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The Beast Came Back

Old 09-09-2012, 03:23 AM
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The Beast Came Back

I had been quitting off & on for a few years. Then last April, after one night of going overboard and getting into a fight with a friend, the guilt was enough to kick my ass into sobriety for a few over 3 months. And those 3 months were great.

Then one night the beast attacked me hard and I gave in and had a few drinks. Over the past month or so it's progressed more and more until now I'm back to having a drinking problem that's interfering with my life.

I'm pretty much just a weekend drinker. During the week, I'm a happy sober person, but come Friday night I forget all the pain alcohol cause me the previous weekend, I buy some beer, and the nightmare begins. I'll drink heavily during the night, often doing stupid things I regret the next morning, wake up hung-over, and then start drinking again on Saturday night. Sunday I go clean again and gradually return to being my normal self.

This weekend was worse than most. I started drinking on Friday night, then I went over a friend's house (and he's got a drinking problem too), and we drank until 5am; then we woke up around noon, went to a bar and drank again. I came home yesterday afternoon, fell asleep on the couch, and didn't wake up until 6am on Sunday. I can't continue living like this. My poor wife and daughter; luckily my daughter is young enough to not fully know what's wrong with Daddy.

I wish there was a way to kill the part of me that drinks; if I could put a knife in his heart, I would. Heck, I've often wanted to kill all of me (ie. suicide) to solve the problem, but it's not an option since the most important thing for me is providing for my wife and daughter.

It's easy enough for my to quit drinking today - "I'll will never drink again" - but I'm afraid of next Friday.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:52 AM
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I wish there was a way to kill the part of me that drinks; if I could put a knife in his heart, I would
I found that the best way to kill the beast was to give it no power over me. I let it say what it wanted to say, recognised it for what it was (just a stupid addiction) and let it go. The longer I looked at it and not let it give rise to fear, sadness, hope, excitement, etc, the quieter and weaker it became. It occasionally pops up now and that sometimes makes me smile, for some strange rdeason. I think it's because I know that it's part of me and that's OK, I don't have to fight it any more, it's just there and it just is.

I'm really sorry you're having such a hard time at the moment. Please remember that all that self doubt and negativity towards yourself is coming from that beast, too. What it is telling you is not a true reflection of what you are - it is what it wants you to believe you are so that it can encourage you to drink again next weekend.

The worst thing you can do to your beast is ignore it and believe in yourself.

Take care.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:53 AM
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Cocteau,

I guess when you started up again, it was "fun?"

Maybe that's me projecting, because it's how it was for me. I never went through structured periods of non-drinking using any sort of program or "technique" that I was aware of, but I certainly stopped altogether for long periods of time. Some of those periods were motivated by remorse, one long spell was motivated by child-bearing. But I do know I progressed from "fun" (or pleasure or whatehaveyou) to "this ain't good" each time.

Your post prompted me to ponder how long it took to progress from "fun" to "oh crap." Because it went there. Every. Single. Time. So maybe it doesn't matter how long it took, but I'm thinking that this is all we need to remember during those Beast attacks. "Uh, no thanks - I know it's a hell of a ride, but it's a hellish ride. And besides, I'm driving now."

And I know what you mean when you say it's easy to say never on Sunday but you fear Friday. We know the Beast will wait, as long as there is some promise. I'm no expert on this, I'm with you. Wishing I could get to that magical place of saying "never" and believing myself.

One thing I know to be true is that words and verb tense are very important. It seems that the concept of a Big Plan is much more believable (to me) when I talk about my drinking in the past tense. Closes the door on the Beast who wants to be right here with me describing "our" story. Stupid opportunistic jerk.

Not sure if any of this is at all helpful to you, but wanted to give you a holla anyhow, just for being here.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:13 AM
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Cocteau and Obladi,

I know exactly what you're talking about with the decision to never drink again that somehow magically disappears at the end of the day or the end of the week (for me it was the end of the day--almost every day, actually, for a long time). It gets so that you think you have no choice in the matter, doesn't it? It really can feel that way.

But for me, the fact was that when I made those decisions that went "poof" by the end of the day, I didn't really mean them. Some part of me knew that I wasn't really going to stick with it. I wasn't committed. I hadn't made a plan--heck, I still kept the liquor right there in front of me where I could get to it, or went out during the day to get more!

But then I DID make a decision one day -- the real one, the "I am going to quit drinking or die in the attempt" decision. I meant it. I was very naive at the time. I didn't know how profound it was that I'd done this. I thought there was more to it, that there was no way it could truly be that simple.

It was though. Simple, although painful for a while, and the reconstructive period that followed was a lot of work.

Funny thing, after all these years I am still not quite sure why I made the big decision that day. Yes, there was a nasty event the night before, but there had been many nasty events before that were in many ways much worse. I guess I had just had enough.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Cocteau
I'm afraid of next Friday.
We have five days to change that. Totally doable.

You've been given some good advice. You already know some the AVRT terminology—have you taken the crash course online? Read one or more of the books? Because you should know there is in fact a way to kill, or more accurately neutralize, the part of you that drives you to drink. The first step is to stop viewing it as a part of you.

It wants to drink. You don't.

That is correct, right? Are you ready to quit once and for all? No more of this weekend warrior business? Because I don't believe there's no such thing as being a non-drinker some days, and a drinker other days. You're a drinker the whole time. You're feeding the Beast two days a week, enabling him to stay strong the rest of the week.

