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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 3

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 3

Old 01-24-2012, 06:53 AM
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Thanks Watcher, I will definitely put into practice not debating at all with the beast. I thought the above example was more shifting and not really debating. Watching the show through the beast's eyes and then through my eyes.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrifty View Post
Thanks Watcher, I will definitely put into practice not debating at all with the beast. I thought the above example was more shifting and not really debating. Watching the show through the beast's eyes and then through my eyes.
I get it. It's fine to convince yourself of the reasons you are abstinent. I was referring more to making sure you don't try to justify your abstinence to the AV.

If you're talking to yourself (not the AV) this is a good practice.

Your reasons are yours alone and the AV need not know them. The only thing the beast needs to know is "I will never drink and I mean it".

As long as your abstinent and stick with your big plan, you're doing great in my opinion.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Thrifty View Post
I have been working on the separation of I and it and the separation is tougher to get during the 5-8 pm hour. It seams like it's all beast then. I still feel like I'm white knuckling. Do I just repeat my big plan and shift when I get that white knuckle feeling?
Just recognize it and observe it. This will become easier with time, and eventually you'll be able to completely detach with no effort. The Beast will necessarily relent, and the only way you will "white knuckle" is if you yourself doubt your Big Plan and get into a debate with the AV.

Originally Posted by Thrifty View Post
It took reading the RR book to realize the exact reason I like the [Intervention] show so much. It's a reinforcement for my beast to talk me into keeping up drinking.
"Intervention" is certainly Beast voyeurism at its finest.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
If you're talking to yourself (not the AV) this is a good practice.

Your reasons are yours alone and the AV need not know them. The only thing the beast needs to know is "I will never drink and I mean it".
I would go further and argue that once you have made a Big Plan, that you no longer need to re-hash all the bad stuff in order to reinforce it. The need to reinforce it implies self-doubt, which would be Addictive Voice. There is also a good chance that you may eventually start to forget why you quit in the first place, so relying on past reasons can be unreliable. It is best to simply get into the habit of letting your Big Plan be the last word on the matter. You can then close the book on that sorry chapter of your life and let the sands of time wash over it, knowing that you won't ever go back to that state.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:07 AM
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Hi all

Yes I definitely found my beast playing up when there was a segment on the news about the major problem of alcoholism in this country and the effects on our young people etc

AV was telling me

"who are you kidding - you have a SERIOUS problem and now you are a dry drunk - you need to get back to AA and work on a new design for living"

Worked out what was happening after a bit (when it wants booze it's more obvious - when it's not even after booze initially but rather attacts the method that is more subtle .. although it alwasy finishes a suggestion above with SO DRINK TONIGHT AND GO BACK TO AA ON MONDAY - it always wants to get the drink

I'm finishing off the book and have made a new big plan

I have to say that there is a lot of other crap going on in my life and I know being abstinent wont make alll my problems (step children, family issues etc) go away but it will put me in a far better position to deal with them
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:13 AM
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Peta,

There are a lot of ideas floating around in recovery circles (eg, "relapse is a part of recovery") that implicitly support continued self-intoxication, and your Beast has a keen eye for such ideas. Your Addictive Voice will probably be pumping many of these ideas back at you over the weeks and months to come. Just remember the definition of the Addictive Voice — "any thinking that supports any possible future use of alcohol, ever" — and recognize it for what it is.

Such ideas will become progressively easier to recognize as AV, to the point where eventually they will stand out like a blinking neon sign. If you want to get some really good AVRT practice, read the posts in the newcomer's section, and filter what people write through the definition of the Addictive Voice. It won't take you very long to start to recognize the AV in other people's posts. I usually get more AVRT practice on here in a half hour than I would in a month otherwise.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:33 PM
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Some questions my Beast didn't want me to know the one word answers to:

Can you be certain that you are (or were) addicted?
Who else can be certain that you are (or were) addicted?
Can you lie to yourself?
How many times can you make The Big Plan?
Can you rescind The Big Plan?
Is The Big Plan an oddity of human choice?
Does swearing at your Beast shut it up faster, longer, better?
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:37 PM
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How can you know you won't be drinking in the future?

Can you be certain that you are fully recovered?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:39 PM
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Thanks TU

I think that's a good idea

I'm feeling very emotinal is that the beast (dying) or is it me??

