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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
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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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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm
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Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
Quote:
Lesson 28 Exercise:
1. Develop a compulsive chain of your most recent acting out behavior.


Compulsive chain: Masturbation to Porn
#1 Healthy Web Browsing
#2 Look at red carpet images.
#3 Start looking for breasts and nipple protruding through fabric or "accidental" see-through shots.
#4 Switch to searching for nipples.
#5 Start to masturbate
#6 Set myself a task to see hardcore images from this softcore search.
#7 Once found, move on to surfing for those.
#8 Edge masturbation.
#9 End session. Shut down PC, tidy/clean up, cover tracks etc. Return to "normal" activities.
#10 downtime, think of/review previous session
#11 Start subsequent ritual. Start by browsing for best images of last session or new hardcore theme of once
#12 masturbate
#13 change subject
#14 edge
#15 end session. Cover tracks.


Quote:
2. Upon completion of this chain, review it to ensure that you can recognize the way that each element affected your emotional state.


Compulsive chain: Masturbation to Porn
#1 Healthy Web Browsing
This is normal life. Opportunity to act out starts to play on my mind. Bored with normal browsing.
#2 Look at red carpet images.
naughty! I know where this will lead more often as than not. Point of no return may have already been passed, or is likely to be now or the next step.
Excitement builds. cognitive distortions: innocent main stream images.
#3 Start looking for breasts and nipple protruding through fabric or "accidental" see-through shots.
Deeply scanning these images sexually. building tension, suspense. achievement for finding revealing image.
Habituation: this is low level stimulus so soon get tired of this.
This action is only an appetiser​ after all.
#4 Switch to searching for nipples.
Build in intensity of visual stimulation. more suspense for finding good images and achievement when found.
#5 Start to masturbate
Sexual tension was allowed to build. absorb some imagery first. physical stimulus. pleasure.
#6 Set myself a task to see hardcore images from this softcore search.
Task based searching. Normally there is the odd hardcore images that slips the filter.
More suspense and achievement. Search subject can be adjusted a little to help. Keeping the keywords soft. skill.
Nipple returns a lot of plumbing images but long nipple or puffy nipples hones in.
#7 Once found, move on to surfing for those.
Intensity visual stimulation.
#8 Edge masturbation.
Intensified physical stimulation, skill, achievement for supressing orgasm. pleasure.
#9 End session. Shut down PC, tidy/clean up, cover tracks etc. Return to "normal" activities.
As threshold approaches or a reasonable amount of time has passed.
Achievement.
#10 downtime, think of/review previous session.
Fantasy(review). initially allow the state of arousal to subside.
After a short period of time (5-55minute) compulsive​ urge to repeat.
Nervous tension builds. anticipation. Fantasy(planning) and ideas form for next session.
#11 Start subsequent ritual. Start by browsing for best images of last session or new hardcore theme of once
Visual stimulation. sexual tension. achievement. pleasure.
#12 masturbate
Physical sexual stimulation.
#13 change subject.
Habituation. new visual stimulation. fantasy
#14 edge
Intense physical simulation. control(power). skill.
#15 end session. Cover tracks.
Achievement. initial euphoria as sexual pleasure subsides feelings of remorse, guilt and concern of getting​ caught.
Double check tracks are covered. Attempt to calm down.

Quote:
3. Thinking as an addict, look for areas within this chain where you could add additional destructive elements that would have (most likely) increased the overall stimulation of the event. The actual events that you add should be realistic, and related to the chain itself. For instance, someone viewing porn might add the element of setting up a Power Point slide show of the images. Someone engaging in escort services might add the element of videotaping the encounters. Share these in your recovery thread.


Start to collect images of videos. Cherry picked from the genres of porn viewed.
Add watching a video. slowing the pass and extending the duration of the session.
Using objects to masturbate with.
Span the gap between the chains by either sneaking a look at porn or little bursts of masturbation during the downtime​.

