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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:43 am
Posts: 76
1. Home alone, generally anxious and frustrated
2. Browsing youtube, see thumbnail of half naked woman
3. Desire to explore further, get immediate gratification
4. Rationalize that I already PMOed yesterday and have nothing to lose
5. Recognize the justification as illogical as it naturally leads to itself next time an urge is experienced
6. Begin to rationalize that there is no point of no return and that if I can peek and then go back without completing the ritual proves some point about how far I’ve come
7. Recognize this justification is vague and unconvincing, it’s just the previous justification in disguise
8. Search for pictures of the half-naked woman
9. Dissatisfied with the pictures, admit to myself that justification was entirely wrong and fueled by the desire for immediate gratification
10. Move on to looking at escort sites to fuel prostitution/massage parlor fantasy
11. Decision to stop the ritual right there continues to be present in my mind
12. Move on to strip tease videos
13. Alternate between them and the escort site
14. Finally decide to stop ritual before climax
15. Notice swelling in testicles
16. Fear of lingering testicular pain sets In, decide to complete ritual after all and climax


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:43 am
Posts: 76
Lesson 31:



Values:
Honesty with self= 10
Stoicism=10
Self-respect= 12
Integrity in my work= 6 (value is being neglected)
Appreciation for art= 20
Engaging in intellectually stimulating pursuits= 15
To live without uncontrollable compulsion= 15
Emotional stability= 15
To be decisive=5
Developing social skills= 15
To be responsible=5
Misc. values=5
Total=134
Stimulation from artificial activity: 30



Stressors:
Frustration with current project= 15
Insecurities about not moving forward= 10

Conclusion:
The majority of my energy still goes towards pursuing my values and the majority of stress comes from their pursuit as well. Most of the stimulation in my life has to do with value-building. A minority of stimulation derived has to do with a non value-building activity (gaming), but it doesn’t actively erode any values either. In closing, focusing on some of my neglected values, at the expense of non or low value-building activity should be a high priority.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:43 am
Posts: 76
Lesson 32 : Proactive action plan progress
Honesty with self:
-Whenever I fail, I will access how much of it is my fault. Over and underestimations should be kept to a minimum
I have already gotten pretty good at this one. I’ve continued to uphold this part of my values
-When my worldview is challenged, I won’t make excuses and I’ll address the challenge
Mild improvement, but still feel anxious about addressing challenges, occasionally
-Admit when someone I love might not have my best interest and heart and admit when they’ve been mistaken
This value has evolved. The selfish motives of loved ones no longer bother me. I accept them, I don’t believe they mean my loved ones no longer love me
-Be honest about how much or how little you enjoy something
Mild, but tangible improvement
-When I have a concern with myself, I won’t procrastinate. I’ll address it
Mild, but tangible improvement
Stoicism:
-I won’t whine when I things get hard and are beyond my control. I’ll accept them and move on.
I’ve gotten quite good at this one, and I’m proud of it
-If I make a mistake I’ll accept it, make a mental note of it and move on
I haven’t been confronted with many serious mistakes, but I’m doing a fine job of not being hung up on my failures
-I won’t engage in compulsive pleasure-complaining. If I see a problem, I’ll address it without getting worked up.
I don’t think I’ve ‘’pleasure-complained ‘’ once since completing exercise 6
-If I lose an item, I won’t get angry, I’ll make a note to leave my stuff in a way as to prevent losing it and I’ll hope that someone finds it useful if they find it. Remember the grey hat?
I surprisingly haven’t lost a single item since exercise 6, ergo this value is still untested
-If I experience a technical problem, I won’t get angry or frustrated I’ll try to fix it. What good does straining my nerves do?
Ditto above
-If I relapse I won’t mope, I’ll make a note of why I failed and move on
I’ve done an alright job of this one, but I still feel really bad about myself with every failure.
Self-respect:
-I’ll groom myself properly: dress well, be shaven, I won’t let my hair deviate too much
It’s rarer that let myself go
-I won’t drink myself into embarrassment
Got very drunk recently, said nothing I regret, despite treading on thin ice
-I’ll call out people speaking to me in a disrespectful manner
I’ve been disrespected mildly, I chose to let it go. I’m reconsidering this part of the value somewhat
-I won’t do anyone elses job for them
Doing a fine job of this one
-I’ll call out people when they’re late
I’ve done a poor job of this one
-I won’t tolerate people interfearing with my work
I’ve had pleasantly few interfearences with my work, ergo this value is mostly untested.
-I won’t sacrifice my dignity to get ahead in my career
Ditto above
-I won’t sell anyone out
Ditto above
-I won’t engage in humiliating activities that promise me pleasure or short term gain in return
I’ve established a somewhat firm and identity building framework for what I consider ‘’humiliating activities’’ and I’ve done a fine job of sticking to my principles in this regard.
Integrity in my work
-Don’t ever make your being on stage a chore
I’ve slipped few times on this one, but I bounced back
-If you’re not sure about a script, don’t wing it, read
I’ve done an acceptable job here, but acceptable isn’t enough for me
-self-reherse if not swamped, put it in the right action graph
Neglected, but I’m bouncing back
-Don’t be a dick to your colleges on stage
I’ve done a fine job of this one
-If you’ve got research- do it
Ditto above
-Be on time
Ditto above
-Overcome outside bullshit from your life or health.
I’ve thankfully been healthy and my outside stressors are low, untested value
-Don’t spare yourself
I’ve done a fine job here
Self betterment:
-Knowing what my top 3 priorities are and working every day on at least 2 of them
-Unless swamped: keeping a diary of useful action taken daily
-Checking off 3-4 actions daily
-Following the call of useful action even when in a designated ‘’rest day’’
To better my body:
-When swamped do bodyweight exercises once a week at least
-Either go to the gym or work on prep for starting a gym routine
-Eat well
-Follow your program and maintain when done
I’ve done quite poorly on every front here. I’ve neglected right action in favor of daily monitoring. Both are good for me and I want to pursue both. I’ve started bouncing back on this front.
Art appreciation:
-Go to a plays more often
-Watch a movie every week
-Play your guitar at least once a week
-Stop procrastinating getting new music
-Visit културен бульон at least once a week
My general appreciation for art has grown, although I haven’t adhered strictly to the guidelines above, minor correction is in order
Engaging in intellectually stimulating pursuits:
-In addition to your habit of consuming politically inclined media and in addition to art appreciation, build a reading list and get to work on reading through it
I’ve started building a reading list, but I’ve ignored it, although I’ve still ended up reading a fair deal of challenging material, this one has been on the backburner

