Recovery Nation

Spanner's Recovery Response Thread
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Author:  Spanner [ Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:36 am ]
Post subject:  Perceiving Your Addiction

Lesson 15 Exercise:
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.

Just looked back at the lessons in the recovery workshop and the one that stands out most is lesson 10: Absolute honesty in recovery. This revelation is a game changer for the quality of communication with the wife. It's an exercise that has flicked a switch and has caused an immediate and permanent change in my attitude.

Author:  Spanner [ Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Understanding Addiction I

Lesson 16 Exercise:
I. Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)?
Understanding the functional role of your addiction is important in removing the power, mystery and fear from that addiction — to begin seeing it in terms of practicality, rather than as some kind of supernatural fate or disease that you are doomed to suffer.

It offered me a sense of excitement, a sense of achievement, a way to generate intense pleasure.
[Edit] on further thinking... Control.

Author:  Spanner [ Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Understanding Addiction II

Lesson 17 Exercise:
I. Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread. It is important that you understand the principles involved in identifying the stimulating elements of compulsive 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.

Over time I've had number of differing compulsive rituals.

My most recent sexual compulsive rituals contains:

Touch- masturbation
Sight- viewing internet porn
Taste-also played a part.
Sound- from video clips/movies
Fantasy: this is a bit of a concern. I'd never really thought about fantasy before but realise it is present in my rituals. Sometimes the images are enough but especially with blow job porn I would try to match my stimulation with the images being viewed. Masturbation without porn...Of course... But sometimes this was more health thoughts of my wife.
Danger: absolutely present in some past activities and also an element to this ritual. Risk that ejaculation would be noticed by the wife through lower fluid levels or poor performance. Risk to personal injury which again lead to discovery. Viewing porn, silent images or ensuring the volume was muted, whilst the missus was in the next room. This also added suspense and sound, listening for movement.
Suspense: as above. Also I may have a particular type of image of theme in mind at the start of a session. And there is a thrill of the chase to find good porn of that type.
Accomplishment: finding good images. Orgasm or managing to suppress orgasm and ejaculation. Completing any task based masturbation. There is a lot of goal-oriented tasks within the ritual.
Power: only the power from have the addiction as my secret. No real people involved.
Past: I'm thinking that my addiction is pleasure. Daily masturbation before sleep as soon as I mature enough and I recall then a compulsion. I have discussed this with my therapist and there may be something in my past that could be viewed as a trauma but I still feel I'm ok purely opportunity based.
Poly-addictions: none. Well, I may act out more readily whilst under the influence but I don't ritually drink.
Orgasm: not always. I'd often try to suppress this. I would masturbate to the point of orgasm but stop then repeat. To orgasm would mean the end of a session with loss of achievement/intensity. It may lead into a second acting out session if time allowed, a "good" thing for intensity.

Author:  Spanner [ Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Understanding Addiction III

Lesson 18 Exercise:
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.

Time : the time I had available to me would set the pace of the session. porn is looked at without stimulation at first. Visuals used to arouse. I think there is an initial threshold of holding off contact albeit relatively short. Masturbation has evolved (habituation) into this stop/start in little bursts. This is managing the stimulation threshold allowing myself to become repeatedly aroused. This increases the near orgasm stimulation ( intensity ) .

Author:  Spanner [ Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Something from lesson fifteen that stuck a chord.

In rare cases, a person can develop sexually destructive patterns not by trauma, but by a progressive pleasure/pleasure pattern where both the introduction to sex, as well as the natural ongoing development of sexual values produce positive emotional fulfillment. In such instances, additional behaviors are added to the sexual repertoire to further expand this pleasure.

This is me! When I first read it a couple of weeks ago it just stood out of the page. I have never really been able to think of anything in my past that is traumatic. My first sexual experience was masturbation and this was nightly at one point and I recall a compulsion even then. I sure had plenty of behaviours in my repertoire.

