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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 4:31 pm 
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#47 Urge Scenarios

1. objectifying someone while driving down the road
2. going to look at soft porn articles (e.g. Yahoo Entertainment)
3. Sexualizing/objectifying someone that I know and love
4. Creating an anger fantasy in my head
5. hide from a past experience of someone that I have objectified or sexualized
6. start a fantasy of someone
7. Sexualize/objectify a stranger
8. email trigger
9. images and thoughts that pop in my head. - fleeting but entertain them


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 4:50 am 
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Updated Recovery Goal (lesson 21)

I will complete the recovery workshop lessons by July 31, 2017.

Lessons 48-59 - June 30
Lessons 60-73 - July 31


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 5:49 am 
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Updates on Compulsive Rituals (lesson 23)

I have gone back to re-read the understanding compulsive rituals sections. One element that I never gave enough consideration to the past is Danger. Looking back I see that I have used "Danger" or "Getting in Trouble" as an emotional stimulant for a good part of my life. Much like a "bad" child only seeks negative attention, I have used the emotional thrill of acting out/not getting caught in a variety of situations to stimulate my emotions. This is a huge insight to help me stop the subtle SA behaviors like objectifying/scanning. I am calling myself out that I do these behaviors for some cheap thrill in my head where I can't get caught.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 6:50 pm 
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Updated Values

I have been reflecting on the values that I created in the early lessons - I am making changes to better reflect that I value "being" vs. "doing" and that my values are about how I relate to myself and others.

My Values

I love myself

1. I am honest and live a life of integrity
2. I have boundaries around my values
3. I am self-reflective and self-aware
4. I am self respectful
5. I am free from unhealthy shame
6. I express my needs and wants
7. I value my strengths and abilities
8. I am forgiving of myself for making mistakes
9. I am loving and appreciative of my individuality
10. I express my feelings and emotions
11. I am respectful of others
12. I am real and live in reality
13. I am imperfect
14. I am accepting of myself

I love God and experience spirituality
1. I am loving to God
2. I am prayerful
3. I am meditative
4. I am faithful to God’s love and message

I love and cherish my wife

1. I am loving to my wife
2. I am emotional with her
3. I am fair and unselfish with her
4. I am absolutely honest with her
5. I am empathetic with her
6. I am always available to her
7. I am trusting of her
8. I share my life with her
9. I am sexual with her
10. I am open to her influence
11. I am grateful to her
12. I am appreciative to her

I love and protect my children
1. I am loving to my children
2. I am helpful to them
3. I mentor my children
4. I am a champion for my kids growth
5. I hold my kids accountable to moral, legal and social standards
6. I am unselfish to my kids
7. I am an advocate for my kids
8. I am a model of good morals and healthy boundaries
9. I am available to them when they need me
10. I allow them to fail and make mistakes
11. I am a provider for their many needs – food, love, safety, health, shelter and spirituality
12. I am a model of healthy emotional management
13. I am a humble parent

I take care of my family

1. I am a loving, caring son
2. I am a loving, friendly brother
3. I have boundaries for how much I will provide/take care of them
4. I am

I build meaningful friendships
1. I am a good friend
2. I am helpful to my friends
3. I am kind to strangers
4. I am helpful to others
5. I am grateful to others

I help my community

1. I am giving to my community
2. I am a good neighbor
3. I am a volunteer to others

I develop and manage a successful business
1. I am open to feedback
2. I seek challenges
3. I live a balanced work/family life
4. I am a good manager
5. I am loyal and of service to clients
6. I am analytical and curious


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 5:49 am 
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Posts: 81
Lesson # 39
Ending - healthy sexual values

1. I will only engage in sexual behaviors that I choose to willingly.
2. I will only engage in sexual activity with my wife.
3. I will only engage in sexual activity with my wife through real loving, touching and compassion.
4. I will never engage in any sexual behavior that places myself, my spouse or others in legal, social or physical danger.
5. I will openly share, communicate my sexual wants and needs with my wife.


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 5:59 am 
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Lesson 40 - boundaries of others

1. spouse
mutual consensual sex
intimacy and honesty
reassurance
respect her as person/treat as equal
vulnerability
emotional honesty
will not cheat with others
does not want porn/selfishness

2. I can reinforce these boundaries by being honest, expressing myself and respecting her uniqueness. By reassuring of where I am at with my recovery and what feelings that I have. I can be vulnerable as a person and share my pain/emotions. I can talk about what my issues are what they are not.

