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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 63
Location: Canada
Lesson 3 from Sex Addiction 101

Examples of my powerlessness over my sexual behaviours:

A.) Even though I cause pain to my Wife, I continued to keep secrets and lie about my activities on my phone.
B.) Even though I suffer from intimacy anorexia with my Wife, I continued to hit on attractive women at the store hoping to get some sort of satisfaction.
C.) Even though I have been given warnings in the past for sexual distractions on my phone at work, I continued to choose and make the distractions

Examples of unmanageability (problems and consequences) related to my acting out

A.) I no longer have the freedom with online use because of my acting out. Crosses the boundaries that my Wife and I discussed.
B.) My emotional state has to always be slowed down to rational thinking with real life outcomes instead of just numbing the pain like the past.
C.) I no longer have the full trust I once had by my Wife because of my actions in the past.

Am I still feeling powerless over my sexual behaviours, because of this, how do I feel towards that?

I no longer feel powerless, because I have many people who have my back and can help. This recovery/healthy living forum, SA group members, my Wife, and God. I have also learned that my emotions don't get to control my decisions because those decisions have real life consequences that effect more than just myself.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 63
Location: Canada
Lesson 29

A non sex addiction prelude to Lesson 29

Recently my closest sister was diagnosed with a fairly severe case of cancer.

After losing both of my parents to cancer this news hit me hard. I had many sleepless nights. Remembering this lesson stumped or challenged me back when I got to it, I chose to put myself in a state of feeling for this news.

The emotions I thought brought me to a place of seclusion, loneliness, isolation, fear and the inevitable "what if".

Through these thoughts I remembered the pain and suffering I went through losing my parents. I was only 23 when I lost my mom. My dad was a long distance truck driver and was barely home, so we never connected nor did I feel super close to him. This left me afraid, alone and scared. The one person I could rely on was my sister. However she lived a province away. This made things difficult.
I made poor decisions in the state of denial and acceptance of my state of health I was in. I was in a major depression for 3 years, choosing addiction over healthy life styles with no remorse.
My sister was there for me though. She put me first. So hearing this news during a time like now is a hard pill to swallow. I want to be there for her. But restrictions make it impossible.
The fear of this disease seeming to be in my families genes scares the living *&$@ out of me as well. It makes me fear the future. It also makes me second guess many things in my life including value or worth.
On the flipside it makes me want to eat healthier and to be active. However my previous lifestyle habits has made this change a difficult one.
I fear losing her and my mind doesn't want to accept that possibility, but doing this in my past made me isolate myself, establish great regrets, and cause negative cycles of how to manage my life and my emotions.
I allowed myself to cry in fear. But picked myself back up with a hopeful outlook. Trying to remain positive and supportive of my sister.
I am going to attempt to learn from what I did or didn't do in the past. Especially speaking about this with my therapist.
I learned that my past is still very much with me and it is very much present. I am however learning from my addiction and am able for the most part to feel, listen, understand and choose how to react or respond to events at this stage in my life.
I am struggling still however and have found some tools here on RN to assist in my continued recovery.

My take away is I only remember pain and hurt from growing up. It seems to over shadow the joys. I am going to focus on remembering the happiness and less about the negatives. Perhaps that will lessen the anger I feel and act.

It's good to be back and it is also good to see so many new people posting and making recovery their first choice.

Lesson 29 - engaging my compulsive behaviour

In times of a high emotional state that have lead to relapse or caused a trigger and created a decision to choose between continued sobriety or a relapse, the feelings or emotions I feel are as follows:

Eyes closed. Deep in thought....

* Why am I like this?
* Why do I deserve to be happy?
* I don't have value.
* No one I know understands me.
* This life is worthless.
* Why does God hate me?
* What is it I am supposed to do or be in life?
* Because I have no value, I deserve to be used and abused. Even by myself.
* Everyone I have been close to has been ripped away from me
* Why should I allow myself to be vulnerable when I'm certain to be hurt again?
* I feel so alone or I'm destined to be alone.
* God's going to rip me away from my Wife and Children before I'm ready or they are ready.
* The joy I feel from my addiction feels so good during it but it never lasts nor is it real. It's a fake short term escape from my real emotions that will still be there in the end.
* Why do I value others even less than my addiction?
* Am i even happy at all?
* Can I achieve happiness? Accomplishment?
* I live in a state of doubt.

