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Old 03-09-2013, 10:46 PM
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Exclamation Sorry if this has been covered, but...

I am very new to all of this, so I am apprehensive and curious. Since this is the secular section I guess I'll just come out and say it: not only am I an atheist (not by choice, by my inability to believe that for which there is limited and flawed to no evidence) skeptic and attempted rational thinker, I am skeptical and hesitant to the extreme when it comes to claims I am completely unfamiliar with.
So, the beast. I get that we have inherently contradictory desires, and I get that one is the addiction and not really us, but why are we anthropomorphising it to such an extreme that its almost insisting that we have an entirely separate entity, with desires and even a sentience of its own? To me that seems like woo-woo. Don't get me wrong, as I said I am new to this. I'm just very confused. Why can't we speak of the desires and motivations as an inherent part of an addictive mind, rather than a capitalised mythological seeming "Beast" that lives inside our mind?
I'm merely asking because, while I do want to get better, and quit drinking, if I have to convince myself of irrational things to do it, then I'm out. Not that I do believe that I'd have to do that in order to quit.
I guess what I am asking is this: (with immense due respect) is the lingo simply misleading to a newbie and this beast is just a handy way to express certain cognitive functions,or is the term "rational" being misused? I just want to make sure I'm in the right community,because for me to recover in a healthy way I want to approach this in a literally rational and logical way, and I feel that if I start down a line to recovery and discover that I'm in some kind of cult then that could irreparably damage the recovery I so desperately need.

Again, much respect and no accusations. Just questions and concerns.

Wilting
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:09 PM
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AVRT explicitly states that addiction is a function of the limbic (primitive) parts of the brain. That is why they use the term "beast."

However, "...Neuroscientists have begun to recognize that some of the most important brain systems impaired in addiction are those in the prefrontal cortex that regulate social cognition, self-monitoring, moral behaviour and other processes that the AA-type approach seems to target. 'A lot of the treatment programmes out there are targeting these systems without necessarily knowing that they are doing it,' says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Maryland..."

4 March 2009
Neuroscience: "Rethinking rehab", Jim Schnabel, Nature 458, 25-27, doi:10.1038/458025a
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:34 PM
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Hi Wilting and welcome to SR. No, those using AVRT do not generally believe there is a hairy little beast living inside our heads. Terming our desire for alcohol as a third party entity - the Beast - is a semantic technique designed to create distance between our rational, logical, health-seeking Self and that illogical facet of our self that wants alcohol no matter the cost.

You might find it helpful to have a look at the AVRT threads from the beginning. Here's a link to the first one: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...iscussion.html

There's a bit of discussion about the limbic brain as the seat of addiction starting around post #80.

AVRT is a very rational approach to recovery - the seminal book on the subject is in fact titled Rational Recovery - so you may find it's a good fit for you. I do understand your concern about relying on a particular method for recovery only to later become concerned that you've built the foundation of your recovery on an illusion. As you become more comfortable with the process, you'll likely be able to pick and choose those techniques from all disciplines that are most useful to you, and leave the rest. Most of us do.

Good luck
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:35 PM
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but why are we anthropomorphising it to such an extreme that its almost insisting that we have an entirely separate entity, with desires and even a sentience of its own?
I think for purposes of the RR technique, this very defined separation allows the addicted person to learn how to stop taking directives from the midbrain in regards to drinking. The I/IT split can be effective without creating nicknames, dressing it up, and building a dollhouse for the damned thing, but you know, I think that often when people have been drinking to the point of near death against their own better judgement for many years, the idea of naming it and killing it has quite a bit of appeal.

I also second reading the threads, but the best understanding would come from reading RR:The New Cure.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:48 PM
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Thank you for the replies. Thank you. It's a lot less scary now. I feel as though a part of me must be faulty because I'm NOT willing to try anything to get better. I mean, for example, I could probably try and force myself to believe in a loving creator if I wanted to, and maybe that could help me stay healthy, but then is that also unhealthy? Living in perpetual state of cognitive dissonance? I feel as though I must not want it as much as a "good" and "worthy" person might, because I have a million caveats and a billion worries about everything.
Please excuse my current stream of babble writing style. I'm in a place where my mind is racing, my heart is thumping and I'm question everything down to the neutron. It's an exhausting place to be.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilting
I'm in a place where my mind is racing, my heart is thumping and I'm question everything down to the neutron. It's an exhausting place to be.
You are so right. It is so exhausting, and not sustainable. Stop the white noise, commit to not drinking for a couple of days to read the AVRT threads and the RR book. Once you end your addiction (and you can), then you can tackle the meaning of life if you feel like it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
You are so right. It is so exhausting, and not sustainable....Once you end your addiction (and you can), then you can tackle the meaning of life if you feel like it.