Time to stop thinking like a sex addict. It's not healthy. :p


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 Post subject: Re: Reworking lesson 5
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:32 am 
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Posts: 76
Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
I've been doing some serious thinking the last few days. Triggered by a breakdown in recovery progress with the wife.We, well she, had been making great strides and effort with our recovery and I was accepting it and growing complacent. Loss of focus. Lots of life getting in the way. RN and recovery work is hard mental work and nice things were happening so I think I just slipped into my old emotional based mindset. Ultimately​ the issue was not me acting out, still no sign of that, but one of total honesty. I'm really struggling to nail this. The wife wants to know every little detail, every past thought and action. I thought I'd got there and had a good clear out and the slate was clean. Only I then remember something which should be shared which I'm reluctant to. Now all of a sudden I unable to claim to be being totally honest. Not by lying or deflection of the truth but by omitting information. This then affects, well everything. I'm then not as open as I should be with sharing on going thoughts. Total honesty is on or off. It's a boundary issue. The wife needs this information for her healing (her recovery/safety boundary) and I still​ want to hide from the past (Total honesty boundary set too high). I've been a sex addict for a long time there is a lot of past. I cannot possibly recall every time I acted out or every sexual thought I've had. I need for the boundary to be set to filter out the low level stuff. The wife does need to know who I was, what type of addict I was and how deep the problem was ingrained. Is holding anything back me wanting to get off the hook, to avoid my accountability, or wanting some form of closure so that there is not this open wound in our relationship. There are two lessons moved from from the recovery workshop into the couple's workshop. I read them when originally struggling with disclosure and I have read them again. Valuable lessons for all going though recovery and something needed early. Perhaps these should be in both workshops.
What I realised was that I have to make a decision and I'm doing this based on emotions (fear, selfishness,shame anxiety) and not the values that I've thought through in earlier lessons. Hence the review of lesson 5.

I'm still happy with the values only the order is wrong.

Lesson 5
=1. Loving another person, my wife, unconditionally
Key word unconditionally​ and without total honesty there are conditions.
This is my primary value. The one I said I most wanted to live by but the one I have lost the most focus on.
It's a really tough one. You have to admit to yourself that never loved your wife unconditionally​ in the past and in my case ever. She knows this too. She has felt it and she has asked me outright. This is painful.
2. Acting honesty
It has become clear that this is paramount to any form of future. (Future progress, future happiness and future stability).
3. Strengthening my role as a husband
Still important. Need to revisit the proactive plans and daily monitoring (which was never reviewed and has slipped from daily use in the last two weeks or so)
4. Walking the same path as equals
It is still important that I am less selfish. (seriously failing at this point in time)
5. Communicating feelings
Moved​ this one up as it is closely linked to the top two values. I need to communicate how I feel and what I feel. Too often I have held on to thoughts which are then too late to share.
6. Being proactive
Up a little. I need to be on the ball and a more active party in my own life.
7. Taking care of myself
I am doing this and getting possible value. Playing badminton, daily sit-ups and press-ups, control of beer and sweet intake, relaxing baths. Simple stuff.
8. Strengthening my role as a father
Some sporadic attention to these three values. I see them as a group of equal footing. My family values.
=8. Strengthening my role as a grandfather
=8. Strengthening my role as a son.
11. Being sexually mature
You'd need to be having sex for this to be value. I joke, not about the sex but about the value.
It is very important that I replace my sexual immaturity with a wholesome value. Then I can set boundaries.
Romance the wife and not use smutty comments and groping. Move on from scanning women as sexual objects.
12. Being creative
I do get value from being creative so this needs to remain in my top 15.
13. Personal growth and development.
Focus is on recovery to health from my addiction but then as free time and brain space allows this will remain a core value.
14. Providing quality in my work
Part necessity and part professional pride. remains.
15. Having a sense of humour
Moved to last. Not sure if this is me holding on to my immaturity​ or not wanting to become a seriously boring fart.
May replace this in time but a reminder to enjoy life when you can.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm
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Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
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Lesson 29 Exercise:
The role of emotions in motivating behavior is a critical aspect of understanding addiction. Without emotions, addiction does not exists. Without that intense need, that desire, that craving...addiction does not exist. To better understand this principle, you are going to be asked to do something that will require a signficant emotional effort on your part.

A. Find a place where you will be alone and safe. Ensure that, for the next fifteen minutes, you won't be interrupted for any reason. Fifteen mintues (or longer, but not less than). Then close your eyes and just feel. Think of things that are important to you. Think of your values. Think of your regrets. Think of trauma that you have experienced. Think of wonderful moments. Let yourself experience whatever emotions that come freely. Focus on each of the emotions, and DO NOT OPEN YOUR EYES! (this is an important part of the exercise). Stay in touch with the feelings. Experience the emotions that come with these thoughts. Forget about your physical self...focus only on the emotions that you are experiencing.

