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Old 07-16-2013, 08:03 AM
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Big Plan

So, 4 months sober and no BP. Whenever I think about my BP or say it to myself...well, it feels like a big, fat stupid lie. At one point 5 months ago I thought I had a BP. Then drank... so that means I did not have a BP, right? So why if I say or think or write a BP now is anything any different?

I read the commitment issues thread AGAIN. Will go home and pull out my book... AGAIN but, I am confused. If I cant make a BP should I just go out and get wasted? Is this ambivalence over a BP really just me not being done?

Tons of AV in this post. However, I must say that for me to say "Oh I have a BP... I will NEVER drink again" just feels like a "fake it till you make it" thing. How can I truly say that?

My dog died Saturday (I had him 15 years) and my beast jumped on this opportunity. I heard the beast quite clearly but, part of me thought "hell you cant beat em, join em".

No part of me believes the BP. Especially not the rational part of my brain. I would have posted this on my thread but, I am sure others are also struggling with the idea of "BP is iron clad never to drink again".....how do I really know that I wont change my mind. I am the most indecisive person I know
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:27 AM
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Sorry about the lose of your beloved dog. As the human companion to 6 dogs, I know how difficult it is when one dies.

I don't have anything to offer for the BP. I'll let the RR gurus take this because anything I offer will likely be counter to that.

But in leu of a big plan, cling to a little one...and don't drink today!
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:43 AM
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Thanks Carl... I was sad to see him go but, he went quickly....

And pretty sure I can say I will stay sober today. Life is better when not hung over.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:33 AM
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I'm so glad you posted Jess! I've been thinking exactly the same thing - WHY cannot I not make one this time... and I KNOW it's because I broke it last time and all the feelings that came from that. I shall watch this thread with interest.

I'm really sorry to hear about your beloved dog, I'm sure he was very well loved and had a wonderful life in your care. Lots of happy memories eh? I still have the odd tear for mine and she left us 18 years ago so sending you hugs.

Life sure is better not hungover, you can't argue with that. Thanks for the thread
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:53 AM
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I know what it is to lose a dog of that age as well. Hard to explain to anyone who hasn't!

I have the EXACT same issue right now. I know I'm not drinking today. But I did the same withing w/ my BP.

In fact, I forget what member, but someone, when I posted that I fell off and drank wrote something just like that "Well I guess you didn't have a BP."

Unclear!

Thanks for the post and stay strong.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:12 PM
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Yay... Thankfully I am not alone in this... both dog and BP.

I have really tried to understand how I did not have a BP when I thought I had a BP and yet now if I make a BP its a real BP? What if its not a real BP AGAIN....How can I say with 100% certainty that I will never change my mind? All I do all the time is change my mind.

Anyway, I am really glad that some of you are asking the same question.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jkb View Post
Yay... Thankfully I am not alone in this... both dog and BP.

I have really tried to understand how I did not have a BP when I thought I had a BP and yet now if I make a BP its a real BP? What if its not a real BP AGAIN....How can I say with 100% certainty that I will never change my mind? All I do all the time is change my mind.

Anyway, I am really glad that some of you are asking the same question.
Absolutely. All I know for me is that *I* chose to drink, I went through all the beast activity *IT* wants, not me etc then basically went down the eff it road of actually *I* DO want to drink tonight.

That's where it comes in for me of not being able to make another BP, after so easily changing mind/head/voice.

Since joining I've not even been able to string a month together, sure 3 weeks and another 3 weeks after that, but nothing completely continuous. I suppose some would see that as me being quite blase about my sobriety, I dont think so, but I'm clearly not 'getting' it at some level.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:20 PM
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I can see how someone saying that you *really* did not have a big plan, because you drank again, would be a bit crazy making. It doesn’t make sense. I would ask them for the difference between your BP, an hour or a day before you took that drink, and someone else’s BP now, who has not taken a drink?

If the definition of a *real* big plan is contingent subsequent events, then it would seem to me that a person can never know if their BP is *real*, because the future has not yet arrived.

You may want to view this thread where this issue was discussed at some length. http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...07-moving.html
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:03 PM
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Jess,

sigh. i get it. you know i do.
had all the same questions about my big plans. no point saying if it had been a real BP capital BP then it would have worked blahblahblah..
that's my experience of myself and my opinion how that worked or didn't ad how i do/don't understand it.

none of that, NONE OF IT, translates to If I cant make a BP should I just go out and get wasted?

the two don't connect that way. if they connect that way in your mind, then yeah, it might be a good guess that it's about ambivalence. only you would know.

a BP is not a necessary requirement for abstinence, sobriety, short-term or longterm or lifelong.

and identifying and recognizing the AV is a useful tool whether combined with a BP or not.

staying sober without a BP is quite doable. staying sober without white knuckles without a BP is equally doable.
it would be saddening to see you talk yourself into drinking because you believe that without a BP you'll drink eventually so you might as well do it now.

very sorry to hear of your dog's death. how lucky you both were to have had 15 years together!

