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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:57 am 
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Recovery Nation - Practical Urge Awareness

Recovery Nation - Practical Urge Awareness

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-Seven

Lesson 47 Exercise:

Quote:
  1. Just as you have with your values and your emotions, it is time to transfer the knowledge that you are developing to a practical application in your day-to-day life. This cannot be done without first developing an awareness of the times when such information is applicable. Over the next 48 hours, envision at least ten different REALISTIC scenarios where you may encounter a compulsive urge in the future and document these in your recovery thread.

  1. I'm alone at home for a weekend and have an urge to look at internet porn.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • Feeling overwhelmed from working too much and not taking a break. Begin to look for down time and find the idea of looking at something 'innocent' exciting and not a problem.
    • Point of no return:
      • Once I've gotten past the point of not looking up 'innocent' things to remembering sites I have gone to in the past and making a decision to go there again.
    • Break point:
      • I'm shooting to make the break point when I feel overwhelmed and start looking for 'down time' on the computer. This is when I need to make the change over to recognizing this is the earliest trigger and deciding to review values and boundaries at this point and make a good decision on how to get down time.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • I felt that excitement and the potential future of diving into mindless internet surfing for satisfaction of down time and stopping, thinking about values, and then deciding to stretch on the floor, meditate in my chair (with possible nap), take a bath, walk around the property for the purpose of relaxing and not taking note of all the projects to do. This felt genuinely relieving rather than the fake soothing of mindless internet surfing that leads to porn.
  2. I'm alone in a hotel room while traveling and have an urge to look at internet porn.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • This also generally begins from a feeling of overwhelm, but also the desire to look at porn in a hotel room stems from having some fantasy fodder stored up from the travel to get there (women in tights on the flight or in the airport, etc.) and I am now primed to look for those things on the internet. The emotional component trying to deal with though is the overwhelm from all the extrovert activity while traveling.
    • Point of no return:
      • If I even go on the internet and start looking at anything related.
    • Break point:
      • When first being in the hotel room alone and have any urge at all. This must be the time to review and choose some healthy soothing activity (stretching, reading a book, a nap, a cold shower, go for a walk)
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • Time to reframe hotel rooms as a cocoon of solitude that I can really get some introvert down time in if I only do things that will nurture that and not cause relapse. I think on entering or staying in a hotel by myself I might do this right away: sit in meditation for a few minutes and really appreciate that I'm alone and can have quiet time. Review my values and decide on a couple of activities (reading, stretching, meditation, etc.) that I can do that will really give me the benefit of that time.
  3. Go out to a restaurant and waitress is wearing short skirt and tights.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • An experience of distraction and excitement.
    • Point of no return:
      • If I see it and decide my only option is to try to avoid it rather than humanize the person who is my target.
    • Break point:
      • As soon as I experience that excitement and distraction.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • Feeling distraction and excitement. Many options depending on the circumstances. Most likely out with my wife and will let her know that I'm experiencing a 'elephant'. That is our code for me experiencing a possible issue. We can then discuss either now or later what to do. Most likely I'll try some visualizations after reviewing values. These are included below. I feel like this will likely help quite a lot and hopefully make it so I can refocus on the experience of our shared meal and effectively deal with the urge.
        • pause and reflect on my marriage and relationship with my wife and our shared values (we value sexual chastity and respect and honor each others bodies)
        • pause and reflect on them as a human being
        • pause and try to place myself in their position
        • pause and visualize the situation has change to where the object is my mother or sister and myself is replaced with someone I find super creepy and disgusting
        • remember that almost everyone has been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives and this is me reopening that wound and hurting them again
  4. Go to the beach and there are sexy people not wearing much at all.
    • How I know it has begun: Same distracton and excitement. The rest of this entire example plays our almost exactly as example 3.
    • Point of no return:
    • Break point:
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
  5. Go to a party with friends and one of them is wearing tights.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • Same with this one. See example 3.
    • Point of no return:
      • See example 3.
    • Break point:
      • See example 3.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • See example 3.
  6. Go to a party with friends and one of them is wearing low cut top and showing lots of cleavage.
    • How I know it has begun: Same with this one.
      • See example 3.
    • Point of no return:
      • See example 3.
    • Break point:
      • See example 3.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • See example 3.
  7. Go to a conference where lots of people are dressing as sexy as possible on purpose.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • Again, distraction and excitement.
    • Point of no return:
      • When/if I decide that it is OK to be on the lookout for folks who are dressed in a sexy way.
    • Break point:
      • When I have that thought to be on the lookout for someone(s) in particular.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • Experience change from excitement to relief and relaxation at deciding to not be hyperaware and on the lookout. See myself reviewing my values and deciding that they are decent human beings and deserve respect and protection and not targeting and danger. Decide to actively provide that for any and all at the conference and instead of being on the lookout for ways to voyeur that I'll instead be on the lookout for women who could use a little help feeling safe and relieving them of the guys giving them unwanted attention.
  8. Travel by plane somewhere and the flight attendant is wearing tights.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • See example 3.
    • Point of no return:
      • See example 3.
    • Break point:
      • See example 3.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • See example 3.
  9. Getting triggered by someone while people watching at the airport.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • See example 3.
    • Point of no return:
      • See example 3.
    • Break point:
      • See example 3.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • See example 3.
  10. Getting triggered by someone while out shopping.
    • How I know it has begun:
      • See example 3.
    • Point of no return:
      • See example 3.
    • Break point:
      • See example 3.
    • Anticipate emotions and picture self making value based decision:
      • See example 3.
Quote:
  1. 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.
  • Choose one such scenario and document it in your recovery thread.
  • If you are in coaching, you will be asked to review several of these to make sure that you understand the concepts involved. If you are not in coaching, feel free to post additional scenarios for review.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:23 am 
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Recovery Nation - Proactive/Reactive Urge Awareness

