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Your Big Plan

Old 01-25-2014, 01:03 AM
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Your Big Plan

I am curious how far into recovery were you when you made your big plan? Or did the recovery in your view start with the big plan?

Have any of you 12 stepped and then made a Big Plan. I tend to find it paradoxical to do RR or AA 100%. But I find things about both programs that I like and some I do not. I really like the forever nature and choosing to never drink again as part of RR. That said, I don't relate to the beast - in fact, I see addictive voice as more or a false protector - trying to help me but realizing now its a mirage, just like my mind would hallucinate a stream of I was dying of thirst.

Anyhow, I am trying to straddle or take what I like form both programs and I am just curious about others who have had a similar positive or negative experience with this.

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:22 AM
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Hi. I'm like you I guess in that I really appreciate both approaches. I'm unable to intertwine the 2, they are just so opposite to each other, but I know others have managed this.

We are not permitted to discuss 12 step approaches on this forum, so I will just say this.. I apply the steps to my alcoholism, I'm not one for meetings, but I use the steps and I sponsor others. For my smoking, I used AVRT. BOTH were and are totally effective and I haven't drunk or smoked since committing myself to both approaches.

The difference for me is this...I made a Big Plan for my smoking. I haven't smoked since and I won't ever again. I have a vague recollection of the date I quit being in the middle of May but I don't count time, no need. It is like an unwritten law..I don't question it.

I know exactly the date I stopped drinking, and I still work on my recovery every day. I'm not hugely into the Fellowship, in fact, not at all really, but I do help newcomers work through the steps if they ask for my help.

I love them both, my life is hugely enriched by not drinking or smoking...but I personally couldn't combine the 2.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:34 AM
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The Big Plan was my recovery. I drank like a fish right to the moment I made my BP. After years of realizing I had to quit "someday" I finally reached a point where I felt like I'd rather die than keep on drinking the way I had been. Dead drunk I did a search for various recovery things and stumbled onto to SR. Somehow that lead me to AVRT. With nothing to lose I decided I would drink everything I had in the house that night but that would be it- never again!

Well, I had four bottles of wine on hand! Drank them all in one shot. Yeah, I was profoundly drunk, so hungover the next day I thought I might keel over dead. But I made my Big Plan, and I haven't had a sip since. That was almost 16 months ago.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:46 AM
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I quit drinking all at once, JD, I came to that point where I could see that my drinking days were done, so in that sense, I made a big plan the moment I quit. I didn't understand it the way I do now, as it has grown and taken concrete form, but it has been there for me since the beginning.

Originally Posted by jdooner View Post
That said, I don't relate to the beast - in fact, I see addictive voice as more or a false protector - trying to help me but realizing now its a mirage, just like my mind would hallucinate a stream of I was dying of thirst.
OK, so you don't like the image of a beast inside you. How about the image of a parasite instead? A parasite that is your instinctive drive for pleasure gone all wonky? A parasitic drive that lives in your lower brain function that has been created by continued exposure to alcohol, has flattened your dopamine response, and has only one goal?
The image of beast or parasite is useful to AVRT only to the extent that it helps with the recognition of these misguided thoughts and with your cognitive separation from them. The image serves to explain and provide a source for your addictive voice, those thoughts that always point in the same direction.

Here's where we come to the fork in the road. Either you separate from it and declare its relative futility while accepting its presence, or you start down the road of declaring your sins, making reparation and doing penance, and praying for deliverance from your obsession. While there are others, these are the choices you have given yourself.

In a sense, your belief that you need more than what you have already to stop drinking, is AV. This is simply because you can quit drinking, jdooner, you can, and you can do it for good. Onward!
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:47 AM
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I am 5 months sober this week and okay with the quitting drinking and with that becoming more aware of my other addictions, some substances and many behavioral. I am okay with the forever part - it took a while but I can't see ever going back. Ever! I am developing a sober life that I want more than an addictive life.

