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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:40 am 
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[b]Lesson 10 Exercises:

IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behavior. List these items and their locations in your Recovery Thread. If you are uncomfortable sharing this in the forum, email or PM the list to a Coach.


I don't have anything 'stashed away' as its my cell phone or laptop which is used for engaging in porn.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object. Post this in your thread.


Its escort sites and then Porn sites.

VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/romantically compulsive behavior. Post this list in your thread.

1. Viewing porn can happen anywhere but most commonly
(1) At my office in the middle of the day when bored, lonely , tired, stressed
(2) in the evening when I am away from home with work and I have 'free time'
(3) At home when I find myself alone or an opportunity arises and I feel a sense of excitedness that I can 'escape'
(4) In my car - again when I am away and have time to myself

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:45 am 
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It feels good to be back here on RN.
I had my longest period of sobriety and most importantly felt that I was finally moving to a better place when I had (partially) completed the lessons in the past.
I made a commitment a couple of weeks ago to COMMIT to the program and am glad to report that (although the holiday season impacted somewhat) things are going well - RN is a real eye opener and reminder as to what is REALLY happening in my head and how any type of addiction can grow and fester.
I am definitely more 'present' and actually enjoying life a little more (even though life still throws upset at me (family issues/ health issues/ finance issues etc.) but that is life - I see it is so much better to be able to manage lifes curve balls without the added issue of guilt weighing down on me.
Hppy New Year to all.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:45 am 
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Location: Ireland
Lesson 12 Exercise:
I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.


This excercise was bit of an eye opener for me and not in a pleasant way- Idefinitely recognise myself as someone who makes progress and then wishes to 'get on with life' and coasts for a while and then slips and relapses.
It is no way to live.
Reading that lesson is a reminder to me that as in most things in life you get out hat you put it in and if you put in half measures than thats what you can expect out.
I restarted this program a few days before the holidays so it has been a little stop start but enough to keep me headed in the right direction. I am grateful for it as it has helped me to stay present with my family over this Christmas.
I also understand that just 'doing' the lessons is not good enough - I need to digest them and think about them and their particular significance to me.

Two quotes that stood out to me
Quote:
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...


and most powerfully

Quote:
And if you do happen to see many of your thoughts/behaviors listed in one of the unhealthy categories...you will need to make some decisions as to whether or not you want to explore the possibility of changing these thoughts/behaviors...or whether you want to take a chance on being one of the rare exceptions that display the patterns, but not the fate


I a have been guilty of this and when I read the above quote from Coach Jon the hairs stood up on the back of my neck because I relate to it - I could be guilty of [wishing] that I am one of teh rare ones - that I can display teh cahracteristics but ultimately walk out of this unscathed.
Thats the emotional part pof by brain that pushes that theory but its the logical part (the part that I am using now) that sees that all as a lie - If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
Its tough to admit that I have a real problem and being consistent is admission of that fact - every day.
The amazing thing with recovery though is that rather than spend my energy struggling with behaviours that bring chaos - Recovery helps to direct that energy to building better foundations around my values.
I've seen in the last few weeks how my life is better, more enjoyable, less chaotic when my focus is directed on the things that really matter to me. This lesson is a timely reminder of how and why things have gone wong for me in the past and if I dont continue to be consistent I will be the proverbial duck.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:34 am 
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Location: Ireland
Lesson 13 Exercises:
I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.


1. I keep picking myself up and returning to recovery based principles no matter how often I have fallen in the past.
2. I am as committed as I have been in the past but am now more consistent
3. I am starting to see myself "as someone who once used compulsive behaviours to manage my life rather than someone who is managing their life with compulsive behaviours"
4. I am more hoest than I have ever been
5. I am investing time and energy in my values system and reaping the rewards
6. I am recognising that this is a journey not a destination and the pitfalls that surround me which I have fallen into many times before - again its not that I dont always know about them - I have but being consistent with recovery means that I think about them more - for example now when I have a few spare minutes at night rather than reading my newsfeed I find myself logging onto RN or similar to read a post - this helps to inspire me, keep me on the right path and helps me 'think' a little more about my values and where I am derving my emotional stimulation from
7. I show a real desire to change
8. I recognise how destructive it is to keep beating myslf up and make an effort not to do that but to instead focus on gratitude and all I have to benefit from.


II. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If yes, wonderful. If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving/managing your recovery? Share your thoughts in the community forum.

