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 Post subject: Ziggy's Recovery Thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 36
Hi Everyone,
This is my recovery thread. Thanks for listening.
I have been struggling with pornography and masturbation for about 24 years - since I started high school. I have started and re-started this workshop a few times before. Usually I don't post, I just try to do the exercises on my own, and work through it all on my own. This time I thought I would try to do everything fully and sincerely.
I want to say that I really appreciate all of the effort put in to make this material, and to make it available for free, and all the help in the forums of the coaches and other members to read and post and comment and help each other on this path. Thank you.

Lesson 1

A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are:
1) actively committing yourself to change
I have been trying to change for a long time, but it hasn't quite worked. I normally talk myself down from crisis mode and the fear that I will never figure this out and let myself believe that this time is different, and i will simply move forward with a slightly different mindset or a simple new insight that will be the key to solving the problem. And I move forward with the thought that i don't really need to put much effort in, that everything will be ok, I will just use willpower and solve it. Or repeat a few things in my mind a couple of times a day to give myself the right direction. Depending on my life situation at the time, this can last a while - sometimes a month, sometimes a week, sometimes a day, sometimes less than a day. When I'm at a high point of abstinence, I feel like how could I ever be tempted? It feels so natural to avoid it. When I am at a low point and the desire is strong, I feel like how can I ever continue without it. I just feel like giving in, I want to give in.
So, I think actively committing to change means really understanding that my simple methods don't work, my simple lazy mindset doesn't work, and the tricks I play on myself to get out of putting in the effort won't get me to a healthy life. I need to sit down and work on learning these skills so that i can truly make a deeper change and not a surface change.

2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
I feel guilty and shameful after every time that I act out. And I always tell myself that this will be the last time (before and after). Shame is what has made me keep it a secret from everyone. When it is something that is in the dark, it is easier to repeat again and again. I keep thinking to myself, I will wait until i've recovered to tell my girlfriend, ("oh look, btw, I used to have this problem, but I don't have it anymore, so everything is cool") but I know this is a wrong mindset to have. I have a great fear of telling her that I still struggle with this problem, but i know that not telling her and avoiding it is making things worse and just letting me prolong my addiction in secrecy.

3) allowing yourself time to change.
This is something that I struggle with, because going in to recovery, my mindset is, ok I will never do it again. I come in with the expectation that I will have a flawless recovery with no slips. But I know this is not how it works, and that recovery is a process and even I feel like I have learned and grown a lot from when I started and from my low points. I have been able to diminish it a lot but I haven't been able to eliminate it. The idea of allowing myself time to change is something that I think I still need to work on and think about more.

B. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life.

I want to move forward with my life.
I want to have kids one day, and be able to set a good example for them.
I want to be the same person on the outside and towards others as I am on the inside and when I am alone.
I want to improve my relationship with my parents and be honest with them.
I want to have more empathy for people.
I want to be able to control my emotions in a healthy way.
I want to have clean and healthy thoughts in my mind.
I want to be more positive and loving.
I want to be more confident.
I want to spend my time on things that I value.
I want to understand myself better.

C. Find a picture of yourself when you were a small child. Do whatever you must to emotionally connect with this child because it is for this child that you are now reclaiming your life. It is this child who lost their way and you are the one now showing the courage to guide this child, who is you, back to health.

It was nice to look at a young and innocent me. It's nice to think of him and care for him in my thoughts. Do I really have to be so different now?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:23 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 293
Hey Ziggy,

Quote:
I have been able to diminish it a lot but I haven't been able to eliminate it.


In time you will learn that recovery is not about managing your behaviors and addiction, but instead better managing your life...

Quote:
I want to spend my time on things that I value.


...and that is exactly how you'll manage your life.

So, welcome to RN and your journey to health.

The circumstances which bring you here may indeed be unique, but the path you will take to recover from them is not. What am I saying? You’re not alone and recovery is possible.
Your firm commitment to your life beyond addiction will make all the difference—don’t forget that it is your choice. So if health is what you want, then commit to yourself with conviction and complete the exercises with absolute honesty. The path is long and hard, but it has been done countless times before you.
Although we recommend completing around 3 lessons a week, we encourage you to read or post daily. That being said, recovery is not a race and it’s important to go a pace with which your body and mind can safely handle—many believe recovery to be a journey, not a destination.
If you find yourself challenged or have questions with one of the lessons, utilize the help forum as help is readily available.
Coaches and Mentors are likely to drop by occasionally. If they don’t, no worries, it’s generally a good sign that you’re on the right path.
So, Ziggy, do you accept this invitation to your new life? The choice is yours.
May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease,

Anon


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 36
Hi Anon,

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I have been able to at least read and work on exercises every day, though it is taking me time to complete them and post. There is certainly a lot to digest and think about. I am glad that I still have this opportunity, and sincerely hope that I can maintain my commitment to seeing this through and really finally changing my life.

