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sunbeam's Recovery Thread
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Author:  sunbeam [ Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

Lesson 73:

Leaving Addiction Behind
My last real slip is now more than 9 months ago. My online recovery workshop is ending here,
but the transition to health will continue. I consider me no longer as an addict. The winter is coming
to an end, and the spring will be much better than last year, with a much more fulfilling life, having fun
and avoiding complacency. Rebuilding strong friendships, having an exciting life, personal growth,
continuing my career as a self employed engineer and maintaining health are the challenges of the
next year. And maybe being in love again.

This recovery nation workshop helped me much, however i started it late - at this point i was already
in the middle of the recovery. My health monitoring is a bit delayed because i restarted it. I will do the
remaining health monitoring lessons during the next weeks. Health monitoring helps much.

As the final exercise, i will go dancing with my friends this night. This friends have partly a chaotic
life that has disadvantages for them (for example phone company shutting down their internet access
because of outstanding invoices), but they suffer no sexual addiction. They are emotional mature
and no emotional cripples like borderliners as my friendships in the past were.

Author:  Theadog [ Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

Dear Sunbeam,
Love your name. I am writing to you because, as you did, i am following Jon's first mentor task of checking in with people on their vision when we arrive at lesson 62. You came to my mind first.

I felt for you when you posted on another persons thread. Having read Jon's introduction to mentoring I could see how easily it could happen, I could have done it. It says "change nothing" and gives instructions on doing your lessons and addressing other people's vision which you did. As I see it you were doing what it said to do in the workshop, the right thing. There was no way of knowing there was a different format now, like i didn't know when I asked. I read what Jon wrote and Cheryl had written in the community forum "Recovery Nation couldn't keep running without people stepping up to mentor." And I believe what Jon believes best way to learn is by teaching. It got confused with me I didn't know about private messaging at the time, only when I returned after relapsing and Coach Boundless told me to check my messages on my thread did I see that Cheryl had written back about the posting in the community forum and talking later.
I got frustrated and left, internalizing as usual, that I was not good enough, they did not want me. But forgot about it relatively quickly as I was enjoying my new life.

I did really well for a few months, I really liked my life and myself. But I had not set up a plan for monthly monitoring. Then the unexpected happened, blah, blah, blah and I was back here within a few months.

I looked at your thread, you got it, and I am sure they would want you as a mentor, that's not the issue as I see it. I believe and I hope someone corrects me if I am wrong, the issue is there needs to a format to make sure all potential mentors can relay the information from the lessons to others in a constructive way, so the community forum is a relatively safe way to practice that. Does that make sense? It wasn't personal to you or me, although i took it that way. I believe there has been a shortage of coaches to address this kind of stuff. If Recovery Nation had 20 coaches sitting around they would have time to address our individual situations, but that is not the case.

So if you are still interested you are needed. There may be a couple hoops to jump through, but you jumped through all those lessons so I am sure you can make it. Let me, know if you want help jumping through, or just start posting on the community forum as Coach Boundless suggested or enjoy your healthy life you deserve it, good work!

Author:  sunbeam [ Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

Now some time has passed and i want to write a short post at this time.
Personal growth is still going on, it is nice to feel the improvements.
And i know there is so much more to do.
However there are still some struggles and mood swings i have to address.
I switched now to monthly monitoring.

Author:  sunbeam [ Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

A short post. Now we are in the mid of the fall and this years fall here was very cloudy and foggy,
in other words, sunlight was rare. This had some impact on my mood, as i was spoiled of the summer sun.
I started juggling and made already some progress. It makes fun and gives fulfillment. Another benefit
is the exercise coming with this, it warms up the cold body (from doing computer work). Let's see how
much i can improve this until the next outdoor festivals next summer. Then it is showtime, enjoying life,
together with others.

