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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 2:40 pm 
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16. May

By looking at my emotions I realized, that my compulsiveness and my need for immediate gratification solely focusses on love, sex and the emotions evolving around this. In other areas I'm more than mature - it's like I kept this bubble of insecurity and immaturity around my sexuality and love life, to keep up the possibility to fix my old issues, through the only behavior I've ever learned to work. When I look at my finances, I'm debt free, I have a nice set of stocks and I'm pretty good at saving money. When I look at my academic efforts, I certainly struggle every now and then with laziness, but in the end I gratuated top notch. And what's almost funny, when it comes to drugs, I'm responsible as you could imagine. Every time I drink alcohol I make sure to drink enough water, I don't go out to drink if I'm not in the mood and so on. Or I like to smoke marijuana every now and then, but I always make sure that I'm in the right mood. If I'm not, I have no problem to just say no, which sometimes means that the next opportunity arises in 3-6 months. But I don't care. I actually feel good about being so straight. But when it comes to sex and love... things are so different. Knowing that I'm actually able to master those things, by seeing how I do it in different areas, gives me the confidence to work on the way I treat love and sex. I think it's obvious, that I'm not able to treat them healthy because I'm dependent on them and through this addiction it's just not possible to make healthy decisions. But it feels great to gain this new perspective. I'll try to see how I make my decisions in other areas and then I'll try to make the decisions around sex/love in the same way.

And another thing, that came to my mind after doing lesson 34:
Quote:
So, when it comes to your desire to know everything and know it NOW!...relax. The need for immediate gratification is at the cornerstone of addiction — and these principles (like most presented in the first month) will come back in more detail and in situations that are more specific to you in the coming months.

That's so liberating. My biggest fear was, that I'm not doing everything like I should, that I should go back and forth between each lesson, that I should work on EVERYTHING. I always was afraid if a certain topic will come back later in the workshop or if this is just it. I do blame the workshop a bit honestly, some things are written in a way, that makes you nervous. When an excercise says "MASTER this, do it until you know it in your sleep. DO IT!!! go the extra mile! don't forget this! this is an extremely IMPORTANT concept", you want to make sure you do everything right, so you start to stress yourself. But of course my immediate gratification monkey was at work as well. So, it's good to read this. I always felt like I have to master the foundation (like stage 1 and 2) and my success depends on how well I did in the first month.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:26 pm 
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17.5
Another interesting day. Yesterday I chose to cut contact with the friend of mine, I mentioned in the last post. We're on good terms but I realized that a relationship like that pulls me back into old behavior. When I react like that (so being extremely angry and devastated about such a situation), it's obviously better to pull myself out of this for good. I'll work on more things before I contact her again. Not saying that I only work on those things to be able to contact her, I just set a boundary in regards to this contact. So my feelings were quite turbulent. I felt all the classic elements of loss and desperation. Suddenly it felt like she was "the one", not even in a huge romantic context, she was just the one. And I felt that lousy feeling in my stomach. On an intellectual level I already knew what's going on. This wasn't something new and it happened many times before. But what baffled me is, that I still wasn't able to "get over it". I don't want to suck it up, I want to accept it and treat it with respect. But in some moments it was just overwhelming, even while knowing what's happening. I tried to become aware of the fact that those emotions are finite and it worked for some bit, but still at times I felt like this loss is all I'll ever feel. It's hard to seperate those feelings from the false patterns that create them and to distant myself from that.

Lesson 35
1) Evolve your daily monitoring as outlined above. Post the first thing you will be monitoring in this way in your thread for feedback and, share where you will be placing the reminder. Do not wait for feedback to begin.

    Today, I am going to look for opportunities to use an appropriate reaction for my needs.
    Today, I am going to look for opportunities to choose the healthiest option that is available to me. (especially in regards to mental health)
Going to put this on my nightstand, right beside my alarm clock.

And I have a question about this. At first the lesson says „Take no longer than 30 seconds“, but later it switches over to „Daily Monitoring takes no more than five minutes”. I know that the old form of daily monitoring, from Health Monitoring I should take approx. 5 minutes. But the new one is 30 seconds per object, isn't it?

