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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:14 am 
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Location: Ireland
7.Taking care of myself
I’m not sure about this one, what I mean is that I have recognised that when I DON’T look after myself, take rest, eat well, deal with emotional upset then I am more likely to seek ‘escape’.
Lately (as I have had the opportunity to) I have been sleeping more and eating better, also I have been able to work most days on Recovery Nation, the idea of ‘life management’ makes a lot of sense to me, it makes me think about how I am feeling at different points of the day. As I am about to start a new career where I am a little more in control of my day I have an opportunity to design it around the Values which I have been asked to think and write about.
So again, using my journal/diary may be an opportunity to ascertain if my life is in ‘balance’ – have I slept enough, eaten well and often enough, exercised regularly, been open to my wife, kept an eye on living my values….?
The acronym BLASTED -BORED, LONELY, ANGRY, STRESSED, TIRED AND HUNGRY! (I put the H in myself as it is a trigger for me)
Giving myself permission to just sit is hard but I think if I look at my working week and feel that I have put in the hours then it is important to do just that. That includes meditation, or just ‘alone’ time.

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"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:31 am 
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Location: Ireland
8.Being a role model for my family and instilling healthy values in my kids
Its nice to ne important but its MORE important to be nice.
Being honest, hard working, caring, sensitive to others, aware of their surroundings and respecting their environment, believing that it is more important to give than take, kind, trustworthy, supportive and helpful are the values that I feel if instilled in my own family will make me happy and make the world a better place.

Observing my own behaviours and asking ‘would I be proud if I saw my son doing this’ will help me determine the best course of action.
For example, staying in a hotel and one of my sons taking a Buzz light year toy out of the playroom home with him. It is important to explain to him that it is not our property and we hav’nt bought it, it is provided by the hotel for ALL the children to play with.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
8.Being a role model for my family and instilling healthy values in my kids
Its nice to ne important but its MORE important to be nice.
Being honest, hard working, caring, sensitive to others, aware of their surroundings and respecting their environment, believing that it is more important to give than take, kind, trustworthy, supportive and helpful are the values that I feel if instilled in my own family will make me happy and make the world a better place.

Observing my own behaviours and asking ‘would I be proud if I saw my son doing this’ will help me determine the best course of action.
For example, staying in a hotel and one of my sons taking a Buzz light year toy out of the playroom home with him. It is important to explain to him that it is not our property and we hav’nt bought it, it is provided by the hotel for ALL the children to play with.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:51 am 
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Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
9.Developing emotional maturity

I really relate to the concept of choosing porn or other addictive activities partly due to ‘emotional immaturity’. I never sat any classes on how to handle my emotions and did the best I could with the little I had.
For me, emotional maturity is partly learning to postpone reward for a better time, making a better decision, for example I have just had a very big urge to view porn and escort sites, this is disappointing for me as it has been many weeks since I have done so.
The emotional immature part of me wants to delve in and get lost or ‘escape’ with porn for the next while knowing that it will numb any uncomfortable feelings I am currently experiencing.
The emotionally mature part of me recognises that I am experiencing feelings of fear about my future and thus am seeking escape through the avenue I have used many times in the past but it always leads to feelings of disappointment, sadness and chaos entrenching the destabilising thoughts that I may ‘never’ recover…..
Action Plan: Continue to do what I have just done, recognise how I am feeling and find better more mature ways to deal with it, remove myself from the ‘dangerous’ environment….for example get up and take some exercise, offer to serve by helping someone else with a chore etc.
Daily journaling should help me recognise environments and situations where I have struggled or made immature emotional decisions.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
16. Being confidence and courage in myself
I have often been afraid of what other people will think about me, I wish that I did’nt give their opinion so much credence.
I admire people who are self confident and feel that they deserve good things to happen to them.
There can sometimes be a fine line between arrogance or rudeness and self confidence.
For example, If I was to take a place at the back of a queue at a shopping mall and someone cuts in front of me, I am likely to ignore it and legitimise it with thoughts of ‘ well, he did’nt notice me here’ or ‘ sure I am not in a rush anyway, he probably is….(even if I am) rather than say confidently…..
“Excuse me, you just cut in front of me, I was standing in this line”…..
I think I fear confrontation partly due to growing up in a home where there was an elephant in the room that nobody spoke about, as if by speaking about it (confronting it) things could get much, much worse.
Now as an adult, with newly acquired emotional maturity, I want to be able to stand up for myself and my family.
Action plan: Look for opportunities to practice and build my self confidence, imagine times when I or others would shy away and envisage acting with Courage, for example speaking up when someone cuts in front of me in line or is out of order.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
11.Appreciating natural beauty/nature

