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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:47 am 
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A bit slower getting back into the routine of daily work on recovery due to various 'domestic' factors, including taking on a starters running programme - kinda ticks the healthy as in physical box though!

So lesson 24 completed, and I'll now be back into the daily hour (at least) on recovery.

J


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:48 am 
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Lesson 24

I. Wheel elements:

Opportunity
Planning
Anticipation
Fantasy
Emotional connection
Sensory (sight)
Sensory (touch)
Sensory (smell/taste)
Danger
Suspense
Accomplishment
Pleasuring
Sex
Orgasm

II. Compulsive rituals

1. Watching porn on internet – including anything ‘naughty’ in terms of material found/watched/downloaded, images or video, whether free (mostly in my case) or paid for.

Opportunity – availability of internet, knowing its there and available
Planning – home alone, or not(!). Looking what can be found.
Anticipation – I’ll be able to do it when she’s out. I’ll finish this job then…
Fantasy – thinking through the types available, picking one to find
Sensory (sight) – the watching.
Danger – if not alone in house, getting caught.
Suspense – waiting to watch, looking forward to outcome.
Accomplishment – job well done, didn’t get caught.
Orgasm

2. Camgirl on ‘net – including any interaction with individuals, usually paid for, of an explicit nature. Mostly video link, but also messaging and chats.

Opportunity – availability of internet, knowing its there and available
Planning – home alone, or not(!). Looking what can be found.
Anticipation – I’ll be able to do it when she’s out. I’ll finish this job then…
Fantasy – thinking through the types available, picking one to find, selecting a role play
Sensory (sight) – the watching, if video.
Danger – if not alone in house, getting caught.
Suspense – waiting to watch, looking forward to outcome.
Accomplishment – job well done, didn’t get caught.
Orgasm


3. Visiting escort – including any ‘professional’ (ie paid for) interaction including massage parlour, entertaining at hotel on business trip etc.

Opportunity – business trip, adjunct to visiting Client.
Planning – once opportunity occurs, or devised – research, selection.
Anticipation – ‘next week I’ll be…’, first time meeting
Emotional connection – or rather lack of, the paying for escort changing the ‘girlfriend’ to a business arrangement/sex work – the different dynamic.
Fantasy – role play
Sensory (sight)
Sensory (touch)
Sensory (smell/taste)
Pleasuring
Sex
Orgasm
Danger – getting found out, dodgy location, first time meeting
Accomplishment – job well done, didn’t get caught.


[4. Affairs – whilst having affairs was certainly part of my unhealthy activities, I don’t see it as a compulsive ritual as such. I didn’t suddenly decide, or was triggered into, having an affair. There may have been some compulsive rituals within the affair I suppose – I’ll ponder that one a bit, but I think the first 3 cover the mast majority of them.]


Last edited by john53A on Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:28 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3767
Location: UK
Hi J
Quote:
I didn’t suddenly decide, or was triggered into, having an affair


but you did so by choice

I mention this because in my first round thro the programme I dismissed and then fell foul to elements that I too easily put to oneside
Quote:
I’ll ponder that one a bit


analysis is important but not if it halts or is an excuse to slow your progress forwards

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:28 am 
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Posts: 58
Lesson 25

Firstly a few notes/thoughts jotted down whilst going through it.

Was my compulsive behaviour actually compulsive? Did I actually lose control, or did I always chose to do what I did? Is this actual addiction? Or ‘just’ bad behaviour? In a sense doesn’t really matter, I certainly need to recover from it. But from before starting RN its been niggling a bit at me, just how addicted am I. I think the answer is that some activities have become compulsive, thinking cam girls in particular, and others show some signs of it. So whether formally addicted or not, I certainly need to get out of the loop and head for a healthy life. Its not too late even at my age.

For each and every ritual, identify:
• Every element
• Beginning
• PoNR
• End

Initial thoughts: a beginning (trigger) may not define the ritual, ie the same trigger could lead to different rituals to satisfy the need. Similarly a particular ritual could have different beginnings, triggered by different things. I’m thinking a ‘matrix’ of beginnings/triggers and rituals.

Each ritual will certainly have a PoNR specific to that particular occasion, but possibly different elements at different times. Hence the idea that any stage in a ritual can be a PoNR.

All rituals will have an end, and on first thought that’s likely to be pretty much the same for a particular ritual.

