Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:16 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 44 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Lesson 24
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 24 - Identifying Compulsive Elements

My elements: Sensory, Danger, Suspense, Accomplishment, Power, Fantasy, Orgasm & Past

Major rituals and how the elements provide stimulation:

A. Viewing pornography
1. Sensory element involves visual of pictures and videos. Touch by the presence of an erection and quickened pulse. Audio can also be present. The stimulation comes from what I consider high quality erotic images, suggestive pictures, women with revealing clothing, lingerie, posing nude, Dudu five expression, submissive positions and sexual acts with orgasm.
2. Danger provides stimulation in two ways; first is the presence of my wife that I hide this activity from and second is the content I am viewing.
3. Accomplishment - feeling stimulated by finding images and videos that meet my need for erotic or forbidden pleasures.
4. Orgasm - typically performed the next morning while still fueled by what I last viewed and perhaps fantasied about. The stimulation of orgasm completes the cycle.

B. Looking/Sexualizing/Fantasy - while in public (live)
1. Sensory - the visual of looking at females is stimulating because of my intent to sexualizing (objectify them).
2. Fantasy - creating stimulating mental images by, undressing them, focusing on their shape and body parts. Imagining their sexual abilities.
3. Power - stimulating because I have the secret ability to see them sexually.
4. Suspense - what can I see, how much can I see; an open shirt, a short skirt, tight fitting clothing and visible undergarments.
5. Danger - the stimulation of avoiding being caught.
6. Accomplishment - stimulating because I have achieved a secret sexual arousal.

C. Sexual Fantasy
1. Sensory - when I am alone I will be stimulated by an erection as the fantasy unfolds. My heart rate will quicken as well.
2. Suspense - stimulating as I image a sexual act. It may be new or remembered and most often erotic.
3. Fantasy - stimulating because time stands still and all other concerns or emotions are void.
4. Accomplishment - I become stimulated by believing I am highly sexual and capable of providing erotic pleasure.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 25
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 25 - Identifying Compulsive Rituals

Ritual: Looking / Sexualizing / Fantasy

1. Prep by watching porn the night before or in the morning before leaving
2. MB during morning shower
3. Start the day with an underlying state of readiness to sexualizing females, scanning for any hint of sexual stimulation
4. See someone, focus on their body and evaluate
5. Peel off their outer-ware
6. Imagine them with sexy under-ware
7. Fantasize about their desire for sex
8. Fantasize about a sexual act - tie in with porn (video or images)
9. Recover
10. Repeat


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HHEGGL - Recovery
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:46 pm 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 158
Hi HHEGGL

Just a quick word of encouragement to keep up the good work. You seem to be doing really well. I noticed that you set a workshop completion target of May 15th a while back. Its great to have a dedicated plan. I struggled to stay motivated until about a third of the way through, when I put together a detailed plan of which lessons I would complete on what days. For the most part I was able to stick to it and it was really helpful, as long as I didnt allow it to become a stick to beat myself with if I missed out on a lesson. I noticed you wrote this below and I worried a bit that you were possibly setting some unrealistic expectations for yourself. Something to be aware of.

HHEGGL wrote:
In all likelihood this is a conservative plan. If I spend an average of 3 hours on each plan it will require 12 hours a week. Because I am working from home and spending all other time at home I will be able to devote more than 12 per week.


I also noticed what you wrote below. Really delighted to see that you're gaining new insight and that you can see the practical benefits of what you're learning. Keep up the good work!

HHEGGL wrote:
Surprisingly, the score was higher than my score for viewing pornography. The practical and important use for the measurement is that I was able to breakdown my ritual into five elements (assessment) and see the intensity of the emotions I experience with each (self awareness). I can now see that my emotions are so altered by sexualizing that it only makes sense that my decision making ability is limited.
This is more than being sober, this is a tool to stay that way!


Stay safe.

