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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion

Old 09-11-2011, 09:07 AM
  # 201 (permalink)  
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AVRT, thanks for starting this thread and thanks to all for your informative thoughts on the subject.

Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
I'm not judging what anyone else does, believe me, I'm just interested in knowing what, if anything, my secular friends do on their anniversary. I don't want to get a chip, but I'll admit--the anniversary of the day I quit drinking is an important day for me. The day I declared my freedom.
I'm curious about this too. I think it helps me to have a ritual around an important date. But I get into trouble when I use that accomplishment to think that I'm somehow immune. It seems overkill to celebrate each day as a day of freedom but that's really what's happening. In fact, it's happening each moment. Maybe celebrating an anniversary important to help solidify the identification with being sober, someone who never drinks. In that case, getting a chip or some recognition should only benefit the person. I'm not sure.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:45 AM
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AVRT: I'm old now, 84 actually, with 22 years plus of sobriety. Many of my former friends are either dead or largely inaccessible due to senility. I spend a lot of my time now with books and TV and also, as you see, logging on to SR. But I'm still lonely. Very lonely. (I've got a little dog and he helps a lot). Occasionally I go to a meeting just to seek companionship. I don't in any way feel that I have to go to a meeting to avoid drinking. Years have passed when I didn't go to a single meeting yet I had no urge to drink nor did I drink. So then I went back to a meeting or two but largely discontinued since it really didn't help with the loneliness very much. But I did for awhile go back to a couple of meetings I used to go to in my earlier days and it was so wonderful the way they greeted me. I just liked seeing them again and noted that many of them said they had been sober for 20 or more years. So we joked around and for awhile it helped me feel better.
So anyway, maybe some folks may feel that meeting other alcoholics is a threat to them or plays right into the hands of the Beast. I just don't feel that way. I don't go to a lot of meetings now but when I feel very lonely then i may show up at one or two. I don't take to doctrinaire stuff or being shoved around and I've done a lot of this on my own but there are still a few meetings which I like going to now and then just to renew old ties and say hello. Tell them that I'm O.K. They seem to like hearing that.

W.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:13 AM
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AVRT: Just a P.S. on what I just posted. Yes, no doubt when a fellow is told that he's got to go 90 in 90 or he's sure going to drink again and where for some reason he doesn't go, he's likely to hear his inner voice say, "See, you didn't go and now you're going to drink. So go ahead why not!". Is this all coming from the Beast, who lives down in that damp old dungeon, the primitive lizard brain? The stupid child like fella? Or did he maybe get some help from the folks upstairs, like in the upper brain neocortex? Isn't it possible that upstairs there is a whole law firm of smart fellas who are ready to help any client that comes in the door? So in walks the beast, or maybe in slithers the beast and says, "I wanna drink!" So the receptionist says, "O.K. Go down to the conference room. And there they all sit and after hearing from the beast slobbering away about how he's mighty thirsty, they say, "No problemo! We do this all the time. We'll write you a memo!" So they pull out the relapse file (actually it's an enormous file cabinet) and there are 10,000 reasons why a person needs, deserves, gotta have a drink. And they write a very clever memo and everyone breaks out the booze.
So did the stupid old lizard do all this on his own? Or was he helped by the wise guy lawyers in the cerebral neocortex? Who knows? And who cares? I was just asking since I saw somewhere some research results which purport to document changes in the upper brain which result from excessive drinking.

W.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:23 AM
  # 204 (permalink)  
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WPA, that "relapse file" analogy is great. I had a chuckle with that one !

Great stuff. I'm sure that's how it works, more or less. The Beast has to appeal to the higher brain functions in order to get what it wants, and that's where the Addictive Voice comes in. It has to convince you that it is a good idea to do what it wants you to do.

Think about your hunger drive. The body says "I want food," but it isn't going to get food until you get in your car, go to the supermarket, pick out ingredients, go through the checkout line, get home, and cook it. So, the body shows you images of food, the supermarket, etc. If you want a more complex example, think about what people do just to get a date on a Friday night.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by AVRT
Think about your hunger drive. The body says "I want food," but it isn't going to get food until you get in your car, go to the supermarket, pick out ingredients, go through the checkout line, get home, and cook it. So, the body shows you images of food, the supermarket, etc. If you want a more complex example, think about what people do just to get a date on a Friday night.
Yes. Exactly. This is why the practices of mindfulness and awareness have been so important to me. I was very reactionary. Knee-jerk. When I was actively drinking and the beast was in control I thought it was me. Taking a minute to breathe and refocus when a thought would come in from the beast has been crucial in allowing me to easily dismiss that voice. I don't linger long enough to engage her, but simply long enough to recognize what the hell is going on. The buddhist thought of detaching from feelings and allowing them to pass through with out acting is so parallel to AVRT(in my mind anyway), because actively fighting, arguing, going round and round with the beast is simply another form of dangerous engagement. The answer is no...