What does this mean for my recovery if I'm a rare case?
Does it mean I'm more likely to have mostly or all practical reasons than personal one?
Does this make recovery more complicated or less, or am I just as fucked up as the rest of you? :P

Thoughts whilst reviewing lesson sixteen.
stress-management (yes, stress management...there is nothing wrong with managing your stress — even through "addictive behaviors"; the key is to manage your stress through a balanced approach that does not include behaviors with destructive consequences);

A part from a few automatic subconscious wanks, of which for two of them, I was only aware of a couple of strokes before stopping myself, I have been sober for 4-5 months. I originally told myself I would not masturbate for six months to give my brain a rest, even though conventional wisdom is 90 days. Reading the passage above, confirms my own thoughts that I could resume some form of solo sexlife without it being linked to my addictive behaviours, however at this point of time I'm thinking that I'll not start masturbating when the time comes. This would be sex for sex sake. I don't feel I need or want to experience the pleasure of an orgasm without this being a part of loving relationship with the wife.
I wouldn't quite call this an epiphany but it is a new way of thinking about sex which is both surprising and pleasing for an old wanker like me. A sign I'm starting to develop sexual maturity at last. All thanks to RN and my higher level of thinking. Only I can heal myself after all. RN is very good at getting you to think and guiding those thoughts but you still have to think them and not just read the words. Thanks RN.

Author:  Spanner [ Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Spanner's Recovery Response Thread

Lesson 19 Exercise:
There is no written exercise associated with this lesson. Instead, there is only a call to deepen your awareness of how you go about deriving stimulation in your day-to-day life. For the rest of today...and for all of tomorrow...become 'hyper-aware' of the healthy and unhealthy rituals that you engage in — as you are engaging in them.

Just to make sure I'm on the right track I thought I'd post this.
Not sure asking people to be hyper aware of anything other driving whilst driving is a good idea. I work from home anyway.

Brushing teeth:
Ritual activity. Something I do on a regular consistent basis. Why? Parental reasoning as it is something we all should do. For the Health benefits. Decaying teeth would be painful. This is long term value thinking. Self care. My last visit to the dentist was not pleasant due to the cleaning. So I'm concentrating on the technique I'm using to ensure my teeth are cleaner. I'm not mentioning this to confess a previous slip in my personal hygiene but to highlight that even in a mundane automatic task there is a higher order of thinking going on. There are more immediate benefits. Cleanliness. Removal of unpleasant curly teeth and leaving a pleasant mouth feel. Fresher breath. Also it is part of how you present yourself to the outside world, your personal image.

Author:  Spanner [ Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lesson Twenty Mastering Your Addiction.

Lesson 20 Exercise:
This exercise may take you twenty minutes or it may take you twenty days. The value in it will be found in the clarity that you are able to achieve in defining the roles that addiction has played/can still play in your life.
You are now tasked with applying what you have learned to your own addiction. There are two ways of approaching this:
1) Examine your addiction and the role(s) that it has played in your life to date. Look across your life span and identify the progression of the addiction, the sustainment of it, the absence of it and/or the stifling of it. Look at the major transitions that you have experienced (childhood to prepubescent teen; prepubescent teen through teenager; teenager through young adulthood; young adulthood through adulthood; explore also any major traumas that you have endured (parental divorce, sexual abuse, moving to a new school or neighborhood, etc.) and identify the role that addiction (or the rituals that eventually developed into an addiction) played in helping you through that time period.
Your goal is to develop a fluid understanding of just how these patterns progressed from early sparks (harmless fantasy, etc.) to an eventual wildfire (e.g. addiction).

Okay I suspect this is going to take a while. I'm still struggling with being able to see the emotional benefits of my addition also to recall the exact type of information that is being asked for here. No-one ever said this was going to to be easy so here goes...

childhood to prepubescent teen;
Normal childhood. Nothing major. No family dramas. Didn't move. A time of addiction free innocence.
Stomach problems from stress from a couple of issues at school that I was innocent of resulted in a visit to the doctors and an anal examination. This is the only very unpleasant experience I can think of. Not sure I'd class this as a trauma though.

prepubescent teen through teenager;
This is where it starts. My memory of all this stuff is not very good. I seem to have coasted through life not paying too much attention. Masturbation starts during this time. I would pump the bed almost every night. As I've said before I think this was a purely pleasure thing. I can't think of any emotional issues other than I was never very self confident. I just seem to have a very immature attitude to sex.
I recall even back have compulsions to masturbate.
At some stage I learnt that my father had porno mags. These were soft core but a little bit harder than the likes of Playboy. I would seek these out when alone in the house.

teenager through young adulthood;
I had a few girl friends in my early youth. Nothing more than petting until I met the wife at school.
I recall being obsessed with losing my virginity before I was 16 but that didn't quite happen.
By this time I had a few softcore mags of my own. The wife asked/expected me to get rid of them and I said I would but didn't but pretended I had. First deceit.

young adulthood through adulthood;
After getting serious with the wife I then had sex with another girl at school.
I recognised this as a BIG mistake the instant it was done. I kept this a secret for many years.
Again sexual immaturity. Out to get what I could. This stopped me from directly involving others.
I'd use porn, buy mags (hardcore from sexshops) but never used phone, chat rooms, paid for anything online etc​.
This meant my funny little habit was self contained. Apart from possible hurt to the wife, which I did not dwell on, I was doing no harm to anyone. I no longer think that.
So over the years my behaviours have changed depending on the opportunities life at the time presented.
I seem to have achievement based activities.

