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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:44 am 
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learningtorun wrote:
In order to keep things tidy it is perhaps best to record your responses to the workshop and exercises and also your own musings to your own thread rather than in the community forum.

Will do L2R, thanks for the feedback.
Best Wishes, G


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 Post subject: Daily Monitoring Day 1
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:14 am 
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I'm back at work today and in my home office on my own which is a space that I've acted out when I'm on my own and feeling a bit low - flicking open a porn website for a quick peek between tasks. I'm also feeling quite "in the dog house" which I'm not sure how much of that is being upset because my narcissistic supply has been removed, and how much is me feeling genuinely aware of how much damage (reaching out beyond my own family) I've caused over Christmas that I'm absolutely responsible for.

Spiritual Personal Development
Did I meditate this morning? No, we had a nephew sleeping in our room, but I did do a Tonglen practice while I was waiting for everyone to wake up.
Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today? Yes, 5 minutes or so, again while lying still.
Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting. No, I'll speak to Sunshine about that when she gets back.
Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making? Yes a couple of times
Have I opened myself up to the universe today? Yes, but only because I was thinking about filling in this monitoring form.

Being a good Dad / role model
Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it? I gave them attention when they came back to the house yes.
Did both children get a 7 second hug? Yes
Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday? No, kids not back to school yet.
Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of? Nothing comes to mind.

Being a good husband / co-habitor
Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes? Briefly, in bed this morning.
In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding? I've considered how she's feeling and said that, but not in response to her talking to me.
Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance? Yes I ate the leftover curry without asking if she wanted any. Whoops!
Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday? No
Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so? Yes I cooked.
Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today? Possibly.
Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that? That would be presumptuous before our next concilling appointment. I'll set a diary note for Monday.
What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them? All done.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:16 pm 
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Lesson 21 Exercise:
A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?

Not a total failure, but I limped away from my first degree with a much lower grade than everyone thought I was capable of. I didn't put the time in that the material required. I just assumed I could turn up, listen to the classes and that would be enough (it had been sufficiently up until that point in my life), but the subject was complex and my natural aptitude wasn't sufficient to pull me through. I should have been putting in several hours per day. Unfortunately I also wasn't sufficiently motivated in the subject. Sitting at a desk trying to force myself to study was quite torturous.

Another failure was traveling to Canada and having a holiday and looking for work so that I could move there permanently. That didn't work because I was attempting to do two different things at the same time, and ended up doing neither well. Again I wasn't fully committed - I wasn't properly in the country and ready (legally) to work.

B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?
When I went back to university to do a Masters degree I was properly motivated and I enjoyed the subject. It didn't feel like I had to put so much effort into willing myself to sit down and do the work required. I put in the time and I got great results.

C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.

Recovery Goal: Be more present in my life
  • Meditate weekday mornings
  • Use impulses to look at pornography as triggers for getting in touch with my higher self
  • Gratitude &/or Tonglen practice when lying awake in the morning
  • Pay attention to alerts etc, especially for opportunities to share myself more authentically
  • Set some time aside - walking through garden or traveling - to open myself up to spirit


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 Post subject: Daily Monitoring Day 2
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:09 am 
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The site was giving some MySQL connections error last night, so this text is from yesterday:

I did my 2nd SLAA meeting today. It was interesting, specifically looking at sexual anorexia. While I didn't think it was very relevant to me, I did see aspects of it in myself, like not sharing myself fully with other people due to a lack of trust, or thinking that that thing I was sharing was unacceptable.

Spiritual Personal Development
Did I meditate this morning? Again no, but again I did Tonglen before my wife woke up
Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today? Yes, while waiting for meeting to start.
Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting. Whoops, will set an alarm for that for tomorrow
Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making? I tried getting in contact - it didn't have anything to add.
Have I opened myself up to the universe today? Not in stillness, I'll try it before bed.

