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Old 06-22-2012, 03:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AVRT Explained (long)


XXXXXX,
I think I want to talk with you about my sobriety. While you believe you know how I feel about ZZ (I am not sure that this is true, but we can save that for another day), I get the feeling from some things you have said that you are not clear on AVRT and why / how I am sober. I don't think you understand how it works. That is what I want to explain.

I got sober by taking responsibility for my drinking. I made a plan in my mind to never drink again and to never change my mind. Any thought that contradicted that plan did not come from me. It came from my Addictive Voice, the voice of the part of me that loves to get hammered. That part of me would have me drink until I lost my job, my marriage, my family, my home, and finally my life. It was taking everything I love away from me bit by bit, day by day.

I knew that I had a bad drinking problem, and of course, I paid attention whenever the topic of alcoholism came up. These are some of the thoughts that were running through my mind before I stopped:
*I can't quit drinking 'just like that'.
*I am out of control and helpless
*I am scared to death of quitting drinking. How could I possibly survive without alcohol?
*If I could quit or control my drinking, I would have done it long before this
*If I could quit, I certainly can't quit now.
*It's genetic, look at my father and my uncles. No wonder I drink.
*I can never do this on my own.
*I have a disease which will get worse and worse.
*Even if I quit for a little while, I will relapse time after time.
*I will never 'recover' from alcoholism
*I will always be in danger of losing control and drinking.
*I will need to be constantly on guard.
*I will need divine help to stop, and the most I can ever hope for is to quit for one day at a time.
*I am a worthless POS, and I need to drink to numb this thought or I will lose my mind.

To all of these thoughts I finally called BS, I refused to accept that I was powerless, that I could not be responsible and stop this. I felt that way, and still do, because I believe that I make my own breaks, that I control my life, not some substance. You have seen my determination to succeed in action before, I know. I was determined to succeed at this. Even if nobody in the history of the whole world had ever quit drinking (baloney, people have been getting dependent on alcohol and quitting since wine was discovered 4000 years ago) I was going to be one of them and quit, come hell or high water. No more drunken crap in my life ever again.

So, I stopped drinking that morning of August 22 with my parents and my family there. I remember it was at 9:30 in the morning. After that moment, any time the urge came to drink, I pretended it came from that old gf who lied and cheated and made me look like a fool time after time, just like alcohol. She made me feel sick and miserable and worthless, just like alcohol. I would never ever get involved in any way with her ever again, not for any reason. That mental association made it easier to turn away from the urge, confident in my resolve for the life I knew I could have.

What I was doing was recognizing urges, and imagining that they came from someplace that wasn't me, that wasn't part of the thinking loving caring hoping dreaming part of me, it was part of my animal brain, my lizard brain, whatever you want to call it, the part of me that loved the pleasure of drinking, the taste, the buzz, the numbness, the euphoria and the rest. I was recognizing my Addictive Voice, and separating myself from it.

Then, through SR, I adjusted my thinking a little through exposure to AVRT and RR, and learned about making a 'big plan', which is nothing more than a line in the sand - a commitment that I will never drink again and I will never change mind. This line pushes all those drinking related thoughts, any thought that might jeopardize my sobriety, across that line in the sand into the territory of the AV, and I know how to handle thoughts there.

So, to emphasize, any idea of ever drinking again, or of failing to keep to my plan, or of needing anything to help me stay sober, or someday doing 'some research' is my AV. I will never drink again, no matter how angry I am, how depressed, how hurt , how lonely, depressed, anxious, you name it. Never. No head space or attitude or event or anything will make me drink because, the thought that it might make me drink is not me, not true, not real and I don't have to listen to it, I will never listen to it, it is my addictive voice. My resistance to my AV is iron clad, it is bullet proof. This is AVRT and Rational Recovery in a nutshell.

Now, to speak to some of the ideas we have talked about over the last few days concerning my sobriety.

