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Old 03-10-2013, 05:53 AM
  # 121 (permalink)  
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Thanks Robbie, those last two post are really good. I must admit that I don't know enough about AVRT and should really read the book. Some of the things I know, especially the scientific explanation, are not really not convincing to my standards, but on the other hand, the things you just posted make a lot of sense about how a BP should work. Thanks for that, I will have to read the whole book before making judgments.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:54 AM
  # 122 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
That's my 2 cents and sorry for hijacking your thread Robbie
No problemo. Like I said, I won't get into taking apart either AVRT or AA in this thread. I'm not into comparatives of what works with whatever path compared to what doesn't work with any other.

I'm very much into positive shares of what does work without commenting and how whatever program or technique failed.

I do AA and AVRT. I don't have issues with either, even though obviously they can't be in full agreement with each other. I'm not blind to the challenges of doing both, I get past them honestly and successfully by taking what I need and leaving the rest. I have been sometimes told such methods of "take what you need and leave the rest" won't work well for me.... and I've been told this for over 31 years now, lol.

Whatever.

I enjoy both AA and AVRT without complaint!

So, for me, no worries on your share Geralt! Thanks for being in the conversation!
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:58 AM
  # 123 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
I have been sometimes told such methods of "take what you need and leave the rest" won't work well for me.... and I've been told this for over 31 years now, lol.
....

So, for me, no worries on your share Geralt! Thanks for being in the conversation!
Exactly, everyone is unique and should take things that work for ourselves from each program, or stick to one program, as long as we don't drink, ever! Thanks for the welcome!
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:00 AM
  # 124 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
Thanks Robbie, those last two post are really good. I must admit that I don't know enough about AVRT and should really read the book. Some of the things I know, especially the scientific explanation, are not really not convincing to my standards, but on the other hand, the things you just posted make a lot of sense about how a BP should work. Thanks for that, I will have to read the whole book before making judgments.
While I was posting , you posted the above.

Thanks for that, Geralt.

Reading the book is an awesome window into AVRT. Its not all pretty, but its all understandable, and effective, for those who practice AVRT.

Myself, I'm not promoting AVRT or AA. I'm just talking with you all.

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:41 AM
  # 125 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique
There is a reason that half-hearted "Big Plans" don't work. If the plan is not forever, you won't actually hear the Addictive Voice in all its glory. If you try this simple exercise, you'll see what I mean...

Say the following to yourself, in order, and after each one, observe your thoughts and feelings for a few minutes.

I will not drink/use just for today.

I will not drink/use for a month.

I will not drink/use for six months.

I will not drink/use for a year.

I will never drink/use again.

I will never drink/use again, and I will never change my mind.


At the lower items, particularly the first one, you won't feel much anxiety or head noise. As you move down the list, though, you should notice increased anxiety and head noise. Even at item number five, though, you probably won't yet feel the full anxiety and head noise, because you still reserve the option to change your mind.
Technically, it is incorrect to say that the first five plans "don't work". I have had 40 consecutive #1 plans, and they have all worked.

I think the original author is framing them in the context of success being defined exclusively as a lifetime of total abstinence. In that regard I think the argument has merit. However, if the plan is simply to not drink today, then if I am sober at midnight, the plan worked.

Whether or not that qualifies as a "half-hearted Big Plan" is open for discussion, but a literal interpretation (which we seem to favor here in Secularland) of what is written is flawed unless success (or what "works" means) is defined as the author apparently has.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:50 AM
  # 126 (permalink)  
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Yeah, AVRT is always about quitting forever. Total abstinence from alcohol no less.

The examples are really showing how more effective on the Beast is the last example # 6 for bringing out AV.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:01 PM
  # 127 (permalink)  
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Agreed, # 6 still makes my AV squirm, although much less than 10 months ago. When I first quit it was a day at a time. I knew this left an opening for my AV to convince me that I may be cured and can have one or two drinks after "proving" I can now stay sober for a significant period of time. This was a pretty strong feeling after 3 and 6 months. Never again, and not changing my mind.

Also wanted to add, I did not read the book. Did the free online course which helped me immensely. I also gathered what worked from members of AA on this site. I tried to be open to everyone and take what worked and sounded like a good idea and morph it into my own personal plan.

