out by scanning/objectifying/sexualizing and lusting. All ready for another Epic fail, again.

5. We get close and I close my eyes, to “prevent” myself from scanning to parking lot and shop. This usually works in the short term, but sometimes it just pushes my other senses into overdrive, depends on how many others I can sense around us in the parking lot.

6a. If I go in (rare anymore) I will AVOID but staring at the floor and working HARD to ignore who or what is around me, ordering our ice cream and getting out as fast as I possibly can. My biggest issue here is keeping the memories from before (blatant scanning/objectifying/sexualizing/fantasizing with NO concern for my wife or anyone else) at bay.

6b. If my Wife goes in, I will sit and concentrate inside fighting the memories as well but almost always with success. This depends on a lot of factors but I am usually OK in the sense that I managed to avoid the situation so did NOT have to confront my behaviors head on.

7. We will generally go to a local park and sit and eat our ice cream. Sometimes we can/will talk with each other, usually I’m still angry and resentful and will “look” at my Wife, disassociating and denying that I did so. This makes my Wife very hurt and angry and she lets me know that, which makes me feel guilty and ashamed, which feeds the anger and resentment, rinse, lather and repeat.

There are several places where this could be broken effectively, but I think that #3 is usually the point of no return so # 2 is where it would be most effectively broken. By stabilizing or just admitting/facing the anger and resentment to defuse it, I can see that these emotions are driving my scanning/objectifying/sexualizing so I don’t have to “feel bad”. Understanding this, and that this behavior is waaaaaay beyond any boundary that I have, that my Wife has or that the other person(s) have, the same with my values. This effectively eliminates the scanning action allowing other healthy (hopefully) actions instead, feeding positives back to my core. This will help tear down the negative values and allow my real, positive values to reassert themselves along with actually building real boundaries.

1. Wife decides she wants chocolate ice cream from our local ice cream shop. This is both because she wants the chocolate ice cream and because she wants to give me another opportunity to use my recovery tools and skills in a situation that has not gone well before;

2. I immediately become angry and resentful. We have been through this many times and I almost always fail. I have managed to white knuckle my way through it a few times, but usually disassociate, deny and lie.
Recognize the anger and resentment for what it actually is a means to work myself up and justify my behaviors through medication. Understand that it will pass and is a complete misperception of my Wife’s intentions and the circumstances.

3. We get in the truck and head into town. I talk with my Wife about these feelings of anger and resentment and how it’s feeding my apprehensions.

4. As we get closer we have to go through a lot of traffic but I have reviewed the options and am filtering them through my values and boundaries. This allows me to throw away the actions that will not support or build my values. I choose not to scan.

5. We get close and I talk with my Wife choosing not to pay attention to what is around me or in the shop..

6a. If I go in I order our ice cream, looking the attendant in the eyes, remembering that my Wife is number ONE in my life, and recognizing that this is a person, not a collection of parts for my pleasure.

6b. If my Wife goes in, I will sit and think about our life, our shared values and goals, our children and grandchildren and other “good” stuff.

7. We go to a local park and sit and eat our ice cream. We will talk with each other; enjoy each other and the park. It will be a good experience, which will constructively feedback to my core and let my perceptions adjust to suit.

I’m like a house. My core lives inside and sees/reacts to the world through the windows of my values. Those few windows have been small, dirty and some were broken or gone. The storms of emotions blew through unhampered battering my core which tried to protect itself as best it knew how. I am replacing the old windows (and adding new ones) with large new clear, clean and strong storm windows to look at/react to the stormy world through. Outside is the fence of my boundaries. This fence was old, broken and missing in many places. I am rebuilding and replacing this fence with a new taller, stronger, more permanent fence to keep out the unwanted behaviors and people.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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62
Quote:
Holy Crap Kenzo, it's only been...... two weeks and a day

OK
but I wonder why and hope that you stop being defensive and continue to make progress
consistent and continued progress :pe:

_________________
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: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Posts: 246
Lesson 47:

Took a little longer then 48 hours....

1. Just as you have with your values and your emotions, it is time to transfer the knowledge that you are developing to a practical application in your day-to-day life. This cannot be done without first developing an awareness of the times when such information is applicable. Over the next 48 hours, envision at least ten different REALISTIC scenarios where you may encounter a compulsive urge in the future and document these in your recovery thread.
2. With each scenario:
• Identify how you would know when that urge/ritual would likely begin, when the likely 'point of no return' would be and when you would 'create the break'. Do this in your head.
• Anticipate the emotions associated with that particular ritual, isolate those emotions from your 'core identity' and prepare yourself to make a values-based decision (versus an emotions-based decision). Do this in your head.
• Choose one such scenario and document it in your recovery thread.
• If you are in coaching, you will be asked to review several of these to make sure that you understand the concepts involved. If you are not in coaching, feel free to post additional scenarios for review

2. See my Wife nude
a. Begins when I realize she is nude;
BREAK POINT HERE,
b. Memories/objectification/fantasies start bombarding me;
POINT OF NO RETURN
c. Use these to make myself more sexually aroused;
d. Have sex with her even though it’s “not” her:
Emotions: excitement, fear (of disappointing her & myself), anger/resentment with her that I have to perform; sadness that I am older and not physically/sexually attractive any more, disgust with myself for allowing the fantasy; guilt for letting thoughts to take over.