Recovery Nation - Proactive/Reactive Urge Awareness

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-Eight

Lesson 48 Exercise:

Quote:
  1. If you do not know how to role play, learn. Ask about it in the forums, pick up a book on visualization...this is too valuable of a tool to not master. It will provide you with the ability of not only mastering situations now, but in maintaining your proficiency down the road.

This has been a skill I’ve been working on for a long time (15+ years), so I’m good with this one.

Quote:
  1. For each of the next three days, find an opportunity to complete each of the three skills mentioned in this lesson: role-playing/visualization; anticipating; actively seeking opportunity. It doesn't matter what you apply these skills to — even if the behavior is unrelated to sexual addiction.

Done.

Quote:
  1. When you feel that you are proficient with how to use each of these skills, say so in your recovery thread.

I feel like I’m ready to make use of these.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:43 am 
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Recovery Nation - Health Monitoring III: Evolving Daily/Weekly

Recovery Nation - Health Monitoring III: Evolving Daily/Weekly

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-Nine

Lesson 49 Exercise:

At this point, it would be beneficial to get a 'snapshot' of where you are at in terms of overall health. Complete the Sexual Health Assessment you first completed at the start of the workshop. If you are in coaching, your submission will be reviewed by a coach.

See below:

————————————————————

Recovery Nation - Assessment

Recovery Nation - Assessment

Recovery Workshop

Life Assessment

General Information:

1. In relation to your general mental health, summarize your progression/regression over the past thirty days:

I think the main shifts in my recovery over the last thirty days have been my relation to these lessons and my recovery. How I see myself now vs. thirty days ago is quite different. I now see my self as someone who is actively engaging in recovery and committed to the process. Back then there were still parts of me that were doing this because I had to or because I felt like it was the right thing to do, but not totally committed. I’m really starting to see this from my wife’s perspective as well. She went through the partner’s recovery lessons and I’ve read all of those and discussed some of that with her. It was hard to hear, no doubt, but it helped us both I think. I’m feeling less urges now and I’m also feeling like I have some tools to deal with them at this point and have more control of my life which is refreshing to say the least.

2. Document your experiences with the following:

  • Masturbation
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Pornography
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Promiscuity
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Transvestism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Fetishism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Erotic Fantasy
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days 3
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days .25
  • Prostitution
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Exhibitionism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Voyeurism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Frotteurism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Ecouterism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Erotographomania
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Sexual Thievery
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Sadism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Masochism
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Beastiality
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Stalking
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Molestation
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Incest
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Rape
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0
  • Other
    • Number of times in the past 30 Days: 0
    • Hours engaged in the last 30 days: 0

3. Using the scale below, rate the positive impact that your recovery efforts over the past thirty days have had on your:

1 - No effect; 2 - Slight; 3 - Moderate; 4 - Considerable; 5 - Extreme

  • Family: 4
  • Friends: 1
  • Co-workers: 4
  • Career: 1
  • Finances: 1
  • Romantic Relationships: 4
  • Self-esteem: 3
  • Stress level: 5
  • Time management: 4
  • Hobbies: 4

4. Using the scale below, rate the negative impact that your sexual and/or romantic behaviors over the past thirty days have had on your:

1 - No effect; 2 - Slight; 3 - Moderate; 4 - Considerable; 5 - Extreme

  • Family: 2
  • Friends: 1
  • Co-workers: 2
  • Career: 1
  • Finances: 1
  • Romantic Relationships: 3
  • Self-esteem: 3
  • Stress level: 3
  • Time management: 3
  • Hobbies: 3

5. Summarize the progress made towards your existing recovery and life goals over the past thirty days:

I’ve really buckled down and made daily progress on these lessons and that has resulted in greater control and understanding of my addiction. I feel a great amount of relief at having a plan of action in place for how to deal with urges and the knowledge that my values are important to me and worth fighting for is a great help.

