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Old 02-06-2012, 08:33 AM
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Help me out here...

First of all, let me make the point clear that I am not denouncing AVRT. It is basically what I have felt for years. But I would like to address a question I have been mulling over in my mind.
Is is a good thing to separate ourselves from ourselves? When we talk of the "beast", it is like it is a foreign invader that has taken over our actions. But isn't it, in reality, not an alien but a part of us? And within my belief system, integration of oneself is imperative to be complete and healthy? I can't put my finger quite squarely on it at present, but something is not ringing true with me. I have used the analogy of the beast numerous times but am beginning to feel this disassociation with a part of myself disturbing. By all means this addictive part must be controlled as it is dangerous. But this fragmentation is concern to me.
I appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:53 AM
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I suffer from OCD and disassociate from my OCD voice that desperately wants me to perform compulsions. I have recently started do the same with my alcoholic voice. There is nothing wrong with ignoring a self-destructive part of your own mind. In fact for me it has brought about a increased amount of self-awareness that I feel like differentiates me from most other people. I have found that I am now more in touch with my own feelings now than ever before. I think your self-destructive voice is lying to you and trying to make you feel like you have to include him in your decision making.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:52 AM
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Creekryder,

First of all, AVRT is just a paradigm, it has no feelings, so even if you were to denounce it, it wouldn't get hurt. No need to walk on eggshells. It's not like you can "bash" it.

To answer your question, though, obviously the Beast of AVRT, which is just addictive desire, is physically a part of you. The separation is just a means to get a grip on it. If it helps, consider that the Beast did not always exist within you. You weren't born with this perverted survival drive imploring you to drink, drink, drink, were you?

I know that I wasn't. It just came to life one day, as if being brought forth in childbirth, and I heard a little voice in my head saying "Yes, Yeesss!!! THIS is what life is all about !!! You WILL drink again, come hell or high water!" In a way, it kind of is like an alien, and AVRT is just a way to return to your original, authentic self, without said alien running your life. GerandTwine just posted a very nice progression in the AVRT thread about this.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:27 AM
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TU>I understand the concept, but I feel from readings that many are assuming a position that this is something separate from their being. It isn't. The addictive behavior is something we attain by our actions, but I believe the predisposition is there, even at childhood. Now how we react to the stimulus is where our actions come to play. Here is where the acceptance of the addiction becomes important. When we admit the dependency on drugs, alcohol, sex, etc., we act upon it. If we want to alter the direction, we abstain. But we have to accept that as part of our physical or chemical composition. It is part of us. That of course does not mean we have to accept and roll over for that part to take control, but realizing it is part of ourselves gives us initiative to change behavior.
Touching again briefly on being born with the drive to drink, I think there is enough clinical evidence that genetic predisposition to alcoholism is real. I go further to believe it is a blood chemistry plays a leading role. Why are there groups of peoples that tend toward alcholism, ie. Native American or Irish? Why does alcoholism run in families? I have to lean toward the belief that we are born with that. It doesn't mean that all will become dependent upon drugs or alcohol, but the stage is set if one is not careful. Being aware that it is part of your being, IMHO, allows you to accept the "defect" and make a conscious effort to change the behavior through what means are necessary.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Creekryder View Post
First of all, let me make the point clear that I am not denouncing AVRT. It is basically what I have felt for years. But I would like to address a question I have been mulling over in my mind.
Is is a good thing to separate ourselves from ourselves? When we talk of the "beast", it is like it is a foreign invader that has taken over our actions. But isn't it, in reality, not an alien but a part of us? And within my belief system, integration of oneself is imperative to be complete and healthy?
I appreciate your thoughts.
I have seen it misused on here in the way you are inferring, but you will see that in *another program* as well when people talk about their "disease".

For me, when I separate myself from "the beast", I do so when I realize I am having incorrect thinking (for lack of a better term). However when I speak or think about my bad actions due to my drinking, I absolutely do not separate myself from "it". It's all me, I take responsibility. I think unless you are bordering on multiple personality disorder in real life, this is actually a very healthy practice. In psychology, they refer to practices like AVRT as "dissociative techniques" and they can be very helpful.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:58 AM
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Born with it or not is moot to me...anyone can stop abusing drugs or alcohol if they so desire.