Lesson 2

My Vision
I would like to try and improve every day, and I would like to put my heart into what I do, whether listening to people, or working at work, I would like to be present and sincere
I would like to be honest and truthful and straightforward with myself and others.
I would like to show more respect to the people and things around me, to be grateful to them, and act properly around others and also when alone.
I would like to be pure and clean in my thoughts about women and in my interactions with women. I want to value people (men and women) and have concern for their situation and their needs not as a means to some desire or end.
I would like to have more courage and be more confident, and act with virtue and integrity even when it is difficult, I would like to be more disciplined with myself, especially when it is easy for me to be lazy
I would like to be more curious, seek to learn as much as I can (learn with a mind of teaching others), to experiment and try new things, seek to understand the world around me, understand others, and understand myself more, to be passionate about learning and also teaching others, and to be better at remembering things.
I would like to take care of myself better (exercise, eating right, having compassion for myself) take care of the world around me (don't waste), take care of people (empathy and concern for others, help others), be friendly and caring, I would like to care more about the world around me, be interested in what is happening in the world, not just right where i live, to have greater empathy for all kinds of people
I would like to think about God more, think about my parents more (call them often, and when I call them, be present and listen, and share my experiences sincerely), be grateful, remember my goals and my plans, and be present in the moment.
I would like to be better at my job, be more passionate about my job, try to do my best, not just thinking about what is best for myself, but what is my place and my role.
This is my vision for my life.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 3: The Role of Values

A. (Write out life vision if not yet done)
B. List out values from my life vision.

1 Being closer to God
2 Understanding myself and my purpose
3 Understanding others
4 Finding true joy in life, being in true joy - the joy of the soul
5 Helping others to find joy and meaning
6 Having compassion for others
7 Having patience for myself and others
8 Improving every day
9 Shouldering my responsibilities
10 Being sincere in my actions and putting my heart into what I do (if it is worth doing, it should be worth doing sincerely)
11 Being able to handle difficult situations with wisdom and care
12 Being a good listener
13 Being present in the moment
14 Being honest with myself and others
15 Respecting teachers
16 Being respectful of others, especially people I don't get along with
17 Being respectful and grateful to things
18 Acting properly when alone
19 Be pure in clean in my thoughts and interactions with women
20 Being less attached to physical forms - things I see, eat, feel, hear, smell - learn to appreciate all kinds of things
21 Valuing all people and beings
22 Have concern and empathy for others
23 Having courage to do things that scare me
24 Understanding and following rules
25 Having confidence (but not arrogance)
26 Acting with virtue and integrity, even when it is difficult
27 Being disciplined
28 Be grateful, respectful and careful with shared things / resources
29 Being curious
30 Learning as much as I can (but make the learning meaningful)
31 Being able to teach others
32 Experimenting and trying new things as long as they match with my values
33 Seeking to understand the world around me
34 Being passionate about learning and teaching
35 Taking care of myself
36 Exercising
37 Eating right, not just for taste
38 Having compassion and tolerance and patience for myself, but not self pity
39 Taking care of the world around me (conserving resources, recycling, reusing)
40 Taking care of people
41 Value what I am taught and what I learn and sincerely put it in to practice
42 Being friendly and caring towards others
43 Caring more about what is going on in the world around me
44 Respect, help, and care for those more senior than me, teach and guide the younger generation
45 Having empathy for all kinds of people
46 Thinking about God every day
47 Thinking about my parents every day, calling them often
48 Listening and sharing sincerely when talking to people
49 Being grateful
50 Remembering my goals and my plans
51 Being good at my job, learning what I need to learn if I am deficient
52 Be careful with money - frugal, reverent, respectful
53 Being passionate about my job
54 Doing my best when working on something
55 Thinking about my role and what is good for others (not just myself) when making a decision
56 Thinking about others
57 Caring about my girlfriend
58 Caring about my friends
59 Be cautious in what I think, say, and do
60 Looking back and thinking about the bigger picture
61 Learning languages
62 Keeping things clean and in good working order
63 Being proactive rather than waiting for things to happen and forgetting about things
64 Being appreciative of food when I eat it, and really savoring and tasting, rather than eating as quickly as I can
65 Put more focus on the spirit and virtues, less focus on the physical and temporary
66 Being vegan