2) Create your weekly agenda. Post it in your Recovery Thread.
    #1: Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment. Think specific actions you experienced, not general ideals. "On Tuesday, I took out my guitar and just played for my kids. Took the time to teach them a few notes. It was meaningful to me." This, as opposed to...'music, kids...'
    #2: Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go? As in, was there chronic stress/pressure I had to manage? Were there any major traumatic events? Any intense emotional events?
    #3: Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means (e.g. compulsive behavior)?
    #4: Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard? Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.
    #5: What's the best way to prepare for the new week? Re-reading a certain lesson? Looking at my values? Reading my actionplans? And so on...
    #6: Have I tried doing at least three lessons from the workshop?
    #7: I'm looking at my mood-diary and I'll reflect on the entries.
    #8: Have I tried integrating meditation in my daily life?
    #9: Where's the biggest source of danger in regards of compulsive behaviors? What elements are currently my "go-to-compulsion"?
    #10 Have I called my parents at least once?
    #11 Have I used absolutey honesty and sincerity in treating my perception and decisions?
    #12 Have I tried leaving my comfortzone at least once?
    #13 Was I able to use healthy boundaries? Give an example of a good situation. In what areas had I trouble?
    #14 Have I took responsibility for my life? In what areas was a victim mentality involved?
    #15 Have I shared myself openly and honestly?
    (I translated those things, so they maybe sound a bit sloppy)

So I kind of transformed the points from my old daily monitoring. I want to improve these areas continuously and I think assessing them weekly is the next important step. Just another quick question, how often do I update my weekly monitoring? Or does the workshop will pick up this topic again, when it’s time?

I'm glad how things are going right now. I found a good way to do the lessons in the evenings and so far I'm going forward with it.


Last edited by axelswagger on Wed May 18, 2016 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 12:51 pm 
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Lesson 36

I. Describe a scenario from your past where not having a well-defined set of boundaries has prolonged and/or intensified the personal consequences that you have experienced.
In my last relationship my girlfriend showed a pattern of dishonesty. She wrote ambiguous messages to other guys. Altough I came to the conclusion that this happened in a joking/hypothetical manner I was deeply hurt (which was definitely justified in that situation). But I proceeded to accept this and told myself, that I have to accept her the way she is. So instead of setting straight boundaries to protect myself, I actually lowered my boundaries even more, in the hope of changing her behavior (which is nonsense in retroperspect, since her behavior was an external event that wasn’t related to my boundaries, but to her own shortcomings). By lowering my boundaries more and more, I expected more and more, which eventually lead to more pain, when I did not get the unconditional love I expected.

II. Describe a situation in your life where having solid boundaries will assist you in managing the event in such a way as to protect your value system.
I used to masturbate and watch porn whenever I felt stressed. Now I want to continue masturbation, but I know that it’s a slippery slope that might lead back to porn, especially when I start using masturbation to relief stress. I’m establishing a boundary that I’ll only masturbate, when I feel my life is in a good balance and I’m at a point of high stability – not when my head is cluttered or I’m in a bad mood.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 2:15 pm 
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18. May

Today I haven't spent that much time doing that excercise, if I'm honest. The new method of health monitoring took all of my attention. But I still tried to examine my emotions. I came to the conclusion, that it doesn't really matter if I get this task "right". What really matters is, that I'm trying to understand my emotions more and more. By focussing on my emotions in a new way, many things pop up that are new to me. That's a great opportunity. At first I felt a bit obstructed, by the specific excercise "see the emotions in the sense of finity". Although this approach has provided me with a few new insights I felt like I haven't quite understood what was asked. I knew that this is meant as "see that every emotion is finite, turn away from all-or-nothing principles etc.". But many emotions I've observed where already quite manageable and I already felt how they're finite. But again, looking at my emotions is always a great lesson. I've done that in the context of meditation before, but doing it more and more daily is something new. The different ways this workshop encourages it are also great. A few excercises ago I was asked to observe my emotions in regards to my decisions and values. Now it's another aspect. I think it's good to see many perspectives.
In regards to actual emotions I experienced today there's not much to say. I felt a bit tired and stressed, but I experienced a good healthy way to treat this with respect.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 2:06 pm 
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Last Day - 19. May