I have been learning much more about the biology and science behind addiction and various brain functions. I do relate to faulty wiring from years of abuse self inflicted and as a victim. I also understand that biologically speaking the thought of an addiction can trigger chemical reactions that inhibit rational decisions. I don't see myself as powerless over these said actions, instead I have a choice to either accept the consequences (known or perceived) or use my tools to not jump on that train and let it pass through my station now.

I don't want to nit pick bc I can do so with every program. I understand the point of the beast and parasite analogy - to disassociate from the thoughts and cravings and think of them as the id. My point was I think of the thought as a misguided protective mechanism in my brain vs something bad. Again, its a mirage and an illusion so in that sense it is bad to try and drink from a stream that does not exist. But the booze, drugs, sex, buying, work, diet, working out, hobbies that turn to obsessions are all a coping mechanism to find balance in my life that is out of balance. Reminds me of a great movie by Francis Ford Copola titled koyaanisqatsi. It means Life out of balance - an 80s documentary on the paradox between conservation and modernization.

FS - you have and continue to be a big help. I have much respect and admiration for you and some others on this site. I know there must be some frustration, as I have gone around and around between programs. But I am not seeing any harm in taking parts from both. I like the group therapy portion even if I am a bit of a fraud for not believing all of it. I have also learned to tune out some of the people with hidden or even obtuse agendas. I also see value in some of the step work but not from a sobriety perspective but a moral cleansing.

I am not sure where that leaves me? I am a little in the middle, sober, becoming happier and content with my life and leading a sober life. More educated on my addictions from a biological perspective and developing a greater sense of spirituality. and personal awareness. I do appreciate the advice and will think it through a bit more.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:51 AM
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I quit drinking, here at SR, midway through posting my first thread. It was here, that night, I learned about AVRT/BP and all the questions, doubts, fears; all the stuff that didn't ever make sense to me using a 12 step approach FINALLY made sense. The only reason I know the exact date is because it was the evening I joined here.

I started eating paleo'ish and quit smoking as well but I couldn't tell you when.

Hope you're doing well, jdooner.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:16 AM
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Hi jdooner-

My BP took me forever to make. I thought ok I will make a BP back in February of last year. So, I tried it but, it felt like a stupid lie. NEVER really???? So I drank one night in March.

Then I thought "no more BP's. I just wont drink today." And I didn't drink "today" for over eight months. Then I went on vacation and one night I decided to have a few beers. Thing is I DIDN'T want a few beers.... my beast screamed "get wasted". I realized that night I would never be a happy moderate drinker. I could be happy sober or be a moderate unhappy drinker, or just go back to being a drunk. Those were my options.

I chose to make a BP. I dumped out the rest of my beer. Grabbed a sprite and haven't looked back since (11/22/13). Thoughts of drinking are now followed by my BP and it has made life simple. I was lucky that I already had 8 months sober when that night happened and I think that is when I finalized my decision but, for me recovery definitely began on 3/13/13. I have not had continuous sobriety since that date but, I have forever sobriety now and I am happy with that and I am ok with what it took to get here.

Life. Is. Good.

Jess
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jdooner View Post
I am 5 months sober this week. I am a little in the middle, sober, becoming happier and content with my life and leading a sober life.
Sounds just fine to me, jdooner, that you are in a place where so many here wish to be. Congratulations to you!
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:19 AM
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Making a BP was my recovery. I stumbled upon SR and that lead me to RR.

The concepts and ways of thinking about addiction as presented in their material really resonated. I had for a long time explicitly denied the disease concept of addiction , but I had implicitly accepted the idea that quitting was either out of my own control or that I had to adopt a program in order to end my drinking. I now see that holding the idea that I couldn't do it on my own was part of my justification to continue being actively addicted. It was my "AV" , before I had even been aware of the term.
Drinking is something I either do or don't do on my own. I never was interested in life coaching , perhaps there is a benefit for me somehow in rethinking that premise , but groups predicated on one of the ideas that kept me trapped in the addiction "cycle" doesn't feel like a good place for me to start looking. That said, it doesn't mean that those types of programs don't necessarily have some truth or good principles to take, but the idea of a program that needs to be taken all or nothing, to me feels too much like dogma. As an analogy I am not Christian , but I love the golden rule.
Wish you well
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MythOfSisyphus View Post
The Big Plan was my recovery. I drank like a fish right to the moment I made my BP. After years of realizing I had to quit "someday" I finally reached a point where I felt like I'd rather die than keep on drinking the way I had been. Dead drunk I did a search for various recovery things and stumbled onto to SR. Somehow that lead me to AVRT. With nothing to lose I decided I would drink everything I had in the house that night but that would be it- never again!

