Recovery Nation

NewMe's Recovery Thread*
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Author:  newme [ Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:48 pm ]
Post subject:  NewMe's Recovery Thread*

Thanks so much for putting this course online for free, truly appreciated.

Month 1, Week 1, Day 1

1. I'm completely committed to this. Whatever it takes to change.
2. I'm going to be aware of any guilt and shame and not let it get in the way of this commitment to change. Getting healthy is too important.
3. I'm going to give myself the time I need to really change. To give myself as long as it takes to work through this course until I'm free from addiction and living a healthy lifestyle.

1. I want to live a life free of sexual addiction in all it's forms.
2. I want to be in a healthy, loving relationship.
3. I want to communicate to others on a grown up level in a real way.
4. I want to live free of the constant shame and guilt that stems from sexual addiction.
5. I want to look in the mirror and be proud of who I am. Like who I am.
6. I want to be the same person behind closed doors as I am in public.
7. I want to have integrity.
8. I want to start and nurture a family in a healthy, loving environment.
9. I want to use the creative skills I've been given rather than wasting time on sexually addictive behaviours and thought patterns.
10. I want to have a healthy attitude to sex. To enjoy an intimate and loving sexual relationship with my future partner.
11. I want clarity of thought and not clouded thought processes through the fog of sexual addiction.
12. I want to experience the vitality of life and be excited about all that I can experience and share.
13. I want to make up for time lost to sexual addiction by enjoying more time with friends and family.
14. I want to be more active and quit isolating myself.
15. I want to be someone who my future kids will be proud of.

C) Found a photo of me about to go to my first day of primary school. I look so tiny, innocent and trusting. I like that wee guy and want to give him the kind of life that he would have hoped for. Maybe not the astronaut thing but plenty more stuff that got lost along the way.

Author:  CoachJon [ Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:27 am ]
Post subject: 

re: "Thanks so much for putting this course online for free, truly appreciated."

You are welcome, but 'free' comes with a few caveats. First, it is free in money only. The amount of time and energy you will need to invest to be successful would be equivalent to any inpatient treatment center. And second, those who are successful are those who are able to look beyond this as being 'a course' or 'a recovery program'...and actually take this information and make it their own. Take what is shared and add to it based on their personal experiences, learning. Take the tools and adapt them to their personalities/strengths.

So, you are very welcome. But realistically, it's just information. Useless without your personal commitment to use it. So the thanks (or blame, smile) should ultimately go to yourself... :wink:

re: "Whatever it takes to change."

There are two kinds of people who say this: the ones who are emotional and idealistic about their commitment to recovery; and the ones who recognize that they are at a place in their lives when ending their addiction has become not a quest, but a certainty. They know, without any question, that they will do whatever it takes to end their addiction. Make sure you are in this latter category. Because recovery will not go smoothly...and it will not be filled with the good feelings that often come with the intitial commitment to recover. It will instead come with challenge and exhaustion...and THAT is when you will need to really reach down and remind yourself of what it is you are committing yourself to--and just how far you are willing to go.

Author:  newme [ Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:56 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the feedback Jon.

"The amount of time and energy you will need to invest to be successful would be equivalent to any inpatient treatment center."
Understood, it's what I put into it that gives it any value. I work from home and can choose my working hours so combined with my resolve to make this my own I'm going to commit the time and energy needed.

"Make sure you are in this latter category... Because recovery will not go smoothly..."
Sobering stuff. I guess I will be blaming you rather than thanking you in those times! I can be prone to emotional idealism but my desire to change is more grounded. There's a certainty that I can and will make this recovery my own through the rough times ahead.

Author:  newme [ Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:24 am ]
Post subject: 

Month 1, Week 1, Day 2

My Vision For My Life

My Family
As I'm currently single my vision is to find a partner who I'd like to spend the rest of my life with (marriage is secondary to knowing that we're both committed to each other).

I want to form a strong and affectionate relationship where we enjoy a healthy sexual intimacy. I want to be honest, trustworthy and interested and have my partner know that she's loved and appreciated because I'll tell her and show it by my actions such as properly listening, taking her on surprise days out, cooking a dish she'll love and even, gulp, going to see a romantic comedy now and again.

My vision is for us to start a family together and bring our children up to know that they're loved and appreciated and have a strong sense of values in their own lives as they grow up too. I want my kids to grow up remembering all the fun things their mum and dad did with them and continue to do.

