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The Beast Stirs

Old 05-31-2015, 11:22 AM
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The Beast Stirs

Currently re-reading RR to get myself back on track. One of the suggestions in the book is to keep a journal of "Beast activity", so I'll be doing that on this thread.

Of course, feel free to join in.

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Old 05-31-2015, 11:25 AM
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Apparently, IT thinks it would be a good idea to go get some beer to take the edge off of all this sobriety. Maybe - since YOU'RE there anyway - pick up some vodka.

Might take me a while to get all the ins and outs, but this one is pretty blatant.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:38 PM
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Beast thinks this isn't "the one". It just doesn't feel right. That I should have a few drinks over a few days to "reset" and try it again later. I disagree.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:56 PM
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The Beast thinks I can just have a few..... not enough to get drunk, just enough to relax. But enough is never enough. The Beast wants them all. I say NO.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:04 PM
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AVRT is about recognition and mindfulness, particularly around that alcoholic voice. Soon, the flags will go up when the AV so much as whispers, but that will come with practice.

Many awareness or mindfulness projects can be started effectively with a journal. The acts of observing and committing to paper are extremely mindful activities. Soon, the recording on paper or kb won't be necessary but you may still find it useful in dealing with other things that life can throw at you when you need to observe thoughts and feelings outside of a compulsion to become involved with them.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:39 PM
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Where does it leave you when you know it's beast activity, when you recognize your AV as such, but drink anyway?
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:52 AM
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The Beast Stirs
I prefer my beast shaken, not stirred.

Where does it leave you when you know it's beast activity, when you recognize your AV as such, but drink anyway?
From experience I can tell you that it left me feeling pretty low. My solution was to find ways to make the beast-tamer more focused, empowered, and confident. The solution for dealing with the beast is the same for all of us. The solution for dealing with the beast-tamer is different for all of us. It is the seldom discussed dichotomy of RR.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by brynn View Post
Where does it leave you when you know it's beast activity, when you recognize your AV as such, but drink anyway?
Beastception? Good question though.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:58 AM
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I can tell you where it leaves you from first-hand experience--deflated. No different really than any of the other times except I do know at exactly what point I said "eff-it". More importantly, the 2 day build-up prior is where I began de-constructing solid reason. Bottom line? Plan is a big fishing net. I will repair holes and cast it wide enough to include all contingencies. Namely, I am one practiced liar, especially to myself when it comes to orchestrating chaos so I can run. Running drunk--nobody ever won a marathon like that. Still smarts a bit but that will wane and I will be watching this mind a bit closer.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by brynn View Post
Where does it leave you when you know it's beast activity, when you recognize your AV as such, but drink anyway?
It means you surrendered control of your language and actions to a perverted subhuman survival drive that has commingled with your beneficial survival drives. As such, you either made an insincere BP or, as the AV got louder, failed to separate your mature, adult, human side from your Beast.

Some people who have made a BP and then have drinks just give in to the Beast because they are weary of "fighting" it.

Don't fight it. Recognize it. It is eternal and will never go aways; we in turn must be timeless in abstinence. That is why counting is discouraged.

In sum, you became an animal, a party animal whose only goal was to get good and drunk and pursue the call of the wild in the night.

Would you steal money if there was an open and unattended cash register? Would you scream obscenities in a restaurant because your order was wrong? Would you crash your car into an inconsiderate driver who angered you?

I also think you are making it more complicated that it is in an attempt to explain and justify it, which is pure AV.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:11 AM
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A coupla tricks in my Arsenal are as follows...

1. Think through various Scenarios

Short of being all OCD about it... Of course, lay out the 'take a separate Car to a Wedding Reception' Response, or 'here's how I'll respond to some Drunk trying to make me do a Shot' Scenario. Take it further, though. How about when I + Da Wife are hangin' with another Couple at Dinner, and a subsequent stop at a Bar is 'all agreed to' while I'm off in the Can? This just happened. I dodged a Bullet. Because my Guy Pal atypically had a 3rd Marg, his Gal Mate nixed the Bar idea while they were driving separately to some Italian Restaurant for a post-Dinner Drink. He called and cancelled from his Vehicle. Otherwise, I was fine with having just one [Lemonade], and then calling it a night. I'll work out in advance my answer for 'next time' so that this doesn't happen again. I.e., tell Da Wife in advance to not agree to such Guano. Not interested. Drinks with their Dinners is fine. A non-issue. I live in a Drinking World, and am getting on - Recovered - just fine. This incident was a 'Teachable Moment', and I learned from it. I won't be blindsided again. By this same Scenario.-)

2. Engage in 'Muscle Memory'

Tiger Woods supposedly hit 500 Golf Balls every morning before doing anything else. This activity commits to 'memory' automatic action. No Cranial activity req'd. I think we Sober types can emulate this, and 'practice' which non-Alcoholic Drinks we order. 'Practice' different Driving Routes home. 'Practice' avoiding, or going down, certain Store Aisles until those Scenarios just don't matter, or threaten Sobriety anymore. 'Practice' answers to Family when they're being persistent - or downright uncool - about Drinking. Ease into these solutions. Practice until your answers roll right off your Lips.

