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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 10-29-2011, 03:30 PM
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Tiger1,

Welcome. If you have not yet done so, take the free crash course on AVRT at the Rational Recovery web site and get the book "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey, which is far more comprehensive.

You may also want to read through the first part of this thread:

Rational Recovery - Part 1
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:06 AM
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Have to say I am glad this thread is consistently here. I come and go on here, but am glad TU still contributes to this thread enthusiastically with great info. I don't always reply, but am usually catching up every few days when I need to get the mind stimulated again, non-drinking wise.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:10 PM
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I just read a post by Impurrfect with a tip which seems to me to fit in well with AVRT, so I am re-posting the relevant part here.

Originally Posted by Impurrfect View Post
When the using thoughts would come, I'd tell myself "not an option..next" with "next" being a cue to distract myself...

I told myself "not an option..next" so many times that in time, it was automatic. I was at "next" before I realized I'd even thought about it.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:47 PM
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I found this TU. A little peek inside the book:

Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction. By Jack Trimpey.
(Google book preview including some of the Addiction Voice Recognition Technique or the AVRT)
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:12 PM
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Most of this discussion seems to consist of testimonies from those who are successful with AVRT. That's fine and good, I'm learning from all of you.

But I'm struggling with what I think is vertigo. I'll start the day off fine and full of confidence and knowledge of what I need to do. On my way to work I repeat my plan, smile to myself at how free I'll be.

Then, sure enough, about 3 pm, WHAM, the decision is made, even without my knowledge, it seems. I think it's what the book describes as vertigo. SNAP, it's done and I'm just going through the actions I always do. it happens so quickly I don't even have a chance to recognize it.

Any suggestions?
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by oakwood View Post


Then, sure enough, about 3 pm, WHAM, the decision is made, even without my knowledge, it seems. I think it's what the book describes as vertigo. SNAP, it's done and I'm just going through the actions I always do. it happens so quickly I don't even have a chance to recognize it.

Any suggestions?
Hmmm, I used to say the same thing about my relapses - but it applied to relapses after lengths of sobriety from 2-4 months. If this is happening daily, I would say you are maybe not being too aware of your beast's tendencies. For me, when I would claim "Bam, out of nowhere I drank after 4 months of sobriety with no urges leading up to the point" it did appear to come out of nowhere and by surprise....but if you know this is a pattern for you daily, I would think you should be able to tell yourself each morning something like: "The beast is going to try and get me to drink at 3pm and I am going to remember this and just observe The Beast but not act on anything". For me, what I realized in the end was that although there were no "urges" leading up to my relapses and that they seemed to come out of nowhere, I had some "beast-like" thinking going on beforehand that got me to a state of being very vulnerable to the drink.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:34 AM
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I think you're right. I'm going to make more of an effort just to observe what it's doing and saying to me. I just need to stop it just long enough to recognize what's going on. Then I can, well, just do nothing - no discussion, no action at all on my part. Simple, huh? It really should be.

I am NOT it!

I'm taking the book to work with me today. I'll read it for reinforcement when I need to.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:44 AM
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I so totally know I said I wasn't going to keep yakking on here...but I loooovvveee doing it so neener neener to me. lol

Oakwood, I had this problem last Friday and drank. I could tell I had Beast activity going on in my head but was just too tired to apply any AVRT to it...or so my AV said and I believed it. Anyway, I tried to take a nap and sleep through the urge and that didn't work, so then I took a bubble bath, thinking the relaxation could help me get through it but as soon as I stepped out of the tub, I knew I was going to get dressed and go get some beer...it was like my AV had taken over and was telling me it was now too late to change my mind and NOT drink. It was vertigo like you'd experienced too.

I think freethinking is right, that your AV can be telling you stuff beforehand that you don't realize is AV, so it seeps in and slowly gets a bigger grip. I'd been letting mine tell me about reversals of intent a few days beforehand. Also, when I thought I was the one thinking, "I'm too tired to apply AVRT", looking back, it really wasn't ME that was thinking that. I get sidelined when the AV uses thought not directly related to drinking...I don't immediately catch it as leading to drinking. When I thought about being too tired to apply AVRT, I figured it didn't matter because I still had no intention to ever drink again, but that's when my Beast had its chance to take over my thinking entirely...for which I did not anticipate to be so powerful.

