Blogs


Notices

adventures in AVRT

Old 09-17-2016, 10:09 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
tursiops999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,497
My beast made a big effort last night. I don't drink, so the beast did not win, but it was weird.

As I've posted elsewhere, I'm going through a job search right now, and it's anxiety-producing. It is going pretty well, though -- I did a bunch of networking last week and set up some phone meetings and a couple interviews. But it's been stressful ... also our house foundation is being replaced so there is jackhammering all day long, under our feet. So maybe I was especially vulnerable to a beast attack, which I haven't had for awhile.

Husband and I went out to a pizza joint last night. Husband wanted a beer (when he does order a beer, he drinks a few sips and he's done, definitely not a big drinker). It was a craft beer joint so the waitress brought him several small samples to taste. Sitting there seeing those samples, the thought came that I could just taste them out of curiosity for the flavor, not to really drink it but just taste, and it wouldn't be that big of a deal. And since I had quit alcohol fairly easily, the first time I really tried, it's not like this would cause some bizarre binge or anything.

I said to myself, "I made a permanent decision to never drink alcohol again, so whatever these thoughts are, however real or sensible they might seem, they are not me and they are not to be followed." I breathed, and focused on the taste of the pizza, focused on what my husband was saying, and the beast thoughts gradually receded over the course of dinner. But for awhile, both sets of thoughts were in my head -- mine, and the beast's. Weird sensation.
tursiops999 is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to tursiops999 For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-17-2016), flame11 (12-09-2016), Fluffer (09-27-2016), Fusion (09-17-2016), Kaily (04-17-2017), MesaMan (09-17-2016), Steely (01-06-2017)
Old 09-17-2016, 01:20 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,628
Oh my dear Tursiops, what a shining example you are!!!!

Yes I read your job search thread. I felt inadequate to post a reply. I lost my career, not due to drinking, but none the less indirectly. Had I not been drinking due to the horrendous job mess I found myself in; then I would've been better able to deal with the sexism, bullying and unfairness. As it was, I just drank (to cope - what a joke) and then walked away from the legal proceedings.

I'm so pleased to hear that your job search is bearing fruit.
My husband also drinks craft beers, but not even every weekend!

I've a new lease of life with AVRT. That sounds inadequate. To be honest, it's as though I've been born again. The alcohol has been taken out of my life and I'm left with this rawness, newness and I can see better, hear better, smell better....its just as though I've stepped into a new world after drinking myself into a stupor for the last decade and the decade period, into numbness.

This great gift, awakening, that I've received is entirely due to you and the other kind folks on SR who posted and 'thanked' my thread here on secular threads.

Where it not for you all, I'd have consigned AVRT back to where it was when I first discovered it many years ago, as wishful thinking.

Oh my, I just don't know what to say, other than thank you to all you folks for saving my life!!!! To say that I'm floating on a pink cloud, would be inadequate.

Oh I'm sorry, that was all about me. But I'm so pleased to hear you sounding more upbeat and that the job search sounds promising.
Fusion is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Fusion For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-17-2016), flame11 (12-09-2016), freshstart57 (09-17-2016), MesaMan (09-17-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (09-17-2016), Wholesome (04-09-2017)
Old 09-18-2016, 01:00 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
tursiops999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,497
Tatsy, I'm so glad you are experiencing this gift.

This weekend I've been reading "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" by Gabor Mate, which others have mentioned on SR. I find it very interesting and helpful. Near the end of the book, he describes five "steps" to take when experiencing a craving or thoughts of acting out an addictive behavior. He doesn't mention AVRT, but to me, these steps can be seen as an elaboration of the "recognition" piece of AVRT. Perhaps a more detailed way to go about recognizing and letting go. For those who haven't read it, the five steps are:

Re-label -- "I don't need to do X now, I'm only having an obsessive thought that I have such a need, a false belief that I have such a need"
Re-attribute -- "This is not really me, it's old circuits in my brain sending me a false message."
Re-focus -- find something else to do for a few minutes that I enjoy
Re-value -- remind myself of the decision I have made to not engage in the behavior, and why.