Being a good Dad / role model
Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it? Weekend so no school, but I did ask both of them about their day.
Did both children get a 7 second hug? Yes
Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday? I checked son.
Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of? Wife disagreed with priorities of skateboard building, but I don't regret that :w:

Being a good husband / co-habitor
Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes? Not much of a moment, but I did look her in the eyes a few times
In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding? Didn't do very well with that today
Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance? I'm holding back talking about past "crushes" I guess I feel like she's had a lot to take in. Will try to get that out tonight.
Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday? No
Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so? I did yesterday yes. Today I was out for lunch.
Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today? Don't think so.
Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that? Early days
What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them? Not aware of skipping any. Will check phone.[/quote]


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 308
Guided,
Looking forward to how you apply what helped to achieve your Masters to your addiction.

Quote:
I was properly motivated and I enjoyed the subject


Does your motivation and vision detailed in Lesson 2 inspire you as much as when you were studying for your masters? If not, how can you tweak it to do so?

Quote:
It didn't feel like I had to put so much effort into willing myself to ... do the work required.


How awesome! Having a strong list of values can help us addicts by giving internal/external drivers that cost less energy than just our willpower.

Quote:
I put in the time and I got great results.


And here you are putting in the time. Now to get those results. Keep up the good work.

Be well,

Anon


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:29 pm 
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Posts: 207
Hi Anon, thanks for your input.
anon523 wrote:
Does your motivation and vision detailed in Lesson 2 inspire you as much as when you were studying for your masters? If not, how can you tweak it to do so?
Well now you've got me thinking about that because really motivation is "how much do you want to do that", and it's very easy to want to do things that are exciting or enjoyable. And very difficult to "want" to do things that are tedious, so there needs to be some other motivation like a sense of duty or necessity of being paid. In the case of my Masters I just enjoyed doing the work. I hope I can find the same enjoyment here - a sense of growth and progression in my personal development perhaps.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:21 pm 
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My wife is away for work for a week (timing - eek!) so being alone in my home office has traditionally been a time for me to perk up my day with porn. I've being trying to use that impulse as a trigger for opening myself up to a wider awareness.

Spiritual Personal Development
Did I meditate this morning? I did not. I'll set an alarm for tomorrow.
Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today? Yes, several times
Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting. Yes spoke to Sunshine about it - she thinks we've got enough going on
Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making? I did touch in with it today, but not as part of any decision making. I think that's going to take some practice.
Have I opened myself up to the universe today? Yes several times at my desk and during a lunchtime nap.

Being a good Dad / role model
Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it? A little
Did both children get a 7 second hug? Not yet. Extra hugs yesterday evening though.
Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday? Yes
Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of? I probably went on a bit too long at my son just playing computer games all day and not doing anything more constructive.

Being a good husband / co-habitor
Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes? Sunshine is away for work
In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding? Ditto
Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance? Still not found a good time to bring up past "crushes"
Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday? No
Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so? All the cooking is with me this week
Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today? Don't think so.
Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that? Early days, again.
What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them? All reacted to[/quote][/quote]


Last edited by Guided on Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:12 am 
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Posts: 207
Spiritual Personal Development
Did I meditate this morning? Yes
Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today? Yes
Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting. See previous, will pick up after Friday
Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making? As per yesterday, yes but need to work on when decisions are being made
Have I opened myself up to the universe today? Yes, porn impulse as a trigger working well. Also during nap time.

Being a good Dad / role model
Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it? Yes, they got the 3rd degree
Did both children get a 7 second hug? Yes
Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday? Yes
Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of? Got ratty with my son for not doing the things we'd agreed and he instead played computer games all evening.

Being a good husband / co-habitor
Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes? Sunshine is away for work
In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding? Ditto
Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance? Still not found a good time to bring up past "crushes"
Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday? No
Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so? All the cooking is with me this week
Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today? Don't think so.
Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that? Early days, again.
What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them? All reacted to


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:13 pm 
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A. Describe the emotions that you experienced and the thoughts that triggered them.
Not so much doing the exercise as it's described, but I feel very much in touch with the emotions related to my acting out this week because my wife is away for work so I'm experiencing light abandonment, boredom, feeling like I'm meeting other people's needs and not my own and just a general sort of flatness. I've been used to medicating that with "quick peeks" at porn sites so the impulse to look at porn has come up quite frequently - especially because I'm not doing it!

