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Old 07-04-2014, 08:51 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Boudicca....I will respond only to assure and comfort you my post wasn't at all meant in the way you interpreted it - in actual fact it was the extreme opposite and supportive.

I'll take that you are in fact quite emotional now, and I was never implying a relapse, but rather what I said. Early sobriety is an emotional time, and you may be over reacting to posts because of that.

Be well.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:34 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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destpete, I don't mesman was putting the program of xx down, just making some observations as I recall
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:36 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by desypete View Post
like i said alcoholics are always right, what ever it is they believe in.
I disagree. I think a lot of us drink because we live our lives like shock absorbers, and many of us don't have a voice or are uncomfortable using it. I think it is sad when people who are already good at beating themselves up have more negative labels thrown at them. There are a lot of us who post here and share our struggles. But there are many more who read here and don't share, because they have already absorbed some nonsense that they are damaged, they are already full of self loathing and despair, tentative to stick their necks out. To label all alcoholics as anything, can keep people feeling ashamed and pigeonholed. Most alkies who are full of **** and vinegar don't have as many issues navigating through the hotbed of recovery views. I worry about the more fragile, vulnerable and already self defeated alcoholic who can't bear taking on any more self hate. I spent years crawling out of the hole of feeling defective and flawed, I will not allow anyone to tell me what I am.

When someone like me has not learned the proper way to process anxiety, fear, stress, anger….we look for ways to survive. I don't think I am always right, and I am not selfish, I also don't see the fact that I suffer from addiction as a moral defect. Alcohol served a purpose for a while, until it brought its own trauma.

A speaker stood up in rehab and told all of us we were courageous. I believe that. I believe that everyone on this board and in the world who struggles with addiction and tries to get help is courageous. In MY opinion, most of us thrive when our validity is acknowledged. In the corporate world I was consistently rewarded when reminding people of their individual strengths and expecting the best from them. I watched young green proteges finds their own rhythm. I watched other execs browbeat those with less experience, the results were usually depressing.

Entering the recovery world for the first time the newbie encounters a lot of new language. Newbies are usually vulnerable and overwhelmed. I get concerned when rhetoric is couched as fact or experience. I use the phrases "I believe", or "in my opinion" a lot here. I am always grateful for the mods who are quick to point out to newcomers that there are a variety of ways to get sober. Those of us who have been around a while can usually discern if someone is pushing an agenda, maybe that is because something has worked for them. To me, the most obvious sign of someone who has found inner peace is tolerance….and curiosity. It is a sign of strength to say "I don't know" or "tell me more".

I had an addictions therapist who took advantage of my vulnerability. Dogma that I did not subscribe to was consistently pushed at me, she refused to accept that there was any way to get sober but the way she knew. I resisted, and early on in my sobriety she labeled me as willful or naive. I kept thinking I must be doing sobriety wrong because I was doing it my way and it was working yet I was told I was likely to fail on an ongoing basis. Then I was told I was "doing it the hard way", or that I was tenacious. In short, I was told I was an aberration. As I gained strength I started to realize how narrowed minded her views were, how she was simply churning out a recipe and that I was supposed to find a way to fit into that equation.

Thankfully, I had years of CBT with another therapist (who I had not been honest with about my drinking). That therapist had worked patiently with me to learn how to honor my inner voice, not to be dismissive of my own feelings or thoughts, and to pay close attention when something made me anxious. She helped me realize I had an inner compass and worth, getting sober was a natural consequence of realizing I deserved more and in turn could offer more.

I spent years being beaten down, at home and in school. The last thing I need is to hear that there is some grave flaw built in because I am an alcoholic. All alcoholics struggle, it may manifest differently, but no one would choose this path willingly. Those full of bluster and swagger? Likely that is simply an amplification of a personality trait. I would guess the same folk who assert their opinions forcefully here would likely do the same thing in real life. Of course an active alcoholic with a big personality is going to come across as brazen. My guess? I imagine those alcoholics are but a portion of the few whose voices don't get heard.

So no, I don't believe alcoholics are always right, I don't believe women are always right, I don't believe people with left hands are always right,……

I didn't start to get comfortable with my own sobriety until I listened to my inner voice. The most precarious times in my life have been those in which I allowed other people to define me. Being marginalized doesn't feel good to me, and I imagine it doesn't feel good to people who are still struggling. My guess is more people who are still trying to get sober need a hand getting up not a hand pushing them down. I would feel physically ill after leaving this therapist, she would constantly reframe our discussions in order to remind me I was an alcoholic. "Don't get up on your high horse, don't be too sure of yourself, I know better than you"….years of that sort of crap came flooding back from childhood. This is exactly the sort of undermining language that likely caused me to not be able to speak up and instead smile and be a good girl while finding solace in the bottle. Thank god red flags were going up for me, and thank god I had this place to come find support.