Originally Posted by onlythetruth
But I know many others who, even though they are not in a chip-giving program, do show up at a meeting of that program to get a chip each year.
I can see how this would be a curious thing. I do it if it seems like a fun thing to do. Nothing more, nothing less. Some think that's odd, and it's obiviously not for everyone. I like to do special things on my sobriety date (and my birthday, and my children's birthday....yes, all 3 have the same birthday)

I apparently died on that last day of drinking since they could get no pulse or heartbeat on me and it was by my own hand...so...I dunno...the day marks a sort of rebirth for me (as it does for alot of people). I had gone 10 years before without drinking from my 20s to my 30s and never even knew the date I had quit. So counting time or marking anniversaries isn't something I've always done. As to not being in the program, but partaking in one of the rituals, I have been known to do this in other areas. I am not religious, do not believe nor disbelieve in god, but I have been in churches when the music has been quite powerful...something I can't put my finger on, nor do I even try to. The only problem I have with any program, method, religion, etc. is the whole "you are not doing it right" "it must be this way". I believe if one has successfully stopped destructive (self and other) behaviors and is able to achieve some equanimity in life, then they are doing it right. People often don't trust themselves enough.

Basically I don't hang my hat on anything other than myself. While I enjoy fellow travelers and learn much from them, and even rely on our connectedness at times, it is really only my two feet that are walking my path all the time. I have to decide.

As always, super great thread with super great people.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:58 PM
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Soberlicious:
Yes, it is great that you walk your own path with your own two feet. What I have learned is that there are many paths, all with a common end. Often one hears, "You must take my path; there is no other!" ("And only I can lead you!") No, we must each seek out our own way, "with fear and trembling", as it is said. Achieving sobriety is a very dangerous business, considering the alternative. As with some other things, it is both complex and simple. An alcoholic counselor once told me a story about how to catch a monkey. To catch a monkey you need to put something the monkey wants in a jar with a narrow neck. The monkey will reach in and grasp what it wants and make a fist, holding on tight and, because of the fist, be unable to get its hand out of the jar. If the monkey only knew that all it had to do would be to let go, relax its fist and it could get rid of the jar it would be very simple to get away, but, wanting the thing, he keeps his fist tightly closed...
After the counselor had told me this little story, I kept my fist clenched for 34 more years. Occasionally I might relax, get my hand out of the jar but often I could not resist what was in the bottle and I would reach in again, grasp it and hold on for months, sometimes years at a time. So very simple, yet perhaps....

W.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:22 PM
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Wpainter, thank you for sharing...and it is so true. It isn't so much that the monkey didn't know how to free himself, more so that he didn't know he was able to free himself. I too clenched my fist for many years. How cumbersome it was to walk around clunking here and there with that damned bottle dangling from my wrist...LOL kept me from doing fun things, couldn't get anything accomplished as it was always in the way...plus, it didn't go with my shoes so glad I let go...

The monkey story is actually very buddhist in nature...thank you again.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:06 PM
  # 208 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
I'm not judging what anyone else does, believe me, I'm just interested in knowing what, if anything, my secular friends do on their anniversary. I don't want to get a chip, but I'll admit--the anniversary of the day I quit drinking is an important day for me. The day I declared my freedom.
I don't count days, I don't celebrate anniversaries, and I don't pick up chips. I do not reveal my "date of sobriety," nor am I particularly interested in anyone else's DOS beyond (possibly) the first year. To celebrate a sobriety anniversary would imply that I am somehow acting out of character by not drinking, which is not the case anymore. It would be like having a party because I haven't hit myself on the head with a hammer in so many years.