Now, consider one of your milder compulsive behaviors. Try to get in touch with the feelings that are generated with this behavior. If you find yourself getting triggered to act, forbid yourself. Then focus on the anxiety that is produced with that decision. Really allow yourself to get in touch with the stress that is building. Consider the reality that, either during this exercise or soon thereafter, you will face the challenge of deciding whether or not you should act on these feelings. Begin to feel the consequences of both your decision to masturbate, and your decision to remain committed to recovery.

After you have done this for fifteen minutes (or longer), and before you engage in any compulsive behavior, open your eyes and complete the following:

A. Describe the emotions that you experienced and the thoughts that triggered them.


A. anger, stress, frustration, helplessness. I was thinking of an argument I had with the wife the other day. Started as a discussion and then got heated. I suggested we cool down and resume talking later but this was a red rag to a bull and eventually I totally lost it and ended up shouting in her face.
love. thinking about values and the wife. nice thoughts to contrast with the earlier ones. deep rich love.
Love. working through the family. grandchildren thinking about the joy of interacting with them and the value I gain from the giving time to them.
Love, concern. daughter, thinking​ is she truly happy?
Love, concern, worry, sorrow. Son. He is having some issues which are hard to offer any help.
Love son/daughter-in-law​
Love concern worry. Mum and dad. Mum for the upset I've caused her and dad's health.
happy. thinking of a camping trip. one the beauty of a seaside town at dusk and happy times with the wife. the other in the mountains tell walking reliving the views, the excertion, the healthy sense of achievement.

Thought of acting out. felt the buzz of excitement, the rush of enjoyment. Imagined masturbating. feeling being aroused. Imagined the act of browsing for porn ((without allow myself to imagine the images themselves)) and the intense pleasure that brought.
Then, I may have been meant to trigger myself but that is walking down neural pathways I more than happy to fall into disrepair. No wrench when I stopped. thinking again now and there is no anxiety or sense of loss. I've decided to give this up and I don't miss it.
Quote:
B. In assessing your own anxiety, describe the extremes of your personal experiences with anxiety. What has been the least anxious state you have experienced and the most extreme anxious state you have experienced?

Least. A few holidays where we had a Vila in the sun. Once the travel was done. Then I could relax and look after my wife as she looks after me the rest of the year. Exactly the mind set I need to use now.
Most. One project a good few years ago. Lots of travel and acting out in my hotel room. Totally out of my depth with what I was being asked to do. Probably had a brush with depression too.


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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
Quote:
Lesson 31 Exercise:
In learning to effectively manage your life (e.g. maintain relative emotional balance), it is important to develop an ongoing awareness of where the majority of your energy is being exhausted and where it is being derived. In your Personal Recovery Thread:

A. Make a list of all identifiable stressors that have affected your emotional health over the past week. For each, document whether it is a mild, moderate, severe or extreme stressor. Example: 1) Facing Possible Divorce: extreme; 2) Lost respect among friends and family: moderate

Arguments with the wife, extreme.
Current state of our relationship, severe.
Health of Family, moderate.
Frustrations at work, mild.
Quote:
B. Return to your values list created earlier in the workshop. In a healthy life, the majority of energy being drained (e.g. stress) should be related to the pursuit of your highest prioritized values (top fifteen or so). Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the way that you are expending your energy?


1. Loving another person, my wife, unconditionally
I have a long way to go to get the full value here. I have been thinking a lot about the wife this week so that has contributed to my warm glowing feeling.
2. Acting honesty
This is the subject of this week's discord with the wife. More a stressor than a value.
Value will come as soon as I start to communicate more openly.
3. Strengthening my role as a husband
This too has been affected but is beginning to settle.
4. Walking the same path as equals
Again I have not handled our communications very calmly so failed to get all the value I should have.
5. Communicating feelings
I still need to communicate how I feel and what I feel.
6. Being proactive
On the back foot this week. Not much drive from me at home. At work I've done some good work.
7. Taking care of myself
I am doing this and getting possible value. Playing badminton, daily sit-ups and press-ups, control of beer and sweet intake, relaxing baths. Simple stuff.
8. Strengthening my role as a father
=8. Strengthening my role as a grandfather
=8. Strengthening my role as a son.
I see them as a group of equal footing. My family values.
Source of some stress but value gained too.
11. Being sexually mature
Working on this and I see the value.
12. Being creative
projects on hold. some minor value from this.
13. Personal growth and development.
Focus is on recovery to health from my addiction and that is in could-do-better for the last week.
14. Providing quality in my work
some good stuff and the odd slack day too. In balance in general I think.
15. Having a sense of humour
odd moments but generally now is not the time.

