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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 10-05-2011, 03:25 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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One section of the AVRT crash course at the website says this:

Ask yourself, "How bad (depressed, anxious, bored, angry, etc.)
am I willing to get and still not drink/use?

(Hint: Try, "As bad as I feel. That's how bad I can feel and still not drink or use.)


This always stuck in my mind. And it doesn't have be how bad.

How good (celebratory, relieved-after-stress, happy can I get and still not drink/use?
(Hint: As celebratory or relieved or happy as all get out. And still not drink/use).

What I like about AVRT is that the bottom line is that I've been self-indulgent to a degree that is completely out of keeping with my value system. It's not my true self. I've been foolish and know better. So I've told myself: just stop it, stop the nonsense. End this foolish thing.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:59 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hello everyone,

I've been quietly lurking on this thread for some time now. I've been using a personally modified version of the AVRT method for the nearly 4 months that I've not been drinking. The one large omission on my part is that I haven't done the "big plan". The method in and of itself works for me but I haven't gotten to the stage where I'm comfortable with closing that door if you know what I mean.

I have not read the book either and that is really something that I should do.

I just really wanted to thank that members of the thread for the great discussion that I've been witness to. Terminally Unique - you do a great job here and I want you to know how much I appreciate it.

I don't quite understand the controversy with AVRT...I gather there is a history that I was not present for.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:50 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tippingpoint View Post
Hello everyone,

I've been quietly lurking on this thread for some time now. I've been using a personally modified version of the AVRT method for the nearly 4 months that I've not been drinking. The one large omission on my part is that I haven't done the "big plan". The method in and of itself works for me but I haven't gotten to the stage where I'm comfortable with closing that door if you know what I mean.
Tippingpoint,

I obviously can't make the decision for you, but I will say that you can do much better than "trial basis" abstinence. If you want to, you can walk free, now and forever, and AVRT will let you do that. I've stated before, though, that AVRT is predicated on a Big Plan; no Big Plan, no AVRT. Do take the free crash course at the RR web site and read the book at least.

Welcome to the discussion.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:41 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Wow.. I'm absolutely amazed right now. Topspin sent me a PM saying that a few things I'm experiencing are being discussed in this thread. I had no idea that it was so common that someone wrote a book about it.

Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
- I have what I now call the "little kid" in my brain that's always begging, pleading, or "reasoning" with me
I suppose that's what I call my beast. About a year or so ago, I recognized that this voice that I though was my own was actually something else. I was pretty scared at first. I actually went to a psychologist once and felt too self conscious, both to bring that up, or to even go back for another session. Eventually, I just got used to it. That's when things got pretty bad. I posted for the first time yesterday, but last night was the first time I ever saw the little kid..

Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
I felt good as I turned off the lights to go to sleep.. tossing and turning, all night. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw this demonic looking child.. something straight out of a horror flick...

...I think that little kid in my head knows that this time I'm putting up an actual fight instead of the usual passive resistance. I think he's scared that I'm really serious this time, so he's throwing a tantrum. It's amazing what kind of effect the unconscious mind has on the body.
Not an hour goes by without hearing the voice. Some nights I have conversations that last for hours with the voice. A typical conversation will go something like this..

[little kid] Hey! What a rough day huh? You deserve a beer.
[me] Dude, I drank way too much last night and I have to be up early tomorrow.
[little kid] You know for a fact that you'll feel just fine after one drink.
[me] Yeah, I know. But what about tomorrow? I really need to study..
[little kid] You've studied before while drinking, and you weren't nearly as frustrated as you normally get.
[me] Yeah, but I probably don't retain the information as well.
[little kid] You still have good grades right?
[me] It's only the beginning of the semester.
[little kid] Right! So you can afford to slack a little bit.
[me] Yeah right.. normal people don't "slack" 6 or 7 nights a week.
[little kid] What is normal? It's all semantics, media, and medical propaganda. They WANT you to think there's something wrong with you if you have more than a couple beers a week.
[me] Quit being stupid.
[little kid] Ok well what if we got everything on the to-do list done by tomorrow night. We could have a few then right?
[me] There's no way I'll get all of that done by tomorrow.
[little kid] You underestimate me. I'll remind you.
...So on and so fourth

A summary of last night's conversation (right before bed)..

