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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:39 am 
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Posts: 393
Hi User 1234,

The objective of the lesson is to help you realised that having no boundaries by which you make your decisions can create a lot of stress with you whether that be in your day to day life generally or in a sexual context. Looking at your response to Lesson 34 it seems that watching porn and MB is something that you have struggled with and perhaps that could be a good area to explore?

One could argue that having no boundaries or rules about watching porn (i.e. "If i feel like it then i just do it to make me feel better and improve my mood if i am bored or upset") means that you are drawn into acting out with no filter. You end up feeling rubbish about it afterwards and regret having done it, so maybe that could be an example for you under Q1?

Let's say that you then establish boundary for yourself (Q2) that you will not watch porn because it goes against your values set. Then when you feel the urge to look at porn you can look to see if it satisfies or breaches your boundaries (and therefore values). You will clearly see that it would breach them so you decide not to watch and find something else more healthy to do. Therefore having boundaries in place will introduce a practical filter into your life which will help you lead a healthy life. The decision not to act out may create some stress and more about that and how to manage it as the lessons progress.

Does that make more sense to you now? If you have more queries then post again to your thread and coaches/mentors will stop by to help you.

Good luck!

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:18 am 
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Posts: 74
Thank you very much for your response! This helped a lot!!

Back to lesson 36

I.
Scenario 1: Being home alone and having no boundary concerning watching porn or any kind of internet content. Therefore, I went online for immediate gratification and watched porn and other videos which caused a lot of stress afterwards.

Scenario 2: Being at work and again having no clear boundary on what I am 'allowed' to do on the internet. Going on youtube to waste some time and feeling regret (and stressed) afterwards.

II.
When I am at work and feel stressed or the urge to waste my time on the internet a clear boundary would help. Therefore, I am establishing a clear boundary to not do anything not work related on the internet at work.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:08 am 
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Lesson 37

Boundaries

  1. Value: I want to be a good partner
    • I will not pressure my partner into having sex with me or doing something she does not want.
    • I will respect that my partner has her own private life.
    • I will be faithful.
    • I will not do anything she specifically asked me not to do.
    • I have the right to pursue my own goals.
    • I have the right to express my wishes and feelings openly to her.
    • I have the right to say no and to not grant every wish.
  2. Value: I want to be focused in my studies and use this chance to really learn something
    • I have the right to spend some time every day to focus on my studies.
    • I will not start the computer to spend my time on the internet (youtube, 9gag, online news, porn,...).
    • I will not listen to music while studying.
    • I have the right to be unavailable while studying (mobile phone/computer switched off).
    • I have the right to spend some days not thinking about my studies.
  3. Value: I want to spend my free time pursuing my hobbies and not wasting my time on the internet
    • I have the right to take some time off to pursue my hobbies.
    • I will not start the computer to spend my time on the internet (youtube, 9gag, online news, porn,...).
    • I have the right to spend my free time by myself.
    • I have the right to just do nothing for some time.
    • I have the right to decide what I want to do.

Absolute Boundaries

  • I will not have any sexual relations with another person (except for my partner).
  • I will not watch porn of any kind.
  • I will not hurt anyone physically or psychologically on purpose.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:05 am 
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Back to lesson 33

Assessment of my effort

For the first three days I was very disciplined in assessing my emotions. After posting my insights I became less focused on the task. But whenever I felt strange or had an extreme emotion I automatically analyzed my emotions to figure out what was going on.

"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." <- This was something that I neglected. I will find the time to do this tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. I will continue to assess my emotions on a daily basis.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:52 am 
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Lesson 38

