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So, after being ravished...

Old 11-26-2014, 06:56 AM
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So, after being ravished...

...by the beast after a challenging competition on the weekend I am so happy to report I'm fine.

I was upset by outside events so that when I got home I wanted to use pot. But instead of giving in to the craziest urge I've had since I quit, I went to bed, then got up, had a bath and then went to bed again, ate some food, crocheted, watched TV.

It wasn't until Sunday that I realized I was being ravished by the beast. "Oh come on, you'll feel better if you just have a puff," "you can't imagine not getting high for the rest of your life," "come on it made you feel so much better," "what's the harm anyway," "you said never but never is a long time" etc etc etc. A sudden awareness of my beast had me saying, "No matter what happens, no matter how bad I might feel, no matter how strong the urge, I am never smoking pot or drinking alcohol ever again, now, not ever." Beasty begone.

I'm not sure why it took so long to remember who I was dealing with but less than 24 hours later "I" was the one back in control and my beast is back where it belongs. Gone.

I'm reading rational recovery: the new cure of substance addiction by Jack Trimpey. It makes so much sense to me I'm going to post another thread about some stuff he says.

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Old 11-26-2014, 07:08 AM
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Well done. Each victory makes me stronger.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:37 AM
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WTG audra! AVRT has allowed me to stop the momentum of "romancing" in it's tracks as recently as yesterday. I've only had 2 strong urges in 5 months, seemingly out of nowhere. 20 minutes later I'm doing life with a smile of victory. It works well with my Buddhist practice of observing the mind w/out jumping in the car for a ride. My mind is nuts sometimes and I get to choose whether to go with it or not.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:03 AM
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Good on ya for not letting your highly trained service dog get up on the sofa. You da boss!
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by anattaboy View Post
It works well with my Buddhist practice of observing the mind w/out jumping in the car for a ride. My mind is nuts sometimes and I get to choose whether to go with it or not.
Yes, my buddhist practice too - the observation of the urge. -I have never had an urge that I could feel so painfully throughout my whole body, mind, spirit. I was consumed by it - I felt like I was being squeezed out like a sponge. But feeling the feeling is absolutely necessary - today I'm calm, neither depressed nor anxious. Just a normal regular person living in the now.
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:30 PM
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As Tolle says, become the watcher of the thoughts of drinking by observing them without judgement.

Recognize them for being thoughts of drinking now or in the future (which makes them AV), and this includes doubt in one's ability to succeed at this, or fear of a sober future. All of this crap is AV.
Separate from them by reminding yourself they cannot be 'you' because you have made that vow to quit aka your Big Plan, and then,
Accept that these thoughts will come and go, all by themselves. When these thoughts of drinking leave us, (and they will, every single time) we remain behind, sober.

This always makes me think of this from a favorite book of mine. The similarities between AV and fear are obvious.


Fear is the mind-killer, the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
As Tolle says, become the watcher of the thoughts of drinking by observing them without judgement. .
I totally agree with this statement, But heres the rub for me.

If we call our AV a beast, we cannot help but start out with judgement, calling something a Beast is an emotive word, it suggests something that by its very nature is judgmental. When we start our mindfulness of on this foot we have just created something that goes directly against the practice we try to fulfill. Personally I follow buddhist traditions that teach there is no "you" underneath anything, its all just one thing and efforts to sincerely separate stuff as a means to an end actually work against us in the long run. The idea of separating and compartmentalizing things is very easy to do and sometimes maybe thats part of how our brains work to solve problems. However many people take it to an end that transcends metaphor into a "separate self" reality. kind of like ideas of a "soul" found in much religious practice.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:00 PM
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The Beast term at a minimum points to the lower brain function as the source of these thoughts. You can choose to demonize your wonky survival drives if that helps you separate from them. You know, 'That Old Black Magic has me in its spell' etc. Buddhist practice I think is another step in the evolution of this form of mindfulness, and if your are cool with that, then AVRT may be a retrograde step.