Okay, that is one amazing statement. "Once you end your addiction...you can take the meaning of life if you feel like it"
You reminded me of a great friend I have. He would say something like that. I'm going to keep coming back to that. Sometimes I focus on the not-so-productive areas a bit too much.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:56 AM
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Welcome to SR, Wilting. Looks like you like to use a lot of big words. You'll fit in well in this section of the forums.

Have a pulchritudinous diurnal course!
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
Welcome to SR, Wilting. Looks like you like to use a lot of big words. You'll fit in well in this section of the forums.

Have a pulchritudinous diurnal course!
Lol thanks Nonsensical. I certainly don't try to use big words. Just words that express what I'm trying to say in the most accurate way. And I totally had to look up "pulchritudinous", and I can hardly see how a day can have great physical attractiveness, though with certain poetic liscense it would apply xD
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:45 AM
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I once wrote a song for my wife called "You are so pulchritudinous"..... j/k

Well for me as an atheist, skeptic, and sober person I think I figured out early on that it makes no difference what you believe, when it comes to being successfully sober your chances are going to be just as good as anyone else's as long as you truly commit yourself to lifelong sobriety.

I think the first step is all that matters, recognizing alcoholism is your problem and realizing that the only solution is to never drink again. From there you just figure out a way to do it, consult whatever resources are available to you, be they groups or books or whatever, and develop an approach that fits your own convictions.

It doesn't have to have an acronym, it doesn't have to have a name unless you want it to. It doesn't have to be scientific if you don't need it to be. As long you are truly committed to sobriety, you'll be alright.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:41 AM
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Just walked outside and it will indeed be a "pulchritudinous diurnal course". Gorgeous out there.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I think for purposes of the RR technique, this very defined separation allows the addicted person to learn how to stop taking directives from the midbrain in regards to drinking. The I/IT split can be effective without creating nicknames, dressing it up, and building a dollhouse for the damned thing, but you know, I think that often when people have been drinking to the point of near death against their own better judgement for many years, the idea of naming it and killing it has quite a bit of appeal.

I also second reading the threads, but the best understanding would come from reading RR:The New Cure.
Damn am I the only one working on a dollhouse for my beast ??? JK...lol soberlicious.

Wilting,
I attempted to explain just a little of RR/AVRT to my brother when he asked how I quit drinking. I think he now believes me to be a little bit crazy. AVRT helped me to see that I am not my addiction. That is it. It seperated me from it so I could move forward and deal with all my other issues. I think no-one can explain it as well as the book itself so, give it a try.
I apologize... it is early here and I did not use a huge word... I will come back with one later for you nonsensical....Jess
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:28 AM
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Sorry Jess, but disextemporaneous monosyllabism is unequivocally preternatural palaver.



Spell check tells me I invented a few of those words, but they just feel right.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:12 AM
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:rotfxko Too funny.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:40 AM
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oh, palaver!
i grew up hearing that one a LOT! i thought it was just a normal part of "low german"...must look up the origin.

oops; better call it etymology.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:50 AM
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I get that we have inherently contradictory desires, and I get that one is the addiction and not really us, but why are we anthropomorphising it to such an extreme that its almost insisting that we have an entirely separate entity, with desires and even a sentience of its own?

Wilting,
i read a bit about AVRT when i first got sober, or maybe shortly before. and then i read a bit about LifeRing's A and S, the Addict Self and the Sober Self.
these separating-outs of "voices" was helpful to me for the first little while; seeing it this way allowed me to step back, so to speak, from my contradictory, ambivalent-seeming desires and keep true to the overwhelming desire to be sober. anything else that came up, such as the gottagottawannahavetodrink stuff i just kind of managed to look at from a bit of distance and to see what was behind it when it came up.
since i knew i wanted to be sober, i could "decide" each time a "voice" came up to the contrary that this was not the real me.

but i didn't/couldn't use the beastie-thing and even the A/S split for long, since i really just see myself as one whole.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pkrma
I once wrote a song for my wife called "You are so pulchritudinous".....
and a lovely ballad it is...I prefer the more raw rap version "shake that pulchritudinous azz"

Originally Posted by pkrma
.I think the first step is all that matters, recognizing alcoholism is your problem and realizing that the only solution is to never drink again. From there you just figure out a way to do it, consult whatever resources are available to you, be they groups or books or whatever, and develop an approach that fits your own convictions.