  1. Value: I want to be a good partner
    • Situation 1: I am on a business trip (without my partner) and I had not have sex or masturbated for quite some time. I have the urge to have sex. I talk to a woman. An opportunity comes up to have sex with that woman. This would defiantly 'attack' that value. But the boundaries 'I will be faithful.' and 'I will not have any sexual relations with another person (except for my partner).' will prevent me from acting out and will, therefore, protect that value.
    • Situation 2: My partner wants me to do a lot of things that I do not value (shopping, meeting her friends, etc.). This would keep me from reaching my personal goals and developing my own values. In the long run this creates a disbalance which would lead me to acting out and to be in a bad mood. I would become a terrible partner to her. The boundaries 'I have the right to pursue my own goals.', 'I have the right to express my wishes and feelings openly to her.' and 'I have the right to say no and to not grant every wish.' will protect this value.
      • I should add the following boundary to help dealing with such situations: 'I will communicate openly about my honest feelings and plans.'
  2. Value: I want to be focused in my studies and use this chance to really learn something
    • Situation 1: I am home alone and should use this time to study. However, I am at the computer browsing on the internet and looking at online news. After a while an article dealing with sex or nudes of a celebrity, etc. comes up. I have an urge to watch porn and masturbate. While looking for the 'perfect' video I waste a lot of time. At the end of the day I did nothing fulfilling and did not study. To prevent this from happening I establish the boundaries 'I will not start the computer to spend my time on the internet (youtube, 9gag, online news, porn,...).' and 'I will not watch porn of any kind.'
    • Situation 2: I try to study. Family members, friends or colleagues try to reach me by calling, text message, email. Hence, I cannot concentrate properly and have difficulty to develop this value. To prevent this I establish the boundaries 'I have the right to be unavailable while studying (mobile phone/computer switched off).' and 'I have the right to spend some time every day to focus on my studies.'
  3. Value: I want to spend my free time pursuing my hobbies and not wasting my time on the internet
    • Situation 1: I study and work a lot. Therefore, I focus only on two values. However, this can become very dangerous and lead to a slip or a relapse. To ensure that I spend time pursuing my hobbies I establish the boundary 'I have the right to take some time off to pursue my hobbies.'.
    • Situation 2: I am home alone. I have nothing specific to do. While letting my thoughts wander I get the urge to watch porn or youtube videos. I start the computer and waste my day on the internet doing nothing fulfilling. To prevent this from happening I establish the following boundaries 'I will not start the computer to spend my time on the internet (youtube, 9gag, online news, porn,...).' and 'I will not watch porn of any kind.'


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:59 am 
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Lesson 39

Step 1

I will not post this extremely long list here. But while making the list and reviewing the items I could clearly see how porn and some stupid Hollywood movies have influenced my (old) sexual values.

Step 2

  1. I will have sex only with my partner.
  2. I will not pressure my partner into having sex with me or satisfying me.
  3. Sex is not primarily about the orgasm.
  4. Sex is part of a healthy relationship.
  5. I will not watch porn.

Step 3

The remaining values from step 1
  • Rape is absolutely not OK.
  • I have sex only with my partner

Step 4

Possible obstacles
  • Partner being not in the mood for sex but I am.
  • Feeling unloved by partner and looking for a substitute in someone else.
  • Having a woman approach me to engage in sex.
  • Getting triggered by news about some leaked sex footage or something similar.
  • Falling back into old behaviors.

Step 5

Feedback from one of the coaches/mentors would be appreciated.

Step 6

There is not much to choose from: "I have sex only with my partner"

Step 7

Boundaries
  • Do not (intentionally) flirt with other women.
  • Do not drink to much alcohol when going out without partner.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:13 am 
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Lesson 40

I. My partners boundaries
I know that one of her boundaries is that she does not want to have sex when she is not in the mood. She does not want to get pressured into having sex.
I could help her reinforce those boundaries by
  1. Not overstepping these boundaries
  2. When noticing that I am close to violating one of her boundaries taking a step back and actively letting her know that I respect her boundary and that I do not feel badly about it.
  3. Talk about boundaries and that I am feeling ok with her having these boundaries.

II. When becoming aware of violating one of her boundaries
  • Taking a step back and telling her that I am sorry.
  • Letting her know that I did something wrong and that it is not her fault.
  • Clarify where exactly her boundary is so that I become more aware of it.

III. My reaction after violating a boundary
  • I would feel really badly
  • I would let her know that it is good that she has boundaries and that I will respect them.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 393
Hi User1234,

In Lesson 39 you wrote:
Quote:
Step 5

Feedback from one of the coaches/mentors would be appreciated.

I would suggest that you have understood the object of the exercise and your various steps (but see comments below) seem to show that.

Under Step 3 you wrote:
Quote:
Step 3

The remaining values from step 1
• Rape is absolutely not OK.
• I have sex only with my partner


The idea here was to have a list of healthy sexual values/behaviours which you can use as a base for moving forwards. You appear to have recorded this either separately elsewhere or in your head which is absolutely fine, your choice, but it is obviously difficult for coaches/mentors to comment when you do that. It also may make it less easy to refer back to in order to remind yourself what you committed to doing. As i say, though, you appear to have grasped the point of that lesson.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:48 am 
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Hi L2R,

thank you very much for your response.

Lesson 41

My understanding of boundaries

My boundaries help me to make decisions in all kinds of situations. They guide me through life and protect my values. With my boundaries in place it is easier to make a value based decision in stressful situations.

The boundaries are not fixed but should not change 'by accident'. When I change/evolve my boundaries I should do so actively and consciously and there should be a good reason for this change.