These are my future values and some are very much work-in-progress. Whilst there is reward from them, this week has not been the best and stress/value balance is tilted to stress. My stress is coming from these values with validates them somewhat I think.
Quote:
C. Likewise, in a healthy life, the majority of meaning and stimulation that you gain should also be related to your highest values. Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the quality of life you are living?

I'm happy with the values and can't think of anywhere else I'm getting reward from.


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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 4:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
Quote:
Lesson 32 Exercise:
1. Early in the workshop, you created approximately fifteen 'proactive action plans' that were intended to list specific steps to take to strengthen certain values that are important to you. Return to these action plans and for each, review your progress. Summarize your progress on your recovery thread.
2. Update your Proactive Action Plans as needed.

Quote:
Lesson 7: Building Proactive Action Plans II

1. Loving another person, my wife, unconditionally
a. Fully understand the impact of my actions from her view point. Key word: FULLY
b. See Communicating feelings. 15.
c. Follow as fully as the partnership recovery allows the Your Brain On Porn’s: The lazy way to stay in love. http://yourbrainonporn.com/the-lazy-way-to-stay-in-love
d. Read at least weekly the commitments letter to wife and feed this into proactive plans.

This is still the primary value and one that is sadly needing the greatest amount of change. I have neglected my duties as a husband and the wife has become more the enemy than my confidant.
This is very much work-in-progress and that is to say there has not been enough progress and there needs to be more work. I have just upset the wife deeply again. Broken the very trust that her selflessly allowed to grow. She is understandably bitter with me. Seeing just what damage has been done has dragged me down to a low place. It's hard now to be upbeat to and positive but I will get there.
this is hardly a summary so...
a. I have had some insight into her despair not sure how fully you'll ever be able to understand it without it happening to you first hand.
b. I feel I have a progress compared with my old self but *much* more needs to happen here and quickly.
c. Had been doing that well until recently.
d. No, not been doing this as often as planned. The is all about feeding into the mindfulness forwards the Wife.

Quote:
2. Strengthening my role as a husband
I see this as the main value which I need to realign my life, thus many of the other new values are part of this bigger picture.
a. Loving unconditionally 1.
b. See Acting honestly 6.
c. See Being sexually mature. 4.
d. See Walking as equals. 3.

Any practical progress has been undone of late but I am developing a better understanding of the role.

Quote:
3. Walking the same path as equals
a. Reduce selfishness
i. Continue working Recovery Nation to develop the awareness and skills.
b. Address superior attitude
i. Remind yourself how arrogant you have been
ii. Your wife is intelligent
iii. Her EQ is far superior so you have some catching up to become her equal.
c. Balance the Work load. Continue as you are but keep mindful to learn more about the running of the house and proactively do things.

I am generally mindful of this but this can slip, especially during an argument.
Quote:
4. Being sexually matures​
a. View Wife as a human and not a sex object for my gratification. No telling.
b. Encourage, gently, the partnership recovery but back off if you sense she is under pressure.
c. Speak openly about sexual desires and listen to/heed the wife’s.
d. Make love. Understand the depth carried by those two words.
e. Be silly only on occasions and not when things are starting to get serious.
f. Gratitude. Be grateful for what you get and not resentful for what you think you’re not getting.
g. Empathy. Understand her mood and life at the time. Communicate warmly before and after the event.

This lot I understand. A lot is for the future if intimacy returns.
Quote:
5. Having a sense of humour
a. Maintain this when appropriate.
b. Don’t ask the fool around the wife at home for now. Get yourself sorted in her eyes first.

Not far off the mark.
Quote:
6. Acting honestly
a. Maintain honesty with the outside world.
b. But no more bullshit with the wife. No deception.

Not so good. Had issues here. I was still holding on to hurtful information that I knew I should share.
I understand the value of not doing this and the hurt for both parties in the long run.
The true test will come if something else bubbles to the surface but I believe I have this sorted now.
Main issue here is more with communication and letting my feelings and thoughts flow more freely.
Quote:
7. Being proactive
a. Think about and instigate the nice things in life.
b. See it, do it! Get jobs done.
c. Use this tool to manage life in general.

Well, yes and no. Limited success.
Quote:
8. Being creative
a. Have a project where you can create something for fun. Electronics, coding, beer or cooking.
b. Linked to proactive, be creative with the planning of nice things. Thinks need to be novel and high quality.

Not a value that is apt at this time for focus. Perhaps it is in other ways other than hobbies of which there is no time for but in solving some of my other life issues.

