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Old 07-13-2014, 11:57 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Freshstart, I re-read my question and I just wanted u to know I didn't mean to sound rude with the abruptness. I genuinely wish to know, what part of FT,s post suggested there was something wrong.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:36 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MythOfSisyphus View Post
I'll concede that it may be theoretically possible for a "true alcoholic" to rehabilitate him/herself into a 'normal drinker' but I've never seen it actually happen.
I think its worthwhile challenging the label "true alcoholic" what does it mean and how is it categorized. Being around recovery circles for 10 years now I often here this term BUT when you kind of open it up and peer inside it seems to be a very inexact definition almost to the point of really meaning nothing.

Lets discuss this, is it based on where your DOC has taken you, how many friends you have lost, how many lies you tell, how much money is wasted or DUI,s Or is it based on how much effort you have taken to control the drinking and failed attempts to do so. Or maybe how much physical damage it has done to your body and brain. Or is based on AA's idea that given sufficient reason you cant stop. Or is it a moral issue of giving into to selfishly wanting to live the "high life". Or is it intuitive "i just know" kind of thing.
The strange thing here is we all probably suffer from a confirmation bias towards seeing people who appear to recover like us as True addicts/alcoholics.
the Big Book suggests that if you recover without some kind of Spiritual Experience then you are just a problem drinker, a common misdirection of logic.

Peter Soderman who wrote "powerless no longer" states research that more than 50% of people with a drinking problem recover or moderate on their own, Were those people True Alcoholics? on what basis or evidence can we say they are not?
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:05 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
I think its worthwhile challenging the label "true alcoholic" what does it mean and how is it categorized. Being around recovery circles for 10 years now I often here this term BUT when you kind of open it up and peer inside it seems to be a very inexact definition almost to the point of really meaning nothing.
That's why the air quotes...er, since it's written I guess just quotes. I'm referring to something that's on one level semantics but on another level a read definitional problem. I don't know what a "real alcoholic" is. I can only tell you my definition of a problem; if drinking is causing trouble in your life and you are unable to prevent consequences I call that a problem. Really it would be fair to see that if your drinking bothers you then it's a problem to you.


Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
Peter Soderman who wrote "powerless no longer" states research that more than 50% of people with a drinking problem recover or moderate on their own, Were those people True Alcoholics? on what basis or evidence can we say they are not?
I don't know Peter Soderman nor have I ever read the Big Book although I think I know what it is. If Soderman claims that half of problem drinkers can moderate on their own I'd love to see the evidence he uses to bolster that claim. My experience is that his claim is vastly inflated. I know personally maybe one problem drinker that managed to later moderate her drinking. That's just anecdotal, not real evidence, but given the thousands of drinkers I've known you'd think it would be more common.

Of course, I guess we're back to the definitional problem. It's also pretty clear that there are people, especially young people, that get involved with a "party culture" where they drink way too much but eventually outgrow it. Those are the ones I would pretty squarely place in the group of that learns to moderate on their own...probably because they graduated, moved out of the dorms and got jobs.

On the other hand I think we can say uncontroversially that there are some very hardcore drinkers; physically addicted to the point of violent DTs, failed to stop despite failing health and repeated attempts, etc. I'm skeptical that all those folks could easily "recover or moderate on their own". Again, if there's hard scientific evidence I'd be interested in seeing it. My hunch is that the "low hanging fruit" of kids in youth culture outgrowing college and people dealing with short term life issues that account for a good share of those stats.

This leads me back full circle to where I came in. Personally I've never met anyone that drank like me that ever managed to moderate, ever. Some stop, many die. But moderate? I literally can't name one person I've ever met that managed it. But even if it's possible, is it the best option? Or a good option? As I said before, it's a tightrope with a thousand foot fall on either side. Best case you manage to get down a couple glasses that you won't enjoy just for...what? What is the gain? Even if you have some whiz-bang CBT therapy to rewire your desire to get blasted into an appreciation for a mild buzz, is that worth the effort? Millions of people don't drink at all and don't miss it.

