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 Post subject: Relapse
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:26 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 206
I have a question on relapse please.

I am finding the workshop incredibly helpful but wanted to seek some clarification and guidance. I have read the initial “what to expect” guidance and there is also regular reference made to “relapse” along the way in terms of expecting to have to manage it. I was wondering how relapse should be defined, for example someone whose acting out involves seeing escorts might consider seeing relapse as going with another escort mid-workshop whereas someone whose ritual involves masturbation would perhaps view masturbating mid-workshop as relapse. However, the person that avoided seeing an escort but instead masturbated might see that as some degree of success by having broken their ritual. So two different scenarios end up in masturbation but one is arguably OK and the other potentially not.

On the one hand I can see that it is difficult to offer too specific guidance because even if someone acted out mid-workshop then that can’t mean that they have lost hope and can’t get back on to the course, I’m sure that happens a lot. Equally avoiding any acting out even in part will help break the rituals quicker but are there any thoughts on relapse in this context?

It might be easier to talk about my situation as I see it currently. I am on Lesson 23 and have taken on board the idea of breaking down the rituals into different components each of which are emotional rather than values based actions. I am sure that I am not alone though that whilst my brain gets that I am very green to it after 40 years of thinking differently. I am therefore fighting against acting out. Actually, I don’t feel the urge to act out my ritual but just to masturbate. Having done this on an almost daily basis for 40 years I have not done this now for 3 weeks which is a world record. I am OK with it a lot of the time as I am recognising that it is my emotional mind playing tricks with me. But the recent lessons have involved going through rituals in some detail where part of my old brain is reminding me how exciting what I am recounting is. The old and new brains are therefore battling for my attention at the moment. Do I masturbate (without other acting out) to get some relief (no pun intended!) or I am going to beat myself up and feel like I have relapsed?

I’ve had a look around the forums and can’t see anything obvious on this, I’m sure I am not the first and won’t be the last to raise this though. This may come up under the Urge Control lessons which I haven’t got to yet and I don’t want to read ahead so maybe I just need to hang on until then. Any guidance would be gratefully received though thanks.

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L2R

"If you ever doubt the lie of excitement that anticipates an urge and wonder if it will be worth it, remember that there is a very good reason that you joined Recovery Nation"


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 Post subject: Re: Relapse
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:16 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3561
Location: UK
Hi L2R
If acting out in any form is or becomes compulsive then addiction will never be beaten and recovery never achieved
The general consensus is at least a 90 day total abstinence period
as you say we are all different but to tell you of my experience might give you an indication
I used prostitutes
I made a concious decision not to masturbate at the start of my recovery, then some time in I decided to "test my resolve"
so I masturbated but not to completion
I recognised that this was still masturbating thus feeding my compulsive emotion based actions
I have now not masturbated for some numbers of years, this was my choice and believe me when I say I dont miss it or need it

I think that you know your own answer
but denial is a big factor in addiction
so you choose and good luck on your journey
hope this helps

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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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 Post subject: Re: Relapse
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:59 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 206
Hi Kenzo,

That's really helpful thanks. I am confident that at the end of the workshop and lessons I will be fine, it is really this transition from the old to the new me that brings in the occasional doubt. I can understand what you are saying though and to be honest I know what I am like and if I were to do that once I would justify to myself that it is OK and then the floodgates would open. I have actually found it OK until recently as I have been distracting myself when the ritual urges appear by telling myself that they conflict with my values and it snuffs it out before I get aroused. The difference recently has been the detailed running through the rituals in order to analyse them as part of the lessons which brings back memories and instinctively arousal with it and I was less ready for that happening. I will keep my new brain to the forefront though to be more prepared in future and maintain my current world record of masturbating abstinence. It is comforting to know that once fully rewired there is no sense of missing that. Thanks again for your wise words.

L2R

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L2R

"If you ever doubt the lie of excitement that anticipates an urge and wonder if it will be worth it, remember that there is a very good reason that you joined Recovery Nation"


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