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Old 03-15-2012, 07:31 AM
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Questions about AVRT/RR etc

Hello. I've been reading around this forum and I have a question.

It has to do with RR/AVRT.

My question is what is so bad about making one day at a time type statements to express one's commitment to not drinking/sobriety?

For example this:

"I will not use drugs or alcohol today no matter what"

For me this statement "feels" a lot better than this:

"I never drink alcohol and I will never change my mind (for better or for worse)"

From what I've read, the reason, in the context of AVRT, for the uneasiness or doubt that surfaces when I think this is because "the beast" is expressing its objection through "the addictve voice" or AV.

But, whenever I think never statements, for the most part, I feel a little uneasy. It doesn't have to be about addictions necessarily. I quit smoking about 15 years ago. I don't think about it, its completely dead in my head. Its hard to even remember that i smoked (and I loved cigarettes). I don't even have dislike or hatred toward it, I am indifferent (unless someone is blowing it in my face), I am a nonsmoker. However, if I were to think even right now "I never smoke and I will never smoke again", this makes me feel uneasy even though I couldn't care less about cigarettes. I am actually to this point living this in action. And I think the uneasiness has something to do with the word never and I think it has to do with the fact that the words meaning extends into the future eternally which I can't possibly know. I can only deal with this moment and this day. The only way "never" is true is when it is all said and done and is a fact after the fact.

Some other things:

Personally, I have found AA helpful and unhelpful. It's helpful in that it is free and there are meetings everywhere and it's good to see other people sometimes who are also in a program committed to abstinence. My problem with it is I am have a lot of social anxiety that predates alcohol abuse and they encourage a lot of interaction, getting a sponsor etc. It also does seem a little culty to me like people are using aa as a replacement for alcoholism (which might not be all bad) and there also seems to be this attitude around that if you can quit without them then you aren't a real alcoholic which seems absurd. I think it is more that different things work for different people. I kind of jump around using smart and aa and if I could get a hold of it I would take antabuse. Doing ok so far. Anyway, I'm not the biggest AA fan around but I think some of their program is misunderstood, at least as understood by some of the people I have spoken to about it.

For example, this idea that we are powerless over alcohol. When i asked someone in a meeting, what do you mean powerless over alcohol? Does that mean we have no power to stop? She said that it exactly literally what it means. It means if you pick up a drink, how likely is it that you will binge to blackout? For me it was extremely likely. She said that was her interpretation and a few others have said the same. It means we can't moderate, we have no power (for the most part) to stop once we start. The only solution it to accept this.

Also, the idea of taking it one day at a time, which I touched on above.
How can you not do it any other way? You can only live for this moment and today. If you are not drinking today, and you take the same attitude the next, then in fact you will never drink. But you can't live a never because you can't live in the future. It's impossible.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:51 AM
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"“Do or do not... there is no try.”" as Yoda said.

One day at a time just feels like you are giving yourself permission to fail, the possibility of relapse is built right into the saying. I won't drink today but I might tomorrow.

Just my 2 cents.

Your friend,
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:56 AM
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For the record I am only four days sober using AVRT and I am sure that TU or someone else more educated in RR/AVRT will be around to answer your question as well. I don't know if you have read the book or how much you have read in the forums, but I am willing to take a crack at it. If I get it wrong somewhere someone will tell me and then both of us can learn.

The reason that RR doesn't like the "one day at a time" (ODAAT) is it implies the possibility that you could drink tomorrow, this sentiment feeds into "the beast" and your AV. It gives it hope; it delays the decision to permanently abstain therefore not forcing you to face your beast right now. You are placating it instead of facing it, meaning that without saying I will never drink, you tell the beast okay not today but see me again next week and we might do something.

AVRT depends on you saying never because it forces your beast to come out in full force saying "WHAAAT NEVER? YOU CAN'T SAY THAT HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY KNOW?" Just like you are saying now. Once you beast has come full bore, you can recognize it and begin practicing the techniques of deflection and dismissal.

I can't speak for AA as I have never been to a meeting.

As for powerlessness over alcohol that is, according to AVRT completely AV talking. That is operating under the assumption that we do not have the power to reign in the beast and master it. It is true that most alcoholics are under the influence of their beast so much that they do not know the difference they believe that they have no control because they have acquiesced control to their beast they are letting it tell them what to do, and so they drink.

