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 Post subject: Consequences
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:00 pm
Posts: 95
Hello RN,

Stopping by to share some thoughts and provide a status update.

I have been working on the workshop on and off for over a year and half now - I am currently in lesson 43. A lot has happened in my life the last 6 to 8 months - A lot of situations that have put to test my ability to deal with life based on values and in a mature way.

I am not where I was 1, 2 or 3years ago. I was able to manage some situations in healthy ways, but most of others through compulsive behavior (porn and masturbation, or trying to date girls when I know I am not ready to) - in general, life has been an emotional rollercoaster of chaos. e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y.

Once again, I am at that a point where the consequences of my decisions are too obvious. It feels like I have been in a trance for a while, and suddenly the pain I have brought to myself and to other people is too big to ignore. Once again, I realize all the lost time and potential. I realize that I forgot I had committed to living a healthy life.

It is not easy to stay true and honest to yourself. It is hard to deal with a world that makes you think you are ok. Watching porn, masturbating and objectifying women is a "normal" practice among men. It even makes you think that there is nothing wrong with you and that, maybe, you are just taking "life too seriously". When you avoid reading the community thread, work on the workshop, monitor your values and be aware and watchful of your feelings and mental health, your addiction takes over - it compromises your judgement and makes you forget that you have a serious problem that needs attention and work. (RN helps me to realize that there is a different reality and that I am not alone)

It is even more confusing when you have some awareness and have started to walk the path to health. How can you fool yourself again into thinking that dealing with life the way you are doing will not bring negative consequences?

I also feel a deep pain for all the damage I have caused to an honest and beautiful person. I am not in a relationship with this person anymore, but I can look back and see all the pain I caused with my behavior and the choices I made. - but somehow I feel this pain is different. I feel that I can and want to embrace it - take full responsibility for it. It feels like a pain that it's also healing. I am glad I can feel this pain because it means that I can empathize and begin to understand the things I did wrong, face the consequences and learn. I will be forever sorry and humbled for the the things that I did and the pain that I brought to her.

I'm not sure I will not end up where I am again - overwhelmed by the pain I have caused to myself and to someone I care with all my heart. But I am sure that I will recommit to recovery. I will fall, learn and recommit as many times as I have to. I also feel hope - and also feel thankful - thankful because life has made me face the consequences of my acts once again, so I can wake up, make course correction and keep moving forward.

Finally, I do not feel the need to re-start the workshop. I want to continue working through the lessons while reviewing the work I have done in the past (Lesson 1 to 43). I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Thank you and stay hopeful.

_________________
- IronAndy
"Our thinking cannot be wiser than our understanding"

_________________
- IronAndy
"Our thinking cannot be wiser than our understanding"


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 Post subject: Re: Consequences
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:24 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:57 pm
Posts: 317
Hi Andy,

As is so often pointed out here, recovery is a process. It's different for everyone and takes on many forms. Through recognition and action your process will improve although without adequate effort and commitment progress can be lost or stalled.
IronAndy wrote:
Once again, I am at that a point where the consequences of my decisions are too obvious
It's clear from what you're saying that you've recognized a loss, but recognition is just what you needed here to change direction.
IronAndy wrote:
I also feel a deep pain for all the damage I have caused
Take that regret, that pain, that void, and fill it with the drive needed to move toward the health you seek.
IronAndy wrote:
Finally, I do not feel the need to re-start the workshop. I want to continue working through the lessons while reviewing the work I have done in the past
Only you can tell if you need to restart. What you have accomplished so far is never lost, you continue building on what progress you've made, and the corrections you make in recovery from this point are simply applying what you've learned.
A lot can be gleaned from reviewing your previous work including developing refinements in planned behavior and a clearer understanding of the thoughts that have driven, and currently drive what you do day to day.
How you feel about your life direction may change over time as well. There may be times when you will feel satisfied with what you've learned or done, knowing your past drove you to that point.

Be well,
Rel8ed2


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 Post subject: Re: Consequences
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:00 pm
Posts: 95
Thank you very much Rel8ed2. I will take the pain, regret and void and will use it to continue working through the workshop while i review past lessons.

_________________
- IronAndy
"Our thinking cannot be wiser than our understanding"


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 Post subject: Re: Consequences
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:49 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Hi Iron

Just a thought prompted by this:

Quote:
It is not easy to stay true and honest to yourself. It is hard to deal with a world that makes you think you are ok. Watching porn, masturbating and objectifying women is a "normal" practice among men. It even makes you think that there is nothing wrong with you and that, maybe, you are just taking "life too seriously". When you avoid reading the community thread, work on the workshop, monitor your values and be aware and watchful of your feelings and mental health, your addiction takes over - it compromises your judgement and makes you forget that you have a serious problem that needs attention and work. (RN helps me to realize that there is a different reality and that I am not alone)


I take your point, but I think it might be better phrases to suggest a more positive attitude.

It is easy to be honest and true if you have a strong committment values, action plans and boundaries.

It is years of addiction and self-delusion that makes this appear hard.

The challenge is that delusion is far easier, quicker. Behave badly but rather than do anything about this, we just pretend that it is ok. As you write - a world that seems to be telling men that porn is just fine.

The morals of porn are, I think clear enough. But what we need to do here in recovery is to be clear why it is bad for us. What the consequences are of fantasy, of detachment etc. It is irrelevant what the world says - it is mainly trying to sell us stuff

Forget that. Work on building a set of values that work for you - not the world. Then create action plans based on them and practice them out there in that world.

