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 Post subject: DaveK My recovery thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 200
Where am I in my active commitment to change? I have tried a 12 step program and was able to rationalize a lot of bad behavior because the goal was “Progress not Perfection” I was able to say that because I am not behaving exactly like I was before then I was making progress and could never reach perfection. This led to a complete failure. I am done with rationalizing things.

A step that scared me was full disclosure of your behavior to yourself, God and at least one other person. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I could make a disclosure while keeping some secrets I wanted to take to my grave with me. One night after having to admit that I failed and had been lying to my Fiance for the better part of a year it came out. All of things that I wanted to take to my grave. She is still here and I now fully realize that I was very messed up before I was even ten years old.

Coming to the realization that the vast majority of my life has been stifled by a series of actions that caused feelings of guilt/shame was the final straw. those feelings continued to mess up almost every other action and relationships and now have left me regretting and hating my life and myself.

I am done with feeling like that because of things I did before I knew what I was doing. I am tired of hating myself and sabotaging every relationship or chance of happiness because I hate myself or feel that I am not worthy of anything nice. I am done hating myself because if I can not appreciate what I am and what I have done then I cannot appreciate anything around me.

I now feel decent (Not Good) about talking about my feelings even the ones that kept me hostage. I don’t mind talking about my feelings of how I learned about my sexuality which were warped and damaging. I am tired of hating myself and I am tired about sneaking and not allowing anybody to understand or love me.

The guilt and shame that I felt because of things that I did or happened to me as a child I can eventually work through. I can not let these get to me because I was a child and did not know what was happening. The feelings that I need to let go now are of the guilt and shame because my of my current failings. The lying/sneaking and deception that cause hurt to my Fiancé will be harder to get over. Those feelings of guilt and shame are crippling to me. Hearing what I have done makes me want to peel the flesh off my skin and destroy myself. I need to talk out these feelings and find a way to deflect or divert them to allow myself to listen. I do not feel that these feelings will sabotage my recovery, they will sabotage my life.

I am enjoying actually following a plan. Reading this program and following the lessons and actually thinking and feeling them are very helpful for me. The attitude of learning something instead of not doing something are what I need to do.

Time to change. I do not know my timeframe. I will be able to tell when I am doing better if I am told that I am a good person and I do not start to cry.

More to follow


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:58 am
Posts: 665
Hi DaveK,

Welcome to Recovery Nation. From your initial post, it sounds like you're in the right place. This site has a number of tools that will allow you to start transitioning from a life of addiction, to a life of health. From your post, it sounds like you have made some definitive strides, but that you want to take it to the next level. That is something to be immensely proud of, and also tells me that your motivation is likely in the right place. You're recovering because you want to, not because you have to.

Quote:
Where am I in my active commitment to change? I have tried a 12 step program and was able to rationalize a lot of bad behavior because the goal was “Progress not Perfection” I was able to say that because I am not behaving exactly like I was before then I was making progress and could never reach perfection. This led to a complete failure. I am done with rationalizing things.


Excellent observation. It is good that you are recognizing that you are rationalizing unhealthy behaviours and that you want to stop. Unlike 12 Step, RN's system of values and boundaries makes you define your life the way you want it to be. There need not be any justifying or rationalizing of behaviour outside of your values, once you transition to health. Your actions, intentions, thoughts, and beliefs will all be on the same page.

Quote:
One night after having to admit that I failed and had been lying to my Fiance for the better part of a year it came out. All of things that I wanted to take to my grave. She is still here and I now fully realize that I was very messed up before I was even ten years old.


While this is undoubtedly incredibly painful to experience, the fact that all your secrets are out in the open (and that your partner has clearly chosen to stick with you) actually puts you in an excellent position for recovery. Many addicts begin the program here still holding on to many secrets (and slowly disclosing them to their partners over a long period of time, only extending the pain). So the fact that you have already shared your secrets that you had wanted to take to the grave with someone is both honourable, and puts you both in a position to recover and possibly have a relationship stronger than you've ever had before. Has your partner considered working on the Partners' Recovery lessons? They are very helpful for partners.

Quote:
Those feelings of guilt and shame are crippling to me. Hearing what I have done makes me want to peel the flesh off my skin and destroy myself. I need to talk out these feelings and find a way to deflect or divert them to allow myself to listen. I do not feel that these feelings will sabotage my recovery, they will sabotage my life.