Well, I had four bottles of wine on hand! Drank them all in one shot. Yeah, I was profoundly drunk, so hungover the next day I thought I might keel over dead. But I made my Big Plan, and I haven't had a sip since. That was almost 16 months ago.
Amazing! You rock.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:48 AM
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My point was I think of the thought as a misguided protective mechanism in my brain vs something bad. Again, its a mirage and an illusion so in that sense it is bad to try and drink from a stream that does not exist. But the booze, drugs, sex, buying, work, diet, working out, hobbies that turn to obsessions are all a coping mechanism to find balance in my life that is out of balance.


JD,
a coping mechanism.

yes. in my gazillion tries to quit, i saw drinking as the problem. i then, many times, made a plan not to ever again. yes, i read the RRbook. yes, it made tons of sense at the time. yes, i made a BP, several times. which is supposed to be impossible

and drank again.

what i quoted from you above comes close to how i see it now: drinking was the solution, really, to whatever else. when that hit me, it had to revolutionize my view, as i then was "stuck" in the "oh, so, then./..i now need other solutions". since my issue wasn't getting rid of a problem but dumping a useless solution.

AVRT is not a program, it's a technique. it serves its purpose well.
but its purpose is not related to a new "solution" or "coping mechanism to find balance" as you put it.
and THAT is where i see a fork in the road: the steps offer a solution, things like meditation and therapy offer solutions, churches offer solutions....if there's need for a new/different solution, there are many ways people can go.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:07 PM
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A Big Plan is just words if you don't mean it. By the time I heard about AVRT I was ready to get off the treadmill and desperate to quit drinking. Any fantasies I had about moderation have long since evaporated. If I was to ever drink again it would be because I intended to go back to being a drunk. There is no "middle way" with alcohol for me; it's a binary choice, drunk or sober.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:01 PM
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My recovery started with a reading of the first few chapters of Rational Recovery, going out and having a last weekend binge, then finishing the book of Monday and Tuesday and making the big plan. Just about 5 years later without a drink and here I am just offering well wishes and support. Love you all.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:28 PM
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Five years is pretty awesome! Well done.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:40 PM
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Take what you need, and leave the rest! I forget who said that and I'm too lazy to google it. But there's nothing wrong with that, as everyone is different and has to walk their own path to recovery.

I knew when I had gotten all I was going to get from AA and left. I know that means they all believe I am drinking again without them but I'm not! I take some of this and some of that...but the most important help you'll ever get is in your own head. When it's all said and done and no one is around and no one would know - it's what alcohol does to me, who it makes me into, and my revulsion towards the idea that keeps me sober.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:17 PM
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OK, this is going to be different.

The one part of RR that I am aware of and could not fully adopt was the Big Plan. I could not say Forever. For the rest of my life I will not drink, not ever again. I said Forever once and that was my marriage that ended in 1994.

I made a Big Plan and it is big, since it is a commitment to stay sober for as long as I was a drunk. That is a hell of a long time, but not quite my whole life. If at THAT point I feel like drinking, then maybe I will. But not till then. I feel like I wasted a huge chunk of my life wallowing in booze. I can't get it back; it is too late. But I can take the next big chunk of my life as a sober person, see what that's like and if it's better -- if I can make it better. I have left the option open that I may want to go back to drink anyways. But not before I give a good solid try to a sober life. I can't make a forever commitment to what I don't know enough about yet (sober living).
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