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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 12-17-2011, 10:04 AM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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FT, I do remember you mentioning this before. I think I've read of a couple of other people on here sort of unofficially doing this as well.

I want to do this - however i haven't worked myself up to the conversation I'd need to with my husband about it. Whenever we have guests over, I convince my husband to at least buy some wine/beer for them - but then he usually hides it afterwards or sends the guests home with the leftovers (which is slightly embarrassing). I understand why he does this and how scared he is that I'll drink again...but I think it would be very good practice for me to have something in the fridge for me to reject or dismiss every day. For some reason that I can't explain, I feel like this would strengthen things for me....but it's been hard enough to convince my husband that it actually helps me for him to have a drink or 2 when we go out to eat or to serve it when we have people over....I think he'd really give me a hard time on this last idea.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:14 AM
  # 82 (permalink)  
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For me, avoidance has never been an option as I've mentioned. I understand your husband's fear, too. My husband was worried for months that I would pick back up when I quit opiates (another story) a year ago after a 2 year "problem" surrounding orthopedic surgery. Every "funny" look caused suspicion I was high again. How could I blame him? I had wrecked our lives for quite awhile.

Personally, I think it's a good idea to get used to alcohol being in the environment, because it truly is everywhere. Being a non-drinker doesn't mean everyone else has to be, and creating an environment for yourself like a toddler who can't be trusted around glassware only works for awhile anyway. Eventually, you will be exposed.

Good on ya for choosing to work through this the way you are. For your husband, it just takes time to trust your actions. He will come to see through your behavior that you are no longer the person you were when alcohol dominated you.

FT
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:50 AM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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I get nervous when the beast is quiet. I have a wake up call for it each night on the way home from work. There is a picture the size of a small house on the side of the traffic lights of a bottle with red wine (my favourite drink) pouring into a wine glass. I practice avrt while waiting for the lights to change!!
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:58 PM
  # 84 (permalink)  
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I'd inadvertently had a handle bottle with only one drink (my last drink) gone for over a year after quitting. It seemed a reminder, or symbol of how I'd never hesitate to drink to blackout every night, and the last night my Beast had to have just one more.

Rarely entertain, so I ended up giving it away along with some scotch. I would certainly agree "avoidance" stemming from a fear based paradigm would be, yet another. convoluted AV.

Initially, the reason I kept it, was that throwing ANYTHING of value in the dump isn't in my nature; ......and saving it for a gift (at least) seemed logical. As that handle bottle sat there, untouched, it seemed to build a deeper meaning as time went on.

.....Kind of wish I hadn't given it away now. LO

My little version of FT's cold duck method.


Now all that's left is very , VERY old cheap wine and stale expensive beer out in the shop.
It helps.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:10 AM
  # 85 (permalink)  
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So far, the most powerful thing the beast has used is my feelings. A restlessness, especially at work, I find difficult to deal with.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:06 AM
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I have read the RR <online> Crash Course and have begun reading, "Rational Recovery - The New Cure for Substance Addiction".

While it does resonate, I'm having some difficulty with an aspect of the presentation.

First, I'd like to stress that my difficulty is not, in any way, a judgment of how others choose to use the terms, nor am I questioning that effectiveness for others. I'm speaking only of my own difficulty with some of this approach.

I am unable to demonize my brain. It seems adolescent and superstitious.

What I know:
  • All organisms' primary directives are to a) avoid pain and b) seek pleasure (in that order)
  • These directives enhance the chance of survival - the brain's #1 priority
  • The greater the pleasure 'hit', the higher on the survival-of-the-species priority the activity goes (e.g. sexual activity provides a big boost of dopamine)
  • The brain looks for the greatest pleasure for the least effort (the least 'pain')
  • Humans, being too smart for our own good, have made the pleasure hits artificially high for almost no obtain-pain (e.g. think of a drive through fast food restaurant: the 'food' artificially manipulated to be unnaturally high in fat/protein (huge pleasure hit) and almost no 'pain' of obtaining!)
  • Drugs, alcohol, foods artificially created to be high in fat/protein and/or sugar, are all items toward which the brain will say, "Hey, this item is super pleasurable and there's very little 'pain' (effort) needed to obtain it so this goes way up on my priority list to obtain!"
  • That pain avoidance/pleasure seeking is evolutionarily created and designed for my survival. It is not evil. It is not a demon.