And now for the exercise – seeing an escort:

1. Long married and not had sex with partner for six months
2. Started counting the months
3. Hinting but not getting a response
4. Conflict in my mind, not a ‘right’, respect for her and generally good marriage, but I’d like some.
5. More hinting
6. Another couple of months counted
7. Business trip away over night planned
8. Think about escort – away, hotel, opportunity
9. Start looking at guides, find several that are attractive, physically and in apparent attitude
10. Email two or three and discuss possibilities/availability
11. Find the process stimulating, anticipation
12. Select/agree meeting details
13. Head off on trip
14. Arrive at hotel, much anticipation
15. Dinner with attractive (young!) woman
16. Back to room for best sex ever (well maybe)
17. She leaves and I feel satisfied, at least physically
18. Phone home to say goodnight, mixed emotions, no harm done, but…!
19. Thoughts during business the following day, some guilt, some pleasurable memories
20. Return home, glad not discovered


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:21 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 361
Hi John,

Quote:
Was my compulsive behaviour actually compulsive? Did I actually lose control, or did I always chose to do what I did? Is this actual addiction? Or ‘just’ bad behaviour? In a sense doesn’t really matter, I certainly need to recover from it. But from before starting RN its been niggling a bit at me, just how addicted am I. I think the answer is that some activities have become compulsive, thinking cam girls in particular, and others show some signs of it. So whether formally addicted or not, I certainly need to get out of the loop and head for a healthy life. Its not too late even at my age.

An interesting reflection. The key takeaway should be that the word "compulsive" suggests that we do not have control over our actions but you have realised that we always have the "choice" and it is about "choosing wisely" EVERY TIME. And believe me, you are NEVER too old to change!

Quote:
Initial thoughts: a beginning (trigger) may not define the ritual, ie the same trigger could lead to different rituals to satisfy the need. Similarly a particular ritual could have different beginnings, triggered by different things. I’m thinking a ‘matrix’ of beginnings/triggers and rituals
.
You are quite right that your triggers can come from a wide and varied source of places but the key thing here is that they can be predictable. Your exercise in this lesson on use of an escort starts by suggesting a growing frustration of lack of sex life, that doesn't happen overnight and you need to be alive to it happening. Other things can be much quicker (e.g. an argument with someone or something doesn't go the way that you had hoped). These are all emotional things and the addict's response is to manage that by finding a way of improving our emotional state quickly regardless of the potential consequences. If we are alive to these threats then it makes it far easier to manage them in a healthy way. It looks like these points are landing on you.

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:29 pm 
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Posts: 58
Thanks for your comments, K and L2R, much appreciated.

I see what you say about analysis/progress. Given my progress hasn't been the quickest, and this bit of analysis isn't holding things up, I'll keep it going in the background.

And yes I think I'm beginning to get the addiction/compulsion/control/awareness thing. These last couple of lessons have been very helpful in giving that focus.

J


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:31 am 
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Lesson 26

Ritual behaviours

1. I am working at home on the computer. Clients are pestering me, deadlines are looming, I haven’t enough time to complete the projects.
2. I feel frustrated, I decide to ‘take a break’ with cam girl on the internet.
3. There is excitement at the prospect, mixed with frustration with work and knowing taking time out will only make the pressures greater, but having an emotional high (as I now know it to be) will bring me back to work with renewed enthusiasm.
4. Although I’m not alone at home, the prospect of the ‘secret’ liaison enhances the anticipation.
5. I think about which of the ‘regular’ girls might be available or do I fancy a new one.
6. I log into the account and look through the list, who’s available, looking at notes on past cam experiences.
7. One I particularly fancy is occupied – frustration.
8. I search for others, but none particularly appeal.
9. Back to original selection, still occupied. More frustration.
10. Select another, start a show, but doesn’t really do the business, still thinking of the first choice, stop show.
11. First choice now available.
12. Need to get more credit for uninterrupted show, meanwhile fantasising about the show to come.
13. Start show, lead it into a fantasy I’ve been thinking about.
14. Masturbating during the show, holding back to savour the moment.
15. Climax achieved, show ends.
16. Something of a down, fantasy didn’t quite play out as imagined. Masturbation/relief ‘average’ rather than the anticipated high.
17. Not the renewed enthusiasm for work I’d told myself would be there, more a degree of disappointment, plus some guilt.
18. Think of more camming, but know it won’t really do anything for a while.
19. Back to work with little change, save an hour ‘wasted’.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:34 am 
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Lesson 27

