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Old 02-02-2013, 01:36 PM
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Currently reading RR.

I was going to post this later on when I'd had a chance to word it better.

But RobbyRobot on a thread in newcomers you said this For me, its really not about anybody getting anything. There is no 'get it' experience with quitting that I've ever felt. It's really more about quality of life, and what do we want out of our lives? What do we want to put into our lives? What are we willing to be responsible for? Are we open to change? Do we believe that a lifestyle without abusing alcohol/drugs is in itself enough to keep us clean n sober and is its own reward?

Sorry I hope you don't mind me pasting that here, but it brought back something to me from the book that just won't shake and it is so real to me, it frightens me.

Pages 63-65 they are having an imaginary conversation with a homeless person. She does everything to avoid accepting any help. She is not in denial, she knows full well what she is doing.

She makes her choice, declines help and it ends with Her prison is better than ours

That actually makes me weep. I feel myself that I have been in a prison for so many years. Ok, it's not death row, it's not even maximum security. I'm actually free to come and go as I choose.

So why do I keep choosing to return to my prison? Why won't I choose 'their' prison?

And I think you've hit the nail on the head with the quote above, are we open to change? Do we believe?

Do I choose to live in my prison because I have become institutionalised? This is the most comfortable way of life for me, how can I go out and adapt to the real world.

Why would I choose this over 'their' prison?

I guess the simple reason is the unknown and the fear. Therefore I stick with what is comfortable to me. What I know. I escape. I escape lots. But I always seem to return.

I'm thinking the key is not to escape but to leave of my own free will and to stay gone.

Does that make sense to anybody lol?
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:47 PM
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I'm lost in the prison analogy. Is your "comfortable" prison using or recovery? No judgements, you understand.....I just am all turned around!
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:53 PM
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I think I get what your saying. I like the analogy that you are institutionalized. I am too. Once we learn that we can leave and stay gone.... I am sure we will be amazed. Thanks for the post.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by coraltint View Post
I'm lost in the prison analogy. Is your "comfortable" prison using or recovery? No judgements, you understand.....I just am all turned around!
No problem! Sorry my prison is the same as that of the homeless woman. She chose to drink even though there was help offered to her. I chose to drink even though there is so much help out there for me.

I'm not drinking right now, I haven't for over a week, but I've done this many times before and my drinking prison seems like the most comfortable life. So my prison - the alcohell I suppose has always seemed more appealing than the authors alcohol free one.... i.e life!

Originally Posted by jkb View Post
I think I get what your saying. I like the analogy that you are institutionalized. I am too. Once we learn that we can leave and stay gone.... I am sure we will be amazed. Thanks for the post.
Thanks jkb. We need to stay gone. I need to stay gone.

It's difficult. I really like the RR approach and I have made my Big Plan, but my beast is laughing at me - it's saying yeah right, forever? What about when you go to France? What about when you go on holiday? Never say never!

It is ridiculous, I may not even get to France this year and there is no holiday booked. It's saying what's the point because at some imaginary point in time that isn't even decided yet, you will drink.

It seems like a constant fight.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:49 PM
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Trimpey uses that scenario to illustrate his point that until someone says "I don't want to live this way, I want help." then they are not technically addicted, but rather exercising their liberty to use alcohol despite the consequences.

To browbeat her with our opinions of what's best for her and label her as a diseased person may confer upon us a sense of competence or moral goodness, but it is doubtful she will appreciate it or benefit in any way....she is calling the shots, not we, and that the dangers and incoveniences of street life are the cost of her freedom....we may strongly disagree with this woman's judgement that she is really free, and we may believe that what she calls freedom is a prison in which she will needlessly die, but the judgement is hers until she may be declared mentally incompetent. Her prison is better than ours.
Personally, I think he is saying that this woman is choosing her lifestyle as opposed to what everyone else thinks is right for her. One must decide for themselves that it needs to stop. One must have a sincere desire to quit drinking or using, it cannot be externalized. Until this happens, no amount of "treatment" will matter.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:05 PM
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Yep... I get ya MyTimeNow... I just made my big plan. When I hear it laughing as you put it I just put it back in perspective. It is powerless. Itry to think of it as all bark and no bite. It can do nothing to me. It takes some time to get a real hold of the AV but, I am learning it quickly. I too agree with soberlicious. Until you are determined no amount or type of treatment helps. We can help eachother out.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Trimpey uses that scenario to illustrate his point that until someone says "I don't want to live this way, I want help." then they are not technically addicted, but rather exercising their liberty to use alcohol despite the consequences.


