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 Post subject: How about this then ?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:31 am 
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I wonder ...
If you agree with me that the problem is addiction and not Porn I d be interested to know your reaction to where I take that .

Firstly though there is a certain question about whether in itself porn is bad . Angles on it from some Feminism and Religion would maintain that . I think some anti porn activists like Shelley Luben don't look too convincing to me . i reckon many performers become fairly numb to it all and want to get it done , times of pleasure and times of boredom a mixed bag . Abuse could have lead some there but other pressures and needs too. On balance it would certainly be best to not touch it as viewer or otherwise .
However we're not all perfect .

Going on from the start here that the problem ,for us here, and the addicted is that it is more so our addiction than the porn itself .
It is probably the case that many many people use it with varying frequency and iit adds some spice and is seen as just a bit of fun. All of them could take or leave it and our not addicted .

So my question in all this is ,if and only if, our values can accept porn as "ok" and not harming anyone is n't using it occaisionally not necessarily an essentially bad thing ? All this depends on if we , I, could actually do that just occaisionally .
This implies a moving on and out of addiction , a getting to the point where the addiction has lost its grip . Maybe as you read this some may think , nice idea but I 'm addicted I can't . Just as the alky can not take one drink . Or does anyone seeing this think , yes I may well be at that point ?

My situation feels rather like that I do not any longer feel a compulsion to see porn . I never got in to computer porn , or watched it at home. But believe me for decades I d go to those sleezy cinemas and sexshop cabiins regularly . It in conjunction with drinking too.

I honestly feel now that I could go on and on just saying no , and for most part fairly easily . I think I ve had enough.
However I would sometimes like to indulge .

So what I do ? For now I'm going on with abstinence despite this hypothesizing . Though I supose I do believe one can get de addicted and use again without abuse or recreating dependance .

Any thoughts ?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:53 am 
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Hey, I'll quote the workshop on this:

Quote:
If you build a life based on a mastery of what it is you truly value, then you will succeed. So examine values such as 'sexual gratification', 'being sexually adventurous', 'feeling sexually desired', 'being promiscuous', etc. If these are important to you, then prioritize them within your list. Leave them out because they don't 'sound right' and you are dooming yourself to that dual-identity that pervades sexual addiction.


Quote:
Like masturbation, but in a much more limited scope, pornography can actually be used to promote intimacy and sexual health within a relationship. The scope of this, however, is so small that it is not recommended for anyone struggling with any sexually-compulsive behaviors until they have made the transition from recovery to health. One of the biggest consequences that pornography brings to the equation is its ability to zap the person of their emotional energy. This makes relationships (especially when those relationships involve intimacy) extremely difficult to maintain. It also effects their ability to produce the energy and strength needed to make the changes that need to be made in recovery.


That said: abstinence is neccessary to build the foundation for a healthy life. And it shouldn't be a goal to "finally watch porn again". But you're basically right so far. If you truly value porn and it is congruent with all your other values and you don't use compulsive behavior in regards to porn, than it would be counterproductive to leave it out of your value-set.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:01 am 
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Thankyou . What you quoted I d had vaguely in mind thankyou for putting it into focus .


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:28 am 
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Pokito,

Pokito wrote:
Firstly though there is a certain question about whether in itself porn is bad .

I would encourage you to go beyond classifications such as "good" or "bad" towards a more subjective perspective of "what is in line with your values" and "what is not congruent with your values", "what works for you" and "what doesn't". Very few things might be considered "bad" in absolute terms, that is, in any circumstances and applying to all people. But nevermind other people, all it matters is how these things affect your life, your future and the things you want to achieve. I don't believe that in itself porn is "bad", as in having the same devastating effects on all people at all times. And you are quite right in saying that addiction is the problem, not the porn. But what exactly do you understand by addiction? And where do you draw the line between your addiction and porn? How would you know what is healthy and what is not in your case? I would argue that there is no way of knowing, especially if you are early to the recovery process and you've only just recently stopped acting out. I think that you would be in a much better position after you've dealt with the issues behind your addiction which probably include intimacy and self-esteem issues, and after you've finished the workshop and have come to a deeper understanding of your rituals, your emotions and the core beliefs that lie beneath.