AVRT teaches that if you are able to recognize that there are two desires within you, one that wants to drink, and one that wants to quit then you are already on your way to control. The next step is to learn to recognize that desire that wants to drink no matter where it presents itself that desire is entitled "the beast". Your beast will talk to you using your own words and utilizing pictures from your mind as it can pull from every filling cabinet that you can in your brain. This talking comes in the form of thoughts called the AV or alcoholic voice, this is defined as any and all thoughts that encourage the use of alcohol as well as any and all thoughts that discourage discontinuing use of alcohol (my words not RR's). So if you are able to differentiate the two desires and recognize the AV as what it is whenever it pops its head you are more than halfway there. The rest is learning to ignore, or detach from AV and the beast, recognize it acknowledge it for what it is and what it isn't (you) then dismiss it as such.

The powerless comes from not recognizing this, and "eternally struggling" with the beast. Fighting back only wears you down, and the beast is a much more crafty arguer than most (a whole lot better than me) because it is driven to a single purpose, right or wrong doesn’t figure in it just desires damn the consequences. So by fighting with it you in effect eventually subdued by it no matter how much you want to stop if you don't know how to fight the beast you will eventually lose. You fight by refusing to fight. I think this is mirrored in AA's Higher Power philosophy, as in they don't fight they turn to their higher power (whatever it might be) and let them deal with it/take it away. Is that not a detachment exercise in itself? I am not going to deal with this I leave it in (name your HP) hands. Again I don't know AA from a church Sunday school but that is my thoughts so far.

But I think I have gotten side tracked where was I? Oh that’s right powerlessness, I think I have explained the struggle and how AA works to give you that power over not drinking, by handing it off to someone else instead of AVRT's observation and practiced dismal. So on to powerlessness after that first drink. This I absolutely believe in, I think that even in AVRT after those first few drinks our defenses fall, our commitments waiver, and our promises are forgotten. According to AA this is because we are powerless. I have not read the book enough to remember if this is covered but what is to follow is going to be my opinion based on what I have learned. I say that after that first drink you are indeed less powerful, alcohol dulls your senses, it clouds your judgment, it "releases you inhibitions". Why is that in my opinion? Because it lets the beast take over in a way. No the beast cannot actually control you, it is no puppeteer but in an inebriated state your human mind is glossed over and the beast takes far more influence over you. You now agree with it more, you listen to it when it says something will be fun, you listen to it more when it sees an attractive member of the opposite sex; you listen to it more when something angers you. Absolutely (once again in my opinion you have lost control but the beast did not take it from you alcohol did. It is proven that alcohol changes the way in which your brain functions and doesn’t it make sense that if the brains higher functions are impaired that it would have to resort to using lower ones? Cue the beast to emerge and say what is right and what is not. If you have been feeding your beast for as long as most here then one of its larges priorities is more drink! I think that it may be possible for someone to drink that first one and say no after that but in most cases I doubt it. "Normal" drinkers do it all the time but for those of us that fed our beast for years, once the door to the cage has been cracked, the beast will slip out and any amount of control we had to cage it again has been lost by alcohol numbing our wits.

But I have been blathering on for a half hour now and am not all that qualified in the first place to be talking so I end with this; most of the above is my own observations and understanding, I am by no means experienced with RR/AVRT and know next to nothing about AA. I was merely wishing to answer your question to the best of my ability and therefore explore my own thoughts on the subject. I am sure that you will get some more direct and educated answers from other member of this forum and honestly I look forward to reading what they have to say as well.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by pentuate
My question is what is so bad about making one day at a time type statements to express one's commitment to not drinking/sobriety?
I would not categorize it as "bad", rather it is less effective for many as it leaves the door a little bit ajar for the possibility of future use. This placates the beast, which is why many feel more comfortable with ODAAT. They are afraid of the discomfort, of poking the beast with a "never" statement. So the beast has the upper hand so to speak because your fear of its wrath keeps you dancing the never ending dance of not today, no not today. The way I see it, the beast will be initially much more active with "never", but then almost completely inactive. With ODAAT, the beast is less active because it can live with that for today, but active for eternity because there is always tomorrow.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:11 AM
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INH...you officially rock.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:21 AM
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Welcome to SR pentuate. Glad you found us.

I'm an AAer and I know very little about AVRT/RR. I'll just say the "one day at a time" deal has been working for me for a while now. The "never" statements scare me. Yep. I will say, the longer I am sober it's less ONE day at a time, more like moments ..... whether that be a week or a month. Taking a drink doesn't pop into my head on a daily basis like it used to.