Personally, I think he is saying that this woman is choosing her lifestyle as opposed to what everyone else thinks is right for her. One must decide for themselves that it needs to stop. One must have a sincere desire to quit drinking or using, it cannot be externalized. Until this happens, no amount of "treatment" will matter.
Yes this is exactly how I see it too. Which is why it makes me weep as I like her have always chosen prison (drink/lifestyle) for too many years. I completely agree that there was never any denial on my part. I knew exactly what I was doing and I knew the consequences. I have always made the choice. Often I didn't know I was making it... I had heard nothing of the beast or the AV until I joined this forum in June. I was trying to fight with 2 voices in my head that lead to absolute anxiety and defeat.

It was a relief to find I wasn't schizophrenic.

I'm off to bed now, but there are other things that I have read that I'd like to discuss if only for my own musings. I feel almost on the precipice. Good and strong and ready to leap, but my AV says... we've seen it time and time before... I've actually punched my left hand over my right shoulder to shut it up as that's where in my mind it resides! I'll be developing a tic at this rate!
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:18 PM
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With both depression and drinking i was in a prison formed by my own thinking .
I thought about my thoughts and decided to challenge them, hold them up for scrutiny. Those i did'nt like i changed them with c.b.t. mantras, logic , thus meditating upon and establishing new habbits and ways of thinking , bringing me a new way of being .

Each time has been cathartic , i haven't wanted to change and i held on to old beliefs , attitudes and thoughts far longer than was healthy for me , i can only hope i'm learning to stay more flexible these days .

Right perception, right thought, right action

works for me when i get down to the brass tacks of me and myself and am suitably driven .

Bestwishes, M
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MyTimeNow
but my AV says...
lol of course it does...
None of what the AV says comes as a shocking surprise to me. It is simply doing it's job. But I am doing mine...and *I* am the only one that can bring the bottle to my lips so I win.

I am glad you are finding it helpful. It can be quite powerful when you wrap your head around it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:56 PM
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MyTime, I really get where you're at, as I'm in a similar situation. My RR book finally arrived a few days ago, and I've at last had the chance to read / underline all of it. I was in fact prompted to buy it precisely because of the fantastic - and erudite - discussions / explanations about AVRT here in Secular Connections. I read all of them, and am very grateful to numerous regular posters who DO get it and have been using AVRT.

Currently, I'm drinking about a bottle of white wine every afternoon or evening, and would certainly of course NOT recommend this to anyone. I just thought it best to be totally honest esp here on the boards. Notwithstanding, I am practising / learning how my AV actually works its nasty snivelling little tactics, as I have come to really understand that quitting IS totally in the mind. Well, in fact, MY mind. Hence, 'no guru, no method, no teacher' (in the sense of endless rehabs, programmes, etc etc). That's just a title (or line) from an old Van Morrison song which really speaks to me. It's kind of very Zen, too, I reckon.

Anyway, I keep posting and reading here on SR, as this has become my (erm) 'meeting', much more helpful to me now than a certain well-known version. I respect those who find the latter great for them, but after a year of giving 'it' a damn good go, 'it' can't keep me sober for good in MY mind.

Best wishes to you,
Vic
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:14 PM
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Just to add to my previous post: MTN, you mentioned that crucial word - well, two: 'I chose [to drink]'. It's that very diction that I too have been aware of - even before I began reading the AVRT stuff here - back in June, July, and monthly thereafter last year, when I imagined that usual old crap like: 'ohhhh, I'm just compelled to drive to the shop, get out of the car, go in, buy the bottle, come back, open it and drink it'. But, EVEN BACK THEN, I knew, in my gut, that I was in fact making a distinct choice: I wanted to drink.

