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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 04-15-2012, 09:16 AM
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I'm familiar with the "slippery slope" argument IamAbstinent refers to. I drink copious amounts of espresso, and I'm sure that in addition to waking me up, the caffeine gives the Beast just a slight little buzz. Not enough to get high, but just enough to tease it, apparently. My addictive voice has tried the "you are hooked on caffeine, so you are an addict, and may as well go all out" argument before. Can't blame a Beast for trying.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:02 AM
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Just did a nice set of squats. Feels good. Gonna get in an evening run.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:13 PM
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Just listening to some music and finding it pretty hard as this is one of the things which has some of the strongest association to drugs for me.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by IAmAbstinent View Post
What does one do with the lack of pleasure tho since it still looms heavy in the room?
To your Beast nothing is fun unless you can drink—and then everything is! The so-called dry-drunk persona of being miserable and sober is just your poor Beast pining for a drink.

When you started drinking, your Beast made you take a detour from the person you would have become. When you make a Big Plan, you return to the person you were before. Be patient though, it does feel awkward at first and it can take a bit of time. While your Beast is single-minded and only wants to fill the void with booze, there are a million and one other things you can do.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by IAmAbstinent View Post
Just listening to some music and finding it pretty hard as this is one of the things which has some of the strongest association to drugs for me.
It is "pretty hard" for whom, IAmAbstinent? For you, or for your Beast? You are just listening to music, enjoying yourself. Your Beast, however, is feeling deprived, pining for the good old days when you fed it. Remember, you are not IT, and IT is not you. It takes no effort to sit there listening to music and to do nothing but enjoy. Don't fight it, just recognize it. Separation is the key.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
It is "pretty hard" for whom, IAmAbstinent? For you, or for your Beast? You are just listening to music, enjoying yourself. Your Beast, however, is feeling deprived, pining for the good old days when you fed it. Remember, you are not IT, and IT is not you. It takes no effort to sit there listening to music and to do nothing but enjoy. Don't fight it, just recognize it. Separation is the key.
On the eightfold path that would be right thinking, and right mindfulness.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique
Within the bubble of addiction, pleasure is confused with happiness, but they are not one and the same.
This is so true, not just within the bubble of addiction. Many people hold this happiness =pleasure mindset. Personally, I think it's what leads to alot of suffering. What is "happy"? What is "pleasure"? To define (and redefine) these things for myself has been extremely important.
That said, it doesn't matter whether I'm "happy" or not...I don't drink. ever.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:01 AM
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Things are coming along. I'm not as apprehensive as I was about giving in to my addictive voice. Probably because it's not talking to me as much anymore. But I've firmly said no I won't ever drink again when it does.
Everyday I read a little more of the threads. I did finish the book and I will reread it once I've finished with the threads.
I'm so pleased to have found this thread! Thanks for starting it!
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by californiapoppy View Post
I'm not as apprehensive as I was about giving in to my addictive voice. Probably because it's not talking to me as much anymore.
What if it did? What then?

In AVRT, the presence or absence of AV is neither good nor bad. Wanting the AV to go away, or believing that not hearing the AV is good, however, suggests that the presence of AV might cause you "give in" to it. That sentiment, since it suggests the possibility that you might drink, is therefore itself the addictive voice. It also implies doubt, and all self-doubt is AV.

You can do much better than not be apprehensive, you can be certain that you won't drink. Remember, addictive desire is not you, but the Beast, so not only do you not drink, but you don't even want to drink. Your Beast, on the other hand, definitely wants to drink, but fortunately for you, it can't.

Originally Posted by californiapoppy View Post
But I've firmly said no I won't ever drink again when it does.
That's a good start, but in time, you may find even that unnecessary. Don't argue, don't debate, and don't struggle -- just recognize it. Always stay in your right mind, in the first person, as in "IT, my Beast, wants to drink, but I never drink, and since I am not IT, I don't even want to drink."

Maintain the separation at all times, and don't let your AV use the operative pronoun, "I". If it does, use addiction diction to transpose the pronouns to "IT". Set your confidence level for lifetime abstinence arbitrarily at 100%, recognize all self-doubt as the addictive voice, and you will be fine.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Many people hold this happiness =pleasure mindset. Personally, I think it's what leads to alot of suffering. What is "happy"? What is "pleasure"? To define (and redefine) these things for myself has been extremely important.
Addicted people, and people who haven't yet figured out that abstinence is its own reward, are quite often obsessed with 'being happy', when they likely don't even know the meaning of the word beyond a cheap buzz. Their AV pumps gloomy pictures of a boring life without drugs at them, which is somewhat accurate, because being addicted is kind of like living in the jungle, and nobody is every "bored" in the jungle. With so much attention spent on just staying alive, not getting eaten, or getting your next fix, there is simply no time to be bored. The luxury of boredom is one of the benefits of not living like that.

Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
That said, it doesn't matter whether I'm "happy" or not...I don't drink. ever.
I do love when people in recovery say something like "if you're sober, and happy..." (they always seem to add the 'happy' part), which is pure addict talk. The idea that "happiness" is somehow bound up with abstinence, or that one needs to "get happy" in order to abstain, is the addiction talking. Addicted people get high regardless. Got laid off? Get drunk! Won the lottery? Get drunk on expensive booze! Happiness is good, but it is secure abstinence that will give you an opportunity at happiness, and not the other way around.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:52 AM
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Their AV pumps gloomy pictures of a boring life without drugs at them, which is somewhat accurate, because being addicted is kind of like living in the jungle, and nobody is every "bored" in the jungle. With so much attention spent on just staying alive, not getting eaten, or getting your next fix, there is simply no time to be bored. The luxury of boredom is one of the benefits of not living like that.
Awesome. That is so true, and so well put. "Boredom" is just relaxation that isn't properly appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:16 AM
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To everyone reading and participating in these threads, I have posted a link to a video detailing an overview of AVRT from Jack Trimpey.

If you've been thinking about taking the crash course or ordering the book, this video may help you on your way to showing that Beast who is boss. It's only about 15 minutes long but gives a very good, concise summary of AVRT.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...what-avrt.html

I didn't want to hijack this thread so posted it separately, but feel free to post any questions or send a PM if you'd like to know more.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:01 PM
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Exclamation Beast vs. Addictive Voice

Wellwisher posed this question elsewhere. I think it is a good question, and a nice segue into the difference between the Beast and the Addictive Voice, which are not one and the same.

Originally Posted by wellwisher
If someone continues to drink, is their Beast in control?
The Beast of AVRT is just the physical, biological desire for the drink (or drug). The Beast, however, is impotent -- powerless -- and cannot move arms and legs, or open a mouth. It has to use the addictive voice to pump words and images into your mind's eye and ear to convince you to do so. If someone continues to drink, they merely listened to their AV, but they are still in control, at least up until the first pint goes down the hatch. This is not a "the Beast made me do it" kind of thing.

Remember,
AV → Beast = Bark → Dog
Furthermore, the Beast (addictive desire) is not the cause of your addiction. This is a pernicious belief, which, if you subscribe to, will have you going around in circles for a long time, trying to neuter addictive desire. While typical of addicted people to want this, hence all the usual talk about wanting the desire to be removed, it can't be done. The Beast will get weaker on its own with prolonged abstinence, however.

The force from which the Beast arises is the force of life itself, the same force that keeps you on this planet, and the destruction of the Beast would mean your own destruction as well. For all practical purposes, you cannot control what the Beast feels or otherwise get rid of it, any more than you can get rid of your sex drive. Therefore, the proximal cause, the AV — which you can do something about — and not the Beast, is the cause of your addiction.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:41 PM
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Love all these posts

Especially the analogy to drinking being like living 'in the jungle'

This really sums up what my life was like when I was drinking - all excitement, fear, paranoia, darkness and then oblivion

Wanted to pose a question which I've kind of asked before but initially was concerned about how to tell my sponsor I didn't want/need to work with her anymore. I've done that but now all these lovely women in the fellowship are worried about me and keep contacting me and want to 'catch up'

The thing is I'm not afraid to be around them or like I have to defend my Big Plan decision etc it's just I cant really be bothered hearing all the pyscho babble one day at a time stuff - it really defines who a lot of these people are and I feel like that was all we had in common and now we dont what will we talk about? Will it become a 'my way is better than your way' debate??

argghhh so I keep putting them all off and saying I'm away for work which is not honest either

Suggestions?
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Peta View Post
... all these lovely women in the fellowship are worried about me and keep contacting me and want to 'catch up'... Will it become a 'my way is better than your way' debate?? Suggestions?
First, you have to understand that on some level, they really do believe that you will get drunk again without the meetings. If you are done with AA, but yet care to spend time with these ladies outside of meetings, though, there is an easy way to sort out who wants to spend time with you versus those who wants to convince you to go back to meetings.

You simply tell them that you will meet with them to do normal things, but that under no circumstances will you return to meetings, and that you do not want to discuss your "sobriety" with them. This avoids all discussion of the "my way vs. your way" thing. Most who don't care about you outside of "the program" will just forget about you.

You should be aware, however, that some have a penchant for laying a guilt-trip, which I have some experience with. I've had more than one say that I owe a debt to the fellowship, and suggest that I am a "thief" for not giving back what was so freely given to me. I simply remind them that true altruism does not require repayment, and that 12th Step work is done to keep oneself sober.

Very few ever argue with this, because it is true, but some deluded souls still persist. To those, I say that if I were to go back to meetings, I would do so with printed business cards containing the web site address and phone number for Rational Recovery. I then ask them if they really want me passing out those business cards to every single newcomer that walks into the meeting. I've yet to encounter anyone who has told me to go back after that.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:03 AM
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Am I being too pedantic about suggesting a Big Plan contingency here?

Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
You simply tell them that you will meet with them to do normal things, but that under no circumstances will you return to meetings, and that you do not want to discuss your "sobriety" with them.
All that said, if your abstinence is contingent upon never returning to meetings, then that sentiment is, by definition, addictive voice. In my case, I don't do so for practical and cultural reasons, but not because I believe I will get drunk again if I attend an AA meeting. That would be AV.

This post is tongue-in-cheek, TU, as I am virtually copying a paragraph you used yesterday on another thread.

