Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:56 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 48 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
New to this forum, posting my response to my first lesson:


A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are:
1) actively committing yourself to change
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
3) allowing yourself time to change.
Consider where you feel you are in relation to each of these recovery keys? Briefly share your thoughts in your Recovery Thread.

This is at least my third attempt at recovery from love addiction which has caused a great deal of hurt to my wife and injury to my self worth and integrity. I had a period of positive change starting this time last year that felt good an authentic. I was much more aware of my thought patterns and emotions, I was able to see the big picture instead of focusing on negatives and distractions. I actively referred to observations written in my journal, did exercises given to me by my therapist, learned through reading. This felt like active recovery. But gradually I think I let my guard down, got overly confident and stopped my doing the behaviors that I know helped me as often, less reading, less CODA meetings, less meditation, less monitoring of my own thoughts and emotional state. And gradually my love addiction behaviors and thought patterns crept in without me noticing after a particularly difficult conversation with my wife, again bringing me to a dark place, causing me to pressure my wife for behaviors in the relationship designed solely to make me feel better, causing me to keep secrets, harming my partner's trust in me, my trust in myself. I know this person in not my true self and I need to get back to my true self and free myself of my anxieties and dysfunctional coping mechanisms. I feel like I had a taste of active recovery and I am ready to get back to this because I want to be the person I know myself to be again.

Guilt and shame affected me for the first few days when I had my relapse. I hurt my wife, I am suffering the consequences of this, and I felt self pity for a couple days. This time though I was able to move past those negative feelings a lot faster. I realized those feelings were not going to help me and the only thing that could was to get back to the tools I had all along but did not use. I feel more forgiving of my addict self, more understanding of how those old ingrained patterns took hold.

I am willing to give myself time to change. I do not feel like I have a personal time line that I must meet. I know from past experience that it is a learning process, there may be missteps and bad days but overall it will feel good to know that I am working my program and more in touch with what is really going on with me. I understand that this will be and should be an ongoing, long term process.





B. Beyond an active commitment to change, another important factor in determining your ultimate success is your motivation. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life. Don't stop at three or four obvious ones, really examine your life and what is important to you. Phrase these in the positve. For example: " I don't want to keep deceiving my wife" would serve you better if written like "I want to be honest and transparent with my wife". Positive statements have much more power in our mindset than negative ones. List these in your recovery thread.

1. I want to be the self I identify as my true self, not ruled by fear, anxiety and addiction

2. I want to be more self sufficient.

3. I want to be more confident in who I am as a person, what my values are, what my needs are.

4. I want to speak from a place of integrity and honesty to those I love so they can trust me again.

5. I want to experience true intimacy with my best friend, my wife

6. I want do not want to keep secrets again. I want to be able to speak of anything to those I value in my life without worrying about giving them a "version" of me.

7. I want love and sex in my life to be a source of joy and bonding, not affected by suspicion or neediness.

8. I want to be giving to my wife a source of security not worry.

9. I want to focus my energy on that which positive and creative.

10: I want to be in touch with the best parts of myself so I can have the insight and courage to make positive changes in my life at all levels and not get stuck in ruts and negative thinking

11: I want to be a good father and role model to my daughters

12: I want stability in my life

13: I want my partner to feel like she is really my partner again. We are unstoppable as a team.

14: I want to celebrate our differences, knowing that they make us stronger as a couple and do not decrease the love and support we have from each other.

15: I am a positive person, I want to show that in every aspect of my life, especially in my love relationship.


C. One of the most powerful insights you can gain in establishing a foundation for permanent recovery is to come to see your addiction within the scope of your life span. In other words, to not just see your addiction as it is now, but to look across the span of your life to see the role that addiction has played in your development. Much of this will be explored throughout the workshop, but to put yourself in the right frame of mind to develop such a perception, do the following:
Find a picture of yourself when you were a small child. An innocent child. For those with early childhood sexual abuse issues, do not mistake this abuse for a lack of innocence. You were absolutely innocent. It will be hard to derive the full value from this exercise without an actual picture so if it is just a matter of needing to find one...wait. Wait until you have the picture in your hand. If such a picture does not exist, try envisioning a moment in your life when you were 3, 4...perhaps 5 years old — but only do this as a last resort. The power of this exercise rests in your ability to look into the eyes of your own innocence — something that is very hard to do through memory alone.
Now, with the picture in hand, look into that child's eyes. Feel their innocence. Acknowledge that this child is you at a point in your life. Feel how vulnerable you were. How trusting. Recognize the lack of addiction in your life...and the desire for little more than love, compassion, teaching and support. Think of the trauma you faced throughout your life. Think of the times when you felt alone. Confused. If you feel like it, cry for this child. Allow yourself to feel love for this child. Do whatever you must to emotionally connect with this child because it is for this child that you are now reclaiming your life. It is this child who lost their way and you are the one now showing the courage to guide this child, who is you, back to health.
If you would like, share your experience with this last exercise in your thread.

This was really sad. I actively suppress how chaotic and troubled my childhood was. I see how much negative and incorrect behavior I was around, what I was programmed with. How skewed my idea of family and romantic love was, how unsupportive my parents were during the hardest times in my life. I feel sorry for that child, I forgive him for how he has affected my coping behaviors and emotional processing as an adult. I want to show him a better way.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:18 am 
Offline
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3880
Location: UK
Hello Phoenix
looks like a good positive start :g:
but remember it is only the start, and from your admission you have had other starts that came to very little
if you really do want to improve your life and to recover from your addiction then you are at a good place to make that wish reality
Commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting and reading
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness

remember to work at your own pace and its not a race indeed some consider recovery to be a journey rather than a destination

remember the only person that can make these changes is you, so the hard work needs to come from you
looking forwards to reading your posts and wishing you all the best

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Thanks Coach Kenzo. I am finding a lot of excellent material on this site already. I will continue reading, reflecting and writing.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 2: My Life Vision



I understand that a meaningful and satisfying life must be built on integrity, remaining true to one’s personal values. My personal values are:

Truthfulness and Openness

Caring and generosity toward the people in my life

Freedom of personal and emotional expression- I will feel free to express my personality and individuality and I will respect your right to do the same.

