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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:30 pm 
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Lesson 1 Exercises:

A. Three keys to establishing a successful foundation for permanent change in early recovery are:
1) actively committing yourself to change
2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change
3) allowing yourself time to change.


1) What commits me the most is my wish to discover the "real me" that gets hidden by my porn and masturbation addiction. I'm also addicted to food, and and my junk food binges serve much the same purpose as my sex addiction, but for this forum I will focus on the sexual stuff. Whenever I give in to an urge to look at internet porn, and especially if I masturbate to the porn, the after-effects continue to damage my sense of self-worth for at least a couple of days... and then, more so in the past, I would repeat the cycle and masturbate to porn again. So I live in this self-imposed state of guilt and self-reproach that keeps me from ever getting to know the real getagrip hiding under it all. I have a hunch the real getagrip is self-confident, proud, and assertive. The real getagrip would be more confident and comfortable in approaching real women in real life. To be honest, I am not real sure what the real me is. So committing to change means for me the beginning of a journey of self-discovery, something I am very much looking forward to.

2) I don't think I dwell on guilt and shame from my history of porn and masturbation addiction. I'm feeling optimistic right now and am looking into the future. I'm not ignoring my past and present but I am not going to let the dark moments of the past interfere with my recovery. At least that's my hope.

3) I will definitely allow myself time to change. I'm semi-retired and therefore have some time on my hands, but I still don't want to rush things. I want to make steady if slow progress and my goal is to invest 45-60 minutes a day on my lessons and exercises.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:28 am 
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Lesson 1 exercises
B. Beyond an active commitment to change, another important factor in determining your ultimate success is your motivation. Look deep inside and list ten to fifteen reasons why you seek to permanently change your life.


1. To discovery my true self that keeps getting suppressed each time I give in to urges and look at porn and/or masturbate.
2. To get my brain chemistry and libido normalized. My dopamine is all messed up right now and I have E.D. Medications I am prescribed may play a part in my E.D. but no doubt my porn addiction has also contributed to my sexual problems. The dopamine problem is huge but also just masturbating lowers my libido for days, as I suppose it does for everyone.
3. To determine once and for all what my true sexual preference is. I am heterosexual and I have had some wonderful "vanilla" sexual experiences in my 67 years. But I also have a paraphilia which involves mild femdom masochism, and 100% of my porn and masturbation fantasies are about this paraphilia. Does this mean my true sexuality is my paraphilia? I don't think so, but I am unsure because looking at porn and masturbating diverts my attention from uncovering the truth.
4. To replace the time wasted on looking at porn with healthier, more fun and productive activities.
5. As I mentioned, I am 67 years old and I have been divorced twice. I don't know how many more shots I'm going to get at real relationships with real women. I want to be physically and emotionally ready if an opportunity comes along, and my porn addiction does just the opposite of getting me prepared-- it sets me back and makes me not even want to seek out women in real life.
6. To wake up each morning feeling healthy and good about myself because I abstained from my addiction the previous night.
7. I don't spend a lot of money on porn-- in my worst days, it was maybe $40 a month, but still it's money wasted that could be put to better use. So I want to do something more worthwhile and healthy with that $40. I could reward myself by setting that money aside each month to buy something nice for myself.
8. To get outside of the house more often and socialize more. Watching porn is by nature a very isolating activity. We all need human interaction, even introverts like me.
9. To live a life without fear and guilt. For example, I do have a roommate and his work schedule is irregular, so it's rare that I know when he might be coming home. I am often afraid he will come home when I am in the middle of a porn and masturbation binge, and then the guilt and shame I would feel would be unbearable. To put it in a more positive way, I want to be either resting or engaged in a healthy activity when he comes home each time. He is a great guy and I really do enjoy his company and I would like to always be ready to have a friendly chat when he comes home.
10. To break the cycle with my other compulsions and addictions. After I watch porn and masturbate, the guilt I feel often pushes me to a junk food binge or to drinking too much. I have been a binge overeater much of my life, I smoke too many cigars, and at times I drink a bit too much bourbon. I think all of my compulsions are intertwined, so that when I engage in one of them, I want to numb the guilt and self-reproach I feel by turning to one of my other compulsions. The vicious circle needs to be broken somewhere, and stopping porn is a good place to do it, since porn and overeating are my two most damaging addictions.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Lesson 1 exercises

"...C. One of the most powerful insights you can gain in establishing a foundation for permanent recovery is to come to see your addiction within the scope of your life span. In other words, to not just see your addiction as it is now, but to look across the span of your life to see the role that addiction has played in your development. Much of this will be explored throughout the workshop, but to put yourself in the right frame of mind to develop such a perception, do the following:

Find a picture of yourself when you were a small child...."


