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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:39 am 
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Hi! Male with a history of over 10 years in porn addiction and 6 years in recovery-relapse cycle here. I started RN workshop about three years ago but I made it to only the second lesson. I'm here now with renewed vigor and determination!

Lesson 1 Exercises:

1) actively committing yourself to change


For too long now I've toyed with the idea that I can beat my addiction passively. Time has come to take control of my life and realize my belief that every person is a master of their own destiny. I've tried to break free from porn addiction for six years now. Apparently my previous attempts have not worked. An active way of living my own life is a better working solution. This is not going to be easy but I am ready to abandon my identity as an addict and to turn over a new leaf. Others have done it, so can I!

2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change

I must be gentle with myself and yet strong in breaking my addiction. I must be able to talk openly about my problems to trusted persons. My problems do not make me a bad person. I have made bad decisions but the past is past, I cannot change it, only learn from it. There's no point in feeling guilty about past mistakes.

3) allowing yourself time to change.

I must understand that change takes time and energy. It won't happen in an instant and the road will be rocky at times, yet the end-results will be fruitful. I will let things happen on their own weight and I will not violently coerce myself to change.

Consider where you feel you are in relation to each of these recovery keys?

    I want to feel the love of a woman and to love a woman myself
    I want a normal sex life
    I want to feel myself as a potent, capable man
    I want to feel myself as a self-confident man, with a healthy self-esteem and who loves himself
    I want to become the man that I'm capable of becoming, to realize my potential and to become the possible version of myself
    I want to enjoy my life clean, without the shadow of an addiction. The small and big feelings, both joy and sadness in all their glory
    Porn goes against my values. I must break free from my addiction in order to have integrity in that regard
    I want to become a "normal" person and a functioning member of society
    I want to be ok with my sexuality and sexual desires. It is ok to be a sexual person
    I want to feel my true libido, desires and love without the corrupting effect of porn
    I want to become a role model for others by breaking free of this addiction and by being the strong man that I know I am
    I want to look another person in the eye and feel equal, not worse, not better
    I want to be the master of my sexual desires and be in control of them


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:39 am 
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Lesson 2
My vision


I am the most important person to myself. I will concentrate on loving myself, on accepting my weaknesses, on noticing my strengths and on improving upon both. If I am not internally balanced, I cannot support other people or offer my best self to the world. This does not mean though that I am selfish. On the contrary, I am considerate, friendly and helpful towards other people. When I love myself from the bottom of my heart, I am capable of loving other people truly and I do not desperately crave love in my life. Love does not have to fill a vacuum within me, instead I can share my own fulfilled life with someone special.

I have integrity, I am honest and trustworthy and people can count on me. This integrity forms the basis for all my other values. I am strong, both externally (body) and internally (mind). My mind is grounded, I am a grounded man, I am self-confident and not easily shaken. My strength and groundedness give me the conviction and balance to live according to my values. I am lovingly benevolent, I want to spread love and goodwill. This ensures that I will act on my values from a place of love and kindness. I am free, I will use that freedom to work on meaningful projects and I will not compromise my freedom. I will allocate time for myself and my purpose, no matter what.

I have all the opportunities and obligations to change my life for the better. It is no one else's obligation, only mine. I will be the best version of myself. I will use exercise, meditation, reading, learning and introspection as tools to better myself.

I will not compare myself to others, only to my former self. I am ok, other people are too. I am not higher than others, neither lower. If I notice someone who needs help, I will offer my hand and pull that person up. I am also not ashamed to ask for help, should I need it. My problems do not make me a weak man, so I do not have to cover them up.

I will be straightforward with my needs and I will not be ashamed of having needs, wishes and goals. I will unashamedly state my opinion, should it be needed. I will envision the future me, yet I will also live in the now and here. I will let go of my past and my mistakes. I will learn from them and I understand that my past does not dictate who I will become in the future.

Every day I will perform at least one thing, no matter how small, that will make myself and my environment better. This furthers my visions of 1) becoming the possible version of myself and 2) making the world a better place than it was before I was born.


Last edited by Indominus on Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Posts: 8
Lesson 3

B)
On your computer, extract the values from the vision you have created and list them.

