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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 2:57 am 
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I've combined some values into one as they are two sides of the same coin e.g. Diet and exercise. I also toyed with the idea of adding comfort and self-confidence to my list as ultimately, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin in my ability to live my life in the right way and live life confidently. However I feel I'll achieve that by living life according to the other values in my list. In terms of decisions I've made in life, I suppose I've always been quite indecisive and have tended to be a drifter in lots of ways, on reflection, a lack of confidence and low self-worth are probably reasons why. I've sought comfort through my addiction as a means of controlling my emotions and I've always been a very private person, frightened to open up. On the other hand I can be quite sociable and I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I think having and deepening these relations will be important.

My values are as follows:

Living life with integrity/ honesty
Look after my Mum/Being a good son
Communicate with other family members more
Spend time with my dog, go on walks
Seek to learn and develop knowledge
Love myself/be kinder to myself
Meet with friends
Being disciplined/ self control/ Always trying my best
Healthier diet/ Exercise
Using meditation and prayer to be more spiritual
Seek a meaningful career/ Pursuing a career change/ Earn enough to live a nice life
Take care of physical appearance, hair, teeth, skin, clothes
Be more open with people about myself and my opinions
Being organised and tidy
Spending time to enjoy freedom


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 7:56 am 
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Posts: 132
Lesson vi

Spending time with dog

-Take her for a walk each evening and use it as a chance to unwind
-Go on a really long walk at least once per week
-Play with her each day

Spending time to enjoy freedom

- Ensure you have at least one day per we k where you do something fun.
-Once you've finished studying, leave your evenings free for three months to engage in hobbies.
-Go to the cinema once per month
-Go to the theatre once per month
-Take in the outdoors, make a list of day trips you want to do and try get through them.

Being organised and tidy

-Tidy my things at least once a week. Anticipate the fact that you'll see it as a chore and focus on thoroughly tidying one small area, to get yourself into the habit.
-Tidy my desk in work and also cupboards and drawers. Do this at least once every fortnight.
-Use a spreadsheet to organise and track finances.
- write weekly things to do list and commit to doing tasks
-Schedule your diary in work at the start of every week.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:19 pm 
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Being more open with people about my opinions an myself

This is a value that fits into the aspiration box rather than something I do at the moment. It's something I need and want to learn to do however, but I find it hard as I'm adept at bottling up my emotions.

Some of the things I will do are:

Meet a friend at least once per week to talk about how I feel.
Speak to my parents and tell then when I feel under pressure.
Log into RN and record how I'm feeling, use it as a recovery diary almost.

Today, I feel ok, I've not experienced urges. I'm really busy at work and out of work too in terms of study so I'm feeling tired this evening a little. I've also had a pretty bad cold for a week. I'm over the worst of it but haven't started my new exercise regime yet. Part of me feels like I'm not ready to commit myself to such a massive change with everything else going on but another part of me is relishing it. I like being in control and a new diet or exercise regime is something that's in my power to run with.


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 2:44 am 
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One thing I've noticed in myself is that I distract my mind through overworking or studying etc. I almost become addicted to these things to prevent myself from relaxing. I feel uncomfortable when I relax which is something I want to change. I've also been feeling inadequate for the past couple of days, like I don't fit in and am not normal by the standards of other people. It hurts I suppose and when I've felt like this before, I've often used porn to escape. However, the structure of the workshop, coupled with a self-hypnosis track and a focus on other values have helped me to avoid porn and sex chat which I reminding myself to be proud of.

On with proactive plans for more values:

Take care of physical appearance, hair, teeth, skin, clothes

View this together with my healthier diet and exercise goal.
Have haircut once per month
Always wear sun cream if it's sunny
Moisturise skin
Buy one item of clothing per month and buy good quality clothes because you're allowed to look good
Have crown on back tooth replaced and ask about teeth whitening


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 2:51 am 
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Seek a meaningful career/ Pursuing a career change/ Earn enough to live a nice life

-Pursue this new job so you can hand in notice within two months.
-complete professional qualification before you leave current role
-Learn to be more assertive when talking about money. You're worth a decent salary.
-Strike a healthier balance between work and free time.
-Be more prudent with your money, save a proportion of your salary at least once per month
-make contribution to your pension
-Pay down mortgage faster if possible to save on interest


