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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:42 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
I am now starting the individual recovery workshops having completed the initial couples workshops. Originally posted this on our couples thread in error so now starting my individual thread;

1) actively committing yourself to change

I am currently in therapy, I attend saa meetings regularly although I don't think the program holds my answer, I am totally committed to this program. This has been a lifelong struggle for me, my curse, and for the first time in my life, I actually have hope that I can become who I've always wanted to be, no need for pretence, no need to loose myself in alcohol, porn, sex or drugs. I am not only committed to changing, I am totally determined to put and end to the side of myself that will otherwise destroy me and hurt those I love.

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

I guess like a lot of people in my position, I feel incredible guilt and shame. Sometimes it is overwhelming. In truth I just can't let this undermine my desire to change, I feel I have no choice but to change because I don't want to live the rest of my life as someone I despise. I have felt guilt and shame throughout my life, mostly unfounded, but still achieved great things, why not this, becoming the person I want to be, the real me.

3) allowing yourself time to change

My issues span a lifetime, over the past months I have been given reasons as to why I think and act the way I do, it seems like everyday a new epiphany happens, I realise I'm still in the early stages of recovery, I'm realistic enough to realise that I'm not going to reprogram a lifetime of skewed thoughts and actions in the short term. My sincere hope is that by the end of this program I'll have the knowledge and methods to be who I want to be and then my therapist says complete recovery is possible in 5 years. I need this so very badly.

Reasons why I seek to permanently change your life

I need to be the best person I can be for those I love
I want to be with my soul mate but I can't let this happen until I can trust myself
I will not survive if I do not change
I despise the side of me that thinks and feels the way I do sometimes
I know that I'm capable of great love kindness and compassion
Now I understand why I am the way I am I cannot allow these thoughts and actions to ruin my life
I want the love and respect of those I love and respect
The way I was living my life has driven me to despair
My depression is fuelled by guilt and shame and it would destroy me
I can be so much more that I am being
I want to feel good about myself
I need peace from the whirlwind in my head
The respite that I got from the things I did was short lived and unreal
I want to be real, a real person
I don't want to be afraid anymore, no more escaping
The alternative is to perpetuate a painful and lonely existence, I must change

Find a picture of yourself when you were a small child;

I have found this extremely difficult, there was a specific picture I wanted, about 5 or 6 years old, it's Christmas and everyone is happy, despite all of this, and a happy environment, I am confused alone and don't belong. It's one of my earliest memories. I found a picture of me as a baby and, god knows I've tried to feel compassion, I guess I do a bit because I couldn't have done anything wrong by them, my compassion is tinged with contempt, all my life I've never liked myself, never felt like I belonged, always felt like 2 people and hated myself for that. That small child always felt guilty, bad and evil. I've hurt my soul mate, and that is a bit too big at the moment, but, aside from that, and being party to a termination for which I can never forgive myself I've never really done anything that bad. I need to try this again when I'm in a better place. One good thing is that I'm crying as I type this and that hasn't happened for a long long time, decades even, courtesy of high doses of venlafaxine and various other anti depressants. I'm finally off of antidepressants and, while I feel like death, I can feel emotion again and I feel real again like I'm really here. Don't get me wrong, I can and will be the person who I always wanted and that's going to happen. Maybe one day I can look at the child and say, look, you ain't so arse lol

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:30 pm 
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3897
Location: UK
Hello Cloz and welcome to the programme

The alternative is to perpetuate a painful and lonely existence, I must change

the fact is that you will change , either for the better or for the worse
this programme will provide you with the insight allowing you to make that choice

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

I need to be the best person I can be for those I love

I would have preferred to have read

I need to be the best person I can be for myself, demonstrating that I deserve those I love

but your reasons are yours
your journey is yours but remember that you are not alone

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

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:52 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Thanks Kenzo,
I really appreciate this site, it has helped me/us immeasurably thus far

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
My vision

Who am I.....I'm a 54 year old, compassionate successful and fit man, the husband of the most wonderful person I've ever met and the father of a beautiful and talented son. I am extremely emotionally immature and I struggle because of that.

My life thus far....I had a difficult childhood and youth, and have struggled emotionally throughout my life, but despite this, I have and will continue to achieve so much. there are many things I'm proud of, I care, I am generous, conscientious, hard working, I have been a musician, a bodybuilder, I reached the top of the tree in finance and provided a very comfortable life for my family, I'm practical and spend a lot of time helping others, but, by far my biggest and proudest achievement was being the husband of EP and then the father of my son.

