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HHEGGL - Recovery
https://recoverynation.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=25369
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Author:  HHEGGL [ Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 37

Lesson 37 - Identifying Personal Boundaries

Three Top Values:

1. Be mature, reflect and choose well (emotional regulation)
Rule # 1: I will always consider what I am feeling before acting or what I may have felt before fantasizing
Rule # 2: I will be self aware, my addiction did not just “arrive”, I have emotional problems and will relentless seek improvement
Rule # 3: I will present myself as I am and only what I know.
Rule # 4: I will choose for myself as I would ask my children to choose for themselves
Rule # 5: I will take the time I need to make a decision.

2. Be 100% responsible for my actions
Rule # 1: Whether alone or with others my actions define me.
Rule # 2: I will speak and act honestly, an open book has no secrets and no lies to tell.
Rule # 3: I will no longer avoid being uncomfortable.
Rule # 4: When something goes wrong I will own it with out fear or hesitation.
Rule # 5: I will not do anything I can’t tell my wife about or that would embarrass my children.

3. Live with integrity.
Rule # 1: I am where I am and I will not take credit for values I “thought” I had.
Rule # 2: I do not know what love and intimacy are, only what they are not.
Rule # 3: I do not know how to express empathy, I will learn.
Rule # 4: My integrity is not self contained, it is also for my wife and children so that they may know me and trust me.
Rule # 5: My integrity will not be compromised for immediate gratification.

Absolute Boundaries
1. I will not do anything I can not tell my wife about.
2. I will not engage in sexual or absent fantasy.
3. I will not assume I am better than anyone else, I will choose those that best represent my values.

Author:  HHEGGL [ Sun Jul 04, 2021 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 38

Lesson 38 - Developing Healthy Boundaries

This lesson presents much of what i have been thinking about; with so many varied situations that I may encounter how best to be prepared? The world won’t change for me and yet by approaching it differently I have changed and therefore the world Has changed! The boundaries are to protect my values. I use to think of boundaries as “nots”, thoughts and action I would “not” do to prevent addictive behavior. They are so much more than that what “not” to do. They are the lines on the road that help me on my journey. Keeping me safe from myself as I strengthen my values.

There are two situations that I have thought need additional boundaries:

1. Using any substance that changes my mood - like drinking. So many times during the difficult after disclosure time my wife and I would drink to alleviate the stress of all the chaos . I realized I was using the drink to medicate just like I was using sex to medicate or get high. I now avoid drinking at home or socially. For me, changing my mood with drinking is like handicapping my recovery process.

2. Boredom has always been a fantasy trigger for me. When it follows stress or anxiety I was off to fantasyland, drunk with self involvement. What’s the boundary addition? It’s ok to be bored, it is a good time to reflect. I sit in it and take the time to meditate, without judgement - what are my thought and feelings? What can I learn about myself? How do those closest to me feel?
Or sometimes I am just tired so I take a nap. Something I could never in the past. A simple nap can be very calming.

Author:  HHEGGL [ Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 40

Lesson 40 - Respecting the boundaries of others

Respecting my wife’s boundaries.....

How can I help reinforce her boundaries with?
I have committed her boundaries to to my “working” memory. We have discussed them and I have added them to my personal journal for review. Her boundaries are proof of how far I have pushed and abused her. They are necessary to protect her, something she never felt required to have in place, she had always trusted me. The best way to help her is she o respect her boundaries and to make her boundaries my boundaries by filtering what I do and say with the boundaries in mind.

What can I do when I’m violate her boundaries?
Be Honest. Make no assumptions about her reaction or judgements. It does not matter if it is a small violation, any violation is a step in the wrong direction.

What healthy reaction can I have if she tells me I have violated her boundaries?
Apologize, talk about it, understand why and how. Relate that understanding back to her. Figure out what “I got from it”. How did the violation serve me?

