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Recovery Nation • View topic - Life change

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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:32 pm 
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Posts: 71
Lesson 18
My rituals usually began similarly with fantasy or with porn. Most times a repetitive triggering image I had burned in or a thought would pop up in my brain and I would script (power) the scene to make me out as desired at first subtlety. And usually the woman would initiate sexual cues that would lead to sex. This script would be repeated (habituation) with different fantasy images or with porn while masturbating and during each time I would withhold ejaculating (intensity)until the right moment presented(accomplishment). If it didn’t (usually with porn), I’d look/search for better (satisfaction) body/facial (sensory)expressions from the woman.
I used to do the same when having sex with my wife. Stop her from giving me oral and switch to a different sex position or I’d perform oral oral sex on her until she got close to orgasm and then I would enter her and try and orgasm together. (Time habituation & intensity)


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:12 pm 
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This lesson while good has brought on obvious stimulating memories that have been challenging. It’s weird that I’m (but probably normal) feeling momentarily excited and then guilty and shameful of these memories despite my wife being understanding and graceful. It had me stressed the past couple of days and talking about it with my wife has helped. I think the other problem is that I spent too much time thinking about or focusing on my sex addiction/shame/guilt and not on the me I pushing to be who I want to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 5:48 pm 
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Lesson 20: I think the role my addiction has played has been a source for comfort, pleasure, temporary happiness, escape from boredom, reality of stressful situations or to have a sense of self esteem if only temporary.
Being the last child for 10 years with 4 older siblings it was hard to try and live up to their successes. Of course when my youngest brother was born the attention to me naturally dropped off. I would try to gain attention by getting in trouble, or seek out approval from my dad or brothers, most of the time it was acting foolish. When I couldn’t get it then I’d act out.
The early sexual abuse at 5 years old from my older sister left an impression of arousal/excitement and verbal/physical abuse from my dad I figure kept me searching for arousal? A couple of abandonment experiences ( coming home from daycare and family moved to another home leaving a note that the neighbor read to me explaining they’d be back to get me) , getting stuck on elevator at 6 or 7 years old and seeing my family “disappear” was pretty traumatic. My dad’s slow departure from parenting and growing alcoholism/and physical abuse I think further isolated me? I think my mom’s denial of my dad’s abuse and her enabling behavior kept the relationship distant and reactionary? I think as a young adult I would not confront issues I had to deal with satisfactorily and this would lead to low esteem and acting out. I think as my responsibilities grew while in the military, college and eventually getting married I would avoid confronting them and I d seek comfort in acting out/escaping. Looking back, some of the main ingredients were isolation, dissociation and not communicating. It’s really only been until doing RN and seeing a trauma/SA specialist that I have begun to get some insight and start to discover who I really am. I’m finding that the periods of time where I’m living the new me, thinking and doing things based on my values and replacing negative behavior with good values and completing a task in RN gives me a feeling of accomplishment and self worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 7:22 pm 
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Posts: 71
I’m currently going through the empty nest. One engaged and one finishing college this year. It’s tough to watch them make bad decisions or choices or see them go through pain. I’m super thankful I did the full disclosure and my wife has very gracious and we’re supporting one another through this time. I have moments thinking about my younger brother who died this time last year and my oldest sister currently in icu with uncertain prognosis. I have times/feelings of guilt and regret but I have to remind myself I did the best I could with what I had. Talking about it with my wife (something I wouldn’t normally do) has been going good. I believe that should the old behaviors resurface with eventual painful events i would probably be looking a slow progression of snowballing thoughts and compromises.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 4:39 pm 
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Posts: 71
Lesson 21: large goal I have attempted but failed was the formation of disciple groups. I believe I approached it from a selfish gain standpoint. I hadn’t prayed intentionally and let go of control. I felt pressured (already too much on my plate), dejected when I asked guys to lead and they bailed and just wanted to get it over with.
Large goal I attempted and succeeded; taking the job as assistant nurse manager. Held the position for 15 years and gradually built an environment of nurses working independently and not relying on me or charge nurse. Went from less than 75% on time surgery starts to 97%. I later received the masterpiece award. I think the keys to success were that I wasn’t focused so much on me, I was intentional about helping/coaching staff do their job better, encouraging them to focus on patient safety and controlling only what they can control and holding myself accountable as well as my staff.
Recovery goal: complete the recovery work shop no later than August 2020, as measured by completing at least 2 lessons a week and having very little or no regrets in how I accomplished each lesson and overall goal.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:15 pm 
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It’d be cool to go back in time but let me correct my goal.
“Recovery goal: complete the recovery work shop no later than August 2020, as measured by completing at least”
August 2022.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:44 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 4122
Location: UK

