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Making a Big Plan and meaning it

Old 10-06-2012, 05:02 AM
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Making a Big Plan and meaning it

Hi,

First of all, thanks to all those stalwart members here who have posted about AVRT over the months. Rest assured, they do get read and are appreciated by lurkers like myself.

I've known about AVRT for over a year. I have read the RR book three times, most of the info on the RR website, bought one of the RR DVDs and read countless threads on here.

One thing I am 100% sure of is I want to be a non-drinker for the rest of my life and that AVRT is the way to accomplish this.

I have made loads of Big Plans over the months but they never stick. I know all self-doubt is the Beast and the official RR answer is to set your confidence at 100%. Here's my problem: that's easier said than done. That feels, at present, like telling a depressed person to be more happy.

When I make a Big Plan it lasts from anything from a few days to a few weeks. When I say it I feel the familiar stirring of anxiety that Jack says you'll feel but the Beast seems to prevent me from saying it and meaning it; I have never felt what I can see is clear in others: drinking in this lifetime is no longer an option.

I have read many good posts on this board but I would like to highlight a couple that interest me:

Originally Posted by Terminally Unique
I was on the RR forums once, and someone posted about 'choosing not to drink today', and Jack Trimpey replied along the lines of "I hope you change your thinking on that. If you have indeed decided to never drink again, and to never change your mind, then you no longer have a choice." I had to ponder that one... wheels started turning... duh! It made quite a difference in how much of a struggle it was, though.
Originally Posted by onlythetruth
I DID make a decision [to never drink again] 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.
I both admire and am jealous of these posts. I'm pleased they nailed it once and for all but wish I could do the same. How do you know it's over for good? I know Jack Trimpey says you cannot lie to yourself so you know when you make a Big Plan if it is the real deal or not. With me, I also know that it won't last more than a few weeks.

Secondly, and separately, my Beast has gone almost silent. It hardly ever uses words anymore and instead uses feelings and imagery. It's almost like it's cottoned on to the efficacy of Addiction Diction and is not giving me the satisfaction of using it. Has that happened to anyone else?

One thing that always happens post-Big Plan is it latches onto an event and grinds me down into believing I cannot cope with it without drinking and should therefore delay quitting until after it. Currently, it is a holiday. I am going away next month for a couple of weeks and it makes me feel a knot in my stomach at the thought of not being able to drink through 15 hours on a plane and endless waiting around in airport bars, not to mention all those hours by the pool.

Sorry to for the inarticulate rambling and thanks for listening.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:55 AM
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Hi, mabp! Nice to see you here. That's not rambling, and far from inarticulate! Makes total sense to me.

I think maybe if you go back through your post, you can probably spot some classic AV right in there. It's far from silent. Check this out:

I know all self-doubt is the Beast and the official RR answer is to set your confidence at 100%.
But then:

Here's my problem: that's easier said than done. That feels, at present, like telling a depressed person to be more happy.
With me, I also know that it won't last more than a few weeks.
I am going away next month for a couple of weeks and it makes me feel a knot in my stomach at the thought of not being able to drink through 15 hours on a plane and endless waiting around in airport bars
Let's think this through: 15 hours on a plane without alcohol. So what? What are you missing out on? Not some idealized fantasy, but what are you really missing? What would you out of drinking?

not to mention all those hours by the pool.
Crazy, isn't it, to be worried about something as relaxing and pleasant as that? Yet I know exactly what you mean. That right there is one of the biggest reasons drinking is not something I can ever truly miss. It doesn't add to life's pleasures—that's just the illusion of addiction. Alcohol keeps me from enjoying life's pleasures. Now I can enjoy—truly enjoy—lounging by a swimming pool. You will, too.

I'm glad you're here. These threads have been very helpful to me in not just understanding AV recognition, but practicing it, so I could better separate myself from all the old doubts and desires. It was also crucial for me to realize that abstinence is ultimately not about giving something up; it's about getting stuff back—freedom, self-respect, a pervading sense of peace... Believe me, you're going to be grateful you quit.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:19 AM
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Brilliant post, thanks for that.

It's amazing that all the internal dialogue I've gone through these past few months has made me blind to the fact that I'm actually worrying about being in a situation as relaxing as being on holiday. I needed to hear that!

