Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:09 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 74 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - The Role of Boundaries

Recovery Nation - The Role of Boundaries

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty-Six

The Role of Boundaries

Lesson 36 Exercise:

Quote:
I. Describe a scenario from your past where not having a well-defined set of boundaries has prolonged and/or intensified the personal consequences that you have experienced.

Quote:
_Example: Knowing that my coworker was sexually flirting with me, I allowed myself to establish a relationship that eventually led to an affair. _

I’m really struggling to write about this. I can think of lots of times when I crossed boundaries that were set and agreed on with my my wife and I, but then I would break it via my addiction. It was usually not a conscious choice or at very least, not preplanned, but still it did happen. I can think of many instances where not having a well defined boundary occurred regarding my drinking of alcohol. Especially when out at an event or conference and I end up quite drunk by the end of the night and regret it. I wonder how I acted and feel guilty for spending the money.

Quote:
II. Describe a situation in your life where having solid boundaries will assist you in managing the event in such a way as to protect your value system.

Quote:
Example: My husband expects to have sex with me as a sleeping pill for him. Though I don't want to hurt his feelings, being treated in this way is degrading. I am establishing a boundary that I will only have sex with my husband when I am in the mood.

Again, I’m struggling with the boundaries on this because I tend to have them and then break them because the emotional intensity of the addiction urges builds over time in secret and then overwhelms me. So it was not that I didn’t have the boundaries, but that I did not have good coping mechanisms in place to stick to those lines. Ah... now I’m having a realization that having a boundary of early and often disclosure, especially about the very small ticks in my brain that are the precursors to a relapse will likely help a lot with keeping the eventual boundary of not relapsing.

Quote:
III. Share these in your recovery thread.

Done.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Identifying Personal Boundaries

Recovery Nation - Identifying Personal Boundaries

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty-Seven

Lesson 37 Exercise:

Quote:
I. List three of your highest values (values prioritized within the top five).

  • Believe in myself
  • Honesty
  • Strengthen my role as a partner to my wife
Quote:
II. For each value, list at least five concrete boundaries (rules) that you will use to protect that value.

  • Believe in myself
    • I will accept compliments without dodging them.
    • I will stop saying that I am a bad person.
    • I will keep a compliment list and review it weekly
    • I will practice loving Kindness meditation
  • Honesty
    • I will always disclose compulsive behavior to my wife.
    • I will use our warning system code (green, yellow, red) and key word for updating her on what is going on with me so that it can be done at a time that works for both of us.
    • I will be extra forthcoming to avoid any minimizing.
  • Strengthen my role as a partner to my wife
    • I will always go to bet at the same time with her.
    • I will offer affection to my wife in a caring way (brushing hair, massage, other nurturing non-sexual touch).
    • I will spend effort every single day on my recovery.
    • I will spend time on budgeting and meal planning to make her life easier.
    • I will keep up on chores and other household duties.
Quote:
III. Absolute boundaries are those boundaries that under no circumstances will you ever cross. These must be realistic AND you must hold them in reverence. Typically, everyone should have at least three such absolute boundaries. List three that you will use to help manage your life.

Example:

  • Absolute boundary #1: I will not do anything that I cannot openly tell my wife about.
  • Absolute boundary #2: I will act in the way that I want my son to act if he were in this situation.
  • Absolute boundary #3: I will act in the way that I want my daughter's husband to act if he were in this situation.

  • Absolute boundary #1: I will not bring porn into the house.
  • Absolute boundary #2: I will be honest at all times with my wife about my compulsions (this addiction grows in secrecy)
  • Absolute boundary #3: I will not engage in voyeurism.
Quote:
IV. Share these in your recovery thread.

Done.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Developing Healthy Boundaries

Recovery Nation - Developing Healthy Boundaries

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty-Eight

Lesson 38 Exercise:

Quote:
I. Review the boundaries created to protect the values listed in the previous lesson.

II. Consider at least two situations where this value may be threatened. Are the existing boundaries enough to protect against this threat?

Here are those generated in the last lesson for reference:

  • Absolute boundary #1: I will not bring porn into the house.
  • Absolute boundary #2: I will be honest at all times with my wife about my compulsions (this addiction grows in secrecy)
  • Absolute boundary #3: I will not engage in voyeurism.

  • Believe in myself
    • I will accept compliments without dodging them.
    • I will stop saying that I am a bad person (all negative talk around this applies)
    • I will keep a compliment list and review it weekly
    • I will practice loving Kindness meditation
  • Situation 1: I make a mistake and feel like a failure. Stopping saying I’m a bad person may help, but this could be expanded slightly to deal with all kinds of failure.
  • Situation 2: Musing on my addiction makes me feel like a failure when around my peers. I think rules 1-3 will hep with this.