Sharing burdens: if you are going through a hard time I will do my best to help you or if I can not help, I will at least be with you through that experience

Sense of humor- the ability to be irreverent and laugh at myself and life is vital to my sense of self and my relationships

Personal Autonomy- I will be true to myself in my decisions and conduct and will respect your right to do the same

Praise and affection- I give these openly and genuinely

Do no harm

Be a good neighbor- I will be thoughtful and avoid inconveniencing others

Peacefulness

Modesty in consumption and behavior

Pride in my accomplishments

Patience with others

Toughness- the ability to endure the unpleasant without complaint is vital for getting through the down times


When I think about how the life I would like to live I think of being at peace, doing things of value and existing happily with the important people in my life. For me I would break that down into several main areas:

Relationship: I envision a life with my wife who values and appreciates me, I will know I make her happy and better her life and she does the same for me. This will be a relationship built on trust and complete openness, where we can discuss anything, even tough things and know we can work it out in the end. Where we both feel supported and heard, where she knows she can always count on me. We will once again find strength in our differences and take comfort in the deep bond that comes with being best friends for so many years. I will feel worthy of respect because I show respect. I will take satisfaction in the deep value of all parts of our relationship. Closeness, affection and a sexual relationship will flow naturally from our love for each other, not in an effort to mere placate and satisfy “needs.”

Work: I have a very good work environment right now. I wish I was more financially ahead, but I think that will come with time. I went through a terrible time with working conditions and being treated very badly by at my last job and had to do a lot of learning to change how I deal with work stress and not letting my work affect my home life negatively. I see continuing to live with a positive attitude toward work, feeling good about providing for my family, feeling good about the job I do, how I treat people, and how I help people through my skills. I take a lot of pride in my work and I am good at it. Writing this, I actually wish I felt I was as successful at my marriage as I am at my job. Maybe I can learn from this.

Parenting: I feel like I am a good father. I actually get a lot of warm feelings thinking about my life in the future as a father, helping my kids through rough times, being supportive and making them feel loved, basically doing a better job than my parents did with me and knowing that I am teaching them to be able to handle whatever life throws at them. I would like to be more of a role model for them though as I know they are indirectly affected by my behavior in my relationship and the stress that puts on my wife. I would like to be able to look them in the eye and know that I am an example of a truthful, stand up man that does the right thing.

Health: I obviously would like to work a lot more on my mental health. I feel like am basically a positive person but overly susceptible to stress. I envision a life where I am a lot better catching the stress and anxiety creeping in a dealing with it in a healthy way. I know I have tools to do this, I just need to practice them: meditation, sleeping habits, not procrastinating or avoiding problems. I want to be a little more healthy physically too, I like feeling strong and physically fit. I want to exercise more and challenge myself more in this area.

Other: So much can fall into this category. I think I envision a life of deep quality and good priorities. I would like it to be a little less hectic, to have more time to enjoy my relationship and kids. To feel productive and always moving forward a little. I’d like to continue getting projects done, little by slowly to work on our property, our home and keep the things that we have nice. I’d like to continue to learn about the world and be curious. I see doing more travel even if it just around my area or state. I would like to make time to be in nature walking, hiking, camping, this always makes me feel calm and centered and is something I really value. I would like to develop more friendships and do more things outside the home that are just for me. I would like to develop a new hobby or two like collecting or restoring things. I like working with my hands so I see doing more of that someday.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 3: My Values


On your computer, extract the values from the vision you have created and list them. Your goal for this lesson is to create a single, comprehensive list that involves all of the primary ways that you derive stimulation from your life. Or, those areas that you want to derive stimulation from. Most lists will contain between 50-100 items. When you are done, post this list in your recovery thread.
If you feel you need some guidance as to what you are looking for, or for examples of how to list each item, see this example values list.
C. When you have extracted every possible value that you can think of from your vision, do the following:
1) Review this example values list for any additional values that you may want to add to your own list. List them.
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.





I understand that a meaningful and satisfying life must be built on integrity, remaining true to one’s personal values. I have done a version of this exercise with my therapist and found it helpful. I inadvertently listed these in the last post but I will relist and expand upon them here. My personal values are:

Truthfulness and Openness
-being honest about your feelings toward your loved ones
-being honest to yourself
-being aware and open to what is going on in yourself and not too rigid in your think about yourself and others to these feelings are not avoided or stuffed. I believe the correct answer to most problems will rise to the top if we are not to busy or anxious and squash it down or ignore it.
-Being brave enough to look bad or be wrong and take responsibility
-Being able to let someone down, say no, and avoid people pleasing when you know what you are being asked is not consistent with who you are

Caring and generosity toward the people in my life
-My primary job in my family and relationships is to take care of the ones I love
-I strive to put them and their needs first whenever I can and when it is healthy for me to do so
-I take great satisfaction when they are healthy and happy because of my contribution to their lives
-I can not truly care for them if I do not make a strong effort to understand them and find out what they need. Don’t presume.

Freedom of personal and emotional expression- I will feel free to express my personality and individuality and I will respect your right to do the same.
-This involves loving the whole person even when they are different than you, they hurt you, or you disagree
-This is something that is earned by showing communicating your deep respect for them clearly and making a safe environment for them to express themselves without retribution

Sharing burdens: if you are going through a hard time I will do my best to help you or if I can not help, I will at least be with you through that experience
-Again, communication is vital. Do not assume you know what is best for your loved one. Ask.
-Not all problems can be fixed. Some take time to resolve, some must be tolerated. Offering solutions is not always helpful but offering support and your presence is.

Sense of humor- the ability to be irreverent and laugh at myself and life is vital to my sense of self and my relationship
-I would also include having fun in this as a value. I think sometimes it is good to be flexible with your schedule, routine and what you normal do or how you behave and be a little silly and crazy

Sense of adventure/risk- What is down that road? We’ve never been down that path, let’s check it out!
-I am perfectly will to risk a little potential discomfort, money or dignity to try something I have never done before. An epic fail makes an epic story!

Personal Autonomy- I will be true to myself in my decisions and conduct and will respect your right to do the same
-This does not mean you can do whatever you want. These decisions are made thoughtfully, taking into account your partner and their needs. Feeling put upon and restricted breeds discontent, being clear with yourself what is really important for your self and what is unnecessary or unwise will produce good decisions in this category. Also communication, communication, communication!