I also want to be a brother, son and eventually grandfather that spends quality time with my parents and family by inviting family here and visiting on trips abroad while keeping in touch by phone and email.

I want to be a reliable friend with integrity. To not always wait for friends to instigate something but to initiate fun things we can do together. I want my home to be a welcoming, warm place that is easy to feel at home in for friends or family.

My vision is to grow my business, choosing to work on creative projects that I believe in and that might also benefit others. I want to take pride in my work and keep growing and improving my skills. I want to build up a level of residual income that means I can split my time between creative pursuits in my business and creative work for pleasure and service. At some point this means having a studio/workshop or shared space where I can make my art.

I also want to use my creativity in the realm of teaching/volunteering inspiring young people to fulfil and enable their creative potential too.

I want to maintain a thirst and passion for discovering new things, seeing great art, reading a weird science fact or an inspiring biography and to be able to draw on this knowledge to make art.

I want to always be thankful for my place in this world and for this chance to experience its beauty in all its many forms. I want to be open to experiencing God, my place in nature or whatever form of spiritual understanding that I develop over time. I want to be environmentally aware of my actions and not be wasteful or thoughtless. I want a dog too!

I want to travel and proactively plan trips to places as far off as New Zealand or the Galapagos Islands while also experiencing as much of my own country as I can as those air miles don't help the old planet.

I want to expand my knowledge and love of music by seeking out new artists and digging up old ones I wasn't aware of. Get back on track with learning the guitar or another musical instrument too.

I want to continue playing soccer as long as possible, being a good team mate and improving my game physically and creatively. I want to continue mountain biking and experiencing more of the amazing landscape around here. Keep my body in good shape with pilates or yoga. Play more tennis & squash and one day run that marathon.

Author:  CoachJon [ Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

re: "Your vision"

Excellent. About the only thing I would add...and not necessarily in writing, but I would give it enough attention so that it would be something that I could clearly envision, would be the way that I would integrate any lonliness into the early enactments of that vision. As in, make sure you anticipate and are prepared for the early stages of relationship building...the confusion, excitement, vulnerability, etc. that comes with it. Make sure you aren't pushing yourself to go 'too fast' in early relationships so that you get to your goal (partnership)...without really taking the other person into consideration. Meaning, that she is not there just to fill the role of being your partner, but that you do take the time to get to know her...even at the risk of discovering that she is not the right person for you. Or, that you are not the right person for her.

Now remember, all I am encouraging you to do here is to THINK about such things. Prepare for them. Make sure you can envision how you will go about establishing such a partnership. How you will manage the intense emotions that surround such times. That's it. Just think. And keep thinking until you are fairly comfortable with your answers.

Author:  newme [ Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Great points to add, given me a lot to think about. IÂ’ve started to formulate some answers but will continue to mull over how IÂ’m going to go about establishing such a partnership while being open to not meeting the right person right away.

Main things IÂ’m thinking at the moment are not to rush into anything, don't put undue pressure on things or let the onrush of emotions and attraction blinker me to any obvious incompatibilities or conflicting values we might have. Enjoy the early stages of potential relationships and take a step back every so often to honestly evaluate how things are going and see where both of us are at.

Still working on my list of values, the engine analogy's making a lot of sense to me.

Author:  newme [ Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

M1-W1-D3 - The Role Of Values

This has been a difficult day. Two separate phone calls from my parents, the first to let me know my mum's just been diagnosed with Parkinson's and later to tell me my that a close elderly relative passed away today.

If I ever needed reinforcing just how finite this life is and how important it is to start living a healthy, value driven life today and every day then I've certainly had it these last few days.

The first 30 or so values are extracted from my vision in the order it was written with the rest taken from the list.