The problem, as I see it, is that we've artificially enhanced pleasure too quickly for the rat brain to evolve and, if the statistics on drug addiction, alcohol addiction and obesity are any indicator, it's going to be our undoing. We humans are using our incredible creativity to our own detriment: make pleasure greater and greater and the pain of obtaining lower and lower. The rat brain can't resist. It is evolutionarily unable to resist.

So, to suddenly go back to the dark ages and call it a beast, demonizing it and polarizing the neocortex and the rat brain as outright enemies....it just doesn't work for me. I get that that's the dissociative piece; however, for it to be useful for me, I'll need to dissociate in a somewhat different way.

I'm seeing it as more of a mindless, childish, impulsive, blind piece of gray matter. Value to my survival? You bet. In a natural environment, over eons of evolution, did it enhance, indeed insure, survival? Absolutely. In this new world, where humans have artificially enhanced pleasure, is it fooled - are the primary survival directives perverted to my own destruction? Without a doubt.

Dylan

Last edited by DylanS; 12-18-2011 at 08:09 AM. Reason: Cor. bullets
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:52 AM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DylanS View Post
What I know:
  • All organisms' primary directives are to a) avoid pain and b) seek pleasure (in that order)
  • These directives enhance the chance of survival - the brain's #1 priority
  • The greater the pleasure 'hit', the higher on the survival-of-the-species priority the activity goes (e.g. sexual activity provides a big boost of dopamine)
  • The brain looks for the greatest pleasure for the least effort (the least 'pain')
  • Humans, being too smart for our own good, have made the pleasure hits artificially high for almost no obtain-pain (e.g. think of a drive through fast food restaurant: the 'food' artificially manipulated to be unnaturally high in fat/protein (huge pleasure hit) and almost no 'pain' of obtaining!)
  • Drugs, alcohol, foods artificially created to be high in fat/protein and/or sugar, are all items toward which the brain will say, "Hey, this item is super pleasurable and there's very little 'pain' (effort) needed to obtain it so this goes way up on my priority list to obtain!"
  • That pain avoidance/pleasure seeking is evolutionarily created and designed for my survival. It is not evil. It is not a demon.
All of the above are more or less correct. No, the midbrain / limbic system is not inherently evil, for the simple reason that it cannot comprehend morality. It simply does what feels good, which usually correlates with survival, but not always.

Originally Posted by DylanS View Post
The problem, as I see it, is that we've artificially enhanced pleasure too quickly for the rat brain to evolve and, if the statistics on drug addiction, alcohol addiction and obesity are any indicator, it's going to be our undoing. We humans are using our incredible creativity to our own detriment: make pleasure greater and greater and the pain of obtaining lower and lower. The rat brain can't resist. It is evolutionarily unable to resist.
Correct. Synthetic, mood-altering hedonic drugs have not been around long enough for them to have a significant effect on human evolution. In short, our brains simply did not evolve to deal with them.

Originally Posted by DylanS View Post
So, to suddenly go back to the dark ages and call it a beast, demonizing it and polarizing the neocortex and the rat brain as outright enemies...
In AVRT, you are not polarizing the entire mid-brain and its normal, healthy survival functions, just the artificially-created drive for drugs and alcohol. As for the dark ages, the ancients may not have had the understanding of biology that we have now, but they certainly did have an intuitive understanding that pleasure-drives rum amok would be one's undoing. Why do you think the Bible has so my injunctions against drunkenness?

Originally Posted by DylanS View Post
I'm seeing it as more of a mindless, childish, impulsive, blind piece of gray matter. Value to my survival? You bet. In a natural environment, over eons of evolution, did it enhance, indeed insure, survival? Absolutely. In this new world, where humans have artificially enhanced pleasure, is it fooled - are the primary survival directives perverted to my own destruction? Without a doubt.
For the purposes of AVRT, it doesn't matter how you look at it. The bottom line is that a new, artificially-created, perverted survival drive has been born, and that instead of pointing north, towards life, points south, towards death. It is this this perverted drive, and only this, that is coined "the Beast" in AVRT. The term may have religious overtones, and indeed those who are religious will intuitively sense this, but it also happens to correlate with basic biology.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:17 AM
  # 88 (permalink)  
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RE: Religion

All,

I realize that this thread is in the Secular Connections forum, but I do not want it to devolve into pot-shots at scripture or the religious beliefs of others. There have been a couple posts already which display a thinly-veiled aversion to traditional religion, and I don't like it. I consider it a good thing that AVRT will work for people of faith as well as those without, and I do not want this thread to exclude either.

