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Original Denial

Old 04-19-2018, 03:42 PM
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Original Denial

There is a concept in AVRT-based recovery -- Original Denial -- that has not received much discussion on the forums. Some people have inquired as to why AVRT includes a moral dimension to it, however, so I thought it appropriate to start a thread on the subject in this newly created sub-forum.

The birth of the Beast produces the first words of the infant Beast, "Ohhh, anything that feels this good can't be wrong!" That proclamation of innocence, original denial, is incorporated into the Addictive Voice for the duration of one's addiction.


From The Art of AVRT, Pg. 98
Copyright © 2010 by Jack Trimpey
AVRT effectively corrects original denial, and may be thought of as a restoration of the addict's moral conscience, as it pertains to their use of alcohol and other hedonic drugs, that was formerly lost to addiction. It is the forlorn addict's missing moral conscience.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:32 PM
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If I didn’t hear those exact words , I distinctly remember having the exact thought from my first experience with alcohol. I got blackout drunk my first time , and the repercussions rolled off my back like water on a duck fortified by the idea that those sensations of drunkenness were nearly , if not in fact , magical.

There were always glimmers of that thinking throughout my ‘career ‘, my AV would assure that of course the outward appearance of drunkenness would be noticeable , as comments about them wouldn’t go unnoticed, but no need for concern, slurred speech, idiotic grinning and impaired motor control were just signs of approaching that nirvanic state that surely everyone would aspire to given the proper amount of appreciation for intoxication.

Seemingly rational thoughts about how just given the proper motivation and opportunity almost all adult social gatherings could or should turn into big ‘sleepovers’ because when it comes down to it, doesn’t everyone want to get blotto at every chance?

If deep enough levels of intoxication are within reach , morality, social constraints and rational behavior can be easily and excusably set aside , no?

Obviously not everyday offers picnics, cookouts, poker nights ect , but start a random evening with a six pack and a couple fingers of bourbon and the sky becomes the limit , tomorrow be damned! Definitely worth it ! Every time . It felt so gooood , could not be wrong!

‘Maintenance drinking’ to ameliorate hangovers, anxiety if and when it eventually comes easily finds its way into the service of ‘proving’ the ‘truth’ of the OD.

AVRT broke the Beasts spell , allowed Me to get out from under and stay out of the spell. My Beast still casts it , and always will, I just no longer believe in that magic.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:23 PM
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I don't think I fully understand this concept. I don't believe getting high or drunk is immoral in and of itself, but I do believe people are more likely to do immoral things while under the influence. When I used to use my motto was - know your drugs - some drugs were more likely to lead a person down a darker path and corrupt their morals more fully. Cocaine and alcohol were two of the worst, but say pot and mushrooms were less likely to lead much further than and extra trip the fridge for a late night snack, whereas who knew where the night would end up once we were good and loaded and called up the coke dealer. I don't know if it's AV that I believe that some drugs are ok and some aren't.... I have more to say about it but I don't have time right now.


Seemingly rational thoughts about how just given the proper motivation and opportunity almost all adult social gatherings could or should turn into big ‘sleepovers’ because when it comes down to it, doesn’t everyone want to get blotto at every chance?
This cracked me up!
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
I don't think I fully understand this concept. I don't believe getting high or drunk is immoral in and of itself, but I do believe people are more likely to do immoral things while under the influence. When I used to use my motto was - know your drugs - some drugs were more likely to lead a person down a darker path and corrupt their morals more fully...
The problem is, that addicted people cannot fully predict with any degree of certainty to what depths of depravity living out the dictates of their Addictive Voice will lead them. DUI's to restock the supply, domestic abuse, prostitution, and theft to sustain the habit are but some examples of this.

If doing something disables someone's moral judgment, and effectively turns them into an animal, at risk to both themselves and others, is doing that something not immoral, in and of itself? Not for everyone, mind you, but at least for those those thus affected.

As long as the original denial remains in effect, and unrecognized, recovery remains elusive, if not impossible. The Beast is not immoral, but rather, amoral. It will kill you in time, if you follow its perverse logic, but not because it wants you dead, as some suggest. It is simply trying to survive, and doing what it must in that regard.