6. Describe the closest you came to a slip/relapse over the past month:

I fantasized about a sexual interaction with my wife the previous night while in the shower and felt fairly worked up about it. In the past this would have lead to secrecy and likely eventual relapse, but this time I told her about it and was relieved and it released that pressure.

7. List the most likely relapse triggers you will face in the coming month:

Over the next month most of the triggers that will show up will be related to voyeurism, scanning and targeting. When out and about in normal situations, traveling, dining, etc. I won’t have a lot of alone time in the house so the internet porn issue will be of less cause for concern.

8. Approximate (in percentages) the amount of time over the past month that you have spent:

  • Engaged in value-based (top three values) activity: 15%
  • Engaged in value-based (top ten values) activity: 30%
  • Engaged in emotion-based, unhealthy Activity: 1%
  • Life Maintenance Chores*: 5%
  • With Family (Quality): 16%
  • With Friends (Quality): 1%
  • Alone (Quality): 1%
  • Engaged in Unhealthy Sexual Behavior: 1%
  • Engaged in Unhealthy Romantic Behavior: 0%
  • Self-Improvement/Recovery: 20%
  • Cooking, cleaning, laundry, mowing the lawn, etc: 10%

9. Overall, how would you rate your emotional state over the past thirty days:

Extremely Healthy; Very Healthy; Healthy; Close to Healthy; Fairly; Unhealthy; Very Unhealthy; Extremely Unhealthy

  • At it's healthiest: Very Healthy
  • At it's unhealthiest: Unhealthy
  • Overall: Healthy


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:16 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Values Based Decision-Making

Recovery Nation - Values Based Decision-Making

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty

Lesson 50 Exercise:

Quote:
Once you have applied effective urge control — once you have identified the emotional elements of a compulsive urge, isolated the element that exists just prior to the 'point of no return' and put yourself in a position to make a rational decision in what was once a compulsive moment — the next step is to make the decision and accept the consequences for whatever decision you make.

A. When facing a compulsive urge, what do you anticipate the consequences of using a healthy, values-based decision to manage that urge to be? (think positive and negative consequences)

I think the positive consequences will be a sense of pride about sticking to it. Also being able to share this moment with my wife will be positive. Negative consequences may be some emotional discomfort.

Quote:
B. Now consider having made the decision to continue on with the compulsive ritual, what consequences do you anticipate? (again, think positive and negative)

Major negative consequences: hurting my wife; losing her trust again; the emotional turmoil that will take over our relationship for weeks/months while dealing with the consequences; breaking a commitment to myself that I have made and agreed to; going against my own values and boundaries and the feelings associated with that. Positive would be the very brief emotional soothing.

Quote:
C. For each decision (values-based; emotion-based), what long-term effects will these consequences have on your developing identity and values?

Values based: Long term will be that I'm educating my emotional process in a positive feedback loop with my core identity. I'm learning that there is significant positive emotions to be had when aligning my actions with my values.

Emotion based: Long term will be that I continue to sabotage my relationship with my wife and with my core identity. Nothing good comes from this approach long term.

Quote:
D. Document your thoughts in your recovery manager.

Posted here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:19 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Identifying the Options

Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Identifying the Options

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-One

Lesson 51 Exercise:

To make a healthy decision — to master the skill of making healthy decisions — you must gain confidence in quickly and accurately identifying what options are available in any given situation, recognize the consequences of those actions, and ultimately, trusting yourself to choose the option best suited to promoting your values.