In terms of guilt/shame, the reason that the first workshop lesson urges you not to let guilt and shame get in the way of your recovery is because if you continually beat yourself up about what you have done, it will lead to the exact emotional instability that puts you at risk of acting out compulsively and reinforcing the addictive cycle. So what you will need to do is, set aside those feelings of guilt and shame, and start working on your vision and values. Essentially, start living your life by the vision and values that you will be creating in the next couple lessons. You will get recurrent feelings of guilt and shame, but it is important to work through them. The fact that you have already disclosed to your partner is a big step here, in terms of getting rid of the guilt. As you move on through recovery, you will start experiencing a transformation, where you will start to perceive your addiction and your addictive behaviours differently than you used to. Why does this happen? I don't think anyone here could tell you. But everyone who has experienced real recovery could tell you that it will happen. And once it does, your guilt and shame will begin to significantly diminish, until your addiction will feel like it was experienced in another lifetime. You will look back and see only you, and a number of behaviours that no longer make sense. It's strange, I know, but I can tell you that it happens.

Quote:
Time to change. I do not know my timeframe.


As you move through recovery, this will change to. In the beginning, you will see recovery as a series of definitive steps, where there will be an "end" to recovery. It doesn't work like that. Realize that there is no timeframe and there will not be an "end" to recovery; rather, you will experience these points as progression transitions that occur over periods of time. From addiction, to active recovery, then from active recovery, to health. So the important thing to remember is not to put a time limit on it. Keep pushing forward in the workshop (but make sure you take your time with lessons 1-7; these ones are key for building your foundation) and practically applying what you are learning to your everyday life, and eventually you will see progressive changes in both your thoughts and actions.

I wish you well as you begin walking down your path! :g:

FT

_________________
"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell." - Buddha


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:07 pm 
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Posts: 200
Hello, this is the continuation of my first lesson.

Why I seek a permanent change
1. To feel good about my life
2. To fully appreciate how lucky I am
3. To enjoy all the possibilities that are open to me
4. To finally say I am proud of myself
5. To be able to admit to my self that I am happy
6. To finally say that I am having a good time
7. To feel what it feels like to be loved and to truly love somebody
8. To feel the intimacy and closeness that has been closed off to me
9. To fully enjoy, know and appreciate my sexuality
10. To know the joy of loving somebody without guilt
11. To rid myself of guilt and shame
12. To have somebody fully know me

I have tried thinking about my inner child. In my failed attempt at a 12-step program and prior to talking about my past I wanted to kill my inner child. I hated looking at him and thinking about what he was, the ugly kid with red hair and messed up teeth that was picked on all the time and did not know how to talk to people and who was so shy. I hated all the secrets that he held, the things he knew that no one else did, the things that make me feel bad to this day.
I then finally broke down and told my Fiance about him. I told her about how he was molested and in turn how he molested. How he used fear and intimidation one time to victimize someone. How he was sexualized at too young an age, before he knew anything was amiss. How he learned about sex through pornography. How he had feelings but never anybody he felt he could talk to them about. How he gradually began to hate himself and girls because he did not know either one. How this guilt continued to advance into his teenage years and beyond. How he kept this guilt and shame inside and how it has manifested itself into a person addicted to porn.
Now I can look at pictures of before I can remember. I cannot look at that picture and feel much. I cannot remember what he was thinking; I cannot even see myself as him. I can look at a slightly older me and associate with him. I can see that he was confused and afraid. All he knew that what he was doing physically felt good to him but made him ashamed. He had to hide his behavior lest anybody find out. He had to sneak; he could not tell anybody what he knew or what he did.
I can talk to him now. I can look him in the eyes and tell him it is not his fault. He did not know what was happening. He just did w hat made him feel good because he was alone and did not have anybody else to guide him. When he did have an adult around he was too ashamed to ask anything so everything just continued. I have cried for him. I have helped him out from his hiding place and can talk to him now. I don’t want to hurt him. I want him to feel good about himself. I want him to know that there is a way for him to feel better. His secret is out and now it is time to feel better.