In fact, I hope religious members of Sober Recovery feel welcome to join in the discussion. The mastery of one’s bodily desires is the highest aspiration of all civilized religion, and AVRT is a precise map of the awesome process of regeneration outlined in ancient scripture. If you have a problem with religion or the "G" word, please take it elsewhere. I say this as a hardened atheist — the type who doesn't even dabble in spirituality.

Thank You.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:04 PM
  # 89 (permalink)  
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The question that I would ask myself: "Is the person I am when drunk, and even the person I am when not drunk and pursuing or plotting and planning to get high, the same person I am who does not drink?"

Over the course of years of drinking, my behavior and thinking got worse and worse, to the point that I could not seperate the person from the behavior. This resulted in a lot of shame for me. The line grew thinner and thinner, but it was still there - on some level, I knew I was NOT the person I was behaving like. Alcohol dependency had no purpose in my life, other than to make me a miserable person.

This recognition helped me seperate the compulsion to drink from my real self.

This is my opinion and my opinion only: whether you choose to demonize it, approach it from a purely scientific standpoint, or call for help from a Higher Power, it must be seperated from you as a person, and you have to stare it down. You have to find a way to disassociate the compulsion and behavior from the person in a way that resonates for you. You MUST put it under the interrogation lights, stare at it, and make it blink first.

Whatever methodology or program one uses, the secret to your success lies in a strong desire to stop the behavior; you need to adopt a temporary suspension of disbelief and you need to quit the endless analysis of the methodology. You have to actually USE the principles you are learning.

No good thought or direction comes from a brain that is still using. You have to put down the bottle, give your brain some time to clear, and THEN the true work of getting on with you life can be made with a clear mind.

That was my experience. I did not use AVRT to stop drinking, but I can strongly identify with the need for disassocation in its methodology.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:59 PM
  # 90 (permalink)  
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I guess I don't get wound up with the AV anymore. Whenever it pops in my head I just kind of watch it. I don't think "Oh, it's that evil hideous Beast up to its no good tricks again, I must destroy the thought!!!!" I just let it float through because I know it has no power, it just "is". It floats into my conscious, maybe toys with my emotions a bit and then floats back out...nothing to get concerned with. I used to flip out about it and quickly name all the reasons why I don't want to drink but I'm an unconditional non-drinker now so these thoughts would have no bearing even if they presented a rational case...well except for the weird "what if" cases that my head makes up about life or death scenarios...like being trapped on an island with only alcohol as sustenance or gun to the head kind of stuff. lol But anyway, I see the Beast as a piece of me that's functioning just as it should but since I can't tell it to undo what I taught it to do through all of my drinking, that's why there's now a conflict. I can't just send it a memo that I helped it develop a drive for poison and that it needs to stop it's job now...that's just not an option. It's kind of like a belly button...it had a use once, but now it's just there. LOL
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:31 PM
  # 91 (permalink)  
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I do believe you've got the hang of it, April. I won't pull up any of your early posts, but I must say that the change in your attitude since you first posted here is quite noticeable. We could call you Beast Mistress now.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:56 PM
  # 92 (permalink)  
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RE:"I see the Beast as a piece of me that's functioning just as it should but since I can't tell it to undo what I taught it to do through all of my drinking, that's why there's now a conflict. I can't just send it a memo that I helped it develop a drive for poison and that it needs to stop it's job now...that's just not an option. It's kind of like a belly button...it had a use once, but now it's just there."

I had to laugh at "can't just send it a memo" - perfectly put! This made real sense to me. The belly button analogy very fitting.

Thanks for your post - very helpful in synthesizing the information in a way that makes logical and common sense to me. I've copied all of the above quote to add to my "Cliffs Notes" on this method to help keep pertinent information in mind.

Thanks again,
DylanS
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:08 PM
  # 93 (permalink)  
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RE: "Whatever methodology or program one uses, the secret to your success lies in a strong desire to stop the behavior; you need to adopt a temporary suspension of disbelief and you need to quit the endless analysis of the methodology. You have to actually USE the principles you are learning. "

This was my first post about this method so I'm not sure why you said, "You need to quit the endless analysis".

I was under the impression that this forum was for questions and answers about how to stay clean/sober. AVRT/RR is a completely new concept to me. I do not blindly accept anything; I'm an intelligent human being that needs a solution to make sense to me to utilize it.

I'll bow out of these discussions.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:24 PM
  # 94 (permalink)  
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Hey, Dylan,

When I first came to SR, I had very thin skin and almost quit posting the first few weeks. That was until I realized that these threads are read by hundreds of people who never post. Those of us who do post put ourselves "out there". Even though we remain anonymous, remarks often feel personal.

