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Old 01-23-2013, 02:46 PM
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NewatThis,
how are things with you?
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:58 AM
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Hi again everyone, I'm back. Let me fill you in on what an idiot I am.

So back in January I was done drinking again, and it was easy to be honest. But somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that because I was going on a three week trip it was highly likely that I was gonna drink while away. And I did. Even though I had intended not too I now believe I knew I was going to. There are so many layers of deceit that go on in my mind I'm at a stage now where I've lost all faith in myself. I do not know what I want even. My drinking wasn't insane by my usual standards, but now that I've been back home a week I can see that I'm on the slippery slope again, one or two every day, the rationalising etc. And yes that elusive ideal of moderating has started to rear its head. What am I going to do with myself?

I'm embarrassed even though I know everyone here is supportive and it's better that I come on here and fess up so to speak. And I've read that people say it's a process, that I've learned something etc but to be honest that just gives me an excuse to drink again. I'm feeling so depressed now, not so much about the fact I'm drinking again but that my word to myself is obviously so worthless. I think I'm even afraid to try again because in my warped logic it's better to be drinking than fail to quit.

Right now AVRT is not helping me at all...
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:30 AM
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Hi Newatthis. Glad you're back. Good on you for not giving up! Sorry you're so disappointed in what AVRT is so far offering for you. Don't sweat it, though. This can all be turned around, and it goes without saying you're not an idiot.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:36 AM
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Thanks Robby.

Just been reading around here again and am amazed at how easily I could block out the insights I had gained last month. It's like I willfully forgot that I am a drunk! An inconvenient truth if you will. To be honest I do feel like I am heading somewhere, but at the moment I don't feel brave enough to make that final leap.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
I think I'm even afraid to try again because in my warped logic it's better to be drinking than fail to quit.
WHOSE warped logic is that?

I'm no expert, but the book I am reading suggests that if YOU know it's warped, it's probably not YOUR logic. Someone or something is feeding you lies.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:44 AM
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Good luck in your return efforts. I saw your post because of "commitment issues" spoke to me! Before I quit drinking I could barely even commit to putting on my socks much less a meeting or a plan.

You also mentioned "lying to yourself" which was the big thing for me. I took my first trip after becoming sober and was away from the country for 3 months. I did not drink that entire time, and now I am 7 months sober. Learning how to BE HONEST with myself and stop lying to myself was the single most helpful tool I have used in keeping myself sober. Keep telling yourself the truth and don't lie to yourself - value your sobriety and remember how important you are to so many people, including yourself!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
Thanks Robby.

Just been reading around here again and am amazed at how easily I could block out the insights I had gained last month. It's like I willfully forgot that I am a drunk! An inconvenient truth if you will.

To be honest I do feel like I am heading somewhere, but at the moment I don't feel brave enough to make that final leap.
I understand those feelings, Newatthis. YOU will be brave again though!!

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:53 AM
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What nonsensical said is right on.

Nonsensical, you sure make a lot of sense for being nonsensical.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
Thanks Robby.

Just been reading around here again and am amazed at how easily I could block out the insights I had gained last month. It's like I willfully forgot that I am a drunk! An inconvenient truth if you will. To be honest I do feel like I am heading somewhere, but at the moment I don't feel brave enough to make that final leap.
Taking that "final leap" though is probably something you need to do. Very hard, but I've noticed that a lot of people who "are trying" and will "cut down" are not very successful. Basically the language you are using is an easy way to see into how your mind is working. Start working on being honest with yourself.

Quitting alcohol IS a big deal. You are right to treat it like one.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:23 AM
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newatthis,
glad you're back!
yes, the layers of deceit. the not knowing if you can trust what you think you know. and the "logic" that tells you it's better to be drinking than to fail at quitting again...oh, that brings back memories. not that it was
"better", but i was so tired of trying and failing, trying, feeling positive, hopeful, confident, and then buying the stuff without apparently having made a clear decision...it was too exhausting. it wasn't "better" to be drinking than failing at quitting, but it was sure a whole lot easier.
and then i did it all again. and again.

what you say about the process-and-learn-from-relapse...sure. i learned that i hadn't quit. couldn't stay quit. drove that home over and over. i think people often think of specific triggers when they talk of learning from relapse, the idea being that if you can identify what "led" to the relapse, you can learn to deal with that particular trigger-thingie.
but i find that short-sighted, and misunderstanding. getting and staying sober isn't about learning how to deal with or avoid triggers; these things help, of course, but they're not the cause. not the cause of drinking or of relapsing.

what you will do with this and yourself...keep us in the loop. stick around, try again.

you can figure some of this out while not drinking. chances are there.

best to you!
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:26 AM
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Hello all, thanks for following my uncertain and meandering journey. Especially thanks to Robby and fini for all the empathy and understanding. I want to put a few things down that I've learned from you all, but especially you two, in the hopes that I can consolidate my own understanding and break it down for myself more than anything else!!

I have quit drinking for a host of reasons, I could spend the next two hours outlining these but I don't think anyone who finds themselves on SR needs any reminding about them. I have agonised for a few years now about my boozing and the negative side effects it has on my life and my entire existence. Worst of all I find myself, at age 36, completely unaware who the real me is. Well, that's a lie, for over ten years the real me has been a drunk - and getting worse.

In my arrogance I believed that I had to understand the logic or otherwise of addiction (I reckoned I'm smarter than most, I'd succeed where millions have failed....), why I drank so much, why I couldn't moderate, why I wasn't an alcoholic just an alcohol abuser - all the usual procrastination and delaying tactics disguised as the essential truths I had to figure out in order to quit. Then I would think that maybe when I understood all that I wouldn't even need to quit permanently, just get a grip on the frequency/amounts etc etc. ALL LIES I HAVE BEEN TELLING MYSELF. Now I see that I am a drunk. The only way to not be a drunk is not to drink.