To live with order and structure:
-Keep doing the checklist thing
-Have lots of progress checking in general
-Everything else was covered by ‘’self-bettermet’’ and ‘’dedication to my craft’’
Ditto for ‘’self-betterment’’
Emotional stability:
-Don’t make emotional decisions
-Cultivate a strong baseline emotional state
-Take a minute each day to appreciate what you’ve accomplished
-Take a minute each day to become present
-Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to restore balance when things go awry, breathing, becoming present, etc.
-When your thoughts are racing, move slow talk slow, think slow
-When you’re balanced be aware and happy about it
I’ve done a more then moderate job of adhering to all of these
Decisiveness:
When you spot a problem or a task, do them immidiatelly. Don’t hold back. Jump into it. Do not allow time to thik of excuses or to procrastinate.
Hit and miss: sometimes I manage to overcome my procrastination, sometimes I fail
Personal charisma:
Set asside a time to work on this skill set (at least 6 months) to where it is in the top 3 of your priorities. Work on it at least twice a week.
I have yet this make this a major priority, backburner
Go out of your way to have a chipper attitude. Construct what it means to be pleasent, sociable and warm in your eyes and project that when around others. Don’t allow glumness to beat you down. Fake it till you make it.
I’ve done well on this front
Developping social skills:
Listen to people when they talk. Don’t just focus on what to say next. Consentrate on their words and the meaning behind them, then formulate a response.
Learn to read body language.
I’ve done I fine job here, but I’ve made a note to increase the frequency of my interactions, not just their quality


