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RobbyRobot 03-02-2013 09:50 PM

Robby's Thread
 
I'm starting this thread so as not to continue my all too often hijack of other guys threads when I post my shares of a different view or experience. I think this will be a better outcome for all of us, because I'm not shy to speak up and share, and now I have a thread to do so without causing drama for others in their threads. :)

The thread is open for discussion. Let's all speak from real experience, and respect our differences, and the thread will have worth and value I'm sure.

I'm not interested in debate for its own sake. I'm much more interested in shares of significant experience as these always create the best informed shares created from invested individuals with something to say. :)

I've had open and private requests to share how I make use of AVRT and AA. While we can't discuss AA itself in this forum, we can certainly discuss how AVRT successfully fits in my lifestyle even though I also successfully practice AA. :)

Everything else is open season too. What say you?


:thanks

RobbyRobot 03-02-2013 10:11 PM


Originally Posted by fini (Post 3843719)

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
Yeah, people adding disclaimers of "see if" or "this may" doesn't cut it for me. Promotion is still promotion to my understanding.



oh but this is interesting, the different ways of understanding and meaning "see if..." and "this may..."
i use those phrases when i make suggestions, whether i myself have tried the suggestion or not. i use it when what the other person is speaking about makes me think of something that might fit with what they're talking of. not to promote it, just to show an option.

i might say to NAT"hm...the LifeRing founder has a book called "Recovery by Choice", which is full of self-exploratory exercises. you might find something useful to you in there."
and on the LR forum, when a poster speaks about battling with "the voice" that rationalizes having a drink, i sometimes say"oh, you may find AVRT a useful tool. just google the letters and see if anything there helps with "the voice".
hm...never occurred to me someone would think i was promoting something, or proselytising...sheesh!
i thought it was a respectful way to make a suggestion exactly without pushing something.
what other way could i put it?

I'm not saying using these terms "see if" and "this may" are themselves indicators of promotion. You're taken me to literal.

I'm saying when there is active promotion otherwise, simply adding or making use of those terms does not justify the promotion.

:)

markinsf 03-02-2013 10:21 PM

Ok. I'm guilty of using those terms but I don't know how it falls into some type of promotion. I do think there are people are are not aware there are multiple ways to resolve drinking/drug issues and I think people need to be aware of all options. I would certainly hope that if I have an issue I need to discuss with my doctor, he would make sure I am aware of all options so I could make an informed choice. At least this is the way I look at comments like that. While I do see people actively promoting plans, they usually don't use words like "see if" or "this may" but instead typically involve a much more direct approach. It's usually pretty easy to tell when someone is really pushing a plan of one type or another. It's all about context to me I guess.

legna 03-02-2013 11:35 PM

While off topic for discussons of 'see if' and 'this may', I wanted to add to this thread that this here:


Originally Posted by markinsf (Post 3843913)
I do think there are people are are not aware there are multiple ways to resolve drinking/drug issues and I think people need to be aware of all options.

is absolutely me. I entered recovery and AA in 1978 and until very recently, when I found SR, did I realize that there were other methods. I had never heard of anything besides twelve step programs.

That may or may not be germaine to this conversation but contributed in the event that it is useful.

RobbyRobot 03-03-2013 12:10 AM


Originally Posted by markinsf (Post 3843913)
Ok. I'm guilty of using those terms but I don't know how it falls into some type of promotion.

Like I mentioned early, its not the exact use of those terms which is indicative of promotion. :)


Originally Posted by RobbyRobot (Post 279859)
Its when a poster speaks more to popularise the way and means they discovered their new life of sans-alcoholism, and less their own struggles and successes within their own experiences. When they generalize that since it worked with them, it can work as well with others, if others would only give it the proper effort. When they take others shares and reduce them to bite-sized out-of-context statements and then proceed to say that the posters' offerings fall short of the desired goals, expectations, requirements, what-have-you of a generalized solution requiring the validation of others.


RobbyRobot 03-03-2013 12:16 AM


Originally Posted by legna (Post 3843939)
While off topic for discussons of 'see if' and 'this may'...


...I entered recovery and AA in 1978 and until very recently, when I found SR, did I realize that there were other methods. I had never heard of anything besides twelve step programs.

