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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 391
Hey Ace,

Sorry to hear about your struggles on your trip.

As you know this is your recovery and you need to make your own choices but, as we have covered before., there are great similarities on where i was and where you currently are so i completely get what goes through your head. What i will try to do, where appropriate, is to offer you some thoughts on how i made the transition to away from where you currently are and then perhaps this will offer you some insight and encouragement that you will (not "if") make that same transition.

You wrote:
Quote:
It began before I even arrived at my destination, I scrolled through the phone viewing available escorts in teh town I was visiting.
After 20/30 mins of that I felt that the 'urge' had been satisfied by browsing - it had reduced from an 8 to a 4 but as it had been fed that 4 began to grow as the day went. I wont go into details but as its now nearly 10pm as I write this I must have spent 4 hours today scrolling through the various massage escort options.

Ask yourself what you go out of doing that? Did it give you the buzz you were looking for? Did it give you satisfaction afterwards? Or did it leave you feeling rubbish? You don't need to answer that as we both know the answer. So for me, your decision is really quite simple, you either decide to give up and just indulge yourself in what you think you desperately crave or you decide that you have had enough and you give a total commitment to give it up. There is no in between. You hate the way that you feel by acting the way that you sometimes do otherwise you otherwise you wouldn't be here. You need to keep that at the fore front of your mind as everything you do must be with that goal in mind, to never feel that way again. I promise you that you can get there and you are very capable of doing it and doing it quickly but must completely commit to the process and have a stubborn refusal to allow yourself any veering away from it. But this si what you truly want so you know it is the right thing to do.

You copied an extract from my thread that said it felt easy now to bat away the urges with no stress. That is because i allow the urge zero time to take hold, i sense it is coming and as soon as it arrives i block it away. Now look at your account of your business trip, you spent 20/30 minutes searching escort websites. I can tell you that if i allowed myself to do that then i would be getting into the same mess that you are finding yourself in. By doing that you have excited yourself and built up fantasies in your head. You can not expect to do that and then just walk away with no stress, it won't happen. If you want to avoid the stress then you flatly refuse to allow yourself to look at the sites in the first place. The hard lesson that i learned this time around is that i was scared to let go of the excitement and i thought i was clever enough to allow myself to have a little taste of it before walking away but it takes hold of you and i was a fool to think i could manage it that way. There is only one way and that is to be alive to your triggers and to stop it in its tracks. When the thought pops into your head as you go off on business about checking out escort sites then immediately recognise that you can't allow yourself to do that and to think about something else. Read a book, red a blog about something healthy that interests you, eat a bar of chocolate, it doesn't matter what it is but anticipate it will happen and then be ready for it. I find that having something else that will fill my thoughts (currently for me drawing or following my football team) means that i can change tracks quickly. You will have seen in my thread that i have an action plan that involves me recounting an acronym ("DRM LSPT") where each letter stands for something that reminds me of my values and what i am trying to achieve. When facing a trigger i go through it and by the time i have remembered it all (a couple of minutes) i am fully focussed on that and am not thinking about the urge or getting any feelings from it. I can then think about my healthy go to thing. You might want to consider something similar.

I will be interested to read your chain when you post it. As a closing thought, bear in mind that there is a difference between your "point of no return" and the "point at which you should block off potential urges". From reading your previous chains you have suggested the former may be at stage 4 or 5 but i would suggest that the latter needs to be stage 1. You have to avoid allowing anything to get into your head that could potentially take hold.

As always, these are just my own thoughts and you can take on board and/or reject anything i have said as you see fit. It is your recovery, make sure that it is and choose wisely, you can do this.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
Thanks again toTheseus and L2R for their helpful comments.
Quote:
Now look at your account of your business trip, you spent 20/30 minutes searching escort websites. I can tell you that if i allowed myself to do that then i would be getting into the same mess that you are finding yourself in.


That was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me. Like the guy trying to lose weight who says "As soon as I feel the shape of that pack of pringles in my hand and then pop open the pack and am hit by that familar delicious smell.....I feel it really hard to put the pack away....I don't know whats wrong with me"!!

I've been convincing myself for years that as long as I don't engage in behaviours D,E and F then its acceptable to engage in A, B and C.....When the haze comes over my mind I find it very difficult to link how A, B and C are setting me on a course for D, E and F!

