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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:31 pm 
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LESSON 13

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.

I am in the first phase still, although I thought I was in the second phase of recovery. Reasons being as follows:

I still blame and don't take full responsibility.
I "test the waters" often I think subconsciously wanting to fail, as I know that the road ahead of me is tough and I am not sure if I can do it. So if I test it and fail, I can say to myself that I tried and it didn't work. This area is predominantly in the emotional maturing and being able to handle conflict management.
I express relief in having my behaviors understood, however, if I am honest, I feel that once they are understood, I should be forgiven for my past transgressions. I know that this is illogical, however it is something I do feel.
I also feel that lately I have been very depressed, and as a result, I have had a very fast temper and can "snap" at any time.
I still when panic lie.
I do not stick to routines and procedures, breaking my own accumulated benefits.

however there are a few things from phase two that give me tremendous hope!

I know that I am not a lost cause, and that I simply have not developed the tools to hand emotional things correctly.
I know that what truly matters is the present.
I want to live a life that I am genuinely proud of, and that I keep my own levels of values, and not bounce them off other people. Typical, I won't shout unless you do, then I can. Holding myself up to this higher value and to my standards.
I doubt my own judgment, and this has been a cause of much pain.


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.

No - they have not been consistent with my current values list.
I tend to get "caught up in life" and then revert to old behavior patters of being selfish, lying, doing things that are "sneaky" (referring specifically to the smoking incident that caused a lot of pain on both sides for really nothing) and letting my emotions control me, and not being in a good routine. I become purely reactionary, and that is a scary place, as then you have no level that you living towards. People around you cannot depend on what you say, do or act, as this can change in a heartbeat according to what emotional state you are currently in. Cause you are not in control, you reel helpless and depressed, so then recovering again is a bigger hurdle, so you end up putting it off. And so the cycle continues. I have found that I have acted out a lot, lied a lot and then become a lot more depressed when I haven't stuck with my values. You also know you not living with integrity within yourself, so you cannot get alignment and truly move forward, as even if you do not contentiously admit it, you subconsciously know you lying to yourself and your partner, and everyone that has truly recovered has to be honest with both.

So, with saying that, it is time to buckle down, take responsibility and live to my values. Print them and put them somewhere visible so that I can look at them consistently. Reason being that want to be held accountable and responsible for my actions, so I can feel "proud and feel like a man should and in control".


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:14 am 
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Lesson 14

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.

Over the duration of "trying" to recover and not really placing any emphasis or heart into it, then coming back and redoing everything, I have noticed several things.

It is so easy for me to blame other situations, or my own emotional control on other people - "ah but you did this... and that caused me to do that...". As has bee said over and over, I need to accept full responsibility and I need to always remember that I am in control, and I chose what I do. In some cases, you don't think you chose to get angry as you are so conditioned to do so, however there is a choice in that, and recognizing that choice and making a difference choice. This relates to relationship, friend, business and so on.

Another large are that I have seen change in is communication and honesty. I don't feel like I need to hide things, and I have also realised that I am a bit of a rebel in heart and like to do "naughty" things, so rather than doing something that is destructively naught, you do something that instead is not. This was an eye opener for me personally. Lately I have seen conflict as a "growing" part of our relationship and not a "lets break up and never talk to each other again... only a couple hours later to say that I am sorry, and didn't mean it fight...". That has been hard but good, and I haven't always got it right, but I know what I need to do and am trying to not say sorry anymore.

Though the last couple weeks, I have deepened my understanding of myself, and why I do somethings. While I know that I have only scraped the top of the surface with that, I am excited to know that I am progressing forward, at times it frustrates me that I'm not "healthy", but that is my instant gratification kicking in. All in all, it has been a hard, but good experience, I have learn more about myself in the last couple weeks that I ever thought I would and will keep keeping on.

I have a few other things that I will add to this, however will at a later stage.

SiD


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:58 pm 
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LESSON 15

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

Firstly, I have not been on RN in a long time - and that is not good enough.

I think over the last couple weeks, a few things have come clearer with regards to what I have learnt.

Firstly: The assignments prior to this is made for giving yourself a insight into what your behavior patterns are, no matter how dark or hidden they may seem. I have also learnt that its not about changing everything, and doing a 180 degree turn, or have any fumbles, its about being real with yourself. Only when you know who and what you are, regardless of it being healthy or unhealthy, can you change anything.

