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Old 07-19-2012, 01:36 PM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I believe it requires thoughts and not just feelings to commit an act...

...I believe this is what many people call being "triggered" to act. I limit "triggers" for my actions to simple things like mistakenly putting my hand on a very hot stove. Even driving towards a street light turning yellow requires thoughts.

Of course someone must act by drinking a lot in order to become chemically dependent, but AVRT is not about becoming chemically dependent. It is about ending that dependency, and that requires absolutely no actions at all.

If someone were to get in a car accident as a result of their drinking and were laid up in the hospital in a body cast, they would still be perfectly capable of transitioning from alcohol dependency to addiction to abstinence while laying there motionless. This is why AVRT contradicts your belief that "I cannot think my way into a new way of thinking".
Hmmm.

Well, we don't agree, that is clear enough. I'm unsure how to respond right now, inasmuch as I have no interest in even attempting in disproving your beliefs. Your statements present to me as somewhat subjective opinion, and less scientific then I expected. I'm less interested in what you may personally believe, and more interested in you explaining to me how your assertions are water-tight.

Its ironic how you've used an example of a guy in a body cast, as I have been in body casts, lasting over six months one stretch, heh.

I suppose I've not learned much so far from our discussion, and although I'm still listening, I'm unmoved by your original supposition that AVRT contradicts my beliefs.

I'm sure others will feel free to join our discussion. If there is something for me to learn, I'm more than interested. Not seeing it yet.

I'll have more to say soon enough...

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:53 PM
  # 82 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Of course someone must act by drinking a lot in order to become chemically dependent, but AVRT is not about becoming chemically dependent. It is about ending that dependency, and that requires absolutely no actions at all.
Well, the first act required to really quit would be in creating a Big Plan. This creation must originate before AVRT can be effective. Are you saying a Big Plan is nothing more than some collection of organised thoughts?

That would be like saying everything that is civilized in our society required no actions on our part to bring civilization into reality...
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:21 PM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Are you saying a Big Plan is nothing more than some collection of organised thoughts?
Yes. If you understand this, then we're on the same page about the Big Plan.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Well, the first act required to really quit would be in creating a Big Plan. This creation must originate before AVRT can be effective.
Yes, but. I have been thinking recently that if AVRT is practiced perfectly in all regards except without a Big Plan in place, a person could remain abstinent indefinitely on their own. I would have no interest in doing that, though. I rely on my Big Plan and don't worry about objectively separating from my AV perfectly at all times. I simply use the Big Plan to arrest the desire instead of the more deliberate process of identifying an entity other than me, in opposition to me, and within me.

Robby, you and I both quit decades ago. Until I started posting on SR, I found that the ironclad technique of both "objectively separating from IT" and also recalling my Big Plan had sort of rusted together in a unified clump of "I never drink." It's been so long, I cannot even remember the pleasure caused by drinking alcohol or smoking pot, so my AV has been relegated to acting as a rhetorical devils advocate. AVRT is still not difficult at all, but The Big Plan is what I really love. I do recognize how not remembering what the pleasure is like could be a Beast tactic to try to hit me broadside. No way. I think that could be why Dalek smoked ciggies again a few months ago.

If I had not joined SR six months ago to help addicted people understand AVRT and self-recovery, I would probably not have thought or dwelt upon drinking/toking for more than a few minutes total over these six months. Instead, I've spent many hours thinking about it in writing posts here. I also made a Big Plan for sweets last month, but I'm not sure whether being a member of SR made a difference in my doing that. In any case I'm enjoying posting on SR.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
That would be like saying everything that is civilized in our society required no actions on our part to bring civilization into reality...
Not "everything that is civilized", but a huge portion of what "is civilized in our society" does require no action - it requires inhibition of various wants and desires. Parenting a child over many years to learn how to inhibit all kinds of behavior is a quick way to see how prevalent not-doing-something is in creating a stable society.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:15 PM
  # 84 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I have been thinking recently that if AVRT is practiced perfectly in all regards except without a Big Plan in place, a person could remain abstinent indefinitely on their own.
AVRT could not be practiced perfectly in all regards without the Big Plan in place. You would not have the separation between the Beast and yourself, or even a final decision. At best, you would have an unrefined, conditional AV recognition that we often see elsewhere, i.e., "my Beast wants me to drink/use, and I may agree with my Beast and actually drink/use, if not today, then perhaps tomorrow."

The Big Plan is the pivotal, defiant act of self-recovery, whereby we recognize that power other than ourselves that has been there all along (the Beast) for what it is and finally expel the rogue mentality that sustains it (the AV) from our self-consciousness. Without the Big Plan, the AV will still be seen as self, and heeded accordingly, depending on whim.

Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I would have no interest in doing that, though. I rely on my Big Plan and don't worry about objectively separating from my AV perfectly at all times. I simply use the Big Plan to arrest the desire instead of the more deliberate process of identifying an entity other than me, in opposition to me, and within me.
You can certainly recover via a Big Plan without AVRT or separation, i.e., "I want to drink, but I just don't drink, period." Many people do this. You cannot, however, have AVRT without a Big Plan. When the time comes, you'll just think "Oh, yes, my Beast wants to drink, and so do I. Who says I won't drink, anyway? I sure didn't say that! Bottoms up!"
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:07 PM
  # 85 (permalink)  
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Thanks for a thoughtful response, Gerand.

I've just returned from a welcomed night out with my wife and 17 yr old step-son. We enjoyed a hearty 16oz sirloin steak dinner, my wife a smaller cut. A great steak house old fashioned tavern like atmosphere, with all wood paneling, old english table n' chairs, dimmed lights, table candles, white-shirted waiters. Plenty of laughter and smiles all around. Coconut cream pie with drizzled caramel and coffee for dessert. Ice tea and lemonade. Sweeet!

I've been thinking about our discussion, and I'm thankful for our continuance.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
Are you saying a Big Plan is nothing more than some collection of organised thoughts?
Originally Posted by GerandTwine
Yes. If you understand this, then we're on the same page about the Big Plan.
I do understand it. Not to say I agree, but we now have some common ground. Cool.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
Well, the first act required to really quit would be in creating a Big Plan. This creation must originate before AVRT can be effective.
Originally Posted by GerandTwine
Yes, but. I have been thinking recently that if AVRT is practiced perfectly in all regards except without a Big Plan in place, a person could remain abstinent indefinitely on their own.

I would have no interest in doing that, though. I rely on my Big Plan and don't worry about objectively separating from my AV perfectly at all times.

I simply use the Big Plan to arrest the desire instead of the more deliberate process of identifying an entity other than me, in opposition to me, and within me.

Robby, you and I both quit decades ago. Until I started posting on SR, I found that the ironclad technique of both "objectively separating from IT" and also recalling my Big Plan had sort of rusted together in a unified clump of "I never drink."

It's been so long, I cannot even remember the pleasure caused by drinking alcohol or smoking pot, so my AV has been relegated to acting as a rhetorical devils advocate.

AVRT is still not difficult at all, but The Big Plan is what I really love. I do recognize how not remembering what the pleasure is like could be a Beast tactic to try to hit me broadside. No way. I think that could be why Dalek smoked ciggies again a few months ago.

If I had not joined SR six months ago to help addicted people understand AVRT and self-recovery, I would probably not have thought or dwelt upon drinking/toking for more than a few minutes total over these six months.

Instead, I've spent many hours thinking about it in writing posts here. I also made a Big Plan for sweets last month, but I'm not sure whether being a member of SR made a difference in my doing that. In any case I'm enjoying posting on SR.
There is much here for me to consider, thanks for that. I will say though now, without a Big Plan securely and unconditionally in place prior, AVRT cannot be practiced usefully because conditions would instantly exist which would serve up to the Beast an impunity against being recognised and seperated from AV thoughts, feelings, and actions. Without seperation, AV is not AV, and so the Beast wins the day, and eventually the desired reward is at least on the table for the taking. Not good, yeah?
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:48 AM
  # 86 (permalink)  
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I think you're splitting hairs over what constitutes "action". There's usually a lot of talk about "action" and "getting out of your head" to preemptively ward off the Beast (addictive desire) in other paradigms, which I suspect is why it caught GerandTwine's attention, but AVRT is not that type of action. AVRT is premised on the fact that you cannot actually drink/use without first thinking about drinking or using. You can therefore also not drink/use (ie, not act) if you recognize such thoughts as they arise.

Reading the Rational Recovery book, doing the exercises in the book, and learning about AVRT constitutes "action", and the Big Plan is certainly decisive action, but once AVRT is incorporated into one's thought process, there isn't much action going on outside our mind space. AVRT eventually becomes automatic, running in the background. Unless we consider the mental work required for recognition action, the word "action" does not really describe AVRT properly. In using AVRT, I spend a lot of time in my head, so to speak, not acting.

Is thinking action? It certainly uses up calories, and some mental work, such as solving a math problem in your head, probably uses up more calories than just thinking about the weather. I don't think neurons firing off is considered action in common usage, though.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:53 AM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
AVRT is premised on the fact that you cannot actually drink/use without first thinking about drinking or using. You can therefore also not drink/use (ie, not act) if you recognize such thoughts as they arise.

Reading the Rational Recovery book, doing the exercises in the book, and learning about AVRT constitutes "action", and the Big Plan is certainly decisive action, but once AVRT is incorporated into one's thought process, there isn't much action going on outside our mind space. AVRT eventually becomes automatic, running in the background. Unless we consider the mental work required for recognition action, the word "action" does not really describe AVRT properly. In using AVRT, I spend a lot of time in my head, so to speak, not acting.
Yeah, once the initial 'action', as embolded above is done, I completely agree AVRT is a normal experience in the psyche, and no futher 'action' is required to not pickup that drink. This does not speak to quality of life, which is a wholly different experience.