[little kid] You know you can't pull this off right?
[me] What? Quitting? We've already proven I can't cut back. I think quitting will be easier.
[little kid] Lol! So you're going to go through hell, just to end up drinking again a few days from now? Such a waist of time.
[me] We've never tried quitting before. You realize that right? There's nothing to think about when you just quit. No planning times and days. No deciding what gas station to go to. No worrying about being hungover before class. It's just simple.
[little kid] Oh yeah? What are you gonna tell your friends and family when you go home for Thanksgiving? That you're an alkie and you can't drink with them anymore?
[me] I'll worry about that when I get there. I'm just focused on today.
[little kid] You're just wasting your time.. just suffering unnecessarily.
[me] We'll see.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:38 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
Wow.. I'm absolutely amazed right now. Topspin sent me a PM saying that a few things I'm experiencing are being discussed in this thread. I had no idea that it was so common that someone wrote a book about it.
Mr. Average,

I'm glad topspin directed you here. Ordinarily, I would have caught your introductory post and seen the parallels immediately, but lately I've been slacking on reading all of the threads in the newcomers forum. I see that you are a military man, so AVRT may appeal to you, since it is essentially the art of mental combat against the Beast.

The Addictive Voice is universal amongst addicted people. Every single addictions counselor worth their salt is aware of the AV, and you will find many here on SR who reject RR but nevertheless speak of the "addict voice" on a regular basis, without ever giving credit to RR for identifying and naming it, or even mentioning AVRT.

It is getting very late here, and I will respond more in-depth tomorrow. For now, though, I will recommend that you take the free crash course at the RR web site and that you purchase the book, and close with something Jack Trimpey wrote in the Journal of Rational Recovery (issue #84, January-March 2003).

Originally Posted by Jack Trimpey, JRR #84

AVRT goes as far into the depths of addiction as it is possible to go, right to the seat of the force of life within us. The entity we call the Beast is a perversion of the survival drive, thus its persistence and ruthlessness. There is nothing hypothetical or inferential about the Beast. It is as real as the desire to drink or use for that is what it is. The Addictive Voice is its human voice, heard in our thoughts and speech. Also, very real, tangible.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:39 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Mr. Average,

You seem to have made significant progress on your own already. Specifically, you have identified the Beast as a separate entity, and it is already talking back at you as a result. Since one of the prime functions of the Addictive Voice is to conceal the existence of the Beast, you are already halfway there. From another post of yours, I can see that you have realized that the Beast, which you refer to as "the little kid," is scared of you now as a result of being found out, which is very good.

Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
I've never felt this crappy after only three days.. or ever for that matter. I have a guess though. I think that little kid in my head knows that this time I'm putting up an actual fight instead of the usual passive resistance. I think he's scared that I'm really serious this time, so he's throwing a tantrum.
If I had to guess, I would say that after some more trial and error, you eventually would have discerned the nuts and bolts of AVRT on your own. Most people start out by arguing back or debating with the AV, but eventually realize that the Beast has no interest whatsoever in what they have to say, except of course to twist things around into an excuse for drinking/using. At that point, they usually see the debating game for the trap that it is and step out of the ring.

Don't debate or argue with the AV, because the Beast cannot be reasoned with. It only knows one answer to all questions, and will play both sides of all arguments in order to fit the addictive mandate (drink/use!). By getting sucked into a debate with the AV, you only give the Beast an opportunity to outwit you, so don't play by its rules. The only words it understands are NEVER AGAIN.

Recognize the Beast for what it is: a ruthless, perverted survival drive that instead of pointing north, towards life, points south, toward the grave. Once born, it is a part of you, and it cannot be reasoned away. It is a deadly enemy that has access to all of your life experiences, so it has your number already. Your job is to figure out its number, and the Rational Recovery book will help you speed things up in this respect.

In the meantime, always remember that you are dealing with an enemy that will surely kill you if you don't kill it first. You must become just like it in order to defeat it. No matter what IT throws at you, recognize IT, expose IT, and show IT no mercy. Abstain.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:33 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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"The Beast" - From RR: TNC, Pages 239-240

I studied the Beast and learned its nature and its ways. Then I attacked it with all of my intelligence. I finally learned that to defeat the Beast, I would first expose it, and then become like it. I have matched its ways in every respect.
The Beast has one goal, to drink forever.
So I shall have the opposite goal, never to drink.
The Beast is immortal and looks forward to an eternity of intoxicated "nows."
So I became timeless and made a Big Plan for eternal abstinence.
The Beast is not capable of change.
Nor am I susceptible to change my decision never to drink.
The Beast has access to all that I am.
But it is not me, and I am always in control.
The Beast is undeterred by pain.
So I will endure as much pain as necessary and never drink.
The Beast has no memory of pain.
So I may forget why I never drink.
The Beast is unreasoning in its quest for drink.
So I do not reason with it, or explain to it why I never drink.
The Beast will kill me in its quest for drink.
So I am perfectly willing to feel it dying.
The Beast is a tyrant, demanding its stuff.
So I will be a tyrant, and feel it cringe.
I have hunkered down to meet the Beast on its own turf, and by equaling it, I have won.

