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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:13 am 
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Lesson 58) Constructing Reactive Action Plans - review
Quote:
I managed to think of 4 situations in the future, although my answers to each are similar.
It is all about my current values and my promises to W, I know that although she may forgive a small slip, I might not forgive myself and if it reached the point of prostitutes my life as it is would be over and I would be starting over with nothing.

I will stick with these 4 situations although no.4 is now history, but I will err on the side of caution.
Quote:
Action Plan 1: Getting complacent after a period of time and letting my mind wander back into the old way of thinking.

Outcome
Stop and reset, think of how far you have come.
Remind myself of my vales and boundaries.
Remind myself of my “healthy” lifestyle and how good it feels

Emotions if engaged
The emotions will be as before recovery, excitement, unhealthy thoughts of things outside of my values.

Mind games
It won’t matter if you do it only once
t’s ok if you do not get caught
You can control this now.


This is my number 1 concern and always has been, this is the reason I continue to post & mentor here in RN and go to SAA meetings. It is a great way to remind yourself of where you have been.
Quote:
Action Plan 2: Looking at porn

Outcome
Stop before you even start, you do not need this in your life.
Remind yourself of your values & boundaries
Remind yourself of promises to W
Distract yourself, close PC & move away.

Emotions if engaged
Excitement, anticipation.
A rush and sexual high for a brief time.
Guilt and shame afterwards

Mind games
It won’t matter if you do it only once
It’s ok if you do not get caught
You can control this now.
It’s only porn

The most regular time for me to look at porn was in the morning, when I was up first and alone for a couple of hours.
I still have this situation, but I control it well and make sure I am fully occupied with other things.
It has not once crossed my mind.
Quote:
Action Plan 3: Being away from home with work and the urge comes on.

Outcome
Stop before you even start, you do not need this in your life.
Remind yourself of your values & boundaries
Remind yourself of promises to W
Call W and tell her you have an urge: talk through it.
Call an SAA friend and speak to them.
Distraction: read a book or watch TV

Emotions if engaged
Excitement, anticipation.
A rush and sexual high for a brief time.
Huge guilt and shame afterwards

Mind games
It won’t matter if you do it only once
It’s ok if you do not get caught
You can control this now.
It’s only porn


I mentioned in my last post that I had not been away so much since I started recovery, but it is something I am very aware of and will keep to my plan if and when it is required.
Quote:
Action Plan 4: Decide to visit a prostitute

Outcome
This is the biggest NO NO you cannot cross this boundary
Stop before you even start, you do not need this in your life.
Remind yourself of your values & boundaries
Remind yourself of promises to W
Speak W and tell her about it
Call an SAA friend and speak to them.

Emotions if engaged
Excitement, anticipation.
A rush and sexual high for a brief time.
Huge guilt and shame afterwards knowing that it would be life changing in a bad way.

Mind games
It won’t matter if you do it only once
It’s ok if you do not get caught
You can control this now.
It would be worth it.

This would destroy my life and so many of those around me, I cannot even contemplate.
My outlook on getting to this situation would have been to cross the "no porn" boundary first, so as long as I keep to values and keep to the disciplines that I have set myself, it will not happen.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 224
Lesson 60) Preventing Slips/Relapse - review


Quote:
1. Prior to a Expected Triggering Event
Away on business
Time on my own in the home
Begin to objectify women
Complacency

Action Plan:
I have constantly thought about plans for these scenarios and feel confident in what I have in place. I do keep playing out options in my head and will add anything that comes to mind.

There is no change with this, these are the main things I look out for. The one that is probably hardest is "objectify women", it is hard not see a beautiful women in daily life, be it on TV or in real life. If I catch myself thinking in a certain way, I stop it immediately and say "This is not who you are, this person is not an object!"
Quote:
2. Prior to a Spontaneous Triggering Event
As above I keep thinking about possibilities and how I will deal with them, I refer back to my main values & boundaries daily.

This is exactly the way I deal with things still
Quote:
3. On the Experience of an Urge
I have not had an urge yet, but I do remind myself of the situations I used to be in. If I am alone in my home, I think about what I used to do when I had this free time, but then I remind myself of what it caused and how it no longer fits into my life.

Still no urge to act out - I think my disciplines have stayed very strong.
Quote:
4. On the Discovery of Being “Off-Track”
Complacency is my main worry, but Losing my W or long term illness could potentially cause me to go “off-track”.
I believe that continuing to look at myself through the learning of RN and going to SAA meetings will help if these events arise. I would stop and re-evaluate my values & boundaries if I felt I had slipped.

