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 Post subject: Month 1; Week 3; Day 2
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Month 1; Week 3; Day 2

Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served?

I am blown away by the thought of “what a positive role addiction has played in my lifeÂâ€Â


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 Post subject: Month 1; Week 3; Day 3
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:39 pm 
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Month 1; Week 3; Day 3

Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread.

SUSPENSE – This would set the stage, so to speak. Will my wife go shopping or visit a friend out of town, etc. Will she be gone long? Will the kids be in school all day?

DANGER – Will my wife come home early? Will the kids come early from school?

FANTASY – Watching porn. That’s me in the movie with the woman or women. I might recall seeing an attractive woman that day or in previous days. My imagination would go on & on.

PAST – Being abused by an older man when I was a child, I remember how large his penis was. In the fantasy, it’s now my penis.

SENSORY – Gels & oils would heighten the feeling as I masturbated.

ORGASM – The ultimate goal – the highest of highs.

ACCOMPLISHMENT – A sense of completeness. The act itself is done. The high lingers on for a while.

DEPRESSION – Often, after the high wore off, the depression would set in. I would hide the fact and just claim I was moody or angry about something that happened that day.

This whole cycle would repeat itself often.


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 Post subject: Month 1; Week 3; Day 4
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:10 pm 
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Month 1; Week 3; Day 4

Consider one of your own compulsive rituals. Identify circumstances when each of the three filters (time, habituation and intensity) has come into play.

Time – This is two fold for me. I know it’s asking for one example, but if the time available was short, masturbation to a quick orgasm was the goal. If time available was an hour or more, the ritual would be strung out as long as possible.

Intensity – I found that masturbating slowly or periodically just touching myself as I looked at porn, would stretch the ritual out. It had evolved to a point where oils & gels would bring the desired orgasm at any time during the ritual.

Habituation – As I understand this, from reading this lesson, I am going to say that as opportunities for masturbation presented themselves, the rituals would change depending on where I was in the house, i.e. living room, bedroom, work shop, etc. As new videos and magazines became “oldÂâ€Â


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 Post subject: Month 1; Week 3; Day 7
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:32 pm 
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Month 1; Week 3; Day 7

A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you supposed you failed?
I wanted to complete college. I lost interest and just didnÂ’t want to do it any longer.

B. What large goals have you attempted in you life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?
I refereed high school football for 20 years. I enjoyed it and wanted to do it. I put forth the effort required.

C. List one recovery goal you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully.
I will complete the recovery workshop by September 1, 2008. I will complete at least 2 lessons per week.


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 Post subject: Month 1 Week 4 Day 1
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:23 pm 
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Month 1; Week 4; Day 1

Ritual Measured: Masturbation

Primary Elements involved:

Visual Stimulation
Physical Stimulation
Fantasy
Orgasm

Values Assigned:

Visual Stimulation 3
Physical Stimulation 3
Fantasy 2
Orgasm 3

Filters Applied:

Visual Stimulation:

Time: Looking at porn increases stimulation. This would a 3.
Intensity: Even keeled, this would be a 5.
Habituation: Some effect, this would be a 2.

Physical Stimulation:

Time: Increases stimulation. This would a 7.
Intensity: Pretty stable over the years, this would be a 2.
Habituation: Some effect, this would be a 2.

Fantasy:

Time: Increases stimulation. This would a 2.
Intensity: Plays like a yo-yo, but pretty intense, this would be a 6.
Habituation: Depending upon the fantasy, some increases are felt, this would be a 3.

Orgasm:

Time: When it happens, it happens, no control. This would a 3.
Intensity: Can be pretty intense, goal is met, this would be a 8.
Habituation: This would be a 2.


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 Post subject: Month 1 Week 4 Day 2
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:25 pm 
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Posts: 90
Month 1; Week 4; Day 2

Share a brief summary of what the practical uses the skill of measuring compulsive rituals can have in your recovery.

1. It allows me to see where I am emotionally.
2. It allows me to have more healthy time to spend with my wife, other people, and my hobbies.
3. It allows me to fully enjoy life without having secrets.


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 Post subject: Month 1 Week 4 Day 3
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Month 1 Week 4 Day 3

Create your own Wheel of Sexual Compulsion that is more closely related to your behavior.

1. Fantasy
2. Sensory
3. Suspense
4. Power
5. Orgasm
6. Accomplishment

Choose real-life example of every major sexual ritual that you engage in and break each down into their smallest elements.

1. Looking at porn.
a. Anger/frustration at work/home.
b. No one is home.
c. Need to find relief thru masturbation.
d. Choosing the right porn for my mood.
e. Fantasizing about being involved with the women in the pictures/videos.
f. Masturbating.
g. Had an orgasm.
h. Cleaned up.
i. Put the porn away.

2. Fantasizing about other women.
a. See an attractive woman.
b. Role play in my mind.
c. Become sexually excited.
d. Wait for opportunity when I get home to masturbate.
e. Clean up.


