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What do you do to not drink/drug?

Old 10-06-2011, 06:10 AM
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What do you do to not drink/drug?

Myself, I use some facets of AVRT (I recognize my addictive voice) and SMART (I challenge my irrational beliefs, mainly). I go to a SMART meeting once a week for some face-to-face with other people who are struggling, and coming on this forum seems to keep me on top of things too. I am an equal opportunity critic of following any program 100% - I think that's just the way I will always be on any given subject. I take what I like and leave the rest behind as they'd say. In fact, I have been thinking of going back to AA for some speaker meetings. I miss those.

Just curious, what do you "do"? Is it a mix of things?
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:21 AM
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Hi freethinking,

What has kept me solidly not drinking for over 20 years, and now almost 10 months drug free is the firm resolve to "reinvent" myself as a nondrinker and now a non-opiate-user.

It is very easy for me to field any issue that used to cause me to substance abuse. I simply ask myself (if I need to, which I rarely do anymore), "What would a non-drinker (or non-opiate user) do?" And then I do that thing. Kinda like "What would Jesus do" for religious folks. Ha!

I've been reading the AVRT thread for just a short while recently, and I like what it has to say. However, I've never felt the need for a more "formalized" approach, as non-formal as AVRT actually is. I don't even need it to be THAT formal.

I reject the idea of "powerlessness", which I avoid discussing most of the time to avoid an argument. But, my personal EMPOWERMENT is what allows me to remain strong in my recovery. I given that over to no one.

FT
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
But, my personal EMPOWERMENT is what allows me to remain strong in my recovery. I given that over to no one.

FT
Yes, the empowerment I have found since I found SMART and RR has been the best part of all of it. I also identified with not being drawn to a more formalized approach...I think for me, that is tied to the reason why I can't 100% follow any method. They are all man-made to me, and man has his flaws....as does every "recovery method" that is laid out there in my opinion, as it relates to me at least.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:36 AM
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I keep pictures of my kids in my office. They remind me why I quit.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:00 AM
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Failedtaper,
I have the done exact same thing when trying to lose weight! I stop and say to myself, "What would a fit, healthy person choose to eat/do here?" I think your approach recognizes that where one winds up is the result of a million little choices along the way. I tend to forget that when I am drinking. Always putting off the hard choices. Thank you for sharing your approach. Though I've done it in other areas, it never occurred to me to try it with drinking (go, figure, eh? convenient!).
Thanks,
Humble
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:17 AM
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I don't really do anything to not drink, I have no desire to drink, the thought of it actually makes me cringe. 4 yrs ago I accepted that I am "allergic" to alcohol and to me it became just like a peanut or shellfish allergy, I accept I can't have it as it would physically and mentally harm me, and. therefore I have no need nor desire for it.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:49 AM
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I focus on a healing path that causes me to reject the ideal that alcohol/drugs can be included in my wellness journey.

I too use the 'mixed bag' of directions/plans that helps me achieve a healthy lifestyle. I'm not an off the rack one size fits all type of people when it comes to using healthy resources or much any thing else in life.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:12 PM
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Not sure where I am on this Thread

Please Help
I am not sure where I am on this thread.

I have read Rational Recovery and the Art of AVRT. I still let my Beast Desire over-run me continually. I do understand the concept, but I have been drinking for over 40 years. I Do want to quit, but I (my Beast) also equates drinking with the concept of 'coping' with my very intense daily requirements. My job is extremely stressful, which to most people is a pathetic excuse. However, when the stress of the day hits, 'I' let my Beast take control.

I DO agree with the AVRT concept.

I expect the typical feedabck will be that I DO NOT YET WANT TO QUIT, but I am hoping someone else here has had MORE THAN THE TYPICAL AVRT EASY QUIT EXPERIENCE. Please help with some feedback that may actually help me make progress, and not just justify YOUR EASY-QUIT Experience.

Thank You, Sincerely
RDBplus3
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
Please Help...
...I Do want to quit, but I (my Beast) also equates drinking with the concept of 'coping' with my very intense daily requirements.

I expect the typical feedabck will be that I DO NOT YET WANT TO QUIT, but I am hoping someone else here has had MORE THAN THE TYPICAL AVRT EASY QUIT EXPERIENCE.
RDB,
In bold I think is your main problem. You need to separate it from you. You have a bad day. You have inadequate coping mechanisms. You pick up a drink.