I have read Allen Carr's books, by the way and that (if you haven't read it/them) focuses on the fact that alcohol robs you of the true pleasures of life.

Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble
Alcohol keeps me from enjoying life's pleasures
I completely get what you mean about that. Although I do work extremely hard (I run my own business so don't work regular hours) I am lucky enough to work a job I enjoy and have more work than I can handle (not bad given the economic climate). I have a good family life, a house and loads of good hobbies. I've thought for ages now that the only thing wrong with my life is that I drink.

In spite of that, I think of quitting for good right now and already in my stomach I feel a knot that tells me, never say never, you absolutely cannot not drink on that holiday. I can see why 12-steppers mistakenly see this “disease” (note the quotation marks) as powerful, cunning and baffling. From my side of the fence it kind of seems that way. Again, I know this is AV but right now the Beast is puffing itself up such that it seems like a formidable opponent.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:08 AM
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Hi thanks for the post, I know exactly what you mean regarding holidays i have all sorts of things IT thinks won't be fun but when I do them they are even better. If you have been drinking for a long time and all your experiences are with alcohol involved of course your going to relate it to your addiction I.e holidays birthdays the list goes on.
Start doing those things sober then you will build good feelings and memories around them, I bet those things are much better as your at 100 present.

As for the cunning powerful and baffling it most certainly is, it will come at you with all sorts of feelings memories etc, my av comes at me through my dreams I sometimes wake up thinking I have been on the **** and messed up everything again, but it's just the beast doing what it does. I made a big plan 2 weeks ago after years of bouncing in and out of aa and must say I feel like a free man again for the first time in many years. I own a few companies and am extremely busy and do very well but the more I get the more the beast tells me that iam fine, and alcoholics can't do what you do, you cant be an addict! See it will use my own success on me!!! Good luck god bless.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:16 AM
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makeabigplan,

I'm in the odd position of being someone who did AVRT without realizing it at the time. I suspect this is why Jack Trimpey refers to AVRT as essentially a distillation (pardon the pun) of the technique real people really use to quit an addiction.

Because of this, though, I spent little time in debate with my AV. Oh, it was there all right, but I guess I kind of expected that and didn't pay it a whole lot of heed. Ha, I remember one time about 6 months after I quit, when I had an emotional crisis over a personal loss and was sobbing in the corner of my room, nearly catatonic with pain. There was a bottle of tequila in the house for a party we were giving the next day. Old AV kept poking me, reminding me of the bottle and the numbness it would provide. I ignored it. "Not an option" was all I thought.

I say this because I think that while it's valuable to recognize the AV and combat its sneaky ways, the real beauty is in the decision. Very few things in life are black and white, nor should they be, but at least for me the the decision was and always has been paramount.

I guess the question for me is: what is holding you back, REALLY holding you back from making the decision?
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Lionhearted1 View Post
Hi thanks for the post, I know exactly what you mean regarding holidays i have all sorts of things IT thinks won't be fun but when I do them they are even better. If you have been drinking for a long time and all your experiences are with alcohol involved of course your going to relate it to your addiction I.e holidays birthdays the list goes on.
Start doing those things sober then you will build good feelings and memories around them, I bet those things are much better as your at 100 present.

As for the cunning powerful and baffling it most certainly is, it will come at you with all sorts of feelings memories etc, my av comes at me through my dreams I sometimes wake up thinking I have been on the **** and messed up everything again, but it's just the beast doing what it does. I made a big plan 2 weeks ago after years of bouncing in and out of aa and must say I feel like a free man again for the first time in many years. I own a few companies and am extremely busy and do very well but the more I get the more the beast tells me that iam fine, and alcoholics can't do what you do, you cant be an addict! See it will use my own success on me!!! Good luck god bless.
I know what you mean. I get the “you work hard, you pay a lot in taxes, why not kick back and relax? Heck, if you need help from the NHS, you've earned it from all all those NI contributions you've made.” I readily acknowledge, however, that my output work-wise drops considerably when I'm drinking and alcohol significantly increases my stress levels.