1. Establishing a partnership with someone.
2. Building a loving, lasting relationship with that partner.
3. Establishing a healthy sexual intimacy within that relationship
4. Becoming a father
5. Being a fun dad and role model for my kids
6. Building a stronger relationship with my brothers and sister.
7. Strengthening my role as a son to my mum and dad.
8. Being a procative, reliable friend to my friends.
9. Living with integrity
10. Experience growth in business
11. Establishing financial freedom
12. Strengthening my creative skills
13. Providing quality in my work
14. Striving for excellence
15. Being charitable, giving
16. Being creative
17. Being a teacher/role model
18. Expanding knowledge
19. Appreciating the arts
20. Living thankfully
21. Enhancing my spiritual awareness
22. Be an active dog owner
23. Respect the environment
24. Seek adventure through Travel
25. Experience my own country
26. Build my musical skills
27. Explore musical variety
28. Being a team player in sport
29. Take care of my body
30. Being dependable
31. Living with compassion
32. Sharing my true self with the world around me
33. Being an inspiration to others
34. Being dedicated
35. Bringing joy to others
36. Being playful
37. Honesty
38. Humbleness
39. Sense of humor
40. Sense of responsibility
41. Being considerate of others
42. Being considerate of myself
43. Putting otherÂ’s needs before my own
44. Living an adventurous life
45. Loving others
46. Being challenged; overcoming challenges
47. Developing emotional maturity
48. Overcoming/surviving personal struggles
49. Physical pleasure
50. Feeling sexually desired
51. Feeling masculine
52. Feeling empowered
53. Passionate about life
54. Developing sustained friendships
55. Being judged trustworthy
56. Feeling unconditional love
57. Nurturing childrenÂ’s creativity/maturation
58. Wisdom
59. Connected to my own feelings
60. Being identified by others as charming and warm
61. Resourcefulness
62. Appreciating natural beauty/nature
63. Connecting to purpose, meaning of life
64. Organization
65. Instilling healthy values in my kids
66. Teaching appreciation for music, art, film
67. Curiosity
68. Improving my social interactions
69. Vulnerability
70. Sacrificing for others
71. Fidelity
72. Intellectual growth, debate, communication
73. Communicating feelings
74. Taking care of others in need
75. Feeling happy and content
76. Accepting responsibility for living my life
77. Be known as truthful and honest
78. Sense of accomplishment
79. Realistic
80. Selflessness/Altruism
81. Self-discipline

Dark Side
1. Thrill seeking
2. Excitement
3. Taking Risks
4. Sexual release
5. Relentless pursuit of pleasure
6. Selfish
7. Isolation from others
8. Out of control
9. Illogical
10. Comfort seeking
11. Validation seeking

Author:  newme [ Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

M1-W1-D4 Lesson 4

Prioritised list of values:

1. Living with integrity
2. Passionate about life
3. Improving my social interactions
4. Establishing a partnership with someone.
5. Developing emotional maturity
6. Sharing my true self with the world around me
7. Being a proactive, reliable friend.
8. Self-discipline
9. Strengthening my creative skills
10. Take care of my body
11. Connecting to purpose, meaning of life
12. Providing quality in my work
13. Strengthening my role as a son to my mum and dad.
14. Building a stronger relationship with my brothers and sister.
15. Organization
16. Being identified by others as charming and warm
17. Sense of humor
18. Bringing joy to others
19. Experience growth in business
20. Being playful
21. Feeling empowered
22. Honesty
23. Establishing financial freedom
24. Curiosity
25. Building a loving, lasting relationship with my future partner.
26. Establishing a healthy sexual intimacy within that relationship
27. Being charitable, giving
28. Being a teacher/role model
29. Being creative
30. Intellectual growth, debate, communication
31. Taking care of others in need
32. Being an inspiration to others
33. Experience my own country
34. Selflessness/Altruism
35. Feeling happy and content
36. Expanding knowledge
37. Nurturing childrenÂ’s creativity/maturation
38. Striving for excellence
39. Becoming a father
40. Being a fun dad and role model for my kids
41. Physical pleasure
42. Feeling sexually desired
43. Feeling masculine
44. Appreciating the arts
45. Living thankfully
46. Enhancing my spiritual awareness
47. Be an active dog owner
48. Respect the environment
49. Seek adventure through Travel
50. Be known as truthful and honest
51. Build my musical skills
52. Explore musical variety
53. Being a team player in sport
54. Being dependable
55. Living with compassion
56. Being dedicated
57. Humbleness
58. Sense of responsibility
59. Being considerate of others
60. Being considerate of myself
61. Putting otherÂ’s needs before my own
62. Living an adventurous life
63. Loving others
64. Realistic
65. Being challenged; overcoming challenges
66. Overcoming/surviving personal struggles
67. Developing sustained friendships
68. Being judged trustworthy
69. Feeling unconditional love
70. Wisdom
71. Connected to my own feelings
72. Resourcefulness
73. Appreciating natural beauty/nature
74. Instilling healthy values in my kids
75. Vulnerability
76. Sacrificing for others
77. Fidelity
78. Communicating feelings
79. Accepting responsibility for living my life
80. Sense of accomplishment

Author:  newme [ Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lesson 5

"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"

After much thought I'm happy that these values would form a great backbone for a meaningful life for me and they definitely reflect the person that I am committing myself to becoming.