So...what do I want to achieve going vision....I want to be the husband, father and son, brother in law I know I can be, to stay physically healthy and fit, to learn to stop and smell the flowers, To be able to graciously accept the help and support of others, especially my wonderful wife and to feel that I deserve it, I want to be honest, clean and to find peace from my mind, To be free from addiction, depression and paranoia. I want to be one person, real and present, I want to be able to cry, I want to be emotionally and mentally mature, I want to be reliable. Ultimately, I want to devote my time, my love and my soul to my wife for ever and I want us to be together again, travelling, laughing and having fun.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 3....B

1. Being a good husband to ep
2. Being a role model to my son
3. Honesty
4. Fidelity
5. Emotional maturity
6. Empathy
7. Compassion
8. Kindness
9. Being responsible
10. Being reliable
11. Being clean in body and mind
12. Being peaceful
13. Getting my mind back
14. Being present and attentive
15. Being in control of my thoughts
16. Living in the moment
17. Enjoying the here and now
18. Gratitude
19. Having fun
20. Being happy
21. Being confident
22. Accepting my virtues and value
23. Generosity
24. Learning
25. Being more Self forgiving
26. Physical fitness
27. Living healthy
28. Courage
29. Self belief
30. Being assertive
31. Growing up
32. Living in reality
33. Learning to express myself
34. Being more open with ep
35. Being less forgetful
36. Being less forgetful
37. Helping others
38. Being positive
39. Being creative
40. Being respected
41. Being more accepting
42. Being more forgiving
43. Being emotionally stronger
44. Being more calm
45. Being content
46. Being less self critical
47. Being less critical of others
48. Re-kindling the passion with ep
49. Being realistic
50. Getting involved in music again
51. Feeling appreciated

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 3 ...C...1
1. Feeling masculine
2. Feeling empowered
3. Passionate about life
4. Developing sustained friendships
5. Encouraging my wife's independence
6. Being judged trustworthy
7. Feeling unconditional love

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 3 ... C ...2

1. Escape
2. Immediate gratification
3. Feeling desired
4. Feeling masculine
5. Getting away from the world
6. Being selfish
7. Being devoid of emotion
8. Uncaring
9. Proving I was a man
10. Releasing frustration
11. Living porn
12. Loneliness
13. Boredom

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:08 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 4

1. Being a good husband to ep
2. Being a role model to my son
3. Finding peace
4. Honesty
5. Emotional maturity
6. Fidelity
7. Being clean in body and mind
8. Getting my mind back
9. Enjoying the here and now
10. Being judged trustworthy
11. Being more open with ep
12. Being responsible
13. Being reliable
14. Being present and attentive
15. Being in control of my thoughts
16. Being emotionally stronger
17. Being more calm
18. Being content
19. Growing up
20. Living in reality
21. Learning to express myself
22. Re-kindling the passion with ep
23. Having fun
24. Physical fitness
25. Living healthy
26. Gratitude
27. Empathy
28. Compassion
29. Kindness
30. Being happy
31. Being confident
32. Living in the moment
33. Accepting my virtues and value
34. Generosity
35. Learning
36. Being more Self forgiving
37. Courage
38. Self belief
39. Being assertive
40. Being less forgetful
41. Helping others
42. Being positive
43. Being creative
44. Being respected
45. Being more accepting
46. Being more forgiving
47. Being less self critical
48. Being less critical of others
49. Being realistic
50. Getting involved in music again
51. Feeling appreciated
52. Feeling masculine
53. Feeling empowered
54. Passionate about life
55. Developing sustained friendships
56. Encouraging my wife's independence
57. Feeling unconditional love

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 5 D

1. Being a good husband to ep
2. Being a role model to my son
3. Finding peace
4. Honesty
5. Emotional maturity
6. Fidelity
7. Being clean in body and mind
8. Getting my mind back
9. Being judged trustworthy
10. Being more open with ep
11. Being responsible
12. Being reliable
13. Being present and attentive
14. Being in control of my thoughts
15. Being emotionally stronger

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:42 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 6

