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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:55 pm 
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Posts: 31
So, here I am again. Another cycle complete. I went about a year without looking at it and fell back in. I then spent about another year in denial, trying to act like I was still in control, lying to my wife, pretending we had a relationship. I'm starting over again. My learning this time is about denial and accepting that I was in it. I was committed to it. I have been operating on the idea that I can't ever make a mistake, because I can't own up to it, I start to lie rather than face what I have done, the denial creeps in, and it all snowballs from there. By operating under this belief I am setting myself up for failure. I can own up to what I have done! Once I have told a lie I have to tell more to keep up the false narrative. I feel helpless once this has started and I have set out before with the intention of not letting this start, but I am setting myself up to fail by doing this. I am telling myself that I can't make any mistakes and if I do it will all fall apart and there's nothing I can do until it runs its course. It's inevitable that I make a mistake and I can stop this cycle at any time. I need to change how I have been approaching this if I am going to have a chance at success.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 299
Welcome back Right wolf,

Quote:
I then spent about another year in denial

Quote:
My learning this time is about denial and accepting that I was in it

There is no doubt that if you do not get past denial and start accepting that you have a problem, you will always fail!

Quote:
I need to change how I have been approaching this if I am going to have a chance at success

There is no doubt that HONESTY is the one of the main parts of recovery, yes being honest to your wife, but most of all, be honest with yourself.
Start with a positive approach and RN will then guide you through how to get better.

All the best in your recovery.

_________________
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2020 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Posts: 31
I'm updating this a bit before I move on. I feel conflicted writing this out. I am trying to recognise all the things of which I have been in denial. I often have a much better image of myself in my head than is warranted by my actions. I also see these values as important and I want to embody them. It feels similar to denial to sit here and tell myself that I value honesty or self-care when my behaviour is mostly evidence to the contrary. I guess the point is that these decisions were not based on my values and to disidentify with those patterns of behaviour. Maybe I'm just overthinking this as an act of self-sabotage...

Lesson 5:
A. "Does this reflect the person that I am committing myself to becoming?"

1. Honesty / Being trustworthy - I'm moving this up. If I am going to succeed I need to commit to making this one of the values by which I live. This is the scariest one for me.

2. Learning / curiosity - Something I have always felt good at, if it's a subject that interests me.

3. Growth / improvement - This has become more and more important to me as I grow older. There are many aspects to my life that I am not satisfied with and in the past I have just accepted them. More and more I have been gaining courage, developing self-discipline, and standing up for myself.

4. Integrity / Being true to myself - I have the capacity for this, I have a sense of integrity but I have always been bad at saying no or speaking up when I feel something is wrong.

5. Self-discipline - updated from self-care. I have made a lot of improvement in this area but I still need to be more rigorous. I need to be able to do what is necessary to take care of myself, regularly, in spite of feeling like I don't deserve it.

6. Support, encourage, care for my wife - There is something I need to do here and I don't know what it is. She asked for it and I was lost so I ignored it in hopes that she would give up. She didn't, nor should she. It is my responsibility to show her that I have made and effort to understand how this has affected her.

7. Responsibility - I need to take responsibility for myself and my actions. One of the underlying things that has prevented my from making progress it the fact that I try to avoid responsibility. Often doing so forces my wife to pick up the slack.

8. Independence / autonomy / self-reliance - I have done a lot of seeking external validation and that is something that I need to move away from. I need to be able to look to myself for my own sense of morality, motivation, and accountability. I need to be able to effectively encourage or re-assure myself, it's almost like I need to develop and live by my own V A L U E S

9. Intimacy / vulnerability - still what I want, and fear, the most...

10. Courage / Self confidence - I'm better, not good

11. Adventure / excitement / exploration - I could use more new experiences, I have been reclusive lately. This is important to me but something that takes some effort as I am pretty introverted.

12. Empathy / understanding / compassion - Besides a couple blind spots I think I'm better than average here

13. Safety / self-assured - removed comfort, I have spent too much time seeking out comfort by dissociating. I need get used to being outside of my comfort zone and develop the ability to be self assured rather than looking for external validation

14. Mindfulness / being engaged with reality - Stop dissociating!

15. Sense of humour / fun - No work needed here but it is important

16. Intellectualism / intelligence / logic - Sense of humour and intellectualism are areas my wife and I really get along. These are some of the reasons that she is my favourite company.

17. Creativity / building / making - It is nice to be able to produce something concrete, to be able to look at it and feel a sense of accomplishment

Touch / physical affection - I'm removing this one. It feels important to me and I'm not sure how healthy it is. It's tied into my insecurity and need for external validation and I think my expectations in this area have lead to more disappointment then gratification.