Praise and affection- I give these openly and genuinely
-This can be verbal, non-verbal, physical, acts of service, or simply making time for your loved one.
-Realize that what is obvious affectionate for you may be different for another. Whatever communicates this has value because the underlying feeling driving it is the same: love

Fatherhood: Maybe the biggest job we have in life is to teach our children how to successful, true to themselves and people they can be proud of

Do no harm

The Golden Rule

Understanding/Empathy- put yourself in another’s shoes and think about what might being going on with them outside the immediate situation before you judge.

Teaching: It is far more valuable to be taught a lesson that being told you are wrong. I strive to teach those around me when they are open to it.

Be a good neighbor- I will be thoughtful and avoid inconveniencing others

Peacefulness
-Manage stress and practice health in all areas of your life
-Scheduling down time to do nothing, relax, just be
-Put yourself in situations where this flows naturally like meditation, being in nature

Modesty in consumption and behavior

Pride in my accomplishments- I came from a poor, dysfunctional and uneducated family. What I have achieved I have achieved through my own blood, sweat and tears. However, a lot of these did come with the support and sacrifice of my wife.

Creativity and Individuality- I enjoy having a slightly skewed view of the world, a creative streak and the ability to sometimes try something totally different to make something unique and beautiful

An appreciation of making the moment really count- I have had magical, unforgettable moments in life, memories I will keep till I die because I take the time to stop and think, Hey pay attention this is special, stop and do this because it is a once in a life time opportunity.

Patience with others

Intelligence- I value learning, experience and critical thinking

Work ethic- I am a hard worker. I will work to the bone to accomplish a goal. I will break my back to support my family. I take pride in my skills and doing my job well.

Toughness- the ability to endure the unpleasant without complaint is vital for getting through the down times
-this is 100% about attitude. If you say you can’t you are right. If you say you can you are also right.

When I sit and read this list, this makes me feel really good about myself. I know that person is the me inside me. I know the person is amazing and worthy of love and respect. My brain has learned dysfunctional patterns through a lifetime of having to survive and cope on my own. My brain is an overlay, a filter for the true self. If I can change those patterns of thought I can be the person I'm meant to.



The Values of a Love Addict

My feelings are more important than yours

My pain is bigger than yours and deserves more attention

My dysfunction demands that you take care of it in the way I have identified it as a problem

I will base my decisions on very little information or highly symbolic behavior or statements, rather than asking or revealing I have a problem. Information to the contrary will be ignored no matter what the other person says or all the behaviors they have shown you to mean the opposite

Compulsive behavior breeds poor self esteem which is covered up or medicated by more compulsive behavior

My wants or fantasies are interpreted as needs. I have little ability to distinguish between healthy appropriate needs and unhealthy ones manufactured from an anxious brain. These needs are totally selfish and do not care what is good for the other person, what is right, or what is fair. They justify lying, they are more important than anything at the time . They are like a 2 ton elephant that has broken out of its pen, trampling your love for your partner and everything else good in your life.

I can not give to myself to fill in holes and stop anxiety or bad feelings. That must come from outside me.

I am anxiety and fear based. I am reactive and must “fix” everything now.

If my hole is not filled I will lapse into depression and stop giving to my loved ones even thought they have done nothing to deserve this.

If I perceive a problem, it becomes my only focus and I block out all the good around me and all the evidence that I am loved and have enough.

I will be slippery in my meaning and evasive about what is going on with me. I would rather lie than risk any embarrassment or the possibility that my partner will be displeased and will not give me the things I want.

My thinking is rigid and overlooks what is staring me in the face.

This is the first time I have stopped to stare this warped, scared and sad person full on in the face. I saw bits and pieces before but not his whole operating system. I hate him. I want to destroy him. I reject him as my true self.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 4 Exercises:
A. In the previous exercise, you identified a list of the majority of your practical and universal values. Now, prioritize this list. This should take you about fifteen minutes at the most. If it is taking you longer than that, you are thinking too deeply. The deep thought was in constructing your vision and extracting the values...this is the 'easy part'. Simply identify an initial order of prioritization that 'feels right' to you.



Truthfulness and Openness

Caring and generosity toward the people in my life

Being a loyal and giving friend to my wife (related to above)

Understanding/Empathy

Fatherhood

Gratitude/An appreciation of making the moment really count

Peacefulness

Sharing burdens

Sense of humor

Toughness

Creativity and Individuality

Work ethic

Patience with others

Intelligence

Freedom of personal and emotional expression

Personal Autonomy

Pride in my accomplishments

Do no harm

The Golden Rule

Be a good neighbor

Teaching

Modesty in consumption and behavior


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 5

A.Take a moment to look over that list with a fresh view. As you read through it, ask yourself, "Does this reflect the person that I am committing myself to becoming?

Yes, when I read this list it reminds me of a kind, honest person that I would be proud to know. This reflects my true self, the way I feel internally when I am am not letting anxiety, fear and negative thinking control my actions, the way I want to be all the time


B.Consider two or three major decisions that you have made in your life (i.e. marriage, career, getting a dog, etc.). Examine the values involved in the decision-making process that went into your options. Consider having to make those decisions today. Does your current prioritized values list reflect the choices that you would make?


I thought about some of the major decisions in my life: the decision to get my degree despite major fears that I did not know what I was doing. The decision to totally change career paths mid way through my training which was extremely frightening and difficult. The decision to have children. I feel like I was using these values to make those decisions and follow through and be successful. I really wanted to put the decision to marry my wife on here but being honest with myself, I was so young and insecure and not in touch with myself that I do not think I had these values developed at that time. That seems sad but also not sad. I can not expect my 23 year old immature and emotionally challenged self to operate with this level of emotional maturity given my upbringing and negative influences in my life. I am happy that I can now at least understand what these values mean and what having integrity means even if I have a long way to go to consistently be a person with integrity 100% of the time, which is my goal. That being said, if I were given the opportunity to go back and choose to marry my wife again, I would do so without hesitation and with a much greater appreciating of what a great privilege and responsibility that represents.

C. Finally, examine the list one more time for its realism. Do this by briefly grasping each value and thinking about the role that it would play in your day-to-day life.

I think that the values on my list are consistent with myself as a person and things that I will use on a daily practical basis both in my marriage, with my kids and with all the people I interact with.