The human host, however, is perfectly free to categorically reject the Beast's sociopathic mindset, which is anchored in, and sustained by, original denial. Whether or not they will, however, is another matter entirely.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:52 AM
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I know that I would consider myself drinking again to be a highly immoral thing to do, since I know the lows it brought me to and the damage it caused to my relationships. I most definitely can't predict how it will turn out because all bets are off once I start drinking. I'm just not sold on lumping all drugs into it. For example, we give children Ritalin and Adderall which is amphetamine, and seemingly don't see anything immoral about that. I think that's totally whacked. Here kids have some speed - but don't do drugs - they're bad for you, unless it's to make it easier for us to deal with you. We've got a nation hooked on opiods from their Dr's while we ruin other people's lives for getting caught smoking a joint.

But this is probably off topic and not what was meant in the OP.

Undoubtedly there are morally bankrupt addicts out there willing to stoop to new lows in their need to do more.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:11 AM
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Knowing how hedonistic pursuit of substance use can affect your behavior , I.e. poor situational decision making, disregard for future consequences for your self and others around ect is the immoral aspect of continued use.

The sensations produced , the high or buzz, of consuming substances isn’t in and of itself immoral. Continuing to choose experiencing those sensations despite knowing you are going to be subject to the consequences of use is purposefully putting yourself and others at risk of possible short term or long term harm .

Allowing for or disregard for harmful actions is practically the definition of immoral, no?

The euphoria of a cocaine high isn’t immoral, draining the family finances for it is , yeah?
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
‘Maintenance drinking’ to ameliorate hangovers, anxiety if and when it eventually comes easily finds its way into the service of ‘proving’ the ‘truth’ of the OD.
Original Denial is a key pillar in the Beast's house of cards, and all other truths are upended, domino-style, in order to accommodate and protect it. AVRT not only identifies it, but also has a distinct name for it.

Original Denial and its domino effect is partly why addicted people appear to friends and family not to be themselves, to 'change', so to speak. In a very real way, by adopting their Beast's worldview, they have changed.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:08 AM
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Yes, looking back, i think i can see OD in my thought process. I thought of my alcohol and drug use as rather innocent and harmless in the early years, and maybe it was at times. The thing that made me quit was an awakening of moral conscience. A couple episodes ... i drove home drunk from a co-workers baby shower. Not just slightly buzzed ... I'd driven home on one or two glasses of wine many times and thought nothing of it. But this time i drove when i couldnt see straight, and could have killed someone. Another time while drinking i grew frustrated at my husband and spoke to him so harshly i hardly recognized myself.

Within a few months of these episodes, i quit.

The OD came into play there too ... up until i quit, i was fairly convinced that alcohol eased my stress and helped my depression. I was afraid to give it up for those reasons, but i felt like morally i had to. I was amazed to discover that it was the cause of my angst rather than the cure .. so surprised. I guess that's the OD? The beast equating "good" feelings with actual good, when in fact harm is ocurring, to self and others.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:55 AM
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I like that AVRT gives names to things important to taking personal responsibility in achieving permanent abstinence. “Original denial” is one of those names.

When is the Beast born? Using the defined terms in AVRT it is born when non-dependent drinking transitions into chemical dependency. So, when a drinker comes up with the denial, “Ohhh, anything that feels this good can’t be wrong.” is when the transition occurs.

I think the key is in the new obstinancy of the “can’t be wrong”. It could even be stated “can’t ever be wrong”. It justifies to the drinker the sensibility of drinking dependently. The logic that drunken behavior is going to happen again and might result in some bad social consequences needs a strong counterforce. The force of a never-wrong survival appetite is one of the most powerful forces imposable upon the human mind. This condition of chemical dependency is relatively stable internally. I want it and IT wants it. Just try to be careful. You can do it. It’s all worth it.

People using alcohol and drugs is possibly the largest socio-economic subcategory on earth.

When “non-dependent use” transitions to “chemical dependency” it then can transition to “addiction” (dependent using against one’s own better judgement). That’s when AVRT comes in very handy and can transition an addict into a “common teetotaler”. “I will never drink again” named The Big Plan. AVRT is specifically designed for that very purpose.

AVRT can also help a person transition from “chemical dependency” to “addiction” wherein the “can’t ever be wrong” is finally confronted with the truth. “Yes, I see it now after all I’ve done, it is ALWAYS wrong, and I know I’d better knock it off for good.”

How long people remain in any of the four above named conditions is quite variable. Here they are again with the fifth one we are all born into.

