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Frustration or Insensitivity?

Old 07-06-2014, 03:25 PM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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LBrain...

'Unfortunately there are too many who cannot just accept this as a solution to stop drinking.'

How interesting! I'm away now to the Dog Park to Think Great Thoughts [from 'The Wizard Of Oz'] re: what complicates the choice of how to stop Drinking/Using. Can some 'choose' - or have no choice - to not stop simply? Unwilling. Unable. Not 'trained' in such Self Actualization? No Models in their Lives to illustrate 'just say no'? Thus, it seems like such an unattainable Method to some. No looking down my Nose intended whatsoever. Innate curiosity.

Beyond the dynamic to use/not use, and the perceived idea that it is such a simple decision [Drink or salvage the Family integrity], there is further the matter - another layer - of choosing the Method by which to stop.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:44 PM
  # 82 (permalink)  
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I find the model of learned helplessness to be spot on for me. Anticipation of results based on prior experience that keeps one anchored. I think soberlicious posted about the elephant tied with a thin rope..

Learned Helplessness (What It Is and Why It Happens)

I would imagine this is where our new brains get in the way. We anticipate results based on previous experience in an effort to take short cuts. There are times when this can be a benefit, but also times where anticipation gets in the way.


When I get out of bed in the morning I expect the floor to be there when I put my feet down even if I can't see it. I expect the bathroom light to switch on when I move a tiny black switch across the room. I expect that water will come out when I turn on the sink.
etc

These are streamlined assumptions based on prior experience.

It is always startling when we lose power and I flick a switch and a light doesn't come on. Or our well pump breaks and we have no water. We lived through Hurricane Sandy without power for weeks and I was still not used to it.

So a behavioral change, like not drinking, is going to take awareness, there is a startling quality to it like the water not coming out of the tap.

I found that becoming aware of how conditioned my responses were was extremely important. To me behavioral psychology is fascinating in respect to changing harmful behaviors, recognizing that the efficiency of my so called developed brain can often cause me to be anything but efficient.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:43 PM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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If you just resolve to never drink again, problem solved. That's it plain and simple. For some it is beyond reason. For others it is black and white. I fall into the latter group. Unfortunately there are too many who cannot just accept this as a solution to stop drinking.

LBrain,
it is entirely reasonable.
it does, however, rest on the premise that drinking is your/the problem.
if your drinking is of a nature more as a solution to whatever else, then removing the drinking does not solve "the problem".
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:16 PM
  # 84 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
The undermining of confidence is what I find to be the most dangerous practice in recoveryism.

.
yeah and people like to undermine it..anytime you get a dent in it. i feel the same. i don't need a program that want's to tear me down because I've been a bad little boy......i've been torn down enough
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:29 PM
  # 85 (permalink)  
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fini: "Picking up the pieces of your broken life is a separate issue." This followed my stop drinking spew.

I suppose I was speaking (writing) metaphorically concerning the 'other' issues surrounding one's propensity to drink. Or the cause and effect part of it...

As someone else previously posted, quitting drinking only solves one problem - drinking.
I realize that quitting drinking did not make my issues go away. Or the reasons that contributed to my drinking. My first priority was to stop drinking. Now, it is figuring out how to deal with it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:57 AM
  # 86 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
How interesting! I'm away now to the Dog Park to Think Great Thoughts [from 'The Wizard Of Oz'] re: what complicates the choice of how to stop Drinking/Using. Can some 'choose' - or have no choice - to not stop simply? Unwilling. Unable. Not 'trained' in such Self Actualization? No Models in their Lives to illustrate 'just say no'? Thus, it seems like such an unattainable Method to some. No looking down my Nose intended whatsoever. Innate curiosity.
Not sure if I qualify as a test subject for a curiosity-satisfying experiment, but I will share my experience. My experiences with resolving alcohol addiction throughout my life (family, TV, movies, friends, co-workers, etc.) all pointed to a single solution - the dominant recovery program. In my mind it was like a math problem where there is only one right answer, and that was it. When I first started attending meetings back in 1990 there were many things I liked (people who understood), but there were many things that did not make sense to me. The answers to my questions also did not make sense to me. What do you mean I'm not ready? I'm here aren't I?

Fast forward through a lot more drinking and several more attempts to fit a square recovery peg into my round alcoholic hole (pun intended). I had concluded that the answer I had been told my whole life was the correct answer was not the correct answer for me. But for the life of me I could not figure out what the correct answer was. I was assuming it had to be complex. That voice in my head was scaring the shizz out of me and I couldn't imagine just ignoring it. There has to be a process.

