Recovery Nation

learningtorun's Recovery Thread
Page 7 of 16

Author:  learningtorun [ Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

As part of the background reading I did on this site before starting out on the lessons, one of the messages that came across clearly from CoachJon was that there is a large proportion of people that join RN in their desperation to recovery from their addiction and make all sorts of promises and commitments to regularly read the lessons and post and then after less than a handful of posts disappear. I'm sure that they all have their own stories to tell, and I have a sense that those that fall away may involve individuals that have recently been caught and have joined in an attempt to demonstrate to their partners that they are sincere that this time they will put an end to their addiction in order to save their relationships. I was surprised to hear that so many fall away so quickly but maybe I shouldn't be.

What is heartening though is reading the ongoing posts from those who have kept to their word and continue to post regularly and learn how to get out of the hole. In a way it is like sharing the journey with new friends you have made who you have and will never speak to or meet but nevertheless you are pulling for them as you want them to succeed as you hope also to succeed as you have a common cause. Presumably new joiners will read the recent posts of existing members to get a feel for the site which is exactly what I did at the start. If that is the case and if this is you then you should know that this site does not hold false promises, it will help you to get out of your hole but it requires your commitment and for you to be joining for the right reasons. Yes you need to be a better person for your partner but you need to do it first and foremost, for you and not for them. If you are genuine that you want to recover from SA then make the commitment and do it and recover as those that post regularly are doing. If you can stick to that then the by-product of that is that your partner will get what they want too, the person that you have promised them you will now be. You have come here because you have had enough of acting as you have in the past and want to change. I remind myself of that all the time and have put it in my signature bar and it gives me the resolve to be the person I want to be. It is hard work? Yes. Is it worth it though? Absolutely. But if I can do it then anyone can. So if you want to change, please put the effort it and just do it. It would be great to see the majority of threads on the first page showing the number of posts well into double figures showing that we are all taking it seriously. Good luck to you all.

Author:  learningtorun [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Having completed the lessons several weeks ago I had applied for mentor status but the would appear to be some unavoidable delays behind the scenes in processing that status change. Having checked with one of the coaches I have been advised to post into the threads of other recovery members, these posts being monitored by a coach subject to my upgrade being confirmed. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead. It will an interesting opportunity to share my experiences with others in their earlier stages of recovery and to be able offer thoughts which may help guide them on their way forward in certain areas. At the same time, I am sure that I will gain valuable experience for my own recovery as I get insights from others through that process.

Author:  learningtorun [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

As part of my weekly monitoring this morning I recognised that I had situation last night where I had lost my temper. I had been asked by my wife about my day and I had shared with her a project that I had spent all week working on where I had been particularly creative and was excited about what I had come up with. I went into some detail about the idea that I had shaped and she commented that she thought one element of it was a bad idea. I instantly knew that I shouldn't have discussed it with her because we always seem to end up in that situation where I feel like there is no balance - no suggestion of my idea generally being a good one before the criticism is aimed at me. I had decided previously to avoid getting myself into that situation by avoiding having those sorts of discussions with her and my anger was probably more directed at myself for having got myself unnecessarily into it. My wife then told me that I need to learn to take criticism as I am not always right and that infuriated me. She is quite right that I hate being criticised and I do instinctively feel like I am always right but so does she. The difference between us is that I recognise that in myself and am trying to do something about it whereas she doesn't at all, she told me that she isn't always right but she does not react well when there is a suggestion that she could do something in a different way. I need to try and find a way of having that conversation more generally with her in a calm and unconfrontational way. We have known each other for 20 years now and we know very well what buttons to press on each other in order to wind each other up. As such, we should therefore being able to anticipate a given situation and avoid pressing those buttons in the interests of wanting each other to be happy and calm. At times I feel like she has no filter but she is the polar opposite with her friends and is paranoid about having said something that they may have taken the wrong way and will think badly of her.