These are many questions or thoughts that run through my mind each time I'm in a highly emotional state. These thoughts used to cripple me instantly. They seem to be sinking in more lately too as this virus sticks around. I'm very thankful that I took my recovery serious this attempt as I learned how to read through these thoughts and think, feel and rationalize them as I feel them lately.
This is the only reason I haven't relapsed yet Also having my therapy, group meetings and other recovering addicts to discuss my feelings with.

The highest state of anxiety has happened twice.
1.) The passing of my mother. I ran as fast as I could away from her hospital room and blacked out and fell from hyperventilating. Waking up in a separate room with a doctor and my brother by my side.
2.) Hearing the words "i want a divorce" from my wife. Even though it caused a great deal of pain, sadness, guilt and shane, I wasn't equipped to manage my emotions to make the change I needed. I continued to be a liar full of deceit.

Last edited by FreedomRequired on Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:08 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 63
Location: Canada
Lesson 30

I understand this is a mental exercise to ingrain these thoughts into a learned behaviour. I am going to practice this step as intended.

I however immediately and instantly became aware that I am completely able to use value based emotions when I interact with my children 100% of the time. I do this to protect them and to teach them right from wrong.

Not only am I going to pay attention to my emotions and my values personally but I am going to think deeper about why I am able to use value based decisions for my children all of the time but not for myself. That tells me that I value their lives more than I value my own.

It's time to value my life equally to others. I have importance. I am important. I am still a child in this life regardless of my age with so much more to learn and experience and I deserve to do it in a healthy manner. What's just as important is that anyone I unintentionally or even intentionally pull into my addiction deserves the same regard. Their life is just as important as mine and they don't deserve to have the negative mind altering experience that a sex addict can cause them to experience.

This is odd to read in a way. In my addiction I have been able to keep certain boundaries. In no way is this a judgement towards anyone else in this forum or this life. I have been able to not cross lines where my addiction would involve paying for sex or sexual acts including prostitutes and I do not tolerate harming minors. I'm not sure how I have been able to keep that line drawn and not cross it with so much ease, as I know addiction is a cycle of arousal. The more I use one stimulating experience, the less it becomes arousing and so I would need to move onto something more stimulating.

Anyway, I'll end my verbal diarrhea here and begin the process of mentally putting my value based decisions and emotional based decisions to battle in the arena of my mind.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:25 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 443

You have stumbled across a few interesting thoughts there including
That tells me that I value their lives more than I value my own.

A common mistake made by addicts is that they have no control over their acting out and for a SA this revolves around them supposedly having no interest in the effect or impact that acting out will have on their values. This is complete nonsense as the feelings of guilt and remorse that we all have after acting out is because we do run the act through our value sets but the problem is that a SA will do that afterwards rather than before. So what you are being taught in the current lessons is about having an awareness now so that you can learn not to block out that filtering process that a healthy person would do almost without thinking. The fact that you know you instinctively do that in relation to your kids and that there are certain boundaries you have (e.g. Not paying for it) shows that this is all learned behaviour rather than being something you were born with - what you have learned you can therefore unlearn. This should give you encouragement that you are on the right path and that recovery is perfectly achievable.

It is nice to have these lightbulb moments as you go through the lessons.


A clean life; a clear conscience

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 63
Location: Canada
Sitting here after having a visit with my therapist.

I wanted to write out my thoughts.

Life is like a carousel on a roller coaster. So many spins and ups and downs you never really know what direction you'll be going, even if you're an organized planner.

Stresses in my life currently:

- My sister has been diagnosed with a severe type of cancer and is going through treatment.
- My adult step son has finally been able to have his ex gf served court documents for guardianship and rights to his 4 month old son, which she hasn't allowed him to see or hold.
- My adult step son is a massive pothead who suffers with several mental health issues especially adhd which causes his intellectual level of maturity to be way lower than his actual age. Which causes all sorts of stress and anxiety for me at home because it also includes oppositional defiance.
- Finances
- Self health doubts and worry coming from my family genes involving cancer.
- Sexual health/addiction is always a concern as this is why I'm here.

I'm trying as best as I can to release these feelings onto God but also at the same time trying to release them each and everytime I visit my therapist.

I feel like a fresh start some where would do me and my family good. Some where warm sunny and off the grid. Minimalistic and with less stress. However this is mostly an unrealistic achievement at this time and in the end is this my habit of moving to a fantasy world that is coming into play here?