  • Honesty
    • I will always disclose compulsive behavior to my wife.
    • I will use our warning system code (green, yellow, red) and key word for updating her on what is going on with me so that it can be done at a time that works for both of us.
    • I will be extra forthcoming to avoid any minimizing.
  • Situation 1: I have a strong desire to look at porn. Yes, I think these rules are enough (along with the absolute boundaries above).
  • Situation 2: I have a voyeurism urge. Yes, I think these plus the boundaries above are enough.

  • Strengthen my role as a partner to my wife
    • I will always go to bet at the same time with her.
    • I will offer affection to my wife in a caring way (brushing hair, massage, other nurturing non-sexual touch).
    • I will spend effort every single day on my recovery.
    • I will spend time on budgeting and meal planning to make her life easier.
    • I will keep up on chores and other household duties.
  • Situation 1: My wife is feeling unsupported or had a hard day. Yes, I think doing these things will help at least somewhat.
  • Situation 2: My wife feels like I don’t respect her and she is alone in this marriage. Yes, I think these plus the absolute boundaries will help.
Quote:
III. If not, evolve your boundaries so that they are capable of allowing you to manage those situations.

Quote:
Share your work in your recovery thread.

Done.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Healthy Sexual Boundaries

Recovery Nation - Healthy Sexual Boundaries

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty-Nine

Lesson 39 Exercise:

Quote:
The following is intended as a step-by-step guide for rebuilding your sexual values and for developing the boundaries that will protect those values. It is not intended to be completed in a matter of hours, but to be developed over the course of weeks, months and years. This is certainly not the only way to develop healthy sexual values, but it is a guaranteed effective way.


There is no instruction to post this one to the forum, so I'm holding off for the time being. Also, some of the instructions in there indicate that this should only be shared with someone you are extremely trusting with. I do have that and plan to, but if someone reads this and wants to comment on whether I should be posting part of this here, I'd appreciate it.

I'm starting work on this today and will do a bit each day on my own and will continue the following lessons while that is in process.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Respecting the Boundaries of Others

Recovery Nation - Respecting the Boundaries of Others

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty

Lesson 40 Exercise:

Quote:
I. Choose someone in your life that you feel close to. A spouse. A child. A parent. A friend. Rather than assuming what boundaries they have; or what values they want protected...take some time to step into their lives. Refresh those perceptions that you have. Consider how you can HELP THEM reinforce those boundaries. Post a few thoughts about this in your thread.

My wife. I can help her reinforce her boundaries by reviewing them on a regular basis and looking for ways that I typically cross them and not doing that. I can also look at ways she crosses them herself and encourage her in the other direction. Because she has worked through the partner program on here she has worked up some boundaries related to this process already and has shared them with me and we are both aware of what they are. This has been super helpful.

Quote:
II. Consider what you could do should YOU become aware that you have violated a boundary of theirs.

Honestly own up to it, no matter how painful. Then listen and be supportive while she process what has happened to her. I try to keep the ownership for what occurred because it is my fault and should not make her feel like she has done anything wrong.

Quote:
III. Consider your reaction should they tell you that you have violated a boundary of theirs. Think beyond defensiveness...keep working until you grasp a healthy reaction.

Immediate reaction is always feeling bad and being selfish in my reaction, but if I can get past that to a real place of awareness, then I can begin to imagine what it must be like to be in her place and what she is feeling. Then it hits me hard and I want to help. I want to help her get those feelings out and to feel like they are valid and to show her that I'm understanding where she is coming from. Then really reflect on what I can do in the future to not let it happen again.

Quote:
IV. Share your thoughts in your recovery thread.

Done.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Health Monitoring II — Daily, Weekly

Recovery Nation - Health Monitoring II — Daily, Weekly

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty-Five

Lesson 35 Exercise (week of 06/13/2018 - 06/18/2018):

Quote:
1) Evolve your daily monitoring as outlined above. Post the first thing you will be monitoring in this way in your thread for feedback and, share where you will be placing the reminder. Do not wait for feedback to begin.

Today, I am going to look for opportunities to make choices that are good for my health.

I'll write this down and post it at my bedside to see it first thing in the morning.

I actually kept this in my journal, but I did see it each morning pretty much first thing. It was helpful and it did change my approach to some decision making over the course of the last week.

Quote:
2) Create your weekly agenda. Post it in your Recovery Thread.

