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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:21 am 
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1. What is your current sexual preference? Heterosexual

2. At what age did you become aware of your current sexual preference? 6

3. Are you satisfied with your current sexual preference? Yes

4. How many sexual/romantic partners have you had:
a. In the past 30 days? 1 (My wife)

b. In the past year? 2

c. In your lifetime? 4

5. Of the sexual partners you have had, how often have you maintained 'safe-sex' practices? Seldom

6. Are you engaging in sexual behavior that is having (could have) a significantly impact on your life? No

7. Document your experiences with the following:
For all behaviors exhibited below, click on the corresponding "follow-up" link
Behavior
Age of
1st Experience
(1-96; 0 if never)
Past 90 Days (Times) Past 30 Days (Hours)
Follow-up Questions
A) Masturbation 19 0 0
B) Pornography 9 0 0
C) Promiscuity 20 0 0
F) Erotic Fantasy 9 0 0
L)Erotographomania 14 0 0


8. For the behaviors listed in the chart above, enter the letter (A-T) for each behavior you have exhibited for longer than one year:
A,B,F, L

9. Have you ever been treated for sexually compulsive behavior? No
10. Has a friend, employer, family member, etc. ever suggested counseling to help you deal with a matter directly or indirectly related to your sexual/romantic behavior? No

On the scale below, rate the negative impact that your sexual and/or romantic behaviors have had on your: (1-No effect 2-Slight 3-Moderate 4-Considerable 5-Extreme)
Family 5
Friends 2
Co-workers 1
Career 4
Finances 2
Romantic Relationships 5
Self-esteem 5
Stress level 5
Time management 5
Hobbies 5


Follow-up Questions (to be answered if behavior listed above)
A) Masturbation
1. On average, how many times per day do you masturbate? 0, pre-recovery at least 1 a day

2. How often do you masturbate in public places? Never
3. How often do you masturbate while driving (or other dangerous environments)? Never
4. How often do you masturbate at work? Seldom
5. Do you believe that masturbating is interfering with your ability to manage intimate relationships with others? Yes
6. How many times have you attempted Autoerotic Asphyxiation? Never

7. How often do you masturbate to the point of exhaustion? Never
8. How often do you feel guilty after masturbating? Often


B) Pornography
1. How many times per week do you view pornographic material? Pre-recovery 3-4 times a week

2. Which types of pornography do you solicit? Various
3. Which types of pornography do you solicit? Adult
4. Which medium do you prefer? Various (Internet, Video)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:05 pm 
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Lesson 12 Exercise

Out of the four common patterns I feel I hover between the 3rd and 4th group of Workshop participants. I have sincerity and passion to recover and have been enthusiastic and engaged in the recovery material, really pondering the material and applying it into my life. I haven't had the feeling of being "above" or "through" with recovery work and ready to move on with my life because I feel this is something that has to be ongoing to keep urges and old thought patterns and habits at bay.

They are inflexible in re-evaluating their lifetime goals (e.g. "Since I have failed so far at being a professional actor, athlete, writer, etc., I can't be successful at anything." "Since I cannot be around to raise my children, I will always remain unfulfilled as a parent.")

^^ This pattern stood out to me because one of my main deterrants to healthy living and a healthy mindset is self-loathing and low self-esteem due to not being uber successful. I've had to re-evaluate my dreams and goals since my youth and it was always because of some trait of mine that held me back "I'm not tall enough, I'm not confident enough, I'm not good enough, I'm not athletic enough, I'm not fit enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not creative enough etc." And the addiction feeds off of the loathsome feelings and send me urges to medicate through sexual means.

They often experience selfish thoughts when caught acting out (e.g. "Why didn't I see this coming?" "Why didn't I cover that up better?" "Why do I cause myself so much pain?")

These thoughts and feelings have crossed my mind and yes they are ridiculously selfish and something I hope to grow from because that comes from an unhealthy mindset.

They believe that they are suffering from a disease that is beyond their control, but not beyond all hope.

I have thought similar feelings about this addiction and just how powerful the grip is on me especially when I am left to my own devices and have lots of idle unstructured time.

"They often attempt to convince others of their recovery by offering their "new identity" as proof. Again, most often seen with hyper-religiosity and hyper-recovery situations."


--I can see myself capable of doing something like this as it was common for me to do pre-recovery and act like I have everything under control and am healthy and fine when I'm really not.

"They consistently measure the success of their recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction."

I can relate to feeling that way as well and am aware that that isn't a true recovery mindset. Recovery is not holding your breath and white knuckling it and being proud of it, "Look at me, I havent done anything for 9 months!" It's about transforming old thought processes and habits to more healthy ones.

"They often experience extreme emotions in relation to acting out — extreme guilt, extreme shame, depression, anger, hatred. Or, they experience very mild emotions — when it has become a pattern that they have resolved to accept as a part of their lives."

I have felt all of these emotions in relation to my acting out. The frustration and despair and almost accepting defeat. That I can't beat this but at least put up a fight. Again, a very dangerous mindset and not one that will result in sustained recovery and sobriety.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:06 pm 
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Lesson 14 Exercise: Daily Monitoring.

