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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:38 am 
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Lesson 24 Identifying compulsive elements

My wheel of sexual compulsion would contain:

Sensory
orgasm
accomplishment
Power
Suspense
Past
Fantasy
Poly-addiction
Time
Jealousy
Insecurity
habituation
intensity
Guild and shame ( which act as drivers)

Porn viewing and cyber char ritual:

See couple having fun together or see normal/ good looking guy in a particular situation
Start to feel jealous/ insecure -why can't I be more like that
Feelings of insecurity become more intense
Start to fantasise and particular scenes or porn categories won't leave my mind
Switch flicks and I almost subconsciously know I'm gonna view porn
enable porn viewing by saying I'm going to bed
Log onto porn and look for videos that reflect my earlier fantasies
Get bored quickly and regret it quickly and start to feel guilt and shame
Go deeper into ritual to try and avoid emotional consequences.
Create chat profile
Download photos and pretend they're me
Engage in chat and use power and fantasy to control their excitement
Watch po n in between to stop boredom from setting in
Achieve orgasm
Feel tired, spiral into anxiety with feelings of guilt, shame and weakness

Ritual 2- fantasy and masturbation

The same build up until point 4 but then instead of porn I go to bed and masturbate.
I switch fantasies until I achieve orgasm


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:49 pm 
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Lesson 25 Identifying Compulsive Rituals

On holiday and out of routine.
Have lots of time on my hands to think
Start comparing myself to other people
Feel negativity inside/anxiety feeling
Start thinking about sex/ porn
Fight the thoughts but have a 'gut feeling' I'm going to act out
Isolate myself e.g. By going to bed
Log onto Internet/porn websites
Create fake profiles on chat sites
Alternate between viewing porn and engaging in cyber chat.
Masturbate and orgasm
Feel guilty
Follow ritual 3 or 4 times so as not to have to face reality/consequences
Finally end ritual by deleting profiles/erasing search history


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:58 pm 
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Lesson 26: Mapping Compulsive Rituals

#1 Out shopping by myself and feeling negative low
#2 See happy couples together or just people having fun
#3 Start to experience feelings of jealousy, insignificance
# 4 Heart rate goes faster and feel anxious, start to fantasise or think about porn I've seen
#5 Mind races and goes over threshold
#6 Arrive home and go onto autopilot. Log onto porn site (always same site)
#7 Download chat app
# 8 Feel less anxious but experience regret and anticlimax
# 9 Engage in porn viewing and chat alternately
# 10 Suspense and waiting for right person to chat to
# 11 Progressively become more explicit in conversation, view more explicit porn to feel same effects
# 12 Binge ends with an orgasm, sometimes I repeat 3 times sometimes more


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:27 pm 
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Lesson 27 Identifying Compulsive Chains

1. Simultaneous rituals

For me, this would be porn viewing and engaging in Cyber chat.

1. Various emotional states might cause me to initiate the ritual, though they're usually negative, e.g. anxiety, jealousy, feeling like I don't measure up.
2. Log onto porn site, usually the same one.
3. Set up email account and use it to sign up to chat sites or download apps
4. In between, watch porn
5. Set up profile on sites
6. Initiate conversations, wait for others to chat to me
7. During down times in chat, view porn
8. Alternate between porn viewing and masturbation. When one starts to bore me, I switch to the other
9. Eventually reach orgasm and then ritual ends

2. Consecutive rituals.

These would involve food and Internet

1. Eat my dinner and then go to fridge for snack. Eat something sweet while watching tv. When ad break comes on, go to fridge again to eat something else.

2. Internet. When I'm resting, reach for my phone or tablet. Log onto to same sites/forums in relation to subjects that interest me. Refresh pages when I've been through the cycle.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:28 pm 
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Lesson 28: Developing Compulsive Chains

1 Chain of most recent acting out behaviour

1 Feeling restless and bored
2 Watching TV when conversation reminded me of porn I had seen once
3 Compulsive feelings started, anxiety and heart beating fast
4 Found tablet and logged on to porn site
5 Felt underwhelmed and disappointed with myself and unsatisfied when I'd visited the porn site
6 Created profile on chat site
7 Alternate between chat and porn
8 Reach orgasm
9 suspend reality for longer by carrying on with ritual
10 After reaching orgasm again I end ritual

3 As part of ritual, other destructive elements might have been:

Enticing people I chat to to show off on camera and me being voyeur
Creating profiles on multiple chat sites
Developing more graphic profile and engaging in more graphic and hard core fantasies with people I chat to.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:19 am 
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Lesson 29: The Role of Emotions