I got the sense at some point that it annoyed the therapist who was trying to get me to conform that I was finding my own way. I left her. I was afraid to speak up at first, I am finding my voice. Sobriety has reinforced my belief that recovery is not a one size fits all proposition. My guess? Boards like SR will thrive and continue to deliver support to many who need help, especially because they give people room to find their own way.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:47 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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hey boudicca, I have to raise my hand in agreement with croissant on the point that you are still new to recovery. I fully agree that the AVRT model and commitment is an absolute. That's the beauty of it. However, there were those before you that applied this credo yet drank again. Please do not get defensive when someone suggests it is still possible for you to drink again. I would welcome that reminder myself.

Regardless of the method one chooses to remain sober, it is still a lifetime commitment. It ain't over till it's over. I have no doubt that in ten years I will be thinking I could enjoy a cold one after a round of golf. And I will have to correct my thinking on the spot.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:31 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
hey boudicca, I have to raise my hand in agreement with croissant on the point that you are still new to recovery. I fully agree that the AVRT model and commitment is an absolute. That's the beauty of it. However, there were those before you that applied this credo yet drank again. Please do not get defensive when someone suggests it is still possible for you to drink again. I would welcome that reminder myself.

Regardless of the method one chooses to remain sober, it is still a lifetime commitment. It ain't over till it's over. I have no doubt that in ten years I will be thinking I could enjoy a cold one after a round of golf. And I will have to correct my thinking on the spot.
I am in your corner here, Boudicca. Yes, it's true that sobriety for you was an event, a completed action in the past, a state you achieved through your understanding of your addiction and your final decision about continuing to use alcohol, your Big Plan. I believe that you have also added a moral dimension to your decision and made it immoral for yourself to ever drink again.

I suppose it is possible that you could do any number of immoral things, like poison neighbourhood pets, commit unspeakable crimes against children, even drink again. It's possible you could, but impossible for you to actually do. A defensive reaction of denial is entirely appropriate it would seem to me if anyone were to say you were capable of molesting a child.

I have plenty of doubt that I would need to be reminded to not drink in any future situation because of this moral aspect. I think the same would apply to you, Boudicca. Onward!
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:12 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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okay... now that I recall, I was told that if I didn't do this or that or go to meetings that I would drink again. I said no, your are wrong. I'm never going to drink again. And I meant it.

touche
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:14 AM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
Is it strange or odd to have feelings of frustration while reading some threads/posts on SR? I am not sure why, but I am really starting to feel irritated by many of the posts I read.

Maybe it is because using AVRT has been so easy and simple for me. I truly feel liberated from alcohol and have not found it very difficult to remain abstinent because I have decided to NEVER drink again and NEVER change my mind. This technique is incredibly effective.

However it seems not all individuals approach it from this perspective. There seems to be quite a bit of whining, excuses and such from those using a different treatment model. Also the constant relapsing is disturbing.

Is it just me? Am I being insensitive? Is there something I am not getting here?
Boudicca,

Congratulations on this speedy and popular thread.

I think Soberlicious' post #6 here is a great response. I would only add that while you learn about the Addictive Voice expressed in other people, in Institutions, and in Societal "Norms", make sure to keep a creative vigilance against your own Addictive Voice. How might your own Beast try to use your "irritation" or your "insensitivity" or what is "disturbing" to you to get you to drink again. For me, I would actually attribute those very feelings and responses to my Beast and not to myself. "Hah!" I would say to IT. "YOU are irritated and disturbed at MY insensitivity!" "Why not cut those struggling people some slack? YOU ask?" "Hah! Because YOU want ME to cut YOU some slack. Right?"

I found that this type of the AV Recognition Technique directed onto my Beast helped generate greater comfort with the language and feeling of separation from my Beast. This, in turn, gave me general relaxation in dealing with AV forces outside myself. And, yes, AV forces generally rule addiction recovery methodologies in the "professional services" world (although they do not in the total recovery picture).

You say you "have not found it very difficult to remain abstinent". That's what you have "not found". What have you found? In other words. What have you Recognized about your AV?

