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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:40 pm 
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Lesson Forty-Seven
Practical Urge Awareness


Your ability to recognize future urges not as a threat, but as part of an effective warning system to detect when your life is slipping out of balance

urges become the very triggers for boosting your awareness

confusion, frustration and doubt (which will actually intensify the urge)

master the reactive side of urge control before integrating the practical side

The Master
The master will recognize the urge as a trigger for action. The actions that are taken will be in relation to his/her values, priorities, goals, etc. The urge itself will be nonchalantly dismissed with the realization that at worst, by denying themselves the target of this urge, they face only temporary emotional discomfort. They don't fear this. They don't feed it through misplaced anxiety. They simply accept it as a natural part of being human. And embrace the discomfort as the price the proudly pay for living a life congruent with their values.

envision at least ten different REALISTIC scenarios where you may encounter a compulsive urge in the future and documetn these in your recovery thread.
2. With each scenario:
• Identify how you would know when that urge/ritual would likely begin, when the likely 'point of no return' would be and when you would 'create the break'. Do this in your head.
• Anticipate the emotions associated with that particular ritual, isolate those emotions from your 'core identity' and prepare yourself to make a values-based decision (versus an emotions-based decision). Do this in your head.
• Choose one such scenario and document it in your recovery thread.
• If you are in coaching, you will be asked to review several of these to make sure that you understand the concepts involved. If you are not in coaching, feel free to post additional scenarios for review.
1. feeling alone (or lonely WITH another) Prevent by regular dating of significant other
2. alone opportunity presents Volunteer/Hobbies/Serve
3. Choose Internet chatting FILTER THRU VALUES AND BOUNDARIES
4. Masturbation Point of no return
5. Relief Emotional Relief
6. Guilt/Shame Emotional Consequence
7. Episode Psych result


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:37 pm 
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Lesson Forty-Eight
Proactive/Reactive Urge Awareness


Role-Playing/Visualization
Envision healthy responses to the situation; or, healthy responses to the awareness that you have responded in an unhealthy way. Think about that...understand that...before moving forward. You will want to develop this skill to assist you in combating relapse/slips in the coming month.
In conjunction with other techniques that involve real-world application, this technique will provide you with tremendous value in ingraining automatic, values-based responses.

Anticipating
Anticipate the triggers that may arise. You prepare for them. This means that, knowing that your family is sleeping and you have unfettered access to the Internet, you anticipate the possibility of an urge arising and you heighten your awareness to that urge.

Actively Seeking
Actively seek out opportunities throughout the day to strengthen these areas. Seek out opportunities to perfect their performance.

Make the three techniques described above a mainstay of not only developing your urge control skills, but in mastering action plans as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:37 pm 
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Lesson Forty-Nine
Health Monitoring III: Evolving Daily/Weekly

Form submitted.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Lesson Fifty
Values Based Decision-Making

In a healthy person, the majority of decisions are based on assuming the most likely effect on the quality of their life.
Addicted individuals no longer recognize the decision-making situations that involve the compulsive behavior.

With decisions involving addiction/compulsion, you have increments of about 30-60 seconds with which to think rationally and objectively.

Decision-making in a compulsive environment will be developed through five stages.
First, by identifying the options available to you.
Second, filtering those options through your existing values/boundaries.
Third, intellectually anticipating the consequences of those remaining options.
Fourth, making the actual decision on which action to take.
And, finally, internalizing the consequences of that action.

values-based decisions increase self-confidence.
emotions-based decisions increase false accusations.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Lesson Fifty-One
Decision-Making: Identifying the Options

• Identifying the options available to you in a particular event
• Filtering each option through your existing values/boundaries
• Anticipating the consequences of those remaining options
• Making the decision to act
• Taking responsibility for the consequences of that action
Emotion = desire for relationship
1. Internet chat Not real relationship Violates boundary
2. Listen to music Affirms relationship Confirms belief in Truth
3. Match.com Possible relationship low yield

i. You make the decision to act on this option
temporary relief – disappointment in self - sleep
ii. You make the decision NOT to act on this option
Gratefulness – may need to masturbate for sleep -
iii. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision becomes known by others
Embarrassment – severing of more relationships – possible episodes
iv. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision remains secret
Poor self-esteem – addiction continues – sabotaging future relationship