Action Plan

8. Getting my mind back

With my GP’s help I am in the final stages of getting off of antidepressants
Use mindfulness when I am distracted or panicking to keep myself in the present
Ensure that I get adequate sleep to avoid tiredness
Try to avoid unnecessary worry using CBT techniques
Carry on with Yoga and include meditation to help me relax
Continue to employ ‘the three second rule’ if I find my mind wandering and conflicting my values
Where possible, stick to my routine to ensure I exercise, eat healthy and stay busy
Continue to re-inforce my values via RN & SAA
Ask for help when I struggle

7. Being clean in body and mind

Continue to go to the gym at least twice a week
Continue doing Yoga once a week
Eat healthy and regular meals
Only alcohol occasionally with EP
Continue not smoking
Avoid prescription and other drugs
Carry on avoiding Pornography
Do not engage in flirting
Do not engage in scanning
Be open and honest at all times
Admit when I’m struggling

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:38 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Being a good husband to ep

Honesty - I will be open and honest with ep at all times and share my thoughts and feeling as they happen.
Fidelity - I will be faithful to ep in thought and actions
Reliability - I will keep my promises, be punctual and note things on my phone so I don't forget
Maturity - I will act in a mature an appropriate way, no schoolboy humour, no sexual innuendos, being a responsible and aware adult (conscious of speed limit etc)
Thoughtful - I will try to remember and back this up with prompts on my phone, I will remember the hurt I've caused and be understanding of ep's insecurities. I will try my best to suggest nice things to do together
Trust - my actions will give eps the opportunity to trust me if she chooses to
Acceptance – I will accept justified criticism and not be hurt and see this as rejection, I will accept the consequences of my actions and will be conscious of what I am doing and if it conflicts with my values
Understanding – I now understand that porn, internet and phone sex is just as unfaithful as having sex with real people and this will not happen again
Spontaneous - I will do my utmost to be spontaneous and 'go with the flow' wherever I can and will not allow my anxiety to prevent this, where this is an issue for me, I will discuss this openly and honestly with ep
Open Minded - I will do my utmost not to let my insecurities blind me to ep's needs and desires
Fun - I will play my part in making our time together fun

Being a role model to my son

Confident - I will be confident in my son's presence and show him that I am a good responsible adult
Supportive - I will continue to support my son wherever I can, but will let him find his own way and only give my opinion where appropriate
Stop Worrying - I will try not to let him see when I am worried or concerned unless justified in doing so
Example - My actions will show him how I am together, confident and happy, in the hope that he takes my lead
Well - I will be healthy and well, clear minded and together as I hope he will be
Positive - I will consciously focus on the positives and be positive around him
See me & mum as strong - should we decide we are staying together, I will play my part in showing him that ep and I are good together
Clear minded - I will be clear and focused around him and not express my confusion about things
Peaceful - I will and in a peaceful and contented way when with him in the hope it sets an example


More Open - I will share my thoughts and feeling more openly without concern for how bad I sometimes feel and the effect this may have on ep's opinion
Not Spare Feelings - I will not evade the truth even if I feel this might hurt feelings
Share my worries and feelings more openly - I will be honest about my mood, feelings and concerns even if this appears negative and depressing
Clear mind – I will take steps to regain my mind so that I have a better understand what is real and not confuse fantasy with reality
Think before responding - I will not succumb to 'knee jerk' lies in response to difficult situations and, with the help of my therapist will learn to think things through before giving an honest and real response
Exorcise the termites - I will deal with all the petty little issues, thoughtlessness, forgetfulness paranoia etc that lead to ep and my frustrations with the help of my therapist
Not be Ashamed - I will learn to accept who I am and learn to be someone I can be proud of
Accept my failings - I will learn to accept my faults, shortcomings and be more honest with myself about my humanness and lean to be more self forgiving

Emotional maturity

Let go of the past - with the aid of my therapist I will accept the things I cannot change and concentrate on now
Acknowledge my successes - I will recognise my achievements and the good I have done and not dwell on my failings
Control – I will learn to control and express my emotions in a real and accurate way and learn how to prevent them making me sad and angry
Live the moment I will focus on the 'here and now' and let the past go and not worry about the future unnecessarily
Be thoughtful - I will be mindful of the effect my words and actions have on so and others and not give the wrong impression or lead others on
Be aware - I will be present and attentive and focus on my current and real surroundings to avoid conflicts with my values - speed limits etc
Realise my limitations - I will be realistic in my expectations of myself
Not get complacent - I will adopt these strategies for the rest of my life and not get complacent about them
If I need medical intervention I will accept it - if I cannot deal with my thoughts and emotions on my own, I will accept the advice of ep, my doctor and therapist
Acknowledge & accept my fears - I will continue ta address and accept my fears whether founded, real or otherwise and learn to live with the anxiety they cause me
Mindfulness & CBT - I will continue to use the tools I have learned to control my panic anxiety and depression