Tim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 26
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 26 - Mapping Compulsive Rituals

Ritual: Looking / Sexualizing / Fantasy

1. Starting my day after MB I have cleared my mind (emotions) of a variety of stress points; avoidance of my wife’s emotional needs, the details of whatever project I am working on, finances, client demands/expectations and other to-do items.
2. The fresh start makes me feel energized and able to do anything. While commuting I look for females scan and sexualzed - excitement builds.
3. If my field of view is bleak I will fantasize about accomplishments I have not achieved.
4. With a good female visual while driving I will return to a pre-orgasm feeling. They become fully sexualized as my mind races to peice their anatomy together with porn images I have seen. This fantasy state blocks more time and zaps boredom. (First time I have listed boredom as motivation but is becoming apparent that in quiet times/ boring times sexual thoughts will kick in.)
This compulsion is like compact mini porn sessions. I don’t have the time to completely indulge. So I accumulate mini sessions throughout the day.
5. While working I will fully concentrate on a project but if emotional stress builds or boredom sets in I will break. Go for a ride, time for a smoke, coffee or snack. See a random female or female customer or female co-worker and do it again.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 27
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 27 - Identifying Compulsive Chains

Comment: The few preceding lessons have helped me realize the amount time my acting out has involved. Leading me to conclude that none of my activities were singular, they each related too and reinforced each other!

The first of the two chains I choice for this lesson is the one detailed in Lesson 26; Looking / Sexualizing / Fantasy. As described this is an activity that would last throughout my work day. More than enough to keep me sexual charged and avoid examining my life and my real relationships. Including drive time and the long hours I kept busy at work this would cover 10 to 12 hours a day.
To appear normal at home I would use television, internet news or any advertising material featuring females to continue my string of mini hits.

Having reduced communication with my wife to routine matters I created a environment of separateness, she would be upstairs and i downstairs with easy access to my laptop.

Compulsive Chain 2: Viewing Internet Pornography
1. Knowing my wife is out of site, I would convince myself that I would have the privacy needed and be able to react quickly if the something changed - danger element.
2. I would enter search terms that I know are productive or I might start with a celebrity name to reveal any nude images - building and maintaining suspense.
3. My arousal would be heighten and I would move on to short video clips, becoming erect the sensory element would elevate, including heart rate, and urge for more action.
4. Pushing for more, feeling more danger as time passes, I would move on to view more graphic video sex acts.
5. At this point my fantasizing would be accelerated to the point that I thought I was actually having sex.
6. Feeling fully charged I would now need to calm down (sense of accomplishment). The first thing I would do is return to the normal, the “distant” environment I had created to hide the very truth I just experienced. Too ashamed and embarrassed I let the distance with my wife be the reason not to pursue real sex with my her. The times sex would come up in conversation i would blame the lack of on her or any stressful circumstances I could think of.

The two compulsive chains would fill the whole day. My third compulsive chain would be masturbation the following morning.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 28
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 28: Developing Compulsive Chains

Recent: Looking, Sexualizing & Fantasy at a family wedding

1. Prior to the event having thoughts who would be there that I have already sexualized and who I haven’t - anticipation
2. Prior to the event while preparing a video presentation and picture book I intensified my anticipation by scanning images and fantasizing about their bodies and sexual abilities.
3. While at the event sneak scanning to see the live version of each, what they are wearing and fantasize about what is on under their clothing.
4. Sexualizing a young women as she in active motion to catch the flowers - the hit
5. Taking pictures of the same moment described above and then deleting them to act as nothing had happened
6. Try to act normal as if I was present during whole event.

What I could have done to intensify my compulsion:
1. Looked up the attendees on social media
2. Re-visit the pictures and video in private
3. Spent time interacting with guests for close up views and possible flirt / tease with some of them.
4. Instead of pictures I could have filmed the action


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 29
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 29 - The Role of Emotions

After concentrating on the emotions I have felt for what I value, what is most important to me, my regrets, trauma experienced and the wonderful times I made a list of the emotions and the related experiences. When I switched gears and concentrated on the emotions felt during a mild compulsion I also made a list.
Comparing the two it was most disturbing to see I had listed the same emotions. Disturbing because the first list was composed of life events that were shared with others. As such they are much more real to me. The emotions of compulsive behavior were always secret and only served to reward or punish me for the self gratification I received.