I had been completely detached from engaging with addiction recovery for a long, long time. I re-engaged when I found AVRT being included here on SR a few years ago. My Beast had been long dead and buried, and it was amusing for me to Recognize occasional rhetoric from 6 feet under: a corpse suddenly speaking on the philosophy of moderation. LOL.

You'll get used to IT, and IT will fade away. You will probably also end up being unable to recall what the actual sensation felt like to be under the influence of alcohol! I have.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:26 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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A Glimpse Of The Future...

What freshstart57 - one of my Virtual Mentors here - said twice^.

In something I would not suggest you try ~30 days in, Boudicca, I would like to offer a possible glimpse of a future. I certainly would not have tried this myself 'only' 30 days in. Sincere Congrats on what you've achieved; likely at a laudable, much-younger age than I.

A good Pal of mine who just up and quit Pot last year in his mid-60s joined us for Dinner last night, along with his Live-In Gal of many years. He experienced some weird racing Heartbeat symptoms while Hiking above 12,000' after huffing a Joint. He came off the Mountain and just quit. Full stop. No Drama. No wonder we're best Buds.

At my suggestion, we went to a new local Brewpub known for fantastic Chicken. And, it was. The other 3 drank, and I happily stuck with my 'Ginger Beer'. It's a Soft Drink. There's no Beer aspect to it whatsoever. From Mental Discipline comes Palate re-training, and new taste preferences.

Because my Mind has been 'Firewalled' for some months now, Alcohol was simply a non-issue. It was everywhere at this hoppin' Joint. We went for Chicken. I'd never again have a decent Meal around here if I avoided all Alcohol on display. It's improbable.

There was some light Haze from a distant Forest Fire, and from Fireworks being blown off by Kids. There was quite the 'noise' from the Restaurant Sound System. There was Alcohol. I took note of, and effortlessly ignored, all three of these Environmental variables. It was, perhaps, my most effortless evening out yet. I had zippity-doo-dah-zero Cravings, or AV Noise. I avoid complacency.

This is normal Life beyond the Mental Firewall that AVRT makes possible. I'm not challenging or tempting myself these days. I'm not 'into' Masochism.

A stunning Testimonial by jaynie04, BTW. Masterful. Just about made me Tear up. A very uplifting Thread.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:45 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Guys, for the 3rd time. My post was EVERYTHING about how one can be irritated by posts in early recovery and NOTHING about specific sobriety methods. Other than to say each person has their own journey out of fairness.

Nothing more, nothing less.

I don't know how to articulate my post any clearer than that, apologies for the CAPs...I just don't want to be drawn on recovery method debates. I misinterpreted the intent of the thread and will now bow out.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:53 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jaynie04 View Post
I didn't start to get comfortable with my own sobriety until I listened to my inner voice. The most precarious times in my life have been those in which I allowed other people to define me.
Jaynie, well said. I appreciate your entire post above very much. And this part in particular is a defining aspect of my own sobriety.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:57 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
hey boudicca, I have to raise my hand in agreement with croissant on the point that you are still new to recovery. I fully agree that the AVRT model and commitment is an absolute. That's the beauty of it. However, there were those before you that applied this credo yet drank again. Please do not get defensive when someone suggests it is still possible for you to drink again. I would welcome that reminder myself.

Regardless of the method one chooses to remain sober, it is still a lifetime commitment. It ain't over till it's over. I have no doubt that in ten years I will be thinking I could enjoy a cold one after a round of golf. And I will have to correct my thinking on the spot.
Bravo, LBrain. Well said. And I am one of those who drank again after following the AVRT model for a while. I still use some of the technique now. It's just not my entire recovery technique anymore.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:58 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Boudicca, after reading through the thread I can only add my two cents here and that is a suggestion to focus on developing tolerance for others' differences. That's it.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:58 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Boudicca, 34 days sober is FANTASTIC, congratulations, rootin for ya.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:43 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
Desypete ~

I Mod a few other Pages elsewhere, and am keen on sticking to the Rules here as Dee gently reminded us of above. Your Post inadvertently moves this discussion to the personal - vs. discussing general Program Concepts - with the 'you' in this sentence: 'what has aa done to you that makes you hate it with so much passion ?' A1: It's done nothing. A2: I don't 'hate' any Program.

I passionately believe that when any Program denigrates the Human Potential and causes Folks to question their own abilities to manage to permanent Sobriety their own Recovery, those presuppositions need to be rigorously challenged at the most fundamental level in a safe Venue like this one. Bottom Line: my Post resonated with some here. The Human Potential to heal innately within ourselves is a concept I will continue to be passionate about.