Anyway, I decided that I need to have an action plan in place for these situations in future. One of my values is "To avoid conflict" so I need to take some positive action to ensure that this happens. I have therefore produced the following:

Action Plan for Avoiding Confrontational Situations
Recognise that a potentially confrontational situation is occurring
Remind myself to take a deep breath and stay calm
Remind myself that to allow myself to get irritated is an emotional response which is not how I have chosen to make my decisions
Think of a way of calmly defusing the situation
This might involve saying something like "This is a situation that we both have different views on so I suggest we just agree to disagree and change the subject"
Any comments made should be impersonal, non-aggressive and not suggest fault to either side
Feel good about myself afterwards for having successfully defused the situation and having satisfied my values

Author:  learningtorun [ Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Last week I added to my weekly monitoring list a reminder to go through some visualisation in relation to the Sunday morning "will we / won't we" with my wife. In order to take the pressure off the situation and to avoid the mood that I got into last Sunday when things didn't materialise, I had a different mindset this week of assuming that things would not happen and for me to be OK with that and then anything would be a bonus. I had spent some time visualising her getting up out of bed and avoiding it for another weekend. By the time Sunday morning came I was ready and I felt relatively relaxed about it all. She got up to go to the bathroom and I pictured her coming back into the room and opening up the curtains. But instead she came back into bed and then made a move on me. What a difference a week makes!! Patience, as they say, is a virtue. All joking aside, whilst that was brilliant, I was ready for all possible outcomes which means that the work I had invested during the week was totally worth it and I am pleased that I added that to my list. My wife suddenly seems more tactile with me now too which is nice. A good start to the week.

Author:  learningtorun [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Over the last couple of days I have been embarking on my new mentoring role. It has actually been quite an interesting experience so far. On the one hand you question whether you know enough to provide feedback to others and then on the other it makes you realise how far along the journey you have come when things that have started to become instinctive to you are clearly still being learned and understood by others who are newer to the workshop. I feel that it puts you in a slightly better place of being able to turn some of the theory into practice by sharing personal experiences. It will be for the recipients to decide whether the feedback is valuable or not and only time will tell but it also provides an opportunity to encourage others on their own personal journeys. I can certainly say that any feedback I have received on my own thread to date by the coaches has been valued as it has identified areas that I may have missed and also gives me some comfort that your thread is being monitored to make sure that you do not steer off course.

Author:  learningtorun [ Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

I am staying overnight in London on my own on business tonight having arrived early this morning. My meetings today were in West End which is where I was working at the height of my exciting period 20 years ago. I have always loved coming back for trips as it reminds me of the times I used to have and the things I was doing that I shouldn’t have been doing. In recent times coming back can be stressful as I see memories and potential dangers at every corner. It has been years since I have done anything inappropriate here but it can be so draining trying to overcome the urges to act out. I can honestly say hand on heart that today has been the first time I have ever arrived here and felt comfortable that it doesn’t matter what thoughts are thrown at me I am ready for them. The usual startings of a thought have popped into my head but the action plans have immediately headed them off and I have had a day of feeling relaxed and just enjoyed being back. I have been looking forward to spending an evening alone in my hotel room listening to music and reading a book and having text exchanges with my wife knowing that I have a completely clear conscience. I never thought that I would experience this and has made all of the effort and learning to date worth the while.

I have spent a fair bit of time recently reading other peoples’ threads and most people resonate with the phrase “I thought I was just different and could never hope to be like everyone else”. I have spent most of my adult life thinking that and to move from there to having hope that I could actually change and then to start to actually experience it is mind blowing. It may sound a bit dramatic but if there are any new joiners reading my thread and wonder whether the promise of RN offering you a future free of guilt and shame is just a mirage, please know that it is very real and achievable. I know where I have come from and whilst we all have our own stories to tell, you”d be doing well to trump some of the cr*p that I have done and if I can drag myself out of the hole the you most certainly can too. Keep the faith, keep doing the lessons, take it all on board and I promise you that you can get there too.