That was a rockin' post, Dalek. Thanks.

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Old 07-20-2012, 08:00 AM
  # 88 (permalink)  
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For me I use the, "I will not drink today" as a goal to never drink again. In my mind I know that my ultimate goal is to never drink again though, as I am saying it. If I say "I will not drink today" leaving the possibility open to drink again, than it could turn into allowing myself to drink.

just how my mind work right now

Hope that makes sense.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:05 AM
  # 89 (permalink)  
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Sorry, that post didn't fit in at the right time. I was responding to "the one day at a time," "I will never drink again" etc....posts.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
This does not speak to quality of life, which is a wholly different experience.
This is certainly true, Robby, but one of the key insights of AVRT is that your addiction exists on its own, separate from all else. AVRT intentionally eschews bargain/payoff thinking as a matter of principle. To entangle quality of life with abstinence might be a recipe for disappointment, and making abstinence conditional on quality of life would actually be Addictive Voice. What if quality of life does not improve, even in an abstinent state?

Quite often, addicted people quit assuming that life will get better, and quite often, it gets worse before it gets better. They then reckon that since life did not get better right away, back to the stuff they shall go. AVRT says that to beat this rap, one had better abstain in spite of quality of life. Given your time off the bottle, I am certain you are aware that quality of life can go way down, even while not drinking/using, just as it can for any other non-drinker or non-user.

For reference, see "Illusion 12" on page 81 of Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction.

PS: Yes, I'm mindful that you said quality of life was a wholly different experience, which indicates you may already know all of this. I'm just clarifying the view through the lens of AVRT for general benefit.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:42 AM
  # 91 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
Quite often, addicted people quit assuming that life will get better, and quite often, it gets worse before it gets better. They then reckon that since life did not get better right away, back to the stuff they shall go. AVRT says that to beat this rap, one had better abstain in spite of quality of life. Given your time off the bottle, I am certain you are aware that quality of life can go way down, even while not drinking/using, just as it can for any other non-drinker or non-user.
Yes, my experience suggests quality of life is not directly coorelated with abstaining, although certainly life can improve initially, respective of a persons cicumstances. All to often I have witnessed myself and others quit on hopes and conditions of an improvement of my happiness, good fortune, relationships, etc. Epic fail. Although my particular drunkeness certainly and absolutely took away and otherwised frigged up my happiness, good fortune, and relationships, quitting alone did nothing to improve my standing. My changing how I thought and how I lived is what brought me the life enhancements I desired, has been my experience.

What did happen was my vastly increased freedom to make better choices, be totally more responsible for those choices, take good advantage of honest opportunities, and so on. My relationships improved because I became much more sentient and cooperative, more of a team-player in the human race, lol. I'm still very much an individual, kinda on the edges I suppose, but nothing like I was. Living life without human love and compassion was killing me. Getting back into the game is certainly a life saving journey.

My entire psyche was eventually transformed and renewed over a 2yr period from my original abstaining. This practical revolution of my life is what brought me my improved life enhancements, not simply quitting booze. Nonetheless, it goes without saying, that quitting booze kicked off the best years of my life, and this continues to be true.

I've endured many hardships since quitting, of course, since life happens as it does, both for the drinker, and the non-drinker. Since my last quit was declared without circumstantial conditions whatsoever -- I will never ever drink again -- my changing life fortunes post sans-alcohol did not threaten my abstaining. If anything, my abstaining only got deeper and stronger as I successfully worked through my trials and challenges.

Thanks for your post, Dalek.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:52 AM
  # 92 (permalink)  
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I agree, quitting does not ensure happiness. Then again, what does? It did clear the way for me to take the steps needed to improve the quality of my life. Of course, those efforts could come to nothing. Happiness is so fragile, so contingent. I'm human, I can and will make mistakes. Bad things can and will happen to me—things over which I have no control.

The only thing I can control is how I respond to the world around me. And because I'm not drinking, I can at least deal with people and situations in an honorable way. Honor is so underrated, especially compared to happiness. Nothing can take honor away from me unless I let it. That's something I like to think I recovered as a direct result of quitting.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:45 AM
  # 93 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
The only thing I can control is how I respond to the world around me. And because I'm not drinking, I can at least deal with people and situations in an honorable way. Honor is so underrated, especially compared to happiness. Nothing can take honor away from me unless I let it. That's something I like to think I recovered as a direct result of quitting.
This rings loudly for me, ReadyandAble. I mention this personal truth often on the other forums, that this was the first benefit from making my decision to never drink again, my Big Plan. I didn't have to feel dishonorable anymore - whatever I had to deal with, I was going to do it sober and with honor. That feeling of relief, I guess some would call it the effect of committing to abstinence, was immediate.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:21 PM
  # 94 (permalink)  
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Good stuff, ReadyAndAble and FreshStart57. Honor is rarely talked about in the context of addiction recovery, but "dishonorable" would certainly be one very accurate way to describe my behaviour in active addiction.
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