Perhaps I just need to lessen the load and cut out some of these needs I have that come with costs so that i can catch up on my other financial woes.

I should wake up early each day and put meditation into my life. Learning how to breath, find peace. At the same time coming closer to God.
I need to put exercise into my daily activity, helping to release some built up stress.
I need to choose healthier foods and a proper diet.
I need to choose better sleeping habits.
I need to separate work life from home life
I need to enjoy my family

- I'm not sure what the result will be for my sister, but I plan on being there for her every step of the way. No matter how hard it is for me, because it is certainly harder for her.
- I support my Son and recognize his mental health issues. However, I will not pit up with being used and abused by him. Nor will I allow him to do that to my Wife and kids. I have to find a healthy balance for this. Setting boundaries and expectations of him. While also guiding him towards supports for him such as a therapist and also seeking healthcare assistance from his doctor and any specialists who can help him.
- I will make a conscious decision to pay off bills one at a time while still keeping up with my other bills.
- I need to work towards getting over my addiction for unhealthy foods. I need to eat better so that I don't fall into the same cycle of cancer diagnosis for myself.
- My recovery deserves to be top priority. I deserve it and so does my family. No more putting it in a lesser role in my life.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 63
Location: Canada
Lesson 30 Pt. 2

I've had a constant need to masturbate lately. I may or may not bring myself to getting to the full release of the feeling of pleasure. It really depends on how much I'm in my own mind. Sometimes it's to thoughts/pictures of my Wife and sometimes it's to others and sometimes I think it's actually the "normal" part of a person's life.... (I say "normal" VERY loosely)

In my values vs emotions I have learned that it is my emotions that are purely driving this action. After putting this lesson into action I have realized that the values I have in my sexual health and sobriety and also including the intimacy that I crave with my Wife are being affected in a hugely negative manner by continuing these actions.

The values I want is a healthy life in every way. I also want and need an natural intimate relationship with my Wife.

If I continue to do the above I am causing a bigger rift between those goals and myself. I am harming myself and I am harming my Wife as well as our marriage and relationship.

I have realized some triggers causing this and I have made moves towards blocking those triggers.

This is the only way to move forward in my life.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:22 am
Posts: 63
Location: Canada
All I can say is WOW!

This lesson has been the one lesson that really hit home for reality in my recovery of my addictions.

I have some major stressors in my life lately and they've been constant for some time.

1.) The stress my (step) son brings to my life.
A.) He does not respect his family or his parents
B.) His life is out of control
C.) He can't hold a job long term
D.) He's only 21 and already in financial ruin
E.) He smokes way too much weed
F.) He has mental health issues that he ignores
G.) He does not take ownership of his wrong doing
H.) He feels entitled to everything
I.) He does not do anything to help
J.) He has no moral compass

2.) My sister's cancer diagnosis and the unknown of this.

3.) Finances.

4.) My sexual sobriety and healthy life which is majorly affected by the above.

5.) My psychotic neighbour who has threatened my Wife's job and livelihood.

On a rating scale I would rate each of these as the following:

#1 is an extreme stressor
#2 is a severe stressor
#3 is a mild stressor
#4 is a moderate stressor
#5 is a moderate stressor

Returning to my values list to continue this lesson...

To answer this lesson accurately is tough.

One of my values is to be as good a Father as I can be. When my son is as challenging as he is, it is hard not to become stressed by this. I feel like I am dealing with it in a healthy manner as I am talking openly about how I feel mentally, physically and spiritually over this with my Wife and my therapist. It is hard to talk to him directly as he doesn't acknowledge or take ownership over these things.

Spiritually I feel like I have reached out to God for guidance, hope and faith in my Sister's situation. It is still a learning process to believe here but I am trying.

The remainder is still a stress on my life because I haven't put my full effort into continuing my pursuit of achieving the necessary achievements to make stressors 3 to 5 less stressing. However I have now learned that they are still stressors because of my unwillingness to change and grow further at this point. It is time to make that change.

#5 however is a stress that is much harder to resolve. It's an outside source that we have tried to have resolved but the ways in which we can do so are not very helpful. The only real way to resolve this is to move. That process is much harder to achieve than a simple for sale sign.

In order to conquer a goal there must be willingness to achieve and courage to pursue that goal.

It has been so good to be back working on me. The positivity that comes to me from this recovery workshop is insurmountable.

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