C. 1) List out additional values I want to focus on from the list presented in the lesson material.

67 Living with integrity
68 Being an inspiration and role model to others
69 Sharing my true self with the world around me
70 Strengthening my role as a son
71 Strengthening my role as a brother
72 strengthening my role as a coworker and friend
73 Being giving and selfless
74 Expressing spirituality in my day to day life
75 Enhancing my spiritual awareness
76 Being dependable and reliable
77 Being humble
78 Having a sense of responsibility
79 Overcoming challenges
80 Developing emotional maturity
81 Being a teacher / mentor
82 Experiencing fatherhood
83 Developing deeper friendships and relationships
84 Wisdom
85 Appreciating natural beauty / nature
86 Living a meaningful life
87 Appreciating music and art
88 Sacrificing for others
89 Making things
90 Communicating feelings and ideas
91 Impromptu speaking
92 Being able to explain things
93 Being realistic
94 Having tolerance for beliefs and views and behaviors of others
95 Being open minded

C.2) What values (negative) went in to my compulsive behaviors?
When acting out and following my compulsive desires, I value:
Wanting to experience physical pleasure
Wanting to escape from stress and the world around me
Being lazy and wanting to just give in
Coming up with excuses and reasons
Looking like a good person on the outside while still enjoying damaging, unclean pleasures behind closed doors
Pleasuring myself and letting the consequences sort themselves out later - not worrying about the future
Taking chances with my future self
Prefering self pleasure versus true intimacy with someone
Lacking concern for the people invloved in the porn industry, and for perpetuating an industry that ruins families and relationships
Lacking concern for the effect it has on the person I am in a relationship with
Lacking concern for the effect it has on my family


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 4: Prioritizing Values

I ended up combining a lot of these as they seemed to be similar. I had trouble choosing what I want to focus on, so the top part of the list is a little cluttered, but I know this will evolve over time, and it's only my first pass at it.

1 Understanding myself and my purpose // Finding true joy in life, being in true joy - the joy of the soul // Being closer to God // Thinking about God every day // Living a meaningful life
2 Understanding others // Helping others to find joy and meaning // Having compassion for others // Thinking about others
3 Improving every day
4 Being present in the moment // Remembering things better // Remembering my goals and my plans // Being appreciative of food when I eat it, and really savoring and tasting, rather than eating as quickly as I can // Being a good listener
5 Being curious // Seeking to understand the world around me // Value what I am taught and what I learn and sincerely put it in to practice // Experimenting and trying new things as long as they match with my values // Learning languages
6 Being sincere in my actions and putting my heart into what I do (if it is worth doing, it should be worth doing sincerely) // Doing my best when working on something
7 Have concern and empathy for others // Taking care of people // Being friendly and caring towards others // Listening and sharing sincerely when talking to people
8 Taking care of the world around me (conserving resources, recycling, reusing) // Be grateful, respectful and careful with shared things / resources // Keeping things clean and in good working order
9 Being passionate about learning and teaching // Being a teacher / mentor // Being able to teach others // Impromptu speaking // Being able to explain things // Learning as much as I can (but make the learning meaningful)
10 Being disciplined // Acting with virtue and integrity, even when it is difficult // Be cautious in what I think, say, and do // Acting properly when alone // Living with integrity
11 Developing emotional maturity
12 Being giving and selfless // Sacrificing for others
13 Expressing spirituality in my day to day life // Put more focus on the spirit and virtues, less focus on the physical and temporary // Enhancing my spiritual awareness
14 Being good at my job, learning what I need to learn if I am deficient // Being passionate about my job
15 Caring about my girlfriend
16 Caring more about what is going on in the world around me
17 Looking back and thinking about the bigger picture
18 Developing deeper friendships and relationships // Caring about my friends // strengthening my role as a coworker and friend
19 Sharing my true self with the world around me // Being honest with myself and others
20 Being respectful of others, especially people I don't get along with // Having tolerance for beliefs and views and behaviors of others
21 Thinking about my parents every day, calling them often
22 Being proactive rather than waiting for things to happen and forgetting about things
23 Being an inspiration and role model to others
24 Being grateful // Being respectful and grateful to things
25 Be careful with money - frugal, reverent, respectful
26 Thinking about my role and what is good for others (not just myself) when making a decision
27 Having patience for myself and others // Having compassion and tolerance and patience for myself, but not self pity
28 Being humble
29 Having a sense of responsibility
30 Appreciating natural beauty / nature // Appreciating music and art
31 Communicating feelings and ideas
32 Shouldering my responsibilities
33 Being able to handle difficult situations with wisdom and care
34 Be pure in clean in my thoughts and interactions with women
35 Respecting teachers
36 Having confidence (but not arrogance)
37 Being less attached to physical forms - things I see, eat, feel, hear, smell - learn to appreciate all kinds of things // Eating right, not just for taste
38 Valuing all people and beings // Having empathy for all kinds of people
39 Having courage to do things that scare me
40 Understanding and following rules
41 Exercising
42 Taking care of myself
43 Respect, help, and care for those more senior than me, teach and guide the younger generation
44 Being vegan
45 Strengthening my role as a son
46 Strengthening my role as a brother
47 Being dependable and reliable
48 Overcoming challenges
49 Experiencing fatherhood
50 Making things
51 Being realistic
52 Being open minded


