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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:37 am 
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There's a claim Foreward thinker's thread on Lesson 22 that The elements we give value 3 to ( primary ) are like Drivers of the chain . I think that's right or feel its right for me . However I'm having great difficulty facing the choices I fear this will imply .
Throuhout my porn addiction alcohol has been very present . Before , during and after viewing .
Whenever the pressure was on I'd take myself off on a binge of drinking and viewing in town .
To cut along story to the essentials I have over the last decade found what works very well for me to curb alcohol and though I still drink frequently I keep it very largely to 3 glasses . No doubt that that brouht my use of porn right down too.
Now I am really into putting an end to porn use and wish to leave it for good .
Whilst doing lesson 22 I put polyaddiction as primary on value 3 .
In fact my very nasty constellation is when the following three fellows gather

It s sunday after noon and I drink a bit more
I relize that I have free time
Also if the next day remains a light day work wise or no work , no responsability .

Clearly I m going to have to find a solution

Some might very readilly say well alcohol blows away our defences and values when tempted . Human behaviour frequently bears testimony to that . However should it always be so ?
I want to go further down the road and remind myself that even if I have had a bit too muich my values still don't allow me to view porn again .

I have to answer this question and for now I 'm choosing to avoid choosing to porn by tightening my focus on my new values
and exercing my choice to not view .

Alternatives of course include tweaking alcohol abstinence on sunday lunch times , or abstinence full stop .
No way I love my wine and have quit smoking and porn .

Does anyone else here have polyaddictions that you view as a primary no 3 Drive ?
Have you found the values based choice holds good after your one too many ??


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:24 am 
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Hi there, Pokito,
Pokito wrote:
However I'm having great difficulty facing the choices I fear this will imply .

I would want you to acknowledge that despite the difficulty (i.e. fear), you are still here, asking. That goes a long way in my book. Usually people like us downplay any signs/knowledge of something being off. We rationalise, justify, minimise, brush off, avoid thinking altogether (blocking it out of mind), we build walls, become blind and deaf and we construct our own reality where we are not really doing that badly, we are not really that miserable and we don't really have a problem. I think it takes guts for you to stand out here and dare ask. I think it says something about you wanting to know the truth more than you don't want to know.

Fear is perfectly normal, to be expected and to be managed. Fear is your emotional way of protection, it is feeling threatened and urging you to stop whatever it is that you are doing which causes this discomfort. It's not all "bad" when it actually signals that you are in real danger. I would argue that in this case you are not in real danger, so your fear is not justified. In this case fear is an emotional response which protects your addiction, i.e. the undesirable habits and the underlying issues which cause them. Changing habits is always difficult and uncomfortable, even with trivial things. Just try to brush with the other hand for a week. It would make you crazily frustrated. Or try to put your car keys somewhere else or your shoes on the other side of your bed in the evening. And these are just silly little things which don't give us much satisfaction and we don't value them much. Now, can you think about changing your porn or alcohol use, after years and years of receiving a lot of stimulation from these sources? You are bound to go through quite a lot deal of pain, anxiety, frustration, probably depression and emptiness, etc. That's the "bad" news and that is what your fear is warning you about. But again, few things are only good or bad, white or black. They are actually grey :) So, the "good" news about experiencing pain and distress is that you get a chance at learning to deal with all these negative emotions in healthy ways, thus "maturing" emotionally, building your resistence to pain through building your confidence and sense of self. Once you experience a level of pain and you find ways of dealing with it without running away (escaping through using alcohol, sex, porn, drugs, or any other outlets), you kind of become "immune" to it. It loses its strength and you don't perceive it as such a big deal, therefore it actually goes away.

About facing the choices, it's good to know you have a choice. You do have one, even when it feels you don't. And as you've anticipated, you won't like the answer to this query. That is why I think it's so very important that you still dared ask. :g:

There is an excellent thread on addiction and "mini addictions" touching on issues such as abstinence vs transitioning to health, guidelines on how to "establish" whether you have an addiction to something, obssessions vs compulsions, etc. You can find it here http://recoverynation.com/bulletinboard ... =2&t=22560 Don't get scared by the length of it all, the third page is mostly a duplicate of the second one. While they are mainly talking about the possibility of being addicted to video games, I would suggest that you would get more value out of the information if you replace the "video games" with "alcohol use" while you read the thread as they are essentially the same in providing an escape from uncomfortable feelings. I would just want to highlight a few paragraphs in case you don't find the time to go through the whole discussion.

