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 Post subject: Lesson 15
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:14 am 
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This workshop so far has been nothing short of amazing. It is difficult to express how grateful I am that I have found recovery nation. All my life I have thought that nobody could understand how I think and feel and why I act this way. That causes a level of loneliness few can comprehend. The knowledge that I am not alone is so extremely comforting. Going through the lessons I see my feelings put to words in a way I never could myself. It's like I can read my own thoughts and feelings and by doing so understand them.
It's difficult to name just one example of how I have integrated the information into my life. Reflecting daily in health monitoring, actively pursuing my values are very important. But if I have to name one it's recognising triggers. Before I started the workshop I never knew where my urges came from. They seemed random to me. I knew they were the strongest when I wake up in the morning and before I go to bed at night. But they could creep up during any time of the day for no reason and be so strong that I could not control my self. I thought it was genetics or some imbalance in my body. Lesson 11 was an eye opener. Seeing all those triggers written down and not only recognising them but also being able to link them directly to my urges was amazing. Now, whenever I feel an urge, I look for a trigger. When I found it, I replace it with my value list that I keep on my phone. I that usually is enough in taking care of the urge. I then examine why that trigger came up and if there is something I can do to prevent it. That now is something I use daily without hesitation. I'm not out of the woods yet, but it is a huge step and a tremendous help. Loneliness, hopelessness, sadness, regret, fatigue, stress, euforia, extreme happiness are all examples of triggers that accompany my urges. I can now recognise them and I have a tool to battle them if needed. That stands out so far to me. Now I can't wait to continue and learn more about addiction. I believe it will make me stronger and add tools to my toolbox. For the first time in my life I have more than hope. I have confidence that if I complete this journey, I will be free of this curse and have a life I never imagined possible. For that I am eternally grateful.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:37 am 
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I find it difficult to imagine my addiction as positive. I have always viewed it as extremely negative and something I would give everything to get rid of. So this exercise feels a bit strange. The list below might not be complete. It's what I could come up with.

Stress relieve
Calming effect when experiencing anger
An escape out of reality
A self esteem booster
A way to experience love (my distorted version of it anyway)
A safe place without hurt, pain, disappointment etc. My fantasy allowed me to construct such a place in my mind and go there at will
Hope. Fantasising of how it could be and hopefully will be one day
Remedy for sadness
An explanation for failure (to stop)
joy and hapyness


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 Post subject: Lesson 17 Excersise
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:57 am 
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I have 2 compulsive rituals that make up most of my acting out. I will describe them here using the sexual compulsion wheel.

The first is masturbation.
I masturbate for relief of something bothering me. Most of the time I do this at home, in bed as privacy is important to me when I do this. Sometimes the compulsion is really strong and then I may also use the toilet at work but these instances are rare.
The elements of the wheel involved are:
Orgasm: The main objective for me is orgasm. Acting out has no meaning without it. Orgasm calms me, makes me feel high and euphoric and ends whatever emotion drives me to act out, albeit temporary.
Sensory: If my behaviour were a cake instead of a cookie this would be the cherry, nice but not necessary, with the exception of touch of course as it concerns masturbation. taste, sight, smell and sound are part of my ritual but not in actuality. They are in my memory as most of my acting out involves masturbating while fantasising about a previous experience. Very rarely does an actual stimulation of these senses lead to acting out, unless I purposefully seek it out, like for instance watching porn. Sensory stimulation in real life for me more often leads to fantasising than to masturbating. For instance I can be sexually drawn to a woman on the train because of the sound of her voice, her perfume, an accidental touch or her looks and fantasise about having sex with her. With me, this usually does not lead to masturbation.
Fantasy: This is an essential ingredient to this cookie. I fantasise wildly when I masturbate. In my early years I would take an image of a strange woman, seen in a magazine or on TV, or someone I knew and fantasise about having sex with them in different positions and location or occasions. After I began having affairs this changed and now I fantasise the same way but only with women I had sex with or dated. In any case there is always fantasy. always.

