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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 09-04-2012, 07:34 AM
  # 121 (permalink)  
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Backup Plans

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Yeah, those AA people, eh?!!
Peta mentioned AA, and I responded in that context, but I would have responded in the same manner if she had said "and therefore why don't you drink for a few days and then go back to SMART (or rehab)."

Post drinking party "backup plans" of any kind are highly suspect, and are definitely Addictive Voice. Why? Because in order for the "backup plan" to kick in when AVRT doesn't "work", you obviously have to drink first.

If you have a backup plan to your Big Plan, you have a plan to drink.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
Peta mentioned AA, and I responded in that context, but I would have responded in the same manner if she had said "and therefore why don't you drink for a few days and then go back to SMART (or rehab)."

Post drinking party "backup plans" of any kind are highly suspect, and are definitely Addictive Voice. Why? Because in order for the "backup plan" to kick in when AVRT doesn't "work", you obviously have to drink first.

If you have a backup plan to your Big Plan, you have a plan to drink.
Thanks, Dalek.

Yeah, no problem for me, about what was being said. I was just being funny, because of my long past earlier experiences in sobriety.

Yes, any secondary plan or contingency to the Big Plan is a plan to drink. There is no reasonable way for the Big Plan to be tested for failure. Sweeeet!

Hmmm, I hadn't known Obladi still already did not have a Big Plan when I responded. No wonder things have become confused. AVRT of course dosen't work without a Big Plan.

Will you be making a Big Plan Obladi?
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:13 AM
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For some reason, this question is typically is asked this way: Are you ready to make a a plan for your continued use of alcohol?
For a version of the acceptable answer, see below.

I wish you well, Obladi.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:11 PM
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Ah, well, truth be known I didn't fully, wholeheartedly, completely embrace the concept of "never" (Big Plan-style) until a month or two into my recovery (though I still hadn't heard of AVRT at that point).

It's hard to say exactly when I committed, because I danced right up to it for a while, but still felt some hesitation.

So while I absolutely think the Big Plan is critical—and it also happens to make everything simpler, because it makes my AV so easy to spot—I think your progress so far has been impressive, Obladi.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
Except that Obladi has not made a Big Plan, so she will have difficulty seeing this contrast. Still undecided about whether or not she wants to keep drinking, the inner debate ("should I or shouldn't I") will probably continue unabated. Just the way it works.
Beast is the desire for pleasure produced by alcohol and other drugs.
Addictive Voice is the expression of that desire in your thoughts and feelings.
Other recovery paradigms don't generally make this distinction, between the desire and the expression of that desire, but AVRT does, and this distinction can help in separating from the Beast.
True, I have not "made" a Big Plan. I've said it, but haven't grasped it yet. The Beast is all over me the moment I open the thought. I know the previous sentence is technically incorrect, but what I mean to convey is that I am not yet convincing to myself. However, I DO get that there is a distinction between AV and the Beast and this is very helpful. Need to continue to work on parsing out "I" from It.
Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
You are afraid of the Beast, and are trying to silence the AV, which can't be done. You fear that if the Beast will not stop barking, that you will succumb to its demands. The problem is, every time you respond, you encourage it, and like an encouraged dog, it just keeps barking, expecting that you will eventually get tired of debating and drink.
BTW, have you read the "RR: The New Cure" book?
You are correct; I’m intimidated by the Beast.
I have read the book (and the entire discussion here), and am following the advice to read a second time.
Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
People like to say this, but with AVRT, it would be more accurate to say that nothing works, but that anyone can quit. By "works", people usually mean that the desire to get drunk/high is removed, but AVRT makes no such promise, and if you think AVRT "works" in this fashion, you may be disappointed.
I am under no such illusion. I “get” this. It’s strikingly similar to the approach taken by ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy). “Let the goblins and ghouls clamor! They can’t actually harm you.”
Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
For some reason, this question is typically is asked this way: Are you ready to make a plan for your continued use of alcohol?
As I read it, suggesting to someone that they ought to make a Big Plan is discouraged because the impetus for a successful Plan must come from oneself. So this is where I am looking. And the reason I suggested a “little plan” the other day is that I need distance from the booze to actually “hear” the clamor in my head when I say in a moment of calm and non-desperation “I will never drink again.” Once I have that going on, I think I will be on my way.
Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
So while I absolutely think the Big Plan is critical—and it also happens to make everything simpler, because it makes my AV so easy to spot—I think your progress so far has been impressive, Obladi.
Thank you. I am impatient with myself on this, feel like I should have already gotten it because I think I get it. (AV says “See, you can’t even follow through on things you know are right for you.”)