Quote:
9. Strengthening my role as a father
a. Ensure there is some form of weekly contact with my son.
b. Think about options to help them financially.
c. Show interest in and encouragement for son’s music projects (maintenance).
d. Show more interest in both their lives and talk to them more about it.

Scope for improvement here.
Quote:
10. Strengthening my role as a grandfather
a. Pay some one-to-one attention to each grandchild each visit.
b. Add educational/life skills content
c. Show them the love I have for them (maintenance).
d. Be fun and a little silly.

Yes doing this.
Quote:
11. Strengthening my role as a son.
a. Call or visit Mum and Dad once a week.
b. Text Mum mid-week in addition to this.
c. Look to take Dad to the forest at least every other week.
d. Ask after their well-being.
e. find out more about, and show an interest in, their day-to-day life.
f. Ask if there they need help with chores or shopping and find the time to help.

Generally good but could do a little more.
Quote:
12. Personal growth and development
a. Maintain focus on recovery
b. Plan a timetable of activities and stick with it.
c. Think longer term to what to study

Just about yes on a. Not good with timetable. Recovery happens when life lets it happen.
Long term is a long way off.
Quote:
13. Providing quality in my work
a. Be more mindful of the work being asked to complete.
b. Clearly communicate requests for information needed to complete.
c. Keep a log of activities in OneNote.
d. Escalate issues to team leader for awareness and advice.
e. Complete the bi-weekly report to TL.

Keeping this up. Not letting this get me down. Still moaning but constructively​.
Quote:
14. Taking care of myself
a. Limit mid-week alcohol to one drink per night and one dry day a week.
b. Eat a piece of fruit instead of sweet snacks twice a week.
c. Cook from scratch at least two meals a week.
d. Do sit-ups and press-ups morning and night. Increasing reps with time.
e. Do at least one major work out a week. Look to increase to two if time allows.

Yup doing this. It's good to enforce a little extra control on yourself. Simple and rewarding.
I have noticeably lost weight and am fitter about the badminton court.
Quote:
15. Communicating feelings
a. Open up more to wife. Include feelings and emotions within the conversation.
b. Listen for emotional content in conversations of others and respond empathically.
c. Look at body language of others with a mind to understand their emotional stare.

I need to work on this. This is far more important than 15th place in the list of values.