_________________
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: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 3:05 pm 
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Thanks coach Kenzo.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:11 pm 
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Taking my time with lesson 22 mainly because I do want to understand it and do the best I can. In thinking about “intense emotional swings”, I thought about my emotions/reactions//actions in regards to my sister failing health and ultimately dying 3 days ago. She was the sister that abused me sexually when I was approximately 5 years old. It’s hard to say how I felt about her over the past couple of years. Due to some intense emotional events in her life She had been self medicating and putting on a persona that none of us (siblings) recognize as our true sister. It was hard to watch her portray something she wasn’t and realizing she most likely was a victim of abuse and had never dealt with it in a healthy way (which is what I am focusing on trying to do). That makes me sad because I know what it’s like to be in that comfortable “fog” and I hate that she wasn’t able to (at least to my knowledge) experience the hope of a better life like I continue to experience in RN. I could have chosen not to involve myself with her or in her care out of revenge but I realize there is nothing in it but destruction. My destruction. I did think about how her death would effect me now and long term and thought it would be better to do something positive for her /family and for me. I came to see her as she was being transported to the icu, talked with her briefly and prayed with her and her husband. I called or texted the nurse or Dr. daily and relayed the info in layman’s terms to her husband, son and our siblings. I was blessed to be with her husband, their son & my brother at her bedside and pray a final prayer as she passed away. The day after I am not sure what I felt or what I’m feeling now. I do feel the loss and sadness and know it is compounded now and will most likely be more each year with the remembrance of my youngest brother’s death 12/31 last year and my dad’s death 1/1/12. Im hoping and praying as I continue on in lesson 22 and the ones ahead that I’ll effectively gain more insight and tools to handle myself better emotionally.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:54 pm 
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Lesson 22: My ritual usually begins when I’m bored or not actively engaging with my wife or friends in regards to communication, activities or if there’s not much to look forward to in projects. I’ll be a little fearful of acting out because the path I’m on is familiar. Continuing on in fear and anxiety I will think about things that bring me a sense of comfort. Lately, it’s been thinking about or wanting to watch an interesting movie I’ve seen before or a new one. I’ll weigh the choices usually with my wife of watching one that has sexual references or nudity/sex scenes or one that has brief nudity or one I’ve seen before and is relatively harmless. We’ve tried watching interesting movies with brief nudity or sex scenes and when nudity/sex scene is anticipated I choose either to look away, go to the kitchen away from the tv. Doesn’t always work, I will sometimes look a little longer and start to think/fantasize. As that fear builds my wife will ask if I want to keep watching. I choose not to and we find something else. Most recently I’ve been making the call that the movie is not worth it or just not wanting watch/movies that night.
If I’m not getting comfort from movies I’ll try and find something interesting on cable. If nothing interesting is on I’ll channel surf and find an attractive female on a show or news anchor dressed conservatively for the most part but revealing a mild amount of cleavage. I’ll again begin to weigh if I’m going to continue watching or searching for channels of women that might be revealing more or if I’m going to find something else to do that is more productive and less destructive.
Sensory (visual) - looking attractive and stimulating images/scenes.
- Time - these are short sessions so time effect is typically short lived.
- Intensity - medium, there is definitely a reaction, but it is not overwhelming to the point I want to masturbate/act out.
- Habituation - the habituation has set in although mildly since I have not viewed extreme porn/images in a while or with the intent of acting out to achieve orgasm , however it is stimulating nonetheless.
- Danger - Am I going to get complacent in continuing to seek comfort in shows/movies knowing full well that it could lead to a need for more revealing or explicit content?
- Time - short
- Intensity - medium
- Habituation - mild-medium
- Suspense - the unknown if what’s ahead in the movie or if I switch channels.
- Time - short
- Intensity - medium
- Habituation - small
- Accomplishment - I feel the fear/anxiety go away temporarily by dissociating/escaping to find the brief excitement/danger in what I saw. I’m also finding accomplishment In choosing healthier decisions:distraction and replacing with healthy behavior.
- Time - small
- Intensity - small
- Habituation - medium
- Poly-Addictions - other forms of misuse of time that are against my values; occasionally going on fb or texting to get attention or wanting to feel attractive/flirty in public. this can weaken my willpower of staying true to my values and lead to the compulsive ritual.
- Time - medium , working from home and rest of my family travels to work. Not being situationally aware or focused on making healthy choices.
- Intensity - mild
- Habituation - is still there although lessened through choosing my values.

