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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 12-07-2011, 01:08 PM
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I've tried all of those except for #2 because I didn't have a secondary substance. I used to have a rule which I was positive should've worked...I couldn't drink alone, but I was allowed to drink when other people were. That lasted no more than a week....I couldn't make it that long without drinking.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:00 PM
  # 482 (permalink)  
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"I am stubborn. With the "beast" technique, it was easy for me to not pour a drink last night. First time that has happened in over a year. By simply imagining that some external force was making me do it, I was able to be more stubborn than it was, and was very satisfied when I went to bed that the beast didn't win." - Fredstorch

I feel very similar! Thanks for putting it down so well.

(Sorry I am so new to boards that I don't know how you all do that quote stuff right...)
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:08 PM
  # 483 (permalink)  
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Ha ha! I just noticed the quote button...too busy reading the posts I guess!
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:48 PM
  # 484 (permalink)  
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Welcome to the new people on the thread!
I was a slow learner but AVRT was a great tool that helped me kick the habit out the door.
I'm finding that as time goes by, the AV weakens more and more, and the thought of drinking repulsive. I read the Allen Carr book about a month ago, but the "aversion therapy" aspect of it (alcohol = poison; awful taste) has kicked in more. Now I truly feel better and am getting my old zest for life back. Don't plan to mess with that. :-)
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:57 PM
  # 485 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
In reading posts from "newbies" about their initial plans to beat their addiction, many times it is apparent that they are conflicted, and that their Beast is trying to leave the door open to the possibility of future drinking/using. I found the following "examples of subtle and not-so-subtle 'holes' in an effective plan to defeat substance addiction" in the JRR which sums up the common stall tactics used fairly well. If you want to do things right, be sure to plug those holes first.
I know I can't do 2-4, but it is #1 that I have a hard time with. I still can't bring myself to commit to never drinking again which I know is a major part of the AVRT. I do recognize the AV though. I thought about drinking today, but I talked myself out of it after I thought about the steps it would take and how awful I would feel afterwards. It just wasn't worth it and I didn't want to start all over again.

I am still in the "one day at a time" mode which I know goes against AVRT, but right now it is helping.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:19 AM
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I recognise all those beast holes. I find if there is a hole, the beast won't shut up about it and it lands up being an obsession.
I land up listening to what it has to say, instead of disassociating.
Got a huge urge to drink last night (I was angry) but within seconds I recognized it as my av. The beast had just been waiting for an opportunity. In the past, that would have been an evening of white knuckling or drinking.
I found Allen Carrs book did not help me as he kept saying we drink for the taste and to quench our thirst. I drank to get drunk, I have never had another reason. RR gets it right for me. I drank for deeeeeep pleasure.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:55 AM
  # 487 (permalink)  
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I've had some major beast activity lately too, it just started to settle down yesterday finally after I did some re-reading of the list of how the AV presents itself and went back to Carr's book too. The first snowfall was what triggered the activity. With snow comes winter, with winter comes months of depression and my Beast knows last February I drank and left AA and 8 months of sober time because of the depression, also because I had various hang ups with the program. But anyway, I had what I call the "Beast death grip" on my brain on Tuesday night but reminded myself that being sad has nothing to do with alcohol, therefore it's my addiction being a *****. I think it was doing a bit of the addicto-depressive thing too because the depression that went along with it was way out of proportion. I saw the snow and just wanted to break down sobbing...that's not normal. Anyway, I now remind the Beast, "I will never drink again and will never change my mind, no matter how awful winter gets or how depressed I become."

