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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion

Old 09-30-2011, 07:16 AM
  # 381 (permalink)  
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I'll share something my own AV has thrown at me so that others don't fall into it. I wrote in the post above about "false starts" with regard to the Big Plan, which many people's Beasts will instantly seize upon when they read it. My own AV has previously told me "Well, you seem to have the hang of this AVRT stuff, you can quit any time you want now. Why not drink all you want during vacation? When your vacation is over, you can just make a new Big Plan."

Sneaky, and pure AV, so watch out for that. :-)
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:25 AM
  # 382 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I'll share something my own AV has thrown at me so that others don't fall into it. I wrote in the post above about "false starts" with regard to the Big Plan, which many people's Beasts will instantly seize upon when they read it. My own AV has previously told me "Well, you seem to have the hang of this AVRT stuff, you can quit any time you want now. Why not drink all you want during vacation? When your vacation is over, you can just make a new Big Plan."

Sneaky, and pure AV, so watch out for that. :-)
I've had this too.

The good thing about Allen Carr's book is that stripped a lot of the Desire away from drinking but there's still remnants where it will push the drunken afterglow into my consciousness and thoughts of whiskey and oblivion.

I'm still reading Rational Recovery when I can. My attention span is shot to **** and I'm still just opening it and reading it as if it were a book of Parables.

I like the approach of annoying Frank. It's fantastic. I'll never drink again but Frank wants to continue on forever basking in oblivion.

As for AVRT and the like, I just see it as the process of jumping off a bus that has a timebomb on it and NOT getting back on the bus no matter how much the driver says it'll be a cool and relaxing ride.

BEAST : Yeah the bus has a bomb on it, but you're gonna die anyway.
ME : Why would I want to die in such a retarded way? Besides you're drunk and behind the wheel.
BEAST : So? I'm a maverick. A wildcard. I do things differently. Unlike everyone else out there. They are all sheep. They do the same thing everyday.
ME : And you just want to drink. And drink. And drink. You're even worse!
BEAST : GET OFF DA BUS.

**** the ride.

I take great inspiration from the late Bill Hicks who was also a teetotaler. I'm in good company.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:52 AM
  # 383 (permalink)  
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You have a good point, let me think....

Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
But realistically, could you clarify how this would ever be an issue? In your example, it is highly unlikely a daily drinker would ever say "I was abstinent last night for 8 hours while i slept". In what scenario would it be an issue if someone claimed sobriety when they had not drank but did not have a "sober" mental construct?
There is a guy that comes on the substance abuse forum once in awhile that just upsets the hell out of everybody. He posts under the name of TheJuiceman, and I think some of you might find reading his threads to be interesting. I think he would like this thread, and next time he comes on I think I will tell him about it. He has a great attitude about quitting opiates -- he has beat it, he feels good about it, and he has moved on with his life. This seems to upset a lot of people who want him to label himself an addict and attend a recovery group for life. Most of those people expect him to show up at any second having relapsed, and I think there is some satisfaction is saying "I told you so". So far, he seems to be doing great. He doesn't have an alcohol problem, and so drinks once in awhile with his buddies, which also drives a lot of the other posters nuts.

To go back to the quote above, I think this guy is a good example of someone who has a "mental construct" of sobriety. (Let's pretend that's a useful term just for a moment.) No one is forcing him to be abstinent, he just is. I expect he'll succeed. If he picks up again, it will be a change in mental construct, he's just changed his mind, and I don't know if I'd even term it a relapse unless he longs to quit again and can't.

That's where I hadn't considered the idea of addiction as being relevant to the desire to quit. I'd always considered chronic alcohol and drug abusers to be addicts. So, if they really don't care about quitting, then they aren't addicted? That's a real bone of contention, because a third party would have a hard time viewing that way, especially if said third party wanted the person to quit.