Here is why I feel uncomfortable to label myself an alcoholic:
An alcoholic in my mind is someone who drinks, who is dependent on alcohol, who is addicted to alcohol, and even if they are sober for today, could drink again at any moment, out of control. They need to do certain things to remain abstinent. I am not any of these things, nor will I ever be any of these things.
If the definition above is true, calling myself an alcoholic means that I might drink again someday. This is my AV talking, not me, and I don't listen to my AV, that jerk. POS will kill me if I do, I know it.
I used to be dependent on alcohol, I used to be addicted to alcohol, but not now, nor ever again.

My 'obsession was not lifted', as you said. That sounds like something somehow happened to me. Nope, not at all. I quit, I did it. Me. I am in charge of this whole deal.

Here is why I don't consider my alcoholism a disease like cancer that might come back unless I take chemo, as you suggested:
If it is a disease, and if there is 'no known cure' for it, then I might drink again some day. AV.
If it is a disease, and if I am powerless over it, then I might drink again some day. AV again.
Since my alcoholism is not a disease, at least not to me, and can't be compared to diabetes or cancer or schizophrenia, the question Am I cured does not make sense. What does make sense is the fact that I will never drink again and I will never change my mind. There is a difference in my mind.

Am I recovered? Or as you asked me, am I fully recovered (how could I be partly recovered)? Again, in light of this, it is a hard question to answer because it doesn't make sense. The only answer is I don't drink. Is an ex-smoker, someone who will never smoke again, 'in recovery' from nicotine addiction? They just don't smoke, that's it. I think that my alcohol addiction is the same.

What do I do for my recovery, as you asked me, what daily routine do I have? This question implies that I need to do something, and if I don't do it, i.e. if I don't take my insulin or chemotherapy, I will start drinking again. If I get into a bad head space, I will drink again. Remember, this idea is pure AV. My sobriety does not depend on anything at all and the idea that it does depend on a certain condition is, you guessed it, my AV again. I have chosen not to drink ever again and will never change my mind.

OK, I need this also to be very clear. I am talking about only my sobriety. Mine. Not anyone else's sobriety, especially not yours. I am not criticizing anyone who does not think as I do about their own sobriety as I do about mine. I have no right to do that. I know that there are many ways to get to sober, and this one is mine.

Here is what I am asking of you, XXXXX. I am asking you to accept that what I have described above is real, and true, to accept this as fact, just like the sun rises. I am asking you to accept that this is true and real for me. I have decided that I have the power to believe this 'mind trick' as true, and I hold this belief very very strongly simply because my sobriety and my life depend on it. This belief allows me to be sober, and sober for good, no matter what ever might happen, however I might feel.

I hope you understand a little more about my sobriety, and thanks for listening to me.
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AVRT has shown me how to never drink again and to never change my mind.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
 

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Bravo!
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well said.

I have one comment, though. The various recovery group organizations have redefined the word "sobriety" so that to your hypothetical recipient, "sober" no longer means what the dictionary says it means. In AVRT, addiction recovery means secure, permanent abstinence from alcohol and other recreational drugs -- nothing else.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nicely said!

Thank you for taking the time to do this...should be very helpful to many.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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awesome post--thanks and all the best to you!
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Sobriety Date: November 20, 2012
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Brilliant thread.

I 100% agree with all you say.

My drinking was not a disease, nor was my smoking. Both were conscious decisions I made to partake in and no longer do.

Nearly 8 months sober and 3 months smoke-free
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
sobriety date 5-2-12
 
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YES!!! This is how I feel and how I am thinking!! I have not been wanting to go to meetings anymore bc I don't want to/feel I need to etc...but I am made to believe if I don't go I will drink. I don't NEED to do anything not to drink...except not pick up. That I can do.

Like in my post today about how I compared my recovery of an eating disorder to AVRT. I go about my daily business and eat like a normal person...hardly ever thinking "I'm a recovering anorexic". It is a non-part of my life.