Abstainer - at physical birth
Non-dependent drinker - after deciding to drink
Chemical dependency - upon the birth of the BEAST (it can’t be wrong)
Addiction - realizing Yes, it is wrong for me. (an unstable condition)
Common teetotaler - same as at physical birth (but with AV awareness)
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:11 AM
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I respond better to a carrot than a stick.

My life is better when I don’t drink or use.

That keeps me sober far more effectively than dwelling on the consequences of drinking and using. I would be delusional if I didn’t acknowledge the consequences on the lives of myself and others.

I loathe the term morals. In my experience it’s mostly used by those that think they have the monopoly on them.
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
My life is better when I don’t drink or use... That keeps me sober far more effectively than dwelling on the consequences of drinking and using.
There is no need to dwell on the past with AVRT. The Big Plan is a conscious decision to remove the option of choosing to use again in the future, based on previous personal experience. If there will be no more drinking or using in the future, then logically, there will not be any consequences that need dwelling upon.

Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
I loathe the term morals. In my experience it’s mostly used by those that think they have the monopoly on them.
There is a difference between morality and moralism. Morality is an internal decision-making system which provides the ability to judge between right and wrong. It is a ruler by which things can be measured, and found to be worthy, or not. It is a filter that strains out the wrong, leaving what is right.

Moralism, on the other hand, is the elevation of a particular moral system to a universal status, which is presumed to be applicable to all. It is a measuring stick not of what is right or wrong for oneself, but of what is right or wrong for others.

We make the rules in our own lives, and AVRT restores the moral axis to addiction recovery, as a counterweight to the Beast's declaration of everlasting innocence. It does not suggest any sort of universal morality, which would be applicable to all, however. Universal prohibition is not a part of AVRT.

It may interest you to know, in case you have not have actually read the book yet, that Jack and Lois Trimpey dedicated Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction to Margaret Sanger, who was prosecuted for disseminating information on family planning. At the time, self-avowed moralists had made that illegal.

From the Acknowledgements section:

This book is dedicated to Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Today, contraception and family planning are available to all American citizens largely due to her willingness to confront the religious zealots of her day who used their powerful positions in government and God's name to censor information on contraception and family planning. The result was needless suffering and death, as well as government destruction of personal liberty. Ms. Sanger, at considerable expense to herself and her own family, breathed life into the word choice at a time when giving knowledge of contraception was a crime. She understood what needed to be done, and she did it. As a social reformer, she set a standard that activists and reformers today can strive to match.

One day soon, concise information on planned abstinence from substances may also be available to all citizens. This book is a beginning, our effort to achieve that important goal.


From Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction
Copyright © 1996 by Jack and Lois Trimpey
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Old 04-27-2018, 03:40 PM
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“Right”and “wrong” are usually problematic to me as well. Few things are neither 100% right nor 100% wrong. Morality is defined differently in different cultures and indeed per the individual.

I stopped drinking because I prefer myself sober.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
I stopped drinking because I prefer myself sober.
Then that's restoration of your moral conscience--removal of Original Denial.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
“Right”and “wrong” are usually problematic to me as well. Few things are neither 100% right nor 100% wrong. Morality is defined differently in different cultures and indeed per the individual.

I stopped drinking because I prefer myself sober.
In this context we're really only talking about morality where it pertains to drinking/using and how for people like us who have had such problems because of it, it is now wrong for us to use under any circumstances. We know better and we know because we've lived through it. It is always 100% wrong for me to drink - ever again.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
“Right”and “wrong” are usually problematic to me as well. Few things are neither 100% right nor 100% wrong. Morality is defined differently in different cultures and indeed per the individual.
And indeed, it is defined differently by the Beast itself, for whom, naturally, drinking/using can't ever be wrong. To hell with the consequences. It's always worth the risk, it claims.

Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
I stopped drinking because I prefer myself sober.
So, would it be accurate to say that you consider not drinking the right way for you to live, and routinely getting drunk or high all the time, and possibly doing yourself and others harm, the wrong way for you to live? That would seem logical, no?

Morality gets a bad wrap, mostly due to misguided moralism, but individuals can make the rules in their own private spheres, assuming that they don't trample on the rights of others. AVRT simply encourages people to reconsider the Beast's obstinate, transcendental denial.
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