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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:21 pm 
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A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are: 
1) actively committing yourself to change
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
3) allowing yourself time to change. 
Consider where you feel you are in relation to each of these recovery keys? Briefly share your thoughts in your

1) Actively committing myself to change: I am happy with this category. Since I've come clean to my partner and decided to end this awful pattern from my life. I have been wholeheartedly committed. 1 year later, my commitment is increasing rather than wavering. I am constantly looking for ways to feel like I am truly addressing the core of my issues, and finding the recovery nation curriculum feels like what I was missing to feel truly confident and having gone through the process of building the absolute best foundation and plans to move from recovery to health. The drive for change comes from deep within. It feels like an existential need to protect my being and how much I've worked to be a good human being with a future, dream, and relationships that matter to them that they respect and cherich.
2) Not allowing guilt and shame to sabotage commitment to change: I'd say I am at a 9/10 in this category. Guilt and shame still come up. Probably mostly when my partner shares her lack of trust or displays it. Or I see the pain in her life that was brought to her by my actions. Also, sometimes the more we're close and she is kind to me, I start feeling the sense of guilt. The last category is when I mess up with something stupid, I feel like it brings up feelings of inadequacy. I have worked through this quite a bit recently. I recognize that guilt and shame aren't productive for us building our relationship or for my own recovery. I use these moments of guilt and shame as opportunities to find out what's still missing that I need to rewire/fortify.
3) Allowing myself time change: I think I get that this is a long process. I see the changes and makes me feel hopeful and happy. I still get frustrated with myself when I feel like I may fib over a small thing at times. While I've been doing way better with regards to honesty and transparency, this area requires a good amount of unlearning. I am using this summer time to truly focus on this aspect of my recovery, and building my confidence and trust with myself that is based of a truly strong foundation. So defintely some patience as I do that.


Beyond an active commitment to change, another important factor in determining your ultimate success is your motivation. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life. Don't stop at three or four obvious ones, really examine your life and what is important to you. Phrase these in the positve. For example: " I don't want to keep deceiving my wife" would serve you better if written like "I want to be honest and transparent with my wife". Positive statements have much more power in our mindset than negative ones. List these in your recovery thread.


• I want to be a loving, healthy and honest individual and partner
• I want to have strong emotional tools that allow me to handle life's adversity constructively
• I want to contribute to the life of those around me positively
• I want to be a trustworthy partner and individual that loved ones and friends can rely on
• I want to pursue a meaningful life where my work creates positive change
• I want to pursue my lifelong dream of being a leader and innovator
• I want to deserve my own self-respect
• I want to live life with accordance to my own value
• I want to be honest and transparent with my partner
• I want to take responsibility for my life in both small and big ways
• I want to be a conscious and present individual inside and out spreading good energy
• I want to have the time and energy to have
• I want to live wholeheartedly integrating and showing my whole self to those closest to me
• I want to be a good role model as a leader and parent
• I want the ability to have fun and play in healthy ways and integrate it into my life
• I want to have a healthy sexuality that I can enjoy with my partner in our intimate relationship
• I want to live stress free of actions that are out of alignment with my values


One of the most powerful insights you can gain in establishing a foundation for permanent recovery is to come to see your addiction within the scope of your life span. In other words, to not just see your addiction as it is now, but to look across the span of your life to see the role that addiction has played in your development. Much of this will be explored throughout the workshop, but to put yourself in the right frame of mind to develop such a perception, do the following:
Find a picture of yourself when you were a small child. An innocent child. For those with early childhood sexual abuse issues, do not mistake this abuse for a lack of innocence. You were absolutely innocent. It will be hard to derive the full value from this exercise without an actual picture so if it is just a matter of needing to find one...wait. Wait until you have the picture in your hand. If such a picture does not exist, try envisioning a moment in your life when you were 3, 4...perhaps 5 years old — but only do this as a last resort. The power of this exercise rests in your ability to look into the eyes of your own innocence — something that is very hard to do through memory alone.
Now, with the picture in hand, look into that child's eyes. Feel their innocence. Acknowledge that this child is you at a point in your life.  Feel how vulnerable you were. How trusting. Recognize the lack of addiction in your life...and the desire for little more than love, compassion, teaching and support. Think of the trauma you faced throughout your life. Think of the times when you felt alone. Confused. If you feel like it, cry for this child. Allow yourself to feel love for this 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.
If you would like, share your experience with this last exercise in your thread.