So today is the day to reflect on this lesson. I did take my time to do it everyday and although the new health monitoring took over yesterday and today I still tried to do this. Overall I can't really add more. It's a complex time at the moment. There's so much to do, so much to think. It's really hard to grab one particular emotion. Everything is tangled up. So I made it my main priority to untangle everything. Instead of trying to find the best solution right away this lesson showed me, how it's possible to assess emotions and then see them in the bigger picture (of finity). So not just reacting on them by immediately [insert behavior], but to address them in a more well-rounded approach. Sometimes this means, that the bad feeling won't go away immediately. But I feel like that way it's possible to reach a more satisfying level in general. Although I didn't kind grasp some aspects of this lesson the challenge itself was quite meaningful.

This lesson teached me especially one valuable thing. It's okay to get lost in the forrest, as long as I honestly strive to find the best way to do the things. But I don't actually have to go the best way, since this is unhealthy perfection. I looked at some other journals and I've realized how different many people do this excercise. I was so stuck up on the thought of doing this right, but in the end we just do the things how we think they're good for us. Sure, no place for dishonesty and sincerity is needed, but with these two things in place we an only move on and learn. At first I felt kind of bad when I saw, how some people actually made a deeper connection between their values and those emotions. I thought "damn, I did it all wrong", but I think what's important is, that I've learned something. And by actively opening my eyes, looking for other possibilities I've opened up to find many different ways of approaching these things.


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 7:17 am 
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Lesson 37

II. For each value, list at least five concrete boundaries (rules) that you will use to protect that value.

Healing of my Inner Wounds
a. If a situation or decision has a clear negative impact on my healing, I'll abstain from it.
b. If I have treated my inner wounds with unhealthy behavior, I'll accept the consequences and treat myself with indulgence and respect.
c. Anger towards myself or others isn't an option for treating my wounds.
d. Healing my wounds doesn't mean, that I have to be in a constant state of vulnerability, but directing positive energy towards these areas.
e. I reflect on the status of my healing, even If I feel fine.
Emotional Maturity
a. Whenever I feel a need, I'll try to figure out how I can address it by myself.
b. I'll treat my thoughts and feelings with respect, no matter how absurd they may be.
c. Whenever I get the feeling, that I dispense my emotional maintenance to another person (in a relationship), it's my duty to reflect the current situation and find a proper solution - even if this means breaking up or going no contact.
d. I don't go into the other extrem and isolate myself from others - it's about mastering my feelings and not about being lonely.
e. If I have used surrogate actions to elevate my mood, I accept the consequences. But I don't overreact, it's my duty to reflect the situation and develop a strategy for the future.
Living authentic
a. I'm honest to myself, always.
b. I share myself open and with honesty.
c. I don't have to tell everything to everyone, to be authentic. I have the right to maintain privacy.
d. I don't allow myself to change my opinion, just to get accepted by others. But it's okay to change my point of view or find a compromise, as a rational decision.
e. If somebody doesn't like me, I'll accept that and don't change to please him. I'm not responsible for this persons feelings and I don't feel guilty. I'm okay, as I am.

III. Absolute boundaries are those boundaries that under no circumstances will you ever cross. These must be realistic AND you must hold them in reverence. Typically, everyone should have at least three such absolute boundaries. List three that you will use to help manage your life.


1. I'll never give up and I'll procide to grow, no matter what.
2. I treat myself, like I want others to treat me.
3. I don't deceive or cheat, emotionally or physical.
4. I don't disrespect the boundaries of others, just to please my needs.


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 2:34 pm 
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Lesson 38

I added a few new boundaries, but I actually think that those I created in the last lesson are already quite helpful.

Quote:
Healing my inner wounds:
f) Whenever I reflect my needs, I include the question, whether those needs arise from my inner wounds or not.

Emotional Maturity
f) To reflect on my emotional management, I monitor weekly, where my energy goes and from what I derive meaning.

