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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 5

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Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion — Part 5

Old 07-27-2012, 12:48 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I've been drinking heavily for over 15 years
It's succeeded at both in your paragraph above by getting you to think in the incorrect "have been drinking" verb tense, as opposed to the correct "had been drinking" verb tense.
If only TU were here to express this in his direct bare bones style, he might have suggested that the correct tense and mood would be the past definite, I drank.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:27 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
So speaking of smoking, I have a question for you Dalek, about why you relapsed. You said some weeks ago you didn't know whether you had failed to really commit from the get-go, or had reversed a previously solid commitment. Any thoughts on that?
Sorry for the late response to this, R&A, but I had to think it over some. I personally do not believe that I 'relapsed'. Neither did I 'fail', or 'give in' to my Addictive Voice, as people will sometimes say. The Beast didn't make me do it. My AV may have suggested that a cigarette would be a good way to relax, but even though I had second thoughts, I remember agreeing with my AV, and actually wanting that muscle relaxant effect from the nicotine (i.e., no separation). I did, in fact, get that specific, desired effect for about an hour or so at the time. In other words, I succeeded at getting that nicotine fix, and the intended effect from that fix. That's a big difference!

This can be a very useful shift in perspective, BTW, and is not just a question of semantics. When people drink or use again, they very often start thinking that they have failed, or that something happened to them (e.g., 'had a relapse', like cancer returning out of nowhere). The Beast will actually encourage and then leverage that sort of thinking to its advantage, though. It has a remarkable ability to first direct our thoughts towards that next fix, and to then lord it over us if we do actually indulge. The AV will first suggest a fix, and then beat us over the head with the fact that we got a fix. The AV makes it seem like we are 'out of control', and this is where the illusion of powerlessness over the Beast comes from.

The book talks about "Mr. Beast, Esq., prosecutor-at-large" pulling up our rap sheet, and it fits. After you indulge, the Beast will try to build a case against you, and it certainly tried to do this with me. It was telling me that I relapsed, I failed, that I was weak and gave in, *again*, and that I was therefore a big time loser, obviously incompetent to not smoke, etc., even as it was telling me to go out and get a whole pack. Had I gone along with that kind of thinking, I probably would have kept on smoking for years, on schedule, with the Beast lording each cigarette over me all along the way. I almost resigned to it, but by shifting from "I failed to not smoke" to "I succeeded at smoking", I was able to deny the Beast its victory dance, put things in their proper perspective, and regain my bearings.

Even though smoking again might have been perfectly stupid, and I went against a previous decision to not smoke, there are really no 'failures' or 'relapses' when it comes to recreational drug use. The use of such terms is misleading, essentially a deflection obscuring the fact that using drugs is actually willful conduct, and not some random, inexplicable, deterministic event. The way I see it, we either succeed at getting high, or we succeed at abstaining. The choice is always ours to make, since we are always in control, and unless already under the influence, never truly out of control. In order to get out from under the Beast's thumb, we need to take responsibility for what we did do, and not what we didn't do. No deflections. No obscurantism.

Now, to actually answer your question...

I believe I left a Beast hole unplugged, and as Trimpey might say, the Beast can drive a beer truck (or a cigarette truck) through a pin hole. I had stopped smoking because circumstances (illness) forced me to go without the smokes for over a week, long enough to get through the withdrawal. I had tried all kinds of quitting schemes, and cold turkey I would go two days, maybe three. I really hated those things, since they were really messing up my lung capacity, making me dizzy, coughing, all the usual stuff heavy smokers go through. I really saw the cigarettes as cancer sticks, as actual poison, and so I saw the forced withdrawal as a blessing, and decided I had better just not start smoking again.

My Beast soon became mostly quiet as far as smoking was concerned, and I couldn't get much of a reaction out of it after a while. The Beast doesn't ever really die, but it felt like it gave up on the smoking thing. There was no craving anymore, and the very few times my AV did make an appearance, I just thought 'poison', and that would be sufficient to shake any thought of smoking. At that point in my life, I hadn't really stopped drinking, though, nor had I learned AVRT. I believe that my decision to not smoke anymore wasn't quite an AVRT-style Big Plan, and that the 'poison' strategy, while useful to an extent, left the Beast an opening. I did start to forget what heavy smoking actually felt like over time, and the Beast eventually exploited that.

