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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:50 am 
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Excercise 10.

My list is almost empty. The obvious one for me is my computer. I use the internet to indulge my addiction. Everything my addiction needs is there. No need for magazines, no need for porn shops, no need for massage, strippers, hookers etc. It's all here at the click of a mouse.

My wife knows everything about this. The freqency, The content, The thoughts that go through my head, everything.

I am monogamous, and always have been. I have no temptation to physically have sex with other woman. My addiction is in the world of thoughts and fantasy.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:17 am 
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7, To stay grounded and clear in love, work and play.

Pay attention to what happens before, during, and after the times when I'm not.

Pay attention to my breathing (for me this has always been a good indication and anchor)

Monitor my fidgits and little escapes. i.e Unessesary snacks, watching TV, flicking through magazines. Anything I do as an escape from bordom or discomfort.

Meditate daily.

Monitor my thinking and self talk. Am I putting myself into trance or stressful story?

8, To grow in maturity on all levels.

Learn to stay with or feel through my emotions instead of reacting to them by seeking pleasure/escape.

Maintain absolute honesty and face the consequenses this may have.

Learn to stay with my wifes emotions and anger rather than reacting to her. Presence is the key.

Accept that none of the above will be easy and say yes anyway.

Committ fully to this workshop.

Spend time with people who support this value and, who themselves live by it.

Learn from my mistakes and committ to change.

Say yes to life (as much as possable ;-) )


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:36 am 
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I mostly relate to the 4th group. I would like to say I'm in the 3rd but that wouldn't be honest.

I have done the excercises with sincerity and passion but I haven't gone the extra mile. I could use time constraints as an excuse for this but that would be less than honest.

I have ignored the physical act of pulling out the list of values when the urge comes to act out.

I can see that I've somehow been doing it my head. This is an area where I've sold myself short.

fourth group that will be at a crossroads. They will be at a point where they will need to make decisions that will impact the remainder of their life...and they will need to make these decisions based on their desire of how they wish to live the remainder of their life: with stability and health; or with chaos. And the choice is not an easy one...as people naturally prefer to remain in familiar situations: which in the case of addiction is chaos. It is the choice of stability and health that is the risk

I know this well. It's time for some real honesty here.

I really want to leave addiction behind and return to health and I am also affraid of leaving it behind. It feels like a death, like I would be loosing a part of myself. It may be an old twisted part of myself but still a part. A fear of the unknown. How would I deal with my emotions, boredom, need for excitement and instant pleasure if I shut the door on Masturbation and Pornography? This is my fear and this is my crossroads. There is a temptation to continue with the recovery programme and just leave the door open a little, so I have that 'free pass', just when I really need it. I can see the point I'm at and a choice is here to be made.

Here are some poits that I recognise in myself from other catagories.


Those Who Will Continue to Struggle With Relapse.

They minimize their behavior (e.g. "It's not how it seems"; "It's not that big of a deal."

seeking out times/situations where they will be unaccountable to anyone but themselves

They believe that they are uniquely defective and/or damaged as human beings

They believe that they have suffered so many consequences from their compulsive behavior, that it will be impossible for them to reach their lifetime goals

Those Who Will Occasionally Struggle with Relapse


They often jump from addiction to addiction, and are particularly susceptible to hyper-religiosity and hyper-recovery. They put out fires by refocusing on other areas of their life. When these areas involve compulsive behavior--their use of addiction to manage their lives continues.

They believe that they are suffering from a disease that is beyond their control, but not beyond all hope.

They believe that they are defective in the sense that their emotions, urges, impulses, etc. are experienced with much more intensity than "normal people". And this puts them at a disadvantage for living a "normal life".

They tend to confuse addiction recovery with general mental health issues--creating a hypersensitivity to all of the emotions that they experience. Depression, anxiety, anger--they are all tightly related to "recovery" and an imbalance in one often leads to an imbalance in the other.
They perceive "powerlessness" not as absolute powerlessness over their life, but a limited powerlessness over their urges.

They often attempt to convince others of their recovery by offering their "new identity" as proof. Again, most often seen with hyper-religiosity and hyper-recovery situations.

Relapse triggers are feared, and so their lives continue to be altered as a result of addiction.

They tend to focus on controlling past behavior, rather than learning new behavior.

They tend to see life in episodes--with beginnings and endings--rather than as a process.

They consistently measure the success of their recovery through abstinence, rather than emotional stability and personal satisfaction.