I do recognize the "beast" as part of me. Just not a part that makes choices for me. I've stated in other threads that obviously our midbrain has a purpose, a necessary one. I want a good solid midbrain watching out for my survival when a car is careening toward me. But it is up to me to realize that not everything is a car careening toward me. As far as AVRT, to me it's just acknowledging that the midbrain is misguided...sorely misguided in determining what is good for me. It's purpose is to get drunk. That is not my purpose, so in this instance the I/it split makes sense and is useful.

Originally Posted by creekryder
but I feel from readings that many are assuming a position that this is something separate from their being. It isn't.
Some people absolutely see this drive to get high or drunk...additionally to steal, lie, cheat, be promiscuous, as something completely seperate from them. Who am I to tell them they are wrong. If someone believes in the devil, they could most certainly assign these behaviors to an outside drive (Satan). I don't believe that, but just because it's not my truth doesn't mean it's not theirs.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I have seen it misused on here in the way you are inferring, but you will see that in *another program* as well when people talk about their "disease".

For me, when I separate myself from "the beast", I do so when I realize I am having incorrect thinking (for lack of a better term). However when I speak or think about my bad actions due to my drinking, I absolutely do not separate myself from "it". It's all me, I take responsibility.
Yes, while some people will drone on and on about "my disease," even in public discourse with never-addicted people, in AVRT, we don't use the Beast, or the Addictive Voice, as a a justification for our behavior. Within the context of an AVRT discussion, we can use "the Beast" as shorthand for "that perverted survival drive that wants more booze as if life itself depended on it," and this is perfectly fine, but can you imagine saying either of the following and not sounding insane?

  • "Sorry I crashed the family car again, honey, but the Beast made me do it!"

  • "The reason I drove my car into that telephone pole, your honor, is because the Voices in my head told me to drive to the liquor store to get more booze!"
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Yes, while some people will drone on and on about "my disease," even in public discourse with never-addicted people, in AVRT, we don't use the Beast, or the Addictive Voice, as a a justification for our behavior. Within the context of an AVRT discussion, we can use "the Beast" as shorthand for "that perverted survival drive that wants more booze as if life itself depended on it," and this is perfectly fine, but can you imagine saying either of the following and not sounding insane?

  • "Sorry I crashed the family car again, honey, but the Beast made me do it!"

  • "The reason I drove my car into that telephone pole, your honor, is because the Voices in my head told me to drive to the liquor store to get more booze!"
I agree with you - but I've seen people here do it already in excuse for being snippy! It does read funny!!
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Creekryder View Post
TU, I understand the concept, but I feel from readings that many are assuming a position that this is something separate from their being. It isn't.
Once born, the Beast is as much a part of you as any other survival drive, such as your own sex drive, or your drive for food and water. The only difference, of course, is that alcohol and other drugs are not really necessary for survival. The body has acquired, through repeated exposure to mood-altering substances, a biological script error. The midbrain (or reptilian brain, forebrain, or base brain, if you prefer) is literally confused.

People often wonder why they keep drinking even though it may no longer produce that wonderful buzz that it once did. The answer is very simple. Since the birth of the Beast, the midbrain has come to (incorrectly) believe that alcohol is like oxygen, necessary for life. Even if you are in a highly polluted city, such as Linfen, China, where the air is quite toxic, your body will say "keep breathing, stupid, even if it burns your lungs!" Similarly, even if drinking often makes you feel bad, the AV will say "keep drinking, stupid, even if you get horrible hangovers and it makes you feel like dirt!"

Originally Posted by Creekryder View Post
The addictive behavior is something we attain by our actions, but I believe the predisposition is there, even at childhood.
The "predisposition" is there in everyone, simply because our brains are adapted for the pursuit of goals, usually driven by pleasure. Drugs produce a synthetic pleasure that overshadows any pleasure that could be produced naturally. Granted, some people may have a built-in immunity to certain substances, particularly if they make them sick from the get-go. My mother, for example, doesn't drink at all, because she starts to get sick even with one drink. If I have one drink, all I feel is "that's a good start, keep going!" Conversely, certain other substances people get hooked on, such as Oxycodone, make me feel sick, so I don't get that "keep going!" feeling with Oxycodone.