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:02 am 
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Posts: 71
Lesson Fifty-Two
Decision-Making: Isolating the Emotions

focus solely on the values in play
isolate those emotions from your decision-making process
values are what drive fulfillment in your life
1. Recognize that a compulsive event is upon you
2. Recognize that this event is triggering emotions that will affect your decision-making skills
3. Commit yourself to finding a values-based solution to managing this event
4. Recognize that with this values-based decision, you will be left with unresolved emotions that will likely feel intense (this is the isolation of the emotions from the event aspect. It doesn't eliminate the emotions, it just extracts them from the decision-making process)
5. Remind yourself that the intensity of these emotions are finite...and manageable. That the worst you will face in the aftermath of your values-based decision is emotional discomfort triggered by self-denial, grief, lost opportunity, etc. This discomfort is just that — uncomfortable. It is not life-threatening.
6. Consciously derive as much stimulation as you can from the values-based decision that you made. The intensity of this stimulation will not compare to the intensity of acting out, but it will provide some relief.
Chatting is a poor imitation of emotional relationship, and provides no real relationship, and cheats all involved as well as future heterosexual mates.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:03 am 
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Posts: 71
Lesson Fifty-Three
Decision-Making: Making the Decision

1 an urge
2 identify options
3 anticipate consequences of options
4 isolate emotions from your decision-making.
5 take responsibility for the consequences

accurately perceive what is in your best long-term, value based interest.

masturbation to be against your values — and therefore, a destructive act.
Chatting using a male stranger.

masturbating to be within your values — and therefore, a healthy act.
Chatting with a girlfriend with spiritual and emotional intimacy first


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:04 am 
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Lesson Fifty-Four
Decision-Making: Assessing the Consequences


Values: generating healthy emotional stimulation from the consequences of those decisions.
You can control your reactions to events.
sadness, the fear, the jubilation, the uncertainty...it is all experienced as normal.

dual-identity':
inner self —most intense feelings - No boundaries and values - addiction and emotional learning
social self —values and boundaries. - judgment and consequence

recognizing and learning from the positive consequences associated with NOT engaging in the behavior
everything I do matters. Every decision is real. Every consequence has an impact on me.
healthy people cannot lie to themselves, secrecy was no longer an option
examine the consequences of my decision - stayed true to my values and boundaries
• I do not have to feel guilty or ashamed for my behavior; quite the opposite.
• I do not have to worry about having contracted some disease that I may now pass on to my wife.
• I do not have to keep secrets about my behavior — and thus begin splintering off into a dual-identity
• I do not have to spend the enormous emotional costs that often come with being closeted.
• I do not have to worry about losing my sons’ respect or admiration.
• I do not have to avoid talking to my wife about certain things. Using anger or aloofness as a weapon to keep her at a distance.
• I do not have to worry about the guilt of my behavior affecting our sex life.
• I do not have to worry about my wife wondering what is wrong with her...and why she is inadequate to meet my needs.
• I do not have to place myself in a situation where I am arguing lies with more lies — when I know that we all know that I am lying.
• I do not have to spend the rest of my life wondering if she "really forgives me".
Always take the time to accept ALL of the consequences for each decision that you make.

VALUE-BASED – cut off relationship. NEGATIVE consequences: I wasn’t able to experience intimacy.
EMOTION-BASED – began relationship. POSITIVE consequences: Learned I wasn’t ready for that lifestyle.

is vital that you take into account all of the consequences — not just those that reinforce what you want to believe.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:04 am 
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Lesson Fifty-Five
Practical Decision-Making: Past
Chatting
1. Were you aware that you were experiencing a compulsive sexual event at the time? Yes
2. How intense were the emotions that were triggered by this event — BEFORE you chose to act on it? Fair
3. At any point did you look to your values in a sincere effort for guidance in your decision-making? Trying to
4. After making the decision to act, how long did the emotions elicited from the event last? Hours
5. What were the consequences — even if benign?
Emotion Based POSITIVE: Slept better, short-term pleasure, hours
Emotion Based NEGATIVE: Secretive, ED, false intimacy years
Value Based POSITIVE: Kind, compassionate, years
Value Based NEGATIVE: Using another, Delaying unifying dual identities. years


