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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:16 am 
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Lesson 60

This action plan will be a work in progress. I say that because I've been thinking about this lesson for two or three weeks now and basically come up with very general lists. I'm not sure where or what should go here. This list may grow or shrink over time.

Action Plan
I. Create an ongoing list of signs/symptoms of when you are struggling to manage your life. Note that you are not asked for the times you act out...but instead, a more general approach is necessary.
- When I am in a foul mood for no apparent reason
- Stressful situations with work or life in general
- Idel times seem to be a time of great struggle


II. Create an ongoing list of major life events/triggers that would likely create a significant emotional imbalance in your life.
- Pick one, any major life event that causes stress could be a potential imbalance.
- moving, job change, death of loved one, this list could go on and on


III. Create an action plan for what you will do should you determine that you are currently struggling to mange your life/emotions.
- I will stop, take a moment or two to check in with myself. Slow down and think about what is causing the feelings. Then once identified determine if it's something I can control or not. If it is something out of my control I will look for a way to remove myself or the object from the equation. This can be walking away from the situation to turning off the tv, etc.

III. For the first six months, review your life/this list weekly, adding to it as appropriate. Ensure that you engage in an honest, objective review

IV. For the following six months, review your life/this list on a monthly basis.

V. Continue to adjust the time between your reviews accordingly, but always schedule a review at least once a quarter. Why? I have the perfect example of why: it has been fifteen years since I last acted on any sexual addiction urges. And because I continue to assess my own life on a quarterly basis, I was able to recognize a developing unhealthy pattern on the love addiction side just a few short years ago. What gave it away? The symptoms/traits listed on my self-awareness sheet fit my current behaviors to a tee. And yet, I was totally clueless at the time. Such scheduled self-assessments are a critical aspect of relapse prevention.

edit 9/20


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:47 am 
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Lesson 60 Exercise:

1. Develop a Plan
Engaging in these five actions will ensure that you maintain the most efficient skills for preventing relapse. Develop a plan that is unique to you. Post this plan on your Recovery Thread.

- My plan is simple in approach but parts of this plan are still difficult but will also become second nature with time. The number one thing is communication with GG. If something is bothering me, share it with her. It was the hiding of emotions that started this downward spiral in the first place. From there it is keep an open mind, keep my mind busy....but not too busy, and remember to slow down and enjoy life.


2. Motivators
A fundamental of early recovery is to establish a list of positive motivators that can be used to sustain one's focus and energy throughout the transition to health. Go back and examine your own motivators (Lesson One) — note those that continue to motivate you today and those that have lost their intensity. You will almost universally conclude that it is the positive motivators that have survived the crisis. Those based on negativity and fear (e.g. I don't want to lose my marriage; I hate who I have become) tend to lose their ability to motivate as the initial crisis wanes.



I. Create an ongoing list of signs/symptoms of when you are struggling to manage your life. Note that you are not asked for the times you act out...but instead, a more general
- Short Temper
In the past I was always the mellow one when it came to my temper. I don't know if this is a symptom of the addiction, or a side effect of coming off that addiction, but I seem to get upset very fast and over little things.
- Boredom
This has always been one of my triggers that I must deal with. I need to continue to find ways to steer my mind away from boredom or engage it in activities when boredom comes around.
- Life Stresses
Not much can be done here. Life happens and I need to remember two things that go along with life. Both of these simple phrases below are starting to help me better manage the stresses that life is going to bring. Be it work, home or family.
A: You can't adjust the wind, but you can adjust the sails.
B: Hakuna Matata - yep sometimes Disney gets it right.

II. Create an ongoing list of major life events/triggers that would likely create a significant emotional imbalance in your life.
- Sickness or death in the family or friends
- Work
- Money

III. Create an action plan for what you will do should you determine that you are currently struggling to mange your life/emotions.
- Honestly check in with myself to determine where I am emotionally.
- Am I being Her Man?