I've been at this lark for many many years. I was on the classic cycle. In the latter years the wife has been picking up on my behaviours. Not always whilst I was active and perhaps not on every cycle but often. Occasionally this would lead me to seriously​ quit and this would work for a bit. I was uneducated, knew I wasn't right, but stood no chance of ever succeeding. So guilt based abstinence for short periods. And I could not tell you just how long my dormant phase lasts. I'd like to think it was months but it was likely to be only a few weeks at most.
I was constantly trying to stifle my urges. Not always but more and more of late.

Author:  Spanner [ Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lesson Twenty-One Recovery Goals

Lesson 21 Exercise:
A. What large goals have you attempted in your life and failed? Why do you suppose you failed?
B. What large goals have you attempted in your life and succeeded? Why do you suppose you were able to succeed?
C. List one recovery goal that you have and break it down into as many smaller, measurable tasks as necessary for you to manage it successfully. If you find this difficult, then you are probably starting off with too general of a recovery goal. Make it specific.
"I want to have completed the recovery workshop by June 1st."

Not sure how large is large.
B. I set myself a long term goal of learning python programming language along with pygame. Worked methodically through a book I'd bought on the subject. I did this in preparation for getting a small pocket sized PC which was still in production. The hope was to then code for the community. Why did I succeed? I'd set my mind to it. I knew in advance that there would be a learning curve. The process of learning is rewarding. The utilisation of the new skills is rewarding. Some of the early programs were cool. More sense of achievement.
A. I then wrote a few small games and decided to take on a more ambitious coding project. I got so far with a number of tricky programs only to stall. It's a different skill to write a large program. You can understand the syntax of the language but it's how you then implement the code. The structure to the program which is more interlectural and creative and rather fundamental. Often as the program got more complex this we found wanting. Effort/reward became too high so this was ditched for another programming idea.
C. I'll use the example: I want to complete the recovery workshop by 17th July 2017.
This is at a rate of a little over 3 lessons a week and allowing a week off for a planned family holiday where it is important I exercise my role as a husband, father and papa (grandfather). Get some stimulation​ from my values.

In order to complete the main Recovery Workshop by 17th July I'll need to hit the following milestones:
w/c 20/3 22-25(4)
w/c 27/3 26-28(3)
Complete Stage 2 (7 lessons) by 3rd April.
w/c 3/4 29-32(4)
w/c 10/4 33-35(3)
w/c 17/4 36-39(4)
w/c 24/4 40-42(3)
Complete Stage 3 (14 lessons) by 1st May.
w/c 1/5 43-45(3)
w/c 8/5 46-48(3)
w/c 15/5 49-51(3)
w/c 22/5 52-54(3)
w/c 29/5 55-57(3)
w/c 12/6 58,59,AD1(3)
Complete Stage 4 (17* lessons) by 19th June.
w/c 19/6 60-62(3)
w/c 26/6 63-66(4)
w/c 3/7 67-69(3)
w/c 10/7 70-73(4)
Complete Stage 5 (14% lessons) by 17th July.

*-this is 18 including the mentoring.
%-this excludes the additional stuff. That is not to say I'm excluding the idea of doing this, just not factoring it in to this goal.

I'm rather pleased about this task. It's a positive way to encourage my commitment and I'm up for it.

[edit] Oh boy! If all the future lessons are going to be as involved as 22 I think my schedule above is going to be challenged. :p

Author:  Spanner [ Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson Twenty-Two Measuring Compulsive Behaviour

Lesson 22 Exercise:
1. Consider a very simple ritual that you have engaged in.
2. Identify three or four elements of that ritual (e.g. physical sensory stimulation; danger; orgasm; accomplishment).
3. For each element, assign a relative number for the amount of stimulation you think you derive from this particular element. These numbers are relevant only to you and in relation to other elements that you experience.
4. For each element, consider the effects of each of the three filters on the stimulation derived from that element. Does it increase the stimulation? Decrease the stimulation? Have no effect? Have a mixed effect (as in, sometimes it increases, other times it decreases)?.
5. Share the above in your personal recovery thread. It should look something like this:

Observed Ritual: Masturbation without orgasm
There are many​ ways that this activity pans out, with success or failure, a repeated chain or not, over doing it(time) which leads to physical exhaustion. It can have other elements inserted throughout like internet porn which is more dangerous(discovery) than being in a bathroom, fantasy which is more prevalent without visual stimulation. As well as other behaviours. This time I'll work through a good single session in the bathroom.

