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 Post subject: Lightbulb Moments
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:47 pm 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 423
A couple of thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, this forum seems to attract a fair amount of traffic but few people seem to start threads or add comments to them. It does strike me though that you will only get out of the community forum what you put into it so the more that people share their thinking the more benefit it should be to everyone so please contribute and share your thoughts.

The other thought that led to me to start this thread is that we are all on a journey back to health and there are a lot of insightful and useful lessons that we have been allowed to read and learn from in the workshop. If the lessons are taken on board then we are all able to come out of the other side as more knowledgeable and self aware and can achieve the healthy lives that we all crave for. There have been moments along my journey to date where the penny has dropped on a particular point which has helped me views things very differently than before I joined RN. What I thought might be interesting is for people to add their own lightbulb moments where a particular area was viewed in a very different (i.e. healthy) way from how they viewed things previously (probably in a less healthy way). Passing traffic and perhaps those starting out on their journey here might get some benefit from hearing what others have picked up along the way. I don't mean this to be sharing learning from later lessons but more how there can be a sudden realisation that something always seen one way can be better viewed another. If there is anything in this thread that the moderators see that causes them concern then please say!

I might be best able to explain what I mean by giving a personal example. I have others I can add later but will see how this is received first.

I came into RN like I am sure that many others do feeling like I had some kind of problem where my brain was wired differently to most people and that I had little control over how my brain reacted to exciting sexual situations. I loved the thrill and excitement of being aroused by a given situation. I would then block out the potential consequences of my actions until afterwards when I was filled with guilt and shame. I'd feel bad about it for a bit and then when I felt safe again the cycle would start again and again and again. I'm sure I am not alone in how that goes. There are two lightbulb moments for me around this after I had spent time thinking about the excitement that I got out of the thought of sexual situations. Firstly, I used to think that I had no control over that excitement, once it started it couldn't be stopped but actually that turned out not to be the case, I found that I was able to stop it and I didn't die or collapse in a heap when I did. Uncomfortable for a short while maybe, but not dead and I feel so much better afterwards for having made the right decision! That gave me a lot of hope when I came to that realisation. The other point was that I struggled to get my head around how I could do without the excitement. I then thought of it in a way that is similar to someone being very hungry and reaching for a bar of chocolate. At first the person will enjoy it and get a rush off of the sugar but then not long afterwards will feel worse than they did beforehand as the sugar hit leaves them and is replaced by a feeling that they wished they had eaten something nutritious instead. If you drew this as a diagram (which is how I picture it in my head) it is like a line going sideways then sharply up and then sharply down below where it started and then gradually tracks back up to where it started. For me this helped picture that the rush of excitement may give me the impression that it will make me feel good but then I know that it will go off a cliff very quickly and take me a while to get back to where I started so in fact does not give me what my mind was trying to convince me of. I have both of these thoughts in my head whenever unhealthy thoughts come into my mind and they are serving me well in batting away unhealthy thoughts.

Apologies for the long post but I hope it may be of interest to others to read and I would be interested in reading others' thoughts on areas where they have had sudden moments of clarity.



A clean life; a clear conscience

 Post subject: Re: Lightbulb Moments
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:06 pm
Posts: 134

Your post inspired me.

First of all because of your remark about the forum. Personally it is part of my "recovery ritual" to check the forum and new post. To remind me that I have to work everyday, I find inspiration in every post I read. It is good and it gives a lot of benefit. But very rarely I share my own thought. Your post is a good reminder that we are all responsible to make this community alive. Thanks for that.

You shared :" I used to think that I had no control over that excitement, once it started it couldn't be stopped but actually that turned out not to be the case, I found that I was able to stop it and I didn't die or collapse in a heap when I did."
You are absolutely right. I confess that after 2 years, I still have to struggle, in few occasion when I am triggered (to be alone in hotel room during business trip remains something difficult moment for me for example). I am fully aware that such emotion will pass, in most of the case very quickly.
I have several tips to stop the urge, and to to turn back to present, to reality, to value based decision.
First of all, I try to think about something else. Something healthy that bring me pleasure. An image of myself running in the mountain. Something that represent my new healthy life (a bit selfish, but healthy!).
Depending the intensity, It is not enough, or too early. In this case, I remind myself that I am an addict. I am a juncky. Like the example you took about the chocolate, like a ex-smokers, like a AA. Such crisis, urge is normal. I accept, and I told to myself (loudly if necessary) to the "Juncky". The juncky inside myself : "what do you intend to do? What do you say to me?". Honnestly this is really efficient to turn back to reality, to stop any complacency. And I would say with this method I learnt a little bit mor about my addiction each time, more than escaping.

