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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:32 pm 
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CoachJon wrote:
re: "Daily monitoring"

Sorry, this was written so long ago that the only really relevant question is... Did you do this monitoring for 14 straight days? Have you evolved it/reduced it since? Where are you at now with daily monitoring?


Yes, I did it for the 14 days and I continue to do it each day. It has evolved a bit in that it is fairly automatic for me now. When I wake up I run through my list in my head and try to come up with at least one instance or action for each of the items. I haven't added or subtracted anything from the list at this point.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:36 pm 
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CoachJon wrote:
re: "Looking forward
This is much harder than looking back. I don't know what the future holds for me any more than anyone else. I can only learn the new skills I need to help me cope with whatever life has in store for me."

This is true. However, there is much you can do in terms of helping yourself prepare for life's events. There is a vision that you can develop that will separate the permanents in life (e.g. your life management structure--and the role that your values, boundaries play within this structure) from the variables (life's events, your actual values, your actual boundaries, etc). You are at the point now where you can begin solidifying the permanent structures of your life...and anticipating how they will be used to help you manage an unknown future. Based solely on what you have shared here, you are already well on your way to doing exactly that.



It is good to hear that you think I am on the right track. I thought I was but wasn't completely sure and it's good to hear an encouraging word. I apporached the exercise not so much as 'I need to get this right' as 'I need to think about how I may handle these types of issues in the future'. I gues I tried to use this more as an exercise to get myself thinking about what I need to do to get to a better place with how I handle problems and emotions.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:47 pm 
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CoachJon wrote:
re: "Lesson 20 - Mastering my addiction"

The purpose of this lesson is to be able to see the transition TO addiction as it progressed across your lifespan, so that you can then develop your own vision of a transition FROM addiction and towards health across the remainder of your life span. I hope that makes sense. When I talk with people about this, what we focus on is not really the addiciton, but the life span progression...and how different life management strategies were implemented at different stages. Then, at some point, because addiction is such a powerful and effective life managment tool...how IT became the primary strategy being utilized and how, once ingrained...it also became the primary source in filtering one's perceptions and identity. Usually, we can also see the 'split' that occurs in this identity across the life span...the split between the private addictive-identity and the external, social identity. And then in severe addictions, we can even see how that dual-identity eventually became fused as a single addictive-identity.


While I didn't see the exact moment that it ocurred, I certainly was able to see the transition from a coping mechanism to an addication. I could also see how I was leading a double life. One side was viewing porn and the other was leading what looked like a normal life with a great family

CoachJon wrote:
All this, just to get to the point where they can see how the destructive effects of using addiction as a coping skill have altered their identity. And, to see how to use this awareness to ingrain a healthy identity.

If you haven't already. Take what you have done here and play it all the way out. Don't stop at where you are now...but continue it through all the way to health. Make sure that you can see how it is you will not only alter your behavior...but permanently change your identity.


Thank you for all your feedback CoachJon. I will attempt to do as you suggest over the next day or two and see how it goes.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:47 pm 
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CoachJon wrote:
re: "Lesson 20 - Mastering my addiction"

The purpose of this lesson is to be able to see the transition TO addiction as it progressed across your lifespan, so that you can then develop your own vision of a transition FROM addiction and towards health across the remainder of your life span. I hope that makes sense. When I talk with people about this, what we focus on is not really the addiciton, but the life span progression...and how different life management strategies were implemented at different stages. Then, at some point, because addiction is such a powerful and effective life managment tool...how IT became the primary strategy being utilized and how, once ingrained...it also became the primary source in filtering one's perceptions and identity. Usually, we can also see the 'split' that occurs in this identity across the life span...the split between the private addictive-identity and the external, social identity. And then in severe addictions, we can even see how that dual-identity eventually became fused as a single addictive-identity.

All this, just to get to the point where they can see how the destructive effects of using addiction as a coping skill have altered their identity. And, to see how to use this awareness to ingrain a healthy identity.

If you haven't already. Take what you have done here and play it all the way out. Don't stop at where you are now...but continue it through all the way to health. Make sure that you can see how it is you will not only alter your behavior...but permanently change your identity.


Looking back I am not sure exactly when porn went from curiosity to addiction. I can certainly see a gradual transition from occasional porn use to full blown addiction starting 2 & 1/2 years ago or so. I was using it to soothe myself and as a comfort. When I look back over what I wrote about my relationship with porn I can also see that I have been leading a double life since at least college. I never wanted anyone to know that I masturbated or had any sexual thoughts whatsoever even though I did both regularly. I certainly always have tried to present a 'good guy' image to the world at large and very few people truly know who I am or what I am about. On one side I seem to be a good husband, father, friend, student, employee or whatever. On the other side I had this secret life that involved masturbation and porn to alleviate stress and anxiety. I believe that despite my flaws, I am actually a good person, husband, father etc. I let porn get in the way of who I truly am by making bad choices along the way.

