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How Big is My Big Plan?

Old 05-24-2013, 02:09 AM
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How Big is My Big Plan?

I am 59 years old. I drank for 40 years, and a few months ago I made a commitment to be FREE from my addiction. I read Rational Recovery and the Art of AVRT, then through careful and painstaking consideration I came to a well-thought-out understanding in my Rational Mind that there is NO justification or falsely perceived Reward that would justify drinking again. I made my Big Plan and resolved to never let the Beast inside me have control again.

Then I had a couple ‘slips’. Short episodes where I drank ‘controllably’ for a day or two, then realized I had let the Addiction run some of those old operating programs. I carefully considered what had happened, and re-visited the deep-reasoning that led to making my Big Plan. I had been very thorough in my consideration, and had not made just a flippant emotional knee-jerk reaction to ‘bad feelings’ when I made my Big Plan. Reason won out, because like AVRT points out, I am in control, NOT the Beast of addiction that is actually just corrupted pleasure/pain programming which I can refuse to let have control of me.

I continued on for a while, applying the AVRT techniques, and was successful at recognizing the myriad of Addictive Voice thoughts, false reasonings, even behavioral ‘jump starts’ where I would catch myself heading for the liquor store, keys in hand. Then…..as days went on, and stressful situations piled up…..’I’ decided to have a drink…then two…then the next day a couple…then off a few days…then the stress got worse….then ‘I’ decided ‘I’ would prefer to just ‘block it all out’…and I know a very effective way to do that….NOW, after a few weeks of this…INSANITY…I realize what has happened...I am back in my addiction.

What now? I have obviously FAILED in my commitment to being FREE from my addiction. I feel like $#!+, and I know how to block that out too… Have I failed??? HELL NO!!!...I let that damn BEAST have control, and I just let it happen. I did not just flippantly make that Big Plan, and now realize I am a hopeless victim of some uncontrollable Addiction Disease. HELL NO…I very carefully thought that Big Plan out. That was in my best sober thinking, carefully considered with a sound mind. That IS ME, I made that Big Plan…and I am choosing to follow it….right now and continuing on.

In conclusion, I have added something to my Big Plan. I understand another component of AVRT. I now fully understand that for me, drinking is the MOST IMMORAL thing I can do, because I have a clear understanding that I cannot function responsibly or controllably when I drink. Yeah, I have a Big Plan..it defines me as a completely sober person...for well-thought-out reasons...and I do NOT drink, because it is the most Immoral thing I can do, and that is not who I am.

RDBplus3
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:45 AM
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I have found that I cannot think my way into sober living I must live my way into sober thinking
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:08 PM
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this is where i get very confused about the obvious contradictions, RDB.it seems when people drink despite their BP, the only real available "answer" seems to be that the BP was not "right" .
because if i understand correctly, the proper BP would simply not "allow" you to drink.

it seems, then, just like any other time a so-called firm and committed decision was made.
yes, i understand i haven't understood the difference.
but it seems YOU need to understand the difference between the BP and another ironclad-well-reasoned decision, if you're going to go forward with a "new improved model of the BP."
so maybe it would help if you could articulate that, at least to yourself.

as i read your post, it sounds not really any different from the AA-thing that goes a bit like "well, you drank again because you didn't work the program right", if the BP needs to be adjusted because of going back to drinking.


and bi11fish, yeah, actually i thought my way into at least staying quit many times, but it didn't pan out for me, either. not in and of itself, not just thinking and will.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:16 AM
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AVRT Pharisees?

as i read your post, it sounds not really any different from the AA-thing that goes a bit like "well, you drank again because you didn't work the program right",

AVRT Pharisees? Or just me giving in to the AV?

I 'SHOULD' have been able to make a decision with my 'Big Plan', and simply NEVER drink again. Glad it worked for you. If I could have done that I wouldn't have called it an ADDICTION. But for someone who 'quit forever after their 1-time Big Plan', either you are AVRT blessed, or maybe you decided it was time to stop drinking, and did not actually have as strong of an addiction?

