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How Important is Subtle AV Recognition?

Old 04-11-2013, 10:15 AM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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This is such a cool thread, non.

Have you ever driven somewhere, like work, and get there then not really remember getting from point A to point B? It's kind of like being on auto-pilot?

Well, the other day while driving home from some appointments I suddenly realized I had put my turn signal on to pull into the little corner store I always bought my 12 pack of beer from. It was like an episode of twilight zone. I have been abstinent for over 3 months and on this particular day beer was the last thing on my mind. Old habit? Beast? Mindlessness? I'm not sure but it was somewhere between creepy and funny at the same time. I ended up saying out loud "oh for !#[email protected] sake you pathetic POS".

Yup, it was weird.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:29 AM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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Hey, JKB, Non, SK, Received,
This is what I am struggling with right now. What is the beast and how big is the beast. Are my warped thoughts that I lack coping skills subtle beast? Last night I had a very stressful situation. I can't go into it here, but I'll just say my mind flew into a fit of anxiety that spun itself into a fury. Along with that spin came the thought that getting drunk could stop the spin. Yes, I tackled the beast and honored my promise to myself. But how do we begin to catch things before the actual thought of drinking comes to mind. Maybe this thought itself of being on gaurd all the time is beast too though. I really don't know... Maybe we just need to accept it will come as it pleases, which is most often our times of acute weakness and that our job is to battle it at that time only.

Mindfulness is a really good topic. I also am trying to be more mindful and living in the present. I do believe the beast loves to work using past hurt and future fears. I am doing a lot of reading and trying to meditate. I am certainly a work in progress. Quitting drinking was the first step for me which has now allowed me to try to build a better foundation for my life.

Have a good day all
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:57 AM
  # 63 (permalink)  
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I hear you, HRB. While I work on me I am very careful about putting myself in a situation that could potentially cause me to have extreme reactions. This is something I have had to do for several years now because of PTSD but there is a bit of a different twist when I look at it as a permanently abstinent drinker vs. AV/Beast/IT.

What I do know is, no matter what I'm feeling, where I've been or where I might be going, I will never drink again. So anytime the thought of "to hell with it, have a drink" hits my brain I immediately put on the brakes, recognize the thought as AV/Beast and realize it has no control over me. NONE. I can become a raving lunatic and I will never drink again. No matter how extreme or how mundane my thoughts and feelings might be, I will not drink ever.

I am working with a therapist so a lot of this "junk" (as I refer to it) is discussed. Working through past hurts, fear, guilt and all the stuff that come with those and other feelings is a process. But not drinking ever again? HAH! No matter what happens, that is a fact and it is awesomeness.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:01 AM
  # 64 (permalink)  
 
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So very well said, received!!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:03 AM
  # 65 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by HitRockBottom70 View Post
But how do we begin to catch things before the actual thought of drinking comes to mind.
Well, now there's the $64 question! Is that possible? I have been operating under the assumption that the beast's recommendations were out of my control. NOT acting on those suggestions is MY responsbility. Perhaps there is another way?

Originally Posted by Received
Well, the other day while driving home from some appointments I suddenly realized I had put my turn signal on to pull into the little corner store I always bought my 12 pack of beer from.
On my commute home there are 2 lanes, both moving slowly. My eventual turn off to home is a right. The only reason for me to be in the left lane is to make the left into the liquor store parking lot. Yet, I frequently find myself in the left lane. IT can be a tricky bastadge.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:07 AM
  # 66 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Received View Post
I am working with a therapist so a lot of this "junk" (as I refer to it) is discussed. Working through past hurts, fear, guilt and all the stuff that come with those and other feelings is a process. But not drinking ever again? HAH! No matter what happens, that is a fact and it is awesomeness.
I just started therapy and started offloading my junk too. The one thing that is propelling me forward is the awesomeness and strength "not drinking ever again and not changing my mind" has given me. It has given me hope for a better future and a cleaner mind to get myself there. Not painless, but truley awesome. It's something I had no idea existed 11 months ago.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:10 AM
  # 67 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by HitRockBottom70 View Post
What is the beast and how big is the beast. Are my warped thoughts that I lack coping skills subtle beast?
I'm new to the game and not great at articulating my view of this, but I'll try...