I never drink, period.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:38 PM
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Just curious AVRT, do you acknowledge any days as significant? ( birthday, wedding anniversaries, death of a loved one,etc) I notice many acknowledge even a day like today (9/11). Often marking a day as somehow significant acts as a simple nod to the past. An acknowlegdement that a change has taken place, that things are not as they once were. It doesn't have to carry any more significance than that.

To celebrate a sobriety anniversary would imply that I am somehow acting out of character by not drinking
Interesting way of looking at it. I don't look at it like that. I celebrate my children's birthday because I am glad they are here. My life has changed because they are here. I am no longer exactly the same person I was because they are here. So follows the same line of thinking for me with the date I quit drinking. Celebrating their birthday doesn't keep them alive, nor does celebrating my quit date keep me sober.

I understand your POV though. Different paradigms at play.

It would be like having a party because I haven't hit myself on the head with a hammer in so many years.
hmmmm...sounds like a great reason for a party to me. I have held the belief for a long time now that the world would be a far better place if everyone ate a little more cake

I never drink, period.
The one thing we never disagree on AVRT.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:40 PM
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AVRT: I don't "celebrate" it. But I will never forget it. It may have been the worst experience of my life, the hardest thing I have ever done and the one which took the most guts. I don't expect anyone else to be "interested" in it. I don't expect anyone else to really care. I do. I got my "self" back. That didn't have to happen.
As for the folks who helped me, I'll never forget them too. I might have been able to do it alone after reading a book but, considering those many many years during which I tried to do just that, most "rational" (yes "rational") folks would probably say, "That dawg won't hunt!"

W.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:55 PM
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P.S. Was it Archimedes who said "Give me a fulcrum for my lever and I would move the world." AVRT teaches that the mind can learn how to control the mind. That the brain can reprogram itself so as to call a halt to the "trickery" which the Beast plays on the conscious part of the brain. But is it not also true that, during a period of drinking, the conscious part of the brain is part of a conspiracy with the Beast? These two are in cahoots. So who comes in to break up the conspiracy? Where is the fulcrum so that we can get a handle on this thing? How can the brain escape from a deceptive conspiracy to which it is a party and for which it is responsible? Are we talking about what the (now discredited?) Freud referred to as the Superego, coming to the rescue like the Lone Ranger? Or would it be more accurate to say that the motivating factors are usually external. Here is a list: The police, jail, joblessness, divorce, liver problems, heart problems, loss of children, homelessness, homicide, manslaughter, etc. etc.

W.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Just curious AVRT, do you acknowledge any days as significant? ( birthday, wedding anniversaries, death of a loved one,etc) I notice many acknowledge even a day like today (9/11). Often marking a day as somehow significant acts as a simple nod to the past. An acknowlegdement that a change has taken place, that things are not as they once were. It doesn't have to carry any more significance than that.
I do, but I have come to alter my way of looking at this drinking business. It is over and done with. Hydrogirl asked me in another forum why I referred to alcoholics in the third person, as if I were not one, and I explained that I no longer consider myself alcoholic. I am no longer alcohol-dependent, and I never will be again. To acknowledge another milestone of "not drinking" would play into the Beast's hand by implying that this is somehow a great accomplishment, like climbing mount Everest, and that I might fall off any time.

I'm not saying that it did not take me quite a lot of time and misery to get to this point, but I really have come to look at the whole thing differently. On another level, I have had extensive experience with recovery groups, where sober time is status. AVRT is a radical paradigm shift away from never-ending recovering and daily reprieves. I have systematically deprogrammed myself from such ideas.

Only prisoners count time. Let the Beast, which has been sentenced to life without parole, count time since its last drink. I am already free, though, and I always will be.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:45 AM
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I agree with AVRT. In RR the only time you can drink is now so the past is irrelevant other than the fact you made a Big Plan.

I also like EasyWay. Allen Carr says avoid anything that suggests you have given anything up or made a sacrifice. To me such celebrations imply a sacrifice. Of course, to use that line of thinking you have to agree with Allen that there are no benefits to alcohol.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:32 AM
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I get what you're saying, AVRT, and I even agree with it--intellectually. But I can't seem to escape from the fact that in my life there was a before...and then there was an after. They are almost like two different lives. And in the fall, when the "after" time started, there is almost a sense of romance for me each year remembering the joy of it...of conquering the Beast, as it were.