DaveK


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 200
My Vision

Since recently admitting all of my secrets I have come to realize that I have very little values and morals when it comes to the behavior in my personal life. I should say my personal life that I have never let anybody see.
My life up to this point has been filled with anger, hate, sadness, addiction, confusion, lust, loneliness, and sorrow, feelings of loss, isolation, and severe depression. I have consumed countless hours lusting and spending time trying to have a sexual/romantic relationship with something that will never return good results. This satisfied physical needs and lied that it satisfied emotional needs. It did neither. It only allowed me to emotionally hurt myself instead of letting someone else hurt me or possibly help me.
For the second part of my life I want a “Do Over.” I want to start to learn about my feelings instead of shutting them off. I want to talk through things not in a drunken stupor but in a coherent and purposeful way. I want there to be only one side of me. I do not want to have a public face and one that only I see in private. I want my deeds to be done in private as they are in public. I want to feel that I have personal emotional integrity. I hate what the last decades have done to me. I want my last decades to be something to be proud of.
I want to feel what love really is. To have a longing for somebody that nothing can fill except closeness to that person. I want my Fiancé and I to build a new love. A new love based on intimacy, real love and a emotional and physical bond that nothing can come in between. I want to have faith. I want to feel like that I am not alone in my life. That God and my Family are always with me.
I want to die with a smile on my face not because my pain is over but because I feel good about the things I have done with my final chance.
Thank you
DaveK


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Posts: 200
Lesson 3 VALUES
1. Wanting to understand my feelings.
2. Sharing my feelings
3. Being open to others opinions about my feelings
4. Acknowledging feelings I have even though I don’t like them
5. I want to talk
6. I want to share what I feel and believe with others
7. I want to be okay with criticism
8. I value sobriety
9. I do not drink to get drunk
10. I do not drink to feel better
11. I do not drink to feel different
12. I want to be healthy
13. I do not use tobacco
14. I treat my body with respect
15. I live to further my goals
16. I live in the present
17. I keep my mind on my current task
18. I have only one personality
19. I do not hide my actions
20. I do in private what I would do in public
21. I do not keep secrets about me
22. I will share my feelings if asked
23. I can be depended on
24. I will do what I say I will do
25. I will not do what I say I will not do
26. I am proud of what I am
27. I appreciate what I have done with my life
28. I see the value in things around me
29. I see the value in myself
30. I love the people in my life
31. I let the people in my life love me if they choose to
32. I am willing to love and be loved
33. I accept kind words
34. I accept compliments
35. I want to feel intimacy
36. I am able to feel vulnerable
37. I appreciate my sexuality
38. I feel good about wanting sex
39. I feel good about my sexual activity
40. I have faith in God
41. I pray for help everyday
42. I live my life to be good in Gods eyes
43. I love my friends and family
44. I show love and appreciation
45. I provide words of affirmation and perform deeds of service
46. I appreciate life
47. I thank God each day for my life
48. I thank my family for being in my life
49. I want to be good at my job
50. I focus on performing my job well
51. I provide a good example at my job
52. I want to be a good father
53. I provide support
54. I will not judge
55. I will provide encouragement
56. I will be a good example to my children
57. I show love to my children
58. I talk to my children
59. I want to be a good husband
60. I provide encouragement to my wife
61. I support my wife
62. I show my wife that I love her and appreciate her
63. I value her opinions
64. I support and value her feelings
65. I strive to understand her feelings
66. I strive to put her feelings above my own
I assume this to be a work in constant progress..
DaveK


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 200
Lesson 4.
1. I am willing to love and be loved
2. I want to have feel intimacy
3. I will do what I say I will do
4. I have faith in God
5. I pray for strength everyday
6. I appreciate life
7. I show love and appreciation
8. I do not keep secrets about me
9. I appreciate what I have done in my life
10. I see the value in myself
DaveK


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 200
Lesson 4.
1. I am willing to love and be loved
2. I want to have feel intimacy
3. I will do what I say I will do
4. I have faith in God
5. I pray for strength everyday
6. I appreciate life
7. I show love and appreciation
8. I do not keep secrets about me
9. I appreciate what I have done in my life
10. I see the value in myself
11. I appreciate my sexuality
12. I will not judge
13. I am able to feel vulnerable
14. I live in the present
15. I have only one personality
DaveK


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 1:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:58 am
Posts: 665
Hi DaveK,

I'd like you to take another crack at your vision. You've got a good start, and mentioned a number of good things, but at the moment, your vision still focuses too much on your past, and not your future. You say you want a "Do Over" - your vision is where you define that "Do Over."