The other thing i begun is Martial Arts: Kung fu. I had now already 8 lessons or so, it is funny and
feels good. Computer work means a lot of thinking and less acting, Martial Arts means a lot of acting
and ... ok, some thinking, too, but reacting has to be done out of the subconscious mind. The next
interesting matter is adjusting boundaries. As a child with extreme controlling parents i avoided conflicts,
later during addiction, i over-reacted in conflicts. During the lessons our master shows us a lot of behavior-
patterns during a conflict, it gives me insights how healthy people with a good self esteem act and react.
The partner trainings we do sometimes are good lessons for me to adjust boundaries, not to grip too soft
and not too hard.

Author:  sunbeam [ Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

This is my last post here... for this year.
This year was a great progress for me, regarding my transitioning to health.

No hard crossing of boundaries anymore. My self consciousness and self esteem enhanced greatly.
And my environment is treating me more and more respectful. I hope my mood swings diminish further over the next year. And my vulnerability of pixel erotica. Maybe i gained a new consciousness over the last weeks, i told me it is "just a pixel soup" when i saw triggering things in the TV. But it is too early to say anything about this... now.

There are a lot of areas in my life where progress was achieved.
In my martial arts, i made my first scarf a couple of days ago. My master told me, that two further scarfs within the next year are realistic. Juggling made progress too, i can now juggle with three balls and will start with four next year. I plan to attend a juggle training in my city.

Business worked much worser than i expected, i lost a big project. But i am already gaining new customers and going new ways. I know the obstacles of success and am adressing them.

My festival visits this summer were great and very fulfilling moments. Wonderful people, and with a few i still have contact. I learned here too what works and what does not work. And i already bought tickets for next year festivals.

Let's continue... embracing my own life.

Author:  sunbeam [ Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

Some time passed... now it is the begin of spring.
I planned already to attend one or two festivals. A woman asked me if i would take she with me.
This can become a wonderful time. I try to further develop to the best version of me until then.
A possibly new customer asked me to do a big project for him. This can be a good fresh start
of my self employment. But there is uncertainty until he acknowledges my offer. I want this
project and are making action plans to be prepared whatever happens.
My martial arts is making progress. I have now already two scarfs and will probably make the
third one this year. Maybe in the summer.
Strengthening friendships is going on. I gained new friends.
I proceed with my transition to a healthy life. I can connect more and more to the emotions i had
before addiction. Wonderful emotions. Of course there are set backs, too. I had two colds and
they drained much energy - i had mood swings like a lot of months ago during recovery. Horrible.
But luckily they disappeared in the meantime.

Author:  sunbeam [ Wed May 18, 2016 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

As i am going through the workshop a second time, i found one more exercise among the supplemental lessons, which i want to do now.

Lesson Addiction Recovery and Your Family of Origin:

1) I experienced unconditional love from my parents towards me in the last years. They stay to me whatever happens, they want to help me and they want the best for me. When i think back, i can realize that they did this ever - but were much more controlling than today.

2) The negative influence of the parental style was that my parents were very controlling and made performance pressure. This made me very early to an outsider in my peer group.
The positive influence were unconditional love and support - and a healty set of values.

Author:  sunbeam [ Tue May 24, 2016 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

Lesson Exploring the Concept of Love:

My own understanding what love is has changed during recovery significantly. In this lesson is a lot of the misperceptions written, which i had during my time of addicion. I misperceived love with attraction and admiration. With distraction from my empty life. I tried to blackmail love. I destroyed the possibility of love by addiction - the two selfs made it impossible to emotionally connect to someone. With this safetynet of secrets and lies it was impossible to share ma true self with someone else. I tried to pursue relationships with women which did not reciprocate feelings and love.

Today, i can feel the unconditional love of my parents. They want the best for me and support me. They want an emotional connection to me, and after my recovery, this is now possible.

I can feel my self love. Sometimes more, sometimes less. When i look in the mirror, i can see a man i have not to be ashamed of being this man.

I can feel the love of others. Others share my feelings with me. They spend more and more time with me. They trust me much more today.

This all leads to a lot of more self-esteem. I have to further this growth of self-esteem. I hope that the progress in my self employment leads soon to a boost of self-esteem as the project goes on.

