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Newfocus17 Recovery Thread
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Author:  newfocus17 [ Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

thanks for your feedback Healzen - i'll address this. :g:

Author:  newfocus17 [ Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

II. Consider one of your own compulsive rituals. Identify circumstances when each of the three filters (time, habituation and intensity) have come into play. Make sure that you understand each filter to the point where you are able to identify them as a ritual is being performed. Post these personal examples in your recovery thread.

A common ritual that happened over a long period of time through various stages, was as followed:
initially watching porn via the internet/magazines - going from occasional viewing (4-5 times a week) - to daily watching (4-5 times a day) - the intensity wained once I was habitually masturbating daily. This led to seeking other means of excitement (although this was happening in unison to daily porn viewing) -> this included visiting dating sites and engaging with real people online, adding an element of fantasy -> this in turn became habitual to the point I was familiar with some of the woman on the site (or at least the idea of them) - sometimes i would wait online for days to talk to a specific woman/or make new connections - the element of suspense, was as exciting to me, waiting for her/them to come online - which once she/they did, this increased the intensity and sense of accomplishment - that is, until this behaviour became habitual as well. This pattern continued to skype - masturbating via video calls - sending pics via a false email. Finally the behaviour developed into meeting woman to have sex. This routine wasn't linear - mostly toward the end (before I concluded that this was too much and i decided to seek professional help and ultimately tell my wife) there was a combination of all the elements above.

When i visualise this it's like a upside down triangle resting on its point(the starting point) - habitual behaviour developing and building into the next negative behaviour - growing exponentially - until feeling that I had no overall control of my life - feeling trapped in a negative loop - feeling hopeless.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 19 Exercise:
Deepen your awareness of how you go about deriving stimulation in your day-to-day life. For the rest of today...and for all of tomorrow...become 'hyper-aware' of the healthy and unhealthy rituals that you engage in — as you are engaging in them.

As part of my personal therapy - i've been capturing (via journal) and developing an awareness around my emotions and thoughts as a means of managing them. My process is to chain these emotions and thoughts to understand where they have originated from to get me to the present moment then i project possible outcomes which can be both positive and negative. I find this useful for trigger management.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Exercise: 20: Examine your addiction and the role(s) that it has played in your life to date & potentially the future

1) Examine your addiction and the role(s) that it has played in your life to date. Look across your life span and identify the progression of the addiction, the sustainment of it, the absence of it and/or the stifling of it. Look at the major transitions that you have experienced (childhood to prepubescent teen; prepubescent teen through teenager; teenager through young adulthood; young adulthood through adulthood; explore also any major traumas that you have endured (parental divorce, sexual abuse, moving to a new school or neighborhood, etc.) and identify the role that addiction (or the rituals that eventually developed into an addiction) played in helping you through that time period.
Your goal is to develop a fluid understanding of just how these patterns progressed from early sparks (harmless fantasy, etc.) to an eventual wildfire (e.g. addiction).

Caring mother - absent father.
Moody/angry father - physical toward brothers and mother
Identity issues - embracing my culture - having a brown face but not knowing 'where i come from' - a disconnect >>>carried throughout into adult life.
Masturbation (climbing school pole)
Finding porn magazines - neighbours parents, under bed - i was intrigued at an early age 9 years old?

Prepubescent Teen
Brothers porn collection
Deliberately looking for provocative / soft porn on television

Purchasing/hiring porn vids and magazines
Visiting porn shops

Young Adult
Continual growing porn use
Visiting porn shops
Going to massage parlour - persuading masseuse to masturbate me
Begun to have sex last year of high school and first year of university
Met me wife second year of university - (This was the same year my mother past away) - we didn't immediately have sex as it was an emotional/confusing time for me
Broke into my university department so i could access computers - to watch porn - first real exposure to online porn.
Began smoking pot - although I'm unsure if this has any correlation to my addiction > my wife relates my negative behaviour to this, I feel like this was a cop out -> and that my behaviour was due to poor decisions.