Maybe that overcomplicates the recognition piece, or maybe it helps. I just offer it here as food for thought, and welcome any comments.
tursiops999 is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to tursiops999 For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-18-2016), flame11 (12-09-2016), freshstart57 (09-18-2016), Fusion (09-18-2016), MesaMan (09-18-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), Wholesome (04-09-2017)
Old 09-18-2016, 07:22 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
The only thing I would add, Re-peat, if necessary, the old circuits can be persistent, but are definitely rewireable
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
flame11 (12-09-2016), Fusion (09-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (09-18-2016), Wholesome (04-09-2017)
Old 09-18-2016, 08:29 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
Self recovered Self discovered
 
freshstart57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 5,147
When I read Mate, I was very interested too to find that passage. It seemed to me to dovetail with my understanding of AVRT. He seems to believe that it is not just for those that haven't yet lost everything, but for those whose life situations are beyond dire as well.


Thanks for posting this!
freshstart57 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to freshstart57 For This Useful Post:
Fusion (09-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (09-18-2016)
Old 09-19-2016, 02:32 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
Member
 
CelticZebra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 495
I've been having odd beast behaviour due to hot weather and nice gardens yet even going to the pub doesn't budge my BP
The marvellous BP which is the simplest answer to any beast activity I encounter and a few reminders of 'playing the tape through' firmly centre my thoughts on the present.
This thread is another great example of the power of Now, in that no matter the date or the poster the words make sense and I am not alone when I have all the wonderful SR community to understand my journey and empathise with similar thoughts to mine.
I have also read Gabor Mate's book and I thank you for drawing parallel with the R in AVRT
AVRT is great along with all the other techniques afforded to us such as those of Tolle, Mate and psychological therapies such as CBT and CAT amongst others.
It is a joy to be sober and celebrate with you

Driving my wagon of hope through beautiful views on my road to myself
CelticZebra is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to CelticZebra For This Useful Post:
flame11 (12-09-2016), freshstart57 (09-19-2016), Fusion (09-19-2016), jazzfish (09-28-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (09-19-2016)
Old 09-25-2016, 10:28 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
Member
 
tekink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,132
I'm thankful I found AVRT, I think it's been a bit over a week now.

I'm not having cravings so much this time, it's day 13 today. I feel like garbage but I'm not craving the drink, I can recognize the AV nearly instantly these days.
tekink is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to tekink For This Useful Post:
Dee74 (09-25-2016), dwtbd (09-25-2016), flame11 (12-09-2016), Fusion (10-19-2016), MesaMan (09-25-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (09-25-2016)
Old 09-25-2016, 11:57 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
Thirteen is great number , eh ? Keep truckin Congrats on your decision !!!
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
Fusion (10-19-2016), tekink (09-25-2016), tursiops999 (09-25-2016)
Old 09-27-2016, 09:32 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
tursiops999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,497
just pondering this evening how grateful I am to the SR community. I'm specifically grateful to those trailblazers who started & participated in the very informative sticky threads on AVRT in this secular section. It helps me to re-read them.

Lately there have been some good posts on the idea that the AV wants us to believe that stress and painful feelings are too difficult for us to handle. It wants us to believe our problems are more difficult than they actually are.

This past week I've been continuing work on my job search, and at the same time, my elderly mom landed in the hospital with some scary problems. I was stressed by this stuff, juggling job calls and emails from the hospital, etc.

AVRT really helped me with this. I knew I wasn't going to drink over any of this, because I'm a non-drinker. I also knew that the AV could try to exaggerate my reaction to these stressors ... encourage me to think they were more than I could handle. That AVRT concept helped me to sort of "make friends" with the stress I was under. If my stress isn't more than I can handle, well then ... I can just handle it. Feel it, acknowledge it, soothe it with self-care, trust that it will pass as everything does.

It's not a new idea of course, many buddhist teachers talk of the benefits of radical acceptance of what is. Heck, the big book has a really good passage on acceptance. It's just that AVRT helped me to experience it directly.