The second is what I call casual sex.
When we were married my wife cheated on me. I was addicted to porn and that hurt her deeply but I had never actually been with another woman. Her actions gave me, at least in my sordid thinking, a pass to also "date". This marked the beginning of a new chapter in my addictive life. I slept with women left and right. Even when my wife and I got back together after a short period apart, I did not stop which led to ultimate divorce. Casual sex obviously does not happen as frequently as masturbating but is more powerful to me and involves more elements of the wheel. Here they are:
Orgasm: orgasm is the ultimate prize in acting out this way. In fact during the sex there is strong anticipation of the orgasm and it gives me great pleasure to extend the "session" as much as I can to keep the expectation of orgasm alive for as long as possible. It sometimes happens that I don't orgasm. When I get home I then masturbate to achieve orgasm while fantasising about the "date".
Sensory: Needless to say that all senses play a role in this behaviour. The way she sounds, smells, looks and moves, tastes and touches me are all very important to my experience. These senses are strong and get ingrained in my memory. I can relive the experience in my mind moths or even years after it happened and it is as if I can sense everything again.
Suspense: This is an important and especially thrilling aspect of this behaviour. The excitement I feel when I have a date, especially if it is a few days away. The anticipation, the expectation are powerful stimulators and give me great pleasure.
Accomplishment: Also an important part. I get accomplishment from two things in this situation. The fact that I got someone to sleep with me. Even though in this Tinder age it is not hard to get sex, but still this gives me a great high. I also enormously enjoy to see the woman enjoying it. Their pleasure makes me feel accomplished and gives me great pleasure, even afterwards.
Fantasy: Fantasy plays a minimal part in this behaviour. not leading up and during anyway. It adds to my stash of memories used for fantasising later on.

There are elements that are not on the wheel that play a role in my acting out that are not on the wheel. I am not really sure if the qualify as elements buy they are really important to me.
Validation: When I was little I was fat. I was called ugly a lot and teased relentlessly. I was convinced I would never have a girlfriend or a wife. In my teenage years I worked really hard to loose weight and started getting attention from women. The dates I go on give me a sense of validation. They give me a feeling of still having it. Still desired by women and not the fat kid I used to be. This is also the case when fantasising during masturbation.
Vindication: Same reason as validation but a different feeling. It's a feeling of revenge on all the people that said this would never happen to me. It's really empowering. The fat kid who has a black book now and has multiple women he can sleep with at will.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:10 am 
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This lesson was a bit difficult to understand. I understood the concepts of time, intensity and habituation. Unlike with the elements however, I could not relate tho the filters. The elements I immediately recognised as part of my rituals even though I was not consciously aware of them while acting out. The filters however are completely new to me. This is how I understood them in my own words. Time relates to how long I perform my ritual before continuing is no longer pleasurable. This not only includes the ritual itself but also the preparation leading up to it. Intensity I understand to be the perfection of the "craft". Getting experienced at it so the ritual is just right and provides the maximum amount of pleasure. Habituation I think relates to getting used to what you are doing so it no longer provides pleasure and you need to change things up. Kind of like when taking pain killers too often the uses dose will no longer help and needs to be increased to kill pain.

I will now look at my own rituals through these filters.

Masturbation
time: For me with masturbation, orgasm is the goal. All other elements just aid in achieving that goal and achieving it as fast as possible. Masturbation should last no longer than five minutes. Longer than that and frustration sets in.This happens for instance on days when I masturbate a lot. The more I orgasm the more difficult the next orgasm becomes to achieve. It will take more time. This frustrates me. 3 to 4 times a day is ideal.
Intensity: For me masturbation needs to be performed exactly as I want it done. On my bed lying on my back, left foot over right. I also know exactly how to touch myself. I fantasise over whatever created the urge and orgasm anywhere between 3 to 5 minutes after starting. This creates the most intense experience for me. Doing it differently, say at work in the toilet, does the trick but is way less intense. I only do it when the urge is too great to control before I get home. My masturbation has been perfected. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. It's very stable for me.
Habituation: Habituation does not play a major roll in my rituals. they have been pretty steady from the beginning and I never had to make any major changes to be satisfied. When it coms to fantasising using porn I need to switch things up. Sometimes I need blondes, other times I want redheads. Sometimes skinny women, sometimes fat. Big breasts os tiny ones, certain positions etc. I cannot masturbate to the same type of woman all the time. That is my habituation. But it does not progress beyond that. My fantasies are fairly consistent. only the object of my fantasy needs to change regularly.