Some “pleasure”, eh?
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
makeabigplan,

I'm in the odd position of being someone who did AVRT without realizing it at the time. I suspect this is why Jack Trimpey refers to AVRT as essentially a distillation (pardon the pun) of the technique real people really use to quit an addiction.

Because of this, though, I spent little time in debate with my AV. Oh, it was there all right, but I guess I kind of expected that and didn't pay it a whole lot of heed. Ha, I remember one time about 6 months after I quit, when I had an emotional crisis over a personal loss and was sobbing in the corner of my room, nearly catatonic with pain. There was a bottle of tequila in the house for a party we were giving the next day. Old AV kept poking me, reminding me of the bottle and the numbness it would provide. I ignored it. "Not an option" was all I thought.

I say this because I think that while it's valuable to recognize the AV and combat its sneaky ways, the real beauty is in the decision. Very few things in life are black and white, nor should they be, but at least for me the the decision was and always has been paramount.

I guess the question for me is: what is holding you back, REALLY holding you back from making the decision?
When I read the post I quoted above from you (in my first post) I had about as close to an epiphany as one can get without actually having one. I thought that it was so beautifully simple and complete but why couldn't I do it?

I get that Jack Trimpey did not—and does not claim to have—invent(ed) AVRT but rather it is the lore of self-recovery in a condensed format and that you followed what is essentially AVRT even though you didn't realise it (and in that sense you are not in an odd position but rather part of the large self-recovered population). What I don't get and am really struggling with is how did you know at the time that you'd packed it in for good? That's what I can't do. I feel like I know AVRT inside out but when I make the decision the Beast always gets the better of me.

Originally Posted by onlythetruth
I guess the question for me is: what is holding you back, REALLY holding you back from making the decision?
It want to make it and mean it so, so badly but I can't. It's like the Beast can howl a lot louder than I can. I know I get final cut on what goes into my body but somehow it always gets the better of me.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
Hi, mabp! Nice to see you here. That's not rambling, and far from inarticulate! Makes total sense to me.

I think maybe if you go back through your post, you can probably spot some classic AV right in there. It's far from silent. Check this out:



But then:







Let's think this through: 15 hours on a plane without alcohol. So what? What are you missing out on? Not some idealized fantasy, but what are you really missing? What would you out of drinking?



Crazy, isn't it, to be worried about something as relaxing and pleasant as that? Yet I know exactly what you mean. That right there is one of the biggest reasons drinking is not something I can ever truly miss. It doesn't add to life's pleasures—that's just the illusion of addiction. Alcohol keeps me from enjoying life's pleasures. Now I can enjoy—truly enjoy—lounging by a swimming pool. You will, too.

I'm glad you're here. These threads have been very helpful to me in not just understanding AV recognition, but practicing it, so I could better separate myself from all the old doubts and desires. It was also crucial for me to realize that abstinence is ultimately not about giving something up; it's about getting stuff back—freedom, self-respect, a pervading sense of peace... Believe me, you're going to be grateful you quit.

Great post, really helped me today. 9 months sober and the beast inside me is very loud today , always is when i have a social function as I do tonight, In fact this is the strongest cravings I have had for a long while. Thanks again.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:07 AM
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You have the power as a human being to choose to believe in anything, that includes the choice to believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, in your power, you can transcend old habits and never go back. I found that if I looked clearly at what alcohol did to me, I could see beyond its momentary pleasure, to all the far reaching negatives, and it seemed the only sane choice to quit and never drink again. Getting through the first weeks, couple of months of lingering withdrawal is a chore, but you choose to warrior on, not be a victim of the addictive beast. Then you have a life in which you have the energy to make positive use of the moment you are in. Victims can't do it, warriors can.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by makeabigplan View Post
What I don't get and am really struggling with is how did you know at the time that you'd packed it in for good? That's what I can't do. I feel like I know AVRT inside out but when I make the decision the Beast always gets the better of me.

It want to make it and mean it so, so badly but I can't. It's like the Beast can howl a lot louder than I can. I know I get final cut on what goes into my body but somehow it always gets the better of me.
You know, you bring up a good point: how did I know at the time that I'd packed it in for good?