That may or may not be germaine to this conversation but contributed in the event that it is useful.

The topic(s) of this thread is(are) not 'see if and 'this may...

We do need to be careful about discussing AA in this forum. It is NOT allowed to talk about 12 step programs.

:)

It's great the SR site has broadened and strengthened your understanding.

Cleopatra1 03-03-2013 03:24 AM

See if,,and this may,,,,

aint nobody got time for that xxxxxxxxxxxx

Nonsensical 03-03-2013 03:36 AM

From reading previous posts, you (Robby) were rocking strong with sobriety long before you came to SR. You had tried some things until you found a program that is working for you. That's awesome, you're a lighthouse; a beacon on the hill.

From reading others' posts your SR experience in that regard is atypical. Most of us (like 95%) are trying to find something that will work for us. Most common newcomer posts are people looking for support / commiseration. After that they are either directly asking, "What can I do?" Or indirectly asking by stating, "I don't know what to do."

From my perspective you have a lower than average threshold for what you consider snake oil promotion. I think most of the recommendations I see are earnest attempts to relate a personal experience in answer to direct or implied requests for it.

Some people are very aggressive about it, to be sure. It's affirming to have a plan working for them be successfully adopted by someone else. That doesn't make it disingenuous.

Now, when I (or someone else) posts, "I was thinking about beer today, but I carved a wooden duck instead," and someone jumps in with, "You really ought to be [fill in recovery methodology here]" - that can be annoying.

My $0.02

RobbyRobot 03-03-2013 06:46 AM


Originally Posted by Nonsensical (Post 3844067)
From reading previous posts, you (Robby) were rocking strong with sobriety long before you came to SR. You had tried some things until you found a program that is working for you. That's awesome, you're a lighthouse; a beacon on the hill.

Yeah. Before my starting up with SR in Jun 2008, I was already sober since 1981. I joined SR to help see me thru my separation and divorce of 22 yrs marriage. I wasn't concerned about returning to drinking as much as I was wanting to re-invent myself as a single guy. SR provided an ideal path to achieve my desires and move me ahead of my personal challenges successfully while saving me the trouble of dating f2f. As it turned out, I wasn't single for long, and Melissa and I married in October 2009. We met up here at SR July 2008, and f2f in Ottawa Sept 2008. Mellissa is American, I'm Canadian, and we live in Ottawa, while also keeping a house just outside of Boston. Both our ex's are happily remarried too. My ex I also met in recovery, she is now herself sober past 28 yrs. We have one daughter between us, now 22, who is, and always was, a total non-drinker and agnostic too. She and her common law husband live happily enough. She attends to her private school art classes and she'll graduate in 2014 classically trained by mentorship fashion in visual arts. She'll thereafter work in the graphics arts field while continuing her personal growth into maturity in visual arts. Sorry, TMI. I'm just bursting with pride, my apologies. :) Melissa has four children with her ex now the oldest is almost eighteen. They continue to happily live near Boston with their Dad and step-mom. Melissa is sober since 2001. :) We are both retired living comfortably without worldly concerns.

I worked in the addictions field near twenty yrs on a street level peer initiative in rehabs and intensive day programs. I eventually reached executive level becoming a program director. Our organizations were various multi-million dollar investments collectively and we operated in independent franchises. The whole organization is now defunct as originally created - a street level peer counselling rehab run by recovered addicts and alcoholics for helping other street level addicts and alcoholics become recovered in their own right and path. We did not charge our residents for costs. We paid their dime in various ways. Length of stay varied from three months to a year depending on the individual. Unfortunately, funding laws in Canada changed, making such peer initiatives competing for increasingly fewer dollars.

The last nail in the coffin for me working with the organization was when I refused to hire non-addicts who also socially drank and unofficially used weed recreationally. Special governmental funding perks were given to these junior positions ie paying 50% of their salary and training costs for up to 12 months. As well, this included additional funding perks and other supports in general for staffing such selected individuals from a general pool of public college grads trained in government approved addiction counselling programs. The organization head office was seeking after the medically supervised and professional institution dollars which paid sometimes high bed day rates. Filling the beds became a prime pursuit.