Author:  Kenzo [ Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Hello L2R
Keep the faith, keep doing the lessons, take it all on board and I promise you that you can get there too.

Amen to that
and welcome to mentoring :g:

I would add that learning from the lessons is paramount for recovery and you certainly are :g: :g: :g:

Author:  learningtorun [ Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Having been away on business for the last couple of days I have had time to think about a lot of things and in particular my progress on RN. I have also done my usual weekly health check this morning and am reminded that honesty is one of my core values. I would say that I am honest with my wife about everything these days other than that fact that she does not know that I joined RN.

I have mentioned previously that I joined RN for the same objectives as most people (i.e. to rid themselves of addiction) but I think that my circumstances were somewhat different. Most people seem to join here in some kind of attempt to overtly convince their partner that they will change this time and they are trying to show some kind of sincerity. Most tend to fall away after less than a handful of posts which either means that they have persuaded their partner to give them another chance or they have broken up. Either way it shows the lack of sincerity in those original promises to learn here which is a shame. In my view, even if their partner has chosen to leave them and their stress subsides, the circle will start again and the individual will meet someone knew and at some point the urges to act out will resurface, so even in the sad circumstances of a break up the person would do well to persevere with the lessons so that they are better able to sustain a new relationship when that time comes. Anyway, I did not join RN because my wife had just caught me out, that happened to me several years ago and it was horrible. I had met an online friend that I emailed regularly and had told them about all of the bad stuff I had done including an affair, use of escorts and sending inappropriate emails to a girl I knew and persuaded her to send inappropriate images and videos to me. My wife stumbled across a private email account that I had that she didn't know about and she spent the day reading through everything. It was a traumatic experience for her and it is gut wrenching to look back and recall that I put her through all of that. We went through counselling together at the time and I am fortunate that she agreed to stay and work through everything. On one level the counselling worked for me which was essentially saying that "you've recognised what pain you have put your wife through and you won't do that again will you?" and I would broadly say that is true (this point being clarified further down) in that it has stopped me acting out but it did not address the underlying SA issue so I have found it exhausting at times using will power to stop myself doing things.

So my joining RN was more about recognising that I was a SA and that I could change and become more emotionally mature in order to pass off any potential urges almost instantly so that they required little energy to do it. Having achieved some success with the lessons and now having embarked on mentoring which I have enjoyed I sense that if someone else was telling me my story I might point out to them that their core value of honesty suggests that they should tell my wife that they have joined here and I have played with that thought for several weeks now. I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to do that though but for some very good reasons. That said, if for any reason she finds something to suggest that I am on RN and she asks me about it then I will not lie about it and will tell her the truth. My concern is that in that eventuality there is a danger that she may perceived, as those who have just been caught out do, to either twist the truth and/or drip feed what has happened. As such, if I tell her the truth under those circumstances she might not believe that I am being honest. So what I have decided to do is to record under this post my honest version of events in case for some reason she happens to learn about this site at some point in the future and she can then read what I have written when I was calm and not under any form of stress and am therefore being totally honest. My key reason for not telling her about this now is not to hide anything but to avoid dredging up all of those memories of what happened all those years ago and getting us back to us both feeling really uncomfortable again. That may be the wrong approach in some peoples' view but I have given it a lot of thought and feel that is the best approach.