Secondly:Also, finding out what underlying beliefs and values you have, both negatively and positively. This is key to be honest with yourself, as we can all easily see the obvious good (and bad) beliefs, but you need to go deeper. almost like peeling an onion and taking layer after layer off, until you have no more layers. This takes effort and discipline, something that I, to be honest find challenging. From there you can set your priorities and your daily steps to achieve it. What I am also seeing and learning is keeping myself to a higher standard. This is something that I haven't done - ever.

So while things are a challenge and although I am not watching porn or masturbating etc... I feel that I have to grow up emotionally, and just passed on my addictive patterns onto myself with not holding myself to any higher standards and goals. This is in the process of changing, and I aim that each and every day I get better and better. In the process I find out more about myself than what I could ever.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:35 am 
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LESSON 16

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.


Stress Management

It helped me to deal with my emotions and give me short-term relief from stress. It did work, and soon as I started at such a young age this was one of the only ways I knew how to manage stressful situations. This arose from I think two different scenarios - 1) My Father who is a very loving man, however he always feels I should do better, or be better or preform better. I know that it was said out of love and that I think (specifically in sport) he was living vicariously through me, it was still a huge pressure to try and live up to his standard, which I never really did, or so I thought. I think then masturbation was used as a "feel good" when I am down.
2) A very Christian mom - I was also very involved in the church and often topics such as porn, masturbation and lust would be shared and spoken about, and how bad it was and that you were a sinner if you did that and needed to repent and stop etc... This provided me with a kind of conundrum that I eventuality just accepted without knowing. In my head I knew what I was doing was "bad" so I didnt tell anyone. But then again, I liked it, it felt good, it felt like a release, and also I think I liked the idea of breaking some rules and being a bit risky.

All in all, I think it served a few positives:

Enjoyment (orgasm)
Rush (knowledge that what I was doing, I shouldn't be)
Looking forward to a "good" routine (I knew that I would masturbate before going to bed or in the shower or in a mirriad of other places and looked forward to that release).
Temporary release of stress (during masturbation, being in your fantasy world, all "real world" issues fell away and you didn't have to worry about anything)
Acceptance of females (I didn't have a GF for a long time, and I think I used masturbation as a form of getting love and affection that I could masturbate to, even though I wasn't.)
Lack of Rejection (in your fantasy you cannot be rejected, so it is a "safe" environment).
Excitement (not knowing what you could find and if you would like something "weird").

Looking at it like this, it is easy to see how I developed coping mechanisms and how the pattern (and why) the pattern was entrenched. It is not a mystical force, rather a negative cycle that worked short term to a little boy who didn't and couldn't understand how to deal with certain things and the correct way to do so.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:58 pm 
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LESSON 17

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.

My "cookie" will look something like this:

Physical Stimuli has a prominent influence obviously - however before I expand on that, It must be known that it is more of a routine, control and build up. So i had "normal" times where I would look at porn or masturbate. Although I didn't know it then, it was a sense of control and anticipation that I enjoyed, to the point that I would leave my GF (or get irritated if she was there during these "times"). The anticipation then was broken into two distinct forms, one the sense of orgasm that I would achieve, and then two what new porn I would find and what situation I could find that would push the boundary, however still turn me on. It must also be noted that in this, I also see that I was looking at and engaging in "danger" aspect. One fear of getting caught masturbating from parents, etc without the knowledge that this was the case. Two - look for porn that was danger filled - so a scene where the woman thinks she is interviewing for a position in porn when she is being tricked. Therefor there is a danger for the "interviewer" to get caught, and the viewer and the interviewer know something that she doesn't, and that was "hot". So this added to the ingredients of my cookie.

Orgasm was essential, as then I didn't feel fulfilled. My porn addiction was also heavily based around fantasy and then looking back had also delusion and immaturity riddled throughout. One thing that I have also picked up in this lesson was that someone could "be waiting for the One". And this is a form of fantasy. And I must admit that intellectually i know that I have found the one, however emotionally I am still battling with this somehow. It is frustrating as I know that I have found my perfect partner.

