Blogs


Notices

Planned sobriety and AVRT

Old 07-22-2014, 07:40 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
Hey way to go, glad to hear
wish you well and hope to see you around
you got this , Onward!!
dwtbd is offline  
Old 07-22-2014, 07:46 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
Self recovered Self discovered
 
freshstart57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 5,147
That's just great, ChrisM! Congratulations on your decision about your future use of alcohol. Believe in yourself 100% - you can absolutely do this, and you deserve it too.
Onward!
freshstart57 is offline  
Old 07-22-2014, 08:49 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
Member
 
fini's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 7,141
great to hear, Chris
fini is online now  
Old 07-22-2014, 09:14 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost ..."
Posts: 5,272
Thank you for updating! This makes me happy!
soberlicious is offline  
Old 07-23-2014, 08:03 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 20
Today is day #7 and I am finally feeling the best I have physically in a while. Of course there are "mumblings" from the Beast and it brought me to a logical question. I've noticed I've been faced with this crossroad several times in the past. I know it's common sense "Recognize it's the Beast, separate yourself and move on". Again just to reiterate (question to all of you who've been successful for a long period of time) - it's just that simple, right? Recognize it, recall the decision to NEVER drink or use again, and simply...move on...?!?!
ChrisM is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ChrisM For This Useful Post:
freshstart57 (07-24-2014), FT (07-23-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 09:08 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
Marchia in Aeternum
 
trachemys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,894
Recognize that it's the beast, and ignore it.

I refuse to capitalize the beast, I refuse to acknowledge it when it whines.

I don't drink.
trachemys is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to trachemys For This Useful Post:
FT (07-23-2014), soberlicious (07-23-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 09:35 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost ..."
Posts: 5,272
Originally Posted by trachemys
I refuse to capitalize the beast,
Ok I love this. I'm going to copycat your practice of no caps for it. Hope you don't mind.

ChrisM, yes that's how it's done. Consistency is key.
soberlicious is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to soberlicious For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (07-23-2014), FT (07-23-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 09:50 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
Marchia in Aeternum
 
trachemys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,894
Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Ok I love this. I'm going to copycat your practice of no caps for it. Hope you don't mind.

ChrisM, yes that's how it's done. Consistency is key.
Go right ahead.
trachemys is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to trachemys For This Useful Post:
FT (07-23-2014), soberlicious (07-23-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 10:14 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
FT
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,677
I refuse to acknowledge the Beast as just more noise to deflect off the sphere of my attention, which needs to be focused on whatever task I have at hand.

There are lots of annoying noises going on in life, and I just deflect those, too. Learning to recognize the noises that require one's attention is a skill learned over time.

If I were to start paying attention to ALL the annoying noises going on in the world, I would become just like the old lady that lived across the street from me when I was 7 years old, standing outside on her lawn and using her garden hose to spray all the kids that rode on the sidewalk past her house. Of course, that meant we rode past her house as often as possible, because we didn't care whether we got sprayed or not. Seeing her reaction was MORE than enough reward for us!

The Beast is kind of like that. Spray your hose at him, and he just comes back for more. Ignore him, and he loses interest pretty fast.

Not everything in the world is a threat, and Beast noise ceased to be that for me a long time ago.
FT is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to FT For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (07-23-2014), freshstart57 (07-23-2014), OpioPhobe (07-23-2014), soberlicious (07-23-2014), Soberpotamus (07-24-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 10:31 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost ..."
Posts: 5,272
Excellent analogy FT. I agree.
soberlicious is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to soberlicious For This Useful Post:
FT (07-23-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 12:33 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
Recognize that it's the beast, and ignore it.

I refuse to capitalize the beast, I refuse to acknowledge it when it whines.

I don't drink.
Amen...Done!! The "beast" that is...
ChrisM is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to ChrisM For This Useful Post:
FT (07-23-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 01:23 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wollongong NSW
Posts: 241
Originally Posted by FT View Post
I refuse to acknowledge the Beast as just more noise to deflect off the sphere of my attention, which needs to be focused on whatever task I have at hand. There are lots of annoying noises going on in life, and I just deflect those, too. Learning to recognize the noises that require one's attention is a skill learned over time. If I were to start paying attention to ALL the annoying noises going on in the world, I would become just like the old lady that lived across the street from me when I was 7 years old, standing outside on her lawn and using her garden hose to spray all the kids that rode on the sidewalk past her house. Of course, that meant we rode past her house as often as possible, because we didn't care whether we got sprayed or not. Seeing her reaction was MORE than enough reward for us! The Beast is kind of like that. Spray your hose at him, and he just comes back for more. Ignore him, and he loses interest pretty fast. Not everything in the world is a threat, and Beast noise ceased to be that for me a long time ago.
I like your analogy as well, it reminds me of the two dogs fighting story I think that comes from native american tradition (I am not sure but I imagine you can google it) The story about which dog wins, and the answer is the One you Feed.