III. For the first six months, review your life/this list weekly, adding to it as appropriate. Ensure that you engage in an honest, objective review
- Week 1: I am happy to say there has been no acting out. However I am still failing to recognize my emotions. I can be pissed at the world, short tempered or just angry and not realize it until GG tells me. This needs to stop and I need to get better at recognizing and correcting.
- Week 2: No acting out but still seems like I'm short tempered. I took a moment to reflect and could not find any reason why I might be. I did like to hear that my sharing is helping at the weekly meetings, I also still pick up small tidbits as well. So far my favorite one is "You can't change the wind, but you can change the sails". I like this because there are many things in this crazy life I can't change but I can always change to overcome it. Still working on better communication with GG and hoping that is being seen on her side too. Till next week...TTFN!
- Week 3: Things seem to be getting better which has me a bit worried to tell you the truth. No outbursts, no temper flare ups, just an even week. This week did include some travel out of town for work. In the past it would have been a big trigger for me. This time it was not, that's a good thing. It may have been because it was a very busy trip with little downtime....but I'd like to think what I've learned here made it a good trip as well. GG and I continue our weekly catch up as well and I'm enjoying that. I would still like to work on it though as it still feels "forced". But hey progress is progress.
- Week 4: AFRAID, that is the only way to discribe it. Yes, things are going well, but this is when the chair falls out from underneath me. It has been a good week, no acting out, no thoughts. I think we are still grow closer. We started a "hug" challenge and I am actually having fun with it. Although 8 hugs in a day is pretty hard when your both working. Meetings continue and the grass covering the path to my addiction is growing longer....not fast enough but it is growing.
- Week 5: Well as predicted the summer storm rolled in on Wednesday. I still need to find a way to communicate with GG. Maybe that's not the right word, because we do talk, just not enough emotionally significant in her eyes. I'm afraid I might not be able to give her everything that she wants. I love her to death, but I don't know if I'm as emotional as she wants. Seeing that the chair fell on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I wasn't giving much hope for the rest of the week. However, the rest of the week turned out pretty good. Friday night was spent with friends and we ended up staying out till 4am! It was one of those unexpected, yet totally needed fun nights. We cut down a crooked tree, decorated and listened to Christmas music most of the day on Sunday. We finished Sunday off with our bath time ritual. This wasn't very good. I told GG how I felt and that I basically wait for the next "storm" and just go Day by day between them. This made her upset but was not intended to. It's how I feel right now and I'm trying to be open and honest. So now I have the moral delema... be honest and upset her. Be honest with myself but maybe hold some of the hurtful details out with her? I know I need to be honest but I don't think I can continue to worry about the chair failing out. Although the chair failing out is getting farther and farther apart, which is a good thing. Fingers crossed (yes that is a good plan) that as we both travel this journey together the chair failing will stop and we continue to grow closer together. I have been overly aroused lately and in the past this would have found me acting out, be it internet or something else. I have been able to control my urges and focus that energy elsewhere. I call that a hUge WIN anyway you look at it.
- Week 6: Well things seem to have gone back to that "all's well" situation. No blow ups, no urges, just the two of us trying to navigate life's challenges. We did talk and discuss the blow up, what caused it and what I can and can't do. In the end I think it was a good talk. I realize I need to share with GG more. I realize she needs to hear the progress that I'm making, a little about the exercises that I'm completing and the subjects discussed at the SCA meeting as well. It isn't that I don't want to, I just don't like to think about it constantly. In the end I know I'll have to find a way for me to start talking about those things but for now if I'm making progress that's the bigger piece. Till next week.
- Week 7: I would have to say it was a pretty good week. A week filled with lots of travel (a trigger in the past) and some random fun thrown in as well. From a trip to IKEA, an impromptu coffee and cigar day to a holiday music festival, fun was had. During all that there were no thoughts or motions to the past struggles.
- Week 8-10: wow has time flown by. There have been ups and downs, but way more ups which is a good thing. Had a slight breakthrough where as I am realizing that childhood thoughts need to also align with adult thoughts and sometimes I need to grow up. I know santa isn't real and I also know there may not always be a white Christmas. However, I do need to realize and remember not every Christmas will be/needs to be perfect. Spending quality time with friends, family or just my wife and I is all that I should be looking for. In the end that is all that matters.


Last edited by ZGGTR on Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:28 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:58 am 
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Exercise 64

Take today to envision where you are in your transition to health. What skills do you feel you have worked hard to develop? What skills need additional work? Explore your attitude in regards to whether or not 'addiction' is a part of you; or merely a pattern that developed in your life. Explore your awareness as to the role that your compulsive rituals played...and what it would mean should they return. Explore how you would respond? Explore your confidence level in that response. Explore your overall balance and stability...how much of your life is spent 'fighting urges, managing urges, acting out, engaging in recovery activities, etc.' versus how much of your life is spent just living. Assess your identity for hyper-sexuality. How prevalent is it? Assess your value system. How efficient are you in using it to make decisions, achieve balance, etc.? Share any significant observations (from the questions listed above or others) in your Recovery Thread.
When I look at where I am now and where I was when I started Recovery Nation I am happy to say I'm a better person. While I am still struggling with parts of my addiction I have also not acted out. I've remained faithful to GG and continue to grow closer emotionally. I also found that the tools and learnings from Recovery Nation have helped me identify other areas in my life that the addiction was either hiding or causing. As I continue to work on those I believe I will continue on the path to complete recovery. The past few lessons spoke about mentoring or sharing with others on Recovery Nation. I do not feel like I am suited to do that just yet. Eventually I will feel I have gathered the knowledge and mastered my addiction enough to mentor, but for now I would rather read others posts for insight and "ah points" I never thought of.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:43 am 
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Lesson 65 Exercise:

A) Envision your "life after addiction/life after recovery".
B) Compare it to the vision that you began back in Lesson Two of the workshop.
C) They should be nearly identical. Are they?


