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Weak part of AVRT for me

Old 01-29-2015, 05:56 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by walkbeformakrun View Post
I've found the writings about AVRT to resonate well with me. The only higher power that I recognize is Antabuse, lol. (I stole that idea.)

Humor aside, I do have an issue with AVRT. I'm down with everything about AVRT except the phrase, "And I will never change my mind."

I first heard about AVRT in July of 2014. It helped me stay 100% alcohol free until sometime in October. Then I decided to allow myself a drink on a special occasion. Gradually, very gradually, I got back to drinking every day.

I'm back on Antabuse and I've been 100% alcohol free now for almost two weeks. I feel great and want to continue this way the rest of my life. So what do I tell myself, "I will never change my mind, again?" Or, "I hope I never change my mind?"

I just feel too weak to say I will never change my mind. I know I might.
I can related to that a lot.

When I stopped drinking I had no credibility with myself.

However, a part of the AA philosophy I instinctively got was the "one day at a time" approach. I could buy that. I'm not saying what I'm doing tomorrow. I'm just saying I'm not drinking today. This way I don't feel any pressure. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but right now I think I'll pass on that first drink.

Although I'm a member of AA I enjoy reading about how AVRT works and wouldn't mind attending a meeting after I get back to the States.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:06 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Humm.. I just checked and Rational Recovery doesn't have meetings.


Oh well, but I do have SR and you people!!
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken33xx View Post
I'm not saying what I'm doing tomorrow. I'm just saying I'm not drinking today. This way I don't feel any pressure. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but right now I think I'll pass on that first drink.
Ken, when you look into AVRT, you will see that any thought of drinking again, or doubt in one's ability to quit drinking, is nothing more than the urge to drink, refusing to give up. Yep, the AV.

With a life threatening behavior that has reached a critical stage, it might seem only reasonable to stop doing it. Period. Not for a little while or a month or a day, but permanently. Making that commitment to quit drinking for only a short period leaves the possibility open for future drinking, it leaves the question of quitting unanswered. Like the Carey character in Dumb and Dumber, 'So you're saying there's a chance? YEAH!!!'.

This is what AVRT advocates and facilitates - permanent abstinence from alcohol.

A foundation of AVRT is the knowledge that we each of us already have what we need to quit. The thought that meetings would be required is AV.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:31 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by walkbeformakrun View Post
I don't feel that, for me, it is realistic to say I'm 100% certain that I'm never going to change my mind.
From that statement am I to assume that you have no intention of giving up drinking? You just want to take a vacation from drinking. Yes?

Philosophies of any other "program of recovery" don't mean diddly. Every time you say I only care about today, you are leaving tomorrow open for options. I think of it as the same thing as why wait until Monday to quit, what's wrong with today - Sunday?

How about never changing your mind one day at a time? My view is that the belief of totally letting go of alcohol without the option to ever drink again is 'how it works'. Don't fear the future, because you already made the decision that no matter what happens in the future you will not drink. You don't wait for that day to decide - it is not an option. You don't wait for tomorrow to decide if you are going to drink 'today'. You already made the decision to never drink again and never change your mind. It's no longer debatable.

Any thoughts of "changing your mind" later are what they call the AV, or beast. This is how the thought process of AV recognition technique comes into play. Any though of "changing your mind" is your "addictive voice". You must learn how to deal with that "voice" (thoughts) and be able to squelch it as soon as it shows up. I know I had to deal with it quite a few times over the past year.
First the thought of having a drink comes into my brain. I isolate the thought and acknowledge it. Then I TELL MYSELF that I quit drinking and if I have to, remind myself WHY I quit drinking in the first place. I don't dilly-dally around with it. I crush it as soon as it shows up.