I've made a conscious effort to 1. Recognise my emotional state and 2. Cut off the thoughts as they arise as soon as I possibly can.
I played tennis with my 9 year old son a couple of days ago and noticed that all I had to do was hit the ball past him - no matter how good he (or anyone else) could be - once teh ball is hit in behind you, returning the shot is MUCH MUCH more difficult.
I've been using that as an anaology for myself when I find my eyes are wandering to the pair of yoga pants in front of me - As soon as I dwell on that image and my mind begins to wander I am like teh tennis player attempting to return a ball that has gone behind me .....it is possible but MUCH more difficult. Why put myself in that position?
Maybe one day I'll reach a point in recovery that I am surrounded by triggers but they have so much less or No effect on me. Its about a change in perception. Previously my perception has been that I will never ever fully recover - I will always be triggered and eventually act out in some way or another.
I recognise how defeatist that thought perception is and how it is setting me up for failure so as difficult as it is I am really visualising a more successful future.

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"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
I better take alook at that particular chain as I am away again the same night next week:

1. The night before recognise the thoughts enter my mind of ADVENTURE, EXCITEMENT, ANTICIPATION - i am away from home and can spend as long as I want engageing in as many unhealthy sexual behaviours as I want.
BREAK
Recognise that there are two issues at play
#1 Allowing myself time to dwell on those thoughts without CHALLENGING them
#2 Allowing myself to see a night away acting out as ADVENTUROUS, EXCITING AND EXHILIARTING without any thought to the fact that it is more often EXHAUSTING, FRUSTRATING, DEPRESSING AND SOUL DESTROYING.
I will recognise what is ahppening and have a plan in place - a stop for coffee and chocolate, a plan to eat a good meal and go to the gym later, a focus on positive affirmations (as I am realising I have been completing negative affirmations unconsiously for years)
2. Arriving into the town - notice the PULL of thoughts - who is there , what could I do, how good could it be BREAK Cut those thoughts at the root, its like teh 3 second rule when someone drops their lunch on the floor (except this is the 1 second rule) as soon as I notice it breathe deeply and focus on my values.
3. Have a written plan at the office of what I need to accomplish - unaccounted for time is very dangerous for me - so ensure that I don't have any - Do not browse news feeds - they have often resulted in moving onto more dangerous sites.
4. Finish work in good time and head straight to the gym. Enjoy the workout and feeling of being in control of my time and choices.
5. Return to the hotel and get stuck into RN recovery lessons / journalling etc.
6. Be strict with myself when teh laptop is open exactly what I look at - Recovery / learning based only.
7. Asleep early and then rise early looking forward to coffeee and a 'healthy' protein breakfast!
8. Follow the same principles the following days and when driving home allow myself to feel good about this small victory.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:44 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 391
That my friend is an action plan that can and should work! I would agree with you that you seem to have got your lightbulb moment so please take full advantage of that, stick rigidly to your plan and then come away from your trip feeling good about yourself for having executed it so well and then have the knowledge that a full recovery truly can be yours if you choose it.

Good work on this and i look forward to reading your post following your trip to see how you get on.

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L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
So my trip was a partial success and a partial failure.
I did view escort sites while at work for about 15mins - I was ab;le to stop and regain control but I dissapointedly feel that this may because nothing 'interested' me rather than that I was able to pull myself out of what I call the funnel.
I recognise that I did'nt work my plan as much as I should have and thus when a challenge (being tired, hungry bored and having opportunity) I fell.
Stangely enough I don't feel too bad at the moment probably because I kept to teh rst of my plan - went to the gym, had a call with a supportive friend in recovery, treated myself to a half decent meal and now am sitting in bed at the hotel with the laptop out.
What has definitely been helpful is being more successful at 'cutting the thoughts off at the root" as L2R had recommended. They have not had as much time to develop so have been less intrusive and less of a 'tug of war' 'will I wont I"
I'm v tired now, will return to this in the morning.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:47 am 
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Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
Its the morning after, I am rested and about to have breakfast so can review what went wrong and right.
In the past I would use the fact that I viewed escort sites as confirmation that I am broken, there is no hope for me and I would carry a sense of shame around with me like a trigger waiting to go off at the next time I am 'challenged'.
One thing that I have learned is that that mindset keeps me in the loop so as someone famous said (I think it was Louise Hay) "You've been beating yourself upo for years and it has'nt worked...whay don'y you try something different"
So thats what I am doing, I'm going to examine in detail where things went wrong and where (to some degree) they went right to strenghten my action plan for next time.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:18 am 
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Location: Ireland
I'm examining in more detail exactly what happened and writing it here as I find it useful to be able to look back on and learn from it, like I said a moment ago I'm not sure if I should consider yesterday a success or not as I stepped outside my boundaries BUT as I sit here this morning I do not have that hangover of shame, regret and dissapointment that I am so familiar with after these trips away so I am hoping it is because I 'partly' enacted my plan which gives me hope of what is possible when I 'completely' enact said plan.

