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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 4

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 4

Old 04-24-2012, 10:05 PM
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Feeling annoyed by the AV - need to practice just observing it and recognising it for what it is - very strong tonight
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Peta View Post
Feeling annoyed by the AV - need to practice just observing it and recognising it for what it is - very strong tonight
Peta,

All self-doubt is addictive voice, but we could actually extend that to include fear and uncertainty as well. Two things seem to drive addiction — fear and intolerance of desire. Your belief that you need to practice in order to tolerate desire, and to not feel annoyed, is unnecessary fear. Your AV is just your body talking to you, the same way your sex drive works, and desire can't hurt you. For example, do you get annoyed every time you experience desire for someone who is not your husband, or do you simply recognize it as harmless?

A large part of AVRT is learning not to fear the Beast (desire), or the addictive voice, which is the expression of that desire. Recognition is important, but so is separation. You can separate by actively objectifying the Beast. For example, when the AV pipes up, think to yourself "I feel it struggle inside me, and I am very glad that it struggles. I am not struggling as I feel it struggle, because it is not me, and I am not it. If it struggles and suffers, that's just too bad for it, because it deserves to struggle and suffer."

When you do this, the addictive voice will collapse and let you go. The Beast responds to raw authority, and it will get the message that you are in charge. It will get used to the fact that you don't care if it suffers, because it is not you, and you are not it. You will have to consciously do this at first, but very soon, it will become second nature, and you will find that it is effortless to abstain. Addiction recovery is kind of like FDR — the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:20 PM
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The Beast is powerless!

It's useful to always remember that the Beast is a powerless quadriplegic, and that it can't do a damn thing, least of all drink a beer. The only thing it can do is to puff itself up to make itself appear big and strong, but it's all smoke and mirrors. Picture a tiny Chiwawa barking at the mailman, and you'll get the idea. If you call its bluff, the Beast will cut and run. If you doubt this, the next time you hear the AV say "let's have a beer," just think "OK, Beastie, we can have a beer... if you can go over to the fridge and fetch it for me. Don't forget the bottle opener."
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:54 PM
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Hello all, it has been six days since my last drink. To be honest it is the first day of feeling normal since last Thursday. Today i have been getting images in my head of pleasant drinking experiances. At time i recognize them right off as the beast. Other times it not until some time later i realize it was the beast. I am trying to use AVRT to hear my own voice. Thanks
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:14 AM
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Redjolt,

Go to the Rational Recovery web site, take the free crash course on AVRT, and order yourself a copy of the RR book. You can get a used copy on Amazon, Alibris, or Half.com for under $5 shipped. In the meantime, while waiting for the book to arrive, read through the free links I sent you via private message, and this thread from the very beginning. That should get you moving in the right direction.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:39 AM
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I just finished reading "You Are Not Your Brain", which I talked about on page 7 of this thread. It is another way of looking at the primitive, desire brain versus the true you. I liked it as an adjunct to the information in Rational Recovery..... Maybe its just me, but I really want to get a hang of the AV and at this point am reading anything on the topic, which is why I love these threads so much.

Anyway, the author of this book breaks down the whole craving/giving in cycle in steps. He spends a lot of time talking about the recognition and separation of the primitive desire from the real you. He calls the AV "deceptive brain messages". Beyond the recognition and separation, he talks about redirection. By this he means that once you have recognized and separated, you need to find something else to do, at least in the beginning. He talks about redirecting to anything from simple breathing and mediation to a new hobby or excersize.

I mention this because a couple of pages back on this thread was a conversation about being bored and how to get yourself to get "that feeling" (or similar feeling). He doesn't spend too much time on redirection, just thinks it's important. He really does think that recognizing and separating from the deceptive brain messages is the most important thing and that it takes practice. He also thinks you should tackle one bad habit or behavior at a time.

I think that spending time really trying to "get it" has been well worth it. One pass through the RR book wasn't enough for me. Reading and re reading these threads, reading other material and putting it into practice has helped solidify this in my brain. I feel like a am becoming a "student" of AVRT at the moment, much like I was a student of yoga. It is the only thing so far that has changed my way of thinking.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrifty View Post
He spends a lot of time talking about the recognition and separation of the primitive desire from the real you. He calls the AV "deceptive brain messages". Beyond the recognition and separation, he talks about redirection. By this he means that once you have recognized and separated, you need to find something else to do
I'm probably not the best person to answer this but while I think it is a good idea to actively pursue new things once you quit, saying you need to find something else is by definition the addictive voice since it suggests if you don't find something else to do, you will drink or use.