Originally Posted by Creekryder View Post
Touching again briefly on being born with the drive to drink, I think there is enough clinical evidence that genetic predisposition to alcoholism is real.
Even if there is, what difference does it make at this point, once you are already addicted? The Addictive Voice is going to pump all sorts of things you read about addiction right back at you, particularly anything that makes it seem like you were predestined to drink. All this research may be interesting, but it makes no difference to your own recovery. I would even suggest that anyone who expects a cure from all of this research — and I'm not saying that you do — so that someday they may not actually have to bother quitting, they are hearing their AV.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Some people absolutely see this drive to get high or drunk...additionally to steal, lie, cheat, be promiscuous, as something completely seperate from them. Who am I to tell them they are wrong. If someone believes in the devil, they could most certainly assign these behaviors to an outside drive (Satan). I don't believe that, but just because it's not my truth doesn't mean it's not theirs.
For the purpose of AVRT, it ultimately makes no difference where you believe the drive to get high or drunk comes from, as long as you can consider it not-quite-you. Satan would fit the bill, and if that suits your understanding of the world, that's perfectly fine, unless, of course, you believe that you are completely powerless to resist Satan's influence.

AVRT also seems to me to be perfectly congruent with Yetzer hara (the evil inclination) from Judaism. Yetzer hara is not a demonic force, but rather man's misuse of things that the physical body needs to survive. The ambiguous nature of sexual desire is often cited as an example. Libido totally under control would not be libido, and without it people would never procreate.

To separate Yetzer hara out from the good (Yetzer hatov) would be to destroy the very nature of the sexual drive. The destruction of the evil inclination implies the annihilation of this world, for the evil inclination is also the force of life itself. AVRT assumes that the Beast is essentially born from the force of life itself, and the Structural Model presumes health as a condition of desire, even though acting on desire may result in disease, or even death.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I have seen it misused on here in the way you are inferring, but you will see that in *another program* as well when people talk about their "disease".

For me, when I separate myself from "the beast", I do so when I realize I am having incorrect thinking (for lack of a better term). However when I speak or think about my bad actions due to my drinking, I absolutely do not separate myself from "it". It's all me, I take responsibility. I think unless you are bordering on multiple personality disorder in real life, this is actually a very healthy practice. In psychology, they refer to practices like AVRT as "dissociative techniques" and they can be very helpful.
That's the way I look at it too. Acknowledge the thoughts but set them aside and ignore them as self destructive and move on.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:35 AM
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I agree with what I've read tonight about AVRT (much of which reminded me of Alan Carr's quit smoking technique), but I do not think that the consideration of a chemical balance in the brains of those more likely to abuse alcohol (those who are anxious or depressed), implies that these people are diseased or that alcohol abuse is a disease. Addressing the brain chemistry in relation to alcohol abuse is very interesting to me. If the original chemical imbalances to be corrected, then perhaps people,like myself, wouldn't derive such enormous pleasure from drinking.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:05 AM
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I'm a little reluctant to single your post out here Wonderland, since you are relatively new to AVRT, so please don't take this personally. AVRT is a self-aiming weapon, though, and I sense a plan to keep drinking in your post.

Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
Addressing the brain chemistry in relation to alcohol abuse is very interesting to me. If the original chemical imbalances to be corrected, then perhaps people, like myself, wouldn't derive such enormous pleasure from drinking.
Recall the definition of the Addictive Voice: "Any thinking, imagery, or feeling that supports, or even suggests, the possible future use of alcohol or drugs -- ever."

This entire section I quoted above qualifies in spades, and is pure Addictive Voice. Dr. Beast has you convinced that you were born two martinis sub par, and that alcohol is medicine for that deficiency. Here are some questions for you to give you a moving target:
  1. Is addressing brain chemistry in relation to alcohol abuse very interesting to you, or to your Beast?

  2. If you aren't going to drink again, what does it matter if you derive enormous pleasure from drinking or not?

  3. If you really do have chemical imbalances that need correcting, wouldn't it be better to correct them properly, with real medicine instead of alcohol?

  4. What does your Beast think about real medicine that doesn't get you drunk or high, but only provides relief and makes you feel normal?
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
I'm a little reluctant to single your post out here Wonderland, since you are relatively new to AVRT, so please don't take this personally. AVRT is a self-aiming weapon, though, and I sense a plan to keep drinking in your post.