D. Take the top fifteen values that you have currently listed and post them in your Recovery Thread. To be successful in recovery, you will need to learn to derive about 75% of your life's meaning and fulfillment from these values

Truthfulness and Openness

Being a loyal, intimate and giving friend and husband to my wife

Caring and generosity toward the people in my life

Understanding/Empathy

Fatherhood

Gratitude/An appreciation of making the moment really count

Peacefulness

Sharing burdens

Sense of humor

Toughness

Creativity and Individuality

Work ethic

Patience with others

Intelligence

Freedom of personal and emotional expression


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Developing Proactive Action Plans

Lesson 6 and 7 Exercise:
A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones. For instance, "Strengthening your relationship with your wife" is complex. "Developing a closer bond with 'Chewie', your dog" (probably) isn't. For now, choose 'Chewie'. Post these plans into your recovery thread.

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. These plans will be used to form the basis of your health monitoring system (which you will begin at the end of next week). Post these plans in your Recovery Thread.


Truthfulness and Openness

-Being honest about your feelings with your loved ones. This may require mindful and deliberate effort at first until it becomes a normal habit. This should include positive feelings, insights or things that you are struggling with if you feel it helps other's understand you
-Being honest to yourself, (even the not so pretty stuff, the stuff that is embarrassing, the times when you could have done better!!!)
-Sharing my triumphs as well as my failures
-Being aware and open to what is going on in myself and not too rigid in think about myself and others. Feelings are not avoided or stuffed. I believe the correct answer to most problems will rise to the top if we are not to busy or anxious and squash it down or ignore it.
-Being brave enough to look bad or be wrong and take responsibility
-Being able to let someone down, say no, and avoid people pleasing when you know what you are being asked is not consistent with who you are
-Realize that not every thought or feeling must be shared. Be mindful and self assess, post to forum, ask therapist. Ask is it relevant, is it useful, is it kind?


Being a loyal, intimate and giving friend and husband to my wife

-Practice empathy, how might she be feeling? If you don't know, don't assume.
-Ask questions and be willing to really listen to the answers
-Give her space to process and heal
-Realize good intentions aren't enough if in her view actions and words don't match
-No more giving to get or "sharing" to get.
-Practice emotional vulnerability for its own sake
-Ask her what she needs, how can I help?
-Show yourself to be the positive person you know yourself to be
-Quietly make your feelings known, say I love you, tell her why you appreciate her, apologize for past behaviors and tell her how you will make amends or how my view has changed, affirm that she is the one you want to be with. There has been so many negative messages and actions over the last 3 years. Fill day to day life with the genuine and positive ones. Remind her how amazing she is to you.
-Radiate safety, stability and security
-Put her needs first.
-Show your trust in her. She is the most loyal person you have ever known, show that you trust in your relationship and friendship with her, give her the benefit of the doubt
-Share yourself, what's happened to you, how that made you feel. Little details to you might not be so little to her.
-Show confidence in yourself and your ability to manage your own emotions
-Make sure that wants do not get confused with needs or demands. See what you can do first to meet your wants or needs before discussing or asking for anything
-Before getting into anything addressing any aspect of your relationship, look at the BIG PICTURE! Remember the long rich arc of your relationship, your story as a couple, all the ways you give to each other and interact. Remember she is your friend, your partner, the mother of your children. Remember what has she has gone through to be here still with you.



Caring and generosity toward the people in my life

-Let go of negative feelings and perceptions and get out of your own head.
-Listen and get interested in what is going on with your friends and loved ones instead
-Remember that you are a person capable of tremendous kindness and enjoyment of giving, be true to that instinct and do not let negativity talk you out of it
-Give even if the other person may not be able to give back. If being a giving person is your true nature, do not make expressing your true self dependent on another's actions

Understanding/Empathy

-Follow the basic rule of stopping and putting yourself in someone else shoes before judging or asking for something
-Ask questions, find out more
-Don't try to always offer suggestions or fix another persons problem. Listen to, affirm and be with them

Fatherhood

-Maintain a patient and loving attitude
-Don't focus too much on the negatives such as misbehavior, chores not done, etc. Point out the positives and what great and creative kids they are.
-Reassure them that despite the problems I and Beth are having, they are loeved and everything will be ok
-Take time out for teaching moments


Gratitude/An appreciation of making the moment really count


-There is almost no problem that isn't improved with an attitude based in gratitude.
-Gratitude is the antidote to the negative places my thoughts sometimes go
-Sharing gratitude with those I love relates a positive, outward focused outlook


Peacefulness


-Practice health maintenance behaviors which keep you calm and centered: exercise, meditation, good sleeping habits, taking time to slow down and enjoy some aspect of your life
-Do not let stress in one part of your life, such as work, a set back, a negative personal interaction affect your the rest of your life or outlook. It is a drop in the river and will soon fade in importance.
Sharing burdens


Sense of humor

-Laugh at your self. Laugh at life.
-Don't lose the ability to have fun and be funny just because of setback in your life or relationship
-Encourage silliness in your life

Toughness

-Remember who you are and where you came from. You have survived far worse than whatever you are going through now.
-Remember pain is temporary, practice "gaman"
-Do not let adversity steal your goodness

Creativity and Individuality

-Do not always keep your nose to the grindstone. Take time to do projects or practices that put energy back in the tank, that help you see the world in a fresh light
-Dust off the old to do lists items, the ones that sounded like fun but you haven't made the time for
-Be more spontaneous and do things out of the routine
-Consider getting out of the house and interacting with new people, join a drum group or hobby group, make friends so you can express and reaffirm you individuality.
-Being more confident in who you are puts forth my best self and makes other more comfortable around me.


Work ethic

-Do not let your current struggles sap your energy for taking care of business.
-Meeting your responsibilities at work and around the house is personally rewarding and reaffirming that you can be successful in other areas of you life


Patience with others


-This goes right back to empathy
-Take a deep breath and remember the big picture

Intelligence

-Do not play dumb with yourself and lapse into old behaviors, just because you can't have what you want.
-Do not let your emotions do your thinking for you. Make sure you are accessing the intelligent and secure side of yourself when assessing a situation or make a decision
-Trust what your know, not necessarily what you feel

Freedom of personal and emotional expression


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 10 Exercises:
I. Consider those lies that are still being perpetuated in your life. Who you are deceiving. Why you are deceiving them. Consider the 'risks' of coming clean. No need to do anything about these thoughts...just have an awareness of them.
II. If you are involved in a partnership, choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving them in certain areas. If the answer is yes, acknowledge that you are willing to jeopardize the future of that relationship by maintaining the deception; AND, admit to yourself that you are intentionally sabotaging your own healthy foundation by allowing such a huge crack to remain.
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. If the answer is yes, acknowledge that you are not fully commited to ending your addiction. Acknowledge that you are choosing to 'go through the motions', rather than actively pursue real change.