I appreciate all of your responses. You are a very helpful and perceptive crowd. Thanks for being here.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:43 PM
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Obladi, I'm liking what you're saying. Very nice. You are correct, there is a leap of faith here where we just decide that we can do this, and then jump. The water is fine, nothing bad can possibly happen, and more good things will happen than you can imagine.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:44 PM
  # 127 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
Someone said something along the lines of "There's nothing like being alone with the AV and a blank wall," as if this was fun (?). Help me out here?
Part of AVRT is realizing that the Beast and the AV are not to be feared, and I interpreted that post as a reference to this. With AVRT, it is not "bad" to have Beast activity, or to hear the Addictive Voice. Many people seem relieved when there isn't much Addictive Voice, as if its presence were an imminent threat. It isn't, any more than the AV (animal voice) generated by our legitimate survival drives is.

My sex drive is active every day, for example, and I'm sure that if I acted on every single thought generated by that particular survival drive, that I would get into lots of trouble. Still, I don't want to be neutered just because I don't act on all such thoughts. I simply recognize such thoughts, since I know where they are coming from, and when not appropriate, I just don't act on them as a matter of principle.

I don't debate with my sex drive, because it just is, and debating wouldn't change it or deter it at all. I also don't need to hide from attractive people or try and run away from my sex drive in order to not go stark raving mad. AVRT is kind of like this, just a way of living comfortably in the presence of unfulfilled desires, with no fear of those desires. AVRT makes this easier by allowing me to attribute any sense of suffering or deprivation to the Beast itself, so that ITS suffering is not my suffering, and ITS deprivation is not my deprivation.

Intolerance of desire is what drives addiction, and the idea that having unfulfilled desires is utterly impossible is the grand illusion that sustains it. People don't actually explode or go insane just because they have desires that they don't act upon. Unfortunately, this isn't always easy to see from within the bubble of addiction, because the AV exaggerates the difficulty of quitting. Echoing the AV itself, others may also speak of how "difficult" it is to quit, which only feeds the illusion.

In truth, quitting is only really difficult for your Beast, though, and this is where the separation comes in. When you feel the Beast cringe, and the AV pipe up, recognize it as a very good sign, a sign that you have gained the upper hand. Instead of struggling with the AV, talking back to it, or seeing it as a terrible thing, recognize it as the death throes of your enemy. Your Beast thinks it is dying, and it is saying "I'm dying, Obladi, won't you please have mercy? Won't you please feed me?"

Show no mercy. Be glad. Be cruel. Abstain.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:43 PM
  # 128 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
True, I have not "made" a Big Plan. I've said it, but haven't grasped it yet. The Beast is all over me the moment I open the thought. I know the previous sentence is technically incorrect, but what I mean to convey is that I am not yet convincing to myself.
The Beast will always cringe when contemplating making a Big Plan. This is the recoil effect, and it is universal. To the Beast, a Big Plan means death by deprivation, and the AV will almost certainly try to tell you that you shouldn't take such drastic measures, or that you don't really mean it.

There is no way to logically prove the Big Plan, but you can arrive at it through intuition, and ultimately, it does feel somewhat like a leap of faith. In TNC book, Jack compares it to jumping off a high dive into the water. You can watch others do it, but you don't really believe it is safe until after you yourself jump.

I see freshstart beat me to this and already made a reference to it.

Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
As I read it, suggesting to someone that they ought to make a Big Plan is discouraged because the impetus for a successful Plan must come from oneself.
This is true, and not everyone who reads here or posts here is going to decide "never again", nor do I think they should on account of me. I do assume that people posting on an addiction recovery forum are conflicted about their own use of intoxicants, however, and that they probably drink/use too much for their own good. Ultimately, though, their addiction is all theirs, and it will necessarily continue until they decide to end it.

Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
... the reason I suggested a “little plan” the other day is that I need distance from the booze to actually “hear” the clamor in my head when I say in a moment of calm and non-desperation “I will never drink again.” Once I have that going on, I think I will be on my way.
It's certainly possible. AVRT is easy in practice, but impossible to grasp with a drink in either hand. I think you already know this, but just be aware that the Beast will necessarily try to put off quitting forever.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:34 PM
  # 129 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
The water is fine, nothing bad can possibly happen, and more good things will happen than you can imagine.
This is probably true in many cases, considering that life in addiction is usually a horror show, but the Beast will often demand a guarantee that good things will come, and if they don't, it's back to getting high. I feel bad jumping on you for this, but this type of bargain is a Beast set-up, and it is best not to make "good things" a condition for abstinence. We can certainly hope for better things in an abstinent state, since we won't be manufacturing additional problems, but there is no guarantee that life will improve in other ways.

Reference: "Illusion 12" on pages 81-83 and "Outline of a Big Plan" on pages 132-134 of RR:TNC.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
The Beast will always cringe when contemplating making a Big Plan. This is the recoil effect, and it is universal. To the Beast, a Big Plan means death by deprivation, and the AV will almost certainly try to tell you that you shouldn't take such drastic measures, or that you don't really mean it.
What I meant by "all over me" is that It doesn't stir even a bit when I make a focussed attempt to practice the shifting exercise. It has no response to my directed thinking about forming a Big Plan. So It is confident It has the upper hand (paw, claw, talon). It's MO is the sneak attack at the most opportune moments for It. Seems to me that making a Big Plan in the heat of a Beast attack is not good strategy.

Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
I think you already know this, but just be aware that the Beast will necessarily try to put off quitting forever.
Oh, believe me, I know.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:03 PM
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Correction, sometimes it does respond to thinking about a Big Plan.
It goes, "Righhhhhht."
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Obladi
So It is confident It has the upper hand (paw, claw, talon). It's MO is the sneak attack at the most opportune moments for It.
I dunno. Could that be you projecting your own lack of confidence? Which in itself would be a form of AV, but one you can control. In fact, I think you can control all of it; the Beast is nothing without you. It can't attack you unless you let it.

Take RR's wiggle-the-finger test. Shows the Beast has no physical power, right? I don't think it has any independent ability to reason, either. I see it as pure drive, not a calculating, reasoning, scheming entity. It creates the emotional impetus that leads me to calculate, reason, and scheme on its behalf—until I learn to recognize it. Once I can recognize it, it can't even think. It's just desire—nothing else. The urge will surface now and then, but it's random as far as I can tell. There's been no grand traps along the way, no surprise ambushes.

The Beast can still move about, and perhaps it always will, but there's no place left for it to hide.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:45 AM
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In fact, I think you can control all of it; the Beast is nothing without you. It can't attack you unless you let it.
Control, as in master.
You are correct.
I can.

(interesting concept, 'control.' The media would have me believe that 'letting go' is hip, cosmopolitan, exhilarating. Guess it depends on what you are letting go OF.)
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:21 AM
  # 134 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
I dunno. Could that be you projecting your own lack of confidence? Which in itself would be a form of AV, but one you can control. In fact, I think you can control all of it; the Beast is nothing without you. It can't attack you unless you let it.
Hmm. I'm not sure I want to "control" my Beast, or my AV, you know? There is something about that that does not settle well with me. The Beast is desire, and my AV is a normal experience, and having "control" to the point of whether or not I'm "attacked" is not something I think I want... power corrupts kinda thing...

I dunno.

I understand my Beast up as being up and about doing its thing, and my AV as being same old same old. There is something to be said for common place experiences as in knowing my Beast and my AV in simplistic means and ways.

"Control" sounds too energetic for me, lol.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:27 AM
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Good point, Robby.

I think what needs "control" is my response.
I understand the ideal is to get to the point of reacting to this clamoring as if it is no more than a cloud of gnats. "Oh, ick, let me just step aside and let those things pass."
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:36 AM
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I am shocked at what an opportunist my beast is. I feel like a million bucks today! Boot camp rock star, cranking at work, family doing great, hopeful - all really really terrific and BAM!!! I am suddenly bombarded with - "lets celebrate tonight?!?!? See, you have your act together. No one even knows you wake up with hangovers - see you don't have a problem etc..."

It is really starting to irratate me. I am so "aware" of how my thinking has been manipulated- if you will -by this "thing." I am not sure I can articulate this- but, I am just AWARE of everything I am thinking..... Does that make sense? Is it more thoughtful to try and not be so aware of every thought- as it seems I am now waiting for beast activity so I can attack it or is that really beast activity in disguise?

I feel like I have been given a loaded gun and am ready for the fight of my life. I want my life back more than anything else in this world and AVRT has FINALLY given me something I can work with! I would love to know if anyone else has had this experience.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:50 AM
  # 137 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
I'm not sure I want to "control" my Beast, or my AV, you know?
I was speaking in regards to confidence or a lack thereof. The Beast has no more control over that than it does over the little finger. What's the phrase RR uses? To arbitrarily set our confidence level at 100%? That's control.

Let's not build the Beast up to be the Moriarty to our Holmes. This isn't a battle of wits, because the only wits are our own. AVRT is about bringing those wits back into alignment with our goals, instead of allowing them to be co-opted by addiction.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ashbyee
Is it more thoughtful to try and not be so aware of every thought- as it seems I am now waiting for beast activity so I can attack it or is that really beast activity in disguise?
I personally like the whole "Come on Beast, is that the best you can do?' mentality. When I say control, I don't mean an effort to silence the Beast. I just mean the ability to neutralize it through recognition. Through that awareness, I deny it any quarter. And yeah, that awareness is a pretty awesome feeling. It's empowering. It's incredible to feel a rush of power after believing I might be powerless. I get the gun comparison, sure. Happiness is a warm metaphorical gun.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:23 AM
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As always...awesome discussion.

I recently became a non-smoker. YAY me.

Beast mistress...ohhh yeahhhhh
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:51 AM
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Congrats, Soberlish. Another Beast locked in its cage. Awesome!
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