Fast forward to now, early 2013, and at the very least (I'm a slow learner :-)), I can certainly 'see' how the AV diction thing works, such that IT (the Beast) just uses 'me'. It elides IT-self into 'I' (my own true self).

The job for me now is to effect that actual identify and separate manouevre (sic?) of AVRT. I say this because, I really thought I had made my Big Plan, only a few days ago, as well as a few weeks ago....but then didn't effectively mentally separate IT from I. And so, off I went, all AV. Sorry if I sound confusing....probably best you learn more from the very experienced AVRT practitioners here, the AVRT 'elders' as it were :-)
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MyTimeNow View Post
I guess the simple reason is the unknown and the fear. Therefore I stick with what is comfortable to me. What I know. I escape. I escape lots. But I always seem to return.

I'm thinking the key is not to escape but to leave of my own free will and to stay gone.

Does that make sense to anybody lol?
Yes. It makes good sense to me. We can't ever escape ourselves and at the same time live life in the moment without courting serious pretense into our lives. Exercising free will is a wonderful choice to make, and when from a place of strength and desire, even more so.

Fear is a mind-killer. There are no stronger prison bars then the ones we knowingly self-create against ourselves within our own psyche. When we ourselves are the jailor and author of our own torment, we are truly lost.

Being indifferent but not ignorant to our fears creates the golden key which will unlock any and all locked doors, now and always, without fail, simply, and without pomp and ceremony.

Free will in action is power unending when brought against any challenge we may choose to meet successfully.

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:13 PM
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Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MyTimeNow View Post
... it brought back something to me from the book that just won't shake and it is so real to me, it frightens me.

Pages 63-65 they are having an imaginary conversation with a homeless person. She does everything to avoid accepting any help. She is not in denial, she knows full well what she is doing.

She makes her choice, declines help and it ends with Her prison is better than ours

That actually makes me weep. I feel myself that I have been in a prison for so many years. Ok, it's not death row, it's not even maximum security. I'm actually free to come and go as I choose.

So why do I keep choosing to return to my prison? Why won't I choose 'their' prison?
In "Rational Recovery The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey, the homeless woman dialogue is presented in
"Chapter 4 The Recovery Hall of Mirrors: Let's Shatter the Illusions" p. 54
The dialogue and what it means are at the end of
"Illusion 3- The state of addiction may be objectively determined or shown. This very serious error is made when chemical dependence is confused with substance abuse and substance addiction." p. 58
These three terms are NOT interchangeable. Here are the relevant parts of three definitions from the RR Dictionary in the back of the book:
Addiction. 1. Addiction is chemical dependence that exists against one's own better judgement and persists in spite of efforts to control or eliminate the use of the substance. Logically, since addiction is known only to the individual, it may not be "diagnosed" except by asking the individual. 2. Addicted people are not out of control in the usual sense of the word, but have reversals of intent that lead back to drinking or drugging. 3. Addiction exists only in a state of ambivalence, in which one strongly wants to continue drinking alcohol or using other drugs, but also wants to quit or at least reduce the painful consequences. With AVRT, recovery from addiction is a simple, mercifully brief undertaking. (See chemical dependence and substance abuse.)

Chemical dependence. 2. Chemical dependence (especially upon drugs and alcohol) is an individual liberty with known health risks and known personal disadvantages including regrettable behavior, social ostracism, relationship problems, divorce, unemployment, and imprisonment. Regardless of the content of prohibition laws and the best efforts of law enforcement and others who oppose chemical dependence, using alcohol and drugs for pleasure is a personal liberty that cannot realistically be controlled by others. (see substance abuse.)

Substance abuse. 2. Someone else's opinion about an individual's use of certain substances, as in, "Substance abuse does not presume addiction."
When I came to understand Addictive Voice Recognition Technique, these definitions were essential to my getting a good foundation for how I thought to myself and talked to others about AVRT.

I interpret the two prisons Trimpey is referring to from the context of the complete paragraph he wrote that includes that last sentence on p.65. (highlighting added)
"The impulse to regard chemical dependence as a mental illness justifying incarceration has been tried and abandoned because of the implications to a free society. We may strongly disagree with this woman's judgment that she is really free, and we may believe that what she calls freedom is a prison in which she will needlessly die, but the judgement is hers until she may be declared mentally incompetent. Her prison is better than ours."
Later in the book, PART II AVRT: The Book Course, has all the information needed to sort out the strong emotions evoked from reading about the homeless woman. Which emotions were really mine and which belonged to my Beast?