I do have some questions about "skill learned over time" what is that skill that allows you to distinguish annoying noises that require your attention and those that don't.? From my perspective there are many annoying noises, both external and in my own mind/body/emotions. Some of them are just poking and prodding a reaction, kind of like a person teasing, others definitely require my attention like my new born waking me up in the night crying.
I think it may have been Freshstart who uses CBT as a skill in this area.

My other question and Maybe you can clear this up a little, when you say "I refuse to acknowledge" I get confused by this and I hear it often. To me the sentence would make sense if you said, I acknowledge there is annoying noise that I call the beast and I deflect it by refusing to indulge. I don't mean to sound like I am playing semantic games, but every time I try and understand the AVRT I get confused by this.

Thanks for your post
samseb5351 is offline  
Old 07-23-2014, 01:34 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
Glad to hear about your week

And yeah, remember the reason for your decision , recognize the positive thoughts about drinking as the beast and stay resolved , the now of the rumblings will pass , my experience was the rumblings became less frequent and less urgent with time. All I needed to do was stay resolved in the "now"
Wish you well
Stay resolved , you got this
dwtbd is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
freshstart57 (07-24-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 05:09 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
Member
 
MesaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,319
SoCal Homeboy

Ex-Riverside CA Dude, here, from the Orange Groves...

Been to Palm Springs a bunch, and up the Tramway. Love the Mid-Century Architecture. At Psychic Home in the Desert. When I found 80 Acres of untouched Colorado Mesa-top with Ute Indian Tools all about that reminded me of Yucca Valley and Bishop CA, I bought it. That's where the low, lean, 'Arts & Crafts'-inspired Solar Retirement House I designed and built is. See my Sunrise Avatar. Night Skies to die for, as 'old' Yucca Valley used to have.

About Day 6 after terminating ~42 years of Drinking is when I felt like I had partially sprung back to normalcy. I called this period 'The Rinse'. I was rinsing out, and internal filtering of Ethanol was going on Big Time. The 'Pins & Needles' of Alcohol-induced Neuropathy eased; Sleep got better; Stomach settled down; and other Symptoms started to clear. A Quote from Steve Martin re: me carrying on that way for so long comes to mind: 'Whoops, I'm stupid'.

From then on, a lot of what I now recall was more the Mindset/Social Baggage of morphing Perspective into one of a Person who used to Drink. At 6+ months on, I now recall all that dispassionately, just as I recall, say, an old House I used to rent. Dealing with Social stuff after 'The Rinse' was my next phase. Like, being the only non-Drinker at a Dinner Party. That's the more advanced stuff that is best tackled incrementally, IMO. No need to sprint the 100 Yard Dash, so to speak, in Week 2. You've crested a major Wave, and will continue to do so. Even back then, I didn't want to toss away my gains. I could teach a Mule about how to be stubborn, and I wasn't going 'back'. Nada chance.

I admire like all Hell you younger Folks who figger it out sooner in Life. My Buddhist side reminds me that I figgered out Sobriety precisely when I needed to. Not a day earlier. Not a day later. There is tremendous solace in that Self-Acceptance.

An old '60s Hippie saying, when parting Company from someone, was: 'Better Days'.

'Things Can Only Get Better' ~ Howard Jones

-----
MesaMan is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MesaMan For This Useful Post:
Nuway2fly (08-29-2014), Soberpotamus (07-24-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 05:30 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
Marchia in Aeternum
 
trachemys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,894
when you say "I refuse to acknowledge"
Not answering for FT but I'll throw my mental process into the ring:

I'm in the grocery store buying supplies. A child near me starts calling, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." I've never made a child so I have no need to and don't acknowledge the child.

That's how I treat the beast.
trachemys is offline  
Old 07-23-2014, 08:31 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
FT
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,677
Samseb, you asked:

Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
I do have some questions about "skill learned over time" what is that skill that allows you to distinguish annoying noises that require your attention and those that don't.? From my perspective there are many annoying noises, both external and in my own mind/body/emotions. Some of them are just poking and prodding a reaction, kind of like a person teasing, others definitely require my attention like my new born waking me up in the night crying.

I think it may have been Freshstart who uses CBT as a skill in this area.

