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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:16 pm
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Lesson 16 - Understanding Addiction 1

At this point in the workshop, you should be starting to pull together several concepts of a healthy recovery:
that the behavior you previously found to be "unmanageable" can actually be managed fairly easily through emotional management techniques (you won't have mastered these techniques yet, but the knowledge that you must learn them should be there)
that one of the most important keys to managing your life is values-based decision-making
that emotion-based decision-making is the main principle in immediate gratification
that immediate gratification is the main principle in compulsive behavior
that you are now faced with orchestrating a transition that will mark the end of your addiction and the beginning of the healthy phase of your life
that your compulsive behavior/addiction has served a useful purpose in your life, but that there are more efficient ways to satisfy that purpose

Once the pattern of using a specific behavior as a stress relieving tool develops, you become more and more adept at using this behavior to manage your stress. You become a master at this particular behavior and usually expand your mastery into other similar behaviors (or similar patterns with unrelated behaviors). Let's take the behaviors of masturbation/fantasy. Masturbation and fantasy have many healthy roles to play in a healthy person's life: self-exploration; self-awareness; stress-management (yes, stress management...there is nothing wrong with managing your stress — even through "addictive behaviors"; the key is to manage your stress through a balanced approach that does not include behaviors with destructive consequences); self-esteem, etc. The danger in masturbation/fantasy comes when the act begins to jeopardize long-term values for the sole benefit of temporary, short-term relief. The danger comes when the act is reduced to nothing more than the simple need for immediate relief or immediate pleasure. When this occurs, your masturbating/fantasizing are used just like any other drug. The chemical changes that take place inside your brain has the same characteristics as artificially-introduced drugs, such as alcohol, cocaine or morphine.

Once your behavior is fused with your identity — that is, once the behavior itself has taken on the illusion of being a value in your life — the process for using that behavior becomes much like baking cookies. This is not to undermine the seriousness of sexual addiction, but more to provide a working model for how each behavior plays its own role in the overall scheme of using sex to manage your emotions.


Positive Role Addiction Has Played
The only positive role my addiction has served me is temporary good feelings. Feelings of escape. Feelings of absolute privacy and the entire world leaving me alone.


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