But anyway, I hope you can see what might be the issue. There are ways to snap out of vertigo...you have every single moment before you drink the booze that you can stop and change your mind. For me, thinking that I could not decide to cancel my drinking plans was my Beast not wanting to loosen its hard-earned grip on me. When really, I had many chances to change my mind before the act of lifting the open beer can up to my mouth. And boy, that beer tasted as nasty as ever...funny how strong addiction is that you get convinced that drinking something that probably tastes similar to animal urine is just the best thing ever. ugh. gross.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:25 AM
  # 229 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by oakwood View Post
But I'm struggling with what I think is vertigo. I'll start the day off fine and full of confidence and knowledge of what I need to do. On my way to work I repeat my plan, smile to myself at how free I'll be.

Then, sure enough, about 3 pm, WHAM, the decision is made, even without my knowledge, it seems. I think it's what the book describes as vertigo. SNAP, it's done and I'm just going through the actions I always do. it happens so quickly I don't even have a chance to recognize it.

Any suggestions?
I keep telling people that their Beast can read. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it is true. You'll be reading the RR book, but you can bet that your Beast is looking for loopholes, and that what you are reading is being colored by your Addictive Voice. In your case, oakwood, your Beast jumped on the "vertigo" thing, which is really the only part that suggests that you may be caught off guard.

In April's case, her Beast latched onto the "reversal of intent" and twisted it into an escape clause. April's case is very easy to fix, she just needs to re-word her Big Plan to say something like "I will never drink again, I will never change my mind, and I will not have any reversals of intent."

You, however, will have to ditch the idea that vertigo, or drinking, for that matter, is something that happens to you without your knowledge. This obviously is not the case, since you just told us at what time "vertigo" will presumably happen to you today. Even the most automatic of drives, the drive to breathe, can be restrained, or otherwise no one would be able to swim underwater. Drinking takes a bit more foresight and planning than breathing, no?

Your Beast has already shown you it's cards before even laying down its hand. All you need to do is to wall yourself off from your desire for alcohol when it comes. If you can do this, then you'll find that you are safe from IT. At 3 PM, when you get that nice anticipatory feeling of drinking, distance yourself from the desire, by saying to yourself "IT, my Beast, my body, wants to drink, but I never drink."

Don't talk to your Beast, which will just lead to white knuckles. Simply recognize IT, talk about IT in order to detach, and then ignore IT. Don't let your Beast build a case of incompetence against you because you changed your mind about drinking, either. You are fully capable of resisting your desire for alcohol, just as you can resist flirting with a co-worker you find attractive even when your body tells you to do otherwise. Try asking your Beast to wiggle your index finger, and you'll see that it is powerless, and cannot do anything on its own.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:33 AM
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It may be of interest that there is an article in today's N.Y. Times (Nov. 1, 2011) Science Section (p. 1) about brain research with a focus on left brain-right brain studies of persons who have had the connection between the two severed in order to diminish epilepsy seizures. As the article indicates, the left brain is the "wordsmith", seeking to "explain" the material which comes to it from other parts of the brain. The right brain is adept at spatial relations and related areas. The article does not discuss the "lizard" part of the brain, or what AVRT refers to as the site of the "Beast". Nonetheless, my reading of these research results suggests that the stuff which the "Beast" sends up is processed or "explained" by scripts concocted in the left brain. Thus, as the addiction progresses the Beast messages rather incoherently yelling "I gotta have a drink!" are fed into the left brain where they become more sedate and "convincing" as in "I really deserve just one!" or "Wow! It's been a tough day! I need just one in order to settle down!" "Just one wouldn't hurt! I can stop before it gets out of control."
That phrase "out of control" raises a keynote issue in the article. This research poses the question of "who is really in control?" (the unconscious or subconscious part of the mind or the conscious part?) Is the conscious part merely "explaining" what is really being directed by the subconscious or, in AVRT terms, the "beast"? This in turn leads to questions of individual responsibility and legal and societal policies.
I sense that as an addiction progresses, the beast messages become more and more powerful and determinative and that the left side of the brain becomes more and more challenged in developing scripts to "explain" what's happening. The real wonder is that this process can ever be turned around and how a beast which has been running wild can ever be put back in its crate and hushed up. With the progress of time the conscious mind becomes less and less able to get the necessary leverage to turn the situation around and get into recovery. Yet it happens. In some circles they like to say, "It works if you work it!" Can I rephrase that to make it broader and more adaptable to differing points of view: "If it works (for you) then go ahead and work it!" AVRT seems to work for some. Others take a different road and achieve success.