With Danger also comes elements of Power. I also know that within my cookie, power plays a critical aspect. It interlinks with both fantasy as well as danger. It is not an "obvious" element, however I think that it is almost the "eggs" in the mixture that binds and holds it all together. As it also is involved with the decision that you can get off without emotional attachment or being hurt, what you can view and the control that you exert both emotionally and physically.

I think this makes up my personal cookie mixture. To be honest, it is not some mythical beast that needs to be broken. it is a very logical pattern that I came to, so that I could learn to develop to my emotional needs, being positives and/or negatives, and just as a reward basis. Something really good know and to have verbalized it.

SiD


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:49 am 
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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.

Lets see and break it down.

My Cookie recipe was pretty simple in my opinion, and consisted of the following:

One - Time related, so I had specific times that I liked to watch porn and/or masturbate. This was like before bed or in the shower, so whenever those times approached, it was like an automatic response that I would masturbate. This helped looking back at feeling a sense of order and control. A break in this pattern and then I would search for a time to masturbate as my pattern was broken.

Two - Fantasy based, however I see now that although I though it was all fantasy, I have now seen how fantasy drifts from fantasy to real life without your knowledge - and the deeper I got into porn the more my dreams became my reality and I lost touch with reality while still convinced I was living in reality (sorry confusing sentence however I hope I explained it well enough). So this is something else to consider. I think that also my "type" of girl was the "typical porn-star" and young looking. Something that I am in turn moving away form but was an interesting realization how the fantasy and reality blurred together. I didn't ever really keep images in my mind, as access to the internet was so easy, so that was the catalyst to find porn - and maybe find someone who looked similar, however this was not a must.

Three - my "drug of choice" was a category that held power and an unknown element for one of the partners specifically in the porn category. I don't really know why I chose this category, especially soon as everything is staged, with an industry that is run by men for men (predominantly). Then when it came to physical specifics, I liked to cum when the male actor cum'd so it was again reinforcing the fantasy (delusion) as I was somehow involved in the act. Orgasm was a must, as if I didn't climax, it was a waste and was by far the most critical of all the "ingredients". Almost like you cannot waste a hard on mentality. Then I would normally go to sleep... and the following day the process would repeat its self. After re reading this, I have also noted that an element of suspense and excitement was in the air, as I never knew what new videos was uploaded, and if I would like it, or if it had my categories and so on. So leading up to logging on, anticipation grew - helping getting me aroused.

Four - Other elements that I have noted. I have noted in my porn progressing that when I started, pictures would be more than enough and even "soft porn" would be sufficient. Then as you get used to it, I needed to go to hardcore pictures, and from that movies. Then in movies, it became more riskier or more power hungry/risky/socially shocking. That is clear advancement. It is also noted that I became addicted to online gaming, and that almost cost me a university degree and make me added on an additional 2 year onto my degree. So I had a classic case of multiple addictions that often fed into each other. This then isolated me, feeding the fantasy and diminishing social interaction further. I was not a hurmet, and was the life and soul of the party however my emotional intelligence was low (if not almost non existent) and this cost me a lot - and I am still learning how to deal with emotions in a healthy manner.

SiD


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Lesson 19

I was looking at to why I have no been disciplined in doing my RN work and come to the following conclusions.

Some of my unhealthy Rituals are as follows:

    Self Centered - I have become aware of how self centered I am with the actions I think about, to the things I priorities and carry out. I find that if there is not a direct (and must be said, immediate positive on my side) I do not do it. This is very clear in a argument with my partner as I can easily take offence or get defensive if I receive resistance from my partner where I think she should just accept my compliment or whatever and then move forward, and when she doesn't I get pissy.
    Compassion and Understanding - This i think is very closely related to the self centered aspect of myself, as If you are self centered, you cannot have compassion and understanding. I am also feeling guilty that I do not have a deeper compassion, when I know I should have for my partner. It is not cause I do not love her, or want to be with her, I just think that that aspect of my life is sitting at 5% of where it should really be. Then lack of understanding in what I have really put her through - I haven't grasped the true gravitas of the situation and what has truly happened, what I have broken down in her, both physically as well as mentally. Then the second thing that comes to mind is that I say awful things and then more often than not, forget about them and don't ever address the situation, and from there the problem grows, never gets dealt with and gets worse.
    Not being mature - My partner is frustrated with me, as she says I am not being an adult in the relationship and that frustrates her (completely right, as it should) then specifically in a fight situation, I go from being meek and mild to being a complete and utter stubborn dickhead. No in between, no love and defiantly no tenderness and caring in that situation. I view my partners anger and sadness as that, anger and sadness, not as a cry for help and her actually wanting to connect at the most intimate of times.
    Complete and Utter Non-Action - I do not seem to take action. Regardless of the situation, circumstance and importance. It is something that is getting to me, as I do not want to be that person, yet I clearly am. With that I have no respect and no integrity. As basically everything I do say doesn't get followed through.
    Fantasy - Being happy to live where things are not fine, but LOOK fine. I think that is why I have not been on RN for the amount of time that I haven't, as everything looks fine from the outside - lovely house, living with my partner, lovely garden, new stuff and things looking good, but knowing they aren't, but not having the balls or the courage to actually address them and rather just pretending that things are fine. Then the fear that I maybe someone will see past that vale of falseness and see what a shit life I am actually living and that scares me.

So those are just some of the points that I have seen as a result into looking into my own patterns and value based rituals I engage in - basically very self centered and what I can get out of things and then also appearing to people how wonderful I am or this or that!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:17 am 
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Sid24,

Sid24 wrote:
I was looking at to why I have no been disciplined in doing my RN work and come to the following conclusions.

The points you've raised are all solid, they all represent undeveloped skills that act as obstacles not only to recovery at such but at you living a healthy and fulfilling life. However, if you are looking for the number one culprit for your prolonged absence from RN, my money is on you not connecting with the idea that you are doing this for yourself.

Sid24 wrote:
Self Centered - I have become aware of how self centered I am with the actions I think about, to the things I priorities and carry out.

I would look more into this self-centeredness. I believe that everyone needs to take care of themselves and their needs first, not necessarily expect others to care for them or to make them happy and in that a certain dose of self-centeredness is an absolute must. However, I believe that the real issue here is values and living by your values ... my guess is that what you call self-centeredness is failing to live by your values, taking emotional decisions and having emotional reactions, which comes out as selfishness, when in fact is emotional immaturity. I'm afraid there is no shortcut to fix this issue, it takes effort to set your values at play in each situation, come up with desired course of action which would sustain your values and actively change your ways by acting how you planned. That's the path towards emotional maturity i.e. taking value based decisions and having value based reactions as opposed to emotion-based.

Sid24 wrote:
I find that if there is not a direct (and must be said, immediate positive on my side) I do not do it.

This is the immediate gratification principle and it is still related to emotional immaturity. It fosters impulsivity, acting short-term instead of long-term and in general it has the potential of destroying one's life as someone living like this would be incapable of delaying gratification in favour of building a future (career, relationship, etc, anything bigger than today). This is something we all suffer from in various degrees and it's something that must be dealt with. For more information, read about the marshmallow experiment ... "Walter Mischel developed the well-known marshmallow experiment to test gratification patterns in four-year-olds, offering one marshmallow now or two after a delay.[3] He discovered in long-term follow-up that the ability to resist eating the marshmallow immediately was a good predictor of success in later life."

Sid24 wrote:
This is very clear in a argument with my partner as I can easily take offence or get defensive if I receive resistance from my partner where I think she should just accept my compliment or whatever and then move forward, and when she doesn't I get pissy.

It's well worth analysing why you get pissy. Take a look at rejection, not feeling appreciated, understood, fear of having "past" issues resurfacing, not wanting to be blamed or feel worthless, guilty, etc... You need to grow a deep awareness of what it is that's bothering you in real time, of the "real" meaning of things and begin to question your beliefs and assumptions ... while looking for ulterior explanations ... e.g. Is it possible that she feels really hurt when I compliment her as it reminds her of what I've done and how worthless I made her feel or does she just want to hurt me back the same way by not wanting to let it go?

Sid24 wrote:
Compassion and Understanding - This i think is very closely related to the self centered aspect of myself, as If you are self centered, you cannot have compassion and understanding. I am also feeling guilty that I do not have a deeper compassion, when I know I should have for my partner.