Quote:
Question #1: Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment. Think specific actions you experienced, not general ideals. "On Tuesday, I took out my guitar and just played for my kids. Took the time to teach them a few notes. It was meaningful to me." This, as opposed to...'music, kids...'

I took a hike to a lake in the woods with K and one of the dogs and time in the wilderness is always super meaningful to me. I called my dad and a, more than usual, meaningful conversation with him on Father's Day. I went to church on Sunday and had an emotional experience feeling some deep love for K.

Quote:
Question #2: Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go? As in, was there chronic stress/pressure I had to manage? Were there any major traumatic events? Any intense emotional events?

Over the last week the majority of my energy went to recovery and these lessons. It is a constant around the house right now and taking up a ton of mental bandwidth.

Quote:
Question #3: Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means (e.g. compulsive behavior)?

I think I did well with this. I did have some thoughts that may have eventually grown to compulsive behavior but for each one I talked with K and that defused the power that the thoughts had.

Quote:
Question #4: Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard? Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.

We will be joining a new group for religious ceremony this week that is more local and closer to us. I have no idea what to expect and am somewhat on edge about that. There is also planning and executing a backpacking trip this coming weekend. Date night on Thursday as well.

Quote:
Beyond that, monitor anything that is important to you. Your relationships, your health, your progress towards certain goals. Anything can go on your Weekly Monitoring as long as it is consistent with your emerging value system.

Did I engage with my wife in a way that strengthened and deepened our relationship?

Yes. I felt like our trip to town and subsequent planning surrounding my addiction was super positive. I was able to use checkins and the pre-determined language to indicate if there were any issues. I also had in my mind much of the day to humanize women that I saw to shift any focus I would have had on voyeurism over to seeing people as fellow human beings that deserve respect and privacy. It did help.

Quote:
Did I seek out opportunities to be totally honest and transparent with my wife about my compulsions?

Yes. There were several times that I brought up small thoughts that I had been having to get it out in the open and have no secrets between us. It was helpful.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:35 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 161
Quote:
but if someone reads this and wants to comment on whether I should be posting part of this here, I'd appreciate it.


Your thread, your recovery. There really isn't a wrong way to go about it, but posting can help with accountability and support. I'd recommend starting with Steps 1-3 of the lesson and posting here for your reference. Please keep in mind that Step 1 does say:

Quote:
To be effective, your list should have hundreds of statements and should be completed over the course of several days — an hour or two at a time. These statements do not need to be categorized; may possibly conflict with other statements in your list; and do not even need to make sense to anyone but you. There are no right or wrong answers — only a representation of your current sexual beliefs. The only way that you can go 'wrong' is by not putting forth the effort to thoroughly examine your current sexual beliefs. Or, by documenting what you think your beliefs should be, as opposed to what they actually are.


Lesson 39 is long and, as instructed, is meant to be completed over the course of a period of time. However, it is extremely beneficial to improving your personal relationship to sex and sexuality. Please give the steps another hard read.

You might consider taking a look at other threads that have completed lesson 39 to help stir within you what might be most helpful to you.

Lastly, if you're still unsure, consider asking for feedback on the help forum.

Be well,

Anon


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Hey Anon,

Your message came at just the right time. I was feeling I should be doing this work, but then gave myself enough excuses to avoid it for a short period of time. I did move on to later lessons, so recovery work did not totally stall, but then your message came in. Reading some other folks lessons was a big help.

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Healthy Sexual Boundaries

Recovery Nation - Healthy Sexual Boundaries

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty-Nine

Lesson 39 Exercise:

The following is intended as a step-by-step guide for rebuilding your sexual values and for developing the boundaries that will protect those values. It is not intended to be completed in a matter of hours, but to be developed over the course of weeks, months and years. This is certainly not the only way to develop healthy sexual values, but it is a guaranteed effective way.

Step 1 Take Inventory of Your Current Sexual Values

Quote:
Your first step in redeveloping healthy sexual values is to brainstorm a list of all sexually-related values that you currently hold. Don't worry about how socially acceptable this list may be, nor concern yourself with whether a particular value is healthy or unhealthy. Your goal here is only to identify your current thoughts/attitudes relating to your own sexuality.