Your beast just tries to tell you you need it. You don't.

I in no way am saying this is easy. It makes sense to you already and once you separate it does get easier. The problem is you have work to do on you. I am in the same position here. I quit, but my coping mechanisms are not quite there. I know it will take time to fix the problems in my life, but drinking and letting the beast win even one more time is off the table. Separate you from it.

I will PM you some links. The free classes really helped me.

Best wishes,
HRB
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:24 PM
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I just flat out got tired of killing my body with the toxins I was dumping in myself all the time. I have five year old twins and they deserve a long life with a great dad, not the old me that wasn't the man they deserve. Basically I wanted better for my kids, thats all I needed.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
Please Help
I am not sure where I am on this thread.

I have read Rational Recovery and the Art of AVRT. I still let my Beast Desire over-run me continually. I do understand the concept, but I have been drinking for over 40 years. I Do want to quit, but I (my Beast) also equates drinking with the concept of 'coping' with my very intense daily requirements. My job is extremely stressful, which to most people is a pathetic excuse. However, when the stress of the day hits, 'I' let my Beast take control.

I DO agree with the AVRT concept.

I expect the typical feedabck will be that I DO NOT YET WANT TO QUIT, but I am hoping someone else here has had MORE THAN THE TYPICAL AVRT EASY QUIT EXPERIENCE. Please help with some feedback that may actually help me make progress, and not just justify YOUR EASY-QUIT Experience.

Thank You, Sincerely
RDBplus3
If you do the following two things, I bet your job will become less stressful and your daily requirements will become less intense.
1 - Stop drinking for a month
2 - Recognize, and possibly even keep a record of, what your Addictive Voice is saying and feeling, particularly in relation to your job.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:47 AM
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After several weeks of not drinking now just the thought of drinking again makes me feel sick.

I'm not even sure if it's that I've beaten into my own head that I'll never drink again, ever, without condition. I laugh at the "beast" and "AV" whenever I even think of alcohol now. It's like being happily married and having an old stinky decrepit 90 year old try to flirt with me, haha. Why would I want to do that to myself?

Maybe it's the fact that I've changed so many things that I do everyday. Maybe it's just the total change in everything I eat, drink, vitamins, activities, sleep, etc. I would probably puke if I tasted alcohol now and I drank every chance I could for 20 or so years.

The only thing I can think to compare it to is years ago I was seriously into working out. Everyday I ate the right things, drank milk and water, took vitamins, protein shakes, and amino acid tablets, worked out for at least an hour just about everyday for months without eating anything bad. Then one day at work we ended up at McDonalds and I decided to get what I always used to get. The Big Mac Combo, and when I started eating it I couldn't believe how horrible it tasted. It felt like taking a scoop of shortening and just eating it because it was just so damned greasy. I couldn't finish the burger or the fries, it was just awful.

A few weeks ago I knew that I didn't want to drink any more even though it was hard to stop and get control over the thoughts. Now the thought of drinking is about the same as asking me if I would like to guzzle a bottle of warm expired Milk . Not a chance, ever again.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:55 AM
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Well, there's what I DID, and there's what I DO.

What I DID was to decide never to drink again, and that I was going to do whatever it took to get there. I then went to rehab; joined a 12 step recovery group (which wasn't all that helpful, but that's another story); got professional therapy; and worked my butt off to get healthy.

But strangely enough, once I made the decision to quit, the quitting, in and of itself, was not that horrible. I'm convinced that to the extent there is any "magic" or "miracle" when it comes to quitting an addiction, it's to be found in the decision.

As far as what I do now, I do lots of stuff to stay healthy but none of it really has anything to do with my former addiction. I left that problem behind a long time ago; it's not part of my life....except writing on these forums, of course. But I do that to help others.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
I have read Rational Recovery and the Art of AVRT.
Have you read through the main AVRT discussion thread on here?

Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
I Do want to quit, but I (my Beast) also equates drinking with the concept of 'coping' with my very intense daily requirements. My job is extremely stressful, which to most people is a pathetic excuse. However, when the stress of the day hits, 'I' let my Beast take control.
Do you drink on the job, or only after you get off work? You know that what goes up must come down, and that what comes down must go back up. The alcohol may be putting you in the "OOOOH Zone" temporarily, but it is probably adding to your stress. Come the next morning and work day, your nerves are on fire, coming up from the previous down, and you are on edge, even more stressed.

Also, do you really think that the Beast gives a damn about coping with work stress, or your job at all, for that matter? It may be telling you that you need a drink to cope so you can (presumably) keep working in spite of stress, but if it really came down to just one drink or your job, it would say "to hell with the job! drink!"

The only stress the Beast is concerned with is the stress IT feels from deprivation. All the rest is smoke and mirrors.

Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
Please help with some feedback that may actually help me make progress, and not just justify YOUR EASY-QUIT Experience.
No easy quit experience here, at least not at first. I, too, was "coping" with work stress, and then, when I was too drunk to keep a job, I was "coping" with the stress of not working. When I finally got a job again, the Beast told me I needed a drink to "cope" with the new job, which was not as good as the one I lost on account of drinking! See a pattern? Work or no work, good job or bad job, the Beast wants that drink.

You need to drop all conditions for abstaining, ie, "I will not drink as long as I am not stressed." How stressed are you willing to get and still not drink, RDBplus?

Lean into the Beast. The next time it tells you that you need to drink to "cope" with stress, tell it "Oh, yeah? You want to see some real stress? How about I watch you squirm and suffer from starvation? I'm going to kick back and enjoy the show. It's payback time!"

Learn to appreciate its suffering, and realize that you are not suffering as you feel it suffer. The Beast has no choice but to bow down to superior force, and when faced down like this, it will probably cut and run.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
Please Help
I am not sure where I am on this thread.

I have read Rational Recovery and the Art of AVRT. I still let my Beast Desire over-run me continually. I do understand the concept, but I have been drinking for over 40 years. I Do want to quit, but I (my Beast) also equates drinking with the concept of 'coping' with my very intense daily requirements. My job is extremely stressful, which to most people is a pathetic excuse. However, when the stress of the day hits, 'I' let my Beast take control.

I DO agree with the AVRT concept.

I expect the typical feedabck will be that I DO NOT YET WANT TO QUIT, but I am hoping someone else here has had MORE THAN THE TYPICAL AVRT EASY QUIT EXPERIENCE. Please help with some feedback that may actually help me make progress, and not just justify YOUR EASY-QUIT Experience.

Thank You, Sincerely
RDBplus3
Hi, RDB.

Quitting was no easy experience for me back when. In hindsight, I could only have asked for help sooner. Other then that, my quitting forever fundamentally changed me psychically, and the 'not easy' part was the pains of seperation of my old drinking life left in the dust of history, and my new sans-alcohol life sustaining me forward.

Dalek really nailed how your Beast is using your present misunderstanding of coping with stress as a lever against your willingness to quit. Your Beast cares about being pleasured and satisfied with alcoholic addictive drinking, and complicated endevours like coping with stresses is very much beyond the Beasts compacity to understand. You're simply being used because of your naivety with Addictive Voice.

I would suggest the creation of a Big Plan ASAP, since you already state you agree with the concepts of AVRT. A Big Plan will put bite into your bark, and your Beast will be helpless against being correctly identified and seperated.

You know, don't sweat it when others attempt to imply your past failures with quitting always equate with you not wanting to quit. Sure, we have to have some measure of want for whatever to seek it out, grasp it, and live with it, otherwise we don't even start. Nonetheless, all the want in the world dosen't work either if the drinker is unknowingly trapped within the punishing see-saw realm of addictive ambivalence. We can't stop or otherwise change something if we're unaware of the existence of that same something. Self-awareness of a sufficient quality enough to understand what is in play with alcoholic addictive experiences respective to each persons life experiences themselves is essential to successfully quit drinking once and for all time.

The Beast loves secrets. The Big Plan disallows secrets being kept. The math is plain to see, once we see it. As Dalek also said, feel your Beast suffer, and know it is not you who is suffering, even as you feel your Beast suffer. As you continue and so gain enlightenment of the powerful experiences of your psyche being unplugged and unchained, you'll surely have unending success with never drinking alcohol ever again. This has been my experience.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:57 AM
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My path was a little all over the place - just exactly as I think it needs to be. A bit of trial and error and a touch of mix and match.