Not trying to argue but I just don't really see the risk vs reward analysis of moderation for a "true alcoholic" as being favoring returning to drinking. So little to gain if you succeed vs so much to lose if you fail.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:57 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MythOfSisyphus View Post
I just don't really see the risk vs reward analysis of moderation
Sums it up for me. My potential gain is a mild buzz now and again. My potential loss is everything I cherish. My chances of success based on 20+ years of attempting to moderate - estimated at about 5%.

Total sucker bet.

You would have to do your own analysis, of course, but that seems like a reasonable way to model it - potential gain vs potential loss weighted by probability of success.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:16 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Myth of S

I am not talking about moderation here as a viable option I simply describing and challenging pre-conceived ideas of alcoholism. You have written it yourself its a erroneous term. Its true that Sodeman may be pulling that stat from his backside, thanks for bringing that up I am actually going to check his sources (a worthwhile project). As you can tell from my first post I choose abstinence myself and part of that Clear and Concise Pathway of Choice is a thoughtful consideration of moderation, not a bulldozing past the question as if its a scary monster under the bed. So many people on here and other websites I attend make an assumption that a thought of moderation is some kind of indication that things are wrong or in RR terms "the beast" is talking, I have no problem if you need that belief to stay sober but for me such thinking is just a script made up to create a target and has no evidence or basis in reality for me.

At the end of the day I post to encourage thinking (critical thinking) and challenge probably one of the biggest problems in the weird world of recovery CREDUlLITY.

Here is quote from Pema Chodron that states my position better then I can from her When Things Fall Apart

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:25 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
Myth of S

I am not talking about moderation here as a viable option I simply describing and challenging pre-conceived ideas of alcoholism. You have written it yourself its a erroneous term. Its true that Sodeman may be pulling that stat from his backside, thanks for bringing that up I am actually going to check his sources (a worthwhile project). As you can tell from my first post I choose abstinence myself and part of that Clear and Concise Pathway of Choice is a thoughtful consideration of moderation, not a bulldozing past the question as if its a scary monster under the bed. So many people on here and other websites I attend make an assumption that a thought of moderation is some kind of indication that things are wrong or in RR terms "the beast" is talking, I have no problem if you need that belief to stay sober but for me such thinking is just a script made up to create a target and has no evidence or basis in reality for me.
A difficult proposition because in many cases it is Beast talk. Or at least it's very seductive because it's what every problem drinker secretly hopes and wants to believe. Don't misunderstand me- in theory all you say is true. We can discuss moderation but very few of us will ever attain it. So few that I'm not sure it's worth much exploration except for academic discussion.

Basically we'd all like to think we might be that one in a million to make it work, but statistically any one of us is more likely to be in the other 999,999.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:39 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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What an interesting discussion! Thanks FT for the thread.

I would not ask yourself if you can moderate or not. I would ask yourself what of POSITIVE value will alcohol add to your life?

What is a "true alcoholic?" Does it really matter? AVRT teaches us that the labels are superfluous at best and AV at worst. Genetic predisposition is BESIDE THE POINT.

Speaking only for myself, moderation is simply not an option. The more I tried to moderate, the less control I had. AVRT also teaches us that TIME is of no consequence. Yes, a great many years have passed since your Final Decision. However, we exist only in the now, yes? Thus the question of time is irrelevant to the discussion. We either drink or we don't. Moderation is not an option.

Sorry for the random nature of my reply. Coffee hasn't kicked in yet, LOL. Thank you for a thought provoking post. Might be back with more thoughts later.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:46 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MythOfSisyphus View Post
That's why the air quotes...er, since it's written I guess just quotes. I'm referring to something that's on one level semantics but on another level a read definitional problem. I don't know what a "real alcoholic" is. I can only tell you my definition of a problem; if drinking is causing trouble in your life and you are unable to prevent consequences I call that a problem. Really it would be fair to see that if your drinking bothers you then it's a problem to you.