So, there you have it. My view through the lens. I probably gave you far more than you asked for, but I hope that helps. If some of what I wrote sounds cold, it's because I don't view the Beast as a 'toddler' throwing a tantrum. With its amorphous AV at its disposal, it can be very shrewd, pulling no punches. When unleashing AVRT on my own thinking, I try to be as unforgiving as the Beast itself.

Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
Not judging or trying to put you on the spot; I relapsed on smokes multiple times, even after years of abstinence. If I see a novice skier fall, my reaction is sympathy. But if I see a much better skier than myself go down, self-interest kicks in, and makes me want to know exactly what went wrong...
Just make sure you know whether or not that self-interest is actually self-doubt. I trust you know how to handle that by now.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:55 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
In my mind this is far from an insignificant concept in AVRT - verb tense use regarding drinking/using.
I'm impressed by GerandTwine's intuitive ability to zero in on other people's verb tense usage. I'm familiar with that form of AV, but completely missed it in imaquitter's post.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:59 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Just make sure you know whether or not that self-interest is actually self-doubt. I trust you know how to handle that by now.
Ha—you are absolutely right, Dalek. The idea that I need to know anything new, that there's some missing piece of the puzzle, definitely suggests there's daylight poking through my BP's iron cladding. Good catch; I shall examine the seam and get it locked down tight.

I do appreciate the considered response to my query, irrelevant as it may be to my own BP. Total, complete ownership of our choices—I like that a lot. It's empowering. When I first quit drinking, I leaned heavily on the "poison" concept, even took it a step further and vilified alcohol (though only as it related to me; I never had objections to it being available for others). Now I view alcohol the same way I view the lamppost at the end of my block. I know it's there; if I crash into it, I can't really blame the lamppost.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:25 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I'm indifferent emotionally, and give the barest intellectual response to my Beast. Meh, its a learned skill, being indifferent, lol.
I'm right there with you, Rob. The Beast is just doing what Beasties do. Lately I'm trying to bring that objectivity to basically everything beyond my own thoughts and actions. Whenever something happens, I'd like to perceive it without judgment. Like you said, learned skill...

Epictetus, being a badass Stoic super-dude, said, "Don't seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.”
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:56 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
oh how I have missed you guys! I know you all beat it up pretty good, but might I add that buddhism actually encourages a sort of "leaning into"...a sort of welcoming discomfort rather than running from or trying to abolish it in some way. I do see the parallels and have always said so, however I agree that it is not effective to inject these or any other ideas into AVRT. The simplicity is the key. The more one muddies the waters, well...the muddier the water is.
I have to say though that some good old fashioned Zen Meditation is the bees knees. Nothing like being alone with the beast while staring at a white wall.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:35 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 4mykids723 View Post
Nothing like being alone with the beast while staring at a white wall.
Only an AVRT'er would ever say this.

It's been said before, both in the RR: The New Cure book, and in this thread, but the best way to learn AVRT is in a room, all by yourself, alone with your Beast, where you can observe your own thoughts and feelings. A very stark contrast to the oft-repeated "don't isolate, get out of your own head, it can be a dangerous neighborhood" adage.

Right on!
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:27 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
Total, complete ownership of our choices—I like that a lot. It's empowering.
It is indeed, R&A. One my favorite chapters in RR: The New Cure is chapter 14 ("Stay Who You Are"), where Jack discusses how society expects addicted people to "get help" rather than cease and desist drug use. He points out that cigarette pack warnings sometimes recommend quitting smoking, but that no public service announcement or commercial advertisement ever recommends quitting alcohol or drugs.

Give it a few more years, though, and much like those TV commercials, cigarette packs may instead say "Quitting sucks. NRT can help."

Originally Posted by Jack Trimpey
The central message of AVRT is, “There is no help for you. You are on your own!” That liberating message can prompt you to take responsibility for your conduct, or allow your Beast to run rampant. That decision is yours, not your Beast’s.
You summed things up quite nicely yourself in another thread:

Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble
This could be Rational Recovery's tagline:

“No man is free who is not master of himself.” ~ Epictetus
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:01 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Hi everyone.

Wow just wanted to say what a clever bunch you all are.

Summary of my story (there are a few familiar names but I see TU is no longer around)

I'm 28 and drank socially from 16. By the time I was 20 it had progressed to addiction, the beast was born but I still lived a fairly functional life on the outside.

By 24 I made a decision to stop drinking, had read Allen Cars book several times (I liked it but it didnt keep me 'stopped' obvioulsy only I could do that) got hypnotised and didnt drink for over a year.