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 36
Lesson 5 Exercises

A. Do these values reflect the person that I am committing myself to becoming? Add missing values and remove those that are not congruent with the life I want to lead.

I think the list looks ok - it is filled with things that a truly would like to work on. I tweaked it in a few places to make it clearer to myself what I mean on some of the values, but in general I think they fit with what I am trying to accomplish in terms of changing how I live my life. I would like to be a person that values and works towards the things on this list.

B. Consider 2 - 3 major decisions in your life, what values went in to the decision making process? Does this list reflect the choices you would make today?

Marriage - In the past I think I jumped in to marriage and assumed everything would just work out. Assumed we would get along and things would be fine.
Getting a job - I kind of just took the first job that I got offered. I didn't originally plan on even interviewing here, but a friend told my to go ahead and submit an application and interview.
picking a college - I wanted to go to an out of state college, but then as the time came closer I felt I wasn't ready and decided to just go the school that was in my home town.
Picking a place to live - I just picked a place that was nearby to my work, and basically settled on the first place that I visited.

I feel like I generally don't put enough thought into my decisions, I kind of just let things happen and am ok with it. Presently and in the future, I would like to put more thought in to my decisions and I feel this list reflects that, so I'm happy with that. Additionally, I think I have a fear of interacting with people, especially strangers, I don't want to inconvenience others or look silly in front of others, so I think it really limits how I interact with people. Sometimes, if a decision involves another person, I just try to limit how much time I spend deciding and just try to do what I think will be the most convenient for the other person, and this doesn't always make sense from a values standpoint.

C. Examine the list for realism.
I think the list is where I would like to go. I think they are difficult to achieve, but also I can gradually make my way in that direction, which is achievable, step by step.


D. Top fifteen values

1 Understanding myself and my purpose // Finding true joy in life, being in true joy - the joy of the soul // Being closer to God // Thinking about God every day // Living a meaningful life
2 Understanding others // Helping others to find joy and meaning // Having compassion for others // Thinking about others // think about people's feelings, reasons for doing things, try to understand more, ask more questions
3 Being present in the moment // Remembering things better // Remembering my goals and my plans // Being appreciative of food when I eat it, and really savoring and tasting, rather than eating as quickly as I can // Being a good listener
4 Being curious // Seeking to understand the world around me // Value what I am taught and what I learn and sincerely put it in to practice // Experimenting and trying new things as long as they match with my values // Learning languages
5 Being sincere in my actions and putting my heart into what I do (if it is worth doing, it should be worth doing sincerely) // Doing my best when working on something
6 Have concern and empathy for others // Taking care of people // Being friendly and caring towards others // Listening and sharing sincerely when talking to people // not looking down on or dismissing people, don't think I'm better than others
7 Taking care of the world around me (conserving resources, recycling, reusing) // Be grateful, respectful and careful with shared things / resources // Keeping things clean and in good working order
8 Being passionate about learning and teaching // Being a teacher / mentor // Being able to teach others // Impromptu speaking // Being able to explain things // Learning as much as I can (but make the learning meaningful)
9 Being disciplined // Acting with virtue and integrity, even when it is difficult // Be cautious in what I think, say, and do // Acting properly when alone // Living with integrity // Not being lazy, not sleeping too early
10 Developing emotional maturity - not letting my emotions control me - not acting a certain (negative) way when I am tired and hungry // not being jealous or competitive with others - not having an emotional reaction here
11 Expressing spirituality in my day to day life // Put more focus on the spirit and virtues, less focus on the physical and temporary // Enhancing my spiritual awareness
12 Being good at my job, learning what I need to learn if I am deficient // Being passionate about my job
13 Caring about my girlfriend, understanding her better, being honest with her
14 Caring more about what is going on in the world around me
15 Looking back and thinking about the bigger picture - what is best for me to spend my time on?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:05 am 
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Lesson 6: Proactive Action Plans I