I don't know Peter Soderman nor have I ever read the Big Book although I think I know what it is. If Soderman claims that half of problem drinkers can moderate on their own I'd love to see the evidence he uses to bolster that claim. My experience is that his claim is vastly inflated. I know personally maybe one problem drinker that managed to later moderate her drinking. That's just anecdotal, not real evidence, but given the thousands of drinkers I've known you'd think it would be more common.

Of course, I guess we're back to the definitional problem. It's also pretty clear that there are people, especially young people, that get involved with a "party culture" where they drink way too much but eventually outgrow it. Those are the ones I would pretty squarely place in the group of that learns to moderate on their own...probably because they graduated, moved out of the dorms and got jobs.

On the other hand I think we can say uncontroversially that there are some very hardcore drinkers; physically addicted to the point of violent DTs, failed to stop despite failing health and repeated attempts, etc. I'm skeptical that all those folks could easily "recover or moderate on their own". Again, if there's hard scientific evidence I'd be interested in seeing it. My hunch is that the "low hanging fruit" of kids in youth culture outgrowing college and people dealing with short term life issues that account for a good share of those stats.

This leads me back full circle to where I came in. Personally I've never met anyone that drank like me that ever managed to moderate, ever. Some stop, many die. But moderate? I literally can't name one person I've ever met that managed it. But even if it's possible, is it the best option? Or a good option? As I said before, it's a tightrope with a thousand foot fall on either side. Best case you manage to get down a couple glasses that you won't enjoy just for...what? What is the gain? Even if you have some whiz-bang CBT therapy to rewire your desire to get blasted into an appreciation for a mild buzz, is that worth the effort? Millions of people don't drink at all and don't miss it.

Not trying to argue but I just don't really see the risk vs reward analysis of moderation for a "true alcoholic" as being favoring returning to drinking. So little to gain if you succeed vs so much to lose if you fail.
Tremendous analysis as usual, Myth. For me, I don't want just one or two.......I want bottles and bottles, LOL!
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:54 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
Freshstart, I re-read my question and I just wanted u to know I didn't mean to sound rude with the abruptness. I genuinely wish to know, what part of FT,s post suggested there was something wrong.
Sam, I think your first volley was a better one in that I didn't say 'wrong'. I asked two questions and to my thinking, it was the first that had the meat. Why drink? My intent was to ask, with our experience with alcohol, why on God's green earth would we be considering drinking? What does drinking offer us? In some fashion, when we quit we each did a cost benefit comparison and it was that comparison that allowed us to choose sobriety.

Instead of 'what's going on', I might better have asked what has changed in that past experience, what has changed to invalidate that previous analysis. Have the benefits of drinking now somehow improved? Or are the risks now so much less? It is one or the other, or both surely. This is what I was referring to in my second q.

FT, maybe it was me that was abrupt. I hope you understand the real reason for my reply to your OP was concern, care, and wishes for nothing but the best that sobriety can give you.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:08 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Great discussion...I would like to throw a slightly different perspective. I self identify as an addict, of which alcohol was one of my addictions. I find that with alcohol removed and without a sufficient program, another addiction will take its place (just me). I felt the strongest addiction from cocaine. Would anyone argue trying to moderate cocaine? This is not tongue and cheek but being serious...it was legal for years and years before the US scheduled it as a class A drug. It has been demonstrated that the chemistry in our neuropathy from cocaine abuse and long term alcohol abuse is actually quite similar. So while at first my comparison may sound absurd, I would posit that it is not that ridiculous.

My point: I think it is often rationalized with alcohol because of the legality. It was man that wrote these laws however. Men and women that are sick themselves (just watch House of Cards for an accurate representation of Washington DC politics). Alcohol is a poison, empty calories at best. There is no nutritional benefit and we keep away from children. Honesty was key for me in recovery, and I never drank for anything less than a buzz (just my experience again). So while I may fool myself (some may refer to this as my beast) into thinking something different moderation for me is to rationalize getting high off alcohol, the same as cocaine.