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 Post subject: Month 1 Week 4 Day 4
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Month 1 Week 4 Day 4

Develop your own compulsive ritual. Make this relatively simple. List the primary elements in a similar fashion as exampled above in Compulsive Ritual: Exhibitionism. Post this ritual and its elements in your recovery thread.
Compulsive Ritual: Fantasizing
1. saw an attractive woman
2. begin fantasizing
3. feeling sexually excited
4. get home & view porn
5. that woman now becomes part of the porn
6. masturbation begins
7. orgasm
8. clean up
9. put away the porn


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 Post subject: Month 1 Week 4 Day 5
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 12:56 pm 
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Month 1 Week 4 Day 5
In the previous exercise, you were asked to label the elements involved with a particular ritual. In this exercise, you will be delving deeper into your awareness of that ritual. Here, you are asked to 'map out' one of your rituals. Make sure that you choose a specific ritual that you have engaged in (as in, last Thursday before work, I looked at porn); rather than a general compulsive behavior (as in, in the past, I looked at porn).

The main difference between what you did in the previous exercise and this is that you are no longer listing the elements of the ritual. Instead, you are listing the behavior associated with that element. For example, in the past exercise, it was sufficient to label a voyeuristic ritual with the element 'sensory stimulation--visual'. No longer. From this point forward, all rituals should be identified in terms of the specific thoughts/behaviors associated with the elements. And so, today, your 'element' will read something like this: "I would focus my eyes on her and inconspicuously follow her around the store."
Using the previous exercise:
1. I was in thr front yard when a neighbor lady pulled up in her car
2. noticed her dress was hiked up – could see her panties
3. kept conversation going longer than needed
4. tried not to look at her panties – couldn’t stop looking
5. she left & I went inside to look at porn
6. began looking for images that looked like her
7. more sexual fantasies involving her
8. began masturbating
9. found image that resembled her
10. the masturbation became quicker & I orgasmed


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 Post subject: Month 1 Week 4 Day 6
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Month 1 Week 4 Day 6
Provide an example of two compulsive chains in your life. The first chain should be where multiple rituals are engaged in simultaneously--thus enhancing the overall amount of stimulation derived from the behavior. The second should be an example of how you have strung together several rituals back-to-back and thus, extended the stimulation you were deriving. Post these examples in your recovery thread.
Example 1:
Ritual 1 would be for me like the idea of fantasizing of a woman I saw & role playing in my mind of us being sexually interacting. Ritual 2 would be to find the right porn to fulfill that fantasy. Both rituals happing at the same time.
Example 2:
As a workaholic, I would strive to feel “I am the best at what I do.Ââ€Â


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 Post subject: Month 1 Week 4 Day 7
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 1:00 pm 
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Month 1 Week 4 Day 7
Expanding the Compulsive Chain
1. Develop a compulsive chain of your most recent acting out behavior.
2. Upon completion of this chain, review it to ensure that you can recognize the way that each element affected your emotional state.
3. Thinking as an addict, look for areas within this chain where you could add additional destructive elements that would have (most likely) increased the overall stimulation of the event. The actual events that you add should be realistic, and related to the chain itself. For instance, someone viewing porn might add the element of setting up a Power Point slide show of the images. Someone engaging in escort services might add the element of videotaping the encounters. Share these in your recovery thread.

At the time, I had gone 4 ½ months without acting out. I was traveling on business & at the hotel one morning, I had an urge to masturbate. So here I am, going thru emotions of lousy self-worth. Thinking about masturbating was like a pick me up. I surfed the t.v. channels for anything that would add to the excitement. No pay per view was available. I found and attractive woman on an infomercial and I masturbated to orgasm.
Adding additional destructive elements would have been to be at a private taping of the show – just me and her, clothes optional.


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 Post subject: Month 2 Week 1 Day 1
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:43 pm 
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Month 2 Week 1 Day 1
Exercise 29
The role of emotions in motivating behavior is a critical aspect of understanding addiction. Without emotions, addiction does not exists. Without that intense need, that desire, that craving...addiction does not exist. To better understand this principle, you are going to be asked to do something that will require a signficant emotional effort on your part.

A. Find a place where you will be alone and safe. Ensure that, for the next fifteen minutes, you won't be interrupted for any reason. Fifteen mintues (or longer, but not less than). Then close your eyes and just feel. Think of things that are important to you. Think of your values. Think of your regrets. Think of trauma that you have experienced. Think of wonderful moments. Let yourself experience whatever emotions that come freely. Focus on each of the emotions, and DO NOT OPEN YOUR EYES! (this is an important part of the exercise). Stay in touch with the feelings. Experience the emotions that come with these thoughts. Forget about your physical self...focus only on the emotions that you are experiencing.

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.