That's where this forum came in. People here explained to me what that voice was, why it was there, and how to deal with it. My brain went BOOM! It was like the crossword puzzle you can't solve and then someone tells you the answer and you think it was so obvious, why didn't I see it before?

I am not textbook RR, but AVRT is the core of my sober living program. Why others struggling in another program reject this simple solution I do not know. I embraced it the day I heard of it. (That day is recorded in the stickied AVRT thread at the top of this forum, btw.) I wish I had heard of it decades earlier.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:28 AM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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"...attempts to fit a square recovery peg into my round alcoholic hole."

See, non, you got that backwards. You're the peg and the hole is a program's desired result. If they work at you whittle away at you, reduce you and make you small enough, you'll fit just fine.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:41 AM
  # 88 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
"...attempts to fit a square recovery peg into my round alcoholic hole."

See, non, you got that backwards. You're the peg and the hole is a program's desired result. If they work at you whittle away at you, reduce you and make you small enough, you'll fit just fine.
That might be what they believe, but it wasn't working for me. I don't resent their efforts or dwell on the past too much. People were doing what they believed would be helpful because for some people it is. It was up to me to determine that it wasn't helpful to me, and my responsibility to discover what would be helpful. I have done that. It took longer than I wish it had, but better late than never!
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:57 AM
  # 89 (permalink)  
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Non, I couldn't have responded to myself better than that.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:22 AM
  # 90 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
No Models in their Lives to illustrate 'just say no'?
This hit me square on.

I DO have lots of models about saying no. I just didn't pay attention. I see people say no to things every day.

Then someone pointed out that sure I can do what other people do. Sure I can say no, and they reminded me I say it all the time about many things.

It is harder to say no to some people and things, but it is possible. I had to practice.

I actually practiced. I would stand up and say "no. No. NO" to a mirror, or chair, or a computer page I didn't agree with.

I knew I had made progress when I was having a bad dream and instead of running I turned around and said "NO".
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:27 AM
  # 91 (permalink)  
 
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I realize that quitting drinking did not make my issues go away.
The single act of quitting significantly improved many "issues" for me right away (I scare-quoted because I never really know what people mean by issues). I was far less anxious, less depressed. I woke up without the feeling of shame in the pit of my stomach that I had grown so accustomed to I didn't even realize I had it until I quit. Most of my relationships improved because I wasn't a gross slurring drunk. I was better at my job, and a better mom. I was able to meet my responsibilities, my skin came back to normal color, my hair got shiny again, and I stopped shaking and smelling weird.

Whatever problems remain I have because I am a human being. Everyone, regardless of whether they were ever addicted to a substance or not, has behaviors/thoughts/feelings that serve them well, and also some that serve them less well. When I was drinking I navigated through life in a way that was "not like me". I don't see addiction as a symptom, I see it as a big stand alone problem. Of course, I have less than savory characteristics, but that's not what made me drink...that's just what makes me human.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:34 AM
  # 92 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jaynie04 View Post

When I did know the answer though, my page was clean, with that correct answer standing alone, pristine, without the need for all that excessive wandering cloaked as work.

Simplicity…divine.
With word problems in math I used to let the words confuse me. I thought the words meant it had to be complicated and I would get nervous.

A tutor showed me that even if the words looked complicated, the math problem was easy, the same as a problem just written in numbers.

Sometimes I learned i had to work backwards from the answer. Like "what do I want", then how do I get there.

First I wanted to stop drinking. I thought that meant there was a maze to work through, but really the way to stop was to stop.

Then I addressed the other things that came up. I had to figure out what I wanted, then find the simplest way. And just like math, there were tutors for those things too. Having people around who know how to do it helped me when I let the words get me confused.

I didn't have this forum then, this is just like that. People help get past the confusion to the solution.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:54 AM
  # 93 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
I am not textbook RR, but AVRT is the core of my sober living program. Why others struggling in another program reject this simple solution I do not know. I embraced it the day I heard of it. (That day is recorded in the stickied AVRT thread at the top of this forum, btw.) I wish I had heard of it decades earlier.
Me too! I remember posting it the night I got my "Phd". What a profound idea!
It absolutely works for me. Even though I had already stopped drinking - but still struggling with it - this solidified it for me. And left me with no doubts that I will be free from alcohol forever.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:58 AM
  # 94 (permalink)  
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sober, "issues" was a very broad term... I saw improvement in myself immediately.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:21 AM
  # 95 (permalink)  
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Lord, there is a lot of good stuff here.

