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What does unrealistic AV mean?

Old 04-13-2013, 02:52 AM
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What does unrealistic AV mean?

For the vast majority of my drinking life I was an evening binge drinker. Around dinner time I'd start drinking and continue until I passed out in my recliner or shuffled off to bed. Late in the game I started expanding my boozing repertoire, but mostly I was that evening binge guy.

During this time that I was drinking my wife and I were building our careers and financial futures. It was all desired, deliberate and intentional. We made a plan and executed the plan, and we are pleased and enjoying our success.

I would think that my AV would be trying to get me to go back to the way things were. Telling me I could be that evening binge drinker that still managed to get up every morning and get to work, pay his bills, build up his 401K, etc. Instead, IT has taken a totally different tack.

IT tells me I should leave my home and family and move to some place where the cost of living is cheap. Your wife would get half, but you could live off the other half in a small place, maybe a trailer. You wouldn't even need to work. Then you could do whatever you wanted to do all day - including, of course, drink beer and bourbon.

Leaving my family and our comfortable dream home that we worked decades for is not something I would ever do. So, why would my AV present this 'let's go vagrant' scenario to me when there is ZERO chance of success? I would think IT would present me with options that might have some appeal. All of IT's options are dead end streets now, but you'd think IT would at least pick one where the outcome wasn't so blatantly obvious.

Any ideas why the AV has taken this current route into Crazyville? I find it very curious.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:02 AM
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Interesting post...I need to check in to this AVRT....2nd time this week I have heard of it or read it somewhere...thanks...
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:37 AM
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Stewart, you have come to the right place to hear about this Addictive Voice, and what we can accomplish it by recognizing it, and being mindful of it. The idea is nothing new, especially to eastern sensibilities, but the concepts around cognitive approaches to urges and desires are new to many western minds.

The source for this idea as AVRT is an enterprise called Rational Recovery, conceived of and operated by a social worker and addiction counselor named Jack Trimpey. You can visit their website and take the Crash Course on AVRT there.

SR has a long discussion on AVRT, most graciously moved near the top of the front page here, and it will give you a good understanding of what the idea means and how it can be distilled into a recovery technique.

Nonsensical, the scenario you described would mean death to me and it sounds as though you are permitting this fantasy to roll around in your noggin. I won't invite my AV in for a conversation. When it knocks at the door, I see who it is, smile in recognition, shut the door, and get back to what I was busy doing and enjoying.

Why is your AV presenting this scenario that is completely nonsensical? Maybe it has been defeated by your awareness at every twist and turn and is now resorting to the absurd. It will try anything it can, and what you have described is not unheard of, so maybe it sees this as a possibility.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:13 AM
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I would have to agree with Fresh. It sounds to me like you and your wife had somewhat of a ritual around your drinking in the evenings. Yeah, you were drinking but hey you were actually making goals and accomplishing them. But you see, your AV was all tangled up in that.

Now that your AV has been exposed, for what it is, it can no longer successfully associate you drinking with working toward your original goal. It's desperately trying to get you to obsess about a new goal, ritual, fixation as a reason to wrap around you returning to drink.

It's preposterous to you but do not entertain it. You AV is trying to re-write a story to play over and over your mind. Soon as you recognize it, shut it down and get back to business.

I find this interesting because I have a situation where an individual, normally in close proximity to me, is away for several weeks. Oh man! My AV went nuts. "That person is going to be gone for several weeks. You don't have to worry about them calling or dropping by unannounced". I mean this started a few weeks before the individual left. I shut down that crap immediately. I did have some concern however this person left over a week ago and my AV hasn't used that scenario once. I've been fine. I mean, it was total nonsense to begin with because I knew darn well the individual who went out of town would be replaced by someone else until they returned.

But yeah, like fresh said, as crazy as it sounds, it's not unheard of and yeah, it's getting desperate. Recognize it, and move on.

Remember, you have BACON POWER!
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:32 AM
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Nonsensical,

Interesting dialog. I've had similar thoughts slip through, but always just shut them down. My AV is a big fan of Leaving Las Vegas. I don't know how you conceptualize your AV. To me it does make sense that your AV would present this option though. It is what IT wants. IT was happy to play along with your functional drinking behavior, but that was probably never IT's end goal. Your AV probably always had IT's sights on that lovely trailer in the woods and never ending all day everyday consumption. Luckily your rational self is steering the ship.