I went to an AA meeting. No.

I one day at a timed it for a long time while drinking non-alcoholic beer. No.

I read Allen Carr's easy way. That helped quite a bit actually.

I pre-planned a relapse to see what that would be like. No, didn't like that. Drinking didn't feel right any more.

I kept reading books about people's experiences with alcohol and recovery. Interesting to see how many really interesting people there are out there that have fought this battle and won and gone on to have wonderful lives. This was good for me too.

All the while I was poking about in the AVRT threads here on SR. I was very quickly successful at separating from and recognizing the Beast and AV but it took me a while to really get behind a big plan.

The day I made my big plan was the day I recovered. Battle won.

It took me about 10 months to get to that point.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by FT View Post
Hi freethinking,

What has kept me solidly not drinking for over 20 years, and now almost 10 months drug free is the firm resolve to "reinvent" myself as a nondrinker and now a non-opiate-user.

It is very easy for me to field any issue that used to cause me to substance abuse. I simply ask myself (if I need to, which I rarely do anymore), "What would a non-drinker (or non-opiate user) do?" And then I do that thing. Kinda like "What would Jesus do" for religious folks. Ha!

I've been reading the AVRT thread for just a short while recently, and I like what it has to say. However, I've never felt the need for a more "formalized" approach, as non-formal as AVRT actually is. I don't even need it to be THAT formal.

I reject the idea of "powerlessness", which I avoid discussing most of the time to avoid an argument. But, my personal EMPOWERMENT is what allows me to remain strong in my recovery. I given that over to no one.

FT
I really love what you said about re- inventing yourself as a non-drinker. I relate to that, I just didn't know how to word it. I also like what you said about not being powerless. it is important to me to be powerful against this addiction. Powerful enough to kick its ass. If I were to say I was powerless, it would be a lot harder for me to stay sober. Feeling and knowing I am powerful keeps me going in sobriety. Great post
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
Please Help


I have read Rational Recovery and the Art of AVRT. I still let my Beast Desire over-run me continually. I do understand the concept, but I have been drinking for over 40 years. I Do want to quit, but I (my Beast) also equates drinking with the concept of 'coping' with my very intense daily requirements. My job is extremely stressful, which to most people is a pathetic excuse. However, when the stress of the day hits, 'I' let my Beast take control.




RDBplus3
I could've written this myself almost to the letter.

One of the worst trade-offs you can make in life is doing something that stresses you so much you use alcohol to cope with it. This trade-off is typically made by people who are doing something lucrative or otherwise rewarding, and which they are good at. The irony is that the alcohol use eventually gets the better of them and ends their careers, and shortly after, their lives.

What makes RR and AVRT difficult for us isn't so much that the voice of the beast is harder to recognize or more cunning or powerful, but rather that we make the decision that we are better off professionally to self-medicate because we believe it will help us to get the job done (with some justification, it's helped in the past).

I've been wrestling with this myself for some time, and I think the only solution is to say **** the job. Ignore the urgings of the beast to drink, and if you can't face your work sober don't do it. There may be consequences of this, and they may be very unpleasant, but they will be far less unpleasant than the downward spiral leading to death which is the other alternative.

You may find out that you can in fact do your work sober, or adjust it in some way, or find something better to do- just don't make your sobriety contingent on that. Be willing to let it go, and take what comes, just don't drink.

I'm going to follow this advice myself BTW. If I do, my beast doesn't stand a chance.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:02 PM
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Any job or any relationship you have drink to stay in, is not worth having!
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:04 PM
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I'll take Allen Carr for $100, Alex.

One of the worst trade-offs you can make in life is doing something that stresses you so much you use alcohol to cope with it. This trade-off is typically made by people who are doing something lucrative or otherwise rewarding, and which they are good at. The irony is that the alcohol use eventually gets the better of them and ends their careers, and shortly after, their lives.
I thought the same thing for quite a while too, alcohol was letting me work at peak efficiency amid the incredible stress I was experiencing at work. HA. What a con job that was. Lose the booze, and the stress went down because the problems were managed much more efficiently with a sober head, and a calm approach. Your mileage may vary.
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