I'm not sure how to answer that, but I do know that I'd made a half-hearted "decision" about a million times before (usually in the morning, while struggling with a hangover) and didn't even manage to make it through the day. I can't even count these occasions as relapses because I never had any success at all, but I absolutely know the feeling of "wanting to want" to quit. I believed that I wanted to quit and in the moments following those short-lived resolutions I felt that I honestly meant them. But in the back of my mind there was...the Beast. Telling me that I couldn't do it. And sure enough...I couldn't, as long as I listened to him (for some reason, I've come to think of my Beast as male).

The time I DID do it was way different. I didn't plan it...but I could tell, because it was like something shifted. I had truly had enough. I was in so much pain from drinking that it simply ceased to matter to me how difficult quitting might be, and when the Beast told me I couldn't do it, that it was going to kill me, I was like: "fine, I'll die then. But I am not doing this s**t anymore."

Now I bet you're going to say: I can't do this, the Beast is stronger. But don't you see: THAT'S THE BEAST TALKING. I think what happens at the "Big Plan" moment is that we stop caring what that mangy beast says. We call its bluff. I did it by accident but I have to believe it can be done on purpose, with more forethought than I put into it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:57 PM
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I think I get what you are saing, mabp.
Because I don't seem to be able to "get it" either.

I mean, I get it. I understand the theory, the idea, the notion.

Recognize that any thought that supports the idea of drinking ever again is AV, determine and declare that I will never drink again and I will never change my mind, and *voila* - It is finished.

I sure do wish I could experience this transformation that any number of people like ott have described.

Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
The time I DID do it was way different. I didn't plan it...but I could tell, because it was like something shifted. I had truly had enough. I was in so much pain from drinking that it simply ceased to matter to me how difficult quitting might be, and when the Beast told me I couldn't do it, that it was going to kill me, I was like: "fine, I'll die then. But I am not doing this s**t anymore."

Now I bet you're going to say: I can't do this, the Beast is stronger. But don't you see: THAT'S THE BEAST TALKING. I think what happens at the "Big Plan" moment is that we stop caring what that mangy beast says. We call its bluff. I did it by accident but I have to believe it can be done on purpose, with more forethought than I put into it.
I absolutely do NOT care what the mangy beast says. It's a loser and a parasite. Further, I don't feel in the least powerless. I make my own decisions, thanks very much. Some of them are very poor decisions, mind you, but I don't blame them on anyone else nor on circumstances. It is completely up to me to respond however I do, regardless of what life throws at me.

All of that notwithstanding, I cannot seem to muster the conviction - yet - to make a Big Plan and really feel in my heart and sould that I mean it. It's not for lack of want and it's not for lack of confidence nor for lack of courage, at least today. It's something else I can't quite grasp yet. I wish I could describe or start to define it, but I guess if I could, I'd be set!

In the meantime, carrying on with not drinking seems to be a step in the right direction. Perhaps something will "break" or "mend" if I am patient.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
In the meantime, carrying on with not drinking seems to be a step in the right direction. Perhaps something will "break" or "mend" if I am patient.
Of course! Not drinking is absolutely a step in the right direction!
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:27 PM
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some aspects of AVRT remind me of Eckhart Tolle and his concept about 'voice in the head'.
A quick summary is that he was 29 years old and suffered with depression & anxiety, he was going to kill himself, he couldn't live with himself any longer.
Saying that made him think, if I can't live with myself there appears to be two distinct people in that idea: "I" and "myself". He began to question who this "self" was he couldn't live with.
He calls that self the ego

I won't go on but if that interests you I have to say I got a lot from his books 'The Power of Now' and 'A New Earth'

“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”


I think that helped me grasp the idea of the beast
― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:47 PM
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Carrying on not drinking is a big plan, isn't it?
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by azureseas View Post
some aspects of AVRT remind me of Eckhart Tolle and his concept about 'voice in the head'.

“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”
I just started reading The Power of Now this afternoon, and saw the same parallel. I understand the concept, it makes complete sense to me that I am the person who can see who I am.

Originally Posted by Auvers
Carrying on not drinking is a big plan, isn't it?
Well, no. Because I haven't said "never." Carrying on not drinking is a "little plan," at least that's the way I see it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by makeabigplan View Post
Secondly, and separately, my Beast has gone almost silent. It hardly ever uses words anymore and instead uses feelings and imagery. It's almost like it's cottoned on to the efficacy of Addiction Diction and is not giving me the satisfaction of using it. Has that happened to anyone else?