Instead of thinking "oh, I have all this stress, I might drink, I better do xyz, oh my god, panic, I can't handle it" .... I'm thinking "oh, here is stress, which I need not fear, let's tread softly while it's here".

dunno if that makes any sense, but it helps me to ramble sometimes.
tursiops999 is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to tursiops999 For This Useful Post:
Fusion (10-19-2016), goneundone (10-03-2016), jazzfish (09-28-2016), shockozulu (09-28-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tekink (09-28-2016), Wholesome (04-09-2017)
Old 09-27-2016, 10:18 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
Into the Void
 
Fluffer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 926
Hi Tursiops,

Sorry you are under a lot of stress these days. I agree that one of the AV's (or beast's) favorite tricks is to make us believe that we can't cope without booze. Not only is that hogwash, but I think booze actually debilitates the nervous system and makes us more stressed most of the time (except when we're actually drunk). I used to get really nervous and addled for days after getting really drunk, and then as soon as that wore off I'd be ready for the next weekend. Insanity!

I'm feeling calmer these days and trying to grow my inner stoic (or is it psychopath?) that doesn't care what the world throws my way. I'm not all the way there yet, but I don't really care about insults, provocations or work stress that much any more. Ok, the kids can still get to me. Mastering your emotions without intoxicants is like a muscle that grows with exercise. Anyways, good luck with your job search!
Fluffer is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Fluffer For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-29-2016), goneundone (10-03-2016), shockozulu (09-28-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tekink (09-28-2016), tursiops999 (09-28-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 06:48 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
Member
 
Jack16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: London
Posts: 1,137
I am so glad I have found this corner of SR. I am currently re-reading Trimpey, and doing so much more carefully. The post son this thread and others about AVRT are giving me much hope. Hope I can share experiences / questions over the next little while. Thanks
Jack16 is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Jack16 For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (10-19-2016), freshstart57 (10-19-2016), Fusion (10-19-2016), jaynie04 (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (10-19-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 07:38 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by tursiops999 View Post
Tatsy, I'm so glad you are experiencing this gift.

This weekend I've been reading "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" by Gabor Mate, which others have mentioned on SR. I find it very interesting and helpful. Near the end of the book, he describes five "steps" to take when experiencing a craving or thoughts of acting out an addictive behavior. He doesn't mention AVRT, but to me, these steps can be seen as an elaboration of the "recognition" piece of AVRT. Perhaps a more detailed way to go about recognizing and letting go. For those who haven't read it, the five steps are:

Re-label -- "I don't need to do X now, I'm only having an obsessive thought that I have such a need, a false belief that I have such a need"
Re-attribute -- "This is not really me, it's old circuits in my brain sending me a false message."
Re-focus -- find something else to do for a few minutes that I enjoy
Re-value -- remind myself of the decision I have made to not engage in the behavior, and why.

Maybe that overcomplicates the recognition piece, or maybe it helps. I just offer it here as food for thought, and welcome any comments.
Tursiops, sorry about the late reply! I'm like a whirling dervish at the moment, fighting the fires I've neglected due to drinking.

Yes, the above did help and on the back of your post, I came across Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, who penned a book in 1996, Brain Lock, which dealt with recovery from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, by utilising the Four Steps which you set out.

Dr. Schwartz wrote another book, You Are Not Your Brain, in 2011, which seems to expand the Four Steps applicability to negative self talk inner critic, addictions, black and white thinking etc., and coins the phrase Deceptive Brain Messages.

There is an overlap and expansion between AVRT and the Four Steps. I needed AVRT to deal with alcohol addiction, because of its laser beam focus, when gripped by those crippling, horrendous AV thoughts demanding a drink. Yet, I can see how the Four Steps would be extremely effective for dealing with inbuilt habits which have a less immediate, urgent effect; such as negative self-talk etc,.

I'm so glad this Secular Connections thread exists!
Fusion is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Fusion For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (10-19-2016), jaynie04 (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (10-19-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 10:34 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
tursiops999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,497
Originally Posted by Jack16 View Post
I am currently re-reading Trimpey, and doing so much more carefully.
Hi Jack16, welcome to this corner of SR! Glad you're here.

