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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:46 am 
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Posts: 213
Lesson 26) Mapping Compulsive Rituals

1. 7am – Wake up and head downstairs, looking forward to browsing the internet.
2. Look at the first site I always go to and see what is new in the topics I like.
3. Find a video I like and partially watch it.
4. Check the other sites I use for the same reason.
5. Go back to video I found that I like and stimulate myself.
6. Look at a few more videos while continuing to stimulate myself on & off during viewing.
7. Look for an erotic story to read, and then split the screen with video & story up together.
8. Continue this until 9am, no orgasm.
9. 9am stop, clear history, tidy up as required.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:01 am 
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Lesson 27) Identifying Compulsive Chains
Was not sure how to answer this one as I could not come up with a definitive answer initially.
So I continued to think about and decided that although mild, I could find myself being addicted to a particular video game every so often, or reading a book I found enjoyable.

So in thinking back to my time alone and my sex addiction:
I realised that watching porn was my main outlet when I had alone time and could often take up all the time I had free. If I was finished, because of an orgasm, I would immediately move onto the game, or a book or a movie.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:44 am 
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Lesson 28) Developing Compulsive Chains

1. 7am – Wake up and head downstairs, looking forward to browsing the internet.
(Overwhelming desire to be sexually stimulated - fantasy)
2. Look at the first site I always go to and see what is new in the topics I like.
(The excitement of beginning to browse – sensory/suspense)
3. Find a video I like and partially watch it.
(sensory – but not wanting to finish too quickly)
4. Check the other sites I use for the same reason.
(Wanting to keep the arousal going – looking for more – sensory/suspense)
5. Go back to video I found that I like and stimulate myself.
(euphoria/sensory touch)
6. Look at a few more videos while continuing to stimulate myself on & off during viewing.
7. (euphoria/sensory touch)
8. Look for an erotic story to read, and then split the screen with video & story up together.
(attempting to use as any of the arousal elements going at one time)
9. Continue this until 9am, no orgasm.
(to keep the fantasy/arousal thoughts in my head)
10. 9am stop, clear history, tidy up as required.
(Awareness of doing wrong and not getting caught, but keeping it alive in my head)

Additions
Downloading and saving mages/videos for later use.
Orgasm after watching first video
Use of toys

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 213
Just an update from me.

At the moment I feel things are going well and in the right direction, it has been 7 weeks since I last looked at porn and had no thoughts of relapse at all. I am spending a lot of time with W and we are talking a lot on so many subjects, we are reconnecting and it feels good.
I have no illusions about my health though, I think about my workshop and recovery everyday and continue to go to the SAA meetings too.
I sincerely hope that I can keep this positive attitude going and stay healthy.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 213
Lesson 29) The Role of Emotions
I found this exercise very difficult, but worked as hard as I could and will probably try it again soon.
Emotions
Joy – Birth of my children, wedding to W
Happiness – As above, certain sporting events I took part in
Nostalgia – meeting up or chatting with old friends/family
Sadness – My parents going through a rough time, seeing W upset, death in family.
Stress – losing my job, W finding out about my addiction.
Guilt - W finding out about my addiction.
Anger – The stupidity of my actions.

Adding in Urge.
I could not put myself into this mode right now, I have really programmed myself to keep well clear, i thought about porn I have watched and felt nothing but an urge to move away.
I could not trigger arousal or any thoughts, except how wrong it was and not a good place to be.

Anxiety
Stress: there is no doubt that the stress of W finding out and the discussions that followed and thoughts in my head caused me the most stress I have ever had.
Joy and Happiness: I think back to the early days with W and the way we were, with no cares in the world, chatting into early mornings night after night.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
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Lesson 31) Emotional Balance and Stability
A. Stress
Relationship - mild
BREXIT – mild
Son unwell – mild
Step-Daughter planning issues – mild
Work - mild

B. Values
I do not feel stressed by trying to achieve my values, I have a positive outlook on all of them at the moment and I wake up each morning, thinking about them and how I will keep to them each day. I do get slightly stressed regarding my relationship with W, things are going well but I always want to know how she is feeling.
I am now quite sure that a lot of the stress I did have was because of my addiction and the deception I had to keep going 24/7!

C. Patterns for Healthy Life.
In looking at this week or in fact the last couple of weeks, I have been lucky enough to not have much stress in my life – possibly a lot to do with seasonal holiday etc.
The stresses I have had are mainly due to family factors (other’s illness, other’s stress) and also my social responsibility – The effect Brexit is having on my country.
Using my values above, I am sticking to them and feeling content in the knowledge that I am making good progress and keeping to them.
Work is probably the one thing that may start to cause stress if business does not pick up, but it is too early to know and I will need to check on that next week once the holidays are over properly.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 213
Lesson 32) Evolving Your Practical Values
I am currently managing my values well and I use daily monitoring to check on myself every day.
I have had no desire other than to keep to them, and shown W especially that I can be a good person.,
I am being proactive within my relationship and checking in on my close family regularly.
I am organising my days better and utilising free time to greater effect, I have already completed an online learning course and about to start another on Mon. I have been reading regularly too.
Going to the weekly SAA meetings, it is a great help from the social aspect and acts as an additional aid to my recovery.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 423
Hi Theseus,

You are certainly standing by your initial commitment to recovery as you have posted to your thread most days. Most people's enthusiasm seems to wane a little after a dozen or so lessons so the fact that you are regularly coming to the site for the lessons is commendable. I would only offer one word of warning that there is a possible risk of being so keen to get through the whole workshop in order to try and find the magic key that some things may be missed on the way through. I was guilty of that have been through the workshop twice now and was surprised at quite how much I hadn't noticed in my efforts to speed through the first time around. I certainly do not want to dampen your enthusiasm in any way, I just want to make sure that you get the full benefit of the workshop as you travel through it.

