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Smart Recovery and AVRT combined

Old 05-30-2013, 01:38 PM
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Smart Recovery and AVRT combined

Hi Everyone!

I haven't posted here much but I've been reading lots of threads and taken great inspiration from many of you. You've been a massive help in my battle to beat this booze addiction so thank you.

I came across AVRT thanks to this part of SR and it was a revelation - just what I've been looking for all my drinking life. Non-religious, rational, acknowledging the answer is in my own head which is what I believed all along. I had some success practising the AVRT techniques but it hasn't translated into long term sobriety. I have no doubts that the technique is sound and that I need to keep practising and return to my Big Plan.

However, I've just noticed that there is a Smart Recovery meeting in my town, tomorrow in fact. I'm thinking of giving it a go but I'm conscious that in the Rational Recovery book Mr Trimpey says that I don't need to change any other areas of my life or try any other methodologies as AVRT is all I need. I don't want to dilute the impact of the AVRT approach by trying other things. But I've also noticed that I'm missing some motivation to keep my beast at bay. Despite a court appearance this week my mind (or rather, beast) is still saying that giving in to drink and the beast is fine because drink isn't a problem in my life. Part of me thinks that some extra tools like a cost benefit analysis etc would help in my defeating of the beast.

So would it help to do both? Does anyone have any experience of using both at the same time without one compromising the other?
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:05 PM
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In my opinion, ChipShopChips, SMART and AVRT are completely fine together, wholly miscible and entirely compatible. Part of AVRT's mantra is not so much that AVRT is sufficient for sobriety, but that we are sufficient for sobriety. That confidence in self and our ability must be set to max. The CBT tools used by SMART can really help to build this confidence.

I would be interested to know, once you have become a SMARTie, how you see AVRT fitting in. For example, I did a cost benefit sort of thing very early in my sobriety, maybe the first day, it played a major role in leading me to the place where I could make my own Big Plan. There was not a single reason to continue drinking, lots of reasons to stop, no downside to sobriety and a million reasons to be sober. The Big Plan was just the reasonable thing to do after looking at it like that, it would be foolish to do otherwise, and I was dang tired of being a fool.

The AVRT really shines within the SMART framework in the dealing-with- urges aspect. SMART says to listen to the voices in your head and build up the rational voice while dismissing the enemy voice that encourages us to drink. Sounds very familiar to me.

I also understand that SMART suggests we take up activities that develop and require mastery, Vital Absorbing Creative Interests, and this in my experience just adds to the fun and fulfillment of a sober life.

My advice is to do it all for your sobriety, but make it as easy and fun for yourself as possible. After all, this is why we are choosing sobriety right? Go get that better life that is waiting for you. As SMART says, Happiness is a planned activity, so go ahead and make that Big Plan. Onward!
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:25 PM
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Outstanding post Freshstart!

So good!
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Chipshopchips View Post
Mr Trimpey says that I don't need to change any other areas of my life...
I would be curious to know what you take this to mean, Chips, if you don't mind sharing.

As for mixing methodologies--in my shop, I have lots of tools in my toolbox, both metric and U.S. system. Never know what you'll need.

Same with my recovery toolbox.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:45 AM
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Great post!

Spiritual, Religious and "Higher power" stuff doesn't work for me either.

I'm sure you can combine any techniques that work for you that aren't mutually exclusive! Right now recognizing the AV is enough for me(today is day 28), but if it were me and I needed more I would add whatever helped!
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:07 PM
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Sure, I don't mind sharing doggone...

I read somewhere in the Rational Recovery book that it's all fine if you want to change your diet or start exercising but these should be done for their own benefit and not to assist with stopping drinking. Also, that you don't need to practice any other exercises or carry on any other actvities other than recognising the AV. To do any other things purposefully to gain abstinence is AV behaviour.

Due to this I was hesitant in seeking out the Smart Recovery tools. I can see his point in a way - my AV has been telling me that it's ok to have a drink this weekend because I haven't completed all the Smart Recovery exercises yet and when I do then I'll be ready to quit. It's played me good and proper.

I need to find a way to reconcile that doing the Smart Recovery exercises, maybe going to the meetings and building these extra tools and motivation don't allow my AV some ready made excuses.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:03 PM
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I read somewhere in the Rational Recovery book that it's all fine if you want to change your diet or start exercising but these should be done for their own benefit and not to assist with stopping drinking. Also, that you don't need to practice any other exercises or carry on any other actvities other than recognising the AV. To do any other things purposefully to gain abstinence is AV behaviour.
There is one thing that you missed that AVRT tells you that you must do, and that is make your Big Plan. Are you ready to quit drinking for good yet?
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:54 PM
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I think SMART is actually an offshoot of RR; from what I understand, the originators of SMART had a falling out with Trimpy, or such was what I recall reading when I was on the SMART boards.

But the two don't seem incomparable tome; RR seems a bit more rigid than SMART, but both are based on the 'Cognitive' school of psychology, and don't differ all that much.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
I think SMART is actually an offshoot of RR; from what I understand, the originators of SMART had a falling out with Trimpy, or such was what I recall reading when I was on the SMART boards.

But the two don't seem incomparable tome; RR seems a bit more rigid than SMART, but both are based on the 'Cognitive' school of psychology, and don't differ all that much.
IIRC, RR decided a while ago to do away with all meetings, and, understandably, people were highly pissed off about that. So, people founded SMART and I suspect they're now more well-known than RR.

As for the differences in the doctrine and tools and philosophy, I don't know enough to comment. I have only had experience with SMART.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Chipshopchips View Post
Sure, I don't mind sharing doggone...

I read somewhere in the Rational Recovery book that it's all fine if you want to change your diet or start exercising but these should be done for their own benefit and not to assist with stopping drinking.
Okay. I was wondering if you meant you didn't have to change your drinking "behavors" nor change the people, places, and things that were part of one's drinking life.

I changed a lot of stuff after I quit drinking...but diet and exercise weren't two of them :-)
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