If you values - say, honesty, commitment, patience, - clash with the world, then too bad for the world.

Shaw


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 Post subject: Re: Consequences
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:54 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:26 pm
Posts: 189
Hi Iron

I can relate to your situation as i have also lost someone very dear to me and having to live with the consequences of my actions. Thanks RL8 for some great pointers
Rel8ed2 wrote:
It's clear from what you're saying that you've recognized a loss, but recognition is just what you needed here to change direction. Take that regret, that pain, that void, and fill it with the drive needed to move toward the health you seek.
IronAndy wrote:
Finally, I do not feel the need to re-start the workshop. I want to continue working through the lessons while reviewing the work I have done in the past
Only you can tell if you need to restart. What you have accomplished so far is never lost, you continue building on what progress you've made, and the corrections you make in recovery from this point are simply applying what you've learned.

I have felt too that perhaps i should redo the workshop, i guess i should finish it off first and then go back
I also like Shaw's suggestion
Shaw72 wrote:
Forget that. Work on building a set of values that work for you - not the world. Then create action plans based on them and practice them out there in that world.
If your values - say, honesty, commitment, patience, - clash with the world, then too bad for the world.
This is so true, i am trying to work through my issues and trying to identify my weaknesses and then finding practical ways of turning those into strengths. My biggest downfall was attempting to shut myself out of the world and trying to avoid facing it. I remained handicapped in terms of dealing with things as i avoided, in the end that did not work as i eventually succumbed to a situation i could have easily dealt with had i learnt to do so. The consequences are hard to bear but i have woken up.
I went to a therapist for a couple of weeks, i have never really liked shrinks but i was in so much pain i just needed to offload on someone. He turned out to be not so bad and he helped me break some mental barriers that were stumbling blocks in my recovery process.
I have always frowned upon masturbation as something shameful and disgusting and reading about how many struggle with it here and on other forums just cemented my belief that it was a no no for me. He helped me to see it in a different way. He did not tell me its merits or demerits, he just said i had to find out on my own and how i can use it as a healthy outlet for sexual tension.
I had read about how many struggle with it when it becomes an addiction so i had to find a way of doing it that would not end up being a problem. I read a lot even about techniques, i did not want to use fantasies or images, i wanted it to be as mechanical as possible. It is actually possible as i have come to learn and it takes like a minute or two, i still find it uncomfortable but then i only do it once or twice in a month if wet dreams don't take care of the tension.
This has obviously had a great effect on the one need and catalyst for my behavior. Its early days but it does have a huge psychological effect as i do not have to dwell on the thoughts of the tension and how i can find ways or rather someone to release it. My greatest worry is giving myself excuses that i am not in a relationship anymore and thus i can have sex to release tension. I know that i need to find my balance and some sobriety will do me good while i work on my issues. So far so good....day by day i work to strengthen my resolve.
Seeing that i am in the world and can not avoid certain things, i am learning to apply my values. I still use social media but very sparingly. I am aware that these days i do tend to use my studies as a deterrent but once i am done i will have a lot more time on my hands. I plan to keep things as they are and fill that time with activities with my children. I don't know if this can be of any help to you but i guess you can consider it.
Be well

_________________
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.


Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.


Carl Jung


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 Post subject: Re: Consequences
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:00 pm
Posts: 95
Thank you Shaw and thisiscumbersome!

Shaw,

Quote:
If you values - say, honesty, commitment, patience, - clash with the world, then too bad for the world.


I never looked at it from this perspective and I think that you are right. It is easy to get lost in what the world or other people want or think it is right. Our own values and who we really want to become gets lost in this noise.

As Jon mentions in one of the lessons, in the process of managing my life through compulsive behavior for so long, I have lost touch with my values, and therefore with who I really am. My values have been shaped around my addiction. I look back and see that many times I even tried to follow someone else's values and believes because I couldn't identify my own. As this process to health evolves, I think that I am moving towards getting to know myself, my values and the person I want to become. However, I still have a hard time making decisions, and identifying what I want.

Thisiscumbersome

Quote:
I had read about how many struggle with it when it becomes an addiction so i had to find a way of doing it that would not end up being a problem. I read a lot even about techniques, i did not want to use fantasies or images, i wanted it to be as mechanical as possible. It is actually possible as i have come to learn and it takes like a minute or two, i still find it uncomfortable but then i only do it once or twice in a month if wet dreams don't take care of the tension.
This has obviously had a great effect on the one need and catalyst for my behavior. Its early days but it does have a huge psychological effect as i do not have to dwell on the thoughts of the tension and how i can find ways or rather someone to release it


I get your point. I would like to get to the point where I am completely abstinent for a while just because I think that I am still too immature to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy masturbation. I also think that healthy masturbation could lead me to compulsive masturbation very easily. This week, I was asked by my therapist if I thought that complete abstinence was possible since I was single and not sexually active, or if instead of masturbation I would prefer having sex with someone. I think that if I really like the person and we are both being honest with each other (for example, not lying just to try get her in bed), or using sex as an emotional medication, I would do it. However, there is some conflict here as I would like to be abstinent but also would have sex with someone. - I think that I am not being completely honest with myself here, and could be compromising values and boundaries to get what my addict brain wants if the situation presents itself. :pe:

Quote:
I don't know if this can be of any help to you but i guess you can consider it.


Yes, it was very helpful. Thanks for sharing. :g:

_________________
- IronAndy
"Our thinking cannot be wiser than our understanding"


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