I would strongly warn against measuring or confusing health with the ability to remain abstinent. Abstinence is not an appropriate gauge for transitioning to health. It is more of a rough indicator of where you are headed but definitely not a very accurate measure of your progress. Look at the skills/areas you identified as lacking to know how you are really doing. Is there any progress in those areas? Have things changed? Have you come to a deeper understanding of what is going on? For example, for me it was not that difficult to stop the porn use, even the fantasies (which is really just the homemade porn you play in your head), but I still struggle with intimacy and connection. After 2 years and a half of RN, I'm still wary of allowing myself to have sexual fantasies about my husband for fear I might objectify him which is something I do not wish to do. So, what I'm saying is ... abstinence is just the very beginning of the learning curve, do not mistake it for the end of the road. If you say that it's easy for you to keep your abstinence, you are in a very good position to really focus on your issues, on building your values and the rest of your life. My advice would be not to be in such a hurry to return to porn, even for a bit of "innocent", "not-hurting-anyone" fun. Is it really so? Is it really true that porn is not harming you in any way? It might seem that way, granted, but look a bit closer ... what does it do to your self-esteem? How does it affect your image of others and the way you interact with them? How does it affect your ability to be intimate and vulnerable? How does it affect your ability to be honest and transparent with others? What are the consequences on shame and guilt? Is it really the best idea for spending your probably hard-earned free time?

Keep in mind that addicts are not only great manipulators, they are also experts when it comes to self-delusion. We know how to justify our actions to ourselves, we know how to "sell" things so we can "buy" them and not feel too bad about ourselves. We make up arguments and mind games, all meant to make it ok for us to keep the addiction alive, even partly if possible. Deep down we are scared to let it go, once and for all, we are scared to commit to living the rest of our lives without our safety blanket, without the highs and pleasure we've known for most of our lives. We don't really know anything else, thus we are scared to let go and focus on something else which is not bound to give us the same emotional stimulation, not from the very beginning anyways.

It's not very clear to me how you consider yourself in this present moment, if you consider that you've transitioned to health based on your ability to stay abstinent or your question pertains more to a theoretical perspective, to a decision you imagine that you'll be faced with in the future. If you are contemplating reintroducing porn based solely on abstinence, you might be in danger of rationalising your addiction. If you think that maybe one day you will be able to return to porn, again, another danger might be that you project your addiction to a future moment, pretty much as a reward after being abstinent and having proven yourself. But neither is really letting it go and both are common pitfalls amongst people like us.

All this being said, axelswagger is quite right and the quotes are common sense. But, I might add that there would be a lot of confusion in discerning what is addiction and compulsion and what is not in behaviours prior associated with the addiction. Also, in my own case, it seems that I've built quite a lot of core values pertaining to my self-identity around respecting myself and others which are quite incompatible to using porn. Before I've learnt more about this I had this image that porn is actually about self-freedom, about being open and shameless about your sexuality. Can you imagine my shock to discover that actually the crippling shame I experience around sex which has been inoculated since early childhood is actually the reason why I cannot connect intimately which ultimately pushes me to artificial fantasies so I can function sexually? Pretty skewed, isn't it? Turns out to be the total opposite of what I believed it to be.

My best advice would be to focus on your recovery, on doing the lessons as thoroughly as possible, on building your other values, on finding other ways and means of having harmless fun, of enriching your experiences, of trying new activities and developing your hobbies, on building your ability to be vulnerable and connect intimately, on facing your fears, on your self-worth, self-image and self-love, on working on any other issues and skills that you might find lacking in this process, etc. If there is something that really pains me is how self-deprived I was, how underdeveloped my life experience was and how chained down I was by my own obsessions and compulsions. I strongly believe that we all need to broaden our horizons, to taste life, to bring a bit of colour and variety in our lives, away from all these sexual and romantic obsessions and compulsions. Once you feel you've grown in all these areas and more, feel free to reevaluate porn, its benefits, its costs, and see if you still feel so strongly about reintroducing it into your life. Until then I would encourage you to tread carefully when it comes to you giving yourself permission to indulge in what you've identified as addiction related behaviours.