After you have done this for fifteen minutes (or longer), and before you engage in any compulsive behavior, open your eyes and complete the following:

A. Describe the emotions that you experienced and the thoughts that triggered them.

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?
A. Excitement & bliss from hitting the right golf club, the right distance with the right result. Joy at just sitting & enjoying nature – a rainy day, a spring day, a winter day with coffee. When my dad died, I felt alone, in a daze, really numb. Compulsive behavior – anxiety, jittery, wonderful, then sadness & regret.
B. Least anxious state IÂ’ve been in is in the short period before I fall asleep. That welcome tiredness of knowing itÂ’s been a good day. Most anxious state IÂ’ve been in is the times where I opened up & shared my secret life to my wife.


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 Post subject: Month 2 Week 1 Day 3
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:47 pm 
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Month 2 Week 1 Day 3
Exercise 31
In learning to effectively manage your life (e.g. maintain relative emotional balance), it is important to develop an ongoing awareness of where the majority of your energy is being exhausted and where it is being derived. In your Personal Recovery Thread:

A. Make a list of all of identifiable stressors that have affected your emotional health over the past week. For each, document whether it is a mild, moderate, severe or extreme stressor. Example: 1) Facing Possible Divorce: extreme; 2) Lost respect among friends and family: moderate

B. Return to your values list created earlier in the workshop. In a healthy life, the majority of energy being drained (e.g. stress) should be related to the pursuit of your highest prioritized values (top fifteen or so). Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the way that you are expending your energy?

C. Likewise, in a healthy life, the majority of meaning and stimulation that you gain should also be related to your highest values. Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the quality of life you are living?
Share any insights in your Personal Recovery Thread.
A. State inspectors at the job site – moderate. Wife giving me travel directions – moderate. Problem with toilet – mild.
B. Yes I do. When I look at them, I can see how far IÂ’ve come in balancing my life. Making healthy choices is like second nature. It feels good.
C. Yes I do. Life seems to be less complicated. I can deal with things much easier now.


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 Post subject: Month 2 Week 1 Day 4
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:48 pm 
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Posts: 90
Month 2 Week 1 Day 4
Exercise 32
1. Early in the workshop, you created approximately fifteen 'proactive action plans' that were intended to list specific steps to take to strengthen certain values that are important to you. Return to these action plans and for each, review your progress. Summarize your progress on your recovery thread.
As I look back on these plans, I find it amazing that IÂ’ve come this far. I mean, I donÂ’t look for triggers & in life triggers will find you, but I recognize them for what they are & donÂ’t give them any energy. I stay focused on my values and healthy living. ItÂ’s exciting to experience life with this healthy attitude. ThereÂ’s more joy in my life, thereÂ’s more peace in my life. I have a loving wife and I appreciate her more with each passing day.
2. Update your Proactive Action Plans as needed.


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 Post subject: Month 2 Week 1 Day 5
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:42 pm 
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Month 2 Week 1 Day 5
Exercise 33
1. While you have no doubt already deepened the awareness of your emotions...you now want to begin the process of mastering them. You want to make it a goal of your to turn what was once a debilitating fault into one of your greatest strengths. That can't be done by reading. It must be developed in your day-to-day life. And so, that is your assignment. To take this next week to seek out opportunities to deepen an awareness of your emotions--both as they occur and as they can be anticipated. Each day, find at least five opportunities to assess your emotions. Don't do this retroactively...as in, you are about to go to bed and so, you review the day's activities and how you felt about them...this must be done in the here and now.
A. Communication with my wife over past issues from 15 years ago. Emotionally I was calm & we discussed the issues in a healthy way.
B. Traffic on the road was uneventful (this was good) so it was a pleasing drive to work. No feeling of anxiety.
C. Issues with a co-worker surfaces & I handled it in an emotionally healthy way.
D. IÂ’m finding I need to pay closer attention to the details when it comes to feeling my emotions & thinking about them.

Additionally, add a few opportunities for developing this awareness by anticipating, role playing common rituals surrounding your past behavior. Or possible future behavior. Consider your emotions at the height of a compulsive urge. On the death of a loved one. On the experience of a child's birth. Think of the extremes.
A. When my dad died, I needed the high of porn & masturbation in a safe environment.
B. When I lost my job, I felt safe in knowing I could look at porn & masturbate, which I did.
The insights you are searching for throughout this exercise will be in relation to the finite qualities of emotion; the lack of fear/anxiety that comes with developing confidence in being able to anticipate emotional intensity; and the confidence that comes with the same.

2. Each day over the next three, share a few insights relating to these topics in your personal thread. Insights that you have gained from that particular day's focus.
My wife usually handles our money – paying bills, shopping & dealing with businesses, etc. She was at work and I was anxious about dealing with the issues. There was some fear involved, but it all went well & I felt good about it.

3. At the end of the week, assess the level of effort you put into this task. Did you remember to consciously seek out such developmental opportunities each of the seven days? Post your assessment in your thread.
I honestly put 50% effort into this task. We had a very hectic week & I did not focus on it as much as I should have. Having said that, what I did learn was in order to work on this & focus on it, means to actively pursue it so that it becomes natural to me. I'm a work in progress.


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