Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:24 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 16 Exercise:

I. Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)?


1. My addictions have provided escape (although temporary) from my many uncomfortable feelings.
2. My addictions have relieved boredom.
3. In the short-term, looking at porn and masturbating are extremely arousing and pleasurable.
4. In a self-sabotage kind of way, porn has kept me in a "normal" state of unhappiness... which is within my comfort zone. It's happiness and living by my values that are outside my comfort zone.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 17 Exercise:

I. Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread.


Although I consider myself a "normal" heterosexual male, I also have a mildly masochistic paraphilia which comprises 100% of my porn use. I observe the following elements in my rituals:

1. My past: Often I get urges towards porn when something good has happened or when I'm happy. Strange as it sounds, I believe the emotional and possible sexual abuse perpetrated on my by my mother gave me a sense of shame and guilt and therefore my comfort zone has always tended towards being anxious and unhappy. To feel good or optimistic clashes with my value system and I start feeling uncomfortable. Where others may turn to porn to escape negative feelings like sadness or anxiety, I more often am subconsciously self-sabotaging my feeling of happiness or optimism.

2. Sensory: in my paraphilia I am aroused by the appearance of a certain type of woman, including certain facial features and clothing. Also the sounds of the acts portrayed in the porn are arousing to me.

3. Orgasm: if I give in to porn, it's almost guaranteed that the session will end with masturbation and orgasm. Besides the obvious brief pleasure, I think the way I feel post-orgasm plays into the element I called "my past." After I have an orgasm, I feel guilty and ashamed and my libido, which already tends to be low, falls even further for a few days. In this way, orgasm is another way I self-sabotage positive feelings including my own sexuality, libido, and self-confidence.

4. Poly-addictions: I have a few other compulsive activities and the worst one is binge eating. It is about on the level of porn as far as how much it is damaging my physical and mental health. I don't see my eating disorder as enhancing my porn experience or vice-versa, but I think the combination of the two addictions is a powerful 1-2 punch in keeping me in my usual state of depression and low self-worth.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 18 Exercises:

II. Consider one of your own compulsive rituals. Identify circumstances when each of the three filters (time, habituation and intensity) have come into play. Make sure that you understand each filter to the point where you are able to identify them as a ritual is being performed. Post these personal examples in your recovery thread.


I will use the example from the previous lesson: looking at porn that relates to my masochistic paraphilia.

1. Time

When I relapse, my porn sessions can be quite long, sometimes up to 7 or 8 hours. I would say the average in the past has been about 4 hours. When I get to around 7 or 8 hours, I finally start to feel guilty about the time I am wasting and reluctantly decide to finish the session with masturbation. The other thing that limits the length of the session is the realization that I must get some sleep, as almost all of my porn sessions are in the evening. By the point when I finally realize I must get some sleep, it's often too late to get a good sleep anyway. I have occasionally started a porn session even when I knew I had to wake up early for work the next morning. On the other end of the time spectrum, my porn sessions are almost never less than two hours. I'm not quite sure why this is. Maybe it's because I want to get the maximum pleasure out of the porn session, and realize that just a couple of hours won't bring me the excitement and arousal that a five-hour session would give me.

When I approach my time threshold I start to feel guilty and begin a frantic rush to find just the right image or video to masturbate to. At this point, the stress of knowing I won't sleep well and need to hurry up and finish causes the porn session to be less pleasurable.

2. Intensity

My porn session skills really haven't changed or "improved" much since I started this addiction in 2015. Early on I learned which search engines were best for finding the images and videos I prefer. Before I was fully addicted, I did look at porn on the internet sometimes but it was before broadband came into existence and image downloads were so slow that I often read stories in plain text about my paraphilia. About a year or so ago, I did add a new social medium for finding suitable images. Another "skill" I added maybe a year or so ago was realizing that the highest quality videos had to be purchased instead of just found on internet search engines. As a side note, it's almost funny that after I have purchased and downloaded a clip, I immediately delete it the next morning. I am a worry-wart and I have this fear that if I died my family would find this disgusting stuff on my computer.

