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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 02-17-2012, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Self-doubt in one's ability to beat the addiction necessarily helps to maintain it. It also obviously suggests future drinking/using, which, by definition, is AV.
I agree with the above statement completely. My agreement does not satisfy my original question though on the quote from pg 41:

Originally Posted by Rational Recovery:TNC --pg 41
"When you doubt AVRT you are only doubting yourself and your own ability to quit your addiction, right now and for all time."

I'm reading this fascinating book with great interest. I am aware of "Recognition Technique" being applied against the Beast -- which is animal desire for the "pleasures" experienced by alcohol addiction, my DOC.

When I have doubts concerning AVRT however, that does not (has not yet anyways) translate to me that I'm doubting myself and my own ability to quit addiction. I wonder if my having already 30 years of abstinence is in play here. I would hope so, LOL.

Interesting. There is much in this book I relate to, and still much that will require discussion before I "come to an understanding" of AVRT. I look forward to those required discussions as I go forward with my readings.

Comments?
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cleoAK
ok, I wanted to ask something too. In my quest to become a non drinker I went to many different councilors. One told me that if I put myself in a situation where there is alcohol that I am deliberately putting myself in a situation where I can relapse. not today or tomorrow perhaps but I am making that choice or I am following that voice to make bad decisions and come closer to the abyss. To me once I make the decision to be a forever non drinker, where I go should be irrelevant, If I am in that situation and my beast/av starts talking I just need to tell it to shut up. Do you think that subconsciously I could be setting myself up for failure? It was just an interesting perspective and one I don't think I believe now I have thought it through. I would just need to ignore the voice... or am I justifying unwise behavior as that person suggested. Thoughts?
Relapse has nothing to do with recovery, Zero. So with that understanding grasped, any ideations of relapsing is of course the Beast, and AVRT will absolutely when applied remove all chance of relapse because the ideations will be vaporized, and more importantly be recognised as the Beast being itself and so relapse's are impossible under those conditions.

I should say here that I'm only just now learning about AVRT, and so take my opinion for what it is: a student of AVRT.

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Old 02-17-2012, 03:12 PM
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Does anyone here ever get that feeling where they are so angry they just don't want to be in reality, period? Right now, my beast is working overtime. My beast LOVES anger. Loves it.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:46 PM
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AVRT: pure and personal

By my present understanding of recovery, being IN recovery makes no sense except to my AV. But I certainly was IN addiction - of 2 minds about quitting, and for too long a time. Even though I didn't "relapse", my addiction continued as I was going to meetings in a Recovery Gone Wild culture several decades ago, wherein the desire to make the Big Plan was unfortunately considered a warning sign of relapse. But then I found RR and the rest is history.

I soon came to believe recovery is a beautiful event that takes only one very deliberate minute to experience. It may, or may not, include chills and/or tears. 5 seconds of self-talk (The Big Plan) is followed by some strong emotions; an awesome awareness of love, eternity, and mortality; and then feelings like the butterfly on the cover of RR:TNC might have if it had a human brain.* It's one of those super-present moments that can never be forgotten. Never is understood all around, but this is a predominately human, forever life-changing minute. Feeling good about the making of The Big Plan is the Abstinence Commitment Effect.

Because I have made three different Big Plans on four different substances, I choose to believe the following statements are true about the Big Plan.

I made The Big Plan with full preparation, willfulness, and solitude.
It is SO personal that it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove to anyone else that I made it.
It is also IMPOSSIBLE for me to rescind it.
And it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to not really know whether or not I made it, because forever is understood, and because how difficult it is for anything to get into my mouth, nose, or veins without my awareness.
I can make the Big Plan for something anywhere at any time.
I can make it only once for each addiction.
The Big Plan is a commonplace sort of commitment. Child-rearing taught me many, many "Never do's." The Big Plan was simply another "Never do".