Share the following in your thread:

Quote:
A. Consider one of your specific compulsive rituals. Or, if you feel comfortable, consider an entire compulsive chain. Identify the point in that ritual/chain when you should begin considering the options that you have available. What are these options? (consider reasonable options only)

Ritual chosen for this exercise below. The point where I should begin considering options is after number 2. Options are:

  • Continue with the ritual
  • Stop looking if possible (turn around, bury head in book, etc.)
  • Leave the area
  • Tell my wife I'm having trouble
  • If not possible to get away then begin visualizations as follows:
    • Pause and reflect on my marriage and relationship with my wife and our shared values (we value sexual chastity and respect and honor each others bodies)
    • Pause and reflect on them as a human being
    • Pause and try to place myself in their position
    • Pause and visualize the situation has change to where the object is my mother or sister and myself is replaced with someone I find super creepy and disgusting
    • Remember that almost everyone has been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives and this is me reopening that wound and hurting them again
Ritual for this exercise:

  • Targeting and scanning (in public and people that I know)
    1. Be out in public or in a setting with folks that I know
    2. Notice one of them in a sexy way
    3. Begin to obsess over getting a better angle to watch them
    4. Be singularly focused on this and be waiting for a possible glimpse up their skirt or down their shirt
    5. If possible during this time, take out phone camera and secretly take photos (very rare)
    6. Look at the photos later
    7. Masturbation (maybe -- usually feel so guilty and ashamed by the time I get to this stage I delete them instead)
    8. I've never orgasmed this way
Quote:
B. Of the options listed above, which would be automatically filtered out because of your boundaries? What would you do in the case of a value conflict? (i.e. when the same option would create both positive and negative influences on your value system)

Only the first option is filtered out.

Quote:
C. Of the remaining options, what would be the anticipated consequences of the following:

i. You make the decision to act on this option

  • Stop looking if possible (turn around, bury head in book, etc.)
    • Anxiety and emotional distress; eventual pride and confidence increase from success
  • Leave the area
    • Anxiety and emotional distress at not being able to handle myself; mild pride and confidence eventually.
  • Tell my wife I'm having trouble
    • Anxiety at first telling, but big relief and reduction in anxiety and emotional distress.
  • If not possible to get away then begin visualizations...
    • Tension at first, but likely relief from this once I can humanize them. Eventual pride and confidence if this works.
Quote:
ii. You make the decision NOT to act on this option

  • Stop looking if possible (turn around, bury head in book, etc.)
    • Shame and guilt at not doing the right thing.
  • Leave the area
    • Shame and guilt at not doing the right thing.
  • Tell my wife I'm having trouble
    • Shame and guilt at not doing the right thing.
  • If not possible to get away then begin visualizations...
    • Shame and guilt at not doing the right thing.
Quote:
iii. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision becomes known by others

  • Stop looking if possible (turn around, bury head in book, etc.)
    • Some embarrassment at having to deal with an issue and maybe them being confused at what is going on with me.
  • Leave the area
    • Some embarrassment at having to deal with an issue and maybe them being confused at what is going on with me.
  • Tell my wife I'm having trouble
    • This is the point of this option. :)
  • If not possible to get away then begin visualizations...
    • I'm not sure how someone would know this is happening.
Quote:
iv. You make the decision to act on this option, and that decision remains secret

  • Stop looking if possible (turn around, bury head in book, etc.)
    • Only issue is that I would need to disclose this to my wife. In that, it is important and would be lying by omission. I would feel guilt about that and want to fix this by telling her.
  • Leave the area
    • Only issue is that I would need to disclose this to my wife. In that, it is important and would be lying by omission. I would feel guilt about that and want to fix this by telling her.
  • Tell my wife I'm having trouble
    • Self-contradicting because of the nature of this decision.
  • If not possible to get away then begin visualizations...
    • Only issue is that I would need to disclose this to my wife. In that, it is important and would be lying by omission. I would feel guilt about that and want to fix this by telling her.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:36 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Isolating the Emotions

Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Isolating the Emotions

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Two

Lesson 52 Exercise:

Quote:
This exercise may be difficult for certain types of thinkers, so simply do your best.

Consider a situation in life (outside of addiction) where this 'isolation' of feelings/emotions has been known to occur and/or might prove beneficial. For instance, certain Eastern practices where people can isolate the physical pain they are experiencing from their spiritual selves and thus, manage that pain with ease. And no, you can't use that as your example! There are thousands of such potential applications — albeit not as dramatic. Share this in your thread.

What I am looking for is your skill in understanding the concepts involved with isolating emotions and what it will 'look like/feel like' in real life application. If you can't think of anything, say so in your thread and I will provide you with an example.