------

As an abstainer, exercising my free will allows me to have a much more interesting and creative life than as a dependent drinker. Compared to when I was hooked on booze, as a permanent abstainer, there are so many more things I have imagined and can imagine doing in my life; and choosing to spend the time and effort to actually do them is what life is all about, to me. But I feel this is only half of the value of free will.

The other half of free will, to me, is having the ability to inhibit my behavior when various ideas come to mind that I conclude are impractical; and that happens a lot with me; and I like that I think that way. It's an essential part of my curiosity and broad view of the world. And when I take that inhibitory ability to the maximum, I know I have the capacity to decide many, many things that I will NEVER do. Drinking alcohol is one of them.

I came to realize that drinking alcohol actually reduced MY ability to use free will to its utmost, because it reduced my brain to operate at a subhuman level so often, and led me to spend so much time and effort on the insipid conniving of how to keep out of trouble when drunk.

When I made The Big Plan, I realized that by eliminating my ability to choose to drink, I was actually vastly increasing my opportunity to choose many other things. It was an easy trade off. I turned the drink on-off switch off and then smashed it with a sledge hammer, never to go on again.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:43 AM
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[QUOTE=bemyself;3802585] such that IT (the Beast) just uses 'me'. It elides IT-self into 'I' (my own true self).

QUOTE]
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mecanix View Post
With both depression and drinking i was in a prison formed by my own thinking .
I thought about my thoughts and decided to challenge them, hold them up for scrutiny. Those i did'nt like i changed them with c.b.t. mantras, logic , thus meditating upon and establishing new habbits and ways of thinking , bringing me a new way of being .

Bestwishes, M
Morning all

Thanks Mecanix, I had CBT many years ago for low self esteem... I think it worked to some extent but it's probably something I need to look into. Do you have any recommendations meditation wise. I've never meditated or really taken time out to think about my thinking. I wouldn't really know where to start.

There is a book on my shelf called feel the fear and do it anyway. Guess what? I've never read it!

Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
lol of course it does...
None of what the AV says comes as a shocking surprise to me. It is simply doing it's job. But I am doing mine...and *I* am the only one that can bring the bottle to my lips so I win.

I am glad you are finding it helpful. It can be quite powerful when you wrap your head around it.
This made me chuckle the bit in bold. Oh yeah haha I mean what was I expecting? A pat on the back and a well done from it?

I think I'm causing problems for myself as I am sometimes quieting it with ok, not today as you have this this and this to do but maybe Wednesday, say, when you've got a quiet one coming up. Feeding it and giving it hope I guess so it stays quiet. Then I think I'll deal with it on Wednesday and shush it then but of course the seeds have been sown and by then I've gotten myself into a complete state of anxiety over drinking, so I do even though I don't want to.

I'm confusing myself here!!
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bemyself View Post
MyTime, I really get where you're at, as I'm in a similar situation. My RR book finally arrived a few days ago, and I've at last had the chance to read / underline all of it. I was in fact prompted to buy it precisely because of the fantastic - and erudite - discussions / explanations about AVRT here in Secular Connections. I read all of them, and am very grateful to numerous regular posters who DO get it and have been using AVRT.

Currently, I'm drinking about a bottle of white wine every afternoon or evening, and would certainly of course NOT recommend this to anyone. I just thought it best to be totally honest esp here on the boards. Notwithstanding, I am practising / learning how my AV actually works its nasty snivelling little tactics, as I have come to really understand that quitting IS totally in the mind. Well, in fact, MY mind. Hence, 'no guru, no method, no teacher' (in the sense of endless rehabs, programmes, etc etc). That's just a title (or line) from an old Van Morrison song which really speaks to me. It's kind of very Zen, too, I reckon.

Anyway, I keep posting and reading here on SR, as this has become my (erm) 'meeting', much more helpful to me now than a certain well-known version. I respect those who find the latter great for them, but after a year of giving 'it' a damn good go, 'it' can't keep me sober for good in MY mind.

