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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 4

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 4

Old 05-01-2012, 11:19 AM
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I have NOT committed to not drinking yet. That "never" scares my beast big time. I just know that I am not drinking NOW.

Your Buddhist perspective sounds absolutely lovely. So soothing. Easy.

I have to read more about that - I study everything to the nth degree. Do you recommend any particular books?

Thank you,
Pam
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:40 AM
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I highly recommend books by Thich Nhat Hanh. I would avoid the ones that are commentaries on the sutras(teachings of Buddha) as they can be rather difficult for beginners in particular.

There are lots of good sites on the web so just search Buddhism. The Buddhist teachings on dependent arising and change are very good places to start.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gavinandnikki View Post
I have NOT committed to not drinking yet. That "never" scares my beast big time. I just know that I am not drinking NOW.
AVRT is a "NOW" approach, and "I will never drink again" is equivalent to "I will never now drink," or "I will never drink in the present moment." See my post on static time. There is a link to it from my response to Vinyl, five posts back. Also, what do you care what your Beast thinks, or if it is scared? To the Beast, life without alcohol is hollow and meaningless, whereas to you, it means hope for the future instead of despair. Remember the AVRT Matrix?

All this said, knowledge of AVRT alone isn't going to get the job done, Pam. You will need to take the plunge, and nobody can do that for you. If you want a very good example of this, just look at Jack Trimpey. He obviously knew AVRT, but he still kept on smoking those cigarettes for years after he quit drinking. I know you may not believe me, but trust me, no Big Plan, no AVRT. Without it, it's just another one-day-at-a-time evasion scheme, and you won't appreciate its true potential.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:15 PM
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I quit smoking the day I went into rehab. I must not have a smoking beast because I said, I will never smoke again, never. Had no problems with that so far. I am not a smoker and will never smoke again. No AV there, not even a flicker.

I even think about the same internal conversation regarding booze and the beast really pitches a fit - my beast loves to cause me anxiety - it knows me very well. In fact it's talking to me right now as I am typing this out.

I guess I have to stay on constant AV patrol.

Thank you for all the helpful information.

Pam
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:11 AM
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Hi Terminally Unique, I like and seem to relate to this AVRT “way” a lot better than the AA “way” also.
I used to smoke a pack a day for 16 years but decided to stop when my first child was born. Cold turkey just told myself.. this is no good, I want to be around for my child, I don’t want her smelling my breath or clothes, so I stopped. It was of course hard at first but I had my motivation to quit right there in the crib.
I haven’t smoked or thought about a smoke now for 13 years. I will definitely never smoke again.

Then came the alcohol, I suppose the AV has to replace one vice with another and WE/IT/I discovered alcohol. Social drinking at first ..then like the rest of us on this forum… daily.
I’ve been to three AA meetings now and they have been a comfort and an eye opener but I still don’t feel right. Even though I was a daily drinker, I never drank during the day, if I had a lunch with workmates and we all had a beer I’d have one like everyone else and walk away. I have never woken up wishing to drink. Only at nights soon as I got home. But I could feel and sense something was wrong, just like with the cigarettes.I was getting dizzy spells during the day..lips always dry, always tired, always cranky (at home), but worse of all I could feel this fog coming down over me.
So just over a week ago now I decided to stop. Not because of a doctor, a work mate, a friend, not even my wife (though she couldn’t be happier right now) but because I decided enough is enough.I was never in danger of having seizures, or panic attacks or those other horrible symptoms some poor people went through during detox. But if I hadn’t stopped I was definitely going to join them no doubt.
I saw the AV, the beast.. I don’t know how .. but I saw it. And I could feel what it was doing to me and I knew like the cigarettes it wasn’t right.

*After reading all these posts I’ve ordered the bookRational Recovery..and at my last AA meeting (and they are wonderful, caring people) all I saw was where I was heading or would've headed not where I am now. But I truly believe that some people need that group interaction, that "phone call" in crisis until they find there feet again.

Anyway, I am 47 years old, I have free will and I'm grateful I still have a choice.

So the beast can definitely go [email protected]#% OFF.*

Last edited by jberk65; 05-02-2012 at 02:23 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jberk65 View Post
Then came the alcohol, I suppose the AV has to replace one vice with another and WE/IT/I discovered alcohol. Social drinking at first ..then like the rest of us on this forum… daily.
Welcome, jberk. It seems the Beast ultimately does not particularly care what the actual substance is. Sure, it may have a primary preference, but if it is not available, it will gladly settle for something else instead. You often see this when people quit only their primary drug, but then their intake of another drug they only occasionally imbibed in goes through the roof.

I sent you some links to give you something to read until your RR book arrives. Check your private messages.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Gavinandnikki View Post
I even think about the same internal conversation regarding booze and the beast really pitches a fit - my beast loves to cause me anxiety - it knows me very well. In fact it's talking to me right now as I am typing this out.
The Beast goes on the attack because it is afraid, Pam. Do you know why? Because it knows something you don't -- that you are perfectly capable of making a Big Plan and sticking to it. If this were not so, the Beast would not be afraid, and it would have no need to preemptively attack.

