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 Post subject: Re: Back again
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3848
Location: UK
Hi MM
and welcome back
so good positive awareness and acceptance here Max
well done :g:

so what next?

I suggest you now knuckle down and do it for you

Quote:
I am the monster.


change and recover starting right now, it can be done and you can do it
want to
good luck

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: Back again
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 1626
Hi Madmax,

Glad to see you back. I could tell the last time around that you were not yet ready for recovery. Things seem to have changed.

Quote:
And I conned myself into believing I was a good person. I am become death, the shattered of worlds. I have shattered the world of my family, and of those women I deceived into loving me.


It is one thing to believe that you are not a good person, it is quite another to believe that you aren't capable of becoming a good person. You are. And, you will find through a healthy recovery that you were not a "bad person" in the past. Of course, you engaged in actions that were undeniably bad and that had consequences for both yourself and others. But one thing you will come to see in a healthy recovery is that you also did a lot of good things as well. So while it is easy to feel some extreme guilt at this point, don't think of yourself as a bad person. Think of yourself as someone who can engage in both good and bad actions, healthy and unhealthy. Then define what is healthy for you and start making decisions based on it.

Quote:
I may not even know what love is. I cannot say for certain, I have twisted love into a tool to fulfill an endless need. And now it stops. I cannot allow myself to go on hurting people like this. I may not allow myself the luxury of an intimate relationship again, for fear that I will cast them aside again.


Similarly, not knowing what love is, doesn't mean you can't learn what it is. I have overcome a relatively severe love addiction (severe in terms of how deep it was ingrained in me) and I am now learning what it is like to really feel love for people. So it is entirely possible for you too. It takes a lot of effort to rid yourself of the patterns...overcoming my love addiction was much more difficult than overcoming my porn addiction, because the patterns tend to present as delusions, so you are often not consciously aware right off the bat when you are deluding yourself. But if you are absolutely sincere in overcoming these patterns, it is completely possible.

Similarly, it would be a good idea for you to not get into a relationship until you once again feel stable in your identity. However long that takes...is how long it takes. This can be tough, as the loneliness you feel can seem overwhelming. I know, I've been there. But, it is absolutely important. You must focus on yourself and regain your identity, THEN it will be completely possible to have a healthy relationship. I have been single now for about 2.5 years while I have rebuilt my identity and ended my addiction, and while that would have previously seemed impossible for me (as attempting to start relationships was such an ingrained part of my patterns), I now have more confidence than ever before and feel like I really could start a healthy relationship. You can get there too. :g:

Of course, do not go into this with the specific, lone goal of "learning to have a healthy relationship." Many people do this, and this is usually because they think that the problem is their understanding of relationships and sexuality, so they feel once they learn how to have a healthy relationship, everything will be fixed. But the problem goes deeper than that. You must rebuild your identity and become confident in yourself first...then begin to look at romantic relationships again. But once you end your addiction, you will see all this very differently than you do now.

Quote:
My counselor says I will know I am better when I feel disgust at the idea of doing again what I have done before.


This is true from one angle. But I will offer an alternative (though not necessarily contradicting) perspective. What you want to do is neutralize the impact of your former rituals.

The reason for this is, if you try to make yourself feel disgusted with your former behaviour...that disgust and guilt with yourself can trigger the exact same negative emotions that draw you to compulsive behaviour. Whereas if you neutralize the emotional impact of those behaviours...learn to see porn as a neutral stimulus...then it won't create imbalances in you anymore and you will feel much more confident.

Quote:
Well, I will continue with my counselor, and working on Recovery Nation, and also my reading. Two books I can recommend are " the drama of the gifted child" which you can get in .PDF on the Internet, and "in the realm of hungry ghosts" by Dr. Gabor Mate, a fascinating study on the root causes and mechanics of addictive behavior.


