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Old 03-12-2012, 02:14 PM   #81 (permalink)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackToSquareOne
How can you debate without debating, there's another zen riddle.
lol Love the riddles, BTSO. Personally I don't know why the word "debate" has become pejorative.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #82 (permalink)
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I think compare/ contrast is good. It helps to hear all sides of the spectrum.
I think everyone is adult enough to be respectful of each others beliefs.
Everyone has a right to an opinion. That is mine
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lilac0721 View Post
Makes me think that AVRT is what to use to stop and stay stopped. You can use AA and the 12 steps for group support/friendships and to change your way of living so that the things that once were impossible to deal with become possible.
Like stopping and staying stopped.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:28 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BackToSquareOne View Post
So the million dollar question is was the power always there or was it bestowed upon them as a result of working the steps? That's like a zen riddle, how can you really answer that?
My take, (I'm a scientisty sort) is that there are function in the brain that respond to things like prayer etc. People don't just spontaneously invent religion and religous experience, they are hardwired into us in some sense, that we respond the way we do to the things we do. There are articles and books about the "god" part of the brain etc.

So, I think that both are true at the same time. Higher Power, higher self, etc...some experience it as outside themselves/supernatural, and some experience it as a part of themselves, either a "split" part or a power part...but in the end I believe that it's all different ways of applying our own brain functions towards our own conditions and situations.

People have different levels of adeptness at this and many recovery programs are geared towards honing those skills, as well as learning new ones, and applying them towards recovery.

Even for those who believe that it is a power fully outside of themselves that works a miracle in their life (and I don't know of any common program that teaches such) most of them that I've met agree that we can still grow in "spirituality", the ability to communicate with such power, through diligent practice.

I think that no matter how we experience it, it's applying a function of the brain that makes all the difference.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:31 PM   #85 (permalink)
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This is off topic but I was listening to some Deepak Chopra stuff and he was talking about the power of belief. He mentioned that things like ****** seem to work but only on those that are true believers. The power of belief in yourself is also a very potent force and should not be discounted.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:35 PM   #86 (permalink)
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I still think the best way to figure it out...Is not to figure it out...
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:40 PM   #87 (permalink)
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This kind of discussion is probably a step up from our drinking days, wouldn't you say? Can you imagine it with drinks flying around? I still think a never-ending discussion forum would be fitting.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:44 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Learning Both Programs at the Same Time

It's nice to see the issue of addicted people learning about AVRT and AA at the same time being addressed.
I've been on SR for about 2 months now. I don't spend too much time at it, and have only posted outside of Secular Connections once so far.
When it was first developed years ago by RR, I used AVRT to guarantee my abstinence from alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, and more recently to quit caffeine and then chocolate. AVRT also helped me to end a ten year membership in AA.

PurpleCatLover, I really like your first post to this thread, and think it shows most concisely some important questions addicted people confront when they learn about both programs at the same time.

Can you work each program to their fullest extent when practiced together?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplecatlover View Post
I'm in the same boat. I'm still trying to sort out things but to be honest I'm not diligently working either program.
I have alot of respect for both.
Yet there are things I can't fully agree to, also.
I kind of took things that I liked from each & made them work for me.

Though, I still have alot of work to do. And reading & educating.
All I can say is take what you need from each, if you can set aside the discrepancies between the 2.
How compatible can each program be with a person's established religious beliefs?

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Originally Posted by Purplecatlover View Post
I am a believer & like the spiritual side of AA. I think of the AV of AVRT as the devil, which to me it is.
What, if any, conditions in each program are attached to permanent abstinence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplecatlover View Post
But I don't like the AA belief that if you do this or don't do that, you're going to drink again. I have not attended a meeting, but love the BB. I have managed to stay sober over 2 months w/ hardly any cravings. The longest, most successful string in over 4 yrs.
I have not worked all the steps, but think they are useful to identify personality flaws & ways to fix them.
I surrendered my addiction to God, told the devil "AV" to get lost. I'm never drinking
again.
That's just me, though.
Some people need to attend meetings. To work the steps properly.
You have to figure out what works for you. I wish you the best, this is a complicated issue.
I know I don't have everything figured out.
All I know is I'm happy to not be drinking anymore or forevermore.
PurpleCatLover, I really like your signature saying.

"If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse."

It reminded me what I went through when I lied to people about wanting to quit and then went off to drink alone or in far away bars to try to keep the negative consequences down. Of course, it's no surprise that didn't work for me.
Quitting just wasn't yet important enough to decide that it was wrong FOR ME that I ever drink again. I knew FOR OTHERS it was wrong that I ever drink again, so, I put up this facade of sobriety and bluffed my way as long as possible.

Having done all that, even today, I cannot tell whether someone who speaks of their changed ways and commitments to recovery is really telling the truth, especially if they say they will never drink again. This is a conundrum that is positively accepted and addressed successfully within AVRT, and one that is set aside and discouraged from my experience in AA.

