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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Posts: 9
I'm here after several previous visits - to this place rather than this site - and I'm having a look around me.

What has brought me here ? Why have I struck out down this road, at this time ? What is my motivation ? Do I really want this ? And can I stay the course ?

Since I got hooked on internet porn 19 years ago, the longest I've been without is six months. And with regular, dramatic promises of abstention I've been back at the point of wondering how I get off this train many times. Each time I search for a new angle and, let's be blunt, each time I fail. In each failure I guess are the seeds of success if I can look at it that way rather than write off each attempt as a waste of time and effort.

There are a mixture of reasons I fall off the wagon, but I guess the two main ones are (1) believing it's inevitable at some point and (2) really really enjoying it to the extent I question whether I want to quit and really it's OK if no-one else knows about it.

I haven't answered the latter comprehensively but lately I've been looking at stuff that would make me question that it's OK.

The biggest positive motivations to quit are my family and my relationship with them. I want that to be OK, rather than me thinking "if only they knew, what would they think". My wife knows I have done it - three times now we have sat and talked about it following either a confession or a bust. She is so wholeheartedly forgiving but I see also very badly hurt by my behaviour.

And yet I continue. And I think she knows.

OK, so I set off here - a week from my last viewing - and look to see if I can make this work.

To begin at Lesson 1 :-

I actively commit myself to change
I will not allow guilt or shame to sabotage my commitment to change
I will allow myself time to change


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3635
Location: UK
Hi AW and welcome to RN

Quote:
I question whether I want to quit and really it's OK if no-one else knows about it.

I haven't answered the latter


Oh I think that you have but perhaps the answer scares you a little?
you know that you are harming yourself and you know that in doing so you are harming those close to you even though they are not (yet) aware of this
let go of this fear
we all start out thinking that we need to hold on to some little part of our behaviour, just in case and in any case I will be better than I am now
believe me you cannot be half pregnant
it is real recovery or continued addiction
so choose and choose wisely but do choose now
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


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: Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Posts: 9
Thanks Kenzo. I appreciate that.
_______________________________

So to try and articulate my motivation :-

1. I want to know I can change and grow (the flip side of thinking this behaviour is ingrained and failure inevitable)
2. I want to stand tall, breathe easy and look in the mirror knowing I am behaving with integrity
3. I want to honour my wife's trust and know she is secure in my fidelity
4. I want to honour my wife's place in my life
5. I want to honour my son's trust
6. I want to know I can help my son by coming on a journey like this, to understand failure is not the end and change is possible
7. I want to honour my employer's trust
8. I want to stand over my beliefs about the ethics of the porn industry - I want them to mean something
9. I want to honour and care for the child and teenager I still am somehow, by living positively
10. I want to honour who I am - not to imagine a new shiny, happy person in my place - but to still be me with my quirks, foibles and doubts - just not a me who reaches for porn

OK, off to hunt down a pic of me from 300 years ago. This both excites and terrifies me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Posts: 9
So, after a month of abstinence and some edging last night, I fully relapsed today. Briefly, but truly.

Ok, I know this is a normal (some might say inevitable ?) part of the recovery process. Certainly learning how to deal with it is.

But hell I'm disappointed. I know abstinence isn't the same as recovery so I'm still on the journey right, but my normal response to this is to say what the hell and blow out.

How can I take a different path ?

One problem is I don't yet believe I can change the programme. I have a vision for my life, but I honestly don't believe I will ever achieve much else in my life other than to muddle through, and that feels powerfully ingrained and hard-wired.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:44 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3635
Location: UK
AW
Quote:
I know this is a normal (some might say inevitable ?)


Urges are normal and inevitable in early recovery but succumbing to them is not
yes it happens but that is not to say that that is acceptable
when it does happen , because you chose to let it happen then you need to learn from that experience
dont be too hard on yourself but dont be too easy either

Quote:
I honestly don't believe I will ever achieve much else in my life other than to muddle through, and that feels powerfully ingrained and hard-wired.

Is that you talking or is it addiction?
do you want recovery?
if so then take it do it, you can do this but only if you really want to

make that choice because if you dont then the only direction is towards increased dependence upon addictive compulsion , which as you know is not the best place to be

good luck , please make that choice you are worth it, demonstrate that worth

_________________
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: Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Posts: 9
I absolutely do want recovery and I know that only I am able to achieve that.

The thing about expecting failure or mediocrity is not the addiction talking, it's a deeply ingrained life programme and changing that programme is my biggest challenge.

Bigger yet is changing that programme without altering the essence of who I am. I think at some level I believe the two are interlinked and this is an essential part of me.

Yet as I type this, I see that can only be true if I let it be true.

I am so focused on abstention as the goal that when urges come and I am no longer able to resist, I find I have nowhere to go, nowhere to look, no other outlet, focus and it seems the obvious, inevitable outcome.

Yet I see this is circular. It's a short step from believing relapse to be inevitable to excusing it to expecting it, to accommodating it, to shrugging and thinking well I can never be free.

I look within myself and I see an overwhelming expectation of mediocrity and failed ventures, and a loud, strong critic stopping me from progressing.

I see the only way to address both the critic and the addiction, which are linked, is to build up a positive, achievable vision. This will be tough.

There's a scared child somewhere too and I've been profoundly affected by early exposure to Christianity, although I've left behind many of the core beliefs.

When I heard the message "fundamentally you're not a good person but God loves you despite that" I only heard the first part and although I don't believe that now intellectually, it's deep-rooted.