Some Examples:

  • Women want to have sex when they are physically attracted to someone
  • I am insecure about the size of my penis
  • Sex is my way of showing people I love them
  • I sometimes wonder if I might be gay
  • Masturbation is dirty and wrong
  • Masturbation is a normal, healthy behavior
  • If my partner isn't satisfying me sexually, I have the right to look elsewhere
  • Forced sex is okay if the person isn't harmed
  • I need to make my partner orgasm for sex to be successful
  • If a romantic partner won't have sex with me, there's something wrong with the relationship
  • I sometimes have sex when I don't feel like it
  • I need to orgasm at least once a day to feel normal
  • Once I am aroused, I must orgasm
  • There is no age limit with romantic love
  • Women get excited at the sight of my genitals
  • Deep down, most women love to be dominated
  • Love is enough to overcome anything in a relationship
  • Anal sex is disgusting
  • I don't like when men touch my breasts
  • I have a hard time telling my sexual partner that something they are doing is uncomfortable
  • My sex drive is unusually strong
  • Sex should be for love, not entertainment
  • Sex is always wrong outside of marriage
  • It is okay to fake orgasms
  • It is my wife's duty to sexually satisfy me
  • I do not like performing oral sex on my partner
To be effective, your list should have hundreds of statements and should be completed over the course of several days — an hour or two at a time. These statements do not need to be categorized; may possibly conflict with other statements in your list; and do not even need to make sense to anyone but you. There are no right or wrong answers — only a representation of your current sexual beliefs. The only way that you can go 'wrong' is by not putting forth the effort to thoroughly examine your current sexual beliefs. Or, by documenting what you think your beliefs should be, as opposed to what they actually are.

My list:

  • Only two things govern whether individuals should be able to have sex. First is that they are both consenting and the second is that they are both able to consent.
  • Sex with animals is wrong.
  • Rape is wrong.
  • My partner must have an orgasm if our sex is to be good.
  • Oral sex is good and healthy.
  • All types of fetishes and kinks are good and fine, given the above consent rules.
  • Mutilation is disturbing to me, but may not be wrong.
  • Watching others have sex is fine if all involved are consenting, but not fine for me.
  • Voyeurism where the object of attention is not consenting is not OK.
  • Sexual violence (as opposed to consensual BDSM) is not OK.
  • There is nothing inherently wrong with having multiple partners (either through dating or polyamory)
  • There is no desire on my part to engage in having multiple partners -- I think it is just not part of who I am.
  • Interracial sex is fine.
  • Masturbation is healthy
  • Masturbation is unhealthy when using porn or voyeurism
  • Masturbation is easy to orgasm
  • Masturbation without my wife is unhealthy
  • Masturbation to orgasm by myself makes me feel guilty and shameful
  • Breasts are better than legs
  • Natural breasts are best
  • Condoms are a wonderful invention, but no fun to use
  • Porn is mostly a bad thing
  • My porn use is always a bad thing
  • Flirting is OK for some, but it is wrong when it happens to me with anyone other than my wife
  • Public affection is fine
  • Public affection that involves me makes me uncomfortable
  • I think about sex too much / too often
  • I don't want to be casually touched by people other than my wife (hand on shoulder, arm, leg, etc.)
  • It is OK for either my wife or I to initiate sex
  • My physical well being increases my sex drive
  • My physical well being increases my confidence
  • Porn addiction is real
  • I have a fetish for pantyhose/tights/nylons
  • I may have a breast fetish
  • Sexual objectification is wrong
  • Lying about sex or anything related to sexuality is wrong
  • Not respecting sexual boundaries is wrong
  • Sex is healthy and good
  • Sex in any position that is agreed upon is good
  • Emotionally engaged sex is best
  • Sex on cannabis is good
  • Sex on alcohol is less good, but still fun
  • Talking about sex with my wife is good, but sometimes uncomfortable
  • Sex with my wife is incredible
  • I'm stupidly lucky to have such a great sex life

Step 2 Define an Ideal Ending

Quote:
An ending? Before a beginning? Yes. Your next task is to create an ideal set of sexual values that you will strive to achieve in recovery. Unlike your first list, this one can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Your goal here is to define three to five ideal sexual values that you will begin developing into your life. These values should be general in nature, realistic and unarguably healthy. In other words, they should be socially accepted sexual values that match your own belief system.

Examples:

  • I will only engage in sexual behavior that I choose to willingly
  • I will only engage in sexual activity with my partner
  • I will never engage in sexual behavior that places my sexual partner or myself in physical, legal or social danger
  • I will learn to love and accept my body through healthy masturbation
  • I will be a compassionate, considerate sexual partner; as opposed to a sexual performer
  • I will not be with anyone with whom I could not freely share my sexual/emotional needs
  • I will not engage in sexual behavior that I know to be high risk for destructive consequences
A list of three to five of these general values are all you need. Focusing on too many so early in the development process will serve only to confuse and overwhelm you. As the development process continues, these values will be refined, added to and ingrained...and new values will then take their place. But knowing an exact destination (e.g. three to five specific values/boundaries) is an important start.