I challenged it all as executive program director. Head office refused us a renewal of our franchise license, and from that day forward the whole organization began its decent into oblivion. In the end, millions of dollars were wasted away to satisfy even bigger dollars initiatives which did not include the expertise of street level peer counsellors.

I was even offered a grandfather clause, in effect giving me a kind of tenure if I would just relax and join the approved crowd. I refused, and they moved on without me. My refusal eventually left them scrambling when freshly hired workers could not work with street level residents, who could easily see thru the non-experience of the so-called new counsellors. They then changed up their residential requirements, not taking in people from the street as much, but it was too little too late. The head office eventually disbanded and admitted failure after 5 more years or so, and that was the end of that. Today, the original half-million dollar residence from my original initiative stands as an office building having gone thru three directors within those 5 yrs after me who could not keep it going with their new ideas. Other franchises re-invented themselves in various ways, but none were true any longer to the simple and successful peer counselling supports and resources of one recovered addict helping another recover while not charging for services offered in a residential rehab. The whole scene has now changed from the 1980's, and rehabs and recovery is a multi-billion dollar business for better or worse.

Before my quitting in 1981, I had tried nothing except quitting on my own, and this without success. I never asked for help from others to quit until July of 1981, when I then went to the described above rehab organization as a client myself. Just being around others in residence trying to stay clean n' sober was enough for me to learn to work with others while doing my own thing. This balance gave me the resources to find myself. When AVRT proper finally came out in 1986 I was already a director and 5 yrs sober. I became very interested and realised I had always been doing my own AVRT, same as millions of others had for many centuries already. By now I was also well into AA without difficulty. I completed the AA program within three months while a resident no problemo. Since I simply approach all recovery resources as supports and specialised tools to achieve a certain end goal, I've no difficultly with blending my experiences as an holistic eclectic approach. Recovery is entirely an art, an inside job, is my experience. I take what I want and need and leave the rest without regret.



Originally Posted by Nonsensical
From reading others' posts your SR experience in that regard is atypical. Most of us (like 95%) are trying to find something that will work for us. Most common newcomer posts are people looking for support / commiseration. After that they are either directly asking, "What can I do?" Or indirectly asking by stating, "I don't know what to do."

From my perspective you have a lower than average threshold for what you consider snake oil promotion. I think most of the recommendations I see are earnest attempts to relate a personal experience in answer to direct or implied requests for it.

Some people are very aggressive about it, to be sure. It's affirming to have a plan working for them be successfully adopted by someone else. That doesn't make it disingenuous.

Now, when I (or someone else) posts, "I was thinking about beer today, but I carved a wooden duck instead," and someone jumps in with, "You really ought to be [fill in recovery methodology here]" - that can be annoying.

My $0.02

Yeah, I agree I have a lower threshold. I'm all for example example example. I'm all for waiting for others to discover their own ways before being pushed this way or that. In fact, why push anything? I know many don't agree, and that's what it is, no big deal. Although more difficult initially for folks to discover for themselves the questions being answered from their own inside experiences, the outcomes of such experiences are more valuable then being told "hey, it worked for me, so why not you?"

For myself, very little of what worked for others has worked for me. I require an entirely out-of-the-box approach from different resources to live my life as a recovered alcoholic addict. One size does not fit all, this including AVRT, in my opinion.

jkb 03-03-2013 08:19 AM

Hi Robby-
As you know I am one of those who is very curious as to how you incorporate the two programs togeather. I know that we are not to go around bashing AA and I am in NO WAY an AA basher but, I would like to know how you can practice RR and also accept step 2? I have figured out how I could do both step 1 and RR but , not step 2.

If this is an off-limits question I understand... Jess

RobbyRobot 03-03-2013 08:35 AM

Hi jkb. I'll figure out a way to answer you without violating the rules, which I completely support, no problem. :) I just don't have time this minute, just now, and I appreciate your useful question. Thanks.

I'll be back soon enough today.

We can't talk directly about 12 step programs, but we can talk about my, and our, experience with AVRT. :)

Jeni26 03-03-2013 08:43 AM

Robby-do you think it's a matter of confidence? When we are newly sober, we can't see beyond making it past the first night, week, social occasion when alcohol will be there etc etc. We worry about how our relationships will change, if we will lose our friends etc.