Originally Posted by Gavinandnikki View Post
I guess I have to stay on constant AV patrol.
Once you make a Big Plan, there will be a definite period where your thoughts coalesce around the new non-drinking mandate, but you won't have to be on patrol all the time. The AV will quickly become conspicuous, almost impossible to miss, and soon, AVRT becomes a mostly passive phenomenon.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:34 AM
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That makes sense that the Beast would be afraid because it knows that I am perfectly capable of making the Big Plan - but to be honest - it really feels like ME that is afraid.

I also believe you when you say that eventually AVRT becomes a more passive phenomenon - one commits to it, there is no longer any wavering or insecurity. Not drinking simply IS. That sounds very comforting.

Thank you,
Pam
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:08 PM
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So Ive been browsing the drug sites again and would have made a purchase today were it not that the drug of choice was out of stock.

I have also been talking to the vendor arranging when they will get it back...

All the while Ive been conscious of both my beast wanting satisfaction and my self realizing what Im doing and rationalizing that it will be ok this time as my plan has been to take it in smaller doses.

At the same time tho I have some apprehension about doing it.

This is around the exact time I would usually relapse which is why it has kept coming around every few days recently although since reading RR I'm alot more aware of what Im doing.

The latest excuse for the beast is that Im going to be moving house soon so I should take it one last time in my old apartment before moving to my new place.

Thing is though I havent been disagreeing with the beast but I also have because of the risk and especially since I will be moving home soon so all the more reason not to do it.

Advice?
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by IAmAbstinent View Post
The latest excuse for the beast is that Im going to be moving house soon so I should take it one last time in my old apartment before moving to my new place.

Thing is though I havent been disagreeing with the beast but I also have because of the risk and especially since I will be moving home soon so all the more reason not to do it.

Advice?
You don't need to agree or disagree with the Beast, which is immutable, and which will never change its survival agenda. That's not the name of the game here. Are you going to get high again in this lifetime, or are you not, IAmAbstinent? If not, then "you" no longer get high, period. End of story. Topic closed. Neither do you even want to get high, only your Beast does, and you don't care what your Beast wants. Its deprivation is not your deprivation, and any comfort it would derive from getting high would not be your comfort, but your Beast's.

Maintain the separation. Recall the AVRT Matrix:



NOTE:
The AVRT Matrix is copyrighted material, and may not be reproduced without explicit permission of Rational Recovery Systems, Inc.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:37 PM
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Hello everyone

I'm loving being abstinent. I get so much done, feel fresh, happy, excitied about life etc.

My beast is still piping up via the AV regularly. Most days. And you're very right TU about 'fear' being a tool of the AV. I seem to fear the desire and youre example:
"Do you get annoyed every time you experience desire for someone who is not your husband, or do you simply recognize it as harmless??"

Was very apt because I am noticing I have been feeling a lot of desire towards other people lately (I know not strictly driniking AV discussion but I think it's relevant). AND I HAVE been FRUSTRATED with myself. My christian and own moral convctions (and I know these arent everyones) mean that I want to be faithful, monogamous etc

Your point has made me realise that that DESIRE is also the AV because it conflicts with my HIHGHER self or the 'I' .. it is the IT and it's just my body.

That's really helpful actually because again it enables me to separate.

On the drinking side of things it definitely feels like there is a war of the worlds happening inside of me. I am overjoyed about being abstinent. Whereas the Beast is still hanging out, pacing in his newly locked up cage.. I would have thought that by now It would have piped down a bit? But I'm just taking this as a sign I'm healthy etc etc and that it's early weeks for me yet.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:06 PM
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:09 PM
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Peta,

It would seem you are getting the grasp of things, and are realizing what you want versus what your Beast wants. It may will still take a few repeated episodes of not drinking for your Beast to get the message that it will have to get used to its new cage, though. Until then, it will try to rattle the cage every now and then to see if it can get out. This is normal, and nothing to worry about. If you want, though, you can speed this up somewhat by being a little more aggressive.

If you spend five minutes a day on the shifting exercise, drawing out the Beast on your terms, and then switching back and forth between your point of view regarding alcohol (very bad, poison) and that of the Beast, it will start to lose its resolve. Picture showing a dog a meatball every day and then not letting it have it for several days, until the dog just gives up and doesn't even bother asking for it, and you'll get the idea. You can use an advertisement for your favorite wine instead of a meatball.

This won't get rid of the Beast, and it will still come back every so often, but this shifting skill can be useful in social situations where drinking is done, for example, and more so if you have it down pat so that you don't even have to think about it. This way, you'll never be caught off guard when the Beast pipes up and you're not expecting it. You'll just recognize it and automatically shift into your right mind.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:56 AM
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Once again a post got destroyed due to the stupid timeout.