They often experience extreme emotions in relation to acting out--extreme guilt, extreme shame, depression, anger, hatred. Or, they experience very mild emotions--when it has become a pattern that they have resolved to accept as a part of their lives.

They tend to hyper analyze their actions, thoughts and feelings...and make the possibility of living a "normal" life all but impossible.

They continue to identify themselves with their addiction and cannot imagine a life without such an association.
Significant others tend to experience these individuals as exhausting. Capable of achieving anything they set their minds to...though unsure of what it is they will eventually settle their minds on. The relationships themselves tend to be selfish, focusing on the "addict", more so than the partnership. While love and admiration and long-term stability can still be achieved, it is often at the expense of the partner's individuality.


They are inflexible in re-evaluating their lifetime goals (e.g. "Since I have failed so far at being a professional actor, athlete, writer, etc., I can't be successful at anything." "Since I cannot be around to raise my children, I will always remain unfulfilled as a parent.")

They suspect that they will never be able to overcome their urges, and so their goals are to establish the appearance of change, rather than to pursue actual change.

They often attempt to "prove" their sincerity to others through voicing dreams, sharing words and making promises, rather than through their actions.

Looks like I have some big decisions to make. I will make them and soon, very soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:40 am 
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Posts: 131
Today I have been reading over some of my previous posts. Something caught my eye. In a recent post I wrote. 'How would I deal with my emotions, boredom, need for excitement and instant pleasure if I shut the door on Masturbation and Pornography? This is my fear and this is my crossroads.'

I can see that I have not really put the previous lessons into action yet. I have come up with values that are clear to me and I have begun to write out the way in which I will fullfill and honour those values. It has been made absolutley clear that knowing my values and living them is the way to deal with my emotions, boredom, etc. The shift from emotion based decision makeing to makeing decisions based on my values has not happened yet. I don't expect it to happen just like that but if I'm asking questions like the one above then that shows me that I'm capable of missing the point and just drifting through this programme.

I have made a decision to follow CoachJon's invitation. I will devote one hour of every day to this workshop for the next 2 months. I may invest money in personal coaching, if my financial situation allows it.
I am at a crossroads and my decision is to give everthing I can to this recovery. It's time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:01 am 
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Posts: 131
9.To attend teachings, events and activities that support my spiritual path and personal growth/awakening.

To recognise that all events and circumstances in daily life are an oppertunity for personal growth and awakening.

To attend retreats with my teachers when possible.

To committ fully to this workshop.


10,To deepen the intemacy within my marriage. On all levels.

Have at least one true conversation with my wife per day.

Maintain absolute honesty.

To check in with her on a regular basis so as not to allow distance to develope.

Follow through on any committments that I make to her.

Remain present open and loving. Even when she's angrey and negative towards me.

To tell her that I love her on a regular basis.

To accept that all of the above may not be easy.

11.To be financially successful.

Draw up a plan of action. Targets to be achieved with dates.

Better organisation of my finances.

Investigate ways in which I can expand my client base.

Employ the tools I have learnt, that have bought success to other areas of my life.

Develope my capacity for patience. In order to have stable financial success I must build a good foundation. This may take time.


12.To take responsability.

Accept that I cannot change the past but to stop hideing from it.

To face what needs to be faced, even if it's painful.

To begin makeing changes the only place they can be made. Here Now.

To committ fully to this workshop.

To honour my values and integrate the into my daily life.

To maintain absolute honesty with myself.

To check in with myself on the above points on a daily basis.


Last edited by munkfish on Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:15 am 
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Posts: 131
13. To have thrills, pleasure and excitement.

Investigate and develope other hobbies and interests. i.e Snowboarding, Martial arts, art, writeing.

Continue to develope a healthy sexual relationship with my wife.

Spend time in useful and fun activity with my male friends. Camping out in nature, mountain bikeing, hikeing etc.

Excercise more!


Last edited by munkfish on Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:57 am 
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Posts: 131
Healthy recovery patterns that I identify with.

1.In early recovery, they often "test the waters" of recovery by attempting recovery for a few days, then acting out. Attempting recovery for a few weeks, then acting out. Attempting recovery for a few months, then acting out. A weaning behavior similar to a toddler giving up a security blanket.

This is my story. I hadn't thought of it as a healthy recovery pattern though. Although it does feel like a weaning behavior, which is a stage I guess. What I have noticed is that when I 'Test the waters' it is just that. It isn't something that goes on for hours and hours each day, like it has done in the past.