Oh well. I don't celebrate. But I do remember.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:31 AM
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Yes I too don't celebrate but I do remember, remember usually the bad times and there plenty of those. It's odd but I can't seem to remember many good times. I've been told that you tend to forget the unpleasant memories but it doesn't seem to be that way with me. It's like all those dreadful memories are still there, hovering around and they sure do reappear vividly in dreams. Is this the Beast trying to get me to drink? Odd way of doing it I must say, "Drink and maybe you'll be miserable again like you were before. Drink and start the nightmare all over again."

W.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:25 PM
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Counting days and celebrating anniversaries makes me personally very uncomfortable. There's a very strong part of me that wants to screw up anything that is good, stable and positive and so the more emphasis I put on the longevity of my not drinking, the more prone I am to subconsciously try and screw that up.

I do find it interesting, I guess, to hear approximately how long someone has not drank - but truthfully I am sort of a subscriber to the belief that the past or future does not exist except for in my mind and so I try not to dwell too much on time, period.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:54 PM
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Allen Carr says avoid anything that suggests you have given anything up or made a sacrifice. To me such celebrations imply a sacrifice. Of course, to use that line of thinking you have to agree with Allen that there are no benefits to alcohol.
To me such celebrations do not imply a sacrifice...
I agree, there are no benefits to me drinking alcohol.

Originally Posted by AVRT
I'm not saying that it did not take me quite a lot of time and misery to get to this point, but I really have come to look at the whole thing differently.
As have we all I understand your POV on this, I just don't agree.

Originally Posted by AVRT
To acknowledge another milestone of "not drinking" would play into the Beast's hand by implying that this is somehow a great accomplishment, like climbing mount Everest, and that I might fall off any time.
Again...we are looking at this from completely different places. Each of us has to become skilled at recognizing our own AV. When thinking that we can identify the AV in others it can get very tricky. Since you see acknowledging a quit date or clean time as playing into the beast's hands....you might think that is the same for others across the board. I can see how you would think that.

I can also see how people become trapped in the dogma of the ideology. Fear of the beast winning reigns, so I must not question or deviate from any ideas presented. I must not count time. I must never attend a meeting. I must not use any terminology or phrases that even remotely smell like traditional recovery or...ugh the beast will win. For pete's sake....I refuse to live like that. I do not fear the beast.

I will never drink again. I will also acknowledge my quit date as I have for several years. I can do both and be successful. If others cannot or don't wish to, then they certainly should avoid it.

I have heard you say more than once that you hear others' AVs in their posts. That is probably quite possible in some instances, less possible or impossible in other cases. I could care less if Jack Trimpey says that counting time is the beast talking. As per my explanation in the previous post, I simply do not believe that. I respect that you do.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:47 PM
  # 218 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Since you see acknowledging a quit date or clean time as playing into the beast's hands....you might think that is the same for others across the board. I can see how you would think that.
I don't think this is true across the board.

Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I can also see how people become trapped in the dogma of the ideology. Fear of the beast winning reigns, so I must not question or deviate from any ideas presented. I must not count time. I must never attend a meeting. I must not use any terminology or phrases that even remotely smell like traditional recovery or...ugh the beast will win. For pete's sake....I refuse to live like that. I do not fear the beast.
My objection to certain terminology and rituals of recovery culture are not due to fear that I might drink again. I'm not going to explode into drunkenness if I go to meetings. :-)

Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I will never drink again. I will also acknowledge my quit date as I have for several years. I can do both and be successful.
I don't object to that any more than I object to others drinking, or not drinking, for that matter. If it is symbolic to you, then that is that. OTT was inquiring as to whether others did, though, so I explained why I do not.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by AVRT
I'm not going to explode into drunkenness if I go to meetings. :-)
LOL I like the visual there...
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:28 PM
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I really don't understand any of this. Why is acknowledging a quit date a big threat to sobriety? To me it's not important either way. That's the least of my concerns. So what's important? Learning to live so I don't put myself under too much stress, learning not to be so dependent on others, taking it easier on myself, learning not to be too compulsive, perfectionist, trying to enjoy what time I have left (or must I not think about that one either?) trying to help others without thinking of myself as some kind of a big shot, like I know all the secrets. Quit date? Who cares when I quit? I don't really. All I know is that I quit. Maybe I don't know why I quit, or how I quit or how anyone else should quit. I don't really care. All I care about is that I'm sober. It was the toughest thing I ever had to do and at least I did that.

W.
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