Living authentic
f) I don’t devalue myself, by thinking that others will disapprove of my behavior, before I even know their reaction.
g) Whenever I change the boundaries of my self-concept, or temporarily suspend them, I do so by choice.


And maybe some thoughts I had during the lesson: I have some problems with creating “true” boundaries. Many times I just write down something along the lines of an action plan. Or is there actually no a real difference? Maybe a slight, action plans are more proactive and boundaries are more continuous.

@Ursula: Would be great if you could skim over my latest entries, since I had a few questions. Thanks in adavance :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:41 pm 
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A short update:

I'm currently in the depth of lesson 39 and I'm learning a lot. I actually do this lesson twice, like it's suggested in the supplemental lesson about love addiction. So right now I'm working on my value-list of sexual values and go through that one. And afterwards I'll do the same thing for my relationship values. It's a lot to do and my current situation is pretty stressful but for me this lesson seems to be one of the most important ones.

The most sad thing I realized is how poorly my sexual values are developed. I actually realized, that I don't know why I have sex, besides the artifical behavior associated. Sure, I feel arousal. But without its compulsive functions, as a tool to control my emotions, it becomes quite meaningless. I'm a bit scared... I don't know how I can find out why my real sexual persona is. I think the lesson will already help. Seeing the list with the few healthy values that already exist might be a good start.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:47 pm 
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Lesson 39:
Wow, what a lesson. Especially since I'll do it twice to cover my love addiction as well. So far I'm working on my sexual values. My first list with the value inventory had about 400 items. Now after carefully sorting things out I'm at about 100. Is this okay? Like, I feel there are too many values left. The excercise warned about writing down values that we think we should follow, but not actually life. I'm not sure if there are some of these values on my list. I mean, there are a few thinks that I haven't constantly lived and most of my actions contradicted them, but I still believe in those things. Like the value "Sex is about honesty and respect". Deep down I believe in this and it's something I care about. It's just that most of my behavior contradicted this value.. but I still think that this is a value I already have, I just haven't worked on it so far and it's quite stunted. I would love to post both lists here but I wrote them in German and I don't have the time to translate them, sorry.

Anyway, I also came here to ask for feedback about my four general values from step two. I decided to stay with four core values, to not overstrain myself. Here they are:

  • I will not be with anyone with whom I could not freely share my sexual/emotional needs.
  • I will be a compassionate, considerate sexual partner; as opposed to a sexual performer.
  • I will not treat myself, my partner or others as sexual objects, resp. I'll not sexualize.
  • Sexual fulfilment and healthy new experiences are part of my healthy lifestyle, but they're not my sole life goal.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:31 pm 
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Lesson 39b - Romantic Values

After a hard week I finally finished my list of romantic values. Barely made it to 350 values and after skimming over them... I can definitely tell that most of them are unhealthy and distorted. I'm eager to see how many are left in the end. Anyway, before I start to sort them out I have to think about my ideal ending values. So here they are:

Ideal Ending
  • The path to fulfilling Relationships starts with self love.
  • My love life and relationships are part of my healthy life, but not my sole life goals.
  • While being with others I experience authentic feelings instead of illusions.
  • I lead my relationships in a mature way with sincerity, honesty and respect.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:14 pm 
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Lesson 40 - Respecting the Boundaries of Other

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.
Talking about a good friend here. I could positively support his endeavors. Instead of initially showing him how he could do better and ignoring his stance, I could show him respect for what he does. I could help him to reinforce those boundaries by accepting who he is and by solving my own expectations I have about him. I could ask myself, why I need to push him in a certain direction. I need to learn more about the difference of friendly advice and condescending speech. So actually by strengthening my own boundaries more I could help him to strengthen his own. To reinforce his boundaries I could help him by asking if a certain action might cross his boundaries, before I act out – so instead of just going forward and expecting him to defend himself in case of a violation I could ask him how he feels about certain things. On the other hand I see a mental health disaster in the making, when I actually ask him about everything I do… but as long as I keep it to his core values I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. So I think I could “challenge” his values in a playful way, but always reassure how he feels and thinks about it. I don’t think it is right to walk on eggshells around someone, it’s always better to be straight forward, but respectful.