I did - this child has endured a lot. And I can see the innocense in m yeyes for sure. Life has thrown a lot in my way, and I guess I was young enough when the choices I made or was put in affected my coping mechanisms. That doesn't mean that I had the excuse to not be self-aware about it and how it might affect me long-term. I owe it to the person in me to live a better life. I owe myself living as who I am truly with my highest values after all of this struggle


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:25 pm 
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I wrote this reflection about the assessment page:
I like the concept about self-assessment. I've been asking myself the question of: Is my behavior compulsive? I am addicted? If I am, why was it fairly easy for me to decide to stop. It really is all irrelevant in a lot of ways. Where I am on that spectrum might be different and difficult to identify. What I do know is that I do have a pattern of behavior that is destructive in my life, and I have been absolutely committed to changing it since the moment I decided that this shouldn't be my life and how I treat those I love.

The other thing I like about these resources is that they have the idea of health based recovery. I never could identify with the idea of powerlessness, or thinking of one's self as an addict. It felt like it was playing into the same thing that kept a person locked into the same choices. Why would I give up my power to make better choices? I like the idea that there is a stage beyond recovery, and it is health. That's what I want. I want to be a healthy partner and human. I want to be able to know that not only do I refrain from making these choices, but also, I've replaced them with healthier thoughts, actions and patterns. So overall, this really resonates with me. In the end, i don't care about whether I identify with the addiction model around sex or not. In a way, I think it's not as useful for me as it might be for other people. I think food and sex are very different than substances. The relationship with them is all about creating healthy balance. We don't call people with food disorders food addicts, and they don't live all their life identifying with the label of addicts. This is my own way of thinking, and it may not agree with a lot of people, but it works for me. I do believe that I need to work to make sure my relationship with that part of my life is healthy, and that's why I am very committed to doing the work on myself, and building a foundation that is healthy, and that will allow me to make better choices that wouldn't be destructive to myself and others - regardless of the label.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 146
Hi Lastingchange,

Welcome to RN.

In reading your first couple of posts, you have the correct mindset and thought process to change your life.

Keep up the good work

Regards
T

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


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:06 am 
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Posts: 39
A. Take at least twenty minutes to be alone. If you have a family, ask them to respect this time that you are taking. Make sure that you leave your cell phone off. That the dog is fed. That there will be no distractions. Take a walk by yourself. Sit alone on the beach. Find somewhere secluded and then, think. Think about who you are, the life that you have led, and the life that you want to lead from this point forward. Think about your legacy. Create a vision that you would feel comfortable committing yourself to pursuing. One that, as you someday look back upon your life, will allow you to feel proud of the person that you developed into. Of the life that you led.

I want to live a life anchored with integrity and showing up to life wholeheartedly as an integrated, conscious, and creative individual. I want to dedicate myself to creating a positive environment that supports my partner, family, colleagues and anyone in my community to thrive and live their best life. I want to be a humble witness to people's most vulnerable moments through my work and relationships. There to walk with them through the journey of healing and growing. I want to be a good listener and to be truly present towards my family, friends and work. I want to live a healthy active and creative life filled with positive adventures that helps me enjoy the world and constantly learn from it. I want to have the emotional skills to manage life challenges constructively and be a reliable team member with my partner and community.

This vision above reflects several aspects of my life:
• Values:
○ Prioritize integrity which requires honesty and courage
○ Prioritize building a family and a community and a workplace
○ Prioritize spirituality in the form of being whole, conscious and present
○ Prioritize personal creativity
• Work:
○ Derives meaning from leadership and creating positive environments at home and at work
○ Prioritizes relationships and work that is anchored in relationships and being prepared to witness others most vulnerable moments
○ Prioritizes being a reliable team member at home and at work
○ Prioritize being a good listener
• Fun
○ Prioritizes healthy adventures that promote a sense of learning and growing
○ Prioritize being active and fit



B. OPTIONAL If you have someone in your life to talk with about this vision, consider talking with them. You are not looking for validation, correction, guidance...you are just moving one step closer to making this vision your reality. However, it is important that the person you choose to share this vision with not listen with a critical ear. You are in the infancy stage of learning how to perceive, develop and manage your life as a healthy adult — there is no need to reinforce your short-comings during this exercise.


