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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion Part 2

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion Part 2

Old 10-13-2011, 12:53 PM
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Yep, there's still a lot of "nobody can just up and quit on their own and never drink again, it's just not that easy" still floating around in my head. Ugh, if they wouldn't have kept pounding this stuff into my brain with the "You're not trying hard enough" lines. God knows when someone tells me to try harder, I try 10 times harder just out of spite. lol I need one of those Men In Black memory erasers...
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:11 PM
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This is a timely discussion for me. I came close to white knuckling tonight. Funnily enough if came on while reading the RR book!

"Go on, just go downstairs and have a couple of those beers in the fridge. Follow it up with that bottle of wine."

For the first time since making a Big Plan I was tempted and got into a debate with the Beast. Once you start, it's hard to stop – and I had to exercise some willpower. I'm a bit like April in that my AV sometimes makes me think eventually my Beast will get the better of me. And tonight he came quite close.

Any tips? I'm starting Part II of RR tomorrow for the second time.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:58 PM
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Sounds like a lot of Beasts are getting agitated lately. Full moon? lol
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
For the first time since making a Big Plan I was tempted and got into a debate with the Beast. Once you start, it's hard to stop – and I had to exercise some willpower. I'm a bit like April in that my AV sometimes makes me think eventually my Beast will get the better of me. And tonight he came quite close.

Any tips?
Your AV is just doing its job, which is to undermine your confidence, so don't argue. Stay in the first person pronoun, "I", and don't let the AV use it. You can talk about IT, but don't talk to it. If you feel like you are on autopilot, try the "vertigo" technique I described in my post earlier.

Next time your Beast acts up, try asking it to give you one good reason why you should drink, other than "to feel good," then ask it to wiggle your fingers. You'll see that it can't do anything, only you can.

If you really are afraid, though, consider getting rid of the supply until you get the hang of it. You don't need to prove anything, and you can do the shifting exercises using Youtube videos.

Close doesn't count, BTW.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:04 PM
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Peace of mind - me.
Anxiety accompianed with stinking thinking - Something is stirring within...

When I recognize the stirring I stop and focus on my breathing and eventually the clouds pass.

Woooooo
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:24 PM
  # 126 (permalink)  
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Here and there my AV shows up, maybe just to let me know he's there. I don't try to ignore him anymore. I just look at him sorta like the noisy, smelly guy that gets on the bus and there's no other seats left except the one next to me. Okay, fine, you can ride next to me for a minute, but you're annoying and I'll be glad when we get to your stop.

Sometimes, he smells pretty good and has interesting things to say. But I recognize him for what he is, I smile politely, engage in polite conversation, but ultimate we part ways soon enough and go our separate ways.

I'm just not a drinker. I have to live in this society, and I can't control who gets not the bus or when. When that charismatic fellow charms me, it still doesn't tempt me to get off the bus with him.

Stoopid analogy, yes.

But, this happened to me the other day when my husband and I were riding our bikes down by the marina. There's a nice Italian restaurant there, and the restaurant was holding a free wine tasting. We rode past the people sitting outside at tables with big umbrellas, and I could smell their food and even their wine. Lordy, how lovely and romantic was that?

For just a minute, I romanticized how lovely it would be if that were my husband and I sipping wine under the umbrellas. How could I deprive myself of such?

But the thoughts and attraction were fleeting, and the daydream gave way to the reality of how we wouldn't stop at the "tasting", and we'd be home finishing off several bottles before the night was through. It's sort of a conditioned response these days --> thoughts of wine --> lovely, unrealistic daydream --> memories of overindulgence and hangovers. Like dominos falling in sequence, the end result is always the end result. The imagery works for me.

The tricky part is that the AV can sound terribly charismatic if you don't call it on its lies straight away.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. No more, no way, no how, go away.

FT
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
It's sort of a conditioned response these days --> thoughts of wine --> lovely, unrealistic daydream --> memories of overindulgence and hangovers. Like dominos falling in sequence, the end result is always the end result. The imagery works for me.
I just ask myself:
"OK, TU, if you listen to this seductive voice in your head telling you to drink, you know that Mr. Beast will be very happy, but how are you going to feel about it tomorrow?"
That is usually enough to kill the head noise. A form of shifting, to be sure, since I am alternating between points of view, mine and the Beast's.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:45 AM
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Just wanted to say thanks for this discussion; I've read the whole thing from beginning to end. It really makes sense to me.

