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The "REAL" work ??

Old 09-05-2012, 06:00 PM
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The "REAL" work ??

I have 3 months of sobriety and found this site a month ago. It has been helpful to read other people's stories and to read of their journey. Since I have always been an introvert, over-stimulated by large groups to the point of numbness, and also intensely private -- I would never go to a group meeting. My sobriety has been a personal journey, at first just getting through the days, gradually doing more thinking and evaluating the impact alcohol made on my life and choices. As the weeks have gone by, I have found myself doing things I had neglected, being a much better listener, a softer, gentler person, more conscious of other people's needs and feelings. I feel grand knowing that as the weeks go on, I will have the opportunity to uncover more of the real me. I truly feel empowered.

I keep reading on this site about there being a difference between staying sober and being recovered; a difference between dry and sober; the need to do the "real" work after getting sober. I do not get these concepts. To me, it seems that subtracting the alcohol allows a person to access their strengths, talents. What is the "real" work I should be doing?
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:20 PM
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I feel grand knowing that as the weeks go on, I will have the opportunity to uncover more of the real me. I truly feel empowered.
Cool! Me too. Which is why I don't worry when someone tries to lay some universal truth on me about recovery.

I'm not drinking. I'm happy about that. And I'm happy that the other areas of my life are moving in the right direction. What's the problem?

Of course the work didn't end when I stopped drinking. The work doesn't end until I stop breathing.

Living. That's the real work, I guess. And it sounds to me like you're already doing it, Auvers.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Auvers View Post
I have 3 months of sobriety and found this site a month ago. It has been helpful to read other people's stories and to read of their journey. Since I have always been an introvert, over-stimulated by large groups to the point of numbness, and also intensely private -- I would never go to a group meeting. My sobriety has been a personal journey, at first just getting through the days, gradually doing more thinking and evaluating the impact alcohol made on my life and choices. As the weeks have gone by, I have found myself doing things I had neglected, being a much better listener, a softer, gentler person, more conscious of other people's needs and feelings. I feel grand knowing that as the weeks go on, I will have the opportunity to uncover more of the real me. I truly feel empowered.

I keep reading on this site about there being a difference between staying sober and being recovered; a difference between dry and sober; the need to do the "real" work after getting sober. I do not get these concepts. To me, it seems that subtracting the alcohol allows a person to access their strengths, talents. What is the "real" work I should be doing?
I think the "real work" some people refer to is nothing more than the process of uncovering the "real you"...accessing your strengths and talents. Some people find this process very difficult, so they refer to it as work, but there can be genuine joy in it too. For me it was a little bit of both.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Auvers View Post
I keep reading on this site about there being a difference between staying sober and being recovered; a difference between dry and sober; the need to do the "real" work after getting sober.
There are some people who believe that drinking is "but a symptom" of something else, some other deep-seated "issues", and that until you work on the "real" problem, that you will drink again. They tend to believe that recovery is a self-improvement project, requiring massive changes in lifestyle and/or a philosophical re-orientation, as opposed to just "not drinking" (aka, abstinence).

Originally Posted by Auvers View Post
I do not get these concepts.
You don't have to.

Originally Posted by Auvers View Post
To me, it seems that subtracting the alcohol allows a person to access their strengths, talents.
And you are absolutely correct.

Originally Posted by Auvers View Post
What is the "real" work I should be doing?
IMO, absolutely nothing at all besides living your life as you see fit, Auvers. Given the nature of your post, I will say that staying away from alcohol and other drugs is probably a wise idea, however.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:24 PM
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Good points, one and all. I guess part of it depends on where you draw the line around recovery? To OTT's point, I've done my share of philosophical exploration since I quit drinking, particularly stoicism, and have even brought up on some threads how I see AVRT and stoic principles reinforcing one another.

But I consider that life work; my abstinence does not depend on it. If anything, it's the other way around; abstinence freed me to examine other aspects of my life. I think that is what Dalek is rebutting: The notion that abstinence requires doing this that or the other thing.

In my case, it doesn't. Sounds like it doesn't for you, either. Maybe that's why AVRT appeals to us, because it's focused on solely on quitting?

Originally Posted by Auvers
I do not get these concepts.
Me neither, because they obviously differ from my personal experience. But I'm mindful of the fact that lots of people don't get AVRT. That doesn't make AVRT any less valuable to me. By the same token, concepts others find useful do not require validation from me. Like Lennon said, Whatever gets you through the night..
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:46 PM
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This may be redundant but I will play to my strength. AVRT doesn't really care about you, your life, your moral failings, your childhood trauma, recent life events, they are all irrelevant. AVRT only provides the means to stay unconditionally sober, free from alcohol. You can devise and 'work' any self improvement program that strikes your fancy, and address any psychological, mental, emotional or spiritual issue you please. Maybe you should do exactly that, I dunno. You can actually get some traction in these pursuits if you are sober, something I could never do while drinking. I digress.