2.In early recovery, they tend to explore many different trigger situations to see how well they can handle themselves. To see "how far they have come". This is a behavior that is often witnessed in adolescent wound care--where the adolescent almost compulsively tears open their bandages to "check the wounds". Of course, just like with addiction, such behavior is often problematic--as it opens the individual up to additional infection. But it is a behavior that provides comfort to the adolescent--no matter what stage of healing the wound may be in.

I relate to this for sure. Although again I wouldn't have called it a healthy pattern. The intention is maybe healthy but the result often isn't.

3.In early recovery, they perceive "powerlessness" as "helplessness" and "desperation".

I always thought these were the same. Aren't they?

4.They have accepted that they have struggled with certain immoral behaviors that contradicted their values, but realize that what matters is what they are doing, not what they did. They realize that no successful recovery ever took place by changing the past, only by changing the present.

YES!

5.Their motivation to recover comes from the desire to live a life that they can be proud of, rather than a desire to create the illusion of a life that they can be proud of.

This is what I want.

6.They are not focused on controlling/ending their past behavioral patterns, but on developing new patterns that will take the place of those related to the addiction.

This is what I am just discovering and it feels great!

7.They recognize failure as a learning experience--but only when that failure occurs with on-the-spot sincerity, as opposed to pre-planned deception.

Yes, absolutley

8.They identify their future with a healthy person that once used addiction to manage their life; not as an addict that is managing their life with healthy behavior.

YES again.

9.They see their lives as a continuous process of growth and development, rather than an episodic book of starts and stops. (e.g. "When I was addicted" "After I recovered").

10.They tend to have an emotional relapse in terms of the consequences that they have affected on others--especially those closest to them. This frequently triggers true remorse, temporary depression, temporary helplessness--but is soon resolved with a commitment to making it up to people in other, more healthy ways.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:09 am 
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I have just read over the healthy and unhealthy recovery patterns that I relate to and I can see that there are some contradictions. I don't feel like I'm bullshitting myself or have been dishonest, it's just that I can identify with both.

I feel quite sure in myself that a shift is taking place. Maybe only in the last 48 hours but a shift for sure. I feel like the values associated with my healthy and unhealthy recovery patterns fit with my proritised values and that feels good.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:37 am 
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Just to follow up on my last post in which I mention a shift that is happening.

This shift is that I am beginning to seperate myself from my behaviours and am not identifying so much with them. WOW! That feels good.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:29 pm 
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My initial daily monitoring plan.

1. Did I do my daily 'taking care of my body' routine today?
2. Did I complete all of the tasks that I set myself today?
o If not, why?
3. Did I spend at least a few minutes inquiring into any stressful beliefs about myself or others, that I may have had today?
4. Have I comunicated honestly with myself and others today?
o If not, what can I learn from this? What was I hideing from?
5. Did I spend at least one hour on activities that strengthen my work/business today?
o If not, why?
6. Did I follow any addictive patterns or compulsive rituals today?
o Did I create a break (stop the behavior) and experience whatever emotions were present?
o What did I learn from this?
7. Did I spend at leat a few minutes quality time with my wife today?
o If not, why?
8. Have I had moment to moment awareness of the emotional dynamic between myself and my wife today?
o How have I dealt with any negative/challenging emotions?
9. Did I have moment to moment awarness of any emotions, tensions or patterns that played out in my system today?
o If yes, did I allow any of these to affect my clarity and integrity towards myself and others?
10. Did I spend at least one hour on my recovery workshop today?
o If not, why?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:17 am 
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Posts: 131
Exercise 15

I. Take a minute to review what you have learned over the past two weeks. Of what you have learned so far, think of one example of how you have actively integrated that information into your day-to-day life.

The obvious thing for me is this, I simply didn't know what my values were!
I knew I had certain things that were important to me, but so much of my time was taken up with acting out, and then punishing myself with shame and guilt, that I simply had no inclination to focus on any of them (my values).

Getting my values prioritized has been great in that it's given me some direction and purpose in moving towards health. I'm focusing much more on what I want, rather than what I don't want. They say 'what we resist persists', I'm begining to see this very clearly now.

Starting to break my compulsive/addictive behaviors down is proveing useful. Two days ago I had my first coaching session with Jon. He invited me to create a break in any compulsive/addictive behavior that arises and to simply allow whatever emotions were present to be experienced. This had been very empowering so far. What I noticed after doing this a couple of times was that the tendency to stare at girls was weakened. I also noticed that I felt much more grounded, relaxed and in my integrity. Why? Because I was not running from my emotions, that simple! It doesn't mean that compulsive behaviour is finished, the tendency is well and truely here. It's just that in stopping the behavior I give myself a chance to investigate. It's a welcome chance.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:19 am 
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Posts: 4572
re: "My addiction never interfeared with our sex life."