3. Shift 'Drinking' into the Mental Compartment of 'stuff I simply don't do'

Mental discipline, I suppose. I don't take Money left laying out on a Friend's Counter. My Wife doesn't steal Diamond Earrings left on the Bathroom Counter at some Gal Pal's House. Whuuuut? Unthinkable. We all make similar, non-negotiable, Ethical decisions all the time. We don't think a thing of them. Doing 'The Right Thing' just plays out Ethically. Non Drinking, to me, is now as 'easy' or repetitive as 'not stealing'. Not hitting on my Neighbor's Wife. Not cheating on my Taxes.

I don't need to go to Meetings to reinforce Ethical behavior. If someone told me they need Meetings to keep from stealing from me, or to keep from hitting on my Wife, I would seriously question what Ethical Universe they live in. Not mine.

I utterly reject the mindless Mantra of 'Stinking Thinking'. My Mind is my Friend.-) It is the power and the entity, after initially sobering up, to help me 'train into' making what I know to be the right decisions. Read about what any Olympic Athlete has to say re: the role of the Mind in achieving superior results. Emulate that.

Rinse and repeat such decisions, and think through in advance that which you can. A side benefit to this approach is that it addresses - pre-Crisis - a whole lot of what we Sober Folks have to deal with. This means it reduces to 'just a few' the situations that blindside us while we're unprepared. This means we're most likely to make the 'right' non-Drinking decision while on Autopilot, due to already thinking through anticipated Scenarios.

I realize this Post is a bit repetitive. That's the point I'm driving home.-) Repeat choices until good decisions are generally made via Autopilot.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:56 AM
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But how do you guys silence the thoughts? Sure you can recognize them for what they are and do your best to ignore them but how do you make them STFU?
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by brynn View Post
Where does it leave you when you know it's beast activity, when you recognize your AV as such, but drink anyway?
Almost exactly three years ago, right here on SR-SC, that is the exact position I was in.
I was arguing with Dalek that I was doing wonderful Sugar Beast AVRT, while eating sugar.
Yes, it's almost embarrassing as I recall my attempted logic.
It ended up impressing upon me the ultimate "Art" of AVRT.

I had objectified my Sugar Beast and believed that "going along with it this one time" was not failing at AVRT.
Well, I was wrong. I was doing AVRT very poorly to the point of uselessness.
Well, here's what I posted three years ago.

(beginning of quote)
=============

There may have been no separation between what we both wanted, but I'm positive I was objectively recognizing IT and IT's voice the AV while eating all that sugar. The way I brought it into my consciousness was the same, the way I pictured it was the same; the whole objectifying process was the same, I was simply going along with it this one time. There were still two of us during the whole event even while swallowing.

My point is this. AV recognition has no practical use to me without a Big Plan.

As I remain almost sugar free so far this year, I've recognized and objectified my sugar Beast and it's AV, but all that doesn't have any real effect on whether or not I will eat sugar because I don't have a Big Plan. I just ate sugar for the second time this year and it was only sort of a big deal, not really, though.

When I make my Big Plan for sugar, then I know from experience with other Beasts, that AVRT will have a very useful purpose in making it so much easier to get on with my gastronomic future.

I can feel it even now. I am seriously thinking about a Big Plan for sugar right now. Oh my gosh! Does it mean I will never experience the taste of sweetness again. Oh, wait, there's stevia. Will that be OK? WOW! Is that what I really want? Yes, now the AV is really poppin'. Yes, now AVRT makes sense. It will really help tie it all together - and quickly, too. WHEW! Haven't I loved what's happened by almost not eating any sugar so far this year? Of course! HAH! I win. Well, not quite yet. Dag-nab-it!

OK, I'll let y'all know when I make that Big Plan for sugar.

------

You know what? Enough of this pussyfooting around.
I will never eat any sweets again.
THANK YOU BRAIN!
Oh, WOW!
THANK YOU (AGAIN) AVRT!

------

There. Done.

=============
(end of quote.)

I was completely missing the separation of the "two of us" while eating the sugar.

I can now affectionately tell myself
"It's The Big Plan, stupid!"
because I really think I could be stupid and still make it.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
But how do you guys silence the thoughts? Sure you can recognize them for what they are and do your best to ignore them but how do you make them STFU?
Do not attempt to silence. Would you attempt to silence hunger or thirst or intimate desire? You might not act on those impulses immediately, but you would not silence them, either.

