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I made my "Big Plan"

Old 10-09-2015, 10:47 AM
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Cool!

I read the Rational Recovery book and enjoyed it. It made a lot of sense to me. And I'm going to follow the phrase in my signature line below forever.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:47 PM
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The weird twists and turns of life. I found myself reading Greenwoods reply and actually I generally agree. No, I have no compulsion to follow RR but thats no big deal, I kind of had a penny drop moment, where I thought to myself "what the hell am I doing here, quibbling and intellectualizing" let me tell you its bloody tiring and not much fun. I turned 50 this year and have 11 years as a non gambler, most if not all of the things I attached to as reasons why I quit ended up being just convenient stories that simply fell into the void left by my human need to understand, maybe it was just I decided gambling was not for me and stuck to my decision, (you know it could be as simple as that).
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Old 10-09-2015, 02:08 PM
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I just don't understand yet.

I am struggling, yesterday and today. Not so much whether to drink, but with how to know if I can really take it off the table. I feel like making that Big Plan would be as much "whistling in the dark" as it would be for me to announce that I can drink socially. I just don't trust myself to say "never" and make it stick. How does one become prepared?

On the other hand, I've gotten myself very disturbed by what seems to me like a too-casual approach in some threads. I don't think sobriety, for me, is like going to a spa and taking the curative waters for spells between binges. I feel I am in this for my life.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by samseb5351 View Post
The weird twists and turns of life. I found myself reading Greenwoods reply and actually I generally agree. No, I have no compulsion to follow RR but thats no big deal, I kind of had a penny drop moment, where I thought to myself "what the hell am I doing here, quibbling and intellectualizing" let me tell you its bloody tiring and not much fun. I turned 50 this year and have 11 years as a non gambler, most if not all of the things I attached to as reasons why I quit ended up being just convenient stories that simply fell into the void left by my human need to understand, maybe it was just I decided gambling was not for me and stuck to my decision, (you know it could be as simple as that).
You might not be "following RR" but you are using the principles of AVRT.

It is how recovered people have done so in the space of a day for centuries.

RR just codifies it.

It is old as the first person who swore to God, or whoever, and wife and landlord, or lord, or serf, or whoever and whatever saint or whoever ever else might have been around that the costs were too high and as a matter of moral principle, "NO MORE."
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BixBees505 View Post
I just don't understand yet.

I am struggling, yesterday and today. Not so much whether to drink, but with how to know if I can really take it off the table. I feel like making that Big Plan would be as much "whistling in the dark" as it would be for me to announce that I can drink socially. I just don't trust myself to say "never" and make it stick. How does one become prepared?

On the other hand, I've gotten myself very disturbed by what seems to me like a too-casual approach in some threads. I don't think sobriety, for me, is like going to a spa and taking the curative waters for spells between binges. I feel I am in this for my life.
That is your Beast talking, making excuses, quibbling, doing anything it can to make sure you don't cut off the precious juice.

It will do anything for more of it.

Ask yourself this: do you really love the stuff that much?
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:36 PM
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BB505 - How long has it been since you had a drink? If it's more than a week then you are prepared to make the decision to quit for good.
As Greenwood says, it's your AV keeping you from believing you can make the decision to quit forever. If you never want to drink again all you have to do is BELIEVE it. You're as ready as you'll ever be. If you continue to worry about drinking in the future you are setting yourself to do just that. That's why "recoveryism" fails so much. It teaches you to believe that you will always be a drinker.
That's just not true.

Welcome to the real world JD - congratulations! It's a huge weight off your shoulders. In the early days whenever the "beast" would enter my thoughts I would say out loud, "I will never drink again and I will never change my mind." That was all it took to scare it into submission.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:58 PM
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too late to edit -- But even though I scared the beast away, I was doing it often for a while. And I also removed myself from situations where the AV thrived in. After I got through a period of 'firsts' it got a lot easier to dismiss thoughts of drinking.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:17 PM
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Greenwood, Lbrain...thanks.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:55 AM
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BixBees, there is a huge difference between swearing off drinking for good, for your own good as it turns out, and deciding to 'just drink socially and moderately'. The difference is what happens when you get a couple of beers in - the rational brain gets shoved out of the way to make elbow room for the AV so it can respond from its lower brain function. It's great - it gets to drink at will, say and do whatever the heck it pleases, when it pleases. Once this happens, you are well on your way to another blackout binge. We know how this always ends for people like you and me.

While sober, on the other hand, we can make that forever plan about continuing to use alcohol. We can quit drinking for good. And then we can get to work on our inner selves, just as other non-drinkers do. Or not. The point is we get to do whatever the heck we want now - we can create, we can make, we can do, we can hope, we can dream. We can live.