I am also currently re-reading Trimpey. I am a non-drinker with AVRT, and although it's very straightforward, there were some nuances I missed the first time I read it. As I get clearer on these nuances, I waste less energy on the beast.

Read & post here -- there's some very badass practitioners of AVRT here, who will chime in to respond to your questions & comments.
tursiops999 is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to tursiops999 For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (10-19-2016), Fusion (10-19-2016), Jack16 (10-19-2016), jaynie04 (10-19-2016), sainos (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017)
Old 10-19-2016, 10:36 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
tursiops999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,497
...and an update on my stressful situations .... they have all resolved and changed, as these things tend to do! My mom is out of the hospital and doing well. I got a job offer that I'm really happy with, and accepted it. Construction on my basement finished, and the house is blissfully quiet. Ahhhhhhhh!
tursiops999 is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to tursiops999 For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (10-19-2016), dwtbd (10-19-2016), freshstart57 (10-19-2016), Fusion (10-19-2016), Jack16 (10-19-2016), jaynie04 (10-19-2016), sainos (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017)
Old 10-19-2016, 10:47 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
 
Algorithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by tursiops999 View Post
I am also currently re-reading Trimpey... although it's very straightforward, there were some nuances I missed the first time I read it.
I like to say that the Beast can read, and that it stands guard at all times, including while we read. The Beast screens all thinking to make sure that no serious plan to end the addiction is entertained, much less implemented.

I highly recommend reading the RR book again after some time. I read the book several times, including while I was actively drinking, and each time, I have gotten more out of it. Each time, less AV slipped in unrecognized.
Algorithm is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
Fusion (10-19-2016), Jack16 (10-19-2016), sainos (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (10-19-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 11:05 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,628
Tursiops, I'm thrilled to read of your good news! What a relief for you regarding your mom and boost regarding your new job and peace and quiet post-basement works. It's amazing how time can change things for the better. I suppose that's why hope is so important, when in the pit of despair.
Fusion is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Fusion For This Useful Post:
Jack16 (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (10-19-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 11:15 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by Algorithm View Post
I like to say that the Beast can read, and that it stands guard at all times, including while we read. The Beast screens all thinking to make sure that no serious plan to end the addiction is entertained, much less implemented.

I highly recommend reading the RR book again after some time. I read the book several times, including while I was actively drinking, and each time, I have gotten more out of it. Each time, less AV slipped in unrecognized.
I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm probably a slow learner, but I read the book several times and thereafter, ear-marked chapters repeatedly, plus those you guided me to recently. It's amazing how simple it first appears, yet as you put it into action, the strength of the Beast becomes apparent in its subtleness, which must be noticed as it adapts to your newfound power of free-will; overcoming its autonomic, misdirected blind-will.

It is after all, the brain's mis-directed survival mechanism and thus: powerful. But not as powerful as our minds.
Fusion is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Fusion For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (10-20-2016), flame11 (12-09-2016), freshstart57 (10-19-2016), Jack16 (10-19-2016), sainos (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (10-19-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 11:31 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 162
I have read it a lot more than once too. Lot's of ah-ha moments as something I had read before really sinks in. But, you know what, there are still parts of it I read, that bring a sense of doom over me for no reason I can see. So it must be the Beast using my feelings! So I'll take any sense of doom as a good sign I am recognizing the Beast when I feel it haha
sainos is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sainos For This Useful Post:
Jack16 (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (10-19-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 11:50 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
doom and bloom, beats doom and gloom every day of the week and twice on Sundays
even little tweaks on perspective can have a huge impact , rock on
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
Jack16 (10-19-2016), sainos (10-19-2016), Steely (01-06-2017), tursiops999 (10-19-2016)
Old 10-19-2016, 01:39 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
Member
 
Jack16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: London
Posts: 1,137
Originally Posted by tursiops999 View Post
Hi Jack16, welcome to this corner of SR! Glad you're here.
Thanks Tursiops
Jack16 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Jack16 For This Useful Post:
tursiops999 (10-19-2016)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:34 PM.