I dig the concept of ferreting out drinking vs the rest of our problems. Do I know that there was a lot of bleed into other areas because of addiction? Absolutely. But, I could not identify with the constant suggestion that every action I took was a direct result of being an alcoholic.

Everyone I know, addict/alkie or normie has issues. Ego issues, insecurity issues, attachment issues, abandonment issues, learning issues, authority issues, trauma….an endless list with endless variations.

The simplicity of acknowledging one problem that was obvious is in some respects the easy part. I feel it pays more homage to our uniqueness. To me it is exactly in acknowledging our uniqueness that I celebrate the human condition, good and bad. To me being told "of course you decided to wear green today, you are an alcoholic and it must remind you of a Tanquery bottle" is actually the grosser oversimplification.

A lot of work has been done in the field of education about how people learn. Some people work better learning rote material. Achelon, I think you touched on this in your comment about your learning style.

Accomodators: Concrete Experience + Active Experiment
Converger: Abstract Conceptualization + Active Experiment
Diverger: Concrete Experience + Reflective Observation
Assimilator:Abstract Conceptualization + Reflective Observation

It makes a lot of sense to me when I hear and experience the round peg/square hole comp. We all learn, process and proceed from a different place. There is very likely a reason traditional methods work for some and fail others. I think that the idea of someone who is being labeled "terminally unique" is often someone who is being confronted with a system that does not coincide with the way they are built. Just like formal education often accommodates students, yet fails learners, when one paradigm is offered without options it often neglects a large portion of people.

I don't do well with sequential rote learning, I tend to skip ahead, am sloppy with details and look for the bottom line. If I have a question I will return and revisit material but I tend to ignore what I feel is extraneous information along the way. Sometimes this strategy is very successful, other times it fails me, but I have awareness of how I learn and process.

I believe people across the board would find better results if they were encouraged to acknowledge and embrace their unique habits. I see a lot of parallels with the education experience…take a population of 30 people and put them in a room, different teaching styles are going to have different results. People that are stand out under one method are going to come up short in another environment.

I expect in time the field of addiction will broaden and that this component will likely play a large part. I think less judgement and more interest in an individual's peculiarity would reap far greater rewards.

I don't doubt that a poster is in disbelief that this method works, because it likely wouldn't work for them. Not better, not worse, just different. It can take a lifetime to understand that people are intrinsically different, but I think having greater self awareness in turn leads to a deeper understanding of our own limitations as well as others.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:44 AM
  # 96 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jaynie04 View Post
I believe people across the board would find better results if they were encouraged to acknowledge and embrace their unique habits. I see a lot of parallels with the education experience…take a population of 30 people and put them in a room, different teaching styles are going to have different results. People that are stand out under one method are going to come up short in another environment.
I learn best by hearing. I have a brain issue, in that I can think fine, but writing and reading words, things get mixed up along the way. But if I hear words, very little problem.

So instead of notes, I would record a lecture and listen again on the way home. Then in my head I would put it in my own words, but taking notes wasn't much help for me.

I listen to audio books.

not right and wrong, just different. My mothers says '6 kids and not one of them alike, but they have the same parents" go figure
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
The single act of quitting significantly improved many "issues" for me right away (I scare-quoted because I never really know what people mean by issues). I was far less anxious, less depressed. I woke up without the feeling of shame in the pit of my stomach that I had grown so accustomed to I didn't even realize I had it until I quit. Most of my relationships improved because I wasn't a gross slurring drunk. I was better at my job, and a better mom. I was able to meet my responsibilities, my skin came back to normal color, my hair got shiny again, and I stopped shaking and smelling weird.

Whatever problems remain I have because I am a human being. Everyone, regardless of whether they were ever addicted to a substance or not, has behaviors/thoughts/feelings that serve them well, and also some that serve them less well. When I was drinking I navigated through life in a way that was "not like me". I don't see addiction as a symptom, I see it as a big stand alone problem. Of course, I have less than savory characteristics, but that's not what made me drink...that's just what makes me human.
"I don't see addiction as a symptom, I see it as a big stand alone problem. Of course, I have less than savory characteristics, but that's not what made me drink...that's just what makes me human."