Not a lot has changed - the only thing I have picked myself up on is how often I have a sit down chat with W and sometimes I admit to not doing it often enough.
Quote:
5. On Schedule
I hope to continue the way I have for over 4 months now.
I realise that RN will finish, but I will continue to post weekly after the lessons are completed, I will also go over my lessons again.
Continue with SAA group: I would like to continue to help others as well as myself, it will keep me focused.
Continue to keep a weekly monitoring diary.
Speak to W often, keep her informed of my emotional state and also listen to her.
Continue to remind myself of how good it feels to have no hidden secrets and a feeling of openness that I have never had before.

I am now over 18 months so quite proud of my recovery so far.
I did exactly what I said and have stuck to posting on RN, mentoring has also helped me a lot
I have stuck to the SAA group, but the zoom meetings during lock-down have not been the same, I miss the face to face meetings with my group. I still struggle with a lot of the 12 steps concept, but I do enjoy being supportive to others.
My weekly monitoring became Monthly around June last year and I do it every month without fail
Must speak to W more often!
Yes I am proud of myself and it is great not to have secrets.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 224
Lesson 62) Managing Relapse - review
Quote:
Develop three-five 'most-likely' scenarios where you might face relapse. Role play (in your head or with someone you trust) how you will manage these situations.
1. Complacency:
2. Loss of my W through separation, death.
3. Loss of my job

In all 3 cases, my management would be the same.
I will think about my values & boundaries
I will remind myself daily of where I am and how I used to be.
I would share with my SAA group and seek their support.
I would share with RN
Continue to monitor my emotions/health weekly
In the case of point 1 & 3, talk to W about my state of mind.



Losing my W, would be the worst case, it would be the hardest scenario to deal with.
We have talked about that and we agreed that slipping back to the old ways should not be an option.
So I would also use a mantra “what would W say and think”
If losing W happened, reaching out to my SAA group would be of the utmost importance.


I will stick with these 3 scenarios for now.
Complacency being the number one most likely cause of relapse, but losing W would still be the worst case and as I said before undoubtedly the hardest to deal with.
No change in the way I would deal with them.
I am happy with what I wrote over a year ago and will stick with what I said.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 224
Lesson 64)Transitioning to Health - review
Quote:
Quote:
What skills do you feel you have worked hard to develop? What skills need additional work?

My complete mindset was wrong, and I spent a lot of time reorganising that. For example: I would spend so much of my time working out when I could be alone to act out and thinking about acting out. One of the main things I noticed was removing these thoughts and spending time doing other things has caused me to be less argumentative and grumpy. I am happy to help W around the home and happy to be spending free time doing other interests. I would say that once I removed these thoughts the rest fell into place quite easily. There is not a day goes by that I do not get up and remind myself of my values first before I do anything else.
I need to continue to work in this vein, as complacency is still my worst enemy.
Quote:
Explore your attitude in regards to whether or not 'addiction' is a part of you; or merely a pattern that developed in your life

I feel that my compulsive behaviour was a pattern, but such a huge part of my life, that changing has been an immense task.

Almost everything that I put down then is still true today. I noticed that lockdown has made me grumpy at times and it is something for me to be watchful about.
Quote:
Quote:
Explore your awareness as to the role that your compulsive rituals played...and what it would mean should they return. Explore how you would respond? Explore your confidence level in that response.

I would say that I was totally unaware of the role they played in my life, or the damage they were doing.
For them to return would be a complete disaster, for my own well being and for my marriage. I spend each and every day rebuilding my relationship and do not want to have to tell my W that I slipped, in other words I was not strong enough to fight it.
I am very confident that I can deal with a thoughts of acting out reappearing, I feel I have the tools in place ready to tackle them, but I know that only time will tell.
In lesson 60 it mentions the 2 types of strategy, and I will admit to using both to some extent.
Mainly “I am doing this”; I am proactive in looking forwards and keeping an eye out for potential hazards.
I also like to keep a note of the number of days staying healthy, and reward myself for passing weeks and months.

I cannot imagine returning to my old way of life, it would be devastating for me and my loved ones.
I continue to use motivators to keep me healthy, I do not have thoughts of relapse, but I believe that is because of my motivation.
I still record the number of days I have steered clear of porn! I think I do this as it is the first thing I do when I get up, and it starts me on my half hour or so of recovery work. It is a great reminder to me.
Quote:
Quote:
Explore your confidence level in that response. Explore your overall balance and stability...how much of your life is spent 'fighting urges, managing urges, acting out, engaging in recovery activities, etc.' versus how much of your life is spent just living.