Online chat - masturbation, fantasy, prepare to meet
Dating websites - masturbation, fantasy, prepare to meet
Dating Apps - masturbation, fantasy, prepare to meet
Skype/ video messaging apps - masturbation, fantasy, prepare to meet
Massage Parlours
Online Porn
Daily Masturbation
Pressuring my wife for sex - making her feel guilty
Play/Recreation drugs - Smoking pot/ Coke/Ecstacy / Mushrooms/ acid - occasional. > my wife relates my negative behaviour to this, I feel like this was a cop out -> and that my behaviour was due to poor decisions.

2) Look to future transitions in your life. Divorce. Death of a partner. Death of your parents. Death of a child. Loss of a job. Retirement. Having another child. Empty-nest syndrome. Consider many different situations that you will possibly face in the remaining years of your life. Situations that could potentially cause major instability to an otherwise balanced, fulfilling life. Explore the role(s) that addiction could play in helping you to manage these times. What would it feel like for addiction to come back into your life? Would it be a rapid collapse or a subtle progression? What signs would you look for? What actions would you take?

My addiction has been with me for most of my life - thinking back, I may have heavily used around transition moments in my life - although this isn't obvious to me. Instead it's felt like it's always been there in good, bad or other times. Possibly making it into something that was constant and reliable. It certainly has felt like a de-stresser - a filler in moments of boredom - a celebration after experiencing highs.
I'd feel devastated if addiction came back into my life - my guilt and shame in the past has absolutely had a profound negative effect (crippling at times) on all aspects of my life. To bring these back into my life i believe would strengthen them (more so than the past). I think inwardly it would be a rapid collapse which i'd try and mask/hide initially - my inward battle would develop into a outward battle - bringing my negative behaviours into the real world until it's discovered by someone i love (wife/family/ friends) or general public - at that time I would be exposed, publicly humiliated.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 21 Exercise:
A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?
B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?
C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.

A. A large goal I have attempted and failed has been public speaking - I believe the reason for failing has been my confidence, which is connected to being comfortable with my identity (coming to terms with my Polynesian culture and how i fit within that). Additionally this is connected to not feeling good enough.

B. A large goal I have attempted and succeeded has been sport - I believe the reason why I succeeded is to a degree I felt like I had some control, It made me happy, I was engaged with other people/the team, I could see improvements, I was good (at least by my estimation!) enjoyment of competing.


Complete Recovery Nation by the end of 2017.
74 Lesson (including x15 supplementary) in total 20 task completed.
There are 26 weeks and 4 days left in the year.
I will commit to completing a minimum of 3 lessons a week - leaving time to also complete relevant supplementary lessons if applicable.

Build my self confidence up / let go of my shame / address my identity issues.
Continue daily meditation - 10-20 minutes

Write a letter to myself exploring what my shame has meant in my life, both negative/positive impact and the cost of inaction - the cost of holding onto this belief.
Discuss this with someone.

Write a letter to myself - framing my identity issues - my maori culture - whakama (maori word for shame) - Discuss with people i trust.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 22 Exercise:
1. Consider a very simple ritual that you have engaged in.
2. Identify three or four elements of that ritual (e.g. physical sensory stimulation; danger; orgasm; accomplishment).
3. For each element, assign a relative number for the amount of stimulation you think you derive from this particular element. These numbers are relevant only to you and in relation to other elements that you experience.
4. For each element, consider the effects of each of the three filters on the stimulation derived from that element. Does it increase the stimulation? Decrease the stimulation? Have no effect? Have a mixed effect (as in, sometimes it increases, other times it decreases)?.
5. Share the above in your personal recovery thread. It should look something like this:

Ritual Measured:
Primary Elements Involved:
Physical Stimulation; Fantasy; Moral conflict; Orgasm
Values assigned:
Physical Stimulation: 3
Fantasy: 2
Moral conflict: 1
Orgasm: 3
Filters applied:
Physical Stimulation:
*Time — Progressively increases the stimulation to a point; then significantly decreases that stimulation. At it's height, this filter would be an '8'.
*Intensity — Relatively stable; have not added to the physical behaviors in years '1'
*Habituation — No real effect '1'
*Time — Increases stimulation; no time limit '4'
*Intensity — Directly related to concentration; the better I can concentrate, the more intense the stimulation '5'
*Habituation — As fantasies get 'played out', they decrease the overall stimulation that fantasy produces. I respond by expanding those fantasies. '3'
Moral conflict:
*Time — Occurs spontaneously; leaves spontaneously; time spent in conflict has no palpable effect on overall stimulation '1'
*Intensity — Decreases overall intensity of urge '3'
*Habituation — No real effect '1'
*Time — Occurs spontaneously; leaves spontaneously; no control over length of orgasm '2'
*Intensity — Increases overall intensity of urge; created major frustration when goal is not reached '10'
*Habituation — No real effect '1'

Ritual Measured:
Masturbation - Generally the Ritualistic Chain had stemmed from various origins. In this instance one of the most common for me was late night (at "work"), searching dating sites/or dating app equivalent.

