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Is it ALWAYS the beast?

Old 03-05-2013, 04:46 AM
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Is it ALWAYS the beast?

I have a beast in my head that craves alcohol. There is no doubt in MY mind that I am not alone in my own head. He is in here with me, trying every day to convince me to drink alcohol.

Does that mean that every thought I have pertaining to drinking alcohol comes from the beast? I don’t think it does.

My father has never had the maladaptive appetite for alcohol. When I was younger he drank beer from time to time. A 6-pack in our fridge could last weeks. He would perform house maintenance on the weekends. After mowing the lawn and cleaning out the garage he would turn on a ball game and drink a beer.

It is deeply ingrained in me that beer is a reward for hard work. In ME, not in my beast. Certainly my beast tries to use that against me, but it is a thought pertaining to drinking alcohol that does not come from him. It comes from me and my observations of my father when I was young.

My wife does not have the maladaptive appetite for alcohol. She sometimes likes to have a glass of wine with dinner. That isn’t coming from her beast. She doesn’t appear to have one. At least, not one that craves alcohol. (She can actually pour a glass and not finish it. My beast finds that incomprehensible. I can scarce open a bottle and not finish it.)

Am I not capable of having that same desire for a glass of wine with dinner, originating from the same place in my brain that it originates in my wife’s brain? I can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t be capable of those same thoughts. My normal desire can’t be acted upon because I have more going on in my head with respect to alcohol than she does. However, just because my reasonable thoughts about drinking alcohol are overborne by the beast doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:25 AM
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My family did a trial once...Mom is not alchoholic and one brother...well I'm not sure, but ....

What I find is the idea of never drinking socially is pretty dificult for the "non-alchoholic".

The difference lies, as you said, in where I go from that one drink...but my family has aknowledged that saying I'll never drink again is not easy for a non-alchoholic.

But we are who and what we are...Acknowledging that others can drink for social, emotional or other reasons without becoming addicted to the alchohol is something I have to understand.

Mom still drinks wine with her friends, but she did realize how hard it is not to take a social drink when she tried this experiment of not drinking for a period of time.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:52 AM
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I think we are definitely capable of "reasonable" thoughts even as alcoholics. Maybe we see a commercial on TV for a new drink. "That looks delicious, I'd love to try one" says the non-alcoholic. "That looks delicious, I'd love to try one" says the alcoholic. And it probably DOES look delicious, that's what commercials are created to do. The difference is in our expectations vs reality. The non alcoholic does try ONE, only expects to have one, and in fact sticks to the one drink. The alcoholic does try ONE, only expects to have one, and winds up having 20. Maybe that initial thought came from the same place. But as you said Non, our AV takes advantage of just how tasty that drink looks, and runs with it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
Am I not capable of having that same desire for a glass of wine with dinner, originating from the same place in my brain that it originates in my wife’s brain? I can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t be capable of those same thoughts. My normal desire can’t be acted upon because I have more going on in my head with respect to alcohol than she does. However, just because my reasonable thoughts about drinking alcohol are overborne by the beast doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Thoughts?
For me, my Beast's maladaptive desire for alcohol supersedes all other desires, including any previous normal desire for alcohol. If the maladaptive desire did not supersede all other desires, AVRT would be useless and unrequired.

Can you see how the Beast's desire is well beyond all other desires?

This is exactly how one can drink themselves to death no less. The Beast's desire trumps all others without exception, is my understanding.

Good questions though. Will bring a great discussion I'm sure. Thanks for the thread, Non.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Can you see how the Beast's desire is well beyond all other desires?
Yessir, it's what I meant when I wrote:
Originally Posted by Nonsensical
...my reasonable thoughts about drinking alcohol are overborne by the beast...
Rational Recovery (the book) tells us that any thought to violate your Big Plan comes from the beast. Does it come down to a fine line, then? A drink can look tasty, and I can appreciate that, but if I actually consider drinking it (after I've made a BP) it's beast talk? Seems a bit like semantics and minutiae - but they say the devil (or beast) is in the details.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:06 AM
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Yes, that is your Beast speaking for certain when a drink containing alcohol looks tasty. Just remember that the beast want's that drink to not only be tasty (AV) but also contain alcohol (Beast). Now think of a drink that does not contain alcohol. One just as tasty right? I bet your beast looses all interest in that kind of drink and very quickly. It want's the booze and nothing else. It could care less if it tastes good or not. It could taste like kerosene and my Beast would be just as content. But I sure wouldn't be.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by markinsf View Post
Yes, that is your Beast speaking for certain when a drink containing alcohol looks tasty.
I disagree.