I think for me, I knew very little obout alcoholism or how to maintain sobriety so when I found something that seemed to work for me, I stuck with it. Fear of relapsing meant I was very reluctant to look any further than that.

For me, living with an alcoholic partner who has done it the AVRT way ( although he doesn't recognise it as such), who has just said that he doesn't drink any more and needs no support whatsoever, plus my own growing confidence that comes with chalking up sober time, means that I now incorporate bits from other methods.

We just spent a weekend at the coast and before we left I realised I was beginning to entertain thoughts of drinking. Romantic notions of sitting in a pub next to an open fire with a glass of wine or 2. I was easily able to recognise this for the lie it was and it actually made me laugh, because it was totally ridiculous! Never have I been able to limit myself to 1or 2 drinks! Once I started I would always get totally wasted. Once it had been recognised, the thought disappeared.

I am more at ease with using whatever helps me at the time now. I still need my f2f stuff too.

Confidence and time are what's helping me make informed decisions now.

Fernaceman 03-03-2013 09:24 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Cleopatra1 (Post 3844054)
See if,,and this may,,,,

aint nobody got time for that xxxxxxxxxxxx

Couldn't resist:

RobbyRobot 03-03-2013 11:28 AM

My experience, AVRT dosen't play well with others, lol. When my intent is not to "actually combine" different programs or other approaches, such as counselling and group therapy with AVRT, then the resulting experiences are very affirming and respectivefully useful for individual needs and wants relative to a lifestyle free from alcohol.

In other words, a healthy degree of separation when practiced enjoys the best bang for your bucks. AVRT stands alone as sufficient enough to quit, and then continue on with living, and so when used this way as another tool and skill set, unlimited personal advances can be made with what ever else one deems required to fulfil their lives in abundance.

Being authentic to ourselves is worth more then any tool or whatever if one wants to stay in the game and ensure a lifestyle without relapse or a return to drinking.

Higher powers are a non-issue with AVRT. My having an HP has zero effect on my practice of AVRT. Spiritual responsibilites have zero effect on AVRT and vice-versa same deal. The only connection between AVRT and HP/spiritual experiences for me is in fact no connection.

As for my sanity being restored, that is a more difficult challenge, since AVRT has no opinion on alcoholic insanity per se. What this simply means is AVRT is entirely rational and insanity is anything but rational, lol. It is moot if alcoholic sanity is unrecognised by AVRT since AVRT has no workable solution for insanity in any case. It also has no solution for emotional insanity either, for that matter, nor spiritual insanity, as already discussed. AVRT has a working cure for ending physical addiction. Period. End of story.

My "alcoholic mind" is the seat and home of my past alcoholic insanity, including my emotional and spiritual illness, if you will. My Beast is an otherwise healthy desire made maladaptive because of an appetitie for alcohol. Where my Beast is stupid, my alcoholic mind is intelligent. Where my Beast speaks to me thru my AV, my alcoholic mind was the alcoholic me. Where my Beast/AV has no physical powers, my active alcoholic mind could easily pick up a drink no problemeo, taking me for the ride.

There is where of course AVRT and AA can't be usefully combined. The separation is absolute and required to be authentic and realistic when practicing either. It dosen't matter the differences as long as both are kept independant of each other. :) I hope this helps identify how workable sobriety can be while notwithstanding AVRT's total lack of interest in alcoholic insanity and/or sober sanity.

Being restored to sanity is simply my alcoholic mind taking a back seat to me, my sober spiritual self no less. The darkness is set aside and out of my concentrated awareness. At present, my alcoholic mind is unempowered, asleep, in remission, shut down. Not cured, not gone, not dead. Once the alcoholic self is off-line, what remains is the natural me. :)

I hope this helps explain in some detail being restored to sanity and still getting on with AVRT. Please understand these are complex issues, and i'm simply typing this out from my experiences. I'm not attempting, in these threads to be scientific or otherwise writing an essay or thesis, lol. I'm just sharing, so feel free to examine and question my shares in this thread without mercy, as there is no downside to me learning how to explain myself with greater efficiency and realism. I have other as yet unpublished writings which hopefully one day will be organised and refined enough to see the light of day. These writings are more in-depth and inclusive.

