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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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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:59 pm 
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Exercise 28 Developing Compulsive Chains


1. Develop a compulsive chain of your most recent acting out behavior.

  • Boredom, frustration of monotony at work
  • Desire to escape those feelings via internet distraction
  • Begin browsing imagery online that is arousing
  • Take my phone to the restroom to continue browsing ritual
  • Start to masturbate while viewing YouTube Videos of women
  • Orgasm and then a sobering feeling. I realize what I just did and fall into despair and anger with myself

2. Thinking as an addict, look for areas within this chain where you could add additional destructive elements that would have (most likely) increased the overall stimulation of the event. The actual events that you add should be realistic, and related to the chain itself.

  • Watch more explicit images and video. Looking for hardcore pornography
  • Binge the entire day and avoid my work. Starting up the chain again by going back to browsing
  • Taken it a step further and contacted a casual encounter ad on craigslist for interaction or a hookup site to chat and escape deeper into my addiction


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:34 pm 
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Exercise 29 The Role of Emotions in Addiction

A. Describe the emotions that you experienced and the thoughts that triggered them.


I felt relaxed doing the exercise and at peace in a way. The quiet felt good. I am a person that gets antsy when I have to stay still and meditate so it was a little difficult at first to just let go but it was tranquil.

As I let my mind wander I thought about my life in its current state. The frustration with not having a job at the moment. Of wanting to be more significant than I am. Wanting to provide for my family and be comfortable. Wanting a role in life that I feel content with. Wanting a clear calling in life, a right fit where I am successful and where my strengths are tapped into and my talent thrives. Disappointed that I still have no clear direction yet.

I then started looking at my failures. Failing at keeping an honest, faithful relationship with my wife. Having had to lie, hide and cover up. Acting out and doing the most reprehensible actions. I feel angry at that side of me. Angry at what I did. Sad that I allowed it. Sad that I put my wife through such pain and agony. Feeling like I let my Higher power down, that I let everyone down.

I look back at letters my wife read recently that I had written her. How romantic, loving and caring I was in those letters. And I feel sad. I miss that person. I need that person back. That's the real me, not the scumbag that fooled around with other women and watched porn an was acted out.

B. In assessing your own anxiety, describe the extremes of your personal experiences with anxiety. What has been the least anxious state you have experienced and the most extreme anxious state you have experienced?

Anxiety exists in my life and I didn't realize how anxious I get until recovery. My response to anxiety was always escape. I didnt let it linger. I needed to go into my addiction and distract myself. My addiction wouldn't allow myself to just stay in anxiety and feel it. What was I anxious about? It always had to do with career, success and meaning in life. Where am I going to go in life? Am I ever going to do better than where I currently am, at a crummy job living paycheck to paycheck? Can I find a calling in life where my strengths are utilized and I feel like I am making a difference? Why am I settling on mediocrity, is this all I'm good for?

My addiction would squash all that and just have me switch my thoughts to naked women and sex. It hindered my development and that contemplation was needed to facilitate change in my life but the addiction wanted me to stay in the same rut. I feel angry that I let that happen to the point where it got as bad as it did. Determined to not let it continue.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:12 pm 
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Lesson 31 Exercise: Emotional Balance and Stability

A. Make a list of all identifiable stressors that have affected your emotional health over the past week. For each, document whether it is a mild, moderate, severe or extreme stressor. Example: 1) Facing Possible Divorce: extreme; 2) Lost respect among friends and family: moderate

1) My knee injury limiting me physically, being a source of constant pain. It affects me because I want to work out and be active but am hampered by my injury: Moderate

2) Staying on task when working. My mind constantly wanders off task. I want to stay focused and have to keep on pulling myself back on task: moderate

3) Not waking up early consistently. I frequently disappoint myself when I don't wake up early and take advantage of the early morning hours for my own development: Moderate

4) Feeling a bit overworked juggling two jobs. : moderate

5) Stress over triggers that come up during the day. I can feel my addiction wanting to pull me back to view imagery and poke holes in my sobriety: Severe

6) Not praying on time (Missing dawn/fajr prayer) Doing prayers in a rushed sort of way, somewhat related to my injury. Not a good spiritual connection as I'd like with God: Severe

B. Return to your values list created earlier in the workshop. In a healthy life, the majority of energy being drained (e.g. stress) should be related to the pursuit of your highest prioritized values (top fifteen or so). Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the way that you are expending your energy?