Sensory (touch)=3. This is the main focused​ of this activity. To masturbate to hear orgasm and hold off and repeat stimulus as soon as I could. I would repeat the session if successful or not, if time allowed. The first session would be from the initial trigger (idea/opportunity) and I may well try to limit my acting out of the day to just the one session but that's where the compulsion to repeat/seek the near orgasm intensity comes in.
Time=9. Two functions of time. length of masturbation and the number of cycles. As intensity is the goal time is judged with some skill to hear threshold.
Intensity=10. This is what's it all about.
Habituation=2. Been at this a long time so not getting as much out of it as I used to.

Accomplishment=2. There is a goal to achieve and that is to *not* orgasm. By not ejaculating there is less guilt from betraying the wife with a personal sex act. Also keeps the fluid levels up so less likely to be discovered it we do make love and by not sexually relieving myself I'd retain a lust for sex with the wife (which was offended very immaturely handled). Again fear of descovery (being immature I was always sniffing around the wife for sex, so to suddenly not want it would trigger her alarm bells) but also moral, not wanting my actions to adversely affect our "normal" relationship.
Time=7 there are multiple accomplishments throughout the ritual. Here I have stopped after having enough without ejaculation.
Intensity=4 accomplishment is a secondary element so important to score well but does not contribute much intensity.
Habituation=3 again getting old. Have achieved success many times before.

Orgasm(suppression thereof)=2. Win/win, sort of. If I don't go too far then I have achieved my goal, if I fail then I have an orgasm and the extra kick of intensity that sometimes brings (often but not always). Most likely it's more a case of dammed if you do and dammed if you don't from the point of view of the impact on my brain.
Time=5 In this case orgasm has not happened. Risk of orgasm increases with cycles.
Intensity=1 The intensity is in the sensation and achievement.
Habituation=4 Again low as this is not new.

Fantasy=1. This is just a helper element. Not that important and only really called upon it the sensory elements (touch/visual) are not working well so more likely to be used for subsequent sessions.
Time=3 Not used much.
Intensity=5 Helps contribute to the physical stimulation
Habituation=7 Easy to think novel thoughts or bring in Past to remember strong imagery from past surfing.

Total: 31.5

Author:  Spanner [ Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson Twenty-Three Practical Uses for Measuring

Lesson 23 Exercise:
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.

For me, at​ this stage, it's the assessment and self awareness​ I'm going to find most useful. I'm struggling to associate emotions with my compulsive behaviours. So for this rather fundamental penny to drop would be very good thing.
Still no urges so relapse prevention is not a priority and I hope I'd be mindful enough to catch the early signs.
I find the whole concept interesting and whilst it's hard work, it is fascinating to start to understand what all my weird behaviour was all about.

Author:  Spanner [ Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson Twenty-Four Identifying Your Compulsive Elements

Lesson 24 Exercise:
I. Create your own Wheel of Sexual Compulsion that is more closely related to your behavior. 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 only have one major ritual based around the primary activity of masturbation, secondary activities which are almost always present are viewing porn and a theme (or themes) of the day which is a task (or tasks) to be accomplished, be that to find good examples of a genre of porn, use a specific physical technique to masturbate or sensory experience. All other elements of my ritual behaviour are tertiary. Plenty of ingredients to combine for making biscuits (cookies) both good old favourites and novel ones.

Element#1-Trigger. The idea to act out. Buzz of excitement. Danger of intentions being discovered if I act nervous or suspiciously. Suspense by wondering how the session will go.
Danger=2; time=3, intensity=4, habituation=4; total=11
Suspense=3; t=5, i=3, h=5; total=19.5

Element#2-Drop of wife. Say good bye whilst trying to stay calm.
Danger=3; t=4, i=6, h=5; total=22.5
Suspense=2; t=2, i=2, h=4; total=8

Element#3-Drive back home. Mentally plan the session. Suspense as I may yet felt guilty and stop or at least try to stop the session.
Suspense=3; t=3, i=6, h=4; total=19.5
Fantasy=2; t=2, i=2, h=6; total=10