I have No desire to have sex with anyone else and this will continue
No fantasising - If I find myself scanning or fantasising about sex, I will discuss with ep
EP comes first – And will continue to be the centre of my world
I will accept that EP is with me because she wants to be and cherish our time
I will be on guard – be conscious leading other women on and aware of their perceptions of what I do and say
No flirting - I will not flirt with other women
Being aware of other women’s intentions - I will not assume that all interactions with other women are innocent and will be mindful that they may have a different perception and intentions
Realise temptation – I will be on guard and avoid temptations by keeping myself out of potentially volatile situations
Not objectify – I will not scan and will continue to see other women as people, not bodypatprts

Being judged trustworthy

No drugs/alcohol - I will continue not to use drugs or alcohol
Show by actions my intentions - I will continue to live a clean and honest life
Be accountable - I will be accountable at all times, traceable on my phone and have my phone switched on where practical
Accept criticism – I will not view constructive criticism as a measure of my worth and will not feel devastated nor take it to heart


I will continue to be hard working and will abide by rules (not consciously speeding etc), I will be a good and respectable person
Consider consequences - I will be honest with myself and give full consideration to my thoughts and deeds and the consequences they have
Not lying – no lying or being evasive – if uncertain I will say so and I will consider my responses and avoid the compulsive 'knee jerk' untrue responses I have given in the past
Recognise that it will take time - I know that it is early days and, whilst I have learned a lot about myself, the past and reality, I have a long way to go, I will not let myself get demotivated and will be the person I want to be
Making notes – I will keep a journal so that I have a reference of the steps I am taking, the obstacles I am facing and a real grip on what really happened.

Being present and attentive

Stop worrying about the future - I will live one day at a time and not screw myself up about what might or might not happen, I will use CBT to help me do this
Accept the past and move on - with the help of my therapist, I am and will continue to leave the past behind and concentrate on the present
No distractions - where realistic I will avoid distractions an focus on being who I need to be
See my therapist - I will continue to see my therapist to help me learn how to move on from the things that have happened in the past

Being emotionally stronger

No stimulants - Avoid alcohol, medication to keep my mind clear - no avoiding the present
Acceptance - Accept my weaknesses and the things I can't change and not get overwhelmed
Forgive myself – Be less self critical and give myself the same respect I have for others
Therapy - continue to see my therapist an build on my achievements thus far
Learn to keep things in perspective - learn to not catastrophise things and feel futile and pointless
Positive - concentrate on the good in life
Stop worrying - change the things I can and accept the things I can't
Show my emotions - be open an honest about my feelings and struggles with EP - no more internalising everything
Be proud - continue to become someone I can be proud of
Less paranoid – Use CBT and try not to take everything personally - Base my views on the Evidence
By myself – Just be mo, not who I think everyone else likes, respects or fears

Being in control of my thoughts

Mindfulness - continue to use mindfulness when I panic or get anxious
CBT - continue to use the process to keep in touch with reality
No fantasy - realise that fantasy is running away from difficulties I have
No Catstrophising events - keep things in perspective
No running away - No using drugs, alcohol or sexual fantasy because I can't cope
Face fears - deal with situations as they arise and accept my failings when I can't
Live reality - Be present and realistic about my current reality
Accept the past & let go - continue with my therapy to deal with past issues

Finding peace
Meditation - take time to just be and have a clear mind
Physical fitness - Stay fit and strong as this helps with my mood
Being healthy - Healthy diet to help my mood - no excesses
Avoid bad situations - Where possible keep myself in a good environment
Acceptance - just accept what is an be the best I can in the circumstances
No stimulants - keep my mind free from intoxication and deal with

Being reliable

Manage my time better
Note things on my phone so I don't forget
Keep my promises
Keep people informed when circumstances change events
I will not overcommit myself and be realistic about my limitations
If I need 'time out' I will say so

Being more open with EP

I will share my thoughts and felling with EP at all times
I will be honest with EP at all times
I will share the days events
I will discuss my plans
I will not evade the truth to spare her feelings

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 10

I historically had large amounts of pornography downloaded onto hard drives and would use the internet to look at porn, this escalated into Internet sex and phone sex which led to our ultimate separation and then I had casual sex with women I had contacted online and an acquaintance of ours. When we decided to try and move forward as a couple after separating, I formatted all my hard drives and destroyed what I was unsure of, we also arranged for controls to be applied to all electronic devices and my internet provider as I now live on my own. I changed my mobile phone and with it removed any contacts I had made. As such, I have no access to porn, sex sites or any previous contacts. In all honesty, this didn't happen instantly and took a period of time to achieve. I currently have no temptation or desire to act out.

