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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 12-16-2011, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
Personally, I think it IS the addictive voice itself that is proclaiming the lack of desire to drink.
Bingo. "I have no desire to drink" is pure Addictive Voice.

Originally Posted by DrivenHeart85 View Post
Ahhhhh, I get it now. Saying it's good for your desire not being around or bad if it is around, is essentially assigning the Beast power. The Beast has no power, so its trick will be the AV telling you it does have power...through negative emotions related to its presence and through positive emotions related to its absence.
Precisely.

You: "Wow, I haven't had a desire to drink in so long."

AV: "You are doing good, but you had better hope you continue to have no desire to drink, because if you did have a desire, you might actually drink. You're safe for now, though, and it's wonderful to be free of the desire to drink."

[Some time later, perhaps weeks, perhaps, months, or perhaps years]

You: "Dang, that desire to drink is back."

AV: "You've been cruising along all this time, but you haven't really been tested like this before. Remember, you're just an alcoholic, powerless over the desire to drink, and it's useless for you to struggle against the desire, so screw it, just give in and drink. It can't be any different."
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:55 AM
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While we're on the topic of classic Beast set-ups, here's another one:
"I have no plan to drink."
If you don't see the embedded AV in that statement, compare it to this one:
"I plan to never drink."
The absence of a plan to never drink is simply a plan to drink at some point in the future, should conditions warrant doing so.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:09 AM
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I fell right into the trap you outlined above TU. I thought that having no desire was a great thing. Until the beast came after me full bore and I gave in. I now believe beast activity is a good thing. It allows me to get to know how it operates. Of course, just when I figure out one of its tricks, it adopts another. I love this thread and learn so much from it. Thanks to all who participate.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Exploring View Post
I love this thread and learn so much from it. Thanks to all who participate.
My hope is that people will be able to read through this thread and get up to speed on AVRT much faster than might otherwise be the case. The Rational Recovery book is self-contained, and it would be a mistake to consider this thread a replacement for it. Nevertheless, the AV can be more thoroughly exposed with multiple eyes on it, so to speak, and that can be very helpful in the beginning.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:48 PM
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I've read the book and gained a lot of knowledge from it. This thread though is so helpful to ask specific questions that may arise. Thanks again for starting it. Actually, I am going to read the entire book again as I believe I missed certain points the first time around. Also going to read this thread in its entirety again. Can't ever be too educated.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Bingo. "I have no desire to drink" is pure Addictive Voice.
I love the concept of a voice I don't hear which tells me I don't have a desire I don't feel.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:39 PM
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For not being able to hear it, you're certainly describing it well enough here.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Augie View Post
I love the concept of a voice I don't hear which tells me I don't have a desire I don't feel.
That is precisely the problem; you aren't seeing the AV embedded in that statement. I posed a few questions to give you a moving target, but you chose not to answer them. That is perfectly fine by me, but if you want to learn how AVRT works, you might want to read them over. Either way, your response gave me an opportunity to pose them, and they may help someone else, so thanks.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
That is precisely the problem; you aren't seeing the AV embedded in that statement. I posed a few questions to give you a moving target, but you chose not to answer them. That is perfectly fine by me, but if you want to learn how AVRT works, you might want to read them over. Either way, your response gave me an opportunity to pose them, and they may help someone else, so thanks.
Glad to help.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Augie View Post
Glad to help.
Have you read "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction," Augie?