When assessing the anxiety experienced for the most extreme and the least I found the following to good examples.

Most Extreme:
1. 18 years ago while attending a sold out MLB game with a group of friends and our children. The youngest of my children was separated from us as we exited the stadium. My anxiety and absolute terror was the greatest ever felt. The memory of the 30 minutes that pasted before we found her can still trigger the anxiety felt that day.
2. During a three year period; I left a job, moved my family 800 miles from home, started a new career, an immediate family member had a serious health condition, the new job failed, our financial well being was destroyed and we moved again. My anxiety was always present.
3. Dealing with all phases of my addiction post discovery, which I regrettable prolonged, has been a high anxiety experience. Often not even knowing who I am and what would become of my family.

Least anxiety:
1. The modest but enjoyable vacations we were able take during the pre-discovery period.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson: 31
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 31: Emotional Balance & Stability

A. Identifiable stressors that had emotional affect for the past week:
1. Problem with healthcare plan - high stress
2. Upset with a lack of communication with my youngest adult child- moderate stress
3. Remaining unemployed - mild stress
4. Abstaining from sex - moderate stress
5. Staying at home during pandemic - mild stress
6. Thoughts that my sex addiction has affected my children’s lives - high stress

B. How do these stressors affect the pursuit of my highest goals? How do they impact the energy of my my values? Each thought corresponds to the stressors listed above.
1. I relied on my honesty and integrity to explain to the two vendors involved my position and humbly asked for their assistance.
2. My relationship with my child is not what I would like it to be. I had some anger at first but I am proceeding with a renewed sense of maturity to not over react. Being more self aware I am better able to listen and then express myself.
3. Being unemployed will be dealt with. I remind myself to be grateful for what I have and able to do. For this one I am going to “let go and let G-d”
4. Abstaining from sex was a commitment made and discussed with my wife. A time to “dry out”, to remove any association of my problem with intimacy between us. Having the integrity and to do so has made a huge difference. After 11 weeks we have begun to be physically intimate with each other. It was not just a time to not have sex, it is a time to have clear intentions.
5. Staying home during the pandemic is so much easier that it was after “Discover day” and s#%t storm that followed. So many of my values relate to being with my wife that the time together is now invaluable.
6. Thoughts that my adult children have been affected is stressful. Even the thought of having a conversation with them is stressful. As someone once told us “dealing with that now is like taking a pebble from the he future to add to your load, try not to carry everything at once”.

C. Having final admitted on a deep level that I need help I now feel my highest values are helping me get to know my true identity. Disconnecting to venture into “secret” thoughts and actions feels like I am disrespecting myself, my wife and our family.
The measured pace of the long distance runner is far more productive than the sprinter.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 32
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 32 - Evolving Your Practical Values
Revisiting the “15”
1. Dealing with my “Avoidant” style is a constant requirement that I did not fully appreciate when I wrote about my top value of being “Mature”. In terms of my sexual addiction being avoidant was perfect for isolating, blaming others and finding ways to self soothe. I had already been distancing myself from emotions for decades. The most familiar emotions to me were anger and happiness. Guess which one I built the compulsive behaviors with.
I have explored the relationships, events and feelings of my youth and I know “avoiding” is how I protected myself and made sense of the world. Even though I had goals anôd dreams for the future I would not seek the guidance of anyone; not parents, brothers, sisters or friends. I would not be vulnerable with anyone. So much so that during this time of exposing my thoughts, activities and feelings my wife has expressed that she does not even know me and furthermore how could I possible know her.
The ill effects of sex addition and being avoidant are so woven together and so immature that my self awareness and my values must be present at all times.

2. Being 100% responsible has a lot to do with being mature. To say “I’m sorry” or “I’ll do better next time” is like another discovery moment. I now rely on Honesty and Integrity - even if I feel like avoiding.