Develop proactive action plans for 2 or 3 of the more simple values of the top 15 in my list.

Caring more about what is going on in the world around me
Read about news from other countries
Read local news
Read about the history of different conflicts and issues in other regions
Interact more with my neighbors (make baked goods? Invite them over to hang out? Set up a block party?)
find out what is happening locally in my city
look at different houses and neighborhoods in the area
find out what stores and things are around, and try them out
join a local club?
research the history of a group of people, country, ethnic group



Being present in the moment
Do some memory lessons for improving memory - so I can focus better in situations and be more present (ex. Yogananda on memory, every day memory builder book)
Being appreciative of food when I eat it, and really savoring and tasting, rather than eating as quickly as I can
Being a good listener - ask questions in my mind when someone is explaining something, to keep myself more engaged, and ask these follow up questions to understand better
At the end of the day, think about what happened during my day, what I was happy about, what impacted me, what I liked or didn't like about my thoughts, words and actions, what I could have done differently
Daily, think about my goals and my plans, and what is meaningful
At least once a day, pay attention to my surroundings and environment when I am driving or walking rather than letting my mind wander off somewhere
From time to time (at least 2-3 times per day), reflect on how I feel at the moment, what things are influencing me, and what my reactions are to these feelings
from time to time, try to really focus on other senses besides just my eyes - listening, smell, touch
When people are talking, listen to them, and don't distract myself and do my own thing
Don't cut other people off when they are speaking
Be thoughtful about the way I sit and stand, the expression on my face. Am I cheerful and approachable?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:30 pm 
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Lesson 10: Absolute Honesty In Recovery

I. Consider lies still being perpetuated in your life. Who you are deceiving. Why you are deceiving them. Consider the 'risks' of coming clean.
I have still not told my girlfriend about my addiction. In the beginning, when we first started going out, I had not looked at pornography or masturbated in about two months, and I was able to fool myself into thinking that I had overcome the addiction. I told her that I had "looked at porn in the past" and she did not dig any further into the topic, and then I did not volunteer any additional information. My thought was that I would eventually tell her about it. Then after a month or two I relapsed and started looking at porn and masturbating again. After this, I was terrified about telling her, and wanted to solve this problem before telling her about it. I would tell myself, let me be clean for another 3 months, and then I'll tell her. Then a few months later, she asked me about my divorce, and wanted to know more about why it happened. And I mislead her and told her it was because of my addiction to video games. Because I couldn't bring myself to tell her about my addiction at that time. Video games, of course were part of it, but it was blatantly untruthful to leave out pornography, which was a big part, if not the main reason for the divorce. Time passed and she really didn't buy that answer, and she felt there was something else, and she wanted me to bring it up and talk to her about it, and i never have been able to. Now I want to tell her about it, but I do feel like having some time and space from this addiction before sharing it. It hasn't been easy for me to find the right time to share it. So I've started this recovery workshop again, so that I can finally try to eliminate this from my life. I don't know when it will come up. I certainly don't want to lie to her if it comes up specifically, but of course the best solution would be for me to tell her about it directly. I still haven't built up the courage to do this yet. Meanwhile, I will continue on this recovery process, knowing that I am hurting our relationship by not being honest with her and not revealing this critical thing about me. I understand that this is quite selfish, but still have not been able to do it. What scares me the most is that when she hears about this, she will just want to leave me. Of course I should let her freely make that decision, and she should be dating me with full knowledge of who I really am, and it is only fair for her to really know whom she is dating. This is not fair to her.