Ritual measured: visual
Primary elements: sensory and poly

Sensory (visual)-2
T- 4
I-4
H-4
= 24
24/5= 4.8

Suspense -1
T-2
I-4
H-2
=8
8/5= 1.6

Danger-2
T-3
I-3
H-2
=16
16/5= 3.0

Accomplishment-1
T-1
I-2
H-2
=5
5/5= 1

Poly addictions-2
T-3
I-4
H-4
=22
22/5= 4.4

Total- 14.8


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2022 5:45 pm 
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Posts: 71
Lesson 23: I believe the main practical use for measuring my compulsive rituals is to help me find out what are the actual “ links” in my chain. I believe this is one of my biggest problems is trying to figure out what are the links that led up to me feeling/acting out a certain way. And look at each link in the chain with honestly in trying to determine it’s value or why it caused an increased chance of the overall unwanted behavior occurring. I believe also that by being aware/recognizing the link(s) based on their “measured value/intensity” would help me to identify it (and why it was needed/necessary) early and what would be the best healthy behavior to replace it with. Overall I believe it would help me to begin to see the links for what they are, just links that can be replaced. And learning to replace the old familiar links in a ritual that once led to destruction with more durable links that lead to healthier behavior, will lead to peace of mind and better respect for others and their behaviors.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2022 7:53 pm 
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Posts: 71
Lesson 24:
My compulsive wheel is kind of similar to what was used as the example.
* sounds/words
* Visual
* Danger
* Suspense
* Procrastinating
* Accomplishment
* My past (of feeling I’m not good enough). In general, When I get bored, experience moments of challenge/frustration or faced with uncertainty of how to solve a problem related to my married life, family, work or church or just don’t want to do what I know is healthy for me I’ll try and find something that’s mildly risqué involving women.
* I’ll get working on my work computer in the morning and if there’s a potential problem I have to solve that leads to frustration or not really busy I’ll usually get distracted and check my recent text messages and get the feeling I experienced the 1st time once again.
* I’ll think of a moment during my day that could be funny meme to send so I can scroll down through the choices of images that have clothed women but suggestive nonetheless. I’ll limit the scrolling, distract myself or tell myself there’s nothing in what I’m doing, so I move onto something more productive and healthy.
* I’ll check emails to see if there’s any recent fb notifications. I’ll periodically think about checking to see notifications and if there’s any suggestive images while I check. I’ll remember the day before and talk myself out of taking any further action because I don’t want to begin a destructive pattern or feel the shame of going down the wrong path or disappointing my wife. I’ll give myself a pep talk ( be honest in my job and recovery, don’t fall for it, w can do this) and make a mental note not to repeat the cycle again tomorrow. It works for 3-4 days or a week and keep consistent with the phone but find myself wanting to watch TV with the same intent. It has gone back and forth between phone and tv and I recognize the pattern find a project to work on or finish around the house.
* I’ll pick up certain words in sentences and out of old habit? re-word them in a way that’s stimulating especially if it’s a woman on tv that’s said a particular word. For example; “ it’s a slippery slope.” I can choose to use that word/phrase in a way that is stimulating for me. Recently I’ve been choosing not to make it stimulating and wondering why I had a thought to.
* At any rate, I’m still left with some guilt but not overwhelmingly because of my awareness and desire not to go down the path of destruction. I have to remind myself to be thankful for victories big or small and keep RN the focus.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:55 pm 
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Posts: 71
Lesson 25 compulsive behavior that I struggle with
-Checking out women and occasional fantasy.