I plan to share this vision with my therapist. Once I do, I may also share it with a few trusted friends.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:29 am 
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Lesson 3 Exercises:
A. Note: In the previous lesson, you were asked to write out your vision for the life that you want to live. If you have not yet completed this task, do so now, before beginning this exercise.
B. On your computer, extract the values from the vision you have created and list them.  Your goal for this lesson is to create a single, comprehensive list that involves all of the primary ways that you derive stimulation from your life. Or, those areas that you want to derive stimulation from. Most lists will contain between 50-100 items.  When you are done, post this list in your recovery thread.
If you feel you need some guidance as to what you are looking for, or for examples of how to list each item, see this example values list.
C. When you have extracted every possible value that you can think of from your vision, do the following:
1) Review this example values list for any additional values that you may want to add to your own list. List them.
2) Consider the 'dark side' of your decision-making. The compulsive behavior. The sexual behavior. Take some time to extract the values that went into those behaviors, and list them as well
.

1) Living with Integrity by being honest and courageous
2) Living with compassion
3) Strengthening my role as a partner
4) Supportive of family
5) Respecting boundaries of others and myself by always
6) Knowing my own needs to be healthy and happy and taking care of myself
7) Balancing being generous with my time and resources with having limits to prevent burn out
8) Learning and personal development
9) Expressing spirituality in my daily life through mindfulness, presence, and contemplation
10) Developing strong emotional tools to manage the ups and downs of life in healthy ways
11) Integrating a sense of playfulness into my life by having more regular fun activities and taking myself less seriously
12) Creative
13) Living an adventurous life through trying new hobbies, traveling, etc
14) Strengthening my role as a supportive and present son to my mother
15) Staying active and fit through regular exercise and outdoors activities
16) Being reliable to my partner, family and those I interact with by following through on thing
17) Being a good listener by listening first, recapping, and asking good questions to understand
18) Leader/community builder
19) Building teams, products and initiatives
20) Being inclusive
21) Advocating for equality and justice
22) Being reflective
23) Serving my community
24) Developing true emotional and physical intimacy
25) Strengthening my role as a friend to my closest friends
26) Self-discipline and self-respect
27) Humility with self-respect
28) Being there for others as a witness to their most vulnerable moments
29) Strengthening my intellectual depth through learning new things
30) Being generous with clear intention and focus
31) Being an active political citizen in the world
32) Coaching folks early in their career to find success and balance
33) Building competence in my field of work
34) Creating a positive change in the world through speaking and writing
35) Being a good sibling/role model
36) Developing a sense of humor
37) Taking risks in ways that are healthy (without hurting myself or others)
38) Supporting loved ones and others in my life in building their best life
39) Being a positive influence at home and at work
40) Learning to sit with my emotions and managing their excessive nature
41) Being patient
42) Being optimistic
43) Building a business of sorts and making it an amazing place to work
44) Accepting responsibility and accountability to live my life
45) Traveling to new places
46) Pursuing learning about new cultures and ideas through languages and travel
47) World-wide recognition as a thinker/innovator
48) Being in nature often
49) Appreciating music and art
50) Financial stability



Dark side
1) Entitled: I suffered a lot so I deserve this mentality
2) Secretive: what others don’t know wont hurt them
3) Impulsive: this feels good now so no thinking consequences
4) Avoiding conflict: I don’t want to work through the issues but I want what I want
5) Fearful: Scared of losing others, disappointing others, and disappointing myself
6) Anxious: thinking of worst case scenarios, dwelling
7) Impatient
8) Distracted
9) Easily bored
10) sensitive to criticism
11) unreliable
12) Self-sacrifice without boundaries
13) People pleasing

Dishonest


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:44 am 
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Lesson 4

Note: While I am posting a few of these lessons together, I've been working through them offline for the entire past week, so I have taken the time to integrate them and haven't felt rushed

A. In the previous exercise, you identified a list of the majority of your practical and universal values. Now, prioritize this list. This should take you about fifteen minutes at the most. If it is taking you longer than that, you are thinking too deeply. The deep thought was in constructing your vision and extracting the values...this is the 'easy part'. Simply identify an initial order of prioritization that 'feels right' to you.
Take a snapshot of where these values lay in terms of helping you to achieve your vision. DO NOT worry if a particular value is a few items above or below another (for instance, don't worry about choosing between 'Strengthening My Role as a Father to My Son' and 'Strengthening My Role as a Father to My Daughter'). You should be looking for a general sense of prioritization — not an exact representation. Remember that values change. Priorities change. And so, to try to imagine all possible situations for which prioritization may apply would paralyze you. So don't. Think only in the current moment — and in relation to what you believe would be the most direct path to building that vision in your day-to-day life.