At present my confidence level is high, and I spend next to no time fighting my past behaviour, I have had very little in the way of urges, in fact I see the past in a dim light and I want to stay well away from it. But I do not forget it or shut it out; I deal with any thoughts and move on.I spend most of my days in the land of the living, I dedicate time each morning to my recovery and continue to think about things as required, but then most of my day is spent at work, with W or my activities.

No change here, does my mind occasional slip back to what I used to do? yes it does, but not in manner of wanting to return to it, just a flashback to where I was!

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 224
Lesson 65 Exercise: - review
Quote:
a) Envision your "life after addiction/life after recovery".
b) Compare it to the vision that you began back in Lesson Two of the workshop.
c) They should be nearly identical. Are they?

Quote:
Lesson 2) Vision
I want to feel happy within my relationship with my wife, to gain all the trust and friendship I have lost through my actions.
I want to be content with the rest of the family/friends. Be focused on work and all activities I enjoy. I want to take my wife out because it is good and does not feel like a chore.
I want to feel that there is no need to go outside these boundaries for my own quick fix of self indulgence.
I believe that in shutting off the compulsion for porn/sex outside of the relationship will help focus at work, be more attentive to the family and be more willing to enjoy things together with them rather than just being there as a token gesture (I feel I sometimes do that just now)

My goals

To have a loving intimate relationship with my wife
To be there for all of my family and for them to know I can be relied upon
To fill my days with activities that I enjoy, be it with my wife or alone.
To be able to afford to do things I/we enjoy.
To nurture my mind with learning about things that interest me
To feel content, in my mind to know I am loved for who I am
To stay healthy


Looking at my vision and goals from Lesson 2, they are identical to my view of things now.
The last 5 months have been difficult to keep to many of the activities I /we like to do, but as the lock-down lessens we are getting out more.
This would have been an easy time to slip back, but I have been determined to stay healthy.
There are things I still need to work at, so I am not being complacent, a major part of that is the way I communicate with W, I am totally honest with her at all times, but do not sit down and chat often enough.(As I mentioned in my Lesson 60 review)

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 224
Lesson 66) Recovery Triggers vs Relapse Triggers - review

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
a) Consider your perspective towards potential triggers when you were in early recovery. Consider your perspective now. How has this changed?


I would say that my perspective has not changed a lot towards potential triggers, but more how I deal with them. I have not had any real triggers to speak of still, occasional flashbacks, but I look at them and do not recognise the person I was.
Now I look out for triggers or potential situations on a weekly/daily basis and prepare myself for dealing with them well in advance.
Because I have had no real ones to speak of, I play out the situations in my head and use my values all the time. I compliment this by also using my values a lot in day to day things, things that I would have avoided before.

The triggers I have had over the last few months are not the kind that make me want to act out, but I see TV programmes or information online that remind me of who I was and what I was doing. I can be watching TV with W and something appears that gives me a sense of shame and anger at what I have done.
I have less flashbacks now, but always stay on my guard and continue in the way I mentioned in this lesson first time round.
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
b) List five potential triggers for you — that may lead you into a compulsive crisis. How can you shift your perspective of each so that they are not only NOT a threat to your values, but you can actually use these triggers to strengthen those values?


1. Complacency: I suppose this is not a trigger in its own right, but to me it is my biggest fear. I am constantly reminding myself to keep working at my recovery and to keep to my values. I plan ahead, not too far, but enough to know that I am in control of my daily life and potential pitfalls.
2. Boredom: As complacency is my biggest fear, boredom is my biggest potential trigger.
I used to plan things to make sure I was not bored, where as now I do not need to plan as these activities have replaced the times I was bored, it has become a lot more natural.
3. Porn: Viewing porn could always be a potential trigger and it is something I have steered clear of. I am still prepared that it may happen one day and I basically get up each morning and remind myself how far I have come and think of my values.
4. Being alone, either in the home or away with work: This kind of works in tandem with boredom and it has arisen in my first 5 months of recovery. In each case I planned ahead and made sure that my heads was in a mindset that did not want to stray into the “darkside”. I always plan what I am going to do in these times and once they have passed I congratulate myself for dealing with them correctly.

I can only think of 4 for now and may revisit this in the future. I would say that my mind is healthy at the moment and looking out for triggers is becoming quite natural for me. I believe that I probably fit into “category 4” in this lesson as I do not have to fight with myself over anything to do with my addiction. I understand that there are still the pitfalls of the unknown possibilities, but using my values as a daily check, which I do every morning, I can hopefully think I am prepared. I am no longer scared of a trigger appearing as I know that I am ready to deal with it.