As usual, Sober, you cut right to the pure heart of the matter. This, IMO, is the glaring difference between non-traditional treatment methodologies and the Leviathan of the Twelve-Steps. That treatment model sees addiction as the solution, not the problem. I respectfully disagree and feel that this is why I consider myself recovered vs. "being in recovery."

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Old 07-07-2014, 07:52 AM
  # 98 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jaynie04 View Post
Lord, there is a lot of good stuff here.

I dig the concept of ferreting out drinking vs the rest of our problems. Do I know that there was a lot of bleed into other areas because of addiction? Absolutely. But, I could not identify with the constant suggestion that every action I took was a direct result of being an alcoholic.

Everyone I know, addict/alkie or normie has issues. Ego issues, insecurity issues, attachment issues, abandonment issues, learning issues, authority issues, trauma….an endless list with endless variations.

The simplicity of acknowledging one problem that was obvious is in some respects the easy part. I feel it pays more homage to our uniqueness. To me it is exactly in acknowledging our uniqueness that I celebrate the human condition, good and bad. To me being told "of course you decided to wear green today, you are an alcoholic and it must remind you of a Tanquery bottle" is actually the grosser oversimplification.

A lot of work has been done in the field of education about how people learn. Some people work better learning rote material. Achelon, I think you touched on this in your comment about your learning style.

Accomodators: Concrete Experience + Active Experiment
Converger: Abstract Conceptualization + Active Experiment
Diverger: Concrete Experience + Reflective Observation
Assimilator:Abstract Conceptualization + Reflective Observation

It makes a lot of sense to me when I hear and experience the round peg/square hole comp. We all learn, process and proceed from a different place. There is very likely a reason traditional methods work for some and fail others. I think that the idea of someone who is being labeled "terminally unique" is often someone who is being confronted with a system that does not coincide with the way they are built. Just like formal education often accommodates students, yet fails learners, when one paradigm is offered without options it often neglects a large portion of people.

I don't do well with sequential rote learning, I tend to skip ahead, am sloppy with details and look for the bottom line. If I have a question I will return and revisit material but I tend to ignore what I feel is extraneous information along the way. Sometimes this strategy is very successful, other times it fails me, but I have awareness of how I learn and process.

I believe people across the board would find better results if they were encouraged to acknowledge and embrace their unique habits. I see a lot of parallels with the education experience…take a population of 30 people and put them in a room, different teaching styles are going to have different results. People that are stand out under one method are going to come up short in another environment.

I expect in time the field of addiction will broaden and that this component will likely play a large part. I think less judgement and more interest in an individual's peculiarity would reap far greater rewards.

I don't doubt that a poster is in disbelief that this method works, because it likely wouldn't work for them. Not better, not worse, just different. It can take a lifetime to understand that people are intrinsically different, but I think having greater self awareness in turn leads to a deeper understanding of our own limitations as well as others.
When I read H. Gardners" Multiple Intelligences, these ideas hit me like a ton of bricks! Of course this theory will apply to addiction recovery.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:16 AM
  # 99 (permalink)  
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whenever i read "that's the alcoholic mind" or "that's alcoholic thinking" or "that's the obsurdity of the disease" followed by whatever I thought at any certain time...I think to myself how are we ever going to move forward in the field of addiction and recovery with blanket..use whenever you want statements like that. It just gets worse and worse

really.. You take something somebody just made up without any research or scientific method and you just let people expanded on it and use to however it feels right to them and pass it off as fact...and if you disagree with it that is "ego" or "alcoholic thinking"

brilliant
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:26 AM
  # 100 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by caboblanco View Post
whenever i read "that's the alcoholic mind" or "that's alcoholic thinking" or "that's the obsurdity of the disease" followed by whatever I thought at any certain time...I think to myself how are we ever going to move forward in the field of addiction and recovery with blanket..use whenever you want statements like that. It just gets worse and worse

really.. You take something somebody just made up without any research or scientific method and you just let people expanded on it and use to however it feels right to them and pass it off as fact...and if you disagree with it that is "ego" or "alcoholic thinking"

brilliant
In terms of medical advancements and science, I feel understanding addiction is almost in the dark ages, and unfortunately the most commonly accepted recovery program contributes significantly to keeping it there. Human beings are unique; blanket statements regarding addiction and lumping everyone together is dangerous and prohibits advancement.

I am encouraged that programs such as SMART and RR have gotten more prominent, and am glad for this sub-forum to discuss secular recovery.
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