That's an interesting assumption in the exercise that "not doing it" would cause anxiety. In my case the idea that I "might do it" is what causes me anxiety, and actually I find knowing that I'm not going to be giving in to the impulse is a soothing thing. I'll try to revisit this exercise and work through the full set of emotions.

B. In assessing your own anxiety, describe the extremes of your personal experiences with anxiety. What has been the least anxious state you have experienced and the most extreme anxious state you have experienced?

The least anxious state I've been in was after University when I wasn't working and I'd been on a two week meditation retreat. I just felt so free at that time.

The most anxious is when I was at work but supposed to be getting on a plane for holiday but I also had a boss who was looking for me to finish off a piece of work before I left. So I had a girlfriend phoning me up asking me when I was going to be leaving and I had a boss who was asking me how it was going and some piece of computer work that was just not going well. That feeling of failing to meet my obligations from multiple parties at the same time about about the most anxious I've been. That and losing a child in a mall. It's a feeling of panic - I stop being able to think almost at all.


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 Post subject: Daily Monitoring Day 5
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:41 am 
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Posts: 207
Quite a full day for therapy today - had a 50 minute individual session with the therapist that Sunshine and I have been seeing for couple counselling, which went well. This evening I'll be going to my third SLAA meeting. Sunshine is still away for work so I'm hoping I'll get a chance to talk to her while I'm walking back from that meeting.

Did I meditate this morning? Yes - 40 minute mindfulness
Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today? Yes
Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting. See previous, will pick up after Friday
Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making? Yes...not sure I've made any decisions in particular
Have I opened myself up to the universe today? Yes, porn impulse as a trigger still really helpful.

Being a good Dad / role model
Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it? Yes
Did both children get a 7 second hug? Yes, individual and joint
Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday? Yes
Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of? No

Being a good husband / co-habitor
Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes? Sunshine is away for work
In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding? Ditto
Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance? Still not found a good time to bring up past "crushes"
Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday? I was aware of how aware I was of other swimmers yesterday, I should share that.
Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so? All of your meals belong to me
Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today? The whole house needs a tidy when the kids get back, I'll get them on it.
Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that? Early days.
What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them? There was one for weekly monitoring, but I'm still doing daily


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 Post subject: Lesson 30 Exercise
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:37 am 
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For the rest of today and all of tomorrow, focus on one specific developmental skill: deepening your awareness of the connection between your emotions and your values.

This took me a while to get in touch with because I wasn't getting the connection between emotions and values, but it's almost like the emotions associated with values come after some decision is made. There's anxiety while I'm considering that I might go the right way or the wrong way, and then a feeling of relief and "rightness" when I make the right decision and know that I'm not going to act out.

What comes up for me is the impulse to look at pornography and it's quite a dry thing, the idea pops into my head like a fully formed sentence. I'm not aware of having any particular feeling until I recognise that I've had the thought and it's only then that I recognise Oh I'm feeling a bit bored, or Oh, I'm feeling like I'm being left alone. And then - currently - I'm working with an associative trigger of getting in touch with a feeling of connection to my higher self or the universe in general and once I've done that I know I'm not going to act out and there's a feeling of satisfaction - not quite but almost pride in myself.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:49 am 
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Well it's been quite a few days. Sunshine's Dad died over the weekend and there's quite a lot to say about that. They'd had an argument about addiction after Christmas that was partly due to my having admitted (under questioning) to acting out, and they were still getting over that, so that's going to be a source of regret for both of us. I'm really relieved that I'd come clean and am in some ways able to be with my wife with some sort of authenticity, although she was knocked sideways by my failure and then her Dad dies soon after that quite unexpectedly. And I've got these 3 things going on - couple therapy, working with RN and also SLAA meetings. It's a lot.