Best wishes to you,
Vic
Hi Bemyself

Don't worry you're making sense to me. Can I ask, whilst you have been reading have you decided not to have that bottle of wine at all and if so how does your AV react?

I have so much doubt in myself as the last time I drank (23 Jan) it was almost farcical. I was out across town doing a little cleaning job, so it was 3 hours alone... just me and my thoughts. I was fine for the majority of it but before then end the AV came bang out of nowhere and I actually started entertaining it.

Rather than get pleasure from the idea of drinking though I got SO stressed! I just wanted to finish up and go. I did and I was fighting with myself the whole time. I had to drive across town and I was thinking go straight home, go straight home, but I need milk and cigs so need to go to the shop aaargh. Buy wine/dont buy wine etc

Then my petrol light came on so I thought aha! Buy your milk and cigs at the petrol station no booze there. Super. Got there and had been waiting a couple of mins, then out of nowhere a car just cuts in front of me and whizzes to MY pump! Well that was is. All rational thought out of the window. Look at the queue I'm going to be here bloody ages. I'm not sitting here like a lemon, forget it I'll get petrol tomorrow.... I drove off in a huff straight to the shop where I promptly bought 2 bottles of wine (and forgot the milk)

Absolute mental turmoil.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:16 AM
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Guys I'll reply to the rest later and I really want to address the fear issue, and also the 3 terms chemical independence, substance abuse and addiction as I didn't *really* understand that part.

Thanks for all the replies, great to log on to, but I have a 4 year old demanding my attention right now
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
The other half of free will, to me, is having the ability to inhibit my behavior when various ideas come to mind that I conclude are impractical; and that happens a lot with me; and I like that I think that way. It's an essential part of my curiosity and broad view of the world.
This entire post by GerandTwine is brilliant. It's so hopeful! I've read material like this before, seems like I've read pretty much everything before, but you know how it is, when you hear something and it finally makes sense? There it is. An acknowledgement that those negative or harmful thoughts and actions do come about, and I don't immediately denounce or reject them as bad for the having, though with that, look at them and then dismiss them for their impracticality and/ or destructiveness. For like you GT, I seem to like entertaining the impractical, even though I don't necessarily have to act on it. I cannot stop thinking about my drugs of choice. I just can't. I enjoyed using them. I did. But in very large part, I do not use them anymore. That's not to say I've perfected the art of better thinking, but I am working on it.

Anyway, thanks for the post, and this thread in general. The conversation about fear hits square on. Lots I can relate to here, that makes sense to me here, and I'm grateful for that.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:19 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine
Addiction exists only in a state of ambivalence,
Yes, this is what I was trying to say...the homeless woman is not addicted. When/if the consequences of her chemical dependence create ambivalence for her, then she can recover. Quickly.

Originally Posted by MyTimeNow
I think I'm causing problems for myself as I am sometimes quieting it with ok, not today as you have this this and this to do but maybe Wednesday, say, when you've got a quiet one coming up. Feeding it and giving it hope I guess so it stays quiet.
Yes, the same way one might placate a tantruming child. It works in the moment, but does nothing toward really modifying the behavior. I've made all kinds of empty promises just to get a screaming child out of the supermarket and away from the judging stares of others. Just to stop the madness for a minute, ya know?But in doing so, a two year old maintains control of the driver's seat. Guess what happens the next time I say no? I can look forward to increasingly intense tantrums...forever.

Feeding IT with hope, as you said, will only keep this battle going on and on and on...that's exhausting and to be honest, not likely sustainable. Saying "No, Never" will obviously be met with resistance (understatement...more like fury) but really what is to fear from the beast?! IT cannot hurt you...unless you believe it can, unless you actually buy what the AV is selling. Expect the inital resistance from the beast. You will NOT have it's blessing in your decision. Know that and continue with your resolve despite IT'S objections. IT is not in charge. YOU are. After the inital storm, eventually the beast quiets. I like to imagine myself standing by watching it implode on itself.

Seperating from IT, for me, causes it to be less scary and more stupid. Every idea that originates from IT is going to be a dumb idea, because it's going to somehow lead to getting drunk or high.
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