Isolating emotions is super useful when engaging in an emergency situation. If you felt all of the emotions surrounding a medical emergency you would be unable to attend to it practically. In this situation you only have to delay those emotions and doing so is often the result of an adrenaline rush, but it is still a process of isolating emotions to be dealt with later on.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:50 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Making the Decision

Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Making the Decision

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Three

Lesson 53 Exercise:

Quote:
When it comes time to actually make the decision as to what action you are going to take next, it is not always easy to separate the healthy options from the destructive ones. The ones based on values versus the ones based on emotions. Often, these two areas overlap. This is where experience, time and a commitment to make what you believe to be the best choice at that time comes in.

A. Describe a situation where you would consider masturbation to be against your values — and therefore, a destructive act. Describe a situation where you would consider masturbating to be within your values — and therefore, a healthy act.

I would consider masturbating to porn in conflict with my values. I would consider masturbation as a part of a sexual act with my wife to be within my values and healthy.

Quote:
B. In your recovery thread, list other common value conflicts involving sexual and/or romantic behavior that you have found yourself engaged in? Or that you may find yourself engaged in, given your history.

Hint: think romantic relationships, fantasizing, etc.

Mainly just fantasy. While fantasy can be OK, it has been about porn and voyeurism in the past and that is in conflict with my values.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:16 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Assessing the Consequences

Recovery Nation - Decision-Making: Assessing the Consequences

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Four

Lesson 54 Exercise:

Quote:
In your recovery thread:

A. Select a VALUE-BASED decision that you have made in the past year. What were some NEGATIVE consequences that resulted from that decision?

_Example: Last month, I had the opportunity to take credit for the work of someone else. Because I value the importance of working hard to achieve personal success, I decided not to take such credit. The negative consequences that resulted were that I was not able to experience the accompanying praise from my boss; that I was not given credit that would have enhanced the probability of a promotion; that another coworker was seen as being more talented than me. _

In the last year I have disclosed my compulsive behaviour to my wife and it was quite painful to do this. It was certainly the right thing to do and I ended up feeling quite a lot of relief and growth from it, at the same time it was highly emotionally uncomfortable.

Quote:
B. Select an EMOTION-BASED decision that you have made in the past year. What were some POSITIVE consequences that resulted from that decision?

_Example: While surfing the Internet, I was redirected to a site that offered a free week of unlimited online dating services. Though I knew that I had no business being at such a site, I clicked on the link and signed up for the free trial because it sounded like harmless fun. Lying about my marital status, I began searching for people to interact with...and engaged in several online affairs. The positive consequences that resulted were that I felt free and playful. My mind was filled with all sorts of fantasies and the online interactions were intellectually stimulating. _

My last relapse, over a month ago now, while super destructive in a lot of ways was also highly emotionally relieving in the moment. There wasn't much else positive about it, but there was that.

Quote:
The point to this exercise is to reinforce the reality that most all actions have both positive and negative consequences attached to them. When you evaluate the consequences of a particular decision, it is vital that you take into account all of the consequences — not just those that reinforce what you want to believe. In other words, do not fool yourself into thinking that all value-based action is healthy; and all emotion-based action is destructive. To do so is to destabilize the reality of the life that you are building and ultimately such thinking will lead you to disillusionment and regret.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:32 am 
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Recovery Nation - Practical Decision-Making: Past

Recovery Nation - Practical Decision-Making: Past

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Five

Practical Decision-Making: Past

Quote:
The next two lessons are designed to provide you with some practical context for the skill of decision-making. If you are comfortable with what you have learned, these lessons may require about five minutes of your time. If you are uncomfortable with these concepts, take as much time as you need to develop this skill.

You have made many decisions in your past that have been greatly influenced by the emotions that you were experiencing at the time. Choose a compulsive sexual event and dissect your decision-making in relation to that event. Look for the following:

Choosing last relapse.

Quote:
  1. Were you aware that you were experiencing a compulsive sexual event at the time?

Yes, barely. I kept ignoring that voice in my head, but I was aware at least a tiny amount.

Quote:
  1. How intense were the emotions that were triggered by this event — BEFORE you chose to act on it?

They were quite intense. I was feeling overwhelmed socially, stress, and anxiety from care-taking of a family member.

Quote:
  1. At any point did you look to your values in a sincere effort for guidance in your decision-making?

Nope. Didn't occur to me.

Quote:
  1. After making the decision to act on this sexual event, how long did the emotions elicited from the event last? Hours, days, weeks, years? (e.g. affair lasted two weeks)

The anxiety, guilt, and shame over it lasted several weeks.

Quote:
  1. In the aftermath, did you make a conscious effort to evaluate the consequences of your decision? If so, what did you conclude? If not, do so now. What were the consequences — even if benign?