Yes my prioritized values are aligned with healthy patterns acting out with porn or other desructive compulsive behaviours is not aligned with any of my values and is obviously why I feels such a disconnect whne engaging with them - one part of me feels 'compelled' to engage but the other part is pulling the other direction. I need to 'feed the right wolf' and I think keeping a card of my written values in my pocket and on my phone is a good idea that I think I read about somewhere else in the workshop.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:39 am 
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Exercise Fourteen
I. Develop your Daily Monitoring list. Construct it in some sort of word processing document (Word, Notepad, Wordpad, etc.) so that you may update it as needed. Post this list into your Recovery Thread.


1. Did I carry myself as a person worthy of respect today?
2. Did I engage in any compulsive behavior today?
o If yes, did I maintain an awareness of the elements involved?
o Did I create a break as soon as I became aware of that ritual?
o If no, did I role play a past or possible future compulsive ritual to ingrain confidence in my ability to manage these rituals?
3. Did I initiate at least one meaningful conversation with my wife today?
o If not, how many days has it been since I have?
4. Was I attentive to my wife's needs today?
5. Was I truthful in everything I shared with my wife today?
6. How much time did I spend with each child today?
o Was it quality time for each of us?
o Did I remember to fully invest myself in the moment?
7. Did I yell at the kids today? Was yelling the appropriate option to choose in that situation? Or was it just the easiest?
8. Did I follow through with everything that I said I was going to do today?
9. Did I maintain a conscious awareness of how emotionally connected I was with each member of my family (e.g through conversation, shared activity, spontaneous affection or otherwise?)
10. Did I roleplay at least one reactive action plan today?
11. How would I describe my overall emotional balance and stability at the moment?
12. Did I do my shoulder strengthening exercises today?

Other than number 12, these are a direct copy of Coach Jons - I struggled with ciopying that or a while and re read them but as they are all teh most important values that I want to strengthen at the moment I will use thenm for teh next 2 weeks and add in or take away something that is no longer appropriate.
All the above are focused on my family, my wife and myself - the things that I need to focus more on - working and wasting time on newsfeeds etc come automatically - I am happy that I am someone who naturally gravitates towards doing some work but want to wean myself off cecking news sights.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:56 am 
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Location: Ireland
[b]Lesson 15 Exercises:
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. Share this in your personal thread.[/b

I would'nt say that I have learned anything new (as I have been 4/5 through the program before) but I have been reminded of many things that are valuable.
Not least how leaving porn behind leave sa void in my life and if it is not filled with my values it will refill with Porn and other compulsive behaviours.

I have been reminded how consistency is key - some people have the initial 'd day' when the shit hits teh fan and they are motivated to recover recover recover but that momentum will soon shift. Slow and steady wins the race is a better system for recovery.

I credit RN with the period in my life that not only held the longest period of sobriety but also made the most sense - I was motivated and working on my values and first the first time in a long time "did'nt WANT to escape using compulsive behaviours"
I was consistent with not just the lessons but also implementing the teachings into my life.

As teh saying goes "it works if you work it"......I stopped working it and began an on again off again recovery effort that has lasted years.

Going through teh lessons again reminds me to find a system that works 'recovery' into my life - even the short 5 minute a day daily monitoring has an incredible effect on my awareness and mindset.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:47 am 
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The daily Monitoring has been going well for me - I do it forst thing in the morning and it definitely helps me keep my prioritoes in order. Last night however I was watching amovoe with my wife - a sex scene triggered me and as I was later falling asleep I developed a fantasy about an ex co worker who had always let it be known that she was available for an affair - I was tempted but Thank fully never acted on those invites - however the thought of her pops up in my head from time to time.
I think she popped into my head last night because (a) I was sexually triggered watching that sex scene in the movie and (2) it has been weeks since viewing Porn or MB and that is always a difficult time for me in the cycle.

Part of the daily monitoring poses the question:
Quote:
If no, did I role play a past or possible future compulsive ritual to ingrain confidence in my ability to manage these rituals?