To me, AVRT is not doubtable, because AVRT is simply a name given to those particular thoughts I desire and choose to think as a morally responsible person. I chose to starve to death my bodily tendency to continue a habituated, yet ruinous appetite for alcohol and pot, no matter what reactionary thoughts or emotions might pop up to try to feed IT.

On anger, when I was young, I got angry WITH my midbrain, often in one big confusion that lasted too long. Today, when I get angry, I quickly bounce back and forth from my midbrain to my neocortex, and often come up with something that's actually constructive. It just makes sense to me to do that.

Dealing with anger, though, really has nothing in particular to do with my Beast. IT will try to make just as good use of my suppressing anger, as it will of my feeling and expressing anger. IT knows NOW is always a good time to drink, or at least arrange things so you can drink without much risk of anything bad happening. YEAH, let's plan to do it. Let us ??? who is this US? It's just me thinking here!! Oh, yeah! IT's trying to COMMAND me. HAH! Not a chance!

*More than once, I thought of putting a small photo of my head over the butterfly's head on the cover of RR:TNC.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:57 PM
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Common Misunderstandings

I am starting to notice some common AVRT misunderstandings, so I thought I would write them up.

  1. The Addictive Voice is not an irrational belief that can be disputed. The Beast ("the desire to drink") is actually a rational entity, insofar as IT is doing what IT knows to be, beyond a shadow of a doubt, necessary for its own survival. It would be very irrational for any entity to try not to survive, so the Beast is actually acting quite rationally.

  2. The Addictive Voice is not the same thing as the Beast. The Beast is simply the desire to drink/use, and the AV is its human voice, in your thoughts, in your mind's eye.
    Bark —> Dog = AV —> Beast
    The Beast cannot do a damn thing, least of all get the car keys, drive to the bar, talk to the bartender, order a drink, count the money, pay for the drink, and then pour it down your throat. It can only use the Addictive Voice to try and convince you to do such a thing.

  3. The Beast is not the entire Midbrain/Limbic system, which controls survival function such as breathing. The Beast is only the artificial, perverted, misdirected survival drive that wants to drink/use as if life itself depended on doing so.

  4. The Beast is not the cause of your addiction. This is a destructive belief, which, if you subscribe to, will have you going in circles for a long time, trying to neuter animal desire. While typical of addicted people to want this, hence all the usual talk about wanting the desire to be magically removed, it can't be done. The force from which the Beast arises is the force of life itself, the same force that keeps you on this planet. The literal destruction of the Beast would mean your own destruction as well.

    For all practical purposes, you cannot control what the Beast feels or otherwise get rid of the Beast. AVRT is concerned with the proximal causes of addiction, as opposed to the distal causes (ie, 'underlying issues'). Therefore, as far as AVRT is concerned, the proximal cause, which is the Addictive Voice, and which you can ignore, and not the Beast, is the cause of your addiction.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post

Originally Posted by RR:TNC © by Jack Trimpey, Page 41

When you doubt AVRT you are only doubting yourself and your own ability to quit your addiction, right now and for all time.
When I have doubts concerning AVRT however, that does not (has not yet anyways) translate to me that I'm doubting myself and my own ability to quit addiction. I wonder if my having already 30 years of abstinence is in play here. I would hope so, LOL.
Robby,

I know you are confident in your ability to abstain, so this may indeed not apply to you. I take that statement in the context which Trimpey is writing. AVRT is just the lore, or common wisdom, of self-recovery, drawn from thousands of people who quit on their own, without addiction treatment. In addiction treatment, the implication is that addiction is 'treatable', and that much like aspirin works on a headache, just by taking it, addiction treatment will likewise work on your addiction.