    Loving myself
    Internal balance
    Unselfishness
    Being considerate
    Friendliness
    Helping others
    True love/loving
    Life that has a meaning
    Honesty
    Strength of mind and body
    Groundedness
    Benevolence
    Freedom
    Taking control of my own life and having responsibility for it too
    Making my life better
    Not expecting someone else to be able to make my life better (a woman, e.g.)
    To become the best version of myself
    Exercise is an important part of my life
    Regular meditation
    Reading (books and material about self-improvement)
    Comparing myself only to my former self, not others
    I accept myself as I am now and understand that in some areas I still have work to do
    Humility
    I can ask for help, I don't have to go at it alone
    I will not cover up my weaknesses or my problems
    I won't try to act like I'm perfect
    I will be straightforward with what I want
    It's ok to have needs, wishes and dreams
    I dare to say my opinion if I feel it is needed
    I will live in the now and here
    I will learn from my past and not relive my mistakes over and over again
    My past does not dictate my future
    I see the future me and the potential that I have within me
    Every day I will do at least one thing to improve matters
    Improving myself
    Improving my surroundings and the environment
    Straightforwardness, no skirting around the issue at hand
    Integrity
    Trustworthy
    Equality
    Putting myself out there in a positive way
    Educating myself

C.

1) Review this example values list for any additional values that you may want to add to your own list. List them.


    Compassion
    Sharing my true self with the world
    Deepening and improving my friendships
    Dedicating myself to improving my life, my purpose and matters that I deem meaningful
    Have an active life (exercising/moving/not staying at home all the time)
    Respect others and be a respectful and honorable man myself
    Don't forget humor, it's not so serious after all
    Taking care of mysefl (sleep, exercise, health, diet, staying active, persoal grooming and hygiene, spirituality)
    Being more proactive and active in staying connected with my family via phone
    I will life my life in an exemplary way
    I will step out of my comfort zone regularly. I will feel my fears and face them
    Emotional maturity, I will not behave like a little child if my feelings are hurt
    Financial stability and after that independence
    I will not run away from challenges. Instead I will meet them head on and overcome them
    I will feel myself masculine
    I will be sexually desired
    Creating deep and meaningful sexual and romantic connections with women
    Passion for life
    To feel myself empowered
    Getting in touch with my feelings and accepting them
    Deep appreciation for nature
    Improving my social skills
    Curiosity
    Leadership
    Vulnerability
    Spiritual growth
    Sharing my feelings openly and truthfully
    Tolerance towards other people's opinions and personalities
    To feel happy and content
    Self-discipline

2)
Consider the 'dark side' of your decision-making. The compulsive behavior. The sexual behavior. Take some time to extract the values that went into those behaviors, and list them as well.


    Selfishness
    Instant gratification
    Pleasure seeking
    Passing time
    Self loathing
    Boredom
    An escape from the tribulations of daily life
    Lack of self-discipline
    Curiosity
    Low self-esteem
    Loss of control
    To feel sexually empowered and dominant
    Seeking sexual gratification
    Impulsiveness
    Forgetting the consequences
    Sexual incompetence
    Outlet for sexual repressed feelings
    Outlet for hate for myself, women and my life
    Subjugating women
    Desperately seeking feminine energy
    Desperate need to have a connection with a woman
    Living out sexual fantasies
    Outlet for strong emotions
    Lack of love


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:28 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3850
Location: UK
Hello Indo and welcome to RN
you have made a good solid start :g:
do please keep it up when it starts to get tougher, and believe me it will, but if you continue to work consistently you can and will get beyond addiction into health
the effort is worth it
after all what do you have to lose compared with the gains
change is inevitable but in health you get to choose the direction based on your values rather than using addiction as a coping mechanism

good luck
now back to the next lesson

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:08 am
Posts: 8
Hey Kenzo,
thank you for the encouragement, I appreciate it :g:

For a day and a half, I fell off the wagon. I was on the computer, tired and didn't direct my mind away from sexual thoughts that kept surfacing. I ended up masturbating and using some external stimuli. But I didn't resort to full-blown softcore erotica or hardcore porn. I could have and in the past I would have done that. But now it feels like there's some kind of inhibitor in my mind that prevents me from going all out with my addiction.