B. When you have completed this priority list, post it into your Recovery Thread.
Note: The first ten to fifteen values on this list will form the crux of your initial value development and monitoring. Make sure that you pay particular attention to the top twenty or so values. They must be




1) Living with Integrity by being honest and courageous
2) Living with compassion
3) Strengthening my role as a partner
4) Supportive of family and mother
5) Respecting boundaries of others and myself by always
6) Knowing and fulfilling my own needs to be healthy and happy by taking care of myself
7) Expressing spirituality in my daily life through mindfulness, presence, and contemplation
8) Living an adventurous life through trying new hobbies, traveling, etc
9) Staying active and fit through regular exercise and outdoors activities
10) Being reliable to my partner, family and those I interact with by following through on thing
11) Being a good listener by listening first, recapping, and asking good questions to understand
12) Developing true emotional and physical intimacy
13) Being a Leader and community builder
14) Strengthening my intellectual depth through learning new things
15) Accepting responsibility and accountability to my life
16) Building teams, products and initiatives
17) Strengthening my role as a friend to my closest friends
18) Being generous with clear intention and focus
19) Developing a sense of humor
20) Taking risks in ways that are healthy (without hurting myself or others)
21) Being optimistic
22) Being in nature often
23) Financial stability
24) Being a good sibling/role model
25) Self-disciple and self-respect
26) Humility with self-respect
27) Being an active political citizen
28) Coaching folks early in their career
29) Building strong competence in my field of work
30) Creating a positive change in the world through speaking and writing
31) Advocating for equality and justice
32) Being there for others as a witness to their most vulnerable moments
33) Being reflective
34) Being inclusive
35) Being creative
36) Supporting loved ones and others in my life in building their best life
37) Learning to sit with my emotions and managing their excessive nature
38) Learning to sit with my emotions and managing their excessive nature
39) World-wide recognition as a thinker/innovator
40) Financial stability
41) Being a good sibling and role model
42) Building a business of sorts and making it an amazing place to work


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:01 am 
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Posts: 39
Lesson 5

This lesson was hardest so far. I think I am going to take more time thinking about this list over the next few days and may come back and edit it. This was good as it allowed me to look for ways to be true to myself


Lesson 5 Exercises:
A. In previous exercises, you identified and prioritized a list of your personal values. This list should represent those aspects of your life that you want to use to define who you are and how you will be managing your life. Take a moment to look over that list with a fresh view. As you read through it, ask yourself, "Does this reflect the person that I am committing myself to becoming?" If so, continue on; if not, add those missing values that are congruent with the life that you want to lead and remove those values which are not.

I added independence and autonomy to my list. I also moved up taking risks for things that matter.

B. Consider two or three major decisions that you have made in your life (i.e. marriage, career, getting a dog, etc.). Examine the values involved in the decision-making process that went into your options. Consider having to make those decisions today. Does your current prioritized values list reflect the choices that you would make? If so, then you have done a good job of creating a practical values list. If not, then you may still be leaning more towards 'idealistic values' than practical ones. You want...no, you NEED this list to function on a practical level. Continue refining it until it does.


The list felt very practical. I actually feel like I made a lot of my life decisions from this list. However, there are new comers here, like being reliable, etc.


C. Finally, examine the list one more time for its realism. Do this by briefly grasping each value and thinking about the role that it would play in your day-to-day life. This does not mean that you must use the particular value on a daily basis, only that it can serve as a realistic, functional part of the identity that you are building. For instance, if I choose 'spirituality' as a top priority for myself, but in reality I am only listing that value out of fear and/or social acceptance...then my list is not real. It is not practical. On the other hand, if I list 'Strengthening my relationship with my brother' — whom I have not had any contact with in twenty years and with whom I would like to rebuild a connection with...then that is practical. Also, remember to examine the values that are not necessarily socially accepted/idealized. This is critical. If you build a life based on what others expect from you, you will fail in your transition. If you build a life based on a mastery of what it is you truly value, then you will succeed. So examine values such as 'sexual gratification', 'being sexually adventurous', 'feeling sexually desired', 'being promiscuous', etc. If these are important to you, then prioritize them within your list. Leave them out because they don't 'sound right' and you are dooming yourself to that dual-identity that pervades sexual addiction.