Element#4-At home. Start to make preparations. Start PC etc. Start to feel sexually aroused.
Sensory=1; t=4, i=1, h=5; total=2.5
Danger=1; t=3, i=4, h=5; total=3
Suspense=3; t=5, i=3, h=5; total=17.25
Fantasy=1; t=3, i=4, h=5; total=3

Element#5-Open Private Browser and search for images of selected initial genre. Past. reuse previous keywords. Sensory-sight,sound. Danger. Wife comes home with migraine, son visits or postman knocks.
Sensory=3; t=4, i=7, h=4; total=15
Danger=1; t=4, i=3, h=4; total=3.66
Suspense=1; t=4, i=3, h=4; total=3.66

Element#6-Start to masturbate. Danger. low risk of being overlooked by a neighbour. Sensory-touch.
Sensory=3; t=5, i=7, h=5; total=25.5
Danger=2; t=4, i=3, h=4; total=11

Element#7-Change subject of Search. visual. Suspense.
Sensory=3; t=5, i=5, h=4; total=21
Suspense=2; t=5, i=5, h=4; total=14

Element#8-Start to edge (apparently the term for what I do) whilst viewing porn. Visual/sound/touch/orgasm(almost)/Fantasy(tie in ejaculation shots of porn with own stimulus. Synchronise/ model touch with imagery).
Sensory=3; t=6, i=7, h=5; total=18
Orgasm=2; t=8, i=8, h=4; total=13.33
Fantasy=2; t=5, i=4, h=5; total=9.33

Element#9-Repeat. Changing subjects from time to time and repeatedly​ edging. Stop when approaching threshold. Power. Mastery at prolonging sexual stimulus and obtaining many moments of intensity.
Sensory=3; t=7, i=8, h=4; total=11.4
Orgasm=2; t=9, i=8, h=3; total=8
Fantasy=1; t=6, i=3, h=4; total=2.6
Suspense=1; t=5, i=3, h=5; total=2.6
Danger=1; t=5, i=5, h=4; total=2.8

Element#10-Start work. Find hard to concentrate. Fantasy. Invasive thoughts of the images/actions just experienced. Guilt/concern about not being efficient. Danger. PC downstairs is still on and had browser open.
Danger=1; t=5, i=4, h=3; total=6
Fantasy=3; t=6, i=4, h=3; total=19.5

Element#11-Quick visit to PC on pretence of making a cup of tea. Think about shutting down browser/PC. Visual.
Sensory=3; t=6, i=4, h=3; total=19.5

Element#12-Compulsion to continue for an other session. Select new genre to keep it fresh.
Sensory=3; t=8, i=9, h=3; total=12
Orgasm=2; t=9, i=7, h=2; total=7.2
Fantasy=1; t=7, i=3, h=3; total=2.6
Suspense=1; t=5, i=2, h=5; total=2.4
Danger=1; t=6, i=4, h=3; total=2.6

Orgasm=3; t=6, i=9, h=3; total=54

Element#14-Tidy up. Wash. close Browser. Halt PC. Ensure all is normal. Guilt for actions and ejaculating. Accomplishment. for a successful session.
Sensory=1; t=6, i=5, h=4; total=7.5
Accomplishment=3; t=6, i=5, h=5; total=24

Element#15-Return to work. head unclear from intensity. Need to calm down from high before wife returns from work. Feeling unsettled and concern about being able not to look guilty.

Element#16-Greet wife after work. Avoid eye contact and avoid wife as much as I dare. Danger. In losing my cool or acting weird.
Danger=3; t=6, i=4, h=3; total=39

Grand total=29.78

Author:  Spanner [ Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Spanner's Recovery Response Thread

Hello all,

Just to say I'm still here. It seems a long time since I did any recovery work.
Life! All's good however.
There has been very positive progress with the wife.
We've been away together and the trip went well.
I'm sleeping in the same bed too. Another quantum leap towards the recovery of our relationship​.
Bit of a dip after getting back. I.have this issues of looking guilty in the wife's eyes where in fact I was initially only worried about my accountability after a long running poker session. This just sets her off. Need to stop that!
Anyway, I have read lesson 25 but feel I reprocess that before continuing.
Here goes.

Author:  Spanner [ Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson Twenty-Five Identifying Compulsive Rituals

Lesson 25 Exercise:
I. Develop your own compulsive ritual. Make this relatively simple. List the primary elements in a similar fashion as exampled above in Compulsive Ritual: Exhibitionism. Post this ritual and its elements in your recovery thread.