Take care,
Todd
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
I see who it is, smile in recognition, shut the door, and get back to what I was busy doing and enjoying.
Originally Posted by ToddE1
I've had similar thoughts slip through, but always just shut them down.
What does that mean, literally?

The AV says something absurd, I chuckle to myself, think WTF? and then get back to what ever I was doing. Sometimes I think WTF? for a few minutes because it's so absurd. Sometimes I think WTF? for long enough to go to my computer and type a post thinking maybe someone here might have some particular insight.

Is there some other shut the door / shut it down process I am missing?

Originally Posted by Stewart888
Interesting post...I need to check in to this AVRT
I highly recommend it. Being sober has never been this comfortable before.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
What does that mean, literally?

The AV says something absurd, I chuckle to myself, think WTF? and then get back to what ever I was doing. Sometimes I think WTF? for a few minutes because it's so absurd. Sometimes I think WTF? for long enough to go to my computer and type a post thinking maybe someone here might have some particular insight.

Is there some other shut the door / shut it down process I am missing?
Non,
When I started, I had actual conversations with the beast. Hell I specifically took it to the store with me, stood right in front of the alcohol isle and said to it "There, see... Look who is in control. I am you [email protected] Now back of and shut up!". Of course not out loud, I would have been put in a looney bin. As the months went by, the time necessary to dismiss the AV has lessened. Basically shutting the door became easier and quicker. In my past experience, having a conversation with it, or about it online helped and I got stronger.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:09 AM
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[QUOTE=Nonsensical;3914998]What does that mean, literally?

The AV says something absurd, I chuckle to myself, think WTF? and then get back to what ever I was doing. Sometimes I think WTF? for a few minutes because it's so absurd. Sometimes I think WTF? for long enough to go to my computer and type a post thinking maybe someone here might have some particular insight.

Is there some other shut the door / shut it down process I am missing?

Seems like pretty much the same thing, to me. I don't generally even let an AV though fully form though. Usually just shoo them away. Just mental practice. We all have different filters, ways of dealing with them, but the basic concept is the same I think.

I don't know if it's a SMART technique or not, but I picked it up from meetings there, is the "Stop Thought" technique. The basic idea is if you have a thought forming or already fully formed like an urge or other thought that could lead towards drinking or whatever down that road, you yell "STOP" in your mind (or out loud I suppose if your alone). I don't actually yell stop in my mind, just shake the though free. Sometimes I will yell "No" in my mind.

Might not be according to Hoyle AVRT. I take whatever I like from whatever the source. Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things.

Take care, Todd
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ToddE1 View Post
Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
What does that mean, literally?

Take care, Todd
Apparently I have to work on how quote brackets work.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
Nonsensical, the scenario you described would mean death to me and it sounds as though you are permitting this fantasy to roll around in your noggin. I won't invite my AV in for a conversation. When it knocks at the door, I see who it is, smile in recognition, shut the door, and get back to what I was busy doing and enjoying.
The analogy I like is that these thoughts are being "fondled" like a pet, but it's a pet that will grow into a monster.

Don't spiral downwards with these thoughts!
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:06 PM
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No downward spirals here. I am mostly amused by it. Plus a little puzzled. I almost posted this in the "Amusing things my AV said..."thread, but I wanted to dig into it a bit deeper.

All in all I prefer that my AV comes at me with lunatic ideas. So easy to identify and dismiss even a caveman could do it.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:24 PM
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My alcoholism -- or my AV -- has tried to float some pretty outlandish ideas past me. Like fantasies & dreams of drugs I've never used or seldom, and drinking in exotic situations. It seems like my alcoholism, finding the door shut, was trying to get in through the window. At first I thought they were trivial fantasies because "obviously" absurd, but when I therefore indulged them, they got stronger & more powerful. Now I'm refusing to entertain them -- mostly.