What about compassion for yourself? I believe that you cannot achieve it for someone else until you don't experience it towards yourself in a genuine way, which calls for you finding or rebuilding your sense of self. I say in a genuine way because you might have experienced excusing yourself, allowing yourself to do things that go against yourself at some level, minimising and denying the importance and significance of your actions to yourself and others, and you might have mistaken all of these as being compassionate towards yourself, which is really not the case. Allowing yourself to come short when it comes to your values or even worse, not having decided upon the values you want to pursue in any situation, is not really understanding yourself, loving yourself or being forgiving towards yourself ... that's just allowing the destruction to continue.
As a sidenote, I believe that self-centeredness is a cover up for many other things that need to be sorted out ... low self-worth, fear of rejection/abandonment, fear of not having needs met ... and anything else you might find as root cause. You need to explore these and many others if you want to sort it and develop emotionally.

Sid24 wrote:
Then lack of understanding in what I have really put her through - I haven't grasped the true gravitas of the situation and what has truly happened, what I have broken down in her, both physically as well as mentally.

What about what you've broken in yourself? That is the true gravity that I don't think you really truly get. Unfortunately, you may never be able to fully understand how your actions have impacted on your partner as it is something which has to be experienced first hand ... However, you do have access to yourself, you have the potential to understand yourself and not only that but change yourself ... for yourself first but also for her benefit in the long run. That's the only thing you can do for her own benefit, fix yourself.

Sid24 wrote:
Then the second thing that comes to mind is that I say awful things and then more often than not, forget about them and don't ever address the situation, and from there the problem grows, never gets dealt with and gets worse.

Saying awful things might be a way to avoid negative emotions, avoid being uncomfortable, avoid owning things ... anger might be a way to prevent yourself from hearing or accepting some hurtful truths about yourself ... so it's no wonder you don't go back to address the situation because avoiding was what you were trying to do in the first place. Does it make sense?

Sid24 wrote:
Not being mature - My partner is frustrated with me, as she says I am not being an adult in the relationship and that frustrates her (completely right, as it should)

This is what she says ... what do you say? Do you believe you are not being mature? If yes, what are the situations this is most obvious? What are your values at play in those situations (i.e. what would be your ideal behaviour, attitude and thought process?) What skills do you need to develop to achieve and sustain your ideal behaviour? What plans can you develop and implement practically which would help you acquire and practice your skills? How would you assess objectively if progress has been made? What is the time horizon which you would allow yourself to work on these skills and evaluate your progress?

Sid24 wrote:
It is something that is getting to me, as I do not want to be that person, yet I clearly am. With that I have no respect and no integrity. As basically everything I do say doesn't get followed through.

This is a real problem ... inertia or lack of motivation ... This is something you need to sort out for yourself, you need to dig deep into yourself and decide if you commit to leading or commit to following ... If you are not leading you will be following, there is no in between. And it might seem you are in control but actually you might not have more power than a puppet caught in the strings of the puppeteer (your emotions and undeveloped skills).

Sid24 wrote:
Fantasy - Being happy to live where things are not fine, but LOOK fine. I think that is why I have not been on RN for the amount of time that I haven't, as everything looks fine from the outside - lovely house, living with my partner, lovely garden, new stuff and things looking good, but knowing they aren't, but not having the balls or the courage to actually address them and rather just pretending that things are fine. Then the fear that I maybe someone will see past that vale of falseness and see what a shit life I am actually living and that scares me.

You call it fantasy, some call it delusion. Either way, it's a way of avoiding reality, the reality of the situation, the reality of where you are at, the reality of what that implies, the reality of having to put in hard work and subject yourself to pain which is really not how you've been used to function (mainly on immediate gratification, immediate pleasure and avoidance of pain). Bottom line is ... you cannot be scared of pain forever ... not if you want to grow and fix yourself. Pain is as necessary as air. We cannot develop, we cannot grow, we cannot learn , we cannot move forward, unless we experience pain. Pain is the driving force behind our emotional development. Avoiding pain is avoiding to grow up, it's stunned development, it's what we've all done and this is how we got here in the first place. If you want out of this you need to commit to allowing yourself to experience pain and see that it's not such a scary thing, that it goes as it comes and you can endure and prevail ...