Author:  sunbeam [ Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

Now the year 2016 is coming to an end, everything is coming to an end sooner or later, and it is time to write a new posting in my revovery thread, after the frequency of my postings lowered significantly.

From the recovery point of view, i managed the year with continuing the monthly monitoring. Not everything worked good, in may i made the mistake and watched a festival movie of a festival i attended last year. This is no clear no-go as there is a healthy side (recalling memories of wonderful moments)... but, it is still ways to early for such things (lots of bikini women). The result was a severe scattered mind with intense mood swings and emotional numbness. In the following weeks my online addiction sneaked in and my monitoring did not detect this addiction. Checking the weather, bank account several times a day, checking my emails every five minutes. Really stupid, isn't it? So i lived through the summer with much lower than my full potential and had to fight with lots of bad-mood states. I managed it in september to detect and wipe out my online addiction and going back on track. The withdrawal symptoms were severe, but by far not as threatening as the withdrawal symptoms of my porn addiction. Life improved much since september and although november is usually my worst month of a year, it was my best november since years.
A lot of normalized over the year, i gained new friends, a new customer for my business, are no longer inaccessible and continued a lot of things i postponed in the past. I have lots of plans for 2017, and there is lots of work to do for me. But first it is time to celebrate new year's eve - in three days.

And then i will come back somewhere in 2017 and write here my next posting. Have a good time till then.

Author:  sunbeam [ Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

A long time passed since i have written my last post. Now it is time for an update.

At the beginning of march i made my green belt at my kung fu martial arts. This means that i have left the beginner class and can now participate at the advanced class. As i am still allowed to attend the beginner class, i have now four hours of this sports per week instead of two. This is very good for my emotional balance. Other students respect me now ways more than before. For me it was a big effort to achieve the green belt. Now, after celebrating this, it is time to work through the advanced class over the next years.

My emotional balance improved. I had many insights the last years and my vulnerability with this pixel erotica waned strongly. I visited the cinema two times this month, after years of abstinence, two beautiful movies with lots of emotional flow. It was a great experience that there is nothing wrong with me, that i am going back to normal. After this success i watched a youtube aftermovie of a festival i attended last year. Although there was a slight aftermath of my addiction noticeable, it felt so good recalling this fantastic moments again. And theres is the prospect now that this aftermath will diminish further over the next years.

Now i am struggling with my job situation. After realizing how the business i am in really works, with all this hypocrisy, i have to find the direction i want to go the next years.

The way is long and hard, but worth going it. Embrace your life and do not give up.

Author:  Kenzo [ Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

The way is long and hard, but worth going it. Embrace your life and do not give up.

thanks for sharing this
I do hope that others herein gain some benefit and encouragement from your progress

you are correct it can be a long hard journey but the right attitude and mindset make it a whole lot easier

Author:  sunbeam [ Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: sunbeam's Recovery Thread

Hi Kenzo,

didn't see your posting until today because i visit this forum only every few months anymore.

This year, many years after recovery, i had a enormous insight.
My job, working as a electronics engineer, brought me always to the brink of relapse. That means, the more i worked, the more intense moodswings i had. I explained me this that my recovery is still going on and that this mood swings are still addiction related. So i did not work the first half year of 2018, living from my savings, living a minimalist life. And what? My life improved significantly from month to month. What the f**k! So, the good thing is that i found a second source beside of addiction for emotional instability. The bad thing is, that this electronics shit is the only thing i have knowledge and skills. And i need a job for earning money i can live from. So next, i looked through my xing contact list (xing is similar to linkedin in germany) to find out what jobs the guys who studied with me in my class are doing now. Then i separated those of guys i had a closer contact during university. Found out that they are now working as project and application engineers. So i searched for such jobs in and around my city, the good thing is that the economy is still running really good in germany so that there were a lot of job offers. The bad thing is, that my CV is 15 years after university speaking a clear history: Development engineer, development engineer, development engineer. So it was difficult to leave this rail. To convince them that a change is needed without telling them how f**ked my life was and still is. Then it worked. Because of the good economical situation any my personal growth i have done so far i reached a lot of goals. I stayed self employed. I made a contract of consulting my customer three days a week (as a electronics application consultant) and getting for this work as much money as i got before for 40 hours a week electronics development. It is outside of the city, half an hour by car, but i can do this three times a week. One day home office is a option in the future, too. In the meantime i have worked three months in this job and it was a great improvement in my life. Others noticed this too. Last week, my customer told me that they want to replace my contract which ends in the spring 2019 by a new one for the whole year 2019.