Have you ever been trying not to drink and you get into an argument in your head? You know, part of you wants to drink but part of you knows it's wrong for you? The part of you that knows it's wrong is you and the part that argues in favor of drinking is the beast. The beast isn't big - it's actually powerless. It has to get you to do its bidding. That's what I think the beauty of this technique is. I often say that it's like becoming lucid in a nightmare and suddenly realizing that the monster chasing you isn't real. My beast can do nothing but pester and annoy me. Based on my experience, I never want to drink because, for me, drinking is very wrong in a moral sense. I'm very clear that I don't want to drink. Therefore, any thoughts about drinking are not my own; they are the AV. The beast has absolutely no power over me. It is very, very small.


Originally Posted by HitRockBottom70 View Post
...But how do we begin to catch things before the actual thought of drinking comes to mind.
Who cares if the thought of drinking comes to mind? It's not your thought! Just recognize it for what it is (AV). Thoughts of drinking are not harmful. They can't make you drink, and, besides, they are impossible to avoid when drinking has been a primary coping skill for a long time. My beast thinks about drinking ALL THE TIME. Fine, it can yap all it wants.


Originally Posted by HitRockBottom70 View Post
...our job is to battle it at that time only.
I don't think characterizing it as a battle is helpful. Why battle? IMHO, it's enough to just acknowledge that it's the AV. Once seen for what it is, it can't get you to do anything that you don't want to.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:29 AM
  # 68 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SoberKnitter View Post
... The beast has absolutely no power over me. It is very, very small.
...I don't think characterizing it as a battle is helpful. Why battle? IMHO, it's enough to just acknowledge that it's the AV. Once seen for what it is, it can't get you to do anything that you don't want to.
SK, You are right about the AV having no power over us. It requires only inaction to overcome in most circumstances. In my 11 months I have had times, which I can count on one hand which it became a battle and required action. My actions were exercise, eating and reaching out to my SR friends. Really, early on, I had decided I would do whatever it took to never drink again because it was a battle for my life, which I nearly lost last year 11 months ago. I was ready to kill myself. Yeah it was the lowest point in my life.

I do believe these battles will no longer come after a time, and yes I realize calling it a battle gives it more power. But calling it that allowed me to be ready with things other than inaction to keep myself sober. I hope this helps you understand my use of the term battle.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:32 AM
  # 69 (permalink)  
 
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Well, now there's the $64 question! Is that possible? I have been operating under the assumption that the beast's recommendations were out of my control. NOT acting on those suggestions is MY responsbility. Perhaps there is another way?
I do not think it's possible, nor is it necessary to "control" the thoughts, per se. Recognizing them, not acting on them, letting them pass, is enough. Long before reading about AVRT, I came upon the Buddhist idea that it is not desire itself that causes suffering, but rather our attention or action upon that desire that causes suffering. In Buddhism, the goal is not to rid oneself of desire, since that is seen as impossible. In fact, trying to do simply creates more suffering, but rather not attaching to it in any way. Sitting with it, seeing it for what it is, and letting it pass...before I read AVRT I recognized the AV as desire, so that's what I did. Buddhism also sees desire and or feelings as somewhat separate from oneself (except that there really is no "self"...but that's a different thread LOL) So the idea is not "I am sad", but rather "sadness is passing through me"...stuff like that...anyway, that's what helped me.

HRB, therapy has been so important to me. I saw my therapist fairly regularly for four years. I was determined not to stop at the first sign of things looking up, because I always did that before.

As received said, I addressed problems and serious stuff, but none of it had to do with drinking again. That part is done.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:37 AM
  # 70 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Received View Post
I hear you, HRB. While I work on me I am very careful about putting myself in a situation that could potentially cause me to have extreme reactions. This is something I have had to do for several years now because of PTSD but there is a bit of a different twist when I look at it as a permanently abstinent drinker vs. AV/Beast/IT.

What I do know is, no matter what I'm feeling, where I've been or where I might be going, I will never drink again. So anytime the thought of "to hell with it, have a drink" hits my brain I immediately put on the brakes, recognize the thought as AV/Beast and realize it has no control over me. NONE. I can become a raving lunatic and I will never drink again. No matter how extreme or how mundane my thoughts and feelings might be, I will not drink ever.
I am working with a therapist so a lot of this "junk" (as I refer to it) is discussed. Working through past hurts, fear, guilt and all the stuff that come with those and other feelings is a process. But not drinking ever again? HAH! No matter what happens, that is a fact and it is awesomeness.
I love that only because I used to become a raving lunatic when my beast acted up. I would "entertain" thoughts of drinking to the point where I could focus on nothing else and then be even more angry I couldnt give in to the thoughts to make them shut up. Before you know it I was acting either withdrawn or (as my boyfriend says) like a CAB (crazy a** bi**h). In the last 30 days that has not happened.