In that time met my husband (a heavy social drinker) who was perplexed by my abstinence but accepted it all the same. Then, when I was on a conference and the speaker was talking about the health benefits of red wine My AV (which I didnt know was my AV at the time) suggested that enough time had passed, I was in a committed serious relationship now and that drinking a few wines now and then was a good idea. So I did.

After that conference I had this deep knowing (the real conscious me) that the part of me that wanted to drink was separate from the 'real me' and that I didnt want to be that person (wild feral party animal) anymore. So I didnt...

But then a few more Beast attacks (which i didnt know were at the time) in subsequent months (9 months later first time then 6 months) with sporadic drinking episodes which lead to more frequent drinking (weekly in the end). A friend of mine who also had a drinking problem with far more serious consequences than Id ever experienced (DUI's car crashes etc) suggested that we both work on our problem and go to AA.


Looking back now I see that this was so counter productive to me dealing with my drinking problem once and for all. So I entered 'recovery' got a sponser and after a few weeks 'got sober' and stayed sober for over a year. Lots of crazy antics (13th steppers, sponsors suggesting I drank because I'd been sexually abused as a child which wasnt true etc rather than the truth which is I drank for the sheer pleasure of getting high) later and I found myself in a really difficult place. I wanted to stop drinking but didnt want AA and couldnt face going back through the steps with another sponsor and working a progam for the rest of my life.

Then I found AVRT (January of this year).

I'd love to say that I got it immediately and have been abstinence ever since but thats not the case.

I ended up doing 5 personal sessions with Jack Trimpey (via phone) which were fantastic but I still drank again and Jack even said to me "perhaps you havent got a good enough reason to quit, you're depressed by your drinking but haven't reached the point of total resolve to quit forever"

That point came though when after a night of drinking with no real negative OUTWARD consequences but I woke up sick and reviewed my text messags/emails sent the night before and it clicked. They were all Beast. When I drank I became this wild feral seemingly together woman who I hated. I realised that the Beast never changes all it wants is to get its stuff, screw the consequences (or the numbed out loser freak needy attention seeking feral woman I become under the influence) and will use the AV to try and persuade me that I actually want it too.

I've read through all your posts and Dalek your stuff about relapse was SO empowering for me. I knew from my work with Jack and reading the book etc that any self doubt is AV or crap like "oh yeah this again you've said you were quitting forever SO Many times and what makes this time different etc" was AV but you're framing of it that the Beast will point towards the fix and then when we get it use it against us is powerful. Even more powerful that while I knew this, I was still holding onto some 'powerless' thinking from AA RE my relapses were a sign of disasterous powerlessness and impending doom when in fact I had just SUCCECCED in drinking, my AV was able to seduce me into connecting IT's desire with my desire and I drank. Just like if a dumb arse loser boyfriend you'd dumped managed to convince you that you in fact did still love him and sleeping with him would be a good idea. It was never forced on me or outside of my control, I simply made a really stupid decision to drink.

Seeing it this way has made me realise even more so how impotent the Beast really is although entirely manipulative and will use any angle it possibly can to get me to drink again.

So thanks guys for being here. I plan on continuing to post because its enjoyable and empowering to have a spotlight shined on the AV and if these threads werent here then I would never have found AVRT to begin with and would be working on getting sober one day at a time.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:06 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Hi everyone.

Wow just wanted to say what a clever bunch you all are.

Summary of my story (there are a few familiar names but I see TU is no longer around)

I'm 28 and drank socially from 16. By the time I was 20 it had progressed to addiction, the beast was born but I still lived a fairly functional life on the outside.

By 24 I made a decision to stop drinking, had read Allen Cars book several times (I liked it but it didnt keep me 'stopped' obvioulsy only I could do that) got hypnotised and didnt drink for over a year.

In that time met my husband (a heavy social drinker) who was perplexed by my abstinence but accepted it all the same. Then, when I was on a conference and the speaker was talking about the health benefits of red wine My AV (which I didnt know was my AV at the time) suggested that enough time had passed, I was in a committed serious relationship now and that drinking a few wines now and then was a good idea. So I did.

After that conference I had this deep knowing (the real conscious me) that the part of me that wanted to drink was separate from the 'real me' and that I didnt want to be that person (wild feral party animal) anymore. So I didnt...