Am I now a Beast?

It would have me think so, but I am now free of the Beast that has ruled my life. I lived in its prison; now it lives in mine. I am a human being, freed from the chains of addiction, free to be myself, free to meet life on my own terms.
Excerpted from Pages 239-240 of:

"Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey
Copyright 1996 by Jack Trimpey and Lois Trimpey
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:40 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Ok, admitting that I STILL haven't read the book beyond about 80% (seriously, busy week)...BUT...doesn't anyone ever get tired of constantly negating their Beast? Is this because I'm new/doing it wrong/have 20% more reading to do? Seriously, I had a good weekend and now the damn thing doesn't shut up...EVER. lol It's wearing me down.

It's like this...

It: Just think how comforting it would be to go back home and drink the night away!
Me: I will never drink again and I will NEVER change my mind.
(silence and then 2 minutes later)
It: Yeah, but you're gonna have a sweet new deck on your house this weekend and wouldn't it just be great to break it in with a few cold ones?
Me: I'm a normal human being that doesn't drink alcohol; I will never drink again and I'm not changing my mind.
(silence and then 2 minutes later)
It: It's not like you need to be abstinent NOW, how about next week instead when life isn't so crazy?
Me: Shut Up!!!!!

And repeat...lol

Just thought I'd ask.
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:54 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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April,

Try not answering at all.
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:40 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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My Beast got tired of my saying "F*ck off!" and retreated into the corner, which is where he stays. I think one of his legs got broken a long time ago, and every time he tries to limp out of the corner, I just think he looks pathetic. He's learned not to come out any more.

FT
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:55 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I'm starting to think my Beast is like the little kids on the show Super Nanny. It needs to be put in the corner and ignored until it learns to behave. If I yell at it, it will just be pleased it's getting attention and the opportunity for further potential to misbehave...kinda sounds like me when I was a little kid actually...oh karma! lol
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:15 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Okay, let's take this analogy just a bit further and maybe it will work for you.

I BEAT THE CRAP out of my Beast in the first few rounds, and I AM THE ONE WHO BROKE HIS LEG. Yeah, I admit it.

So, that's no little kid you sent to the corner. BEAT THE CRAP out of him, BREAK HIS LEGS -- BOTH OF THEM -- and maybe he'll stay knocked out for awhile and quit asking for candy.

FT
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:13 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AprilMay1895 View Post
I'm starting to think my Beast is like the little kids on the show Super Nanny. It needs to be put in the corner and ignored until it learns to behave. If I yell at it, it will just be pleased it's getting attention and the opportunity for further potential to misbehave...kinda sounds like me when I was a little kid actually...oh karma! lol
Then don't play by its rules. Instead, change the game and pull the rug out from under it.

Recognize IT, talk about IT, but never talk TO your Beast.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:19 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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My beast is stll voiceless but I can still feel it 'growling' with ideas of anxiety and doubt. My response is to acknowledge what is happening and tune out. Works a charm.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:41 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Let's be clear. The AV isn't a tangible real voice, it doesn't take on shape and form for real. There's nuance to consider in the discussions. I don't want people to get messed up on the concept, to take it to an unhealthy level.
How I see is it this: It's merely the stirrings in our hearts and minds. If we have a conscience, we know what's right and wrong, we know temptation, we know good choices and bad ones. We just need to pay attention to ourselves, our inclinations and what to do about them. That's all it is in a nutshell. We can speak metaphorically and with wit about the AV to make a point, but to personify it too seriously is not good. It could have an almost schizophrenic tone to it if taken too far.
When I posted earlier that I shoved my AV aside and left it muttering at the office, I was being metaphorical and joking a bit. That would be obvious to most, but maybe not to all and I don't want anyone to misunderstand and get messed up in reading the thread.
For me to consider the AV as my weaknesses, my sinful inclinations, and/or temptation from the devil is fine by me as my core is my faith. As I turn away from the AV, I turn toward my faith. I'm not left in a vacuum. I'm not trying to proselytize, just saying this is my mindset with it and how it works for me.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:33 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SunshineSally View Post
Let's be clear. The AV isn't a tangible real voice, it doesn't take on shape and form for real. There's nuance to consider in the discussions. I don't want people to get messed up on the concept, to take it to an unhealthy level.
No, it is not a "real" voice, in that it doesn't produce an actual sound, but human beings do hear voices and see images in their heads in their mind's eye. You are "hearing" my voice - or what you imagine to be my voice - as you read this sentence right now. Your eyes may see letters, but I am certain that you are also "hearing" the words as you read them. Your body "speaks" to you via your mind's eye in the same way when it wants something, be it water, food, shelter, and, yes, drugs and alcohol. Anything that points to drugs or alcohol is your AV.