Casual sex
Time: Time does not play a role in this one, as far as I am aware. I seek out women, mostly online through dating sites and apps, and start a conversation. I have become skilled at assessing what the woman is looking for. If she is serious, looking for a long term relationship, I quickly move on. If she's just looking or unsure or better yet looking for something casual like me, I stick around. This can take hours or months. It doesn't matter. Probably because I enjoy the suspense and because I contact more than one woman at a time and the succes rate varies. So the period of "courtship" varies a lot and is ok with me. When I have a date with a woman time plays no part at all. It can be just sex at her place or mine or a hotel. I prefer it that way. but if dinner, a movie or some other activity precede it, I'm fine with that too. I have even had situations where there were dates without sex. I guess the suspense, accomplishment validation and vindication elements were enough those times. I just enjoyed the fact that they wanted to be with me. The sex itself also varies in time. I have no limit. The only thing is I want the woman to orgasm and I tend to continue until that goal is achieved no matte how long it takes.
Intensity: I can't really think of anything here. having sex is intense enough. I like doggy style as a position and need that to be a part of the sex every time. I also have to have oral sex performed on me as well as performing it on her for it to be satisfying. But that is really it. Nothing more needs to be added for me to get my high.
Habituation: I have performed it the same way since I was about 36 and it is satisfying every time. The only thing is that I get bored with the women quickly and move on to the next one. That is a habituation in this case. I also like with porn try to have sex with as many different women as possible in terms of looks, body type, ethnicity etc. It does not get more extreme than that for me

Looking at this lesson, I am grateful. I learned that I am quite lucky that the filters in my case were quite steady and my behaviour did not have to progress to something more extreme in order for me to achieve my high. I realise that this however is no guarantee that it will stay that way and stopping my addiction now is the only guarantee I have that things will not get worse. I'm doing well so far and my motivation to succeed has not diminished!


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 Post subject: Lesson 20 Excersise
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:54 am 
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I choose option 1 for this excersise. Looking back on my life and the roll addiction played in it. My life was chaos pretty much from the start. I was conceived through rape. Even though that happened my mom still married my dad out of shame but it was not a happy marriage. 18 moths after I was born my mom left him. She did not have steady employment at that time so we moved around a lot all over the country to wherever she could find work. It did not bother me at the time but I can imagine not having a stable home had an effect on me. This happened until I was about 8 years old. Then my mom brought my step dad home who started to abuse me and my sister both physically and mentally. My earliest recollection of compulsive behaviour is fantasy. It started when I was about 6 years old. Looking back I wanted to be loved and valued. But no one in my family did that. My mom had too much on her plate and apart from my uncle and grandmother no other adult loved me and they were not around all the time. I learned about love through TV and music. Songs on the radio were always about love and TV shows and movies were about that as well or at least always had love scenes in it. So for me that was what love was supposed to look like. I started fantasising about meeting someone and falling in love. I imagined where we would live, stuff we would do, how in love she was with me and I with her and also how we would make love. The object of my fantasy changed frequently. I fantasised about class mates, teachers, neighbours and friends, artists and movie stars. No matter who it was we were always happy and in love. I did that a lot back then. It helped me escape my reality of a loveless life where there were always issues and fights in my family.Fantasy was my safe place. My heaven. Where love, my idea of it anyway, was all that mattered and I was loved by whomever I fantasised about. When I was 10 or eleven, things were bad in school. I was overweight and constantly bullied. A boy in my class gave me a magazine with nude pictures of women. I can still imagine the rush that gave me. I was drawn to it like a magnet. Not long after that I accidentally overheard a group of boys discuss masturbation. I didn't know what it was or how you did it, but I was curious and listened to what they said. When I got home I tried it in the shower and had my first orgasm. I still remember how that made me feel. In the following years I masturbated numerous times a day. My fantasy went to the next level. A new dimension. It was still about love and being loved but the masturbation added an intensity to it. I was hooked. I bought magazines with nude women from my allowance and masturbated to them. I imagined being in relationships with these women. Being loved by them, having kids with them, growing old with them. Whatever I wanted I imagined. The houses we would live in, cars we would drive, jobs we would have. Nothing was off limits. Nothing was impossible. It was everything that reality was not. This continued for years. When I was 21 I met my now ex wife. Even though I was really in love with her then, my behaviour continued. She was just an addition to my fantasy arsenal. In the beginning she didn't know but of course she found out. Our marriage was not a happy one for numerous reasons and my addiction was not the sole reason for our divorce. It hurt her deeply though and played a major part in us growing apart. After 11 years she had an affair. Even though I was deeply into porn, I had never had an affair. I fantasised about being with other women and I wanted to but I never did. Her affair pushed me over the edge. It legitimised, in my mind at least, me having an affair of my own. I went crazy. I registered on numeral dating sites and started having sex with women all over the place. From one night stands to short relationships, it did not matter. In the end I had been intimate with about 38 women. After 18 moths my wife and I got back together but I could not stop. I told her about it and expected her to be mad. Instead she said that she understood and that I could continue as long as I did it safely and told her when I was done fooling around. Thinking back I still can't understand why she would say that and I believe it was because she didn't really love me. She was with me out of convenience. Anyway it led to a period of affairs that lasted about 7 years, up to when I started with recovery nation. We finally separated for good about 2 years ago. The affairs allowed me to experience the sexual part of my fantasies in real life. I wanted to be with women of different ethnicities and body types and pursued that relentlessly. Their feelings did not matter to me. They served a purpose. They played a part in my imaginary world. Getting a woman to sleep with me boosted my self esteem. It gave me a level of confidence and a sense of accomplishment. I was the man. The man I was told I could never be because I was fat and ugly. Gradually the dependency on porn lessened. It never completely left but it became less satisfying. When I masturbated I replayed an affair in my head instead of using porn. But the core reason was always the same. Stress, pain, boredom, insecurity, low self esteem, anger, frustration, failure etc. all led to fantasy and masturbation or an affair. This was my escape. My happy place. My world where all was well. For a while at least. If something was too hard to face or deal with, this is how I handled it. This is how I got passed it. I still dealt with things in real life. But the fantasising made it bearable. It helped me cope.