My other question and Maybe you can clear this up a little, when you say "I refuse to acknowledge" I get confused by this and I hear it often. To me the sentence would make sense if you said, I acknowledge there is annoying noise that I call the beast and I deflect it by refusing to indulge. I don't mean to sound like I am playing semantic games, but every time I try and understand the AVRT I get confused by this.
Those are really good questions and not so easy to answer. They caused me to think about the difference between the experience and the experiencer. One of my favorite reads is Eckhart Tolle, especially A New Earth. He has a way of drawing from the best of Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions and philosophies to discuss the concept of self, and particularly the ego. In part of his book, he talks about consciousness, which cannot be seen, smelled, tasted, or touched, and yet it is the core of self. He talks about how every experience has three possible ingredients: sense perceptions, thoughts or mental images, and emotions -- and who is the experiencer? You are. And who are you? Consciousness.

Experiences -- i.e., sense perceptions, thoughts, mental images, or emotions -- intrude upon our consciousness, and we all have a filtering process that goes on to help us be aware of what needs attention and what does not. For lack of a better analogy, it is that filtering process that needs adjusting when you quit drinking or taking drugs.

"Beast noise" is simply ANY sense perception, thought, mental image, or emotion that would culminate in using drugs or alcohol. "Beast noise" can come disguised as many other things that appear legitimate on their surface. That's where the "refuse to acknowledge" comes from. After awhile, you're on to the disguises the Beast can take to convince you there just might be legitimate reasons to use drugs or alcohol.

Recently, a little bit of "Beast noise" came my way disguised as "me." The voice of "moderation" actually sounded pretty reasonable for a minute, too. You just get better at recognizing Beast noise over time, and mostly it just really does not need any acknowledgment. If it persists, I get a little more aggressive about refusing to acknowledge it. Hey, it ain't gonna work.
FT is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to FT For This Useful Post:
freshstart57 (07-24-2014), Soberpotamus (07-24-2014)
Old 07-23-2014, 11:16 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wollongong NSW
Posts: 241
Originally Posted by FT View Post
Samseb, you asked: Those are really good questions and not so easy to answer. They caused me to think about the difference between the experience and the experiencer. One of my favorite reads is Eckhart Tolle, especially A New Earth. He has a way of drawing from the best of Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions and philosophies to discuss the concept of self, and particularly the ego. In part of his book, he talks about consciousness, which cannot be seen, smelled, tasted, or touched, and yet it is the core of self. He talks about how every experience has three possible ingredients: sense perceptions, thoughts or mental images, and emotions -- and who is the experiencer? You are. And who are you? Consciousness. Experiences -- i.e., sense perceptions, thoughts, mental images, or emotions -- intrude upon our consciousness, and we all have a filtering process that goes on to help us be aware of what needs attention and what does not. For lack of a better analogy, it is that filtering process that needs adjusting when you quit drinking or taking drugs. "Beast noise" is simply ANY sense perception, thought, mental image, or emotion that would culminate in using drugs or alcohol. "Beast noise" can come disguised as many other things that appear legitimate on their surface. That's where the "refuse to acknowledge" comes from. After awhile, you're on to the disguises the Beast can take to convince you there just might be legitimate reasons to use drugs or alcohol. Recently, a little bit of "Beast noise" came my way disguised as "me." The voice of "moderation" actually sounded pretty reasonable for a minute, too. You just get better at recognizing Beast noise over time, and mostly it just really does not need any acknowledgment. If it persists, I get a little more aggressive about refusing to acknowledge it. Hey, it ain't gonna work.
Thanks FT for your thoughtful response.
samseb5351 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to samseb5351 For This Useful Post:
FT (07-24-2014)
Old 07-24-2014, 04:42 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
Not The Way way, Just the way
 
GerandTwine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: US
Posts: 1,414
Blog Entries: 13
Originally Posted by ChrisM View Post
Today is day #7 and I am finally feeling the best I have physically in a while. Of course there are "mumblings" from the Beast and it brought me to a logical question. I've noticed I've been faced with this crossroad several times in the past. I know it's common sense "Recognize it's the Beast, separate yourself and move on". Again just to reiterate (question to all of you who've been successful for a long period of time) - it's just that simple, right? Recognize it, recall the decision to NEVER drink or use again, and simply...move on...?!?!
AVRT does not work without a Big Plan, and once I made that plan I was no longer "faced with this crossroad" that you refer to. I know that crossroad well. I was there many times, but the Big Plan put me through the crossroad onto a one way street that doesn't allow me to return to it, ever again. That one way street has opened up to an amazingly happy life totally free of any concerns about alcohol (or nicotine, or caffeine, or cocoa, or refined sweets (or ongoing recovery work)).