Simultaneous rituals


1. Engaged in an affair
2. During the same period also looked at internet porn, some in connection with the affair (‘good’), some to seek additional stimulation (‘bad’).
3. Also engaged with camgirls on the internet.
4. As the affair waned somewhat, looking back now the amount of emotional stimulation declining, the simultaneous use of porn and camgirls increased. Again looking back its now more obvious that this was an attempt to increase/maintain emotional stimulation, though I don’t believe I was conscious of that at the time.
5. Came to a head with a literally simultaneous occurrence, chatting with affair partner on the internet at the same time as camgirl, typed in the wrong box and ‘found out’. Shattering though that was at the time, particularly for the partner to whom it came as a complete surprise, it led to me joining this path to recovery.

Ritual chain

1. Looking at porn on the internet.
2. Particular fantasy develops.
3. Find camgirl to ‘enact’ the fantasy.
4. More, perhaps ‘harder’, porn found to develop the fantasy.
5. Return to camgirl for more.
6. More porn and so on….
7. This could be over a period of days, weeks or even months.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:26 am 
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Exercise 28

Initial compulsive chain

1. Frustrated by difficult work tasks.
2. ‘Triggered’ to look at porn on the internet.
3. Fantasy develops.
4. Look for camgirl to ‘enact’ the fantasy on the internet.
5. Find two camgirls online who appear suitable for the fantasy.
6. Start camming with one.
7. Fantasy doesn’t develop particularly well.
8. Switch to other camgirl.
9. Good match to fantasy.
10. Successful masturbation.
11. Finish camming, feelings of achievement.

Enhanced compulsive chain

1. Frustrated by difficult work tasks.
2. ‘Triggered’ to look at porn on the internet.
3. Fantasy develops.
4. Find more porn that exactly matches the fantasy
5. Look for camgirl to ‘enact’ the fantasy on the internet.
6. Find two camgirls online who appear suitable for the fantasy.
7. Start camming with one.
8. Fantasy doesn’t develop particularly well.
9. Switch to other camgirl.
10. Good match to fantasy.
11. Share the porn link and suggest we watch ‘together’
12. Develop the fantasy to greater detail, more realistic, more explicit discussion
13. Successful masturbation.
14. Continue with camgirl after orgasm, discuss why liked, how it could be developed another time, how to make more realistic/explicit.
15. Book another session, greater anticipation.
16. Look for further porn to be prepared, develop fantasy.
17. Finish camming, feelings of achievement.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 361
Hi John,

You have produced some interesting rituals where you can clearly see the cycle as it develops and progresses. My only comment would be about what happens after the ritual completes, you have not mentioned any shame/guilt/remorse at the end which you have alluded to earlier in your thread? I would suggest that this is a very important part of the ritual and indeed may be the very reason that brought you to RN in the first place? It is this very point that can be the key to your recovery so some food for thought perhaps?

_________________
L2R

A clean life; a clear conscience


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:19 am 
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Thanks, L2R, insightful as ever – yes you’re right looking back at those rituals and chains I see I’ve stopped at ‘completion’ rather than considering the after effects.

The guilt may not kick in immediately, but perhaps when something happens with family, or the bank statement arrives(!). It can take various forms like the ‘never again’ vow and so on.

So the compulsive chain should continue:

12. Feelings of guilt at what I had done, the deceit, the lack of values. Often triggered by a ‘near miss’ with family, or realisation of money spent, time better used.
13. Seeing the error of my ways, having the desire to stop.
14. Until another trigger when the desire for emotional fulfilment (as I now realise it to be) overcomes the pull of the healthy life.

With these lessons I am certainly getting a greater understanding of the whole cycle. I’m understanding how triggers can lead to acting out, and now how to recognise the process and stop it. How to convert the guilt, never a ‘good’ emotion, into a positive force for change.

Before moving on I’m going to have a look back over the last few lessons and make sure these principles are well embedded in my mind.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:04 am 
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A quick recap…

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

Since this was written two and a half months ago it has proved a useful summary of what I’m aiming for. Some areas have had positive input, particularly the healthy, both in terms of physical health and progressing with a healthy recovery. Others perhaps less actively pursued and thinking about it I realise I still need to ‘go check’ my vision from time to time, so I need to get it more ingrained. Also on the positive I don’t think I’ve gone against any aspects, i.e. no dishonesty, not dishonourable and such.