Checking out women and fantasy
- checking for women (watching Tv, driving, in the neighborhood, woman’s catalog in mail, in a restaurant, at work, on websites/adds/memes. )
- look at any woman that’s relatively attractive. See if I catch their eye.
- look at their body/chest/bottom
- knowing it’s wrong, I look away
- intensity to keep looking grows
- look again and focus on chest and bottom or any words if exchanged that are stimulating
- body starts to get tense, thoughts begin; one thought keeps saying look away another should I follow the woman and add to the fantasy, yet another thought do I really want to do this? I decide it’s completely wrong and tell myself I have to work on this behavior more. Although I have not acted out /masturbated in a year (approximately)which is good, I have to remind myself that just because I haven’t carried it out to fantasy and orgasm is not equivalent to my peace and happiness and I realize what I’m doing is wrong.


Beginning

- bored/stressed/alone = wanting to dissociate and watch TV or use web on my phone
- while driving when moving my eyes from the face to chest and/or bottom of the woman


PoNR: if I don’t have a conversation with myself, distract myself or I give up and start minimizing my actions.

End of ritual: initially get a little discouraged, give myself a pep talk and think about the positive thoughts or decisions I made, refocus on the current task at work it home work for a few minutes,h and then decide to move on.
* not sure if I did the above correctly.
-


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 8:52 pm 
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Lesson 26: Mapping compulsive rituals
I notice I have a feeling of void when after I have completed a lesson in RN, or finished a house project (& nothing pressing to work on) or I’m not communicating effectively with my wife or have had a stressful day at work or church, I will be inclined to let my guard down. I’ll usually think about turning on the tv and “zoning out.” I’ll try and find something interesting to watch that usually involves outdoor survival or car repair/restoration. If it’s a rerun or nothing else is interesting I’ll surf channels, check content and if it’s has potential for suggestive scenes I’ll sometimes ask myself if I can handle it and if I’ve been elated or stressed out I will tell myself I can handle it or it’s no big deal. If the scenes of women are attractive/seductive I’ll think about watching more, The urge to want to see more escalates I regret my decision when I see or hear more than I expected. I change the channel to something safe or turn off the tv altogether and see what needs attention in my life or home and move forward with that because it’s more in line with my values.
Occasionally random sexual thoughts /images at night will pop on my mind. Usually content from porn I have looked at in the past is what pops up or just a sometimes pretty face. Most recently a naked woman’s boobs. I’ll try and understand why the image popped in my mind, did I do something wrong? Tell myself if I stay in the moment it’s only going to move forward in intensity and lead down the path I don’t want to go. I’ll switch my thinking to “what do I need to get done tomorrow” or how can I interact with my wife or family, or fantasize about trying to be noble, or anything other than what just crossed my mind. I eventually fall asleep and the next morning I still wonder why I’m caught in this loop and try and find ways to occupy my mind and not feel obligated to zone out on the tv. I’ll try and incorporate walking during times of stress when likely to veg out in front of the tv ( on break) or after work.


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 Post subject: Re: Life change
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2022 11:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:29 pm
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