Can a non-alcoholic (no beast, no AV) look at an alcoholic drink and think it looks tasty? Of course. So why can't I?

As I have previously noted, that reasonable thought (it looks tasty) will be overwhelmed by my beast, but that doesn't mean I can't have thoughts about alcohol that don't originate with the beast.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
I disagree.

Can a non-alcoholic (no beast, no AV) look at an alcoholic drink and think it looks tasty? Of course. So why can't I?

As I have previously noted, that reasonable thought (it looks tasty) will be overwhelmed by my beast, but that doesn't mean I can't have thoughts about alcohol that don't originate with the beast.
A part of it probably is my point in my recovery. Being as I'm on all of day 15 I'm going to be a bit more cautious (brick headed?) about it than others are. Maybe I'm still trying to keep it very black and white for now and as time goes on I'll really remember that I live in a 3 dimensional world of color. For right now, for me, I'm going to try my best to ID my Beast as simply as possible.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:23 AM
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No worries. I probably need to work on the tenor of my posts so they seem more open for discussion - that's what I intended. I blame it on 24 years in the Navy, where I was not known for inviting discussion.

"Lieutenant, what you are hearing is my directive voice. When you hear my directive voice, your appropriate responses are limited to 'Yes Sir, I'll get on that right away'."

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:17 PM
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Everyone communicates in a different manner and with different expectations.

Life would be pretty boring if everyone was always on the same page and didn't have different opinions about things.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:44 PM
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Can a non-alcoholic (no beast, no AV) look at an alcoholic drink and think it looks tasty? Of course. So why can't I?

the answer for me is very simple there:
because i'm not a non-alcoholic.
i'm simply an alcoholic, no beast, no voice
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:15 PM
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10 mins spent pondering the difference between sitting in the frying pan and the fire for me sounds like 10 mins i could have been doing something more interesting .

My sane and sober mind knows i don't smoke and i don't drink for very good reasons , as long as i stay sane and sober i have no desire for either of these .

Bestwishes, M
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
So why can't I?
I'll take a shot: Because in your case it's a completely irrational thought?

I know it would be for me. I've puked my guts out for hours on end after drinking. I've said horrible, despicable things to people I loved. I've blacked out more times than I can count. I've missed work. Lost friends. I've endangered myself and others. Did I mention all the puking? And then, one fine day I picked up my sorry, miserable self and crawled out of the pit called addiction. So I have to question why on earth a drink—any drink—would still look tasty to me after all that.

And "to me" is the key part there. I met a friend at an Irish pub last night, and watched as he enjoyed trying a couple of ales. I even smelled one of them; it had a very hoppy aroma; I could see why in his case, it could be quite tasty. But for me, it's a glass filled with misery and regret. Yuck. My unsweetened iced teas, on the other hand, were exceptional.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by nonsensical View Post
no worries. I probably need to work on the tenor of my posts so they seem more open for discussion - that's what i intended. I blame it on 24 years in the navy, where i was not known for inviting discussion.

"lieutenant, what you are hearing is my directive voice. When you hear my directive voice, your appropriate responses are limited to 'yes sir, i'll get on that right away'."

lmao !!

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
I'll take a shot: Because in your case it's a completely irrational thought?
So,the beast has in some way altered my ability to have rational thoughts about certain things? Certainly a possibility, but it doesn't seem right. The beast having power to impact my ability to have normal thoughts seems to contradict the basis of Rational Recovery, which I interpret to be based on the premise that my regular human brain (neo cortex) can use it's ability to be rational and intellectual to keep the irrational, pleasure-seeking beast brain (cerebellum) in check. If the beast has the ability to alter the way the neo cortex thinks, then it seems the whole program becomes suspect.

We're also dealing with nuances. There's a fine line between thinking a drink looks tasty and thinking about drinking that drink. You touched on this when you said you could understand how the ales would be tasty to someone else.

I am still enjoying this discussion even if Mr. Mecanix finds it without value. I am trying to determine whether I have a regular human brain PLUS a beast brain in my head, as opposed to my wife, who has just a regular human brain. OR if there is something else going on. I have found the knowledge I have gained from such discussions in the past few weeks to be empowering, so I am interested in continuing to learn. Perhaps a different example besides tastiness would be helpful?
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:50 AM
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Hi Non,
This IS an interesting thing you're trying to tease out....it's had me trying to wrap my head around it to see what you're getting at.