Margit
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:01 PM
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So sorry to hear about your dog. It is hard to lose someone you love. You are in my thoughts. BP or bp or lp- you have helped me and that counts no matter what.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:13 PM
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I'm so sorry about your dog, jess. It hurts so bad, this I know.

As far as the BP confusion you are experiencing, I wish I had words of wisdom. I just know, for me, I have absolutely no doubts about being permanently abstinent. I can say with absolute certainty I will never drink again.

"I will never drink now" may be something to think about as it's always now.

Whatever it takes for you to not drink, I say do it.

Sending (((hugs))) and hopeful thoughts.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:20 PM
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People quit all the time without ever hearing of AVRT or a BP. Remember, AVRT is based on strategies used by the self-recovered population. What do you think those folks did before Trimpey refined and published the technique?

Btw, I don't have to tell you that your post is pure AV. People succeed all the time at things they have failed at before. All the time. Every day.

I don't drink. In my mind, I don't say "I will never change my mind" because I don't drink, what more is there to say? I rarely get out of my house without changing my outfit several times. I change my mind all the time. What has that got to do with the fact that I don't drink?

There may be times when something happens that makes me want to drink, but I don't drink, so yeah, I don't do it.

There are other things I don't do. I don't kill people. There have been times I've been so angry at my ex I felt like killing him, but I don't kill people, so I didn't do it. I don't steal either. There have been times when I've wanted something I couldn't afford and a fleeting thought of "I could just take this" comes, but I don't steal, so I have never acted on that.

Drinking is wrong for me and it's wrong for the people I love and who love me back. So it goes in the same category with other things I don't do. Ever.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:30 PM
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Jess, I'm so sorry about your dog I have 6 seniors and it is so hard to say goodbye.

I don't really know about the Big Plan too much. I didn't use that program to get sober. I am not a religious person tho. Would you be interested in making a notebook-journal type thing for yourself? That's what I have done and it has been so effective for me. I didn't right off the bat, I did after about the first year or so sober. Made sections and then do some different programs for myself from things I read. For example, I am now doing the 90 days of inspiration by Sheri Hoff. I am also studying Eckart Tolle's "a new earth".

So, it's basically this big book of helpful stuff I've made for myself that supports lifelong sobriety and better living overall.


Just because you don't have a BP done does not mean you should give it up! No way, and getting through the awfulness of the death of your dog sober is wonderful.

Best wishes
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:08 AM
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You all make valid points and I appreciate the condolences. My dog was an amazing dog and of all the things that have happened in the past few months this was kind-of the "straw that broke the camels back". Oh the crying that occurred.

Which led me to thoughts of "Big Plans". It made me think of all the members on here who are told it is IMPOSSIBLE to drink if you have a REAL big plan. So, for a lot of the day on Saturday I tried to say "well I will never drink again and will not change my mind." However, that just felt like a lie.

There are other things I don't do. I don't kill people. There have been times I've been so angry at my ex I felt like killing him, but I don't kill people, so I didn't do it. I don't steal either. There have been times when I've wanted something I couldn't afford and a fleeting thought of "I could just take this" comes, but I don't steal, so I have never acted on that.

Drinking is wrong for me and it's wrong for the people I love and who love me back. So it goes in the same category with other things I don't do. Ever.
-Quote Soberlicious

I agree quite a bit with your post but, I must also say that you are probably capable of killing (self-defense) or possibly stealing (maybe to feed your starving child??) I don't know but, my point is situations could arise where killing or stealing would be options? At least in my mind they would be.

So despite that I don't intend to kill or steal in the future I see times when it may be a choice I would make. I don't intend to drink in the future however, can I truly say that days or years from now a situation could not arise where I would make that choice? I cannot honestly say no.

At any rate that is my only point. A lot of emphasis can be placed on the BP which when /if you break it makes you feel incapable of "forever sobriety". I personally do not have a true big plan. I just don't drink.

It is good to hear that BP's re not the be all end all of RR. Rereading the BP area in the book confirmed this. I am not on the "verge of drinking" and AVRT has changed my life. I am not knocking JT in any way... just wanted to know how others are doing with their BP's I guess. Wanted to know I was not the only one in this mindset.