II. Consider what you could do, should YOU become aware that you have violated a boundary of theirs.
I could ask him, if he’s experienced that as a violation of his boundaries. If so, I could search for what caused me to violate his boundary. If not, I’ll do that too of course. But I think it’s important to reassure how HE feels about it, instead of assuming that I just violated a boundary. I can never be sure about the damage I’ve done until he tells me so. From that on I could make amends, if I feel truly sorry for it. If I’ve done it by mistake, I could still try to sharp my awareness on his boundaries.


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.
My unhealthy reaction at first would definitely be a feeling of being unloved. I would be sad and think “wait, this person doesn’t love me because he/she sets such a boundary”. That just as an initial thought, to come back to the desired task…:

I could take this as an opportunity to grow. I should definitely check out how my own value system comes into play in that situation. I don’t know if it’s right to apologize. On the one hand I think so, on the other… I think everyone is responsible for his own feelings. That doesn’t mean it’s ever okay to violate the boundary of someone, but I think this isn’t something you can apologize for. Maybe I would ask for forgiveness, if my behavior caused distress or even pain. Then I could see what lead to my behavior, whether it came from my expectations or my own crooked boundaries. But I think it’s important to not just change my own boundaries. Sometimes healthy things we do cross the boundaries of others as well and I think it’s unhealthier to be opportunistic in such a situation. I think a good compromise is to check my own boundaries for their health and to reassure that I have a working understanding of the boundaries of my friend. I would definitely ask him, what part of my behavior caused him to feel his boundaries being violated and so on. I would make up for it, by trying to understand him and his boundaries better, instead of rationalizing the situation and/or denying him his right to have his own voice.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Hey guys, just a quick comment on my progress. I'm currently doing Lesson 42. Reviewing the Lessons about Elements, Rituals and Chains is a great way to reflect on how things are now. I want to speed up a little in the next stage, since I took a lot time for this one. I know, it's good to be sincere, but I feel that sometimes I got lost in perfectionism. My overall goal is to finish the workshop and then re-do everything as I need. So, tomorrow I'll start with the next stage. Life's okay so far. Ups and downs as usual. Having a bit of a struggle, to adjust to the new city I'm living in but overall it could be worse. Still going strong though!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:14 am 
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Lesson Forty-Four - Urge Control: Your Core Identity

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

I think there are two aspects how my core identity will help me to establish and maintan a healthy life. First of all, there's the inner core of my core identity, the part that is not my addiction. I think this is the place where I have to look for what I really want from life. The place, where I'm free from conditioning and programming. I think this is the place where my initial value list comes from. I've been there before, through meditation and I feel like this is a place of purity and innocence. A place where I'm still a child but I also have the potential to become a healthy adult. I think this is an aspect of my core identity that really helps to establish the life I want to life. It's kind of the origin or reference point.

Then there's another aspect that will help me. It's more the area where my addiction takes place. It's the connections and programs my addiction build. It's the framework that my decisions are based upon right now. This is where I can focus on and change my behavior. I've actually done this before on a smaller scale, when I went to therapy for anxiety issues. And know, I realize that this is quite the same.. just one a bigger scale and with a bigger impact. But still, it is me consciously changing my behavior by understanding how my current identity is build, finding new ways to establish a more healthy perception and finally get into action. In this case my core identity helps me to work on the underlying concepts and not just symptoms. In the end this is just like cognitive behavioral therapy.. it just affects so much more of my life.

B. Describe the role that value-based experiences will play in further developing your core identity.

It's going to be tough at first. I often feel nothing when I act on a value-based decision. But I see how it's possible to work through this and find a way to get the right boundaries in place. And the more I strengthen my values, the more everything will add up. I think at first it's most important to just see, that nothing bad happens from value-based experiences. And then in the next step my core identity will develop by adding more and more experiences, ingraining these patterns. From that point of feeling nothing, I'll create a basis, that will give me the power to find ways to gain stimulation through these values. But first comes the value, than the emotion - not the other way around, like right now in a addictive identity.