Recall the definition of the Addictive Voice: "Any thinking, imagery, or feeling that supports, or even suggests, the possible future use of alcohol or drugs -- ever."

This entire section I quoted above qualifies in spades, and is pure Addictive Voice. Dr. Beast has you convinced that you were born two martinis sub par, and that alcohol is medicine for that deficiency. Here are some questions for you to give you a moving target:
  1. Is addressing brain chemistry in relation to alcohol abuse very interesting to you, or to your Beast?

  2. If you aren't going to drink again, what does it matter if you derive enormous pleasure from drinking or not?

  3. If you really do have chemical imbalances that need correcting, wouldn't it be better to correct them properly, with real medicine instead of alcohol?

  4. What does your Beast think about real medicine that doesn't get you drunk or high, but only provides relief and makes you feel normal?
Yes, addressing the underlying chemical imbalances that cause my anxiety and seek relief in alcohol, is of real interest to me, as I want to seek to fix the original imbalance causing the anxiety.
Imbalances of serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and other problems with neurotransmitters, lead to anxiety, hyperactivity, and depression.

When did I suggest that alcohol was the correct treatment for this? People, like myself, have used excessive alcohol, to try and patch these chemical imbalances, but it doesn't work like that. Treating the root of the problem, the chemical imbalance is crucial if I'm ever going to feel good.

To say that because someone has a misfiring with their neurotransmitter, causing an issue, like anxiety, that could make them more susceptible to the reward-center stimulation of the brain that alcohol initially provides. This in no way implies that someone is subpar.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
Imbalances of serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and other problems with neurotransmitters, lead to anxiety, hyperactivity, and depression.
So does drinking alcohol.

Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
When did I suggest that alcohol was the correct treatment for this? People, like myself, have used excessive alcohol, to try and patch these chemical imbalances, but it doesn't work like that.
You may not have suggested that alcohol is a correct treatment, but you are suggesting that it is a treatment nonetheless. Of course, it is not, as you seem to have figured out.

Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
To say that because someone has a misfiring with their neurotransmitter, causing an issue, like anxiety, that could make them more susceptible to the reward-center stimulation of the brain that alcohol initially provides. This in no way implies that someone is subpar.
It certainly suggests that alcohol is treatment for this misfiring of neurotransmitters, no?

Anyway, the key line, the dead AV give-away from your post, was this:

Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
If the original chemical imbalances to be corrected, then perhaps people, like myself, wouldn't derive such enormous pleasure from drinking.
The above seems to suggests that if the chemical imbalances are corrected, then people like you would be able to drink normally, without the enormous pleasure. In the logic of AVRT, the absence of a plan never to drink, is a plan, now, to drink. So, once again:

  1. If you aren't going to drink again, what does it matter if you derive enormous pleasure from drinking or not?

  2. Do you intend to keep drinking (presumably without the enormous pleasure) if you do ever figure out how to correct any chemical imbalances?

  3. If the answer to #2 is "yes," wouldn't that negate the positive effects derived from any legitimate medicine?
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
So does drinking alcohol.



You may not have suggested that alcohol is a correct treatment, but you are suggesting that it is a treatment nonetheless. Of course, it is not, as you seem to have figured out.



It certainly suggests that alcohol is treatment for this misfiring of neurotransmitters, no?

Anyway, the key line, the dead AV give-away from your post, was this:



The above seems to suggests that if the chemical imbalances are corrected, then people like you would be able to drink normally, without the enormous pleasure. In the logic of AVRT, the absence of a plan never to drink, is a plan, now, to drink. So, once again:

  1. If you aren't going to drink again, what does it matter if you derive enormous pleasure from drinking or not?

  2. Do you intend to keep drinking (presumably without the enormous pleasure) if you do ever figure out how to correct any chemical imbalances?