1. Did I Have at least one Meaningful Honest conversation with my wife today?

2. Did I use prayer as a functional tool in my life today?
a.Did I guard my salat (Did them on time as they came in with focus and concentration?)

3. How would I describe my overall emotional balance and stability throughout the day?

4. Did I engage in any healthy activities that allowed me to fulfill my need for creativity? (Reading Screenplay, Writing, Blogging, Reading Fiction etc)

5. Did I interact with my children with a focus on their needs, not my own.

6. Was I active in my approach to learning/applying healthy recovery skills today?
-If not how many days has it been?

7. Did I engage in any healthy personal activities that allowed me to relax and escape pressures of life? (Watching Netflix w/ Wife, wrestling/playing toys with my son, Watching Basketball game, Wrestling, Video Games, book reading etc.)

8. Did I use any deception today to avoid or minimize taking responsibility for my lifes choices/actions/habits?

9. Did I engage in any compulsive behavior today?
a. If YES did I create a break as soon as I became aware of that ritual?
b. Also if Yes what elements can I identify triggered the behavior? (HALT? Boredom?)
c. If NO. Did I roleplay a possible future compulsive ritual and envision/plan preventative measures to take to ingrain confidence in my ability to manage these rituals?

10. Did I engage in any spiritual reading or meditation/reflection? (Reading Qur'an, Hadith, Lecture clip etc.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:24 pm 
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Lesson 15 Exercise

In my two weeks of implementing the daily monitoring ritual I learned just how dependent my emotional stability is with my need for meaningful productive achievements. I want to first review my thoughts on the different points of my daily monitoring list.

1. Did I Have at least one Meaningful Honest conversation with my wife today?

More often than not, I did have meaningful conversations with my wife and have noticed more and more meaningful conversations with her since being in recovery. Our future, her pain, the betrayal, recovery itself, sex addiction itself and talking about our hopes and goals and wants and needs with honesty has been a reward of this crisis period.



2. Did I use prayer as a functional tool in my life today?
a.Did I guard my salat (Did them on time as they came in with focus and concentration?)

I learned that this needed some serious work because I hadn't been praying when I need to, on time and with complete mental focus and serenity all the time. A lot of that had to do with not seizing the early morning hours for the dawn prayer daily. Consistency is something that needs work and is an overarching theme with my recovery and overall life productivity.

3. How would I describe my overall emotional balance and stability throughout the day?

4. Did I engage in any healthy activities that allowed me to fulfill my need for creativity? (Reading Screenplay, Writing, Blogging, Reading Fiction etc)


^^This I realized I was not doing enough and everyday that I was doing the daily monitoring reflection and saying "Nope" on this, it upset me and disappointed me and it showed just how badly I need to squeeze creatively fulfilling activities into my daily routine.

5. Did I interact with my children with a focus on their needs, not my own.

6. Was I active in my approach to learning/applying healthy recovery skills today?
-If not how many days has it been?


I was pretty consistent with 5 and 6. Though I could be better than I was on them especially 6 because I ideally would like the early mornings to make for recovery time and my trouble with waking up early effects my routine.

7. Did I engage in any healthy personal activities that allowed me to relax and escape pressures of life? (Watching Netflix w/ Wife, wrestling/playing toys with my son, Watching Basketball game, Wrestling, Video Games, book reading etc.)

I did pretty well on this

8. Did I use any deception today to avoid or minimize taking responsibility for my lifes choices/actions/habits?

9. Did I engage in any compulsive behavior today?
a. If YES did I create a break as soon as I became aware of that ritual?
b. Also if Yes what elements can I identify triggered the behavior? (HALT? Boredom?)
c. If NO. Did I roleplay a possible future compulsive ritual and envision/plan preventative measures to take to ingrain confidence in my ability to manage these rituals?


This was a very helpful way of dealing with the compulsive behaviors and triggers that I get during my daily living. It was very fascinating to analyze the patterns and pathways my brain has implanted within itself and when analyzing at the end of the day the times I get triggered to do compulsive behaviors, finding the underlying feeling behind it. And the days I'm not, just picturing a moment where I'm at risk and playing in my mind preventative measures I could take. Excellent tool.

10. Did I engage in any spiritual reading or meditation/reflection? (Reading Qur'an, Hadith, Lecture clip etc.)

This was very inconsistent. Some days it was passable, other days nonexistent. Again, I have difficulty with consistentcy and difficulty with consistently waking up early.

OVERALL: This was a beneficial tool that I want to do ongoing until those positive activities and milestones become a part of my day and become engrained in my habit system.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:16 pm 
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Lesson 16 Exercise:

Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)?

Understanding the functional role of your addiction is important in removing the power, mystery and fear from that addiction — to begin seeing it in terms of practicality, rather than as some kind of supernatural fate or disease that you are doomed to suffer.

Share a few positive aspects of your addiction in your recovery thread.