II. If you are involved in a partnership, choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving them in certain areas.
I am currently knowingly not coming clean to my girlfriend about my past, and about the thoughts and behaviors that I still struggle with. If she asks about it directly, I hope that I will not lie to her, and will just talk about it. But at the moment, I am not willing to share this freely. I know this is not healthy, and I am worried about it, and worried about losing her and how I am hurting her by not telling her about it. I know this is unfair to her.

III. If you are involved in professional coaching, choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving those whom you are working with.
Not involved in professional coaching at the moment.

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior.
I do not have any items stashed for my sexually compulsive behavior. In a virtual sense, I still have:
- An email address that I used only for porn sites, that I still sometimes check, and gets promotions and offers from porn sites. I know that whenever I go to check this email address, it is a red flag that I am letting myself go too much. Just to look and check what is there is dangerous and means I am slowly drifting myself back to a dangerous place. Potentially I could shut down this email address, but then if someone potentially got this email address later (like if it was recycled) I don't think that would be good. So I think it is best to keep it, but I do not want to ever visit it. Maybe I could make up a random password and then throw it away, that would prevent me from ever being able to access the email.
- A membership to a porn site that has saved porn videos. The login (I imagine) still works though I have not used it in a while and though I am not currently paying anything for it, it still has some saved videos from my past. I would gladly cancel or revoke this site, but I really do not want to navigate to the site to explore how to cancel it...
V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic objects.
- I don't think that I have any people like this in my life. My addiction has been limited to Online pornography, though I know it has affected the way that I act around and objectify women in real life.

VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/ romantically compulsive behavior.
- My upstairs study, on the computer
- On my phone in my bedroom
- on my laptop in my bedroom
- In the bathtub, with my laptop
- In the downstairs bathroom with my laptop


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 363
Hi Ziggy, welcome back,

Quote:
So I've started this recovery workshop again, so that I can finally try to eliminate this from my life.

If you wish to recover then you are at the right place for that but remember it requires a commitment to work through the programme. If you are going to do this then you need to do it for you first and foremost and not to try and avoid losing your girlfriend. If you do it for yourself then I would suggest that the chances of you keeping your girlfriend will rise because you will be a better person for it. So keep it going now take advantage of what is being made available to you here.

Quote:
I don't know when it will come up. I certainly don't want to lie to her if it comes up specifically, but of course the best solution would be for me to tell her about it directly. I still haven't built up the courage to do this yet. Meanwhile, I will continue on this recovery process, knowing that I am hurting our relationship by not being honest with her and not revealing this critical thing about me. I understand that this is quite selfish, but still have not been able to do it. What scares me the most is that when she hears about this, she will just want to leave me. Of course I should let her freely make that decision, and she should be dating me with full knowledge of who I really am, and it is only fair for her to really know whom she is dating. This is not fair to her.

No-one on RN will tell you what to do, that is entirely your call. But please bear in mind that one of the fundamentals that will lead you to a healthy life is to get away from the lying that is associated with addicts. Health starts with being honest with yourself and others around you. If you choose to hide the truth then there is a real risk that this will come back to bite you. As I say, I am not suggesting that you should come clean with your girlfriend but I would say that you should think everything through carefully before you make a decision and then to take full responsibility for it whichever route you decide.

Good luck and I look forward to following your progress on your thread.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: UK
Hello Ziggy
I totally agree with L2R’s point
Quote:
No-one on RN will tell you what to do, that is entirely your call. But please bear in mind that one of the fundamentals that will lead you to a healthy life is to get away from the lying that is associated with addicts. Health starts with being honest with yourself and others around you. If you choose to hide the truth then there is a real risk that this will come back to bite you.


However IMO one of the great benefits of the RN programme is its community, we get the benefit of experiences from others who have been where we are, we get the opportunity to learn from their mistakes

You already know
Quote:
Of course I should let her freely make that decision, and she should be dating me with full knowledge of who I really am, and it is only fair for her to really know whom she is dating. This is not fair to her.


And of course you are free to choose to be honest or dishonest, and then to take full responsibility for it whichever route you choose

I took the route of dishonesty and it cost me my marriage
I minimised my actions and in doing so totally destroyed her trust, I was not protecting her I was protecting me and actually defending my addiction
I was wrong, please do consider are you?

