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AVRT- Drinking/Smoking

Old 08-06-2012, 10:38 AM
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Question AVRT- Drinking/Smoking

As I was mentally preparing myself to quit drinking yet again (3rd time), I was coming to the conclusion which is the basis of AVRT without having been formally introduced to it. That's because I was becoming aware of the two different voices in my head, one of which was holding me back from making the step. I realized that I had to block out that other voice and let my inner voice tell me I could never drink again.

I started reading Rational Recovery yesterday. While I'm having a difficult time with the writing style and tone, I agree with the overall premise.

Like many drinkers, smoking and alcohol go hand in hand. My smoking increases while I drink. I've been smoking since I was 12, which is now 44 years.

Those ex-smokers I know who quit were basically using AVRT. When they successfully quit smoking, they knew that they were never going to smoke again.

Would any of you recommend trying to quit smoking and drinking at the same time? Or is it too much of an overload? I searched this forum and can't find a thread devoted to this topic.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:11 AM
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I can vouch for what you say about smoking. I quit smoking 16 years ago and I have never wanted a single cigarette in the entire time. Nor do I ever want another cigarette.

I can't give you any advice about quiting both at the same time although I did read that the same pleasure zones in the brain are triggered by both alcohol and smoking (and sugar) so there is a much higher risk of relapse if you continue to smoke while quitting alcohol.

Having said that, the prospect of qutting both at the same time would seem to be a scary one to me, frankly!!
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:18 PM
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All addictive substances involve the pleasure/reward centers of the brain. The neurotransmitter dopamine seems to be involved in most addictive behaviors. Giving up everything all at once is probably not a good idea.

I actually found it easier to quit drinking for good, than I did smoking. Like SlimSlim above I started smoking at about the age of 12. Over the decades tho I quit smoking quite a few times, but always started again. I eventually switched from cigarettes to cigars but that's little consolation. Quit again on AUG. 1, (a few days ago), we'll see how that goes.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:50 PM
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I am quitting both right now on day 3. It is not easy. i have been smoking for over 20 years and drinking for the last 10 years. (Daily in the last 4 years) I think it has to do with how fed up you are. And those damn smoking commercials lately? they help. I am reading RR as well. I cannot continue to drink anymore. bottom line. If that dosen't work I guess I am off to AA.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimSlim View Post
Would any of you recommend trying to quit smoking and drinking at the same time? Or is it too much of an overload?
I would. That silliness about quitting smoking leading to a return to drinking is just that -- silliness. I mean, come on now. People get drunk when they want to smoke? Really? When people want to smoke, well... they smoke.

I would, however, recommend making two separate Big Plans, one for drinking/using, and the other for smoking.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:19 AM
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I'm not sure that I could do both at the same time. For what it's worth, my sober from alcohol life is six months to the day of my stop smoking date. In that way the date of my sobriety is doubly important to me!

Think of the decision to stop drinking as a step toward eliminating other bad habits. This is how I have approached my decision to stop smoking. At this point, I hardly ever even think about smoking. I knew it was time to take my healthy living quest to the next level!
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:43 AM
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Glad I read this. Was contemplating the same thing. I'll focus on my first big plan. Drinking. Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:44 PM
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I have only done the crash course in AVRT, but it would seem to me that the idea of not being able to quit both at the same time would be the AV in action. If smoking leads to drinking, or vice-versa, then it must be a right twist to the AV if both are quit at the same time. Sorry if this is too simplistic - still have to get that RR book.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by December15 View Post
I have only done the crash course in AVRT, but it would seem to me that the idea of not being able to quit both at the same time would be the AV in action. If smoking leads to drinking, or vice-versa, then it must be a right twist to the AV if both are quit at the same time. Sorry if this is too simplistic - still have to get that RR book.
December, it seems to me that you certainly got way more than your money's worth from that free crash course in AVRT. I think your recognition of the AV in that self doubt statement is right on the money.

