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Old 08-01-2012, 10:46 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by justhadenough View Post
Thanks Ready.

Exactly,it's just life isn't it. Removing the drink has made me see things so much more clearly
Yes!

With alcohol out of the way, the view changes. I found that quitting my addiction empowered me to make all kind of other choices and changes I hadn't even considered previously.

Lots of this was painful but you know, sometimes it was really fun. It was sort of like growing up...in my 40s!
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:13 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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I recommend Tolle The New Earth very highly. I find it to be very stimulating reading to the extent that I have to read one paragraph at a time and let that percolate, even after multiple readings. Being mindful to read a book about mindfulness. It is sorta like being in the presence of a great mind, cool just to hang out.

There is much stuff of Tolle's available on the net. Eckhart Tolle - Finding Your Life's Purpose on Vimeo
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:10 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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I'm fine as long as I don't drink. When I drink I have terrible anxiety, I put off doing important things, I'm unsure of myself, small things become major issues, I don't believe I have any real psychological problems. My problem is my drinking, which creates all my other problems. If I drink I can't cope.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:11 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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I went looking for the Nerd thread and landed here.

Interesting thoughts, poppy.
The problems you list that appear when you are drinking are some of the very problems I am trying to avoid when I do drink. "If I drink I can't cope."

I guess for me, "If I drink, I am avoiding coping."

hm.

As to living in the now, that was one of the concepts that grabbed me in the avrt stuff. Today is now. Tomorrow will be now. It's always now. Fundamental, that. Why is it so hard to "get" such an easy concept?
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:25 PM
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I have the same thoughts you expressed about having no ability to turn the responsibility of managing my life successfully over to anyone but myself. The buck stops here. If I even tried for some reason to think myself into the concept that some outside power was responsible for the sobriety I have gained, I am pretty sure I would not be as strong and resolute in my desire to make healthy choices. I have always been questioning and cynical about so called authority and nothing about achieving a sober life makes my approach different.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:31 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Auvers
The buck stops here.
You'll fit right in here, Auvers.

Originally Posted by Obladi
I went looking for the Nerd thread and landed here.
The nerd thread? We've got at least three going right now.

That bit about alcohol helping you to avoid issues? That's pure beast talk. AV hogwash. I was totally fooled for a long time, too. Convinced that I need alcohol to relax, to escape, when in fact it was causing the majority of my stress, and the thing I most needed to escape.

Speaking of living in the now, I was going to post this on one of the other nerd threads, but maybe it will be of use here.

Originally Posted by Marcus Aurelius
Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:19 PM
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Ok, so this is the part where I say, let's bring the discussion of how you can recognize the AV and NOT have to dissociate to get over yourself.

Because I get the theory, the big idea/plan, but I simply can not seem to get/internalize this notion of calling a part of myself (because it is MY self) a "beast" and naming she/he/it the enemy.

I worked too hard and long to accept me and all of my foibles to start hating on myself again. You dig?
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:57 PM
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So if you drink again, would that just be one of your foibles? (Interesting choice of words there. It's a way of making flaws sound harmless, almost endearing, yeah?)

Hate--whether directed at yourself, the beast, the bartender, Budweiser, your ex--that doesn't enter into the AVRT scene at all. Not a lot of warm fuzzies, either. It's is a decidedly cool and clinical approach.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:28 AM
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Touche!
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:30 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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You are absolutely right about the beast being part if you, Obladi. Thinking in terms of the third-person makes it easier for me to identify addictive thoughts and disengage from them, but it's my addiction in the end. And obviously, I own whatever choices and actions follow.

The beast seems to be fashionable these days. I've noticed beast references are now appearing even in posts by AAers. In some cases, it sounds like they are thinking of it as some kind of external force, like an evil counterpart to the higher power, as in, "The beast wants me dead." No, it doesn't. It doesn't consider life and death. It just wants you to drink or use. It's pure animal drive that originates in our own minds, not a separate, sentient being. At least that's how I look at it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:05 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
I recommend Tolle The New Earth very highly. I find it to be very stimulating reading to the extent that I have to read one paragraph at a time and let that percolate, even after multiple readings. Being mindful to read a book about mindfulness. It is sorta like being in the presence of a great mind, cool just to hang out.

There is much stuff of Tolle's available on the net. Eckhart Tolle - Finding Your Life's Purpose on Vimeo
Hello

I'm so glad to read this. I've started reading Tolle (TPON)and finding it extremely deep (expected) but am finding I can only read it very slowly in order to digest it.I need total silence and stillness to read it and even then can only read a very short parts at a time. I'm glad its not just me as was worrying my mind wasn't functioning properly.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:07 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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You have heard the Native American story about the young man speaking to an older wiser man about the two wolves fighting for supremacy inside his heart - the good wolf full of compassion, generosity, peace and love. And the bad wolf, full of selfishness, greed, fear, mistrust and stuff like that. He asked the wise man, 'Which one will win?' The reply was on topic: 'The one you feed'.