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?

I feel that recovery is definitely part of my core identity now. Whenever I engage in subvert addictive behaviors I feel conflicted. So right now there's a lot of cognitive dissonance. I can't really say how much in tune I'm. If I look at my addictive side, I don't act on it that much anymore - so I'm not really in tune with this. When I look at my more real side, with my true capabilities, I feel more connected. Whenever I engage in destructive activities there is definitely still the addiction connected to myself. But it is more of a struggle now. It's not the case, that the addictive decision is subconsciously the right one. It's more of a conscious battle/back and forth.
I feel that I've already began some huge changes. Although the underlying issues of addiction are still there I made some change in regards to certain behavioral chains. What once were regular activities to change my mood, are now exceptions (e.g. masturbation to porn). Compared to 2014 this has totally changed. But the reason why I still struggle with it, is the addicive part of my core identity, that's for sure.

About the consequences of those decisions. I think it shakes my core identity up. By trying to push for such a behavior my core identity tries to keep itself together. It feels strange to break those ingrained patterns. It's a feeling of fear. And so my core identity still pushs for it, even though there are already other patterns ingrained - that just need more practice and development.

Overall I can see how much of an issue with my core identity this is. When I reflect on my destructive decisions it often is not from a place of a ongoing compulsive chain, but more from a place of my core identity trying to cling on what it once learned. I feel like I already lost many of those unhealthy values that my addiction made up. But the behavior is still there, since it's the core identity that tries to repeat, what once helped. Plus, there are still not enough healhy values to let go of this.


PS: I often find it quite funny how the workshop really fits, what I need at that moment. I mean that's how it's supposed, everything build up on the previous. But after finishing the last lessons I really longed for some deeper insights... and here I am thinking about my core identity.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:30 am 
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Lesson 45 - Urge Control - Isolating Emotions

Ritual:
• Element 1: Reflected on old rituals, actually for this lesson. Read one about sex with my Ex-GF. Reading it in a neutral way like all other rituals.
• Element 2: Content triggers attached old pictures in my head.
• Element 3: Have a general scene of having sex with her in my mind.
• Element 4: Seeing the sexual relationship as a seperated part, without problems. Losing touch to the current reality.
• Element 5: Thinking about the possibilities of seducing her again.
• Element 6: Reality comes back and I see the situation as it is.
• Element 7: Still reconsider, if it would be possible to have sex with her again.
• Element 8: Consiously stop this train of thought (so this ritual got stopped, when I saw a potential point of no return)
• Element 9: After setting things straight I'm disillusioned
• Element 10: Still have an aftertaste of low self-esteem and the question, what she's doing (with other guys) lingers in my head.

(Just as an addition: This is something that happened in the time span of 2-3 minutes. One could argue, that this wasn't a real ritual, but I still think it's a situation worth to map out. At first I just thought I had one fantasy, but after consciously trying to filter out all the elements I realized how many different thinks happened in that short time frame. And yeah, I kind of stopped it before something bad happened, but it's still a ritual right!? Maybe this is a better example for relapse prevention later down the road, but it was such a fresh ritual that I wanted it to use for the current session).

Emotions of that ritual:
• Element 1: motivated, neutral
• Element 2: energized, controlled, confident
• Element 3: still excited, stronger and controlled
• Element 4: Success (in the sense of "I have solved the problem with that mindset"), comfort and excitement.
• Element 5: excitement, eagerly, in control
• Element 6: Caught, frustrated, anxious
• Element 7: clear but controlled, powerless and victimlike
• Element 8: proud, satisfied,
• Element 9: Disappointment
• Element 10: inadequate, dependent, helpless

Point of no Return:
• I think the point where I intervened was already one.
• But I think there's also another one. The point where those pictures arose in my head and where I created a scene. After that there was no conscious thought wether I drift into obsession or not, I immediately thought about the next things.