Soberlicious, Robby, I am glad you two were here when I quit. I gained so much insight from you both.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:09 PM
  # 128 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nonsensical
In Latin they call that "easy peasy".
Non, I'm sorry that I must correct you here as obviously your Latin lessons have failed you.

It is actually "easy peasy, lemon squeezy"...duh, everyone knows that.

In conclusion, I will leave you with these additional profound thoughts, also of Latin origin:
"Nanny, nanny, boo boo"
"I know you are, but what am I?!"

xo
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:37 AM
  # 129 (permalink)  
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Back to business

I'm a recovered alcoholic drug addict. My embracing of the existence of my alcoholic mind which exists within my alcoholism illness, as defined by AA, is a constant source of food supply for my AVRT Beastie. This has consequences which cannot be escaped from and IT, knowing what I think and feel, constantly talks to me with subtle AV.

I do not care in the least about Addictive Voice. I do not care about my alcoholic mind either. Nor do I care about my alcoholism. My not caring is akin to my preferred indifference.

I am responsibile even though I'm indifferent. To be unresponsible would be to invite a willing return to drinking. I would have no rational excuse of course. I know all to well from experience, and from others, a return to drinking is the certain death of my present psyche - the "I" that is "ME"

One of the purposes of this thread is us talking about living a happy successful sober life with using both AVRT and AA to achieve that said life.

I'm interested in how so many people try to more or less combine both ways, and I do not combine as such. I'm not saying combining is sure failure, I'm saying whatever good comes from such combining, I do not have an appreciation for the results. I see how both ways work well independently of each other, and I prefer to keep them separated and distinct.

I'm wondering, for those who do "work" AA and AVRT, what consideration is given to how AVRT's Beast views their own alcoholism illness? It's a challenge, as I know, from personal experience.

As always, should you decide to take on this mission, this thread will disavow all knowledge of your share should your share get zapped/deleted for too much AA/AVRT soapboxing. As well, let's talk from a positive position on what works, and not on the personal views of what dosen't work with either program or technique.

This message will be forgotten in 5 secs. Good luck.

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:52 AM
  # 130 (permalink)  
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The last time I drank I started with 4 bottles of wine, and then I took a big swig right from the bourbon bottle. I doubled over and vomited where I stood. MY beast didn't give a rat's butt about what had just happened in my stomach. IT berated me for wasting some unprocessed liquor and then told me to get more beer or wine, I'd be able to keep that down.

Extrapolating from that, I don't think my beast thinks too much about my 'alcoholism illness'.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:59 AM
  # 131 (permalink)  
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Thanks, Nonsensical. For me, my Beast was always silent when I drank. My alcoholic mind on the other hand was active when I was drinking and drunk. When between drinks both my Beast and alcoholic mind played me no end. With successful sobriety, my alcoholic mind is in a coma, and my Beast throws in my face the idea that my alcoholism illness is such to get me drinking again. I'm indifferent to its lies.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:51 PM
  # 132 (permalink)  
 
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You pose good questions. I am very interested in hearing other's answers. I was wondering how some of the very opposing points of the two methods could really and truly be reconciled.

One being the one you brought up, Robby.

Another being, how does one practice ODAAT and have a BP simultaneously?

Also, the question of HP. Remembering that lots of AVRT users have religious beliefs, but they are not used in ending their addiction, also keeping in mind many atheist AAers successfully use the program without a HP...all that is understood, but my question is, how would one work daily to maintain spiritual fitness in order to remain sober, and at the same time have no conditions to their abstinence?
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:41 PM
  # 133 (permalink)  
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Awesome!!

I've been hoping for such a discussion Thanks for your great questions, soberlicious!

Speaking for myself, I'm not now, and never have been a ODAAT kinda guy. When I met up with AA, my first meeting, on a Sunday, I was still drinking, waiting for my rehab bed to open that following Wednesday. I was advised to go to the meeting, so I did. Suprise! I knew a few of the guys at the meeting because they were regulars at the bars I attended, lol. Man, they were shocked to see me there!! I left the meeting and did go to my detox and rehab a few days later.

Anyways, I'm a quit forever guy. I dont do ODAAT.

As for HP, of my own understanding, my sobriety is not contingent on my spiritual fitness... its the other way around for me... I'm spiritual because I'm a non-drinker. With booze, I'm totally agnostic, almost atheist, and have nothing but hatred for spiritual whatevers. With AA sobriety, I'm spiritual and all set with that no problemo.