  • I will only engage sexually with my wife (not porn, not voyeurism)
  • I will be honest with my wife about all sexual compulsions I experience
  • I will be a present sexual partner, not tuned out and objectifying
  • I will not have sex if I do not want to (or at least be honest about needing time to warm up to it if that is the case)
  • I will not engage in any sexual compulsions that make my wife feel unsafe

Step 3 Define a Beginning

Quote:
As you now have a slightly better vision of where you are headed, it is time to identify where you are starting. In order to develop your sexual values, you must begin that process of change. Somewhere. Anywhere. And so your next step is to pick the spot at which you will begin this change. How?

I. Take out the list of current sexual values that you developed in Step One

II. Remove each value that is unrelated to, irrelevant towards and/or contrasting with the values identified in Step Two.

III. All remaining values on your list should now represent your current healthy sexual values; and all should be related to helping you achieve your immediate developmental goals.

This filtered list is your starting point — your beginning. This list is the foundation for the remainder of your sexual development. From this point forward, your goal will be to add only healthy values to this list — values that will bring you closer and closer to the goals identified in the previous step. Additionally, it will be your task to refine these existing values on an ongoing basis so that they become more and more ingrained — more capable of providing you with guidance and emotional support. How you do this will be addressed in the remaining steps.

Filtered List:

  • Only two things govern whether individuals should be able to have sex. First is that they are both consenting and the second is that they are both able to consent.
  • My partner must have an orgasm if our sex is to be good.
  • Oral sex is good and healthy.
  • Voyeurism where the object of attention is not consenting is not OK.
  • Masturbation without my wife is unhealthy
  • Masturbation to orgasm by myself makes me feel guilty and shameful
  • My porn use is always a bad thing
  • Flirting is OK for some, but it is wrong when it happens to me with anyone other than my wife
  • It is OK for either my wife or I to initiate sex
  • Porn addiction is real
  • Sexual objectification is wrong
  • Lying about sex or anything related to sexuality is wrong
  • Not respecting sexual boundaries is wrong
  • Sex is healthy and good
  • Sex in any position that is agreed upon is good
  • Emotionally engaged sex is best
  • Talking about sex with my wife is good, but sometimes uncomfortable
  • Sex with my wife is incredible
  • I'm stupidly lucky to have such a great sex life

Step 4 Define Your Existing Vulnerabilities

Quote:
With the knowledge of where your current sexual values are, coupled with the goals you are striving for, it becomes necessary to identify potential obstacles that will need to be overcome in order for you to successfully reach these goals. You will not be able to identify all potential obstacles, nor should you try. This step requires only that you look ahead to identify the most realistic obstacles that you might face. Additionally, it is intended to address only those obstacles that will keep you from achieving the developmental goals set forth in Step Two. For the same reasons as set forth above, trying to address all possible obstacles simultaneously will serve only to overwhelm and confuse — and so a more limited focus should be maintained for now. _Remember, you must give yourself permission to take the time to relearn these things — and trying to do so too fast will leave whatever you might learn as an intellectual victory only. It is the ingraining of what you learn that will make the difference in your life. _

With each obstacle identified, an action plan should be developed (not now) that will outline exactly the course of action that you will take should such an obstacle appear. This will be explained in greater detail in the Action Plans area of the workshop. For now, you have successfully completed this step when you have identified the most common, or the most likely obstacles that you will face in developing new sexual values.

Potential obstacles:

  • Urges to use porn
  • Urges for scanning / targeting in public or in social settings
  • Environments where either of the above is possible (alone time at home, restaurants, busy places, gatherings, travel, airports, etc.)
  • Desires for specific sex which may cause objectification
  • Being tired and shy can be difficult to admit not having interest in sex sometimes

Step 5 Ask for Feedback

Quote:
No matter how capable you may already be in accurately defining healthy sexual values, if you have struggled with sexual addiction or sexually compulsive behavior, there is a good chance that your perceptions have become significantly distorted. Step Five suggests that you take your list of healthy sexual values and discuss them with someone you trust. Someone whom you respect in terms of their ability to provide accurate feedback on healthy sexual behavior. And while this is not a required step in the developmental process, in can be a valuable one — as objective observers can provide feedback to you in terms of identifying critical sexual values that you may have overlooked, skewed perceptions of current values that you hold and/or reassurance that you are on the right track.