Now, on with the workshop lessons.

Lesson 4
In the previous exercise, you identified a list of the majority of your practical and universal values. Now, prioritize this list.


    Integrity
    Taking care of myself (sleep, exercise, health, diet, movement, spiritual side)
    Life that has a meaning
    Loving and accepting myself
    Comparing myself only to my former self
    To feel myself happy and content in my life
    To become the best version of myself
    Taking control of my own life
    Active life (hobbies, socializing, etc.)
    Strength of body and mind
    Taking care of my environment and surroundings (home, nature, etc.)
    Stepping out of my comfort zone regularly
    Being straightforward with what I want, stating my opinion if needed
    Experiencing deep and meaningful sexual and romantic relationships
    Sharing my true self with the world, not hiding my "defects"
    Keeping in touch with my family
    Deepening and improving my relations with friends
    Being an example for others in my life (everything I do sets an example for others)
    Passion for life
    Benevolence
    True love/loving
    Learning from my past
    Improving my social skills
    Remember humor, it's not so serious after all
    Internal balance
    Leadership

Lesson 5
Take the top fifteen values that you have currently listed and post them in your Recovery Thread.


There's 17 values here, since some of them are somewhat similar and I wanted to include relationships with my family and friends in the list too.

    Integrity
    Taking care of myself (sleep, exercise, health, diet, movement, spiritual side)
    Life that has a meaning
    Loving and accepting myself
    Comparing myself only to my former self
    To feel happy and content in my life
    To become the best version of myself
    Taking control of my own life
    Active life (hobbies, socializing, etc.)
    Strength of body and mind
    Taking care of my environment and surroundings (home, nature, etc.)
    Stepping out of my comfort zone regularly
    Being straightforward with what I want, stating my opinion if needed
    Experiencing deep and meaningful sexual and romantic relationships
    Sharing my true self with the world, not hiding my "defects"
    Keeping in touch with my family
    Deepening and improving my relations with friends


Last edited by Indominus on Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3850
Location: UK
Indo
Quote:
For a day and a half, I fell off the wagon. I was on the computer, tired and didn't direct my mind away from sexual thoughts that kept surfacing. I ended up masturbating and using some external stimuli. But I didn't resort to full-blown softcore erotica or hardcore porn. I could have and in the past I would have done that. But now it feels like there's some kind of inhibitor in my mind that prevents me from going all out


Slips can and do happen that is a fact
however that does not mean that they are acceptable
use this experience
analyse how you felt prior, just before, during, just after the sliup and now
learn from your analysis

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:08 am
Posts: 8
I crashed hard. I don't know what got into me but I spent a week entangled in my porn addiction. The voice of reason was drowned out by the black abyss of compulsive addiction. For a while it was as if I even didn't want for the self-destruction to end. I reveled in the feeling of losing control, of succumbing to the impulses, of total hopelessness. Now I'm back, and more vigilant and wary of my thoughts and actions.

What lead me down the road of desolation? I think a few factors contributed to it. Firstly, I let sexual thoughts slip into my mind. And once they get a hold, it's hard to root them out. Then a rather innocent YouTube video leads to a raunchier video, leads to a softcore video and so on. It's a slippery slope from the beginning. I've seen this happen to me so many times.

Secondly, I didn't keep my apartment tidy. Dishes kept piling up, stuff accumulated all over the place and laundry went unwashed. An untidy home doesn't motivate one to keep a tidy mind.

So, from now on, I must abstain from sexual thoughts, fantasies and touching myself for the time being. I'll also keep my home clean and tidy. If something needs to be done, I won't put it off. Otherwise, it just starts gnawing at my mind, eroding my ability to live life according to my values and vision. In essence, I need to keep my life under control. If one area starts to slip, it'll spread to other areas too and before I know it I'm back in the throes of addiction.


Okay, back to the lessons.

Lesson 6
Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones.