I wanted to share, that despite preparation and prevention, I must keep aware. I will have to keep aware all my life. The frequency and intensity of struggle has reduced a lot, definitively, but they still exist. They are opportunity to learn, but they exist, and it is absolutely important for me to keep awareness.

I feel healthy most of my life, but I am still recovering. My medications are daily forum, actions plan, awareness, honnesty and communication about my emotion. I will take my medication every day of my life.

 Post subject: Re: Lightbulb Moments
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:02 pm 
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3922
Location: UK
Hi and thanks for raising

A couple of thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, this forum seems to attract a fair amount of traffic but few people seem to start threads or add comments to them. It does strike me though that you will only get out of the community forum what you put into it so the more that people share their thinking the more benefit it should be to everyone so please contribute and share your thoughts.

Sharing , asking and explaining, supporting , highlighting success and pitfalls all helps us in our journey
however one caveat
RN is not and never should be another chat room

so to that end I have copied the forum rules posted by coaches Cheryl and Mel
1. Have a Purpose for Your Questions.

This community strives to provide meaningful, useful feedback that can be used to effect change in a person's life. For such feedback to be ongoing, the posts themselves should be targetd towards specific issues in your life/recovery/understanding. Most general questions have already been answered elsewhere in the site (through workshops, archives, other pages) and so, ensure that you limit your questions to areas that you are truly interested in exploring. As opposed to mere curiosity-motivated posts.

Providing ongoing, useful feedback is a time-consuming, exhausting--but meaningful--task. Providing the same feedback over and over again to individuals who are 'just curious' takes away from those who are sincere about using such information to better their lives. Please respect this.

2. Be Aware of Unhealthy Forum Use.
Addiction boards, chat rooms and even recovery itself can become highly addictive. To maintain proper balance and perspective, you are strongly encouraged to limit the number of posts to this and any other forum you may be active in (e.g. no more than one or two per day is reasonable; with the exception of an active crisis); limit the number of minutes spent in social chat rooms; and to guard against making recovery a lifestyle. The internet can be a wonderful place for those who learn to use it responsibly. It can also serve to reinforce the very patterns of compulsion and obsession that they are seeking to eliminate. Trying to impose your thoughts, views, feelings or beliefs is another example of unhealthy forum use. While sharing is a very important part of the forums, and even disagreeing can be a healthy outlet, doing so while also putting down someone else's beliefs or being insensitive to how someone else is healing whether you agree with it or not is unhealthy for everyone and nonproductive. This type behavior is strongly discouraged and monitored. Please be aware of how directing negativity towards others can have a huge impact on someone's healing or recovery.

3. Share Openly; Listen Openly
These forums are to share and discuss all issues relevant to addictions, compulsions, obsessions, recovery, inspiration, etc. This includes all different perspectives, behaviors and is in almost all cases non-judgmental. Allow others to seek the answers that will work for their life; stay focused on seeking your own answers.

When you share, share openly, but with the understanding that you have no control over what people do with your thoughts/experiences/suggestions. Measure your success in the community by knowing that you shared openly and truthfully and with respect. Not by the responses you may or may not receive. Becasue, while your thoughts may not get through to that person, rest assured that they may very well get through to someone down the road.

When you receive feedback, do so with the understanding that you are the ONLY person capable of processing that information for YOUR life. Should someone suggest something to you, or observe something in you that does not apply to you...move on. Make sure that you really understand what they are saying, decide whether or not you can use it...and then move on. This is basis for what the moderators use when they say "Take what you can and leave the rest"

When you listen, remember that these are real people with real issues. They are not 'addicts, perverts, codependents, partners, etc.' Each person is or has experienced very real trauma in their life. And this fact alone is enough to demand respect in their efforts to seek out help in dealing with that trauma.

4. Err on the Side of Sharing
Each forum has moderators who are there to help ensure that the environment remains productive and action-oriented. And so, with a little common sense in place, do not concern yourself with whether or not what you are posting is appropriate for a particular forum. Post what is important to you. Post what you are trying to find out/explore. If it has a purpose to you in your recovery/healing process, then it has a purpose in the forums. Just allow the moderators to do their jobs in helping to monitor and guide the discussions to the most appropriate areas (without taking things personally). Please be aware that this is speaking to getting information that will help YOU it is not a pass to be used as a way of injecting negativity or bias onto the forums. Again use common sense and be respectful to others when posting.