I had an incident a few days ago at home. I wanted to drink so bad because I was so pissed off - DRINKING WAS HOW I REACTED WHEN I BECAME ANGRY. It was my only solution to everything (in the past). Apparently I haven't been that angry for a very long time. Then I thought about it - I don't drink anymore. I found something else to do instead. So just because I made a vow over a year ago doesn't mean I am not challenged from time to time. I am just better prepared to deal with it now. I AM IN CHARGE NOW!
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:33 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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looks like freshstart posted while I was still typing... and there are similarities
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:52 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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That's exactly why I have ordered the book Rational Recovery to help me identify my AV with regard to nicotine. I have been reading the thread about AVRT & getting some great examples of how others view it. I plan to learn more about how to put my 'beast in IT'S box' and learn how to combat my AV and earn my freedom from addiction to substances harmful to ME! Just wanted to say that FreshStart & LBrain make A LOT of sense to me. Thanks to all who keep posting/have posted here at SR. Supportive rationality Selfishness or selflessness? Driving my wagon of hope through beautiful views on my road to myself
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:53 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
looks like freshstart posted while I was still typing... and there are similarities
I like yours better.
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:14 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Walk: When I hear/see the words "I will never change my mind", I always think of my mom when I was growing up. She used to always say that quote "Never say Never".

In my case, I just take that quote and rephrase it. I say "Changing my mind is an option I will not allow myself to take". Basically the same thing,
it just reinforces to me that the decision is mine.


Over thinking results in unneeded confusion.

Take one day at a time.

I'm just doing what It takes for me to stay sober.

Good-luck to you
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
... The thought that meetings would be required is AV.
Not really. I know nothing about RR and assumed there were meetings.

I like the face-to-face aspect of a support group.
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:07 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by airwick View Post
Walk: When I hear/see the words "I will never change my mind", I always think of my mom when I was growing up. She used to always say that quote "Never say Never". In my case, I just take that quote and rephrase it. I say "Changing my mind is an option I will not allow myself to take". Basically the same thing, it just reinforces to me that the decision is mine. Over thinking results in unneeded confusion. Take one day at a time. I'm just doing what It takes for me to stay sober. Good-luck to you
Very good point your making here. I agree that most of the slow down, one day at a time language could be a reflection of being unwilling to commit and possibly a 'get out clause' for drinking again, but it also may be a reflection of simply not being able to envisage a life without drinking, some people especially as adults have not had a full responsible adult experience of sobriety, therefore they may not know what a sober life actually looks like. There are some people and I think Airwick is expressing this who would prefer the Non drinker decision to always remain in the now, projecting forward as if we a predicting the future can be as Airwick has explained an "unneeded confusion".
I do understand the idea that dancing around planned non drinker status is seen as a AV conspiracy, BUT to believe that you have to accept the dualism (or at least the narrative of dualism) that the AV exists as a pure representative of addiction, that we have lower and higher states in our being where success is coming from a authoritarian attitude that the higher can control the lower (most of the time but not always amongst RR proponents its represented as a "fight" then a "submission"). I personally see these separate clearly defined brain states very Skeptically.
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:14 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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No problem, Ken. It certainly is a different approach than what many are accustomed to. I also was speaking generally, as that is a common misconception. Best to you.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:09 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I'm skeptical of the idea that in us exist two ( or more) discrete nonintegrated brain states . Separate states that exist contemporaneously and have the capacity to exert control over the "other" states either randomly or directed by yet another state that cedes control. But I do think we can view thoughts as coming from different aspects of our integrated and complicated makeup. We can isolate certain thoughts or thought patterns and label or identify them as "coming from" different metaphoric "state", ie rational or irrational, reasoned or emotional, conscious or subconscious. I am way more comfortable and get AV from a metaphoric pov.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:36 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I agree with this, dwtb, and Sam knows that I am moving to a more integrated understanding. But still, we see the limbic or amygdala hijack in posts on SR all the time. I don't know how it happened, I don't remember deciding to drink, I just did it / this voice tells me to go ahead and have just a couple / I don't understand why I drank again, I just got so angry or sad or .... And on and on.