Looking back at my history of indulging in compulsive sexual behaviors and rituals, it was a form of stress management especially as it related to work stress and negative emotions about my performance abilities as a man, a husband, a provider. When I'd get strong feelings of inadequacy and self-disappointment or dissatisfaction of where I am at in my career (feeling like I'm wasting years at a job that I loathe, that is beneath me; feeling undervalued and unfulfilled, feeling unchallenged and bored) or how I look (being out of shape, overweight, short, unfit) or low feelings of self-worth ("I should be making more money", "I should be a bigger deal than my job description", "I should be financially comfortable", "I'm not good enough to be successful", "I'm wasting my talents") I would use the addiction and compulsive behaviors to temporarily escape from those uncomfortable feelings and pain.

It is just like a man going to a bar after work to drink his stress away, or a junkie popping pills or shooting heroin or snorting cocaine to escape from their own painful reality but it was more dangerous because I could do it covertly and quickly by using the internet, which is accessible anywhere and doesnt require a dealer, or money or even leaving the house. I used it to stroke my ego.

The feelings of insecurity, of low confidence were too much for my poor coping skills to deal with. I used the addiction to escape. To be in an alternate universe where I was "The MAN", where I was attractive and desirable and powerful and wanted. I exploited my addiction selfishly to feed my desire to feel like a somebody, like an attractive male athlete/celebrity whos sought after by women, a romantic casanova of some sort that women should drool over and do anything for. It was online/internet where I had this power or could fake having this kind of power and fantasize it. It was quick and easy and required minimal effort unlike real life and was entirely selfish. I could just make a couple clicks or type a couple of sentences and I'd selfishly get what I want. The addiction provided an instant gratification that would take me out of reality but would only last for minutes or even seconds and then I'd feel absolutely terrible about what I've done until I start fiending for my next fix.

The insane thing is that I'd feel guilty and ashamed of every compulsive activity I was doing because I knew it was wrong and not the way to deal with things but my addiction FED OFF my guilt and shame and pushed me to medicate those negative emotions with the same garbage.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:58 pm 
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Lesson 17 Exercise

I. Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread. It is important that you understand the principles involved in identifying the stimulating elements of compulsive rituals...so if you are not comfortable with this concept, ask questions! Also, recognize that the elements listed above are not the only elements associated with compulsive behavior. And so, you will want to identify those elements that are specifically related to YOUR compulsive behavior.

Compulsive Rituals: Browsing Pornographic Imagery/Masturbation, Engaging in Roleplay with online strangers via phone sex/RP/cybersex, Engaging in Affair with Stranger.

Elements Involved in Browsing Pornography Imagery/Video with Masturbation
1. Sensory Stimulation
    TOUCH-Touching my genitalia to alter my emotional state and produce sexual arousal
    SIGHT-visually powerful and shocking imagery that eyes don't normally see outside of addictive behavior, intoxicating and alters mental state and heightens fictional escape into fantasy
    SOUND- Accompanies the sight. Enhances fantasy inside brain with sounds of moans, the physical act of sex etc.
2.Fantasy - Would lose touch with reality. Like playing a character, like I'm in the pornography-- an active player and not myself. Obsessiveness over the imagery. Delusional ideation of thinking that the performers in the pornography are performing for me, or they desire me, heightening feelings of grandiosity and feeling powerful.
3. Danger - In the past there was danger of being caught. Danger of someone walking in and catching me, being humiliated and ashamed. When this danger should have made me avoid this behavior, instead I merely hoped to get away with it.
4. Suspense- Obsessively and excessively spending time looking around and around hoping to hit the "jackpot" and find the most stimulating pornography to indulge in and get aroused/high from.
5. Orgasm- I engage in the behavior with this goal in mind. It is fleeting, quick and meaningless when its done. It lasts only a few seconds or a minute total in buildup and in the end I just feel terrible and disgusted with myself for having done it.


Elements in Engaging in Roleplay with online strangers via phone sex/RP/cybersex
1.Fantasy- I get lost in the role, lost in what is being talked about and basically jump outside of myself into an alternate world where what the subject of what is being talked about is happening. Lose grip on reality.
2. Sensory- Arousal of the genitals, eventually leading to masturbation
3. Orgasm- The end result of the roleplaying. Usually I dont obtain it in public places like when I've done it at work. But I still get the mind-altering high from conducting this compulsive behavior.
4. Danger- Sense of danger in getting caught. Someone walking in on me phone sexing or RPing. Catching the content on the screen. Tremendous fear and anxiety of getting caught and humilated. I almost expect someone to walk in on me worst case scenario and in shock and disgust yelling "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?"
5. Power/Accomplishment- It all goes back to feeling significant due to low self-esteem in my other aspects of life. Feeling like some type of macho man or master that is skilled in arousing and pleasuring women.