Quote:
1. The night before recognise the thoughts enter my mind of ADVENTURE, EXCITEMENT, ANTICIPATION - i am away from home and can spend as long as I want engageing in as many unhealthy sexual behaviours as I want.
BREAK
Recognise that there are two issues at play
#1 Allowing myself time to dwell on those thoughts without CHALLENGING them
#2 Allowing myself to see a night away acting out as ADVENTUROUS, EXCITING AND EXHILIARTING without any thought to the fact that it is more often EXHAUSTING, FRUSTRATING, DEPRESSING AND SOUL DESTROYING.
I will recognise what is ahppening and have a plan in place - a stop for coffee and chocolate, a plan to eat a good meal and go to the gym later, a focus on positive affirmations (as I am realising I have been completing negative affirmations unconsiously for years)

RESULT: I definitely made a big effort to cut those thoughts off at the root before they developed - that definitely helped.
Quote:
2. Arriving into the town - notice the PULL of thoughts - who is there , what could I do, how good could it be BREAK Cut those thoughts at the root, its like teh 3 second rule when someone drops their lunch on the floor (except this is the 1 second rule) as soon as I notice it breathe deeply and focus on my values.

RESULT: I did not get such a pull this time BUT I was under time pressure to get to the office after a meeting so that may have been part of it.

Quote:
3. Have a written plan at the office of what I need to accomplish - unaccounted for time is very dangerous for me - so ensure that I don't have any - Do not browse news feeds - they have often resulted in moving onto more dangerous sites.

RESULT: NO I did not do this and now see how it could have been very useful, I work well off a list.
Instead when a moment of weakness came (I was stressed about a sale and hungry) the thought for browsing came into my head and I very quickly acted upon it.
Quote:
4. Finish work in good time and head straight to the gym. Enjoy the workout and feeling of being in control of my time and choices.

RESULT: As discussed I did not dwell on those sites or then move to other porn sites I recognised what was happening and left the office to get something light to eat and go to the gym which I did.
Quote:
5. Return to the hotel and get stuck into RN recovery lessons / journalling etc.

RESULT: Yes, I did that and felt good about it.
Quote:
6. Be strict with myself when the laptop is open exactly what I look at - Recovery / learning based only.

RESULT: Yes that went well, I did not seem to have the usual 'pull' of desire to just throw the towel in and act out.
Quote:
7. Asleep early and then rise early looking forward to coffeee and a 'healthy' protein breakfast!

RESULT : Yes, sitting here now writing up notes so that I can learn from them and highlight where things went wrong
Quote:
8. Follow the same principles the following days and when driving home allow myself to feel good about this small victory.

RESULT: Just reading that sentance makes me feel uneasy, I think thats the addictive voice - it does'nt want me to 'feel good' about a small victory as it knows that the better I feel the less often I seek relief/escape in acting out. I need to change my voice to a more positive. optimistic one.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:10 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 147
Hi Ace,

You have to say to yourself, that it was an improvement, but just imagine how much better you would have been thinking if you had not spent those 15mins. (You have to at the very least inwardly reward yourself when you beat a challenging period)

The post-mortem of your night away is good and I hope that you learn from it.