One thing I have learned is that people who do speak of their changed ways do know absolutely whether drinking ever again is right or wrong for themselves. It is not a mystery to each of us what our own moral beliefs are. I knew absolutely when I made each commitment to permanent abstinence to each substance that I would never experience the effects of ingestion again. While there was some internal resistance to breaking the habits, there was no doubt in my mind.

As I did, I think most addicted people first try to play the odds hoping that well planned drinking will keep them out of trouble, and it might for a while, but it's definitely a crap shoot. Naturally, the odds of something bad happening on any particular drinking occasion will be much lower than the long term odds of adding up the episodes. Nevertheless, I stupidly looked at each drinking opportunity as an isolated episode that would once again give me that wonderful high that I so loved. Obviously, if I had focused on adding up those rolls of the dice, I would have seen a snake eyes disaster in my future, but instead, I told myself it was a challenge like a wilderness exploration to go out and drink again and not get in trouble. What a crock!!! Anyway, that was so long ago, that I can no longer remember what it is like to be under the influence any more. Yeah, really, that long.

Becoming an "old timer" or acting altruistically is not a part of AVRT. Yet, the reason I'm here is altruistic. I know becoming an old timer and taking the message to others is an important part of how to stay sober in AA, so, I decided to join in and give a counterpoint of sorts.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #89 (permalink)
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This conversation with drinks? Never happen.

Ford products vs. Chevy, maybe. Or how Kant might view current world problems if he were with us here today. I'd take the Chevy side.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:56 PM   #90 (permalink)
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"Everyone recovers on their own path and I'm trying to find the best one for myself."

The ones who do stay sober for a lifetime have of course their own path but most alcoholics die drunk while on their long search of finding the best one.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:10 PM   #91 (permalink)
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Fords are the worst cars ever!
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:13 PM   #92 (permalink)
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God bless those who were wise enough to allow me too find my own way. Chaos attracts experts of every sort.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #93 (permalink)
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Sapling, above in response to my post you indicate that the steps are a way of learning how to stop and stay stopped. In my experience, people in AA have encouraged me and others to not work the steps or to stay on steps 1-3 for a while until getting some sober time underway. Others have said that the "solution" is in steps 4-9. So if you can't actually get to the solution until you've stayed sober for a while, you have to come up with a way to commit to not drinking. Regardless, the steps only seem to work if there is already an underlying commitment to not drinking which can be achieved through making what RR calls a Big Plan which can be reinforced through AVRT and when one's sponsor allows, then you can do the steps which produce the spiritual transformation that relieves the desire to drink.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:36 PM   #94 (permalink)
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In my experience, people in AA have encouraged me and others to not work the steps or to stay on steps 1-3 for a while until getting some sober time underway. Others have said that the "solution" is in steps 4-9.
Sorry to hear that...I came in and went right for the solution....I've seen the results of people that didn't...
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:55 PM   #95 (permalink)
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Great post Peter
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #96 (permalink)
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I've heard the suggestion to do one step a year from an AA member when I was new. Am glad I disregarded his opinion.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #97 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Becoming an "old timer" or acting altruistically is not a part of AVRT. Yet, the reason I'm here is altruistic. I know becoming an old timer and taking the message to others is an important part of how to stay sober in AA, so, I decided to join in and give a counterpoint of sorts.
This is true. Carrying the message is purposefully absent from AVRT, which makes it even more remarkable how threatened some people are by it. I can understand fifteen years ago, when Rational Recovery had meetings in 1,000 cities, and Jack and Lois Trimpey had appearances on every major network, but that was all shut down. They don't even advertise anymore. Rational Recovery is now a family-owned business, a husband and wife operation with a couple books, some DVD's, and a decidedly low-tech web site. Jack, if you happen to read this, it's time to upgrade that web site.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:27 PM   #98 (permalink)
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There are SO MANY great ideas expressed here, and so well. GerandTwine, Soberlicious, PeterG, RobbyRobot, ZenCat, onlythetruth, and TU too. I hear my personal truths in your posts to this thread, and, in a large part, I owe my sobriety to you Good Folks. Thanks, eh?
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #99 (permalink)
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So yeah, you know it OTT, isn't quitting drinking and not ever again being drunk enough for its own sake?!! hahaha yeah, it so is enough!!
It is a wonderful thing indeed, Robby, a wonderful thing!
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #100 (permalink)
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In my experience, people in AA have encouraged me and others to not work the steps or to stay on steps 1-3 for a while until getting some sober time underway. Others have said that the "solution" is in steps 4-9.
Quote:
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I've heard the suggestion to do one step a year from an AA member when I was new. Am glad I disregarded his opinion.
No member speaks for AA. Each member of course can share their experience but beyond that, they are simply soapboxing for their own purposes. Its really buyer beware in a room full of alcoholics and what-have-you when one is not already personally successful with not drinking.

The Big Book Alcoholics Anonmynous is the first and last word on the AA program. A myriad of suggestions and opinions from a forever changing membership of alcoholics in various stages of recovery will always be present and available within AA. Following any advice from any member (especially a sponsor ) without checking it against the AA Big Book is just plain irresponsible and works against living the AA program of sobriety.
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