Either way, I have to agree with soberlicious on this. Neither way is "bad". If you have found a combination of things that is working for you to stay sober and happy, then keep it up. That's all that matters in my opinion.

What works for me, may not work for you.


Edit: Oh, Powerlessness ..... I think of it as .... alcohol was running/ruining my life and I kept going back to it ... even when I didn't want to. I would get blackout drunk when I only meant to have a few. Alcohol took control over me once I took a drink. So now, I don't drink it and it has no power over me.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
My question is what is so bad about making one day at a time type statements to express one's commitment to not drinking/sobriety?
If you want to remain abstinent for the rest of your life, quitting for one day at a time is the worst way of going about it.

If you wanted to be a Doctor, would you take a 24 hour Hippocratic Oath every day—or make one that lasts you a lifetime? I guess it depends how much you want to be a Doctor.

Most people are happy with the ODAAT arrangement without realising the arrangement is made entirely to your Beast's advantage. You say quit forever and your Beast tells you quitting is fine but to compromise and do just one day and see how it goes. It's got you over a barrel.

Fortunately, it's easy to turn the tables by making a Big Plan. By wanting ODAAT your Beast has exposed its own weakness. It wants to drink every day therefore you counter it easily by saying that you will never drink.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:06 AM
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Thanks for all the comments everyone, it's all very helpful.

I guess when i think in terms of never, i get overwhelmed. As far as drinking goes, I think, I'm not just quitting for this moment or day or right now, which is rough enough, but a "forever" amount of moments (or days etc).

In my head when I think "one day at a time" or "today I will not drink no matter what", it feels like something I can deal with (with some difficulty of course), like I don't have to worry about tomorrow, just the present urges and cues and thoughts etc. And then I think tomorrow I do the same. Or really just follow the same idea the next morning. Essentially everyday is today. Of course I do sometimes think I really don't want to drink again ever and do consider the future. But to say I will never seems like I am asking for a response from something that will answer, oh yeah? If that makes any sense.

I have a feeling that, even though they are different "beasts" in a way, that I would not have been able to quit smoking if I had thought in terms of never. It was often a moment by moment struggle for me and sometimes I would even give up and tell myself you can smoke if you want, and then calm down and then not take action on the permission. Every month it got a little better, and after about 2 years I felt no connection to smoking at all. I think it was the constant denials to the urge that slowly killed it.

I like the idea of a beast, it certainly feels there are 2 minds sometimes, or even three with there being the I that recognizes that he must quit (for health, for a better life, to avoid ruin and to be a better person), one that wishes it wasn't so and is not sure if he can and appreciates the "benefits" of drinking like immediate relaxation, an opening up, a forgetting of problems etc, and then the primal beast that loves that neurotransmitter surge high.

Sometimes I wish I could get a hold of some antabuse (doc won't prescribe it), even just to take it like once a week or something, within its window of effect, because I know I would not drink on it, and it would take the whole drinking thought battle out of the equation. I would just have to feel my urges with no possibility of being able to drink. That would be perfect. And then in time, I guess as the addiction pathways die and the habit of dealing with stuff with no alcohol is established, that would be the end of it for the most part.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:26 AM
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That all said I am going to try and keep an open mind to all of this.
Again, appreciate all the comments and opinions.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Sometimes I wish I could get a hold of some antabuse (doc won't prescribe it), even just to take it like once a week or something, within its window of effect, because I know I would not drink on it, and it would take the whole drinking thought battle out of the equation. I would just have to feel my urges with no possibility of being able to drink. That would be perfect.
Pentuate,

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

Your desire for Antabuse in order to abstain is pure Addictive Voice, because it suggests that without Antabuse, you may, or indeed will, drink again. That said, AVRT is 'intellectual antabuse', and accomplishes the exact same thing -- it takes the 'battle' out of the equation.

I may respond more later, but you should read the following posts, which address some of your questions.