I feel that the stress I am dealing with is in line with my values or are related in some way. My values center on integrity, honesty and just having an overall productive life where I am meeting personal goals (health/fitness goals, creative/writing goals, productivity goals, financial goals etc) and that I start feeling stress when I see that my values aren't at the forefront or are being neglected (the spiritual connection with God, the being mature and content with what I am facing at the time like with my knee injury). Stress happens of course but if my values are not at the forefront of my mind, I'm prone to compulsive behavior, slips and relapses. This was a good reminder to look at my goals and focus back on re-establishing them.


C. Likewise, in a healthy life, the majority of meaning and stimulation that you gain should also be related to your highest values. Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the quality of life you are living?

I do feel meaning and stimulation when my values are being tapped into and worked towards. I have good deep conversations with my wife which I look forward to having. I am working on improving my relationship with her and being more honest though it's not absolutely perfect in terms of being totally honest about struggles with triggers and my addict side wanting to go back to old imagery and trying to combat that. I can see again that a lot of spirituality that I value and require is not being fulfilled and that is the reason for my stress. I'm not waking up early, making it hard for me to have meditation time, spiritual time, which leaves my heart yearning for spiritual connection. It isn't getting it so its weakened so the animalistic side is stronger and tries to take over or get its fill because my spiritual side isn't getting its nourishment.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:15 am 
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Top 15

1. Guiding all of my actions and decision-making to please God, first and foremost. (God-consciousness)

This is an ongoing struggle as the addict/self-will tends to forget this sometimes. I think I do pretty well with this but I could do more in terms of making time out to read spiritual material and connect with God better. I often listen to lecture CDs and read but it's not as consistent as I like. However I am more God conscious now than I've ever been before.

2. Being the best husband (Faithful, committed, loyal,honorable) I can be for my wife and strengthen my intimate relationship with her.

I feel that this is improving. My wife and I are getting closer, having deeper and more meaningful conversations. Even with 2 children, we are making more time to spend alone together and going on dates. We're intimately connecting better and this is making our relationship stronger despite my past wrongdoings

3. Being an ideal, dedicated and involved father for my children

Lately due to work I feel like I haven't been involved enough even though I work from home now. I feel I do good but could do better in engaging and doing fun things with my older son aside from playing video games. More stimulating activity.

4. Living a life of true honesty and integrity.

This can be inconsistent especially when the addiction causes me to get shaky and slip up to watch porn and have mini-porn binges. I need to do better about being honest about slip-ups with my wife though my fear of her getting angry and lashing out stagnates me. Aside from those instances, I have been doing a better job of being open, honest and transparent with my wife and living a life of integrity.

5. Showing appreciation and contentment with what God has given to me in life, big or small.

This is definitely growing. I'm a lot more content and grateful for what I do have and that is what has helped me a lot in my recovery learnings. Gratitude being a big element.

6. Pursuing a meaningful relationship with God spiritually.

This is inconsistent and isn't where I want it to be at this time. I pray regularly but not always on time and not always with the proper focus and concentration. I haven't been reading the Qur'an regularly enough nor watching enough lectures and videos and self-help material that can help me good closer. Doing this exercise helps me to recognize this and do something about it.

7. Being a positive role model for my family and society.

I believe I do a good job and need to keep it up. There's always room for improvement so I can do better on this instance as well. I need to show more productvity.

8. Integrating Islam into my daily life and having Islamic principles guide my decision making and actions.

I feel like this and #1 and #6 are almost the same. It's inconsistent but I recognize I need to do better in meditating, spiritual reading, and making time to reflect and learn and get closer to God.

9. Vulnerability and openness to closest confidant, my wife.

This is also similar to my #2 and #4. They basically go hand in hand. I share with her more and have more honest conversations about what I'm doing, what I'm feeling, what my plans are etc. It's not always 100% especially if I have slipped up but I'm getting there.

10. Sense of awareness. Knowing how I feel inside and in my environment and how to react in a healthy way.

This has vastly improved since establishing this list. I am becoming a lot more self-aware, aware of my processes, my feelings, my triggers, my weak moments and what I should do about it.