Consequences were that I needed to disclose this event to my wife while she was out of town and it affected her emotionally, physically, and her work while she was gone. It affected our relationship and how much time we spent dealing with it for weeks after. All of this resulted in a much more stressful time for both of us for that time period.

Quote:
  1. If there were consequences, how intense were the emotions elicited from those consequences? How long did they last? Hours, days, weeks, years? (e.g. guilt continues two years later; was caught by wife, distrust continues two years later, lost friendships continue, etc.)

They lasted at least 3 weeks in their immediate manifestation (overwhelming guilt and shame). Frankly, a month later I still feel it just not as intensely.

Quote:
When you have completed this assessment of a past compulsive event and feel comfortable with your overall awareness of the event...choose another. Then another. Continue to assess past events until the areas that you are assessing become ingrained. These are the same areas that you will want to assess in present-day decision-making.

Going to do the rest of these in my thoughts.

Quote:
There is no need to document your thoughts. But do approach this exercise with sincerity and effort.

I'm going to document this one and just think through the rest.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:43 am 
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Recovery Nation - Practical Decision-Making: Present

Recovery Nation - Practical Decision-Making: Present

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Six

Practical Decision-Making: Present

Quote:
You will face many decisions in the coming days, weeks and months that can potentially be greatly influenced by your emotions. Choose a potential compulsive sexual event and assess your decision-making in relation to that event.

I'm choosing a potential voyeurism scenario.

Quote:
Assess for the following:

  1. Will you be aware that a compulsive sexual event is occurring? (at this stage, you should be)

Yes.

Quote:
  1. How intense do you anticipate the emotions triggered by this event to be?

7 on a scale of 1-10.

Quote:
  1. At what point in the decision-making process will you look to your values for guidance?

Just after I have considered all of the options that are available to me, so that I can filter them through my values.

Quote:
  1. Should you make the decision to act on this sexual event, how long do you anticipate the emotions elicited from the event will last? Hours, days, weeks, years? (e.g. online chatting will provide me with two hours of stimulation)

Maybe several hours.

Quote:
  1. Anticipate the consequences of your decision to act on the compulsive urge. What consequences might there be if you were caught? If you weren't?

If I was caught it could be severe. Maybe getting in trouble socially or embarrassed in public or legally threatened, etc. Even if not caught I'll disclose this event ot my wife and that will need to be processed by both of us. She will lose trust in me, be hurt, distance between us will be created, etc. A bad scene all around.

Quote:
  1. If there are consequences, how intense do you anticipate the emotions elicited from those consequences might be? How long might they last? Hours, days, weeks, years?

10 out of 10 on the scale. For weeks to months for the initial emotions and then it goes on for years in more subtle ways.

Quote:
When you have completed this assessment of a present compulsive event and feel comfortable with your overall awareness of the event...choose another. Then another. Continue to assess potential compulsive events until the areas that you are assessing become ingrained.

More done in my head. I'm seeing a theme here that the emotional consequences of these actions are much higher than the emotions elicited during and after the event.

Quote:
Like the previous lesson, there is no need to document your thoughts. You are getting to a point in the workshop where you need to begin withdrawing from the need for accountability and external feedback; and instead begin to take pride in your own work. Doing things not because you have to; but because you want to. These past two lessons provide excellent opportunities to challenge yourself to begin that separation.

Posting this one anyway. I'm not doing it for the accountability, but rather for completeness.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:00 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Reactive Action Plans

Recovery Nation - Reactive Action Plans

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Seven

Lesson 57 Exercise:

Quote:
Create an action plan for managing your most common compulsive ritual using the following guide:

1) Define the situation. Be as specific and graphic as you can — as it is the stimuli that you are striving to change your emotional associations with. For instance, instead of identifying a situation as: A woman approaches me and is interested in having an affair. Be specific: An attractive woman is flirting with me at the playground that our children are playing at. She sits next to me on the bench and engages me in pleasant conversation. She hints that she will be here next Thursday. Several days later, we meet at a school function and again, we engage in very pleasant, stimulating conversation. After several hints, she invites me to come to her house while the kids are at school so that she can show me a project that she is working on.

The former will do little to actually trigger emotional responses; the latter will allow you to experience several elements of the beginnings of an affair. And will allow you to define numerous options relating to your decision-making relating to that affair. For instance, when she invites you to her home, you respond, "My wife would kill me. But I would love to see your work some other time...perhaps you and your husband would like to come to our house for dinner?" Kind of cheesy, I know...but that is not important. What is important is that you have begun to prepare yourself for such a situation, and that you have begun to switch your perceptions from this being a possible relapse triggering event — which will happen when you fantasize what it would be like to be alone with this woman; to a certain recovery triggering event — as you further ingrain your boundaries, values, etc. into your decision-making process.