My Top 15 Values:
Living with integrity
Passionate about life
Improving my social interactions
Establishing a partnership with someone.
Establishing a healthy sexual intimacy within that relationship
Being a proactive, reliable friend.
Take care of my body
Experience growth in business
Sense of humor
Strengthening my creative skills
Strengthening my role as a son to my mum and dad
Building a stronger relationship with my brothers and sister.
Seek adventure through Travel
Being charitable, giving

Author:  newme [ Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lesson 6

Develop action plans for a couple of the more simple values:

Sense of humour
• Watch one comedy film or show a week
• Keep a journal and write/draw one amusing observation every day
• Use conversations with others as opportunities to laugh at my myself and not take myself so seriously
• Seek out and read a humorous book every month

Take care of my body
• Do Pilates twice a week
• Play soccer twice a week
• Cycle once a week
• Do weights 3 times a week
• Eat something healthy every day
• Get up and stretch at least once an hour when sitting at computer
• When possible go to bed and wake up at earlier set times

Author:  newme [ Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lesson 7 Building Proactive Action Plans II

"develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values"

Living with integrity
• Express my emotions with vulnerability, without fear of being judged or rejected
• Don't do anything that I wouldn't be comfortable telling my future partner
• Actively pursue honesty by choosing to tell the truth instead of lying
• Instead of always trying to maintain a perfect front seize opportunities to show myself as less than perfect and to laugh at my own shortcomings
• Speak as if I really mean the things I say
• Seek opportunities to treat everyone equally and with respect, regardless of appearance or circumstance
• Look for the positive when speaking of others rather than gossiping
• Wear the relaxed countenance of someone with nothing to hide

Passionate about life
• Keep a daily journal with inspiring quotes, facts and ideas
• Read at least one book every month
• Seek out biographies of passionate people, inspiring stories
• Get outdoors everyday, even if only for 5 minutes, take a walk, run, cycle
• Explore my city, find out the history, cultural hotspots and undiscovered areas
• Listen to great music, discover new and exciting artists and seek out old gems
• Watch inspiring films, tv programmes
• Seek out causes to support and champion

Improving my social interactions
• Seek out any small business network groups or local get togethers
• Look into night classes in the area and take up a class in something
• If getting on well with someone on dating site, ask them out on a date
• Look for opportunities to meet up with friends at least once a week
• Research where I could get involved in the community or volunteer
• Plan days out with family
• Plan weekends away with friends
• Arrange a poker night with friends
• Look into joining a book club in local area or online

Establishing a partnership with someone
• Follow up good connections on dating site to real world dates
• Give things time in dating, get to know them, enjoy the dating experience
• Be emotionally and mentally prepared that dates don't always work out and girlfriends don't always turn into life long partners. There is likely to be rejection, incompatibility and unknowns ahead
• Just be me, relax and avoid trying to be someone I'm not
• Avoid all or nothing thinking, a date's not an interview for a life long partner
• Be receptive to what my date's desires, values and dreams are. Don’t project mine onto them.

Establishing a healthy sexual intimacy within that relationship
• Although this doesn't apply until I'm in such a relationship there's some things I could think about now
• Sex is something to be shared on an open and intimate level with another person, look forward to sharing sex free of the isolating and insular aspects of addiction
• As there's no place for porn addiction within a healthy sexual relationship so should there be no place for it while I'm currently single

Being a proactive, reliable friend
• Say yes to social invites more often than not
• Look for opportunities to go to gigs/films/events and book tickets
• Organise nights out to catch up with friends
• Arrange nights out to go and watch soccer
• Invite friends round for dinner
• Be vulnerable, honest and real with friends, no need to portray a perfect life
• Organise weekends away with friends

• Map out things to do this year, this month then form a daily plan and stick to it
• Set aside 20 minutes to meditate and be still each day
• Wake up at a set time each day and go to sleep at a reasonable hour when possible
• Carry out my household duties
• Minimize web distractions for my working environment
• Get some new decent clothes