-I do not have any overt lies that I am keeping from my wife or others and I do not want to deceive her or anyone else anymore. I know what it is like to behave and speak with honesty and confidence in who I am and I want that back. I am happy about this possibility but realistic that this early on there may be subtle things about the way I think that I keep from myself and therefore from my wife. There also may be unvoiced things regarding our relationship that I need to identify and share with her. She hates neediness and I may still have things that I feel I need from her or problems I perceive that I have avoided sharing. Things like when my self esteem gets low or I feel like our problems are too big to allow her to ever love me again. Worries that we are never going to have a good sex life again or that she will never be able to allow me too close without being suspicious that I am acting out love addiction. It is hard right now to be sure what things I want from the relationship are healthy needs and what things stray into love addiction, although I am getting better at catching these dysfunctional lines of thinking.

First I need to get much better at identifying what things are not useful sharing and should be taken care of on my own. I kind of feel that sharing these things is going to have to be done in the moment and on a regular basis over time, not written in some big confessional list. Hopefully we can discuss these things as they come up and decide if these sound ok or if these are unhealthy needs or ways of thinking about her or our marriage. I am pretty confident that if we can get to a point where we can talk about these things openly and objectively it will become a lot harder for me to self delude or manipulate and there will be no more secrets. I trust my wife to tell me the truth even if I can't see it. Someday soon I will be able to trust myself too.

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior. List these items and their locations in your Recovery Thread. If you are uncomfortable sharing this in the forum, email or PM the list to a Coach.

-This doesn't directly apply because I do not have sexual addiction. I have a love addiction and the places I stash stuff are in my head, in insecure thoughts, in old maladaptive coping mechanisms, in over reliance on my own feelings. I may not be experiencing this stuff right now. These things may lie dormant until I am under a lot of stress, or I haven't had enough "attention" and feel ignored, or get in a fight with my wife. Then they sneak out. So I feel I have to keep checking myself, keep in touch with my true self, and holding my thoughts and feelings up to the light to make sure they are congruent with reality and consistent with my values. Being vulnerable and speaking them out loud. I think I will know they are the truth if I can do this with confidence. Then there will just be a healthy mature love and not love addiction.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 11. I completed the reading and assessment. A lot of this seemed more directed at sexual addiction behaviors. As a love addict I did identify strongly with the Fantasy/Compulsion section though. I use to be quiet OCD when I was younger and that behavior has calmed a lot for the most part except in the area of my marriage and romantic attachment to my wife.

"Obsessions are one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in recovery and one of the hardest to identify PRIOR to their development"- totally true for me. They are sneaky, they seem to start with either a really positive or really negative emotion having to do with my relationship, then slowly without me realizing it I am obsessing over whatever was said or happened and how that makes me feel and what that means for the relationship and what that means for my needs and on and on. If I am not very aware this can hijack even healthy feelings and interactions.


"They are the purest form of the "all or nothing principle", as they allow the obsessed person to focus on a single element in its extreme, and tend to process everything associated with the particular element as black and white. This is especially difficult in love addiction, where the target is a particular person with whom a relationship has already developed."- Black and white thinking is definitely a problem. All conversations or evidence of my needs, her needs, her feelings etc fall into one category or another as I develop an extremely myopic view of the particular problem or need I am focusing on. I find it really sad that my love for this beautiful person who I am so lucky to have in my life can go from something so bonding and positive to a source of anxiety, crossed boundaries, lies, and mistrust.

"Such relationships tend to be extremely chaotic and emotionally exhausting for the target of that obsession"- It has been lately. She is so tired of this behavior and I am so tired of being the source of such stress and emotional drain in her life. I understand her needs and I want to be her partner in all things, her safe person, someone who nurtures and supports her. My love addiction hijacks this and runs away in totally unhealthy directions.

Not wanting to lose the love of a romantic partner (e.g. placing constant pressure on the partner to "prove" his/her love; voicing frequent need for reassurance; overanalyzing day to day events)- YES this is it in a nutshell, needy, anxious, overthinking, asking for to much and making things symbolic that have little to do with our actual relationship or her feelings for me.

Power (affords the individual the perception of control over a situation, though this is not an accurate perception as the obsessing often underlines the lack of control that a person has)- YES. I sometimes think of how I can "get" her to desire me more, show more affection, want to have sex with me. Giving to get is a part of this manipulation


Triggers associated with Obsession

Conflict (especially as it relates to boundaries involving trust and honesty)
Love (especially highly passionate, intense relationships)
Arguments
Low self-esteem
Work stress
The idea of being unsatisfied with my quality of life and wanting to find that satisfaction through my relationship


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
My Story of Relapse

I was asked to write this by my therapist to help me understand what happened in hopes of prevent this scenario again.

I am a love addict. This has caused a lot of pain and disruption in my relationship to my wife over the last 3 years. I have worked hard on understanding the roots of my problem starting with my upbringing, my maladaption to stress, my over reliance on my relationship to make me feel good and to“fix” problems that are really within my self or are misperceptions. I have done counseling, read books, journaled, meditated, attended CODA meetings, marriage counseling etc. Slowly these things have had positive effects, I am more in touch with my emotions, I am able to handles stress a lot better, I operate under healthier priorities, and I understand my wife a lot better. For a while this seemed to be helping, my marriage seemed to be rebounding and I felt closer to my wife, more able to be a good partner to her.

We had talked about how our old relationship was gone and that we were going to have to slowly build something new. A few months ago I was feeling so positive that I ran with this too far. I started thinking that it was time to take the relationship “to the next level.” Mostly this lulled me into fantasy thinking or a way of justifying what I selfishly wanted in the relationship. It was not based in reality: who my wife was as a person, the ways she acted in our relationship, her capacity or desire for change, her current needs, the effect that years of turmoil had had on her ability to be close and trust me, if she was getting what she needed to even being to feel the same way about me.