I added honoring and enjoying my sexuality in healthy ways. I think this is a true value for me and I struggled to prioritize it in healthy ways before. I've spent a lot of time getting comfortable in my own body and so it does truly matter to me. This is a good way for me to integrate myself by acknowledging that this is important. Also adding that I value independence and autonomy allows me to recognize when I feel smothered.


D. Take the top fifteen values that you have currently listed and post them in your Recovery Thread. To be successful in recovery, you will need to learn to derive about 75% of your life's meaning and fulfillment from these values across any given week or so. It is okay if you are not currently doing this, because that is what the following two lessons are for: to help you develop this ability over the coming months.



1) Living with Integrity by being honest and courageous
2) Living with compassion
3) Strengthening my role as a partner
4) Supportive of family and mother
5) Respecting boundaries of others and myself
6) Knowing and fulfilling my own needs to be healthy and happy by taking care of myself
7) Expressing spirituality in my daily life through mindfulness, presence, and contemplation
8) Living an adventurous life through trying new hobbies, traveling, and following my dreams
9) Staying active and fit through regular exercise and outdoors activities
10) Living an autonomous and independent life (while respecting others boundaries and my own)
11) Being reliable to my partner, family and those I interact with by following through on thing
12) Honoring and enjoying my body and sexuality in healthy ways
13) Developing true emotional and physical intimacy
14) Being a Leader and community builder
15) Taking risks for things that matters in ways that are healthy (without hurting myself or others)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:26 pm
Posts: 39
Theseus1112 wrote:
Hi Lastingchange,

Welcome to RN.

In reading your first couple of posts, you have the correct mindset and thought process to change your life.

Keep up the good work

Regards
T


Thank you for the well wishes. I am excited to have found this invaluable resource and will continue doing this very important work


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3844
Location: UK
Hi LC
following Theseus's welcome I would like to add that you certainly have made a great positive and seemingly committed start, but it is still only the start
commitment is easy when the journey begins and progress is seen but do be aware that this is not always visible


for change you do need total and long-standing commitment, RN is not a one stop fix all course but it is a great roadmap and I believe that anyone who really does want recovery can achieve it
IMO addiction is not a sickness it is a weakness
if you really do want to improve your life and remove those self inflicted shackles of addiction and to recover from your emotion driven compulsive behaviours then you are at a good place to make that a reality, RN can show you the way
To achieve recovery then commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand, this community is supportive to those who demonstrate sincerity in their journey
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path, you have not been abandoned

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone, many have taken the path successfully, your actions are yours but you are not the first and unfortunately will not be the last
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting , reading, evaluating and putting into practice what you have learned, be open be honest, nobody here will judge you
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness

remember to work at your own pace and its not a race indeed some consider recovery to be a journey rather than a destination

the only person that can make these changes is you, so the hard work needs to come from you
looking forwards to reading your posts and wishing you all the best

_________________
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 Jun 27, 2019 11:19 am 
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Lesson 6 Exercise:
A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones. For instance, "Strengthening your relationship with your wife" is complex. "Developing a closer bond with 'Chewie', your dog" (probably) isn't. For now, choose 'Chewie'. Post these plans into your recovery thread.
Note that your goal here is not to map out perfection. You only need to map out the next few steps in the developmental process of strengthening and/or maintaining this value (if it is already at full strength).


I tried to pick things that are easy - to medium changes.