Quote:
I'm probably a gaming addict and chocolate addict or whatever addict, so I called them mini addictions...My suggestion, track your mini addictions and tackle them as they are the roots of one big tree. Big tree being PMO addiction

This is a misconception, one that tricks a lot of people. Make this really clear: you have ONE addiction, that is made up of numerous different (sometimes highly complex) chains and rituals of various behaviours, which can each be used to manage different emotional states. Don't think of them as separate entities, and don't think of porn and masturbation as the "root", as they are not. They may just be the most severe behaviours with the most significant and obvious consequences. But this mistakes the behaviours for the addiction itself, when these are mere symptoms of the true drivers of addiction, which lies in any number of ingrained negative beliefs and patterns of thinking you have developed over the years.

The reason not to think of it this way is that it typically causes people to focus on the behaviours themselves, not why they are engaging in those behaviours in the way they are (which lies in those deeper underlying patterns)...thus creates a focus on abstinence. But if someone is solely forcing abstinence but not dealing with the underlying issues and rebuilding an identity based on healthy values and actions, the emotional incentive to engage in compulsive behaviours remains, so what typically happens is someone switches to other compulsive behaviours. Someone abstaining from romantic fantasy now finds themselves playing video games...someone abstaining from porn now finds themselves drinking, and so on. In all these cases, the person has simply transferred their emotions to a different outlet; the addiction remains alive and well (as does the potential to return to their original behaviours, or worse behaviours).

So, as has been noted, while abstinence is an absolutely necessary part of recovery, it is also only the first part. For any kind of long-term health to be attained, you must rebuild your identity and root out the true sources of the addiction. So as you move ahead with your recovery, watch out for this "behaviour switching" to happen...I would say most of us have experienced this at some point, and it can be quite insidious and hard to spot, though you will be much better off when you start to look for compulsive patterns in ALL areas of your life, rather than just the most obvious patterns like porn/masturbation/romantic fantasy. If you have developed a true addiction, you will likely find compulsive patterns that you'd never even noticed before in all areas of your life.


Briefly, the highlights here are that there is only one addiction which can manifest itself through a variety of behaviours, which can sometimes be exbihited simultanously (using drugs, alcohol and sex in a compulsive manner during the same time period) or sequentially (using drugs, then qutting them but starting alcohol use which is referred to as "switching addictions" which is not really accurately put as they are not two different addictions at play but just one which manifested itself first in the compulsive drug use, then in the compulsive alcohol use): drug use, compulsive self-mutilation, compulsive alcohol use, sex addiction, love addiction, compulsive video gaming, compulsive physical training, just to name the most common and largely recognised but it can really be anything you engage in compulsively despite it having negative consequences and being against your values (in which case you would experience shame and guilt about the behaviour). So, alcohol use and porn addiction are one and the same addiction, not two different addictions, so you have to tackle the whole package, you cannot pick and choose which one to sort out.

It's not clear to me from your post if you indeed identified your use of alcohol as an addiction. I understand that it is a primary element in your sexual rituals so it has come to your attention but you don't necessarily see it as a problem in and by itself and you don't necessarily wish to change it, unless it interferes with your ability to recover from sex addiction. I think the following paragrah will assist you determine how likely it is that you do have a problem with alcohol use. Apart from these, keep in mind that alcohol induces a physical dependence as well, apart from the emotional escapism issue.
Quote:
I always thought that was one of the things that made an addiction an addiction: you couldn't stop doing a certain thing--not for any extended length of time, anyway.


This is definitely a big part of it, but there are other factors that contribute to whether something that can be called an addiction...none of which are that important to committing to change. But other factors include: whether you've wanted to stop at some point, but found yourself unable to; whether the behaviours have progressively gotten worse over time (either through intensity, adding new behaviours, increasing amount of time engaged in compulsive behaviours, etc.); whether these behaviours are done in secret (indicating that there is a guilt/shame aspect, and a disconnect between your values and your actual actions); and whether they have caused negative consequences for either yourself or others. Another one I would say, is whether you are no longer engaging in the behaviours to feel better, but to prevent yourself from feeling worse. That indicates that the addiction has become fused to your identity. But I digress.

All that matters is ultimately, that you identify something wrong with your life and commit to changing it. Whether it is an addiction or not, will be determined naturally by yourself as you move through a healthy recovery process.


Pokito wrote:
No way I love my wine and have quit smoking and porn .