As I said I now have no contact with previous individuals. I now use the 'one second rule to avoid scanning which was one of my rituals, this is working for me. I consciously try not to engage in banter of a sexual nature or flirting which I have done in the past.

The only real place I used to act out was online and this has now stopped.

This lesson has been difficult for me because I have stopped doing the things I used to do to act out which sounds wonderful, in truth, this has been and continues to be an immense struggle and did not happen instantly. Elements of my whole life are in question and I have lost who I thought I was. I know I do not want to be the person I was when I fell so spectacularly and I now need to re-invent the me I want to be. I have questioned the sincerity of my recovery, both with EP and my therapist who assures me I am doing well and it's early days. I still have a lot of confusion around timelines, and my recollection of what stopped when doesn't fit with the evidence. I was in denial for some time when we first got together again, perhaps still am to some degree, and this is all complicated by other issues I have had with alcohol, drugs and my mind etc....I loused my life, and that of those who relied on me, up in style I'm afraid. One day at a time, have the grace to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference, such wise words. I will recover.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:43 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
It wasn’t until I started to see my current therapist on the suggestion of ep that I was even aware of sex addiction. Up until then, whilst I knew something wasn’t right, that I’d never felt normal my whole life, always ‘on the outside’, in some way wicked and evil. I assumed that I was just a warped and corrupted person with a bad soul that, until I was put on high dose antidepressants, I had managed to supress. I maintain that the medication detached me even further from reality, weakened my resolve and made me ‘not care’ about my actions. I would add here that I accept full responsibility from the hurt that I have cause my beautiful wife, son and family, and the depths to which I fell, that is 100% ‘my bad’.

When we finally split, I hit rock bottom and tried to escape ‘my prison’ any way I could. I was constantly drinking excessively and smoking cannabis, taking Valium, sleeping tablets, excess doses of anti-depressants, masturbating excessively to porn, anything I could do to not be me and, whilst I didn’t understand why at the time, meeting women off of the internet for casual sex. I made numerous, half-hearted attempts to end my life so that, in my mind, it would look accidental, I would drink 3 bottles of wine, overdose on my medication a little, take sleeping tablets and Valium and hope I wouldn’t wake up and everyone would say “the silly bugger overdid it”. This is not a sob story, a cry for help it is the facts, my own little hell that I created in a skewed attempt to ‘get what I deserved’ for being such a bad person.

When I started seeing my therapist, everything fell into place and, since then, I am constantly having epiphanies. I now know in part why I became the way I am, all the things that lead me to that bad place and I have hope, I now I have so many reasons why I have felt the way I felt and acted the way I acted. I can’t change anything that has happened in the past but I am slowly learning to accept that these things helped put me in that bad place.

It’s not an overstatement to say that my whole life has fallen apart, everything I believed and considered fact has been called into question. I still struggle with this. On the whole I believe I have lived a good life, that I have been kind, considerate, generous, conscientious and hard working. I have tried to be a good and understanding husband, father and son yet, lurking in the background throughout my life was an insidious and skewed understanding of the futility of life that, as I have said, I fought and supressed until it eventually burnt my resolve.

I now understand that my sex addiction served the same purpose as my alcoholism and my dependency on drugs, prescription and otherwise. I understand that I used all of these paths to escape from the inadequacy, shame and alienation that I have felt throughout my life, the chemical minimisation of my feeling of futility, the misconceived desire to feel needed, desired and worthwhile.

I am still struggling with many things, I have no perception of timescales and there is an awful lot I am unclear of, things where my understanding doesn’t match the evidence. My therapist assures me that the way I abused myself for an extended period of time with alcohol, medication and drugs can, in part, account for my confusion, I also suspect that I have blocked things out of my mind because I can’t face them, something I have done periodically throughout my life. I may never get these back…I sincerely hope not.