Compulsive ritual: Masturbation to Porn
#1 Healthy Web Browsing
#2 Starting to run out of ideas what to look at and getting bored.
#3 Idea/urge to look at red carpet images
#4 Convince myself that this is healthy titlation as images are main stream.
#5 Starting to enjoy browsing
#6 Start to focus on the level of exposure. looking for breasts and nipple protruding through fabric or "accidental" see-through
#7 Starting to feel turned on
#8 Randomly, based on "good images" seen so far, concentrate the search on one actress to see multiple red carpet events.
#9 Growing tired of this and wanting to see more flesh. Switch to searching for nipples. I
#10 Start to masturbate
#11 Having concerns if this activity may be discovered.
#12 Set myself a task to see hardcore images from this softcore search.
#13 Once found, move on to those.
#14 Heightened sexual stimulus. increase masturbation.
#15 Orgasm
#16 Instant euphoria and a feeling of accomplishment followed quickly by feelings of regret and guilt for acting out.
#17 Close private browsing window and resume regular browsing.

Author:  Spanner [ Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson Twenty-Six Mapping Compulsive Rituals

Lesson 26 Exercise:
In the previous exercise, you were asked to label the elements involved with a particular ritual. In this exercise, you will be delving deeper into your awareness of that ritual. Here, you are asked to 'map out' one of your rituals. Make sure that you choose a specific ritual that you have engaged in (as in, last Thursday before work, I looked at porn); rather than a general compulsive behavior (as in, in the past, I looked at porn).
The main difference between what you did in the previous exercise and this is that you are no longer listing the elements of the ritual. Instead, you are listing the behavior associated with that element. For example, in the past exercise, it was sufficient to label a voyeuristic ritual with the element 'sensory stimulation — visual'. No longer. From this point forward, all rituals should be identified in terms of the specific thoughts/behaviors associated with the elements. And so, today, your 'element' will read something like this: "I would focus my eyes on her and inconspicuously follow her around the store."
Post this more advanced ritual in your recovery thread.

This exercise is a little tricky as I'm not acting out and haven't for 6 months.
Hard to be specific. Also I think I went into a little too much detail in the last exercise and have pretty much done this one already. I'll copy it over and enhance it as best I can.

Compulsive ritual: Masturbation to Porn
#1 Healthy Web Browsing
#2 Starting to run out of ideas what to look at and getting bored.
#3 Idea/urge to look at red carpet images
#4 Convince myself that this is healthy titlation as images are main stream.
#5 Starting to enjoy browsing
#6 Start to focus on the level of exposure. looking for breasts and nipple protruding through fabric or "accidental" see-through dresses.
#7 Starting to feel turned on
#8 Randomly, based on "good images" seen so far, concentrate the search on one actress to see multiple red carpet events, looking for the most revealing outfit.
#9 Growing tired of this and wanting to see more flesh. Switch to searching for nipples.
#10 Start to masturbate.
#11 Having concerns if this activity may be discovered. Check that the wife is unlikely to disturb me.
#12 Set myself a task to see hardcore images, say a blow job, from this softcore google/Yahoo search.
#13 Once found, click on one of those links.
#14 Heightened sexual stimulus. increase masturbation. Pleasure intensifying.
#15 Orgasm.
#16 Instant euphoria and a feeling of accomplishment followed quickly by feelings of regret and guilt for acting out.
#17 Close private browsing window and resume regular browsing. Clean up any mess.

Author:  Spanner [ Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Lesson Twenty-Seven Identifying Compulsive Chains

Lesson 27 Exercise:
Provide an example of two compulsive chains in your life. The first chain should be where multiple rituals are engaged in simultaneously — thus enhancing the overall amount of stimulation derived from the behavior. The second should be an example of how you have strung together several rituals back-to-back and thus, extended the stimulation you were deriving. Post these examples in your recovery thread.

With an addictive personality I have always been wary of poly-addictions (even before I was aware of the term). I never took up smoking, never done drugs and drink to moderation (even more control since D-day).
#1 Simultaneous chains.
During the "usual" Masturbation to Porn ritual there are at least two chains happening.
Edging whilst masturbating. This can be used for sexual simulation on its own but in this case at the same time as viewing porn will all its quest based tasks which are control and a sense of achievement.
#2 Consecutive chains.
The ritual behaviour itself is a loop. I'll endeavour to stop the ritual without ejaculating.
Return to work or whatever only to return to the same activities again later. This can range from a few minutes to about an hour. Rarely longer unless it follows what I'd thought was the last session.
Repeated sessions with ejaculation have happened too but rarely, if that's what I dreamt up to be the task of the day.

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