Hope this helps,
Ursula

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:34 pm 
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Yes, I am listening now... Might have taken me a while but I have got there. I want to answer fully, however I need to get onto answering the next lesson. So tomorrow I will reply and answer everything, but off the bat thank you and you are spot on and you have helped me a great deal.

LESSON 20

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.

I must say that on the surface my upbringing was a very lovely one. Christian household, married parents, I didn't need anything, went to the right schools, was loved and cared for and so on. But with an addiction, you only need one thing to happen, to begin the rolling ball. And in my case, I was showed how to masturbate at a very young age (6 odd - to be honest, I cant exactly remember) and you have no idea what it is, just that it felt good, and the catalyst that triggered it off was that cause I was in a very christian home, authenticity is not high up on the cards when it comes to showing your actual feelings, everything is reserved - especially the "bad" emotions. like anger, fear, and lust. Everyone smiled when they should, said what was the right thing to say, was polite and courteous, however if something bad did happen, there was a lot of passive-aggressiveness that was shown. So now as I started growing up, I didn't even contentiously realize it, but I was being pulled in two different ways. One was the church and one was masturbation progressing to porn when we had an internet line (old 56k modem). This caused me to build up a defensive wall -and where I started lying and not having integrity. As how can I let people close to me, because if they do get to close, they may see my masturbation and that would be bad. After all it was preached at church that masturbation and porn is bad and they no one should do it, that lust is bad and causes you to go to hell. So masturbation bread in secret and I started creating a fake life (I think that is why I was involved in fantasy, as I basically had to create my own reality as I was living neither here nor there. So then I used porn as kind of miracle drug. When I wanted a reward, when I was sad, when I had done well, when I was lonely, when I was happy. I then also think that cause I didn't have a girl friend until matric - and I think that also pulled me towards watching more porn, as there wasn't a real girl in my life, and then I wasn't subjected to rejection and all the other things that come with girls at that age. So then as all addictions develop, the fantasy increases, you masturbate more, cause you getting used to "your drug of choice" and specifically with porn and sexual addiction, it breaks the very thing you need to form intimate connections with the oppose, trust, transparency and intimacy (also empathy). But bring it back to the main point, my addiction helped me get through and handle my emotional difficulties, make the rewards better and made me feel like I wasn't a complete failure for not having a girlfriend in school, as I could masturbate to woman on the internet (that sounds absolutely ludicrous to me when you say it out allowed).

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?

Role(s) that addiction could play is basically instant gratification, and a instant pick me up, as well as something that is known, so no risk of the unknown. I feel that initially it would be a subtle progression - "ah its ok, just once" and then after a little while, I would say about a week odd, it would be a rapid collapse. The signs that I would start to look out for are the following: lack of empathy. Breaking my values in pursuit of something selfish, or being overly vain and condescending (Thinking too much of myself), becoming overly critical of others. Staring at woman, and looking for them when going places. Those are some of the ques that I would look for.

SiD


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:45 pm 
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LESSON 21

What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?

Oh - where to begin! There is a lot. My most recent failure is in the area of keeping promises to myself and to my partner. Why I failed is a bit more tricky - I think a variety of things. 1) I haven't made a total and complete commitment to do the promise kept. 2) combined with point 1 I think I also make promises to appease people around me, so that it either calms the situation or avoids conflict. So then something else happens, as then I cannot keep my word, as I cannot even remember what I have promised, so then how can keep it. 3) I don't believe that the proposed promise will help. Or that too much effort will be required to see a positive outcome - so it is immediate gratification in play. 4) I have not mapped out and planned the actual goal, and have just been wishing on a prayer that it was realised. So nothing measurable was ever kept. I couldn't map it and I couldn't see if I was progressing on the right track. And it failed.

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

Most of my major successes have happened on the sporting arena. And now after the points above, I can see why. 1) I maybe didn't have an measurable goal mapped out and written all neatly, but I was actively working towards it (have set practices for sport, every week, that was measured). So from there you can see everything and see what was needed to work on or improve and you just implemented it into you routine that you already had setup. (I know this is VERY LATE - but that really is a ah ha moment!!!) You could never have had this routine, if you didn't have a process of practice and looking for ways to improve.

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.