I found several photos of myself between the ages of infancy and about 10 years old. In the photos, I seem to be smiling genuinely. I appear happy. In my adult photos, my smile seems more forced, less natural. But even in those earliest photos-- even though I was smiling-- the foundations were being laid for my addictions. Although I recall being generally happy in my early years, my sisters tell me I cried a lot. The memories of my mother abusing me emotionally and verbally are very clear back to my earliest memories, and I have no reason to believe this abuse didn't begin in infancy. And although I have no specific memory of being sexually abused by my mother, my gut suspects I may have been. My food addiction started around age 11 or so, but was only sporadic from my teen years through my first marriage at age 27. My porn addiction started around 1996 in the early days of the internet but I rarely looked at porn during the 13 years of my second marriage which began in 2002. My porn addiction started in earnest when my second marriage ended in 2015. Anyway, I don't see so much innocence or pure joy in those early photos, because I was already being mistreated by my mom. I think what really drove my addictions, including porn, were the responsibilities of adulthood, especially relationships and marriages.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:31 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3635
Location: UK
Hello GaG
welcome to RN
if you really do want to improve your life and to recover from your addiction then you are at a good place to make that wish reality
Commit , fully and completely
work through the lessons and understand them , if you miss something ask on the help forum , assistance is always on hand
coaches and mentors are likely to drop by occasionally but if not, don't worry as this is generally a good indicator that you are on the right path

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting and reading
get to know your addiction and see yourself with honesty and openness

remember to work at your own pace and its not a race indeed some consider recovery to be a journey rather than a destination

your reasons for change are generally solid as they are positive and about you
remember the only person that can make these changes is you, so the hard work needs to come from you
looking forwards to reading your posts and wishing you all the best

_________________
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: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:51 am 
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Thank you, Coach Kenzo, for your kind and supportive words. Yes, I am trying to take my time and so far my pace is more or less two days for one lesson. Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Lesson 2 Exercise:

"... Create a vision that you would feel comfortable committing yourself to pursuing. One that, as you someday look back upon your life, will allow you to feel proud of the person that you developed into. Of the life that you led..."


At age 67, I had better get moving on my vision, lol! This was a difficult exercise for me because like everyone else, my addiction clouds my thinking, and secondly, I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which results in repetitive, troublesome, and unproductive thoughts.

But no excuses. So here we go:

1. To defeat my two main addictions, porn and food, in order to clarify my thinking and emotions, to enhance my self-image and self-confidence, and to be a man who lives with positive energy.
2. During my entire life so far, I have always tried to help people in sometimes the smallest ways. I think this is part of my legacy. In my career, I was nothing more than a mid-level civil functionary, so I have no real satisfaction in contributing much from my various jobs. But trying to put a smile on someone's face, especially someone who was hurting, or to lend a compassionate ear-- yes, I am proud of these things. To continue to do these kinds of things is part of my vision for the future.
3. I want at least one last shot at deep relationship with a special woman. I have not done well with relationships, having gone through two divorces, as well as a string of unsatisfying on-line infatuations with women who have been totally unavailable. I also seem to have a need to give to someone more than to receive from someone, and I suppose this isn't healthy. Well, I could give more detail on my problems with relationships, but for the purpose of this exercise I will just say that a key part of my vision for my future is to have a wonderful, loving relationship with a woman. This is something I've never really had. But I am optimistic that by working this program I will develop healthier relationship patterns.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Lesson 3 Exercise
B. On your computer, extract the values from the vision you have created and list them. Your goal for this lesson is to create a single, comprehensive list that involves all of the primary ways that you derive stimulation from your life. Or, those areas that you want to derive stimulation from.


