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Old 10-18-2017, 12:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Divorcing Addiction


Read a good article last night - "Why is Recovery So Hard?"
Why is Recovery So Hard?

This is a pretty long paper, but my wheels have been turning in reaction to the section with the header "Addiction, Like Love, is Blind." What Dr. Garrett writes isn't spot on for me, but it's close enough to draw a corollary between breaking my relationship with my addiction and divorcing my husband.

In both instances, I clung for years to a partnership that had clearly gone bad. In both instances, I knew something was wrong but didn't think I was strong enough to break out of that state. In both instances, my guilt and lack of self-esteem kept me in that place where I shouldn't be.

Fortunately for me, I never have reason to deal with my husband again; unfortunately for me, my addiction will always be living with me right here in the house of my self. That is no reason not to lock that compulsion away and ignore it's ineffectual cries of "not fair! you're hurting me! you'll be just fine without me but how am I going to survive?"

Truly, getting divorced from my husband was (seems?) easy in comparison to getting to the place where I can simply say with certainty, "I don't drink." Now that I think of it, that decision took me about 12 years to make, so I'm right on schedule with this one.

Because wherever I go, there I am.
I can't divorce my addiction, but I CAN divorce alcohol.

What do you think?
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks Obladi, that was a very interesting piece.

When I read something like that, it doesn't seem like something I would agree with or disagree with. But what I could see was a fairly close correlation in what the author wrote and my experience with alcholism.

A good point was made about the external consequences of drinking not being symptoms of addiction, but sometimes perhaps could be confirming indicators. Hence drunkalogues, which are mostly about consequences, do not bring about identification in many cases.

Another line I particularly liked was that" life can only be lived forwards and understood backwards" and addiction can only be understood from the shores of recovery. I believe that to be the same with the steps, they can only be understood in hindsight.

The comments about denial and psychosis also rang bells with me. I am quite certain I had no grip on reality. In fact the basis of one spiritual experience was the rather sudden ability to see the truth of my life for the first time. It was a profound moment to break through into the light.

Thanks again, it will be interesting to see what others can draw from this article.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Draw up the papers



I'd add you can divorce the addiction, just not the desire , the Beast once born will always remain , but when you serve it papers , take and keep control of the area below your nose , by instituting a Big Plan, It's SOL, poor IT
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gottalife View Post
A good point was made about the external consequences of drinking not being symptoms of addiction, but sometimes perhaps could be confirming indicators. Hence drunkalogues, which are mostly about consequences, do not bring about identification in many cases.
Yeah, that caught my eye as well.
This is likely why drunkalogues generally grate on my, most of all from newly clean people. Sounds like glorified war stories to me.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Draw up the papers I'd add you can divorce the addiction, just not the desire , the Beast once born will always remain , but when you serve it papers , take and keep control of the area below your nose , by instituting a Big Plan, It's SOL, poor IT
I'm not sure I agree. The addiction (beast) will always be there, right? If that's the case, I can make IT live in the garage, but that's as far as I'll be able to push IT. If your male constitution can stand it, I offer an analogy of sorts: A woman's uterus is actually quite small (less than the size of my fist) when not in use. When a baby is in the making it expands to the size of a watermelon and then shrinks back down to close to its original size. My addiction -> Me as My uterus -> Me.

(I once met a man who lived in his garage because his wife wouldn't allow him in the house. I think it was likely because he drank morning til night.)
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The addiction is not the Beast. The Beast is the desire for alcohol, intoxication , the addiction comes from listening to the AV and acting on the desire.
The desire , the 'knowing' what alcohol can 'do' will always remain, abstinence means never indulging that desire. Simple and as easy as you want to make it.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
The addiction is not the Beast. The Beast is the desire for alcohol, intoxication , the addiction comes from listening to the AV and acting on the desire.
The desire , the 'knowing' what alcohol can 'do' will always remain, abstinence means never indulging that desire. Simple and as easy as you want to make it.
My experience is a little different. The desire was removed completely and has never returned. There is nothing to indulge, the whole concept of drinking has become redundant. I could no more choose to drink now that I used to be able to choose not to drink.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I know.
Alcohol came to feel to me like a bad relationship.
Controlling what I did, making me feel bad, and completely wrecking my serenity.
More than happy to break up, though it did feel for a while as though I had lost a good friend,
My bestie, alcohol.
Hah.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, I certainly know that I can still choose to drink or to not drink. Perhaps with time and distance I can wrap my head around "the addiction is not the beast," but I'm not sure that's material for my continued abstinence. But of course I must debate.

The way I understand AVRT, the beast is created and nurtured by my continued misuse of a mind-altering substance. The beast never leaves but can be caged/disregarded. Therefore, the beast is what others call "addiction," that desire that will never entirely leave. But IT can be suppressed until IT's a feeble pitiful entirely powerless thing under My control once I've effectively divorced myself from my drug, alcohol.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My experience is a little different. The desire was removed completely and has never returned. There is nothing to indulge, the whole concept of drinking has become redundant. I could no more choose to drink now that I used to be able to choose not to drink.
In a sense I removed my desire too. I have consciously relegated the desire to the inoperable category.

I remember loving the buzz , and I doubt if I experienced that sensation again it would resonate any differently, but no matter. I've quit.

For me having the desire was never the issue, even if seemed like it was, indulging that desire was always when I experienced 'trouble'.

The relegation of the desire has consequently robbed IT of its illusive power, indulging IT is something I plan to never do again, too bad for IT, and good for Me
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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For me, the nice thing about AVRT is that although my desire is gone for the most part, I rarely think about drinking anymore, but if I did I've now learned how to handle those thoughts without letting them overpower me. It's a relief for me to know that my recovery doesn't require removal of the desire because what if that desire always lingered? Instead of a divorce with no contact, it's a separation where I live with intermittent brief pleas from my AV to start the relationship back up where we left off, that I can easily brush off.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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For me, the nice thing about AVRT is that although my desire is gone for the most part, I rarely think about drinking anymore, but if I did I've now learned how to handle those thoughts without letting them overpower me. It's a relief for me to know that my recovery doesn't require removal of the desire because what if that desire always lingered? Instead of a divorce with no contact, it's a separation where I live with intermittent brief pleas from my AV to start the relationship back up where we left off, that I can easily brush off.
A permanent separation at that.
Love it, thanks.
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