There is a bunch more AV in this thread too. The self doubt 'if this doesn't work...' is mr beastie, I think!
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by violetflame View Post
I am reading RR as well. I cannot continue to drink anymore. bottom line. If that dosen't work I guess I am off to AA.
Freshstart is correct (nice catch, BTW, I was wondering whether anyone else would see it).

This is, by definition AV, as it suggests the possibility of future drinking. I will add that AVRT is not something that "works" on you to remove the desire to get high. It is something that you DO, by looking at your hands, and realizing that the Beast (addictive desire) cannot move them and light that cigarette or pour that drink down your throat.

AVRT doesn't "work" -- YOU work. That's the whole point of AVRT -- realizing that there is no help for you beyond your own native wits and intelligence. If you think that there is something out there, some magic cure or program that will work on you and fix this problem for you, then you are failing to recognize your own addictive voice.

This probably runs counter to what RR would recommend, but if after being told this, you still don't see your built-in plan to get drunk again, then I say go ahead and join AA, and come back to AVRT if AA doesn't work. The Big Plan of AVRT is about drawing a line in the sand, and if you are already making 'backup' plans to join AA once you get drunk again, effectively pre-planning a drunk, then you may not take AVRT seriously.

Some people do need to try out every single program, treatment, and cure out there before they will accept the austere reality of the situation that AVRT proposes. I did this myself to a large extent, but when the time finally came, the central message of AVRT -- "there is no help for you" -- those were the most liberating words I ever heard. They awakened me from my rescue-fantasy-induced slumber.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:34 AM
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I say go for both. I did, thinking I'd be a nervous wreck, but as it turns out (in my case), the booze fueled the smoking and smoking always made me think of having a drink. Also, since I was going to deal with discomfort anyway, I figured, bring it on all at once and then let the discomfort be over sooner! I am on 30 days of both and I must say that I'm glad. I have been able to really kick up my activity level ( breathing better from no cigs, feeling more energetic from no hangover). As a bonus, in my case, I always bought my smokes at the same places I bought my booze, so now I have NO REASON to go in to those particular establishments.

I am on level I, phase 3 of nicotine patches. I think this works very well if you fear that cold turkey is too much. Thankfully these types of products seem to help alot and have been shown to increase your chances of staying quit from the cigs.

Good luck!!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:25 AM
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Hello.
While I never had an addiction to alcohol, I did smoke for years. I quit, and the way I did it was to pretend I had never smoked! Silly, maybe, but it worked. I refused to think about them, put the thought out of my mind, telling myself that I had never smoked, and therefore could not want them.

I know that inside I knew the truth, so was I basically doing what AVRT teaches? Not listening to the voice?

I found that quitting smoking, sticking to my diet and exercising at the same time was easier for me, for some reason. Like my will power was fueled by the satisfaction of seeing all the changes for good I was making.

Good luck to you!
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:16 PM
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I had quit drinking for eight years in AA, then started 'controlled' drinking. I was off cigarettes for six years at the time. By the end of my first night out drinking until 4am, I bought a pack of cigarettes.

I was on vacation and when I got back home and my sponsor saw that I was smoking, he said, "You started drinking again didn't you?". Of course he was right. The NIAAA did a study on the different types of alcoholics, and it was noted that the percentage of smokers among alcohol abusers and drug addicts is sky high.

I quit smoking again after one year but continued my off-and-on drinking for another five years. The first time in the program I quit cigarettes after being sober two years, it was just too demanding to quit both addictions at the same time.

In the last year I bought Trimpey's book and started exploring 12 Step Alternatives. I am now anxious to practice AVRT on some of my other vices, like procrastination, which I blame on the learned helplessness of 12 Steppism.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:35 PM
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Hi,
I quit both, 8 months ago. The cigs were harder, for me, than the alcohol. But the 2 were so closely tied together, I really had no choice.

Today, I go through the entire day without craving for either drug and it ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best wished for your success in overcoming your nicotine addiction.
Pam
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