Quitting smoking and porn does not fully address the issue of addiction in your life. Quitting is abstaining, just the first step in addressing addiction. Most likely, your addiction is alive and well and it will continue to be so until you've addressed all related behaviours and more importantly, the underlying issues which created them in the first place. I think you are taking the right steps in doing just that by enlarging your understanding of the extent and nature of the problem.

All these being said, I cannot know or even take a wild guess if your alcohol use is your primary issue as in more deeply ingrained or it is "just" a "portal" for the porn use, assisting you in inhibiting your guilt and shame around it, or any other possible explanations of their function in your life, independently or in tandem. That is for you to find out and hopefully, exploring these questions will take you to a deeper understanding of the issues which cause your perceived need for them in your life. Take your time to consider how things stand for you in the light of this new information and decide what course of action you commit to.

I wish you well,
Ursula

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:22 am 
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Thankyou very much for that full and detailed reply . It was helpful and I shall be going back to it again also for the link .
Alcohol is probably a portal now , I fear it much much less.

Thouh as you noticed I hadn 't said too too much about the alcohol , I was hesitant . But shall now because this is chiefly because it may be of use to someone . I did hesitate because I know there are many who insist that the only way is abstinence or abstinence first and then deal with what you 're left with in your self .I would say to them that some people see and know otherwise .
It is a complex subject and over the years I looked at or tried most treatment approaches . I do very much believe for some not all it is possible to roll back the addiction but , yes the physical dependance is key if that is present , it has to be dealt with .
I think that I dedicated quite alot of time to therapy do deal with underlying problems . I also used in parallel techniques to
moderate . It 's clear that up to three glasses there is far less danger of going too far so its important to know the cutoff point
beyond that take glass four and I was far more likely to go to glass five and ten . But it can 't just be that technical it s necessary to address what's going on when the urge to go further arises .
So in conjunction with techniques and work on knowing the feelings I started to generally drink less and feel better and porn less
It took an awful long time though. I always believed in the maxim "better is better" . Progress was n't linear but certain and improvement came in both well being as well as behaviour.

The final component I found in 2009 and wish I 'd known about earlier it is called "The sinclair method" , the wikipedia page explains this rather well it s fascinating stuff about treating " craving" and how physical dependance can be treated and "extinguished".
I 've no idea if that interests you at all to know but if so the wiki does a fair job.

As has been said in this forum addiction is never fully cured but we can choose to not act out . So I feel I 'm left with "the rump"
or even "stump " of addiction not the full flourished one that I felt no control of .

Thankyou .I wish you well too Ursuala .
Pokito .


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:40 am 
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Ursuala

Further to your post above , I think that's spot on about the fear ; You're right there' s my fear of "the three fellows "
sunday lunchtime , etc . Three elements . But it s grey they can be faced and don't really exist so absolutely just as the "point of no return " doesn't really exist when viewed from a having choice angle .
The point about all addictions being one , well as they seem to serve similar ends that's true . I 'm just wondering how well the physical craving or dependance in alocholism corresponds with a porn addiction . It is true some sites ( perhaps the rebalance your brain one ) talk alot about rushes of chemicals being released especially with the high speed zapping or whatever it s called .
Bye . :g:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:41 am 
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Pokito,

I feel you've misunderstood my post and the points I was trying to put accross. Please bear with me, I will give it another go. I will try to explain how addiction comes to be in someone's life and what we understand by this term, addiction, here on RN. I don't usually like to do this as it requires telling a story and the problem is that some people would not identify with the variables in the story, thus rejecting it altogether as something that does not apply to them. There are many ways the story could unfold but those are just variations of the essential I'm trying to capture in this post.