I agree with you about having to read the book more than once. Some people get it from the crash course whereas that was nowhere near enough for me.

While we're on the subject, how old is this notion of separating yourself from the survival part of your brain?
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:15 AM
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Old...the Buddhists have done it for a couple thousand years.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:44 PM
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They refer to it as the monkey mind.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
I'm probably not the best person to answer this but while I think it is a good idea to actively pursue new things once you quit, saying you need to find something else is by definition the addictive voice since it suggests if you don't find something else to do, you will drink or use.

I agree with you about having to read the book more than once. Some people get it from the crash course whereas that was nowhere near enough for me.

While we're on the subject, how old is this notion of separating yourself from the survival part of your brain?
Good point! I didn't notice that thinking you must have to have something to do or you'll go back to your addiction is the addictive voice, although I think it's probably a good idea. Having something else to do is a totally separate issue.

This way of thinking is an old Buhdist concept. However, I have been noticing more books on the brain and neuroplastisity lately. Just look up the topic on Amazon. It's an interesting topic and definitely has roots in the primitive brain vs. The neocortex.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
I'm probably not the best person to answer this but while I think it is a good idea to actively pursue new things once you quit, saying you need to find something else is by definition the addictive voice since it suggests if you don't find something else to do, you will drink or use.
Why not, Kanamit? You have a good grasp on AVRT, and you are precisely correct — it is indeed addictive voice. I'm very glad to see people catching these things, and explaining them, as you did.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:27 PM
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I still cannot get over how, with hindsight, how obvious the AV is and why I didn't pick up on it earlier.

I was talking to an old friend the other day who is abstinent via traditional treatment methods and he was adamant he drank due to childhood “issues”. I know we have touched on the fact issues, unlike problems, do not get solved. How can you convince such a person they drank for pleasure rather than so called issues?
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
I still cannot get over how, with hindsight, how obvious the AV is and why I didn't pick up on it earlier.
You have the machinery of AVRT at your disposal, and the view through the lens of AVRT is very different indeed. The addictive voice is a universal phenomenon, and all addicted people have one, but they don't often recognize it as such. What often takes people years or decades to figure out, we can learn in weeks or months, but only because most of the work has already been done for us, and we don't have to waste time reinventing the wheel.

Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
I was talking to an old friend the other day who is abstinent via traditional treatment methods and he was adamant he drank due to childhood “issues”. I know we have touched on the fact issues, unlike problems, do not get solved. How can you convince such a person they drank for pleasure rather than so called issues?
Most people in recovery recognize some forms of the addictive voice, which they usually refer to as 'my disease talking', but AV recognition is not their primary focus. They simply won't achieve the level of refinement that we do with AVRT. How could they? They don't even have a working definition of the AV. Accordingly, they won't usually recognize its more subtle and insidious forms, many of which are taught. To expect your friend to grasp the purposeful reductionism of AVRT might be wishful thinking.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique
You have the machinery of AVRT at your disposal, and the view through the lens of AVRT is very different indeed. The addictive voice is a universal phenomenon, and all addicted people have one, but they don't often recognize it as such. What often takes people years or decades to figure out, we can learn in weeks or months, but only because most of the work has already been done for us, and we don't have to waste time reinventing the wheel.
I definitely think this is true because having successfully quit for 10 years on my own, I did some separating stuff, not battling, etc and really never thought I would drink again. No big plan per se because I didn't know what that was, but I was a non-drinker. After all that time, I did give in to the AV and drink again, quickly becoming readdicted...for 7 years. I know now that I did not fully grasp the nuances of the AV. Ahhh hindsight lol
That time I had to be medically detoxed (ok and protected from myself) and even though I went to treatment, I quit the same way as before. I had that same mental shift, the switch being flipped and it was done. I learned about RR a year or maybe two after I had quit and even then just sort of said "yea, I get what that's about" but I am glad I have learned more about AVRT here for the fine tuning. It's helpful and important for someone like me who has had a "reversal of intent".
and , TU, eventually I'll actually read the whole book
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I definitely think this is true because having successfully quit for 10 years on my own, I did some separating stuff, not battling, etc and really never thought I would drink again. No big plan per se because I didn't know what that was, but I was a non-drinker. After all that time, I did give in to the AV and drink again, quickly becoming readdicted...for 7 years. I know now that I did not fully grasp the nuances of the AV. Ahhh hindsight lol
That time I had to be medically detoxed (ok and protected from myself) and even though I went to treatment, I quit the same way as before. I had that same mental shift, the switch being flipped and it was done. I learned about RR a year or maybe two after I had quit and even then just sort of said "yea, I get what that's about" but I am glad I have learned more about AVRT here for the fine tuning. It's helpful and important for someone like me who has had a "reversal of intent".
and , TU, eventually I'll actually read the whole book
I ordered the book on Amazon but mistakenly had it delivered to a friend on the other side of the country. Oops. She's never said anything about it...maybe she just thought I was trying to help her out...