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“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 46 (contd) Before such compulsive chains can be reversed, it is necessary to begin mastering the ability to reverse single compulsive rituals. Begin this process now by considering a previous compulsive chain, identify the element immediately preceeding the 'point of no return' and then rewrite the remainder of the chain so that your actions are based on healthy values, rather than immediate emotional response. Share this in your recovery thread.


1. At my desk, at home, alone - oppotunity to act out - EXCITEMENT, PROMISE OF PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL RELIEF
BREAK - Recognise where it leads - the blinkers are on, sure there is excitement and relief but there is also SHAME, DISSAPOINTMENT AND SADNESS that I have not managed my emotions in a mature way.
Think/ Write out my options - Get up and take a walk, phone my wife, arrange to meet a friend later, schedule the gym, go to the coffee shop for a treat.

2. Continue on with work but know that the seed has been sown, also know that I am vulnerable - I do not move my phone outside the office (where it is far enough away to be less of a tempation but close enough that I can hear it ring) - the reason I don't do that is beacuse part of me (probably the addictive manipulative part) tells me I should'nt have to put my phone outside - that I am weak etc.

BREAK - Recognise that the emotion is SHAME and that the first step of AA is accepting that I am currently powerless to change (without help) so I should accept that is where I curently am in my recovery (ie vulnerable) and if I am'nt strong enough (yet) to sit at home alone with my phone on my lap then so be it.
I take my phone out of the office and and promise myself to only check messages every 30mins.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
1. At home, in bed awaiting on my wife as she finishes in the kitchen preparing for tomorrow etc.
Feel the urge to look at porn - EXCITEMENT, SUSPENSE, DANGER, ANTICIPATION...
2. Recognise what is happening but I dont seem to care - my focus has narrowed and the promise of excitement outweighs the risk of being caught or the feelings of dissapointment I know I will have if I engage in the act.
3. With a rush of excitement and adrenalin - I search some porn sites and mb.
4. Feel dissapointed and sad - Now that the urge has been satisfied and has dropped from an 8 to a 2 It seems clear that it is not a good choice.

BREAK - Recognise that when I am in bed on my own with opportunity I need to be more vigilant - nearly EXPECTING a problem to arrive as when it does it will not "come out of nowhere"
Now that I think / write about it - I realise I should keep my phone in the next bedroom - we have been saying for ages that we shouldnt have our phones close to us when in bed at night....
I think reincorporating teh daily monitoring may help there as I will have a plan for the early evening to bed and rather start to check my newsfeed - use it constructively to invest in my values.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 46: Begin this process now by considering a previous compulsive chain, identify the element immediately preceeding the 'point of no return' and then rewrite the remainder of the chain so that your actions are based on healthy values, rather than immediate emotional response. Share this in your recovery thread.


1.Difficult day at work - feeling very stressed,
2. on the way home in the car realise I am on my own, have time on my side - thoughts turn to browsing escort sites for that buzz, excitement, escape.
3. Battle those urges with thoughts of my values but they seem very distant as my addict focus's in on the urges.
4. I don't care anymore - its as if I have been vergatarian all day and then as soon as I pass by a McDonalds I am compelled to go in and order a Big Mac. I don't even really enjoy it - I am compelled to do it. I pull over the car and start the search.
5. Familiar rush comes over me - physical and emotional, the chemicals are firing, my addict settles down a bit as the urge is not as intense as it is being fed but I still can't break away - now I am in the funnel, I may as well try and enjoy it.
6. Spend anywhere from 5 mins to an hour browsing and fighting the urge to phone an escort, finally view porn and mb.
7. Feel shit, the stressed has'nt been relived its been exchanged for dissapointment, fatigue and fear of what teh future holds.
8. Try and put it out of my mind but notice a constant "I told you so" voice my sniggering addict has a hold of me and he is'nt letting go...

BREAK - Clearly the break for me is at step 1. in Recognition that my emotional state was unstable - stressed and tired - my default (although you would never guess if you met me) is of a slightly pessimistic, depressed individual - (On the outside a portray a v optimistic, high energy type of guy!!)