You can do it, BixBees505. You won't regret choosing to be sober for good. Lots of support here, so keep posting, OK?
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:47 AM
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That's why "recoveryism" fails so much. It teaches you to believe that you will always be a drinker.
That's just not true.


this, also, is just not true.
nothing is teaching me to believe i'll always be a drinker.
that's just silly.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:36 AM
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I do hear the phrase 'incurable disease', fini, and I think you have heard it too. Maybe that would be a more accurate observation than 'always be a drinker'.

I think the real point is that it can be useful to believe that any concern or worry about future drinking has a definition - AV.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:49 AM
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I sincerely appreciate the points of view expressed here. Thank you for responding to me, and to each other with your thoughts.

For me, the medical model helped me accept and understand the gravity of my situation. But just like every other "belief system" of any stripe that I have explored, when taken to all logical extensions the model has limitations and runs out of steam for me. It is a "model", a useful and incomplete model of reality. IMHO. I expect nothing more perfect in RR/AVRT models.

I certainly find the tension between the points of view challenging and useful in my own sobriety.

I followed a link to an RR summary though, and was a little dismayed to read that I am evidently a morally reprehensible stinking piece of scum. Seemed to rely a little overmuch on beating on our shame-bones? I can take it, but it struck me as pretty emotional for a 'rational' approach.

I hope I have not taken this post in a dis-allowed direction. Back to what I need...I know I need to stop, forever! And I know any failure is just another chance at life-altering disaster. So I do need stopping to be for good. Period.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:52 AM
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And I'd SURE like to "get on with my life".
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BixBees505 View Post
And I'd SURE like to "get on with my life".
Your revulsion at your poor habits, choices and regular drunkeness being pointed out is pure AV. The mature adult inside might be a little wounded by these shortcomings being brought to light, but your Beast is the one positively shrieking with rage!

It is telling you that you are not so bad even if you willingly and intentionally get plastered on a regular basis. It isn't your fault, your are sick. You have a disease, require support and a steady stream of excuses and blah blah blah.

It is telling you everything except the truth: that you really should quit drinking. Don't you think you should?
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:26 AM
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Yes, I totally do think I should stop, and I have. I think my inner mature adult is posting these questions and comments, frankly.

I also recognized a central truth (for me) in the RR summary I read. I paraphrasing and elaborating, as I read it several days ago...
Once I knew I cannot drink normally, continuing to drink in any fashion or volume, is purely because I like the high. There is no other reason. There are a million reasons why I may do or not do a lot of things..but my only reason to drink is the buzz, the high, the release. Physiology relentlessly makes the high harder to get, and harder to recover from the attempt, oh poor me. Tough $hite.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BixBees505 View Post
Yes, I totally do think I should stop, and I have. I think my inner mature adult is posting these questions and comments, frankly.

I also recognized a central truth (for me) in the RR summary I read. I paraphrasing and elaborating, as I read it several days ago...
Once I knew I cannot drink normally, continuing to drink in any fashion or volume, is purely because I like the high. There is no other reason. There are a million reasons why I may do or not do a lot of things..but my only reason to drink is the buzz, the high, the release. Physiology relentlessly makes the high harder to get, and harder to recover from the attempt, oh poor me. Tough $hite.
I think you have got it. I recommend practicing the separation drill on the RR free lesson until you have it down cold. That will allow you to easily recognize the difference between the mature adult and the pleasure drive gone haywire we call the Beast.

Your capacity for critical self insight is inspiring and admirable. That you have stripped away the crap excuses and realize you drink for the high is crucial. Most people never get there. Grab yourself some ACE, you deserve it.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:05 PM
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It's interesting because for me it was reading about the moral (or immoral) aspect of my drinking that really resonated with me as I sat there shaking my head yes yes that's me! I like that straight talk and it was exactly what I needed to hear then and now.

Alcohol in and of itself is not immoral or evil, but when I consume alcohol I act in utterly immoral and reprehensible ways. I go against my own moral code when I'm drinking and that's what leads to the guilt and shame we experience and talk about so much on this forum.

For me, drinking again would be akin to robbing a bank or stealing my neighbors jewelry or mugging an old lady. It's wrong and I'm not going to do it.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenwood618 View Post

Your capacity for critical self insight is inspiring and admirable. That you have stripped away the crap excuses and realize you drink for the high is crucial. Most people never get there. Grab yourself some ACE, you deserve it.
Totally agree BIxBees
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by brynn View Post
For me, drinking again would be akin to robbing a bank or stealing my neighbors jewelry or mugging an old lady. It's wrong and I'm not going to do it.
Awesome. Just absolutely awesome.
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:54 PM
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Appreciate your comments, very much, Greenwood, Freshstart, and Brynn.

Brynn, thanks for the comments on the moral side of the concept. I understand it a bit better for having read them.

This thread has helped me a lot today. A real antidote to the obsessive circling my mind prefers.
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