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Last night the beast won. What now?

Old 12-02-2012, 06:45 AM
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Last night the beast won. What now?

Hello all. Thanks to this wonderful site, I found out about RR and AVRT a little over a month ago, and I cannot describe the liberation I felt in making my Big Plan. For the first time in a long time, I had some of my self-esteem back, and I felt like I had some control over things again. I didn't feel like a complete loser. I was actually able to attend a couple of parties where alcohol was being served and enjoy sparkling water or tonic water. I ordered it without shame. And I was really enjoying the sleep that was starting to come with sobriety. Physically, I was starting to notice that I was feeling better.

For the last week or so, I found myself thinking more about spirits. I recognized this as beast activity, and tried to simply acknowledge it and move on. Friday evening, while on the table during a massage, I began thinking about how much I wanted a bourbon and coke. And I actually had the thought, "Oh hello, beast. That's you, isn't it?" I was able to separate Friday and go on with my massage and my evening.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. I haven't felt that low or despondent or bad about myself in a long time. I wondered whether it was hormones. I wondered whether it was anxiety. I wondered whether it was fear. Could it be loneliness? Why did I feel like I was experiencing a tremendous loss? Why was I sobbing uncontrollably?

Well, I'm sorry to say that the beast won. Even though I knew what would likely happen, I walked myself into a liquor store, bought the largest bottle of bourbon they sold, and I came home and proceeded to drink myself silly. I was never able to disassociate yesterday from those desperate feelings. I just wanted them to go away.

I'm sure I'm not the only RRer to succumb to the beast, but I haven't seen anything written about it. What now? I know that RR and the Big Plan leave no room for slips, so how do I reconcile this experience with the bigger goal of a life free from the insanity?
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:55 AM
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Even though I knew what would likely happen
You made a choice, not the best one, but that's ok, it happens.
Today is the next greatest day of your life and the big plan!!!!!

The voice of the beast is a loud and strong one. But we have to learn how to tame and control it. Not an easy task many times. But you did it the day before right?
So you know you can.
The feelings are just that, feelings. They are not permanent nor are they a simple thing to deal with in early recovery. But we have to learn, little by little, that the feelings are part of a sober life.
We can't run from, or drink them away any more. We need to feel them and accept them and move on.

Just remember, the only thing that has changed is your sobriety date.
Stay strong, you'll beat the beast and find true happiness in doing so.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by applecake View Post
Friday evening, while on the table during a massage, I began thinking about how much I wanted a bourbon and coke. And I actually had the thought, "Oh hello, beast. That's you, isn't it?" I was able to separate Friday and go on with my massage and my evening.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. I haven't felt that low or despondent or bad about myself in a long time. I wondered whether it was hormones. I wondered whether it was anxiety. I wondered whether it was fear. Could it be loneliness? Why did I feel like I was experiencing a tremendous loss? Why was I sobbing uncontrollably?

What now? I know that RR and the Big Plan leave no room for slips, so how do I reconcile this experience with the bigger goal of a life free from the insanity?
Hi Applecake and welcome to SR!

Nicely done with the separation of Friday. Very calm and matter-of-fact recognition, and then just on with whatever YOU'RE doing, and indifference and detachment from your Beast and AV.

Yesterday was different, and this would most likely be because of addiction ambivalence -- where when happening is the experience of both wanting and not wanting alcohol/drugs, and so being pulled in all directions. These kinds of experiences can be very intimate and powerful, reaching into our most vulnerable spaces/places emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually etc. You mention as much when you speak of its being a long time since you felt so low about yourself. The Beast won't hesitate to use our past against us to further weaken our resolve.

Without ideal safeguards in play, it is not uncommon to be eventually overwhelmed by addiction ambivalence. Don't sweat the perceived failures of succumbing to addiction desires. Accept failure, learn from failure, and then forget about it, and move on, ok?

What now?

Allow all feelings and thoughts which even suggest future drinking to be entirely detached from YOU and associated with your Beast. Arbitrarily set your confidence levels at 100% success, meaning, don't depend on pure reason to prove out your confidence. Base your levels soley on your personal desires, wishes, and will to be succesful. Don't sweat the perhaps unresonableness of your high confidence. Go big or go home kinda thing is best served here, and will bring the best results.

Your Big Plan did not fail. FWIW, I believe you simply were not readily prepared for the forces created with addiction ambivalence. These forces and impulses ran you down, this created doubt, this created more AV, this created more resistance from you, this created a stronger Beast, and finally the stronger-then-anticipated Beast offered an attractive way out of your dilemma -- and you know the rest. We've all been there, each in our own ways.

So Applecake, you now know that all is not lost, even though you had yourself some drinks. Do the next right thing. It's not over until its over. You can successfully live a sans-alcohol life free from the insanity of addiction.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dts View Post
The voice of the beast is a loud and strong one. But we have to learn how to tame and control it. Not an easy task many times. But you did it the day before right?