So I guess the point is that recovery is a "first person" concept (or mental construct) first and foremost. The non-alcoholic alcohol drinker is just somebody that drinks but has no plans to quit. (Some may consider that an oxymoron.) Their level of drinking may be considered by some to be excessive whether or not it really is, and to others just their preference level. The non-alcoholic drinker is not "abstinent" in any sense of the word between drinks, because abstinent implies intent.

So, I suppose there lies my answer to the above question, "In what scenario would it be an issue if someone claimed sobriety when they had not drank but did not have a "sober" mental construct?" I think it only becomes an issue when the question of one's "sobriety" is raised, often in a defensive posture. You'll sometimes hear this bantered about in arguments about who is a "real addict" and who is not. I am not sure in what club it became necessary to define who is a real addict or not, but personally I don't care for the label in any sense of the word.

For me, I don't much care what anyone thinks about my being a non-drinker and a non-opiate-user, except that maybe it becomes one of my "credentials" professionally. Of course, I have not put it on my CV. Ha!

Well enough. Anyone who has read me on the substance abuse forum knows I talk too much, and here I've done it again. I didn't even know the topic of AVRT was here until a few weeks ago, or I'd have been here sooner.

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Old 09-30-2011, 09:22 AM
  # 384 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I'll be honest, I haven't made any big plan (I use a combo of AVRT from RR along with the ABC stuff from SMART, mainly - but do not wholly follow either SMART or RR).
That's your choice, but know that AVRT is based entirely upon a Big Plan; no big plan, no AVRT. You simply won't be able to recognize your Addictive Voice without one.

Regarding the "ABC stuff," that can actually feed into the AV if you are not careful, but I don't want to derail this thread, so PM me if interested in details. Essentially, though, ask yourself who is doing the ABC's (you or your Beast).

Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I don't know that I feel it is necessary and I guess the way that I think, I am not sure that my mind buys really adamant "never again" statements when it comes to something I have done repeatedly for over 20 years.
↑ This passage above is your AV.

Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
This is the first time in my life, however, where I feel I have even had any desire to wrap my mind around permanent sobriety where it not only feels desirable, but attainable. I can honestly say that has never been the case before.
↑ This is you.

Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
On the flipside of your point above though, I wonder what the purpose of the aversion techniques are if one, in fact, has a Big Plan to never drink again. It seems to contradictory. Wouldn't that be like me buying sunblock for a vacation to Hawaii that I have confirmed I am not ever going to go on?
It is not an aversion technique, but you do need to be able to recognize your AV. That won't happen if you let your Beast hide from you. Although you are correct about what the point would be if you won't drink again, recall what you wrote:

Originally Posted by freethinking
Whenever I have quit drinking in the past, I have had no urges whatsoever for several months and then it seems like BAM, I am at the liquor store and drunk out of nowhere. When I look back, it's hard to see how it happened...
What happened is that you didn't recognize your AV; your Beast took control of the pronoun "I" and off on autopilot you went. You need to learn to recognize your AV, when you are prepared, so that you are not broadsided later. You can certainly practice in a "safe" setting until you get the hang of it, though.

Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I've think I may try the bottle of vodka idea though with my husband and see how that goes.
That would work for now if you are afraid, or you could fill a vodka bottle with water. It looks almost identical to the real thing, so it should be enough to get your Beast stirring.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:51 AM
  # 385 (permalink)  
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Here's an interesting question.

Is it better to tackle all addictive behavior at once or focus on one entirely? I say this as I have abnormal eating habits and I had the problem with the alcohol. I think if I focused on both at the same time my attention would have been split and I wouldn't have found tackling the alcohol addiction as easy it has been.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:07 AM
  # 386 (permalink)  
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Elvis,

I have not used AVRT with anything except substance addiction, so I can't comment on eating, although they do have an older book on the subject. I did tackle smoking at the same time as drinking though, and I abstain from all mood altering substances, since they all feed the Beast, which only wants synthetic pleasure. Strictly speaking, I am fairly certain that since AVRT refers to drinking and using almost synonymously, that within the AVRT paradigm, there is no difference between alcohol and other drugs.