So...I took the crash course and ordered the book. I'm currently reading the second part. I'm trying it every day, but I guess I'm just not quite getting it. I'll keep practicing, though.

At least I'm hopeful now that there might be a way out for me.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post

For just a minute, I romanticized how lovely it would be if that were my husband and I sipping wine under the umbrellas. How could I deprive myself of such?

But the thoughts and attraction were fleeting, and the daydream gave way to the reality of how we wouldn't stop at the "tasting", and we'd be home finishing off several bottles before the night was through. It's sort of a conditioned response these days --> thoughts of wine --> lovely, unrealistic daydream --> memories of overindulgence and hangovers. Like dominos falling in sequence, the end result is always the end result. The imagery works for me.

The tricky part is that the AV can sound terribly charismatic if you don't call it on its lies straight away.


FT
I can relate. This gets me a lot too, and with wine as well. I do the same thing though and think the reality of that glass through. I'd be drunk and unable to pick my kids up from school about 1 week after said glass of wine under the umbrella.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by oakwood View Post
At least I'm hopeful now that there might be a way out for me.
There's a way out. If I can get it after being in and out of another program for 17 years racking up no more than 5 months of sobriety (excepting when I was pregnant), anyone can do it. Lol, which reminds me that last time I saw an addictions specialist he diagnosed me with pathological denial due to my inability to stay sober. "Pathological" never sounds good in front of any word
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Your AV is just doing its job, which is to undermine your confidence, so don't argue. Stay in the first person pronoun, "I", and don't let the AV use it. You can talk about IT, but don't talk to it. If you feel like you are on autopilot, try the "vertigo" technique I described in my post earlier.

Next time your Beast acts up, try asking it to give you one good reason why you should drink, other than "to feel good," then ask it to wiggle your fingers. You'll see that it can't do anything, only you can.

If you really are afraid, though, consider getting rid of the supply until you get the hang of it. You don't need to prove anything, and you can do the shifting exercises using Youtube videos.

Close doesn't count, BTW.
Thanks. It's weird that it can up at a time when I really shouldn't have been bothered. I have gone through plenty of periods where I normally would have drank—and didn't, with the bare minimum of activity.

It's just knocked my confidence a bit. I made the mistake of talking to it, as you said. I won't fall for that again!
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:31 AM
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With this method what I am taking from it is you do have control over your beast and that your not powerless over your disease & there is no need for a Higher Power to control your life cause your are OK on your own?

Even though my best thinking got me into this whole mess I am still expected to trust what is in my head and then follow it?

Please don't take offense I am trying to understand all of this as it is very foreign to me.
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:01 AM
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I had a similar attack today and again came close to white knuckling. But I said to myself, why are you getting worked up over this? You don't drink, and never will again so you're worrying about someone else's problem: the Beast's. The Beast is worried, you don't need to be so calm down.

And then it went and I did indeed film calm.

I'm conscious of the fact I still don't fully feel like a lifelong non-drinker and I think it's making me vulnerable. Are there any exercises the engrain the Big Plan into your mind?
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
I'm conscious of the fact I still don't fully feel like a lifelong non-drinker and I think it's making me vulnerable. Are there any exercises the engrain the Big Plan into your mind?
I'm not aware of any, but you can try restating your Big Plan each time the AV pops up. After a Beast attack, you can say to yourself "I will never drink again, and I will never change my mind." I imagine that stating it before going to sleep or first thing upon waking up might also have the same effect.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by newby1961 View Post
With this method what I am taking from it is you do have control over your beast and that your not powerless over your disease & there is no need for a Higher Power to control your life cause your are OK on your own?
For the purposes of AVRT, one's belief in the divine or lack thereof is of no relevance. Whether by creation or evolution, we all have the innate ability to resist bodily desire. In AVRT, we call the perverse desire for alcohol or drugs the Beast, and the Addictive Voice (AV) is the expression of that desire. AVRT is a means to recognize and identify the Addictive Voice, objectify the desire for alcohol or drugs (the Beast) as ego-alien (not us), and to separate from it. In doing so, the Beast loses its power and we regain control.

Originally Posted by newby1961 View Post
Even though my best thinking got me into this whole mess I am still expected to trust what is in my head and then follow it?
Quite the contrary, and I personally tend to believe that my worst thinking got me into this mess. With AVRT, you are expected to identify the Addictive Voice, and to not trust it at all. You effectively stand as a sentinel in your mind's eye, and if the AV appears, your task is to objectify it and to not follow what it says.

