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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 8:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 53
Lesson 43: Urge Control 1. Awareness

I feel that I have regained some momentum in the programme after falling behind recently. That's encouraging, especially in the current circumstances.

I really found this lesson helpful. To be honest, I missed the instruction earlier in the workshop about stopping and taking out my values list every time I felt an urge. I've no idea how. Maybe I was just rushing through it too quickly and trying to get on to the next lesson. Anyway, as a result I have created a list on my phone with my top 15 values, so it's always to hand, and will definitely put this into practice from now on. I do feel that my values are strong enough, but if I'm not actively confronting myself with them at the appropriate times then they just wont help.

I've also created a paper version of the Urge Awareness worksheet and will have that to hand so that I can access it when needed. I sense that these are really key areas for me to move forward to the next level. The idea of creating a 'break' feels especially vital for me to exercise in a conscious and intentional fashion.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
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Lesson 44: Urge Control. My core identity

A. Describe in your recovery thread the role that your core identity will play in helping you to establish/maintain a healthy life.
I like the concept of a core identity. As the lesson warns though, I can too easily be drawn into thinking about this in an all-or-nothing manner, i.e. that my core identity beforehand was completely dysfunctional and that I didn’t have any worthwhile values, etc. And that I need to totally rebuild my core identity. In reality that’s just not true. My core identity is already made up of a wide range of values that I have applied throughout my life (maybe not explicitly or consciously) – in some areas far more effectively than others. Yes, my core identity has been badly damaged, but this is not a total rebuild job from the ground up. Unfortunately, over time and through repeated failure in this part of my life, the extreme sense of shame and disgrace have caused me to think that my core identity is somehow inextricably fused with me being an addict and being fundamentally broken and unable to recover. Because that has been so strong, it has seeped into other areas of my life (especially recently) and caused me to question myself in many other aspects of my existence too. I need to really work at isolating my addiction from my core identity, and recognising that it is not fundamentally damaged or broken in any way.

B. Describe the role that value-based experiences will play in further developing your core identity.
I was really disappointed that I had missed the instruction earlier in the workshop about taking out my values list and re-reading it every time I felt the urge to act out. I can see how this is a really powerful tool, and one that I need to start applying consistently and rigorously. Doing that will train me into making rational, conscious decisions based on my values rather than my emotions, and will reinforce to me that my core identity is not set in stone as an addict who can never achieve long lasting recovery. I need to draw on the sense of positivity and fulfilment that I get from value-based experiences (such as a walk in the mountains) and apply that across all areas of my life.

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 am coming to recognise that my current core identity is pretty badly damaged. I have become very in tune recently with a warped sense of my identity as that of a sex addict who cannot recover – especially in the days and weeks after relapsing. I find it very easy to tune into that thinking, which then seeps into other areas of my life and starts me down the path of beating myself up over pretty much anything that I am doing. I need to recognise that the addiction is just a part (a very destructive part) of my identity, and is not synonymous with my whole core identity. I feel as if I have lost touch with the essence of who I am, and this is slowly helping me to see that I can live in a healthy and intentional way informed by my values. I have rebuilt a huge amount of my core identity over the time since I first entered into recovery and left behind the most destructive behaviours. But sadly some of this work has been undone over the past few years and I have come to the realisation that I need to make a total and complete break with compulsive behaviours. They are just way too destructive for my core identity, and leave me feeling lacking in confidence, self esteem and the ability to help others – one of my core values. Addiction is NOT compatible with my core identity anymore.


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