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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:54 am
Posts: 396
hello...

title says it all.

the reason why i'm not on RN as much is that i just feel like i'm finally moving past the addiction stage and into real life.

it feels like it would take a lot of detrimental effort to go back to being an addict. sexual fantasies appear and urges are on occasions, yet i recognize the fantasies as fears that i'm challenging in my life...so they're not necessarily a bad thing but just a response to how i've always dealt with life before, and pulling away from them.

what's next after you slowly put your life together? (which is really difficult and just as hard as moving away from addiction fyi)

what have been other people's paths? focus on themselves instead of RN and more about their life?

just curious about the choices people have made in their lives.

thanks.

-lostkid


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Hi Lost

Based purely on my own experience, I would begin by congratulating you on your progress and then pour a little cold water and urge caution. In short, what lies ahead is a balancing act - to maintain a clear vision of you addiction and at the same time move away from it by constructing your healthy identity. Make sure to concentrate on the latter - but don't lose sight of the former.

It is understandable that you want to leave the addiction, the workshop and RN behind. To move on with your life. We have all witnessed your progress. But - and here comes the classic RN moment - only you can say where you truly are.

I now see the end of the workshop as a transition - one full of dangers and full of exciting possibilities. The possibilities are that you have the tools, the knowledge and some experience to create an autonomous, confident and practical identity that not only elbows addiction out of your life, but arms you to deal with all the slings and arrows that existence puts in your path.

The danger is that you run before you can walk and fall into bad habits - via complacency, over-confidence, under preparation. THink Luke Skywalker at the end of Empire Strikes Back. Sure, he knows some hot stuff about the force - but he has not put this into practice yet. he needs his hand chopped off first.

Now, there is another danger here - one I know from personal experience. That you are so afraid to move on with your life and develop that new identity that you stop recovering, and begin to move backwards. The image I think of is sitting on a stationary train at a railway station. You look out the window and feel the train is starting to move on. You feel good. then you realise it was a trick of the light - in fact it was the train next to you leaving. You are actually standing still.

I utterly re-assessed what early and later recovery meant in the middle of this year. Like you, I felt I had learned a lot about my addiction and was starting to forget the patterns that messed my life and marriage up. I had got rid of the external behaviours and had made a start on healthy plans.

However, at some point, I stopped. Some of it was anxiety about moving on and confronting some of the deep-lying causes of my addiction - the real business, I guess. I had finally got to a point where I wasnt relying on pornography to maintain an illusion of control and I think didnt want to risk new explorations in case I de-stabilised my recovery. Of course this was not alone - I was lazy and complacent too. I thought I knew better and knowledge alone would carry the day.

I fell back into negative thought patterns and then some compulsive behaviours and then I had a full relapse. I realise now the relapse had begun weeks if not months before. RN was simply not integrated into my life - in an active way that guided my thoughts, how I managed my feelings. I drifted - rather than control my life and feelings, life and feelings controlled me. I was passive and I screwed up.

What is my advice? see this as a great opportunity to really change - right now!!! It is an exciting time - one full of potential. Use each and every day as an opportunity to practice what RN has preached. The transition I would construct would be to plan each week to practice a value or an action plan or a boundary. In my journal and health monitoring, I end by saying what values I will actively seek.

Today, I will practice honesty or communication. I will explore my sexuality. I will go to the shops and on the way look for some encounter that will allow me to actively use the lessons I have learned.

This is to make the lessons here practical and real. But it also makes them personal to you - find out what your recovery truly means. Oer the past few months, I kept a journal. I used RN to keep my eye on the ball. I try to be a mentor. Perhaps something you could try? offering help is good for the soul, and keeps you sharp and thinking about your own recovery.

My wife put it well, though. After the relapse, I said I finally realised how detached I am from my values. They werent real to me. She said that is why you have to DO recovery not think it. Find out how to DO honesty and you will discover how to BE Honest. Our actions teach us what the ideas mean. In other words, we start by going through the motions - the motions teach us what our values mean which in turn teach us how to act. A poisitive healthy cycle.

Of course, you may well be past this stage. But I encourage you to adopt this double vision. Don't forget the past addiction, but nor should you be enslaved to it. Enact your recovery - write about what you discover. Refine your plans. Embrace change.

Shaw


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