3. If I become aware that I have violated their boundaries I will be open and honest to them and apologize. I will acknowledge that I made a mistake, saw it and am working on correcting it. I will work on improving myself going forward. If my spouse were to tell me that I violated a boundary of hers I would listen very carefully and acknowledge her statements and feelings. I would check myself and focus on the truth/facts. I would be mindful of my emotions and work on acknowledging/processing the event. I would apologize for violating boundaries and reflect on how I can improve.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:04 pm 
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#47 -Practical urge awareness

Here are some urge scenarios that I would likely encounter:

1. sexualize/objectify someone while driving down the road
2. going to look at soft porn articles (e.g. Yahoo Entertainment)
3. objectifying/sexualizing someone that I know well
4. creating anger/politics fantasies in my head
5. hide from a past experience of someone that I had objectified/sexualized and then lie about it
6. start a fantasy of someone
7. sexualize/objectify a stranger
8. E-mail trigger from - hide in shame from old fantasy
9. let fleeting thoughts/images that pop in my head get away from me


the urge that I still struggle with a lot now is objectifying/sexualizing someone that I know. I know how to create the break in my ritual by reminding myself when I see that person to look away or only focus on eyes/face. I owe them my respect and see them for their uniqueness, humanity and emotional expression. I have struggled with looking away and I have recently admitted that I have played games and still look to "test" what I am seeing. my approach to stay focused on their face/eyes is mechanical for now but it is building confidence. Another factor that I had overlooked when first reading this lesson is that doubt can intensify my urges to objectify. the objectifying experience is very fleeting/short for me (i.e. a flash image captured in my brain and the thoughy/recognition in my brain that I just captured a clothed image of that body part) The flip side of doubt is confidence and that is something I can give myself. remind myself that I am able to not only resist the urge but also eliminate the urges by starting to believe in myself.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:41 pm 
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I have done some thinking about my patterns of self-sabotage. These are true whether they are for recovering from my addiction or other areas of my life.

1. Procrastination - not taking timely action to follow up on something.
2. Not following through after identifying the solution to something.
3. Over-analyzing an issue/situation
4. Giving more value to something than it is worth.
5. Not prioritizing something appropriately
6. if the issue concerns spouse - it comes first.
7. Checking things off without doing follow through.
8. Acting impulsively
9. after making a connection about a way that I need to change or seeing a pattern that I can stop/game that I play - still putting myself in the position to be in that situation.


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 Post subject: Games that I play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:03 pm 
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i have done a lot of thinking about games that I still play. I still objectify and sexualize my environment. In general I get some sort of mild thrill or "high" when I see fully clothed body parts like breasts, crotch or butts. Not all the time, but I know the feeling when I do. This doesn't just happen to me - I am doing the behavior. I am focusing on urge control and retraining where I focus my attention and not diverting attention where it doesn't belong. Of course, this is in addition to expressing my feelings frequently and learning to better manage my emotions. Here are games that I still play and am working to end:

1. when driving around I have looked around and look at people, particularly women.
2. I avoid looking at women when driving by but then look back at them in my rear view mirror.
3. I would shift focus from the eyes/face to chest/torso when looking at someone.
4. I "test" myself to check on what I am seeing.
5. when I am going through a familiar environment, I look around - no need to do this unless I am searching for something in particular.
6. when someone is sitting near me in an awkward position, I have put myself in the line of site to be focused on them.
7. I ruminate about fleeting thoughts and what I see and give them too much value.
8. for people at work I do not look away when they stretch (trigger situation for me) or maintain eye contact.
9. when women stretch arms up and I should look away/down not from shame but respect
10. I have a pattern of looking around in subtle/fleeting ways.
11. For things that are beyond my control, e.g. ad on billboard or newspaper or tv commercial, I should acknowledge as fleeting and move on.
12. I get triggered by different things - a song, memory or certain visual. some of these I can remove from my life, some I cannot. but I should do so whenever I can.
13. I have measured abstinence too much - not emotional stability or personal satisfaction.
14. I have not developed enough new healthy behavior patterns - need to keep working on those.
15. I use instant gratification in some non sexual ways, e.g. impulsive ideas follow up. I need to learn to be patient.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:19 pm 
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I have done more thinking about the elements of my rituals that have used and not given enough weight in my previous self-reflection. (from the wheel of sexual compulsion)

Danger - In different ways I have liked the feeling of riskiness although not wanting to get caught. I have liked the feeling of being on the edge. In my real life I am pretty tame and not controversial so I think this danger feeling is about trying to get an emotional rush from the risk. I think the anger fantasies I have are along the same line - I have used the emotional stimulation from the imaginary thought of confronting/challenging people in authority positions to make myself feel stronger.