1) Living with Integrity by being honest and courageous
2) Living with compassion
1. Prioritizing listening and understanding before I give my own opinion or insert my story
2. Practicing compassion by asking and noting what people need most and giving it to them from a place of compassion
3. Thinking about the impact of my actions on people and ensuring I am acting compassionately
4. Practicing being compassionate with myself through positive self-talk (Soften, Soothe, Allow) when I run into issues or roadblocks
3) Strengthening my role as a partner
4) Supportive of family and mother
5) Respecting boundaries of others and myself
6) Knowing and fulfilling my own needs to be healthy and happy by taking care of myself
7) Expressing spirituality in my daily life through mindfulness, presence, and contemplation
1. Spending time meditating regularly and daily if possible
2. Listening to a Dharma talk every 1 - 2 weeks to keep ideas fresh
3. Connecting with community of meditator via workshops and drops ins at least once a month
4. Remembering to practice presence throughout the day at least once when drinking tea

8) Living an adventurous life through trying new hobbies, traveling, and following my dreams
9) Staying active and fit through regular exercise and outdoors activities
1. Walking or being active 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes
2. Lifting weights or doing bodyweight workouts 2 - 3x times a week
3. Going outdoors at least once a week in warm months (hiking, camping, kayaking, Swimming)
10) Living an autonomous and independent life (while respecting others boundaries and my own)
11) Being reliable to my partner, family and those I interact with by following through on thing
12) Honoring and enjoying my body and sexuality in healthy ways
13) Developing true emotional and physical intimacy
14) Being a Leader and community builder
15) Taking bold risks for things that matters in ways that are healthy


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:26 pm
Posts: 39
Kenzo wrote:
Hi LC
following Theseus's welcome I would like to add that you certainly have made a great positive and seemingly committed start, but it is still only the start
commitment is easy when the journey begins and progress is seen but do be aware that this is not always visible


for change you do need total and long-standing commitment, RN is not a one stop fix all course but it is a great roadmap and I believe that anyone who really does want recovery can achieve it
IMO addiction is not a sickness it is a weakness
if you really do want to improve your life and remove those self inflicted shackles of addiction and to recover from your emotion driven compulsive behaviours then you are at a good place to make that a reality, RN can show you the way
To achieve recovery then commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand, this community is supportive to those who demonstrate sincerity in their journey
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path, you have not been abandoned

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone, many have taken the path successfully, your actions are yours but you are not the first and unfortunately will not be the last
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting , reading, evaluating and putting into practice what you have learned, be open be honest, nobody here will judge you
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness

remember to work at your own pace and its not a race indeed some consider recovery to be a journey rather than a destination

the only person that can make these changes is you, so the hard work needs to come from you
looking forwards to reading your posts and wishing you all the best


Thank you Coach Kenzo. I have been free of negative patterns and behaviors for more than 1 year and have made a lot of positive changes in my life throughout in individual therapy. I don't see Recovery Nation's workshop as a "fix it" approach. However, it aligns with my own principals more than anything else. I continue to be as committed as I was a year ago and more overtime. This workshop is a chance for me to solidify some of the concepts and thinking I've been applying into my life, and so I am excited to continue.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:28 pm 
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I am skipping Lesson 7 as I am still working on building proactive plans and I am about to post on that more.

This is lesson 8 which is about absolute honesty

Lesson 10 Exercises:
I. Consider those lies that are still being perpetuated in your life. Who you are deceiving. Why you are deceiving them. Consider the 'risks' of coming clean. No need to do anything about these thoughts...just have an awareness of them.

There are no lies that I am perpetuating my life anymore. I have been honest about my life for those that I care about for over a year now. I still, very occasionally, find myself telling a half-truth about some inconsequential matter. Like whether I arrived or I am 2 minutes away. When these types of situations happen, I wonder if I should be sharing that I had didn't tell the full truth in that moment.

There are also moments when I am not trying to hide or lie, but I feel like I left out details. I haven't left any consequential details.




II. If you are involved in a partnership, choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving them in certain areas. If the answer is yes, acknowledge that you are willing to jeopardize the future of that relationship by maintaining the deception; AND, admit to yourself that you are intentionally sabotaging your own healthy foundation by allowing such a huge crack to remain.

There is no deception on my part in my relationship anymore and for that I am grateful. I still have few moments here and there where I am scared of a reaction and just don't say all the details of a silly situation. None of this has been related to sexual stuff. Most of it is usually is due to the fact that my partner still reacts strongly to just about anything and I have to learn to tell it like it is no matter her reaction. I am working on being able to just simply tell the truth without any embellishment in all situations. This level of honesty is new to me and it's taking work. I am very aware though nowadays when I end up saying something that is 80% true, and it's the last type of lying that I need to kick off from my life.

I have noticed that my partner is writing to someone on her phone and is planning to meet them for dinner. I haven't told her that I have read the conversation, and that is in a way hiding something. I am still learning what does absolute honesty look like. And I recognize that she is not being fully honest with me which is an issue.