My answer to my own question is yes.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:53 AM
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Hey guys, I just wanted to check in and say hi. AVRT is the method of recovery I've chosen and TU has encouraged me to post in here more, so here I am. I'm going to read more in here and learn from you guys. I know it's not the best idea to count days but I'm 9 days sober today. I was 18 days sober before that, until I slipped.

So I've made my decision to never drink again and never change my mind. My commitment is undeterred and I'm done drinking alcohol forever. My resolve is sincere and I'll do whatever it takes to never drink again. I'm fine tuning my ability to hear my AV and insure every time it raises it's ugly head I'm listening to the way it undermines me and does it's best to kill me. I've been following that voice through, and it's pretty clear it wants me dead. Well, I don't want to die so it's voice will never win over my decision making.

By the way, not sure if this happens much to you guys, but the last 5 days the AV hasn't popped it's head up even once. Very strange, but it hasn't even popped into my head at all. I figure it's just hiding in a bush somewhere ready to pounce when I'm least expecting it. I'll be ready when it does.

Thanks for listening. Stay strong guys.
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:07 PM
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Nice to hear from you Vinyl

Thanks for your input everyone - I know if I say to them " I dont want to talk about my sobriety" they will think it's because I'm drinking again but that's OK - I love that part of this mehod that it's an entirely personal decision and process. Just like the choice to drink really. As much as i had 'help' from sponsors/friends in the fellowship etc the decision to drink or not always came down to me and no amount of accountability/support every changed that.

Just did the crash course again (first did it back in Jan)and had a massive AV attack when I got to the end when Jack says if you ever drink alcohol again after making a big plan you should book yourself in for the 4 day course with him in California.

Now I did drink again after doing the course the first time so IT was saying

"there you go you will never truly stay stopped until you go and do that course"

I live in New Zealand so the logistics of getting there are you know difficult

Then I find that I'm rationalising with the beast and that this Californian Suggestion is PURE AV because it

"suggests the future use of alcohol"

I'm recognising but not going to rationalise
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
Hey guys, I just wanted to check in and say hi. AVRT is the method of recovery I've chosen and TU has encouraged me to post in here more, so here I am.
Welcome to the posting side of things, Vinyl.

Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
I'm fine tuning my ability to hear my AV and insure every time it raises it's ugly head I'm listening to the way it undermines me and does it's best to kill me. I've been following that voice through, and it's pretty clear it wants me dead.
While it is absolutely true that the Beast is ruthless and will drive you into the ground if you don't drive it into the ground first, I don't think the Beast is actually trying to kill you. It has no conscience, and is just trying to survive, by doing what it believes is absolutely necessary to live -- getting that drink. The host, and anyone else who gets hurt along the way, are just collateral damage. I don't think it even knows that it will also die.

Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
By the way, not sure if this happens much to you guys, but the last 5 days the AV hasn't popped it's head up even once. Very strange, but it hasn't even popped into my head at all. I figure it's just hiding in a bush somewhere ready to pounce when I'm least expecting it. I'll be ready when it does.
Picture a newly caged wild animal. At first, it will frantically pace back and forth, trying to look for a way to get out of the cage. Eventually, it starts to realize the futility of escape, gets depressed, and becomes resigned to its fate. Then it just mostly lies down, sulks, and sleeps. This is what happens with the Beast. It will try to rattle the cage every so often, but its attempts will get further and further apart. In AVRT, though, Beast or AV activity is neither good nor bad, and a large part of AVRT is learning to live comfortably with desire and to never fear it.

At this point, you need to tighten up all the screws. I recommend you take the time to read through the book carefully, highlighting relevant portions, and that you spend some time on the exercises. You should also read through this thread, and possibly print out any posts you find particularly useful. AVRT is not difficult, but it does pump a lot of information at you, and you do have to learn it. Once incorporated into your thinking, though, AVRT operates like anti-virus software, running in the background protecting you.

GerandTwine recently posted a nice summary of what AVRT is, which I include below. Read up, and save yourself all that trial-and-error.

Originally Posted by GerandTwine
The only articulated recovery program I know of that compliments making a personal oath to become a teetotaler forever is Rational Recovery's AVRT...

In fact, If you think about it and know that your personal oath is indestructible, then you don't even have to learn AVRT, your thinking will eventually, by trial and error (not the error of drinking, just the error of unnecessary thinking), naturally create some thought patterns similar to AVRT, but not necessarily using AVRT jargon.

AVRT helps abstinent people bypass this trial and error-of-thinking process, and get right to the point of addressing the residual desire.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:31 AM
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The axis of addiction

There are two key phenomena that maintain addiction — withdrawal, and consummation. They work together as carrot and stick, keeping us spinning on the axis of addiction, much as the Earth rotates on its axis. Withdrawal and consummation become our new sunset and sunrise, as if life itself depends upon the drug.

There is an obvious solution to this dilemma, which is to fall off the axis and to stay off, but the addictive voice will say anything to conceal this simple solution from us. Once off, the AV will then say anything to get us back on the axis. The Big Plan takes us out of the axis of addiction, and AVRT keeps us off.
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