I no longer give my beast the power to control my mood. Must agree that this is one of my new favorite threads....great idea Non
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by HitRockBottom70 View Post
SK, You are right about the AV having no power over us. It requires only inaction to overcome in most circumstances. In my 11 months I have had times, which I can count on one hand which it became a battle and required action. My actions were exercise, eating and reaching out to my SR friends. Really, early on, I had decided I would do whatever it took to never drink again because it was a battle for my life, which I nearly lost last year 11 months ago. I was ready to kill myself. Yeah it was the lowest point in my life.

I do believe these battles will no longer come after a time, and yes I realize calling it a battle gives it more power. But calling it that allowed me to be ready with things other than inaction to keep myself sober. I hope this helps you understand my use of the term battle.
You got to do what works for you!

I've had times where I feel like I'm crawling out of my skin where my former coping skill was drinking, so it is very difficult trying to find a new behavior on the fly, as it were, so I get where you're coming from. Of course, at the time, my AV screams to just get some vodka already.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I do not think it's possible, nor is it necessary to "control" the thoughts, per se. Recognizing them, not acting on them, letting them pass, is enough. Long before reading about AVRT, I came upon the Buddhist idea that it is not desire itself that causes suffering, but rather our attention or action upon that desire that causes suffering. In Buddhism, the goal is not to rid oneself of desire, since that is seen as impossible. In fact, trying to do simply creates more suffering, but rather not attaching to it in any way. Sitting with it, seeing it for what it is, and letting it pass...before I read AVRT I recognized the AV as desire, so that's what I did. Buddhism also sees desire and or feelings as somewhat separate from oneself (except that there really is no "self"...but that's a different thread LOL) So the idea is not "I am sad", but rather "sadness is passing through me"...stuff like that...anyway, that's what helped me.
Thanks SL,
I have just started reading about Buddhist thought in regards to recovery. I believe it will be of great use and yes, fits right in with my views and belief in AVRT. Acceptance and letting go is the key to subtle AV and other things which cause suffering. It really does "pass through" and does not need to stay unless we let it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:53 AM
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I agree. The study of mindfullness has helped me. Also I agree with SL when I was fighting to control thoughts...pure misery.. now I accept them and the battle is over. I win.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jkb View Post
Also I agree with SL when I was fighting to control thoughts...pure misery.. now I accept them and the battle is over. I win.
True dat.

Society is dominated by the non-addicted, and they don't understand addiction. (I don't blame them. I spent 27 years addicted and not understanding it.) To the non-addicted it's a lack of moral terpitude that causes craving for alcohol. I unwittingly bought in to that concept until early February 2013. So, I fought and fought and fought. And I lost and lost and lost.

Pure misery - I've known my share. I'm not going back. Not ever.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HitRockBottom70 View Post
Thanks SL,
I have just started reading about Buddhist thought in regards to recovery. I believe it will be of great use and yes, fits right in with my views and belief in AVRT. Acceptance and letting go is the key to subtle AV and other things which cause suffering. It really does "pass through" and does not need to stay unless we let it.
Yeah, this is sooooo cool HRB. I actually have found myself starting to let something pass through and at the last second grabbing it back. Like you posted, it does not need to stay unless we let it, so I'm not sure why I sometimes do this. It doesn't happen when I know darn well it's AV but it's other thoughts or feelings that are much more subtle. For me, there are also those things I grab back because I think I still deserve to feel such a way or suffer. This is a big job for me and my therapist.

Okay, I didn't make a bit of sense, did I?
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:24 PM
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Recieved- You and me are on the same page today.... I feel like I make no sense. Oh well, I grab the thoughts back once in a while also. I can dwell on a drink or a mood to drink for a long time if I let myself. Jess
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:27 PM
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Received,
The universe works in wonderful ways sometimes. I was just put in touch with someone who gave me a great suggestion. Actually just got off the phone with him. Maybe his suggestion will help. Make a box. Anytime you have one of those thoughts and it is out of your control, write it down and put it in the box for the universe to sort out. At the end of the week, look at everything in there and get rid of anything that is no longer a problem. If you are able to solve something, work on it. If it still is beyond your control, put it back in the box.

I am starting mine tonight.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:29 PM
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HRB-
I love that suggestion and I am going to need a big box...
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:30 PM
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Some times I look back at a post of mine and think to myself "is what I just posted typed in English or some non-existant foreign language".

Thankfully, most of my dwelling is not directly related to drinking. Shoot a lot of it dates back to when I had 13 years without a drink.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:33 PM
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That's great HRB. Thanks
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