As an opinion, I do believe this is how people with long term sobriety end up relapsing. It starts with the question, "was I really an alcoholic if I was able to stop?" It often ends with a post about how moderation does not work.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:11 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Hi FT, I found this to be an interesting thread, it starts off a few years ago, but you will find a recent update from the Original Poster in it.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-drinking.html

As an aside. I respect you have so much time sober. I hope I do one day as well and commend you for sticking by your decision so long.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:30 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
 
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Samseb,
Have you read the RR book in its entirety? That technique most certainly doesn't encourage fear of the beast. There is no "bulldozing past the question as a scary monster under the bed". The whole idea is that the beast has no power.

In fact, there is a section on a technique called shifting (p.202-204) in which Trimpey suggests purposefully bringing out the beast. This technique is controversial here, I've found, because of course there is a great deal of fear and arousing those feelings freaks people out. I'm not suggesting doing it or not doing it, I'm simply saying that, as a technique, AVRT most certainly does not encourage fear. I've done shifting with real substances. Why? Because I can.

I'd like to note that this was before I read any AVRT material, which is significant. The technique is based on what self-recovered people did of their own accord. It's not something JT made up, any more than the 12 steps are ideas that BW made up. There is a lot of common sense in all methods I've read about. As far as moderation goes...common sense dictates that it's pointless to engage in a problem behavior just a little bit.

Now, whether thoughts of moderation are "really AV"...of course they are if you are going by the definition of AV from RR. Here's the thing, seeing if you can moderate involves drinking alcohol...which is a weird thing for a non drinker to do.

Trimpey also doesn't tout abstinence as a superior way of life per se. His point is, if you want to quit drinking, the only way is to stop putting alcohol in your body period. He stresses, too, that this technique is only for those who want to quit using substances. If a person doesn't want to quit, that's entirely their business.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:35 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Absolute Freedom

'Back in the day', we studied Composers including Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky, as I recall [perhaps erroneously], stated that 'Absolute Freedom Is Absolute Structure'. What he did prior to composing was decide the length of his Composition; say, 15 minutes. He would decide if it was going to be in a more-evocative Minor Key, or a Major Key. He would decide the Instrumentation. Having decided all that, he felt he could then sit down and let the creative juices flow. This sounds counter-intuitive to 'Artistic Creation'. Many non-Musicians believe that someone like Eric Clapton or Joe Bonamassa just rip an astounding Guitar Lick w/o forethought. Not usually the case. They have carefully considered where they want an astounding Solo to go; rehearsed it; and can then run with it live. The [1.] Absolute Structure of advance planning allows [2.] subsequent Absolute Freedom in the Studio, or on Stage.

My point - and I do have one - is that this sort of Sober Absolute Structure in my Life likewise allows me Absolute Freedom. I can now just get on with it. Besides being a 'Science Guy', I love some of the concepts being discussed herein. Pragmatically, though, what makes me even available for contemplation of these concepts is - wait for it - uninterrupted Sobriety. My effortless Firewall.

The time and energy expended in my carefully-orchestrated Drinking became, itself, it's own Black Hole. Mind you, this is not the Drinking; just the planning of it. Hiding the 1.75 L 'Handles' in a couple of places. Copping 'enough' of a buzz 24/7 to still kinda-function, and then dealing with the times I didn't have enough in my Stomach and 'blew past' my planned 'coping' BAC level just like a Mercedes blowing by an Exit on the Autobahn. Driven there, seen that. Planning which Liquor Stores opened the earliest around here. Planning ahead to buy that next Handle in advance. Alcohol Inventory Management. Pre-planning my Drinking in purported 'Moderation'. At the very least, it was quite like an Embezzler stealing Company Funds. The 'cover your Tracks' BS wears you down like a piece of Stone against a Shop Grinder.