A. Describe the emotions that you experienced and the thoughts that triggered them.

I started off by focusing on how I felt in the moment. I felt pretty calm and relaxed, enjoying the idea that I don't have to rush today or don't have to be anywhere. I then started to manipulate my thoughts, first thinking about situations that had made me feel really happy and content. The feelings were all related to different kinds of love, e.g. When I felt loved romantically, by my parents and even by my dog. I then focuses on times when I felt negative feelings, the utter despair of finding out a close family member was terminally ill, or the extreme anxiety when I became paranoid when I was younger that I messed about without protection and may have contracted an std. It was a complete overreaction on my part which maybe indicates the level of anxiety. I also thought about the times when I was a child when I felt low, being called strange by close family members, for example, which sticks with me today and still doesn't feel great.

Then my mind kind of drifted a little and I started to think about sexual stuff which altered emotions. Nowadays it seems to promote a feeling of anxiety, a kind of tightening in my chest. The next logical step (in my mind) to these feelings is to act out. I didn't but I'm left with a feeling of anxiety which I'll need to learn to let pass.

B. In assessing your own anxiety, describe the extremes of your personal experiences with anxiety. What has been the least anxious state you have experienced and the most extreme anxious state you have experienced

The most anxious state will be when I thought I may have contracted an std from a sexual experience. Rationally speaking, it was almost impossible for me to have done so, but I couldn't handle it. For a few weeks, I couldn't eat and I lost weight as I worried myself sick. That all encompassing terror was probably the worst. The least anxious state is harder to identify. I often try to remember what it must have been like as a child when I had nothing to worry about. E.g. At the start of the school holidays where there was nothing but fun ahead!

One thing I know about myself though is that I struggle if I don't keep my mind occupied. I'm always doing something, regularly putting myself under pressure. In these scenarios, I look forward to a time when I have nothing to do or nothing to be anxious about, but when it arrives, it makes me feel on edge. I think I have a fear of a vacuum in my mind that might end up being filled by anxiety or acting out.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:04 am 
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I'm just checking in here after not posting in more than a month. Since my last post, I was travelling overseas for around three weeks and had little access to the Internet. I had a great trip and weirdly had hardly any urges to act out and so I enjoyed the first trip in as long as I can remember that wasn't tainted by addiction. However when I arrived home the other day, the urges struck, despite me making a plan in my head for what I would do when I arrived home. The usual ritual was triggered when I arrived back and after a few hours of being home, I started to act out. It was the same old tired ritual over and over again. It's taken me like four days to come out of it, mainly, I think, due because I wanted to delay the inevitable negative emotions I would feel as a consequence of my behaviour I.e shame and guilt, which have themselves almost become part of the ritual.

Strangely though, I feel kind of positive, which is unusual. On one hand, my acting out seemed to be more isolated and I feel so motivated to get back to activities which do not involve addiction. On another level though, the absence of the usual shame and guilt is concerning me a little. I feel like I should feel more ashamed and guilty about acting out and that the (relative) absence of those emotions makes me think that my behaviour was fine -although I know it wasn't and that subconsciously I may think it's ok to act out again.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in again and carry on with the workshop, revisiting some of my goals and monitoring targets which were absolutely unrealistic the last time I wrote them.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:43 am 
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I've just reviewed my daily monitoring list and all of the entries remain important to me. I've slightly reworded a couple of the goals.

Daily Monitoring

Did I carry myself as a person worthy of respect today?
Did I engage in any compulsive behavior today?
If yes, did I maintain an awareness of the elements involved?
Did I create a break as soon as I became aware of that ritual?
If no, did I role play a past or possible future compulsive ritual to ingrain confidence in my ability to manage these rituals?
Did I spend time exercising today and am I on schedule to have exercised 5 out of the last 7 days?
Did I eat mindfully today in accordance with my plan?
Did I spend time learning how to meditate today?
If not, how many days has it been since?
Did I spend time holding a meaningful conversation with my family today?
Was it quality time for each of us?
Did I remember to fully invest myself in the moment?
Did I follow through with everything that I said I was going to do today and have I made a detailed plan for what I want to do and achieve tomorrow?
Did I maintain a conscious awareness of how emotionally connected I was with my friends and family (e.g through conversation, shared activity, spontaneous affection or otherwise?)
Did I roleplay at least one reactive action plan today?
How would I describe my overall emotional balance and stability at the moment?