In recognition of that emotional state AND the environmental triggers of being on my own and in the car (If my car could tell stories!!) I need to pull over and treat myself to a coffee and cake or phone a friend or listen to a podcast or ANYTHING other than grabbing my phone - I could even TURN OFF my phone for a time while I try and wrench back control (or if acting promptly - before losing control)

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 46: Begin this process now by considering a previous compulsive chain, identify the element immediately preceeding the 'point of no return' and then rewrite the remainder of the chain so that your actions are based on healthy values, rather than immediate emotional response. Share this in your recovery thread.


I'm writing out this chain as it pertains to my schedule tomorrow - a night away - always a struggle for me, also I have some 'gaps' during the day - the phrase 'the devil makes work for idle hands' comes to mind.

1. This evening, in bed notice thoughts of 'free time' tomorrow - accessing the escort sites seeing who is available in my area, then buiulding on that If there is someone there who fits into my fantasy.

BREAK - Recognise just how dangerous those few seconds/minutes actually are - up until now I have allowed them as I excuse these thoughts as harmless convincing myself "I am not actually acting out" "all guys fantasise - some much worse than me" etc. etc.
Instead today or tis evening if or whne these thoughts enter my head CUT THEM OFF AT THE ROOT - Use the 1 second Rule - as soon as I notice them make a real effort to change my thoughts to my Values....something to look forward to.....feeling good about more accomplished at work...more money earned so more nice trips away paid for.....more openess and honesty with my wife....getting to know myself better.....spending more quality time with my kids....etc.


2. Up early , hit the road and begin lsitening to recovery tapes. I may notice on teh way that my addict is reminding me that I have hours and an evening all to myself - we can act out in any way possible ...it will be sooo good.
BREAK - Again, I need to cut this off at the root. As soon as I notice those destructive thoughts enter my head I need to have a plan in place ......List out my values, remember my wifes face when she questions me, remember the progress I have made, remember how going through this 'pull of war' every time I am away is ruining my life and how being in control offers such a better life for me - without shame, regret and fear.

2. Start work - Become overwhelmed by either how much there is to do or by how far behind I feel (even though I may not be that far behind) my emotional state begins to change ...for the worse...Then begin that struggle of will I / wont I act out......as soon as I enter that place I risk spending the day and evening cycling in an on and off struggle - looking at my phone and fantasising - pulling myself back together and getting some work done - then back to my phone and fantasising before eventually looking at porn and mb and then feeling a huge relief that I did'nt engage in a 'worse' behaviour.
I convince myself to keep in this loop as there have been times (few) when I had a look at the sites for a short time and then went about a normal day without craving a second or 3rd look - but the reality is that those days are rare - 9/10 when I take that first look I am going to take a second etc.
Its amazing to me how I have been able to convince myself each time that either "Just taking a look wont be any harm - after all you have looked before and then not gone any further...." This legitimizing has been a constant thread in my struggles. Like a drug addict who believes that the answer lies in just one more hit.
BREAK - Today I am being hyper aware of my emotional state and how a change in that state results in a desire to act out to 'make me feel better'.
Recognise that feeling low at times of the day may be inevitable but how I deal with that feeling is my choice - Make a list and enjoy ticking each item off when completed, get up and get out when I can to get a coffee or treat, know I deserve it, plan a large lunch so that when I leave work I will go directly to the gym, visualise all going well, culminating in sitting in my bed at the hotel tomorrow night remarking how fluid the day was and how glad I was to be in control. Perhaps write up the review here on RN.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:04 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3844
Location: UK
Hello Ace
Quote:
notice a constant "I told you so" voice my sniggering addict has a hold of me and he is'nt letting go...


IMO for those struggling in their journey of recovery it is not the little voice that will not let go
it is the addict choosing not to let go, usually with the excuse "just in case"

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Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:21 am 
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Location: Ireland
Thank you Kenzo

Wow,lightbulb, I just read lesson 47 where Coiach Jon talks about the stages of recovery and where the student is immature, a student or Mastery.

When I read
Quote:
The immature will have allowed complacency to set it and be blind-sided by the experience of a spontaneous urge. All that they will have learned will be set aside and they will fear the intensity of the urge itself. They will doubt themselves — thus fueling the urge's intensity. They will be unable to apply what they have previously learned to this unique situation and panic — further fueling the urge's intensity. They will see the very presence of the urge as a sign of failure — further fueling the urge's intensity. They will crumble in the face of this urge and ironically, put themselves in the position of having to give in to the urge in order to regain emotional stability.