As for conditions with my AA sobriety, I do have conditions:

I must always live by and practice my AA 12 steps, as I have come to understand them, or else I will absolutely return to drinking. No exceptions for this condition. I do the steps, or I lose my AA sobriety, because my AA alcoholism is kept in remission because of my practice of the entire 12 steps.

No program, and my alcoholic mind would not long be still asleep, and when it came back on line, my present psyche would be struggling for its life against my alcoholism. If I continued to not do the entire 12 steps thereafter, I would absolutely return to drinking.

So, I've made it clear, twice over, that I would return to drinking without the 12 steps to keep my alcoholism in remission, and so then my alcoholic mind would no longer be unempowered.

I have to say, even in AA, my understandings get some serious flack over the years. Still though, here I am, still sober nonetheless

I hope we can all have a lively discussion!


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Old 03-11-2013, 03:25 PM
  # 134 (permalink)  
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Robby's last 2 longer posts speak to the nub of my own situation. I have to say that I'm still evolving on this matter of AA (membership) and the use of AVRT. So please bear that in mind, should I sound a bit incoherent :-) ( a bit like when TrixMixer elsewhere on SR says 'hey,what would I know, I'm only a cartoon cat? :-))

I got into a range of spiritual practices / reading years before I attempted to stop drinking. Needless to say, most of those practices or orientations tended to slide, become minimised in my daily life in the more recent years of truly heavy, daily (all day) drinking. A bit like when Robby describes becoming agnostic, atheist, almost hating spirituality when in that kind of state.

This past year and a bit - recent relapse notwithstanding - I resumed spiritual practice and reading, reflecting, meditation, etc. For a long-ish while, particularly in the context of many meeting attendances and then getting a sponsor and starting the Steps (still stuck on no 4, but that's not relevant to this thread): I THOUGHT I was doing the whole 'spiritual fitness as a condition of sobriety' thing as per AA.

Most recently, however, i.e. just this past week since I came out my short detox, I'm clearer on the inner truth - for me - that I will 'do' my spirituality stuff, not to 'stay sober or die' kinda thing, but in order to become sane. Referencing back to what I said above: I was, in years past when drinking, trying to access my best inner self (or whatever you care to call it, including Buddhist no-self). I needed - and still do, even more so now - to get off the wheel of constant suffering in my mind. This includes the places where lifelong depression and anxiety can take me, and have taken me, when drunk and when sober.

My ongoing sobriety must be maintained, in the final analysis for me, by not picking up a first drink. I saw what happened when I did that repeatedly recently. There, I became lost again in alcoholic mind, as Robby puts it, : i.e. AA-defined craving / mental obsession to drink, again and again. Or, as RR / AVRT would have it, I listened to my Beast as if it were 'me' - which of course It isn't / wasn't.

I see both the AA 'way' of seeing the alcoholic mind including cravings, thoughts of drinking, etc etc AND the Beast model as more or less (semantics aside) simple descriptions of what 21st century neuroscience research on addictions has discovered. Brain re-wiring and a mix of chemical imbalances.

So, I'm slowly getting a bit closer within myself to simply 'doing' my own spiritual mix, as required for each day's circumstances (inner and outer), so that I can return to some kind of long-lost 'sanity'. Buddhist nun Pema Chodron talks of 'learning to stay', the wisdom of no escape (from suffering). This means, for me, a way to approach what I've so long sought, whether drunk or sober (and I had a lot of sober or light drinking years in my 20s-early 30s): equanimity. Peace. Acceptance.

AVRT helps me to dismiss thoughts of drinking. AA meetings help me to feel a bit less isolated (due to my current life circumstances, living alone, no family around, not much contact with my 2 or 3 long term friends). I may well continue to incorporate aspects of the Steps into my spirituality, but not so much IN AA and with a sponsor anymore, but by reflecting on a few alternative approaches to the Steps. When others in AA earnestly speak of how their working the entire program, to the letter, saved them - I am simply now practising being glad for them, staying silent on the matter and just listening to their interesting life stories.

I just need to be honest with myself in my regained sobriety: I have to be who I really am. Authentic. If that's what appears to some as a bizarre mix, so be it. (Hey, I think I'm close to Acceptance and Commitment here!)

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Old 03-11-2013, 04:08 PM
  # 135 (permalink)  
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Something else I would like to be clear about for me is this: my being a non-drinker is not the same as me being AA sober. These two differences are light-years apart in my mind. Just want to get that out there, and I noticed it wasn't it my last post.

