Bottom lines

I just read a post called “Recovery Tool: Bottom Lines” on a site called himynameismike.org. It’s one of the most practical things I’ve read in a long time.  I think I have some bottom lines: basically red lines, boundaries I won’t allow myself to cross.  I also think the red lines I developed shortly after D-day are becoming second nature for me.  However, as the author suggests, I could probably benefit from consciously developing and listing a few high priority red lines that could use my full attention right now.

Shortly after D-day I used the following red lines:

1. Don’t be alone with a woman who is not my wife, unless it is an obviously safe and necessary situation involving professional or family responsibilities.
2. Don’t look at porn or masturbate, at all.
3. Don’t communicate electronically with anyone in a way I would be afraid to show my wife.

I still adhere to those red lines.  But, have recently added a few more:

1. Do not click on suggested internet links that are accompanied by alluring pictures of women.
2. Do not visit any internet site that I would be afraid or ashamed to explain to my wife.
3. Do not eat alone with a woman, even in a public place such as an airport, even as a chance encounter that appears innocent, and even with a woman whose relationship with me appears only professional.

That’s a start.  I do think I’ll give this question more thought, to see if I can brainstorm any additional necessary, helpful, or timely red lines for my current focus.

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3 thoughts on “Bottom lines

  1. MC, your bottom lines look really well thought out and I like that you’re being intentional about following them and reviewing them regularly. I met with my counselor yesterday to talk about learning to stop objectifying women and he emphasized the power of setting goals and working towards them. Even the mere act of changing our focus and being intentional about doing something new and good will help me he said. I can see the power of that. In fact, it inspires me to revise my bottom lines again and post the by my mirror again so that I can get even better at following them. I’ve found myself relaxing some of them a bit because I’m no longer tempted by pornography and don’t have white knuckle cravings anymore. But it would be a shame to give that away because I got comfortable in my progress.

    I hope journey continues to move forward and that you continue to heal and improve 😊

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    1. Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.

      How do you know when to revise your bottom lines? (I like calling them red lines.) I’m encouraged by your mention of your progress, beyond the white-knuckle cravings. I really do see progress for me too. But, I notice a lot of “sex addict” discussions in the blogosphere that make it sound like progress is never possible.

      I feel like I’m gradually mastering some red lines, and thus can start looking for more subtle challenges: “new” or additional red lines.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I revise my red lines when I find they are not working the way I want them to. I think I mentioned this in my article, but it’s probably worth repeating. I struggled with my red lines in the beginning. I felt trapped and like I was being forced to do things I didn’t want to. Which was true at the time. Eventually I entered my 12 step primary purpose SAA program and when I finished I found myself much more interested in giving my will to God than worrying about what I wanted to do. It was a spiritually transformative process. I’m still working on it of course because it’s about progression, not instant perfection but it’s definitely better.

        Which is a long way of saying you may not be ready yet. If you’re still struggling to keep your current red lines I’d keep working on them. As long as your intentional and focused I would think you could become really good at them in a month or two. Then analyze how other things are going and see if you need to modify. I had a hard time with more than five because I couldn’t remember them all.

        Finally, I’ve been meaning to write a post about how not all SA groups are created equal. When AA fist came out there was a 50% recovery rate right away with another 25% after a few months. Nowadays there are so many splinter groups it is reported to be around 5%. Yikes! Which is why in Houston a group of people started the Primary Purpose method to go back to the original method with a much higher success rate. Later, a group in Dallas adapted the AA PP group to an SAAPP group for sex addicts. With similar positive results. That’s the group I found. We work the steps in 60 days or so not years (or never). Then we do 10-12 daily and we are staying sober. No more white knuckling it. It’s gone.

        Read some of the pages on http://SAAPP.org if you’re interested. I get that it’s not for everyone but it works for me and it works for my friends.

        Liked by 1 person

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