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Old 01-05-2013, 04:32 AM
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Question Commitment issues

Hi everyone,

So I have made/am planning to make my Big Plan and already I think you can see my problem. I cannot seem to distinguish between the rational decision that I have to make it, and the notion that by admitting that, I have in fact made it... Does this make sense?

I thought I had made my Big Plan back in April, it felt authentic, I believe I meant it, etc. I lasted 5 weeks. How do I know it will be different this time?? Should I perhaps have a private little ceremony to mark the occasion, would this help? I'm worried.

The issue for me is really centered around the notion of commitment. I think if I could nail that vis-a-vis alcohol then I will succeed. I mean I would never cheat on my husband, regardless of temptations that may arise I am committed to him and our relationship and so it's not a worry for me. I guess I have to find a way to approach my Big Plan in the same way.

Any insights gratefully received!
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:49 AM
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Hi there, YOU don't have an issue with committing the Beast does. You really have to separate your thinking pattern from it's thinking pattern, that is the core of voice recognition. Fear, self doubt, etc are not coming from you but from IT.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:56 AM
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But then why in the RR book are we told to think carefully about making the BP?? I got the impression that if you accept that you, not your AV thinks it should make one it is almost automatic that it happens (if you fully understand it that is - maybe this is my problem).

I mean surely we all agree that is what we want, otherwise there is no conflict as such. I buy into the idea that addiction arises when there is this dialogue inside our heads consisting of 'I don't want to drink/I do want to drink'. I get that the bit that says 'I do want to drink' is AV, but I'm confused about being able to make the part that says 'I don't want to drink' commit to the Plan....
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:04 AM
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Beat the beast, newatthis. Don't let it win.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:06 AM
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No it's not automatic, it's more then the big plan. Just making the big plan and not practicing to differentiate you and it will most likely get you in trouble.

The beast will wait and at a time of weakness will try to convince you that it's ok to just have a couple of drinks. Are YOU ready to quit for good? that is the question if understand
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:20 AM
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I got sober before this existed, but my thought processes at that time were to do absolutely whatever it took and to endure whatever might befall me before ever taking another drink or using drugs. It was a plan for sure, but I never looked at it as a Big Plan. It was more of a Quiet Internal Commitment. Of course I anticipated at the time that the sober life would be hard and uncomfortable, which sobriety has not proven to be for me.

Only talking about the internal decision to stop, not about what it took to deal with my drinking past, or to stabilize my emotions, or to adjust to living full time in reality and dealing with it's challenges sober.

I've no experience in successfully overcoming the voice of the Beast, as I've not considered drinking again. In the years I drank the Beast spoke only with my voice, and where drinking was concerned it always sounded like a great idea, at least for the little time it took to drink again after once again firmly and irrevocably deciding not to.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
Hi everyone,

So I have made/am planning to make my Big Plan and already I think you can see my problem. I cannot seem to distinguish between the rational decision that I have to make it, and the notion that by admitting that, I have in fact made it... Does this make sense?
I told myself over and over for years, I really have to quit - sooner or later. "The rational decision that I have to" quit for good is what turned me from just a dependent drinker into an addicted drinker. There was a strong element of personal morality involved. It became wrong for me to drink any more. But I didn't stop, yet. I suppose I could have reversed that "rational decision" if I changed my whole value system, way of life, and desire to live a long time. But I didn't and most people don't. The bad consequences of drinking were really piling up. So, it boiled down to a question of WHEN. Well, as I thought about it logically, The Big Plan can only be made once, otherwise it's some other sort of plan. So, I made it, right after one of those bad consequences.

As I look back, I realize there was a benefit to pushing the envelope as hard as I did so the Big Plan made sense sooner rather than later.

Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
I thought I had made my Big Plan back in April, it felt authentic, I believe I meant it, etc. I lasted 5 weeks. How do I know it will be different this time?? Should I perhaps have a private little ceremony to mark the occasion, would this help? I'm worried.
Right before you took that first drink, what could have been happening that was so out of the realm of contemplation that it completely escaped being included in your plan 5 weeks earlier, to the point that you are still, today, saying it "felt authentic" and "I believe, I meant it"? Can you see the flaw?

Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
The issue for me is really centered around the notion of commitment. I think if I could nail that vis-a-vis alcohol then I will succeed. I mean I would never cheat on my husband, regardless of temptations that may arise I am committed to him and our relationship and so it's not a worry for me. I guess I have to find a way to approach my Big Plan in the same way.
Yes, that's the idea. I think you can see the flaw in your April plan.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
Hi everyone,

The issue for me is really centered around the notion of commitment. I think if I could nail that vis-a-vis alcohol then I will succeed. I mean I would never cheat on my husband, regardless of temptations that may arise I am committed to him and our relationship and so it's not a worry for me. I guess I have to find a way to approach my Big Plan in the same way.

Any insights gratefully received!
Don't worry or be concerned with committment towards your Big Plan. Big Plans are not measured by the veracity of your committments. Big Plans provide a completely trusted way forward to detect and neutralize any and all Addictive Voice (AV).

No conditions are attached to a Big Plan. There are no failures with Big Plans, only wrongly perceived failures. Big Plans are not negotiable or created between loving couples. Big Plans are more like secret decoder rings for bringing into the light of present day our respective AV. And humorously like x-ray glasses to see what AV yet remains hidden from our moments in the now being experienced.

Big Plans are a simple tool used to gain a means to an end. Nothing more or less, imo.

Entrenched committments to your respective quality of life, while living sans-alcohol, are of course, important and required for successful fulfilment of the before mentioned quality of life.

My Big Plan works even if I fail, and works even if I succeed. No conditions exist between me and my Big Plan.

Marriage committments and vows are altogether different, in my experience. I'm happily remarried, so I have experienced the (happily) divorced side of marriage too.

There is no divorce side to our Big Plans, lol.

Worrying about our committments to whatever is pure AV.

You've asked for insights, and now may I ask what do you now think about Big Plans and committments?
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:55 AM
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RobbyRobot "My Big Plan works even if I fail, and works even if I succeed. No conditions exist between me and my Big Plan."

Really love this part.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:15 AM
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Phew, more confused than ever now..

GT; Thanks for reminding me to think about what it was that occurred to kick start my drinking that I couldn't have foreseen. The answer is pretty mundane really, a friend visited and I used it as an excuse. Nothing unforeseen at all about being in such a senario in fact fairly predictable.

RR; Reading your post has made me think that I am perhaps taking the BP too literally..??? I don't understand your interpretation of commitment though. I mean should I not commit myself to quitting alcohol as a positive, affirmative undertaking that will impact on my life. A commitment to my health, well-being etc. ultimately. Maybe my analogy with wedding vows is clumsy but the point I was trying to make is that once the commitment is made, the rest sort of follows on (or should hypothetically unless/until something changes).

Am I totally messed up with the way I'm approaching this? I'm beginning to wonder if all I really want is a quick-fix solution...I'm getting bogged down in semantics and metaphysical notions of free-will and everything here!! And I thought RR promised it was easy to quit if you want to. And I really do. Or I think I do. But how will I really know for sure? AAAAAGGGHHHHH!!!!
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34
And I thought RR promised it was easy to quit if you want to. And I really do. Or I think I do. But how will I really know for sure?
Bolded is AV. YOU do want to quit. IT doesn't. IT is creating doubt...in an effort to achieve its goal.

Focus on identifying, seperating, and dismissing the AV. Right now IT has got you all tangled up about whether your big plan is iron-clad enough to do the trick. That's AV.

YOU don't have to join in any reindeer games. YOU are in charge.

Identify, seperate, dimiss...
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
RR; Reading your post has made me think that I am perhaps taking the BP too literally..??? I don't understand your interpretation of commitment though. I mean should I not commit myself to quitting alcohol as a positive, affirmative undertaking that will impact on my life. A commitment to my health, well-being etc. ultimately.
The inherent difficulty with the kind of committment you're attempting to create within your Big Plan is what happens if things in your life go in an unexpected direction?

Say, your marriage flounders and eventually fails? Or your income gets slashed in a permanent way because of ongoing health issues? Or other life-changing events etc.

Committments are ALWAYS linked to certain conditions being satisfied. Without those established and maintained conditions, whatever they may be - such committments are worthless. With a Big Plan, no conditions are required for the BP to work effectively. This is very important to successfully remain alcohol free regardless of whatever may be served up and experienced in your life.

