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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:08 pm
Posts: 2
Recovery Workshop

I'm very glad to have found this site, it has been quite eye-opening and helped me link the cause of the negativity in my life (erosion of values, guilt, social isolation, loss of interest in hobbies) with my addiction (MB/porn/fantasy).

Lesson 1 Exercises 11/6/19

A.

1. I am committed to active recovery, which means taking the time to introspect, and then follow through. I have hit rock bottom and need to change. This isn't a life.
2. I'm interpreting the guilt/shame factor as remaining dedicated to recovery even when feeling unworthy – "I can't sleep, my social anxiety got the best of me, argument with mom – what's the point of recovery?"
3. Time to change – long term (3 month+) follow through will be a challenge for me, but necessary. My tendency is to get very excited about changing and then lose motivation very quickly.

B.

1. I would like to be financially and socially independent of my parents, proud to say that I stand on my own two feet.
2. Make mom proud and feel good. Dad too.
3. Have closer relationship with grandfather whom I feel is very wise and of whom I am extremely fond. Not lose relationship with cousins, aunt/uncle.
4. In social situations, feel that I have something to offer.
5. Be more clearheaded and articulate – it is very important and satisfying to have my ideas be understood clearly.
6. I want to expand my horizons and travel/live in different places to develop a broad outlook.
7. I want to be genuinely interested in the things people typically talk about in social situations, not disengaged and instead thinking about internet hobbies/getting off.
8. I want to be confident and have enough perspective to be blunt/honest with people.
9. I would like to be more assertive and less reactive.
10. I want to reconnect with the authenticity I had in childhood, when I was unashamed to be myself and proud.

C.

The picture is of me in a purple shirt playing with some kids in a sandbox. I'm posing for the camera, smiling and letting sand fall through my fingers, probably 4 years old. From a very young age I was prone to fantasizing about girls, which progressed quickly to masturbation to orgasm (age 10) and pornography use, imagination and magazines at first, then internet pictures at around 13. Being sexually experienced at such a young age made me feel more mature than my classmates, and I was occasionally hurtful toward kids who were more innocent. I tried many times during my adolescence to curb/eliminate my use, but was unsuccessful each time, which contributed to feeling guilty and unworthy. Each porn session made me feel just a bit more ashamed than the previous day, and increased my isolation and withdrawal from friends/family. As an adult, I cannot easily distinguish between what is my fault and what is somebody else's – I just blame everything on myself, which I believe is the cumulative result of making daily, small deposits into the Bank of Shame almost every single day for 15 years – a guilty conscience, as it were.

It is difficult for me to see myself as an innocent child, as lately my belief system has become that these things are determined genetically, and that I was somewhat defective from the getgo – my half siblings have similar issues. For many years I thought the complete opposite – that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Now, at 28, and with so many bad decisions, those possibilities seem more remote. That said, I don't think recovery is impossible, I just don't see much agency in my actions in the past – another bias.

Lesson 2 Exercises 11/8/19

C. Life Vision

The part in this lesson about the immaturity of not choosing a direction in life because it is limiting describes me perfectly. Also making decisions based on brief spurts of passion but little follow through.
In my ideal life, I am living in a way that prioritizes the spiritual/intellectual over the material. This means not obsessing over trivial shallow hobbies like looking at pictures of cars, watches, computers, etc., to the exclusion of things like developing relationships, reading, writing, playing music, etc. I would like to learn to take my mental health and sleeping difficulties in stride, not allowing my disappointments to make me bitter or ungrateful. To be the kind of person people are comfortable being around because I'm authentic and not pretending to some version of wittiness or intelligence that isn't me.
In the future I see myself not with a perfect life but living according to my values, which are practical and attainable – being physically healthy, self-sufficient, widely traveled, responsible, gentle, strong family ties, disciplined, open-minded, and engaged. I am okay with living in a cheap simple home, but would like to experience living in places other than my hometown. My occupation should align with my political values and have freetime to pursue creative interests such as writing. Contribute some unique art or idea.
If at the end of my life I used my strengths to their fullest potential (my true strengths, not inflated, imaginary ones), then I will consider my life well-lived. Ideally, my life direction would be directed by a carefully considered philosophical framework.