I did make an exception in my Big Plan for caffeine, though. :-)
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:36 PM
  # 387 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ElvisInASkirt View Post
The good thing about Allen Carr's book is that stripped a lot of the Desire away from drinking but there's still remnants where it will push the drunken afterglow into my consciousness and thoughts of whiskey and oblivion.
I think that if you are like me, you may discover something that the experts won't ever tell you. Once you cross a certain line and the perverted survival drive (the Beast) is born, trying to ward off desire is like trying not to think about that pretty girl in the mini-skirt sitting across from you on the train. An exercise in futility, mostly.

Originally Posted by ElvisInASkirt View Post
I'm still reading Rational Recovery when I can. My attention span is shot to **** and I'm still just opening it and reading it as if it were a book of Parables.
Get some sleep, have some coffee, and read it. It will only take you a couple of hours.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:44 PM
  # 388 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
I'd always considered chronic alcohol and drug abusers to be addicts. So, if they really don't care about quitting, then they aren't addicted? That's a real bone of contention, because a third party would have a hard time viewing that way, especially if said third party wanted the person to quit.
No, if they have zero interest in quitting, then they are not addicted. To use an example, I myself drink entirely too many espressos, and it would be ridiculous for me to say that I am not chemically dependent on caffeine, because I most certainly am. If I don't have caffeine, I suffer withdrawal, and every so often I do "detox" for a few days in order to lower my tolerance for it, but I have no interest in giving it up entirely. I am chemically dependent on caffeine by choice, and I accept the consequences of it, such as the calcium it undoubtedly leeches from my bones.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
That's your choice, but know that AVRT is based entirely upon a Big Plan; no big plan, no AVRT. You simply won't be able to recognize your Addictive Voice without one.
I'm not sure if I believe this entirely. Understanding and separating the addictive voice in my head from my rational thoughts has been amazingly helpful. My addictive voice is very sneaky and wants to break me down to a point of thinking everything sucks by always having me see the worst in situations and people...this is my pattern usually: 1-2 months before drinking again, which follows what most would call a "pink cloud" period, I start having really negative thoughts about people and situations. I eventually get to a point of always being pissed off. Once I get to this point, the AV swoops in and flat out shows itself by saying "It would be great to have a few drinks again and get the warm, happy buzzy feeling". This is the first time I have ever recognized this pattern, even though I have not declared a Big Plan. This is what I mean by how I do not follow RR wholly. The concept of the addictive voice makes a tremendous amount of sense to me and I see my AV in a much broader sense than only as suggestions to drink. However, personally I do not feel it is necessary for me to make or say a "big plan" to myself. To me, it makes perfect sense to not want to waste time on any declaration of never drinking again when I have done so many times before and failed. I just don't make declarations anymore period, but I do envision very comfortably an alcohol-free future. I've never been able to see that before without tremendous doubt. That's just me, but I can completely understand that if you are a devout follower of AVRT that this would be The Beast talking. Can I envision, for the first time ever, a happy life without drinking? Absolutely. I just don't declare anything anymore. It reminds me of my old program to be honest, even though they only focused on the day (as opposed to your whole life). But that is just my interpretation.

Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Regarding the "ABC stuff," that can actually feed into the AV if you are not careful, but I don't want to derail this thread, so PM me if interested in details. Essentially, though, ask yourself who is doing the ABC's (you or your Beast).
The only real way I have used the ABCs from SMART is by disputing my constant, irrational, deep-seated and irrational belief that more or less states: "Life has to be fair. People cannot frustrate me. I am owed more than I get from life". I have to adjust my beliefs to accept "Life is not fair, it owes you nothing, and people will frustrate you and you have to accept and tolerate that". Although all of this is part of SMART, I think it stemmed from Trimpey. When people or life make me angry on a constant basis, which happens often and usually leads me to drinking (as I recognize now), I need to dispute my irrational belief as stated above. I do not use it other than that because I more or less trust my assessments of people and situations. Yes, people can suck but that is life sometimes.

Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
It is not an aversion technique, but you do need to be able to recognize your AV. That won't happen if you let your Beast hide from you.
I agree with this (I should have called it a desensitization technique, if anything), thanks for bringing this to my attention. This is a facet to my constant failures to stay away from drinking that I have not tapped into. I need to stop being scared of alcohol, because I am afraid. The thought of a bottle of vodka being near me and smelling it gives me anxiety. I need to take that excitement and power away.

BTW, I hope I haven't offended here by going off on my tangent. I am not disputing AVRT by any means....but I'd be lying if I said I was employing it by the book in any way.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:57 PM
  # 390 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
There is a guy that comes on the substance abuse forum once in awhile that just upsets the hell out of everybody...He has a great attitude about quitting opiates -- he has beat it, he feels good about it, and he has moved on with his life... He doesn't have an alcohol problem, and so drinks once in awhile with his buddies, which also drives a lot of the other posters nuts.
If you really want to have some fun, try asking the purists how they can be "sober" while inhaling all of that nicotine (a mood-altering drug) from smoking and guzzling all of that coffee, which contains caffeine (also a mood-altering drug). Then, just sit back and watch their Beasts recoil in terror and their AV fly left and right. :-)
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
My own AV has previously told me "Well, you seem to have the hang of this AVRT stuff, you can quit any time you want now. Why not drink all you want during vacation? When your vacation is over, you can just make a new Big Plan."

Sneaky, and pure AV, so watch out for that. :-)
Very timely advice, TU - - for I heard that just last night.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:06 PM
  # 392 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
BTW, I hope I haven't offended here by going off on my tangent. I am not disputing AVRT by any means....but I'd be lying if I said I was employing it by the book in any way.
I expected a certain amount of resistance from those who have had prior exposure to other recovery methods, and I am not here to "convert" those who aren't interested. AVRT is a very simple concept to teach to those who have not been exposed to other methods before, but not so simple to teach to those who have been. AVRT is a semantics ratchet, however, and language affects our thoughts, so words and definitions do matter.

I will caution you, though, that the Beast is ruthless in its desire to survive, and will chew up any psychological, spiritual, or medical theory, twist it around, incorporate it into your AV, and then spit it back out at you in order to justify more drinking or using. If your fusion method works, then all the better, but if two months from now, you feel differently, you know where to find the right information on AVRT.

You may, however, want to read the references to "Mr. Beast, Esq." on pages 172, 174, and 214 of "RR: TNC," since they address the reluctance to make a Big Plan. I can also send you additional clarification on how REBT interacts with AVRT if you are interested; just PM me.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:20 PM
  # 393 (permalink)  
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Thank you!
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:54 PM
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Beast Bait...

I know many people go non-linear upon reading this, but there is a purpose to it, so bear with me. A lot of people have difficulty spotting their AV, and if you have a moving target, it is easier to spot. Think about the following statement, which usually gets the Beast stirring in no time:
Personal problems don't cause addiction; addiction causes personal problems.
Most people will hear their AV rail back at them saying "that's not true! that can't be be true! I drank/used for a number of reasons, and my [insert laundry list of woes] caused my addiction..."

There are two ways of looking at things, though; through your eyes, and through the eyes of your Beast. If you spend some time shifting back and forth between the two, you should be able to more easily recognize Beastly thoughts.

What do YOU think about this statement?

What does IT (your Beast) think about this statement?
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:15 PM
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I read Eckhart Tolle a few years ago and used his philosophy to assist me in identifying and self treating my own addiction. I knew nothing of AVRT at that time, and I didn't know of it when I quit opiates in December 2010. Neither did I know anything of AVRT when I quit drinking alcohol over 20 years ago. But being new to the concepts you talk about that AVRT brings to the table, I realize I was doing much the same thing. I just called it something different.