So what has changed then since joining RN and finishing the lessons? Well, I would say that what I was doing before joining RN involved some areas that I still felt guilt and shame about but I suspect that they would not be relationship threatening if my wife were to hear about them. I feel uncomfortable trying to distinguish between things that are badly wrong and other things that are just a little bit wrong but that is how I was thinking. For me, the bad stuff was affairs, escorts, receiving inappropriate material from someone, and generally anything involving me and another female where any inappropriate discussion or contact was involved. None of that has happened since I was caught several years ago. What does that leave then? I would say that the key thing was the internet where I would often try and find leaked nude photos of celebrities which had been hacked from their phones and also on occasions (but actual not much by comparison) looking at porn. Both would result in fantasy and masturbation. If my wife knew about this then I am not sure she would be disgusted by it, perhaps a little disappointed and not understanding why I needed to do it but I doubt she would say that I was violating her in any way. Interestingly when I told her recently that I had stopped masturbating around 4 months ago she suggested that was wrong and that it was natural to do it and thought I had made a wrong decision there. The other area for me is objectifying women and fantasising, both leading to masturbation. Again, within reason, she perhaps may not think that to be a major thing either as that is perhaps what blokes tend to do. The difference for me then is that I would always end up feeling rubbish after masturbating as if I had done something wrong and I was fed up with feeling like that. I think it unlikely that my wife had gone through the last 20 years that we have been together and not once masturbated herself whilst thinking of being with another man. I think it would be unusual for her not to have those sorts of thoughts from time to time but I equally do not want to know about them and as long as she is not acting on them and pursues someone then I am OK with that. Likewise, I suspect my wife would not be surprised that I had similar thoughts but it would make her feel rubbish for that to be confirmed to her which is unnecessary. Nevertheless I wanted to be free of feeling rubbish so made the decision to remove all of that stress from my life through RN and to stop fantasising about other people and masturbating, my personal choice.

The other reason for wanting to avoid revealing RN to her at this stage is that she would then read through all of my threads to date and then presumably would monitor everything that I say in future. Whilst I do not have anything to hide in what I have said or plan to say in future it reveals lots of sensitive information. I have got used to RN and am comfortable with it on the basis that no-one knows my name or hers so it all anonymous but to the untrained eye that point might not initially land and there could be a sense of airing your dirty washing to anyone with internet access. I also view the posting to my thread as a bit of a personal journal. If my wife kept (she doesn't) a personal journal and recorded her innermost thoughts and fears then she may well feel violated in some way if I found it and read through what she had written. In the same way I would like to keep my thoughts private to me - yes passing traffic can see it but they can't identify me so that's different. If I know that she will read everything I write I sense that it may impact what I write on my thread which would be to my (and ultimately her) detriment. At times it can be a place for me to sound off about something she said that annoyed me. It then gives me time to reflect and see that at times it was me in the wrong and then I can regroup. If she reads the rant before I have regrouped with a subsequent thread then she will never know how I came around to her way of thinking.

So all in all, I have made my decision. But, in the event that she does stumble across RN and ask me then I won't deny it. With this post she will hopefully be reassured that I had not joined because I had a load of further bad secrets I had kept from her but rather than I wanted to rid myself of feeling rubbish from the constant barrage of urges to fend off. I have obtained huge benefit from RN and feel like it will ultimately save my relationship with her if not my life. I would also hope that she can see that by enrolling as a mentor that I am showing my gratitude by trying to give back in some way by helping others through their own periods of turmoil. I suspect she would read this and find it all a bit deep and heavy by a normal person's standards but I have never considered myself normal and I have needed this to make me think more like a normal person. I could easily leave RN now having got what I felt I needed and then the chances of her finding me having accessed and worked on this site would be virtually zero. It would be with some sense of irony that she finds me accessing RN in my capacity as a mentor helping others overcome their addiction where I feel that I had finally turned into the person that she had always wanted me to be and she then queries if I have a load more baggage to declare!

A long post today but I have been giving this a lot of thought recently. I am sure that views on my decision will be divided but I have hopefully made my reasons clear and more importantly I now have something recorded here explaining what I honestly think with those comments being made whilst I was not under stress of having just been caught doing something that I shouldn't have.

Author:  Kenzo [ Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Hi L2R

I would say that I am honest with my wife about everything these days other than that fact that she does not know that I joined RN.

I am sure that views on my decision will be divided

for sure
and I believe that you will know which side of the argument I come down on, but as is my wont I will express it anyway
IMO selective honesty is not what those that we harmed want, need or deserve
we want to be trusted but do we trust?