11. Maturity in dealing with everyday problems.

This is a lot better as well. I'm consistently working the SAA program, making calls, talking honestly and openly about my emotions and struggles.

12. Sense of purpose in the world/career etc.

This is inconsistent and I recognize this as a void in my life that needs constant fulfillment. I need to work on this to be happy. I need to read and write and I have to make time to do that outside of my regular work schedule and home rest and family time.

13. A Lifelong student. Always learning, always open to improving knowledge, a thirst for knowledge.

14. Keeping a good sense of humor in life.

I feel I do this very well. My wife and I have a very great sense of humor and it meshes well. We take time out to enjoy comedies and such and we enjoy eachothers company. I'm learning to not take my addiction so seriously and laugh at myself a bit sometimes regarding it.

15. Maintaining meaningful relationships with my parents and siblings.

This can be better as I tend to fall out of contact a lot. I feel it's because I don't want to bring up old wounds or because I can't be as open with them about deep stuff because of the way they will react and the dyfunctional traits they have. IT's usually surface level stuff. I usually don't like just talking about this kind of stuff so I fall out of touch until they initiate. I know I need to do better about these things.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:32 am 
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Exercise 33: Emotional Maturity Exercise

I am conducting this exercise about a week later than I should have so sharing insights won't be as accurate as I would have liked but I feel I am better reading my emotions as they happen during the days. Some notable examples:

-I felt nervous about a meeting I was scheduled to have with my boss. I wasn't told what the meeting was about so I immediately began anticipating the worst (am I going to be fired? disciplined?) These nerves and anxiety resulted in the addiction part of my brain and the emotionally immature side of me telling me to medicate the nerves with pornography. I recognized this coping mechanism and it was clear as day especially while keeping in mind this assignment. In the end the meeting wasn't a big deal and I had made a mountain out of a molehill.

-Overeating is my secondary addiction and I feel that because of trying to stay sober from sexual compulsivity, my conscience tends to fill that with the overeating, bad health choices, eating out when I shouldn't etc. It's the alternative to the comfort and escape that porn gives my emotions. I am now starting to take ownership of this side by eating right and making it so I don't eat out at all this upcoming month and gradually eat out less and general, make healthier choices and not snack and gorge myself to medicate myself emotionally.

-I chronically find myself off-task and it's irritating to me in a way. The emotions behind this wandering is boredom and fear of failure, fear of unproductivity, fear of uncertainty and not knowing what the next steps are for me to take. A solution to this I find is organizing my day better and planning my day in advance. The problem was that I wasn't making time to do the planning and just "winging" it every day, causing those emotions to flood me and then wandering back and forth offtask and needing to reel myself back in.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:41 pm
Posts: 34
Exercise 33: Emotional Maturity Exercise

I am conducting this exercise about a week later than I should have so sharing insights won't be as accurate as I would have liked but I feel I am better reading my emotions as they happen during the days. Some notable examples:

-I felt nervous about a meeting I was scheduled to have with my boss. I wasn't told what the meeting was about so I immediately began anticipating the worst (am I going to be fired? disciplined?) These nerves and anxiety resulted in the addiction part of my brain and the emotionally immature side of me telling me to medicate the nerves with pornography. I recognized this coping mechanism and it was clear as day especially while keeping in mind this assignment. In the end the meeting wasn't a big deal and I had made a mountain out of a molehill.

-Overeating is my secondary addiction and I feel that because of trying to stay sober from sexual compulsivity, my conscience tends to fill that with the overeating, bad health choices, eating out when I shouldn't etc. It's the alternative to the comfort and escape that porn gives my emotions. I am now starting to take ownership of this side by eating right and making it so I don't eat out at all this upcoming month and gradually eat out less and general, make healthier choices and not snack and gorge myself to medicate myself emotionally.

-I chronically find myself off-task and it's irritating to me in a way. The emotions behind this wandering is boredom and fear of failure, fear of unproductivity, fear of uncertainty and not knowing what the next steps are for me to take. A solution to this I find is organizing my day better and planning my day in advance. The problem was that I wasn't making time to do the planning and just "winging" it every day, causing those emotions to flood me and then wandering back and forth offtask and needing to reel myself back in.


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