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PAWS - will it ever end?

Old 11-15-2017, 02:54 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
zjw
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I also have to stop thriving for perfection and stop thinking that someday I will reach this peace of mind and magical place where everything in life is wonderful. I know this will never happen but I keep pushing for it. It is enough to drive me nuts.
if you didnt have imperfection you wouldnt even know what perfection looks like. Point is you need both. Both together make perfection in my opinion. I gotta have a little of this stuff i might not like so that i can appreciate this other stuff for what it is etc..
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:20 PM
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Great post. Thanks, everyone.
Most days I feel absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. I've got a pretty intense job, so I don't know if it's just the intensity of the work + getting older + raising two little kids that makes me feel exhausted, irritated, emotional, and worn down EVERY SINGLE NIGHT... or if it is some PAWS... or both. Or a mixture of a whole bunch of these things. I wonder about it a lot.

I'm done drinking--I know this in my gut--but I sure hope I feel some flashes of happiness and content somewhere along the line. I know it may take a long time, and I'm okay with that. I'm bumbling along okay. But I don't want to feel tired the rest of my life.

Thanks for the OP, Doug39!
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:51 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post
How does one determine the difference between PAWS and untreated alcoholism?
I raised the question because when I was new, I believed I was only alcoholic when I drank. My drinking was my alcoholism. Therefore, not drinking = no alcoholism.

When I would quit drinking I started to feel better (maybe after a week or so - that first week was always a killer) and life would seem to start getting better. Invariably though, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, somewhere down the road.... it would seem like the bulk of my daily experiences were mostly just reminders of why drinking seems like an OK choice - too much stress so drink to relieve it, too much loneliness so drink to loosen up and be more social, too much boredom so drink to get some action going, too much chaos so drink a little to relax, etc etc etc.

Not everyone experiences this stuff, true enough. For a lot of folks, putting down the bottle is the key action. Get that right and they're on track to a healthy and balanced life.

For other folks, alcoholism is an actual thing that persists even when the drinking stops. Sure, it's from the AA book but it's worth taking a look at whether someone's in AA or not. It mentions the conditions of feeling irritable, restless, or discontent until I start drinking again. For someone with this "type of alcoholism" (I'll just call it a type, for lack of a better way to put it), these feeling don't dissipate. They don't just go away, they tend to grow and strengthen when we're NOT DRINKING. A friend of mine uses the terms acute alcoholism vs chronic alcoholism. Both can kill ya but one appears suddenly and can go away just as suddenly the other is way more pervasive and continues to "exist" in spite of the conditions changing. Kinda like breaking an arm vs contracting a disease.

So, for someone like me with that second "type," those feelings welling up in side of me are an indication that I'm not really in recovery, I'm not improving, and I'm edging closer back to drinking again. Put more brutally - I'm headed toward death. If it's someone who's problem is THAT they drink, then those feelings are uncomfortable but they'll pass with time - they're not comfortable or enjoyable but they're not a death sentence.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:03 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Doug39 View Post
I do this too.

I also beat myself up if I have to say "no" to somebody. I try not to be the self centered jerk I was all my life so now I am trying to help others - but sometimes I have to say "no" and it bothers me.

I also have to stop thriving for perfection and stop thinking that someday I will reach this peace of mind and magical place where everything in life is wonderful. I know this will never happen but I keep pushing for it. It is enough to drive me nuts.

I need to just take life one day at a time or even one hour at a time and enjoy life instead of going over past mistakes over and over or worrying about future events that might go wrong.
i relate a LOt to this,doug. i liked helping people and many times it caused me mental mayhem- i wore myself thin AND allowed myself to get used and walked on. i had a hard time accepting im allowed to put myself first at times. im allowed to say NO and not have to give a reason. but when i finally accepted that, i was ok with saying NO.
and NO is a complete sentence. huh!!!

perfection- hell yes! i wanted EVERYTHING i did to be perfect. i wanted my life to be perfect!!
how friggin boring would THAT be!?!?!

on this:
I also have to stop thriving for perfection
personally i say dont stop thriving for perfection. keep striving for it, but accept progress.
on this:
someday I will reach this peace of mind and magical place where everything in life is wonderful.
one definition of perfect is: finished;complete.
perfection will come when my life is over and i go to heaven.


life would be extremely boring if everything went perfectly as i think it should
life goes just as it should when i let God run the show
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:11 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post
I raised the question because when I was new, I believed I was only alcoholic when I drank. My drinking was my alcoholism. Therefore, not drinking = no alcoholism.