The other reason for wanting to avoid revealing RN to her at this stage is that she would then read through all of my threads to date and then presumably would monitor everything that I say in future.

how do you know and are you sure?

With this post she will hopefully be reassured that I had not joined because I had a load of further bad secrets I had kept from her but rather than I wanted to rid myself of feeling rubbish from the constant barrage of urges to fend off.

I am sure that you do not mean this post to be a get out of jail free card, I know that because I have seen you change, however is there a danger that if dropped upon her by chance she might construe it as so,

I have obtained huge benefit from RN

Yes as have many others including many partners, yet you are not giving her the benefit of choice that she could possibly get from joining RN

I am not criticising your decision simply expressing an opinion, but you have travelled far in your journey as anyone who reads your posts will see, you deserve credit for that and I am sure that your wife would be first in line to give credit
as said this is not written in an attempt to change your mind or to consider a re think, it is as always an opinion
keep on the road and be the best L2R that a healthy L2R can be

Author:  learningtorun [ Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Thanks Kenzo,

As always your feedback and insight is welcomed and not unexpected. I mentioned before that I battled with the decision of whether to mention it to her or not. I am still pulled towards having that conversation and on the other hand I can sense that I am already thinking about what I am writing now in case she reads it - not that I have anything to hide but I like the freedom of saying what's on my mind regardless of how she may perceive that and I don't want to lose that. I will give it some more thought and reflect again on what I think the best thing to do is.

Author:  learningtorun [ Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

As part of mentoring I am spending time looking at other peoples' threads and reading individuals' stories. When I started working through the lessons after joining RN I can remember looking at other peoples' responses to the particular lesson that I was working on to check that I was answering it in the same sort of basis as them so that I didn't go off in the wrong direction. Some of the lessons require you to relay your "acting out of choice" in some detail and I can remember trying to fight off excitement in some cases where it would remind me of things that I used to do too. It's interesting now that as I read someone recounting their ritual in detail, particularly if it was one similar to mine, whilst I can still relate to the feelings of perceived excitement that they are targeting, I am seeing through the excitement and looking ahead to the end game which is guilt and shame. As a result it becomes easier to see the excitement as a lot of empty promises.

One story in particular mentioned the use of escorts and the excitement of hand picking a beautiful girl and knowing that you were holding the power of giving her money and she would sleep with you. The story goes on to describe how their mindset changes immediately afterwards as they reflect not only on having just been unfaithful but that this girl would have to sleep with anyone that walked through her door regardless of how old or ugly they were which leaves you feeling dirty and worthless. This point is well understood by the purchaser of these girls in advance but the SA chooses to block it out as it would otherwise interfere with the promise of excitement that lies ahead. I see the recovery process more and more as gaining a greater awareness of all of the pros and cons of making a decision to do or not to do something rather than the selective thinking of an addict which focuses only on the perceived good bits. It makes you feel so stupid looking back and seeing how immature our thinking was but I would certainly rather feel stupid now and be recovering than really stupid, still be doing it and not recovering. Even more interesting perhaps is that my thinking has gone further to feel sorry for the girls that find themselves in that situation. For what must surely be some financial crisis for whatever reason, college costs, drugs, or whatever, they will be sat in their apartment waiting for the doorbell to ring knowing that whoever they open the door to, and however unattractive, old or dirty they may be, they will need to give themselves up to them. What an awful position they have got themselves into and the SA will keep the circle going because we choose to finance them. Living with a clear conscience though is so much nicer, knowing that you haven't done anything that you couldn't tell your partner about and also knowing that your "habit" is not causing others to do things that degrade themselves either.

Author:  learningtorun [ Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

For the last 20 years I have recognised that I had a trinity of addictions that were likely to ruin my life, those being cigarettes, alcohol and sex. Over that time I have made an effort to try and rid myself of my reliance on each. I managed to stop smoking a number of years ago and that was surprisingly straight forward even though I used to smoke 20 a day. For me, the things that I was addicted to were like a tap, I either did it and did it a lot, or didn't do it at all, there was no moderation. My wife used to smoke on occasions and would be happy to smoke one cigarette and then stop but I would smoke one after the other.