I also want to revisit my timescales for completing the workshop to 1 February 2017.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:36 pm 
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Lesson 31

Lesson 31 Exercise:
In learning to effectively manage your life (e.g. maintain relative emotional balance), it is important to develop an ongoing awareness of where the majority of your energy is being exhausted and where it is being derived. In your Personal Recovery Thread:

A. Make a list of all identifiable stressors that have affected your emotional health over the past week. For each, document whether it is a mild, moderate, severe or extreme stressor. Example: 1) Facing Possible Divorce: extreme; 2) Lost respect among friends and family: moderate

Slip following return from holiday: severe
Worry about parents' health issues: moderate
Work: moderate
Feelings of inadequacy/ jealousy on hearing couple of bits of happy news from other people: moderate
Seeing photos of myself that looked bad: mild

B. Return to your values list created earlier in the workshop. In a healthy life, the majority of energy being drained (e.g. stress) should be related to the pursuit of your highest prioritized values (top fifteen or so). Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the way that you are expending your energy?

Yes I think I am expending most of my energy on these values but a couple of the values are counteracted by some of my vices. E.g. Healthy diet by my issues with overeating when I feel stressed and a lack of motivation to exercise. I've been feeling tired and lacking in motivation this week, which often occurs when I'm feeling down.

C. Likewise, in a healthy life, the majority of meaning and stimulation that you gain should also be related to your highest values. Do you see this pattern in your life? If not, what do you think this means in terms of the quality of life you are living?

Yes I do derive most of my stimulation from these values. I guess there are other deep seated desires I have e.g. For a partner and eventually children which I don't feel are accessible to me at the moment and that makes me feel down.
Share any insights in your Personal Recovery Thread.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:44 pm 
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My values are below. I have made good progress with most goals and all remain relevant. I have commented upon those where I need to redouble my efforts.

Living life with integrity/ honesty and Love myself/be kinder to myself
When I look at the practical elements of what this value looks like, I feel like I've made progress but there are still elements that I need to work on with regards to being more open and honest with myself and when I'm feeling vulnerable, not just in relation to my addiction but other aspects of life too e.g. work. Reflecting on this value, I feel I sometimes lack integrity in terms of how I talk to myself. E.g. I would never be as horrible to others as I am to myself but how can I hope to lead a life of integrity if I undermine myself?

Look after my Mum/Being a good son
Communicate with other family members more
Spend time with my dog, go on walks
Seek to learn and develop knowledge
Meet with friends
Being disciplined/ self control/ Always trying my best
So many of my flaws are linked to self-control and being disciplined. In some ways I'm incredibly disciplined, in others not so much.
Healthier diet/ Exercise
I do have a healthier diet and have lost some weight but I rely too much on food as an emotional crutch.
Using meditation and prayer to be more spiritual
This is the value that needs most focus. I do suffer from depressive episodes and I feel uneasy more often than is healthy. I need to work on my mind to unlock my potential as I feel this is the key to so many of my problems.
Seek a meaningful career/ Pursuing a career change/ Earn enough to live a nice life
Take care of physical appearance, hair, teeth, skin, clothes
Be more open with people about myself and my opinions
Being organised and tidy
Spending time to enjoy freedom


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:38 am 
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Lesson 33

In terms of assessing my emotions, I guess the first thing to say is that I've been feeling pretty depressed recently and this has been interspersed with bouts of anger. The child comes out so while I've resorted to the porn addiction on a number of occasions, I've noticed the extent to which I rely on food as an emotional crutch. I've been eating lots of junk. I haven't been able to shake myself out of my depressive feelings for a while now. They hit when I'm alone quite badly but I've noticed how adept I am at pretending I'm ok when I'm with people. The rebellious child, when I'm in an angry mode deliberately refuses to partake in any of the practical values. I'm sorry if I sound like I'm rambling, it's been helpful to record this somewhere and it hopefully is an important starting point to analysing my emotions.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:12 pm 
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Lesson 33

I've taken the chance to observe my thoughts and feelings over the past few days as per the exercise. It's been liberating in lots of ways when I spend 15 minutes on what's going on in my head, I'm able to detach from it. Other times, I realise how conditioned my thoughts are and how I like boundaries, particularly in relation to food. I feel anxiety in the pit of my stomach which reduces when I focus on the feeling. Sometimes, the reason for the anxiety doesn't come to mind, it's like a learned reaction.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:41 pm 
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Lesson 34

Immediate gratification plays the primary role in the lives of most people who struggle with addiction. In your Personal Recovery Thread, share the following:

A. Describe a time in your life when the "Immediate Gratification" principle has come into play:
Example: Often i'll begin to feel hungry, although I've already eaten. I have an issue with my weight and my failure to control it. Often i'll get a craving for a particular kind of food and then will, almost without thinking, start binge eating. I'll continue eating usually for a while afterwards.