In the material under the "My Recovery" tab of the Rational Recovery home page, you will find the following segment which I am copying here. I chose this segment because fear and anxiety was the prime motivator that finally got me to make the Big Plan for booze.

==========
"But I’m a Really Tough Case!

So much the better. The best motivation for addiction recovery is raw fear, although persistent anxiety and depression are also fine motivators. When finally faced with intolerable losses, many addicted people finally take the action they have put off for too long, which is a final declaration, “I will never drink again.” Following that vow, many discover the remarkable ability to catch themselves in the process of returning to alcohol and other drugs. AVRT® summarizes the common thread of success among seriously addicted people who finally get a grip and abandon their addictions. With AVRT®, addiction recovery is always powerfully simple, regardless of how seriously addicted you are.

Although you may not yet be in the grip of horror, you may be sanely alarmed at the extent drinking/using is ruling your life, and see clearly where your addiction is taking you. Regardless of how dire your straits may be, AVRT® will guide you over the threshold to life after recovery in as short a time as you choose. Even today!"

(from the RR website)

===========

Stubbornness sparked by fear and fueled by anxiety is what cemented my permanent abstinence (Big Plan) from alcohol before AVRT was formulated. Then when AVRT came along, it made my quitting the other stuff (and quitting recovery group attendance) much simpler.

Early on, I would occasionally recognize an unpleasant doubt about having remained abstinent since making my Big Plan. My Beast was desperately gasping for a drink by juxtaposing my time line of quitting for good. IT would use my history of having lied to others about quitting as how things still were. Well they weren't and they aren't.
GerandTwine is offline  
Old 07-24-2014, 06:28 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
AVRT does not work without a Big Plan, and once I made that plan I was no longer "faced with this crossroad" that you refer to. I know that crossroad well. I was there many times, but the Big Plan put me through the crossroad onto a one way street that doesn't allow me to return to it, ever again. That one way street has opened up to an amazingly happy life totally free of any concerns about alcohol (or nicotine, or caffeine, or cocoa, or refined sweets (or ongoing recovery work).
Well, let me share with you an email I sent to a fellow-member here last week. This tells my story in a nutshell. After you read it, my question would then be, are you suggesting I haven't made some kind of Big Plan and that I might as well go back to drinking? Even if you were to say "yes" (and I'm not trying to antagonize here - honest! Hahaha!) - I can without a flinch say that I have zero desire to drink and wouldn't even if you told me to. Here's what I wrote:

"Aside from all of the consequences of my drinking (i.e. loss of motivation, lifestyle/health compromise, work/productivity decrease, relationship interference), I finally had a key component that is starting to really connect for me. I remember saying the last time I used AVRT which was a few months ago, that "Gosh, I wish I had just a little more to hang onto with this drinking as far as reasons to quit for good." - as if those consequences aren't enough motivation.

What was happening was I was justifying it all simply because alcohol has never been my DOC. It was always opiates, followed by benzos. Alcohol flips the switch for sure, but has always been more of a gateway. A few years ago I had a nasty relapse with pills that put me in an inpatient chemical dependency unit for (9) days to get off of a bunch of crap. I vowed (and that vow has gotten increasingly stronger over the past few years) NEVER to take that garbage again! I'm a very upbeat and generally happy guy, with no death wish whatsoever.

A couple of weeks ago I reached out to a doctor friend of mine via email one night (while on a bender) suggesting that I may have an issue with anxiety, just to see if he might be willing to mention Xanax or one of the other drugs. The next morning when I was sober, I was instantly thinking "ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!" - and I wrote him back and told him forget it. This happened once more the night before I got sober for good - Wednesday night. He wrote me back and suggested a couple of different benzos, and said if I needed a prescription he would give me one.

Thursday morning I woke up, ready to quit for good with the realization that even if I can't see the danger in all of the other consequences mentioned above, I know that I will NEVER take another pill or drug again, which now includes alcohol. Regardless of whether or not it is my DOC, or whether or not I've been able to more easily STOP drinking (however not stay stopped), it inevitably IS a drug every bit as dangerous and addictive as the other drugs of choice, AND it WILL take me back to the drugs I said I would NEVER use again."
ChrisM is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to ChrisM For This Useful Post:
FT (07-25-2014)
Old 07-24-2014, 06:43 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: The Deep South
Posts: 14,636
Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
Great song. Brings back memories
Soberpotamus is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Soberpotamus For This Useful Post:
MesaMan (07-24-2014)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:17 PM.