Shaking so badly that I could barely complete a Form at a Clinic to be evaluated for - ta da - Alcohol-based Neuropathy is a sample of the lil conundrums I had to eliminate from my Life. It was all just too effin' much work.

So, all this fascinating, moot, 'heady' discussion aside, I'm lazy in old age. Along with trying Drinking again, I might as well grab a 120 Volt, GFI-protected Circuit Wire to see if it trips off and prevents my Electrocution. One 'advantage' of going Sober after ~42 years of varied Drinking levels is to enjoy the sanguine satisfaction of just saying 'enough already'. I'm blissfully free of all the 'what if' Scenarios. If I could return to Drinking - the point of which, for me, is to near or achieve Blackout - do I want to again expend such effort just in planning my Drinking. The Money was never a problem. Astonishingly, no DUIs, as with many of my Pals. I never smashed a Vehicle. OK, one Taillight while picking up a Pizza. Or, wound up in the Emergency Room. Or, lost a 6 figure Salary Job. Or, wrecked my 37 year-old Marriage. I suspect that, in the Bell Curve representation of Drinkers, some can moderate. That makes Statistical 'sense'. They could just be out there successfully moderating. However, the proficient Alk in my Bathroom Mirror never has yet met one.

Sometimes, laziness is just intrinsically cool. It prevents you from mindlessly putting your Hand on a hot Stove Burner while asking: 'Gee, I wonder what's gonna happen this time'? It's often possible for us to be 'too' smart for ourselves and challenge that which is best left alone.

It's common for Folks, including me, to cite their experience and extrapolate that to a larger Sample Population. So, I'm always mindful of sticking with my personal 'Sample of One' illustrations. They mean nothing beyond me. This, and other Logical Fallacies, are linked here; one of my favorite lil Websites.

Logical Fallacies
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:39 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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So many great posts! Where to start?

FreshStart, you asked, "Why drink, FT? What's going on?" The answer is, nothing really. I live my life with intention and have for a long time. I have to remember that, if I hit a "rough patch" it may not be so easy to stick to my intentions. So, for me, drinking again is just not worth it. I had an addiction scare after major orthopedic surgery in 2009, which brought me to SR to get off opiates. I NEVER saw the "opiate hell ride" coming, and it shocked me. I used to post mostly in the Substance Abuse forum. My opiate addiction drove home the "addictive personality" thing, and I had to draw upon the "skills" I used to quit drinking to help me quit opiates.

I've thought of the question you raised off and on over the years, with the difference being, "Why NOT drink?" At the end of the day, I have to remember why it was that I wanted to quit in the first place, if I always had a choice?

I remember a long time ago, during a time I was quite happily drinking Cold Duck every night, I went to the dentist and he asked me, "How much grape juice DO you drink, anyway?" ???? I never have been a grape juice drinker, so it shocked me to hear that question. OMG, the Cold Duck! Wow. I was one of those "invisible drinkers" for most of my drinking career. I never went to bars, did all my drinking at home, usually alone. I had probably already tried and failed to quit drinking a few times by then, especially if my teeth were already purple. Believe me, I did NOT like being unmasked!

Here's why I quit: tired of going to different stores all the time so no one would SEE my Cold Duck habit, tired of smashing wine bottles so no one would see them in the trash, tired of being fat (Cold Duck is fattening), tired of only the first half of the first bottle tasting good any more, tired of feeling like crap the next day after I graduated to bottle #2 every night, .... I could go on, but that's a start. It was also expensive. I had not yet gotten to the place of physical ailments, but I could see the two bottles a night down the road being three, or graduating to hard booze, which I already sometimes did.

My husband and I tried quitting together a bunch of times, but eventually one or both of us decided we had it nailed, so we could party now and again. Quickly back up to the daily high volume drinking. His drinking scared me, and I was more afraid of his continued drinking than mine. So when I up and "took a stand" one day, "I am never going to drink again...," he did not believe me. I never "meant it" before. After I had a couple of months behind me, he took notice and promised he would quit "soon." I didn't believe him. Then one day he had a nosebleed that would not stop. I explained to him that the liver controls the body's clotting factors and that his high volume drinking could have something to do with it. That scared the crap out of him and he quit drinking right after that.