Anyhow I was saying that my cravings have subsided now after playing my instrument and going for a run today so I just gotta rewire my brain to these more healthy pursuits.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by IAmAbstinent View Post
I was saying that my cravings have subsided now after playing my instrument and going for a run today so I just gotta rewire my brain to these more healthy pursuits.
That's good that you are finding better things to do than get high, IamA, but what if you don't manage to "rewire" your brain? What if the Beast never dies, and it keeps telling you to get high forever, even years from now? What then?

What I'm getting at is, don't make abstinence contingent on the absence of Beast activity. It doesn't matter what the hell the Beast wants, because it only wants one thing anyway. All you need to do is recognize it, and remember that "you" no longer get high, or even want to get high. The Beast will always back down and slither along back into its cave when you do this.

You made a Big Plan, remember? If you wanted to keep getting high, you wouldn't have made a Big Plan! Also, it seems like you might be approaching this from an "I choose not to drink/use today" mentality, which is not how AVRT works. When you made your BP, you decided never to choose again. Your Big Plan removed the option of choosing, and you don't get to choose anymore.

Do you understand this? Think about it. "I will never use again, and I will never change my mind" means no more choosing. If you can internalize this, that you no longer have a choice, it will help significantly with avoiding any unnecessary back and forth discussions with your Beast. With a Big Plan in place, there is nothing to discuss.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:48 PM
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TU

Thanks for all the great teaching points. If you don't mind me asking, when did you stop drinking? If that's none of my business, that's fine too.
Thanks,
Pam
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:14 PM
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Day 11 for me.The fog is finally lifting. That fear of losing my comfort drink to relieve my anxiety and stress WAS really just my mind (AV) stressed and anxious about the next drink. I'm soo much calmer now. I used to get so angry at my youngest daughter, she knew how to push the right buttons. I'd be telling her off constantly. Now, without the alcohol, I can listen and reason a lot better. It's like everything is in slow motion and I actually have time to think before I say or do. And of course my actions and reactions reflect on her..and we calmly talk it out. And all this time I used to blame her and use that as an excuse to drink..to calm down..what a joke. Alcohol or more importantly our addiction really sucks us in.

Have a great day everyone.!!

Jberk..enjoying the serenity in slo-mo.

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Old 05-05-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Gavinandnikki View Post
If you don't mind me asking, when did you stop drinking?
You are not the first to ask on here, and I don't mind you asking, Pam, but I'm not going to divulge that. Yes, I could probably impress some newbies by wielding the sober TIME™ club, as so many others do, but with AVRT, there is no pecking order, no old timers, and I really don't want people to look at me that way. If you are certain that you will never drink or use again, then you are as recovered as I am, or as someone else who has abstained for twice as long.

Sober time has no meaning within AVRT, except as uncertainty about whether it will last, as the Beast fixated on its last drink, counting how very, very long it has been deprived. If one is not going to drink any more, then why count time since the last drink? You would just be counting the days of your life. Some may say "but it's so meaningful!" — and it certainly is — to the Beast. Others say they want to celebrate the beginning of their new life, or a victory, much like people celebrate the end of wars.

AVRT, however, necessarily asks just what it is that is being celebrated. What does it say about me as a person if I celebrate the fact that I haven't injured anyone recently? What does it say to those I've hurt if I tell them "let's go out for dinner, cake, and a walk on the beach, to celebrate the fact that I haven't treated you like garbage for a whole year?" AVRT reminds me that I am both the victor as well as the enemy here, and that I bear the guilt of my vanquished enemy.

Does this mean that people who do count time and celebrate the day they finally got their acts together will not stay sober? No, of course not, and one may safely depart from AVRT in this respect without fear of inexplicably exploding into drunkenness. Still, for me, there is nothing to celebrate here, and if anything, a memorial service would be more appropriate than a birthday celebration.

I know this was far more than you asked for, Pam, but these are just some unedited thoughts that come to mind surrounding sober time. YMMV.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:11 PM
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I must be understanding the concepts of AVRT better because when I posted that question to you I was thinking..."TU won't answer because time sober doesn't matter in RR". I recall reading that in the book.

I still wanted to know though.... Thanks for confirming that maybe I'm starting to understand a bit more.

Pam
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:06 PM
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Your Beast is going to be very interested in recovery statistics, in how much sober time other people have, and in who gets drunk again. You need to understand that the Beast will actively seek out the uncertainty principle, anything at all that might point to failure and suggest that you can't really maintain lifetime abstinence. Someone posted very recently about being strangely jealous of people who 'relapse', but that is just their Beast yearning for its own personal party.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter what other people do, however, and it is best not to entangle your own recovery with anybody else's. This is mentioned in RR: The New Cure, on pages 159-160. To really put things in perspective, it is often best to simply consider oneself the first person in history to every beat their addiction. That way, it doesn't matter what those who have gone before you have done, or what they may do in the future. Your recovery is your own, and does not depend on theirs.
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