Author:  HHEGGL [ Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 41

Lesson 41 - Mastering Boundary Awareness

To complete Lesson 40 I did the recommendation that is in this lesson. That is I “interviewed” my wife, the closest and most important person to me, about her boundaries. It began by discussing boundaries and then I wrote them and then revisited with her to fully understand.. She shared with me how they came to be, what it has been like for her to reach them and what it means about our relationship and herself.
I was able to be in the right place for this by not taking anything she said as an attack or slight on me. Her boundaries are a result of how she truly feels. As a result I am energized to respect her and to have empathy for her. It has also helped me shape my own boundaries to align with my values.
All of her boundaries are important. Three that stand out are:
1. Everything about sex addiction is a turn off.
The very thought of “objectification” prompts disgust and fear. The idea that someone (me) would disregard and devalue another is just not right.
2. Without empathy, where is love?
How can I say I care for her and not know, show or feel empathy?
3. Expects sensitivity with everything I do and say.
After all that she has gone through, everything matters. How else can she know that she truly matters to me.

Author:  HHEGGL [ Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 44

Lesson 44 - Urge Control: My Core Identity

A. Describe in your recovery thread the role that your core identity will play in helping you to establish/maintain a healthy life.

My core identity is the starting point that determines how I think, feel and act. It is what I will be remembered for, you might say my epitaph. For all the time and effort I put into acting like a nice guy, without change, that is what it will say - “he seemed like a nice guy”. Like something a acquaintance might say. Not a wife of 40 + plus years or grown children with children of their own or the family members and friends I have ignored and let go.
Getting to my “core” has only been possible by realizing “who” has been guiding me, The Who is my inner voice. That part of me that has shaped my values and directed my decisions. The “voice” has not been my authentic self, it has been the implied man I am as seen and imagined by the role model my father was.
This is not the answer to the question of how my core identity will help me maintain a healthy life. It is the reason I have found my core identity.
My core is to love and to be loved. To love is to have compassion, to respect, to enhance the life of another, and to share. To be loved is to be lovable because I am honest, have humility, and value our relationship.
My core is my strength, my motivation, and my life guide. The starting point for all that follows. In this way my values are not just words or what “should be” they are as real as my physical presence.
I cannot change the years I’ve lived detached from My core. I can now live dedicated to my core.
My core is my purpose and that is how it will help me

B. Describe the role that value-based experiences will play in further developing your core identity.

The theme of my values is to give of myself to others and be grateful for others. The experiences of truly living to help others puts my self importance second, encourages me to delay gratification and find joy with others. The value based experiences will make true connection possible and strengthen my core.

C. Take some time to examine the current state of your core identity. How in tune with it are you? When you engage in activity that is destructive, what role does your core identity play in that decision? How is it affected by the consequences of that decision?

I am more in tune with My Core than ever. When I engage in destructive activity I know it is a response to the inner anxiety I feel. That need to sooth or escape my lack of self acceptance. Anxiety triggers my shame of being “inadequate”. I have lived with a borrowed or adopted “core” and as such it is weak. At my core I have believed I am inadequate. My destructive activity has motivated me to lie, make empty promises and pretend I am ok. The weakness of my core has been protected by the pride of my ego (another construct that is based on my false core) resulting in a circular pattern of destructive behavior.
The effect of the consequences on my core has cracked the image of who I am. Showing me the way to a healthier place.

To answer the question directly; the role of my core identity is no match for my destructive behavior, perversely, it enables it. The affect on my core because of the consequences of my destructive decisions has prompted the ego response of self-pity and, no surprise, inadequacy.

Author:  Tim_Recovery [ Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HHEGGL - Recovery

Hi HHEGL

Really glad to see you back posting after a couple of months absence. I just wanted to encourage you in the progress that you are making and in your commitment to this programme. Looking back through your posts, I really appreciate your honesty - especially when you wrote about taking the photos at your family event. That felt like a brave step to admit to that kind of secretive behaviour which would otherwise cause shame and disgrace.

Quote:
I am more in tune with My Core than ever.