Stay strong, you'll beat the beast and find true happiness in doing so.
Just want to say here, I've not ever experienced successfully taming and/or controlling my Beast. Not that I haven't tried, lol. The task is impossible, imo, and unworthy of pursuit.

I don't and won't ever "beat the beast" and I am not required to make any such attempts.

Achieving happiness has nothing to do with my Beast. The concept that somehow my Beast stands in the way of my happiness would be pure AV to me. Only I myself can stand against my happiness, an nothing but me can prevent my happiness. I've learned that getting out of my own way is what best ensures my enduring happiness.

My Beast is limited in power and influence to my past addiction ambivalences. My Beast, in simple terms, is an abnormal addictive drive. Little more than simply that alone, and so cannot possibly influence my happiness. I am immune to such AV rantings precisely because of my AVRT.

To each their own, no problemo.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:17 PM
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Welcome to SR applecake. There are some great threads here on.AVRT.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by applecake View Post
I cannot describe the liberation I felt in making my Big Plan. ...

For the last week or so, I found myself thinking more about spirits. I recognized this as beast activity, and tried to simply acknowledge it and move on. Friday evening, while on the table during a massage, I began thinking about how much I wanted a bourbon and coke. And I actually had the thought, "Oh hello, beast. That's you, isn't it?" I was able to separate Friday and go on with my massage and my evening.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. I haven't felt that low or despondent or bad about myself in a long time. I wondered whether it was hormones. I wondered whether it was anxiety. I wondered whether it was fear. Could it be loneliness? Why did I feel like I was experiencing a tremendous loss? Why was I sobbing uncontrollably?

Well, I'm sorry to say that the beast won. Even though I knew what would likely happen, I walked myself into a liquor store, bought the largest bottle of bourbon they sold, and I came home and proceeded to drink myself silly. I was never able to disassociate yesterday from those desperate feelings. I just wanted them to go away.
Hi Applecake,

First, I commend you for your limited posting. Not that posting a lot is bad, it's just that I see you using the tool of these forums very wisely, and there's a lot for us to do in life, especially when we've just ended a horribly invasive bad habit. (But don't let this comment hold you back from further posting.)

You describe very well your thinking and what happened.

I think you didn't really make a Big Plan yet, even though it might have felt like it.

When one makes a Big Plan, that plan then becomes the ONLY and ABSOLUTE reason to stay stopped. That may sound odd, but that's why I snipped all the good things that were happening to you that you posted right after you mentioned you made a Big Plan.

We don't stay stopped because those good things are happening. We stay stopped because we made the Big Plan and it doesn't matter WHAT HAPPENS (lottery, hurricane, injury, anything) around us or to us, we simply don't drink ever again because we vowed not to. This is a quite personal thing. You will know when you've made such a vow (and no one else will ever know for sure).

But now I'll refer back to all the good things that happen to you from quitting. When people quit for any specific length of time all those good things are truly remarkable and desirable. THEY ARE THE REASONS TO MAKE A BIG PLAN. "I want this abstinent life to keep happening!!"

So, as you understand what a Big Plan is, you can make it any time you want (when you're in an unmindaltered state).

GT

PS. Consider getting a hold of a copy of Rational Recovery: The New Cure by Jack Trimpey. It's formatted with actions, bullet points, etc. that are very useful.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:57 AM
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Thank you so much, everyone. I appreciate the welcome, the thoughts, and the support. I'm also ready to get back on track! Life was starting to get good there for a while!
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:29 AM
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Well more power to you for coming and posting here the day after, more than I was able to do last time I drank! Stay strong.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine
We don't stay stopped because those good things are happening. We stay stopped because we made the Big Plan and it doesn't matter WHAT HAPPENS (lottery, hurricane, injury, anything) around us or to us, we simply don't drink ever again because we vowed not to. This is a quite personal thing. You will know when you've made such a vow (and no one else will ever know for sure).
Exactly...I don't remain abstinent because of x, y, or z.
I remain abstinent despite x, y, or z.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. I haven't felt that low or despondent or bad about myself in a long time. I wondered whether it was hormones. I wondered whether it was anxiety. I wondered whether it was fear. Could it be loneliness? Why did I feel like I was experiencing a tremendous loss? Why was I sobbing uncontrollably?
Oh yes...the "I wonder" game.

You can feel bad about yourself, feel low, despondent, anxious, hormonally imbalanced...none of that has anything to do with using alcohol. None of it. The "I wonder" game is just a way of wearing you down. When we used to break horses, we would run them on a lead line in circles in a round pen for long periods. That's why it's called "breaking"...they become too tired to fight, they simply comply.

Decide which end of the lead line you are on.
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