I am lucky enough to live in a country with access to parks, mountains, woodlands and the Sea without severe hot or cold weather yet I don’t make conscious efforts to enjoy them or attempt to build an appreciation of them in my kids.
Action Plan: Using weekly monitoring checklist if I have taken time to appreciate nature such as playing football outside, going for a walk, meditating outdoors.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
12. Connecting to purpose, meaning of life:

I don't often think about this except in a negative mindframe, such as "where is my life going.....?" "have I wasted my life"?........."Why hav'nt I contributed more to my family, to society?".....
Action plan: I rarely meditate but when I do, I feel more at peace and connected, I know I need to engage in medictation more often so my plan is a daily meditation - even just 5 minutes each day for the next month, recorded in my daily journal.
I think this will help quieten my mind so that I am more connected to a sense of purpose, meaning in my life, daily reviewing of my values list will also aid in this goal.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
13.Fidelity
I value fidelity as it is underpinned by loyalty and support. The opposite to fidelity to me is cheating, being disloyal, secretive, selfish and manipulative. In todays world of modern technology it is perhaps easier than ever to seek to act in a disloyal manner.
That is why protecting the value of fidelity is a daily requirement, building boundaries around it such as being aware of thoughts and fantasies, being open and honest with self and my wife.
Taking nothing for granted and always erring on the side of caution. No texting, communicating with another woman without my wife being aware of it. Acting in a way that is bulletproof, ask myself ‘How could this be perceived?” and then always acting with integrity.

14.Feeling happy and content
I am replacing this ‘value’ with 16 above building self confidence/ courage as I think that feeling happy and content will come when my other values are being met.


15.Sense of accomplishment

I love the feeling of a job well done and being complimented on it, whether its cleaning the yard or making a sales presentation or making more money or lifting heavier weights or hearing others compliment my sons manners and knowing that I helped instill them.
I will endeavour to ensure that a sense of accomplishment comes from within me rather than from others.
Action plan: Create financial goals and strive to achieve them with time and effort, create health and fitness goals and record them in a workout diary, create parenting goals and seek to support my kids.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:53 am 
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Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 12 Exercise:
I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to an unhealthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.


I have struggled with porn and unwanted sexual behaviours for years, I;ve read the books , done the courses but always slipped and relapsed. About 2 years ago I returned to RN and along with a weekly support group gradually noticed my 'cravings' reduce and stsrted to make better more concious decisions.

A denial that 'once an addict always an addict' kept me stuck in aloop of sobriety then eventually acting out, returning to 'recovery' until I felt all was under control and then becoming complacent and slipping. I did'nt want to accept the fact that work was required on a consistent basis and I recognise myself in secnarios 1 and 2 that Jon detailed above.

I also recognise myself in scenarios 3 and 4 particularly within teh last 18mths. Now I see 'recovery' as a way of life, a concious decision to invest time in myself - learning how to manage my emotions in a more mature and values based way BUT I need to be consistent, complacency has always crept in in the past before I was truly 'out of the woods' now I have accepted that I may have to live my life on the edge of the woods but that does'nt mean that I have no choice.
I have a choice to choose left or right to be drawn back into the dark gloomy woods of dissapointment, false promises and upset or turn right onto a better path one that has given me real happiness and joy without regret.
The daily and then weekly monitoring helps me to stay focused on what is important to me and where my energy is being derived from and invested into.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
Lesson 13 Exercises:
I. Identify those patterns that you currently recognize in yourself in relation to a healthy recovery. Post these observations into your Recovery Thread and/or Recovery Manager.
II. Consider the values that surround both your healthy and unhealthy patterns. Are they consistent with your current prioritized values? If yes, wonderful. If not, how might this awareness alter how you are currently perceiving/managing your recovery? Share your thoughts in the community forum.