I've also started trying to hammer home the moral thing. Every time I see myself in my mind with booze (typically my AV showing me what it wants me to do) I remind myself that that is completely immoral, weak behavior and that I'd be the scum of the earth if that's how I chose to deal with life. I tell myself I'd be nothing more than trailer trash, wasting space on the planet and turning to alcohol to "cope with life" is an insult to whatever force that created me. Harsh? Yes. Helpful? Yes. Somewhere down the line of addiction I became tolerant of the idea of alcohol abuse...the immoral aspect that RR tries to get across is helpful to me.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DrivenHeart85 View Post
I've had some major beast activity lately too, it just started to settle down yesterday finally after I did some re-reading of the list of how the AV presents itself and went back to Carr's book too. The first snowfall was what triggered the activity. With snow comes winter, with winter comes months of depression and my Beast knows last February I drank and left AA and 8 months of sober time because of the depression, also because I had various hang ups with the program. But anyway, I had what I call the "Beast death grip" on my brain on Tuesday night but reminded myself that being sad has nothing to do with alcohol, therefore it's my addiction being a *****. I think it was doing a bit of the addicto-depressive thing too because the depression that went along with it was way out of proportion. I saw the snow and just wanted to break down sobbing...that's not normal. Anyway, I now remind the Beast, "I will never drink again and will never change my mind, no matter how awful winter gets or how depressed I become."

I've also started trying to hammer home the moral thing. Every time I see myself in my mind with booze (typically my AV showing me what it wants me to do) I remind myself that that is completely immoral, weak behavior and that I'd be the scum of the earth if that's how I chose to deal with life. I tell myself I'd be nothing more than trailer trash, wasting space on the planet and turning to alcohol to "cope with life" is an insult to whatever force that created me. Harsh? Yes. Helpful? Yes. Somewhere down the line of addiction I became tolerant of the idea of alcohol abuse...the immoral aspect that RR tries to get across is helpful to me.
I have a hard time thinking about drinking as immoral. Probably because that is such a loaded term. Rather I think of drinking by an alcoholic as irrational and lacking in all common sense. It is really just poison that we are putting into out bodies. Plus it is really nothing but depressant juice. We are putting something in our body that is designed to depress us, make us lose control, feel miserable later, not to mention all the other consequences, and all for a temporary high. What sense is that? This has been my mantra lately anyway.

Sorry about your lousy weather. In my area it has remained in the high 50's and sunny. I know this will change soon though and I am not looking forward to it.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:55 AM
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Wait a minute, wait a minute! You mean, drinking is irrational? Seemed pretty damned rational to me while I was doing it!

Hey, if drinking were really irrational or illogical, none of us would ever do it. Your internal conversation about the merits versus the immorality of alcohol is just you engaging your AV, if you didn't already notice. Here's one, "I 'need' a drink, because I am SOOOOO stressed out!" Or, "I 'deserve' a drink because I have been working SOOOOO hard!" I can think of lots more rational reasons to drink

In reality, it is illogical to QUIT drinking, from the perspective of how we FEEL about it, which is really where the decision to drink comes from. Urges to drink don't come from our rational brain, so why try to fight it at that level? Quitting drinking feels BAD. It is illogical to make oneself feel bad. We make all our non-drinking promises to ourselves while we aren't feeling bad, with the exception of maybe during the midst of a bad hangover. Of course, I "fixed" all those with good old hair-of-the-dog.

As "logical" beings, it's difficult and often prohibitive to take the "illogical" path of quitting drugs and alcohol, insofar as our basal human drives are concerned. For those of us who have succeeded at doing that long term, almost NONE of us did so by virtue of wanting to live a more "virtuous" life. We did it because the alcohol wasn't "working" for us any more.

What it takes is not logic or virtue, but bovine determination, to forge through days of misery you are sure to encounter as you quit drinking. You've got to be damn sick and tired of drinking to put up with that. The decision to be a non-drinker cannot be contingent upon "as long as I feel good."

No matter how complicated the various methods of quitting drinking try to make it, they ALL revolve around ONE simple decision. To be a non-drinker. At least that's what I think. I also think that the problem is that many people don't think that AT ALL. "Not drinking" to a lot of people just means the physical act of abstinence. The very term implies intention of future drinking.