I think this concept of lower brain function that could be controlled with rational thought was my first understanding, but it has moved to a more mindful approach that of includes acceptance, and may be more towards a holistic Buddhist approach. I dunno, my understanding seems to be evolving over the years as I learn more about this stuff. I certainly appreciate the learning that goes on for me as we discuss this stuff here. Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2014, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
The Beast term at a minimum points to the lower brain function as the source of these thoughts. You can choose to demonize your wonky survival drives if that helps you separate from them. You know, 'That Old Black Magic has me in its spell' etc. Buddhist practice I think is another step in the evolution of this form of mindfulness, and if your are cool with that, then AVRT may be a retrograde step. I think this concept of lower brain function that could be controlled with rational thought was my first understanding, but it has moved to a more mindful approach that of includes acceptance, and may be more towards a holistic Buddhist approach. I dunno, my understanding seems to be evolving over the years as I learn more about this stuff. I certainly appreciate the learning that goes on for me as we discuss this stuff here. Thanks.
I like your thinking and am encouraged by your journey Freshstart. Sometimes I read your posts especially those on CBT, and say "i think you have got something there". This maybe something for a different thread, but I sometimes wonder if you read one of your original posts the one "AVRT explained" post, and you think of yourself today, Has there been a change in the person who wrote back then and the person now. There is not much these days that excites me in recovery rooms But when I see
Someone (regardless of their conclusions) say "my understanding seems to be evolving over the years as I learn more about this stuff" I get a big Smile on My Dial
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Old 11-28-2014, 08:28 AM
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I have spent years practicing and studying Buddhism, mindfulness, and the idea that self is an illusion. However, after having the ongoing challenge of addiction, my studies have led me in a little bit different way than full on ego dissolution, which by the way has been found to be quite dangerous to those of us who are cultured by North American thinking. Most of us in the West (OK not all, as some may be enlightened)have no idea what it means to live without a "self" concept, just as much as the Buddhists in the East who don't understand the concept of "a self."

It seems to me that there is a part of me that wants to destroy me through addiction. In Jungian psychology there is an idea that when I ignore, turn away from, repress, deny any part of myself (which includes the unconscious, the ego, the observer and quite possibly a 2nd ego called the Beast), the unconscious begins to knock louder and louder at my door of consciousness and will actually seem like it wants to destroy my ego. Then my ego will isolate and protect itself even more from these onslaughts of other "selves" causing neurosis, psychosis, and possibly other more dangerous mental illnesses, including addiction. Moreover, I find that the more "mindful" I became, the louder the knocking at the door. So what is the problem here?

We in the west have no idea what it would be like to live without a "self". The Dali Lama however being the Eastern mind cannot imagine what it would be like to have a "self."

Why do we want to destroy the ego? The ego is a very necessary part of ourselves. It lives in this 3rd dimensional material realm, like our bodies do. It is a conventional truth. I am practicing accepting my ego (and now my alter-ego beast) as being parts of me that need a voice, need to be heard, need to be seen, need to be integrated into the whole by accepting all aspects of myself. How? Through awareness and observation and complete acceptance (yes that's hard) of ALL OF ME. (The seemingly negative aspects as well as the seemingly positive aspects).

Carl Jung says that oneness is not even plausible until all the fragments of the self are incorporated into the whole. I am a long way from any kind of ego dissolution. But I believe my ego will dissolve quite naturally into the whole as I excavate my un-lived portions.

That's my story - the latest one at least.
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by audra View Post
IThe ego is a very necessary part of ourselves. It lives in this 3rd dimensional material realm, like our bodies do. It is a conventional truth. I am practicing accepting my ego (and now my alter-ego beast) as being parts of me that need a voice, need to be heard, need to be seen, need to be integrated into the whole by accepting all aspects of myself. How? Through awareness and observation and complete acceptance (yes that's hard) of ALL OF ME. (The seemingly negative aspects as well as the seemingly positive aspects
Thanks Audra, Great stuff

One of things that made it difficult to see past the illusion is the Hierarchy that can come about when we develop awareness of these states. When I would judge certain thoughts or urges as being part of something separate, its hard to escape a long held Dualist belief that there is something Better observing something dysfunctional. This is a common theme especially in Most Religions (for example the "the fallen" found in christianity). You can see this in some peoples interpretation of Neuroscience, when people who study the brain talk of areas of the brain influencing certain states, Many take a dualism view (usually a pseudo science misinterpretation) that addiction lies within certain areas of the brain, and when this is mapped onto the belief that addiction is a dysfunctional self and a true self is trying to break free, some people are left saying "see science shows that I am correct".
I am not sure but I may differ from your perspective in that I am a materialist , to me there is nothing other than the material, the idea of "waking up" in buddhist terms for me is to simply see things as they are, separate from my own constructed interpretation, this is not so much something I want to achieve but an attitude that helps me live as much as a rich and robust life as possible, there are plenty of things in my life that I construct to negotiate living and many times those things escape my awareness until something "falls apart" then I try curious and mindful questioning techniques to see that construction and most of the value for me is that simple observation not really an attempt to find a solution. sorry about the waffle (its hard to explain this stuff sometimes)
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