We had a conversation one day where I laid out the things I would like: more physical affection, more compliments, more texts, more sex or at least making our sex life more deliberate or more of a focus. She told me honestly, no she couldn’t really do those things. They weren’t a part of her or at least at this point in our relationship they weren’t things that came naturally to her. So I came to her with demands or needs that were selfish in the end instead of coming to her as a partner who wanted to take care of her needs and put her first. Instead of asking “What can I do to connect to you and produce growth in the relationship, whatever that looked like to her.

So I became unhappy, focusing on a rejected feeling or what I lacked instead of the amazing gifts I still had in my life because of her. She was still my friend, she actively wanted to be my companion, our shared interests and deep history together, the affection and care she did show me daily, the tremendous help and support she gave me constantly and her efforts to make sure we still did have a regular sex life despite the many hurts I have incurred.

These feeling waxed and waned but slowly started to color my view of our conversations, daily events, how I perceived her. I focused more and more on “the problem” instead of falling back on the skills I had to fix this on my own or questioning if there really was a problem to begin with. I did not discuss the issue honestly with my counselors. I slacked off on my recovery maintenance behaviors out of over confidence and probably a lack of desire to face that the real road out of this was the harder one: acceptance, gratitude, painful honesty to myself and my wife and hard work. I could have re read any number of good books, I could have done more research, I could have focused so so much more on the “big picture” of my whole life and all the things that were working so well. I could have cracked open my damn journal where I wrote my hard learned lessons so many times before and I would have seen a way out of these feelings. Sadly the easiest thing I could have done is listen to my best friend, my wife when she told me that I seemed unsettled, like had in the past when I was dealing with addict and dark thoughts and she begged me to examine this. Instead I brush it off, told her I was on top of that. Lied to myself and her.

Slowly over the next few weeks and after a few fights and conflicts in counseling, my thoughts became more and more negative to the point where I had just about convinced myself that we were not good for each other and I would have to find a way to end the relationship with the hope that we could still be good friends (unrealistic). One night after a particularly long and stressfull stretch of shifts combined with hardly seeing my wife at all due to working and an ill timed out of town sporting event, I impulsively bought a cheap cell phone and promptly activated. I think I did this to make me feel better somehow, more in control of the situation, reasoning that I would have this to use to restart a social life soon. The only thing that stopped me from using it to answer a personal ad or doing some other kind of acting out it that I had promised my wife that if I wanted to have an affair again, I would tell her before doing so. Somehow this thought stopped me, thought it was cold comfort as I already had a secret and lied to her.

The phone sat there for 2 weeks, increasingly bothering me. Finally we had a tense discussion about my unhappiness with her and the relationship and she told me how awful I was making her feel, how this was not the behavior of someone who loved and cherished their wife, someone who really wanted to be closer. She threatened to divorce me which snapped me out of my bad dream. We talked in counseling the next day and worked out a plan for me to back off and start communicating in a healthier way. I felt relief and hope, although not full recognition of what I had allowed to happen to me over the last few months. I knew I would need to get rid of the phone, I didn’t want it, but I knew that would also mean confronting myself that I still had a secret after the phone was in the trash and that I probably would not be strong enough to confess this as was my duty to both of us. Instead, the next day, she found it. She somehow knew it was there.

So here I am, starting again. It feels different this time and that gives me hope. I have this site which also gives me hope. Time to accept and do some work and get to a better place where I won’t be able to delude myself and lie to my best friend any more.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 12 Recognizing Unhealthy Recovery Patterns


This lesson is an eye opener for me. In all my work and reading I don't think I have ever studied anything that addressed an unhealthy recovery where you are doing the work but not really for the right reasons, not really putting the proper thought into it, not getting it. I am really thankful for this section. I have been in all four of these groups in the past (Group 3 only briefly). I have been full of hope and enthusiasm but not doing it for the right reasons and then fell victim to lack of immediate gratification or things "getting better" fast enough (mostly focusing on lack of change in the relationship rather than change in myself, where all change must start). I have definitely spent time in the 4th group doing good work, maybe learning, having some insights and actually changing some things about myself. But doing it to get something or somewhere, to get back in good graces with my wife, to show I am changing rather than focusing on actual change. Not really fully acknowledging my addictive self and the fundamental base level change that would need to happen to really put love addiction behind me, focusing on bandaid fixes to my personality or anxiety. Then finally getting lazy or overconfident and letting my recovery work and self monitoring slack off.

I feel like this recovery effort will be more successful. I am cautiously optimistic. I feel like I am doing it for me not for anyone else or my relationship. Most of all I feel calm. That is something I never have felt before dealing with the fallout of my behavior and shame at hurting my wife yet again. I feel like I am finally making decisions based on what I know and have painfully learned instead of what I feel or to deal with uncomfortable feelings. I feel acceptance and gratitude, so I have to believe that is a good thing.

Those Who will Continue to Struggle with Relapse

They often feel forced into recovery (e.g. legal consequences, social expectations, treatment demands)- I do not feel forced by anyone at all except my own sense of self is at stake. It is vital to me to get back to my true self and stop these unhealthy patterns

Their motivation for recovery comes from an attempt to appease others (e.g. to save a relationship; to deflect attention from the behaviors)- No

They minimize their behavior (e.g. "It's not how it seems"; "It's not that big of a deal.")- I hope I am not doing that. I feel open and accepting of my failings and am trying to understand them fully

They actively prepare their environment for successful acting out by: setting a preliminary foundation for excuses/alibis; seeking out times/situations where they will be unaccountable to anyone but themselves; laying the foundation for the emotional manipulation of others who may pose a confrontational threat (e.g. their spouse), etc.- I think I have done that in the past, justifying that I had certain needs that weren't being met

They believe that they are uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings- No, I believe in myself

They believe that they have suffered so many consequences from their compulsive behavior, that it will be impossible for them to reach their lifetime goals- No

They believe that what they are experiencing is their fate- No, it is all on me and therefor totally capable of being changed by me

They are inflexible in re-evaluating their lifetime goals (e.g. "Since I have failed so far at being a professional actor, athlete, writer, etc., I can't be successful at anything." "Since I cannot be around to raise my children, I will always remain unfulfilled as a parent.")- No, it is not all or nothing

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.- I am gaurded on this one. I think change is very possible but so is deluding myself.