Everyone has his/her own boundaries which I should respect and not violate on purpose.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:13 am 
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Lesson 42

My understanding of compulsive rituals and chains

In the past I used compulsive rituals and chains to try to change my emotional state. The chains can be broken down into single rituals which can be broken down into elements. Each element in the ritual has the ability to change my emotional state in a very specific and obvious way. The emotions that are formed by each element are by itself not that strong. The specific linking of the elements in the ritual intensifies the overall experience. The filters time, intensity and habituation also play a role in intensifying the emotions. The way my emotions are altered by each element helps me to understand what I was actually doing. It demystified the addictive behavior.

Even though the experienced emotions during an urge feel extremely strong they are only finite. This means it is possible to deal with them with the right tools in place without acting out. Compulsive behavior is nothing magical.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:25 am 
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Lesson 44

Role of my core identity
My core identity takes the information presented by my senses and emotions and decides what action I take. My immature core identity acted according to the immediate gratification principal, which established my addictive behavior. By actively developing and strengthening new values and boundaries my core identity develops. Immediate gratification does not play such a big role in making a decision. The values and boundaries act as a filter before make a decision. My values and boundaries characterize my core identity.

Role of value-based decision making
By actively making a decision based on my values I strengthen the role that this value plays in my life. The values are ingrained more and more into my core identity. This development makes it more and more difficult to act in a different way and more and more natural to act according to my healthy values. But it will take time to fully develop. This way my core identity can be changed in whatever way I choose to.

Current state of my core identity
In the last few months I began to develop and strengthen a few healthy values and boundaries. Most of the time I think about what impact specific decisions will have on my values. My core identity is preventing me from making decisions which I know will make me feel bad in the long run. It is quite present in my day to day life.
When I engage in activity that is destructive I feel bad and try to improve my boundaries to protect my values. Therefore, I try to evolve my core identity. The fact that I engage in destructive behavior from time to time (very seldom) makes me realize that my core identity is still quite immature and I still have some work to do.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:15 pm 
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Posts: 74
Hello,

I am back and I still feel very good. I did not post a reply and did not continue with the lessons since I was sick and on vacation for some weeks. However, I still worked on the development of my values and boundaries. I feel like being on the right track. But I still feel quite immature from time to time.

Lesson 45

A Compulsive ritual

  1. Being home alone and feeling that I have to do something useful (feeling some pressure)
  2. Deciding what I will be doing (already feeling that I have accomplished something, relief of pressure)
  3. Having the urge to watch porn for a couple of minutes (pressure increases, guilt)
  4. Internal conflict, unsure what to do (pressure increases more and more)
  5. Finally opening a porn site on my smart phone/PC (guilt, shame)
  6. Telling myself that it will be over in a couple of minutes and that this is a normal behavior for men (relief of a lot of pressure)
  7. Looking through the new videos (getting excited, feeling very good)
  8. Starting to look for the perfect video (feeling determined, getting excited, suspense)
  9. Finding a nice video (accomplishment)
  10. Starting to masturbate (feeling very good)
  11. Trying to orgasm at the right moment of the video (feeling determined)
  12. Reaching orgasm (accomplishment, good feeling)
  13. Cleaning up, clearing browser history (guilt, shame)
  14. Having lost a lot of time (more pressure to be productive)

C Point of no return
I think the point of no return is '6. Telling myself that it will be over in a couple of minutes and that this is a normal behavior for men'. After this point I just let things flow and never think about breaking the chain again.

D Element before point of no return
The element 'Finally opening a porn site on my smart phone/PC' is right before the point of no return. I feel that after opening the porn site I can still close it again and break the chain. At this point I still have the internal conflict where there is hope that I will not look at porn.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:18 am 
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Lesson 46

I take the compulsive chain from the previous lesson. The element before the point of no return is "5. Finally opening a porn site on my smart phone/PC (guilt, shame)" and should be altered in the new compulsive chain.

Changed compulsive chain

  1. Finally opening a porn site on my smart phone/PC (guilt, shame)
  2. Deciding what I will be doing (already feeling that I have accomplished something, relief of pressure)
  3. Having the urge to watch porn for a couple of minutes (pressure increases, guilt)
  4. Internal conflict, unsure what to do (pressure increases more and more)
  5. Taking out my list of prioritized value (creating some distraction from the intense emotions)
  6. Picking a value that I would like to strengthen in that moment without any specific pressure. (becoming a little bit excited)
  7. Actually starting to do something useful.
  8. Feeling proud that I mastered the urge and develop one of my actual values. (feeling relaxed)


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