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 3:02 am 
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Posts: 132
Using prayer and meditation to be more spiritual

This is a value that I need to work on to develop. I have been listening to a self-hypnosis download for porn addiction for the past three weeks which has helped me to relax a lot. I feel that deep down I'm quite a spiritual person but my addiction has got in the way of being able to explore it. Actions are as follows:

-continue to listen to the download at least once every two days
-download a guided meditation on chakras and listen to this at least twice per week
- set aside 15 mins per day for meditation. Don't meditate in bed as you'll fall asleep so find a chair instead.
-Pray before and after your meditation.
Take time each day to engage with your surroundings. Appreciate the beauty of everyday things e.g the flowers in the garden.

Healthier diet and exercise:

I've used food as an emotional crutch in the past and my weight has increased over the past few years.

I started a new exercise and diet regime yesterday. I know along the line a lack of motivation or laziness could strike so the steps in my action plan are:

Plan a week's worth of meals on a Sunday. Cook only on two days per week and prepare meals in advance.
If I have a plan, I can normally stick to it.
Follow the lean plan in the book and eat only those foods which conform to the rules.
-Exercise for 15 mins 5 times per week. Plan when you are going to do this.
-When walking to and from work, walk briskly


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 4:53 pm 
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My life has been so busy this week that I've found it difficult to find time to post. Done 2 twelve hour shifts tha past couple of days with another tomorrow. I felt really low yesterday morning but being occupied has taken my mind off it. I'm now just looking forward to sleep! The reason I'm posting probably links into my next value:

Being disciplined/ self-control/ Always trying my best

To do this I need to separate out the areas of my life as per values and commit to following then, e.g around exercise and diet.
Reminding myself of my achieve Mets will motivate me to try better.
-set myself realistic goals e.g. Around weight loss, education that can be achieved.
Factor your self control into daily monitoring


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 12:41 pm 
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Posts: 132
I slipped this weekend and wanted to write about it. I didn't see it coming but, in retrospect, I could have done. I'd been doing unusually long hours at work for five days in a row then in the end, the last day was majorly stressful and everything seemed to go wrong. When I got home, it was like a switch flicked and I acted out. Almost as soon as I started, I realised I wasn't feeling pleasure but I felt compelled to keep going, maybe to obtain the pleasure, but also to evade the disappointment that I knew would come. Now I'm reflecting on it and I was wondering if there was some template I could follow in terms of analysing what I need to do differently? I've been doing self-hypnosis, which had been working well in terms of grounding me but I haven't managed to do it since Wednesday. I'm gonna carry on but I feel frustrated that I acted out. I'm getting back on the horse again.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:39 pm 
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My day today has not been too bad, I've tried to balance it between work, socialising, cooking, exercising and learning which I've enjoyed. I feel a little anxious at the moment and my breathing is tight, as tends to happen if I'm nervous. However, I'm following on with my values and proactive action plans:

Meet with friends:

Recognise that if you're feeling down, you have a tendency to withdraw.
Write to/ text your closest friends at least once per week. Don't always wait for their text. Recognise that they want to hear from you.
Meet with best friends who live locally once per week, even it's for a coffee. Work on talking to them about your emotions/feelings more.
Visit your close friends who live further away at least once per year.
Look at ways to make new friends
Recognise you can become reclusive sometimes and always make the effort to do something to break out of this each day you feel it.


Love myself/be kinder to myself

This is a hard one but something I want/ need to achieve:

-Do daily monitoring and as part of it, remind yourself of the things you've done that have been positive.
- set yourself goals and reward yourself for achieving them.
-As part of meditation/self-hypnosis, listen to your inner voice and record two negative statements to learn from them.
If you do something positive, take time to say thanks to myself


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:23 am 
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Posts: 132
I've still not emotionally recovered from my slip last week in that I don't feel as great as I did before it occurred. I suppose I've felt a little anxious and nervous and have been using it as a negative milestone. E.g. When doing trivial things like visiting a place or seeing a person, I've been thinking to myself "I've not been here/seen them since I slipped up". Makes me sound crazy I know!