In my own self described "treatment", I called the Addict Voice my "addict brain".

The phrase above reminds me of the age old puzzle, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Perhaps another poor analogy, but my thinking starts going in loops when I think about whether personal problems cause addiction or whether addiction causes personal problems, because the latter would imply the presence of something perhaps dormant in everyone, but which only becomes active in some. Maybe similar to "the pain body" that Tolle speaks of.


I don't want to pull other posters off track here, though. AVRT is such a sensible and no-frills concept, and I subscribe to the belief that most human beings are capable of self-determination and self-control that supersedes any notion of "powerlessness". I also do not subscribe to the notion of alcoholism or drug addiction as a disease, except that those problems to cause disease in many people -- both physical and mental.

Just because the DSM-V has decided that those conditions constitute disease does not make it so, particularly when you recognize that those designations are mainly applicable to reimbursement systems in our medical care industry (note I don't call it a medical care "system"). The brands and labels it supplies do nothing more than categorize human beings for the purpose of furthering the profit margin of the HMO's in my opinion.

Sorry to get all political on ya.

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Old 09-30-2011, 05:57 PM
  # 396 (permalink)  
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Actually, I don't think the DSM-V calls labels alcoholism as a disease, does it? I think it is termed something else...alcohol abuse or dependence I think.

But yeah, I hear you on the "industry" bit.

(Really like Tolle too)
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:00 PM
  # 397 (permalink)  
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Dissociate...you know, I do that all the time with people in my life...I decide they're no longer good for me and I just cut them off. Is that what people do with "the beast" then? Recognize it, tell it to eff off because it's not helping you and then go on with life?

My plan is to drink the last of my beer I have left in my fridge tonight as my farewell to booze, then read the book tomorrow and make my commitment to no longer drinking. I know this sounds incredibly shady because it starts with "my plan is to drink the last of my beer". lol But this has been my plan for the last couple days, after I get a day to study the method, then I have to start applying it. Maybe it still sounds shady. Oh gosh, well I'm letting the beast live for one more night is what I'm saying it and then breaking up with it tomorrow. Now it sounds like I'm a guy breaking up with a bad girlfriend but sleeping with her one more time the night before. Ok, I better stop typing(and no, I haven't started drinking the beer yet). lol
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:01 PM
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Oh, and I apologize for that being off topic about what anyone was discussing previously. Just figured I'd throw it out there.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post

That's where I hadn't considered the idea of addiction as being relevant to the desire to quit. I'd always considered chronic alcohol and drug abusers to be addicts. So, if they really don't care about quitting, then they aren't addicted? That's a real bone of contention, because a third party would have a hard time viewing that way, especially if said third party wanted the person to quit.

So I guess the point is that recovery is a "first person" concept (or mental construct) first and foremost. The non-alcoholic alcohol drinker is just somebody that drinks but has no plans to quit. (Some may consider that an oxymoron.) Their level of drinking may be considered by some to be excessive whether or not it really is, and to others just their preference level. The non-alcoholic drinker is not "abstinent" in any sense of the word between drinks, because abstinent implies intent.


FT
If, by some chance, I met someone who drank daily from 10am until 8pm and had gotten into some sort of trouble from drinking (financial, DUIs, etc) and they had no desire to quit - yes, I would still consider this person to be an alcoholic despite the fact that they did not want to quit.

I'm a little confused by your 2nd paragraph here....to be abstinent means to have abstained (from anything), period....however what we were discussing was use of the term "sober".
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
Actually, I don't think the DSM-V calls labels alcoholism as a disease, does it? I think it is termed something else...alcohol abuse or dependence I think.

But yeah, I hear you on the "industry" bit.

(Really like Tolle too)
Yes, alcoholism as a descriptor has fallen out of use, favored now by substance abuse (alcohol), among other things that involved cross diagnoses in the Axes of the DSM.

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