While there may not be two separate brain states (or instead there may be many more, I dunno), it still seems to be a useful way of describing what happens in that an awareness that can lead to recognition and mindfulness supports rational decisions. We slow down, and the cognition moves from lymbic to cortex, and we get to act rationally. I think that 'playing the tape through' is another exercise that can accomplish the same thing.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:26 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I agree that there are not to distinct brain states. Excessive alcohol consumption causes changes in functioning of the limbic reward system as well as the cognitive frontal lobe area. During addiction, we are being hampered by an emotional system that wants alcohol to trigger the desired reward as well as impaired cognitive functioning that undermines reversal learning, discernment, judgment, motivation, and impulse control. The key then is to restore normal brain functioning, which we can rationally conclude relies on our behavior. We then “act our way to better thinking”, but we had to rationally think our way to that recognition and decision.

The duality of the AV, for me, is simply a convenient way to compartmentalize all the thoughts and behaviors resulting from addiction impaired brain functions that would lead to drinking again, and AVRT allows me to proceed directly to the conclusion that drinking is never the correct option.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:43 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I am in no way skeptical about AVRT, I quit the day I learned of it. My skepticism is toward the relative infant science of psychology. Perhaps the study of AVRT and CBT will /can help in the understanding of the foundational science. I realize this may be a backward and or naive stance, but it's my ESH

And AV(s?) practically jump off the page in all things "recovery".
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:00 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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THE AVRT Matrix is useful to identify YOUR vs BEAST feelings


copyright Rational Recovery
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Old 01-31-2015, 03:38 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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I also like parts of AVRT, but I don't say, "I'll never change my mind". I don't think that I can know what will happen in the future. I was sober for 16 years and never thought I'd drink again. I was wrong. I just focus on now. I hope to never drink again.

However- I can see how adding that phrase might lessen the temptation to change one's mind spontaneously or on a whim. I assume that is the reason to add it.

There are many paths to recovery.
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Old 01-31-2015, 04:15 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
I am in no way skeptical about AVRT, I quit the day I learned of it. My skepticism is toward the relative infant science of psychology. Perhaps the study of AVRT and CBT will /can help in the understanding of the foundational science. I realize this may be a backward and or naive stance, but it's my ESH And AV(s?) practically jump off the page in all things "recovery".
I agree with this, I've got a funny feeling I found AVRT years ago but didn't understand it the way I do now. I could say, I wasn't ready, I didn't commit to a big plan, I suspect my heart wasn't in it, let alone my brain. Forward a few years into the despair of seemingly not being able to stop myself from drinking I searched for a new way to do it, I stayed at home for a week, recovering from the hangover, the shame I felt was so real that I was prepared to try anything, I found the AVRT crash course, followed it, couldn't quite believe in its simplicity but decided to try it, wholeheartedly, I had everything to gain.
I had an epiphany (no idea how else to describe it) I now never drink and I never will comes so naturally to me now but whether I'll remember that in years to come, I've no idea right now.... The I/it split is a great tool for focus and I'm now hugely interested in how the human brain works, the psychology of it all and also how to go about helping my brain to 're-wire' to suit my new life, I read somewhere than it takes at least 4 years sober but obviously, according to what I've read, and learnt, once 'the beast' is born it will never go away..... That's my current interest.

Driving my wagon of hope through beautiful views on my road to myself
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:27 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Do you think the generic Big Plan ("I will never drink again, and I will never change my mind") would be more or less effective if it were framed positively? Something like "I will live a sober life, and I will remain committed to sober living for the rest of my life."
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:25 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Started reading Rational Recovery and on page 41, Trimpey writes, "Don't hang around with recovery groupers. Form new relationships based on common interests (passions!) rather than common problems."

So - disclaimer...I don't post this as being anti-AA. In fact, I have considered going to a meeting just for the kinship.

For folks like me and others, who are looking for face-to-face interaction with those who share a common interest, maybe a different type of group would work? For example, a book club, bicycling club (just joined one), or a dinner club.

Aligned with that (for me) is the idea of never drinking again. Immersing myself in the life I once had and am building again removes the need to drink ever again, or to meet face to face with recovering alcoholics.

Finally, I'm grateful to read what all you folks are saying. I'm learning a LOT.

Thanks.
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