Lesson 3 Exercises 11/8/19

B. Values List

1. To be physically healthy
2. To enjoy tasteful art (including music, humor)
3. To have strong friendships
4. To have strong ties with family
5. Financially responsible
6. Good looking/dressed nicely
7. To be able to communicate my ideas effectively
8. Have "deep" conversations with people
9. Orderliness
10. Be open minded, widely traveled, live in different places
11. Develop intellectual depth (widely read)
12. To be gentle and compassionate
13. Self-sufficient (inc. stable employment)
14. Playful attitude
15. To live life according to carefully considered principals
16. Dedication to romantic partner
17. To have a job that plays to my strengths, good fit
18. To build good professional reputation
19. Physical safety (home defense, personal defense)
20. Discipline
21. Consistency in recovery process/goals
22. Doing things the "correct" way, meticulousness
23. Competition
24. Self-development
25. Honesty
26. Being considerate of others
27. Having some leadership role
28. Appreciating natural beauty/nature
29. Improving my social interactions
30. To not be a burden to anyone
31. To judge social interactions more accurately
32. To influence others
33. Having structured daily routine
34. To develop more personal relationship with Rocko
35. To not self-sabotage when experiencing disappointment
36. Dedicate time to spend with dad
37. To not hold negative feelings toward dad

C. "Dark Side" Values

1. Physical pleasure
2. Feeling desirable to someone
3. Variety in sexual experience
4. Want to feel unconditional love with no effort
5. Assertive woman to make all decisions
6. Have fun
7. Be stress-free
8. Be sexually potent

Lesson 4 Exercises 11/11/19

A. Values Prioritized

1. Having structured daily routine
2. Consistency in recovery process/goals
3. Integrity & dependability in business, personal life
4. Discipline in eating, meditation, sleep hygiene
5. To build good professional reputation
6. Financially responsible
8. Self sufficient (living independent of parents)
9. To have strong ties with family (Grandfather, Gregory)
10. To have strong friendships
11. To be gentle and compassionate
12. To develop intellectual depth (widely read)
10. To live life according to carefully considered principals
11. To be able to communicate my ideas effectively
12. To have a job that plays to my strengths, good fit
13. To enjoy tasteful art (including music, humor)
14. Be open minded, widely traveled, live in different places
15. Appreciating natural beauty/nature
16. Having some leadership role
17. To influence others
18. Dedication to romantic partner
19. Playful attitude
20-45. unranked


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:08 pm
Posts: 2
I think I need to pause at lesson 4 and basically overhaul my values into something more practical. I feel like I'm writing my values of the ideal human being - some sort of ubermensch renaissance man-philosopher-lawyer-writer-leader rather than something to realistically strive for as a 28 yr old bipolar (currently stable) insomniac who lives with his parents.

Some values on the list are only there as a reaction to my compulsive behaviors, e.g. discipline, while others like "develop intellectual depth (widely read)" are true and deep, but seemingly unrealistic.

Any advice for someone like me who needs to let go of teenage idealism but not mechanically adopt a half-hearted belief system like religion or self-sacrifice? Certain things came easily to me growing up and I developed an attitude of "talent over hard work" as a result, but I'm still disdainful of humble virtues like hard work, practicality, self-sacrifice, consistency, etc., which ironically seem to be the virtues I most need.

It seems the section in lesson 2 of the workshop about people who "pursue immortality" in chasing a dream and living an artistic life - at the expense of stability, happiness, etc. - describe my mindset. Also the part about not being able to commit to a single direction.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:05 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3846
Location: UK
Hello TCG
and welcome to RN

Quote:
I am committed to active recovery, which means taking the time to introspect, and then follow through. I have hit rock bottom and need to change. This isn't a life.


I hope that your commitment remains firm and consistent because in addiction change will happen and failure to recover ever lowers that rock bottom

Quote:
what's the point of recovery?"


:no: :no: :no:
Quote:
My tendency is to get very excited about changing and then lose motivation very quickly.

that is normal with addicts but recovering addicts see the benefits of their recovery and then embrace those benefits


To achieve recovery then 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, this community is supportive to those who demonstrate sincerity in their journey
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, you have not been abandoned

the path is long and difficult but it is well proven and you are not alone, many have taken the path sucessfully, your actions are yours but you are not the first and unfortunately will not be the last
we usually suggest completing about 3 lessons a week but spending time every day posting , reading, evaluating and putting into practice what you have learned, be open be honest, nobody here will judge you
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

good luck

_________________
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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