Looking back at the action plans derived from the values they seem fine at the strategic level, but could do with revisiting at the tactical, detailed level. No so much that they’re wrong, but they evolve from day to day and perhaps that’s a good thing to record from time to time.

My recovery goal to complete RN and lead a healthy life remains very much in place. I think I’ve been worrying less on an exact timetable, more to ensure I give it regular (usually daily) attention to the RN lessons, but also a broader approach with the forum and other sources.

I think I’ve got a good handle on rituals and compulsive behaviour. I’ve been able to examine some aspects in greater depth without actually triggering acting out. And in one instance it became clear that a set of circumstances would have been such a trigger and I was able to ‘nip it in the bud’. A useful lesson I thought.

I can’t totally relax, but I do think the recovery goal, or rather the desire to ensure I recover and put the unhealthy behind me, is now well established in my mind.

A big thank you to the mentors for their help and advice. I won’t dwell too long here, as one of them said: “analysis is important but not if it halts or is an excuse to slow your progress forwards”.

So on to stage three…


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:15 am 
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Lesson 29 - completed. We weren't asked to share, and having I think delved quite deeply into the emotional 'me' (not an usual state of affairs) I think I'd rather not and keep my thoughts to myself for once. Certainly a valuable exercise.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:21 am 
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Lesson 30 completed over the weekend, well I say completed, the whole emotion/value consideration seems to have got itself well embedded in my mind. I think of myself as being 'not very emotional', obviously we all are and this is proving most enlightening. It keeps popping up and giving me food for thought.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:40 am 
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Lesson 31

A. Stressors from the past week:

1. Course work deadline – mild
2. Work, client ‘C’ – moderate
3. Work, client ‘M’ – moderate
4. Work, client ‘W’ – moderate
5. Work, end of year accounts – mild
6. Boat maintenance (via OH) – mild
7. Daughter ‘E’ - moderate
8. Daughter ‘J’ - mild
9. Exercise programme – mild
10. Household finances – mild
11. Sexual frustration – mild
12. Recovery Nation progress – moderate
13. RN exercises – mild
14. Friend ‘C’ – moderate
15. Friend ‘M’ – mild
16. Feeling this list should be longer(!) – mild

I don’t see any severe, let alone extreme. All relative of course, work issues relatively stressful, but largely within my control, so they feel less severe than if I didn’t have the power to influence.

B. Top 15 values and associated stressors

1. I value total honesty with myself. 11, 12, 13
2. I value total honesty with all others. 12, 14
3. I value living a life in accordance with these values.
4. I value being faithful and strengthening my role with my partner. 11
5. I value being supportive and a good role model to my family. 7, 8
6. I value being supportive of friends. 14, 15
7. I value providing a financially comfortable environment for my family and myself. 10
8. I value being a positive member of the community.
9. I value being humorous.
10. I value being physically healthy. 9
11. I value being mentally healthy. All, in part?
12. I value being spiritually healthy.
13. I value being inclusive.
14. I value being content. All?
15. I value becoming happy.

My first thought is that there are a number of values that ‘balance’ with the stressors where they’re associated with recovery, some specific e.g. role with partner <=> sexual frustration, and some more general, e.g. supportive of family/friends.

But, and quite a big but, there are a number of stressors, the kind of everyday issues with work and study for example (interestingly I listed first although I wasn’t trying to give some form of importance, they were the first to mind) that don’t seem to have a balance with values, save the more general mentally healthy, contentment etc.

I did mention in an earlier exercise the desire to improve the ‘work/life balance’ and whilst that not perhaps a value as such, there is something more needed in the values I’m thinking. Not so much to tick these ones off, but to be aware that it was these sorts of stressful situations which I believe were often a trigger to acting out. Mental health and contentment kind of cover it, that is a desire to have a stress-free, happy life. Of course there are always stresses, and if no major ones, lesser ones seem more important.

Overall I’d say I’m in a place where the stressors are balanced by the ‘good’ values and don’t need addiction in the equation. But, and again quite a big but, sometimes I feel I’m close to tipping the wrong way. I feel the stress, the frustration, that once would have had me acting out. I’m able to resist, to think of values and see the benefit, but it requires a strong will, and more importantly a conscious effort, its not yet ingrained.

C. Meaning and Stimulation

Yes, I think that fits. Looking through the values, and thinking about what feels ‘good’ in life at the moment, I see a good match. OK, there are exceptions, frustrations, but when I end the day/week in a positive mood and think back over the events that have contributed, they can generally be related to these top values.


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