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 Post subject: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:14 am
Posts: 14
I have been an addict for a long time now. Some people would call me young, with all my life ahead of me. This is true. But I am also leaving behind my "youth" and have, in many ways, lost it already to my years of addiction. This is a personal tragedy to me. But I have also had a relationship throughout most of the time that I've recognised I have a problem - some ten years now - with a wonderful woman the same age as me. My own issues haven't just altered the course of my life, but have significantly altered the course of hers too.

I know that I need to change, urgently. I have known it a long time. My inability to change, to tackle issues in my life, largely stem from my ongoing addiction problems. I don't want to be looking back in ten years' time feeling the same way I do now - asking myself "why did you let all those years go by without getting into solid recovery?". And if I do, it seems likely that I would no longer be in the relationship that I am now. Married to a beautiful, strong, supportive and determined woman who has changed so much in my life for the better.

Much has gone wrong in my life to date, but I am ready for change. I have been ready for a long time, but failing in my commitment to it to varying degrees. Now my life is beginning to fall apart. More than ever in the past. My issues, and my inability to resolve them, are taking their toll and bringing untold stress to the life of my dear wife as much as to me. Time is running out for me, and worse still for her. She knows her biological clock is ticking, that she wants a child. But that she also wants to do much before then. Much that is, at least partly, dependent on my wellness. And, of course, I want to be well before I become a parent. I want to be well, full stop. Starting now.

So, in response to lesson 1...

exercise A:

1) I fully commit myself to change, through ongoing work on myself, to bring about a new beginning that will lead to a healthy future
2) I am done with guilt and shame sabotaging my commitment. It has happened before, many times, but I am past that
3) I allow myself time to change, but not unlimited. I know this is a lifelong process, but also that significant early steps can be made quickly

exercise B:

1) I want to feel happy
2) I want to feel healthy
3) I want to be able to support those around me
4) I want to be able to do what is required of me
5) I want to give my wife the life she deserves
6) I want to feel like I am reaching more of my potential
7) I want to engage in activities that reward me in the long term
8) I want to feel like my life is building
9) I want to be able to plan for the future
10) I want to be able to get things done
11) I want to be in a position to be a good father
12) I want to be more balanced
13) I want to be stronger, more resilient
14) I want to step into the fresh air of freedom and do right by my one chance to live each day I am on this planet for

exercise C:

I recently got hold of some photos from my childhood. I saw myself at various stages of young life, from baby to toddler to lively young child. I cried. I could have cried and cried some more. I wanted to go on, but it wasn't the right time. I wasn't alone. Still, the tears crept up and out, at first unexpectedly, and then naturally, as I reflected on the purity of the child I once was, the innocence, the simple desire to be happy and healthy, to be loved and to love. I felt like I had failed that child. That all the pains I have suffered - have inflicted with each relapse, with all the other complications of living with an addiction - were inflicted on this innocent child. For I am that child. I imagined what I would want for that innocent child, and more tears came. I would want happiness. A rich life full of goodness. A child who flourishes according to their own inner qualities, who grows into someone with a smile on their face. Most of all, as someone who grows to be happy in their life. Instead, as the years passed, as the child grew to discover sexual pleasure, everything gradually worsened. The pleasure took over. For itself perhaps, and perhaps also as a means of escape at times. And over and over that child has had to endure emotional pain. Deep, dragging, shaming pain. A pain that accrues into a separate burden of its own, one that adds further to the the initial addiction. An isolating pain. An imprisoning pain. Time and time and time again, from teenage years into adulthood, the person I am, and was at each of those stages, through addiction, inflicted tremendous pain on that innocent child. No child deserves that. The child I was in the photos did not deserve that. That child only deserved happiness. Tears for that child are not enough. But it feels like right now I have nothing more to give. I can only promise to myself, to that child that I was, that I will find myself walking along the path that leads forward, that I know leads in the right direction.

I look forward to continuing this journey back to health.

_________________
Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
- Samuel Beckett


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 Post subject: Re: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:28 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3355
Location: UK
Hello RD

and welcome to RN

Quote:
a beautiful, strong, supportive and determined woman who has changed so much in my life for the better.


you are a lucky man
But now seems to be the opportunity for you to change your whole life for the better, show that you deserve her support, prove that you are worthy to be at her side
do it for you
so if you really do want to improve your life and to recover from your addiction then you are at a good place to make that wish reality
Commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting and reading
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness

remember to work at your own pace and its not a race indeed some consider recovery to be a journey rather than a destination


remember the only person that can make these changes is you, so the hard work needs to come from you
looking forwards to reading your posts and wishing you all the best

_________________
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: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:14 am
Posts: 14
Hi Kenzo,

Thank you for the welcome and for the thoughtful, supportive comments.

Yes, I want to prove myself. And I want to commit completely.

I will work through the lessons, and hope to get started with number two today - maybe even finish it if I can.

I'll do as you suggest and try to post and read every day. And I'll be sure to ask if there's anything unclear to me.

I know this is a long process, and don't expect miracles. To me it is certainly a journey more than a destination. I don't expect there to be a time where I can simply say "I am now recovered". There will always be work to do, no matter how far behind me my active troubles are.

I'll certainly put in the hard work.

Many thanks again.

_________________
Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
- Samuel Beckett


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 Post subject: Re: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:41 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3355
Location: UK
Quote:
and hope to get started with number two today


why hope?
just do it
remember we all found / find plenty of time to act out, no problem
recovery does take time, make it a priority

_________________
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: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:14 am
Posts: 14
I have returned to start making regular journal entries and follow the recovery program. I am on a clean slate with my wife again now, and can make headway with things in the open. I'll also spend time on other members' journals and elsewhere in the forum to help support and encourage others who are struggling. I look forward to becoming an active and committed member of this community.