Accomplishment - this is another part of my chain pattern - I am very task oriented. I get a sense of satisfaction of checking something off a list or getting something done. I talked to my therapist about this in great depth. It does back to "human doing" vs. "human being." we all have to get our stuff done, and most of our rituals we do throughout the day are healthy (e.g make meals, wash dishes, exercise, read paper, etc.) are healthy. But I need to make sure that what I engage is for the right reasons -personal satisfaction , or part of living by my boundaries. I have used the feeling of accomplishment in different contexts to make myself feel better -but I need to be on guard that these are for the right reasons.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:54 pm 
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I had a great conversation with my therapist the other week about repetitive and fleeting thoughts. some things that we discussed:

1. Everyone gets fleeting thoughts - some are sexual, most are not. You need to allow thoughts to come and go, be mindful. the more you ruminate on a thought/beat yourself up over it, the more power you give to it and can put yourself in a shame spiral.

2. When you fear what you think you give value to thought life. The question to ask is whether the thoughts are fleeting or intentional. If thoughts are fleeting - normal mindfulness is the way to go. Intentional thoughts are about avoiding or pursuing something. They are focused, have value and a purpose. you then need to challenge your thought life.

3. Depending on what you fear is what will reoccur in fleeting thoughts.

4. I need to become more expressive with thoughts I don't want to get them out of my head. I need to challenge my thought life.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Lesson 48

Visualization - I bought a book on this so I could do a better job learning how to envision myself in different scenarios without stress.

Role-playing - I run through different situations in my head about where I will be for work, leisure and just life and how I can stop objectifying and see things in reality. I am practicing my urge control techniques.

Actively Seeking - I am trying to constantly find opportunities to be honest about myself and what I am experiencing with my wife and also put into practice being respectful.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Lesson 50

A - I think the positive consequences of using values based decisions will be that I will build my self esteem up and my confidence in myself. I will feel better about living by my values. I will start to ingrain healthy habits to live by. I will respect myself more. I will not have regrets about bad choices. The negative consequences will be that I will feel short term emotional volatility. I will feel empty and unresolved on the inside. I know from experience that I will get a tension headache a lot.

B - For positive consequences I will feel a brief "high" or some kind of fake attention. But it will be short lived. for negative consequences I feel guilt and shame pretty quickly and then I get doubts about healing.

C - When I used values based decision making, I will strengthen my self image, self esteem and identity. I will see myself as a person who is stronger, respectful and self loving. I will continue to rid myself of shame. I

D - My values will strengthen and I will reinforce my ability to use them. For emotional decision making my values will not grow and I will continue to experience significant guilt and shame. I will have more emotional volatility and I will not see my identity changing in the healthy way that I want.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:58 pm 
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Lesson 51 - revised ritual - options

the ritual that I still have trouble with is objectifying and sexualizing females and sometimes men. here is the ritual:
Lesson 46 - revised ritual chain - I don't think these revised steps have worked so the options below are a better fit for me.

1. see person that I love - happy to see them, pride, love
2. remember that I have objectified them - fear, discomfort, sadness
3. review core values with self - honesty, respect and emotions sharing - confidence
4. Self talk that I distort things and remind myself of what is real and what is not real - confidence and awarness
5. share my emotions about something with person and encourage the same from them. - vulnerability
5. share funny story or something inspiring; help person - happiness, inspired and pride

the point of decision making is at step # 1. Here are my options - options 3 & 4 may or may not happen depending on how I experience this interpersonal contact.

1. focus on being real - be mindful and pay attention to person. Engage in natural conversation. Stay focused on respectful eye contact. humanize person when speaking with them - pay attention to emotions and body language.

2. avoid looking at person and talk to them without looking at them. Try to have conversation in my head about how I respect them.

3. Objectify person and not discuss/share with my spouse

4. objectify person and share with spouse and reflect what I can do different or what games I played/lessons I can learn.

Consequences:

# 1 - learn to be confrontational, build self-confidence, communication skills. I will build pride in my living by my values of respect and reality. I will build emotional awareness and empathy.

# 2 - I will still be controlling and have fear/shame about how I am engaging others. I will still have shame and break values of self respect. I have tried this approach and it doesn't work.

# 3 - I will violate my values of honesty and self respect.

# 4 - I will strengthen my values of honesty and self respect. I will have opportunities to reflect on what games I have played and improve myself.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:07 pm 
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#52 Decision Making Isolation the emotions

here are some examples that are not addiction related where I have to isolate the emotions from the values that drive the decision:

1. Having to fire someone at work. my values are about being real and honest and setting boundaries for the business and being a good manager/steward of the business. But there are a lot of distressing emotions related to this event: Anxiety/stress about the event, fear of how the person will react, anger for how they put me/themselves in this position. sadness for what what will happen to them and more work for me. Pity for the person.

2. Disciplining my child. Having to give my child a consequence is challenging sometimes. my values are to love my child, teach and model good values, be honest, let them make mistakes and learn from them. the emotions that I would experience are the anger at them in the moment. Fear that they will react/not take consequences in a constructive way, guilt about punishing them and sadness for them that they will experience negative emotions.


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