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:43 am
Posts: 76
Day 1:
1. I took some time to reminisce on my life so far. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve spend the majority of it in a state of dysfunction. Going back as far as I can into the past, to my very first socializations outside my own family, it’s apparent to me that I’ve been unable to connect like a normal person would. I would not understand social cues and would react in an extremely hostile manner to any perceived insult. The only meaningful connections I’ve formed for the first 13 years of my life have been with close friends that tolerated and were able to look past my dysfunctional behavior and the accompanying social weirdness. Extreme early childhood aggression caused me to have less social contact and therefore less social skills, which led to me becoming a pariah.
I’ve had a sense of responsibility about my dysfunctional behavior. Watching it hurt my family caused feelings of shame. I felt guilty for my inability to change. I felt unworthy of my family’s unconditional love. I felt like an inmate that’s done a horrible crime and had received a slap on the wrist.
But change did come. It was slow, but it happened. Now I share little with the child I once was. What remains is my desire to change myself and my sense of responsibility for that change. I’ve been bettering myself, correcting my character flaws for as long as I’ve been a part of society. I’ve been down this road before. This is what defines me.
2. I had the ‘’brilliant’’ idea of acting out a long forgotten masturbatory ritual from my childhood. It was one of my famous schemes to dress up compulsive action as a useful ‘’experiment’’ that would help me in quitting. Devious I know. I tried mimicking the ritual as closely as possible, trying to remember details about it, including specific fantasies. It was naturally not as stimulating as I remembered it. I found my mind drifting towards more contemporary fantasies and modified the ritual to produce more stimulation. Then, by reviewing my values, I stopped.
3. I played some guitar. It was good. It made me reconsider the negligence I’ve exercised in nurturing my artistic passions. With all the change and uncertainty in my life recently, I’ve let stress keep me away from my passions. I’ve been wasting my time with non-value building, throwaway activities instead.
4. I reviewed my values, and they painted a picture of the man I want to be. A man of value, a man of honor, a man who believes in himself even when the world tells him he’s wrong, a man who compromises his dignity for nothing. I felt pride in being closer to that ideal and I dare to think that one day, I could be that man.
Experiment:
I performed my ritual to completion with the exception MO. I’m tired of averting my eyes form a racy picture of FB or a glimpse of a provocative magazine cover. I will do this with the mind set of knowing the low value of this compulsive pleasure seeking behavior. I will let myself feel unreservedly. I will allow myself to feel the pleasure of the viewing and the fantasy and I will judge my thoughts and feelings while doing so. I will eliminate all emotional connections to the pleasure once and for all by proving to myself that I do not value it.
I started off with a page that regularly features provocative, but not sexually explicit material sprinkled among completely benign material to see how my brain reacts to surprise.
Usually I feel an initial ‘ping’ of dopamine. Like a drop of cold water on my heart. Then I begin to rationalize. Anything animated or drawn is simply art. I regard it as such. The sexual aspect is simply the theme it has no power over me. If it’s a picture or video of a real woman, I appreciate her beauty and nothing more. The images don’t represent some conduit to her, so no matter how hard I fantasize and how much I masturbate, I’m no further to experiencing the real her. It makes me want to go out and meet an actual woman, face to face. I’m coming to see sex as a long process, a journey and not just a series of isolated episodes that I live my life in pursuit of. I want to experience the whole journey. Shortcuts just cheapen the whole thing. Reduce it to nothing more than a creature comfort. Even worse when the shortcuts are a lie that rob you of the journey. For the first time in a long time, the consequences of my addiction and the indulgence thereof is gelling in my mind.
The next stop was the prostitute site I used to frequent. I started with the massage section, a prominent place for fantasy-having. I let my imagination roam. Even so, when I felt the temptation to step back into my old life, my self-control chimed in and provided the counter-arguments, the reasons why I shouldn’t go back. I felt light, headed, flushed, anxious and experienced every physiological symptom of an imminent relapse, but I was completely clear in my thoughts. I saw the girl offering their services and I peered into them, their reasons, their personality.
Next I viewed more explicit erotic animations and drawings. I found that it viewing an pleasuring oneself to this material is irreconcilable with my new identity and my value of self respect. I want to have relationships with real women and brainwashing myself into preferring an idealized, fetishized representation of reality is incompatible. The animation was viewing would have been found to be disgusting for the pre-porn me.
I moved on to watching a ‘’happy end’’ massage session. What did I like? The lack of expectation, the ease, the comfort. I remembered some of my negative feelings about erotic massages when I still engaged in them. The fact is, many of the women I whose services I engaged in were women within my league, within my ability to seduce and yet I paid them money so I could get a handjob and some boring conversation? If the ‘’happy ending’’ massage scenario was really something so appealing to me, it would be better if I just found a long term partner and explored that fantasy with her instead of reducing my sexual needs to a commodity. It would be entirely incongruent with my new understanding of sexuality as a process, rather than a singular destination.
The voyeuristic nature of all porn presents a problem. Due to my lack of proper socialization, it has, for the most part replaced natural relationships for me. Vicariously experiencing through strangers, that which I should have the courage to pursue myself is unconscionable, if I am to perceive myself as a man who takes responsibility for his own life.
All these insights have been floating around my headspace for some time, but they were never supported by a larger framework of values. When I came across one of these insights in my previous attempts to quit, they were eventually defeated by my desire to experience the pleasure of acting out, because pleasure seeking used to be a leading value in my life, with very little competition.
The reason these insights kept me from completing my ritual, is because they had the context of a larger framework of values to strengthen them.
I accomplished the desired effect of this experiment. Although I fully admit it was a risky undertaking, I believe it has bared fruit and it was not a decision I took lightly. I now know for a fact that my values are stronger then my desire to pleasure-seek, at least in this context.
My fear is that I might be tempted to ‘’keep peaking’’, therefore eroding my resolve and leading to actual relapse, but I anticipate this and will therefore keep an extra close eye for any compulsive sexual behavior I might engage in the future.

Day 2:
1. I feel anxiety about posting my experiment and it’s result for fear of judgement. I feel anxious emotionally anxious about having done it in the first place. Intellectually, I have no regrets. I did what I did with resolve and sound reasoning. I’ve breached none of my values.
2. I’m feeling rather elated that I’ve continued the productive wave I caught yesterday. I’m aflush with the desire to build value in myself.
3. Played some video games, listened to some music, I’m content, but the call of right action is sounding and I should get something useful done.
4. Flashes of yesterday’s incursion into the perverse occurred. I disregarded them as nothing more significant than a habitual muscle twitch.
5. I read some of a Don-Juan style player’s biography. I think leaving behind my old life of porn and prostitutes is only the first step. I need to replace these things with the actual experience of hitting on hot girls (and hopefully sleeping with them). The sexual equivalent of throwing away the junk food and stocking the pantry with healthy food.