The next time, you tweak the situation a little more...then even more. Eventually, with several months of experience, this process of planning the actions that you will take when confronted in certain situations will be mastered, and you will then have the ability to generalize it to situations that you had never envisioned.

I'm out to a restaurant and the waitress is attractive, wearing a short skirt and tights.

Quote:
2) Evaluate all realistic options. Just like in the decision-making process, you will need to look at all possible actions that you would have available to you in such a situation. This does not mean to evaluate only the healthy options, but to consider all of the most realistic options you might engage in — given your current place in recovery. Your goal in such an exercise is not to avoid and/or deny that you have compulsive urges, it is to become aware of them and their role in your life. Hopefully, if a healthy option does not already exist, you will have created one by the end of the plan.

  • Healthy (within my boundaries):
    • I give the codeword to my wife and we either switch sides of the table to fix the view for me or we move to an entirely different table in the restaurant.
    • I give the codeword to my wife and there doesn't seem to be a good option so we opt to leave and find something else to do.
    • I begin visualizing this person as a human being that does not deserve this treatment.
  • Unhealthy (outside of boundaries):
    • I say it is OK, but then can't stop looking.
    • I assume no one can tell and keep looking.
    • I try to secretly take photos of them.
    • I escalate the ritual to try to look them up online when home, etc. and plan this out while there watching them.
Quote:
3) Evaluate the potential consequences of the option(s) that you choose. In decision making, you need only to evaluate the consequences of those options which fall within your established boundaries. Here, when working within the constructs of your own mind, you are free to remove those boundaries and explore all of the emotions associated with an absolutely unlimited number of behaviors. Also, in life, you often can make only one decision — you either engage in the affair, or you don't. Here, you have the ability of playing out any number of options — but it is essential that you always play out the options to their value-based end.

  • Healthy (within my boundaries):
    • I give the codeword to my wife and we either switch sides of the table to fix the view for me or we move to an entirely different table in the restaurant.
      • Both of us are uncomfortable. I’m embarrassed and ashamed, but with time can feel some pride about making the right decision.
      • My wife gets angry at the disruption and just leaves. Seems highly unlikely, but possible.
      • Repositioning just does not help and I’m back to square one.
      • It does work and then we are able to have dinner together and bond over solving the problem.
      • I give the codeword to my wife and there doesn't seem to be a good option so we opt to leave and find something else to do.
      • Even more embarrassing than the first option, but still better than indulging in the ritual.
      • Wife is upset that we can’t have nice things. Same here and I feel terrible about being the cause of that.
      • It works and we bond over it and go find something fun to do.
    • I begin visualizing this person as a human being that does not deserve this treatment.
      • I’m able to have a nice time without the compulsions.
      • It doesn’t work and I’m back to square one.
      • I still need to tell my wife about it so that she isn’t worried the entire meal that I’m obsessing.
Quote:
4) Make a decision as to which value-based option you would choose. Once you have selected an option, role-play the situation over and over again in your mind — seeing yourself choosing this option every time.

I think for now the best option will be #1 if possible. Just to communicate the issue and work to get them out of my vision. Eventually I would rather have #4 be a workable solution, but for now I think I would default to #1 as a likely more reliable way to deal with the issue.

Quote:
5) Optional: Keep a journal of different situations, options, choices, etc. While this is not mandatory, such a collection of written action plans can be used in actual decision-making situations to further remove the emotional influences on immature decision-making skills.

Whether you formalize the action plan process or not, all that is critical is that you see yourself selecting the value-based option every time. This is what will ingrain the necessary emotional attachments that will allow you to experience immediate emotional fulfillment and satisfaction at the time of an actual decision — should such a decision ever be necessary.

I’ll definitely be doing this. Consider this the first entry.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:45 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Constructing Reactive Action Plans

Recovery Nation - Constructing Reactive Action Plans

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Eight

Lesson 58 Exercise:

Define the five rituals that you will most likely face in the next two years. For each, develop an action plan in five minutes or less...that focuses specifically on the immediate action you will take upon the awareness of the ritual; the anticipated emotions you will feel after you engage in that behavior; and the likely mind-games that you will play to get you to abandon your values-based decision making for emotion based decision making.

Post these in your thread.

Action Plan #1:

Situation

At home alone and have an urge to look at internet porn, or even any visual stimulation that might lead to porn usage.