My HP is entirely of my own understanding, and is entirely internal to me. No outside deity required. FWIW, sobriety is just another facet of my individuality. Sobriety does not lead my life and does not require me to sacrifice any of my personality to be totally successful with a non-drinking sober spiritual lifestyle. I'm not just another sober robot, hahaha.

And as well, I'm also a Christian by faith, which has nothing to do with my addiction recovery in a mechanical sense. My faith of course increases my life as a whole. My sobriety is more an immediate experience in the moment as much as anything else. My Christian faith surpasses all earthly and worldly responsibilities. This seems paradoxical on the face of it, and to be honest, it is indeed. :)

:thanks

RobbyRobot 03-03-2013 11:49 AM

Yes, Jeni, I do agree. What a brilliant share! Thank you. :)

bemyself 03-03-2013 01:47 PM

Hi Robby, talk about a very timely thread for me. I too am one of those people who by nature, frankly, takes a bowerbird approach - to sobriety and to life in general.

[Robby QUOTE] I simply approach all recovery resources as supports and specialised tools to achieve a certain end goal, I've no difficultly with blending my experiences as an holistic eclectic approach. Recovery is entirely an art, an inside job, is my experience. I take what I want and need and leave the rest without regret.
[/QUOTE]

I didn't bold your 'I've no difficulty...' part, because I do have difficulty! Insofar as I resist doctrinalism (yes, I believe it's an 'ism' :-)), I then find myself so often at odds with most of my AA friends, including my sponsor. She's a really lovely, serene, caring lady.....but she fervently undertook her own Step work in (to my bowerbird, eclectic, independent mind) a highly regulated, 'to the letter' manner, as taught by her own sponsor.

This means that, now I'm resuming sobriety after relapse as some of you know, I want to use each and every one of the numerous approaches, incl AVRT, AA meets, some outpatient groups (which include mindfulness / meditation, art therapy, themed discussions, women's / men's discussion groups, explicitly named 'relapse prevention' groups - and of course RR, within its own logical epistemology, effectively says to that 'relapse, shmelapse!'). Plus, I hope to start some outside counselling sessions for depression etc.

Oh, and did I mention, walking the dog instead of lolling about like a sloth, gardening, getting out and about more to different parts of Melbourne, some of which are new where I now live, and others to revisit from years ago while I lived in the country, trying to re-start my old passions of drawing, painting, music making, writing.... etc etc etc?!

I like how you can separate being an AA member whilst also learning / practising so many other tools; I just don't know - yet - how to avoid feeling slightly dishonest, even a bit schizoid! if / when I can't speak my own truths about the other things which resonate for me, when I'm with the dear AA people, especially my sponsor. There's the rub, for me anyway.

I'll watch this thread very closely to that end!
BTW Robby, it was great to hear the details of your life and work since '81!!!! Totally agree with you, too, about the industrialisation, as it were, of what you nicely identify as 'street level peer to peer' work. I used to be involved in such work via my ex-h, with teenage street kids, many moons ago, and so I 'get' the difference.

Now: off to consult my HP or whatever (my inner self?) about whether to get ready for either a meeting OR an outpatient group (they usually clash, timewise, so can't do both). OMMMMMMM.......... :c031:

bemyself 03-03-2013 02:15 PM

BTW Robby, I apologise if I overstepped the boundary for this thread, when I tried to describe my experiential difficulties in using both AA and AVRT etc; I gave the example of my lovely sponsor only to illuminate how my dilemma has played itself out within myself, and may continue to for a while yet.....until you and others further elucidate HOW to actually DO that separation of which you spoke. Sorry, shocking syntax. If you'd prefer such details be restricted to PMs only, please PM me before I offend anyone further.

jkb 03-03-2013 02:16 PM

Wow...ok I am going to have to read this tomorrow. Thanks to you both :You_Rock_

RobbyRobot 03-03-2013 03:04 PM

We're safe speaking about our positive experiences in our recovery of course, as long as we don't use our real-life experiences as excuses to soapbox back and reference and generalize a discussion either positive or negative of 12 step programs. Whew! :)

The 12 step forum can be used for any such detailed step discussions if desired. :)

Carlotta 03-03-2013 03:18 PM

Just posting to say hi and also to make sure I am subscribed to this thread. I too am mixing AA and AVRT and while I understand that some think it is weird, it has really worked so far.


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