There are 73 lessons to complete the RN course (excluding the advanced development) - I will finish all of the courses. To break it down, I will finish 4 lessons per week. There are 52 lessons remaining. So that will take me 13 weeks to complete. Completion Date 12 April 2016. So now I have a way to monitor per week status and my overall goal. Combining in that, I will be open, honest and give more than is needed in the lessons to ensure that I am grow into the person that I know I can become.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:24 am 
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Lesson 22

Ritual Measured:
Masturbation

Primary Elements Involved:
Physical Stimulation; Fantasy; Danger; Orgasm; Visual and Disobedience
Values assigned:
Orgasm - 3
Danger - 2
Disobedience - 3
Fantasy -2
Visual – 2
Physical Stimulation – 2

Filters applied:
Physical Stimulation:
Time — Progressively increases the stimulation to a point of orgasm, once orgasm has been reached then ritual stops. ‘8’
Intensity — I have not added to the stimulation, as long as orgasm is reached.
Habituation — Orgasm is needed several times a day instead of one a day or one every two days, so this has a progressive factor.
Fantasy:
Time — Increases stimulation; no time limit '9'
Intensity — Directly related to concentration; the better I can concentrate, the more intense the stimulation '5'
Habituation — As fantasies get 'played out', they decrease the overall stimulation that fantasy produces. I respond by expanding those fantasies. So new fantasies are added constantly. '3'
Moral conflict:
Time — Occurs spontaneously; leaves spontaneously; time spent in conflict has no palpable effect on overall stimulation '1'
Intensity — Decreases overall intensity of urge '1'
Habituation — No real effect '1'

You have guilt after the act of masturbation, however during the act, you have no concern over the moral aspect of the act at all.
Orgasm:
Time — Occurs spontaneously; leaves spontaneously; no control over length of orgasm. It actually is beneficial if the time is shorter rather than longer when reaching orgasm. '3'
Intensity — Increases overall intensity of urge; created major frustration when goal is not reached intensifies if fantasy and climax is reached at the same time. ‘10’
Habituation — No real effect '1'

To be honest this last month and a half has been some of the hardest in my life, and I feel that it is no coincident in that I haven't done the work required and I have slipped back into my old ways of dealing with emotional issues and fallen off the bandwagon.

At the moment I do not care what people think, I do not care if I am "liked" or "hated". I just want to change. I cannot and will not live like I have been.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:43 am 
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Lesson 23

In your recovery thread, share a brief summary of what practical uses the skill of measuring compulsive rituals can have in your recovery. Don't just copy the headings of this lesson, take a minute to see how you can practically use this information in YOUR life.

Practical uses for measuring compulsive rituals for me are as follows - One, I have been feeling very vulnerable at the moment, and as it was said in the last paragraph, seeing the mapped and numbered values (although I must admit, it was tedious and strained to write it, and I was bored), it has helped me intellectually reconnect, and pushed me per say to making the correct long term decisions.

I also must admit that I too wanted to see it as a single event (viewing porn) where in reality it is not the case. The addict in me says that it is a single event, and that no harm can be done by it, but I do know the reality of it, and I can now see that once breaking down the various parts of the compulsion ritual you can see what is actually at play.

So now - why I think it is important information in MY life - is that I can start breaking down my other things in the same way. Procrastination, lack of action etc etc and see the more "hidden" steps that I have taken that have given me some form of emotional gratification. Once you see the steps, only then you can change it. So That is why it is important. It makes me look deeper and harder into the different parts of my life that I otherwise would just accept as a single even and as such, battle to change, as apposed to seeing it as numerous events that you have a number of steps to stop, or change your thinking. So that is how I can practically use it.

This is something that indeed I will master. I expect it to be a bit time consuming at first, however I know that it will get faster, and I can then fine tine it, and see quickly what steps I need to change to make the greatest impact in what I want to do, as apposed to what I actually do.

SiD


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:43 am 
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Lesson 23

In your recovery thread, share a brief summary of what practical uses the skill of measuring compulsive rituals can have in your recovery. Don't just copy the headings of this lesson, take a minute to see how you can practically use this information in YOUR life.

Practical uses for measuring compulsive rituals for me are as follows - One, I have been feeling very vulnerable at the moment, and as it was said in the last paragraph, seeing the mapped and numbered values (although I must admit, it was tedious and strained to write it, and I was bored), it has helped me intellectually reconnect, and pushed me per say to making the correct long term decisions.