BTW, as a Pal says, I'm in 'Violent Agreement' with something you posted the other day to the effect that 'I'm short...', and you mentioned a few other Characteristics that aren't 'choices'. Well said. I took this to align with my POV that we all have certain Characteristics, including Addictive tendencies. Accepting one's Genetic Predispositions while scrapping the 'damaged Goods' assumptions intrinsic to the 'Fallen Angel' Model eases an Addict into a Life unencumbered by daily AV-type battles that must be exhausting. AVRT does this for me and, apparently, others. I strive to not proselytize about any given Method because that's as welcome as Religious Zealots at a Front Door on a Sunday morning. 'Water seeks it's own level', as the old saying goes, and Folks find their own successful Sobriety Model. Nothing succeeds like success.

The Masthead of a small Colorado Mountain Town Newspaper says it well:

'You hear what you want to hear. You see what you want to see'.
i dont really understand what your saying here ?
all i do know is your last post seemed to be one of anger towards aa and how your fed up with having to keep on justifying yourself or something like that ?
so i dont know what the problem is you have with aa buts its clear from what i have read there does seem to be a problem

my sponsor would say to me, your not that important to anyone you know, and i would laugh as it would be because i am thinking of myself as a very important person or a big head
its not an easy life in aa at times as sponsors dont let you get away with anything lol

anyway have a good day my friend and enjoy the peace in life
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:01 AM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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Mesa Man and Desypete - take it to PM guys.

D
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:36 AM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
I am in your corner here, Boudicca. Yes, it's true that sobriety for you was an event, a completed action in the past, a state you achieved through your understanding of your addiction and your final decision about continuing to use alcohol, your Big Plan. I believe that you have also added a moral dimension to your decision and made it immoral for yourself to ever drink again.

I suppose it is possible that you could do any number of immoral things, like poison neighbourhood pets, commit unspeakable crimes against children, even drink again. It's possible you could, but impossible for you to actually do. A defensive reaction of denial is entirely appropriate it would seem to me if anyone were to say you were capable of molesting a child.

I have plenty of doubt that I would need to be reminded to not drink in any future situation because of this moral aspect. I think the same would apply to you, Boudicca. Onward!
Thanks, Fresh! Yes, this description does accurately describe how I have attached a moral component to my decision. Not because I consider myself such a moral or good person.........it just attached an even greater importance to it and made it easier.
Thank you for your replies. I enjoy your writing style and you seem to put things in such a way that even dimwits like myself can understand!
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:06 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
Boudicca,

Congratulations on this speedy and popular thread.

I think Soberlicious' post #6 here is a great response. I would only add that while you learn about the Addictive Voice expressed in other people, in Institutions, and in Societal "Norms", make sure to keep a creative vigilance against your own Addictive Voice. How might your own Beast try to use your "irritation" or your "insensitivity" or what is "disturbing" to you to get you to drink again. For me, I would actually attribute those very feelings and responses to my Beast and not to myself. "Hah!" I would say to IT. "YOU are irritated and disturbed at MY insensitivity!" "Why not cut those struggling people some slack? YOU ask?" "Hah! Because YOU want ME to cut YOU some slack. Right?"

I found that this type of the AV Recognition Technique directed onto my Beast helped generate greater comfort with the language and feeling of separation from my Beast. This, in turn, gave me general relaxation in dealing with AV forces outside myself. And, yes, AV forces generally rule addiction recovery methodologies in the "professional services" world (although they do not in the total recovery picture).

You say you "have not found it very difficult to remain abstinent". That's what you have "not found". What have you found? In other words. What have you Recognized about your AV?

I had been completely detached from engaging with addiction recovery for a long, long time. I re-engaged when I found AVRT being included here on SR a few years ago. My Beast had been long dead and buried, and it was amusing for me to Recognize occasional rhetoric from 6 feet under: a corpse suddenly speaking on the philosophy of moderation. LOL.

You'll get used to IT, and IT will fade away. You will probably also end up being unable to recall what the actual sensation felt like to be under the influence of alcohol! I have.
GT, I read your words and think YES! This is the source of my feelings! What an epiphany! My Beast is not trying "direct action." It has changed tactics and I feel such a fool for not recognizing it sooner. Whereas the Beast used to scream and ROAR now it is whispering in my ear (like a gossipy, $%^&* little high school girl really.)