Did I meditate this morning? Yes - we sat together this morning.
Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today? Yes
Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting. Looks like that will happen when I'm away...or my trip might not happen depending on the funeral date.
Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making? Still not really getting the decision part of it. It's like the decision part happens too quickly - I don't feel like I need additional input on it. At some level, the decision is already made before I articulate the choices.
Have I opened myself up to the universe today? Not had much in the way of impulse to look at porn today, but yesterday that associative trigger to get connected was working really well. Kicked in maybe 5 times.

Being a good Dad / role model
Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it? Yes
Did both children get a 7 second hug? Yes, big hugs yesterday and this morning
Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday? They're being let off that stress right now
Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of? I could have been softer with my son about a lesson that he thought he could face but then backed out when we had a discussion about him not having done the homework for it (but found time to get 8 hours of gaming in).

Being a good husband / co-habitor
Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes? Yes some good eye contact - could do more. Been quite gentle with her and not freaked out about her listing ways in which I'm not this or that.
In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding? Been pretty attentive I think - not making it "about me"
Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance? Just some sexual thoughts about her, but a) I felt those were coming from a place of distress and me wanting comfort and b) it didn't feel appropriate to bring that into her grieving space.
Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday? I don't feel I'm holding anything in particular back. I had some advice from my SLAA group about the dangers of oversharing and if I've not actually acted out, then perhaps I don't have to share every thought that comes to mind.
Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so? I prepared dinner, yes
Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today? Can't think of any
Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that? Not applicable.
What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them? Not yet.


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 Post subject: Daily Monitoring Day 6
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:09 am 
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Did I meditate this morning? No, although I did do a gratitude practice
Have I devoted mental space to gratitude today? Yes
Have I considered our meditation group today - organising, contacting. No
Am I asking that still small voice to be a part of my decision making? Yes, managed that 3 or 4 times yesterday. Wasn't terribly helpful - having some doubts about the motivation of my higher self.
Have I opened myself up to the universe today? Yes.

Being a good Dad / role model
Did I give each child attention after school - did I ask about their day and have a conversation about it? Yes
Did both children get a 7 second hug? Yes
Did I ask about / investigate homework / educational activities for both children yesterday? No
Did I do anything regarding my interaction with the children that I'm not proud of? I should have taken my son's phone off him and kept it away from him last night - he didn't sleep well.

Being a good husband / co-habitor
Have I 'taken a moment' with my wife and looked her in the eyes? I did managed to "stay with her" yesterday, but we were having some pretty difficult conversations
In how many conversations have I considered how my wife is feeling - and fed that back - before responding? Totally not being doing the feeding back thing, will re-prioritise that.
Has anything come to mind that I'm reluctant to share with my wife? What is the reluctance? No, been pretty solid here despite various pressures of being on my own and Sunshine's Dad's death
Did I share or fail to share anything that did not paint me in a "good light" yesterday? No
Was it my day to cook yesterday? If so, did I do so? Meals are a bit ad-hoc this week
Have I walked past any mess that I should have dealt with today? Actually got complimented for having done a great job cleaning up
Is there a date day planned currently? What's the next event? What's planned after that? Not applicable.
What alerts have popped up today. Have I failed to act on any of them? Not yet.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Checking in
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:34 pm 
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Posts: 207
Wow, how quickly a week can go past without me posting anything.

The 12 Step thing is quite demanding. We're supposed to make 3 calls a day, but I've not got a large enough pool of numbers yet to do that. Plus I've a full time job and I'm rushing to get work done for deadline.

Been having an intense time with Sunshine, but it's been good that she said she needs more care and attention from me so I've been doing that and she said she noticed a difference so that feels like progress.

I'm looking at http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/ ... op_033.php just now. Will read through that again this evening.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:33 am 
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I'm fully focussed on the 12 step programme right now. I've got a sponsor who is giving me a question per day which takes about an hour to answer, plus a half hour call to him and I'm supposed to make 3 other calls to fellows so - with a full time job and a family - that's maxing out what I can cope with.


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