Quitting alcohol because you want a better life is conditional, because you may not get that better life even though you have quit alcohol.

Please take a few moments and try to understand a BP as an AVRT tool, and nothing but an AVRT tool. Its a technique of sorts, to reveal otherwise hidden Addictive Voice... and that's all it is... its not something to adore or pledge promises with otherwise.

"I will never now drink alcohol. I will never change my mind."

Period. End of story.

Any thought, image, feeling that goes against my above BP will be as AV to me, and nothing but AV. It's really that simple.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Newatthis34 View Post
GT; Thanks for reminding me to think about what it was that occurred to kick start my drinking that I couldn't have foreseen. The answer is pretty mundane really, a friend visited and I used it as an excuse. Nothing unforeseen at all about being in such a senario in fact fairly predictable.
Now, put into complete sentences the thoughts that were going through your head between the time the idea of having a drink with your friend came to mind and the time you actually swallowed the first gulp of dilute flavored ethanol.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:04 AM
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I'm getting bogged down in semantics and metaphysical notions of free-will and everything here!!
yes YES, i spent years there, bogged down. until i could see that commitments were useless. until i could accept that. which i could only do after really looking at my repeated decisions to quit and my repeated inability to stick to that decision. those decisions and commitments to them were always genuine and authentic, but they didn't do the trick, so to speak. no matter how determined, decided and committed, i drank again.
RobbyRobot, thanks for your explanatory view of the difference between a Big Plan and Commitment. i've not really been involved with AVRT, and always thought they were the same. you've shown me a different view.

NAT34, when i first got sober, first few weeks, it was really helpful to me to separate "the voice" out from "me", or to split the "wannawannagottagetdrunk" off from "me", but i never really did or could experience that as not me; there is only one me, and not even with distinct parts.
so yeah, it was a bit of a tool, and helpful in that it allowed me the space to sit with it and see what, if anything, was behind the desire to drink at that moment. what was going on with me and how best could i handle THAT.
nonetheless, i got sober and have been for a few years.
not trying to discourage you from making a big plan or a commitment, just to say what really helped me was to see that all my committed commitments hadn't resulted in sobriety.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
I'm getting bogged down in semantics and metaphysical notions of free-will and everything here!!
Of course The Big Plan is a commitment. But in AVRT, it is isolated and unconnected to OTHER commitments we make in life. I think that's what RobbyRobot is explaining in his posts here. Life is very complex, but ethanol going down the throat is an extremely specific in-one's-face, controllable event, one that can't sneak up and happen to anyone without fully conscious, voluntary action.

yes YES, i spent years there, bogged down. until i could see that commitments were useless. until i could accept that. which i could only do after really looking at my repeated decisions to quit and my repeated inability to stick to that decision. those decisions and commitments to them were always genuine and authentic, but they didn't do the trick, so to speak. no matter how determined, decided and committed, i drank again.
RobbyRobot, thanks for your explanatory view of the difference between a Big Plan and Commitment. i've not really been involved with AVRT, and always thought they were the same. you've shown me a different view.
I hear your Addictive Voice taking the upper hand here with your misunderstanding of RobbyRobot's meaning of the Big Plan by thinking it is not a commitment. Of course you have the ability to make a Big Plan and stick to it.

Imagine the phrase you spoke above that I put in red was not about drinking, but about putting your hand on a glowing electric stove element. Can you commit to not putting your hand on a red hot electric stove element? As you think about the differences, you cannot help but recognize more AV. "Drinking is not like burning my hand. I'm actually successful at drinking some of the time. Nothing bad happens, and I get that wonderful buzz again."

I'll now encourage you to try out the same AVRT exercise I suggested for NAT34 because I bet it will help you understand the unconditional permanence of the actual Big Plan:
Now, put into complete sentences the thoughts that were going through your head between the time the idea of having a drink came to mind and the time you actually swallowed the first gulp of dilute flavored ethanol.
NAT34, when i first got sober, first few weeks, it was really helpful to me to separate "the voice" out from "me", or to split the "wannawannagottagetdrunk" off from "me", but i never really did or could experience that as not me; there is only one me, and not even with distinct parts.
so yeah, it was a bit of a tool, and helpful in that it allowed me the space to sit with it and see what, if anything, was behind the desire to drink at that moment. what was going on with me and how best could i handle THAT.
Yes, that's the idea. Create IT within your thinking and separate from IT. When you hear or feel IT, you can dismiss IT and get "on with how best to handle" what's happening in your life. As to what "was behind the desire to drink at that moment."? IT will want you to mull that over and over and try to figure out how to get rid of that desire.