Last edited by The Right Wolf on Sun May 17, 2020 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Posts: 31
Lesson 5:
B. Consider two or three major decisions that you have made in your life (i.e. marriage, career, getting a dog, etc.). Examine the values involved in the decision-making process that went into your options. Consider having to make those decisions today. Does your current prioritised values list reflect the choices that you would make? If so, then you have done a good job of creating a practical values list. If not, then you may still be leaning more towards 'idealistic values' than practical ones. You want...no, you NEED this list to function on a practical level. Continue refining it until it does.


  • Getting married - My wife has asked me in the past why I wanted to get married so much. I was really the one pushing for it. We are not religious and she never really pictured herself getting married. I think, subconsciously, I was looking for something to reassure me. I was looking for safety and I thought that would make me feel safe. Marriage didn't change our relationship, nor should I have expected it to. I still felt the same insecurities.

    Would I make this decision based on my values? I don't know...
    She is by far the most amazing person that has ever been a part of my life. She has faced an absurd amount of hardship in her life and she has faced it all with unparalleled strength and courage. I could go on about how great she is all day, but I won't. I enjoy my time with her more than anyone else. She holds me to a higher standard and I appreciate that. I am a better person for having known her and I have always wanted her to be a part of the rest of my life, and the spousal designation provides some legal conveniences.

  • My career - One of the main reasons I have a career is because I felt the responsibility to build financial security and provide for my wife. I had mostly worked entry level retail jobs and never took it seriously. The first job in the field in which I now work was similar but it was steady work and had benefits and because of my desire to be able to but a house with her I took it seriously. I stuck it out and it lead to a very promising career. It also provides me with many opportunities to use my logical and intellectual skills, gain a sense of accomplishment, and learn and develop. So, yeah this checks out.

  • Going back to school - This hits a lot of the top ones: Learning / curiosity, Growth / improvement, lets me practice self discipline, and intellectualism. It also takes a lot of time and energy and I often use the lack of these as an excuse to avoid recovery work. My wife has expressed her frustration that I made this commitment when I wasn't doing everything that I needed to for recovery, but I still waste plenty of time. I should be able to fit it all in.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 4:25 pm 
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Posts: 31
Lesson 6 Exercise:
A. Of the top fifteen values on your Prioritized Values List, develop Proactive Action Plans for two or three of the more simple ones.

Note that your goal here is not to map out perfection. You only need to map out the next few steps in the developmental process of strengthening and/or maintaining this value (if it is already at full strength).

Learning / curiosity
  • Continue going to school and earning my degree.
  • Continue learning new techniques to solve problems at work.
  • Find ways to apply knowledge in everyday life.
  • Discuss new topics with my wife to reinforce knowledge and keep up on what she is learning.

Growth / improvement
  • Practice emotional literacy exercise every day.
  • Continue exercise plan three times a week.
  • Continue dietary plan and find more new recipes to make.
  • Practice self-discipline by doing what I need to get done, on time, even when I don't feel like it.
  • Talk to my wife regularly about feelings and recovery work to develop communication and practice honesty.

Responsibility
  • Make an effort to understand how my actions have impacted my wife.
  • Engage rather than pull away when she mentions something of which I am ashamed.
  • Don't try to relate by comparing a time I felt what she is describing because many of my woes are self imposed. Self pity is not a good way to sympathise.
  • Remain vigilant for my sub-conscious trying to dissociate or distract myself from the reality I have created.
  • Schedule and prioritise household responsibilities and complete them regularly.
  • Don't drink too much or stay up too late on days off work so I am still effective the next day.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:42 am 
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I have been kind of struggling with exercise seven, and life in general. I know that changing the way my life has been going, learning new patterns of behaviour, will take consistent effort over time. I always have trouble maintaining consistency. Intermittent effort is not going to get me there but I still struggle. I am upset with myself for taking so long and for losing my motivation so quickly but I am trying to recognise what is happening and changing the patter rather than feeling sorry for myself or giving up. I'm pretty sure I am overthinking the exercise anyway. I know that it doesn't need to be perfect but I keep going back and working on it before I can move on. I can always update the plans it should not stop my progress.

I have also been very much distracted for the past week or so with the protests all over my country. I have always been a socially and politically aware person with my own opinions on both. I am ideologically opposed to many systems in place in the government now and I am passionate about seeing positive change. I have been distracted from the recovery work that I need to be doing but also from the coping mechanisms that usually distract me. I had a thought that maybe the reason I struggle is that my life doesn't have enough meaning. Maybe I need to find something that incites more passion and holds my interest but I don't think that's it. This can't last and once it's over I will be right back where I was. I need to learn to live well in between major events. It's easy to stay focused when something really exciting and important is at stake but much of life is boring.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Posts: 31
Lesson 7 exercise:
Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values. It is essential that you develop plans for at least the top ten, but if you can reach fifteen...wonderful. These plans will be used to form the basis of your health monitoring system (which you will begin at the end of next week). Post these plans in your Recovery Thread.