3. Habituation

I have read that many porn addicts turn to material that is more and more bizarre as they become habituated to whatever they were accustomed to experiencing. I haven't done this. I am a creature of habit and I usually (but not always) return to my "go-to" sites, images, and video. There are a few images that I look at almost every time I have a porn session. These images never fail to arouse me to the maximum. But I do constantly look for different images and videos that relate to my paraphilia. I try typing in different search terms or even in different languages! I keep looking for that "perfect" image or video. I really never find it. My fantasies are pretty specific and I have a lot of difficulty in finding porn that really fits with my fantasies. I suppose it's a form of habituation that I am never satisfied with the porn I find and am always looking for something "better." It's as though I believe there really is that one image, that one video that would completely satisfy me. The truth is probably that such an image or video doesn't exist and it's just an excuse for continuing my porn session.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 19 Exercise:

...become hyper-aware of all rituals you engage in over the next few days. Do not limit this awareness to sexually compulsive rituals... or even to compulsive rituals. Explore all of your actions for their 'ritualistic' nature. Brushing your teeth. Eating. Driving to work. Become conscious of your thoughts/feelings as you complete these rituals.


Besides being addicted to porn, my other major addiction is binge overeating. I believe this addiction serves essentially the same emotional purposes as my addiction to porn. I rarely binge on junk food before 10:00 p.m. or so. But yesterday, I had a huge junk food binge just before going to work, around 2:00 p.m. I wish I had written down my feelings as I was about to binge, but I'm sure it had to do with either self-sabotage: ruining my mood for what otherwise could have been a fun and productive day at work; or it had to do with my European female friend/girlfriend, who has been more romantic towards me in the last few days. I am not good at receiving love -- long-standing issues of shame and self-loathing-- so I may have been subconsciously trying to ruin my feeling of happiness that EKH, the woman I'm talking about, was finally getting back to the kind of reciprocity we had in the early days of knowing each other. Much literature about addiction, including what's found on this site, emphasize negative emotions that we are trying to numb with our addictions. But if one is uncomfortable with feelings of happiness or feeling loved, then these "positive" feelings are in fact uncomfortable and must also be numbed, just like the usual "negative" feelings of anxiety, fear, and sadness, for example.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 20 Exercise:

1) Examine your addiction and the role(s) that it has played in your life to date. Look across your life span and identify the progression of the addiction, the sustainment of it, the absence of it and/or the stifling of it. Look at the major transitions that you have experienced (childhood to prepubescent teen; prepubescent teen through teenager; teenager through young adulthood; young adulthood through adulthood; explore also any major traumas that you have endured (parental divorce, sexual abuse, moving to a new school or neighborhood, etc.) and identify the role that addiction (or the rituals that eventually developed into an addiction) played in helping you through that time period.

Your goal is to develop a fluid understanding of just how these patterns progressed from early sparks (harmless fantasy, etc.) to an eventual wildfire (e.g. addiction).


Although I have several addictions, for the purpose of this lesson I will write about my most powerful addiction, the one to my femdom paraphilia. I can remember having fantasies about this as early as about seven years old. Since this paraphilia is masochistic in nature, I wonder if I developed feelings of guilt and self-loathing from possibly being sexually abused by my mother. I will never know for sure but my gut tells me I was sexually abused by her. Anyway, these masochistic fantasies did develop at a very early age and I had only my mind to arouse myself, as I had no access to porn at this early point in my life and the internet was still many years away. I did not even know about sex and orgasm, but I remember getting so aroused during a visit to my grandparents' house when I was about 11, that I got physically sick-- nauseous and light-headed. As I had not yet discovered masturbation, I had no outlet for my arousal and my urges were driving me crazy.

I accidently discovered masturbation around age 12 or 13 by rubbing against my bed sheets. Suddenly a lot of things made sense! So I began to masturbate quite a lot, but probably no more than the average adolescent male. I continued fantasizing when I masturbated and although I still had no access to porn, I did find some stimulating images in my family's back issues of Life magazine. This pattern of fantasies, the occasional image, and masturbation continued into my early 20's. I did go into some porn shops and at various points bought a few magazines but there weren't many that dealt with my paraphilia. I mentioned my fantasies to one of my first girlfriends when I was about 20 years old, and while she wasn't judgemental about it, neither was she eager to help me act out my fantasies.

My mind continued to be my main source of arousal through my early to mid-20's. I created many stimulating fantasies and scenarios. I was married for the first time when I was 27. I told my wife about my paraphilia and bless her heart (as we say here in the South, lol) she tried her best to act out on my fantasies but her heart just wasn't in it. I think I fantasized about my paraphilia when I was having sex with my wife. And I know I definitely fantasized about my paraphilia with my second wife. I am pretty sure that for my entire adult life I have never had sex with a woman without needing/wanting fantasies about my paraphilia playing in my head as I made love.