Day 3:
1. I feel the need for a value-based goal to passionately pursue. I have a need for achievement and I feel that only a productive obsession will suffice. I’m anxious.

2. The consequences of day one’s experiment are bearing down on me. The temptation to peek further, against my better judgement, is something I’ve predicted. I know where this train of thought leads, therefore I choose to simply let it go. To let the harem of limitless fetishism, that is porn, simply be. It offers nothing I want.

Day 4:
1. The ‘’flashes’’ continue, but whenever I entertain the notion of returning to my online harem, I find the idea repulsive.
2. I feel neurotic and sexually insecure. I realize reality does not support my insecurity. I would usually spend a long time over analyzing myself to confirm that that’s indeed the case. Now I find it easier to just let it go.
3. I feel a degree of regret over day one’s experiment. I had gotten to the point, where my sexual tastes ‘’deprogrammed’’, in other words, the porn inspired fetishism faded away. Now it’s bothering me on a daily basis. By that metric my recovery has been set back. Still, I refuse to do what I normally do in these situations, i. e. relapse ‘’for real’’ to ‘’clear the books and start fresh’’. Perhaps it’s stubbornness, but I still think the experiment was a good call, even if I were to treat it as a relapse, going back to my harem now would do me no good.

4. I’m sluggish and tired. I can’t seem to wake up. I can’t seem to find the motivation to do anything productive today.

5. Feeling minor pangs of anxiety unrelated to addiction. I’m starting to understand why I put stoicism so far up my list of values.

Day 5:

1. Went out people watching. Made note of where I saw the greatest concentration of beautiful women. I intent to try and pick up girls right off the streets. For a lot of forum regulars this would seem like a bad sign, but remember, I’m here for porn and prostitutes. I resort to these things because of my lack of social skills and my introversion. For me, this is something productive. I felt good about myself.
2. I felt inspired by seeing so many beautiful women. Elated even. I felt no ‘’pangs’’, no compulsions to watch porn today. My normal sexual tastes are finding their way back into my mind.
3. I felt a bit insecure about my intelligence, or should I say, my knowledge base today. I noticed a younger friend of mind has been reading a lot of things I’ve been interested about in ages, yet I’ve always procrastinated reading them myself.
4. Took a bath, felt good. I’ve been following this exercise well enough for now and I’m also proud that I’ve retained a lot of energy for the workshop in general. Or at least I think I am. I’m quite proud of the insights I’ve gleamed so far. It really has shaken up the way I view the world.

Day 6:
1. Feeling anxious and motivated to get into the kind of workflow that produces self-esteem. I want to apply myself
2. Thought of happy-ending massages and the comfort-vibe they produce. Threw the thought out on its face immediately. I’m reviewing my values to seal the deal on overcoming this urge.
3. Another urge, very strong, very fetishistic. Overall, juicy. Reduced to nothing in seconds.
4. Felt sexually normal again, with normal tastes. It feels great
5. I thought about the earlier fetish urge and how insignificant it feels now. I view it from a completely different perspective at this moment. Amazing how porn brainwashing works
Day 7:

1. I’m glad this exercise is coming to an end. It’s taken considerable energy to be so aware of my emotions.
2. I notice an ‘’on day/of day’’ cycle in regards to my ability to stay focused and motivated on the majority of my tasks. This is a recent development and I hope to remedy it and break this trend.
3. I watched a tv show that resonated a lot with me. I got really emotionally invested. Both angry and sad.
4. I’m a bit ticked off that I haven’t marked more emotional events today
5. I think I’ll do the whole ‘’roleplaying’’ portion of the exercise, where I imagine a ritual situation:


Scenario 1:

I ride past a known location of a ‘’happy ending’’ massage parlor. I start reminiscing on a good session I’ve had. I go home, I continue to engage in fantasy. I stop, reminding myself of the values I’d be compromising in actually going to the service. I remind myself that I’d be sacrificing my dignity, self-respect and my desire to improve myself.

Scenario 2:

I’m reminded of a fetish via the internet. I start fantasizing about it. I look up an ama related to the fetish. I ask myself why I’m really here. I come to the conclusion that it’s purely for fantasy-fuel. I ask myself what benefit this activity offers. I ask myself if the fetish truly falls into the purview of my interests, or is it really just there because of the porn induced desire for novelty. I answer these questions and find that the fantasy is de-mystified and no longer appealing. In may in fact become unappealing as a result of the answers.