I was really pleased to read your last post with the words above. That's a fantastic sentence to be able to write, and I hope that you are giving yourself credit for getting to this stage. Its not by accident but the result of hard work and commitment to taking this journey of self discovery.

Keep up the good work and I hope that you continue to gain fresh insights as you move forward.

Stay safe.

Tim

Author:  HHEGGL [ Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Tim

Thank you for your comments. My commitment to honesty is helping me be able to talk about myself, see myself for who I am and, just importantly, who I am not.
The RN Progrm is instrumental. Combined with the reading, journaling and talk with my wife I feel more positive about myself.
Adding to the momentum I have just added the assistance of a therapist.

Question: (this has no bearing on my use or my value of the program) Why are there so many “guests” in this forum? I thought all viewers of this information would need to be registered users.
As an example, at the time of this posting, I am the lone registered user and there are 45 guests.

Author:  HHEGGL [ Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 45

Lesson 45 - Urge Control III - Isolating My Emotions

A. Map a compulsive ritual that is based on your unique behavior. Ensure that you identify at least five elements that are involved in stimulating your emotions during this act.

1. Feeling anxiety or self pity I will search for a visual sexual stimulus (these two emotional states are very common for me; anxiety has multiple sources such as fear of failure & being inadequate - self pity follows it is the first phase of how I handle sadness or anger.
2. Excitement is felt when a sexual visual is found - mild comfort
3. I feel powerful by flooding my mind with the memory of related images, producing more comfort
4. I feel shameful so I rationalize that the excitement would be shared by whom I am focused on, giving myself permission to do more
5. I scan for more to visualize or repeatedly look to strengthen the stimuli, more comfort, I feel powerful, I want to dominate and feel strong
6. I feel guilt and anxiety returns. I fantasize about touching and experience physical sensations to sooth and return to strength
7. Excitement builds and I fantasize about active fore play. Anxiety is replaced
8. Feeling powerful and wanting to dominate I fantasize about intercourse and orgasm. This emotional experience leaves me primed to easily repeat

C. At what point in the chain is the 'point of no return'? The point where you know that you will be completing the act. Share this in your recovery thread. In the previous exercise, you were to reinforce your ability to identify separate emotional elements in a single compulsive ritual. Here, you will begin to isolate those emotions from your core identity.

Step 5 is the point of no return. I have isolated myself in fantasy and feel powerful.

D. Consider the element identified just prior to 'the point of no return'. This is the element that you will want to isolate and use as your primary trigger for breaking a compulsive urge. Eventually, you can isolate multiple elements, and thus create multiple points where a compulsive event can be effectively stopped, but for now we will focus solely on this one element.

Just prior to the point of no return (#4) I overcame my guilt and shame of my thoughts by imaging (fantasizing) that the person I am using would be so happy with the sexual attention that nothing else would matter and I would be loved, praised and asked for more.

Author:  HHEGGL [ Thu Sep 09, 2021 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 46

Lesson 46: Urge Control - Isolating the Decision

REVISED ritual:
1. Feeling anxiety or self pity I will search for a visual sexual stimulus (these two emotional states are very common for me; anxiety has multiple sources such as fear of failure & being inadequate - self pity may follow, often it is the first how I handle sadness or anger.

2. Excitement is felt when a sexual visual is found - mild comfort

3. I feel powerful by flooding my mind with the memory of related images, producing more comfort

4. I feel shameful so I rationalize that the excitement would be shared by whom I am focused on, giving myself permission to do more.

4. REVISED - I realize I am distracting myself from how I am really feeling. The fantasy I am creating is entirely self generated, there is no shared interest about the “sex” I am imagining. This fantasy is not consistent with my values, the short term consequence will further destabilize me and the long term consequences will destabilize my marriage

5. I scan for more to visualize or repeatedly look to strengthen the stimuli, more comfort, I feel powerful, I want to dominate and feel strong.

5. REVISED - I identify the emotional disturbance I am experiencing; scared, mad or sad

6. I feel guilt and anxiety returns. I fantasize about touching and experience physical sensations to sooth and return to strength.