Elements of Engaging in Affair with Stranger Or Illicit Sexual Encounters
1. Fantasy- Delusional fantasy. Irrational thought process exaggerated from reality. Sex driven relationship under the guise of love. These addictive delusional fantasies created a false feeling of love. I think this false feeling of love was created by my addict brain to allow me the courage/audacity to carry out sexual encounters and commit adultery, otherwise I wouldn't have the guts to go through with it with a clear mind and conscience.
2. Power/Accomplishment- A large theme in my compulsive acting out behaviors. Wanting to feel significant. Wanting to feel like a casanova or player or heartthrob that is desired by women. Wanting to feel like a flawless man that can easily make women aroused and satisfied while really narcissistically in it for my own pleasure and ego stroking. Temporary self-esteem boost would occur in my past acting out encounters. Feeling like "the man", temporarily forgetting all of the self-loathing feelings I have about myself.
3. Danger- The anxiety of getting caught, of being seen, of being found out always lingered in the back of my mind but didnt make me put my foot down and stop the reckless, destructive behavior.
4. Orgasm- Often when orgasm was achieved, I would immediately be hit with despair and would want to escape, run away and be alone. I would begin ruminating out loud about how terrible I am and how I can't believe I did what I did and that I am not a good person. Shame, disgust, self-hate and intense guilt would hit after the orgasm. A moment of clarity about just how horrible the act I committed was and this would send me into wanting to run away, cover up, hide and stuff down. I would be very upset and sad that I'm being unfaithful and disloyal to my wife. Feeling I've let everyone down, my wife, my kids, my parents, my God. Feeling like a failure.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:59 pm 
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Lesson 18 Exercise:
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.

Ritual: Roleplaying with Ramdom Stranger turned Affair Partner
To pass time at work I would engage in sexual roleplay with a female I met through craigslist. This would tap largely into fantasy. Fantasy would intensify into false feelings of passion for one another and escalate into fantasizing actually meeting one another and then it escalated into actual face-to-face meeting up and sexually compulsive acting out.

Time: The duration of the sexual roleplaying. I spent a good part of a work day creating this buildup with the cyber sex partner. It created a high that would keep me on edge for the duration of our time rp'ing. I'd be aroused and I'd visualize what we were doing. I was in the workplace so I couldnt orgasm or masturbate. The running theme was that the high would come to the point where I knew the AP orgasmed by her letting me know that. When things escalated the threshold would be up until orgasm and then repulsion, shame and dismay would follow.

Intensity: This is where it got the most out of hand. Sexual roleplay and fantasy through chat and texting escalated to phone sex which escalated to actual meeting up and having sexual encounters. Things progressively intensified because it wasn't enough anymore and I'd quickly get bored and it wouldnt have the same intense effect so basically the addict brain wanted to kick things up a notch and get more reckless and destructive.

Habituation: Rp'ing once in a while so it wouldnt get stale. Same with the phone sex and when it escalated to sexual encounters in person, it'd be white knuckling it. Trying not to do it every week. Abstaining. I guess in a way it kept things more intense because it built anticipation and fantasy and suspense for when will be the next time it occurs. That would keep it exciting even though at the same time a part of me was legitimately wanting to put an end to the insane cycle.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:18 am 
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Exercise 20: Mastering Your addiction

1) Examine your addiction and the role(s) that it has played in your life to date. Look across your life span and identify the progression of the addiction, the sustainment of it, the absence of it and/or the stifling of it. Look at the major transitions that you have experienced (childhood to prepubescent teen; prepubescent teen through teenager; teenager through young adulthood; young adulthood through adulthood; explore also any major traumas that you have endured (parental divorce, sexual abuse, moving to a new school or neighborhood, etc.) and identify the role that addiction (or the rituals that eventually developed into an addiction) played in helping you through that time period.

Your goal is to develop a fluid understanding of just how these patterns progressed from early sparks (harmless fantasy, etc.) to an eventual wildfire (e.g. addiction).


My addiction stemmed early on in life from low self-esteem and wanting to be desired and accepted etc. I was picked on for my weight by family members and students in school and didn't feel like I was attractive enough. Seeing pornographic images on TV and magazines at a young age captivated me and early family sexual abuse made me sexually charged way too early for my age. Because of my low self-esteem and lack of confidence while at the same time wanting to be wanted and desired and to feel attractive to the opposite sex, I found this dependency on sex taking shape and developing into a full blown addiction in my teen years with the advent of the internet.

I used the internet as my personal toy to make me feel desirable and to tap into fantasy of being wanted/desirable and attractive and confident, something I feel wasn't in real life. The fact that I was anonymous shielded me and gave me confidence to say what I wanted to say, make up lies, inflate and create a false image of myself all for the purpose of getting attention. Pornography and eventually sexual chatting became my go-to way of coping when it came to boredom, stress, disappointment and pressures of doing well in school. I'd isolate into this fantasy world every day after school where I could pretend to be someone I wasn't just to gain a high of feeling desirable, wanted, attractive. At the same time I'd be ashamed of what I was doing, knowing it was wrong and vulgar, knowing it was against my religion, and my parents would disapprove and be shocked if they found out. I would make vows to quit but my efforts to stop wouldn't last long as, like clockwork, I would always go back.