With alcohol, you recognize the impulse but fail to act on it.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:32 AM
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GT....I think you nailed it with your sugar example. I knew and recognized my AV as such and still drank, thinking that since I KNEW it was my AV it somehow made my decision to drink more enlightened (?) or responsible (?) ha! Lunacy. That tricky AV wasn't going to get ME to change my mind about my BP and drink...I was going to show IT and do it all by myself! That was pretty much what was in my head leading up to my drinking on Saturday.

As for contingency plans.....oh I've got them, but didn't have one for whatever got into my head last week (see above). I blatantly disregarded my Big Plan which I haven't come anywhere close to doing in the past few months. My mantra has been drinking is not an option for me. Period. Until it was, and that's alarming. Anyway, I get the point and the tiger woods example hits home with me, thanks MM.

Anatta.....I'll be casting a wider net too. I know we are both sincere in our desire to quit this ****.

SDH....sorry to hijack your thread. And thanks for starting it.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:51 AM
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brynn, no worries on my end. It's an important point that warrants some discussion. I was going to say that AVRT is simply for recognizing and separating thoughts of drinking (or whatever needs to be eradicated), and what one chooses to do upon recognition of those thoughts are up to the individual. But I will defer to those with more experience and success on this.

In my case, my recent stint with the drink stemmed more from the fact that I'd gotten away from AVRT. Hadn't heard from my AV in so long that I forgot how to recognize it. Once it sneaked in and hi-jacked my thoughts it was all over. "IT" had become "I".
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:59 AM
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Q: 'But how do you guys silence the thoughts? Sure you can recognize them for what they are and do your best to ignore them but how do you make them STFU?'

A: I move the Goalposts defining 'Success'. My definition is no longer to 'make them STFU'.

Some time ago on SR, I read a sincere Post from someone to the effect that - simply because he still had thoughts about Drinking - he was not Recovered. So, he felt he had to go beat himself up some more, and double down on the same Program. The Program that had - I guess - defined 'failure' as having any residual Drinking thoughts at all. I'm thinkin': 'Man, what an impossible personal standard to meet'! 'Drink for 'x' Decades, and never again [harmlessly] think of Drinking'? It kinda reminded me of old Calvinist, 'beat yourself up' thinking whereby any Sexual thoughts meant some stint of Self Punishment, or flagellation.

So, I simply redefined what constitutes 'success'. I'm allowed to do that. It's my Recovery. I don't sweat the occasional Drinking thought. I don't beat myself up for having such thoughts. I don't resent such thoughts, or consider the mere existence of them 'failure'. 'Urge Surfing' in action.

As stated above, and elsewhere, acting on such thoughts is my Goalpost. I moved it 'back' to where just a thought doesn't mean squat. In a like manner, admiring some Babe at the Dog Park this afternoon isn't Marital Infidelity. Acting on such thoughts is.-) And, the chance of that Scenario [at my age] equals the chance of Drinking again: zero.dot.zero!

See how easy that was?

I've done this same 'moving the Goalposts to suit me' Exercise re: 'what does it mean to have 'enough' Money'? 'What is an acceptable Body Type'? [a biggie for plenty of Women]. 'When do I consider myself Recovered'? Set/define your own standard for 'success'. Accept no substitutes.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:12 AM
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SDH73, glad you are back on track, and yes, the beast is a relentless sneaky SOB. However in July, I'll have conquered the beast for 5 years now. You can do it, rootin for ya.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:05 PM
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"Know what you haven't tried? Moderation. Go get a 6 pack of beer, put it in the fridge, maybe nurse a couple later on tonight. You don't have to go overboard. Of course, if you're going to the store anyway, might want to pick up some vodka...just in case."

Beast activity yesterday and today during workout session. Is there something about physical exercise that gets it all riled up? Or is it just one of the few times during my day that I really allow my mind to wander off?
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SDH73 View Post
"Know what you haven't tried? Moderation. Go get a 6 pack of beer, put it in the fridge, maybe nurse a couple later on tonight. You don't have to go overboard. Of course, if you're going to the store anyway, might want to pick up some vodka...just in case."

Beast activity yesterday and today during workout session. Is there something about physical exercise that gets it all riled up? Or is it just one of the few times during my day that I really allow my mind to wander off?

I'm the opposite with exercise, it actually calms cravings for me.

This is a biggie for me....... beast - Why would you try to quit during the summer when there are so many fun things going on? You'll never make it! Just wait till the fall....... ME - I say I will make it!

Or there's this one......beast - If you aren't going to drink you should go score some pot or some mushrooms or some mdma so you can still party! ME - cuz that's what I need a drug problem to go with my alcohol problem. Hell no!
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