Given the nature of your questions, though, I have to ask:

  1. Have you taken the free crash course on AVRT at the RR web site?

  2. Have you read the book Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction?

  3. Have you read through the main AVRT thread?
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:37 AM
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Not an expert on AVRT i think I am on day 16 quit counting because I made a big plan that I will never drink again I take full credit for all my supid choices that I made when I was addited to drinking it was me in control and not the booze because booze does not have a brain but I do I will tell my av to shut up every time it tells me to drink
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Pentuate,
Your desire for Antabuse in order to abstain is pure Addictive Voice, because it suggests that without Antabuse, you may, or indeed will, drink again. That said, AVRT is 'intellectual antabuse', and accomplishes the exact same thing -- it takes the 'battle' out of the equation.
Hi Terminally Unique.

I have a problem wrapping my head around how wanting antabuse in order to abstain is the addictive voice. It may involve it but wanting to take something to help one quit, what could mean the end of the av influence and the end of drinking, seems to me to be a rational thing to do and contrary to the beasts/av ultimate goals.

[*]Have you taken the free crash course on AVRT at the RR web site?
Yes i have taken it and have read most of those threads but have not read the book.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Thanks for all the comments everyone, it's all very helpful.
You’re welcome


Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Essentially everyday is today.
This is one concept that RR/AVRT does address when it comes to making a Big Plan (I will never drink, and I will never change my mind) that I forgot to mention earlier. Everyday = Now = Never, I will never drink in the now, which means of course I will never drink because it is always now. Every moment of every day will be and is NOW! There is no tomorrow because when you reach tomorrow it will then be now. This is one way to get over the apprehension of using the word never. To accept that by saying never you are in effect saying that you will not drink now, whenever that now happens to be.

To steal a line from Terminally Unique: "this is you;"

Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Of course I do sometimes think I really don't want to drink again ever and do consider the future.
"This is your beast" especially the bolded part;

Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
But to say I will never seems like I am asking for a response from something that will answer, oh yeah? If that makes any sense.

Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
I have a feeling that, even though they are different "beasts" in a way, that I would not have been able to quit smoking if I had thought in terms of never. It was often a moment by moment struggle for me and sometimes I would even give up and tell myself you can smoke if you want, and then calm down and then not take action on the permission. Every month it got a little better, and after about 2 years I felt no connection to smoking at all. I think it was the constant denials to the urge that slowly killed it.
I would bet it was a moment by moment struggle sometimes wasn't it? Those are the times when your AV was at its loudest "feed me Seymour!" The key is exactly what you did or rather didn't do; you recognized the desire but did not take action. After two years you felt no connection because you had starved your beast ever so slowly into submission and eventually it quit trying, it’s still there and occasionally once a year maybe you still feel that twinge, ever so slight just a gently tug on the cuff of your trousers, "can I have a cigarette?". It was exactly the constant denials to the urge that killed it and AVRT is basically a how to guide to doing exactly that!

Once again you;

Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
one that wishes it wasn't so and is not sure if he can and
Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
appreciates the "benefits" of drinking like immediate relaxation, an opening up, a forgetting of problems etc,
Even coupled with the next day anxiety, abysmal lows, the fact that the problems come back the next day only now so much more amplified? I thought I would address this part of the sentence more because it troubled me as well. We drink to get high, plain and simple. The reasons that you have listed here are excuses for feeling that high. With continued alcohol use you forget what it feels like to feel happy or even normal without alcohol and have complete disregard for the natural highs that are available to us through ulterior means (exercise, sex, attaining a hard won goal). We grow to know only the high of alcohol, that is all that makes us happy because as we use it more and more that is all we know you brain unlearns any other ways it might have known and dismisses them as not on the level of the "deep pleasure" that is easily provided by drinking.

Furthermore, eventually as we continue down the rabbit hole, we grow accustomed to the negative effects of alcohol hangovers become a way of living in-between highs. High is the desired state while the misery it causes in its after effects just become normal. It is at this point that we drink more, we still want that high but have to push past the pain of yesterday and our bodies own adaptations (tolerance) to get there. So you drink to push past the pain that was caused by alcohol in the first place. Hair of the dog anyone? Every day becomes this cycle; we drink to feel pleasure and we do, then we feel miserable but we are used to that and know the perfect solution drink more.