I also must admit that I too wanted to see it as a single event (viewing porn) where in reality it is not the case. The addict in me says that it is a single event, and that no harm can be done by it, but I do know the reality of it, and I can now see that once breaking down the various parts of the compulsion ritual you can see what is actually at play.

So now - why I think it is important information in MY life - is that I can start breaking down my other things in the same way. Procrastination, lack of action etc etc and see the more "hidden" steps that I have taken that have given me some form of emotional gratification. Once you see the steps, only then you can change it. So That is why it is important. It makes me look deeper and harder into the different parts of my life that I otherwise would just accept as a single even and as such, battle to change, as apposed to seeing it as numerous events that you have a number of steps to stop, or change your thinking. So that is how I can practically use it.

This is something that indeed I will master. I expect it to be a bit time consuming at first, however I know that it will get faster, and I can then fine tine it, and see quickly what steps I need to change to make the greatest impact in what I want to do, as apposed to what I actually do.

SiD


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:06 am 
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Lesson 24

I. Create your own Wheel of Sexual Compulsion that is more closely related to your behaviour. This can be done by simply listing the cumulative elements involved in your compulsive behavior. This shouldn't take you more than five minutes. List these elements (associated with no particular ritual — but more your addiction in general) in your recovery thread.
II. Choose a real-life example of EVERY major sexual ritual that you engage in (these should be compulsive rituals, not healthy) and break each down into their smallest elements (based on the elements identified in your wheel of sexual compulsion).


I will look at the last even which was watching porn and masturbating.

I like "Mike" have a similar pattern - and followed the same progression.

    If sexual advancements are not reciprocated and or make, then I feel discontentment and almost like a feeling of not wanting to try, so then rejection and hurt ensure. You know there will be no "rejection" with porn, so you want to give up on real sex and just follow porn
    Then the outter areas that are most highly stimulated in my wheel of Sexual Compulsion, would be Orgasm then Danger, then Accomplishment, then Fantasy, then Power, then Suspense to see if I have gotten away with it.
    After I have "gotten away with it" it is a ritual to clean everything up, and make sure that I have no trace of it to be found.
    Time and Habituation - come into play when my partner would go to bed, and I cannot be "found" out. Thus I feel that sometime, I would push her to go to bed.

I find that a large part of my copulation ritual is about doing something you shouldn't. Being "naughty" per say, having a sneaky smoke is a prime example. It is not something I want to do, but rather than being boring, do something that gives me a bit of a thrill, so being dangerous and having suspense. This does not have to be sexual, but rather in any given situation. It is also not a overwhelming feeling to do that constantly, rather a dull lurking in my mind whenever anything becomes too predictable.

The irony is that I want to be open and honest with my partner, and I know that stops it, but the feeling to be "naughty" is stronger.

The second sexual compulsive ritual that I engage in would be perving.

    Sensory - see someone that is anorexic, blond hair, and slutty. Think she is nice.
    Fantasy - Once that initial attraction has been make, you can then envision doing things to her, or what she would be like to sleep with or be your partner.
    Suspense - A challenge to see if you can then "pick up" the girl

Time, Orgasm, and other factors do not play a part in this ritual, it is basically pure fantasy. This then lead in the third compulsive ritual, which was online gaming. This is where you can basically make a living off of your fictitious name, and persona.So that backed that side of perving.

I will look at other compulsive rituals as I do need to master this step.

SiD


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:47 am 
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LESSON 25

Develop your own compulsive ritual. Make this relatively simple.

Ritual Start
1) Thought of Masturbation
2) Internal conversation with myself involving shame/guilt
3) Convince myself that "once" wont hurt and that it feels good, so how can that be bad.
*) Opening up internet and going onto a porn site (PoNR usually)

Mid Ritual - Once the PoNR has been reached
4) Fantasise
5) Enjoy that I am being "naughty" and braking rules
6) Orgasm
*) Involves some sort of risk sexually
**) Often thoughts that I cannot be rejected in this environment, and that this is emotionally very distant.

Ending Ritual
7) Make sure that everything is clean - cleaning up after masturbation
8) Deleting Internet history &/or internet searches
9) Second thrill/re-leaf of getting away with it.
10) Guilt at what I have done.


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