Primary Elements Involved: +Values assigned:
Fantasy - the taboo one-off meeting to indulge - 3
Suspense - Strengthening the fantasy and heightening orgasm - 2
Sensory/Visual - sharing photos or skype video - 3
Orgasm - touching myself - 1

Filters applied:

*Habituation :

Fantasy - *T: 8 *I: 8 *H: 5
Suspense- *T: 6 *I: 7 *H: 4
Sensory/Visual - *T: 2 *I: 4 *H: 6
Orgasm - *T: 2 *I: 8 *H: 7

Author:  newfocus17 [ Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 23

The last few months I have been chaining my thoughts/feelings and emotions - it has been very beneficial. In some instances I've found when i've had a trigger, I was able to logically work through potential risks - it took me out of the me a feeling of gaining control...more self aware. When i take this approach is dampens and removes all arousal allowing me to clearly focus on managing my behaviour.

Author:  duran93 [ Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Just wanted to mention that I think you're doing a great job. Keep with this, there are many who don't.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Thanks Duran93 - I appreciate your comment

Author:  newfocus17 [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 24

Lesson 24 Exercise:
I. Create your own Wheel of Sexual Compulsion that is more closely related to your behavior. This can be done by simply listing the cumulative elements involved in your compulsive behavior. This shouldn't take you more than five minutes. List these elements (associated with no particular ritual — but more your addiction in general) in your recovery thread.
II. Choose a real-life example of EVERY major sexual ritual that you engage in (these should be compulsive rituals, not healthy) and break each down into their smallest elements (based on the elements identified in your wheel of sexual compulsion).
Most people will identify two to four such Major Rituals. If you can identify with more than five such rituals, just list the most common five.
To be successful in your transition to health, you will need to master your ability to identify not only these elements, but also to recognize the role that they play in stimulating you. Don't settle for anything less than mastery here.

1 - My wheel of sexual compulsion - Cumulative elements

Fantasy/escape > F*
Suspense > Su*
Sensory > Se*
Taboo > T*
Guilt/Shame (loop) > G/Sh*
Orgasm > O*
Habituation > H*

2 - Real life example of major sexual ritual

>i've spent the last 8 months not engaging in any negative sexual behaviour - initially I was denying myself rather than facing my addiction. Therapy has allowed me to engage with my behaviour in a positive way. I'm working on this day to day. This is not to say I don't have urges - but rather I feel I have tools/and means in place to address these urges. For the purpose of this exercise I'll focus on a previous rituals.

Porn Masturbation
F* - fantasy as a means on building intensity - escaping from stresses/boredom
Su* - Strengthening the fantasy and heightening orgasm
Se* - visual stimulation plays a significant role on my orgasm
T* - being 'naughty' heightens the experience thus the orgasm
G/Sh* - being caught in a negative loop which feeds itself -
O* - reaching orgasm was my main driver
H* - over time this became a habit - almost a 'comfort blanket'

Visiting Dating Sites
F* - fantasy as a means on building intensity
Se* - visual stimulation plays a significant role on my orgasm
T* - being 'naughty' heightens the experience thus the orgasm
G/Sh* - being caught in a negative loop which feeds itself -
O* - reaching orgasm was my main driver
H* - over time this became a habit - almost a 'comfort blanket'

Skype masturbation
F* - fantasy as a means on building intensity - escaping from stresses/boredom
Se* - visual stimulation plays a significant role on my orgasm
T* - being 'naughty' heightens the experience thus the orgasm
G/Sh* - being caught in a negative loop which feeds itself -
O* - reaching orgasm was my main driver

Meeting up with stranger for sex(from dating site)
F* - fantasy as a means on building intensity - escaping from stresses/boredom
Su* - Strengthening the fantasy and heightening orgasm
T* - being 'naughty' heightens the experience thus the orgasm
G/Sh* - being caught in a negative loop which feeds itself -

Author:  newfocus17 [ Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 25

I just wanted to isolate a sentence in the forum that resonated, for my reference:
there is no such thing as compulsive behavior. At least, compulsive to the point where you have no control over your actions...All can be turned into rational, values-based decisions...rather than perpetuated as an emotional response.