3. Self Respect & Self Awareness- I’m glad I put these two together but the order should be reversed. Being self aware has led to self respect. It’s good to think about my self objectively. Even if I don’t like the results I can do the work and take action to do something about it.

4. Courage - Since writing this value I have learned my focus was too narrow. While being fearful has affected my decision making ability it has a prominent role in avoidance and lack of maturity.
Having courage is also about being vulnerable and sharing with out expectation. It is also doing the right thing when no one else is present.

5. Honesty about my sex addiction was difficult for me as is being honest about all parts of me. The emotional turmoil of not being honest is far worse!

6. Integrity, like Honesty, is a key word that I say to myself that lets me know I have values and I can recover. Like a mantra, the word itself is so powerful it renews my sense of purpose. It is the “how” to be better.

7 - 13. The next seven values are 1st about my wife, our marriage and our family. Values like Humility, Empathy and Being Grateful do indeed have application in all areas of my life. For now the focus is on us, we have been married for a long time, we have adult children and grandchildren. The very meaning of who I am is my wife and family.

14. Spiritual - My relationship with G-d has become more important than ever. In the quiet times when I have no answers or peace I have G-d. I go to G-d with faith that he knows me and so much more than me. The answers will come, the peace will be mine if I have faith and seek guidance from him.

15. Taking Care of Myself has not become as habitual as I thought it would. This is not a failure, it is like other important matters in life it requires practice, then more practice and finally more practice.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 33
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 33 - Developing Emotional Maturity

This is the part I have been working on separately with reading and meditation; Understanding my emotions. Jon’s explanation of the intensity of emotions was very helpful. I have experienced intense emotional times that have had nothing to due with with my sexual addiction. By reliving and relating those emotions to those I felt while acting out has given me a solid insight as to how manageable sex inspired emotions really are.
During the extreme of panic, loss of a loved one and the despair of hopelessness I truly felt and acted like a man without security and unable to control myself. Furthermore, these were emotions that were not private or secret. They were shared with loved ones and friends. Unique to me but identifiable by others - they were real.
While working this lesson I have come to understand just how immature my SA related emotions have been. All the elements of my compulsions have the emotional maturity of a young boy. Somewhere between 11 and 15 years old. Over and over again I would indulge in my secret emotional world. It’s no wonder that as a sex addict i have difficulty with emotions.
During the past week I have been objective about my emotions. The subject of addition alone is enough to cause a emotional state of insecurity. Which, if unchecked leads to a feeling of nervousness and of being inadequate. When I isolate those feeling I see how immaturely I handled them by self soothing to avoid them.
I have come to understand that “self regulation” of my emotions is to not be afraid of them. To understand that emotions are not thoughts or decisions they are feelings that may or may not shape my thoughts and decisions.
During this week, while out with my wife, I experienced this first hand. We went to get my 2nd dose of the vaccine. As expected it was a place with many people, the type of place I would have sexualized the females present. I was nervous to go but did so with the mindset of a mature respectful man (husband, father and grandfather). One that is mindful of the feeling my wife will experience. One that knows that intimacy with my wife is a bond and trust with her alone. Random sexual thoughts and fantasies is the emotional realm of young boys; Impulsive and easily excited by what they do not know or understand. They go from the feeling of stimuli to sexual thoughts with no consideration (awareness) in between the two.
The take away from our day out was that I had the confidence to know what is important to me, my wife and my values. I felt trustworthy and that I had a healthy mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 34
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 34 - Obstacles to Emotional Maturity

Immediate Gratification

A. During the last five years immediate gratification was part of my daily routine. While pretending to be a hard working husband and father I would engage in Sexualizing (co-workers, clients and strangers), fantasizing, viewing pornography and MB. The immediate gratification was my emotional expression, I was not sharing my emotions with anyone. If i felt happy, sad or mad my response was the same.