Much of this is covered in the book.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
For not being able to hear it, you're certainly describing it well enough here.
I have to conclude that some people are not inclined to even take the basic crash course on AVRT, and instead want spoon-fed wisdom. I know you know this, FT, but just for the record, the Addictive Voice is defined as "Any thinking, imagery, or feeling that supports, or even suggests, your future use of alcohol or drugs, ever." The AV can take many forms, and does not have to be a literal "voice" that you hear.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I have to conclude that some people are not inclined to even take the basic crash course on AVRT, and instead want spoon-fed wisdom. I know you know this, FT, but just for the record, the Addictive Voice is defined as "Any thinking, imagery, or feeling that supports, or even suggests, your future use of alcohol or drugs, ever." The AV can take many forms, and does not have to be a literal "voice" that you hear.
The thought passed my mind that once you get used to the stuff your AV says that even a 2 year old could say advocates drinking, maybe you then are faced with more deep seated, not so obvious attempts to coerce you. I remember when, "I'm too stressed to stop drinking" seemed like a fact...now it's practically a joke, like I could turn to my Beast and say, "Really? You think you're going to get somewhere with THAT??? lol" So then, in order for the Beast to fulfill its job, it may have to shift strategies to a more advanced level...maybe to the emotions like we just discussed.

Now, I know the animal brain/Beast comparison is metaphorical so it's weird to think of my animal brain strategizing like some villain but then I think about the sex drive of males and the extent to which it controls their behavior and how they'll manipulate females to sleep with them. If the animal brain is responsible for that strategizing, then I suppose it could do the same with alcohol.

Or on the other hand, maybe the Beast brain isn't strategizing but rather the "I" or midbrain, is starting to peel away layers of deeply entrenched learned skills/thoughts. Each time one is exposed, another is brought to light to be labeled "AV" and then dismissed, and then repeat.

Anyway, this is a lot of rambling from me on a Friday night but it would be nice to know if the animal brain is capable of shifting strategies or if it's the mid brain that's just exposing new thoughts/feelings that haven't been labeled as AV yet...

I guess to sum it up, is it the Beast creating new strategies or is it the midbrain discovering more of what's already there as AV?
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:47 PM
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What a thought provoking question. Can't wait until someone who is more experienced with AVRT comes along and shares their thoughts.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DrivenHeart85 View Post
Now, I know the animal brain/Beast comparison is metaphorical so it's weird to think of my animal brain strategizing like some villain but then I think about the sex drive of males and the extent to which it controls their behavior and how they'll manipulate females to sleep with them. If the animal brain is responsible for that strategizing, then I suppose it could do the same with alcohol.
The midbrain is what generates survival appetites, such as those for breathing, drinking, eating, and reproduction. The Beast is a perverted survival drive, which also originates in the midbrain. The primitive brain is not, by itself, able to strategize, but by generating survival drives, can enlist all of your memories and intelligence towards getting what it wants. The example you gave of how the sex drive works is a very good demonstration of this. By itself, the body will simply generate a desire, but it is the animal voice (AV) which will organize your higher thinking to obtain what the body wants. Hunger alone won't get you fed, after all, and just wanting to sleep with someone doesn't mean it will happen. The Addictive Voice is simply a turbo-charged version of your animal voice.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:06 PM
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It would be my sense that the Beast has no voice. It is raw instinct, emotion, passion, anger, lust, hunger, pain, fear, satiation, thirst, longing, all the yin and yang that lies underneath thought. Name it what you like, but I think Freud had it described in terms of the id, ego, and super ego, working in that order from basal drives on up.

The boundaries dividing those parts of us defines our civility, and in turn our self control.

To assign an intellectual strategy to the Beast would be akin to expecting a newborn to drive to the store and plan next week's menu. I'm sure someone might have a far funnier analogy than I have come up with.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:23 AM
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Relapse Anxiety

In RR:TNC, at the top of page 189, it says to attribute anxiety about relapsing to the Beast. Then further down the page under the heading Relapse Anxiety's Hidden Agenda at the beginning of the third paragraph it says:

You are frightened of relapse and happy with the idea of a Big Plan.(Aren't you?) But your Beast is frightened at the Big Plan and happy about the possibility of relapse.
Doesn't that contradict itself? First it says the anxiety is the Beast's and then it says it is yours.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
Doesn't that contradict itself? First it says the anxiety is the Beast's and then it says it is yours.
Relapse anxiety can exist, but can be looked at two ways. If you have a history of problems with alcohol or drugs, you probably view relapse as a potential source of big trouble. The Beast, however, sees relapse anxiety as an opening, a hole in your Big Plan, a way to get its next fix. The easiest way to deal with this is to recognize relapse anxiety as the AV itself, injecting doubt. If you really aren't going to drink or use again, why are you afraid of relapse?