My sexual addiction became a tool any time things were too hard to deal with, pressures of juggling college and working to help my family with bills, disappointment with my weight and fitness, self-disappointment when it came to having a job after college and working on trying to make something of myself and be successful and self-sufficient, self-pity and feelings of entitlement when after graduating I didn't find a lucrative job that tapped into my skill-set and talents. All these hard feelings and harsh self-criticisms would eat at me and I didn't possess the proper coping skills to deal with them in a healthy way so I retreated to an addiction bubble to pass time, to forget, to escape, to make myself "feel good" temporarily before returning to the way things were and trying to keep a good attitude about how things were and mask my feelings and shame and guilt that built up from partaking in my addiction and compulsive behaviors from my wife and family.


2) Look to future transitions in your life. Divorce. Death of a partner. Death of your parents. Death of a child. Loss of a job. Retirement. Having another child. Empty-nest syndrome. Consider many different situations that you will possibly face in the remaining years of your life. Situations that could potentially cause major instability to an otherwise balanced, fulfilling life. Explore the role(s) that addiction could play in helping you to manage these times. What would it feel like for addiction to come back into your life? Would it be a rapid collapse or a subtle progression? What signs would you look for? What actions would you take?

From what I have learned so far in my recovery journey, I feel that any large transitions in my life, because my addiction has been so ingrained in me as a coping tool, that when transitions like a loss of a job, or frustrating crisis situations or periods of hardship and chaos, my addict brain will try to jump in and whisper that I should "take a load off" and retreat into fantasy and escape from the uncomfortable feelings and pains, to fall into lust and watch porn, masturbate or do whatever destructive and irrational thing I've done in the past.

It'd be like a gnawing repetitive whisper wanting to break me down like it has in the past. It'd be patient with me, waiting for me to let my guard down, to be alone, so it can try and break me down and make me return to my destructive acting out habits of the past. It's a pattern that I never could figure out until I got into sex addiction recovery. I am understanding now how it works, and how lethal and relentless the addiction is. ANY TIME I'm bored or restless or upset/disappointed with myself it goes on the attack. Addiction recovery is helping me to recognize the patterns and the tendencies and the way the addiction tries to make moves so I can seek the healthy alternatives to the bad feelings and not give into the false relief and temptations the addiction presents which it falsely promises to "make me feel better" but really it just makes me feel worse.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:27 pm 
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Lesson 21 Exercise:
A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?

Remaining faithful in marriage to my wife. I failed to do so when I committed infidelity and participated in an affair. I suppose I failed even before I began because I was already dishonest with her about previous encounters and my porn/masturbation dependency that I developed as a stress management mechanism. I failed because I never treated or tackled internal issues that I have related to my feelings of self-esteem, self-disappointment/discontent, and being highly critical of myself. Instead, I've used pornography/sex as a sort of escape hatch to those negative feelings rather than tackling them head on and seeking the proper treatment/therapy and lifestyle changes to deal with those feelings. I lacked maturity in knowing how to properly dispose of these negative feelings or let them out in healthy ways. I wouldn't talk in-depth about them. I didn't confide fully in my wife my feelings and tell her about my dependency in sex/porn to cope with feelings and how this wasn't right and I needed help. I kept this locked up because of how she'd react or what she'd think of me. I would mope around and tell everyone "I'll be alright" or I hid in the guise of religion but the truth was I wasn't totally submitting to a Higher Power, I was wrapped up in entitlement and self-pity and medicating that with pornography and looking at the female body as an object or drug of escape and to selfishly gratify me and make me feel better. It sadly led to infidelity. That's the biggest goal in life that I failed, I let my wife down.

Another major goal that I failed time and time again to achieve was ending my addiction. All I did was apply unsuccessful cure after unsuccessful cure. Being more religious, getting married, fasting, trying to structure my days better but nothing could work. It was because I tried to do it my own way and I was not skilled in learning to deal with this addiction. I didn't even know I really had one. I was in isolation and I thought willpower was enough. It was just like the lesson stated. It was like blinking. Eventually you blink no matter how much you hold. I hadn't read about sex addiction, I didn't have the proper tools necessary to fight the addiction. I was going to battle against the enemy with no weapons and with no training on how to fight properly. So of course I was going to lose.

B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?

I was able to marry the love of my life, my wife and start a family with her and I was able to graduate from college.

I had a lot going against me with my wife in my pursuit of her. We were long distance, we had met online, we weren't rich where we could just easily meet each other. But I was determined to be with her because she made me happy and I cared for her. As our relationship developed and grew, I met her in person and introduced her to my family. I made my intention to marry her to her family and my parents. Despite my personal internal struggles, my desire was to be wed to her and with her help and support and given the circumstances, we were able to make it happen. I made the right decision being with her. I just wasn't forthright to her with my problems and internal dependencies and I was wrong for that and I regret being dishonest, but taking her hand in marriage is my greatest achievement that I am proud of. With graduating from college, it just took hard work and focusing on my assignments and coursework and making sure I was studying when I needed to.

C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.

I want to finish recovery Nation by the end of Ramadan 2016. (July 5th)

With 52 lessons left up to this point, If I do 3 lessons a week I can finish well before that period. Initially I read Recovery Nation would take 90 days to complete and I've taken the slow route with it. It's been a lot more than 90 days since I've started. Procrastination mixed with just busyness and being distracted keeping me from having solid focus on knocking out lessons regularly.