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 Post subject: Lesson 21 excersise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:37 am 
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A: Large goals I failed at
I failed at my marriage which in my mind is my biggest failure because of the impact it had on me, my ex and my kids. I failed because all I had was a goal without an idea of how to achieve it. I wanted a successful marriage but did not know how that worked and as a result just did what I thought was best. coupled with my addiction it was a recipe for disaster. Next time I will more clearly define with my partner what a successful marriage is to us and make a conscious effort to work on those things.
I failed at getting my masters degree. I failed because I did not set time apart to get it. I was doing too much: sports, music, family, church etc. So whenever I started a class I was struggling for time to study, became frustrated and failed. I am currently studying for my masters and made it a priority. I set aside the time needed to do well and it is working. I finished 2 of the 5 classes required and that boosts my motivation.

B: Large goals I succeeded at
Providing for my family. I succeeded because it was my top priority. In a sense my reason for being. I performed well at work and made sure my family had everything they needed. Nothing was more important. My focus on it made me succeed.
Thinking about it, it's the only large goal I succeeded at, which makes me sad. Thankfully I can do better in the future.

C: Recovery goals
I want to finish the recovery workshop by February 1st 2018. This means I have to complete 4 lessons a week ideally. This is a goal I have set even before this lesson when I started the workshop.
I also want to reflect on my day every evening and see if my thoughts and actions are in line with my values. This is important to me as I have noticed that doing this allows me to identify threats that lead to relapse early. With me they tend to sneak in unnoticed which makes them harder to deal with when I do notice them. I will continue this practise even after workshop is over and make it a part of my healthy lifestyle.


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 Post subject: Lesson 22 Excersise
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:14 am 
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Ritual Measured:
Masturbation

Primary Elements Involved:
Fantasy; Orgasm; Seonsory (touch)

Values assigned:
Touch: 3
Fantasy: 3
Orgasm: 2

Filters applied:

Touch:
*Time — Progressively increases the stimulation to a point; then significantly decreases that stimulation. At it's height, this filter would be an '9'.
*Intensity — Relatively stable; have not added to the physical behaviors in years '1'
*Habituation — No real effect '1'

Fantasy:
*Time — Makes it more pleasurable. The longer I fantasize the better; no time limit '9'
*Intensity — Directly related to concentration; the better I can concentrate, the more intense the stimulation '7'
*Habituation — As fantasies get 'played out', they decrease the overall stimulation that fantasy produces. I respond by expanding those fantasies. '2'

Orgasm:
*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'