III. If you are involved in professional coaching (or outside counseling), choose now whether or not you intend to continue deceiving those whom you are working with. If the answer is yes, acknowledge that you are not fully commited to ending your addiction. Acknowledge that you are choosing to 'go through the motions', rather than actively pursue real change.

I am doing individual therapy. I am very honest so far. I do notice that I trust my counseler less because she seems to hold back her thoughts in our conversations a lot. I am sharing that with her openly to continue to be honest about how I feel and my work.




IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior. List these items and their locations in your Recovery Thread. If you are uncomfortable sharing this in the forum, email or PM the list to a Coach.
Example:

None - I have nothing stashed. No contacts, apps, e-mails, or anything.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:23 am 
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Posts: 39
I haven't stopped working this program. I've been revisiting the lessons I finished so far often and my value list continue to be very instrumental in changing what decisions I make and how I make them. I am going to pick up where I left off a week or so ago.

Here is Lesson 9 which is an assessment of all past behavior. I haven't engaged in any compulsive behaviors for 16 months. I have noticed that I had replaced watching pornography with occasionally reading erotic fiction, so I suspended doing that about 4 - 5 months ago. My pornography usage never felt invasive in the sense that I didn't feel like It would take over my life or be a big part of it, but I opted for ruling it out of my life as it seems like a non-healthy path for sexual release in general. I would probably review how I feel about it over time and whether it could fit within a concept of healthy sexuality or not.


Pornography:
• Videos and erotic fiction
Elements
Sensory (visual
Accomplishment (finding most stimulating)
Orgasm
Fantasy

• Life stressors
• Emotional imbalance
• Boredom
• Curiosity

Boundaries violated
• Self-resepct
• Intimacy
• Autonomy
• Order (time spent)
Promiscuity
• Multiple encounters with people known less than a month
• Actively searching while on business

Elements
• Sensory
• Accomplishment (searching and engaging)
• Danger
• Suspense
• Orgasm
• Fantasy
• Past

Frequent cues
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional neglect
• Low self esteem
• Emotional imbalance (depression, lonliness)
• Opportunity (people, places, time)

Boundaries violated
• Safety
• Honesty
• Self-respect
• Intimacy
S&M
• Sensory
• Orgasm
• Danger
• Increased stress
• Past sexual abuse
• Exposure

Boundaries violated
• Self-respect
• Identity
• Intimacy
• Social acceptance


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:14 am 
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Posts: 39
Lesson 9 Unhealthy Recovery Patterns

This was an interesting lesson. It was a bit confusing. I felt like I could see some patterns in some of the groups but not all of them. I guess the purpose of reviewing these patterns is to be weary and on alert if I display any of them, and take a serious look onto how I could prevent that from happening or change it if it does happen. I am going to review each of the groups and how I felt in relation to it.

Lesson 12 Exercise:
I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.

First group
I think I am gonna call it the hopium group - not in a judgmental way, but basically it's the group that wants hope but wants no action. I don't see any patterns in how I feel in this group. I am very aware that seeing results take work. I can already see the results of doing this workshop.I think usually I do like immediate gratification but I can see that this is long-term work, and it requires commitment. I haven't felt like my interest in recovery and building a healthy life has waned. It feels like it continues increasing over time. And the motive is very internal. While my relationship has been a catalyst of change, what drives me mostly is the belief that In order to live the best life I could, I need to put in the work to build a healthy life, and prevent myself from going down this path again.

Second Group
I think the second group is more insidious and easier to fall into. Basically, my understanding is this group start with enthusiasm, dies out, then comes back. Starts and stops. So it's very easy for this group to basically end up in a pattern of starts and stops that doesn't end up creating enough change. I see more risk in falling into this group. I haven't skipped around programs. I've been mostly doing my own thing in individual therapy and now this workshop. The caution here is to not stop and start a lot. I think so long as I pace myself and take the time needed, but continue actively engaging with the materials, hopefully this won't be an issue but I will keep my eyes out.

Third Group
This is where I hope I am, but time will tell. I feel the changes happening internally. I feel that I am realizing how much it takes to live and honest life, and how much work I need to continue doing. I realize that this workshop isn't what's gonna heal me, but I really like the feeling of confidence that it gives me, that I'd have the tools to manage a healthy life. I don't know if I am in this group or not, but that's what I hope. And since I am trying to recognize unhealthy patterns, this isn't going to be where I spend my time analyzing.