All the best to you,
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: Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:15 am 
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Great response Ursula

IMO the definition of addiction, any addiction includes compulsiveness
compulsive behaviour is not healthy even if the action itself is healthy
one example is exercise

exercise per-say is healthy, as is eating, as is sex
however when it becomes compulsive it brings in the negatives

as Ursula says

Quote:
Abstinence is not an appropriate gauge for transitioning to health.

_________________
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 Apr 06, 2016 3:50 pm 
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Posts: 98
Location: Ger
ursula wrote:
But, I might add that there would be a lot of confusion in discerning what is addiction and compulsion and what is not in behaviours prior associated with the addiction.


This is another important point. Now I feel bad for leaving it out, haha.

I think in the end it's important that the thought of lifelong abstinence shouldn't hurt you anymore, but at the same time you shouldn't stress the concept too much. It sounds quite paradox, doesn't it? I guess it's all about the balance in the end. Part of recovery is to strengthen old areas of your life and ingraining new areas as well. This solid foundation is needed to balance the good with the bad, that is happening to all of us. And as long as we're not really sure if a behavior is still connected to addiction and compulsion it's better to not stress about it. Down the road there's always the possibility to check in on it, maybe see how you feel about it then. But right now it's time to find some balance. Many addicts have struggled for 10+ years. So what's 2-3 years of not watching any porn in comparison? It's the least you can do for yourself. Like Ursula said, maybe there comes a time where you might be able to engage in this behavior, but it's still the question if it's the right things to do in terms of your recovery. I said it before, the goal shouldn't be to be finally able to watch porn again. I try to follow a natural approach. I'm aware of the fact, that there might be a time were it's appropriate for me to use porn again - do I know if I need it by then? do I need this thought to follow through with recovery? do I know if I even want to use it again when I could? the anwer is no. So I don't stress about it. I know what's important right now and that's what I concentrate on. I think it's loss of energy to think too much about this. Take that energy and rebuild other areas of your life.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:51 am 
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axelswagger,

axelswagger wrote:
Now I feel bad for leaving it out

Please don't. Your reply was excellent in itself and it actually implied all the points we've detailed afterwards.
This is the beauty, wisdom and richness of RN, that all our voices overlap but also compliment each other. What someone leaves out or barely touches, another one brings into the spotlight. We are all essentially alike but also unique in our experiences. There is no one who knows it all, who can express all perspectives and strike all the right tones. We only achieve it together, as a community. It took me quite some time to understand and find value in this perspective. Before I would get a lot of anxiety in replying thinking that my ideas might not be "good enough", short sighted or even wrong and I would feel quite a sting of embarrassment if someone else would add or even correct my perspective. It was only after I've become a mentor and the pressure increased that I realised it can be linked to my issues around perfectionism and I made it a point to adjust my perspective from achieving self-worth to valuing being part of the diversity of voices RN speaks through. I don't know if your issues are similar or not but I think it's worth putting it out there for whoever might happen to identify.

This being said, I believe you are extremely insightful and you have tremendous potential. I'm so pleased you've decided to join us, I know you'll add a lot of value to RN.

_________________
"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 07, 2016 4:12 pm 
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Thanks for the encouraging words. This is a place of support but also of challenging ideas, which I really appreciate.

In that context it was more of a snarky remark. I always feel like half-assing my entries/post when I write in english. So from that perspective there's actually more to it... I often have those thoughts in my head and I already struggle to express them in my motherlanguage (e.g. when talking to my therapist), but when I start to translate them, I feel like some parts just get lost. So I end up posting my thoughts and when I reread them I'm a bit "disappointed" that I only got three quarter of my message across. But, I'm very glad that I can add value with my posts. It's interesting that I experienced the way I've participated in this discussion as flawed and in an attempt to "make up to it" I overplayed it with humor. I'm a humorous person, but if I'm honest with you, there's always an aspect in my humor that tries to jeopardize myself like "I totally know that I'm wrong". Maybe it's because I want to show others that I'm not as good as they expect, before they even get the chance to know me. It's some kind of protection in the sense of I joke about myself, before you even realize who I am. Thanks for challenging me. At first I wanted to brush it off as just an humorous remark (which it was to some degree), but I gave it a try to think more about it.

And maybe all of this is another motivation to practice this foreign language, to come closer to all the people around the world. I think that's the beauty of the english language, it allows us to communicate across borders and continents. And as long as there's some value in my posts I'll try to not feel bad about struggling with the language.