Once again your AV/beast all it cares or know about it this;

Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
and then the primal beast that loves that neurotransmitter surge high.
Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Sometimes I wish I could get a hold of some antabuse (doc won't prescribe it), even just to take it like once a week or something, within its window of effect, because I know I would not drink on it, and it would take the whole drinking thought battle out of the equation. I would just have to feel my urges with no possibility of being able to drink. That would be perfect. And then in time, I guess as the addiction pathways die and the habit of dealing with stuff with no alcohol is established, that would be the end of it for the most part.
Indeed it would. Now ask yourself, what if the doctor gave you that prescription and you took it as prescribed, or as you mentioned once a week (I have no idea how antabuse is prescribed). As I understand it antabuse has no effect on the desire to drink, it only causes massive physical trauma if you do. So you would stop right? You would feel the urges, but knowing that you could not drink without disastrous after affects you would not do it, you would not take action. Am I right? Now say you go back to your doctor after a month or even a year on the medication and your doctor tells you that the entire time it was just a sugar pill, a placebo? What would be your reaction? Would you be angry? Why he just helped you stop drinking when you thought you couldn't. Would you go back to drinking? Even though you now realize you stopped under your own power?

My point here is that the desire for antabuse is in my opinion merely the desire for a better reason to stop, a physically present and obvious reason to stop. You have already expressed that you want to stop, so think about your reasons, are they somehow less legitament than physical pain? Are your reasons for wanting to quit, less abundant or quantitative than actual pain. I know mine weren't. I wanted to stop because it was making me miserable every day I woke up felling like hell, cursing myself for the imbecile I was and at times contemplating just getting this ride of life over with via a 9 millimeter train. Is that pain any more real?

Physical pain is an obvious motivator for avoiding harmful things in life, but when it comes to emotional pain it is far more difficult. Why? Because for there to be emotional pain there needs to at one point have been pleasure. A breakup with a girlfriend is painful because the first three months were awesome. A death in the family is painful because you remember fondly the good times spent with the loved and lost. So why does quitting drinking feel painful? I imagine it can seem painful because you remember it being pleasurable, and it is painful, but not to you, to your beast


Your beast desires pleasure and doesn’t know about emotional pain. It only knows pain when it is denied pleasure. It does not know or care about the pain that alcohol inflicts on your life. It doesn't care about relationships ended, or opportunities squandered. It only knows pleasure. You have to know that all of the pain both physically and emotionally you feel is you not it, and that If you let It your beast becomes a terrible wraith of devastation, it consumes anything that stands between it and you with its constant drive. It disregards families, denies other forms of enjoyment, forgets responsibilities, it becomes all that is or will ever be. That is the very essence of what your beast desires. It doesn’t care or know that this will obliterate you, it doesn’t know about death in the sense that you know it. It only knows pleasure, and will stop at nothing to get it. If and when you let this beast control you, that is the end state.

Man I am wandering off the point if you even stayed through that rant I am impressed. But anyhow, pain is not known or felt by your desire to drink, it is felt by you. You have expressed that you wish to take a drug that would promise the threat of physical pain, in order that you may combat with your desire to drink. Has alcohol not caused enough in the way of emotional pain in your life to cause you to justify quitting? If so then I would think that after you came off of the antabuse you would have no more reason to stop and therefore loose the bunker you have built from which to fight the beast.

My suggestion is to reach within yourself and find the reasons that you want to stop drinking, list them if you have to but find them within yourself. You are naturally going to be hearing thoughts of "no that isn't that important" and "well drinking doesn’t really affect it that much". Ignore those comments completely, if you find yourself unable then list whatever the reason was anyway. In fact especially list the things you want to initially and then feel those doubtful feelings or hear those dismissive thoughts. Those are the reasons that you want to quit.

Are they more important to you than feeling a little physical pain? If so then I would recommend making them your reason to quit rather than a prescription, because those will never run out at the pharmacy.

Well I have been talking out of my ass about long enough, sorry I tend to rant if you get me on the right subject and recently I have been feeling fairly passionate about this particular one. I will step down off of my soap box now and stop polluting your thread unless you want me to . Also remember I may have no earthly clue what I am talking about, these are just my thoughts not necessarily facts, the important thing is how much of it is fact for you.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
I have a problem wrapping my head around how wanting antabuse in order to abstain is the addictive voice. It may involve it but wanting to take something to help one quit, what could mean the end of the av influence and the end of drinking, seems to me to be a rational thing to do and contrary to the beasts/av ultimate goals.
You have not made a Big Plan for permanent, unconditional abstinence, so there is no separation as of yet between you and the Beast. As such, you will never be able to recognize all the variations of AV, which can also be understood as anything that contradicts the Big Plan. That said, Antabuse is of no use to people who will never drink. If you aren't going to drink again, what is the purpose of taking Antabuse? By taking Antabuse, you are essentially saying "yes, I do want to drink again, and I probably will, too."