They find comfort in being able to use "powerlessness" as an excuse for continuing to engage in their behavior.- No

Relapse triggers are seen as opportunities to act out.- No, I do not want this

They often attempt to "prove" their sincerity to others through voicing dreams, sharing words and making promises, rather than through their actions.- I have been guilty of this in the past, I know how this goes. I think this behavior comes out when you know that you internally are still in conflict but want the situation to improve and to reassure your partner. I am really focusing on my true feelings and letting those be evident. My wife is very good at knowing my internal state. If I am sincere about change and my feelings toward her I think she will know it based on my behavior and actions, not words.

They find comfort in knowing that they can play the "relapse card" should they ever be caught acting out- No

They often experience selfish thoughts when caught acting out (e.g. "Why didn't I see this coming?" "Why didn't I cover that up better?" "Why do I cause myself so much pain?")- No

They tend to be experienced by significant others across the entire emotional scale. Their emotional experiences are usually presented in their extreme: from shame and embarrassment, to aloofness, to placing their partner on the highest pedestal — the relationships tends to continue shifting between extremes. Which stage is currently being experienced by others will be directly related to the person's ability to manipulate others, how many times they will have been caught in contradicting behavior, and how willing/able the significant other is to leave the relationship.- This has been a problem in the past. I am determined to self monitor to avoid slipping into this situation. I think acceptance combined with a healthy dose of being a little skeptical of my emotions will help.



Those Who Will Occasionally Struggle with Relapse


They often jump from addiction to addiction, and are particularly susceptible to hyper-religiosity and hyper-recovery. They put out fires by refocusing on other areas of their life. When these areas involve compulsive behavior — their use of addiction to manage their lives continues.- My personality it actually the opposite of this

They believe that they are suffering from a disease that is beyond their control, but not beyond all hope.- I have hope and I also believe I can change. I think I have what I need inside me already

They believe that they are defective in the sense that their emotions, urges, impulses, etc. are experienced with much more intensity than "normal people". And this puts them at a disadvantage for living a "normal life".- I don't really agree with this. I think it is really my coping mechanisms which are the problem and need to change.

They tend to confuse addiction recovery with general mental health issues — creating a hypersensitivity to all of the emotions that they experience. Depression, anxiety, anger — they are all tightly related to "recovery" and an imbalance in one often leads to an imbalance in the other.- I can see how these things might be interrelated and I am focusing on mentally healthy behaviors for myself in addition to aid in recovery but I see them as separate things.

They perceive "powerlessness" not as absolute powerlessness over their life, but a limited powerlessness over their urges.- Maybe but I think if we were truly powerless there would be no point in attempting recovery. I think that if I do good work on my recovery, real continued lasting work, I won't really have the urges in the first place or will be able to catch them before they become a real issue. Like notice them without feeling like they are actually something I would want to act on.

They often attempt to convince others of their recovery by offering their "new identity" as proof. Again, most often seen with hyper-religiosity and hyper-recovery situations.- No

Relapse triggers are feared, and so their lives continue to be altered as a result of addiction.- I am not doing this but would want to watch out for it.

They tend to focus on controlling past behavior, rather than learning new behavior.- No I understand adopting new behavior is vital

They tend to see life in episodes — with beginnings and endings — rather than as a process.- I think this is an issue with my thinking, all or nothing, overly focused, better or not better. I am working on big picture thinking, remembering that change occurs over time, that good things are happening all the time, not just when you get to some artificial goal

They consistently measure the success of their recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction.- No not really

They often experience extreme emotions in relation to acting out — extreme guilt, extreme shame, depression, anger, hatred. Or, they experience very mild emotions — when it has become a pattern that they have resolved to accept as a part of their lives.- Not sure where I am at on that, don't really feel extreme emotions right now.

They tend to hyper analyze their actions, thoughts and feelings...and make the possibility of living a "normal" life all but impossible.- Yes I tend to do this especially when I am feeling negative about life

They continue to identify themselves with their addiction and cannot imagine a life without such an association.-I actually know what it is like to live without this problem. I have experienced it in the past and I want to get back to living life as my true self- a positive giving person


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 13 Healthy Recovery Patterns.

What a great, positive way to look at where I have been and where I could someday end up with hard work and mindfulness. Reading over the early recovery patterns a lot of this was familiar in my reactions to past crises and my attempts to understand what was happening with me. A lot of this stumbling around in the dark was painful but perhaps necessary to get to the point where I am now.

In early recovery, individuals often experience significant doubts relating to their ability to change.- I now am confident I have the tools and insight to change

In early recovery, extremely negative emotions are the norm: especially as they relate to depression, anxiety, hopelessness and suicide.- These are fortunately absent.

In early recovery, they often "test the waters" of recovery by attempting recovery for a few days, then acting out. Attempting recovery for a few weeks, then acting out. Attempting recovery for a few months, then acting out. A weaning behavior similar to a toddler giving up a security blanket.- Maybe this was the case in the past

In early recovery, they tend to explore many different trigger situations to see how well they can handle themselves. To see "how far they have come". This is a behavior that is often witnessed in adolescent wound care — where the adolescent almost compulsively tears open their bandages to "check the wounds". Of course, just like with addiction, such behavior is often problematic — as it opens the individual up to additional infection. But it is a behavior that provides comfort to the adolescent — no matter what stage of healing the wound may be in.- Not sure I ever did this

In early recovery, they tend to experience relief in having their behaviors understood, and immediately seek understanding in all areas of their life. Unfortunately, this tends to overwhelm them, distract them, etc., but it is fairly common...and a good sign that their desire to change is sincere.- Yes in the past. Taking in slower, one step at a time now

In early recovery, these individuals may be all across the board in terms of treatment, and may display many similar traits as to those in the "Those Who Will Occasionally Struggle With Relapse" category above.
In early recovery, they perceive "powerlessness" as "helplessness" and "desperation".- Yes in past recovery attempts
In early recovery, significant others tend to experience these individuals as very needy, pathetic, "lost souls".


Middle Recovery : "Actual Recovery"
They have accepted that they have struggled with certain immoral behaviors that contradicted their values, but realize that what matters is what they are doing, not what they did. They realize that no successful recovery ever took place by changing the past, only by changing the present.- Agreed

Their motivation to recover comes from the desire to live a life that they can be proud of, rather than a desire to create the illusion of a life that they can be proud of.- Totally agree

They make decisions based on what they believe is the right thing to do, rather than on what they think they can get away with. They know that whether these decisions end up being the right ones or not is irrelevant. That all that matters is that they were made with the right intentions in mind.- This is definitely where I want to be 100% in the future

They are not focused on controlling/ending their past behavioral patterns, but on developing new patterns that will take the place of those related to the addiction.- Yes yes yes!