But then a few more Beast attacks (which i didnt know were at the time) in subsequent months (9 months later first time then 6 months) with sporadic drinking episodes which lead to more frequent drinking (weekly in the end). A friend of mine who also had a drinking problem with far more serious consequences than Id ever experienced (DUI's car crashes etc) suggested that we both work on our problem and go to AA.


Looking back now I see that this was so counter productive to me dealing with my drinking problem once and for all. So I entered 'recovery' got a sponser and after a few weeks 'got sober' and stayed sober for over a year. Lots of crazy antics (13th steppers, sponsors suggesting I drank because I'd been sexually abused as a child which wasnt true etc rather than the truth which is I drank for the sheer pleasure of getting high) later and I found myself in a really difficult place. I wanted to stop drinking but didnt want AA and couldnt face going back through the steps with another sponsor and working a progam for the rest of my life.

Then I found AVRT (January of this year).

I'd love to say that I got it immediately and have been abstinence ever since but thats not the case.

I ended up doing 5 personal sessions with Jack Trimpey (via phone) which were fantastic but I still drank again and Jack even said to me "perhaps you havent got a good enough reason to quit, you're depressed by your drinking but haven't reached the point of total resolve to quit forever"

That point came though when after a night of drinking with no real negative OUTWARD consequences but I woke up sick and reviewed my text messags/emails sent the night before and it clicked. They were all Beast. When I drank I became this wild feral seemingly together woman who I hated. I realised that the Beast never changes all it wants is to get its stuff, screw the consequences (or the numbed out loser freak needy attention seeking feral woman I become under the influence) and will use the AV to try and persuade me that I actually want it too.

I've read through all your posts and Dalek your stuff about relapse was SO empowering for me. I knew from my work with Jack and reading the book etc that any self doubt is AV or crap like "oh yeah this again you've said you were quitting forever SO Many times and what makes this time different etc" was AV but you're framing of it that the Beast will point towards the fix and then when we get it use it against us is powerful. Even more powerful that while I knew this, I was still holding onto some 'powerless' thinking from AA RE my relapses were a sign of disasterous powerlessness and impending doom when in fact I had just SUCCECCED in drinking, my AV was able to seduce me into connecting IT's desire with my desire and I drank. Just like if a dumb arse loser boyfriend you'd dumped managed to convince you that you in fact did still love him and sleeping with him would be a good idea. It was never forced on me or outside of my control, I simply made a really stupid decision to drink.

Seeing it this way has made me realise even more so how impotent the Beast really is although entirely manipulative and will use any angle it possibly can to get me to drink again.

So thanks guys for being here. I plan on continuing to post because its enjoyable and empowering to have a spotlight shined on the AV and if these threads werent here then I would never have found AVRT to begin with and would be working on getting sober one day at a time.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:25 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Peta View Post
Hi everyone.

Wow just wanted to say what a clever bunch you all are.

...
The Beast and its AV is also single-mindedly clever. It's gotten you to go into detail about your interest in and application of the Beast side of AVRT without mention or even a hint of the Big Plan. Dalek and others have emphasized here, that AVRT is pretty much just an academic exercise without the Big Plan, and reading your post reaffirms that in my mind. It's hard not to notice the Big Plan emphasis in his posts, but of course the Beast is terrified of the Big Plan, and will do everything to get you to avoid it.

Nevertheless, the Big Plan is something you are perfectly capable of making at any time you choose. It takes about five to ten seconds to complete it.

You could make it right now.

What are your plans for the future use of alcohol?

Or now, five seconds later.
Or now, two seconds later.
Count to ten.
Or now, ten seconds later.
So, that's how it works. You will have to make your Big Plan NOW, whenever that may be.

As I see it, being an adult means we have already decided "I will never ______" about hundreds of things, and understand perfectly well what that kind of commitment means. We can't lie to ourselves about whether we really made the Big Plan or not.

And, yes, you can only make it ONCE for each substance.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:37 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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You make a good point

I guess the reason I left out my Big Plan is because I feel stupid having made a big plan and then having drunk afterwards

I thought that if you drank after making a Big Plan you would have to make another Big Plan so I ended up having a number of plans

When I spoke to Trimpey about this he said that your original Big Plan stands because from that time you acknowledged that to drink alcohol was morally wrong for you.

The fact I drank again after making a Big Plan was just incredibly stupid and breaking a covenant I had made with myself.