Element before PONR:
• Fantasies and Memories
• The role these elements played in that ritual is to trigger obsession.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:10 am 
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Posts: 98
Location: Ger
Lesson 46

Event – Porn, Love Addiction and a little bit of everything:
• Element 1: Generally struggling with the lack of emotional stimulation due to abstinence. Focused at work but after I went home things went downhill.
• Element 2: Got in bed to take a nap, had a few thoughts about my ex-girlfriend that I had previously contact with a few weeks ago. Still waiting for her response.
• Element 3: Turned on my phone instead of sleeping, because I wanted to check some social media channels.
• Element 4: surfed through Instagram and looked for beautiful women near me.
• Point of no return!
• Element 5: got bored and got a fantasy about having sex with a prostitute, to forget my ex
• Element 6: made it clear to myself, that this is not appropriate behavior.
• Element 7: still wanted to check some girls out online, to know what’s out there
• Element 8: rationalized it by “one time doesn’t hurt” and looked for prostitutes
• Element 9: After I was done I came back to my senses and created a break – clearing my head and thinking about how this is not what I want.
• Element 10: Went an hour or so and made me something to eat but still felt a general urge for immediate gratification [which was pretty fucked up, I didn’t even had a real element in mind… I just felt the pure need for immediate gratification, no matter what]
• Element 11: After I ate and felt like I got back in control I got lost in front of my computer.
• Element 12: Surfed around on social media and stumbled upon my ex’s profile.
• Element 13: Felt bad for seeing her moving on and felt pity for myself.
• Element 14: Realized that all of this really doesn’t matter and that I moved on so much, realized that my last time acting out big way was in February. Actually felt proud.
• Element 15: Began rationalizing in my head, that since I’m doing so fine some distraction should be okay.
• Element 16: While stopping myself in my mind I already typed in the name of a porn site.
• Element 17: Went through some pictures first but soon felt the need to open a video.
• Element 18: Masturbated to that video and fantasized about hooking up with a random girl.
• Element 19: Reached the edge of my orgasm, opened up a picture of my ex
• Element 20: Orgasmed and cleaned up.
• Element 21: Felt calm but also wasted. Tried to clear my mind and thought about my commitment to change and how I will do things better.
In general I want to add, that my biggest problem in this case was the all or nothing thinking. I created several breaks, where I was able to rationally pull myself away from that behavior. But I still got caught in that train of thought “well, feels like the most fun I could have right now”. And I believed that. I don’t want to rationalize this slip. But I’ve learned a few things from it and it showed me some things I want to focus on more. It seems to me that my awareness is quite good. My awareness works, when I’m in a relatively stable mood and there’s not much need for compulsive behavior. In that kind of situations I tend to be pretty straight about abstaining from unhealthy behavior and instead choosing healthy options. That’s the case when I’m so emotionally distanced from the compulsive behavior that the consideration is more of an intellectual one and not an emotional one. So yeah, surprise… there are still situations where I lack emotional maturity. I think you clearly see in that ritual how I just hopped from element to element without a real meaning. Sure, it all makes sense in that context. But from a mechanical point of view, it’s just a random series of compulsive behavior. So when the all or nothing thinking took place it was pretty hard to stop. It was like “hey, I’m already in compulsive mode… so what” – while I simultaneously thought “oh man, I don’t even need this… it isn’t even real fun”. I will focus on how I could act on this more. It’s great that this is the core of the next lessons. I realized that knowing to say stop and knowing when a ritual starts might help, when you fantasize about a random women on the street. But it doesn’t work that way, when you really slip. It’s a great realization for me that such a huge ritual was long ago, until now. But it also shows me, that some things must be faced proactively.
A)
• Element 5: Closed the app, when I realized that I’m lost in my thoughts
• Element 6: Considered how this behavior serves me and my values/applied the principles of urge awareness.
• Element 7: Realized, that this app became a new previously unknown outlet for my addiction
• Element 8: deleted it from my phone.
• Element 9: got out of bed and took care of my HALT factors, to prevent further weakness
• Element 10: meditated to further distance myself from that situation.
• Element 11: reread my top 15 values, to spin in a healthier direction.
• Element 12: proceeded my evening without any further incidents, but with a risen awareness towards other sources of compulsive behavior, that might connect to this previous behavior.


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