The list that you will want feedback on is the one developed in Step Two: Define an Ending. This list is critical because it will allow you to start moving in the right direction from the very beginning. Depending on the level of trust you have with this person (or people), you may also want to review Step Three as well. If you have extreme trust (or complete anonymity), you may also consider discussing the entire list developed in Step One — as there are few better ways of learning than to receive constructive, objective feedback regarding unknown errors in our thinking.

06/21/2018 Update: I went over steps 1-4 with my wife last night. I made some small adjustments and got some clarity on other things as a result. Overall it was a great interaction and I learned a lot.


Last edited by alongtheriver on Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Mastering Rituals and Chains

Recovery Nation - Mastering Rituals and Chains

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-Two

Lesson 42 Exercise:

Quote:
I. If there are any questions that you have about anything related to compulsive chains, rituals, elements and/or measuring emotions...ask them in the community forum and/or our next coaching session. It is essential that you have a working knowledge of these concepts — as they are fundamental to a health-based recovery.

II. In the next coaching session, you will be asked to share the following:

  • to identify the ELEMENTS associated with a simple compulsive ritual that you have previously engaged in (think Wheel of Sexual Compulsivity)
  • to walk through a single compulsive ritual and identify the BEGINNING of that ritual; the POINT OF NO RETURN; and the time that you would CREATE A BREAK
  • To walk through a complex compulsive ritual involving several single rituals in a single event (e.g. porn and alcohol; masturbation and voyeuring)
  • To share the dynamics of a compulsive chain (e.g. multiple rituals) and how that chain effects your overall life management needs/skills

I’m pretty sure I’ve got this and am ready to move on.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Mastering Boundary Awareness

Recovery Nation - Mastering Boundary Awareness

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-One

Lesson 41 Exercise:

Quote:
It is your job to eventually identify and master the boundaries that exist to protect all of your highest values. This cannot be accomplished in a single sitting.

Over the next month, keep a log of the moderate to major events that occur in your life and assess your ability to deal with these events in terms of your existing boundaries. Family arguments, decisions, chore assignments, etc. All are related to your values and all should have boundaries that protect those values. With each event, identify the event itself, the values that were infringed upon, the existing boundaries that were in place to protect those values and any additional rules/boundaries that may help you the next time you face a similar situation.

There is no need to write all of this out as long as you are actively deepening your awareness of the role that these boundaries played in protecting/abandoning your values (though if you have the time, writing them all out would prove to be a tremendous benefit).

Example:

Quote:
Event: I had plans to attend dinner with a platonic, female friend who was in town on business. My wife didn't want me going and we argued for several days about the decision. Her main argument was that she didn't trust me — though I have done nothing to earn that assumption in over two years. The decision was made that I would go, but at the last minute she called to say that she had to work late. As I had no other choice, I cancelled dinner to stay home and watch the kids.

Reaction: Felt frustrated, helpless. Taken advantage of. Manipulated.

Values Involved: Respect; Partnership; Personal Growth; Honesty (and more)

Existing Boundaries: When one of us is going to be late, we call. When we speak to each other, we speak in specifics, not generalities. When decisions are made in terms of prioritizing time, children's activities come before our own. When our personal growth time is infringed upon, we have that time made up in other ways.

Their Effectiveness in Managing this Situation: Poor. All boundaries were adhered to, but I still felt taken advantage of, violated, disrespected.

New Boundaries Needed: Current trust boundaries were insufficient in managing the event. Will need to adjust as follows:

Old Boundary: When we speak to each other, we speak in specifics, not generalities.
New Boundaries: When we communicate, all questions will be answered in specifics. When we communicate, will make every effort to offer all relevant information without having to be asked for it. An omission of information will be treated the same as a lie. We will each subscribe to a policy of absolute honesty towards each other. With these boundaries in place, an assumption of trust will exist.

This is the level of awareness/assessment that you will want to engage in at least once a day for the next month if you are to master the practical application of boundaries in your life. There is no such thing as a 'good day' where no events take place. There is only a lack of priority on your part to develop this awareness.

Ongoing working on this.

Mastering Boundary Awareness: In Others

Quote:
In the previous lesson, you took time out to explore the value system/boundary system of someone you care about. Someone who is important to you. This exercise in 'empathy' is valuable if you were indeed able to connect with that loved one's value system. However, even in your best effort, you will still be limited by your own perceptions, values, skills, etc. To master this boundary awareness, you will need to allow THEM to share their values/boundaries unfiltered.