I posted because I am struggling with this addiction, and I am committed to being free from the addiction. I am working at keeping with this and not just giving up to the AV thoughts that maybe it just didn't work. However, being told that maybe I just didn't do it as good as someone who was able to quit immediately when they FIRST made their Big Plan, only comes across as condemnation from an AVRT Pharisee. It sounded like I am being branded with the Scarlet Letters of 'AA Thinker'....be banned and shamed.

So, maybe I am just listening to my AV, or maybe some of the 'First Quitters' actually are here to pump themselves up over their 'Perfect AVRT' status. Point is, that did not help me in getting free from the addiction, it just pushes me a little farther into isolation.

However, as I stated in my original post, 'I' am working through this, and I do have to get up, walk upright, and continue the Trek out of the addiction and into Sobriety. So, if my post reminded someone of how 'Good' they are at AVRT, I am happy you got that.

If this post seems out of line, or mis-represented towards anyone, I apologize. I am sober while writing this, and I am just trying to work through this damned addiction, and I sincerely appreciation the feedback I get, including the 'get-tough' comments.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:26 AM
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FWIW, I believe in you, RDB. I believe in you and your commitment to yourself and to what you can be. I do.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RR:TNC page 173

"People who have made a Big Plan do not have relapses, or even lapses; they never drink or use again.

Of course, some people who consider a Big Plan and even go through the motions of making one change their minds and simply decide to drink or use drugs. They do not have relapses; they have drinks. They have not failed, nor did AVRT fail them. They are free to do as they wish, and they are victims of nothing.

Others may go through a period of uncertainty and conflict when they have not made a final commitment to abstinence, and they drink or use with a great deal of self-consciousness. This kind of experimenting, if it occurs at all, usually serves to strengthen understanding of how the Addictive Voice works and usually results in rapid progress toward secure abstinence."

-- Jack Trimpey
I hope this helps with some additional insight / understanding of how AVRT deals with drinking after quitting, for both you RDB and fini's concerns as well.

Also on the same page is this humorous bit:

"Relapse is a normal part of recovery. A lapse can be an educational experience, like falling forward." -- Your Beast

Have a better day today, RDB.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:38 AM
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RDB it been my experience some people have an imbedded need to question, critique, debate and try and create dissension with just about everything and everyone.

I have a relative like this and they have some weird and disconcerting need to be the "devils advocate". It used to drive me and the rest of our family and friends absolutely batty. No matter what we did (or said) it was always questioned, critiqued, compared and then the icing on the cake was the subtle conclusion that we were wrong...or bad...or confused. Everything we said was a veiled attempt to try and make us continually question ourselves or worse defend our thoughts, feelings or decisions. The funny thing is (or maybe not so funny) is my relative would pull these stunts and then sit back while the rest of us took the bait and started bickering in an attempt to try to make sense out of nonsense and then ask us why we were arguing.

I don't know why my relative does this, none of us do (and believe me we've beat that horse to death) but we've all come to agree it's best to say "you may be right" and then move the conversation along.

My point with this post is absolutely not to point a cyber finger at any one individual but to let you know that there are going to be some people we just don't get and defending yourself is totally not necessary. As my granny used to say "some people just can't stop themselves from comparing apples to airplanes".

I believe in you. You have always seemed to me to be a humble and genuine soul.

ETA: Robby's quote of Jack Trimpey and AVRT is a perfect explanation without comparison.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:19 AM
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AVRT Pharisees? Or just me giving in to the AV?

I 'SHOULD' have been able to make a decision with my 'Big Plan', and simply NEVER drink again. Glad it worked for you. If I could have done that I wouldn't have called it an ADDICTION. But for someone who 'quit forever after their 1-time Big Plan', either you are AVRT blessed, or maybe you decided it was time to stop drinking, and did not actually have as strong of an addiction?


RDB, you misunderstand.
i did not use AVRT and thought i spelled out very clearly that actually i thought my way into at least staying quit many times, but it didn't pan out for me, either. not in and of itself, not just thinking and will.

my point was/is that the ironclad carefully-reasoned out decisions and commitment's didn't "work" for me, any more than i see that a BP in and of itself keeps people sober very often. certainly didn't get me there.
but according to my reasoning, it SHOULD have.
no, i was blessed with nothing in that department.