B. As best as you can, describe the anxiety you feel when you are trying to NOT ACT on a compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Be specific. Compare it to other feelings of anxiety that you experience. The purpose of this exercise is to begin to define the limits of your emotions — and where your compulsive urges stand within those limits.

With sexual thoughts, the feelings can be accute. It starts out as a feeling of apprehension, as if deep down, I know what's going to happen. It builds and builds a bit like an itch and then I feel compelled to scratch. My heart pace quickens . It's difficult to compare with similar feelings of anxiety but definitely the physical problems and reactions can be the same.

C. As best as you can, describe the feeling that you experience while you are engaging in a certain compulsive sexual thought or behavior. Is it a trance-like feeling? Is it a hyper-alert feeling? If someone could get inside your mind as you were experiencing such a ritual, what would they find?

I experience it almost as a trance-like, almost hypnotic state. The feelings of anxiety I experience before acting out totally dissipate and it feels like I run on autopilot. At first this isn't too bad but then as the filters kick in (time, intensity, habituation) and the porn loses its effects, I notice how entranced I am as I struggle to forfeit the ritual before completion, even though it's having negative physical effects.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Daily monitoring advanced

"Today, I am going to look for opportunities to choose the healthiest option that is available to me." For instance, if I am in a building and I have the opportunity to take either the stairs or the elevator, because I am actively seeking out such opportunities today in the area of development, I will take the stairs.

Today I'm going to look for opportunities to be kind to myself. For example, if negativity arises in my mind, I'll focus on the good things about me. I will care for myself mind, body and soul. I will challenge and question any negative thoughts with positive thoughts about me. I will affirm the reasons why I'm allowed to be happy.

Weekly monitoring:

Question #1: Over the past seven days, from what areas of my life did I derive the majority of my meaning and fulfillment. Think specific actions you experienced, not general ideals. "On Tuesday, I took out my guitar and just played for my kids. Took the time to teach them a few notes. It was meaningful to me." This, as opposed to...'music, kids...'
Question #2: Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my energy go? As in, was there chronic stress/pressure I had to manage? Were there any major traumatic events? Any intense emotional events?
Question #3: Given the meaning that I derived this week and the events I had to manage — how well did I do in maintaining emotional balance through healthy means? Were there times when my life management skills were inadequate and I ended up turning to artificial means (e.g. compulsive behavior)?
Question #4: Looking ahead to the next seven days, are there any significant events that I need to prepare for, so that I am not caught off guard? Deadlines, reunions, holidays, dates, etc.
Question 5: Have I been taking care of my mind and body? Have I eaten healthily, have I done exercise at least 4 times this week? Have I meditated for 15 minutes each day and exercised compassion?
Question 6: Have given myself free time on at least two occasions this week and allowed myself to unwind?
Question 7: Have I sought to improve my knowledge this week? Did I study for my college course enough? Did I read?
Question 8? Did I spend an appropriate amount of time on the internet? Did I spend time online aimlessly? Did I eat to excess as a comfort mechanism? If so, what triggered it?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:09 am 
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Lesson 36:

Lesson 36 Exercise:
I. Describe a scenario from your past where not having a well-defined set of boundaries has prolonged and/or intensified the personal consequences that you have experienced.

I was feeling tired and frustrated after work because I'd been having a really difficult week where so much seemed to be going wrong. Rather than have a boundary in place that ensured no sexual behaviour when feeling in such a state, I ended up logging in to porn and this triggered a binge which lasted a week. Even when the initial excitement or adrenaline rush has gone (which can often be quickly), a fear of reality and the consequences of my actions can keep me acting out for a long time afterwards.

II. Describe a situation in your life where having solid boundaries will assist you in managing the event in such a way as to protect your value system.
Every time I return from holiday, I always seem to act out- like it's a conditioned response. I'll create a boundary which says I will always meditate for at least half an hour when I'm home to analyse the feelings and urges I'm having and I will follow a predetermined post holiday routine for two days after returning. (Not sure if this is a boundary or an action plan?)
III. Share these in your recovery thread.


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