AVRT is not 'addiction treatment', however, certainly not in the usual sense. It is just a paradigm that was created to help facilitate self-recovery, essentially saving people lots of trial and error. Of course, it is certainly possible to recover on your own using something other than AVRT. I think Trimpey is trying to dispel the idea that AVRT works on you, as is the implication with 'treatment'. AVRT doesn't work on you, nor does it 'treat' anything on its own. You have to learn AVRT, and then use it.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Interesting. There is much in this book I relate to, and still much that will require discussion before I "come to an understanding" of AVRT. I look forward to those required discussions as I go forward with my readings.
I'm sure you'll probably give me quite a bit to think about, but I believe you'll get up to speed rather quickly. After 30 years, you inevitably already know most of this stuff intuitively. You aren't one of these 'one-day-at-a-time' people constantly on the edge of relapse, after all. AVRT can, however, 'sharpen the blade', so to speak. If you take a look at some of Peter G's posts in the main forums, for example, you'll notice a marked improvement in his ability to zero in on people's Addictive Voice as of late.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I'm sure you'll probably give me quite a bit to think about, but I believe you'll get up to speed rather quickly. After 30 years, you inevitably already know most of this stuff intuitively. You aren't one of these 'one-day-at-a-time' people constantly on the edge of relapse, after all. AVRT can, however, 'sharpen the blade', so to speak. If you take a look at some of Peter G's posts in the main forums, for example, you'll notice a marked improvement in his ability to zero in on people's Addictive Voice as of late.
Awesome share, TU. Thank you.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:07 PM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Robby,

I know you are confident in your ability to abstain, so this may indeed not apply to you. I take that statement in the context which Trimpey is writing. AVRT is just the lore, or common wisdom, of self-recovery, drawn from thousands of people who quit on their own, without addiction treatment. In addiction treatment, the implication is that addiction is 'treatable', and that much like aspirin works on a headache, just by taking it, addiction treatment will likewise work on your addiction.

AVRT is not 'addiction treatment', however, certainly not in the usual sense. It is just a paradigm that was created to help facilitate self-recovery, essentially saving people lots of trial and error. Of course, it is certainly possible to recover on your own using something other than AVRT. I think Trimpey is trying to dispel the idea that AVRT works on you, as is the implication with 'treatment'. AVRT doesn't work on you, nor does it 'treat' anything on its own. You have to learn AVRT, and then use it.
I hear you, thanks for that useful explaination. I appreciate the encouraging thoughfulness of your words. Well said, TU. I am confident that I will learn AVRT notwithstanding my initial storehouse of sober experiences. My mind is open and my heart is not jaded, so I have every hope of also incorporating AVRT as a learned skill set as I continue my sober journey.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:51 AM
  # 470 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
Does anyone here ever get that feeling where they are so angry they just don't want to be in reality, period?
I think everyone wants to 'check out' from reality from time to time, freethinking. The average American does watch more than four hours of television per day, after all.

Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
Right now, my beast is working overtime. My beast LOVES anger. Loves it.
I trust you know how this works by now. For the Beast, anger is just a well-worn excuse to the bottle. As GerardTwine pointed out, IT ultimately does not care if you are dealing with anger or expressing it — either one makes for a good reason to drink. 'Dr. Beast' will try to convince you that you should never feel angry, you poor thing, and that you need a little drink to cope and deal. Just assign any such ridiculous ideas to the scrap heap known as Addictive Voice.

Remember, you don't drink, and since addictive desire is not you, but the Beast, you don't even want to drink. Then, go about actually dealing with the anger in a constructive way, such as with exercise, if this is what you want to do. For my part, I sometimes just welcome anger, as it eventually passes on its own anyway. While I'm on the topic, though, watch out for words like 'cope' and 'deal' in your thinking, especially in connection with drinking/using. They are a dead AV giveaway.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
By my present understanding of recovery, being IN recovery makes no sense except to my AV. But I certainly was IN addiction - of 2 minds about quitting, and for too long a time. Even though I didn't "relapse", my addiction continued...
Yes, the Beast certainly loves being 'in' recovery, but never actually recovering, leaving the door wide open for the possibility of future drinking/using.

Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
(The Big Plan) is followed by some strong emotions; an awesome awareness of love, eternity, and mortality; and then feelings like the butterfly on the cover of RR:TNC might have if it had a human brain.
The butterfly image on the cover of the book is an apt metaphor for AVRT-based recovery. The butterfly is doing the impossible by flying away and lifting the heavy metal chain that is tying it down. Likewise, in today's society, permanent recovery from addiction is seemingly impossible. With AVRT, we know better, of course.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:02 AM
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Can anybody answer the question of what is the differences between AVRT and Smart Recovery?
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I think everyone wants to 'check out' from reality from time to time, freethinking. The average American does watch more than four hours of television per day, after all.



I trust you know how this works by now. For the Beast, anger is just a well-worn excuse to the bottle. As GerardTwine pointed out, IT ultimately does not care if you are dealing with anger or expressing it — either one makes for a good reason to drink. 'Dr. Beast' will try to convince you that you should never feel angry, you poor thing, and that you need a little drink to cope and deal. Just assign any such ridiculous ideas to the scrap heap known as Addictive Voice.

Remember, you don't drink, and since addictive desire is not you, but the Beast, you don't even want to drink. Then, go about actually dealing with the anger in a constructive way, such as with exercise, if this is what you want to do. For my part, I sometimes just welcome anger, as it eventually passes on its own anyway. While I'm on the topic, though, watch out for words like 'cope' and 'deal' in your thinking, especially in connection with drinking/using. They are a dead AV giveaway.
Yes, yesterday I kept trying to simplify things because I could tell I was complicating everything, which The Beast loves. I did, in fact, keep telling myself that despite whatever was going on in my head (being angry, feeling like i want to escape - that was all fine and dandy, but the simple fact was I just don't drink). I think I felt unnerved yesterday because it seemed that despite what i was telling The Beast, I still felt really unsettled and unsure of myself. Eventually, the feeling passed though.

Thanks for your feedback - very much appreciated.

**I should add that one thing that really resonated is the reminder that The Beast will imply that *I* should never have to feel angry. How ridiculous. I'm going to have my sh*t days just like everyone else. Who says I shouldn't? what makes me think I shouldn't have to feel angry once in a while?
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:34 PM
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Rational Recovery & AVRT® versus SMART Recovery® & REBT

Originally Posted by recoverywfaith View Post
Can anybody answer the question of what is the differences between AVRT and SMART Recovery?
SMART Recovery was once the Rational Recovery Self-Help Network (RRSHN), which used the Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (RET/REBT) created by Albert Ellis. Once AVRT matured, RR stopped using REBT and shut down the meetings. The RRSHN then re-organized itself as SMART Recovery. SMART is still based mostly on REBT, but does not utilize AVRT. I previously addressed some of the differences in these posts:


For the sake of completeness, here are the official explanations from both organizations.

Originally Posted by SMART Recovery® Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the history of the relationship between SMART Recovery® and Rational Recovery?

A. SMART Recovery, a non-profit corporation, was originally named the Rational Recovery Self-Help Network, and was affiliated with Rational Recovery Systems, a for-profit corporation owned by Jack Trimpey. In 1994 the non-profit changed its name to SMART Recovery, and ended all affiliation with Trimpey. This change occurred because of disagreements between Trimpey and the non-profit's board of directors about the program of recovery to be offered in the self-help groups.

Q. What are the differences between SMART Recovery® and Rational Recovery (RR)?

A. The ultimate organizational authority in SMART Recovery® is the Board of Directors. The ultimate program authority is scientific knowledge and rational thought, as interpreted by the Program Committee and Board of Directors. In RR, the ultimate authority for all issues is the owners. SMART Recovery® has a broad program that includes attention to motivation, urges, problem-solving and lifestyle balance. From the perspective of the SMART Recovery® Program, RR (as of 1997) appears to have a narrower focus, primarily on urge coping. Earlier RR (as expressed in The Small Book, which is on the SMART Recovery® Recommended Reading List) had a broader focus. SMART Recovery® offers groups, publications, and an Internet listserve discussion group. RR offers educational workshops and publications.
Originally Posted by Rational Recovery® Frequently Asked Questions

What is the connection between Rational Recovery and SMART Recovery?