The answer to that is No and rather than cut and paste my daily monitoring list I thought I may write up the above so that I am role playing it to some degree

Past or future compulsive ritual role played:

1. Watching TV, A sex scene or triggering scene/scenes are shown
2. Notice that I am being aroused - at first emotionaly - excitement, suspense, anticipation, desire and then physically
3. Start to enjoy the feel good chemical rush of endorphins and 'escape'
4. At the same time I know that this often does not lead to a good place - it is "feeding the wrong wolf" and may set me up for acting out in teh near future - it certainly does not strengthen my resolve to stay compulsive behaviour free - it weakens it BUT the dopamine hit feels good and is immediate - to hell with teh future consequences - sure nothing may happen - they are just thoughts
5. Feel dissapointed in myself for allowing those thoughts to develop - that dissapointment means more emotional imbalance - eventually - days or weeks later as the door has been opened a bit - act out
6. Feel terrible - it has happened again - Will I ever get out of this mess? Will it ever end? Will I spend the rest of my life being controlled by addiction?
7. Pick myself up and try and start over - but after the latest slip - it is hard and my energy is sapped.
8. Manage to get back on track and am encouraged by signs of prgress BUT know from experiece that a slip if not inevitable is indeed v likely

Past or future compulsive ritual role played:

1. Watching movie I am triggered by sexual scene or attractive woman
2. Notice the emotional triggers followed by the physical sensations and IMMEDIATELY remember what I am working on and how those feelings lead me down teh wrong path - I hav ebeen there before and it does not end well
3. Make a concious effort to think of something else - my values - remind myself why I DO NOT WANT TO ENGAGE in this scene/ with that actress as it is detrimental - ensure that I am feeding the "right" wolf
4. Look away from the TV and try to remember/list my top ten values
5. Notice how the fantasy is starting to pull me in and notice how I HAVE A CHOICE in those moments to focus on something else - I can get up and leave the room - I can close my eyes - I can focus on teh wall- I can catastrophy what viewing/fantasising about the scene will do to my marraige (I am quite happy to romanticise that getting lost in such a fantasy has No negative consequences whatsoever so I should also allow myself to catastrophy that it could have equally extreme consequencse - divorce, shame, isolation, regret, heartache.....
6. Remember that the scene will only last for less than 60 seconds
7. Remember that the emotional discomfort of 'not looking' is really not that high on the doscomfort scale - maybe a 5/6 out of 10?....
8. I look at the wall and count down from 60 bringing into focus my values
9. I am pleasantly surprised that it has worked - I am not controlled by the TV scene coupled with my fantasy - instead I am in control -
10. I go back to watching the movie and take great satisfaction in how far I have come

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:54 am 
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Lesson 16 Exercise:
I. Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)?

Understanding the functional role of your addiction is important in removing the power, mystery and fear from that addiction — to begin seeing it in terms of practicality, rather than as some kind of supernatural fate or disease that you are doomed to suffer.

Share a few positive aspects of your addiction in your recovery thread.


I can clearly see that fantasy mixed with porn mixed with masturbation has allowed me to 'escape' for a short time an emotional imbalance. When I feel lonely, tired, fed up or scared it has opened a window where I can climb out and achieve phsycial and mental stimulation and ecstacy.
Unfortately it is short lived and is always followed by despair.

It has allowed me to 'gift' myself powerful feelings and remove myself from a perceived difficult reality.
It has been an escape hatch - my wn personal one - no one else knows about it and it is always (well mostly) there ready for me when I 'need' it.



Quote:
addiction is not found in the behavior itself, but in the emotional processes that surround that behavior.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:17 am 
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Quote:
Lesson 17 Exercise:
I. Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread. It is important that you understand the principles involved in identifying the stimulating elements of compulsive rituals...so if you are not comfortable with this concept, ask questions! Also, recognize that the elements listed above are not the only elements associated with compulsive behavior. And so, you will want to identify those elements that are specifically related to YOUR compulsive behavior.


Compulsive behaviour:
Viewing Escort sites and mb
1. At the office feeling overwhelmed - a failure - things are not as good 'as they should be' PAST, FANTASY, DANGER
2. Recognise that I have the time and opportunity to view escort sites on my phone. DANGER, SUSPENSE, POWER, PAST, FANTASY
3. Recognise that I have time later this day to visit an escort and all the stimulation and excitement that will provide.= SENSORY, DANGER, SUSPENSE, POWER
4. Recognise that this is my need for immediate gratification thinking and that afterwards I will feel despair = PAST, DANGER
5. Fight it for a while but ultimately know that I am likely to give in = PAST, DANGER, EXCITEMENT, FANTASY
6. Pick up my phone - open the Escort sites and start to scroll through them = ACCOMPLISHMENT, FANTASY, SENSORY, DANGER, POWER
7. Pick one or two that seem to pique my greatest interest - including how they look, where they are located, what reviews they have etc. POWER, FANTASY, DANGER, SENSORY
8. I have come to a choice point either (a) call one of them an arrange to meet or (b) move to a porn site and mb = POWER, DANGER, FANTASY
9. As if in a last desperate attempt to not betray my wife (and self) I find a porn video and mb
10. Reach Orgasm = ORGASM, POWER, ACCOMPLISHMENT, FANTASY, RELIEF
11. Clean up , feel terrible, want to put it all behind me because I can't sit with the despair, dissapointment and fear of the future = PAST, DANGER, UPSET

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:41 am 
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Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 18
II. Consider one of your own compulsive rituals. Identify circumstances when each of the three filters (time, habituation and intensity) have come into play. Make sure that you understand each filter to the point where you are able to identify them as a ritual is being performed. Post these personal examples in your recovery thread.