A lot can happen in five days. Glad you're here.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:36 AM
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I've read the Rational Recovery and Art of AVRT books several times. I've bought AVRT Live and AVRT Tuneup and have watched them and listened to them in my care many many times. Just last week I listened to AVRT Tuneup again.

But Friday comes and I seem to forget everything I learned.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Cocteau View Post

But Friday comes and I seem to forget everything I learned.
So you plan in advance. You are smarter than the Beast, I promise you, you are.

You know the Beast is going to BS you--head his sorry butt off at the pass, tell him you have other plans for the weekend, then go do them!
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:54 AM
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Is there anything you could do on a Friday that would mean you cannot possibly drink? I agree with onlythetruth - keeping yourself busy and doing things that you really enjoy really helps in the beginning. It's also fantastic to actually do things that we feel great about, regardless of the alcohol issue. Doing things for you that make you happy will really help with feeling positive towards yourself and add to your determination to be sober. I started baking and exercising and other things that required me to be totally immersed in that one thing so that my mind didn't have a chance to wander.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:19 AM
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Yesterday was rough; the shame, guilt, and self-loathing made we want to die many times over, but I began trying to love myself and forgive myself as I would a friend who made a similar mistake.

Today I'm doing a little better, and I have to because it's my daughter's first day ever at school; there's no room for my self-pity or loathing.

Luckily on Thursday we're leaving for Disney World. Though I'm not emotionally in the high-spirits to be going, I know I won't be tempted to drink so the first weekend going sober again will be easier.

It's time to reaffirm my BP: "I will never drink again and I will never change my mind."

I do have some insight into how I started drinking again a month or so ago; it was the beast playing the "I'm sooo depressed" game and fooling me into thinking a drink would help. I need to be better ready for these attacks, especially when they come after having a long time without any urge to drink.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:21 AM
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P.S. Thanks for everyone's kind words and support.

I know JT doesn't believe in any support groups in AVRT, but I think for some people it would help.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:52 AM
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The resident AVRT experts here will tell you that AVRT sobriety is unconditional and is full and complete in itself. I am with you on the other hand, Cocteau, in that I believe discussion and support is very important to us. I believe you have found that support right here. Stick around.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:05 PM
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I'm here too.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Cocteau View Post
But Friday comes and I seem to forget everything I learned.
What does your AV pump at you on Friday, before you start drinking?
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:38 PM
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I think you have to work on your Big Plan? Right now it's only about 5 days big...we gotta expand that Big Plan so that it is Forever big!

Don't get me wrong...I'm not trying to minimize the effort required to quit. I know it's not as simple as just saying "I will never drink again and I will never change my mind". There's a lot of growth and learning and understanding and trial and error that has to take place before you will get to the point that OTT described - where you actually make a commitment to forever...I still smile when I think of the day that it happened for me.

Some people quit one day at a time...some 5 days at a time...some for a month...some for a year...some till some foggy moment in the future when the time is just right. But as long as the AV knows that his day is coming, he's happy to bid his time and wait you out.

I can still remember early on when I was trying to quit and saying to myself...don't worry, this isn't forever...you'll get your booze...just not for a while...I've got to prove that I don't have a problem first...give me 60 days, then we'll talk. At 64 days I drank...surprise, surprise!

It took me 6 more months to figure out FOREVER.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:56 AM
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We know the Beast will wait, as long as there is some promise.
Of course... and that's why completely taking the option to drink off the table no matter what (aka "never) is what actually eventually quiets the beast. There is of course the initial response burst (aka fit pitching by the beast), but consistency takes care of that. Beast behavior can be modified just as human behavior can.
Hold on with everything you've got. Say never and mean it. You can do this, it's your AV that is telling you you can't. Don't buy that bullsh*t. Seriously. Don't.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:15 AM
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Althouh very new to AVRT , what I find really powerfull is the last part ...

I will never drink/use again, AND I WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SDLY View Post
Althouh very new to AVRT , what I find really powerfull is the last part ...

I will never drink/use again, AND I WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND.
Yep, that's the bit I kept repeating to myself in the beginning
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:28 AM
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I understand what you mean about wanting to kill the beast and to be afraid of it.

What I realized this morning, hungover and fed up, is that successfully quitting drinking is a consquence of making the firm, and profoundly life-changing decision that you will never let the beast control you again.

It can rage all it wants, and the content of what its saying is irrelevant - the purpose remains the same. It will say anything to try to get you to feed it alcohol. So forget the message it sends, and remember that its not what YOU want, its what IT wants. Nothing to fear if you dont give it power.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:45 AM
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The best I could do with my beast was
to put it to sleep. And for the last 22yrs.
it has remained in a coma state but continues
to grow. To wake it up after all these yrs in
slumber, only a monster will emerge.

Not a kitty cat or a little tiger, but rather
a devilish of a monster with claws and teeth
that will shred and destroy everything in its
path showing no mercy.

I think with the tools and knowledge that
I have learned in my recovery program, I
will stay on course and keep my beast asleep,
so I can stay sober, happy, content and
forever grateful.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:37 PM
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That sounds like a different sorta beast than the AVRT one to me, Sharon. The AVRT beast is just the pleasure seeking part inside each of us, and has no power now that we can recognize it for what it is. The urges that we hear through its voice, the Addictive Voice, are empty of any power now. There is no struggle needed to defeat it, just a flick of attention and it turns and hides. Any fear that I might have of my beast is just its voice speaking to me, nothing more.
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