The AV is actually playing a fake on you. While Antabuse actually proves that absolutely no one is powerless over desire -- otherwise everyone would drink even with Antabuse -- the AV will instead use it as 'proof' of how incompetent you are to abstain. It will inevitably say "see, you are powerless before me, since without this insecticide in your body, you would be drunk!" You can also bet that no Beast in its right mind would ever take Antabuse for very long, which explains why so few people take it in a disciplined manner.

Your doctor probably has a good reason not to prescribe it to you, though, since it does have side effects. Personally, I would only see a benefit if it were used on an extremely limited basis, such as a week or two, just long enough to do something more substantial, like learning AVRT and committing to permanent abstinence. Also, since you mentioned rationality, while the name of the company is Rational Recovery, AVRT is not necessarily rational.

Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Yes i have taken it and have read most of those threads but have not read the book.
I would recommend that you read the book, since it is far more comprehensive than the free crash course. If you are concerned about the cost, you can find use copies online for $1, or under $5 with shipping.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:15 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
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This is one concept that RR/AVRT does address when it comes to making a Big Plan (I will never drink, and I will never change my mind) that I forgot to mention earlier. Everyday = Now = Never, I will never drink in the now, which means of course I will never drink because it is always now. Every moment of every day will be and is NOW! There is no tomorrow because when you reach tomorrow it will then be now. This is one way to get over the apprehension of using the word never. To accept that by saying never you are in effect saying that you will not drink now, whenever that now happens to be.
Ok ... so I guess we are kind of saying the same thing. If I say I will not drink today no matter what and follow though with it, and as everyday you could possibly think that it is today, I am essentially behaving in a way where I will never drink, but without saying never. So in sense most day at a time statements are really never statements if followed. I think i prefer a today statement because it deals with the now in a closer way than does a never statement which to me suggests the future.


I would bet it was a moment by moment struggle sometimes wasn't it? Those are the times when your AV was at its loudest "feed me Seymour!" The key is exactly what you did or rather didn't do; you recognized the desire but did not take action. After two years you felt no connection because you had starved your beast ever so slowly into submission and eventually it quit trying, it’s still there and occasionally once a year maybe you still feel that twinge, ever so slight just a gently tug on the cuff of your trousers, "can I have a cigarette?". It was exactly the constant denials to the urge that killed it and AVRT is basically a how to guide to doing exactly that!
Yes it was a struggle, definitely up there in hardest things I ever did. But no, I don't feel not even a slight twinge, it's just nothing and has been that way for over a decade. Its just dead. I think of my smoking like it was someone else because I can't relate to it and I can barely remember it. I just know that i did do it at one time.


Even coupled with the next day anxiety, abysmal lows, the fact that the problems come back the next day only now so much more amplified? I thought I would address this part of the sentence more because it troubled me as well. We drink to get high, plain and simple. The reasons that you have listed here are excuses for feeling that high. With continued alcohol use you forget what it feels like to feel happy or even normal without alcohol and have complete disregard for the natural highs that are available to us through ulterior means (exercise, sex, attaining a hard won goal). We grow to know only the high of alcohol, that is all that makes us happy because as we use it more and more that is all we know you brain unlearns any other ways it might have known and dismisses them as not on the level of the "deep pleasure" that is easily provided by drinking.
I think a good part of the reason i drink is to get high but i don't think it is all of it. I'm usually a pretty closed person, have difficulties connecting with people etc and this was something that existed before i ever touched alcohol. Alcohol would open that up. I could feel a connection with people when drinking and get a much more initially optimistic viewpoint towards things and feel profoundly relaxed, as if all self conciousness simply just disappaered. Long term, the after affects of drinking makes this all worse. I think this is one of the things I like the most about it, this "relaxing" effect. But yes I agree, CBA wise, alcohol has far more negatives than positives.


I could be wrong, but I'm thinking for me it's like this. I need time away from alcohol. I need to break the addiction/urges. It's the urges that get me one month out that do me in. That's the way I quit smoking. It was tough but I was extremely determined and I stayed off it long enough for it to be a non issue. So my thinking is, take antabuse, and it will still suck because there will be cravings and urges, but with time of not acting on them (because i'll die or get very sick if I drink), the addiction will die. Brain chemistry will normalize etc. Meanwhile I can work on various issues that i have without an alcohol binge and recovery cycle interfering with things.