How could this happen? Well, as a child with very controlling parents i soon had life paradigms which made me unable to compete in peer groups. Always playing the nice guy, satisfying others needs, sacrificing my own needs. So i needed this electronics stuff as approval. I thought: If i only master this electronics stuff so difficult that no one else can understand, others are dependent on me and this will improve my role/state in peer groups. I can remember i had already raging mood swings in my early teenager time, eating tons of sugar for regulating emotions, later i added pixel erotica when the internet was coming up. So i busied myself every day with electronics stuff and rewarded myself with pixel erotica hours later hours long. What a life those time!

I am detailed writing this here to show others that (porn) addiction never comes alone. There are always other things in life completely going wrong, surrounding addiction, leading to emotional instability. This means, removing addiction (recovery) from life brings a significant improvement in life but there is some point where no further improvement seems to be possible although one is not satisfied with life quality. I can highly recommend everybody to assess other areas in life beyond addiction.

One important thing for me i want to write here is the global economic situation related to porn addicts:
My opinion is, that this growth based market economy system is coming to an end in the near future because of several reasons like limited resources. While others (non porn-addicts) are sedated by tons of porn and computer games and earning their money by clicking a few buttons over the day in the office ("web workers"), such a lifestyle is not suitable for us addicts and will never be anymore. So for me, my three days a week consulting job is a job i can shoulder and which is not damaging my life. It is for earning money and some personal growth. But is not my fulfillment. Not my male mission. This new jobs situation gives me four days a week spare time for doing other things. Like living as a part time escapist. Cooking with others on festivals. Having fun with others. Searching for other types of society (post-growth society). There is a lot of going on at the moment in this world. Two days ago the last black coal mine in germany was closed forever. At the end of 2022, the last nuclear power plant in germany will be shut down forever. A end date for the brown coal in germany is not set so far, but there are fast growing groups of young people fighting for a soon end date.
Maybe this is helpful for others searching for meaning in life, changing the society, changing the economy system and not wasting the lifetime with doing some boring computer work for filling the day.

There are bad news too. At 22. October of this year, i was watching a youtube aftermovie of a festival i attended. This is good for non-addicts for recalling fantastic moments but bad for porn-addicts even after recovery.
<Trigger warning>
After some time, suddenly there was a young woman shown topless on the floor. Only her back was visible, no private parts.
</Trigger warning>
But this was enough for triggering dormant addictive pathways. It was not this trance like state during my addiction time. But it was a flash in my brain creating a lot of damage. I did not masturbate. I did not act out. I closed the video. Until today i made no further false step but there is still an impact of this slip. Others noticed it although they do not know what has happened. The withdrawal symptoms are by far not so severe after a slip during recovery. But they last even longer as during recovery. As a german psychological therapist told: It is possible to heal porn addiction. But the people stay wounded for the rest of their life.
It is best for us to pursue a lifestyle with as less pixel erotica as possible. While at least the EU is seeing this pixel world as a solution for decoupling economical growth from resource consumption and by this sponsoring everything which leads in this direction, this is a really bad development at least for us addicts.
But everybody has the choice to choose a lifestyle deviating from this digital lifestyle.

So guys, heads up. 2018 is coming to an end and 2019 will bring lots of opportunities for personal growth and leaving addiction behind.
Embrace your life.

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