Another recovery goal of mine is to lose 35 pounds (get to "one"derland 199lbs) in ninety days but I always keep resetting. I hope to start a solid 90 day workout regimen after my daughter is born and we've adjusted to her usual schedule. The food part is my main hurdle but I have to take it one day at a time and tell my self it's only 90 days avoiding all the good fatty unhealthy stuff. If you can do that, you'll reach your goal. Easier said than done but I'm willing to put in the work!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:50 pm 
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Lesson 22 Exercise:

Ritual to be measured:

Masturbating to pornography:

- Suspense: The exhilarating and addictive search to finding the perfect material/image/video to view to make me start the PMO Cycle.
- Fantasy: (Delusional) Imagining that the woman I am viewing desperately desires me and finds me attractive. Imagining the man having sex in the video/image is me.
- Power: The fantasy of above makes me feel powerful, like I'm "the man", that I am irresistible like some type of heartthrob celebrity.
- Sensory (visual): with the beginning of ritual
- Sensory (touch): Masturbation to the stimuli I am viewing.
- Danger: of the possibility of getting caught at work and being humilated/fired or if im at home being caught by my wife/family.
- Accomplishment: when I find just the right image or video that gives me maximum arousal
- Moral Conflict: Knowing what I'm doing is wrong and sinful.
- Orgasm/Fulfilment: Ejaculating and completion.

Values assigned:
- suspense - 2
- fantasy - 2
- power - 2
- sensory visual - 3
- sensory touch - 1
- Accomplishment - 2
- Moral conflict- 1
- orgasm - 3


Filters applied:
Suspense:
》time: 8 - The hunt for the perfect image is important as much as it is excruciating
》intensity: 9 - The need for something more shocking and arousing and never seen before increases
》habituation: 6 - it becomes a regular ritual in the act


Sensory visual:
》time: 8 - As time goes by I get more stimulation from all the imagery I see.
》intensity: 9 - Seeing more outlandishly and visual shocking imagery I'm not used to (gay porn, tranny porn etc.)
》Habituation: 9 - the more I view, the less shocking and stimulating it becomes, becomes normal/boring

Fantasy:
》time: Increases stimulation, no time limit "8"
》Intensity: Depends on concentration, if I am alone and dont have to worry about any interruption it rises "8"
》habituation: Fantasies wear off in interest level so I begin to add elements, switch people/characters and setting to keep interested, eventually it still gets weak the more it becomes a habit

Accomplishment:
》time: 8 - The goal has been met when I find the ideal picture or video to masturbate too
》Intensity: 7
》habituation: 3

Orgasm:
》time: 2 Occurs spontaneously, can't control it so it goes fast.
》Intensity: 10 Urge to reach orgasm becomes all on my mind, nothing else matters, just reach climax. Selfish.
》habituation: no real effect 1


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:19 pm 
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In your recovery thread, share a brief summary of what practical uses the skill of measuring compulsive rituals can have in your recovery. Don't just copy the headings of this lesson, take a minute to see how you can practically use this information in YOUR life.

Measuring compulsive rituals allows me to be able to observe and analyze the patterns and situations that I am most vulnerable in and step back and see that the compulsive act wasn't just any one act or decision made but a series of sequential mini-situations and decisions I made that systematically brings me closer and closer to an addictive and destructive act that I should be avoiding.

This can help me in my everyday life when it comes to preventing relapse and becoming more self-aware because through conditioning myself to assess behaviors and scenarios that are deemed dangerous for me, I can analyze the situation and take a step outside of myself and see what is going on, how I am feeling, and assessing whether what I am engaging in or feeling or partaking in is in line with my values. Having the ritual of addiction broken down into little pieces of a cycle or pattern, I can see what is happening and pull myself out of dangerous scenarios and situations that would put my recovery in jeopardy.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:49 pm 
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Lesson 24 Exercise

I. My Wheel of Sexual Compulsion:
[*]FANTASY
[*]BOREDOM
[*]ESCAPE
[*]ISOLATION
[*]SUSPENSE
[*]SENSORY
[*]FAILURE/SELF-PITY
[*]POWER
[*]PERVERSION
[*]DANGER
[*]MORAL CONFLICT
[*]PAST
[*]IMAGINATION
[*]ORGASM


II. Major Compulsive Sexual Rituals Breakdown

Ritual: Viewing Pornography/Sexual hookup sites at work.
Element #1 Feeling tremendous boredom from the unfullfiling monotony of my job -BOREDOM
Element #2 Feel sorry for myself; frustration of wasted years and talent - FAILURE/SELF-PITY
Element #3 Experienced urge to look at sexual imagery to escape bad feelings - ESCAPE/IMAGINATION
Element #4 Sneakily search for images on my work computer or on my phone to escape and get aroused - SENSORY/SUSPENSE
Element #5 Begin fantasizing about being with person in porn image/video. Being desired and wanted by them. - FANTASY
Element #6 Have false sense of self. Feeling desireable and sexy, like a real virile successful man who is irresistable to the opposite sex.- POWER
Element #7 Often times search or obsess over fetish type material, face-sitting, anilingus, anal sex (gay and straight) - PERVERSION
Element #8 Look around and hyper-anxious hoping no one is seeing me or catches me viewing. DANGER
Element #9 Would continue this in the restroom. (Or I may have started this ritual in the restroom on my smartphone) ISOLATION
Element #10 Would begin to masturbate until reaching orgasm - ORGASM
Element #11 Relieved that I have not been caught yet feeling intense shame because of what I have done - MORAL CONFLICT/FAILURE/SELF-PITY