It doesn't have to have an acronym, it doesn't have to have a name unless you want it to. It doesn't have to be scientific if you don't need it to be. As long you are truly committed to sobriety, you'll be alright.
I agree 100% with this. I usually suggest AVRT just because it is a very concrete strategy to end addiction. Wilting, it by no means has to be any type of specific method. No method is going to end your addiction for you...only you can do that... and you can do that.

As far as big words...remember I am only an elementary school teacher. I will try and keep up.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:34 PM
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OK...I'm going to jump in...and I'm just gonna say it as I see it...no offence intended...

I'm a "Zen Buddhist" (whatever that means lol) and the idea of one self, much less two just doesn't work for me. Yet I sometimes talk as if this were true...I've chosen to not go with AVRT because given who I am (yep very non-buddhist LOL) its a poor choice of paths for me. The last thing I need is what you refered to as cognative disodince (ignore my spelling please!). Letting go of the concept of self has helped me immensly in my struggles and when I am not doing well I am way into the idea of some permenant ID....

It has been critical to me to take into account my own expereince and yet not cling to it. I'm not sure this will help you, but writing it helps me. In a program we can't talk about...they talk about being a square peg trying to fit in a round hole....and I was finally told .... look for a square hole LOL what a concept!

I am similar to you in that I can't twist myself into something else in order to get sober. There will always be some things I would drink rather than do....I would take a drink before I would let someone shoot another person or shoot someone myself...I would drink before I would kill myself...That's my decision. But...Those things don't really come into play in day to day life.

Yep...we all have lingo... you seem to have some pshycological/social pshycology background...try to just see beyond the words used. look at the actions and ideas being expressed.

but the one thing I was told on my recent restart into actual sobriety is...we can do the philisophical discussions later...for now don't drink...no matter what...to get to permanant sobriety I think we have to do more, but start where you are...don't drink...if you have to buy bullsht to do it fine...whatever it takes for the first few days, weeks or months...eventually you will have the opportunity to, will be required to make the step of actually thinking your way through the real "meaning" the long term stuff....but actually not picking up the drink is the important first step and the rest is a lifetime process. So quit, explore and grow....Drunk will always mess up your cognative thinking and mess up your ability to think logically

(again ... sorry my spelling is so bad )

Nands

Originally Posted by Wilting View Post
I am very new to all of this, so I am apprehensive and curious. Since this is the secular section I guess I'll just come out and say it: not only am I an atheist (not by choice, by my inability to believe that for which there is limited and flawed to no evidence) skeptic and attempted rational thinker, I am skeptical and hesitant to the extreme when it comes to claims I am completely unfamiliar with.
So, the beast. I get that we have inherently contradictory desires, and I get that one is the addiction and not really us, but why are we anthropomorphising it to such an extreme that its almost insisting that we have an entirely separate entity, with desires and even a sentience of its own? To me that seems like woo-woo. Don't get me wrong, as I said I am new to this. I'm just very confused. Why can't we speak of the desires and motivations as an inherent part of an addictive mind, rather than a capitalised mythological seeming "Beast" that lives inside our mind?
I'm merely asking because, while I do want to get better, and quit drinking, if I have to convince myself of irrational things to do it, then I'm out. Not that I do believe that I'd have to do that in order to quit.
I guess what I am asking is this: (with immense due respect) is the lingo simply misleading to a newbie and this beast is just a handy way to express certain cognitive functions,or is the term "rational" being misused? I just want to make sure I'm in the right community,because for me to recover in a healthy way I want to approach this in a literally rational and logical way, and I feel that if I start down a line to recovery and discover that I'm in some kind of cult then that could irreparably damage the recovery I so desperately need.

Again, much respect and no accusations. Just questions and concerns.

Wilting
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:55 PM
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Thanks ananda. You guys are all amazing. Truly.
Also, I for one don't care a whit about spelling, or the size of words, as long as the message is coming across
Xx
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