    Taking care of myself
      Get at least 7 hours of decent sleep (early to bed), preferably 8 hours.
      Rehabilitate my arms every day
      Varied exercising about 5 times per week. Mobility exercises every day, stretching after each exercise session
      Have a diverse and healthy diet. Salad, nuts, fish. Minimize the amount of sweets
      Every day get outside. Walk more. Spend less time on the computer (goal 1 hour of entertainment use per day)
      Meditate every day
      Floss teeth every day
      Read out my values and affirmations every day
      Put effort into studying
      Try different kinds of hobbies

    Keep in touch with my family
      Call my parents and sister weekly
      Be active in our WhatsApp group

    Deepening and improving relationships with my friends
      Weekly call one friend
      Hang out with friends more often

    Taking care of my surroundings (home, nature, etc.)
      Follow my daily cleaning plan
      Put things in their right place as soon as possible
      Do the dishes and laundry often
      Keep counters and tables clean
      If I see a piece of trash outside, I'll pick it up and put it in a garbage bin
      Keep on recycling


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:28 am 
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Posts: 8
I've been busy with life so I haven't had too much time to work on the workshop lessons. I started a couple of new hobbies and I've been going out more and getting my life in order. I haven't really missed porn during this time but I realize the cravings might come back any time. So far life's good :g:


Lesson 7
Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values. It is essential that you develop plans for at least the top ten, but if you can reach fifteen...wonderful.


    Integrity (honesty etc.)
      I try to be as honest as possible to myself and other people
      I will do what I have promised to do and on time
      I will not make promises that I can't or won't keep
      If there's a way to do a certain thing either the easy way or the right way, I'll choose the latter

    Life that has a meaning
      I will think about what is important in my life and how I can leave a positive mark on the world
      I will get to know myself, I won't use escapism to evade my feelings and my inner world

    Loving and accepting myself
      I won't concentrate on my "bad" sides or what is "wrong" with me. Instead I'll think positively of myself
      I realize that I am a good person but not perfect. And that is ok

    Comparing myself to only my former self
      If I notice that I'm comparing myself to someone else, I'll gently transfer my thoughts to something else, e.g. I'll concentrate on the positive aspects of myself

    To feel happy and content in life
      I'll do things that I like to do

    To become the best version of myself
      I'll follow my other values. They provide a good guideline to living the life I wish

    Taking control of my life
      Scheduling, a certain time for a certain task (e.g. school, cleaning)
      I'll keep my home tidy and my stuff in order
      I'll spend less time on the computer and instead I'll do meaningful things. I'm not killing time when I endlessly sit on the computer, time is killing me

    Active life
      I'll try out new hobbies
      I'll go to social events
      I won't say no if people ask me out

    Strength of body and mind
      I'll exercise regularly
      I'll meditate regularly
      I'll make my self-control stronger by abstaining from instant gratification
      I'll concentrate on breathing deeply

    I'll step out of my comfort zone often
      I'll do things that I've previously been too afraid to do (for example, going to a dance class)

    I am straigtforward, I'll state my mind if needed
      I'll say my honest opinion without skirting around the issue at hand
      My opinion is every bit as valuable as someone else's

    Experiencing deep and meaningful romantic and sexual connections
      I will make contact with women once I feel a more wholesome man (normal libido etc.)
      I realize that women can be interested in me, I won't think that nobody wants me
      I won't settle with women, I'll have standards

    Sharing my true self with the world, I won't hide my "bad" sides
      I accept that I will have worse days and that I can't or need be perfect all the time
      My personality and character is what makes me uniquely me. My true self may repel some people but those who stick around appreciate me for who I truly am


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:34 am 
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Lesson 10
I. Consider those lies that are still being perpetuated in your life.

I can’t think of any lies. Sure, I haven’t come clean about my problems to my mother, for example, but that is my decision to make.

II. If you are involved in a partnership, choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving them in certain areas
Not applicable

III. If you are involved in professional coaching (or outside counseling), choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving those whom you are working with.
I think I've been honest and open when talking about my issues with healthcare professionals. It has not always been easy to open up about myself, but each time I've opened up more. I'll be honest and open in the future too. I also realize that I can refuse to talk if I feel so.