Fourth Group


this is the group that I am going to spend most of my time to make sure I spot any unhealthy patterns I have. Here is a breakdown of the behaviors that the group engage in:
[*] Moving on to the next excercise without thinking too much about the lessons before -- So far, I've been doing pretty well with continuing to look back. I find that some of the lessons actually feel like they require repetition, especially honesty and lessons on values, etc.
[*] Not going the extra mile -- I think I've been going the extra mile since the beginning. I have a virtual notebook where I keep all my notes and lessons. I have it on my phone and read it often. I am printing some of the lessons and reviewing with my individual counseler
[*] Analyzing risks/returns of what they are being asked to do -- I see this happening mostly in the area of honesty. I think my level of commitment to honesty still holds on to some advantage and risks/benefit analysis. This is a tough one to break. I've made a ton of progress but I still see that I am willing to say to my boss I will do something when I am not sure I can, or other small behaviors that may work to my advantage. I see it mostly at work and in protecting my identity as an LGBTQ individual. Some of these protective instincts are good and necessary, but it's hard to know how to actually do this well with a full commitment to honesty. I think this is an area I need to work on.
[*] Keeping the workshop intellectually separate from their identity - I don't think this is happening but I can see the risk for me to do that. I tend to over intellectualize things, so I will keep my eye out on this one. I think I can keep track of that by pushing myself to truly do the work when I am being asked for even more down the line.

Finally people in this above group will spend a lot of their time proving that recovery is working. I guess that's what I need to get away from. Committing to the process and not to ovethink whether it works or not, or feel the need to prove it to myself and others. That's a pattern I definitely see a bit of in myself.

Those who will continue to struggle with major relapse
I haven't been forced into recovery. I don't feel like I am exhibiting much if any of these signs so far. I think early on in my recovery, I had doubts if I can make a full recovery, but that was very early on, and I've gained both responsibility over my actions and more confidence. It's kind of a balanced confidence that relies on having the right tools.

Those who will occassionally struggle

this group struggles with mild pattern of relaplse. This is where I need to be more careful. Making sure that guilt and shame don't trigger negative patterns.
I don't believe I suffer from a disease beyond my control
However - I may tend to confuse my patterns with general mental health issues and creating a hypersensitivity. So that's another thing to look out for.
Finally - I think most important out of all of this is focusing on avoiding triggers and controlling past behavior instead of building new learned behaviors and experiencing extreme emotions. and risk of hyper analyzing actions, etc.

Summary
Patterns I need to watch out for in myself:
[*]Hypersensitivity and hyper focus and analysis
[*]Focus on outcome rather than process
[*] Focusing on controlling past behavior rather than focus on learning new habits
[*] Measuring the success of recovery by looking at abstinence rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction

The last one is the most important for me. I need to make a shift of measuring my success through my emotional stability and personal satisfaction rather than abstinence. I still have work to do to get to the emotional stability and personal satisfaction necessary.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:26 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 10

Lesson 13 Exercises:
I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.
I



• In early recovery: some of the patterns that are under early recovery, such as having lots of guilt and shame.
○ Exposing myself to triggers to see how well I can handle them
○ Seeking understanding in all areas of life
○ Being needy and pathetic
• Middle Recovery (Actual recovery)
○ I think this is where I am at mostly and I exhibit a lot of these patterns

○ Motivation comes form wanting to live a life that I am proud of
○ Accepted that I made terrible decisions but realize what matters is what I do now
○ Making decisions based on what is believed to be the right thing to do rather than
○ Don't consider myself to be defective
○ Take a long hard long at anything associated with destructive patterns
○ Tend to have emotional relapse in terms of getting overwhemled with the impact of their decisions on their lives and others
• From recovery to health
○ I think I am starting to exhibit some of these
§ No longer avoid triggers and feel fairly confident that they are opportunities to exercise good judgments.
§ Can no longer imagine a situation where the momentariy pleasure is worth the risk of living a value based life
○ Still working on the rest of the items

I. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If yes, wonderful. If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving/managing your recovery? Share your thoughts in the community forum.

This isn't a very clear question and I am not sure what it is getting at. Help and guidance maybe helpful here.


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