Alcohol was going to be a harder nut to crack but I still felt that it was manageable. I stopped for the first time about 15 years ago for 4 years and then convinced myself I could have the odd glass of wine which, before too long, moved to the odd bottle most of the time. Analogies there with the "smoking tap". So I stopped again about 18 months ago and again have been OK with this.

For me, the hardest one was always going to be sex and I think that was because in some way I viewed it that I had little or no control over it, it was inevitable that I was going to end up doing things. I can remember years ago hearing Michael Douglas saying that he felt that sex addiction was like getting an itch, and when you got the itch you knew it would ultimately end up in you scratching it, it was something almost out of your control. What a great way of passing the blame elsewhere but I must say I could relate to his comments (probably because it helped me to pass the blame elsewhere too!) But despite having stopped smoking and drinking, I knew that my last addiction needed to be beaten otherwise I would still lose everything at some point. I joined RN over 4 months ago and I was thinking this morning about the similarities in some areas between stopping drinking and stopping acting out. When I stopped drinking I had my head in the right place and knew that underneath it all I found it a bit daunting to stop and know that I was trying to never have another drink for the rest of my life. When you look at it that way it is quite scary so I chose instead, as the cliché goes, to take it one step at a time, one day at a time. I got through the first day with no alcohol and it was actually fine, I then did the same thing the next day and was also OK. Before too long I had not had a drink for a month, then 2 months, then a year and suddenly the scariness had gone to the point where I know I won't drink again now and it really doesn't bother me in the slightest. Although my approach (and effort) towards stopping acting out has been entirely different by gaining a sound understanding of how a sex addict's brain makes emotional rather than values based decisions, when I look back now I can see that there was a similar mindset in terms of the not acting out part. To move from acting out over the last 20 years in one way or another and then choosing a day where you have decided never to act out ever again would be daunting. So it was one day at a time again, it was very uncomfortable and I felt very vulnerable the first day but felt a massive sense of achievement getting through that first day. The second day was slightly easier and then as the days and weeks went on it became easier to deal with as my confidence grew that I could handle it. Now I am into my 5th month and am feeling more relaxed about it all, whereas it was naturally to act out it is now more natural to not act out which is a huge shift. Of course I still get urges coming my way and I expect that for a long time to come but it is about how those urges are managed and I no longer fear them in the same way. I still get urges to have a drink and even a cigarette on occasions but my mind processes those thoughts and heads them off in a split second and I am managing urges in the same way. If I stay on this track then soon I will be up to 6 months, then a year and it should become more and more natural as time goes on.

So I now stand here looking back and realising that I have been able to achieve what I thought was unachievable and have managed my trinity of addictions. I keep reminding myself when I go home at night from work that I am walking into our house with a completely clear conscience and knowing that my home and everything and everyone within it is no longer being risked by indulging myself in acts of stupidity which I will instantly regret doing. It's a nice feeling, I can strongly recommend it!

Author:  learningtorun [ Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

When reading through some of my earlier threads one of the areas where I used to act out came to mind which involved a girl that I knew that I persuaded to send me inappropriate images and clips of herself. I actually liked this girl as a person in the first place and was friendly (in an appropriate way) with her before I changed the way that we were talking. She is the only person that I have ever known, and ironically it was a female, that seemed to be wired the same as me and had this compulsion to do the naughtiest of things and seemed out of control with it. I could see that she battled with doing these things and felt awful afterwards but almost couldn’t help herself. I know that RN would really help her in the way that it has helped me. It has been many years since I spoke to her and I understand that she is now in a relationship and has a young child. But I know her well enough to know that whilst she is probably remaining faithful to her partner (she had told me when we were acting out when she was single that she had never had sex with someone else when in a relationship) she will be battling all manner of inappropriate thoughts which she will find exhausting. She will be going through exactly what I was going through before joining RN. So I am tempted to contact her to tell her about RN and then withdraw contact thereafter to leave her to decide if it might be something of help to her.