I have gone through the above scenario countless times. I make progress in receovery and nearly HOPE that te urges will not come, that, that part of my life is over with, it was a phase and I have matured past it BUT that never happens I have ALWAYS ended up slipping and relaspsing.
Quote:
They will doubt themselves — thus fueling the urge's intensity

That is me all over.
I have convinced myself that no matter what I do - I will fail. The proof is historical I have dealt with these compulsions for 20+ years (perhaps longer when I did'nt realise they were a problem) I have tried and failed , tried and failed.
Yet, I keep coming back to teh recovery path - a part of me that wont give up keeps pulling at me but I have been inconsistent with the application and I see know that is partly because I did'nt really believe that I could live a life without these crutches.
The truth is I still find it very hard to envisage.
However teh difference now is I recognise just how toxic, how damaging , how destructive and energy sapping those thoughts of "You're not good enough" "It will all end badly" "history proves you will slip" etc. etc. are.
Lately I have been dipping my toe in the water of trying to keep a more positive outlook on my recovery - trying to believe that IT IS possible to leave these behaviours behind me and coupled with cutting sexual thoughts off at the root has really helped. After reading that passage I am redoubling my efforts.
It seems fake to say "I will never act out sexually compulsively again, I will never look at porn sites , escort sites or fantasise about other women" but I recognise I am eeping teh door open to some degree.
I have been afarid to say the above because I don't believe it is true. I do believe that I will act sexually compulsively again. view porn and escort sites etc. BUT That does'nt mean that taking a different view wont help - like a football team who loses the same game every year and due to that don't expect to win BUT is there any harm in psyching themselves up to BELIEVE that they will WIN? I mean someone once said if what you are doing is'nt working - Try something else! Fake it till you make it......

I don't expect to magically leave these bahaviours behind me by changing that simple mindset but I do recognise how haveing apositive belief will be more helpful for me that continuing the beliefs/ running teh same scripts that I have always done.

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"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 150
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 47 Envision at least ten different REALISTIC scenarios where you may encounter a compulsive urge in the future and documetn these in your recovery thread.

2. With each scenario:
Identify how you would know when that urge/ritual would likely begin, when the likely 'point of no return' would be and when you would 'create the break'. Do this in your head.
Anticipate the emotions associated with that particular ritual, isolate those emotions from your 'core identity' and prepare yourself to make a values-based decision (versus an emotions-based decision). Do this in your head.


1. Sitting at my desk in my home office - Alone. My mind woulkd start to wander - the usual thoughts -
I'm bored I don't want to be here doing this
I think my life is wasting away - there must be abetter way to make more money, live an easier life
Something or other is stressing me about work - I have to do it but am putting it off as it is hard
Spark - I wonder who is available in my local area on the escort site...massage.... EXCITEMENT ESCAPE PLEASURE DANGER RISK REWARD SHAME DISSAPOINTMENT SADNESS DEPRESSION
The likely point of no return is when I recognise the choice point (in this example move my phone into a different room, plan a trip out of the office to Bank, Post office, Gym etc. but choose Not to do it)
It is not like a big ceromony "The choosing of good or bad" like when Luke Skywalker turned away from his fathers outstretched hand...it is much less dramatic than that and that makes choosing teh old and familiar so much easier.
Part of my new role is in making the choosing of a good behaviour easier - I need to be aware that my brain has become accustomed to choosing certain behaviours and they will take time to replace.
What I am used to is the struggle - will I / wont I - at the end of which I am eithe acting out OR tired from teh struggle and dissapointed that there has been no applause when I have chosen correctly - no one claps me on the back or gives me a medal - the reward for acting out is so much more instantly gratifying......but wholly dissapointing.

So really there have been 3 choices in this common scenario for me

1. Give in quickly even though part of me says No and view porn or escort sites
2. Make a better choice - Get up and out - sit through it - recognise my success is being ingrained
3. Have a legthy 'tug of war' the will I/ wont I which always ends (eventually) whether hours or days later...badly.

I have been choosing option 3 and convincing myself that it is a better alternative to option 1.
It is not - it is in fact option 1 in disguise.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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