AVRT's sole focus is your big plan, included below for reference. The concept that you must address your 'deeper issues' first, that you must have some sort of special experience or that you must do anything at all before you can stop drinking, or that you must do 'the real work' so that you never again drink, is nothing more than your alcoholic voice. Phooey.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:13 PM
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Hmmm... do we know that Auvers is using AVRT?
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:20 PM
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The "real" work is helping others recover after you have recovered ?
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57
Phooey.
For you and me, absolutely. Sounds like maybe for Auvers, too. I am really grateful for the surgical precision AVRT offers me. But judging from the available evidence, one man's phooey can be another man's salvation. If it ain't broke, I ain't gonna tell someone to fix it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
Hmmm... do we know that Auvers is using AVRT?
Errrrm, maybe not. I can't find any evidence of that from the posts I have read.

If you have stopped drinking, Auvers, by any resource internal to you, then at least some of my blather is still relevant. If you are sober, you are sober, and you can remain so if you want to. You can also go fix yourself if you decide you need fixing, but you are probably just fine the way you are. Sober, serene, satisfied. Congratulations.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:27 AM
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Thank you all very much for your thoughtful responses. I found them all helpful. AVRT is not something I had heard of until the last month. Seems to me its principles are ones I Find myself in line with. Helping other people and animals and the environment more effectively can be the "work" of a sober life.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:40 AM
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For me, as soon as I took alcohol out of the equation, my life improved pretty much by itself. There was no work involved. I sometimes catch myself questioning those sorts of posts too - am I just a dry drunk? Am I not yet 'recovered'? Is being sober alone not enough? I don't know the answer to those questions, but what I do know is that as soon as I stopped drinking, my life improved dramatically. I know that people say that unless you deal with the issues that drove you to drunk, you are just a relapse waiting to happen, but I definitely don't agree with that. For me, I drank because I was depressed, which in turn made me more depressed. As soon as I stopped drinking my depression lifted. To be honest, I think if I started looking deeper into myself and work through all my past problems, I'd be in a worse state... I don't think it would be beneficial for me. What's beneficial for me is living in the present, rather than burdening my now with all the bad things that have happened previously. I find no sense in that.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:42 AM
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It seems to me that the difficulty comes in when we try to put boundaries around what it means to "recover". Some people think of "recovery" as including not just abstaining from alcohol, but also, basically, everything that comes afterwards...so that they are really never done "recovering".

That has never made the slightest sense to me. I think of it like this: I quit drinking. End of THAT story. Then I kept on living, learning, and growing--in better, healthier ways than were possible when I was drinking. But I don't view that second piece as "recovery", I view it as life.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:46 AM
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^^^^^ me too
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:06 AM
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I do not subscribe to the idea that there is some mysterious "real work" to be done. I agree that 'living', and all that entails, is what's it's all about.
Auvers...you're doing it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:15 AM
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Yeah, I'm recovered. Took me all of under three months. Another year or two of working the kinks out of living a brand new productive and satisfying sans-alcohol life, and now three decades later, and the "real work" is no different then it was since day one: quit drinking now and forever... and then just get on with it.

If we all had to wait to "get better" or "whatever" before we forever quit drinking booze, before we can be "recovered", well, I wouldn't be here sober. I just wouldn't have made it. Period. The real work was in the actual quitting. Full Stop.

Welcome to SR, Auvers.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:05 PM
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You all are just awesome with your responses. I am so grateful for your sharing your wisdom and take on life!
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:05 PM
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I am new to this forum, but I just wanted to let you guys know how very helpful this thread has been to me. I've relapsed more times than I can count over the past 20 years and at this point, I'm just trying to see where I fit in here.
I really want organized recovery to work for me, but so far I'm struggling.
This has given me food for thought.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:37 PM
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Not much new to add from me, but I will lend my voice to the chorus.

For me the real work was quitting and then getting to a place where I could really get my arms around the notion of "quitting forever". It was the quitting forever part that seemed the "real work". Since that moment life has been a breeze...easy and whimsical and growing for me in so many ways.

welcome to SR Auvers! You're doing great!
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:30 PM
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Lovetosail, there is all sorts of organized recovery that is very very good.
Evidence-based recovery (SMART Recovery, CRA/CRAFT) is good for those that want to deal with structured methods and develop personal skills.

Community-based recovery (SOS, LSR) is for those that are looking for a supportive network of people with experience in reaching abstinence, but not a faith-based nor structured skills-based approach.
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