Ritual: Pornography w/ Masturbation

Element #1: Feeling a sense stress in various parts of life (relationship, work, low self esteem, finances etc.)
Element #2: Feel sorry for myself for feeling stressed out SELF-PITY/FAILURE
Element #3: Experience urge to relieve myself sexually for immediate escape from emotional distress. ESCAPE
Element #4: Would head to bed while my wife is awake or stay up if my wife is asleep ISOLATION
Element #5: Begin searching for porn - SUSPENSE/ESCAPE
Element #6: Telling myself that I will only watch a little to take the edge off and that begins heavy binging for the perfect stimulating video- SENSORY
Element #7: Fantasize about being in the video, being the man in the video, being desired. FANTASY
Element #8: Begin touching myself - SENSORY TOUCH
Element #9: Feeling a sense of power and control over the girls I'm viewing, feeling like I am the man, like a stud. Feeling successful POWER
Element#10: If what I'm watching isn't stimulating enough, turn to more outrageous and shocking videos that are not what I normally enjoy (gay sex, tranny sex) or fetishes like larger curvy women, anillingus, anal sex, Black men and heavier women PERVERSION
Element #11: Reach orgasm
Element #12: Clumsily and quickly clean up
Element #13: Feel intense shame and guilt for what I have done. MORAL CONFLICT/SELF-PITY

Ritual: Browsing Hookup Sites[/]

Element #1: Unstructured time, lonely, bored and frustrated. BOREDOM
Element #2: Get urges to look at hookup sites like mocospace or craigslist IMAGINATION
Element #3: Browse hookup sites and look at profile photos or ads and try to find ones that are overly slutty SUSPENSE/SENSORY
Element #4: Fantasize about being with person in image or ad, fantasize that had the person known me they'd find me attractive and be infatuated with me FANTASY DELUSIONAL
Element #5: When normal imagery is not enough I go on craigslist casual encounters ads and look at trannies or gay men, particularly feminine ones, fetishized because of my unhealthy porn-induced obsession with anal sex. PERVERSION
Element #6: On rare occassions if I'm at work, fantasize to the point of masturbation and orgasm ORGASM/SENSORY TOUCH
Element #7: Shame and despair hits "Why the hell did I do this again?" SELF-PITY/MORAL CONFLICT/FAILURE

[i]Ritual: Sexual Chatting/Roleplay

Element #1: I have heavy unstructured time, boredom, lonely, nothing better to do, stressed out or frustrated.
Element #2: Have an intense urge to escape my boredom and frustrated feelings.
Element #3: Look for chatrooms or hookup sites for people who would like to sexually roleplay. SUSPENSE
Element #4: Find someone and begin chatting with them and flirting and coming up with a scenario IMAGINATION
Element #5: Go into a detailed long roleplay of the scenario while getting aroused and fantasizing acting out the roleplay. FANTASY
Element #6: Flirting with the person after the roleplay
Element #7: After conclusion, I usually don't masturbate and stop contact and feel bad about what I've done, which is often shortlived SELF-PITY/MORAL CONFLICT

Ritual: Affair
Element #1: Boredom, frustration or stress at work, not wanting to be at work and desiring escape. ESCAPE
Element #2: Talking with roleplay partner, flirting, fantasizing, giving her ego boosts only so I can get ego boosts in return. Fantasizing really meeting up IMAGINATION
Element #3: Fantasy talk of scenario of meeting up intensifies and consumes my imagination and becomes a misguided obsession and infatuation FANTASY
Element #4: Arrange a meetup and find scenario where we are alone. ISOLATION/SUSPENSE
Element #5: Act out with person still living in a fantasy land, where I'm powerful, desirable, full of myself. POWER
Element #5 Achieve orgasm ORGASM
Element #6 Feel intense despair and shame with myself for committing adultery and let it be known to the acting out partner. MORAL CONFLICT/SHAME/SELF-PITY/FAILURE
Element #7 Try to distance myself from the person or compromise (Meetup but no sex, no kissing etc.) Often times this gets overrided due to the compulsive tendencies engrained. PAST
Element #8 Repeat Elements #2 to #6 repeatedly in an insane cycle for 7 months until I cut off physical contact with the person
Element #9 Repeat Elements #1 and #2 until affair is unraveled and discovered by wife.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 3:34 pm 
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Exercise for Lesson 25

The Parts of a Compulsive Ritual

1. The beginning of the ritual

Is activated when I start to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, overly disappointed in myself or bored. These unpleasant emotions are uncomfortable and my addictive emotional management system seeks to escape these negative unpleasant feelings. The ritual also starts when I am idling, I dont have something productive or fulfilling to sink my teeth into (unstructured time, open schedule, dont have something planned that's productive) . I feel bad and want to feel good or escape the negative feelings.