Samse, your thought process comes the closest to how I look at alcoholism, and I too like to challenge pre-conceived ideas about it. Personally, I do believe that I ALWAYS had a choice to drink, and I have had plenty of opportunities over the years to change my mind. I agree that "the Clear and Concise Pathway of Choice is a thoughtful consideration of moderation, not a bulldozing past the question as if its a scary monster under the bed." I no longer fear "taking that first drink" as some sort of slippery slope to hell. It just doesn't make sense to me to drink these days. I've mentioned here before that I have accidentally taken a sip of alcohol in a "mystery drink" offered to me. I am also in a profession that celebrates a lot, and I have been offered champagne too many times to count. I'm just never interested. Even though I do not think it would matter to me, since I would not be drinking to get buzzed, alcohol just doesn't taste good to me any more.

I also agree with Samse that a thought of moderation is some kind of indication that things are wrong or in RR terms "the beast" is talking. My musings about it now really are not the "Beast" rearing up. Maybe I am fooling myself, but these thoughts do not occur as urges, but more as a self-questioning about "why refuse" next time somebody places another drink in my hand. Do I need to?

Originally Posted by Croissant View Post
Hi FT, I found this to be an interesting thread, it starts off a few years ago, but you will find a recent update from the Original Poster in it. http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-drinking.html

As an aside. I respect you have so much time sober. I hope I do one day as well and commend you for sticking by your decision so long.
Croissant, here's what you said, and I like it:

"1. Fair point about thinking about drinking, regardless of moderating / being sober. When drinking, I don't want to feel suddenly panicked if there is only one bottle of wine for the evening, or worse, I have to unexpectedly share my alcohol with someone. For me, it's much easier to moderate - sober.

2. Euphoric Recall is the minds way of "tricking" us back to our poison of choice to feed the addiction. Dampening any good Euphoric Recall memories, by remembering the garbage alcohol brought to my life and taking off the rose coloured glasses is imperative for me to stay sober. Alcohol brought nothing good long term to either my Mother, or eventually, myself. In fact, I was a non-drinker basically til my early thirties. It's very easy to get sucked into the addiction lie once that switch gets turned on. Finding out about how Euphoric Recall can trick me, just put addiction into a whole new light for me."

I won't be drinking any time soon, that's for sure. I have several logical reasons why not:

1. I won't risk my husband's sobriety. Even though I do not think he would drink again, it would not be fair to subject him a drinking wife. What is very true is that every time I go on a diet, my husband loses weight. I can extrapolate the inverse to drinking.
2. Alcohol doesn't taste good to me now, so why TRY to make it taste good again?
3. I am 63 years old this month and want to make it to 93.
4. I have other ways of feeling relaxed and happy now.
5. I can't think of any GOOD reasons to drink.
6. I dislike purple teeth.
7. I am an Advanced Nephalist.

I could probably think of more reasons to add to both lists (why not drink? why drink?), but I figure you guys could probably come up with a better list than I can.

Thank you guys for ALL your great replies. I rarely start threads any more, but this had been on my mind and when the Moderation Forum thing came up, I bit.

FT
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:36 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Awesome, simply awesome, FT. You advanced nephalist, you.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:47 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
 
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FT, isn't nephalist synonymous with teetotaler? If I understand the word correctly then, there wouldn't be degrees of nephalism right? You either would be, or you wouldn't be. Is the adjective "advanced" a reference to your age and not meant to modify the noun "nephalist"?

While I understand and appreciate your musings, a true nephalist would wouldn't entertain the idea of moderation, since it involves drinking, which is not something a nephalist ever does.