_________________
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 Jan 11, 2019 12:51 am 
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Posts: 36
Thanks L2R and Kenzo for the advice. Actually we did finally sit down and talk - but it wasn't my idea. She wanted to know about my past and has been asking about it for a while, and I kept avoiding it. Finally she said ok tell me about it. She felt betrayed and is still unsure how to proceed, but it feels so much better to have it out in the open. There does seem to be a heavy weight lifted off of me, even if we end up breaking up, I am a lot more at peace having talked to her about it.

Lesson 12: Recognizing Unhealthy Recovery Patterns
- Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread.
- The point is to take an objective look at your current thoughts and behaviors and compare those behaviors to others who have thought similarly.
- It was a little sad to see that I have a lot of the characteristics under the heading "Those who will continue to struggle with relapse." At the same time it's good to understand these bad mindsets so that I can know what to change.
- Some Recovery patterns I noticed:
- They often attempt to convince others of their recovery by offering their "new identity" as proof. I have made a lot of changes in my life - stopped playing video games, been more respectful of others, being more responsible, and I think I use this as a way to show myself i'm headed in the right direction, but my fear is that I am taking recovery for granted, (thinking that it will happen naturally, that I've started on the right course, and since I don't feel urges right now, I must be cured) and that is very scary = meaning I stop putting in the effort because I believe the problem is solved.
- Tend to focus on controlling past behavior, rather than learning new behavior.
- They consistently measure the success of their recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction. I understand that length of time is not how recovery is measured, but I keep having this feeling of, I just need to get through 4 months or 5 months or 6 months and this will be past me, though I know this is the wrong mindset. I need to make changes in my life to have a sustainable recovery to health, it's just very difficult to assess my recovery that way, because it's so intangible, and time feels so measurable.
- prepare the environment for successfully acting out - I have definitely been guilty of this and when it happens, it is a red flag that I will let myself do it again.
- Their motivation comes from an attempt to appease others - I can't get away from the fact that keeping my relationship alive is a huge motivating factor for me. I hope that I have enough additional motivation to keep going forward even when the external motivation fades.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: UK
Hello Z it has been a while :pe: :pe: :pe: :pe: :pe:
Quote:
She wanted to know about my past and has been asking about it for a while, and I kept avoiding it.

We cannot avoid out past, so the only real alternative is to face it and then own it
Quote:
I am a lot more at peace having talked to her about it.
:g: :g:

I avoided , minimised excused and denied and it cost me everything and harmed further her whom I believed at that time to be protecting
please do learn from my mistake

OK next lesson?????????????????????????

_________________
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: Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:28 am 
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Posts: 36
Thanks for the wise words, Kenzo. I do need to pick up the pace a bit if I'm to succeed here....

Lesson 13: Assessing Healthy Recovery Patterns

- I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery.
- At this point in my recovery, it has been almost 3 months since I last acted out, and I feel like I am getting a little complacent because I am still not very far along in the workshop. I'm worried about not keeping momentum and losing focus. I don't feel like I'm truly overcoming tough situations, mainly navigating through smooth waters where I haven't had many strong urges. I haven't developed and practiced the skills I will need when the urges come back.
- Regarding the healthy recovery patterns I see in myself:
- Having a desire to live a life I can be proud of rather than the illusion of such a life
- Not focused on controlling / ending past behavioral patterns, but on developing new patterns that will take the place of those related to addiction.
- Seeing life as a continuous process of growth and development rather than episodic starts and stops.

- II. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving / managing your recovery?
- Some of the values that I see in my unhealthy recovery patterns are - valuing self preservation - fearing consequences and acting out of fear rather than acting as who I want to be, valuing occupying my mind and time with something that I find "interesting" and relaxing rather than making recovery my primary focus to finally and permanently transition to health, valuing ignorance in thinking that if enough time passes, I will just be free of this addiction, without putting in the work, rather than wanting to continue on with the workshop and really learn about and discover things about myself and create real change in myself.
- Values I see being strengthened in my healthy recovery patterns are - (somewhat contradicting because parts of these values I feel are also being weakened by unhealthy patterns) - developing emotional maturity, understanding myself better.
- There are certainly some inconsistencies between my values and my recovery patterns. I see conflicts with my stated values of - Understanding myself and others, being sincere in my actions, having empathy and concern for others, being disciplined, developing emotional maturity, building a stronger relationship with my girlfriend, stepping back and thinking about the bigger picture. One thing that I think is happening is that haven't been putting enough sincerity into this recovery, and have been letting it passively progress. What I think I can do differently is focus more on building these healthy patterns in my life so that I don't constantly want to slip back into laziness and meaningless activities that bring only temporary gratification and follow with self doubt and shame, and can eventually lead to slips and relapse. Exactly how to keep my motivation up is something I think I still need to figure out.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3798
Location: UK
Hello Ziggy