They perceive "powerlessness" as a temporary term that more accurately describes their lack of skills in managing their urges.- Yes, I think I would add being aware enough to always use the skills you have and not get complacent

Relapse triggers are experienced not as a threat, but an opportunity.- Not sure I am quite here yet. I have dealt with a few triggers lately and have been open in discussing them with my wife which felt good and definitely made things less scary. This is a work in progress

They recognize failure as a learning experience — but only when that failure occurs with on-the-spot sincerity, as opposed to pre-planned deception.- Yes!

They recognize that the feelings that they are experiencing are the same feelings that others deal with every day in many different situations. That they are not "defective", but "deficient".- Yes

They identify their future with a healthy person that once used addiction to manage their life; not as an addict that is managing their life with healthy behavior.- Yes, I really like how this is phrased

They see their lives as a continuous process of growth and development, rather than an episodic book of starts and stops. (e.g. "When I was addicted" "After I recovered").- Yes. This is a life long process for me

They will take a long, hard look at anything associated with their destructive past, and will voluntarily make the decision to remove these objects from their life. This refers to pornography, internet accounts, etc. It does not necessarily refer to affairs where real feelings were experienced/exchanged.- Yes

They tend to have an emotional relapse in terms of the consequences that they have effected on others — especially those closest to them. This frequently triggers true remorse, temporary depression, temporary helplessness — but is soon resolved with a commitment to making it up to people in other, more healthy ways.- Yes I am going through this right now

Significant others tend to experience these individuals with cautious optimism. They can see the changes taking place, but remain unable to commit to their partners fully — as they continue to doubt their own judgment (a consequence of the shocking discovery of the addiction's reality).- My wife and I have talked about this and it makes sense to me


Late Recovery : "From Recovery to Health"
They have complete confidence in their ability to manage their life and are moving forward with their dreams in a rational, planned manner.
They no longer avoid "trigger situations" as they have developed the skills necessary to make confident, healthy choices in just about any situation they may face.
They tend to see their past as something rather unbelievable. They are sometimes able to achieve distant emotional connections with those behaviors, but can no longer visualize a situation where the pleasure they once achieved would be worth the risk of all they would lose inside themselves. Except at this stage, those thoughts are actually felt, rather than intellectualized. They will not be able to comprehend a situation where such a risk would ever be taken.
They have developed the ability to produce the same emotional stimulation from value-based actions as they once derived solely from impulse-based actions.
They will have eliminated all previous connections to their recovery, except that which will be included in their ongoing plan for a continuing evaluation and assessment of their life. They will no longer associate themselves with addiction, but with health.
Significant others tend to experience people who have made this transition with greater respect and admiration then they ever had previously for the person. Additionally, trust and closeness in the relationship will take on a very real quality. One that has never actually been present previously — only assumed. The partner's believing in the "recovery" will no longer be a matter of crossing their fingers and hoping, but of having no doubt.
--- God I hope that this is me someday. This does make sense to me and fits with my vision of my life and self.

Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If yes, wonderful. If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving/managing your recovery? Share your thoughts in the community forum.--- Looking over my Unhealthy and Healthy Patterns responses I feel encouraged. I feel like my past experiences and what I learned from them and the past work I did, although in adequate for actual recovery, is coming together to help me currently in my program. I think my healthy values are aligned with a Healthy Recovery Pattern. If I can keep these in mind and make them my foundation rather than just bandaids when I am in emotional crisis, I think I will be successful.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Exercise 14: Develop a Daily Monitoring List/Practice Using it Daily for 14 days


1) Did I act in a way that I respected today, was my behavior consistent with my values?

2) Did I engage in any unhealthy behaviors/ unrealistic fantasy thinking/ any triggers?

3) Did I act with confidence and self awareness or was I operating out of a fear based place?

4) Did I practice honesty/being brave and open?

5) Did I share myself with B today? My thoughts/reflections, things that happened to me, my feelings?

6) Did I work on taking care of my own needs today instead of putting that on others? Did I manage my own feelings and happiness?

7) Did I practice healthy behaviors today? Sleep, eating, exercise, meditation...

8) Did I practice big picture thinking/not lumping problems together/lengthen the timeline?

9) Did I remember what I am grateful for today?

10) Did I practice gaman today? Did I operate from a place of patience, dignity and grace?

11) Was I mindful today? Did I practice self honesty regarding feelings, stressors, trigger and the real motivations for how I choose to interact with my wife and others?

12) Was I interested in B? Did I ask her how she feels or what she wants?

13) Did I practice empathy today? Did I put B first? Was I giving?

14) Was I mindful of B's boundaries? Did I give her space?

15) Have I been approaching life with creativity and spontaneity? Did I try anything a new way?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Lesson 15 Exercises:
I. Take a minute to review what you have learned over the past two weeks. Of what you have learned so far, think of one example of how you have actively integrated that information into your day-to-day life. Share this in your personal thread.

There have been a lot of good lessons over the last 2-3 weeks. I am comforted by the new awareness I feel I am developing. My root problems are a lot more apparent, the motivation behind past episodes of acting out, why my last recovery program failed, what being in true recovery might be like, what an effective maintenance program would include. I have identified some really important things that I feel I can change about my thinking and approach to dealing with stress, emotions and my relationships. I feel encouraged that I actually have more tools and learning than I knew or gave myself credit for, things that I am using and will continue to use.

I think one of the more noticeable things that I have been able to practice over the last couple weeks is just an openness and honesty toward who I am and what my issues are. I feel like I have a much more advance sense of awareness without it affecting my self esteem or sense of hope. I think this has led to me being a lot more open with my wife in a lot of ways. I don't feel as afraid to share negative stuff about myself or find myself worrying as much about negative consequences of being honest. It is a lot easier to discuss what has happened in the past and what we are going through right now without being triggered, feeling needy or sorry for myself. I feel like being honest with myself and presenting myself honestly to my wife has changed her responses to me and allowed her to be more open with me without fear reprisal. I feel better about who I am, even with all my flaws, and more like I can be a good partner and friend and not have to worry about "selling" myself or convincing her of anything to save our relationship. It will work if it meant to with a natural growth and flow.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 48 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group