I'd love to end on a positive, can-do kind of a note, but it wouldn't ring true - perhaps that's part of the issue - change the record.

It's choices I know that and I'd like to make good ones.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Posts: 9
I see a handsome, happy boy. He's 9 or 10 but in this picture he looks older - maybe it's the shirt and tie. A young man on the verge of adolesence.

The odd thing is I don't remember him. It's 40 years ago. It's me 40 years ago and I don't remember the boy and I'm not connecting.

I remember snippets from his life but I'm not feeliong the emotional connection, the love I was expecting - the same way as I feel about my own son.

I thought I'd find this photo and immediately inhabit the boy but I'm having trouble.

I see a date on the back. This is 1978, I've just turned 10.

I was good at school. Popular, academically able, sporty, with friends. This was before acne, before girls, before the cool kids decided I wasn't one of them (and before I cared).

I see an innocent and confident smile. I guess this boy is full of hopes and dreams, full of promise but none of that is conscious.

Fast forward to today and where is that boy ? is he gone ? grown ? still here ? buried under an avalanche of experiences, responsibilities and expectation ?

I feel it's not fair to ask has that promise been fulfilled - that puts the boy in the spotlight and demands that he and the man submit to a measuring stick (and inevitably come up short). I feel the failure heavy on the 50 year-old man. It's difficult to see how I can frame my life as a failure. I have a career, a family, I've done lots of great stuff, people like me. And yet, and yet I feel mine has been a mediocre, passive life.

But I look to what's important. What kind of person am I ? I'm decent, I'm honest, I'm a good person. I'm a good husband, son, father, friend. This is the important stuff, the anchor. Everything else is less important.

The past is the past and I can do nothing to change it and regret will not serve, but I'll be informed by it and try to learn from it.

That boy, I think, is still here. I am him and I can share his innocence, his confidence. I am awed that as an adult I have some responsibility for that boy. No-one else does or can now. I am the one who needs to look out for him, to look after him, to allow him to teach me. Awed, and delighted too. There is my connection.

That smile, that crinkle around the eyes. I see a desperate, hopeful plea for affirmation, for validation. I'm doing OK right ? You've got my back right ? You believe in me don't you ?

And I shout back, unequivocally, YES ! You are brilliant and I'm rock solid here for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:59 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3635
Location: UK
Hi AW
Quote:
It's choices I know that and I'd like to make good ones.





Quote:
I shout back, unequivocally, YES ! You are brilliant and I'm rock solid here for you.
:g: :g:

to keep this oath perhaps re-word

It's choices I know that and I WILL make good ones.
Be positive

_________________
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: Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Posts: 9
My Vision

To take time to experience the wild, to explore. I need the wild, the forest glade, the mountain, the shore. To gaze, to feel the breeze, to experience the open spaces, the silence. I give myself permission to take time and explore, to adventure.

To take time to still myself. To be present to the pleasures of the moment. To make deliberative, active choices to read a book, listen to music.

To make time and space to journey inwards, to adventure through my soul. To sit with the darkness, the shrouded, the mysterious. And to appreciate and love myself. The child I am, the young man, the man I am now.

To be practical, to look square at the need and be present to it, rather than thinking reality is something to be blocked out, escaped from. And to do it graciously rather than resentfully.

To be present for my son, my wife, my family and friends.

To look after myself physically. To eat well, be fit and strong.

To seek out and nurture relationships. I value alone-ness but fear it turning into loneliness.

To be open creatively and explore options. What am I good at, what might I enjoy ? I'm not done yet.

To always be open to new directions. to possibility, to change.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Posts: 9
My Values

My Own Stuff
1. Experiencing the wild, to explore, to gaze, to feel the breeze, to experience the open spaces, the silence, to adventure.
2. Stilling myself.
3. Being present to the pleasures of the moment.
4. Making deliberative, active choices to read a book, listen to music.
5. Journeying inwards, to adventure through my soul. To sit with the darkness, the shrouded, the mysterious.
6. Appreciating and loving myself. The child I am, the young man, the man I am now.
7. Being practical, present to the need, present to reality.
8. Being gracious.
9. Being present for my son, my wife, my family and friends.
10. Looking after myself physically. To eat well, be fit and strong.
11. Seeking out and nurturing relationships.
12. Remaining open creatively, being open to new directions, to possibility, to change.
13. Exploring my creative limits
14. Doing what I do well.
15. Finding balance and sustainability

Dark Side that fuel my behaviours
1. Sexual gratification
2. Instant pleasure
3. Feeling pressured
4. Escaping reality
5. Feeling tired

From the List
1. Living with integrity
2. Living with compassion
3. Being considerate of others
4. Feeling appreciated
5. Feeling masculine
6. Passionate about life
7. Being respected
8. Being judged trustworthy
9. Indulging in creative inspiration, development
10. Developing patience
11. Being known as reliable
12. Connected to my own feelings
13. Integrity
14. Connecting to purpose, meaning of life
15. Experiencing uniqueness
16. Vulnerability
17. Sexual intimacy
18. Communicating feelings
19. Feeling happy and content
20. Accepting responsibility for living my life
21. Friendship
22. Forgiveness
23. Selflessness/Altruism
24. Respecting Mother Earth
25. Self-discipline

and a couple more :-

1. Developing resilience. Rolling with the punches. Not taking everything to heart.
2. Forgot. It'll come to me


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