I am fully aware of my past double life and truly wish to leave it behind. It takes too much energy to maintain a façade all the time and I would rather spend that energy on my family or other worthwhile pursuits. I also realize that my life will also be simpler if I do not have to hide things from everybody. I am not going to tell everyone every detail of my life but I am no longer going to pretend to be anything more than I am.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:48 pm 
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CoachJon wrote:
re: "Looking forward
This is much harder than looking back. I don't know what the future holds for me any more than anyone else. I can only learn the new skills I need to help me cope with whatever life has in store for me."

This is true. However, there is much you can do in terms of helping yourself prepare for life's events. There is a vision that you can develop that will separate the permanents in life (e.g. your life management structure--and the role that your values, boundaries play within this structure) from the variables (life's events, your actual values, your actual boundaries, etc). You are at the point now where you can begin solidifying the permanent structures of your life...and anticipating how they will be used to help you manage an unknown future. Based solely on what you have shared here, you are already well on your way to doing exactly that.


Looking forward

I can see changes in myself already. I now longer answer the questions 'How are you' with 'Fine' or 'OK' all the time (Unless I am actually feeling this way) I now make a concious effort to evaluate how I am feeling and actually put it in words as best I can.

I actually also feel like I have a good set of values going for me. My biggest issue is that I don't use these values when I make decisions and that's where I run into huge problems. I can see a time when I automatically use my values when making decisions. I actually did use them before, just not when it had to do with porn or sex.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:22 pm 
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Ritual - Surfing Porn

I would get up after my wife left for work (around 5:30 am) in the morning but before my daughter woke up. I would go down to the basement, turn on the computer and log in. I would then install Firefox and start surfing porn. I would use Google to search for whatever I was looking for that day. I would surf for 45 minutes or so, until it was time to get my daughter up. While surfing I would sometimes masturbate, though never to orgasm. When I was finished I would delete the web history and any other cached files, deinstall Firefox and make sure to empty the recycle bin.

This involved the following elements:

Sensory Stimulation (Sight) - Primary - 3 points
I was looking at porn
T: 8 * 3 = 24
I: 7 * 3 = 21
H: 8 * 3 = 24
24+21+24 = 69
69/5 = 13.8
Rounded = 14


Sensory Stimulation (Touch) - Primary - 3 points
I was masturbating while looking at porn
T: 8 * 3 = 24
I: 8 * 3 = 24
H: 8 * 3 = 24
24 + 24 + 24 = 72
72/5 = 14.4
Rounded = 15

Fantasy - Secondary - 2 points
I was using porn to soothe myself and escape from my sexual (and other) anxieties. I was in a fantasy world when surfing porn.
T: 5 * 2 = 10
I: 6 * 2 = 12
H: 6 * 2 = 12
10 + 12 + 12 = 34
34/5 = 6.8
Rounded = 7

Danger - Accessory - 1 point
I was worried that my wife would have forgotten something and return home and catch me surfing porn
T: 2 * 1 = 2
I: 2 * 1 = 2
H: 2 * 1 = 2
2 + 2 + 2 = 6
6/5 = 1.2
Rounded = 2

Accomplishment - Secondary - 2 points
I had a sense of accomplishment whenever I found something new that I hadn't seen before. I also felt like I was getting away with it.
T: 7 * 2 = 14
I: 4 * 2 = 8
H: 5 * 2 = 10
14 + 8 + 10 = 32
32/5 = 6.4
Rounded = 7

14 + 15 + 7 + 2 + 7 = 45

This ritual produced a stimulation of 45 for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:02 pm 
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Exercise 22

"In your recovery thread, share a brief summary of what practical uses the skill of measuring compulsive rituals can have in your recovery. Don't just copy the headings of this lesson, take a minute to see how you can practically use this information in YOUR life"

This measuring is very similar (although much more detailed) to a skill that my therapist introduced me to for dealing with anxiety. She asked me to rate on a scale of 1 - 10 my anxiety. After the ranking, she then asked me to determine how to reduce it 1/4 point. And after that, how to get the next 1/4 point and so on. As she explained, it was a way to take control of the anxiety because anything you can measure, you can control and deal with.

One of the big issues with my porn use was the fact that I always lied about it and tried to hide it. I would rationalize it to myself by saying 'no one can know' and 'no one needs to know'. If I am tempted to try and hide or cover up some porn use or to in fact view porn I will use this methods to try and break down why I am tempted to go. When I find the root cause (say anxiety) I will then be able to deal with it.