If it is safe for both of you, ask this person to explore these things with you. Ask them to share their values and boundaries openly and with pride...with you taking a passive, inquisitive role only. If it is not safe to do this with that person, choose someone else. Someone non-threatening. Your primary goal here is to sit back and listen to how someone else is striving to manage their life.

Now, you will find this exercise much more rewarding if it can be completed with a close loved one; but if that is not possible...find a way of completing it with someone less threatening. A friend. A coworker. Someone in a support group. Find a way of seeing their life through THEIR eyes — WITHOUT attaching your personal perceptions, judgments and/or values to that life. Just allow them to share, asking questions only to clarify their boundaries — if needed.

In your recovery thread, briefly share who the person you interviewed was (relationship, not name). If this person is close to you, share two or three of their most important boundaries that you will maintain an awareness of as the relationship moves forward.

I did this with my wife and found it super interesting. It was stuff we had gone over before, but still great to do again anyway.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Urge Control: Awareness

Recovery Nation - Urge Control: Awareness

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-Three

Lesson 43 Exercise:

Quote:
There are two tools you are encouraged to use in helping to develop efficient urge awareness skills.

A. The first tool is the Community Support Forum. Use this forum to discuss your urges, receive support and guidance, and learn from the experiences of others in their urge awareness development.

I've been using my self-recovery journal if that is what this means.

Quote:
B. The second is the Urge Control Awareness Form. Use this form any time that you have experienced a 'significant' compulsive urge. This form will facilitate the process of developing the right awareness needed to accurately process each urge.

Read and bookmarked.

Quote:
C. Review this form now and ask any questions you may have about it in your recovery thread. Click here

No questions yet. I'm sure as I use it there may be some, but I'm good for now.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Urge Control: Your Core Identity

Recovery Nation - Urge Control: Your Core Identity

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-Four

Exercise 44

Quote:
For a moment, imagine your life apart from your physical being...apart from your possessions...apart from your friends, your family and every other living being. What you are left with is your core identity. It is who you are. It is this identity that then allows you to relate to your physical self, your friends, your family... As you know by now, part of the role you must fulfill in transitioning away from addiction is to rebuild your core identity. This core identity — and your ability to isolate the addiction from it — is critical to urge control.

A. Describe in your recovery thread the role that your core identity will play in helping you to establish/maintain a healthy life.

The role of my core identity is to assign value and judgement to my emotional responses and to build a habit of responding positively to those actions that reinforce my pre-determined values and boundaries.

Quote:
B. Describe the role that value-based experiences will play in further developing your core identity.

Those experiences need to be evaluated by my core identity and then determined to be either in alignment with my values and boundaries or not and dealt with accordingly.

Quote:
C. Take some time to examine the current state of your core identity. How in tune with it are you? When you engage in activity that is destructive, what role does your core identity play in that decision? How is it affected by the consequences of that decision?

I’m slightly more in tune with it than I have been in the past, that is for sure, but not nearly as much as I would like to be. Right now when I engage in a thought that is destructive it first starts out with a break and reading my values and boundaries and it feels like only at that point does my core identity come into play where it really resonates with the items on those lists and calls out to act within them rather than with the immediate emotional satisfaction would have desired.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:20 am
Posts: 71
Recovery Nation - Urge Control: Isolating the Emotions

Recovery Nation - Urge Control: Isolating the Emotions

Recovery Workshop: Lesson Forty-Five

Lesson 45 Exercise:

Quote:
I. Identifying the impact of emotions in compulsive urges is essential to objectifying that urge. In previous exercises, you have identified compulsive rituals that presented a linear look at your emotional state across a single action. In this lesson, you are being asked to isolate those emotional elements to the point where action can be taken that will break the chain itself.

A. Map a compulsive ritual that is based on your unique behavior. Ensure that you identify at least five elements that are involved in stimulating your emotions during this act. If you would like, use the following worksheet to help you: Mapping a Compulsive Ritual