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:05 am 
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Posts: 71
Lesson Fifty-Six
Practical Decision-Making: Present

1. Will you be aware that a compulsive sexual event is occurring? Yes
2. How intense do you anticipate the emotions triggered by this event to be? Fair
3. At what point in the decision-making process will you look to your values for guidance? Before chatting
4. Online chatting may give me ED for years
5. Loss of reputation, loss of sons’ respect, loss of opportunity for mf, loss of “Well Done”, Greater anxiety,
6. So far it’s been 20 years...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:05 am 
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Lesson Fifty-Seven
Reactive Action Plans

it is our thoughts that drive our actions, not our emotions.
transitioning from being "in recovery" to living a healthy life.
the action plan : see yourself selecting the value-based option every time

Feeling a need to be close to someone, while living alone. You can weed out others on the Internet who are not like you
Option 1: Use another man.
Option 2: Fantasize in the shower about your future woman
Option 3: Fantasize with conditioner about your future woman
Option 4: Try to Deny your need
Option 5: Go to the gym


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Posts: 71
Lesson Fifty-Eight
Constructing Reactive Action Plans

Action Plan #1: You recognize that you are trying to talk yourself into engaging in risky behavior
Desired Outcome
Learn to recognize the feelings associated with such risky decision-making. They are unique from other feelings that you have. Part shame, part excitement, part helplessness, part freedom, part inevitability — whatever the feeling might be for you, it is important to recognize it. Step back and relax. The next step is to recognize that your goal is not to avoid acting on that feeling, but rather, to act on it, but in a healthy way. It will be the developing of confidence in this healthy action that will provide the emotional stability and fulfillment necessary to successfully manage such urges. Short term consequences that I might be able to achieve will NEVER provide for a greater benefit than value-based decisions. Both have consequences that I must endure...so the crux of my decision is based on not whether I should act or not, but on what action I should take.
Action Plan #2: You are accused of/suspected of acting out by your partner, and while they can't prove it, you know that it is true
Desired Outcome
You recognize that you were wrong to engage in such behavior — whether it was discovered or not — and take steps to alter the decision-making processes that led to it. Ideally, reassuring your partner's suspicions by taking responsibility for your actions is the best long-term option. Realistically, acknowledging your partner's fears/suspicions without degrading or attacking them is far more desirable than to just 'secretly get through this and never do it again'.

When I am lying in order to keep a secret that could jeopardize the stability of my life, I will do the following:
• Admit to myself that it was my actions that created this situation, not my partner's suspicions. If I cannot be honest with myself in this regard, further recovery will be little more than a charade. A key aspect of my recovery is that I present myself as a real, genuine person...this is impossible when I must lie about my actions.
• I will examine alternatives to the decision-making process that went into the need to lie and determine the healthiest action that i could have taken
• I will incorporate this healthier option into role plays that involve similar situations
• I will apologize to my partner for the dishonesty, share with them the truth and share with them my plan for moving forward
• I will accept all consequences for my behavior
Action Plan #3: While you are not acting out, you recognize that your life is becoming increasingly stressed
Desired Outcome
To recognize the top ten signs that your life is becoming out of balance and to have an action plan in place that will force action and assessment long before the crisis stage is reached. Life will become unbalanced. Everyone's lives become unbalanced at one time or another. The desire is to learn to manage your own life so that action is taken at the early signs of imbalance — long before addiction is required to help stabilize that life.
Am I experiencing...
o Depression
o Extreme thinking
o Fractured thinking
o Crisis thinking
o Anger
o Hopelessness
o Helplessness
o Frustration with having to 'waste time' with family
o MVAs
o Recognizing early signs of addiction relapse
o Ruminating thoughts
o A series of missed deadlines
If so...
o Recognize that my life is in jeopardy of spinning out of control and that action needs to be taken
o Forgive myself for not being perfect
o Review my current prioritized values list
o Review my activities with my current long term goals
o Reprioritize values/goals as needed
o Develop a reasonable short term goals list that will help me regain focus and stability
o
• Action Plan #4: You come across an unexpected trigger
• Desired Outcome
• You recognize that, while viewing one photo may not be a big deal, the issue at stake here is not the photo, but the commitment that you have made to living a life that you can be proud of. You walk away from the opportunity not feeling as if you had missed out on it, but that you had taken advantage of it.
• every trigger has both short and long-term consequences that must be considered before decisions are made as to how to act. Considering only short-term consequences (e.g. only harmful if I am caught...) is an unhealthy, immature way of managing my life.
Action Plan #5: You anticipate stress in the presence of Michele or Pat
Desired Outcome
Prior to the activity, you recognize that your emotions will be intense. You recognize that you will likely have strong feelings for this person and that may cause you to act in a way that you wouldn't ordinarily act. Prior to the reunion, you have role-played each of the most likely scenarios that may lead to actions that you would later regret. The most likely scenarios have been role-played (with healthy decision making being used) again and again to the point of automation.
As the reunion occurs, you do indeed feel these strong feelings and feel comfort in knowing that this is an opportunity to either place the long-term stability of your life in jeopardy or to engage in a decision-making process that will reaffirm those values that are most dear to you.
What to do:
• Role play the most common anticipated situations and how I will deal with them in a way that promotes my values
• Review my own boundaries to ensure that I do not allow his behavior to cross those boundaries
• Ingrain the notion that I will not act in any way that I would be uncomfortable with