I have been weighing up whether or not that would be the right thing to do. On the one hand I know that RN could save her life as it has mine and I am confident that getting into contact with her again would not cause me to be tempted to act out again. But on the other hand it could be dangerous putting unnecessary temptation in my own way. So after giving this a lot of thought I have decided not to contact her for the following two reasons:

1. One of my sense checks as to whether I should or should not do something is judging how my wife would act if I told her about it. My wife knows about this girl, it was one of the many things that came to light when I was caught having my affair, and whilst I know that I would have only good intentions in approaching her, I would not want to drag everything up again. As such, if I did contact her, I would not tell my wife for that reason and I do not want to have any more secrets from her.

2. As a secondary point I am sure that this girl would not be pleased initially to receive contact from me after all this time. If she does not give me the chance to explain why I was contacting her then she will assume that I am trying to get to act out again which she will not want as a woman with a settled family. I would certainly not want to cause her any stress as my intentions would be purely to try and help her.

So I have decided to leave it and not do anything. In some ways it is a real shame as I know that she would benefit from this site as I have. That said, I need to put my own recovery and family first and doing anything to cause any potential risk needs to be avoided.

Author:  Kenzo [ Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

Hi L2R

It has been many years since I spoke to her

she will be battling all manner of inappropriate thoughts which she will find exhausting. She will be going through exactly what I was going through before joining RN.

You assume but cannot know

I have decided not to contact her

Your value based decision demonstrates real change hence recovery :g: :g:

Author:  learningtorun [ Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: learningtorun's Recovery Thread

As part of my preparation for the mentoring process I have decided to read through all of the lessons again. It has been an interesting exercise so far for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is helping to reinforce the messages by re-reading everything again but also there are some areas and learning points that I had forgotten about. There is a lot of reading to do in order to complete the workshop and no-one could possible remember and absorb everything that is said. So to read it back has enabled me to pick up on some new areas to reflect on.

I am also someone who likes the use of key phrases in order to register certain points. I use one in my signature about rushes of excitement. One of the biggest obstacles that I had to overcome throughout the workshop was an incorrect expectation I had at the beginning that some sort of magic wand would be waved and suddenly seeing a half naked woman would no longer excite me. The turning point for me was being clear in my mind that whilst there may be some rush derived from certain images or dark thoughts, you need to see the end game. An SA will be selective over what appealing thoughts that they choose to feed themselves, the rush of picking out a stunning escort who will open her front door to you and be really into you as she allows you to do whatever you want to her, the thought of finally seeing a co-worker naked where you had fantasied about them for years and at last they show you some encouragement to make a move on them, or whatever it may be. The thing is, if you choose to act out then the weight of guilt and shame follows almost immediately and comes as no surprise as you had those same feelings immediately afterwards the last time you acted out and the time before that. So the object of my sign-off is to remind me to see the full picture when an exciting thought comes to mind so that an informed and values based decision rather than an emotional decision can be made. If I choose to act on an exciting thought or image then I know I will feel rubbish about it immediately afterwards. It is surprising how powerful that is in defusing rushes of excitement.

Anyway, I digress! The key phrase which jumped out of me in Lesson 2 was as follows:

"it was not the addiction that triggered the life was the lack of healthy life management skills that triggered the addiction."

This phrase reinforces the face that we weren't born SAs, it was something that was learned and therefore can be unlearned (or at least rewired). The exercise in Lesson 1 which asks you to look at a photo of yourself as a young child so that you can see their innocence pre-SA is another good thought to hold on to along the same lines.

If you have completed all of the lessons on RN and are a seasoned pro here, you may also find some benefit from reflecting back on some or all of the lessons as you will inevitably pick up some morsels that you may have missed along the way the first time round.

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