Even if someone had a crystal ball and could guarantee that I could drink in moderation, I wouldn't. My life and my thinking surrounding being completely free of substances goes much farther than "could I avoid consequences?". Even just a tiny buzz can create disconnect within me, so moderating and just getting that warm feeling from alcohol and then stopping, that's not even something I desire any more.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:00 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Way-down-the-abstinence-road BEAST activity

FreshStart, you asked, "Why drink, FT? What's going on?" The answer is, nothing really. I live my life with intention and have for a long time. I have to remember that, if I hit a "rough patch" it may not be so easy to stick to my intentions. So, for me, drinking again is just not worth it.
...

I've thought of the question you raised off and on over the years, with the difference being, "Why NOT drink?" At the end of the day, I have to remember why it was that I wanted to quit in the first place, if I always had a choice?
If you have a Big Plan: You no longer have a choice. Of course others think I have a choice if they offer me a drink. But if I think I have a choice, that's pure Beast. Thinking and feeling about drinking again through the lens of AVRT includes the filter of having a Big Plan. For me, what I have coded in blue above would be my Addictive Voice speaking. Having a Big Plan means, and has always meant, I do NOT HAVE a choice about drinking again. This also means the idea: "I need to remember why I quit!" is pure Addictive Voice, especially way down the abstinence road. It's actually a common BEAST tactic. This is an important AVRT concept for PHormer Drunks who have made Big Plans. We took a sledge hammer to the yes or no switch of even having a choice. NO MORE CHOICE!

My husband and I tried quitting together a bunch of times, but eventually one or both of us decided we had it nailed, so we could party now and again. Quickly back up to the daily high volume drinking. His drinking scared me, and I was more afraid of his continued drinking than mine. So when I up and "took a stand" one day, "I am never going to drink again...," he did not believe me. I never "meant it" before. After I had a couple of months behind me, he took notice and promised he would quit "soon." I didn't believe him. Then one day he had a nosebleed that would not stop. I explained to him that the liver controls the body's clotting factors and that his high volume drinking could have something to do with it. That scared the crap out of him and he quit drinking right after that.
I think it is useful to apply AVRT to this paragraph. For example: what are probably Big Plans are in green, and fake Big Plans are in red. Notice how momentary and singular the real Big Plans are. I think this is very telling. A Big Plan takes a very short time to put into effect - permanent effect.

Samse, your thought process comes the closest to how I look at alcoholism, and I too like to challenge pre-conceived ideas about it. Personally, I do believe that I ALWAYS had a choice to drink, and I have had plenty of opportunities over the years to change my mind. I agree that "the Clear and Concise Pathway of Choice is a thoughtful consideration of moderation, not a bulldozing past the question as if its a scary monster under the bed." I no longer fear "taking that first drink" as some sort of slippery slope to hell. It just doesn't make sense to me to drink these days. I've mentioned here before that I have accidentally taken a sip of alcohol in a "mystery drink" offered to me. I am also in a profession that celebrates a lot, and I have been offered champagne too many times to count. I'm just never interested. Even though I do not think it would matter to me, since I would not be drinking to get buzzed, alcohol just doesn't taste good to me any more.
It's fine to know about the theory of alcoholism, but I believe applying the theory of alcoholism to an individual case is unmitigated tripe (and pure AV if done to oneself). There is a huge difference between the present dubious state of researching complex statistical analysis on "alcoholism", and how and why any particular person overcomes a chemical dependency. I see only Beast logic in correlating the two.

... a thought of moderation is ... in RR terms "the beast" is talking. My musings about it now really are not the "Beast" rearing up. Maybe I [IT] am [is] fooling myself [you], but these thoughts do not occur as urges, but more as a self-questioning [IT begging] about "why refuse" next time somebody places another drink in my hand. Do I need to?

...

I won't be drinking any time soon, that's for sure. I have several logical reasons why not:

1. ...
2. ...
3. ...
4. ...
5. ...
6. ...
7. ...

I could probably think of more reasons to add to both lists (why not drink? why drink?)

...