B. While trying to Not Act Out the anxiety I felt was as if I was being exposed. Every female I would see represented my intent to sexualize. I felt guilty and that it would be obvious to everyone and I would be judged and exposed as a sex addict.
Relating this to other times I have felt the same anxiety was easy. It is very much like the anxiety I have felt dealing with project deadlines: will the project be successful?, have I prepared everything needed?, what if the project fails?, what will they think of me?

C. When experiencing a compulsive events I have experienced a trance like state and hyper-focus. On several occasions the trance like state was best described to me as a “gray out”, I was present but unaware of my own actions. A trusted friend explained to me that I behaved as if I was fixated and almost robotic. When my stare was broken I returned to normal as if nothing had happened. Totally unaware that I had targeted someone and was fixed on them.
The hyper focus I have experienced has been during viewing pornography and the active fantasizing that followed. Much like Jon had described I would stitch video clips and images together as if creating my own video clips.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: HHEGGL - Recovery
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:44 am 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
Posts: 158
Hi HHEGGL

Really glad to see that you're still working your way through the lessons. You seem to be making good progress and gaining some solid insights. I know that the last time I was in touch, you had set a completion date for the workshop of the middle of May. It seems as if you're beginning to fall behind on this schedule now, but that's not necessarily a negative. In fact, I think its probably better to take a bit more time to fully embed the learning rather than rushing through the workshop in super fast time. I noticed you posted this a while back and I would definitely agree with that:

Quote:
The measured pace of the long distance runner is far more productive than the sprinter.

All I would say from my own experience (and I would imagine your experience too) is that it can be all too easy to lose a sense of momentum over time and for complacency to creep back in. It can be a fine balance between pushing too hard with recovery and not pushing hard enough. Just something to be aware of, but the main reason for posting is simply to say well done and keep up the good work.

Stay safe.

Tim

p.s. Glad to hear you got your second vaccine :g:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Tim
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Tim,
You are so right, there is a fine line between pushing recovery, finding the right pace and being aware of complacency. My proposed schedule was too tight to allow the message to be internalized. For me complacency starts with intellectualizing. When that happens I slow down and ask how does this apply to me, how do I feel about it, what have my actions been, my thoughts and my habits. And then to the larger question, what of my personal values, am I working to be my best self?
Thanks for your encouragement.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 35
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 35 - Health Monitoring II

Daily message that I have posted on my bathroom mirror:
Today I will look for opportunities to do the opposite of my Advoidant style, I will engage and explore without judgement or fear.

Weekly monitoring: Three areas that I will be reviewing
1. Focus on being mature by being aware of my advoidant tendencies and the ingrained “scripts” that have limited my emotional awareness and my perception of others (lack of empathy and gratitude).
2. Have courage to be my best self. Don’t take anyone for granted, life is too short.
3. Be passionate about my marriage. Live knowing we are a team. Respect, Support, Admire, Share and Be Vulnerable


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Lesson 36
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Posts: 39
Lesson 36 - The role of boundaries

Example of not having well defined boundaries and prolonging my personal consequences.

Five months ago while attending a very important family event I choose to sexualizing one of the young adult females that was attending. Most damaging was that I took pictures. Taking pictures would be considered normal at this event but mine were specifically related to the person I was sexualizing and over represented compared to the other photos I took. I choose to delete the photos and ignore my actions and then lie as if nothing had happened. Re-traumatizing my wife because she was already aware of my actions.

How solid boundaries will assist managing events to protect my values:

I have created a “Situational Boundary” to protect my values. By sexualizing females I have inflated and skewed my sexual identity. To stop the habitual process I have re-defined the triggers of sexualizing as a weakness and a one dimensional view. I am capable of so much more, allowing myself to be powerless is not acceptable. There are overt displays and suggestive content of sexuality in our culture. They are deliberate and most often profit motivated, sex sells. I am more than a helpless consumer. I reject sexually suggestive media, if present I will tune it out and change the message - it is not OK with me. I would not choose to see my wife, children, family members or friends in such a manor. To sexualize others is to violate those I love. They too are daughters, wives and mothers.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 44 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group