Conclusion: It’s hard to deny that I found this exercise a bit tedious, but I still have to say, I understand the benefit I’ve derived from it. I have reached the conclusion that I’ve started to respond to the majority of my emotional episodes by consulting my values. Even still, looking at other forum members and their responses to this exercise I fell a bit inadequate in regards to how much detail and effort I’ve put into this particular exercise. I’ll endeavor to give the rest of the workshop my all.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 411
Hi Felix,

Quote:
I accomplished the desired effect of this experiment. Although I fully admit it was a risky undertaking, I believe it has bared fruit and it was not a decision I took lightly.

I would agree that this was a risky thing to do but you came through it with your desired results so take the positive but think very carefully about repeating that. There is a natural tendency for those recovering to want to test the waters to see if they have progressed as far as they think or hoped. That is a very slippery road as it puts temptation in your way. If you think of recovery as being a different way of managing your life rather than needing to test whether you are still "addicted" it might give better context of what you are striving for?

Quote:
1. I feel anxiety about posting my experiment and it’s result for fear of judgement.

No-one on RN will judge you and I appreciate your openness. It is for you to decide whether what you do or have done is right and to learn from that.

Quote:
I think leaving behind my old life of porn and prostitutes is only the first step. I need to replace these things with the actual experience of hitting on hot girls (and hopefully sleeping with them).

I would agree to a point but please take note of CoachJon's warning that addicts often replace one addiction with another (e.g. sex addiction replaced by gambling, drinking, etc). Finding healthy ways of managing your life by exploring new or resurrecting old interests as you suggest is the way to go. Remember you are looking for depth rather than emotional bursts when seeking ways of enjoying your life.

Quote:
Even still, looking at other forum members and their responses to this exercise I fell a bit inadequate in regards to how much detail and effort I’ve put into this particular exercise.

There is an overwhelming temptation on RN to compare yourself to other members and to feel like you are not doing a good job. You took the exercise seriously and have achieved a lot from it so feel good about that, take the positives and move on. You're doing a good job, keep it going!

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:16 am 
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Posts: 3860
Location: UK
Hello FN
I totally agree with L2R a very unusual and IMO dangerous way to tackle this exercise, which by the way needs to cover a wide spectrum of emotions, not those directly attached to and hence drivers of addiction

Poly addiction is very real, swapping one compulsive unhealthy behaviour for another is easily done , can be seen as the resolve but truly is no answer
Your experiment reminded me of my masturbation, but not to completion, documented in my thread, I believed that I was testing myself and passing those tests but the fact is I was acting out, were you doing this in your “experiment”?



I
Quote:
think leaving behind my old life of porn and prostitutes is only the first step. I need to replace these things with the actual experience of hitting on hot girls (and hopefully sleeping with them).


Does that sound healthy, please consider getting to know girls, becoming a friend and certainly not a predator , discover intimacy

Quote:
remember, I’m here for porn and prostitutes.


Sorry but to me that sounds like throwing away half a loaf of bread because it is rancid mould but keeping he other half in case you get hungry

Quote:
My normal sexual tastes are finding their way back into my mind.


I am not judging here and certainly never will, but do you really know and understand your sexual tastes and if so do they pass your filters of being healthy and normal
I think you should reflect and then choose , you cannot be half pregnant

Good luck and please do take my and L2R's comments as being (hopefully) constructive, you are doing OK but as with all of us there is more to be given and thus achieved
:pe:

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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
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:15 pm 
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Posts: 76
A. When I was 18 I had a girlfriend I was very much fond of. She was coming over to my apartment and there was a strong possibility we would get intimate. Even so, I chose to PMO, despite fully knowing it was bad for my sexuality. I had refrained from using for the duration of our relationship. I had the intense urge to do something wrong and self-sabotaging and to preemptively vindicate my fear of impotence. It was an irrational, in-the-moment choice that made no logical sense.
B. When I act out, in regards to pornography, I feel an intense anxiety, during which I have to come to terms with the fact that I have, in fact, acted out. Once I’m at peace with that reality, I start to relax, and I give way to a hyper-entitled mindset. I’m entitled to the best clips and pictures. I’m entitled to the best experience and it’s almost as if I get angry at some invisible ‘’harem-attendant’’ if I don’t get what I feel is adequate. Once I do find something sufficiently tantalizing, I fall into a sort of trance by way of fantasy. I use my imagination to enhance whatever content I’m provided with. I’m fully immersed in the act if extracting as much novelty and pleasure as I can.
C. While the anxiety of abstaining has lessened, by way of changing my perception, (instead of looking at the content I thirst for from the bias perspective of someone wishing to use it for gratification, ignoring the unpleasant, magnifying the titillating, imagine myself using the content from the third person perspective. How would I look? What is objectively happening in these clips? Is this how I want to spend my time and energy?) I still feel the sense of ‘’I’m missing all these delicious pieces of content, I could be having so much fun right now’’. I feel the anxiety of missing out on something important, doubly so when I’m already bored.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:53 pm 
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Posts: 76
Quote:
I would agree that this was a risky thing to do but you came through it with your desired results so take the positive but think very carefully about repeating that. There is a natural tendency for those recovering to want to test the waters to see if they have progressed as far as they think or hoped. That is a very slippery road as it puts temptation in your way. If you think of recovery as being a different way of managing your life rather than needing to test whether you are still "addicted" it might give better context of what you are striving for?