3. Run into one of “my type” that shows an interest
a. Begins with feeling an attraction;
BREAK POINT HERE
b. Feel a “need” to help;
POINT OF NO RETURN
c. Feel that I can “help;
d. Feel that she “needs” my help;
e. Get lost in that.
Emotions: excitement, sexual attraction (is this an “emotion??), anger and resentment at “those” who “created” her problem(s), false sympathy, false empathy, false sadness for her “plight”.

4. Run into last affair
a. Begins with recognition;
BREAK POINT HERE
b. Approach her;
POINT OF NO RETURN
c. Talk to her;
d. Walk away.
Emotions: sadness for all of the pain that “she” has caused my Wife, anger and resentment for all of the issues that “she” has caused, , fear that my anger might get out of control, sadness for all of the pain that I may have caused her.

5. Find myself “around” the types of people that I am impressed by
a. Begins with feeling an immediate “kinship” with one or several;
BREAK POINT HERE
b. Feel that I would like to be like him/them;
POINT OF NO RETURN
c. Decide to “become” that plastic person I created to “impress” people;
d. Try to impress them.
Emotions: feel impressed, false friendliness, false “closeness”, inadequacy, embarrassment with myself, false “bravado”, need to be liked, need to belong.

6. Get job in place with many women
a. Begins with extra apprehension at going to work;
BREAK POINT HERE
b. Attraction to one or several;
POINT OF NO RETURN
c. Pick out one to “befriend”;
d. Become the false “plastic” me to impress;
e. “Help” her with whatever I can;
Emotions: Fear, anger/resentment at being fearful, attraction, inadequacy, shame and guilt for inadequacy and for sexual thoughts, need to be “bigger and better”

7. Riding through traffic
a. Begins with EXTREME apprehension at going;
BREAK POINT HERE
b. Concentrate on tail lights, brake lights or traffic signals;
c. Disassociate myself
POINT OF NO RETURN
Emotions: fear, anger and resentment at having to drive/ride through traffic at all, guilt and shame at wanting to look

8. Drive to work by myself
See 7 above. I included this because I would be driving and not riding.

9. Going into Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot…..
a. Begins with extreme fear of crowds
BREAK POINT HERE
b. Builds up on the ride
POINT OF NO RETURN
c. Arrive and try to convince my Wife to go in instead of me;
Emotions: terror, apprehension, anticipation, guilt and shame.

10. Working in the yard with the neighbors out
a. Begins with “not feeling like” going outside;
BREAK POINT HERE
b. “Locking down” myself and going out
c. Hearing voices from next door
d. Deciding I can handle it OK
POINT OF NO RETURN.
Emotions: fear, apprehension, guilt and shame, disgust, anger and resentment.

1. Watching my Wife leave me.
a. Has already begun;
BREAK POINT HERE
b. Trying to convince her that my recovery IS real
POINT OF NO RETURN
c. Watching her leave
Emotions: sadness for her, sadness for myself, (false) abandonment, anger and resentment, guilt and
shame, terror, loneliness, helplessness, lost.

In general, the BRAKE POINT falls directly after the first element of the chain/ritual. My biggest challenge is recognizing that point of beginning. Well, that and the almost complete disassociation that I have developed over the decades. Not sure how to break that but it has become critical to figure out how. Not because my Wife has had enough of my bullshit, it's to late for that, but because if I can't break that I will not recover.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:55 pm 
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Lesson 48:

Proficient? I’d say growing proficiency is closer.

Role-playing/visualization was relatively easy, not much of a stretch from my addictive version of the same tools to a recovery oriented version.

Anticipating is much more difficult for me. I have lived reactively for so very long that learning to anticipate has been a “bitch”. That’s not to say I haven’t been successful, I have, but it’s NOT been easy.

Actively seeking opportunity has been the worst of the three for me. Being assertive is VERY difficult for me to learn and I see that as pretty much necessary for this one. I have been seeking opportunities to communicate for real with my Wife; sometimes this works other times things go sideways pretty rapidly. I have been seeking opportunities to accept, forgive and love myself. Again, sometimes OK, other times not so much.

I have also been seeking and finding time to really dig into many of the things in my past that I would just as soon ignore/deny. I have found some ugly stuff in there. Now that I've looked I have to keep digging to get to all of it I can. Not pretty, but it's me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:46 pm 
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Posts: 3907
Location: UK
hey youngman :w:
Quote:
Not pretty, but it's me

Great admission but is it accurate
IMO the correct statement would be
Quote:
Not pretty, but it WAS me

you have changed and that is more than evident
own that past , learn from it but dont let it haunt you

_________________
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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