I've had a busyish week but nowhere as busy as the last one. I have exams coming up so my spare time has been spent either revising or feeling guilty for not revising! I'll be glad when I've done them. Also, my exercise regime has been going wellish, but I want to be careful to make it sustainable.

Anyway, some more proactive action plans are as follows:

Seek to learn and develop knowledge

Study hard for your language exam so you have the best chance possible of passing.
Ditto for your professional exam
While you'll be glad of a break over the summer, decide which course to choose for September.
In your new job, seek to apply your professional learning.
Spend an hour a week in work on recording lessons about how you approached different aspects of what you did and apply these going forward.
Give yourself time to read for an hour per day.

Communicate with other family members more
Message your siblings every so often to see how they're doing.
Go on a day out with your brother before he goes away.
Find out about what they're doing and talk to them about it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Hi tobewellagain,

Regarding your slip:

Quote:
I didn't see it coming


Hmm, are you sure about that? :pe: In your post 5 days before, you mentioned how you'd been working 12 hour days...in this post, you noted 5 straight days of work...the switch never just "flicks". Most likely, the emotions have been building up, and when they reach a threshold, you either have to make a conscious choice to make a healthy decision...or your mind will resort to something that has worked in the past to manage your emotions.

Quote:
Now I'm reflecting on it and I was wondering if there was some template I could follow in terms of analysing what I need to do differently?


While this is still fresh, I would say look back and identify key moments where you could have made different decisions...and I mean DAYS before. What things could you have done to manage your stress? Are there any key "turning points" you can identify, or points of no return? Learn everything that you can from this instance, because busy times like this will happen again, and every time, your ability to manage them should improve, if you're working at it. And once you have, then forget about it, let it go, and move forward.

Quote:
I'm getting back on the horse again.


Well, remember...there's no real "getting back on the horse". Every moment, every decision, is just the horse. To think that you act out, then "get back on the horse", be healthy for a while, be unhealthy again, etc...is to perpetuate that idea that your life is a series of steps and stages, rather than a continuous flow of individual moments and decisions, and keeps you in that idea of a recovery/relapse cycle.

Quote:
E.g. When doing trivial things like visiting a place or seeing a person, I've been thinking to myself "I've not been here/seen them since I slipped up". Makes me sound crazy I know!


Eh, I think we've all been there. :w: When this happens, just accept it as it does and re-focus on what you need to do wherever you are.

Keep at it. :g:

Boundless

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:43 pm 
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Thanks Coach Boundless for your help and what you say about looking days in advance makes sense. In relationn to that slip, I think the point of no return probably happened on the day. Although I'd been working for all of those days in a row, the day I slipped was the last day before I had a day off. I wasn't supposed to be in but was banking on it being an easy day at the office. It was anything but and I had to deal with some stressful situations I suppose. In retrospect, I don't think it was the situations themselves that prompted me to act out, more a childish frustration that everything on that day went against me, that is, even after five stressful days in a row, I wasn't allowed that one quiet one. That put me in a bad mood and I think the train getting stuck on the way home was the final straw. It sounds so trivial when I write it but it kind of topped everything. I ended up ordering a takeaway for dinner (throwing my healthy eating regime out of the window) and then watched porn.

I guess the ritual I engaged in isn't important per se, more what went before. In terms of learning lessons, I need to develop an early warning system. I suppose I suffer from a fear of my compulsions. I don't particularly think much about porn, but I suppose I fear an urge striking. It's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy then, which ties in with what you say about getting on the horse. There is no reason why I should eever view porn again as the compulsion is in my mind.

I think giving myself space is key. With the proactive action plans I'm writing, I like the fact that if one element of my life is causing anxiety, I can engage in another value to alleviate the anxiety and play down the importance of that value. I hope this makes sense!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Quote:
more a childish frustration that everything on that day went against me, that is, even after five stressful days in a row, I wasn't allowed that one quiet one. That put me in a bad mood and I think the train getting stuck on the way home was the final straw. It sounds so trivial when I write it but it kind of topped everything.


Yup...that "i deserve a break" feeling. What better thing to watch out for then, in terms of developing an early warning system and action plans? :w:

Quote:
I suppose I suffer from a fear of my compulsions. I don't particularly think much about porn, but I suppose I fear an urge striking.