In between my two marriages-- the period from 1994 to 2002, the internet had been invented and I definitely used it early on to find images and stories that played into my fantasies. Videos were pretty much out of the question because of the slowness of my dial-up AOL connection. Even images took a long time to download. I read a lot of simple text "literotica" relating to my paraphilia and found this medium to be quite arousing because it left me to imagine the particular scenario. When I married the second time, high-speed internet was available and I did look at more porn, but not that much, as I was always afraid of being caught. In fact, both my second wife and a girlfriend before I met my wife both discovered evidence of my paraphilia in my browsing history. They were both upset but not overly so. Both the girlfriend and my second wife tried to act out my fantasies, but like my first wife, I knew they weren't at all into it.

Then came my second divorce in 2015 and I got my own apartment. That was the beginning of my real porn addiction, as I had a place of my own, unlimited privacy with no "adult supervision" and plenty of time on my hands. I began PMO'ing on a regular basis, a few times a week, and sometimes extending sessions for 5 to 8 hours, even affecting my sleep and work performance. Due to this website, the support of my sister and my accountability partner, my overall time spend in PMO has gone down but it's still a big challenge for me.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 21 Exercise:

A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?

B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?

C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.


It's sad that I haven't really had any big goals for many years. I have been shiftless, without an anchor, not feeling a passion or purpose for my life. I had goals when I was younger, maybe from the age of about 10 to 18 or so. I succeeded in my goal of becoming an Eagle Boy Scout. I succeed in my goal to get excellent grades in high school, and graduated #2 in a class of more than 600. I succeeded in my goal of being accepted at a very prestigious college. Much of this was because of another goal which I failed to achieve: becoming a doctor. Since about the age of 11 I had been obsessed with the idea of being a doctor. My parents were both in the scientific field and they encouraged me in this goal. They emphasized that to begin the path towards becoming a doctor, I should get accepted into the best college I possibly could. So I was successful in doing that, but therein lay my downfall. I was in way over my head at this college. I had been pretty smart in high school, but I was among killer sharks at this particular college. I struggled with my grades. I took my inorganic chemistry text book home for Thanksgiving break my freshman year, and my dad, who had a Ph.D. in biochemistry from M.I.T., said the book was extremely advanced and on the cutting edge of what he and his colleagues did on their jobs. I was told that if I was struggling with inorganic chemistry, I'd be doomed in organic chemistry, which came next. Seeing the writing on the wall, I dropped my pre-med major and then changed majors several times before finally graduating.

I think I did the best at reaching goals when things were very structured, as in Boy Scout ranks and academic classes. I didn't become a doctor because I tried too hard in high school and overshot my reach in being successful at a tough college. If I hadn't been so hard on myself, hadn't tried quite so hard (I had internalized messages from my parents about over-achievement) then I might in fact have been able to be a doctor. I might have fit in much better at a less competitive college.

For the purposes of this lesson, my goal is to write in my private journal every day for the next thirty days. I actually hope to make a longer string than 30 days, but I think that's a manageable place to start. Journaling is especially important to me, I think, because I have multiple addictions. The behaviors are different, but they are all triggered by the same emotions. I think if I can more clearly identify my feelings through journaling, I can be on the alert for triggers when I start to have these feelings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:05 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 361
Hi GaG,

You mentioned
Quote:
I had been pretty smart in high school, but I was among killer sharks at this particular college. I struggled with my grades.

Aligned with the lessons from within the workshop you may find it helpful to reflect on the roots of why your addiction started. In my case I have traced it back to panic attacks that I suffered in my late teens which caused me to miss out on a lot of stuff that kids of my age were enjoying. As I grew older power and control became key themes for me and my addiction and preferences revolved around that. I think in some ways it was to make up for the loss of control from when I was younger. It might be that your feelings of perceived failure around professional targets from a very young age could have led you to your addiction as a coping mechanism or maybe it is something else. Whatever it may be, if you were able to identify that it might help you moving forwards. For me it has helped identify what caused it firstly because I can understand why power and control appealed to me and secondly that I can logically understand what I learned and why because then it will allow me to unlearn it as opposed to feeling it is part of me biologically which I can do nothing about.