I appreciate you taking the time to write all that InsertRightHere I find it helpful.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:43 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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You have not made a Big Plan for permanent, unconditional abstinence, so there is no separation as of yet between you and the Beast. As such, you will never be able to recognize all the variations of AV, which can also be understood as anything that contradicts the Big Plan. That said, Antabuse is of no use to people who will never drink. If you aren't going to drink again, what is the purpose of taking Antabuse? By taking Antabuse, you are essentially saying "yes, I do want to drink again, and I probably will, too."
The way I see it is:

On balance, I want to quit drinking and have tried many times in the past before but have failed (as a background, I had also tried to quit smoking many times and failed too but eventually did succeed). I failed because, as far as I can see, i got caught up in a cue or couldn't resist an urge. I also know that people have quit drinking and other drugs and destructive habits using different strategies and techniques. And most people successfully quit things after having attempting to quit many times before. So I'm thinking, if antabuse can get me over the hump of those initial cravings, and also act as kind of a psychological security blanket, kind of making it even more serious for me and keep me away from it long enough, I can be done with it. Although I quit smoking cold turkey with only willpower, I would have used anything to quit.

Is the thinking here that lets say you used antabuse and got 6 months in and then stopped taking it, because you didn't make a big plan or are not coming from an I will never use again mindset that you will just pick it up again?

I know I said that i don't think i could have quit smoking with an initial attitude of I will never smoke... but i do remember kind of internally realizing after the first year or so that I never wanted to put myself through that again and kind of just felt that I will never smoke but it wasn't anything even said aloud in my mind. Just a kind of truth i felt. I'm hoping something like that could happen with antabuse. Get time away, realize even more how terrible alcohol is, with the crutch, and then come to the active conclusion that never is what it will be. If that makes sense.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:08 PM
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Anyway, that's my thinking. I'm probably not going to be able to get antabuse (I've read that they have some good success with Antabuse in Europe) so I will have to just abstain and not respond to the urges.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Ok ... so I guess we are kind of saying the same thing. If I say I will not drink today no matter what and follow though with it, and as everyday you could possibly think that it is today, I am essentially behaving in a way where I will never drink, but without saying never. So in sense most day at a time statements are really never statements if followed.
No, the 'just for today' thing it is not the same as the never-ending now of AVRT, not by a long shot. Compare and contrast:

"I will never now drink."

with

"I will not drink today."

Do you see what is missing? The key word is 'never'. The corresponding analogue with one day as a time measure would actually be:

I will never drink on any given day. (regardless of what day it is)


Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
I also know that people have quit drinking and other drugs and destructive habits using different strategies and techniques.
I don't particularly care if you use AVRT or not, pentuate, and you are welcome to use whichever method you like. You inquired about AVRT, though, so I am giving you the view 'through the lens' of AVRT, so to speak.

Originally Posted by pentuate View Post
Is the thinking here that lets say you used antabuse and got 6 months in and then stopped taking it, because you didn't make a big plan or are not coming from an I will never use again mindset that you will just pick it up again?
AVRT is patterned after the Addictive Voice itself — which is ruthless and unforgiving in order to maintain the addiction — effectively matching the Addictive Voice point for point. In the logic of AVRT, the absence of a plan never to drink is a plan, now, to drink at some point. Furthermore, AVRT is a voracious mind-set that devours anything that poses as a condition of lifetime abstinence, including antabuse.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:18 PM
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and kind of just felt that I will never smoke but it wasn't anything even said aloud in my mind. Just a kind of truth i felt
Bingo. I will never drink again is not a saying. It is a truth that you feel.

I am a type 2 diabetic. When I was diagnosed and went to class to learn how to control my diabetes I learned that I could never eat sugar again, as well as some other stuff. At that moment right there I decided I will never eat sugar again.

That was 5 years ago. My mind set did a 180 and I didn't use sugar, I didn't eat candy and sweets and deserts with sugar, sugar was no longer part of my life.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:31 PM
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Since we're on the topic of 'one day at a time', it is worth noting that this comes from the serenity prayer, and refers to living one day at a time. It has been perverted to mean quitting one day at a time, but that was never the idea, even within AA. The idea was to quit for good and all. In case anyone doubts this, see the following:

A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous: The Akron Manual (1940)

AA History - The OLD and NEW Preambles
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