  3. If the answer to #2 is "yes," wouldn't that negate the positive effects derived from any legitimate medicine?
Okay, you are really going out on a limb here, and quite frankly, twisting my words and not making much sense yourself. You are implying that because I want to correct the chemical brain imbalances that cause my anxiety (anxiety I have had since childhood, before alcohol), then that means that I want to drink? How are you making this false, and insulting deduction?
I am the one who wrote that many people try to patch anxiety with alcohol, and I also wrote that it obviously doesn't work to CORRECT the initial problem, only to mask it for a bit.
So, without alcohol, I would like to address the chemical imbalances causing my anxiety, so can feel happier, calmer, and be more productive.
To be honest with you, your approach turns me away from talking with you further.
Perhaps there are those who would like to discuss things related to neurobiology.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
You are implying that because I want to correct the chemical brain imbalances that cause my anxiety (anxiety I have had since childhood, before alcohol), then that means that I want to drink? How are you making this false, and insulting deduction?
I explained how I am deducing this, and I quoted the relevant part of your post, twice.
Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
If the original chemical imbalances to be corrected, then perhaps people, like myself, wouldn't derive such enormous pleasure from drinking.
Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
I am the one who wrote that many people try to patch anxiety with alcohol, and I also wrote that it obviously doesn't work to CORRECT the initial problem, only to mask it for a bit.
You did indeed, suggesting that alcohol is medicine, albeit not very good medicine. You might want to consider getting that idea out of your head entirely. Alcohol is not even bad medicine, nor does it work temporarily. It gets you drunk, which makes you not think about the problem, but in the meantime, it actually makes the problem much worse.

Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
So, without alcohol, I would like to address the chemical imbalances causing my anxiety, so can feel happier, calmer, and be more productive.
You don't have to answer me, but consider that you still haven't answered any of the questions I posed. What is your plan concerning the future use of alcohol once you do address any chemical imbalances, and you do feel calmer? Are you going to drink on top of your medication, thereby negating it?

Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
To be honest with you, your approach turns me away from talking with you further.
I was trying to help you see the Addictive Voice hidden in your thinking. I told you not to take it personally, but that is certainly your prerogative. Either way, our exchange may help others who read it.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
So, without alcohol, I would like to address the chemical imbalances causing my anxiety, so can feel happier, calmer, and be more productive.
You don't have to answer me, but consider that you still haven't answered any of the questions I posed. What is your plan concerning the future use of alcohol once you do address any chemical imbalances, and you do feel calmer? Are you going to drink on top of your medication, thereby negating it?
I suppose the bigger question is this:

Supposing that you never figure out how to address the chemical imbalances causing your anxiety, are you then going to keep drinking, or go back to drinking, thereby making those chemical imbalances, and your anxiety, much, much worse?
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:26 PM
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I have a comment back to the original Creekryder post, though reading the ensuing exchanges was quite interesting.

A part of the AVRT book that I found interesting was when it pointed out the similarity between the AV and the voice in my head that tells me to rear end the jerk that just cut me off. I know that I don't want to do that, but there is certainly a part of me that makes me feel the satisfaction of doing it.

AVRT has given that part (or a similar one) a name and given me the power to recognize that I make the decisions for me.

I know now what he means when he says that if you truly subscribe to AVRT you will find it IMPOSSIBLE to drink alcohol. At first that sounded nutty.

While I'm truly thankful for for Terminally Unique's reading recommendations, it almost makes me sad because I may not need the support of this group much longer....thanks to AVRT I feel totally secure in my lifelong abstinence!
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:58 PM
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TU, maybe my reply belonged on this thread instead of the AVRT thread, and will get more notice here. I think Wonderland was misunderstood here, I did not read those posts as you did.
Originally Posted by Wonderland View Post
Addressing the brain chemistry in relation to alcohol abuse is very interesting to me. If the original chemical imbalances were to be corrected, then perhaps people,like myself, wouldn't derive such enormous pleasure from drinking
and might not drink at all then.

There is no plan to keep drinking there, TU, nor was there an opportunity for you to lead Wonderland to making A Big Plan concerning future use of alcohol. You have a fabulous hammer in your AVRT master status, but not all posters are nails.

Originally Posted by Wonderland
So, without alcohol, I would like to address the chemical imbalances causing my anxiety, so can feel happier, calmer, and be more productive.
Originally Posted by Terminally Unique
Supposing that you never figure out how to address the chemical imbalances causing your anxiety, are you then going to keep drinking, or go back to drinking, thereby making those chemical imbalances, and your anxiety, much, much worse?
You know that I am a strong AVRT and TU supporter. However, I think you missed the opportunity for a completely different discussion, the discussion intended by Wonderland. Too bad.
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