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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 3

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 3

Old 01-16-2012, 11:23 AM
  # 281 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
Harambulus,

To me, "whiteknuckling" it is a description of allowing your Addictive Voice to engage you in a struggle. When you allow yourself to be so engaged, you are empowering the AV to affect your behavior. Continuing such a struggle only tires you, and your AV has time.

Instead of struggling, just let go. Don't argue any more. Let the AV/Beast have their conversations without you. It really is only "noise" and need not be paid attention to. After awhile, the noise is not so loud any more, and may even seem to disappear for periods of time.

As I've said before, your Big Plan is not a "thesis" for presentation to the AV/Beast for examination and argument. It is a statement of self-identity as a non-drinker or non-substance-user. It is who you are.

These are my thoughts and definitions. I'm sure the book explains it much better than I do. Get the book and read it. Terminally Unique will give you, or has given you the titles and references.

Personally, I think "whiteknuckling" it is a ridiculous concept and one I would never engage in. It implies a struggle that cannot be sustained, and really is just your Addictive Voice giving you a pass to go back to being a drinker/drug user. You'll hear this term a lot with people who have relapsed and continue to struggle. It is not an AVRT concept at all.
FT, what a great post! I think you succinctly explained to any newcomer how and why AVRT is not about willpower.

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:01 PM
  # 282 (permalink)  
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Wow, had to catch up, been away awhile. The past few months have been interesting for me to say the least, and I have been able to "tune out the noise" for the most part. Recently however, the it has started to get quite pushy. I have an annual event coming up and it was always a weekend drunk. I refuse to break tradition and cancel so I will exercise my control and not give in to the "noise". The anxiety of preparation for this I know is beast noise, but I am hoping it will strengthen my resolve over the AV.

I did stay away for a while due to not being able to control my emotions when reading this thread. While very practical, cold and "scientific" in nature, there are posts that would bring me to tears for no apparent reason I can deduce. They are not emtional posts either. In fact in catching up today I was caught off gaurd. they are not hopeless emotions but inspiring ones.

I also see that there are many newcomers like I was a few months ago, that are asking questions that can be recognized as pure beast speak on their face. Not that they are wrong, and I'm not calling anyone out, just very interesting to see the ideals and viewpoints change over time.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:49 PM
  # 283 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
I also see that there are many newcomers like I was a few months ago, that are asking questions that can be recognized as pure beast speak on their face. Not that they are wrong, and I'm not calling anyone out, just very interesting to see the ideals and viewpoints change over time.
You can certainly see a definite change once the "light bulb" goes off and people start to get it. It is good that some of this is being documented, and I hope the newer people keep posting. With some good back and forth, I think people can get up to speed far more quickly than they might otherwise.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:17 PM
  # 284 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Harambulus View Post
I think my main issue is i cant remember what its like to have fun without drugs.

Not saying I dont believe it can be done just i cant remember so the immediate thought of a life without drugs seems bleak.
I can understand where you're coming from because I started drinking & drugging in my early teens and every friend's party always involved getting drunk or high. This has continued until the present day (though I stopped using any other drugs except alcohol a long time ago).

With all that said, I'm almost 40 years old, I have a family and I'm getting too old for that. I rarely go out with friends much anymore and tend to drink alone on Friday and Saturday night (continuing the tradition started with friends, but now alone). Yes, when I do occasionally go to a friends party, or out with the guys from work, it is when my AV gets most active, but for the time being I'm willing to avoid these situations and focus on my adult, family life (though I know in AVRT you're not supposed to avoid situations).

And the idea of life seeming bleak without drugs is the AV talking.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:41 PM
  # 285 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
...in catching up today I was caught off gaurd. they are not hopeless emotions but inspiring ones.
Fan that spark of hope into a roaring flame, Watcher. It is no pink cloud, and if you want to, you can make it last a lifetime.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:57 PM
  # 286 (permalink)  
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Hi everyone

Well the beast and AV have been quite active today

Thats OK but I felt like I really needed to come on here - started questioning myself and my decision a bit (that I'm a non drinker and will never change my mind) the AV was asking "do you REALLY mean that?" and I just repeated and repeated it

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact my book arrived yesterday and I've begun reading in earnest!
I've joined weight watchers online as I want to lose about 10 pounds. I know this is somewhat unrelated (although I have also ordered the Feast Beast book)
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:00 PM
  # 287 (permalink)  
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sorry pressed enter too soon!

So I've joined weight watchers and my AV was so loud earlier when I was reading a 'success story' and the woman was talking about her love of beer and how she can fit her love of beer into her weekly regime blah blah blah

and then it started

"wouldnt it be nice to do that too?? you could do that too! blah blah"

Just said to myself - well thats nice for her but I will never drink again and I will never change my mind

Then the AV startes on the whole

"This is WAY too simple.. its just a game of rhetoric this AVRT it's not ENOUGH to keep you sober you need a deep spiritual progam like AA this AVRT is all smoke an mirrors. Why dont you drink today its sunny and would be so much fun to get a bottle of wine on your way home and then you can go back to AA tomorrow"

Think I'll go home tonight and read read read my book!
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:19 PM
  # 288 (permalink)  
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Peta,

The one thing they teach in AVRT - and I'm not good at this myself yet - is that we shouldn't argue with our Beast or AV. Instead, you ignore it and stick to you Big Plan. To quote from Trimpey:

"Q: How long will you hear the Beast yammering and arguing and planning?
A: As long as it wants to yammer and argue and plan.