I have locked porn out of my life and destroyed any contacts I had. I have no desire to have casual sex, phone sex or internet sex with anyone anymore. At the height of my addiction….maybe that should be the depth….I never met with human beings, just a series of body parts that I could get off over, nor was I a person, I just wanted to be a ‘cock’, I didn’t want to experience feelings or emotions, just animalistic sex, as I type this, it feels like I am talking about someone else, it seems ridiculous, pathetic, sordid and sickening. I became a perverted animal, all the time convinced that I was normal, that it was all natural, I was deluded. I would see a pair of legs or boobs or any other body part that caught my eye and escape into some sordid fantasy because I couldn’t cope with the pain of being me, I objectified women (and myself) spectacularly and I find it hard to forgive myself for that.

The intricacy of the web of lies I spun, both to those around me and mostly myself was so elaborate that I am still unsure what is true and what isn’t, unfortunately this is another trait that has marred my whole life and is perhaps the most challenging addiction for me to overcome, and the one that is hardest to comprehend and prevent. As soon as I was in a difficult position, regardless of circumstances, my instinct was to lie, maybe to avoid confrontation by appearing to be a callous hard individual, maybe to convince myself that I could face situations that I felt the real me couldn’t otherwise, mostly I lied to myself because I always felt unworthy, weak and a coward. Ironic given how I look and the events I have confronted and survived. I forced myself to face my fears head on despite the impact this had on me, depersonalising me, detaching me still further from reality.

My therapist tells me that it takes 5 years to truly overcome addiction, that good practices and habits replace bad ones and in time become ingrained and the norm, that, despite the fact that most of my failings are lifelong, I can rewire my brain to be the person I want to be, that I am not a bad or evil person, just confused, misinformed and that I have followed the wrong path. As I said, I know of the events, circumstances etc that led me to that bad place, that have undermined my confidence, worth and grip on reality, I have shedloads of them, I hope in time that I will begin to believe in myself, that I can continue to conduct myself in a manner that doesn’t conflict with my values and that I can be worthy of the love of those that love me.

I am rebuilding myself, I am determined to make the good part of me my whole for the remainder of my life. I acknowledge that I have come a long way but I still have a long way to go. In the grand scheme of things its early days. My therapist is impressed with my progress and efforts but it is still an all-consuming exhausting struggle. I have locked porn out of my life, I am consciously trying to be an open and honest human being, I know I am failing at times, that the addiction is far from resolved but I am determined to resolve this or die trying. I want to be a good person and, more than anything, I want to be a good husband to ep and father to my son.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:43 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Lesson 12 Exercise:

I am committed to recovery and this program, unfortunately, life has gotten in the way a couple of times with a few minor disasters, however, I am determined to sincerely, and thoroughly work my way through the lessons which has meant that everything is taking me longer than I would hope. I need to be sure that I have given this my all and I have genuinely assimilated what I need to learn, so if I have to take breaks to deal with other things, I will do so rather than just blurting out a load of things I think I should so I look committed. This needs to be sincere. I have questioned my sincerity with ep and my therapist who assures me I would not be putting myself through the pain I am if I was insincere. A big revelation for me was the scale of the skewed view I have had on life throughout my life, and the lies that I have created, mainly to myself, in order to try and rationalise my feelings and actions. This has undermined my confidence and trust in myself, I know I am over analysing things to my detriment, but until I have my mind where I want it to be, I need the reassurance that I am sincerely, honestly and thoroughly doing the best I can.

Ultimately, recovery for me is a choice. I am free to live however I want. I do not want to live my life full of self-contempt, guilt, shame, riddled with depression, continually contemplating suicide. I want to be a good and honest person, I want to find peace, and I would prefer to see out my days with ep by my side and a son that is proud of his dad.

‘They believe that they are uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings’ – ‘They believe that what they are experiencing is their fate’ – ‘They tend to confuse addiction recovery with general mental health issues’
– Still struggle with these but, over time it is becoming apparent that my lifelong battle with depression, anxiety, self-hatred and compulsion is intrinsically wrapped up with addiction to sex, alcohol, drugs and deception.

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
I am extremely conscious that this is a tendency I have – I do feel pre-occupied with recovery, I have always been compulsive about bodybuilding, music etc. My plan is to diversify into many things and not compulsively focus on any one thing……….its early days.