Reordered to match the work I did reviewing my values.
1. Loving another person, my wife, unconditionally
a. Fully understand the impact of my actions from her view point. Key word: FULLY
b. See Communicating feelings. 5.
c. Follow as fully as the partnership recovery allows the Your Brain On Porn’s: The lazy way to stay in love. http://yourbrainonporn.com/the-lazy-way-to-stay-in-love
d. Read at least weekly the commitments letter to wife and feed this into proactive plans.
2. Acting honestly
a. Maintain honesty with the outside world.
b. No more bullshit with the wife. No lies, deception or obmissions.
c. Open up. See 5.
3. Strengthening my role as a husband
a. Loving unconditionally 1.
b. See Acting honestly 2.
c. See Being sexually mature. 11.
d. See Walking as equals. 4.
e. Make amends.
f. Make her dreams come true.
4. Walking the same path as equals
a. Reduce selfishness
i. Continue working Recovery Nation to develop the awareness and skills.
ii. It’s not all about me.
b. Address superior attitude
i. Remind yourself how arrogant you have been
ii. Your wife is intelligent
iii. Her EQ is far superior so you have some catching up to become her equal.
c. Balance the Work load. Continue as you are but keep mindful to learn more about the running of the house and proactively do things.
5. Communicating feelings
a. Open up more to wife. Include feelings and emotions within the conversation.
b. Listen for emotional content in conversations of others and respond empathically.
c. Look at body language of others with a mind to understand their emotional stare.
6. Being proactive
a. Think about and instigate the nice things in life.
b. See it, do it! Get jobs done.
c. Use this tool to manage life in general.
7. Taking care of myself
a. Limit mid-week alcohol to one drink per night and one dry day a week.
b. Eat a piece of fruit instead of sweet snacks twice a week.
c. Cook from scratch at least two meals a week.
d. Do sit-ups and press-ups morning and night. Increasing reps with time.
e. Do at least one major work out a week. Look to increase to two if time allows.
8. Strengthening my role as a father
a. Ensure there is some form of weekly contact with my son and daughter.
b. Show interest in and encouragement for son’s music projects (maintenance).
c. Show more interest in both their lives and talk to them more about it.
9. Strengthening my role as a grandfather
a. Pay some one-to-one attention to each grandchild each visit.
b. Add educational/life skills content
c. Show them the love I have for them (maintenance).
d. Be fun and a little silly.
10. Strengthening my role as a son.
a. Call or visit Mum and Dad once a week.
b. Text Mum mid-week in addition to this.
c. Look to take Dad to the forest at least every other week.
d. Ask after their well-being.
e. find out more about, and show an interest in, their day-to-day life.
f. Ask if there they need help with chores or shopping and find the time to help.
11. Being sexually mature
a. View Wife as a human and not a sex object for my gratification. No groping.
b. Be mindful to stop scanning and objectifying others.
c. Encourage, gently, the partnership recovery but back off if you sense she is under pressure.
d. Speak openly about sexual desires and listen to/heed the wife’s.
12. Being creative
a. Linked to proactive, be creative with the planning of nice things. Thinks need to be novel and high quality.
13. Personal growth and development
a. Maintain focus on recovery
b. Plan a timetable of activities and stick with it.
14. Providing quality in my work
a. Be more mindful of the work being asked to complete.
b. Clearly communicate requests for information needed to complete.
c. Keep a log of activities in OneNote.
d. Escalate issues to team leader for awareness and advice.
e. Complete the bi-weekly report to TL.
15. Having a sense of humour
a. Maintain this when appropriate.
b. Don’t act the fool around the wife at home for now. Get yourself sorted in her eyes first.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm
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Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
Quote:
Lesson 33 Exercise:
1. While you have no doubt already deepened the awareness of your emotions...you now want to begin the process of mastering them. You want to make it a goal of yours to turn what was once a debilitating fault into one of your greatest strengths. That can't be done by reading. It must be developed in your day-to-day life. And so, that is your assignment. To take this next week to seek out opportunities to deepen an awareness of your emotions — both as they occur and as they can be anticipated. Each day, find at least five opportunities to assess your emotions. Don't do this retroactively...as in, you are about to go to bed and so, you review the day's activities and how you felt about them...this must be done in the here and now.
Additionally, add a few opportunities for developing this awareness by anticipating, role playing common rituals surrounding your past behavior. Or possible future behavior. Consider your emotions at the height of a compulsive urge. On the death of a loved one. On the experience of a child's birth. Think of the extremes.
The insights you are searching for throughout this exercise will be in relation to the finite qualities of emotion; the lack of fear/anxiety that comes with developing confidence in being able to anticipate emotional intensity; and the confidence that comes with the same.


Quote:
2. Each day over the next three, share a few insights relating to these topics in your personal thread. Insights that you have gained from that particular day's focus.

Day 1: I think my emotions are dull at the moment. There is a constant underlying feeling of anxiety/stress. Emotions are not my strong point. I need to make notes during the day else I'm just reviewing what I remember thinking.
Day 2: Same emotions as yesterday. This is not a good week. The wife is struggling and I'm not helping as I should.
Day 3: Didn't catch myself that often today. Read a nice email from someone I work with about his new daughter. That was joyful. A little unexpected to feel such strong emotions. A sign that I have got some growing feelings. Later, frustration with work. I kept calm and will raise the issue.
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3. At the end of the week, assess the level of effort you put into this task. Did you remember to consciously seek out such developmental opportunities each of the seven days? Post your assessment in your thread.

Not too bad. I did manage to catch my thoughts each day a few times.


Last edited by Spanner on Tue May 16, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:27 pm 
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Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
Quote:
Lesson 34 Exercise:
Immediate gratification plays the primary role in the lives of most people who struggle with addiction. In your Personal Recovery Thread, share the following:

A. Describe a time in your life when the "Immediate Gratification" principle has come into play:
Example: When I was twenty-two, I was approached by my best friend's wife, who wanted to have an affair with me. I knew that I shouldn't, and I knew that it wasn't worth the possibility of losing my friend or my marriage, but I did it anyway. Somehow, the feeling to have sex with her was just overwhelming, and it would have caused me great stress if I had said no.

On one occasion I was in the house alone having just dropped the wife off at work. I was debating with myself whether to act out of not. I didn't think I was beyond the point of no return and decided not to. However the compulsion experienced was overwhelming strong and almost robotically I found myself forced to walk to the PC and switch it on.
This was the begging of the end for my addiction as the lost of autonomy scared me so much I then found the resolve to quit (again).
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B. As best as you can, describe the anxiety you feel when you are trying to NOT ACT on a compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Be specific. Compare it to other feelings of anxiety that you experience. The purpose of this exercise is to begin to define the limits of your emotions — and where your compulsive urges stand within those limits.

