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Old 07-17-2014, 08:23 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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fini - I think our recovery plans are very individual, and have to be suited to the individual's temperament. In my Type-A, competitive business professional persona, I think this will work for me. If I soften up, and say "so what" I encourage the AV to continue our conversation.

For example, the AV showed up last night at golf. "Hey buddy, you can have one while you're warming up on your own. No-one will know. Or how about later, we have just one, you haven't drank in a week - a nice cold Bud won't kill you"

A straight right to the teeth and a kick to the testicles of my AV (I love visualizations), and he didn't try to have a conversation with me anymore that evening. So when my partners stopped at the drink shack for a beer (or three), he didn't even pipe up. I visualized the b*stard sitting in a dark corner, crying and shaking with fear, scared to say even "boo".

See, I don't give the AV power by acknowledging it. Instead, I take away its power by kicking it in the junk.

Nonsensical - Agreed completely. I do like to have a plan with concise measurable steps, but will adjust as necessary as circumstances dictate. Again, its a lot like business, though I have been caught a few times by thinking a little too linearly.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:54 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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[QUOTE=" See, I don't give the AV power by acknowledging it. Instead, I take away its power by kicking it in the junk. .[/QUOTE]

Isnt inflicting violence towards something an extreme form of acknowledgement. The things that take up the most time and space in my thinking and emotions are things I hate.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:16 PM
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When using AVRT in my early sobriety, the analogy of the "beast" was very instrumental in helping me compartmentalize positive thoughts about alcohol use. And I often directed rather violent imagery toward the beast in order to end my addiction, which it seems exists or feels like it is still present even after having had the last drink. For me , the "beast rumblings" quieted , but didn't disappear entirely. It seems I entered a stage where the analogy ran more like a favorite literary scene of mine " ...we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us."
"But I don't think of you"
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:23 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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" ...we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us."
"But I don't think of you"
One of the best lines ever written.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:58 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
Isnt inflicting violence towards something an extreme form of acknowledgement. The things that take up the most time and space in my thinking and emotions are things I hate.
I had to reread this a few times, and think about it a bit. Very good, I like thinking and do it occasionally.

To me there are two things we can hate: things we have control over, and things we do not have control over.

I too have lain awake at night, fuming and ruminating over things that have made me angry. I have felt this way as I do not have control over these things, and cannot change or affect them. These are the things that take up space in my thinking and emotions.

However, my AV belongs in the second category, as it is something I hate and can control. As an adult, I do not need to eat beets, and I will never have to eat canned spaghetti again. I control these things I hate, and they take up none of my mental space and energy.

Therefore, visualizing my AV and my ability to shut it up is something that allows it not to fill my mental or emotional space. I couldn't argue with the results last night.

This will allow me to fill my mind with all the injustices I can't address such as childhood poverty and malnutrition in our "modern society", the lack of available affordable vaccines for other parts of the world, the inability of any government (regardless of orientation) to spend tax money properly, and the ability of rich businesses and individuals to manipulate any system of which they are a part.

Oooh, now I'm really angry.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:48 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I guess I am responding to this post from a Non Rational Recovery point of view. I have nothing against the AVRT as a mindfulness technique but for me it falls apart when I take a look at the core principles that pre-cede the technique. I actually recognize we have thoughts and emotions connected to addiction But one of my core principles is to challenge concepts of the AV and rational self in a dualistic relationship, that a animal brain seeking pleasure somehow highjacks the a higher self. I personally don't believe in a higher self, to me this is a form of belief without evidence. To me from a human nature point of view the Beast/big plan dualism is very similar to the powerless/higher power concept found in AA.

I don't see self empowerment, taking responsibility as an issue of Control in fact I would suggest any ideas that we have Control could possibly work against those principles and certainly in my experience works against reality. I can imagine if I hit my child for being naughty I have control, I can imagine all sorts of situations where I have control, most of my time in addiction I still thought I had control.

Just as a side note, has any body really taken a good look at the Big Plan Statement "I will never drink again" as opposed to "I plan to never drink again" or a more kind of here and now statement "I am a non drinker" Reading those statements they look similar, I want to suggest the possibility the first statement contains something the other statements Doesn't. Saying you will never drink again is making statement about the future, making a knowledge claim about something you cannot possible know, I would suggest its a belief about something you cannot know or a belief without evidence. In a strange way what appears to be a statement of ultimate confidence is actually a a non theistic Faith claim.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:22 PM
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Why do you think I can't know with certainty that I will never drink?
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:49 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I don't see self empowerment, taking responsibility as an issue of Control ...

sam,
to me, that's a really important distinction you're making. and yes, i agree with your statement about inflicting violence as an extreme form of acknowledgment.
(just remembering the times my dad slapped me across the face when i was a teenager...i knew without a doubt that it was extreme acknowledgment. and that he felt powerless to do anything else but do this violent form of showing his "power".)
but Sparky's statement about our individual plans is so, of course.
my drinking life and countless returns to drinking showed me that co-existing with 'the voice' is the way to go. for me. it's not a problem. anything else is war inside me. that's how it used to be the gazillion times i tried to quit before. the "fighting stance" was a win/lose by definition for me. and since that was going on inside me, and not with an outside entity such as beets or spaghetti, it was invariably me who lost.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:59 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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And should maybe note here that I am not physical by nature, and have not engaged in physical abuse, either as a victim, or a perpetrator.