Your response to Lesson 31 was interesting and you made the observation that your stress at the moment is relatively mild. That is obviously a good thing but be mindful that this could and will inevitably change due to circumstances outside of your control (e.g. work or family) so you need to be prepared for that. As you are coming to learn, the principle of addiction is that we addicts like to try and improve our emotional state. We are most at risk when our mood drops (e.g. angry, sad, bored) and our knee jerk reaction is to turn to our crutch to help improve our mental state. If you are ready for that when the mood changes then it will help you manage it at that time. You have recorded your feelings of guilt in relation to your wife and you should keep this at the forefront of your mind if temptation comes your way as you will want to continue your progress to recovery without interruption. You are doing well, keep up the good work.

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L2R

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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 213
@L2R

Thanks again for the comments L2R.
In my mind mind I am not trying to complete the workshop quickly, but I understand what you are saying on that.
I am on lesson 33 now, so posting will slow down for the next week, but it also leads onto your comment on emotions.
I am finding this lesson very interesting and using it to have a good think about a lot things that go on in my daily life and how I cope with them before and now.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 213
Lesson 33 Exercise:

Day 1
Waking up this morning after difficult conversation with W about my behaviours yesterday:
Feeling anxiety and stress because of the shame and guilt I still feel when we discuss these things.
These emotions turned to feeling flat until lunchtime.

Starting online learning course today, but because of the events above, I had a “could not be bothered” attitude – I was determined to start and did, as I was not going to take the easy way out.

Mild stress & anxiety over sorting out flight bookings that were wrong: dealt with and moved on.

I get annoyed at a colleague who phones me to complain about another, who he cannot get in touch with and expects me to sort it out for him. But I deal with it and move on.

Joy at seeing the delight on my young granddaughters face when I picked her up from school today as a surprise.

Overall my emotions although anxious in the morning, became level by just after lunch.
I am finding it hard to think of acting out in any situation, as it now seems so wrong in my mind and I struggle to put myself into those thoughts or emotions.

Roleplay
When think about my behaviours, I find it stressful: it all feels like a massive nightmare now, even the acts I carried out no longer give me nice thoughts.
In thinking about acting out in the future, makes me sick to my stomach.

Birth of my first Child: I remember the stress & feeling of helplessness during the birth and then the absolute delight & pleasure when he was born, one of the biggest and most emotional things in my life.

Day 2
Waking up at 6.30am: a busy day ahead with new carpet & furniture arriving, but nothing too stressful. I feel reasonably content.

When W got up at 8.30am she was a bit grumpy and i was not sure why, so this gave me a little stress, as I immediately think it is me at the moment. This all faded quickly, but something I need to think about.

I was feeling flat for quite a lot of the day, but after all the jobs had been done we went for a cuddle in bed and it slowly brought me back to feeling content, by the end of the evening I was felling quite good again.

Day 3
I woke up feeling the way I went to bed, I was thinking about work and getting things done, and having some quiet time with W later on today. My emotions were level

A bit of work came in today, which made me happy, as things have been quiet so far.

Had 30mins of peaceful time with my 3 month old grandson, as he fell asleep in my arms.

Intimate time with W late afternoon made me feel happy & content.

We had a calm discussion in the evening about my addiction, this causes a pile of emotions - upset, ashamed, guilty, anger at myself. It did not last too long and I went to bed reasonably content.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 213
Lesson 33 summary
Overall my week was quite level – there were ups & downs of emotions depending on the circumstances.
I spent time everyday assessing my emotional state, although a couple of days did not make 5 times.
I would say that my current emotional level is balanced, but I know I do not have complete control over it.
I had some really nice times with W and with my grandchildren, but also some stressful thoughts about W and work.
I still have to think about the highs & lows and not get over excited about either, but I am beginning to see some mature thinking, I need to continue to work on that and keep a level head.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
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Lesson 34) Obstacles to Emotional Maturity

Quote:
A. Describe a time in your life when the "Immediate Gratification" principle has come into play:

Booked a sex worker for a session 2 days in advance, was very excited at the thought of it
Spent those 2 days thinking about it and playing it out in my head and getting aroused at those thoughts. The morning of the meeting I was up early, excited, but then she cancelled on me.
I felt totally deflated and anxious, it was not long until I started looking for someone else to book for that day, I had to have my fix, and nothing else mattered.
The emotions I went through in this time were..
Excitement & arousal at looking for someone
Excitement & anxiety with the booking
Excitement & arousal at the thought of the meeting.
Stress & anxiety at the cancellation.
Then back to the beginning at looking for a replacement.