Quote:
Exactly how to keep my motivation up is something I think I still need to figure out.


for sure you do recovery requires total motivation and commitment anything less leaves us wide open to failure and thus excuses

Quote:
I don't constantly want to slip back into laziness and meaningless activities that bring only temporary gratification and follow with self doubt and shame, and can eventually lead to slips and relapse.


If this statement is completely sincere then why cannot you find that motivation from within it?

Quote:
At this point in my recovery, it has been almost 3 months since I last acted out, and I feel like I am getting a little complacent because I am still not very far along in the workshop.

for a minute lets forget the workshop
how far along are you in recovery?
how do you compare yourself now with yourself three months ago, then compared with the you that enrolled all of those years ago?

after that comparison how do you value yourself?

where could you have been now compared with where you are?
now back to the workshop
what do you have to lose
IMO SFA so choose

_________________
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: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 36
Hi Kenzo,
Thanks for the feedback.

Quote:
Quote:
I don't constantly want to slip back into laziness and meaningless activities that bring only temporary gratification and follow with self doubt and shame, and can eventually lead to slips and relapse.

If this statement is completely sincere then why cannot you find that motivation from within it?


I guess, in reality, part of me does still want to slip back into laziness and meaningless activities. And one way to slow it down, is at least to be aware of it and start to see what it's like when I stand up to the lazy and shallow side of me.

Quote:
Quote:
At this point in my recovery, it has been almost 3 months since I last acted out, and I feel like I am getting a little complacent because I am still not very far along in the workshop.

for a minute lets forget the workshop
how far along are you in recovery?
how do you compare yourself now with yourself three months ago, then compared with the you that enrolled all of those years ago?

after that comparison how do you value yourself?

where could you have been now compared with where you are?


I feel like the biggest change is having come clean to my girlfriend about it. That has made things a lot easier and a lot less stressful. Of course she is very upset, and of course I don't know if she will want to continue the relationship, but it is a tremendous load off of my shoulders to know that I'm not trying to constantly hide things and be dishonest. It is really nice to have this feeling of integrity rather than shame, and so knowing how nice this is I think is a motivator to keep me from slipping back to the old way of doing things. However, as far as recovery, I'm still managing my life with a lot of instant gratification in a lot of places (even if that doesn't include PMO at the moment), so I can't say that I feel very far along yet. How do I feel compared to when I enrolled years ago? I would say one big difference is that I've stopped playing computer games as well.This something that was always a huge time waster for me, and as long as I was doing that, in terms of what it did to my values, it really was similar. I also have the knowledge that you can go through 50+ lessons in the workshop and still relapse - it's really based on the effort that you put in to it.


Lesson 14
Health Monitoring I - My daily monitoring List:

1) Throughout the day, have I stopped at least once and asked why I am doing something or why I am feeling a certain way? Have I stepped back to look at the bigger picture, to think about what goal and purpose I am seeking in life?
2) Today, did I get annoyed at anyone (in traffic, at work, at home, family, friends)? If so, how did I handle it? At least once today, did I stop and think why I am getting annoyed and try and let go of these feelings and have a empathetic and caring mindset?
3) When talking to others, did I patiently listen, ask questions, and engage in the conversation, or did I feel impatient and distracted?
4) Have I been empathetic and tried to understand people more and why they do certain things?
5) Have I thought about others for at least 5 minutes today? (friends, family, coworkers, strangers)
6) Have I been honest and loving with my significant other today? Did I ask about her day and then follow up with more questions to learn more?
7) Did I have any urges today, and if so, did I follow through at any level? What is my overall urge/stress level today? Have I been trending better or worse?
8) Did I let my desire for immediate gratification send me to a time wasting website or activity when I could instead focus on more meaningful things?
9) Have I tried to actively remember things better today? (By paying close attention when doing something or talking to someone, reflecting back on what I learned during the day.)
10) Have I been proactive in trying to improve myself and make changes in my life?


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