I've been having a problematic relationship with AVRT, although I think that is because I have been misunderstanding it from the start. I had been thinking of it as a formula I could apply and all would be well. So then when I got frustrated because I wasn't understanding the Big Plan or whatever I got diverted with meanings of words and sidetracked by doubts about what I was doing. Robby I think you've got an amazing approach to it - I'm really inspired by your advice to use it as a tool rather than a ten commandment type-thing. I'm trying to do the same now too.

So here I am again, but this time with a more peaceful approach. There is nothing I hate more in life than not understanding something. However I have had to admit that I do not understand the addiction I have, why I like drinking so much, what it is about my past or personality that has brought me to this point. Maybe this is a kind of admission of powerlessness, and if that's a bit of AA speak then so be it. I will maybe never understand it, on the other hand maybe when I'm sober for some time I will discover more. I do know that previously when I analysed and analysed and nothing changed I stayed miserable and lived half a life. So I have quit again.

I don't know what the future holds. Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:43 AM
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There are many ways home when and while one quits drinking for good and all. The most difficult to master is the higher road home for it is rich with challenges and adventures of a truly personal experience and requires supreme effort and sacrifice -- an all in effort -- or nothing remarkable will be created and discovered. Having been to hell and back, we're not easily impressed.

How does one know the higher road? Quitting drinking changes us, and we hardly know ourselves initially in any positive light, so how does one determine the best choices ahead? What yardstick measures our worth?

Good questions best answered by our own honest authentic real-time experiences. Freedom at any cost is the only freedom worth having when all the fighting is over and done with. Freedom is as freedom does.

What is a quality life sans-alcohol? Sometimes difficult to determine, but nonetheless we all know it when we live it, and when we don't.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34
However I have had to admit that I do not understand the addiction I have, why I like drinking so much, what it is about my past or personality that has brought me to this point.
You do not need to understand this to quit. It is not necessary and believing that you do is what keeps addicts drinking until they die.

Consider this from the Buddha:

He used the following parable to illustrate the attitude of those who cannot distinguish between what is useful and what is not:

"Suppose someone was hit by a poisoned arrow and his friends and relatives found a doctor able to remove the arrow. If this man were to say, 'I will not have this arrow taken out until I know whether the person who had shot it was a priest, a prince or a merchant, his name and his family. I will not have it taken out until I know what kind of bow was used and whether the arrowhead was an ordinary one or an iron one.' That person would die before all these things are ever known to him."
Originally Posted by Newatthis34
The only way to not be a drunk is not to drink.
The crux of AVRT right there.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:05 AM
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For me, quitting drinking didn't change my need to understand my addiction. If anything, my needs increased, lol. I'm still sober.

AVRT exists today as a splendid result of extensive research and investigation of all then-known aspects of addiction and addiction recovery.

Nothing wrong whatsoever with an inquiring sober mind.

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
For me, quitting drinking didn't change my need to understand my addiction. If anything, my needs increased, lol. I'm still sober.
Exactly. Had it been a must to understand those things before quitting you might likely be dead by now, yeah?
AVRT says quit now, figure out the reasons later if you want to.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:19 AM
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Five paragraphs and not one mention of the Beast. Is it not real to you? Mine is so real I should be allowed to claim that trouble-maker as a dependant on my income taxes.

Rational Recovery explained to me EXACTLY why I feel a compulsion to drink. Once that mystery was over everything else just started falling into place.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Exactly. Had it been a must to understand those things before quitting you might likely be dead by now, yeah?
AVRT says quit now, figure out the reasons later if you want to.
Actually, it was a must, for me, soberlicious. I absolutely needed to understand my addiction was killing me, and not a useful thing I could do about any of that while I still drank simply because of the nature of my addiction. This understanding took time and effort to achieve while drinking and in-between drinking and false-stops.

Eventually, my understanding of that, as a requirement, -- stop drinking or die from alcoholism illness via addiction is what saved me and enabled me to finally quit. Your suggestion otherwise is not my experience.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
AVRT says quit now, figure out the reasons later if you want to.
This too I disagree with. AVRT explains in great detail how to initially quit and stay quit. As well, it also suggests there is relatively nothing else to later figure out.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
Eventually, my understanding of that, as a requirement, -- stop drinking or die from alcoholism illness via addiction is what saved me and enabled me to finally quit. Your suggestion otherwise is not my experience.
I meant that understanding all the underlying issues is not necessary to stopping and can in fact be used as an excuse to continue drinking. I understood that I must stop too. That's not what I was saying.

As well, it also suggests there is relatively nothing else to later figure out.
Maybe we read different books?

How are you feeling today btw? Hope all is well. xo
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
Five paragraphs and not one mention of the Beast. Is it not real to you? Mine is so real I should be allowed to claim that trouble-maker as a dependant on my income taxes.

Rational Recovery explained to me EXACTLY why I feel a compulsion to drink. Once that mystery was over everything else just started falling into place.
There is nothing so special about the Beast that requires it to be the topic of constant conversation when practicing AVRT.

The so-called 'trouble-maker's' desire is completely healthy and normal, although it has an maladaptive appetite for alcohol. As for AV, this is simply our own thoughts, feelings, images, whatever else identified and isolated by our BP which suggests future drinking. Nothing there remarkable either. AV is a normal experience.
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