Quote:
B. As best as you can, describe the anxiety you feel when you are trying to NOT ACT on a compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Be specific. Compare it to other feelings of anxiety that you experience. The purpose of this exercise is to begin to define the limits of your emotions — and where your compulsive urges stand within those limits.

I am going to use “ann523”’s method as I found it useful. 1 – 10, 10 being high anxiety.
Resisting an urge – 1 at the moment
Discussion with W about my behaviours – 10
Work – meeting new clients – 5
Travel – airports – 4
Physical intimacy with W – 4
Work – how the business is doing – 3



Quote:
C. As best as you can, describe the feeling that you experience while you are engaging in a certain compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Is it a trance-like feeling? Is it a hyper-alert feeling? If someone could get inside your mind as you were experiencing such a ritual, what would they find?

I would say that I was on a kind of high, but also in my own little bubble.
If it was when I was not alone in the house then I would also be wary for noises that could be warnings to stop quickly.
Lastly when viewing porn, could also cause me frustration if I could not find what I was looking for on a particular day.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 213
Lesson 35) Health Monitoring II — Daily, Weekly
Specific Daily
“I will stop and think about my emotional balance, find areas that require attention and try and level my emotions if required”
Posted beside my laptop.

Weekly monitoring
1. Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment.
2. Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go? As in, was there chronic stress/pressure I had to manage? Were
there any major traumatic events? Any intense emotional events?
3. Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance
through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means
(e.g. compulsive behavior)?
4. Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard?
Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.
5. Was I attentive to my wife?
Did I check on her emotional state?
6. Was I completely honest with my wife ?
7. Did you have “date time” with your wife or plan an activity/date?
8. Did you organise or discuss any future events, holidays etc?
9. Did I spend time doing my leisure activities?
10. Did you check on any family members ?
11. I will improve my work ethic and give it more focus, did you succeed ?

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:07 am 
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Posts: 213
Because it was my first week of weekly monitoring, I thought I would post my thoughts for this week.

1. Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment.
This was a difficult week and I would say that a lot of my meaning etc came from working my recovery program & how I dealt with the stress of this week.
I have enjoyed my online study of astronomy a lot this week
2. Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go? As in, was there chronic stress/pressure I had to manage? Were there any major traumatic events? Any intense emotional events?
This was exceptionally stressful due to W’s state of mind over my behaviours, we have had a lot of long discussions on the subject, which are upsetting to both of us for various reasons, but overall it was done in a calm manner. It is still a very emotional journey with a lot of soul searching. Tuesday was the worst day due to the reasons above, and it took a lot to get through it.
Work at the moment is quiet and I need to spend a lot more time and focus.
3. Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means (e.g. compulsive behavior)?
As above a very hard week, and I felt I was constantly looking at my emotional balance, which seemed on a few days to be wildly out of control. I did feel that by the end of each day, that I had managed to get the balance back in line, and at no point did I think of acting out.
4. Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard? Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.
My first major event since this started is Thurs/Fri as I will be away overnight with work. I am confident in myself about having no urges or compulsion, but also know how hard it will be for W.
5. Was I attentive to my wife?, Did I check on her emotional state
Yes everyday
6. Was I completely honest with my wife?
Yes
7. Did you have “date time” with your wife or plan an activity/date?
Was not such a good week for this, but we did discuss future things and talked about dates.
8. Did I spend time doing at least one of my leisure activities?
Yes, everyday
9. Did you check on any family members today?
Yes, over the week I spoke to all of my close family.
10. I will improve my work ethic and give it more focus, did you succeed?
Not enough, one major focus for next week is really stepping this up.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The long road ahead!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:25 am 
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Posts: 213
Lesson 29 revisited, I did not really manage this before in my post and said I would revisit it.

Quote:
Now, consider one of your milder compulsive behaviors. Try to get in touch with the feelings that are generated with this behavior. If you find yourself getting triggered to act, forbid yourself. Then focus on the anxiety that is produced with that decision. Really allow yourself to get in touch with the stress that is building. Consider the reality that, either during this exercise or soon thereafter, you will face the challenge of deciding whether or not you should act on these feelings. Begin to feel the consequences of both your decision to masturbate, and your decision to remain committed to recovery.

I thought about getting up in the morning to look at porn.
There was excitement knowing I would be aroused by finding pictures or movies that I would like, and also having a couple of hours to surf with no interruptions. There would also be a little anxiety that W might get up early and spoil my time, so I also was acutely aware of possible noises from above.
Doing this exercise I did not have an urge to act out, but thought about what the reality might be:
I feel that an internal battle would start, the old immature T against the new T with morals. I would fight the emotions of wanting to act out using my values and remembering the consequences. Remind myself that even one little look is the start of a downward spiral.
I think that, yes , I would be a little anxious at not having done it, but then I would feel happy within myself that I controlled the urge.

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


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