The fact that I drank didnt however erase the fact that I had made a Big Plan
- Kind of like if you get married and then cheat on your husband or wife. The act of infidelity does not make you 'unmarried' - you've just broken a vow you made to be faithful

So I've reaffirmed my original Big Plan which is that I will never drink again.

For me to drink is ALWAYS wrong.

My reason for quitting for good is because drinking is wrong and when I'm under the influence I can't guarantee my behaviour and I dislike the person I become.

Thanks
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:03 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Peta View Post

...

So I've reaffirmed my original Big Plan which is that I will never drink again.

For me to drink is ALWAYS wrong.

My reason for quitting for good is because drinking is wrong and when I'm under the influence I can't guarantee my behaviour and I dislike the person I become.

Thanks
I don't think you mean "when I'm under the influence ..." any more.
Don't you mean "when I USED TO BE under the influence I COULDN'T guarantee my behavior and I DISLIKED the person I USED TO BECOME"?

With a Big Plan I sense these verb tense errors in glaring AV technicolor to the point of my simply not understanding how someone with a Big Plan could be making these "mistakes".

----

Later on, I want to get back into a discussion about perfect objective separation from the AV without a Big Plan. I'm not yet convinced it's not possible to succeed at abstinence in that manner.

Here's a Trimpey quote someone sent me in a PM:
"In AVRT, is not possible to recognize all of your AV and still drink. That is part of the foundation for our 100% threshold of confidence. AVRT is perfect, and attempts to discover imperfection in AVRT are just so much AV."
Also, I don't think a marriage vow is similar to a vow to prevent alcohol from going in my mouth. The latter is so damn in-my-face simple while the former is one of the most complex commitments imaginable to the human mind.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:50 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Thank you Gerand Twine for your comments

I'm posting here so that others like yourself can point out my AV in my thinking if i am seemingly missing it in myself

and you're right

When I used to be under the influence I couldnt guarantee my behaviour and I disliked the person I used to become
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:07 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Later on, I want to get back into a discussion aboutperfect objective separation from the AV without a Big Plan. I'm not yet convinced it's not possible to succeed at abstinence in that manner.

Here's a Trimpey quote someone sent me in a PM:
"In AVRT, is not possible to recognize all of your AV and still drink. That is part of the foundation for our 100% threshold of confidence. AVRT is perfect, and attempts to discover imperfection in AVRT are just so much AV."
Also, I don't think a marriage vow is similar to a vow to prevent alcohol from going in my mouth. The latter is so damn in-my-face simple while the former is one of the most complex commitments imaginable to the human mind.
That will be an awesomely interesting discussion.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:17 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Hello all

I am staying alert for AV activity but hasnt been an awful lot of it

I know the Beast is very patient and cunning though and will wait

But I also know that any suggestion, idea or incliniation of future drinking is all AV so is easy to detect

It has been very helpul being 'corrected' if you like by GT, I went back through my journalling on AVRT and writings on my Big Plan and found a lot of AV and present rather than past tense in what I had written over drinking; which I've now rectified.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:28 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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thank you for all of your contributions. I come in here every day and read what you are working. I have continued reading the RR book in the families section and am learning more all the time.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:33 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Today i had an AV attack RE a dinner i have to go to on Wednesday night

I told the person I won't be drinking and they were like you have to drink, i wont drink alone

The AV started going off about how you can't embarras this person or make it awkward,, just drink and then start again the next day etc etc

For a while I felt scared and uncomfortable then I remembered some things i'd read earlier on this thread about how any choice to drink is not a failure to abstain but succeeding to drink because I am the ultimate authority

The Beast can't force me to drink anymore than a lampost can insist I crash into it (all things i've read on here) I know the lampost analogy doesnt quite work because it doesnt come with a warped survival drive insisting I drive into it but the premise is the same

My beast is impotent, unable to move or make me do anything
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:37 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Hey everyone, I'm in AA and I get a LOT of insight/help from this thread and topic. I hadn't heard about AVRT until I'd run across a mention of it in another post and googled it. AA is working for me, but thinking of an AV/Beast is also helping me. I like how even the word-tense that you use is a sign of your AV. I'm learnin' from you people and I thank you. xo
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:38 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Great to have you here, DancingGirl. There are a lot of ideas in AVRT that are useful, no matter which idea of recovery we use. It is helpful for everyone to separate themselves from the desire to drink, for example. Another idea that fits all of us is that we do have the ability to make changes in our lives, and in a way that makes sense to us.

This forum is better for your post, DancingGirl. As they say, Keep Coming Back!
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