I had this battle many times. Sometimes there was no choice, in that it didn't even cross my mind to consider not acting out. Sometimes I didn't act out. Not in that phase although the knowledge the opportunity was there would almost always cross my mind. Sometimes I lost the debate and other times would suppress the urge. Mixed feelings. Pride for upholding my values but also there was the anxiety of supressing the urge. It would tug almost constantly​ throughout the day. On those occasions it then got the better of me the feelings of guilt and disappointment in myself we more intense than normal. The perception of the urge to act out could be quite intense and the intensity was greater the harder or longer I resisted. It seemed intense at least but now I think about it the anxiety experienced when having to do something at work where I was out of my depth generated true anxiety which I would have thought was as strong but in reality this was true anxiety. Got close to be depression at one stage.
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C. As best as you can, describe the feeling that you experience while you are engaging in a certain compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Is it a trance-like feeling? Is it a hyper-alert feeling? If someone could get inside your mind as you were experiencing such a ritual, what would they find?

I don't think I have any specific state of mind at the start of the ritual. I'm focused on the tasks. It's hedonistic pleasure. To the outside observer perhaps it would appear that I was zoned out. It's one of building intensity to the point afterwards my brain can be fried and I'm a very odd mood for some hours.
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D. Share these insights in your recovery thread.

Done.


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 6:21 am 
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Lesson 35 Exercise:
1) Evolve your daily monitoring as outlined above. Post the first thing you will be monitoring in this way in your thread for feedback and, share where you will be placing the reminder. Do not wait for feedback to begin.

Today, I'm going to look to opportunities to speak openly and freely with my wife.
I've written this on a post-it note which is inside the sex addiction​ book under the current pillar I read three times daily. It also has a reminder to do the review which I'll heed when I read the last one of the day.
Also slipped in a reminder to do the weekly review.

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2) Create your weekly agenda. Post it in your Recovery Thread.

Question #1: Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment.
Question #2: Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go?
Question #3: Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means (e.g. compulsive behavior)?
Question #4: Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard? Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.
Question #5: How were you at being a husband, father,, grandfather and son this week.
Question #6: Were you healthly last week (booze, sweets and exercise)?
Question #7: Did you to anything proactively last week? Think now, is there anything you could do next?


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 10:12 am 
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Hi Spanner, good to see your progress here in RN.
Just wanted to post a reminder on your vision created in exercise #2, to see if it remains aligned with what you have developed now.
I do see that you are keeping up well on the monitoring and exercises.
Keep it going! :g:


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Urm! Not as good a I should be.

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Lesson 2: creating a vision

Firstly I will become a human being. A fully functional mature adult with clarity of thought, emotions. Empathy.
I will apply these skills to my life's primary focus... My wife.
I will make good the deficiencies of my past.

Definitely made improvements but not the man the wife wants or expects yet.

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I will love her fully and with devotion and a daily act of kindness. A kiss. A cuddle. A gift.
I will be grateful for her love every day.

Still looking to do this. Not easy at the moment.
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My​ past actions have caused her pain. I will be mindful that my future actions do not.

Let her down here.
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I will learn to make love. Full rich attentive caring intimacy.

Stuff dreams are made of.
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I will make happy times and memories. I'll proactivity plan these rather than wait for her to suggest things.
I will hold her in my mind as an equal partner.
I will listen to her hopes and dreams and help make them come to be.

Working on this. Far from perfect but thinking and trying.
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Another area of focus is the family, to be there when needed. To maintain the rich bond with my grandchildren.
Beer making will provide a rewarding hobby with scope to develop both a depth of knowledge and skills.
I will put my career in balance. Think more about personal development and getting the work life balance right.

focusing on family and work but hobbies can wait.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Quote:
Lesson 36 Exercise:
I. Describe a scenario from your past where not having a well-defined set of boundaries has prolonged and/or intensified the personal consequences that you have experienced.

Simple. By neglecting my boundaries as a husband and acting out to gain my sexual gratification my relationship with my wife had suffered.
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II. Describe a situation in your life where having solid boundaries will assist you in managing the event in such a way as to protect your value system.

At work I often feel pressure to work long hours to get done what I see needs doing. I need to remind myself that I can't possibly do everything so to push back, delegate, escalate or give more realistic timings. And clock off guilt free.
If have a poly-addiction or a co-addiction then being a workaholic would be it.
By putting the wife up the list of my values and setting boundaries consistent with being a loving husband I will be able to manage any urge to act out.


