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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 15
Lesson 15: Perceiving your Addiction

1. 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.

- One example is about the idea of tracking my progress and my behavior and seeing how my daily life aligns with the values that I want to have. What I have learned and tried to put into practice is about making it practical. Meaning not just some vague idea like, be more spiritual, but the actionable task should be something like pray every day. On top of this, reviewing how I have been doing must be practical as well - so not trying to spend too much time to review in detail how I succeeded or didn't succeed with my values today - because that will be too ambitious, and likely to get skipped, but rather to just do a quick review to see how I'm doing.

- Another example that I catch but do not always act upon is about absolute honesty. The idea is that honesty is not just about telling the truth and not just about not telling lies, but it is about putting yourself in the other person's shoes and thinking about what things I'm doing that they would want to know about, and what things am I doing that would upset the other person. So not creating a space where I know I can avoid the topic or discussing some action I'm doing, but looking directly at the actions I am taking and being honest with myself as to what kind of person I am being, and to be willing and open to the other person about what I am doing. I have been able to realize more and more when I am doing this, but I haven't always been able to share completely with my girlfriend about it. It is something I am aware of and need to work on a bit more.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
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Lesson 16: Understanding Addiction I

Consider the positive role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served? (Think short-term, not long.)

The purpose of this exercise is to demystify the addiction and understand from a practical standpoint why this path was chosen. The positive aspects of addiction are that it allowed me to deal with stress and negative emotions. It gave me a way to at least temporarily escape from the problems and stress of life. It gave me something to do when I was bored. It was something that was always there for me, and I didn't have to rely on the feelings or reactions of another person. It was something I could do on my own, when I needed it. It was something that I could do in secret and always hide and keep from others and allowed me to live a normal life on the surface.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 15
Lesson 17: Understanding Addiction II

- Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in and identify the elements of this ritual.

- I would like to look at my most common ritual, which involves pornography and masturbation. There is normally some kind of trigger, either a thought pops in to my head or something attractive / sexual that I see on the internet causes me to want to act out. So there is some (small) amount of fantasy to visualize some stimulating image that I have looked at recently, that I then want to look at and experience again. At this point lingering on the fantasy, and depending on how much I fight it or redirect it, I eventually may give in and go to the internet to begin searching for pornography and stimulating images. Danger is there in terms of knowing that this is something I don't want to do but do want to do, and recognizing the potential consequences - and thinking about how I can get away with this act without telling anyone, and be able to avoid "lying" about it by just not talking about it. So for example I would seek out doing this late at night after my girlfriend is already asleep, to hopefully not get any questions about it, in the frame of - "what have you been up to?" There is suspense in looking up the most stimulating images, and the potential for finding new and more exciting images and videos that match what I am attracted to. There is sensory stimulation in the act of masturbation and attempting to last as long as possible and enjoy as many images as possible, there is accomplishment in finding a very attractive and stimulating image. This sense of accomplishment is often met with more desire to find an even more stimulating image - it is never enough. There is also orgasm at the end, which almost immediately brings with it guilt and shame and thoughts about how I will continue to move forward from here, how will I continue to try and stop this habit and where am I now? How far did I go, how does this measure up in my overall perception of myself and this addiction, am I getting worse, is there hope? There are all these kinds of thoughts at the end when reality sets in and I give myself a moment to think about what I have just done. Poly-Addiction is present in that I will often go to some other enjoyable, but to me shameful, activity where my threshold for giving-in is lower. This is to sometimes (unknowningly?) soften myself up to give in to pornography and masturbation later. So I would in the past use video games, more recently use time-wasting videos on netflix or youtube that are not stimulating necessarily but allow me to waste time and procrastinate doing things that I should be productively doing, so it gives me a release to boredom, laziness, that is at least part of the root of my sexual addiction. After spending some time doing these non productive things, My willpower can be softened and I often will eventually just give in to pornography and masturbation.


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