Honesty / being trustworthy
  • Be open with my wife when I start to feel like escaping.
  • Talk regularly with my wife about any trouble I am having.
  • Only tell my wife I will do things that I know I can accomplish.
  • Tell my wife that I will be unable to complete tasks I have committed to do.

Learning / curiosity
  • Continue going to school and earning my degree.
  • Continue learning new techniques to solve problems at work.
  • Find ways to apply knowledge in everyday life.
  • Discuss new topics with my wife to reinforce knowledge and keep up on what she is learning.

Growth / improvement
  • Practice emotional literacy exercise every day.
  • Continue exercise plan three times a week.
  • Continue dietary plan and find more new recipes to make.
  • Talk to my wife regularly about feelings and recovery work to develop communication and practice honesty.

Integrity / being true to myself
  • Strengthen my internal boundaries, learn to say no to things that go against my values from myself or others.
  • Stand up for myself when I feel I am being taken advantage of.

Self-discipline
  • Plan ahead what needs to be done every day.
  • Do what I need to do even when I don’t feel like it.
  • Be flexible enough to avoid exhaustion or burn-out.

Support, encourage, care for my wife
  • Communicate regularly with her so I know what opportunities I have.
  • Make a point of doing something to make her life easier every day.
  • Admit to her the things I have done to affect her negatively and take action to never do it again.
  • Don't try to relate by comparing a time I felt what she is describing because many of my woes are self imposed. Self pity is not a good way to sympathise.

Responsibility
  • Make an effort to understand how my actions have impacted my wife.
  • Engage rather than pull away when she mentions something of which I am ashamed.
  • Remain vigilant for my subconscious trying to dissociate or distract myself from the reality I have created.
  • Schedule and prioritise household responsibilities and complete them regularly.
  • Don't drink too much or stay up too late on days off work so I am still effective the next day.

Independence / self-reliance / self-assurance
  • Stop looking to other people for validation.
  • Plan healthy well balanced meals so my wife doesn’t have to.
  • Make sure I speak to myself in a firm but compassionate way to avoid shame but still hold myself accountable.
  • Clean the house.

Intimacy / vulnerability
  • Practice open communication with my wife every night.
  • Try to encourage her to share as well.

Courage / self-confidence
  • Make a consistent effort to be aware of my weaknesses and work to improve them.
  • Remind myself of my strengths and accomplishments.

Adventure / excitement / exploration
  • Seek out new experiences.
  • Share them with my wife when I can.

Empathy / understanding / compassion
  • Own up to what I have done, the effect I have had on my wife.
  • Write out my situation in the third person to gain a better perspective.
  • Look for situations in my life where other people have made me feel like I make my wife feel.

Mindfulness / being engaged with reality
  • Journal every day.
  • Meditate.

Sense of humour / fun
  • Don’t take things too seriously for too long.

Intellectualism / intelligence / logic
  • Engage in intellectual discussion with my wife and friends.

Creativity / building / making
  • Finish the projects I have already started.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Posts: 31
Lesson 10 Exercises:
IV. Make a list of all the places where you have items stashed for sexually compulsive behaviour. List these items and their locations in your Recovery Thread. If you are uncomfortable sharing this in the forum, email or PM the list to a Coach.

Any items I had stashed have been gone for years. The internet is my problem and I have access to it on a daily basis.

V. Make a list of all the people that you use as compulsive sexual and/or romantic object. Post this in your thread.

None. This doesn't really apply to me.

VI. Make a list of all the places where you go to act out your sexually/romantically compulsive behaviour. Post this list in your thread.

Internet. Twitter, Reddit


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Posts: 31
This is going to be kind of a rant / ramble but I’m breaking the seal and getting back into this…

I’ve been half asking my recovery for the last YEAR AND A HALF, really!? I basically stopped doing anything productive or proactive and coasted by on the belief that I could just will myself to be healthy. I justified this by the fact that I was fine most of the time. I can function day to day and the idea that this used to rule my life seem ridiculous. I want nothing to do with it… 90% of the time. Then I have those one to three days a month where I am plagued with intrusive thoughts that sometimes devolve into putting myself into situations where I am bound to fail. I’m sure plenty of you know this all too well but I feel like I’m special for some reason. I’ve been getting more and more serious over the last few months. My general displeasure with how my life is going was mounting and the last week I’ve finally committed, again.

Well, my wife confronted me again tonight and this all feels so familiar. Her: angrier than ever. Me: trying to find new ways to convince her that this time will be different.

It is. I don’t know if it matters but I was actually ahead of it this time and I did it on my own and for myself and BEFORE SHE CALLED ME OUT. It’s different but not much I guess only time will tell.