I simply accept the loss of that old pleasure from knowing the truth. I drank for the assault of pleasure, and for the idiotic challenge to try to stay smart and stop at the right point while under chemically enhanced stupidity.

nonetheless, i got sober and have been for a few years.
not trying to discourage you from making a big plan or a commitment, just to say what really helped me was to see that all my committed commitments hadn't resulted in sobriety.
Well, even if all this is an academic exercise for some, it will probably stimulate some thoughts along the lines of "What is/are the reason/reasons I'm not drinking any more?" and "How secure is my abstinence?"

GT
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Please take a few moments and try to understand a BP as an AVRT tool, and nothing but an AVRT tool. Its a technique of sorts, to reveal otherwise hidden Addictive Voice... and that's all it is... its not something to adore or pledge promises with otherwise.
Originally Posted by fini View Post
RobbyRobot, thanks for your explanatory view of the difference between a Big Plan and Commitment. i've not really been involved with AVRT, and always thought they were the same. you've shown me a different view.

Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Of course The Big Plan is a commitment. But in AVRT, it is isolated and unconnected to OTHER commitments we make in life. I think that's what RobbyRobot is explaining in his posts here.

I hear your Addictive Voice taking the upper hand here with your misunderstanding of RobbyRobot's meaning of the Big Plan by thinking it is not a commitment. Of course you have the ability to make a Big Plan and stick to it.
Uh oh. Houston, we have a problem.

Interesting thread, lol. I'll have to think on my best response, as its not yet clear in my head really what is, or is not, being misunderstood. Hmmm.

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:05 AM
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For me, the word commitment means to be obligated. Commitments, imo, can be broken. For instance, I committed to helping at a baby shower but I fell ill.

To me, The Big Plan means no matter what happens I will never drink again and I will never change my mind. No exceptions. No wiggle room for "unseen events". NEVER.

I'm new at this so
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:18 AM
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Yeah, NEVER works for me too, hahaha.

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Yeah, NEVER works for me too, hahaha.

Slipped that one in, didn't I? Heh.

To me, the word never is absolute, unchangeable, unchallengeable. It's complete. Done. End of story.

This may be just word semantics to some, but for me it's a very important distinction and maybe will help someone else.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:30 AM
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I simply accept the loss of that old pleasure from knowing the truth. I drank for the assault of pleasure,
GT,
we were different drinkers. i'm a drunk. pleasure had had nothing to do with it for years and years by the time i quit.
as i said, the AVRT concept was of use to me at the beginning, as a tool to accomplish a bit of "distance" from the gotta-drink-urge. because, in fact, after i understood i was a drunk, i didn't want to or have to drink ever again. not so far, anyway.

I hear your Addictive Voice taking the upper hand here with your misunderstanding of RobbyRobot's meaning of the Big Plan by thinking it is not a commitment. Of course you have the ability to make a Big Plan and stick to it.
see, the misunderstanding, (or possibly unwillingness to accept my experience as valid as yours?) is in here: as i said, i made many commitments, sincere decisions and commitments to not drink again. and i could not stick to them. this, in fact was the eye-opener. it was entirely different from other commitments i can make and have made (no use telling me that's my "AV" talking; it's simply how it actually WAS for me). not denying my own experience , and actually seeing how it really was/is, is crucial for my sobriety, and seeing that my own commitments and decisions re drinking didn't amount to being able to stay sober ...and i see that all over the place, of course.
most everyone has made commitments to quit and failed that way. i used to think that this was a weakness in me and others, that it could be "fixed", that there was something wrong with me and my will, but there isn't. alcoholism is just a different beast.

this is why i appreciated Rob's explanation: that the Big Plan is the tool that results in a recognition of anything whispering or shouting against it can be firmly and immediately relegated to the AV. it helped me understand how someone can use this method. helped me understand how it is very different from a commitment.

entirely possible i misunderstood what he means or what you're saying.
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