I think the binary of addicted/not addicted is a false one. All that matters is our ability to manage our lives efficiently. Of course, the goal is to use no managing tools that are destructive (like PMO, for example). An entirely achievable goal, to be sure. But I certainly didn't engage in this undertaking to prove to myself that I was ''no longer addicted''. My goal was to, in fact, see if I can experience the majority of my most prevalent ritual and still see it as having low value. While I viewed the content, I found myself able to think clearly, through the lens of my values. In that context, I found the content rather off-putting, even disgusting. In fact, several days after the experiment, I found the thought of spending time with a prostitute enter my mind. I was disgusted by the idea, unprompted by any rationalization, as if by instinct.
What ultimately led me to the decision to go ahead with the experiment was my need to take some control. To do something that had a very tangible effect on my recovery (not to imply that the workshop so far hasn't, but it's all been incremental and therefore, in many ways, frustrating). I noticed tell-tale signs of me slipping back into, what I call ''the danger zone'', where certain subtle behaviors and thought patterns signal me for relapse in the near future. I've been through the song and dance of early recovery enough times to where I have a sharp sense of these things. I needed to do something radically different from what I've done before as a way to escape my relapse-recovery cycle.


Quote:
I would agree to a point but please take note of CoachJon's warning that addicts often replace one addiction with another (e.g. sex addiction replaced by gambling, drinking, etc). Finding healthy ways of managing your life by exploring new or resurrecting old interests as you suggest is the way to go. Remember you are looking for depth rather than emotional bursts when seeking ways of enjoying your life.

I don't know if you have experience with the socially stunted, but if I was searching for a surrogate addiction I would chose something that actually had an element of instant gratification. Learning to seduce women after a lifetime of poor socialization is the opposite of that, for me at least. It represents the value of acquiring learned charisma which ties into the overarching value of self-improvement. It's hard work for me to socialize. Sometimes I find myself taxed to keep contact with even my closest friends, to say nothing of sleeping with a female acquaintance. I realize, that for many forum regulars that have principally struggled with love addiction and affairs, that might seem a bit mad, but it's a challenge I feel I must rise to if I'm ever going to feel in control of my own life.

Thank you for your input, LtR.
Yours truly, F.N.


Last edited by Felix Nai on Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Quote:
Poly addiction is very real, swapping one compulsive unhealthy behaviour for another is easily done , can be seen as the resolve but truly is no answer
Your experiment reminded me of my masturbation, but not to completion, documented in my thread, I believed that I was testing myself and passing those tests but the fact is I was acting out, were you doing this in your “experiment”?


Absolutely not. I too have a tricked myself in doing things that I rationalized were for the purposes of recovery, but were really a backdoor for acting out. I took special care to avoid this. Masturbation and orgasm would produce pleasure, which I knew would render the exercise pointless. I continued viewing the content, long past the point of saturation, with no release, for the express purpose of devaluing the ritual. I came to the conclusion, that viewed objectively, no part of the experience of viewing the content provided any value. In fact, I fount myself with a long lasting disgust for the content that's still lingering. I not only took part of my ritual, but figuratively walked right into an ambush and still left with useful insights. No matter what happens in my recovery (and I'm optimistic about the outcome) this represents a very sweet personal victory.



Quote:
I think leaving behind my old life of porn and prostitutes is only the first step. I need to replace these things with the actual experience of hitting on hot girls (and hopefully sleeping with them).


Does that sound healthy, please consider getting to know girls, becoming a friend and certainly not a predator , discover intimacy

[/quote]

Like I mentioned in my reply to LtR, pickup does not represent a desire for strong emotions for me. It represents a desire for personal growth. I have no intention of tricking women into sleeping with me, or do I have some malicious desire to enact some sort of ''trail of broken hearts'' revenge fantasy. I just want to defy my lot and life and actually be the kind of man women want to sleep with, by taking care of my mind and body and by acquiring an exceptional degree of learned charisma. 90% of this is, in all honesty and probability, going to be like developing any other personally important skillset (like learning to be financially self-sufficient for example), with a long period conscious incompetence before becoming consciously competent enough to extract positive emotions on a consistent basis. And I know, how nice an intimate relationship can feel. I've only been in one I truly valued and to be frank, its been like walking through life with a piece of gum stuck to my shoe ever since.

Quote:
My normal sexual tastes are finding their way back into my mind.