I decided to stick around. I didn't take TU's comments to suggest you were doing anything in particular, and his advice is usually from a perspective that invites both argument and discussion, but also benefits everyone who might be looking on.

I hope you stick around, too.

FT
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:36 PM
  # 95 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I do believe you've got the hang of it, April. I won't pull up any of your early posts, but I must say that the change in your attitude since you first posted here is quite noticeable. We could call you Beast Mistress now.
Yeah, looking back I was a bit like a stray animal when I got to this forum. I ran away from my previous drinking addiction "caretakers" so-to-speak and decided everyone else was untrustworthy just like they were. So you guys got the brunt of it because I was hypersensitive about being pushed in the wrong direction again. Though no one here ever did any pushing. Anyway, I know there's enough info online and in the RR: TNC book to show anyone how to learn AVRT but I don't think it would've been possible for me to grasp it without everyone's help here due to the length and intensity of "recovery-ism" I went through and my high level of distrust and skepticism. Your willingness to keep responding to me truly helped me push aside my "evil eye" for AVRT. lol So I have a very large amount of gratitude for everyone's existence here.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:44 PM
  # 96 (permalink)  
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Wink

Originally Posted by DylanS View Post

I'll bow out of these discussions.

Dang, TU's done runn oft another one.
<just kiddin', of course>

FT, I had a similiar experience here in the "secular" section a month after enthusiastically "discovering" it's location last year.

In retrospect, I realized the forum etiquette ( with it's built-in anonymity) does create more latitude for comments I'm convinced some folks wouldn't make face to face. Romantically fanticizing "not with me , anyway " LO

Anyway, .....not that TU needs a damn bit of defending , I dropped Dylan a pm with your response "pasted" in there too.

Thanks for keeping this thread alive and well, ;;;;.......always a pleasure to come here.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:43 PM
  # 97 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DylanS View Post
This was my first post about this method so I'm not sure why you said, "You need to quit the endless analysis".

I was under the impression that this forum was for questions and answers about how to stay clean/sober. AVRT/RR is a completely new concept to me. I do not blindly accept anything; I'm an intelligent human being that needs a solution to make sense to me to utilize it.

I'll bow out of these discussions.
There is no need to bow out, Dylan. Knowing a little bit about wellwisher's experiences, I do not believe she had any ill will with that remark. There is a bit of an initial learning curve with AVRT, mostly because it is indeed different than other formalized recovery paradigms, but it quickly builds momentum. Do stick around.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:17 PM
  # 98 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by failedtaper View Post
I didn't take TU's comments to suggest you were doing anything in particular, and his advice is usually from a perspective that invites both argument and discussion, but also benefits everyone who might be looking on.
It wasn't me this time.

But, yes, there is a bit of a back and forth necessary to expose the AV embedded in people's thinking, and I do encourage it. The more questions people ask, particularly those just starting out, the more accessible we can make AVRT. By all means, people should bring their critical judgement, because ultimately it won't matter. If a thought suggests the possibility of any future drinking or using, AVRT will expose it, no matter how dressed up in scientific or esoteric garb. None are too smart for the AVRT Howitzer.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:11 PM
  # 99 (permalink)  
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Thanx for an excellent post, April. I shall take that away with me, as it is the messing around with my feelings that I find hard to disassociate from. I still own those feelings as myself. Got the voice recognized, so I guess it is upping its game to get what it wants.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:35 PM
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Oh, no, Dylan, I wasn't responding to you! I was taking up TU's invitation for others to join the discussion!

I was merely referring to the need to try something because I was one who spent many, many years (wasted years, by the way) of contemplating the act of abstinence, but I didn't actually DO it. I fumbled around blindly, setting myself unattainable quotas and limits, half-hearted attempts after particularly bad episodes that were short-lived, and all the rest that goes with not saying enough is enough. I spent a lot of time trying to get myself out of my pickled brain with a pickled brain. It was a merry-go-round of disaster.

I had to make a personal declaration that I would never drink again in order for ANY attempt to stop drinking work. As a matter of fact, I had a counselor tell me that I exhausted her with all the plans I had to quit drinking but she noticed that I never actually did; even after all our sessions together.

What I was trying to say is that no matter what method you use that you really have to look that addiction in the eye and address it head on; and that requires action.

So don't bow out of the conversation, and if I caused you grief, my apologies. It really wasn't directed at you.
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