Defining oneself as a "non-drinker" is taking that to the next level, removing the future intent. For some crazy reason, a lot of people in the early stages of quitting drinking seem to think it makes them feel better to hold that future door open. To me, that's a limbo state of slow torture, waiting until I can be "normal" again, i.e. a "moderate drinker". It took me 15 years of trying to make that attitude work before I finally figured out how illogical that was.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:30 AM
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This is back from October 2nd between "me" and TU on morality:


".....TU: If you can convince yourself that for you, drinking, in and of itself, since it effectively obliterates your moral conscience — your sense of right and wrong — is the most immoral act of all, more wrong than anything else, you are home free. Your conscience will then kick in almost automatically to identify the Addictive Voice when it pops up, without any effort on your part."

This is just for me to back up my morality stance. As far as illogical or irrational, that won't help you to not drink. People do illogical, irrational stuff all the time, but it's the stuff they're morally opposed to that seems to happen a lot less. I'm not up to that level of immorality with drinking yet though...where it's the most immoral act of all, but I'm working on it. I like to think of all of the stuff that my parents have done to help me in life and how drinking is morally wrong because if effectively throws all of their hard work down the drain. Sometimes it seems that I don't mind if I emotionally am hurting myself but to do it to the only people who truly care about me would be absolutely heart breaking and yes, immoral in my eyes.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:38 AM
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Unfortunately, I've never had any problem doing immoral stuff for most of my young life.

I learned early on I could lie effectively. Once I figured that out, the rest was a piece of cake.

The trouble with morality is how it's applied. The term is too malleable, and certainly cultural. In Japan, for example, suicide is morally acceptable because it is a legitimate way of "saving face". Please, let's not argue that point, I did read it in a period piece long ago, and I am not a Japanese scholar. Many people consider eating meat immoral.

Me? I've never considered my drinking immoral. I'd pick up again if that were the only reason to quit doing it.

On the other hand, if immorality applies to your own personal conviction to quit drinking, I can't argue with that. It's when it is applied broadly that I think it won't work for a lot of us.

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Old 12-08-2011, 08:47 AM
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Yes, I don't mean like, "Jesus cries when you drink" morality (lol), I mean personal compass morality. I guess, I don't apply the term immoral broadly since everyone's morals are so different; some people think eating meat is immoral and then some people think murdering an entire race is moral. But I'm talking your personal morals or conviction if you want to call it that too, what drives your behavior, what you personally believe to be right and wrong behavior from yourself.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:18 AM
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For me drinking is immoral. Using money that should go to my children to feed my own self-indulgence is wrong (for me). Driving so drunk I don't know how I got home, let alone if I hit anything on the way is reprehensible behaviour. I'm quite disgusted at myself. All so I could feel good.

The beast built a golden palace to alcohol right in the centre of my life and I poured all my resources, financial and otherwise, into maintaining it. In the mean time, everything around the palace turned into a wasteland because there was nothing left over.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:25 AM
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Presenting a "thesis" to your AV/beast implies there is room for argument.

Rationalizing or moralizing simply engages them. Your arguments may be strong, but presenting them for review invites attack.

Maybe it's just better to simply things by simply making your Big Plan and discontinue the arguments.

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Old 12-08-2011, 09:38 AM
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Thanks Failedtaper and DrivenHeart85. You both gave me a lot to think about and digest. My post on drininking being irrational has to do with the conversation I have with my AV. It is my AV that is trying to rationalize drinking, ie. we all have to die of something, nothing really matters anyway, it makes life and people bearable etc. So I am trying to fight those thoughts.

As Failedtaper mentioned morality is just too subjective and does not work for me, but as DrivenHeart mentioned, I can use my own personal morality instead, I just don't call it that.

As I have mentioned in another post, the main reason I quit drinking is to be able to find and maintain employment. I have been out of work for 2 months, my savings is running out, and I don't want to be living in a car down by the river. But to be honest, if I won the lottery or came into a big inheritance where I no longer had to work, I would start drinking again. That is how I feel right now anyway, and I know it totally goes against AVRT, but keep in mind that I am only on day 8 of not drinking, and I have been drinking regularly for 30 years. The longest time I have gone without drinking is probably 3 weeks, so I know my mind is still cloudy and I have a lot to learn.