So, a baby is born. Let it be a boy for convenience. Let's place him in the family of origin. Already we have quite a few of choices. Let's say his family is disfunctional, his father is always at work, always in a hurry, angry, hardly ever sees his son. When he does happen to be around, he always criticises the boy, always puts him down. He is too clumsy, too soft or too naughty, too stupid, in the way, not good like other kids, not good enough. His mom has passed away when he was a few years old, he hardly remembers her. He learns from a young age that nobody likes him so he doesn't like himself. He starts believing that something is wrong with him, he starts believing what his father always tells him. He has little happiness but he does not realise it, there is no way to compare. This is all he has ever known. He is withdrawn, he tries to be out of his father's way, he hides his actions or his innocent dreams for fear of his father's mocking, he never shares much, he tries to be invisible. He does not trust his abilitites as his father always tells him how everything he does or says is wrong. He is scared all the time and he doesn't really know much. Nobody ever taught him anything, nobody ever showed him how to have fun, how to enjoy life's small pleasures, how to play sports, how to draw, nobody ever told him anything much about life and what is worth pursuing. But there is a craving in him. He craves to be close to someone, to feel love and care, love and connection. And so he grows craving from attention he never had, thinking there must be something wrong with him, he hates himself from not fitting in, for not being like all others. There is an emptiness inside of him, it almost feels his life does not have any purpose. The only thing which can bring him some relief from the pain of being him is playing games on his computer, in his room, hours, days on end. It makes him forget about it all. When he plays he fantasizes he is in the game, he is doing all those deeds, he is achieving something. He does not feel worthless anymore. The game gives him what he feels he is lacking in real life. He feels he cannot live without the game. He can't stop. He also comes across internet porn and he becomes obsessed with the images. All of a sudden, he can imagine that a stunningly beautiful woman, actually lots of them, are craving for him. They want him, they would do things to him and they would let him do things to them. In his "real" life he's never really had any deeper connection to a girl so he is confusing love with sex, intimacy with intercourse. He is utterly scared of relationships even if he craves for them, he craves for a woman's touch or attention which would make him feel worthy, which would make him feel happy. He believes that if he finds the right woman, she would make him quit the porn and the games. He finally meets one and she is just perfect if only because she actually seems to like him. He never dares to tell her about his struggles, actually around her most of his issues are gone. He needs her so badly in his life, she makes him happy. They marry shortly after they meet. After the newness of it all wears off and they settle into their new life, he becomes a bit restless. He misses his old activities and he starts playing again. He becomes absent-minded and a bit withdrawn. He starts viewing porn again. He is ashamed and he tries to hide it from his wife. The more he is viewing and masturbating, the more he withdraws from his wife's arms. It seems difficult to him to relate to her sexually and it is not so exciting as in his imagination, where anything is possible. When they do have sex, he is mainly thinking about the images in his head, he is not looking at her, into her eyes. She senses that things have changed, she feels rejected and bewildered, she thinks there is something wrong with her because she can't explain his sudden disinterest in her. She confronts him, he says nothing is wrong, she is imagining things. Years go by like this. Now they have kids. He is mostly unavailable to them, when he is not at work he is on his computer, engaging in games, porn or mindlessly surfing. One day she stumbles upon his porn history. She is shocked at the extent and the nature of his viewing. She sees he's also been accessing escort sites lately, planning to finally meet someone from his fantasy land. She is crushed, she wants a divorce. He falls to his knees begging, promising it will never happen again, it was just curiosity, he would have never met her, etc. She believes him then a few months later, she has new proof. This time she starts thinking there is something wrong and he needs help. They research and it seems to be sex addiction. He joins RN and for the first time in his life he takes a hard good look at himself, his life, all that has happened to him and how it harmed him and how he found ways to deal with all that without really dealing with it. He was running away from it all. Now he has a lot of work to do. He needs to learn all the things he never learnt as a child. He needs to build a vision for his life, to identify his values, to learn how to deal with his childhood hurt and his wrong beliefs about himself. There is nothing wrong with him other than the belief he holds, that there is something wrong with him. He needs to correct that because he does not believe it. He needs to learn, like a toddler, to postpone his needs, to examine his choices and his alternatives, to relate to people without using them, to connect intimately, to enjoy all the other things this world has to offer.

There are many variants of this story. Many people have experienced abuse, sexual or otherwise, neglect, etc. Others cannot find any traces of disfunctionality in their family, it varies. Everyone has his/her own unique story but what I tried to make up above would summarise pretty much the essence of what I've been reading on most threads.

Sorry about the length and all that, I just wanted to use these to explain a bit better what addiction is. So, in the story, what would you say is the person's addiction? His porn use, his gaming? Those are just behaviours he found relief in from the pain of his existance and the emptiness inside of him. What we understand by addiction here on RN is the emotional immaturity of the person, his inability to manage his own life in healthy ways. As a child he failed to learn how to deal with his negative feelings about himself so he chose to avoid thinking about them, by engaging in playing and porn. Those things made him forget, gave him a feeling of achievement and pleasure, even if temporary, which was more than what his reality offered. As an adult he could have looked back and see how there is actually nothing wrong with him and it was something put in his head by others or by his experiences, but he never did because he never saw the whole story, he didn't understand that things are related and go back to the beginning. Now that he knows, it's possible for him to change his faulty beliefs, build his self-esteem and his interest towards other activities, in a word, to learn how to manage his life in healthy ways and derive joy from the simple things in life, without needing artificial means to feel better about himself. I hope that now you understand better what it is that we call addiction. There is only one addiction, there is only one inefficient coping mechanism. Porn, gaming, alcohol, are only the symptoms which betray this emotional immaturity that we call addiction. If you just stop the behaviour i.e. abstain, you do not learn the emotional maturity needed to be free of addiction and all its facets. The faulty mechanism will still be there and it will find other ways to come to the surface.