2. The Point of No Return (PoNR)
Example: The moment I decide to open the "Private" or "Incognito" browser and make the first porn search.

3. The End of the Ritual
Guilt and shame - Also the beginning of the next ritual.
Disappointed with myself. Frustrated. Angry.
Thought: How did I fool myself once again?


Compulsive Ritual
Porn and Masturbation

#1 (At work) Just being at work, bored to pieces, not wanting to be there. (At home) Unstructured alone time.
#2 (At work) Frustration with having to do the same tedious crap, wanting to do something more worthwhile and meaningful but feeling helpless to change my situation. Impatient. (At home) Get heavy urges to fill my free time with pornography.
#3 I begin fantasizing about porn scenes, naked women etc to escape the negative feelings (Beginning of ritual)
#4 I pull up my phone or the computer and begin to browse in incognito mode or privately- (PoNR)
#5 I go on a hunt for a triggering picture that will make me "high". This usually takes time and is a huge waste of time.
#6 Pictures almost certainly lead to videos and the same hunt for a perfect clip.
#7 I start watching porn and end up masturbating as I watch the addictive visual stimuli.
#8 Orgasm
#9 Guilt, shame, disappointment, fear, regret
#10 Shut off the internet, delete the history and try to stay far away from media (End and beginning of next ritual)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:51 am 
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Exercise for Lesson 26
In the previous exercise, you were asked to label the elements involved with a particular ritual. In this exercise, you will be delving deeper into your awareness of that ritual. Here, you are asked to 'map out' one of your rituals. Make sure that you choose a specific ritual that you have engaged in (as in, last Thursday before work, I looked at porn); rather than a general compulsive behavior (as in, in the past, I looked at porn).

The last time I relapsed (4/20/16)

1. At my job which I loathe. I'm assigned to do work in a file room with no supervision. Completely alone with an internet connection. Me not enjoying my boring tedious work causes me to drift between half-heartedly doing my work and procrastinating on my work.
2. Feelings of frustration, boredom, procrastination and just the dangerous environment of being along in a room entices me to go off-task to get high. I looked up images of women on the dirty sections of Reddit.
3. I would spend an excessive amount of time browsing pictures, gifs, video clips, whatever sticks out to me and achieves a strong visual chemical arousal.
4. I would hover between catching myself and trying to focus on my work and going back to browse. This new work environment makes me a bit lackadaisical in actively utilizing recovery tools like calling my Sponsor or a recovery buddy, taking a walk away from the file room, getting some fresh air out of the office.
5. I feel the urge to use the restroom for No. 2 and I bring my phone with me, which is a BIG NO NO in my recovery plan.
6. I bypass the app blocker on my phone and unlock my YouTube app, I have already lost control and am at the point of no return.
7. I begin to browse YouTube for videos of women with large backsides twerking.
8. I get aroused by this and start to touch myself. Inside a battle rages within me. Half of me saying, "STOP IT! DONT" the other wanting to keep going.
9. I try to hold off orgasm and stop touching myself, not wanting to relapse, not wanting to lose my 1 year + of sobriety.
10. The battle is lost, I orgasm.
11. I sit in utter disappointment and failure. My eyes well up with tears, I want to punch the walls in frustration and anger but I dont want to draw attention to myself in the stall and have someone overhear.
12. I clean myself up in shame and leave the bathroom disgusted with myself, angry etc. I text my wife and notify her of my relapse and then go downstairs to call my sponsor, which I should've done before any of this ritual happened.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:12 am 
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Lesson 27 Exercise:
Provide an example of two compulsive chains in your life. The first chain should be where multiple rituals are engaged in simultaneously — thus enhancing the overall amount of stimulation derived from the behavior. The second should be an example of how you have strung together several rituals back-to-back and thus, extended the stimulation you were deriving. Post these examples in your recovery thread.

First Compulsive Chain - Simultaneously:
Sexual Chatting/Roleplay and PMO=Porn Masturbation Orgasm. Whether the Porn is pictures, videos, browsing ads on craigslist/mocospace or reading/listening to erotic stories, in the end the goal is escaping reality, escaping my negative feelings about myself and where I am at in my career by reaching orgasm through masturbation. These had been go-to "tools" in my life at a young age though I did not do the masturbation/orgasm part until my 20s.

Second Compulsive Chain- String
Roleplay and Sexual Chatting leading to Phone sex and an adulterous affair with a stranger on Craigslist.
The compulsive rituals that I have developed, I tapped into to the point of involving myself with another woman outside of marriage. I never intended for it to go so far as to meet another human being outside of the virtual world of the internet. The opportunity presented itself and I was compelled by my need for getting the ultimate high and escape from my miserable existence at the workplace to carry out the regrettable affair. I tricked my brain into thinking it was "true love" when mainly all I wanted was a timepass from my shitty job and a selfish ego boost, sexual power/gratification.


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