When I would quit drinking I started to feel better (maybe after a week or so - that first week was always a killer) and life would seem to start getting better. Invariably though, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, somewhere down the road.... it would seem like the bulk of my daily experiences were mostly just reminders of why drinking seems like an OK choice - too much stress so drink to relieve it, too much loneliness so drink to loosen up and be more social, too much boredom so drink to get some action going, too much chaos so drink a little to relax, etc etc etc.

Not everyone experiences this stuff, true enough. For a lot of folks, putting down the bottle is the key action. Get that right and they're on track to a healthy and balanced life.

For other folks, alcoholism is an actual thing that persists even when the drinking stops. Sure, it's from the AA book but it's worth taking a look at whether someone's in AA or not. It mentions the conditions of feeling irritable, restless, or discontent until I start drinking again. For someone with this "type of alcoholism" (I'll just call it a type, for lack of a better way to put it), these feeling don't dissipate. They don't just go away, they tend to grow and strengthen when we're NOT DRINKING. A friend of mine uses the terms acute alcoholism vs chronic alcoholism. Both can kill ya but one appears suddenly and can go away just as suddenly the other is way more pervasive and continues to "exist" in spite of the conditions changing. Kinda like breaking an arm vs contracting a disease.

So, for someone like me with that second "type," those feelings welling up in side of me are an indication that I'm not really in recovery, I'm not improving, and I'm edging closer back to drinking again. Put more brutally - I'm headed toward death. If it's someone who's problem is THAT they drink, then those feelings are uncomfortable but they'll pass with time - they're not comfortable or enjoyable but they're not a death sentence.
I see this differently. Instead of untreated alcoholism, I see this as unchecked, unrecognized Addictive Voice.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:19 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
life would be extremely boring if everything went perfectly as i think it should
life goes just as it should when i let God run the show

One of my defects is trying to control everything and not letting God, who is in charge, run it.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
I see this differently. Instead of untreated alcoholism, I see this as unchecked, unrecognized Addictive Voice.
As long as one recognizes the problem and acts on it, I really don't think it matters what you call it. Both of the terms "untreated alcoholism" and "unchecked/unrecognized addictive voice" suggest a problem that is not being addressed.

Yes, they represent ideas of 2 different recovery methods, but at the end of the day they both suggest that one has a problem that needs addressing.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:44 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
As long as one recognizes the problem and acts on it, I really don't think it matters what you call it. Both of the terms "untreated alcoholism" and "unchecked/unrecognized addictive voice" suggest a problem that is not being addressed.

Yes, they represent ideas of 2 different recovery methods, but at the end of the day they both suggest that one has a problem that needs addressing.
Agreed. I find it interesting and now I understand what AA is talking about when they say untreated alcoholism. They are talking about the AV.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:02 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
Agreed. I find it interesting and now I understand what AA is talking about when they say untreated alcoholism. They are talking about the AV.
I"m not sure that someone from AA would say that they are talking about the "AV" in the literal sense that someone from AVRT would define it, just as someone practicing AVRT would not define the AV as a literal equivalent to "untreated alcoholism"

But from a wide angle lens, yes - they both suggest that an individual is not fully recognizing their problem nor addressing it in the manner that their respective plan/program prescribes.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:38 AM
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The way I looked at it. Alcohol is just the vehicle we use to temporarily make us feel better. Whether it is pain from your childhood or adulthood we are abusing it because we are missing something in our life.

Imo, Quitting drinking is only the first step in getting better. If all you do is quit drinking you will still be left with the problems that caused you to abuse alcohol.

I realized this about two or three months after I quit. I quit and I felt better physically but my mind wasn't right. Once I started being honest with myself as to why I drank the way I did, did I start feeling better.

I think we are very immature in that we aren't very good at expressing our emotions, so we push them down and drink to make them go away for a while.