Q: Won’t constant AV destroy my happiness?
A: It’s like a baby crying for no reason; ignore it and it will get the message and quiet down.

Q: How can I reduce my AV?
A: Your fear of AV is AV itself. Let it be. It’s harmless, like a barking dog. No use barking back."
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:27 PM
  # 289 (permalink)  
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Thanks Cocteau

You're right

I've been letting it wash over me, ingore it and it has passed
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:18 PM
  # 290 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Peta View Post
Well the beast and AV have been quite active today
This is normal, and nothing to worry about. The Beast is a survival drive, and it wants to survive. You've backed it into a corner by cutting off its supply, and like a cornered animal, it is scared, and it is snarling. The Beast is a quadriplegic, though. It can't actually do anything on its own (like getting a drink).

Originally Posted by Peta View Post
... started questioning myself and my decision a bit (that I'm a non drinker and will never change my mind) the AV was asking "do you REALLY mean that?" and I just repeated and repeated it
All self-doubt about your ability to abstain is the AV itself, injecting doubt. Remember, the AV can say "I'm going to get you tomorrow, or the day after, or next week, etc," but no matter on what day the Beast plans to drink, when that day finally comes, it will still be now. This is how you can actually be certain that you will never drink, if that is what you want.


Remember, the Big Plan can be phrased at least two different ways:
  1. I will never drink again, and I will never change my mind.

  2. I will never drink in the present moment.

I happen to prefer the first version myself, but others seem to grasp things better with the second version. If you never drink in the present moment, then the Beast can plan ahead for its next fix all it wants. That "tomorrow" will never actually come, because you'll always be in the present, and you don't drink in the present.

Originally Posted by Peta View Post
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact my book arrived yesterday and I've begun reading in earnest!
No doubt. Keep reading!
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:33 PM
  # 291 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Thrifty View Post
I am still reading the book and threads and have not made a big plan yet. I am choosing instead to listen to my beast who is telling me to take my time until I completely "get it".
For the Beast, it will never be a good time to make a Big Plan, and telling you that you need to figure out every single nuance of AVRT before doing anything at all is classic AV. Don't let inertia settle in and cement you. Instead, set a reasonable deadline for finishing the book and the threads, such as a week from now. Eventually, if you want to actually get this behind you, you will have to take the plunge. Much like the first time you jumped off a diving board, even though you were probably really nervous, you just have to take that leap of faith.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:11 PM
  # 292 (permalink)  
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"I will never drink in the present moment"

I hadn't read that take on it tii just now. I like it!

Seems like a good fit for this head of mine. Thank you TU!
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:49 PM
  # 293 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tippingpoint View Post
"I will never drink in the present moment"

I hadn't read that take on it tii just now. I like it!

Seems like a good fit for this head of mine. Thank you TU!
No bother, Tippingpoint. Lest anyone draws the conclusion that "I will never drink in the present moment" is somehow equivalent to quitting "just for today," or quitting merely "one day at a time," however, I should point out that it is not. The key difference is in the word never. If someone were to say "I will never drink today," that might be equivalent, since it will always be today, but nobody ever says that. Instead, they conveniently leave out the word never, which is the only word the Beast truly fears. Ultimately, you have to phrase your Big Plan in a way that makes sense to you without leaving any loopholes, but regardless of how you phrase it internally, you should still be able to guarantee others that you won't ever drink again if necessary.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:58 AM
  # 294 (permalink)  
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The one big challenge I've had with AVRT in the past is since I'm primarily a weekend drinker, my Beast is very quiet most of the week. It was the same when I smoked cigarettes; I could go without smoking all week and then Friday night, as soon as I left work I was dying for a cigarette.

Because of this, I seem to not get the practice in until the Beast and his AV are hitting me full force. Yesterday and today I feel 100% confident in my Big Plan, but come Thursday (I'm off Friday, making it a weekend night), I fear the attack - but I guess that's just the Beast speaking.

BTW, I've got a call with Jack Trimpey today to discuss the class. I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meanwhile, I've been listening to AVRT Live during my commute, and re-reading The Cure and this thread from the beginning.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:52 AM
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Cocteau, it seems like that's a common beast thing to do.... To let you be confident for a while, then come at you full force at certain times. Is that vertigo or flooding? What's the difference between the two?