I just had a thought though.....I read a lot of neuroscience-y stuff (for the general reader), including on the actual sites (note: multiple) in our brains where perception / memories / associations / etc etc etc are being found - or not - to originate.

This, combined with just ordinary life experience, makes me wonder if what you described in your original post is the key. You were correctly pinpointing a memory trace, which built up a particular association in your mind over your lifetime. And of course, alcoholic drinking built on that.

So I'm guessing that your other example of 'that drink looks tasty....' (or whatever small, even tiny fleeting thought of that nature may not, imho, be your Beast necessarily. My idea of the Beast is that it in effect amplifies, expands, builds on, does a big dance, ramps up the volume and colours, etc of what is a mere memory association / trace, and then, as per RR's thesis, utilises our neo-cortex to 'speak' as it were through our AV.

Hmmm. Dunno really, but worth chewing the cud over (briefly :-))
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:07 AM
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My sister has about the same appetite for alcohol as I do; she loves drinking and if there is someone with her who keeps drinking (me; before I stopped) will have a few more with them. She actually uses the word 'craving' about wanting a glass of wine. But she is also very aware of safe drinking guidelines, and regularly catches her consumption creeping up over time and pulls it back. She usually does a dry February.
I think she has the same potential as me to become an alcoholic, except that I didn't discipline my intake. She lives with her husband and that's a restraint I don't have. I've often wondered if she's my genetic twin except that I went down the progressive path and she didn't.
PS a lot of her present attitude to drinking, which is watchful and wary, has been informed by me being a member of SR and telling her all the new stuff I've learned.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bemyself View Post
My idea of the Beast is that it in effect amplifies, expands, builds on, does a big dance, ramps up the volume and colours, etc of what is a mere memory association / trace, and then, as per RR's thesis, utilises our neo-cortex to 'speak' as it were through our AV.
My beast definitely uses my association of beer and relaxation/reward after manual labor as a tool. Doing a remodeling job at our house, working on it mostly on the weekends. My AV is on me all day while I work, giving me suggestions on how to convince my wife I should try moderate drinking again. After I finish he ramps up the volume, telling me how deserving I am of some beer (and maybe a little bourbon,too....just a little...we won't get carried away like last time...). He is a clever little b*st*rd. Not to mention relentless.

But that doesn't mean my association of beer as a reward for manual labor comes from him. I think that original thought actually comes from me.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
But that doesn't mean my association of beer as a reward for manual labor comes from him. I think that original thought actually comes from me.
Totally correct. Addictive Voice is harvested from our own thoughts of course. The Beast itself is too dumb to create language original to itself. It's all about maladaptive desire for alcohol, and that's it.

Jack says it best himself:

Originally Posted by RR:TNC pages 120-121

Your neocortex is the organ of reason and the organ of memory. Very importantly, the human brain is the center of language and of voluntary behavior. This is extremely important for you to know!

But the Beast brain has none of these abilities or qualities. It is just a blob of flesh "beneath you" --- underneath the human brain. While your Addictive Voice may be brilliant, charming, and sophisticated, your Beast brain is primitive and dumb. It can do nothing on its own except send messages that say do this or do that. It has a very short agenda. Survive!

... It can't talk, but instead it uses your language to enlist your voluntary muscles to get want it wants. You can hear it using your language centers, telling you in sentences what to do. You can see mental images, in color, in action, and in freeze-frame, telling you what it wants. You experience feelings of desire, hunger, craving, anger, and fear in connection to the necessities of life.

-- "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey
So yeah, you're right in that the AV thoughts originate with us as normal thoughts, although this still does mean for me anyways, that any current thoughts which may have at one time been normal and not then AV for me with booze, well, those times are long gone. I've crossed a line, and on the other side with me now is my stupid Beast farming "me" for AV to use against "me"

This is why we do best to accept AV as a normal experience, since it was originally our own thoughts, feelings, images, etc... and after due recognition as now it being AV, because of our Big Plan being in place, we get on with our day, and to hell with the Beast.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:53 AM
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That's what I get for reading Rational Recovery at bedtime. I may have been sleep walking through that section.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
I've crossed a line, and on the other side with me now is my stupid Beast farming "me" for AV to use against "me"
Thank you for confirming my belief that English prose can be an art medium.
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