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 Post subject: Lesson 23 Excersise
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:14 am 
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The most important insight I gained from measuring my rituals is seeing their complexity. Like most I saw my rituals as a single, stand alone, act that popped up whenever it felt like it. Breaking it down into measurable parts made me realise how complex my ritual is and understanding the different parts of the cocktail makes me more equipped to isolate and fight them.
Secondly, realising that all emotional stimuli are complex, I examined my life for other behaviours that showed the same traits. I realised that watching sports and the use of social media played had similar roles in my life as my addiction. They are not as destructive but also play a part in my need to feel good. Breaking those rituals down and measuring them showed me that they serve the same core purpose as sex. They are like a substitute. One I can use in public placeswhen acting out is not an option.
Thirdly, measuring helps me control my addiction. Knowing my rituals, the elements involved and how great a part they play in the cocktail helps me isolate those things that get me to act out and eliminate them. When I get into situations that I know have the potential to produce triggers (stress, fatigue, boredom) I know upfront which elements will come up and prepare to take action against them. This way the urge still appears but it is not unexpected and I am not overwhelmed by it.
Lastly measuring transformed my ritual from overwhelming uncontrollable feelings to cold hard numbers on a page. This made my rituals loose the power they had in my mind. Breaking them down into elements and numbers made me realise that I could attack them and pick them apart. This way my addiction lost maybe it's most powerful weapon, namely my thinking that it was out of my control!


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 Post subject: Lesson 24 Excersize
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:31 am 
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I The elements of my wheel of compulsion (for al my rituals combined)
Fantasy
Sensory
Orgasm
Suspense
Accomplishment
Past
Validation
Vindication

II Real life examples

Last time I masturbated:
It was late and I could not sleep for no reason
Tried to watch TV, but there was nothing on I wanted to see
Felt bored and frustrated
Thought of one of my friends with huge breasts(Fantasy)
Thought: I wouldn't be do bored if she was here and what we would do (suspense; Fantasy)
I thought of how she said once that she would like to date me (Validation, Vindication, accomplishment)
I try not to masturbate as I am in recovery which adds to the suspense as I know I will
I play different scenario's of me and her in my head (Fantasy, suspense)
Finally I masturbate thinking of us in different scenario's (Fantasy, sensory)
I orgasm (orgasm)
I feel relaxed (accomplishment, vindication, justification)
After a while I fall asleep

Last time I had a sex date
One of my black book girls posted a picture of herself on facbook (sensory)
I remember that I have not seen her in a while and how huge her breasts are (Fantasy, past)
I remember how she said that I always satisfy her and remember how she moans from the pleasure (fantasy, accomplishment, vindication, justification)
I want to see her again, maybe one last time as I am going to quit my addiction (suspense)
I send here a message, we start chatting and set up a date (suspense)
In the days leading up to it, I think about past times with her and imagine how the next time will be (fantasy, suspense)
That evening I get ready and go to her place (suspense)
She looks good when I get there and is dresses provocatively (Sensory, suspense)
We chat for a while but I don't really listen. I just want to get the main event started (suspense)
Finally we start with foreplay (sensory, suspense, accomplishment)
After that we go to the bedroom and have sex (sensory)
I do everything she likes in order to drive her crazy with pleasure (Accomplishment, vindication, justification)
after she orgasms, I put her in my favourite position and orgasm too (orgasm, sensory, accomplishment, vindication, justification)
We chat for a while after but I don't really pay any attention. I replay the evening in my head (fantasy, accomplishment)
I finally go home and feel good (accomplishment)
At home I masturbate one more time before bed remembering the event (sensory, accomplishment, fantasy, orgasm, vindication, justification)


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 Post subject: Lesson 25 Excersise
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:23 am 
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Compulsive ritual: Masturbation
1 experienced a strong urge for sexual relief (usually in the morning but also at random)
1a felt bored, angry, sad, discouraged, desperate, happy, euphoric, frustrated, delighted, relieved, insomnia etc.
2 Feel the need to relieve this pressure
2a Feel an outlet is needed for the emotion or string of emotions, either to feel better or a reward for feeling good.
3 know that masturbation will do the trick
4 realize that I don't want to masturbate and want to stop for good
5 know that I will feel guilty after for letting myself and my family down
6 Know that I will feel ashamed of myself
7 try to think of something else several times
8 urge gets stronger each time
9 give in and decide how to masturbate (either through fantasy or porn)
10 select the fantasy (previous experience) I want for this "session" or search for the kind of porn I'm in the mood for
11 fantasise until the right setting is reached or search until right film or clip is found
12 Masturbate to fantasy or clip
13 If porn is used, mentally infuse myself into the scene, replacing the male actor with myself
14 Scroll through different parts of the scene or fantasise about different scenario's while touching myself
15 Choose specific scenario or point in scene for orgasm
16 Orgasm
17 Clean up
18 In case of porn, delete browser history, delete downloads or if the clip was especially arousing, hide in safe location for later use
19 feel guilty, ashamed, like a failure, hopeless, I will never be able to beat this
20 Sense that urge is gone and continue with daily activity


