Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Face It, Replace It, Connect

From where else? Bing!
A few years ago life threw me a curve ball. I learned my marriage wasn’t a Disney fairytale, after all.  I found out my prince charming had some rather large kinks in his armor.  I discovered the truth about my marriage.  I learned my husband is a sex addict.

Not exactly the way to spend our wedding anniversary, but that’s exactly what happened. As we celebrate our anniversary this week, I can look back at the few years and honestly say, I’m glad it happened.  Yep, you read that correctly.  I’m at a point in my recovery where I can say, I’m grateful I found out about the sexting, the emails to other women, and the physical affairs he had in the middle of our marriage.     

If I hadn’t found out about all of it, I never would have had the desire to change things in our marriage.  I wouldn’t have taken a closer look at myself, and thought, “Elsie, you need to make some major changes in yourself.  He’s not the only one who needs some work.”  I needed to experience that pain to get to the joy I feel now.

At the time Devin reached his sex addiction rock bottom, I hit my emotional rock bottom.  If that hadn’t happened, I think we’d be divorced or very unhappily married right now.  His addiction gave us each an opportunity to improve our relationship and ourselves.  That is why I can look back with gratitude rather than resentment.

Even now, I use the tools I learned early on in my recovery. I still journal things out when necessary (aren’t you glad I don’t do them here anymore and removed them to avoid pain mining?), I do daily readings, I yoga, I practice deep breathing and I use FRC.

What is FRC?  It stands for Face It, Replace It, Connect.  It’s a valuable tool to help calm my nerves when I feel anxious.  I was taught FRC during an online class I took called Candeo.  Devin used Candeo for a year and it really helped him with his recovery.  I highly recommend it. Worth every penny we paid.

The idea behind FRC is to face the negative emotions (i.e. the trigger or acting out temptation) you are feeling.  Acknowledge it’s there rather than ignore it. Replace the negativity with what your really want for your life.  Than, connect with someone or something in a positive way. If you can, talk to someone in person.  If not, you can do an act of kindness. If you can't do an act of kindness, try yoga or deep breathing. Just do something positive.

It’s goes something like this:

I have anxiety about Devin running late.  Rather than allow the negative emotions to overtake me, I identify they occurred.  To stop the downward spiral of hypervigilance, I face the feelings of anxiety.

Next, I replace the trigger with something positive.  Perhaps a memory of a special date night or long talk we’ve shared.  I can even imagine us on the beach together, walking hand in hand.  The idea is to no longer be focused on what caused the trigger.
Finally, I connect with someone in a healthy way.  I can call a friend, hop on my blog or even play with my dogs.  Then, I do something kind for somebody.