So, having said that, my non-drinker status has no conditions for me to happily remain a non-drinker. No conditions are attached to me personally, and I achieved being a quitter on my own. AA did not help me quit, and I've never used AA to quit drinking. I did it on my own, and later learned i did it in a very AVRT way because of the way I separated myself from my alcoholic mind.

Interesting, eh?!

I've a thick skin, so no worries about divergent and wholly different views on this thread


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Old 03-11-2013, 04:11 PM
  # 136 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bemyself View Post
I just need to be honest with myself in my regained sobriety: I have to be who I really am. Authentic. If that's what appears to some as a bizarre mix, so be it. (Hey, I think I'm close to Acceptance and Commitment here!)

Great share, (((Victoria)))!!

I really agree with the above quote, though the whole post is awesome!
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:16 PM
  # 137 (permalink)  
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Actually Robby, I think you did allude to that difference in your last post - it was just a bit more buried amidst your discursive style :-) .... and I should know, given my own discursive style can get a bit prolix :-)

Yeh, thinking about it, and my last post, I reckon I'm somewhere in the middle of your experience - very fine differences in ontology and epistemology AND (hey, why not throw this one in too!) phenomenology.

Brilliant thread, btw and the usual thought provoking posters.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:27 PM
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Oh, before I go - off to a meeting, for a few hugs to be given and received (much needed for this touch-starved old hermit): I have long believed too that AA as such did not help me quit, neither did it, as such, prevent It from picking up again recently.

'I' quit; 'It' posing as me 'enabled ' me to pick up again. IT - that snivelling little Gollum hiding in my primitive brain. Ugghhhh. Horrid little snot.

Off out into the rising heat of this (quite historic) Autumn 'Indian Summer' heatwave, to sweat in my home group's completely un-airconditioned rooms. Jay-sus, the things we do to help ourselves and other alkies walk our sobriety journeys! :-)

see y'all a bit later in the day, when I'm back huddled in my darkened house with the evap cooler ('swamp cooler' in the States) blasting.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:44 PM
  # 139 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bemyself View Post
Actually Robby, I think you did allude to that difference in your last post - it was just a bit more buried amidst your discursive style :-) .... and I should know, given my own discursive style can get a bit prolix :-)

Yeh, thinking about it, and my last post, I reckon I'm somewhere in the middle of your experience - very fine differences in ontology and epistemology AND (hey, why not throw this one in too!) phenomenology.

Brilliant thread, btw and the usual thought provoking posters.

Question:

our discursive style?


Answer:

Discursive writing attempts to give both sides of a topic or issue. Etymologically, it goes "back and forth" across a subject, covering all aspects or points of view.


Yeah. Totally. Well said.

====> phenomenology <==== this is very Gestalt Therapy
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:06 PM
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Well, there is another big difference, Robby, that you see a difference between abstinence and AA sobriety. The way I see it, you use the 12 steps to better your life the same way I study Buddhism to better mine.

People can and do stagnate all the time. It has nothing to do with whether one has ever been addicted. Not growing and learning would not take me back to the bottle, but it would certainly make me unhappy.

OK, Robby, I understand your explanation of what you got goin' on...all except this:
You said this...
AA did not help me quit, and I've never used AA to quit drinking.
and then you said this...
I would return to drinking without the 12 steps to keep my alcoholism in remission,
I understand that you see your AA sobriety and non-drinking as 2 different things, but I don't understand what you mean in the above statements.

I have always been what others consider agonostic, but it wasn't until I quit that I began to be able to fully embrace nontheism. Being a drunk wasn't blocking my spirituality, since I wasn't ever spiritual, but when I was a drunk, I was disconnected from others and from myself. That, for me, was the equivalent of what others would call "spiritually sick".

I don't consider myself an AAer nor an AVRTer even though I understand both paradigms. My mind does work in a more AVRTish way. I do however practice righting my wrongs, looking at my actions each day, and helping others and those are considered AAish things, but AA can't lay claim to the wisdom in the 12 steps, that's age old. Bill W just synthesized that wisdom and focused it toward ending addiction...Trimpey did the same.
For me one of the biggest differences is that AA is a "design for living"...AVRT is not. So in comparing them, it's like apples and oranges.
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