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior.
  • I had recordings of phone sex calls on a few computers. I was really hesitant to delete them, because a) I’ve used money on them and b) one recording of a live call was unique, irreplaceable. But, so many times I’ve gone down the slippery slope after listening to these recordings. Now they are forever gone and I don’t really miss them. I won’t be needing them anyway in my current way of life.
  • There’s a picture of me with a few pornstars from a sexual exhibition. It’s in a closet somewhere. It too is unique, but I’ll get rid of it when I come across it.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object.
  • N: a woman from my class with whom I had a small… let’s say affair
  • K: another woman from my school that I like. Or used to like. Not sure anymore
  • Random women I see in my life that I might fantasize having sex with

VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/romantically compulsive behavior.

Home, internet: porn, masturbation


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3850
Location: UK
Hello Indominus
you wrote
Quote:
I crashed hard. I don't know what got into me but I spent a week entangled in my porn addiction.


then perhaps you posted part of that reason a week later with
Quote:
I've been busy with life so I haven't had too much time to work on the workshop lessons

Strange isn't it that we always find time to act out but there is never enough time to really get into recovery
:pe:
take this not as a criticism simply an observation
you crashed because you chose to
you probably have not realised or accepted yet that you can choose
you can own your addiction and you can recover, if you choose to

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:27 pm 
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Posts: 8
Hi Kenzo,

thank you for sharing your insight, I appreciate it. When I crashed, two things happened: 1) I didn't put effort into recovery and 2) in a way, I stopped living. I just stayed at home and indulged in the addiction. For about a week now I've lived a fairly healthy and active life, a life that matches my values pretty well. This means that I haven't had the time to act out and also urges haven't reared their ugly heads as often and strong as they used to.

In the past I had this notion that when I'm, for example, 90 days porn-free, I'll start living my life. Then I'll do things that I wasn't motivated to do or that I was scared of. But that's not how it works. I need to start living my life to the fullest now. This I see as a healthy recovery. Previously I had a mentality of abstaining. Of course, Recovery Nation is now a part of my healthy recovery and I'll give it due attention.

That's a good point about having a choice. I believe we have a choice in everything that happens to us. If nothing else, we can at least choose how we react to change. In the heat of relapsing, it might seem like there's no choice, that the pull of addiction is too strong. But there is a choice. A choice to act out or not. And in theory preventing relapse is easy. Just say no each time you are about to relapse. Of course, in reality it's not so black and white. This prevention of relapses just leads to the abstaining mentality that I mentioned. To truly leave addiction behind, there needs to a healthy foundation coupled with introspection and work on the self, I believe.


Lesson 12

Those Who Will Continue to Struggle With Relapse

Several of these apply to me in my previous relapse cycles. I can clearly see myself thinking these thoughts while acting out. But currently I don’t really identify with them. I’ll list these here anyway since they somehow seem significant to me. It makes me sad to know that I’ve thought this way about myself and my life and recovery. Let this be a reminder to me of what I want to leave behind.

  • They believe that they are uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings
  • They believe that what they are experiencing is their fate
  • They are inflexible in re-evaluating their lifetime goals
  • They suspect that they will never be able to overcome their urges, and so their goals are to establish the appearance of change, rather than to pursue actual change.
  • They find comfort in being able to use "powerlessness" as an excuse for continuing to engage in their behavior.
  • Relapse triggers are seen as opportunities to act out.

Those Who Will Occasionally Struggle with Relapse

  • Relapse triggers are feared, and so their lives continue to be altered as a result of addiction.
    • This still applies to me. I’m currently trying to avoid all artificial (and to some extent real) arousal inducing material or visuals. I’m also a bit wary when I’m on the computer, especially if tired, and maybe gaming. This used to so often lead to acting out on autopilot.


    Patterns that used to apply to me
  • They consistently measure the success of their recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction.
    • This used to be me very much. Now I have a different mindset.
  • They continue to identify themselves with their addiction and cannot imagine a life without such an association.
    • I used to think that I’m a hopeless porn addict. Now I don’t categorize myself as an addict but maybe as a person in recovery.


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