This I would challenge. Not in some world-altering insight; but in the same way that I would challenge someone who tried to rationalize that 'never going to college' didn't interfere with their career. Or, 'never traveling out of the country' never impacted their appreciation for the world around them. The fact is, while your sex life may have--and may still be--wonderful; you have no idea what the impact of your porn use has had on lost potential. On the depth of your capacity for intimacy. You just don't know. And you won't know, ever. At least, not unless you someday reach a higher plane with your sexuality--one that you cannot fathom at the moment. Then you may be able to look back and realize the true impact of lost potential an depth.

So, not a big deal...but do give it some thought whenever you make such blanket assessments. There are more to consequences than overt behavioral changes.

re: "Everything my addiction needs is there."

Because your goal is to end this addiction, then we will take this a bit further. Everything your addiction needs to propogate itself is right there in your own head. You don't even need the computer. This is important to understand because eventually, you must come to see such elements as 'neutral' stimulants. That it is what is inside your head (through experience, mostly; but heredity & instinct also play a part) that gives such stimulants their power. You will see this distinctly once you have learned to change a learned stimulus response from one of destruction to one of construction.

re:"I have been reading over some of my previous posts. Something caught my eye."

Exellent. That is how you approach this. Not just by finishing something and moving on...but by continuing to evolve and refine what you are building.

re: "My initial daily monitoring plan"

In our next coaching session, we will be reviewing those proactive action plans and restructuring the daily monitoring effort that you have begun here.

_________________
Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:44 am 
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[quote="CoachJon"]re: "My addiction never interfeared with our sex life."

This I would challenge. Not in some world-altering insight; but in the same way that I would challenge someone who tried to rationalize that 'never going to college' didn't interfere with their career. Or, 'never traveling out of the country' never impacted their appreciation for the world around them. The fact is, while your sex life may have--and may still be--wonderful; you have no idea what the impact of your porn use has had on lost potential. On the depth of your capacity for intimacy. You just don't know. And you won't know, ever. At least, not unless you someday reach a higher plane with your sexuality--one that you cannot fathom at the moment. Then you may be able to look back and realize the true impact of lost potential an depth.

Thanks Jon. I would also challenge this now. I would because I can have no idea how this addiction has impacted my sex life. Thanks for pointing this out. It keeps my feet on the ground and I'm grateful for that. I can see that I won't be able to get away with any bullshit here.


re: "Everything my addiction needs is there."

Because your goal is to end this addiction, then we will take this a bit further. Everything your addiction needs to propogate itself is right there in your own head. You don't even need the computer. This is important to understand because eventually, you must come to see such elements as 'neutral' stimulants. That it is what is inside your head (through experience, mostly; but heredity & instinct also play a part) that gives such stimulants their power. You will see this distinctly once you have learned to change a learned stimulus response from one of destruction to one of construction.

Thanks again. I have seen this before on an intellectual level, but just to see it on that level is not enough. I see it needs to become my actual experience.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:02 pm 
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re: "I can see that I won't be able to get away with any bullshit here."

Oh, you are completely underestimating your skill at bullshitting, smile. With your intelligence and history, you can most certainly get away with such a thing. The question becomes, do you want to? So, challenge yourself to become your own monitor for such self-awareness. That will be your best defense in protecting yourself from taking a longer path to health than is necessary. :wink:

_________________
Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:09 am 
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Posts: 131
Excercise 16.

I have always been reluctant to see any positive sides to my addiction because I saw it as a justification for my behavior to continue. It is undeniable that there are positive aspects so here are a few obvious ones.

1. Escape. It has allowed me a temporary escape from my life. Maybe not a healthy one, but still an escape.

2. Pleasure. Of course there are pleasureable aspects to masturbating and using porn. If there wasn't any pleasure involved then I doubt I would have continued acting out this behavior over the past years.

3. The suffering that my addiction caused in myself has pushed me deeper into spirituality. I have grown allot in other areas of my life as a result of this. The suffering from my addiction has given me a drive to really question my life purpose and not just drift along.

4. My addiction has finally bought me to this workshop. Here I am beginning to learn life skills, disciplines, and choices that I was previously unaware of. These are skills which will serve me in all aspects of my life.


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