6. REVISED - How can I resolve my feelings and strengthen my core and values - talk to my wife, discuss with my therapist and/or journal about what I am upset about.

7. Excitement builds and I fantasize about active fore play. Anxiety is replaced.

7. REVISED - I Feel better about myself, I’ve been honest, addressed what is bothering me and am grateful for the support I have received.

8. Feeling powerful and wanting to dominate I fantasize about intercourse and orgasm. This emotional experience leaves me primed to easily repeat.

8. REVISED - I feel a healthy sense of being empowered. My core identity and values have reinforced.

Author:  HHEGGL [ Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 47

Lesson 47 Exercise: Practical Urge Awareness

Scenarios I have worked on:
1. Spending time alone
2. Attending a couples wedding shower
3. Attending large wedding rehearsal dinner event
4. Hosting a wedding in Nov.
5. Interacting with family members that are attending
6. Shopping for clothing
7. Discussions / arguments with my wife
8. Stressful financial decisions
9. Being at an event with some people I don’t care for
10. In public, random, interactions with strangers


Scenario - Couples wedding shower.
Choosing to make a values based decision
1. I anticipate this as an emotionally stressful event. My feelings of insecurity around people I don’t know will be present, my feelings of embarrassment of having previously sexualized some of the attendees will be felt. I will feel guilty and ashamed that my wife will have thoughts and feeling about my sexual addiction during this event.
2. These feelings (emotions) are uncomfortable and strong motivators to remember my values - take care of the people I love. The discomfort I feel is a feeling not a reason to isolate from my loved ones. Any immediate gratification (escape) is a negative influence on my core identity.
3. My values are more positive than my emotions and the boundaries that I have for my behavior direct my action in a positive manor
4. The consequences of seeking “escape” enhances the negative emotions I feel, acting out on those feelings deepens the pain and trauma my wife feels. The consequence of observing my boundaries and delaying such gratification strengthens my values and is a positive experience for me and my loved ones.
5. I will decide to remain positive.
6. The resulting consequences are honest, committed and relationship enhancing.
7. My core identity will be strengthened.
8. Strengthening my core identity helps my future emotional perceptions.

Author:  Tim_Recovery [ Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HHEGGL - Recovery

Hi HHEGL

Sorry I missed your question a few weeks back. I'm not entirely sure myself to be honest. I think the Guests are just a name to describe the other Users. Each individual will always appear as the User and the others as Guests. That's my understanding although I could be wrong.

Glad to see that you're keeping on working through the programme and gaining fresh insights.

I was interested in your work on the PONR, when you stated that it took place at level 5 in the ritual. It's an interesting one, because I have found over the years that the PONR for me is often a lot earlier in the ritual than I had previously thought. Looking at your level 1 behaviour, I would question whether sometimes the PONR is even at this early stage. Certainly if I'm searching for a visual sexual stimulus then it's very difficult to pull back from that behaviour. It's a bit of an artificial concept, but its worth being aware that you might be giving yourself too much "wriggle room".

Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Tim

Author:  HHEGGL [ Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Tim: PONR

Tim,
Thanks for your reply. I agree with you about my wiggle room. I didn’t want to be intellectual about it, I wanted to expose the whole process. The giving myself “permission” is too revealing to not examine. It’s a intense feeling of power and powerlessness, a moment of abandonment that I had to put in perspective. After that point the consequences of my actions are predictable, my values have been trashed and i’ve primed myself to repeat the same negative behavior.
Levels 1,2 and 3 are not healthy, each is a step in the wrong direction and with the next lesson they are the subject of anticipating, role playing and actively seeking renewed emotional responses that are in line with my values.
Sincerely, thank you.