  • Targeting and scanning (in public and people that I know)
    • Emotion: None noted
      • Be out at a restaurant with family
    • Emotion: Distraction (likely wanting to be alone and introverted)
      • Maybe over socialized. It is likely, but I don’t remember the exact feeling before this happens. I wish I did now have a better recollection of that. It was likely overstimulation from social activity.
    • Emotion: Excitement, annoyance, guilt
      • Notice waitress (well, everyone notices her) dressed in very right dress
    • Emotion: Guilt, shame
      • Have hard time keeping my eyes off her
    • Emotion: Distraction
      • Try and fail to just focus on folks at the table
    • Emotion: Anticipation, excitement, guilt, shame
      • When home, look up name of restaurant on Facebook and Instagram to see if I could find images of her
    • Emotion: Excitement, guilt, shame
      • Fail, but end up looking at images of other random women online because I’m already in a bad place
    • Emotion: Guilt, shame, disgust, anger, sadness, fear
      • Finally stop and feel ashamed and guilty for both doing this in person at the restaurant and also for stalking behavior at home
    • Emotion: Guilt, shame, disgust, fear
      • If doing this in private browsing mode, just close browser. If not, clean up history, etc. Also delete search history on social media sites.
    • Emotion: Guilt, shame
      • Feel ashamed and guilty again.
Quote:
B. For each element, consider the likely impact that removing that element from the chain would have on the remainder of the event. Remember, decreasing immediate emotional pleasure (through guilt, fear, suspense, anxiety) is a technique used to ultimately increase the overall pleasure experienced during the act.

  • Targeting and scanning (in public and people that I know)
    • Be out at a restaurant with family
      • Deciding to not join them would make me sad and likely hungry.
    • Maybe over socialized. It is likely, but I don’t remember the exact feeling before this happens. I wish I did now have a better recollection of that. It was likely overstimulation from social activity.
      • Deciding to not join them would make me sad and likely hungry.
    • Notice waitress (well, everyone notices her) dressed in very right dress
      • Hard not to notice as they are serving us food. If another wait staff were to replace them suddenly I'd feel relieve and also tension from wanting to see them again.
    • Have hard time keeping my eyes off her
      • Same as above: Hard not to notice as they are serving us food. If another wait staff were to replace them suddenly I'd feel relieve and also tension from wanting to see them again.
    • Try and fail to just focus on folks at the table
      • Removing this element would mean just giving in and looking? I guess it would bring increased excitement and accomplishment, but also increased shame and guilt.
    • When home, look up name of restaurant on Facebook and Instagram to see if I could find images of her
      • Removing this means an increased pressure/anxiety. Maybe depression too at cutting this off.
    • Fail, but end up looking at images of other random women online because I’m already in a bad place
      • Same as the last one.
    • Finally stop and feel ashamed and guilty for both doing this in person at the restaurant and also for stalking behavior at home
      • Removing this would mean alleviating some guilt and shame feelings.
    • If doing this in private browsing mode, just close browser. If not, clean up history, etc. Also delete search history on social media sites.
      • Same as last one.
    • Feel ashamed and guilty again.
      • Again, same as last one.
Quote:
C. At what point in the chain is the 'point of no return'? The point where you know that you will be completing the act. Share this in your recovery thread. In the previous exercise, you were to reinforce your ability to identify separate emotional elements in a single compulsive ritual. Here, you will begin to isolate those emotions from your core identity.

The point of no return here for having total completion of this ritual is likely opening a private browsing tab, knowing that I'm following up the ritual by trying to stalk them online.

Quote:
D. Consider the element identified just prior to 'the point of no return'. This is the element that you will want to isolate and use as your primary trigger for breaking a compulsive urge. Eventually, you can isolate multiple elements, and thus create multiple points where a compulsive event can be effectively stopped, but for now we will focus solely on this one element.

That would then be:

  • Try and fail to just focus on folks at the table
Quote:
E. With the element isolated from the ritual, begin to see this element in terms of the role it plays in perpetuating the compulsive event. For instance, if the element is 'an attractive woman smiled at me in a public place'...and this element triggers the fantasies that lead to stalking, then it will be the emotional elements experienced with the woman smiling at you that will be your focus. This is the element just prior to 'the point of no return' — which in this case, happens to be the fantasizing. The role, then, that this element (the woman smiling at you) plays is to trigger fantasy.

OK, I think that the role the above element plays is also triggering fantasy.

Quote:
F. Once the role of the individual element has been identified and isolated from the whole of the experience, it is time to evaluate what is the best action to take in response to this trigger. That will be the point of the next lesson. For now, begin intellectually putting all of the pieces (emotions, values, ritualistic chains, artificial stimulation, etc.) together to solve the puzzle of your addiction. Because it will be when you have mastered the integration of these parts into a functional life management strategy, when you will have put yourself in a position to eliminate the pattern of addiction from your life.

It appears that dealing with the triggering of fantasy is going to be important to me. Knowing that the very beginning of that creates a kind of feeling of excitement that can then be a reminder of a break point and to review values and boundaries sounds like a good thing.

Quote:
II. Document A, C, and D in your recovery thread, but feel free to write your thoughts on any other part as well.

Shared it all.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 74 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group