Anyway, I am finding a lot of beast activity that doubts that this method will work for me. I got to the point that I was not recognizing it and was discouraged. Then this morning I started using the shifting technique. The question came up.... "Will I get AVRT? Will I make this work once and for all?" When "I" answer yes, feel really hopeful and fearless, like a big weight has been lifted. The beast however, tells me that it can't be done, this is just another pie in the sky method, you would have gotten it by now if you're going to get it at all. When "I" answer no, I feel devastated and hopeless and self loathing. The beast on the other hand feels like it gets another day to stay alive and relieved that it talked me out of saying never.

Besides just recognizing the voice, did any of you practice shifting? Did you set up questions to practice with, or did you just use the technique when something came up. Was it helpful?
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrifty View Post
Besides just recognizing the voice, did any of you practice shifting? Did you set up questions to practice with, or did you just use the technique when something came up. Was it helpful?
Shifting is very useful once you get the hang of it. You can literally change the way you feel in the presence of your drink or drug of choice. I think I posted previously about practicing with YouTube video reviews of scotch and then moving on to the actual live bottle. It is worth doing this intentionally so that you already know how to do it when something does come up. That doesn't mean you have to continually practice incessantly, however. Once you get the hang of shifting, it becomes very easy to do.

Shifting is a very powerful technique, and it can be used in all sorts of social situations (ie, "slippery places"). Presumably, formerly addicted people are not supposed to be able to change how they feel about their DOC on demand, and it is commonly believed that they will have to struggle against desire. This is not so. At this point, I could literally walk through a distillery or sleep with a bottle of scotch under my pillow knowing perfectly well that I am safe from the Beast, and that I will not drink.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for that answer TU. One more question about shifting.... Do you shift into all 4 quadrants? Or do you shift between 2? For example if you see a drink and imagine saying yes to the drink from the perspective of the beast and from your perspective. Do you then go on to saying no to the drink as well?
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tippingpoint View Post
"I will never drink in the present moment"

I hadn't read that take on it tii just now. I like it!

Seems like a good fit for this head of mine.
I agree wholeheartedly with you, TippingPoint. Instead of self doubt or lack of confidence in my plan, this statement fills me with resolve and the certainty that nothing can ever make me drink again. I got this one.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:46 PM
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Ironically, while drinking had ruined my ability to dream healthfully, it was in my dreams that the beast made its last stand to try and get me to drink some more, and I did drink in the dreams - and felt drunk - but woke up stone sober. At first, the dreams were anxiety producing, but they soon became interesting and curiously repetitive; eventually they stopped. I knew I had ended a huge part of my lifestyle - what I had once considered part of being an interesting, fun, and explorative human being - boozing and smoking pot. I had turned against it because I realized it had put me in a death spiral regarding any decent, successful future; and to get out I had to kill it. So I starved it, while fully experiencing the withering away of a huge bank of chemically enhanced pleasure memories. I learned from the dreams that many memories were only accessible to me when under the influence. As the drinking/drugging dreams ended, they would be lost forever. It took several years for them to finally fade away. I now look back with ambivalence to that thirteen years of gross drinking and smoking. Somehow, I feel my beast died the way the T2000 dies in the molten iron at the end of Terminator 2, but much more slowly. As it died, I felt the sadness of the loss. But that feeling was dwarfed by the huge changes for the better in getting on with the rest of my life.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dalia View Post
I have been reading and following the AVRT threads. Thanks all and TU. They speak to me. I have the RR book and I think I get it, or at least kind of. I will make one and only one big plan. I'm just afraid to do it. I know that is beast.
I spent a lot of time — years — getting around to finally quitting. I went to counselors, kept drinking. I went to meetings, kept drinking. I stopped "until things improved," then went back to drinking. For a while, I kept the RR book on my coffee table, in plain sight, hoping that seeing it every single day might motivate me to finally make a Big Plan and get on with life. Yet, I still kept putting it off, and kept on drinking. In the final analysis, you just have to take the plunge.

You can learn from your struggle in making a Big Plan, though, because you undoubtedly hear a lot of AV noise. The Beast knows what you are considering, and it knows that a Big Plan would be its undoing. It will therefore throw everything at you — including the kitchen sink — to try and dissuade you from doing it. Your Beast will see a Big Plan as a death trap, and it will tell you that you are setting yourself up for a big fall, and that you won't ever be happy again. If you listen carefully, though, the Beast will tell you precisely how to kill it.

The AV will reveal the cardinal rule of addiction: never say never to the possible future use of alcohol and drugs. In doing so, it also shows you the way out: say never. You can either heed its words, and stay stuck, or turn the tables on it. If you have good reason to cut back or stop temporarily, you probably also have good reason to quit for good. Ultimately, however, we are free to quit drinking for good, or not, and no one can make that decision for you. Stopping just for today even seems to work for some people, in 12-Step programs or not.

If you want to finally walk free, though, make up your mind. Set your confidence level for lifetime abstinence arbitrarily at 100%, recognize all self-doubt as the Addictive Voice itself, and you will do well. Not that it should matter at all, but I have full faith in your capacity to recover, even if you do not. I would wish you luck, but I know that luck has nothing to do with it. So, instead, best choices to you, Dalia.
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