1. I have accepted that recovery for me is ‘better life management’ it is following a path that I have often walked before but never continuously and without the depth of thought and introspection needed. In a way it is simple, when I live my life congruent with my values I am ultimately happier and more content and less likely to feel the ‘need’ for escape, for acting out.
2. BLASTED emotions such as being Bored, Lonely, Angry, Sad, and Tired can either be a trigger for seeking relief through porn or sign that I need to observe my emotions and situation and make mature choices that will affect my health. Allowing myself to be aware of those emotions without immediately acting on them gives me time to breathe and make the best decision.
3. I don’t associate myself as ‘addicted’ anymore as when I did I shunned anything to do with ‘recovery’ as I saw them as two sides of the same coin. Now I see myself as an imperfect person making daily choices to provide a better life for myself and my family. I cannot change the past but can learn from it. I am lucky that I spent many years doing the same thing and expecting a different result, lucky because now I see that I need to do something different to achieve that result and I have found a pattern, way of life that works well for me and acting out does not fit into it.
4. I think I need to review my values and add either ‘recovery’ or ‘healthy growth’ or ‘maturity’ as a value to be invested in which encompasses all areas of my life that I have found to make it better such as going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, having a daily/ weekly plan to work with, scheduling time to spend with my family, reviewing incidents that may have occurred during the day at home or at work that have caused and emotional reaction to ascertain is there a better way, a more mature way of handling it that fits my personality?

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 3:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
Lesson 14:
1. Did I attempt to follow my daily plan today?
2. Did I maintain a conscious awareness of how emotionally connected I was within different situations today?
3. Did I say or do anything today that I couldn’t have told my wife?
4. Did I engage in any compulsive behavior today?
o If yes, did I maintain an awareness of the elements involved?
o Did I create a break as soon as I became aware of that ritual?
o If no, did I role play a past or possible future compulsive ritual to ingrain confidence in my ability to manage these rituals?
5. Did I initiate at least one meaningful conversation with my wife and kids today asking them about their day?
o If not, how many days has it been since I have?
6. Was I attentive to my wife and childrens needs today?
7. How much time did I spend with each child today?
o Was it quality time for each of us?
o Did I remember to fully invest myself in the moment?
8. Did I yell at the kids today? Was yelling the appropriate option to choose in that situation? Or was it just the easiest?
9. Did I follow through with everything that I said I was going to do today?
10. Did I pay my wife or children aby compliments today?
11. Did I remind myself that I am a good person doing his best and attempt to support myself the way that I would a friend in need?
12. Did I roleplay at least one reactive action plan today?
13. How would I describe my overall emotional balance and stability at the moment?

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
So I've been following my 'Daily Monitoring' in a very loose way i.e. I have not sat down and read them out of a journal and ticked each one BUT I have given them thought each day (usually at teh end of the day when I am drifting off to sleep)
They definitely help prepare me for the following day and affirm my progress that I have made that day.
I'm still along way from where I want to be but I am definitely better than I used to be.
Small things that I am beginning to notice like being at the gym and conciously making an effort NOT to look/admire/leer at an attractive woman in tight gym workout gear.
When I first started that it was a struggle, I would look and develop fantasies in my head but somehow convince myself that it was ok because:
1. Loads of other guys here are doing teh same thing ...its Normal
2. Its ok because I'm only looking and fantasising a little but I wont take it further than that
3. I've made progress, 1 look is better than 2 or three
4. It would be weird NOT to look ! Sure thats why she is wearing skin tight workout pants, she enjoys looking good and being admired....

These and other lies kept me stuck in the loop, now I try and return to my values so that when I see those attractive women and notice that I am looking I try and immediately return to my values;

1. I am a man of Honour, I don't leer at anyone
2. I think how proud I am to be one of teh only men here who is'nt leering/ watching between sets and how she (or any woman) would appreciate that
3. I try and honour her the same as I would if it were my wife/ sister etc. and see them as a whole person rather than acoolection of body parts for my titillation.
4. I try and use the energy to focus on what my values are, how good it feels to be here working out feeling my heart beat and muscles ache, how I am investing in my future health, how great it is that I have a job and wife that allows me time to engage in healthy behavours etc.

As I dsaid its not easy and I am DEFINITELY not out of the woods yet BUT I can definitely see the light in teh distance and that to be honest is a little bit scary as it is the unknown.
I have has unwanted sexual behaviours as a crutch for so long that I wonder/ fear whjat life will be like without them or if there is real possibility of sustaining a life without them....

I just read a post on L2R 's thread where he mentioned the Sam smith video, I was struck by how I am still very triggered by the husband engaging in an encounter with his mistress, how it excited me.
That dissapointed me, I wish that the only emotion I would experience from watching that video would be disgust by his act of betrayal and relief that that would never be me but that is not how it felt.
I guess that is why I am still here and still trying, to get to that point.
I gotta keep reminding myself how far I have come and use that as momentum to keep moving forward.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Al's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 4:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
Lesson 15 Exercises:
I. Take a minute to review what you have learned over the past two weeks. Of what you have learned so far, think of one example of how you have actively integrated that information into your day-to-day life. Share this in your personal thread.