_________________
Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
- Samuel Beckett


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 Post subject: Re: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:55 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3355
Location: UK
Welcome back
I hope :pe: time will tell
time to
Quote:
become an active and committed member of this community.


Quote:
I am on a clean slate with my wife again now, and can make headway with things in the open.
:g:
to be where you say you are then you must also be on a clean slate with yourself, that probably is your most positive initial step taken
well done
now perhaps the programme?
good luck

_________________
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: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:14 am
Posts: 14
Hi Kenzo, thank you for your encouragement.

Yes, I am on a clean slate with myself too. I am good at being honest with myself. I think that is one of my strengths (I have many weaknesses of course), so that probably helps. Being honest with others has been a different matter. However, my dishonesty was always to avoid inflicting pain on others rather than because I wanted to be able to keep acting on my addiction in secret (I know, keeping it secret actually inflicts more pain in the long term...). I have been way past any wish to maintain the activities that I am addicted to for a long time - ever since I first knew that I was addicted, which was back when I was 17 or 18 I think (over a decade ago). Of course, my addiction tells me often that it doesn't want to end, that it wants just one more chance etc etc. And yes, I have fallen for that time and again when it has been overwhelming or I have been weak, tired, vulnerable to it in various ways. The trouble with keeping this thing hidden is that it is easier to fall back into the addiction cycle when you don't have some form of external support. So my efforts have always been hampered, though I have continually made them within days of any relapse.

Anyway, things are very open now. The home filter system that we have to monitor me and keep me from acting out records things I never realised it did. I thought I had been evading it when in reality those things were logged. I am relieved. I finally feel like "there's no drink just lying around the house" to use a metaphor from another horrible addiction.

I am several weeks along now and my mental state is starting to improve. Mood is less heavy, although still a bit volatile. Clarity is slowly improving, in fits and starts. Focus is starting to come back. Motivation too. The things that make us function properly. I wonder how good it will get, assuming I can keep on this path (which it looks like I will given the new situation I described).

I have been on the community forum a bit this morning, getting a feel for what's there. I'll check out a few other recovery journals too. And I will certainly continue with the programme, staring where I left off a few posts above.

Thanks again. I look forward to getting better, and to helping others get better too.

_________________
Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
- Samuel Beckett


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 Post subject: Re: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:14 am
Posts: 14
After over three weeks without too much struggle, the last two or three days have been tough. I've been through the wringer with urges welling up inside me, building into powerful frustration, and a kind of anger. Anger at being trapped, unable to release myself from these urges. I've been like a bear with a sore head. Fortunately I was aware of this, so didn't lash out at anyone, but my wife picked up on my emotional state. I was unable to really give proper emotional attention to her, since I was so caught up in internal conflict, feeling so uncomfortable. I know this state will pass - it might take a day, two days, more, but it will.

The intensity of emotions I felt was too distracting to really get on with anything (I work from home), so I chose to relieve myself in the hope that it would ease the pressure enough to get on (aware that I needed to separate that act from the urges I was having as much as possible). I try to relieve myself only rarely, and typically go without doing so for a couple of weeks at a time (I think it worth noting that I am often without sex during that time too). Of course, it didn't help ease the pressure at all. Within a short time it left me feeling more frustrated, not less. The only way past these feelings sometimes is to go right through them, to ride the storm, even if it lasts for days. There is always another side to reach, calmer, though the ride there can be rough. I haven't reached the calm side yet, but it does seem the ride is easing up a little today which is a relief.

In any case, I intend to do lesson two of the workshop today. I have read through it, and now need to lay down some words. But I will do that in a separate post, perhaps later on. Hoping for a more settled, productive day today.

_________________
Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
- Samuel Beckett


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 Post subject: Re: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:14 am
Posts: 14
Since my last post, where I wrote about the frustration and anger I was temporarily feeling, things have changed. I passed through those feelings, leaving them behind for the most part a couple of days from the time that post was written. That was followed with something else: depression, listlessness, heavy brain fog. The depression lifted a little on Saturday, when I was out for a social event all day, but returned again on Sunday to a lesser degree. Pleasingly, it seems to have lifted quite a lot today. Hopefully this will continue, and hopefully there won't be a recurring cycle of frustration/anger followed by depression going forward (albeit lessening each time). Only time will tell. I have been in the clear for 30 days now. This is the longest for quite some time. Some of the positive feelings, that I associate with normality, are returning. I am feeling more able, to put it in the broadest sense... I know I need to get some of the workshop lessons nailed, and will do my best to do so this week. As for today, I am in a fairly good place.

_________________
Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
- Samuel Beckett


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 Post subject: Re: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:35 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3355
Location: UK
Hello RD
My advice would be stop counting the days, look upon your journey as a much bigger life change forever

Quote:
I know I need to get some of the workshop lessons nailed, and will do my best to do so this week.

Try?
Sorry but that appears to be an excuse to give yourself an excuse

Simply set aside some time and get into a routine, you know that it really is worth it and you are worth it to
as said many times before, as addicts we never had no time enough NOT to act out

_________________
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: The Right Direction
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:14 am
Posts: 14
Workshop Lesson 2 Exercise: Creating a Vision

I want to be someone who is reliable. Who is trustworthy. Who gets things done. Someone who is able to organise their time, to use it well. I want to be a father who my unborn child(ren) can respect, a husband who my wife can respect, as someone who is trying to live life well. I want to develop my relationship with the natural world much further. And I want inner development, greater inward peace, and the ability to weather storms in my life better. To ride out emotional tides and still be able to make the day a success of sorts. I want to do more for those in my life that I care about, and to be able to give them more time. I want to deepen the love between myself and my wife. I want to be able to respect myself, fully.

_________________
Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.
- Samuel Beckett


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