FT
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I view this last segment as Addictive Voice except for the first partial sentence I edited, and, of course, FT's sig and avocation. The reason I took out the reasons is it doesn't matter what they are. Again, since my Big Plan removed any choice about drinking again, mulling reasons pro and con doesn't make sense.

GT
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:03 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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I agree with Soberlicious,...The "disconnect", or escape, is not something even remotely appealing to me any longer. I want to "feel" everything now.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:01 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
FT, isn't nephalist synonymous with teetotaler? If I understand the word correctly then, there wouldn't be degrees of nephalism right? You either would be, or you wouldn't be. Is the adjective "advanced" a reference to your age and not meant to modify the noun "nephalist"?

While I understand and appreciate your musings, a true nephalist would wouldn't entertain the idea of moderation, since it involves drinking, which is not something a nephalist ever does.

Even if someone had a crystal ball and could guarantee that I could drink in moderation, I wouldn't. My life and my thinking surrounding being completely free of substances goes much farther than "could I avoid consequences?". Even just a tiny buzz can create disconnect within me, so moderating and just getting that warm feeling from alcohol and then stopping, that's not even something I desire any more.
I think I qualified for "Advanced" after tackling an oxycodone addiction in 2010, then having to go through withdrawals all over again after a second spate of orthopedic surgeries when I broke my left shoulder in 2012.

You're right, a True Nephalist would not entertain the idea of moderation, and maybe I don't qualify any more for even thinking about it! It's like a vegetarian contemplating adding bacon to their quiche. By the same token, using "fake" stuff could push somewhat over the edge into a gray area, like fake bacon bits, fake hot dogs made from soy, etc.

I have never had non-alcoholic beer or wine, because I just don't like the taste of fake stuff. I don't like the taste of the "real" stuff any more either, so why go for artificial beer or wine? Makes no sense to me at all.

GerandTwine, you make some very valid points. Since I quit drinking before I ever discovered AVRT, I never named my decision to quit drinking the "Big Plan." However, when I quit opiates, I recognized the AV and the Beast and did make a Big Plan.

Over in the Substance Abuse forum, I used to keep shouting "NO ACCESS" to help people stay on the straight and narrow. But in reality, access should not matter at all. Opiates are not readily available in the corner store like alcohol is, so limiting access should be easier. However, I work in a profession where opiates are in a locked drawer just a few steps away. Access matters to me not at all. When I made up my mind, I meant it.

I must admit, I struggled with my AV after I quit drinking. My AV was always around to whisper in my ear, try to convince me I had made the wrong decision. It took about three years for it to shut the hell up.

I tend to feel relaxed enough these days to ponder stuff like drinking again. I have dreams where I am drinking wine as though I had never stopped. In the dreams, I observe that I am drinking and don't feel worried. But when I wake up, and am truly happy it was just a dream. As I've told others here before, there has not been a day in my life where I woke up in the morning wishing I had drunk more (or at all) the night before!

My brush with opiates should have been enough of a warning to me that the Beast is still alive and well, and my AV may be just suave enough to masquerade itself as ME.

Having said that, I still view my life of abstinence as a clear and cogent choice. I am a non-drinker and I like it that way. No, I don't avoid foods cooked with wine. I am not a fanatic about alcohol, and I don't really care if others drink all around me. I don't care for the smell of others who are in the midst of drinking, and I don't really appreciate watching a normally coherent human being turn slurring and incoherent right before my eyes, which happens sooner with some than others. I actually can remember the feeling of "loosening up" that way, stumbling, bleary eyed, then horrific headache in the morning.

Nope, not interested.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:38 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FT View Post
... I up and "took a stand" one day, "I am never going to drink again...," he did not believe me. I never "meant it" before.
So, the question is, what does "mean it" really mean here?

The clarity and simplicity of "I will never drink again" is really enough for me. As soon as people start adding "...and I will never change my mind." I start thinking about "...and I will never change my mind to never change my mind.", etc., ad infinitum.
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