Today I was boating with family and everyone was drinking. I had ZERO desire to drink bc I'm a non-drinker. It seems so simple and I have such a sense of freedom thinking this way. AA helped me tremendously the first few months. My meetings were wonderful and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people. I have nothing but praise for my local AA, but it's not what I am seeking anymore. I did need the daily support in the beginning, but now I feel it's time to move on.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
I don't NEED to do anything not to drink...except not pick up.
It really is simple, isn't it. AVRT was what made the simple part achievable for me. I am happy you have arrived at this place, aeo1313.
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AVRT has shown me how to never drink again and to never change my mind.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm grateful for the narrow focus of AVRT. It's like a sniper rifle, taking out the beast and leaving the rest of my life untouched.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I really appreciate this

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
"I refused to accept that I was powerless... I control my life, not some substance.
Your "explanation" helps me understand more fully why I cannot choose AA as a method for maintaining my sobriety and furthering my recovery. I used to chalk it up to the fact that I do not explicitly believe in a higher power. It is the notion that I am helpless creature that cannot defeat my demons by taking charge of the situation.

I quit smoking cold turkey back in January. There were some truly awful days early on, but I realized the body aches, irritability, etc. as manageable withdrawal symptoms, not an excuse to go back to my old ways. I know that I can do the same thing with alcohol.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to note how much the OP's post helped lay this out for me. I am recently sober using this method. I used the crash course/flash cards on the RR website to get started and I'm awaiting the AVRT book. Also, I have been reading a ton on SR.

I can feel the difference and the change already. I no longer have this uneasy feeling within me, the self doubt or whatever. I don't feel like drinking now BUT I'm recognizing the thoughts, feelings and emotions from my AV that normally would lead me to a drink.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well said! You put into words, some of the things that I have not been able to.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Freshstart. I quit drinking for good 21 years ago. Roughly usedAVRTwithout realizing their was actually a name for it. My problem is that 20 years ago (I had one year sober) I became addicted to pain pills. My dilemma is how do I say I will never take another opiate? Seems unrealistic to think I will never need them for medicalemergencies,surgery...you get where I'm going.Do hopless dreg addicts like me have success with this technique? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated and sorry for the typos.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't have your experience with opiates, lovetosail, but I have a little, and I know someone with a lot. She went with a Big Plan for opiates with the understanding that she meant recreational, the ones under her control. She needed some codeine for pain recently, and refused them. I think if the pain became unmanageable, she would have gotten some relief, but with primary involvement from her doctor.

I would go ahead with a Big Plan but include the prescribing Dr being on board with your history. The issue may not come up in a relevant way, I hope it doesn't stop you from making that plan.

Is your concern about needing them in the future coming from 'you' or from your reluctance to quit taking them (your AV)? If you can answer this, I think you will know what to do.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I guess the line is rather blurred for me right now. I have been sober for 6 1/2 months and I'd really like to stay that way. My problem is I have chronic pain and migraines; it's why I started taking them in the first place. So far I've been able to manage without using, but I guess I'm concerned about my future. Am I just making excuses? Is this my AV talking?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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This exact way of thinking is what has kept me sober for almost 9 years!

Thank you for putting into word what I don't think I could ever do myself.

Cudos my friend and good luck and good journey
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
OK, I need this also to be very clear. I am talking about only my sobriety. Mine. Not anyone else's sobriety, especially not yours. I am not criticizing anyone who does not think as I do about their own sobriety as I do about mine. I have no right to do that. I know that there are many ways to get to sober, and this one is mine.
Awesome. Well said.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:10 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I just read this again. Wow, what a great post Freshstrart. You rock!
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for this post! I have just found it and have also recently just discovered AVRT which really appeals to me. I think I was using much of the AVRT logic naturally at times...learning more has just helped me with me focus.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
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How did I miss this post for so long? FS57, this was incredible. I was glued to every word. I can't pick a favorite part, but these 3 sentences will stay with me a long time (emphasis added):
"No head space or attitude or event or anything will make me drink because, the thought that it might make me drink is not me, not true, not real and I don't have to listen to it, I will never listen to it, it is my addictive voice. My resistance to my AV is iron clad, it is bullet proof. This is AVRT and Rational Recovery in a nutshell."
I may have to borrow these words in the future.

Incredible.








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