Either way I’m back on here for now! Let’s see if I can keep it up


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2021 9:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4108
Location: UK
RW

Sorry for the bluntness but:
you wrote after your rant / ramble
Quote:
I’m back on here for now!

not smacking full of commitment is it?

Quote:
Let’s see if I can keep it up


You CAN
but YOU NEED TO CHOOSE TO

Please stop pontificating and do this do this for you or forever regret :pe:

_________________
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: Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Posts: 31
You are 100% correct. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s so deeply ingrained in my mind that it comes out in how I speak. If this is ever going to work it needs to be a regular part of my routine. If recovery isn’t a part of my life the behaviours that I’m trying to avoid will be. I continue to be in denial about that. I think that I will get to a point where I can just do whatever I want and I’ll be fine. That will never happen. Not just on this one subject but in many aspects of my health I have this belief. I think I can get in shape and then stop exercising, that doesn’t work. In a way I’m incredibly immature, I act like a child when no one is enforcing the rules. I am in charge, no one is coming to save me or tell me what to do.

No one is coming to save me. I am in charge. I am back in recovery for good now.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2021 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am
Posts: 299
Hi RW,

Quote:
No one is coming to save me. I am in charge. I am back in recovery for good now.


I would echo Kenzo's comments, but I do hope you are back this time and going to stick with it.
You will reap the benefits!

_________________
“Change your thoughts, change your life.” ~Lao Tzu
Regards
T


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm
Posts: 31
I just want to check in and let everyone know that I'm still here, I'm still good. My main focus is on an emotional literacy exercise I'm doing (almost) daily. This is something I started near the end of my last recovery and the effect that it had on me scared the shit out of me. I stopped that and shortly after stopped everything. The fact that it had such an impact and triggered this response in me tells me that this is important and probably my best chance and making some significant progress towards healing.

I also changed jobs around the same time and I am now in a salary position with flexible hours and the option of working from home most of the time. This was a good move for me to a position I find much more rewarding, where I am able to exercise my strengths and actually get something out of my time there rather than just filling a spot. I have worked very hard for this and I feel it is well deserved and I'm very proud of myself. That all being said... my team is short on resources and I am struggling with many of the day to day activities involved in my job, there are few people around with the experience to help me and they are busy and it's hard to get time with them to ask for help. I find this situation very stressful, it's also kind of disappointing having looked forward to this time for so long and to have it be less than what I imagined. I also thing that the lack of a routine has hurt me, I struggle with impulse control and poor executive function and having too much freedom that I'm not used to has made it difficult for me to maintain my motivation.

I have started a new routine, self imposed, and I think it is helping me. I am taking control of my life and prioritising my health. I intentionally wake up earlier than I need to, I use this time to do my emotional literacy exercises, journal, get some physical exercise, and whatever else I need to do to take care of myself. By doing this I am basically showing myself that I am worthy of being cared for and I think it's really helping my self esteem and setting the tone for a productive day. I have also been tracking several factors in my day to day life to try and maintain an objective idea of how I'm doing. I started doing this several months ago just tracking P use but I have expanded to other factors and some positive behaviours as well. This should give me some warning that I am moving in the wrong direction and it's allowing me to practice some accountability to myself.

Emotionally: I've been better. I feel lonely, I have many tasks ahead of me that I don't want to do, many I don't know how to do; but I persist.

Practically: I am doing well. My motivation is not always at 100% but it's not coming from a place of fear, I'm not trying to impress or placate anyone else, I want to feel better. I want to do this, for myself.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:14 pm 
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Posts: 31
I’m still here, still doing well. Still committed to what I have to do. My wife is struggling; she has a lot to deal with and although I have contributed to it a great deal there is much more. She has been drinking heavily and passing out early in the evening. She has been lashing out at me verbally (totally legitimate). I get mad because I’m doing well now but I’ve been here before, I’ve said everything I’m saying now before, but to her this looks just like where we’ve been before. I just wish I could comfort her. I miss being close to her so much. I hate looking at the damage that I have caused but the only way out of this is through I guess.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4108
Location: UK
Hello Wolf

Quote:
I’m still here, still doing well.

:g:
Quote:
Still committed to what I have to do.
have and WANT to do I hope

Quote:
My wife is struggling; she has a lot to deal with

Unfortunately this is the nature of the beast in addiction
we hurt ourselves but we also hurt significant others who through no fault of their own , take one massive side swipe

Quote:
She has been lashing out at me verbally (totally legitimate). I get mad because I’m doing well now


but she and most if not all partners cannot comprehend what we did and by definition they cannot be as far down the healing road as we are in the road of recovery
we knew , even though we denied, that we were betraying them and our relationships with them was not as they innocently believed
Quote:
I just wish I could comfort her
.

you can , but only on her terms
continue to support continue to try to make ammends, be true be honest
you cannot heal her that is hers alone , her choice her pace her actions and reactions
but
your recovering can provide hope

_________________
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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