I've been doing AA because the daily live support is really accessible & the groups are fairly open-minded & diverse where I live. But I'm an atheist and am open to any techniques that will help me stay sober. Thanks for helping me think about these fantasies in a different way!
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:29 PM
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Tell me more... I have never heard of this and am curious.

Is this the voice I hear that's referred to as Self-Sabotage?

I'm amazed at what I'm reading. Thankful!!
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:48 PM
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That is a great way to describe it, MsB, self-sabotage. It is part of a way of describing and understanding addiction that many folks find useful. Some find the idea of an incurable disease leads them to an understanding that promotes their sobriety, and that is fine and dandy, but there are other scenarios too.

One of these scenarios understands addiction as an internal conflict - I want to quit but I keep drinking somehow. Without this internal struggle, we are just drinkers. What drinking problem? I drink, I get drunk, I fall down, no problem!

OK, so if there is this internal argument going on, then it can be understood as a discussion between two parts of our head, the thinker and the drinker, or our rational brain and our alcoholic voice. The AV is manifest when we have any thought about drinking, now or in the future, or when we doubt our ability to quit drinking, because that can lead us back to the bottle and the buzz.

So, I want to quit, and any thought about drinking doesn't come from me what I want, it comes from some 'other' part of me whose only desire is to get and stay drunk. What if I call it names, like the Beast?

For the rest of the story, pop over to the Rational Recovery website, or look around here for some more posts that mention AV or AVRT, or Big Plans. And keep asking questions and posting! Glad you found us, MsB.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:57 AM
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Laughing at the AV is "shutting it down". It doesn't have to be some big production whereby you announce forcefully, sword in hand, that you hereby banish the beast back to the dungeon and off with it's head. Your chuckle is shining the light. Shining the light causes beast shrinkage.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:41 AM
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Many times I can't help but laugh at some of the crazy stuff my AV comes up with.

Sometimes I just recognize it, shake my head and move on.

Sometimes I have to stand my ground, and state NEVER.

Sometimes I recognize it but refuse to acknowledge it.

My beast is cunning but ultimately it's powerless.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:19 AM
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I'd say you could also look at it as testing the fence for weaknesses.... (sorry, just saw Jurassic Park again so now I'm mixing velociraptors, beasts, and metaphors...)

A scenario like that seems pretty hopeful to me actually. I'm still at the point where I will catch myself wondering, "what about Thanksgiving?" and I say "self, we will discuss that on Thanksgiving. It's April. Chill."

It seems like you're way past that and your AV is now saying, "OK, so what if we were in the middle of the woods, and there was no one around and no one was coming by and no one would ever find out, then could we have a drink????"

Similar to "Mom, if I eat all my vegetables, do all my chores, do next week's homework early, watch no TV at all, and play with my little sister every day, then can we go to the waterpark this weekend?"

Sounds like AV knows it's not in a very powerful bargaining position.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:19 AM
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Because of this post Nonsensical which made me check Freshstart57 post in the other form...I now have a PHD....never graduated form high school and now have a PHD...who da thunk it.....thanks guys...yesterday was one of the biggest holidays here in Thailand which I promise you I drank at every one in the past years but I used my new Big Plan...you all don't know how this has help me in life...thanks!!! this was perfect timing...
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:40 AM
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and there was no one around and no one was coming by and no one would ever find out, then could we have a drink????"


fantail

yeah,
thing is, though, that the "if no one would ever know" immediately puts us in the position of "no-one".
weird, eh?
i'm definitely "someone".

i would know.
the most important person concerned with this would know.

funny how easily we can forget/discount that with that scenario-language.

and on a tangent, not AVRT, i know, about things like thanksgiving, yeah, it's April. for me, though, it was extremely helpful when those wonderings came up, the "but what about..." to think about it, imagine it, see Thanksgiving feast in my mind and insert myself into the picture with cranberry juice, seltzer, whatever, having chats with A, b, f, g, eating yummies, alcohol-free.
putting images up of how i would be sober at future events was hugely helpful to me. less left up to the moment.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
For the rest of the story, pop over to the Rational Recovery website, or look around here for some more posts that mention AV or AVRT, or Big Plans. And keep asking questions and posting! Glad you found us, MsB.
Where is this website you speak of? I'm so interested!
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