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:31 pm 
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Lesson Fifty-Nine
Evolving Reactive Action Plans

You’re desire to have a relationship with someone. Are you cheating yourself of an optimal future? What action can you take that won’t cheat yourself of an optimal future?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Posts: 71
Lesson Sixty
Preventing Slips/Relapse

false belief that recovery is an event
Complacency
life is not stable; it is fluid
five specific times that you must act if you are to ingrain the skills that you have been developing in the earlier part of the workshop. These five times are:
• Prior to an Expected Trigger
• Prior to a Spontaneous Trigger
• On the Experience of an Urge
• On the Discovery of Being “Off-Track”
• On Schedule - Quarterly
I. The time to act is immediately following the recognition of the urge. Once the compulsive trance has been established, you will only be playing mind games with yourself.
II. Isolate your emotions. Separate them from your core identity (values/boundaries). Acknowledge their limits in terms of pain/uncomfortableness. Recognize their temporary nature.
III. Engage in your Action Plan for this trigger. If you do not have one, then take the time to mechanically create one. Ensure that your decision-making skills were implemented with the emotions isolated. Ensure that absolute honesty was engaged in determining options/consequences.
IV. Accept the consequences for whatever actions you decided to take. If you acted in a healthy way, embrace the success. If you acted in a destructive way, embrace the responsibility.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Lesson Sixty-One
Managing Slips

complacency is the most common factor in slips
(followed closely by a lack of experience),
Masturbation and fantasy are probably the most common 'gray areas' in defining slips. So, unless you have very specific reasons for making such decisions (e.g. religion forbids it), allow yourself to take an open approach in defining these actions

• Step One: immediately freeze all actions. Take time to extract the emotions from the situation and consciously return to your foundation (your values).
• Step Two: Manage the immediate situation.
• Step Three: Anticipate the consequences of what you have done. Remember to consider consequences based both on your slip being discovered and it remaining secret.
• Step Four: Accept responsibility for your actions. All consequences that have resulted from this 'slip' are yours
• Step Five: Tell someone. Should you keep it to yourself? No. No. No.
Eventually, you will want to share your slip with your partner. Perhaps not the details, but certainly the instability. Your partner has a right to know and, if you truly value partnership, your partner needs to know.
Partners who come to understand sexual addiction in a functional way, have the ability to put even the most bizarre sexual behaviors into perspective. So don't underestimate their capacity for compassion and understanding. But, be forewarned, maintaining secrecy from your partner — even when those secrets never come to light — comes with great cost. And should those secrets come to light? Forget it. The potential for building a healthy partnership is nearly nil.
• Step Six: Learn. Slips are not necessary for learning to occur, but learning from slips is an absolute requirement.


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