Compulsive behaviour:
Viewing Escort sites and mb with TIME HABITUATION and INTENSITY
1. At the office feeling overwhelmed - a failure - things are not as good 'as they should be' PAST, FANTASY, DANGER - (TIME - Notice that in a way I am 'punishing' myself keeping the finger on teh trigger of feeling worthless, this could go on for hours until (a) I give in and act out or (b) something happens to break the pattern (such as an important work call that I have to take)
INTENSITY - I have allowed myself to feel disproportionately bad for what I have done or Not done/ achieved - remember the worse I feel the more of an 'escape' outlet I need to restore emotional balance
2. Recognise that I have the time and opportunity to view escort sites on my phone. DANGER, SUSPENSE, POWER, PAST, FANTASY
TIME - Sometimes I play with that time knowing that I am teetering on the edge - this can least hours
3. Recognise that I have time later this day to visit an escort and all the stimulation and excitement that will provide.= SENSORY, DANGER, SUSPENSE, POWER
4. Recognise that this is my need for immediate gratification thinking and that afterwards I will feel despair = PAST, DANGER
5. Fight it for a while but ultimately know that I am likely to give in = PAST, DANGER, EXCITEMENT, FANTASY
6. Pick up my phone - open the Escort sites and start to scroll through them = ACCOMPLISHMENT, FANTASY, SENSORY, DANGER, POWER - TIME - sometimes spend hours ringing aroyund different escorts getting a little dopamine hit at each call - even the sound of the phone ringing and anticipation of WHO wil anser, what will they sound like, will there be an immediate connection.....?
7. Pick one or two that seem to pique my greatest interest - including how they look, where they are located, what reviews they have etc. POWER, FANTASY, DANGER, SENSORY - HABITUATION - Now with experience and more choice - 'just an escort' is not enough - I seek a particular type, look......
8. I have come to a choice point either (a) call one of them an arrange to meet or (b) move to a porn site and mb = POWER, DANGER, FANTASY - INTENSITY - This is the point that all others were leading to - its a win win outcome as there are only two choices offered a and b.
9. As if in a last desperate attempt to not betray my wife (and self) I find a porn video and mb
10. Reach Orgasm = ORGASM, POWER, ACCOMPLISHMENT, FANTASY, RELIEF....(TIME - usually this is over quite quickly as I am already exhauseted from the 'will I /won't I" tug of war earlier - I know I am about to feel terrible so try and enjoy it with Intensity.
11. Clean up , feel terrible, want to put it all behind me because I can't sit with the despair, dissapointment and fear of the future = PAST, DANGER, UPSET - TIME Get it cleaned up asap so that I can move on, its too uncomfortable to sit with these emotions of upset for too long....

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:02 pm 
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Quote:
Lesson 19
Your success will be defined by the skill you will develop in personal awareness. So please, do exactly as you're being asked here: become hyper-aware of all rituals you engage in over the next few days. Do not limit this awareness to sexually compulsive rituals... or even to compulsive rituals. Explore all of your actions for their 'ritualistic' nature. Brushing your teeth. Eating. Driving to work. Become conscious of your thoughts/feelings as you complete these rituals.

Feel free to share any insights in your recovery thread, but you do not have to.


In the last few days I have noticed certain highs and lows in my emotional state - for example as I hopped into bed last night about to turn on the TV, I felt ecstatic - I had had a relatively productive dy at work, had a workout later in the afternoon, was getting into a clean bed with a woman I love, could stay up late watching movies if I wanted to (did'nt) and knew that I am not customer facing for at least another week or two until covid restrictions are eased.
It felt great.
Then today the other part of the rollercoaster, I had a row with my wife about the kids homeschooling and watching screen before it is finished - I felt undermined, endervalued, overwhelmed, unre

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:18 am 
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Quote:
LESSON 20
1) Examine your addiction and the role(s) that it has played in your life to date. Look across your life span and identify the progression of the addiction, the sustainment of it, the absence of it and/or the stifling of it. Look at the major transitions that you have experienced (childhood to prepubescent teen; prepubescent teen through teenager; teenager through young adulthood; young adulthood through adulthood; explore also any major traumas that you have endured (parental divorce, sexual abuse, moving to a new school or neighborhood, etc.) and identify the role that addiction (or the rituals that eventually developed into an addiction) played in helping you through that time period.