One thing that always happens post-Big Plan is it latches onto an event and grinds me down into believing I cannot cope with it without drinking and should therefore delay quitting until after it. Currently, it is a holiday. I am going away next month for a couple of weeks and it makes me feel a knot in my stomach at the thought of not being able to drink through 15 hours on a plane and endless waiting around in airport bars, not to mention all those hours by the pool.
You know, I'm not sure it is helpful for you to buy into your Beast not using AV as a proper voice when it "talks" to you. Of course, the Beast does use feelings and imagery, yes, but, it also MUST use some manifestation of a voice too. Some dialogue MUST exist, because to get you to return to drinking, you must think about how to do the deed, and how to dismiss the obvious consequences to in fact accomplish the dirty deed.

I would STRONGLY suggest you revisit the idea that your Beast is silent. Our AV is created from our own thoughts, then used against us. This is the place to start and perhaps take a second look at what you define as AV from your Beast.

As we know, the more secret our Beast can become, the more powerful is its desires, and its desires can mask over AV detection when one assumes it is not in fact using Addictive Voice in its proper sense.

Want to break the cycle of your Big Plan seemingly failing? Seek out and discover that hidden AV.

For what its worth, Big Plans simply can't, don't, and won't fail...

Possible failure comes, simply, from us not properly using AVRT, yeah?

I hope you can hear me being on your side with my opinion on your use of AVRT.

Cheers!
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:13 AM
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“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”
This relationship between Tolle and AVRT is one that I found very exciting when I read 'Now' and 'Earth'. Becoming mindful, becoming 'the watcher of the one who thinks' is such a powerful image for me. I think it is the ultimate empowerment because it liberates us from 'the committee' in our head, the imprisonment of self-talk, and allows us to be and act on a higher level. It allows us to make choices that give us freedom to be everything that is in our nature.

I recommend Tolle very highly. He has some good videos, too. Thanks, Azureseas.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:25 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post

All of that notwithstanding, I cannot seem to muster the conviction - yet - to make a Big Plan and really feel in my heart and sould that I mean it. It's not for lack of want and it's not for lack of confidence nor for lack of courage, at least today. It's something else I can't quite grasp yet. I wish I could describe or start to define it, but I guess if I could, I'd be set!
Sounds to me like you want to make the big plan, but something is telling you not to (your beast?). Isn't that the essence of AVRT, everything that tells you that you can drink now or in the future is not you but your beast?

I don't know all that AVRT entails, but this is my understanding of it.

And I totally understand where you are coming from. I have that same voice telling me that I don't have to never drink again. But, I think I do have to never drink again, and the part of me that doesn't like it is my beast.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:36 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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Yup, it's the beast all right.

The beast says "Things aren't that bad, really. You go to work every day, you're respected and appreciated by your coworkers, supervisors and customers. You support your family, maintain your home and pay your bills (mostly) on time. You sacrifice your own comfort and happiness because the kids (almost) always come first. You do this on your own without support. You deserve a break! Who would deny you this escape? It's your choice, your body. At the very least, you can come with me and escape when at last no one else needs you. Well, at least they can certainly get along without you."

The addictive voice is compelling because it uses what I know to be true to make a very compelling argument. I know this.

I think perhaps the issue is that I feel stuck right now.
Like... if I didn't have to be the sole support, perhaps I wouldn't feel the need to escape.
Sounds like I'm blaming it on the kids and I'm not. I chose to have these kids, I chose to get divorced, I chose to be where I am today. But I feel crappy saying it anyhow.

"Any thought or idea that supports plans to drink now or in the future is the AV."

Therefore, the beast is happy to blame it on the kids.

Got it.

So this didn't go anywhere near where I wanted to go, but wth, I'll post anyway.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:53 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Obladi
I think perhaps the issue is that I feel stuck right now.
Are you really so stuck, Obladi? You have the freedom, and now you have the ability, to do wonderful beautiful things, to be present and to nurture those new lives you created. Their potential is limitless, as is yours, and the rewards will be without measure. Onward!
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