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 Post subject: Lesson 26 Exercise
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:32 am 
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Yesterday went on Tinder:

1 Home with the flu I was bored. Tired of watching TV and Netflix I had nothing to do.
2 I remember how cruising for women was exciting and now and I missed it.
3 I can feel the excitement of swiping through profiles and wondering which ones will like me.
4 I have an app that lets me know which women liked me up front and the high it gives me when realising someone is interested in me.
5 I feel the urge to go on tinder again. not for long. Just for a few hours to get some likes and experience that high again.
6 I know I don't want to date them or masturbate to them so I tell myself it should be ok. It's not acting out.
7 I feel that I shouldn't do this, but I really want to.
8 I download the app and load a few pictures of myself on my profile.
9 I feel a huge adrenaline rush.
10 I start fantasising about the women that will like me
11 These fantasies are different. Not sexual in nature. Just pure excitement. a rush, a high of anticipation.
12 I put the phone away. It takes an hour or so to get likes. I watch TV but while I do that I enjoy the exciting feeling of what is coming.
13 After about an hour I check the app to see who liked me
14 I immediately discard uninteresting profiles: too old, too fat, too ugly etc. I enjoy the fact that I can do that. It makes me feel powerful. They want to come in contact with me but I decide whether that will happen. I hold their fate in my hands.
15 I browse through the ones that remain, the beautiful and interesting ones
16 I feel a rush from these profiles. These beautiful women wanting to be with me.
17 three things really get me going: beauty, intellect/education or an exciting profession (doctors, lawyers etc). So women that seem out of my league, at least in my mind.
18 I spent time looking through the profiles. Enjoying the pictures, reading the stories.
19 I use the information they provide to try to find them on facebook
20 If I succeed, I spent time going through their facebook profile, looking at all pictures and finding out everything I can about them.
21 I fantasise about being with them when I have created an image of them and their life in my mind. These fantasies are not sexual in nature. I fantasise about being their boyfriend. How would I fit into their life? How would they treat me? What would it feel like to walk through the city with them on my arm? going to concerts? on holiday? stuff like that.
22 I enjoy the envious looks of the other men in my fantasy. I have her and she is now off limits to you. This enhances my high.
23 I construct multiple fantasies from the profiles and switch back and forth between them.
24 These fantasies have an expiration date. I cant predict it but they all have one. When it is reached I discard the profile and move on to a new one. This makes me feel powerful. This also provides me with a sense of calm. I can get from these women what I need without even talking to them. This makes discarding them easy because they don't feel hurt. When dating in real life women often felt hurt when I ended things because they had served their purpose. Seeing them hurt made me feel guilty, like an asshole. I hated that.
25 This cycle continues for a few hours. After that the high wears off, and new profiles can't bring it back.
26 I delete my profile from tinder and feel satisfied.
27 I start watching TV again.


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 Post subject: Lesson 27 Exercise
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:45 pm 
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Example 1:
Engaging in multiple rituals simultaneously
I cannot find an example of where I have done this. During the workshop I have identified 4 rituals in my life: Masturbation; casual sex; cruising for women on Tinder; Cruising for women on social media. All these rituals were done separate of each other. I never engaged in them simultaneously.

Example 2:
Stringing together several rituals
I have combined casual sex and masturbation. After having had a sex date with a woman I often use to come home and masturbate while reliving the event in my mind. This was not only immediately after the date but also days, weeks or months later.
Obviously cruising for women on tinder sometimes was strung together with casual sex when a match led to a sex date. This however was not always the case and even now, as I am not engaging in casual sex I still get stimulation from being on Tinder. These are therefore clearly separate rituals that sometimes are strung together.