I feel this post is just too much so I will stop here without commenting on all the other things you've mentioned. Maybe others will jump in and offer their perspective. If not, I will try to come back to it at a later point. For now, I hope you understand a little better the central issue I was trying to explain in my first post. I would encourage you to examine your own story and see what you can come up with in terms of how your family of origin impacted your development, what core beliefs you might have ingrained which harmed you and determined you to seek refuge in distructive behaviours, how these behaviours appeared into your life, how they escalated, what were your major life events in your life and how they influenced (or not) those behaviours. Try to find patterns, try to make sense, try to see connections in seemingly unrelated events. It can be as small as something someone once said to you at which you've reacted strongly. When I first achieved counting up to 100 and I went to my dad seeking for his approval and appreciation, all he said when I was finished was "But can you do it backwards?" That broke my heart and has caused me a lot of self-esteem issues and it has robbed my self-confidence in my own abilitites and the joy I should experience at my own achievements. One little sentence (reinforced by high academic standards) caused so much trouble and pain in my life. I still struggle with thinking I'm unworthy or not good enough and if I don't correct the thoughts consciously, I can fall back into self-loathing, feeling worthless and hopeless. For what is worth, I hope my post has shed some clarity.

Be well!

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:51 pm 
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Ursuala
You spent alot of time on these posts , and I ever so much apreciate that . However I really have understood what you said
I 'm also pretty much in full agreement about there not being different separate addictions but that they are all just an expression of underlying issues . This is in no way alien to me . I m afraid I really did understand all you said . It is because of that I ve done loads of therapy to get well and see all that unbalanced when a child .

However It is true that I moved to talk of physical dependance issues in alcoholim . It is not really in contradiction with anything you said it is if you like an adjunct thatI 'm convinced needs to be addressed Alcoholics who have physical dependancy on alcohol their craving will not go away even if underlying issues from childhood , low self esteem , lack of love and worth .The craving alcohol can remain and be intense into abstinence . Alcoholics in abstinence can fall off the wagon solely because they can't stand the physical craving for the product alone . ( They could also fall off the wagon for not having learned to balance their emotions and not having the valaue based approach seen here )

Forgive me but alot of people fail to understand the ongoing nature pf physical craving which can throw people back to drink even when they have learned ways of managing their emotions .

But this really doesn't matter . The Sinclair Method exists and is there for those who are curious to find out , to take or leave or meerely learn about from wiki.

I have full interest to learn everything Recovery Nation can offer and generallly have nothing but praise for what I 've seen in the lessons . I intend to quit porn and here too.

I cannot dismiss the need I also have to deal with physical dependance and for that I have to stay with The Sinclair method because it has served me very well it 'd be foolish to leave something that works .


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:09 pm 
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I missed something out but for clarity's sake I d better put it here . I realize that I was actually trying to say as little as possible about The Sinclair method which was perhaps unwise . I wanted to do that because it is somethin that you do and forget about
there isn't much to talk about in fact you take your medecine and that's it, it will do the work of dealing with physical craving. Like setting a washing machine and leave it work . It will not sort out any psychological issues . Put at its simplest it involves always taking a pill if you drink . The pill has no addictivbe properties it is not psycho tropic it serves uniquely to block receptors in the brain . After a peiod the physical craving for alcohol subsides and if you drink you won't drink much . This works for 78 percent of alcoholics .
So this is not something that deals with any psychological issues . You do it and get on with your life with vastly reduced need for alcohol . Outside of this thread I have no need to even discuss this .
All other issues in my life no doubt remain and where that's concerned I am very interested to be here . There is a great deal to discuss here and I 've spend alot of time on the first thirty lessons . I don't post my exercises but do them all and have them in my notebook . I 'll very likely post when I go back over it all .
That 's all why I won't discuss that again unless someone particularly asks . There's far too much other stuff to do that does need talking about .


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