If you are observed posting something that is inappropriate by a moderator it will be deleted and put to the team and/or the administrator for a decision on whether it will be reposted or left deleted. This is rare and should not be seen as a personal affront but rather a way to keep the forums on track and a positive experience for all. Unless you get a specific message from admin or another board moderator, you can assume that your post was appropriate. So, relax. Share what you want, when you want...just be open to feedback that is geared towards a focus on your goals and the site's goals.

Point 5. Have a purpose for your contribution

When you contribute in the community support forum, make sure your contribution relates back to the original inquiry. If you wish to have a conversation about a new subject that comes up within a discussion, please start a “new topic” for that purpose. This way, member’s who wish to read about a particular subject can do so without being sidetracked by tangental conversations--it helps to keep RN’s forums concise and well-organized.


that all said please contribute positively honestly and with an open mind, the forum the community and its strengths or weknesses are there for all who want them

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

 Post subject: Re: Lightbulb Moments
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:21 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:06 pm
Posts: 134
Thanks for this post. I did not know these rules/good pactises list. I must admit it brings several questions, I will think honnestly about my use and the sense I give to these supporting tools. But this will be in my personal thread:)

 Post subject: Re: Lightbulb Moments
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:52 pm 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Hi All

Ages since I have been on, but I was also inspired to post. Kenzo is right and wise to warn about the perils of treating RN like a chatroom. But I remember the strength I drew from reading other people's stories and points of view.

in fact, many of my own lightbulb moments came while reading posts and threads on RN - not just my own.

Central to everything I learned was a simple comment by Coach Mel which I return to over and over again.

Many of us arrive here thinking we cannot recover, or being unable to see how we can recover.

I once wrote that my acting out served a need. Coach Mel pointed out that 'need' was simply my faulty perception of compulsive behaviour.

We need to breathe, and eat and sleep.

We don't need to act out. The fact I saw it in these terms was itself a barrier to my recovery.

Connected to this was a second revelation. I had created a series of sexual rituals that basicallyserved many negative purposes - distraction, procrastination self-soothing and comfort, loneliness.

Once I saw this I realised I could simply create a new series of healthy rituals and patterns - based on positive emotions that would further my life not impede and harm it.

These are particularly vital right now.

After a tough year during which I relapsed into old habits after a good few years of being clean, I seem to have steadied my life.

For the first time, I went to therapy, to save my marriage and so it seemed myself.

I found myself revisiting so much of what i learned here and applying it again to my life as a husband, a father. To examine the recentish death of my father. To see how I am coping and not coping with day to day life - joys and pressures.

I write this for myself and others. I guess as a pledge and a way forward in 2018.

As bovary notes - it all boils down to awareness. Of our frailties and our strengths. Of where we are in the present, where we have been and where we can go.

never forget of the costs of falling into addiction and compulsion.

Never forget where we can get to if we engage actively with the best in our natures.


 Post subject: Re: Lightbulb Moments
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:22 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:50 am
Posts: 175
Location: Ireland
Thanks for that picture Learning to run, it reminds me of high risk tech stocks where the graph goes rocket high only to be followed by teh sobering crash.
I work in Sales and I listened to a Sales seminar years ago where the speaker suggested that during a sales presentation, there is no Neutral.
Everything that you say or do not say, do or do not do brings you either towards or further away from a successful sales outcome.
Although I heard that many years ago it was only in recent months that I started to implement it in my own life positively in Recovery.
Too often I felt that I was'nt 'acting out' so I did'nt 'need' to do anything that brought me closer to real recovery. I was in neutral, but neutral does'nt exist for an addict (at least not for me) each day I am either doing something to bring me closer to my values or by not doing something I am slipping back.
That has been my 'lightbulb' moment, a recognition that I need to do something every day to bring me closer to recovery and further away from unhealthy behaviours. Better life management.
For example. I observe an attractive woman on the street. I immediately notice that she is 'attractive' and that I wish to look again. There is no neutral. I will either think an arousing thought (perhaps in a millisecond) or I will become aware and consciously choose to change my thought pattern to a healthy one, for example, 'there is an attractive girl' 'I am grateful that I no longer leer, I am grateful that I can now see her as a whole person' and the 'attractive' part begins to fade, I am grateful that my focus goes to what my values are.
By remembering there is no 'neutral' I am consciously chnging my thought patterns for the better and it has helped me immensely.
Today I was Home alone for 3 hours (a very unsual scenario for me s there is always someone here) in the past that would have been a green light for acting out. Today I had no desire to make those unhealthy choices that I have made in the past and I think a big part of it was that fact that I am not 'pre loading' in neutral. I have been 'pre loading' my values.

"Don't judge each day by the Harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant"
"If you do not succeed, make sure it is not because you did'nt try hard enough"

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