Because I get the theory, the big idea/plan, but I simply can not seem to get/internalize this notion of calling a part of myself (because it is MY self) a "beast" and naming she/he/it the enemy.
Mr. AVRT introduces this schism we have by calling it the nature of addiction. If you are not of two minds about drinking (I know I should stop for good, but I deserve a drink after that day I just had, or drinking is killing me but I can't stop), if there is no inner conflict about your substance/alcohol use, then you won't quit. So crack open another one and have at it.

If you are of two minds, it only makes sense to strengthen the part that wants to quit drinking, and somehow dissociate from the part that wants another buzz. Identify with and feed the good wolf, in other words, while starving that nasty one. Separate from The Beast by recognizing its Addictive Voice, and the key to making that voice audible is that Big Plan.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:22 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Very helpful responses. Thank you all.
Still not sure about dissociating, but I think it makes sense to actively suppress, to make a conscious choice to not indulge hedonistic whims or yearnings. Is that dissociation?
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:45 PM
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I think it makes sense to actively suppress, to make a conscious choice to not indulge hedonistic whims or yearnings. Is that dissociation?
The RR idea is to separate from the urge to drink or use by saying it comes from part of me that really oughta shutup because it is going to kill me. The hedonism part is ok, it is merely our nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain, and there are very good evolutionary reasons for us to feel this way. Sometimes, though, this pleasure seeking goes awry and leads us to addiction to a substance to which we develop an increasing tolerance. We start making bad decisions and keep doing it, even to our detriment.

At least I did, anyway.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:08 PM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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Well said, FS!

I would add that another benefit of disassociation was that for me, it went a long way toward stopping the whole internal debate over will I or won't I. I have my position, the beast has its, and there's no middle ground, nothing to debate, no room for negotiation. I should note however that this is where the Big Plan comes in--the commitment needs to be permanent and unconditional, otherwise it remains open to negotiation at some unspecified time or circumstance.

Also, I don't look at it as suppressing, Obladi. The beast will do what beasts do. Let it howl away; that desperate need for alcohol is its problem, not mine. Of course, over time the howl can become a whimper, hardly even noticeable. But actively trying to silence the beast is a form of engaging it; the idea here is simply to recognize it for what it is, not to suppress it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:15 PM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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Seems like right after I hit "enter" on that last post, I hit my head *doh!*!
It's not about suppressing, it's about not paying it no never mind.

Similar concept, or perhaps the very same, as the ACT principle of acknowledging that the hungry tiger is outside the door and I'd best not feed it or it will want to come inside for more. Lions and tigers and wolves, oh my! Knowing it's there and acknowledging it's presence is fine/good/right - just make sure the door stays closed.

I can accept this way better than picturing myself locked in mortal combat - with myself.

So while I was thinking about all of this, I was trying to figure out how to put "secular recovery" in a framework that... works. In a child-like way, I'm drawn to this idea of bettering myself because of a higher power, and I'm almost ok with that but not quite. In the absence of that paternalistic presence and in the absence of clear and imminent danger, what's my motivation?

It's a simplistic question, I know, but seriously. I'm in this place where I'm thinking "uh oh, this is not a good direction," but it's not THAT bad (yet!). I fully comprehend this is the AV in action, but I don't have a good framework to counteract that (yet!). Looking for ideas to help trip that trigger...
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
I've noticed beast references are now appearing even in posts by AAers. In some cases, it sounds like they are thinking of it as some kind of external force, like an evil counterpart to the higher power, as in, "The beast wants me dead." No, it doesn't. It doesn't consider life and death. It just wants you to drink or use.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees something off with this "the Beast wants me dead" business. I suppose if it helps people to think that, fine, but I seriously doubt that the Beast "wants" its host dead. Although the Beast will drive someone to ruin in its endless pursuit of the next fix, the Beast is actually a rational entity that wants to survive, and the AV will usually suggest avoiding unnecessary conflicts or battles. This is why addicted people very often try to hide their drinking/using from others.

The Beast wants the party to go on for as long as possible, and as far as it is concerned, he who hides or runs away gets to live to get drunk another day. The Beast will sometimes direct someone to attack others if its supply is threatened by them -- this is why addicted people are often dangerous -- but if the Beast really "wanted" you dead, it would not suggest hiding first to avoid unnecessary conflict that might interfere with its supply. It would instead always default to fighting.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:52 AM
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:39 AM
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I can't relate to the idea of separating the thoughts, desires that are part of my make up from my physical presence. It's all me. But I do agree with the notion that there is a part of the psyche that wants to respond to urges that are not in my healthiest interest. I think those urges are stimulated by many triggers, emotional, neurological, hormonal, nutritional state and some buried deep in the brain from responses borne in evolutionary adaptation. But sober, my brain can overcall most unhealthy urges. Without sobriety, I lose the ability to access the strengths of my psyche.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
In the absence of clear and imminent danger, what's my motivation?
Well, the liver keeps on functioning until it doesn't. Just because the danger isn't clear, doesn't mean it's not present.

For me, not being a drunk was motivation enough. Abstinence, like honor and integrity, is its own reward.
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