I don’t just use FRC for my triggers.  I also use it to stay calm when someone or something is frustrating me.  It’s a valuable tool that I’m grateful I learned.

 ~~~@   ~~~@






45 comments:

  1. the two of you have come a long way in 3 years, that's for sure. But this kind of recovery only works if both parties are completely committed to it and each other, and continue to work at it. There are, unfortunately, plenty of people who will slack off on it and have everything go sideways on them. You and Devin are to be commended for your ongoing commitment!

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    1. You're absolutely right, JoJo. It takes a ton of hard work and commitment for the recovery to work as a couple. But, once you've both decided to dedicate yourself to it, great things happen!

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  2. Haven't heard of FRC before but wow! what a great idea! I must try it next time I'm feeling negative.

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  3. I'm glad you're going to give it a try. It really does calm the nerves and make you forget about why you're feeling icky. (that's the technical term)

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  4. First I've heard of FRC too, But it is ruined by the end. Needs a Connect It. Flows better that way lol I'll keep it in mind for my rhyming behind. But I am too crazy to get nervous much anyway and if I do just tell myself to shut the hell dumbass and be on my way lol

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    1. It sounds like you're pretty mean to yourself, Pat. Or is that just the cat being mean to you? Yeah, I don't know why they didn't just keep with the theme and say Connect It.

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    2. Bah, call myself names all the time, always in fun though

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    3. Funny, I call the cat names too!

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  5. I'd hate to think you'd go through all that work on yourself and not get to a happy ending. So glad you've found joy. :)

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    1. I know right, Lu! That would be a lot of work without a good return. =)

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  6. Time really had flown by Elsie, really hope that you guys have a Happy Anniversary.

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    1. It has gone by really fast. Especially this last year! Thanks, Matthew.

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  7. Very good to hear. Go you for making so much dang progress.

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    1. Sure thing, Cookie. Have a groovy weekend and boogie boogie boogie.

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  8. I think I do something similar to this when I'm stressed out. Good deeds make me happy. Best time to ask me for a favor.

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    1. That's awesome, D! Not many people think about doing random good deeds for others.

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  9. positivity and kindness are the key for everything

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    1. If everyone treated others the way they want to be treated by them, the world would be a better place.

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  10. I needed to read this today. Nothing particularly bad happened to me...just a lot of stress and felling yucky. And I've been starting to get my holiday depression. This made me feel better. Thank you.

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    1. I'm glad this gave you a bit of a boost, Mel. The holidays can be very difficult for many of us. Hugs.

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  11. I like that technique! It makes a lot of sense. I often try to ignore negative thoughts/reactions, but this technique actually helps you move past them. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm so glad you like FRC. I used to ignore the feelings too but found out how terrible that is for one's psyche. It backfires terribly.

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  12. i imagine it is a valuable tool, for sure...and it def takes quite the humility to be glad that something like that happened for what it has done in your relationship since, you know....happy anniversary you two...i hope you continue to work through whatever life throws at you...

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    1. Thank you, Brian. I don't think of myself as humble. I appreciate that observation.

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  13. Thanks for sharing the FRC dear ~ What a way to process and turn something negative to positive ~ So happy for your recovery and that of your hubby ~ Wishing you the best of the new year ~

    Take care Elsie ~

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    1. That's why I like FRC so much. It takes the focus off the negative and that helps me move forward rather than stay stuck in negativity. Thank you!

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  14. Happy Anniversary dear and Thanks by sharing all you feel and be honest always:)
    I admire you! xxx

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    1. Thank you, Gloria! I made a promise to myself that I'd be honest on here. Even when it came to the bad stuff. How else can I help others? =)

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    2. that is one of the things I love you, I LOVE HONEST people dear:)))xxxx

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  15. I'll have to remember the FRC. I still have anxiety... Thanks so much for sharing. Congratulations on your anniversary...both of them. :)

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    1. It's a great tool for anxiety and I hope it's able to help you the way it helps me. Thank you!

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  16. I like the FRC approach. I have no problems facing the emotion I'm feeling, but I don't know how to replace it with something positive. That would be the key component for me.

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    1. It took me a bit to be able to shift focus onto something positive. It got easier to do once I found out how much better I felt afterwards.

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  17. I'm with Anne, I like the idea of this much more than I can practice it, and I wholeheartedly admit that, because it's hard to find a good positive replacement. Which is why I think it's so particularly amazing that you can. Relationships take hard work, and even though it doesn't make sense, sometimes we need to hit rock bottom and go through turmoil together to come out stronger than ever.

    Hope all is well over there, and that my new story has not scarred you for life. Where's the new Frankie??? I'm on the edge of my seat here.

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    1. It can be hard to picture something positive when you're feeling so crappy. It took some time for me to be able to put it into practice. If it's a bad trigger it can take longer to reach for that positive replacement.

      I may send my next installment to you today. If not today, tomorrow.

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  18. Happy Eighth Aniversary!! I'm glad to hear things in your life are going well!! :)

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    1. Thanks Berserc! It is so good to see you back in the blogging world. You've been missed!!!!

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  19. Wow, this was an amazing post. My husband and I had "stuff" to deal with at the ten year mark. Took us almost two years to realize that after all the hard work, we deserved to have some fun together. Glad to know there are others out there willing to put in the time and effort to truly love someone...

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. I'm sorry you hit a rough patch at your ten year mark. Marriage can really be a rough road sometimes. We are now in that place where it's "okay" to have fun again. I'm glad you guys are doing better too. =)

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  20. Happy holidays dear Elsie and a lot of blessings!!!xxxxxx

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.