Your goal is to develop a fluid understanding of just how these patterns progressed from early sparks (harmless fantasy, etc.) to an eventual wildfire (e.g. addiction).


My addiction began in my teens - I think it was a combination of an escape from the chaos that an alcohlic father brings into the home - the financial stresses, the uncertainties of anything, the lack of a strong male role model etc etc and of course the physical and emotional chemical rush that fantasy and orgasm gave - it was like nothing I had ever experienced before and came along just at the right time when I was developing and confused about my role in the world - it offered an immediate high octane escape from my problems.....sure it was short lived but when you are upset and seeking escape you will jump out of a burning building even if it is so high you risk breaking your legs...at teh time...it feels worth the risk ...remember teh worst may not happen and with addiction there is often a second or third or 5ooth chance before believing I am at 'rock bottom'.
I never had any real girlfriends growing up - I was to some degree 'afraid' of women - perhaps because the porn and fantasy had messed with my head about what to expect.
I was agood looking kid so had plenty of girls interested but would always leave teh party early rather than risk having to engage sexually with them -
Thne in my early twenties things changed, I was no longer afraid and saw each conquest as a notch on my bed post - every weeked was teh same - go out drinking, pick up a new girl, either have sex with her that night or a few dates later then gradually lose interest and head out again.
Very quickly over a few short years my new found pasttime and high speed internet made verything different - porn was on demand as were escorts and massage parlours.
The escorts provided a sexual thrill without any emotional investment. However just like porn and hook ups - afterwards I was left unfulfilled - thats when I knew there was a problem - I wanted to stop but couldnt seem to...no matter how hard I tried and I did try....time and time again.
I couldnt understand how when I put my mind to something such as work/business or sports I could achieve yet with this addiction - the thing I wanted to get rid of most - I could'nt - I kept slipping back into old habits.
Then I met my wife, things were difefrent with her, we clicked and I found a best friend who I also had great sex with! Gradually the porn and extras stopped.
However it did'nt take long before porn and mb returned and a huge desire to pick up teh phone and contact escorts. I hated myself for that - I did'nt see myself as a cheat yet here I was contemplating doing just that.......I was angry, upset and depressed - I felt I needed to talk with someone but felt my wife wouldt understand and wondered if there was a benefit in disclosing to her or would it just make teh situation worse.....I sought advice or help from many thereapists/ counsellors and many many books on addiction but after years I realised that I can't learn myself out of this....
Finding RN and other sites and knowledge and a weekly group has helped me keep a lid on these compulsions for years but I would be lying if I said I was cured - I'm not - thats why I am here - what has helped a lot is accepting that I may ALWAYS have to manage my life using my values rather than 'coasting' and seeing what happens....(I have tried that before and it always leads me back to compulsive behaviours)
My 'addictive voice' attempts to convince me that because I dont contact escorts/ massage parlours anymore and 'just' use porn or and mb then I am okay - I am just like 'most guys' but I know thast not true - anymore than an alcoholic who gets violent on Whiskey is ok now because he 'only' drinks beer!!!One is keeping the door open for the other....
I wish I had never seen porn or at least I wish it had not stained my life the way it has but then again maybe without it I would'nt be investing time and effort into becoming abetter man teh way I have been doing for years.....who knows....what started off as a very handy (exuse the pun) excercise in escaping life ended up changing my life that was so fucked up I REALLY would need to try and escape from it....

Quote:
Lesson 20
2) Look to future transitions in your life. Divorce. Death of a partner. Death of your parents. Death of a child. Loss of a job. Retirement. Having another child. Empty-nest syndrome. Consider many different situations that you will possibly face in the remaining years of your life. Situations that could potentially cause major instability to an otherwise balanced, fulfilling life. Explore the role(s) that addiction could play in helping you to manage these times. What would it feel like for addiction to come back into your life? Would it be a rapid collapse or a subtle progression? What signs would you look for? What actions would you take?