When I read your vision, I want to be able to see a comprehensive vision of you. I should be able to see, as an outsider from your life, the person who you want to transform into over the next few years. In order to provide you with the order and stability you need to overcome addiction, your vision must be practical and cover many aspects of your life. For example, your vision should cover (in-depth) such things as relationships, family, friendships, hobbies, career, financials, travel, goals, dreams, etc. The more specific, the more tangible, the more practical, the better chance that your vision will lead you out of addiction. For example, say you always wanted to learn to play the guitar. "Learning the guitar" can be a value. Then in your proactive action plans, "practicing guitar for 30 minutes a day" would be a practical way of building that value in your life. All the values you list in your vision should be able to be practically applied like this.

As well, looking at your list of values right now, some of them are negatively phrased and aren't values that you can build, but rather things you can avoid. But avoiding things cannot lead you out of addiction. You must define what you want, not what you don't want. For example, "I do not drink to get drunk" is not something you can value in your life. "Sobriety" is, as a value. Then in your proactive action plans, you could say, "I want to live a healthy life, without alcohol or cigarettes." See how that's positively phrased, and something you can build on? Again, I'll repeat: the more variety in your values, the more practical they are, the more tangible they are, the better the roadmap they will provide to lead you out of addiction.

So I would take the time to go back and rework your vision and values. It may seem like a hassle, you may want to "move on" with the workshop, but trust me - your vision and values are the most important part of the entire workshop. Everything else you do will be based on them, so it's important to really think and define what you want. If you need a couple days to be by yourself and think about it, take the time. Obviously, they will evolve as you go along, but you need a strong starting point to get out the gate as effectively as possible.

I wish you well :g:

FT

_________________
"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell." - Buddha


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 200
New Vision
In the future I want to define myself as follows:
I would like to be a family oriented person. I like to spend time with my wife and children. I value the time we spend together and look forward to holidays and special family oriented occasions. I would like to be considered a good role model for my family. I would like to be closer with my family of origin. I would like to learn about why I feel some of the things I do from knowing my family truly.
I would like to be respected in my job. I would like to gain enough knowledge to be a supervisor and get paid for not just what I do but mostly for what I know. I would like to get to a place where I like going to work but not live only for work. I would like to be able to retire from my job and live in comfort. I would like to be reasonably financially secure and not have to worry about paying bills.
I would like to create the home I want to live in. I would like to keep up to date on upkeep and improvements. I would like to live in a place that I have made truly to my families likes and expectations.
I would like to be able to take a vacation every couple years. I would like to take a Caribbean cruise or a European trip one day. This would be the main vacation but I would also like to take quick trips a few times a year to decompress. These could be as simple as a weekend at a local resort or a simple camping trip. I would like to break 80 on 18 holes of golf. I would like to have this sport as a way to relax and still get exercise. I would like to start and finish ship models. I started these with my grandfather but never finished or followed through.
I would like to know myself. I would like to be able to talk about myself and not feel bad or feel like I have to hide. I would like to know that my family can talk to me about anything. That I know and have gained enough knowledge about myself to be able to give answers that truly reflect how I feel.
I would like to feel healthy in body and mind. I would like to physically fit enough to do things that I want to do or participate in sports and other physical activity. I would like to be healthy enough in mind that I can accept criticism and critique and not feel ashamed embarrassed or humiliated.
I would like to seek peace in faith. I would like to understand that there is a higher power and that through faith in this power I can find knowledge and understanding of myself and the world around me.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:35 am 
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Posts: 200
Thank you for the input. I see your point and have tried this new vision.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:17 pm 
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Posts: 200
Updated Values
Lesson 3 VALUES
1. I see the positive things in my life
2. I see negatives as obstacles to overcome
3. I show appreciation for the things in my life.
4. I display good behavior as a role model.
5. I recognize and acknowledge good behavior in my children.
6. I do not judge my children.
7. I strive to place my family above myself.
8. I strive to place my wife’s feelings and emotions above my own.
9. I appreciate the feelings and emotions of my family.
10. I share my feelings with my family
11. I share my feelings with my wife
12. I try to let myself love and be loved
13. I live in the moment.
14. I stay focused on things that are important to me.
15. I try to learn something new everyday
16. I save some money every payday.
17. I am thrifty with money and put it away
18. I do not buy on impulse
19. I pay bills on time
20. I appreciate the stability and freedom of my job
21. I appreciate the people I work with
22. I value sobriety and honesty
23. I allow myself to dream of good things
24. I allow myself to relax at times
25. I allow myself to be a kid and dream of the future
26. I allow myself to have fun
27. I keep physically active
28. I set fitness and activity goals and work towards them
29. I follow through on projects I start
30. I do not procrastinate
31. I keep promises
32. I value intimacy
33. I will talk about myself
34. I will not keep secrets
35. I will accept criticism
36. I will talk about the past as the past
37. I believe I am a good person
38. What I was is not who I am
39. I appreciate life.
40. I learn about myself and talk about what I’ve learned
41. I am sane
42. I believe in God
43. I pray everyday
44. I pray for help for others as well as myself
45. I accept help from others
46. I ask for help from others
47. I want to keep living
:t:


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:58 am
Posts: 665
Hi Dave,

Good work on your updated vision. That should give you enough for a starting point. Obviously, your vision and values will change as you move along.

One thing I noticed again: some of your values - phrased in the negative. Values should be positive. And they all can be, if you word them that way. For example, "I do not judge my children" could be "Trusting my kids." Or something like that.

Also, there seem to be values within your vision that your values list is missing, like your travel plans or your desire to work on and upkeep your house. Your values list should be exhaustive, in the sense that you should keep writing values from your vision until you feel like you're repeating them or there is nothing left. Having a complete list is most important when you get to prioritization, as you will then prioritize your values according to what is most important to you on a day-to-day basis. For example, I would guess that your travel values would be prioritized lower than your family and your job, simply because that wouldn't affect your life on a weekly basis (other than of course being a dream you're working towards). Also, if you want to get specific, "Travel to the Caribbean" and "Travel to Europe" could be two separate values. Then you prioritize those according to which is most important and you want to do first. See what I mean?

This doesn't mean you have to start over. Just take a look at your vision again, and keep adding values to your list until you can't think of anything else that matters to you. If there's too many, so what. You'll have a chance to make them more concise, prioritize them, and make sure they all align in the lessons to follow.

Also,

Quote:
:t:


Why the sad face? While you may be having difficulties coping now, remember that your vision and values are your path to health. Getting them down on paper should be an occasion for happiness, not sadness. There's still much work ahead, but you are in the midst of laying the groundwork. :g:

FT

_________________
"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell." - Buddha


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 200
Updated top values

Top Ten Values
1. I want to keep living
2. I believe in God
3. I see the positive things in my life
4. I try to let myself love and be loved
5. I am comfortable with my sexuality
6. I value intimacy
7. I value sobriety and honesty
8. I give my wife affirmations
9. I appreciate life.
10. I live in the moment.

Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 200
Hello,

After discussing some of my values with my SO I have re-worded some and added some more. I hope this will get me through for a while until I can again add to the list.

Top fifteen values
1. I want to keep living
2. I believe in God and pray everyday
3. I see the positive things in my life
4. I let myself love and be loved
5. I am comfortable with my sexuality
6. I value intimacy
7. I value sobriety and honesty
8. I give my wife affirmations
9. I appreciate life.
10. I live in the moment.
11. I treat myself kindly
12. I allow myself to have fun
13. I do not procrastinate
14. I have only one side
15. I appreciate life

Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Posts: 200
Hello,

Okay, in the above step I repeated "I appreciate life." While that is true it does not need to be listed twice so let me put "I commuticate effectively" in #9. :sat:

I kind of understood the Proactive Action Plan as a set of values to support a value if that makes sence. So here is what I came up with.

Developing a Proactive Action Plan

1. I see the positive things in my life
a. Stop using profanity. This causes negative emotions
b. Practice self affirmations
c. Practice positive self talk
d. Acknowledge when I am happy and share that
e. Recognize small behaviors not just big ones
f. Recognize negativity and counter with positive thoughts
g. Be thankful of what I have
2. I value intimacy
a. Communicate without fear
b. Just talk.
c. Just listen
d. Do not wait for a prompt to share feelings or words
e. Do not be embarrassed of what I feel
f. Do not be embarrassed of what I do
g. Do not hide or sneak, be known
h. Share everything
3. I live in the moment.
a. Concentrate on the task at hand
b. If needed use positive distractions to keep focused eg. Music
c. Keep a busy mind
d. Keep a busy
e. Focus on short term goals then see step a
f. If daydreaming, daydream about the long term outcome


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