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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:10 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 61
Lesson 56

Another productive exercise.

“You are getting to a point in the workshop where you need to begin withdrawing from the need for accountability and external feedback; and instead begin to take pride in your own work.”

Having thought about this I’ve found it informative, and helpful. A few lessons back I was concerned at the lack of feedback here fearing I might not be on the right track with some of the detail. Having now moved along a bit, I certainly see a clear path towards healthy. I’m feeling that I am building the tools to get there and maintain it. So if I’m happy I’m on the healthy path, that I’ve got a set of ‘good’ values to guide me, and that I’m capable of following it, it doesn’t really matter about a lot of feedback. In the same way that I need to 'own' the recovery process, I don't need my hand held every step of the way and its good to build one's own confidence.

Looking back over the past eighteen months I can see a lot of progress, and I do indeed take pride in it. Much as I take ‘sorrow’(?) in events prior to that. Another value/emotional balance perhaps.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:10 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 61
Exercise 58

5 rituals for the next 2 years, with value based reactive action plans.

1. Internet porn

Porn has played a big part in my life, and in my acting out. Although I’ve a block on accessing adult sites that doesn’t mean porn is unavailable – a google image search still works!

Key value is honesty, so let me ask the question: “Would I sit on the sofa with my partner and say: ‘Hey, look at these two bonking, pretty hot, eh? Mind if I have a wank over it?’”

I think the answer is no, I wouldn’t ask the question. Interestingly I might just get a ‘yes’ if I did, but somehow, I doubt it. So if I need to be secretive, however mild the actual activity, it’s a no-no. The action plan is simple, don’t go looking for porn.

2. Internet contact

Here I’m talking about an old ‘friend’ making contact, or me seeking contact, with some form of sexual motive. Perhaps discussing past events, a bit of flirting, however unlikely any future events it’s the sexual overtones, in the broadest sense, that’s the key driver.

Again honesty is the main value. Any such contact would not be admitted. No “Just talking about the weather”. And so the action plan is quite simple too – if contact is made by another, then I politely say no thank you. Maybe I might say why, i.e. recovery, it rather depends on who, and how much they press for an explanation. Similarly, I will not initiate the contact. Its possible to still talk with ‘old friends’ with a history, but it has to be very clear what the boundaries are. As it happens those that I’m in touch with have very much moved on romantically, so the boundaries are as much from their side as mine.

3. Internet cam

This is like porn, above, but more so. Its unlikely that the blocks would allow it, though of course they can be avoided. Its not likely that I’d receive a request, any initiation would be my doing.

So if I ‘feel like’ doing so I should be clear with myself, it’s not consistent with my values. It can’t be done honestly, only in secret. And it doesn’t produce the desired result, maybe some short term pleasure, but far outweighed by guilt and ‘failing’ in recovery.

The action plan is an inaction plan – don’t do it. If that doesn’t enable me to cope with the situation/trigger, then find an alternative – go for a walk, take a photo, read a book, but keep well away from the computer!

4. Naughty thoughts

Here I mean some thought, situation, or event that gets me thinking in a sexualised way. That in turn would have led to some form of acting out, most likely viewing porn on the ‘net.

I can’t totally avoid the initial thoughts, but I can take charge with where they lead. If I can’t see good in them, then I have to avoid the bad. As with 3, it may well be sufficient to realise the situation and move on. If that’s not enough to control it, then some alternative activity, away from the computer.

5. Recovery discussions

Here I’m talking about discussing my recovery, and in particular my past acting out, with a friend giving support to me. On the whole its pretty clinical, for want of a better word. Obviously, it does little to encourage me to act out, very much the reverse.

However, it’s possible, especially as we’re talking a longish period into the future, that reminders of past actions could get me thinking ‘Was it so bad?’. A sort of sliding scale from ‘harmless’ porn to ‘there was a need’ escorts. As recovery gets more ingrained will the perspective change? There have been one or two occasions when discussing events, e.g. a business trip, where I’ve been asked about the possibility of acting out although it hadn’t occurred to the ‘healthy’ me.

I don’t think there needs to be an action plan more specific than those above, just an awareness that when things ‘come to mind’, however that happens, there needs to be thought given, and these plans in place to deal with it.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:43 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:16 am
Posts: 61
Lesson 59 (Part 1)

“At this stage of your transition to health, you should be seeking out ways of strengthening your foundation on your own.”

“You have reached the point in your recovery where you have learned everything you need to be successful in eliminating addiction from your life.”

Both those ring a bell, I’m feeling as I come to the end of stage 4 that I’m well on the way to recovery, or rather the transition from recovery to health. It’s had its challenges, and I’m sure will continue to do so, and I’m feeling I have a good foundation for the future. I feel this is a good point to ‘take stock’ and revise action plans. I think this will help identify areas that could pose a danger to recovery and areas that might need further work. The tools I now have and whether/where additional focus is required.

I feel I have a solid vision and values, and a well defined boundary for actions. With regard to action plans I feel the best process for me is to include the various aspects into one plan for each situation. They’ll be quite a few, and even though they’ll end up quite long in places I think that’s easier to relate the various parts.

Each action plan:
• Situation – summary of past event(s)/future possibilities.
• Proaction – actions before event.
• Action – actions initiated by me.
• Reactions – actions in response to ‘external’ events.
• Postaction – analysis, responses and revisions.

Action plans to be revised/created:
1. Managing a healthy recovery

These are the action plans to cover how I now run my life to complete recovery and the transition to a healthy life. How I intend to positively manage my interaction with partner, family and friends.

1.1. Me
1.2. Partner
1.3. Family
1.4. Friends

2. Work/Life balance

An action plan to manage the balance between work and other activities, including recovery.

3. Unhealthy possibilities

These are generally reaction plans to be in place to deal with any ritual based compulsive urges and their triggers.

3.1. Internet porn
3.2. Internet contact
3.3. Internet cam
3.4. Naughty thoughts
3.5. Affairs
3.6. Escorts

4. Recovery discussions and support

How I plan, initiate and react to discussions and other activities relating to recovery.

5. Contact with ex-lovers

How I continue to be in contact with those I shared affairs with in the past whilst maintaining recovery and a healthy life.

5.1. A
5.2. B
5.3. C

My vision is to be honest, honourable, healthy, inclusive, prosperous and happy.

My primary boundary is not to say or do anything that I’m not prepared to discuss openly with my wife.

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