Originally Posted by SunshineSally View Post
How I see is it this: It's merely the stirrings in our hearts and minds. If we have a conscience, we know what's right and wrong, we know temptation, we know good choices and bad ones. We just need to pay attention to ourselves, our inclinations and what to do about them. That's all it is in a nutshell.
More or less, yes.

Originally Posted by SunshineSally View Post
We can speak metaphorically and with wit about the AV to make a point, but to personify it too seriously is not good. It could have an almost schizophrenic tone to it if taken too far.
When I posted earlier that I shoved my AV aside and left it muttering at the office, I was being metaphorical and joking a bit. That would be obvious to most, but maybe not to all and I don't want anyone to misunderstand and get messed up in reading the thread.
The AV is real, as is the Beast (addictive desire), but obviously any caricature of the addictive desire (the Beast), as with my picture of the Devil earlier, or the "little kid" that Mr. Average used is a visual creation. The actual part of your brain that is sending out "drink! now!" signals doesn't actually look like that. It probably looks more like a gray blob of mush. :-)

Humans use metaphor and language, though, and we label things in order to understand them and discuss them. Think of the word "cat" - instantly an image of an actual fluffy animal with a tail comes to mind, and conversely, when you see such a fluffy animal, you think "cat."

Originally Posted by SunshineSally View Post
For me to consider the AV as my weaknesses, my sinful inclinations, and/or temptation from the devil is fine by me as my core is my faith. As I turn away from the AV, I turn toward my faith. I'm not left in a vacuum. I'm not trying to proselytize, just saying this is my mindset with it and how it works for me.
It doesn't really matter where you conceive of the AV coming from, as long as you are able to recognize it as distinct from your other, shall we say, "sane" thoughts. AVRT will dovetail with faith or no faith at all, and that is what makes it broadly accessible. Whether by nature, evolution, or G-d, though, you were given the ability to resist bodily desire, and that is all that the thirst for alcohol and drugs is.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:58 PM
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I'm currently going through a time where before I told myself it would be one of the few times I'd have to drink.

I made the resolve beforehand that that was simply not an option and Beast activity is next to zero. Be firm, be resolute, it will back down and your AVRT will become a step closer to automatic. I'm new to it like you but have got a lot better at it over the last fortnight.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:51 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Since this has come up, morbid thoughts are a natural part of addiction, and they do play into the AV. There is a section in the "RR: TNC" book on page 184 titled "The Addicto-Depressive Condition" that explains this interaction.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:06 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by kanamit View Post
I'm currently going through a time where before I told myself it would be one of the few times I'd have to drink.

I made the resolve beforehand that that was simply not an option and Beast activity is next to zero. Be firm, be resolute, it will back down and your AVRT will become a step closer to automatic. I'm new to it like you but have got a lot better at it over the last fortnight.
I've noticed, and this could just be me but I thought I'd point it out anyway, that in the past if I have told myself I can't drink during x, y or z I can usually get through it but then the AV gets really sneaky after the fact and tells me I should drink because I got through x, y or z sober. And sometimes it seems, since I am not great with dealing with my emotions, I have a delayed reaction to emotional events....and so my AV really kicks in after the period of time most people expect one would drink "over" something.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:26 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Hmmmmm....well, 3 words to explain why I typed such a dramatic thing...reversal of intent. Where's one of those wonderful moderators that can delete posts? lol I think I should leave the forums and I don't know, stop publicly being insane perhaps. But if anyone wants an example of why this girl shouldn't drink, there's now typed evidence...and no, I wasn't trying to off myself. lol
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