Author:  HHEGGL [ Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 48

Lesson 48 - Proactive/Reactive Urge Awareness

Role-Playing/Visualization.
This is an ironic twist, that my fantasizing is now helping me strengthen my urge control. I could not have expressed the intent of this exercise before reading it and yet it is the very process I have been engaging in.
It began by becoming aware that my imagination / fantasizes are about me. Not a healthy me, a me that was sealed off from others and covering up my sadness and loneliness. So often (daily) creating an escape from all that I felt bad about. Not self pity, although I tried that too, I was self delusional, I was completely void of awareness that is gained by sharing. Always defensive and and projecting an image of myself that I was ok, regardless of what I was doing. Like a “catch 22” situation the cycle of rituals and lack of / fear of emotions drove me (myself) further away.
I’ve learned that my sexual visualization is a misuse, a destructive force to hide behind.
So the question I arrived at was what good can be gained from my fantasies? What can I learn by dismissing the sexual content and focusing on the what the fantasies are helping me avoid? Yes, I’m trying to self regulate in healthy ways. I’m practicing meaningful self talk and visualization of a healthy responses to my emotional state. It’s awkward, cumbersome, difficult, sometimes triggering but it is so much more than the misuse of my addiction.
For me the visualization technique is well supported by lesson 47; knowing my cycle with stimuli, visualizing a better choice that is consistent with my values, focusing on the delayed gratification of being selfless because i love to my wife and family.


Anticipating.
My sincere thanks for lesson 47. Having worked thru the point of no return combined with evaluating my emotional responses, Anticipating is now a strength instead of a trigger. I now feel able to anticipate my responses without over emphasizing them. I have a vision beyond the response, something to look forward to, to be thankful for.

Actively Seeking.
I actively seek emotional awareness every day with urgency and a thirst for mastery. It’s not easy, it’s awkward, scary and does not always end well. I get up and do it again.
These few words cover countless hours of seeking. It is an attitude. It is a direction!

Author:  HHEGGL [ Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Lesson 46 - Revisited

Lesson 46 - Urge Control, Isolating the Decision- REVISITED

I have revisited this lesson to dig deeper into my “point of no return”. My first attempt was productive but not effective enough. The rapid succession of each element is too fast for me to wait until the step I had identified before creating the gap I need to begin a healthy decision process. Visual stimuli has always been my gateway. I have adjusted my point of no return and this really works for me.

Lesson 46 -Revisited

REVISED ritual:
1. Feeling anxiety or self pity I will search for a visual sexual stimulus (these two emotional states are very common for me; anxiety has multiple sources such as fear of failure & being inadequate - self pity may follow, often it is the first how I handle sadness or anger. Revised - This is my first cue of emotional imbalance, the idea that a sexualized image will bring emotional comfort is as good as the point of no return.
2. Excitement is felt when a sexual visual is found - mild comfort Revised - this step is so fast that it is part of # 1. I know I am attempting to change my mood. Objectifying is not consistent with my values. The short term consequence will further destabilize me and the long term consequences will destabilize my marriage
3. I feel powerful by flooding my mind with the memory of related images, producing more comfort. Revised - to repeat or prolong sexualizing is not worth the risk.
4. I feel shameful so I rationalize that the excitement would be shared by whom I am focused on, giving myself permission to do more...........................................REVISED - I delay the need for immediate gratification
5. I scan for more to visualize or repeatedly look to strengthen the stimuli, more comfort, I feel powerful, I want to dominate and feel strong........................................REVISED - I return to self awareness; what is my best and healthiest option to pursue.
6. I feel guilt and anxiety returns. I fantasize about touching and experience physical sensations to sooth and return to strength.....................................REVISED - How can I resolve my feelings and strengthen my core and values - remove myself from the situation, talk to my wife, discuss with my therapist and/or journal about what I am upset about.
7. Excitement builds and I fantasize about active fore play. Anxiety is replaced......................................REVISED - I Feel better about myself, I’ve been honest, addressed what is bothering me and am grateful for the support I have received
8. Feeling powerful and wanting to dominate I fantasize about intercourse and orgasm. This emotional experience leaves me primed to easily repeat........................................REVISED - I feel a healthy sense of being empowered. My core beliefs and values have reinforced.

Thanks Tim!

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