I havent drunk but i'm struggling - it's struggling I should say

I keep recognizing it but it's relentless and then I feel like crying and I just feel so sad but perhaps it's the thing feeling sad

I'm nervous becasue I'm not feeling like this is totally effortless like it's meant to be??? It does feel like i'm white knuckling it because I"m obviiously considering the AV's arguments and trying to discount them rather than just observing and not absorbing them

Feel better after coming on here thanks
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:22 AM
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Peta, I'm afraid I have no response to your question as I feel the exact same way. I just wanted to thank you for posting since what you said put what I have been feeling into words. I too feel a constant nagging and I'm constantly noticing the beast talking to me. The sadness is there too.

I am looking forward to anybody's insights to your post.

Thanks
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Peta View Post
I'm feeling very emotinal is that the beast (dying) or is it me??

I havent drunk but i'm struggling - it's struggling I should say

I keep recognizing it but it's relentless and then I feel like crying and I just feel so sad but perhaps it's the thing feeling sad
The Beast is a creature of depression, not only because alcohol is a depressant, but also because the Beast has a "life sucks" attitude. For the Beast, everything sucks without a drink, and right now it is feeling the deprivation. Since it is essentially part of the limbic system, you will feel its moods for a while, and you need to get into the habit of separating from IT's feelings. IT may not be happy right now, and can even make you cry, but through your eyes, you know that a securely abstinent state brings hope for the future instead of despair.

You can use the AVRT® Matrix to practice shifting back and forth between these two points of view. The Upper Right cell () represents the certainty principle of the Big Plan, which lets you know that you won't be creating any more problems for yourself from drinking. The Lower Right cell () is the infamous dry drunk, but through the lens of AVRT, we can see that the dry drunk is just the Beast feeling deprived. While the death of the Beast can be a noisy affair, like a newly caged animal, it will eventually get used to captivity and settle down.





NOTE: The AVRT® Matrix is copyrighted material, which may not be reproduced without explicit permission of Rational Recovery Systems, Inc.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrifty View Post
I too feel a constant nagging and I'm constantly noticing the beast talking to me. The sadness is there too.
This is not unusual early on. Just let it nag away, and don't respond to it. It is just a stupid, disembodied voice; it can't hurt you. Also, you have been regularly ingesting high proof depressants for a while, and there is a price to pay for that. You should feel remarkably better at around 90 days or so, if not sooner. Standard psychiatric protocol usually requires 90 days of continuous abstinence to determine if there is actual, underlying depression present, as opposed to that caused by alcohol.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:39 PM
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For me, AVRT is an extremely pure and ironclad polarization technique.

It is about an extremely self-conscious series of physical actions that took place 2 1/2 inches from my eyes, and 1 1/2 inches from my nose, and required full muscle coordination of at least one arm down to my thumb and a finger. That's just the half of it. Then I had to decide to open my mouth and either swallow or inhale.

And, it is about very specific substances that I can identify with utter simplicity.

I haven't been able to come up with an analogy in major life experiences that has the precision that is possible when using AVRT.

With all that said, regarding the evolution of my emotional response to using AVRT, the analogy I feel that fit best for my quitting alcohol and pot is when someone very old and dear to me who has become severely mentally incapacitated by their age finally dies. Righteous, good, yet sad, and full of grief.

My Big Plan forced the absolute death of a strongly habituated physical experience, I know I can't rescind it, I know I had never "quit" this way before, and I know I cannot lie to myself.

My Beast was persistent. It took the harmless experience of drinking dreams and was able to impose that dream anxiety of having failed at abstinence, and brought it into the background of my conscious emotional structure. For a period of time, when the thought of drinking would pop into my mind, for 2 to 5 seconds I felt an initial anxiety of having a real, recent history of struggle and failure; and I actually had to jar my consciousness back to the truth - that, of course, I had not failed at my Big Plan.

My Beast was taking the memories of the real struggle and ambivalence I felt before I finally quit and was trying to superimpose them into my life after my Big Plan - Hah! - not a chance. It was truly one of those "What on earth is it going to come up with next!" moments, and thereafter "Wow, there it is again. What a crock!" It had tried to sneak up on me, but every time I felt very competent very quickly.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:46 PM
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Knowing, not just hoping, that you are recovered.


This "AVRT Tip" from the Journal of Rational Recovery expands on the "static time" idea in AVRT, which is covered in the book "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction," on pages 138-141.

Static Time

This concept was introduced in Rational Recovery: The New Cure, but when coupled with the probability game, it takes on greater meaning. Briefly, we know that the Beast, an appetite for toxic pleasure originating in the midbrain, is timeless. The concept of time is neocortical, i.e., known only to you, but the Beast has little difficulty exploiting ideas it cannot conceive. The basic strategy of the Beast is premised on the idea, “Then is different from now.” For example , when you attempt to formulate a Big Plan for lifetime abstinence, it will echo, “Yes, you may say that now, but I’ll get you sooner or later (then).” Falling into its trap, you may feel insecure, wondering if this may be so, that at some time in the future, when conditions are much different, you may change your mind and drink or use.