I am still most definitely in category 4!
The list of potential triggers is pretty much unchanged
1) Complacency- yes it is still my major worry, but very well controlled.
2)Boredom - Has there been times I was bored in the last few months? - YES, but I have not thought about acting out, instead I say "I am bored, find something to do!"
3) Porn - Still a big NO NO - and I do not go anywhere near porn or potential links to porn.
4)Being Alone - Nothing more to add to this - I stick to what I have written above.
I will add no. 5 - Losing W for whatever reason
It would hit me hard and I would have to use all the learning of RN and support of SAA to get through it.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3944
Location: UK
Hi T
Quote:
The triggers I have had over the last few months are not the kind that make me want to act out, but I see TV programmes or information online that remind me of who I was and what I was doing. I can be watching TV with W and something appears that gives me a sense of shame and anger at what I have done.
I have less flashbacks now, but always stay on my guard and continue in the way I mentioned in this lesson first time round.



I believe and believe that you also believe that your addiction no longer has power over you
:g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g:
well done but
and we all know Kenzo usually has a but :s:

beware complacency

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 224
Quote:
and we all know Kenzo usually has a but :s:

beware complacency


Thank you as always Kenzo :g:

Continuing to remind myself every morning is my best fight against complacency!

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 224
Lesson 67) Poly-Addictions & Switching - review

Quote:
This was something I thought about before I started RN:
I would say I have an addictive personality, but unlike sex, I have controlled all other possible addictions well.
I am an ex smoker, but I vape now, so my nicotine addiction is still there but better than it was.
I drink very rarely and do not gamble.
I like to play PC games and I know I can become compulsive with these, but it is something I am aware of and control my game time.
I was aware that I could spend all of my time on recovery, but thought that would not be healthy, for example my some of SAA group go to other meetings during the week, but I stick to my one meeting as I feel it is enough.
As I said at the start of this lesson, one of my first conversations with W was about replacing one addiction for another, so I made a list of activities I like or would like to do (and I am still adding to it).
I spend my leisure time doing these activities, but never let one of them supersede the others.
I like to keep them balanced.


I had a section in my weekly monitoring about checking I was doing my leisure activities, but now I have added “Are any becoming obsessive?”

I have kept my activities as varied as possible, "lockdown" obviously curtailed a few things, but in general, it was not a problem.
W has told me off if she thinks I am playing on the PC too much, but overall I do manage to make it balanced.
So I will stick with my statement above
Quote:
I spend my leisure time doing these activities, but never let one of them supersede the others.

Going to my SAA group has shown to me that people can easily swap addictions, I have seen one or two people who's addiction became The 12 Steps and it had become their life! It certainly seemed to me that this was not a healthy recovery.

L2R recently wrote a post on the subject of negative thoughts versus positive thoughts and that life was not about avoidance, but changing your whole thought process to a healthy positive one.
Quote:
"I must not fall back into that trap" but instead have a positive message in my head which is "I am faithful and am pursuing my values".


Well worth a read!
_________________

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3944
Location: UK
Quote:
Going to my SAA group has shown to me that people can easily swap addictions, I have seen one or two people who's addiction became The 12 Steps and it had become their life! It certainly seemed to me that this was not a healthy recovery.



Absolutely correct my friend, recovery can be addictive and although so much better than the obvious alternative it is far from being healthy and thus is not recovery

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:49 am 
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Lesson 68 Exercise:Anger and Rage - Anger Management and Addiction Recovery - review

Quote:
Although the urges are not there at the moment, I think about my old reaction and no longer withdraw, I deal with the issue head on and discuss the matter

If there is one part of RN that I am not satisfied with it is definitely this lesson!
For once in my review I have failed to get to where I want to be and I have still be known to withdraw, rather than sort a situation out, none of it causes me to even think about acting out, but since this whole workshop is about a new a better way of life, it is something I need to improve on.

To put things in context of where I am;
Quote:
b) Can you identify the elements of these rituals where you actively intensify the stimulation that is experienced?

Probably paranoia is a major factor, if we have a row, I believe it is an attack on my past behaviours and I feel that I have no right to stand up for myself! This builds up frustration that comes out in a way that does nothing to sort the situation.
Quote:
c) Do you think that 'creating a break' upon the awareness of these anger rituals will allow you to slow the situation enough to allow your values to take over? Why or why not?

John wrote
Quote:
But that does not translate to health. Instead, it leaves you more vulnerable. The emotions will still be there, but without an effective means of managing them (and don’t mistake this: addiction is an extremely effective—albeit temporary and destructive — emotional management technique), you will likely experience a spike in their intensity. Add to this the anxiety and panic that comes from realising that you don’t KNOW how to manage them…and you can see why your emotions can be so volatile.

I have no doubt got a long way to go and I need to become more mature and more aware of my feelings.
I must be prepared to openly discuss them with W

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


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