The problem is that doesn't work forever, and here we are trying to figure it out.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug39 View Post
One of my defects is trying to control everything and not letting God, who is in charge, run it.
We have three little mottoes which are apropos. Here they are:

First Things First

Live and Let Live

Easy Does It.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
I see this differently. Instead of untreated alcoholism, I see this as unchecked, unrecognized Addictive Voice.

I'll start with this - I dig AVRT. I think it's a great program for those who can take advantage of it.

Secondly, AV and Untreated Alcoholism (as used in AA) are similar but totally different animals. My understanding of AVRT is that once the "voice" is recognized, one takes measures to ignore it, not listen to it, do something more healthy, etc. While I may not have the particulars exactly right, the basis of the program is that the individual has the ability to not do those destructive things anymore. AA, in contrast, is designed for people with inability to do those very same things that someone who's not lacking in power is able to do.

As someone who's unable to successfully work AVRT, I can say that I do practice parts of it in some areas of my life where I'm not lacking power and my experience has been and is that I can change, modify or correct a situation, emotion, feeling, or course of behavior. In a great many other areas, I'm not able to do that and it's those same areas, because I'm NOT able to shut them down, that lead me to use the term "untreated alcoholism." For an AVRT practitioner, it's just one more task to take care of - troublesome as that may be. For a chronic alkie like me, I don't have the ability to shut them down and, left unchecked, they lead to all sorts of trouble..........usually culminating death and/or in drinking again.

As an analogy - think of it as the common cold. To most people, it's an inconvenience and a pretty crappy thing to be in. For someone with an autoimmune disorder, it can a death sentence. For someone like me to make a blanket statement that the common cold is just a cold and nothing more would be a truth but only as it relates to me - not necessarily to everyone.

I get where you're coming from though Zen, and I respect it.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:42 PM
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I reckon, getting tripped up on words, AV and all the other RR cap words, untreated alcoholism being different from still drinking, redefining words in unusual ways, etc., can really keep people fixated on peripheral things they might be better off letting go of. I think at the end of the day, you're either drinking or you're not - and then, you're either happy or you're not. There are things we can do to help ourselves on both counts, though what works for one person isn't necessarily what works for the next person.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post
I'll start with this - I dig AVRT. I think it's a great program for those who can take advantage of it.

Secondly, AV and Untreated Alcoholism (as used in AA) are similar but totally different animals. My understanding of AVRT is that once the "voice" is recognized, one takes measures to ignore it, not listen to it, do something more healthy, etc. While I may not have the particulars exactly right, the basis of the program is that the individual has the ability to not do those destructive things anymore. AA, in contrast, is designed for people with inability to do those very same things that someone who's not lacking in power is able to do.

As someone who's unable to successfully work AVRT, I can say that I do practice parts of it in some areas of my life where I'm not lacking power and my experience has been and is that I can change, modify or correct a situation, emotion, feeling, or course of behavior. In a great many other areas, I'm not able to do that and it's those same areas, because I'm NOT able to shut them down, that lead me to use the term "untreated alcoholism." For an AVRT practitioner, it's just one more task to take care of - troublesome as that may be. For a chronic alkie like me, I don't have the ability to shut them down and, left unchecked, they lead to all sorts of trouble..........usually culminating death and/or in drinking again.

As an analogy - think of it as the common cold. To most people, it's an inconvenience and a pretty crappy thing to be in. For someone with an autoimmune disorder, it can a death sentence. For someone like me to make a blanket statement that the common cold is just a cold and nothing more would be a truth but only as it relates to me - not necessarily to everyone.

I get where you're coming from though Zen, and I respect it.
What I'm talking about is AV activity that isn't being recognized. The restlessness, irritability, tension, the thoughts that circle around and around drinking again, the mental obsession. The thoughts that eat away in one's mind until the pressure becomes too much and they can't take it anymore and pick back up. You are right that a person who is familiar with AVRT and is actively screening their thoughts for AV would know how to recognize, separate from and dismiss those thoughts as AV, but someone who is not would find them very troublesome and overwhelming because those thoughts are still feeling like commands and like they must be respected and obeyed. I read what you said about untreated alcoholism and I saw AV in your description and I drew the conclusion that we are talking about the same experiences but we are interpreting them differently. I just thought it was interesting.
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