Lesson 2:

My vision is to simply be the man that my wife deserves and one where people that I've interacted with will look back and say "That guy led an awesomely good life with no regrets." This vision also shows that I've overcome the lying and dishonest addiction of my past.

Growing a old with my wife and sharing all the swashbuckling adventures with her along the way. A life where people are jealous of the love we have for one another and say there should be books or movies written about our lives together.

This life will not only include helping those less fortunate than ourselves , but also continuing to travel and sail around the Caribbean....maybe crossing the Atlantic once or twice as as well. Of course this vision also includes having a small farm / B&B that we can come home to. Complete with chickens, a few goats and a horse or two. This farm / B&B will also be 75%-80% off the grid (wind and solar) and serve as a bright example of how you can combine both healthy living and sustainable energy in a comfortable setting and environment.

I used to say when I died I wanted to come sliding into the pearly gates feet first with my clothes on fire saying "man what a ride". However, now I would be happy and hope that is more of walking up to that same gate holding my wife's hand and saying "Damn it was a good life, here is to another lifetime of joy together"



Yes, this vision has not changed and has also been one of the primary motivators in my recovery. I've never not had this vision in mind.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:04 am 
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Lesson 66 Exercise:

A) Consider your perspective towards potential triggers when you were in early recovery. Consider your perspective now. How has this changed?
In early recovery these triggers were an excuse to get my "high". I would almost seek them out due to the addiction. Now that I have moved thru the past lessons, committed to "beating" this and started on this path to recovery all that has gone out the window. I no longer seek that "high". I also can turn my thoughts elsewhere should I see a trigger coming. This helps me avoid the situation altogether.

B) List five potential triggers for you — that may lead you into a compulsive crisis. How can you shift your perspective of each so that they are not only NOT a threat to your values, but you can actually use these triggers to strengthen those values?
- Boredom:
In the past I feared boredom because it would undoubtedly lead to acting out.
now I almost look forward to it as it gives me a chance to "shop" for cars I can't
afford or research my next project around the house. In the past this boredom
was never put to good use.

- Stress:
This is life. I just have to remember everyone has it. Hakuna Matata, no
worries. Better yet, Bob Marley said it best. Don't worry about a thing, it's
gonna be alright.

- Visual Stimuli:
Similar to stress, visual stimuli will be in places and at times I can't control. I
need to realize that when this situations occur....I stop them in my mind. I used
let them bounce around in my head and save them for another day. Now I
follow the "garbage in - garbage out" process and don't let it linger in my mind.

- Porn
There is no place for this anymore. When someone sends me a picture or
video via text, DELETE. I'm not even sure I spend a 1/5 of a second on it, it
is instantaneous.

- Clothing
This is very similar to the visual stimuli. If I get the feeling it is wrong...it
probably is and I should go into defense mode and get out of the situation.
Not for fear of acting out but to ensure I continue to reinforce the lessons I've
learned


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:09 am 
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Lesson 67 Exercise:

A) List the most likely behavior that you will need to monitor for potential 'switching' and/or compulsivity now that the sexual rituals have subsided.
- I'm not sure if this is a "behavior" but I need to make sure I don't rationalize to make compulsive
things ok. Be it my sexual addiction or anything else that I may turn to.

B) Are these listed anywhere on your weekly monitoring so that you can objectively assess them?
- Has not creeped up yet, but I'm on the look out.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:23 am 
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Lesson 68 Exercise:
A) Map out your own anger rituals in the same way you did your sexual rituals long ago. Look for patterns in relating to your partner, coworkers, friends, yourself...where anger is triggered and you find it difficult to disengage from that anger.
- This exercise is just as hard, maybe harder than mapping out my sexual rituals. I've been thinking about this for the past few weeks and haven't made much progress on it. Just seems to come in as an intense, uncontrollable wave similar to a tsunami and leaves just as fast. Will continue to work on this one....TBC

B) Can you identify the elements of these rituals where you actively intensify the stimulation that is experienced?
- I don't think I do. I do not like being angry and would not consciously intensify it.

C) Do you think that 'creating a break' upon the awareness of these anger rituals will allow you to slow the situation enough to allow your values to take over? Why or why not?
- Yes, a plain and simple yes. By slowing down and taking a moment I should be able to recognize the anger, what is causing the anger and a better way to deal with THAT situation and not transfer it to the situation at hand.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3414
Location: UK
Hi ZGGTR
Anger is an emotion
remember that all emotions are finite and cyclic
hence they can be dealt with
hence
Quote:
Will continue to work on this one....TBC

is the right attitude :g: :g:

after all life is TBC and you know the benefits of post recovery already

_________________
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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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:14 am 
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Kenzo,
Thank you for the words of encouragement. It was actually starting to interfere with my recovery as the anger was getting the best of me. I will continue to work that alongside the sexual compulsive avenue.


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