W.

Last edited by wpainterw; 11-01-2011 at 09:37 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by oakwood View Post
I am NOT it!
This is basically the root idea at the heart of AVRT. You are not your desire for alcohol or drugs, and you can detach from it. I always suggest memorizing the "Relapse Anxiety Grid" on page 190 of the RR book and spending some time with it and the "shifting" exercises in order to let this idea sink in.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by flyawayfromhere View Post
My plan for alcohol use...as I have it typed in Adobe Illustrator format and dutifully posted on my refrigerator at home...
April,

Some questions:
If you see your plan post-it on a given day, are you less likely to drink?

If you don't see your post-it on a given day, are you more likely to drink?

What does that say about your Big Plan?

Has abstinence become a defining part of your character if you need a daily reminder?

Something to ponder...
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:41 PM
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Right now, it's just the freaking post-it. But on the brighter side, I've gotten some more helpful books on the topic today so maybe that will help bring my motivation back.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by flyawayfromhere View Post
Right now, it's just the freaking post-it.
Just pointing out that it must be internalized.

Originally Posted by flyawayfromhere View Post
But on the brighter side, I've gotten some more helpful books on the topic today so maybe that will help bring my motivation back.
I presume you mean the Allen Carr book. I have read it, and I will say that it can indeed change how "you" think about alcohol, but it won't change how your Beast thinks about alcohol. Your Beast will still want its fix. Remember, in addition to any thinking, feeling, or imagery that even remotely suggests future alcohol use, all self-doubt as to your ability to abstain is also a product of the Addictive Voice, your Beast howling.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:04 PM
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I hate how drinking again makes it so hard for me to dissociate the next day. Maybe reading the book again will help.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by flyawayfromhere View Post
I hate how drinking again makes it so hard for me to dissociate the next day. Maybe reading the book again will help.
I've stated this before, but using AVRT between binges becomes progressively more difficult over time, since you are essentially turbo-charging the Beast with each binge, while simultaneously weakening yourself. Read "The Rationale for Abstinence" and "The Cross-over effect" on pages 123-124 of TNC.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:39 PM
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But I thought this effect only happens while you're consuming alcohol. It's been like 21 hours since I last drank so I don't think this idea would still be in play. Technically I'm sober now. I spend maybe 3 hours drunk in the evening...then recover while sleeping from 10pm until 7am and resume sober activities while at work the next day and drink again at approx. 7pm. From 7pm until I wake up again the next morning, I could see the cross-over effect happening, but after the alcohol is out of my system, I don't see how this model would come into play. Seems like it would be more effective for those who are considering moderation; which I'm not. I'm waiting for my motivation for abstinence to come back. SMART's stages of change would explain how I feel. I was in the action stage, then I failed, now it's like I'm in the preparation stage again.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:45 PM
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It may seem like the alcohol is out of your system, and that your body has recovered from its effects, but it will take about four days for you to hit peak withdrawal. From what you wrote, you are effectively either drunk or recovering from the residuals every single day, even if you don't feel hung over. I used to do many three day off, then back on cycles before someone pointed this out to me. I think it was an NPR show I heard, where they said that if you can't even go a week without drinking, your body is probably dependent on it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:48 PM
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Oh crap. lol I knew I'm dependent but I didn't know it takes that long to really get the alcohol out of your system. No wonder my Beast likes me so much today.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by flyawayfromhere View Post
Seems like it would be more effective for those who are considering moderation; which I'm not. I'm waiting for my motivation for abstinence to come back. SMART's stages of change would explain how I feel. I was in the action stage, then I failed, now it's like I'm in the preparation stage again.
AVRT is incompatible with moderation, and many aspects of REBT as well. You simply will not be able to hear your Addictive Voice while actively drinking, and if you are not careful, REBT can also play right into your AV. I can send you a link on how REBT interacts with AVRT. As for failure, you did not fail. You simply drank against your own better judgment, which means that you are still ambivalent about quitting, or didn't recognize your AV. If you were not ambivalent about quitting, though, you would not be waiting for motivation to come back, no?
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