Actions to take:

Remind myself that there is likely an emotion going on just before that was the actual trigger. Think back and note this down. Following that think through the options available to me and realize that none of them that are in alignment with my values will be OK if I actually go forward with this ritual. End it there and go shake it off by walking around, getting some exercise, etc. and then realize that it was not act or not act, it was two actions: positive and negative and that I took the positive one. Be proud of myself for taking the positive action and let that reinforce my core self.

Action Plan #2:

Situation

Out to dinner and see someone dressed in a triggering way (most likely tights).

Actions to take:

Remind myself of the likely emotional component to this and make a note of it. Then remind myself that my values do not align with taking advantage of this situation and to assess the place I'm at to see what can be done. If I'm alone with my wife, mention it and if there is an obvious thing we can do to make it better, suggest it (switch sides of the table, move to a different one, etc.). If not, attempt to visualize in a way that humanizes the person and then keep a close eye on whether this is working. As a last resort if nothing else is working, suggest leaving the restaurant.

Action Plan #3:

Situation

Going to a conference and having opportunities to scan and target

Actions to take:

Remind myself of the likely emotional component to this and make a note of it. Then remind myself that my values do not align with taking advantage of this situation and to assess the place I'm at to see what can be done. If appropriate just take a walk and remove myself from the environment. If not, work on visualizing to humanize the person. If nothing else works, just walk away to shake it off.

Action Plan #4:

Situation

Being in various public places while traveling and having opportunities to scan and target

Actions to take:

Remind myself of the likely emotional component to this and make a note of it. Then remind myself that my values do not align with taking advantage of this situation and to assess the place I'm at to see what can be done. If appropriate just take a walk and remove myself from the environment. If not, work on visualizing to humanize the person. If nothing else works, just walk away to shake it off.

I'm not sure I have a #5 at the moment. Maybe I'll think of something later.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:57 pm 
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Recovery Nation - Evolving Reactive Action Plans

Recovery Nation - Evolving Reactive Action Plans

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Fifty-Nine

Lesson 59 Exercise:

Quote:
There doesn't need to be an exercise associated with this lesson. At this stage of your transition to health, you should be seeking out ways of strengthening your foundation on your own. And so, just by reading the above, you should already know what to do with it. How it should be applied to your existing reactive action plans. If you want to share your more complex plans in your thread, feel free to do so. If you are in professional coaching, you must. These are essential skills in advanced urge control.

Ok. I'll just add this to my journal as an expansion on what the last lesson was about and plan on expanding and evolving my action plans as one of the things I should do soon.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 308
River,

5 lessons in one day yesterday! I stop by as a friendly speed check.

What do you think is driving you to complete the lessons so quickly? If you did in fact slow down, what do you think would happen?

This does not come from a place of judgement, simply wishing to spark your thinking.

To speak from my own experience, I wanted to rush my own recovery because I feared the consequences if I didn't "arrive" at health/recovery fast enough. Would my wife leave me? Would I lose my children and house? Would I be alone, rejected, in pain, and worthless if I did not recover fast enough? I felt I needed to show others that I was serious about health as to avoid further consequence. The lessons were the only tangible "proof" of my recovery so I sped through them. Reality is that, in fact, there is no "arrival" to health--just a journey. Rushing lead me to more pain and eventual lapses because I wasn't able to ingrain the concepts in such short time. Truth was, I would have to face the consequences of my past actions regardless of how "fast" I recovered. So I finally accepted it as a journey instead. An exercise and lesson in itself.

Regardless, you know yourself best.

Be Well,

Anon


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:04 am 
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Posts: 110
Hi Anon,

Yep, understood. I'm cruising through them because I'm finding the pace motivating, but I do recognize that I'm missing some stuff as a result (how could I not?), so I've got a list in my private journal that I've tagged as 'in-process' and those I will be revisiting. My wife has also gone through and read all of my posts on here and has provided me feedback on some of the early ones that she thinks I could do better on and once complete I'm going to revisit those. I've also got a plan to revisit the entire workshop from front to back over a much longer period of time following completion of it. So I'm kind of looking at this as round one. Also note that I've done a lot of this kind of thing in a different way for the last 20 years or so, it just so happened that my personal work never quite rooted out the sex addiction I have, so I've got this work to now add to the other work I do on a personal level. Therefore a lot of the self-reflection and analysis is not unfamiliar to me. Not that I don't need this, oh, I certainly do! But that I've got a decent foundation for looking at my life. Lastly, I'm highly motivated to get through this so that my wife and I can work together on the couples lessons.

Thanks for the feedback though, I do appreciate it!

River


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