You ask what I have recognized about my AV. I have recognized it is absolutely relentless and just like any good guerilla warrior it will change its tactics to fit the situation. It isn't getting anywhere with the frontal assault....so it has embarked on a campaign of misinformation and propaganda. Although it is a primitive, base part of myself and I recognize it as such; it knows what I know. It is using my higher, best thinking against me. There was a movie quote I heard once "it knows what scares you, it has from the beginning."

The Beast is manipulating me through anger, irritation, frustration and feelings of being "less-than." Feelings I was attributing to my higher self but are being used by the Beast to make me uncomfortable.

Anger, in particular, is an emotion I never learned to deal with in a healthy way. In my family, I was taught that to express anger was wrong and inappropriate. I drank for years trying to stuff those angry feelings down. The Beast knows this.

I think some of my dissatisfaction with and "intolerance" of other treatment methodologies stems from Beast Activity. I need to adapt just as it has.

Thank you for spectacular analysis, GT and truly constructive insight.

I have much to learn.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:09 AM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
What freshstart57 - one of my Virtual Mentors here - said twice^.

In something I would not suggest you try ~30 days in, Boudicca, I would like to offer a possible glimpse of a future. I certainly would not have tried this myself 'only' 30 days in. Sincere Congrats on what you've achieved; likely at a laudable, much-younger age than I.

A good Pal of mine who just up and quit Pot last year in his mid-60s joined us for Dinner last night, along with his Live-In Gal of many years. He experienced some weird racing Heartbeat symptoms while Hiking above 12,000' after huffing a Joint. He came off the Mountain and just quit. Full stop. No Drama. No wonder we're best Buds.

At my suggestion, we went to a new local Brewpub known for fantastic Chicken. And, it was. The other 3 drank, and I happily stuck with my 'Ginger Beer'. It's a Soft Drink. There's no Beer aspect to it whatsoever. From Mental Discipline comes Palate re-training, and new taste preferences.

Because my Mind has been 'Firewalled' for some months now, Alcohol was simply a non-issue. It was everywhere at this hoppin' Joint. We went for Chicken. I'd never again have a decent Meal around here if I avoided all Alcohol on display. It's improbable.

There was some light Haze from a distant Forest Fire, and from Fireworks being blown off by Kids. There was quite the 'noise' from the Restaurant Sound System. There was Alcohol. I took note of, and effortlessly ignored, all three of these Environmental variables. It was, perhaps, my most effortless evening out yet. I had zippity-doo-dah-zero Cravings, or AV Noise. I avoid complacency.

This is normal Life beyond the Mental Firewall that AVRT makes possible. I'm not challenging or tempting myself these days. I'm not 'into' Masochism.

A stunning Testimonial by jaynie04, BTW. Masterful. Just about made me Tear up. A very uplifting Thread.
You are inspiring me, MM. I also avoid complacency, it is both a blessing and a curse sometimes. Great to hear of your fun evening with no AV. Gives me something positive to anticipate in the future.

I love your writing style, BTW! Truly unique and I love it.

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Old 07-05-2014, 05:17 AM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SoberJennie View Post
Boudicca, after reading through the thread I can only add my two cents here and that is a suggestion to focus on developing tolerance for others' differences. That's it.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, SJ. I do think tolerance can be an important quality and an admirable goal both on SR and IRL. It is an area in which most of us can improve, yes?

Sometimes, however, I believe weakness masquerades as "tolerance."
I don't want to apologize for standing up for myself; I won't make myself feel "less-than" just to worship at the altar of tolerance, fairness, etc. In some ways that accommodating behavior; "going along to get along," "gee, I want everybody to like me because I find my validation outside of myself, so I'll deny what I really feel" kept me drinking far longer than I would have liked.

I always enjoy your posts. Thank you for listening.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:24 AM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
hey boudicca, I have to raise my hand in agreement with croissant on the point that you are still new to recovery. I fully agree that the AVRT model and commitment is an absolute. That's the beauty of it. However, there were those before you that applied this credo yet drank again. Please do not get defensive when someone suggests it is still possible for you to drink again. I would welcome that reminder myself.

Regardless of the method one chooses to remain sober, it is still a lifetime commitment. It ain't over till it's over. I have no doubt that in ten years I will be thinking I could enjoy a cold one after a round of golf. And I will have to correct my thinking on the spot.
This is true in some ways, L. Yet I don't subscribe to the past behavior is an indicator of future behavior credo as it applies here. In fact, in my limited understand of AVRT the truth is just the opposite. I must reiterate....just because others have started drinking again after using AVRT does not mean that I will. However, it is possible. I'm just not going to spend the rest of my life pondering that possibility, LOL!

Thanks for your insight.
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