Rational Recovery once sponsored an extensive recovery group network offering cognitive-behavioral therapy along with an undeveloped version of AVRT. Professional counselors were invited to host RR groups as part of their professional practices, and a nonprofit organization was created to manage those activities. When the comprehensive nature of AVRT became better known, and its incompatibility with the psychological disease concept of addiction became clear, the nonprofit board attempted to seize control of the name Rational Recovery®. In 1994, a lawsuit ensued in which Rational Recovery Systems, Inc., prevailed, and the nonprofit organization was denied the right to call itself Rational Recovery® or offer any information or service called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®). The nameless shell corporation re-named itself and is now doing business as SMART Recovery.

There is no similarity between Rational Recovery and SMART Recovery, despite claims to the contrary.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:31 PM
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Thanks to all

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread. When I started it, I didn't think that it would grow as it has, nor did I think that it would last this long. My original intent was simply to try and explain some nuances about AVRT so that people might get up to speed on it faster than I did. However, many of the questions that people have posed on here have invariably forced me to re-evaluate AVRT on a deeper level. I suppose Frank Oppenheimer was correct when he said that the best way to learn is to teach. I would add that the best way to teach is to keep learning.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread. When I started it, I didn't think that it would grow as it has, nor did I think that it would last this long. My original intent was simply to try and explain some nuances about AVRT so that people might get up to speed on it faster than I did. However, many of the questions that people have posed on here have invariably forced me to re-evaluate AVRT on a deeper level. I suppose Frank Oppenheimer was correct when he said that the best way to learn is to teach. I would add that the best way to teach is to keep learning.
I can assure you I never would have "got it" without these threads so you can be rest assured you've saved at least one person from the booze. I'm sure there are many others.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:21 PM
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I noticed a little beast activity this evening.

A little beastly stirring calling out relapse anxiety.

Then again, I am never going to take drugs again and will never change my mind so must just be the beast feeling the anxiety. .

Should I then say that -I- felt nothing but my beast felt some distinct anxiety?
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I think Trimpey is trying to dispel the idea that AVRT works on you, as is the implication with 'treatment'. AVRT doesn't work on you, nor does it 'treat' anything on its own. You have to learn AVRT, and then use it.
I hear you, thanks for that useful explanation. I appreciate the encouraging thoughtfulness of your words.
I knew there was a line in the book somewhere about how nothing 'works' with addictions, but I couldn't remember where. I finally found it. This should shed further light on what Trimpey means when he says that "When you doubt AVRT, you are only doubting... your own ability to quit your addiction..." (RR:TNC, Pg. 41).

Originally Posted by "RR: TNC" © by Jack Trimpey, Pg. 159

Rational Recovery asserts that no thing works with substance addiction, but anyone can quit now for good. The new cure for substance addiction is individual responsibility.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by IAmAbstinent View Post
I noticed a little beast activity this evening. A little beastly stirring calling out relapse anxiety. Then again, I am never going to take drugs again and will never change my mind so must just be the beast feeling the anxiety. .

Should I then say that -I- felt nothing but my beast felt some distinct anxiety?
I would say that the Beast was lusting for a fix, and that it felt anxiety at the thought of a lifetime without a fix. Beasts have feelings, and you felt its anxiety, but don't mistake that for your own. Remember, there are two of you, and accordingly, two ways of looking at things. For the Beast, your Big Plan is akin to death by deprivation, but for you, it means hope and freedom.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:35 PM
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Talking

My reading up on RR:TNC continues.

Fascinating stuff. I'm beginning to appreciate an inner awareness of AVRT in action as I prod the Beast, lol.

There is a special kind of sureness and purpose experienced in slamming the Beast down and kicking it to the curb. It feels righteous
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