Relapse triggers are feared, and so their lives continue to be altered as a result of addiction
My life is most definitely altered and the thought of relapse terrifies me. I am confident that in time I can rewire my brain and reprogram myself so this is not an issue, I am working on ‘managing’ as opposed to ‘suppressing’ my compulsive tendencies and anxieties, and learning new behaviours as you state. I am aware that the new behaviours become ingrained and after a period of 5 years become the norm.

They tend to hyper analyse their actions, thoughts and feelings...and make the possibility of living a "normal" life all but impossible.
Yep …. My therapist is helping me find ways of being less self-critical, a perfectionist. I’ve yet to find my normal, getting there, not sure of the fine details but a work in progress!

They find comfort in being able to use "powerlessness" as an excuse for continuing to engage in their behavior.
No…. I have attended SAA meeting for some time now, the meetings ground me, remind me what I am trying to achieve. I have gained a lot for meeting others that share similar issues, however, I am not motivated to complete the ‘steps’ as I have a fundamental issue with not accepting responsibility for my actions. I cannot do this on my own and I do need help, but this is my bad and, only I can change my future. I believe I have the power to make the changes I need to live the life I want to live, I accept I need help and guidance with this, and that I am a long way from cured, but I do not believe in abdicating responsibility for my recovery to anyone else. Besides, my god has ‘bigger fish to fry’ than my addiction. It’s all on me.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:05 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirteen

Early Recovery: "Understanding/Recognizing the Behavior"

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 ……. I do still feel relief that I am not alone in my actions, that others have had similar experiences. More than anything I experience relief at now understanding the beliefs, events, motivation and actions that lead to that bad place and my skewed view on life, I know I can’t change the past and am working on moving on with my therapist, there’s still a way to go with this….It’s not who I was, it’s who I become that matters.

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 …… As above

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 ….. Not sure about this, I definitely want to feel proud of the life I live but I was never proud of the illusion, it was more a case of escaping from being me and, over time, my perception became it’s what a bad person like me deserved.

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 ….. Absolutely, I’m still exorcising the termites, the stubborn little niggly ones that are so ingrained, thoughtlessness, confusion, self-pity but my motivation is sincerity and being a good, clean and moral person that lives his values

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 …… Think I’m still midway here, I know that, in time, the new/right behaviours will become ingrained but I am still a bit focussed on controlling my past behavioural patterns. I know this is a matter of time and moving on.

They perceive "powerlessness" as a temporary term that more accurately describes their lack of skills in managing their urges ….. Yep, never agreed with powerlessness and abdicating responsibility, I just needed help and guidance to understand how to manage my feelings and emotions as opposed to supressing them and blocking them out. This is within my power and I’m learning how to wade my way through the confusion and ingrained behaviours and actions.

Relapse triggers are experienced not as a threat, but an opportunity …… In not there on this yet. I know I have no desire to resume my old ways, but I’m still confused about triggers and what is my ‘normal’. I am a bit overkill at the moment, again, 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 ….. No pre-planned deception, always with sincere intentions, I have not nailed being completely explicit about everything – again, this is being worked on with my therapist.

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" ….. Absolutely, I am there on this

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 behaviour …… I no longer feel like an addict, I feel like a man who now understands what is required to live a healthy honest and honourable life, I’m not naive and realise that my addiction, compulsion is far from resolved, but I am managing this out of my life and replacing it with good healthy behaviours.

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") ….. At times I have seen my life regression and never expected to ‘make old bones’ but I have always accepted that it’s a journey, good or bad, most of the time a bit of a roller coaster. My aim is to make it a continuous process of growth and development going forward.

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 …… This has all been done.

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 …. I’m getting there on this, I still have depressive tendencies, still plagued with anxiety and riddled with remorse and regret but determined to manage this and be the husband, father, etc that I know I can and should be.

Late Recovery : "From Recovery to Health"

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 ….. Whilst I am confident about the changes I can and am making, but I am still avoiding trigger situations, as I am still learning the skills I need.

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 …. It’s like it happened to someone else, there was no pleasure, only detachment and escape, I can never fall that far again and loose everything, mostly myself.

Whilst SA has been, by far, the most damaging aspect of my addictions and issues, as I stated above it is intrinsically wrapped up in my depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug use (mainly prescribed), deception and lack of reality. I have answered the above in relation to all of my addictions because of this.

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