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 Post subject: Exercise 23 - Part 1
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:20 pm 
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"Create your own Wheel of Sexual Compulsion that is more closely related to your behaviour. This can be done by simply listing the cumulative elements involved in your compulsive behaviour. This shouldn't take you more than five minutes. List these elements (associated with no particular ritual--but more your addiction in general) in your recovery thread."

Fantasy, Orgasm, Sensory (Touch, Sight), Suspense, Danger, Accomplishment


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 Post subject: Exercise 23 - Part 2
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:20 pm 
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"Choose a real-life example of EVERY major sexual ritual that you engage in (these should be compulsive rituals, not healthy) and break each down into their smallest elements (based on the elements identified in your wheel of sexual compulsion)."

Ritual # 1 Masturbation in shower while reviewing internet porn
Element # 1 Enter shower and start washing
Element # 2 Start reviewing porn (Fantasy)
Element # 3 Feel bad (guilt, shame) about viewing porn (Conflict)
Element # 4 Experience urge to feel good via masturbation (Suspense)
Element # 5 Commenced masturbation (Sensory - Touch)
Element # 6 Orgasm (Accomplishment)
Element # 7 Overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame (Conflict)

Ritual # 2 Surfing porn on the Internet
Element # 1 Start computer and install Firefox (Suspense)
Element # 2 Enter search terms in Google (Suspense)
Element # 3 Select and open page from search results (Accomplishment, Suspense)
Element # 4 Review opened web page. (Sensory - Sight) Explore if a detailed page
Element # 5 Close page and return to results (Suspense)
Element # 6 Masturbate while surfing (Sensory - touch)
Element # 7 Clean up (Erase internet history, remove Firefox, empty trash folder, shut down computer) (Accomplishment, conflict)
Element # Feel guilt and shame (Conflict)

I realized while doing one of the later exercises that I left a ritual out so I am adding it here.

Ritual #3 Surfing porn on the internet while at work
Element # 1 Feeling stressed because of new job
Element # 2 Start to feel anxious about my abilities
Element # 3 Think about surfing porn to relax myself (Suspense)
Element # 4 Feel guilty and ashamed about thoughts (Conflict)
Element # 5 Type porn search terms in Google. Anxiety diminishes (Suspense)
Element # 6 Select one of the pages returned from the results and started reviewing (Accomplishment)
Element # 7 Anxiety diminishes more, numbness sets in (Accomplishment)
Element # 8 Feeling little or no arousal from viewing images (Sensory - Sight)
Element # 9 Start to press on penis through pants in an attempt to become aroused
Element # 10 Achieve small amount of arousal with pressure (Sensory - touch)
Element # 11 Get scared I will be seen/found out. Arousal disappears completely (Danger)
Element # 12 Stop surfing and return to work
Element # 13 Feel intense guilt and shame (Conflict)


Last edited by jond on Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Exercise 24
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:11 am 
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Posts: 126
Exercise 24

"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."

Ritual: Surfing porn on the Internet
Element # 1 Wake up when wife wife leaves for work
Element # 2 Go to office in basement.
Element # 3 Start computer and install Firefox
Element # 4 Enter search terms in Google
Element # 5 Select and open page from search results
Element # 6 Review opened web page.
Element # 7 Explore if a detailed page
Element # 8 Close page and return to results
Element # 9 Masturbate while surfing
Element # 10 Clean up (Erase internet history, remove Firefox, empty trash folder, shut down computer)
Element # 11 Feel guilt and shame


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 Post subject: Exercise 25
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Ritual: Surfing porn on the Internet
Element # Wake up when wife wife leaves for work, feeling anxious, want to view porn on the internet to soothe myself.
Element # Feel bad because I feel it is wrong to view porn
Element # Decide to view porn. Go through the ritual of setting up my computer for porn (See previous exercise)
Element # Surf porn based on results from searches
Element # Masturbate while surfing, never reaching orgasm
Element # Zone out while looking at porn. Get into a kind of trance where I am numb
Element # Continued to surf until it was time to get ready for the day
Element # Clean up computer to cover tracks, start feeling guilt over my actions
Element # Feel intense guilt and shame for the rest of the day


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 Post subject: Exercise 26a
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:35 am 
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Exercise 26

"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 behaviour. 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."

Chain # 1 - Simultaneous rituals
Masturbating while surfing porn.
I would surf porn and stimulate myself at the same time. I assume I started this because I was no longer getting the soothing from porn that I felt I needed.