The death of a parent or a child or my marraige breaking up are major life stressors that could change things irrevocably for me. I know that returning to compulsive behaviours will not help me get through those situations in the long run but can see how I would be tempted to fall back into them for short term emotional relief.
I would expect a subtle progression rather than a full relapse - convincing myself that 'a little wont hurt' "in the grand scheme of things a little porn or mb is minor" BUT I know from experience that just like the alcohlic for who one drink is too many and a thousand is not enough I would expect a slide....I know how difficult it has been to get out of that in the past and am not foolish enough to think it would be any easier in teh future - if anything I would expect it to be harder.
Thats partly why I am here - I know I have used it as a crutch in the past - I dont want to do that anymore

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 209
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 21 Exercise:
A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?

B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?

C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.


A. The most obvious large goal I have failed at is ending my addiction by that I mean being in control as I feel that with addiction I am not in control - oh sure I can say "I am always in control..." but the past has shown me otherwise. I mean for the cravings to dissapate or even cease completely. If I never had cocaine again I would be very happy but I dont CRAVE it at all so it is easy. However the escapsism and physical and emotional and chemical rush that sexual behaviours have given me have always been hard to turn my back on - no matter what level of chaos, upset and angst is caused.
Why have I failed?
Consistency would be a big part of it - giving up recovery efforts as soon as I have reached a level of sobriety - its as if I want to convince myself that these behaviours will magically dissapear on their own - I will grow out of them - one day I wil wake up and find that I do not have any desire for porn or escorts etc.
Keeping it hidden - that kept me stuck for years and was probably the biggest factor in my success in recovery so far - I still struggle however to let my wife know when I am struggling as I see it as asign of weakness and I know she wants me to work on this for myself.....
I was'nt in a group (I am now) again related to above it has brought things out of the shadows
I refused to accept that this is something that would need investment of time and energy - Just like completing this program - I have in the past taken it up and then stopped it and feeel like all ha was wasted time.
I did'nt fill the void left behind with other interests built around my values
Quote:
B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?


I became effective at sales - I listened to hours and hours of tapes - I read teh books I put into practice what I was learning - I developed confidence as one success built on teh other - I began to see myself as a successful salesperson and the financial rewards supported my values of finacial freedom and being able to support my family - as a commission only earner it also meant that complaceny was kept at a minumum - if I didnt wok/sell - then I didnt get paid

Quote:
C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.
[/quote]

Maybe this is too general but I would like to reduce the intensity of the cravings as when they come they are like a 40ft wave and very difficult to escape...
How to manage that?
Continue what I am doing which is:
1. Being consistent on RN - The lessons and reading others stories always pens m eyes in agood way and helps keep me on track
2. Really think about the lessons rather than just complete them and move on as I have done in the past
3. Keep up my morning rouine of writing out daily monitoring - it sets me up well for the day
4. Recognise that after decades od compulsive behaviours there will be times that difficulties arise and cravings may come but be prepared for them - recognise what they are, that the discomfort they bring will not kill me and is finite - use strategies to surf that wave whether it be deep breathing or going for a walk or phoning a friend or something else
5. Recognise when seemingly harmless thoughts of a sexual nature arise (such as thinking of a past lieason or conquest)that they are not harmless at all and in fact are the seeds that sow trouble in teh coming days or weeks
6. Recognise that beating myself up in my head until I am a quivering wreck of a man does nothing to assist me in moving away from addictiona nd towards a values based life - instead it keeps me stuck in a loop of needing escape - using Porn - feeling terrible about myself - needing escape - using more porn and the cycle continues
7. Be more open with my wife about how I am feeling and how my recovery is going - I already took a step in that direction the other night when I told her I was joining the Wednesday night group.
8. Have focus on my values for example being more patient with my kids - being more supportive to my wife and being stronger/healthier by for example excercising more and monitoring my progress

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:40 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3996
Location: UK
Hi Ace
Quote:
It feels good to be back here on RN.

I am as committed as I have been in the past but am now more consistent


I have been reminded how consistency is key



:g: :g: :g:
Quote:
In the last few days I have noticed certain highs and lows in my emotional state


that my friend is life
remember that emotions are finite and cyclic deal with them do not simply succumb to them

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 209
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Quote:
In the last few days I have noticed certain highs and lows in my emotional state



Quote:
that my friend is life
remember that emotions are finite and cyclic deal with them do not simply succumb to them


Thanks Kenzo - Yes it is - and thanks for the reminder - sometimes its easy to get wrapped up in myself and forget that EVERYONE goes through highs and lows - I suppose its partly that I used to artifically 'soften' those lows with porn and fantasy.
Although that 'softening' came at a cost!

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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