Experience growth in business
• Take stock of all my business interests and pursuits as they currently stand
• Prioritize and plan which projects and interests to develop in the long and short term
• Build multiple revenue streams by diversifying my target areas
• Seek out a programmer to partner with
• Build my business brand
• Break down my longer term plan into monthly and daily goals and targets
• Continually monitor my work to make sure it is in line with my vision and values
• Ditch anything that is holding business growth back

Strengthening my creative skills
• Keep a daily sketchbook of drawing, thoughts and ideas to develop
• Practice taking photographs again, being curious with the camera
• Look into time shift photography techniques
• Seek out info on night classes in creative pursuits
• Research design trends for future sites
• Cultivate an awareness of the design process & maintain it's integrity from start through to completion

Strengthening my role as a son to my mum and dad
• Phone once a week
• Be a source of positive strength for my parents regarding their health
• Visit at least once every month or two.
• Don't try to act out the role of the perfect son, be vulnerable, open and real
• Actively listen to their needs and desires
• Help them in any way to achieve their goals

Building a stronger relationship with my brothers and sister
• Send surprise books, cards, gifts that I think they might enjoy
• Keep in touch by email/phone at least once a month.
• Plan fun stuff to do with them when in town or visiting
• Don't try to be perfect, take the veneer off and be free to be myself

Seek adventure through Travel
• Plan Australia adventure for next year
• Seek out info on cycling trips with friends
• Research sponsored activities I could do while traveling
• Discover something about a new country every week/day

Being charitable, giving
• Organize current donations and budget for more
• Look into volunteering opportunities in local area
• Do something fun/challenging to raise money for worthy cause
• Donate stuff I don't need to charity shops or sell on ebay and donate money

Author:  CoachJon [ Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

re: "building your healthy foundation'

Ok, a few things I look for. One, that your top fifteen prioritized values are capable of sustaining a life of meaning and fulfillment. Yours have that quality. And two, that your proactive action plans are specific enough to actually serve as a guide for developing the values in question. Again, yours are.

Now keep in mind that your goal here is not to undertake all of these 'value strengthening' tasks on at once. Some you may never embrace. To do so would be to take an idealistic approach to change that will meet certain failure. When you move to the daily monitoring, you will choose 6-10 such specific tasks--the ones that you feel are most important to you in the here and now--and begin the process of strengthening your healthy foundation. This strengthening will continue as the workshop transitions into the 'dark' side of recovery--understanding addiction and developing effective recovery skills.

Author:  newme [ Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:04 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for your feedback Jon, good to know the daily monitoring will concentrate on only 6-10 of the most important specific tasks.

Exercise 8
I currently donÂ’t have a partner but IÂ’m glad I read and thought about everything in lesson 8. ItÂ’s painful to think how my addiction has hurt my previous partners without them knowing the root causes of why I may have acted in certain ways and often appeared somewhere else/disengaged in life and our relationship. I feel a deep regret that to varying degrees they might have blamed themselves or seen themselves as somewhat less than lovable, desirable or worthy because of the way I built my life around my addictions. While IÂ’m deeply sorry for the past hurt IÂ’ve caused I now understand how much my life was dictated by my addictions and that little boy in the photo from lesson 1 would never had intentionally gone down that route had he known the outcome. I'm determined to maintain a healthy life so I can share a future relationship with the whole of me present this time.

Exercise 9
[i]Ask yourself the following: “If my partner did the things that I have doneÂâ€â€

Author:  newme [ Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Exercise 10 – Absolute Honesty

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behaviour.
- I no longer have any items for sexual compulsive behaviour since deleting all the porn from my hard drive a couple of months ago.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object.
- Mostly people from watching online porn until I stopped a couple of months ago. I still find I'm objectifying attractive women when out and about, often staring and sometimes mentally undressing them.

VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/romantically compulsive behaviour.
- Many places in the past but in the last few months only in my apartment when Mb.

Author:  newme [ Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:33 am ]
Post subject: 

Recognizing Unhealthy Recovery Patterns

I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery.

I didn't feel that any of the unhealthy recovery patterns really jumped out at me as indicative of my approach to recovery so far though I did find that some gave me reason to think deeper about what recovery involves:

[quote]“They often attempt to "prove" their sincerity to others through voicing dreams, sharing words and making promises, rather than through their actions.Ââ€Â

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