I've written above how the daily monitoring and visualisation elements have recently been incorporated into my daily routine.
I recognise how it has helped me and I have kind of 'fallen into' teh routine of thinking about teh daily monitoring questions as I drift off to sleep. This has been very helpful as when I was deep into addiction in the past I would drift off to sleep with sexual thoughts to soothe me.......this would set me up for failure/ acting out the following day or days.

Just like an athlete who visualises success in his sporting endeavours again and again, I was setting myself up for a slip and the accompanying dissapointment and shame cycle.

Trying to keep a positive outlook is hard for me as it is breaking a habit of a lifetime BUT I have seen it work so will continue to do it.
The difference is a commitment to visualise making the appropriate choice on a more regular time rather than just as I drift off to sleep.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 3:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 16 Exercise:
I. Consider the POSITIVE role that addiction has played in your life. What purposes has it served (think short-term, not long)?

Understanding the functional role of your addiction is important in removing the power, mystery and fear from that addiction — to begin seeing it in terms of practicality, rather than as some kind of supernatural fate or disease that you are doomed to suffer.

Share a few positive aspects of your addiction in your recovery thread.


Thats easy, an ESCAPE....an escape from what?? From feeling anything other than my perceived 'Normal' ....when I feel low, sad, scared of the future, when I doubt myself in the decisions I have made in the past and the decisions that I may make in the future...I would turn to fantasy and masturbation.

When I was tired, hungry, lonely or angry, you name it I was generally always on the look out for an opportunity to release some feel good hormones to make myself 'feel better'.....interesting how my mind always kept the consequences both real and potential far away in my mind, the 'missing link' in teh chain as I just read L2R describe it.

I remember the excitement of 'doing something on my own' ....Just for me....I was in control, I could take my mind (or body) ANYWHERE that I wanted to go at a few clicks of a mouse, it was exciting, exhillarating, undercover and dangerous, my mind and body were on high alert and I could literally shake with anticipation.

Being someone who had a low level of self esteem I could also use acting out or fantasisiing to 'punish' myself - in the the sense that I would berate myself for being such a low life, such a coward, a failure and disgusting person.
Talking to myself like that served the dual purpose of feeling a sense of 'retribution or punishment delivered' for my behaviours and to keep me stuck in the familiar world of feeling shit.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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 Post subject: Re: Ace's Recovery Forum
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 94
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Lesson 17 Exercise:
I. Consider a particular compulsive ritual that you have engaged in. Identify the elements of this ritual and post them in your recovery thread. It is important that you understand the principles involved in identifying the stimulating elements of compulsive rituals...so if you are not comfortable with this concept, ask questions! Also, recognize that the elements listed above are not the only elements associated with compulsive behavior. And so, you will want to identify those elements that are specifically related to YOUR compulsive behavior.


Sitting at my office desk with thoughts entering my head...."Am I good enough?"
"What if I don't succeed"? "It could all start falling apart" "I'll end up like my dad"
Then I begin to look for proof .....I did'nt earn very much last month, I know people who are richer than me, more successful, better parents etc.....They say that there is evidence to support any argument if you look hard enough for it....

I know something that helps me escape and give me (temporary) POWER.
I am in CONTROL. Engaging in these behaviours is DANGEROUS and thrilling.
I begin to play the role in my head.
No one is around, I am on my own in a low risk situation.
That is further evidence to proceed.. No one will know. SUSPENSE -Its not so bad anyway, everyone does it and if they dont do that then they have some other vice.....
I notice my values beginning to pull at me..."This is NOT what you really want, it will end badly for you...Get off the rollercoaster now before its too late..." but it is a distant voice compared to the POWER that engaging has over me - I remember from PAST experiences the Highs, I block out the negatives, the missing link in the chain, I try not to play teh movie to teh bitter end as if I do then surely I will see the dissapointment and shame etched on my face - those images will spoil my HIGH -
It is a battle but only one side has the upper hand, I use my cell phone or the pc to search for images that excite me, I orgasm ACCOMPLISHMENT and start teh clean up deleting the history, feeling despondent, fatigued, beaten and fearful of what teh future holds.

_________________
"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"


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