You also mention
Quote:
For the purposes of this lesson, my goal is to write in my private journal every day for the next thirty days. I actually hope to make a longer string than 30 days, but I think that's a manageable place to start. Journaling is especially important to me, I think, because I have multiple addictions. The behaviors are different, but they are all triggered by the same emotions. I think if I can more clearly identify my feelings through journaling, I can be on the alert for triggers when I start to have these feelings.

This is your thread and your journey and you must steer it as you see fit. For what it is worth though, the last part of this exercise is aimed at trying to get you to identify one goal and to break down how you will achieve this in various parts. There is a very good reason for this because it sets up how you should approach the lessons that you are about to enter. I would strongly recommend that you do this for one goal and create a short list of the elements that will enable you to achieve that goal and post it to your thread. Posting to you thread means that coaches and mentors can see what you are doing and can offer advice and guidance if they feel that you have perhaps missed a key point on something. Entirely your call though. Keep up the good work!

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Points well taken, ltr. I was all set to post my exercise response for Lesson 22 when I saw your comments just now. I am going to consider what you have suggested and hold off on doing any more work on Lesson 22 until I have thoroughly digested your ideas and perhaps incorporated them into a modified Lesson 21 response.

Thanks very much for your thoughtful input.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
I am going to refine my previous response about setting a goal and the steps I will take to achieve it.

My goal is to become more aware of my feelings. I realize this is hard to quantify but I want to see if I can outline some concrete, practical steps that will lead me in the direction of this goal. I think becoming more aware of my feelings is an important key for me in recognizing emotional triggers and stopping in my tracks once I have identified an uncomfortable feeling.

Here are the steps I will take:

1. I will write in my journal each day.
2. I need an easy to remember way to check in on my feelings several times a day, so I will do this after each meal.
3. I will pray daily to my Higher Power and converse with him about my feelings.
4. I will talk to trusted friends and family members about my feelings at least twice a week.
5. I will meditate daily and see what feelings surface.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 5:02 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 22 Exercise:

1. Consider a very simple ritual that you have engaged in.

2. Identify three or four elements of that ritual (e.g. physical sensory stimulation; danger; orgasm; accomplishment).

3. For each element, assign a relative number for the amount of stimulation you think you derive from this particular element. These numbers are relevant only to you and in relation to other elements that you experience.

4. For each element, consider the effects of each of the three filters on the stimulation derived from that element. Does it increase the stimulation? Decrease the stimulation? Have no effect? Have a mixed effect (as in, sometimes it increases, other times it decreases)?.

5. Share the above in your personal recovery thread.


Ritual Measured:

Typical session of watching porn and masturbating to orgasm.

Primary Elements Involved and Values Assigned:

Sensory, Visual--3
Sensory, Touch--1
Orgasm-- 1

Filters Applied:

Sensory, Visual:
*Time-- The most intense of the filters for me, but still I can only give it a 2. I can spend up to six to seven hours of watching porn and not tire of it as I am caught in the web of trying to find just the "right" images and videos. This a time-consuming, painstaking effort. At the point when six or seven hours have passed, there is no fun anymore. I can't find anything new and just want to get it over with so I can go to bed.
*Intensity-- There is intensity at the beginning of a porn session as I feel for sure I will find something new and exciting this time. But I never do. So I give it only a 2.
*Habituation-- I give it a 2 as I have definitely become habituated to my pattern of seeking out and looking at porn and what I look at in recent times is the same old stuff and it doesn't stimulate me much.

Sensory, Touch:
*Time-- I will give this a 5, not because of edging (which I don't do) but because I get a lot of stimulation from touching my nipples while I look at porn. This kind of touch remains highly pleasurable throughout the porn session.
*Intensity: I will give it just a 5 because my orgasms (sense of touch) are usually weak. But the intensity of touching my nipples is pretty intense and constant throughout the session.
*Habituation: I give it 2. I never try anything new, I just keep going back to the same sites and images and have little luck (or even much desire) to look for anything different or more stimulating.

Orgasm:
*Time-- I give it a 1. No matter how long the porn session goes, I always assume it will end in masturbation and orgasm and when I finally MO at the end, there is little satisfaction or pleasure. Only the relief that it's finally over and I can go to bed.
*Intensity-- I will give it only a 1 because it's not much on mind as I look at porn. It's only my habitual way of ending a porn session.
*Habituation-- I will give it only a 2 because my masturbation techniques are always the same with little to no experimentation nor desire to do so.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group