The AVRT Matrix that you posted previously illustrates this. As an aside, I recommend that people reading through the book print out that matrix for quick reference.

AVRT Matrix —
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:19 AM
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If have in my head "not an option," (that is, no drinking, period, no matter what), then that settles it.
If I don't have a desire to drink, then yes, what a nice gift (I'll take it, thank you) but that doesn't mean the desire won't come back at some moment or period in my life. Awareness is key. The answer is always "not an option."
Any bargaining or consideration to drink is the AV. For me, it's blessed simplicity, and all I need in my hectic life (especially this time of year, lol!).
Wishing all a wonderful holiday season.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Augie View Post
I'll take issue with this, speaking only for myself. Can't entirely tell you why I've had no craving whatsoever to drink or drug since cleaning up 8 months ago, but the fact is I haven't. Most of what I've changed isn't specific to addiction. It's been more general changes in how I relate to myself, others, the world; I'm guessing the answer lies somewhere in there.

Again, this is just my experience. Not at all comfortable making any universal claims about addiction and recovery.
This was me. And every time I would relapse after months of sobriety I would say "I have no idea what happened. I was having no urges at all and then bam - had a fleeting thought one day, went into autopilot and got drunk".

Someone suggested I tempt myself - at first thought I deemed this a stupid and dangerous idea. But after thinking it over, it made sense. By doing so, I was able to bring out some desire, observe it and then deal with it. Prior to being able to do this and claiming I had no desire...I look back now and feel I was on very dangerous ground.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
This was me. And every time I would relapse after months of sobriety I would say "I have no idea what happened. I was having no urges at all and then bam - had a fleeting thought one day, went into autopilot and got drunk".

Someone suggested I tempt myself - at first thought I deemed this a stupid and dangerous idea. But after thinking it over, it made sense. By doing so, I was able to bring out some desire, observe it and then deal with it. Prior to being able to do this and claiming I had no desire...I look back now and feel I was on very dangerous ground.
Hi freethinking,

I went about quitting drinking in a little different way than most, and in a way that may not be a good idea for many. Most of the regulars here have already heard me talk about "The Cold Duck Method" of quitting drinking.

Cold Duck was my DOC for many years, which started as a special indulgence on anniversaries and later became a two bottle a night "celebration". Every night I would buy a bottle on the way home planning to drink one, then I'd go back out and get the second (always had a plan for ONE, but rarely succeeded).

One night I decided "I'm not going to drink", but I bought the bottle anyway, "just in case". I ate, and I looked at the bottle in the fridge, and didn't drink it. I knew it was there, so I felt safe.

I decided to try it a second night. Eat. Look at bottle. Don't drink it. Okay. Safe.

I repeated the motions over and over, and the "safe" feeling I had from the cold duck in fridge actually helped me not to drink it. I knew I COULD drink it, even if I panicked in the middle of the night. Of course, I could have gone and bought ANY drink I wanted at the store, which was a few blocks away. But I could go in and look at THAT one without even having to put on my clothes.

The bottle stayed there, and I never drank again. That was a long time ago, and I can't remember what happened to the bottle, but I figure my husband must have eventually given it away -- I doubt he would have thrown out a "perfectly good" bottle of alcohol, since he was a drinker, too. He quit soon after I did, but he could never leave a gallon of Carlo Rossi in the house, because he WOULD have drunk it.

Just a story. Just my way. But I think of this whenever people discuss avoidance. I realize you weren't talking specifically about "avoidance", but to me the thought of being blindsided by sudden urges to drink brings to mind sudden impulse perhaps secondary to sudden availability -- out of sight, out of mind, so to speak. I guess that maybe, for me, I needed to do it "The Cold Duck Method" way, because my profession involves LOTS of celebrations with champagne, and I knew I'd have to get over it quickly.

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