In fact, my visualizations probably stem back to reading Batman comics. In dealing with my AV, I actually am visualizing a 4 parter that came out back around 1990 - in the Batman imprint, called "Batman: Year 3". The criminal who murdered Robin's parents was released from jail, and Batman was trying to locate him. When Robin (Nightwing) was trying to find Batman he was talking with some criminals. The conversation went something like:

"Where's Batman"
"We don't know."
"What happened?"
"He was shaking Paulie for some information. Paulie didn't know anything an' kept trying to tell him. Batman kept hitting him 'till Paulie couldn't talk no more"

My AV is my Paulie. I'm Batman.

Boy this thread has gone in some odd directions.

Edit: And yes, I'm in my 40s and do still like reading comics.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:01 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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fini, in your last post, you really do speak about the duality of human nature. I also view this as compartmentalizing - mental illness is present in many addicts (either as a cause or an effect), and compartmentalizing our thoughts and feelings is a way to cope.

In many ways, I believe most addicts do have a dual personality. Even though it is a part of their self, I view my AV as an external agent, just like beets and spaghetti. Or as a cancerous tumor in my body (in this case brain). Co-existence is not an option for me - the AV must be fully subjugated until it decides it would like to take up a different residence, or dies.

See, at least in my non-sober world, I compartmentalized my drinking. I knew I shouldn't drink, I felt guilty about drinking, and I knew I also had the power to stop if I really chose to. These uncomfortable feelings were then consciously walled off - it I was unable to do so, I could not have drunk, or done many of the dozens of other debasements that I did while drunk.

The semantics of calling it a "beast" or "higher self" are easy to grasp concepts that should appeal to the layman recovering addict. However, these semantics highlight not faith concepts, but clinically observed psychological concepts used by addicts to allow themselves to engage in behaviours they consciously know they should not be. The "higher self" and "beast" are tools used to explain human psychology.

SL, I agree with your statement as well. Someone can make a statement about the future which is truthful. Water will be wet tomorrow. I will not drink tomorrow. Both are factually correct.

And to my mind, making such assertions causes one to focus on this strong and absolute thought as part of their recovery. Compare "I will not drink tomorrow" to "I probably won't drink tomorrow", or "I'm guessing I won't drink tomorrow".

Nothing wrong with holding yourself to a high standard.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Why do you think I can't know with certainty that I will never drink?
That seems like an easy question to answer, I have had to read it several times now. I hope you dont mind if I write it like this.

Why does Sam think Soberlicious cant know for certainty that soberlicious will never drink.

I am not sure I do think that, what I am saying is you cant demonstrably show you will never drink again. Unless you have a skill of time travel or telling the future.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:37 AM
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samseb, now we're getting into epistemology, where a good philosopher could argue you can't knowingly demonstrate just about anything.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:42 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Y'all are talking above my head. That's why I had to boil The Big Plan down. I had to simplify. "I will never drink again and I will never change my mind" was just too unwieldy, too verbose. For me.

I don't drink.

Simple. Clean. Precise.

But that's just me.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:08 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by samseb5341
Saying you will never drink again is making statement about the future, making a knowledge claim about something you cannot possible know, I would suggest its a belief about something you cannot know or a belief without evidence.
Oh, yeah...evidence.

I am 100% confident that I won't steal, but I suppose you're right. Out of no where, tomorrow I might just go into Nordsroms and keister those Manolo's I've been wanting for so long.

I'm also 100% confident I'm never going to sleep with my brother in law, but you're right again. Something could just "come over me" and I could strip naked and jump him.

I guess I could just lose control at any given moment, because according to you, since I have no evidence that I won't do those things, then there is some sort of real significant possibility that I will.

Sorry, but I think that's dumb.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:53 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I have not been drunk since I quit drinking.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:24 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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"Y'all are talking above my head. That's why I had to boil The Big Plan down. I had to simplify. "I will never drink again and I will never change my mind" was just too unwieldy, too verbose. For me.

I don't drink.

Simple. Clean. Precise.

But that's just me."

Yup......this so rocks, T.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:54 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
Y'all are talking above my head. That's why I had to boil The Big Plan down. I had to simplify. "I will never drink again and I will never change my mind" was just too unwieldy, too verbose. For me. I don't drink. Simple. Clean. Precise. But that's just me.
Exactly the way I phrase it to my wife.

"You'll be Ok if I go away for a few days?"

"I don't drink "
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:15 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Friday Morning Coffee

Welp, I'm not inclined whatsoever to Drink this morning.

I am, however, thinking through the Steps that might be necessary to marry into Soberlicious' Family in order to become a Brother-in-Law.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:25 AM
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El. Oh. El.

Seriously laughing out loud.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:38 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
Welp, I'm not inclined whatsoever to Drink this morning.

I am, however, thinking through the Steps that might be necessary to marry into Soberlicious' Family in order to become a Brother-in-Law.
Mesa can I call you Clarence?

"I like you , Clarence, always have..and always will. hmm"
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