If you are still fearing urges...then you are missing a major understanding necessary for a healthy recovery. Not sure if you have gotten there in the workshop yet, but this is related to the "finite aspect of human emotions", which is the single most important concept to understand, with regards to ending your addiction. The lessons that deal with this are 29-35 or so...

Anyways, tbh, even the thought of "There is no reason why I should ever view porn again" indicates that you're still afraid of it, to an extent. When I see this said, it is usually in a reactionary sense...it's usually focused on avoiding the behaviour, rather than on what you gain from NOT engaging in the behaviour, which is so much more powerful long-term. Think about that for example; the PROs of NOT engaging in the behaviour (rather than thinking "I never want to view porn again")

Quote:
I think giving myself space is key. With the proactive action plans I'm writing, I like the fact that if one element of my life is causing anxiety, I can engage in another value to alleviate the anxiety and play down the importance of that value.


:g:

Boundless

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:54 am 
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Posts: 132
Thanks Coach. I'm not up to those lessons yet. I like the notion of considering the pros of not engaging in the behaviour. It's so simple, but in the moment, I don't think I've ever actually done that!

Are there techniques to develop the awareness of human emotions being finite? I was thinking of meditation or NLP, where you can blow out compulsions, but that's possibly something to do proactively rather than reactively? Thank you very much for your help.

Back to my action plans:

Value: Be a good son, look after my mother:

-Call her up each day to check that she's ok.
- Do something special/ fun once a month that she wouldn't get to do.
-Be there as someone she can confide in
-Go on a trip with her once per year
-Recognise that the most precious gift is the time you spend with her rather than the gifts you buy, for example.

Live life with integrity/ honesty

- Treat others as I would wish to be treated
- Engage with people with compassion. If I feel angry with someone, seek to understand why they're acting the way they are, before being negative about them.
-Question the negative comments which you sometimes say about people.
-Be honest with yourself when it comes to how you're feeling. Try to open up emotionally when talking to family and friends but recognise at the same time that this will be challenging as you're a very private person.
- Be honest in terms of your recovery. While no one knows about your addiction, because of your own fear, shame, use the forum as a place where you can talk about it.
-Recognise that your integrity also covers how you talk to yourself. You would never talk so negatively to other people so question your inner voice when you're overly criticising yourself.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:02 am 
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Lesson 10 Exercises: Absolute honesty in recovery
I. Consider those lies that are still being perpetuated in your life. Who you are deceiving. Why you are deceiving them. Consider the 'risks' of coming clean. No need to do anything about these thoughts...just have an awareness of them.

I guess this lesson is difficult on two counts. First of all, I'm not in a relationship and secondly, I'm a painfully private person. I suppose the main person. I lie to is myself as no one knows about my addiction. I'm not someone who actively lies or gives dishonest answers, but I need to think about how I lie through omission or whether I would if I were in a relationship. I think one of the reasons why I'm not in a relationship is because I find it very difficult to talk about my emotions and I possibly deter myself because of this. I have been lying or keeping secrets to myself for so many years in relation to porn that I suppose the real me has been lost. It's a bit like the chicken and the egg in the sense that I learned from a young age not to open up to people to prevent myself from getting hurt. I guess this was a reason why I became so dependent on porn for emotional management but, ironically, the taboo of it caused me to open up even less, making it a more and more vicious circle. I'll admit that, as a painfully private person, the idea of telling my family and friends about my addiction really terrifies me and I'm not sure if they're ready for that yet. Strangely, I think the key point is my addiction rather than the porn viewing/chat per se. Some of my friends/family might not think watching porn is a big deal for a single guy, I suppose there are people out there that watch it without being alcoholics. However, my use of it is deeper than that, as I definitely used it as an emotional crutch. Sorry for the rambling essay, these are all thoughts I wanted to record in relation to my addiction and honesty.

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 tend to visit internet sites.
I have an old phone in my drawer which I've used to download chat apps onto.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object. Post this in your thread.
Example
Strangers in swimming pool/gym
Certain people I've repeatedly spoken to on chatrooms.

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
Bed: For masturbation
Internet: surf for porn, chat rooms
Pool/beach for voyeuring
Mall: for fantasizing


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