Lesson 25 Exercise:
I. Develop your own compulsive ritual. Make this relatively simple. List the primary elements in a similar fashion as exampled above in Compulsive Ritual: Exhibitionism. Post this ritual and its elements in your recovery thread.

Compulsive Ritual: Porn/Masturbation - converging

Early age (10 yrs?) - My next door neighbour friend - showing me his fathers porn collection - being intrigued at this early age.

Being in the play ground at school - rubbing myself against the pools to orgasm - being fearful initially but enjoying the sensation.

Finding magazines behind a local shop. concealing the images so i could return to them - masturbation - hiding

Staying up late in the evening while everyone was asleep - watching TV - hoping to find sexual content - excitement of finding something (excitement) achievement when organsm - teen years start feeling shameful due to my behaviour.

Finding my brothers stash of porn - highly explicit - finding it hidden, excitement, masturbation - tidying up and re-concealing things, being secretive.

Masturbating nightly usually to exhaustion, and even to the point of physically harming myself (raw)

Porn at the time felt like and end in itself - i would occasionally fantasise about various woman (real or otherwise) - visual stimulation would drive my compulsion - i'd seek out porn.

Hiring porn from the video store - when parents were out - to watch and masturbate. guilt and shame

Looking at porn via university computers - breaking into a computer lab late at night when no one was about to solely look at porn and masturbate.

after every porn episode i'd engage in from my late teen years - it'd always be accompanied by shame.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 26

In the previous exercise, you were asked to label the elements involved with a particular ritual. In this exercise, you will be delving deeper into your awareness of that ritual. Here, you are asked to 'map out' one of your rituals. Make sure that you choose a specific ritual that you have engaged in (as in, last Thursday before work, I looked at porn); rather than a general compulsive behavior (as in, in the past, I looked at porn).
The main difference between what you did in the previous exercise and this is that you are no longer listing the elements of the ritual. Instead, you are listing the behavior associated with that element. For example, in the past exercise, it was sufficient to label a voyeuristic ritual with the element 'sensory stimulation — visual'. No longer. From this point forward, all rituals should be identified in terms of the specific thoughts/behaviors associated with the elements. And so, today, your 'element' will read something like this: "I would focus my eyes on her and inconspicuously follow her around the store."
Post this more advanced ritual in your recovery thread.

I'm unsure how to proceed with this exercise - it's been 10 months since i've engaged in any negative behaviour - I've not looked at porn nor engaged in promiscuity... I have been tracking my thoughts, emotions and feelings via journaling, capturing both general thoughts or 'at the time' moments sometimes this would be connected to a ritual - but not all the time.

Instead I'll approach this as a general compulsive behaviour (in the past):

Element #1 - night time - feeling stressed with work, lack of sleep
Element #2 - go into work -start working, sometimes complete a part of work (achievement)
Element #3 - feel good but wanting to build on this - minimal arousal
Element #4 - continue to work - trying to work through distraction - building arousal
Element #5 - distracted -trying ti tell myself this not the place nor is this healthy (shame)
Element #6 - become fully aroused - self/urge control diminishes
Element #7 - wanting to orgasm
Element #8 - start looking at phone for porn vids, some fantasy sometimes
Element #9 - go to the bathroom - search for a sufficient arousing vid - masturbate
Element #10 - clean up - a little panic, getting caught - shame

Author:  newfocus17 [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 27
Provide an example of two compulsive chains in your life. The first chain should be where multiple rituals are engaged in simultaneously — thus enhancing the overall amount of stimulation derived from the behavior. The second should be an example of how you have strung together several rituals back-to-back and thus, extended the stimulation you were deriving. Post these examples in your recovery thread.