But for someone who 'quit forever after their 1-time Big Plan', either you are AVRT blessed, or maybe you decided it was time to stop drinking, and did not actually have as strong of an addiction?

uhm...i said nothing of the kind. i said the opposite. i made many many plans ovrer three decades, and couldn't stay stopped. and couldn't understand why i couldn't, as surely the plan made sense and surely...well, i had to try harder. there had to have been a loophole i must have overlooked. i must have been weak or stupid...on and on...i'm sure you know that tape.

However, being told that maybe I just didn't do it as good as someone who was able to quit immediately when they FIRST made their Big Plan, only comes across as condemnation from an AVRT Pharisee. It sounded like I am being branded with the Scarlet Letters of 'AA Thinker'....be banned and shamed.

So, maybe I am just listening to my AV, or maybe some of the 'First Quitters' actually are here to pump themselves up over their 'Perfect AVRT' status.


yikes! no, that wouldn't help anyone. don't know how you understood me to be saying i quit with a BP the first tome i made one, as i've never made one, nor said i did, and in all my posts on SR have freely talked about my gazillion tries and struggles with the will/commitment/decision/ control/choice thing. please , no matter how you read my stuff, at least give me the benefit of not jumping to the opinion that i'm here to shame anyone or judge .
i'm asking genuine questions because i'm genuinely trying to understand how others see it.
how you see it.


i quit when i understood i was a drunk. when i knew it in my gut. in my early fifties, after more than thirty years of drinking. after a gazillion well-made plans and being rather well--aware of the "nonsense-voice" and being quite capable of dismantling its arguments.

because the desire/need to drink didn't come from a place that responds to rational argument.
i'm thinking this is the problem so many of us have run into when not being able to stay sober: that the rational reasoning AGAINST drinking again doesn't touch the place where we want to drink.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:41 AM
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RDB it been my experience some people have an embedded need to question, critique, debate and try and create dissension with just about everything and everyone.
yes, i have a need. and that is to understand.
yes, i ask questions. because i might get better understanding from how someone responds.
they are questions out of interest.
they are not critiques, or debates, and good heavens i don't want to create dissension.

i don't understand why/how my post was so misunderstood.
sorry it caused such grief to some;

but will continue to ask questions.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
I now fully understand that for me, drinking is the MOST IMMORAL thing I can do, because I have a clear understanding that I cannot function responsibly or controllably when I drink.


That was a very important realization for me. I came to the point that I understood that just because I might “feel bad” does not make it OK to drink. For me it was important to embrace and accept that part of me that wanted a drink and yet, at the same time, recognize that there was something bigger and more important than me. Perhaps this ‘thing’ was only as large as welfare of everyone I might come in contact with while intoxicated, but this potential for a vast amount of harm to others was the tipping point for me.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:55 AM
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Hi RDB,

I too had issues related to the Big Plan. I still don't really get it. For me it was a disconnect between the concept and me - I couldn't integrate the two things. Because in my mind the desire to drink was coming from me. The AV as an instrument to identify the addiction is a useful tool though.

I've given up trying to understand the BP now. I spent waaaaay too long obsessing about it. Read the thread I started as there were some extremely helpful posts from others on the topic.

PS I forgot to add that I completely agree with you when you say that you are re-framing the issue as being one to do with morality. I feel the same way. I think the self-abuse that constitutes addiction is fundamentally immoral.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
RDB it been my experience some people have an embedded need to question, critique, debate and try and create dissension with just about everything and everyone.
yes, i have a need. and that is to understand.
yes, i ask questions. because i might get better understanding from how someone responds.
they are questions out of interest.
they are not critiques, or debates, and good heavens i don't want to create dissension.

i don't understand why/how my post was so misunderstood.
sorry it caused such grief to some;

but will continue to ask questions.
My post was in no way directly related to you or your post, fini, and I personally experienced no "grief" over what you typed.

I do think at times, we are trying so hard to find our own understanding, we sometimes end up inadvertently stepping on the toes of someone else who has realized an important part of their journey.

I think it very important to allow someone else to experience moments of growth and clarity, without questioning it, even if we don't necessarily "get" it.

I'm very happy for RDB.

That's all.
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