To eat in a more healthy way.
To continue to get regular exercise almost every day.
To quit smoking cigars.
To achieve my ideal body weight.
To be more authentic with everyone I meet.
To be more honest and direct with others.
To be a good listener, especially to those who want to unburden themselves of an issue or problem.
To improve my relationship with my daughter.
To get out debt and build savings and investments.
To be more in contact with women in person as opposed to online.
To find a woman with whom to have a fulfilling relationship.
To learn how to develop healthier relationships with women.
To develop one or more pastimes about which I am truly passionate.
To be easier on myself emotionally and mentally.
To wean myself off as many of my prescribed medications as possible.
To continue to emotionally support my older sister who has a chronic illness.
To reduce isolation by getting out of the house more often.
To find ways to be to kind people, especially those in need or who may be suffering silently.
To be generous with my time and money with those in need.
To volunteer for a worthy cause.
To appreciate more the beauty around me, especially that found in nature.
To strictly limit the amount of time I spend on my electronic devices.
To have a deeper friendship/relationship with my Higher Power as I know him.
To be a good friend to a special woman in Europe; to always support her and encourage her.
To be more self-confident.
To develop a stronger bond with my younger sister.
To get to know my current city better.
To pay more attention to clothing and style and overall appearance.
To help in small ways to raise awareness of certain global issues.
To be more forgiving and not hold grudges.
To find relaxation techniques that will help me be less anxious.
To give up being such a control freak-- to know when to let go.
To be better able to receive love and favors.
To continue to be a friend and mentor to my roommate.
To accentuate and be aware of my masculinity.
To be more aware of my feelings.
To regain my sexual functioning and to experience sexual intimacy again.
To be more open-minded and tolerant of views that are not my own.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:02 am 
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Lesson 4 Exercises:

A. In the previous exercise, you identified a list of the majority of your practical and universal values. Now, prioritize this list.

1. To be more authentic with everyone I meet.
2. To be more honest and direct with others.
3. To get out of debt and build savings and investments.
4. To develop one or more pastimes about which I am truly passionate.
5. To have a deeper friendship/relationship with my Higher Power as I know him.
6. To be more self-confident.
7. To regain my sexual functioning and to experience sexual intimacy again.
8. To be more aware of my feelings.
9. To give up being such a control freak-- to know when to let go.
10. To improve my relationship with my daughter.
11. To be a good friend to a special woman in Europe; to always support her and encourage her.
12. To appreciate more the beauty around me, especially that found in nature.
13. To continue to support emotionally my older sister, who has a chronic illness.
14. To develop a stronger bond with my younger sister.
15. To pay more attention to my clothing and style and overall appearance.
16. To help in small ways to raise awareness of certain global issues.
17. To accentuate and be aware of my masculinity.
18. To continue to get regular exercise almost every day.
19. To eat in a more healthy way.
20. To quit smoking cigars.
21. To achieve my ideal body weight.
22. To strictly limit the amount of time I spend on my electronic devices.
23. To be better able to receive love and favors.
24. To continue to be a friend and mentor to my roommate.
25. To be more open-minded and tolerant of views that are not my own.
26. To get to know my current city better.
27. To reduce isolation by getting out of the house more often.
28. To volunteer for a worthy cause.
29. To be generous with my time and money with those in need.
30. To find ways to be kind to people, especially those in need or who may be suffering silently.
31. To be easier on myself emotionally and mentally.
32. To wean myself off as many of my prescribed medications as possible.
33. To find relaxation techniques that will help me be less anxious.
34. To be more forgiving and not hold grudges.
35. To find a woman with whom to have a fulfilling relationship.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Lesson 5 Exercises:

A. In previous exercises, you identified and prioritized a list of your personal values. This list should represent those aspects of your life that you want to use to define who you are and how you will be managing your life. Take a moment to look over that list with a fresh view. As you read through it, ask yourself, "Does this reflect the person that I am committing myself to becoming?" If so, continue on; if not, add those missing values that are congruent with the life that you want to lead and remove those values which are not.


In reviewing my original values list, I need to add the following for this exercise:

1. Be true to myself.
2. Be better able to identify both my emotions and my best interests, and to guide my decisions by these things.
3. To be better able to receive love and affection; to practice this through self-care and self-compassion.
4. To defeat my two worst addictions: porn/masturbation, and food bingeing.

C. Finally, examine the list one more time for its realism.

The new values I listed in part A above have to do with my immediate goal right now, which really isn't a value. The goal is to have a real relationship with a woman from Europe whom I have met once and with whom I correspond multiple times each day. We love each other very much but there are huge practical problems standing in the way of us being together on a long-term basis. My new values added in Part A support this goal, but they also serve good general purposes and support healthy relationships, be it with this particular woman or someone else. They also support my own sense of self-worth, regardless of relationships.