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 Post subject: Lesson 28 excersise
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:23 am 
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The last time I acted out in a compulsive chain:

I had a sex date (explained in detail in a previous lesson)
This was compulsive ritual one.
After the date I drove home fantasising about it. I went over every detail in my mind.
After I got home and in bed I masturbated while fantasising about the date (also detailed in an earlier post).
Sex dates and masturbation are two separate compulsive rituals to me that on this occasion were combined to a compulsive chain that prolonged my emotional stimulation.
If I include the suspense and anticipation from the moment she and I were setting a date(about a week before) until the time I stopped fantasising about the event, the stimulation lasted about 2 weeks.
I never realised this before. I viewed them as isolated sessions. This lesson is valuable! I now know that the stimulation is not something that happens in the short time when I am actually "in the act" but for very long periods of time, before and after.

Elements I would have liked to add to these events that would have enhanced my stimulation:
Having sex without a condom
Filming her during sex
Taking nude pictures of her


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 Post subject: Lesson 31 Excersise
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:27 am
Posts: 35
A) Identifiable stressors last week:

Extreme:
Being out of work for a while now
My professional future
Loneliness
Wondering if I can keep recovery going
Money

Moderate:
My ex girlfriend who wants me back, the effect the breakup has on her
Missing my daughter

Mild
My house being a mess
Not mastering my bass lines for the upcoming music lesson

B) Thankfully I do see a pattern. My top values being integrity, my faith, fatherhood, music, being fit, knowledge, nature. All these values were present and I pursued them. Even though the week was pretty stressful, I did not act out. I was true to myself and those around me. I was there for my children, active in music, studied for an exam and passed it, took a class in art history which really enjoyed. The old me would have been acting out massively during a week like this. It was not easy at all. I had to keep myself consciously focussed on my values throughout the week and there were moments I felt like I would fall. This i by no means something that comes natural and automatic to me yet. I enjoy and am proud of the progress however.

C) I do see this pattern as well. The stimulation gained from my values lasts longer. well after I am done studying, exercising, practising etc. I still enjoy what I have done or achieved.This stimulation also ha no guilt attached to it which is a big difference from addictive stimuli. The stress from guilt was often a trigger to act out again. The emotional stimulation gained from my values can also be shared which gives more positive stimulation. I can talk to people about music, art, excersize and nature for instance. This stimulates positively as well. Talking to people about porn addiction is not something you do. In church as well. Even though no one sees an outward change in me, I am much more free because I am myself. No secrets, nothing to hide. I can freely stand before God and my fellow church members. Awesome feeling.


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 Post subject: Lesson 32 Excersise
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:27 am
Posts: 35
Reviewing my proactive plans:

Living with Integrity:
This is going pretty well. I regularly forget to reflect and write in my journal. I need to step it up a bit there. I do constantly examine my life however. I frequently remove lingering parts of my addiction that I forgot about, like phone numbers of past dates I forgot I had. O am honest with myself and especially my kids which is so amazing. I am completely open with them for the first time.

Being christian:
Going extremely well. I connect with God each morning with prayer and reading. I rejoined the church band and connected with my old team members and made new friends as well. I am looking forward to expand on all of this.

Being a good father:
Could be better. I am not satisfied yet. My addiction caused me to withdraw from the lives of my kids. We don't have as deep a connection as I would like. The tide is turning though and I keep at it. I know it will improve.

Knowledge gaining:
Going extremely well. I am in an art history class and I am using the time while being out of work to get more certifications for my expertise. I study every day and succeeding gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

Music:
Going extremely well. As said I rejoined the church team and I also play double base in a band at the music school every Wednesday. I get great joy and fulfilment from that and am making a lot of progress.

Fitness:
Also going well. I exersise 3 times a week and ride my bike once a week. I even made a friend in church and we took a ride together. Looking forward to making that a regular thing.

Being disciplined:
Could be better. I struggle sometimes when I am tired or down. I sometimes feel lonely and depressed and have days where I stay in bed watching TV and nothing else. I keep at it though. I try not to set the bar too high and just do one thing. When completed I do the next and so on. setting small goals helps me to maintain discipline.

Helping others:
Have not done this at all and it does not bother me either. Maybe this one can be removed from my values list. When I help others it gives me great pleasure and accomplishment but it is not something I desire to actively pursue. I will remove it from my list.

Valuing nature:
Going well. I spend time outdoors as much as I can and enjoy it.

Care about the environment:
Going well. I recycle and try to keep my carbon footprint low. I am satisfied with how this is going. No need to step it up.

Providing my best to my employer:
I will when I have one again.


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