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an old habit & AVRT

Old 07-08-2016, 01:07 PM
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an old habit & AVRT

I was just pondering how I kicked a minor early addiction in the past, and wondering how I did it, in light of what I now know about AVRT.

In college (30 years ago) I developed a minor cigarette habit. I don't exactly recall, but I think I smoked maybe 2 - 4 cigarettes a day for maybe six to nine months at most. I smoked in the evening, while drinking a beer or after dinner. I had a roommate who smoked, and I joined her.

At some point, I realized it was a bad move for my health, and I resolved to quit. I was changing roommates and took that as my opportunity. I just ... quit, threw smokes and lighter away, and said to myself that's done forever, I'm going to be a non-smoker. (So that part is pretty much a Big Plan).

It was hard for the first weeks ... and surprisingly I still desired a cigarette after dinner, for several YEARS after quitting. But every time I thought of smoking, I just disregarded it and said to myself, "yeah, I want it, but I'm not going to do it, because I want to remain a non-smoker". That's almost like AVRT recognition, but not quite -- I didn't really dissociate from that voice and think of it as a beast or label it as an addictive voice. It was more being aware of two competing desires, but relying on a firm decision that I was going to forever choose the one desire (being a non-smoker) over the other desire (enjoying a cigarette).

AVRT adds the "recognition" piece -- once I can recognize the addictive voice, I don't need to weigh anything that voice is saying. I don't have to make any decisions about what the voice is saying, I just need to be able to recognize that it's the voice.

Maybe I was able to maintain that choice fairly easily, without using a conscious method like AVRT, because the smoking addiction hadn't yet fully taken hold. I think with alcohol, I was further down the addiction road. Also maybe it's easier to be confused about alcohol than cigarettes. There's basically no positive argument to be made for smoking, whereas for drinking, the addicted voice has a lot of (false) stories about how drinking adds something to my life.

I never think of smoking now, and I hadn't even thought of it in years until today. I'm hoping I'll get there eventually with alcohol ... I think of it much less frequently now, at 22 months. I think patience is key though ... my smoking cravings lasted 4 - 5 times longer than I actually smoked. At that rate with alcohol ...well, let's just say I'd have to live a very long time!!!
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:31 PM
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This makes a lot of sense. It is my understanding that Trimpey's works are based on the "self-recovered" population. His strategies are modeled after those that people already naturally used to quit on their own. Seems to me he has simply fine-tuned a very organic process that people have been consistently using to quit problematic behaviors since...well, forever.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:58 PM
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AVRT adds the "recognition" piece -- once I can recognize the addictive voice, I don't need to weigh anything that voice is saying. I don't have to make any decisions about what the voice is saying, I just need to be able to recognize that it's the voice.
Well said right there, my delphinian friend. AV is all thoughts about ever drinking again. AND all doubts of success in permanent and unconditional sobriety. Same thing, when you think about it.
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