Thanks for your insight on this.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by NewWay View Post
I still can't bring myself to commit to never drinking again which I know is a major part of the AVRT. I do recognize the AV though.
You need to recognize that the part in bold is also your Addictive Voice. Your Beast can't bring itself to commit to never drinking again, because IT equates doing so with dying. It will fight to survive, but I imagine that you know that you won't die if you quit drinking. Indecision is a purgatory in and of itself, and you can do better than quitting just one-day-at-a-time, and only for today.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
Wait a minute, wait a minute! You mean, drinking is irrational? Seemed pretty damned rational to me while I was doing it!
FT is correct here. Addiction is not an irrational belief, because the Beast equates abstinence with death. The Beast is therefore acting both rationally and morally by chasing the buzz, which IT believes is necessary for survival itself. To the Beast, drinking or using is always right, always rational, and never a matter of moral judgement.

Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
In reality, it is illogical to QUIT drinking, from the perspective of how we FEEL about it, which is really where the decision to drink comes from. Urges to drink don't come from our rational brain, so why try to fight it at that level? Quitting drinking feels BAD. It is illogical to make oneself feel bad.
FT is Correct again. While logic plays some part in formulating the Big Plan of AVRT, it is mostly arrived at through intuition, and is effectively experienced as a leap of faith.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:11 PM
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The Beast brain doesn't have the ability for moral judgement though. If it's the part of the brain that tells you to eat to live, have sex to reproduce, then there's another part of your brain that veto's eating during a fast or raping someone. Moral judgement has to have power over the Beast brain or rape would be happening all the time.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:20 PM
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I made a Big Plan on 10/29. I had read the book and I was determined. I changed everything about my lifestyle because "I" wanted to. I started exercising, eating right and participating in life. Again, because that is what "I" wanted. Then I had some set-backs and my beast came at me with a full frontal attack and I experienced a major case of vertigo and gave in to the wily beast. I did learn so much about how my beast operates. I think when I am feeling strong it knows better than to even try so it patiently hangs back and waits. My reversal of intent was a major set back and gaining control once again has not been an easy task. Many on SR speak about working on their recovery daily. Can AVRT be used daily? During my month of abstinence I didn't think much about drinking or the beast. I simply proceeded forward with my life. I suppose it was my failure to realize that the beast will always be there and will sing to me like a siren when I hit a speed bump. I am not nearly as confident/cocky this time around. I need to practice engaging my beast more often so I get to know its ways.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:53 PM
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Defining oneself as a "non-drinker" is taking that to the next level, removing the future intent. For some crazy reason, a lot of people in the early stages of quitting drinking seem to think it makes them feel better to hold that future door open. To me, that's a limbo state of slow torture, waiting until I can be "normal" again, i.e. a "moderate drinker". It took me 15 years of trying to make that attitude work before I finally figured out how illogical that was.
I am brand spanking new to this (day 3), and fall exactly into that category. My current objective is to continue to break the the routine of drinking every night. Because this is so new to me, I haven't yet encountered the negative consequences that may come my way if I leave the door open to the possibility of being a "normal" drinker down the road. I'm not talking about going on a 3 day binge, but just sharing after dinner drinks while catching up with old friends. I will be on a family ski trip in that situation right after the holidays, where I can imagine this would come up.

I am not posing this question to be flip, or disrespectful, but is moderation not an option at all? Maybe not, but I haven't given it a chance, so I don't personally know. There are amazingly intelligent posts by TU and failedtaiper among others that suggest it's not. However, I see it in my own household where my wife will have a glass of wine with friends, and not finish it.

Right now, I do know that if I have a drink at 5:00 pm, that certainly will not be the last drink of the day, because the Beast will be out of the cage, and I will continue to drink until bedtime. I suppose the complete abstinence approach does save the drinker from having to decide each and every day whether this is a drinking day, or an abstinence day, which over time could get very tedious.

I realize I am on a "sober recovery" site, which would obviously not advocate moderation, so I apologize if I have been inappropriate by suggesting it as a possibility. I am still trying to learn how best to accomplish my goals of personal growth, and providing a healthy and happy atmosphere for my family.
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