D. Take the top fifteen values that you have currently listed and post them in your Recovery Thread.

1. Develop a closer relationship/friendship with my Higher Power as I know him.
2. Beat my two worst addictions, porn/masturbation and food bingeing.
3. Be true to myself and know myself, including my true feelings and my true best interests.
4. Act on my true feelings and true best interests, as long as they don't hurt someone else.
5. To be better able to receive love and affection; to practice this through self-care and self-compassion.
6. To regain my sexual functioning in order to achieve sexual intimacy.
7. To continue to get regular exercise almost every day.
8. To quit smoking cigars.
9. To get out of debt and build savings and investments.
10. To develop one or more pastimes about which I am truly passionate.
11. To reduce isolation by getting out the house more often.
12. To appreciate more the beauty around me, especially that found in nature.
13. To pay more attention to clothing and style and overall appearance.
14. To give up being such a control freak-- to know when to let go.
15. To be aware of and accentuate my masculinity.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:57 pm 
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Lesson 6 Exercise:

A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones.


To regain my sexual functioning in order to achieve sexual intimacy. (I currently have erectile dysfunction and low libido.)
1. Eliminate smoking cigars. Done 7/4/18.
2. Continue porn/masturbation abstinence in case my E.D. is caused by excessive porn watching.
3. Wean myself off Adderall, which is known to affect dopamine levels and causes sexual problems with many people.
4. If problems remain, consult a urologist.

To get out of debt and build savings and investments.
1. Don't use credit cards except for true emergencies.
2. Develop a plan to pay off credit cards as soon as possible.
3. Write a budget plan that is conservative with spending. But first must determine living situation/which city/part-time, full-time, or none. Preferences vs. necessity.
4. Continue to build Acorns account and if possible do not withdraw from former employer deferred compensation fund.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:20 pm 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values.

I have decided to do no more than one or two action plans per day.

To Be Aware Of And Accentuate My Masculinity

1. Raise my low testosterone level by:
-- Following the Intermittent Diet
-- Avoiding soy and flax
-- Quitting Adderall
-- Quitting porn
-- Losing weight
-- Continuing and increasing my exercise program
-- Avoiding junk food in favor of unprocessed foods
-- Reducing cortisol by reducing stress and anxiety
-- Get more sleep

2. Being competitive in something. For now it will be doing the best job I can do at work and being assertive when I need to be.

3. Concentrating on my own self-development instead of trying to get women to like me.

4. Improve my posture and be aware of my body language.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values

1. Develop a closer relationship/friendship with my Higher Power as I know him.

a. Listen to two or more "Abide" meditations each day.
b. Spend 20 minutes a day in quiet time with my HP, praying, listening, conversing.
c. Download spiritual quotes and images, but not obsessively.
d. Take short moments during the day to be in touch with my HP. Develop some kind of simple reminder system for this.
e. Take time to talk regularly with my sister, who shares and supports my spiritual views.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:04 pm 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values. It is essential that you develop plans for at least the top ten, but if you can reach fifteen...wonderful.


4. Stop or reduce my pattern of racing thoughts.
-- Do everything more slowly, including simple things like walking, doing the dishes, shopping.
-- Distract myself from my thoughts by being aware of and appreciating the current moment.
-- Meditate every day at least once.
-- Take several moments each day to do deep, slow, relaxed breathing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:35 pm 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values. It is essential that you develop plans for at least the top ten, but if you can reach fifteen...wonderful.


5. Develop better sleep habits.
--Go to bed at 11pm instead of midnight since I always wake up around 6:30am regardless.
--At 10:00pm begin a relaxing hour of reading or listening to jazz.
--No computer or phone after 10:00pm.
--Once in bed, practice deep, slow breathing, meditate, pray.
--Use sleep mask and CPAP.
--No cigars or alcohol after 8:00pm.
--No coffee after 5:00pm.
--No eating after 9:00pm.
--Set worries aside, realizing they can be resumed in the morning if necessary. Especially try not to worry when I wake up at around 3:00am as I always do.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:07 pm 
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Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values.


7. Beat my two worst addictions-- pornography/masturbation and binge overeating.

--To recognize that any urges for either or both addictions usually start coming around 7:00pm. To be extra-conscious of any urges starting to creep in around this time and then deal with them.
--If urges are present, immediately take time to meditate using the Abide app and/or praying to/conversing with my Higher Power.
--Find a distraction such as going to the gym, reading, watching TV, doing house chores.
--Avoid websites which may contain triggers.
--Remind myself of how good I will feel about myself in the morning if I don't give in to urges and stay abstinent.
--Stay in close contact with my accountability partner.
--Work on the lessons on this site.
--Do relaxation techniques like deep breathing.
--Getting a full-time job will leave me with less alone time at home, which can be dangerous.
--In general, practice good self-care and self-compassion.


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