I am not judging here and certainly never will, but do you really know and understand your sexual tastes and if so do they pass your filters of being healthy and normal
I think you should reflect and then choose , you cannot be half pregnant[/quote]

I certainly do. What I meant by my ''normal sexual tastes'' is simply how my sexuality looks and feels like when all the acquired fetishistic desires from porn fade away. To clarify, porn is like an infinitely accessible, limitless free harem. You engage in normal virtual ''sex'' so often that you get bored and start to experiment with more and more novel ''kinks'' to keep interest. At one point, you start to question where your sexuality ends and the acquired kinks begin. When I leave the harem behind, the kind of stuff I find myself wanting from women is mostly vanilla.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Posts: 76
Quote:
Poly addiction is very real, swapping one compulsive unhealthy behaviour for another is easily done , can be seen as the resolve but truly is no answer
Your experiment reminded me of my masturbation, but not to completion, documented in my thread, I believed that I was testing myself and passing those tests but the fact is I was acting out, were you doing this in your “experiment”?


Absolutely not. I too have a tricked myself in doing things that I rationalized were for the purposes of recovery, but were really a backdoor for acting out. I took special care to avoid this. Masturbation and orgasm would produce pleasure, which I knew would render the exercise pointless. I continued viewing the content, long past the point of saturation, with no release, for the express purpose of devaluing the ritual. I came to the conclusion, that viewed objectively, no part of the experience of viewing the content provided any value. In fact, I fount myself with a long lasting disgust for the content that's still lingering. I not only used part of my ritual to strike a blow against my compulsive behavior, but figuratively walked right into an ambush and still left with useful insights. No matter what happens in my recovery (and I'm optimistic about the outcome) this represents a very sweet personal victory.



Quote:
I think leaving behind my old life of porn and prostitutes is only the first step. I need to replace these things with the actual experience of hitting on hot girls (and hopefully sleeping with them).

Quote:
Does that sound healthy, please consider getting to know girls, becoming a friend and certainly not a predator , discover intimacy




Like I mentioned in my reply to LtR, pickup does not represent a desire for strong emotions for me. It represents a desire for personal growth. I have no intention of tricking women into sleeping with me, nor do I have some malicious desire to enact some sort of ''trail of broken hearts'' revenge fantasy. I just want to defy my lot and life and actually be the kind of man women want to sleep with, by taking care of my mind and body and by acquiring an exceptional degree of learned charisma. 90% of this is, in all honesty and probability, going to be like developing any other personally important skillset (like learning to be financially self-sufficient for example), with a long period conscious incompetence before becoming consciously competent enough to extract positive emotions on a consistent basis. And I know how nice an intimate relationship can feel. I've only been in one I truly valued and to be frank, its been like walking through life with a piece of gum stuck to my shoe ever since.

Quote:
I am not judging here and certainly never will, but do you really know and understand your sexual tastes and if so do they pass your filters of being healthy and normal
I think you should reflect and then choose , you cannot be half pregnant


I certainly do. What I meant by my ''normal sexual tastes'' is simply how my sexuality looks and feels like when all the acquired fetishistic desires from porn fade away. To clarify, porn is like an infinitely accessible, limitless free harem. You engage in normal virtual ''sex'' so often that you get bored and start to experiment with more and more novel ''kinks'' to keep interest. At one point, you start to question where your sexuality ends and the acquired kinks begin. When I leave the harem behind, the kind of stuff I find myself wanting from women is mostly vanilla. Even light kinks like hair, pulling and spanking are stuff I'm mostly neutral about, and would do mostly just to please my partner.