Probabilities

At this juncture, you may feel your confidence level rising and falling, say on a scale of 0% to 100% confidence that you will never drink again. Your Beast will suggest that you pick a number, any number, between zero and a hundred to represent how confident you are that you will remain perfectly abstinent for the rest of your life. Let’s say you rate your confidence at 90%. “Fine, you may think,” that’s a lot better than feeling hopeless, as I did last week, when I was hopeless about salvaging my life from addiction.” You may hope that as time goes by, and as you successfully practice AVRT, your confidence will grow, and your confidence will keep rising and eventually you will reach 100% confidence. But this is only your Beast, playing a game with you.

The game is similar to roulette, in which your number may come up against heavy odds. The Beast accepts your concept of spacial time as if the calendar is the betting board. It places its bets on now (akin to the green 0’s, if you are familiar), plus other squares representing those special times when you would find drinking irresistible and would change your mind, e.g., New Year‘s Eve, while in the back country, when a loved one dies, weddings, celebrations, times of boredom or misery, etc. It is hoping that its number comes up, and that you will lose. In this probabilities game, the Beast has the odds, because the game is never over. When you rate your confidence at, say, 90%, you may as well erase the “9” and call that the new zero point, with the same ten intervals as before. As long as any chance of drinking exists, a plan to drink exists in the present moment, and the Beast is placated. It will hardly stir as you play the high stakes betting game, each waiting for the pea to fall on some future date. You stand by, only hoping that your Beast’s number won’t come up.

In AVRT, the practice of static time allows you to know that you will not drink under different circumstances. Since there is no time, but only the present moment throughout life, there is no statistical game board for speculating on the next drink. Since there is only one eternal moment, the now in which everything exists and occurs, there is no difference between any imaginary “then“ and now. When this concept of static time is appreciated, the Beast has been met on its own turf, and it suddenly becomes easy to say, with perfect, 100% confidence, “I know that I will never drink in the present moment, because it takes no effort to do nothing right now.”

___________
Excerpted from The Journal of Rational Recovery,
Vol. 9, Iss. 4, March-April, 1997, Page 26

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Old 01-29-2012, 03:53 PM
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I really like that..
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:02 AM
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It's amazing. Three days of working on what I have learned about AVRT and I already feel better about not drinking than 2.5 months of another way. Before, I was always questioning if X was the right thing to do for my sobriety. Now that I have made a pact with myself that I will never drink again alot of challenges I had before just disappear. I still have some residual guilt left over from another program but I have realized that is just my "beast" talking.

I have also started to try and change where my beast's voice comes from and move it from in my head to down into my chest. I feel like it will help me look at the beast as a more gut feeling than a rational and wise thought. I know people do this kind of thing for anger management etc.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by UofI2008 View Post
It's amazing. Three days of working on what I have learned about AVRT and I already feel better about not drinking than 2.5 months of another way. Before, I was always questioning if X was the right thing to do for my sobriety. Now that I have made a pact with myself that I will never drink again a lot of challenges I had before just disappear.
This is something that many who only quit tentatively, or on a trial basis to "see how it goes," are simply unable to experience. They may even sincerely tell you that you are setting yourself up for a big fall, that it can't be this simple, and that you will be struggling forever. There is a struggle with AVRT, but only initially, and its duration is a drop in the bucket compared to what most people think of when they imagine recovery from addiction.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:09 PM
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It is pretty amazing. AVRT really matches my personality and who I am as well. It was really hard for me to swallow the fact that I had to have someone else guide me for the rest of my life. I have never done that in my business and personal life. Frankly, most of the people I was supposed to follow weren't exactly shining examples of what I wanted to be in life either.

I don't want to sound like I'm opposed to help either. It's quite the contrary. I just wanted to figure out what worked, and well, the other program just didn't fit. I'm glad I had TU and others here that quit on their own to guide me on my own path. For that, I am eternally grateful.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:14 PM
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I also agree with alot of people on here about identifying as non-drinkers. Some of my most "AHA" moments in the past few months have been when I just tell people I don't drink. To me there is something therapeutic and helpful when I am offered a drink and say, "No I don't drink". It isn't something I just scream from the mountain tops, but I try to be candid because I am now a non-drinker.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:28 PM
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I am sold on AVRT. I hated going to AA meetings- dreaded them. I dont buy everything Jack says in his book, but I believe in the core concepts. I have made my mind- not drinking again- not changing mind. 75 days and counting.
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