Thanks to you all, Jess
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Received View Post
I'm so sorry about your dog, jess. It hurts so bad, this I know.

As far as the BP confusion you are experiencing, I wish I had words of wisdom. I just know, for me, I have absolutely no doubts about being permanently abstinent. I can say with absolute certainty I will never drink again.

"I will never drink now" may be something to think about as it's always now.

Whatever it takes for you to not drink, I say do it.

Sending (((hugs))) and hopeful thoughts.
Thanks for this received. It is nice to hear from you as always. It is good to hear that this type of resolve is possible. You and Soberlicious....

i am sure I will eventually get to that point....
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jkb
I agree quite a bit with your post but, I must also say that you are probably capable of killing (self-defense) or possibly stealing (maybe to feed your starving child??) I don't know but, my point is situations could arise where killing or stealing would be options? At least in my mind they would be.
yes, I thought of this when typing those analogies, and figured that of course, your beast would grab the old " but there is still a possibility...nothing is iron clad in this world, nothing". Certainly I would kill in self defense, certainly I would steal to keep my child from dying. But...lets just lay it on the table here... Please give me one example that it would be absolutely necessary to drink. Absolutely necessary for my survival or my child's survival.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

The day that I had to put down my dog was unequivocally one of the top five worst days of my life. He was 14 and I got him at 6weeks old. I understand. I still miss him and I still cry and it's been several years. I ask again...what has that got to do with drinking?

It is normal to feel sad, devastated, grief stricken, when devastating things happen. That's a normal response. What is the goal? The absence of pain? The absence of sadness? Is that possible in life? Is it even desirable?
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious
Please give me one example that it would be absolutely necessary to drink. Absolutely necessary for my survival or my child's survival.
Actually I guess there may be that time when a random stranger enters my home and demands at gunpoint that I drink some alcohol and he/she will then spare my life.

Yeah, there's that.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:30 AM
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What is the role of the Big Planner in the durable nature of the Big Plan. Do BPs vary depending on who made them, or are they all equal? We have not all had equivalent results.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:35 PM
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I think that my point is whenever someone drinks despite a BP the answer always is "then you didn't have a real BP". A BP is ironclad...blah blah...

...what has that got to do with drinking?- quote Soberlicious

So as I was dealing with "dog death" and thought "screw this I want a beer" my next thought was well its because I don't have a BP. So that's how the death and the drinking tie in. I thought well if I had a BP I could not drink. However, I cannot believe that "I will never change my mind" part because I KNOW I tend to change my mind. It could happen. It has happened.

My point is not that I would have to drink it is as simple as I may decide sobriety is not for me and I want to drink. So do I see that happening... no. Could it? yes.

So how do I know I have made a "real iron clad BP. Not the fake one?"

Awuh1 put it best:
the difference between your BP, an hour or a day before you took that drink, and someone else’s BP now, who has not taken a drink?

If the definition of a *real* big plan is contingent subsequent events, then it would seem to me that a person can never know if their BP is *real*, because the future has not yet arrived.
- quote Awuh1

What is that difference? How do I know?

I would like the security of saying "I will never drink again and will not change my mind" and then poof.... impossible for me to take a drink. Logically however, how do I know that? I don't know every situation that is going to occur for the rest of my life. I don't know that my thinking will never change into "you know what, I want a beer and I have changed my mind about not drinking".

Maybe Non this answers your question:

What is the role of the Big Planner in the durable nature of the Big Plan. Do BPs vary depending on who made them, or are they all equal? We have not all had equivalent results. -Quote Nonsensical

If I make a BP and then drink.... even if I were sure at the time it was real.... then why did it fail? Or did I fail?
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jkb View Post
…whenever someone drinks despite a BP the answer always is "then you didn't have a real BP".
This is an example of how ‘Rational Recovery’, (its founder and many of its supporters) turn irrational by using the “No true Scotsman” fallacy. See this link-àhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

The simple fact is that a ‘big plan’ is….a *plan*. You can call it big, you can call it golden or you can use any other adjective you choose, and reach that decision in any manor you like, but a plan in the end is still just a plan.

I was one who attempted ‘self-recovery’ more times than I could count. My many attempts resulted in failure. I then turned to a group based approach. Again, I met with multiple failures. What eventually worked was to keep asking for help! I kept incorporating things that I learned from people who had been successful.

RR has much merit. It should not be dismissed because it is not purely rational, nor should any other method.
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