Chain # 2 - Masturbating in the shower after surfing porn
This is composed of the previous chain and masturbating to orgasm in the shower. This occurred sometimes after I was surfing porn. While it was not a regular occurrence, it is an example of connecting rituals together. I used it to extend the feelings and numbness I got while surfing porn. I used it to calm my anxieties.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:44 am 
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I have just re-visited my daily monitoring list. I have been doing my monitoring every morning but found that I wanted to change the list a bit. My updated list is:

1.Did I act with integrity today?
2.Did I show my wife I value her?
3.Was I honest with my wife today?
4.Did I initiate at least one conversation with my wife today?
4.1. If not, how long has it been?
5.Was I affectionate with my wife today?
6.Was I transparent with my wife today?
6.1. If not, why not?
6.2. Did I correct the lack of transparency when I had the chance?
7.Did I spend time with my daughter today?
7.1. Was it quality time
7.2. Did I get upset with her
8.Did I act out today?
9. Did I accomplish what I had planned for today?
10. How did I feel today?

I deleted "Did I act as a role model today?" and "Was I compassionate today?". Not because I don't do them because I do, I just don't feel that they are helping me at this point.

I added point 6:
6.Was I transparent with my wife today?
6.1. If not, why not?
6.2. Did I correct the lack of transparency when I had the chance?
This is the one thing I have to work hardest at and I know that it is my wifes biggest sore point. By reminding myself about this every day, I hope I will become better at it.


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 Post subject: Exercise 26B
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:22 am 
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Exercise 26 B

Part 1
"Develop a compulsive chain of your most recent acting out behaviour."

Most recent Chain - Surfing Porn While At Work
Element # Feeling stressed because of new job
Element # Start to feel anxious about my abilities
Element # Think about surfing porn to relax myself
Element # Feel guilty and ashamed about thoughts
Element # Type porn search terms in Google. Anxiety diminishes
Element # Select one of the pages returned from the results and started reviewing
Element # Anxiety diminishes more, numbness sets in
Element # Feeling little or no arousal from viewing images
Element # Start to press on penis through pants in an attempt to become aroused
Element # Achieve small amount of arousal with pressure
Element # Get scared I will be seen/found out. Arousal disappears completely
Element # Stop surfing and return to work
Element # Feel intense guilt and shame

Part 3.
I could have added masturbation in the wash room after to lengthen the chain. I could have also moved to a location with more privacy to allow me to relax while viewing.


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 Post subject: Exercise 29
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Exercise 26

For the first part of this exercises I sat outside on the deck in the back yard. I thought about my immediate family (wife and daughter) my extended family (parents brother). I listened and thought about the birds I could hear, the muted voices of the neighbours, the kids I could hear passing on the street. I thought about how far I have come in my recovery and how far I still have to go. I thought about my daily monitoring list (values). I thought about my impending return to work and how it will play out in my life right now. I then flipped back to thinking about my family and how I miss them when they're not around. I thought about walking the dogs in the park. There were a couple other things that flitted through, working in my garden, being on vacation and therapy.

For the compulsive behaviour, I thought about masturbating in the shower. It triggered many emotions all at the same time. I felt the anxiety, the pent up energy, the release, the overwhelming shame and guilt.

"A. Describe the emotions that you experienced and the thoughts that triggered them"
Thinking about my immediate family triggered feelings of happiness, sadness, loneliness, joy, fear
Thinking about my extended family brought on feelings of sadness and happiness. I live a long way from my parents and I miss them sometimes. My brother lives in the same city as me but we don't see each other often.
Thinking about recovery brought feelings of pride and humility. Pride on what I have accomplished and humility for what I have still to do
My daily monitoring brought mild feelings of satisfaction. Thinking about my values though brought on a strange feeling of security. I guess I was feeling that I will be able to rely on them when times get tough.
I will say that the thought of returning to work brought on mixture of feelings. Anxiety, pride, happiness, dread, sadness, comfort. I believe the bad feelings (anxiety, dread) stem from the loss of my job due to surfing porn. I am not particularly worried about returning to my previous habits but there is a risk. The sadness comes from the end of the enforced vacation. I enjoyed my time off, especially the time I was able to spend with my daughter.
The good feelings come from the fact that I have been able to find another contract on my own and the I will be returning to the work that I enjoy.

"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 I have been was after graduating from college. I went to work on a 4 month contract, while searching for full time employment. I finished the contract and had the full time job lined up but it didn't start for a month. I took the month and just relaxed. I stayed with my parents, slept late and generally did nothing for a month. After spending 4 straight years in school it was heaven.

The most anxious I have ever been is easy. Telling my wife I lost my job because of a relapse. I was almost throwing up on the bus ride home. I felt terrible, worthless, humiliated, terrified.


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