In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is a good one. All I can suggest for you here is: don't get too caught up on reading about addiction. It can be common in early recovery for people to want to become "addiction experts" and they read everything they possibly can about addiction...I've been there too. Yet they are still slipping and struggling. The reason for this is that understanding addiction theoretically is not nearly as important for recovery as understanding how YOUR addiction functions practically in YOUR life. This is what the workshop will help you with.

Quote:
I now question almost anything I do in my life which brings me pleasure, as to whether or not it is an addiction. I feel that untrusting of myself at this point. I feel like this is a total overhaul, where I must deconstruct myself, and inspect everything.


Yes, I remember this time myself. It is a very confusing time, because you feel as though you've completely lost your bearings on how you make decisions and understand your own life. I remember feeling like I had no idea what to do. But...the fact that you recognize this, and that you realize that you really must rebuild from the ground up, is a good sign. It indicates that you realize the extent of the problem, and realize that it is not solely due to the behaviours, but that it goes to the core of who you are. So while this may be a very confusing time...know that you are in a position right now where real change can occur if you work towards it.

This is why starting the workshop is so important, as the first 7 lessons deals with setting the foundation for a new life. This will help you start re-establishing how to make healthy decisions and what you want to do with your life. I'd recommend getting into it ASAP with sincerity.

Hope that helps. :g:

Boundless

_________________
"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?" - Dogen

"Be a lamp unto yourself." - Buddha

"The obstacle is the path."


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 Post subject: Re: Back again
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:07 pm
Posts: 24
Had another therapy session today. My therapist seems to think I'm making goog progress, but he's concerned that I show little emotion during therapy sessions. I told him that I cry on my own time, which I do, I just don't think it's good to waste those minutes that cost me $1.50 each in emotional displays.

I think the salient point of today's session is that I must start to change my behavior by changing my day-to-day M.O. I must stop being "nice" and start being good. I have been nice to people in the past as a form of manipulation, if people think of me as nice, I can snake-charm them more easily.

Now I must be good. In that I must do what is right by other people and honest in it's intentions. With no underlying agendas that might be addiction related.

How well I'm going to do at this I'm not sure. I guess the big trick is constantly monitoring myself and my intentions before I act to ensure what I'm doing has integrity. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

For somebody with a history of self deception as total as mine was, I imagine this is going to be exhausting and a serious uphill struggle. Well, here goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Back again
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:07 pm
Posts: 24
Well it seems I was right. This is exhausting. Fighting constantly to suppress addictive impulses, fighting to divert myself away when I do fail to suppress them. Constantly monitoring myself, in what I do and why I do it, trying to find the "good" path. This much moment-to-moment struggle drains you of you energy.

And there's no well of positive energy to draw on. I feel guilty for feeling good, or even feeling normal, because most of my life, my 'normal' existance was so shot through with addictive patterns, that I become suspicious of myself that I'm engaging in some behavior that I shouldn't.

How do I navigate this? Do I have to remain vigilant of myself forever? When can I allow myself to relax and feel OK without feeling guilty?


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 Post subject: Re: Back again
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3848
Location: UK
Hi MM

Quote:
I become suspicious of myself that I'm engaging in some behavior that I shouldn't.


your posts suggest a great deal of self analysis and candour, well done being honest with yourself is absolutely critical, that is an appropriate word as self criticism helps so long as you dont beat yourself up with it
I wonder if you are doing so?
you know what is right and what is wrong, we all do and we all always did, we simply decided to act out and stuff the consequences, so you know now if you are engaging in some behavior that you should not, if you are do something about it, if not make sure that it remains that way

Quote:
How do I navigate this? Do I have to remain vigilant of myself forever? When can I allow myself to relax and feel OK without feeling guilty?


We are all different but I believe that even though it becomes easier with time and experience being vigilant is the sensible way forwards for life
you will relax when you transition into post recovery, believe me it will happen, but as I have said before some view recovery as a journey rather than a destination

keep it up my friend it does get easier and it certainly is worth it

_________________
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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