Last edited by Spanner on Thu May 25, 2017 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Quote:
Lesson 37 Exercise:
I. List three of your highest values (values prioritized within the top five).
II. For each value, list at least five concrete boundaries (rules) that you will use to protect that value.
III. Absolute boundaries are those boundaries that under no circumstances will you ever cross. These must be realistic AND you must hold them in reverence. Typically, everyone should have at least three such absolute boundaries. List three that you will use to help manage your life.

1. Loving another person, my wife, unconditionally
a. I will put my wife before myself.
b. I will be empathic towards my wife.
c. I will be mindful how I speak. Always lovingly and never sharply.
d. I will hear her concerns as if they were my own.
e. I will respect my wife in a sexually mature manner as a woman.
f. She is the only one for me in mind and body.
2. Acting honesty
a. I will be honest with my wife at all times.
b. I will not lie by omissions.
c. I will share any details pretenent to my recovery, however small.
d. I will offer detail not wait to be asked.
e. I will continue to be honest with others.
3. Strengthening my role as a husband
a. I will love and cherish my wife.
b. I will help make her desires/wishes come to be.
c. I will help with the household chores.
d. I will stand up for and protect my wife.
e. I will makes​ her feel special, wanted, needed, loved, a woman.
f. I will communicate my feelings.

Absolute Boundaries:
1. I will not do anything I cannot openly share with my wife.
2. I will not act out.
3. I will continue my commitment to working through the RN programme.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:43 pm 
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Lesson 38 Exercise:
I. Review the boundaries created to protect the values listed in the previous lesson.
II. Consider at least two situations where this value may be threatened. Are the existing boundaries enough to protect against this threat?
III. If not, evolve your boundaries so that they are capable of allowing you to manage those situations.


Scenario 1: My wife has an affair.
Value affected: Loving my wife unconditionally​.
This would be inflicting a major attack on my values much in the same way my past actions have attacked hers.
The existing boundaries fail to cope. To help I could add...
g. In any conflict remind yourself of the hurt you have caused.

Scenarios 2: I have a major slip or relapse.
Value affected: Honesty​
This would have a catastrophic impact on the marriage but even so it is vital for the protection of the wife that any such behaviour is freely shared and immediately.
The existing values hold up in this case.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:19 am 
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Weekly Review.
Confession! This is my first weekly review. Reflective of my current state of apathy.

Question #1: Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment.
Sun: Cleaned the car. normally I might have got more value from this.
Tue: Poker session in the evening. Nice to have some conversation plus the fun of the game itself.
Fri: Out for the evening with friends, not getting the full value from this that perhaps I should due to the stress of things nonetheless it was a pleasant evening.
Sat: Nice walk with Dad, Mum, Son, his wife and grandson. Oh and the dog. Dad has a mobility scooter so I have to hitch up a trailer. Got value from this good deed as well as from the company, pleasant weather, countryside and exercise.
Later, Daughter and other grandson visited. Nice afternoon in the garden playing with grandchildren.
Missing from this is value derived from my main values. I.e. The wife. I got some value from cooking the odd meal and the odd "normal" conversation. This is reflective of where we are at the moment. I did try to initiate going out to the pub a couple of times but she refused as she fears such an event would go wrong.

Question #2: Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go?
Throughout the week the main source of negative energy is from the current state of our relationship.
Work also generated a mild amount of stress but last week was not too bad.
Question #3: Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means (e.g. compulsive behavior)?
So far, since the outset of my recovery, being emotionally stressed does not trigger any compulsive behaviours
at worst my dreams that night following an extremely​ stressful day may have a sexual element to them.

Question #4: Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard? Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.
Nothing. Not that I have this issue. I kept questions #3 & #4 in here as they were standard questions and to guard against complacency.
Question #5: How were you at being a husband, father, grandfather and son this week.
Husband needs so much work.
Others, some good, nothing specifically​ spectacular but nothing negative.

Question #6: Were you healthly last week (booze, sweets and exercise)?
Slipping a little on the exercise. This week was better than the last few.
Not getting the same value from doing this in my current state of mind.

Question #7: Did you to anything proactively last week? Think now, is there anything you could do next?
Not anything that needed planning. Trying to initiate dates, even if rebuffed, is the right thing to keep doing.
I've thought of something that I may sort out.

Well that took longer than the 15-30 mins.


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