Multiple rituals - I had a number of rituals that I engaged in during my later 20's and 30's - some of which i kept. Including: - working out (fitness) being a little obsessed with exercise // watched porn throughout // drugs - mostly pot - seeing this as 'just fun' - sometimes harder drugs when available E, shrooms or acid. Late night binge drinking and partying // paying for sex .

Rituals strung together - timeline - over a span of time (20 years) building in stimulation and intensity.
masturbation (early age, 10) -> porn mags -> late night tv - seek sexually explicit material ->sexy video(video store) ->developing into hiring porn videos -> massage parlours (paying for sex) -> internet porn -> dating sites/apps -> hooking up with strangers for sex.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

1. Develop a compulsive chain of your most recent acting out behavior.
2. Upon completion of this chain, review it to ensure that you can recognize the way that each element affected your emotional state.
3. Thinking as an addict, look for areas within this chain where you could add additional destructive elements that would have (most likely) increased the overall stimulation of the event. The actual events that you add should be realistic, and related to the chain itself. For instance, someone viewing porn might add the element of setting up a Power Point slide show of the images. Someone engaging in escort services might add the element of videotaping the encounters. Share these in your recovery thread.

1,2. its been close to 10 months without acting out - unsure how to approach this exercise.
3. the destructive elements could be endless - this is not something i want to dwell on - instead i'd probably think of this in more of a general terms.

Author:  newfocus17 [ Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Newfocus17 Recovery Thread

Lesson 29 Exercise:

The role of emotions in motivating behavior is a critical aspect of understanding addiction. Without emotions, addiction does not exists. Without that intense need, that desire, that craving...addiction does not exist. To better understand this principle, you are going to be asked to do something that will require a signficant emotional effort on your part.

A. Find a place where you will be alone and safe. Ensure that, for the next fifteen minutes, you won't be interrupted for any reason. Fifteen mintues (or longer, but not less than). Then close your eyes and just feel. Think of things that are important to you. Think of your values. Think of your regrets. Think of trauma that you have experienced. Think of wonderful moments. Let yourself experience whatever emotions that come freely. Focus on each of the emotions, and DO NOT OPEN YOUR EYES! (this is an important part of the exercise). Stay in touch with the feelings. Experience the emotions that come with these thoughts. Forget about your physical self...focus only on the emotions that you are experiencing.

Now, consider one of your milder compulsive behaviors. Try to get in touch with the feelings that are generated with this behavior. If you find yourself getting triggered to act, forbid yourself. Then focus on the anxiety that is produced with that decision. Really allow yourself to get in touch with the stress that is building. Consider the reality that, either during this exercise or soon thereafter, you will face the challenge of deciding whether or not you should act on these feelings. Begin to feel the consequences of both your decision to masturbate, and your decision to remain committed to recovery.

After you have done this for fifteen minutes (or longer), and before you engage in any compulsive behavior, open your eyes and complete the following:

A. Describe the emotions that you experienced and the thoughts that triggered them.

> 'sad' initially at the pain i've caused to myself, my wife, my family - 'regret' was the thought that followed - which is holding onto the pass - this isn't necessary healthy, however I recognise these as negative automatic thoughts.

>' fulfilled' at the act of orgasming after the many negative acts i engaged in - then the thoughts of 'shame' and 'regret' followed

>feeling 'optimistic' (feeling good) - in terms of my current direction - learning about myself, my confidence, finding my sense of purpose (greater), my identity.

B. In assessing your own anxiety, describe the extremes of your personal experiences with anxiety. What has been the least anxious state you have experienced and the most extreme anxious state you have experienced?

>Least anxious state:
When I was younger - 20's - didn't have responsibilities, no repercussions - i was acting out without concern. watching porn, hookers...this was under the gauze of being young and I had made this to be acceptable behaviour.

Most extreme anxious state: coming 'clean' with my wife - i had got to a very low place. Presenting in public as confident and capable, but away from public eyes - i was acting our daily with porn, dating sites, cheating with other woman. Guilt and shame weighed heavily i was fearful that this was going to be my life and that i was destined to not only lose my wife but my kids, but be isolated from the people i love. The most extreme anxious state was fronting up to my wife and telling her about my behaviour - my addiction (although at that point I didn't know or believe i had an addiction)...the following weeks and months were the toughest ive ever spent. The anxiety brought on stomach cramps - and i believe i was experiencing depression.

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