Originally Posted by newby1961 View Post
Please don't take offense I am trying to understand all of this as it is very foreign to me.
It is apparent from your post, as well as your profile, that you are a member of AA, so AVRT would indeed seem foreign to you, since AVRT offers a very different paradigm. If you are interested in understanding AVRT, I recommend that you purchase the book "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey and that you read it. You may also want to check out the free crash course on AVRT at the Rational Recovery web site, which you can find by using Google.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by oakwood View Post
Just wanted to say thanks for this discussion; I've read the whole thing from beginning to end. It really makes sense to me.

So...I took the crash course and ordered the book. I'm currently reading the second part. I'm trying it every day, but I guess I'm just not quite getting it. I'll keep practicing, though.

At least I'm hopeful now that there might be a way out for me.
The second part of the book is the bulk of the material on AVRT. Make sure you don't skip the ACTION exercises or question sections at the end of each chapter, or at least go back to them after you finish reading the book. Be sure to also read the sample AVRT session transcript in Part III under the heading "The Case of Richard" on pages 274-291. I also recommend that you commit to memory Figure 5 on Page 190 ("The Relapse Anxiety Grid"), or at least bookmark it. If the plus and minus signs in the grid don't make much sense to you, replace "+" with and "-" with and you should get the idea.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
I'm conscious of the fact I still don't fully feel like a lifelong non-drinker and I think it's making me vulnerable.
Kanamit,

A question: Is it you that doesn't feel like a lifelong non-drinker or IT (your Beast)? Let the Beast count time and worry about forever. You just worry about the only time that you can possibly abstain, which is right now, as in "I never now drink."

Something to ponder.
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
The second part of the book is the bulk of the material on AVRT. Make sure you don't skip the ACTION exercises or question sections at the end of each chapter, or at least go back to them after you finish reading the book. Be sure to also read the sample AVRT session transcript in Part III under the heading "The Case of Richard" on pages 274-291. I also recommend that you commit to memory Figure 5 on Page 190 ("The Relapse Anxiety Grid"), or at least bookmark it. If the plus and minus signs in the grid don't make much sense to you, replace "+" with and "-" with and you should get the idea.
You were the first one to respond to my introductory post in which I lamented that I didn't know why or how I had gotten to this point. It was a typical newby post, I suppose. Rather than being all sympathetic to me, you essentially said, "Don't worry about all that. What's your plan now?"

Well, geez, that kind of struck me like a ton of bricks. Seemed kind of tough. Then, when I read about RR (from your signature) I realized I had been wallowing for years in this continuous debate in my head and was always losing. Well, what do you know, I started saying maybe I do
have the power.

I'll keep working at it. I like the whole concept so there's a good chance of success, I think.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by oakwood View Post
You were the first one to respond to my introductory post in which I lamented that I didn't know why or how I had gotten to this point. It was a typical newby post, I suppose. Rather than being all sympathetic to me, you essentially said, "Don't worry about all that. What's your plan now?"
Some people may not like my style, but I am keenly aware of the propensity of addicted people to want to do anything to avoid actually quitting, including spending a lifetime analyzing their issues, so I usually get right to the point.

Originally Posted by oakwood View Post
Well, geez, that kind of struck me like a ton of bricks. Seemed kind of tough. Then, when I read about RR (from your signature) I realized I had been wallowing for years in this continuous debate in my head and was always losing. Well, what do you know, I started saying maybe I do have the power.
AVRT does sting a little at first, but that is only because your Beast, which has been hiding in the dark for years, pretending to be you, knows perfectly well that you do have the power to kill it once it is exposed. IT is afraid of exposure, will instinctively recoil from anything that might shine a light on it, and will naturally try to get you to do the same.

Originally Posted by oakwood View Post
I'll keep working at it. I like the whole concept so there's a good chance of success, I think.
There isn't a good chance of success, there is a perfect chance of success. Your Addictive Voice will demand proof that you'll never drink again to try and throw you off-balance, but if you set your confidence level arbitrarily at 100% and recognize all self-doubt about your own ability to abstain as the AV itself, you will do well.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:52 PM
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My problems with sobriety ended when I took my dog out of the fight. I finally came to my senses after engaging in the mental free-for-all argument raging in my head that went on for years. What am I doing? The answer, when it came to me, was so clear: Quit engaging the enemy.

I "tried" various programs, and I even thought about paying for a "sure fire" technique. But I finally settled on something FAR simpler. I have a ONE STEP program: STOP DRINKING. (insert DOC where appropriate)

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