I'm always glad to hear some feedback, but I've never been a guy that's ever been satisfied by just doing OK. I'll be redoubling my efforts.
Yours truly, F.N.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:29 am 
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Daily monitoring agenda for the next 4 days: actively seek opportunities to strengthen my belief that I’m functional, sociable and worthy of love.
Weekly monitoring agenda
Question 1:
I derived meaning from getting back in the gym. I had a great workout and I pushed myself, despite having some shoulder pain that made me anxious to get back to weight lifting.
Additionally, I spend a good amount of time trying to find connections for castings and had a fairly interesting rehearsal.
I finished watching a season of a tv show that very much resonated with me. I’m getting into the habit of isolating a character or line from whatever I’m watching an sort of ‘’acting along’’ with them.
I had a couple of great improve sessions with my guitar. I found a new trick to impoving that makes things a lot more exiting.
I finally completed exercise 33, which sapped my energy somewhat and I got some fairly important feedback on my recovery.
Question 2:
The majority of my energy went into keeping me from getting in a slump. I’ve had good days and bad interspersed with each other and keeping myself energetic and motivated has been difficult this week.
Question 3:
I’ve definitely felt somewhat inadequate in keeping my emotions in check. I’ve felt down and unmotivated. I’ve spent a few days not being able to get over my procrastination at all. I’ve MOed twice (no porn) this week which I will take care not to do for the foreseeable future.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:00 am 
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Lesson 36:
Scenario in which personal consequences have been prolonged or intensified by a lack of boundaries:
My most successful (in terms of time elapsed) attempt at quitting porn was irreparably sabotaged by a lack of boundaries. I thought I could ‘’regulated’’ my intake, so after a three month period of abstinence, I occasionally began using, which turned into a full blown addiction yet again.
Scenario in which having boundaries would spare me a lot of trouble:
I’m alone with my friend’s girlfriend. She’s being flirtatious and it’s obvious she might be inclined to cheat on him with me. I don’t want to enable her cheating and contribute to the ruin of my friend’s relationship as that falls beyond the boundaries of what I consider acceptable.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:39 am 
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Lesson 37; Values and their boundaries:
Self-betterment:
1. What I’ve done or haven’t done yesterday is irrelevant. A productive yesterday doesn’t mean a lazy today
2. I will confront irrational aversions to productive behavior, such as not contacting a potential node for my networking, simply because I feel nebulously ‘’awkward’’
3. I will not start the day with entertainment
4. I will not gorge myself on entertainment to the point of tiring myself out. Entertainment is simply a pause between value building action, which is the purpose of my life
5. I approach my current activity with concentration and integrity. Distractions, such as disturbing events of the day or an interesting narrative or piece of trivia are to be purged and stored for when I decide to rest
Stoicism:
1. I will not dwell on emotional pain or physical discomfort
2. I will regard my deficiencies in character as facts of the matter not as a source of anxiety and self-defeating emotions
3. I will regard my urges as fleeting moments of want, instead of evidence of the permanent nature of addiction
4. I will regard frustration as simply a present state of mind, instead of a sickness that must be cured with the application of some compulsive activity
5. I will be aware of my emotions, the role they play in my decision making and the reason, whether rational or not, for their existence in the moment
Self-respect:
1. I will not let decisions I know were made soberly and with good reason be questioned and put into doubt by moment to moment emotions
2. I will not allow myself to be scolded when I believe I’ve made no mistake
3. I will not debase myself for a cheap sexual thrill
4. I will not take insults lying down
5. I will not engage in negative self-talk
6. I will be assertive in my stating my desires, expectations and boundaries


Absolute boundaries:
1. I will not engage in toadying, yes-manning behavior for any reason
2. I will never accept mediocrity in my resolve to improve my lot in life
3. I will only allow my present actions and beliefs to determine my identity. The past is not relevant.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:48 am 
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Lesson 38: situations in which my values are endangered:

Situation 1; the value of self-betterment is endangered by a sudden increase in workload or an unusually stressful event such as having my house broken into. This would increase the temptation to just binge on entertainment or even to act out. My boundaries act as a buffer, but should a sufficiently stressful situation occur, I don’t know if it will be enough. Taking comfort in friends and (probably less so) in family seems like the action plan to put into place for such an eventuality.
Situation 2; the value of self-respect is put in danger by a string of unsuccessful endeavors, such as repeatedly not getting callbacks for castings or consistent romantic rejection, lowering my self-esteem and therefore making me more prone to not acting in an assertive manner. Possible solutions might include reminding myself of what my values and boundaries are, remembering past success, engaging in positive self-talk.
Situation 3;the value of stoicism is put into danger by emotionally distressing events, likely similar to the events listed in situation 2. I believe simply reminding myself of the boundaries associated with this value and acting in accordance with them should prove sufficient to preserve this value.
In conclusion, I’m fairly supprised to find that my boundaries are somewhat robust and that stoicism acts as a sturdy linchpin for most other values and boundaries as it acts as a de-facto buffer zone for other buffer zones (the boundaries associated with the other values)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:34 am 
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I relapsed. I was engaged with a theater premiere I was a part of and I got to see my family together for the first time in months. All that led to an inadvertent neglect on some of my values and boundaries. So I suppose the leading cause for my relapse is simply carelessness on my part.
Here is what I wrote, following the relapse:

Everything fits the framework: underserved values+ stressor (lack of sex/poor social skills)= relapse.
No sex=underserved value. If I had acted unstoic for a month or I had not made any self-improvement progress, I would have felt stress and sought so serve these values, hence why I compensated with a relapse.
Solution:
1. Make sure to always be productive and always serve your values. No brakes, no holidays, everyday value vigilance. At the very least never have a bad week. This solution is impractical. I can strive for perfection, but it’s impossible to predict every variable as to be sure I never have an off-week.
2. Remove sexual gratification from my values. Undesirable, likely impossible.
3. Get a sex life. Difficult. Attainable.
If I accomplish option 3, I will have at something concrete to redirect my sexual energy towards. Right now, the only outlets remotely in my comfort zone are: paid sex, masturbation, PMO

Note to self: keep in mind your relationship to porn and hookers in your weekly monitoring. Have I found myself thinking: ‘’x enjoys some porn now and again, it might not be so bad’’
Have I justified peeking behavior to myself? Things of that nature.


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