And just another funny thing about me being insightful: Although I perceive it as a natural trait, I always was that way.. even in first grade, my addiction often used this against me. Now that I see my behavior much clearer I realize that I used this reflection and insightfulness to deceive myself and others. I thook a moral high ground in it. Especially in my romantic relationships I used it to blame my partner. I realized that they had emotional problems as well (always searched for the repetition of my childhood relationships) and I perceived it as unfair. I thought that I'm the one that knows about his problems, that I'm the one that does recovery (which was plain abstinence at that point), so we should come to an accommodation. It took me a while to realize that I rationalised the hell out of the situation. For me it was clear, I knew my problems, I knew what I had to do and I did it. So I was in the right to expect the same from my partner. I acted like I took responsibility for my life and I believed it. But if would have truly taken responsibility, I would have left those relationships for good. Many times I analized situations and thought "yep, that's a fair assessment" which they mostly were. But I still used the results in my favor. It's another good example how the problems lay within the behavior. Even the clearest thoughts can be used to do something unealthy.
When I realized this I was kind of shocked, how could I be able to trust myself during recovery? But I try to don't stress about it that much. All that matters is that I do what I do, with the right intentions in mind.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyway, I don't want to stray to far away from the topic of this thread. I had an intersting experience today that I want to share in regards to this. I got a phone call from a market reseach company. They did an interview about the use of broadcasting services. I had some time to spare so I thought it would be fun to have some human interaction. The interviewer was quite nice and it was funny. We kind of flirted which was pretty nice. Now one might say "But axelswagger, you're a love addict.. that's exactly what you shouldn't do at the moment!". That's right to a point. But thing is, talking like that with women was never part of my behavior as an addict. I never flirted, hell I never really made eye contact when talking with strange women in public. I wasn't charming, I felt shame and guilt towards women in general. Now you might think "but you told us you had relationships before?", yes I did. I built those relationships around a safe net. If I remember correctly one of the lessons tells us, that we love addicts tend to recreate experiences in a safe environment. I did this to the max, all my relationships started out as fantasies which later became real after I was certain they could support me. But hitting it off with a real women I barely knew? No, never. Just sitting in silence and fantasizing about her. So this call was different, it was natural. During the interview I didn't even realized what I was doing, it just was natural to me. Anyway, at the end she told me it was fun and she even told me how old she was etc, even though they're not supposed to. When the call was over I just felt good. I proceeded with what I was doing and it was just fine, no deeper thoughts about it, just felt happy about a random human interaction. But then, a moment later, I started to fantasize about it. How does she look? How crazy would it be if she's the one? You get the direction. At that moment I realized I can't be trusted with anything in regards to love/romanticism or sex/porn right now. I mean, it wasn't that hard. I was able to stay away from the ritualistic chains and I was able to set boundaries when I realized it, but there was still this programm that started playing in my head. So It's better to concentrate on other areas. But still, by concentrating on other areas, those areas you leave behind for a while profit. So while it's sad to "miss" out on those things I think it's important to keep in mind how you use that behavior to maintain your addiction, that's what helps me to concentrate on other things.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:29 am 
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Well , thankyou both .
Absolutely ridiculous that I persuaded myself I could take or leave it . That just happens to be the case for alot of the time .
However clearly the real concern is when the urges are there and I believe those urges remain still of an addictive nature .
In fact I ve noticed where I 'm most likely to go off the track is in conjunction with poly addictions . Which should be the subject of a separate thread .
Thankyou .


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:58 am 
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Hi Pokito
Quote:
clearly the real concern is when the urges are there


actually the real concern is THAT the urges are there and that we believe we need to act upon them

As we progress we discover that we actually do have a choice

_________________
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 Apr 21, 2016 4:37 am 
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Thankyou Kenzo

I don't believe I have to act on them . Not anymore .
As for taking or leaving it as said above , I choose to leave it and that goes for in times of urges . :g:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:26 am 
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P
Quote:
I don't believe I have to act on them . Not anymore .


then you have learned the most fundamental lesson on the road to recovery, so the only possible reason that you could fail in your journey of recovery
would be you

you dont want to fail, you wont

now back to lessons and beware complacency

_________________
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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