I was going to order it again but just never got around to it...once my big plan came together for real it just felt like I was going to be okay.

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Old 04-29-2012, 09:42 PM
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Ugh, having a tough battle with my AV today. It's swearing to drink the moment it can find some time. Fortunately I don't have the time this week but it's really clawing at me to drink when I get a day off next week. I'm pretty nervous. Been fighting a good fight and feeling real strong until today. I really feel like I'm going to give in next week. Why am I planning like this and how do I get this out of my head? Thoughts? Help me fight this thing!
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:28 PM
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Vinyl,

Drinking is off the table. It's not an option. There is NO negotiation for a future date with the bottle. What you are feeling is the grumbling, tantrum throwing beast. Acknowlege it and move on. There's nothing it can do.

I hope this helps.

love from Lenina
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
I'm pretty nervous. Been fighting a good fight and feeling real strong until today. I really feel like I'm going to give in next week. Why am I planning like this and how do I get this out of my head? Thoughts? Help me fight this thing!
What is tripping you up is that you are trying to get rid of the AV, which can't be done. Your job is not to get rid of the AV, or to debate and fight with it, but rather to recognize it and objectify it. Remember, if you have made a Big Plan, then "you" no longer drink, and since addictive desire is not you, but the Beast, then you no longer even want to drink, only your Beast does.

Don't struggle, just maintain the separation. If you hear "I want to drink," change that to "IT, my Beast, wants to drink. Too bad for it." If you don't, and the AV gets a hold of the pronoun "I", you'll start to think that you want to drink, and once that happens, you likely will. Debating or trying to get rid of the AV is the AVRT version of 'white knuckling'. See my post to Peta earlier in the thread on how to separate.

The Beast will always be thinking about "then", and the AV may say things like "sure, you can say never now, but I'll get you then." The thing is, "I will never drink again" is equivalent to "I never now drink" or "I will never drink in the present moment," so when "then" actually comes, it will still be now. Let the Beast worry about then, because if you stay in the now, the "then" will never come. See this post:

This post on relapse anxiety may also help:

Your fear and self-doubt is itself the AV, since it obviously suggests that you might drink. Set your confidence level arbitrarily at 100%. It if drops, even a fraction of a percent, that's your AV, the Beast talking. Just passively recognize it and let it talk, because that's all it can do. It can't hurt you.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:11 AM
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So when I become afraid when my doctor tells me to go to 3-4/week AA meetings and if I don't then it's just a matter of time until I hit bottom again -

is that my AV talking or just denial that he is right.

Pam
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:55 AM
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Have you committed to never drinking again? If you are never going to drink again and never going to change your mind what do you have to worry about?

I will never drink again and I will never change my mind. With that, drinking is not an issue for me now or ever. I don't drink. The same goes for tobacco as well.

I do hear my addictive voice from time to time but IT doesn't matter. It can't drink without my help and I don't drink. It can't dip snuff without my help and I don't dip snuff.

I am a Buddhist and from a Buddhist perspective. There are many thoughts and feelings that occur in my head. Just because I experience a thought or feeling doesn't make it true. Feelings are not facts, thoughts are not reality. I have choices. I can choose to pay attention to a particular thought or feeling and then act on it or I can choose to simply observe it and let it float on like a cloud in the sky. When the monkey mind is chattering on about the next shiny thing it sees and of course wants doesn't mean I have to react. I simply take refuge in my practice and watch the clouds of thoughts and feelings float by against the backdrop of a calm blue sky.
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