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Old 12-08-2016, 08:54 AM   #81 (permalink)
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One of the most interesting Sumo Wrestling Matches I ever saw in Tokyo on Hotel TV was a seasoned ~385 lb. Gent vs. a 'Junior' 300 lb. Gent. They struck the rigidly-prescribed opening Pose. The Match started. Big Dude just erupted, and charged the smaller Dude. He side-stepped out of the way. Big Dude blew right out of the 'Ring' via Inertia, and lost the Match in all of 2 Seconds. Pretty amazing and something I remember >30 Years on. 'Small' Dude didn't push back. He won.

Implicit is some Discussions is this matter of 'Wrestling' the Beast. Then, it moves to whether a dormant Beast is an intrinsic part of our Lives. Then, it moves to how best to handle the Beast when it appears infrequently. By 'appears', I mean 'Beast encounters over time period x'. Also known as 'periodicity' or 'intervals' in the Hard Sciences. Just to be clear. I am NOT referring to Beast strength during increasingly-rare encounters. As noted above, the detail of Beast 'strength' doesn't matter anymore because my response never changes. I still don't drink. Not in a Bar where I'm enjoying some Chicken Wings. Not at a Wedding Reception. Not nowhere. Not no how. Unconditional Sobriety forever. No 'exceptions' on my Death Bed.

Much of the Discussion assumes Alcohol 'desire'. There's yet another Thread going on here elsewhere about some aspect of Drinking 'normally' again. Fundamentally not desiring 'that' right down in your Bones up-ends - terminates - 'The Struggle'. Thus, I don't parse the details of this Recovered State Of Being.

The entire Construct changes, including aspects of this current Discussion here, when that desire to 'drink normally' or drink at all has fully evaporated. Simply dead and buried through attrition - in that drinking is not on my Short List of responses any more - and through having drank 'enough'. When I pass some Urban Manhole Cover, the Beast - weak or strong - is not going to pop up and 'get me'.

This Reality/Existence of 'Post Drinking' renders moot the matter of AV reappearance, and whether I should desire 'it' to be 'strong' or not. Once it's fully outside of 'me' and - not unlike infrequently riding a Bike again - I know from repeated Engagement how to handle rare AV appearances, the nature - even the existence - of the 'push back' entirely changes. Sincere, experienced Vegans don't 'push back' against eating Meat again. They simply don't eat Meat.

Like the Junior Sumo Wrestler, I engage on my terms. I step out of the way, and win any perceived 'Beast Match' involving continued Sobriety. This message of Post-Drinking Hope is what I want to convey to those on this fabulous Journey! It is infinitely reassuring to always walk around with the sole, necessary, internal Resource you need to stay stopped: the Person you see in the Bathroom Mirror. Dependence on some external 'Force' - which is only shifting my Addictive, Dependent Behavior to something external and less-reliable, really - would have resulting in me failing repeatedly in achieving permanent Sobriety.
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:55 PM   #82 (permalink)
 
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The point I'm trying to make here is that practicing AVRT perfectly every minute of every day does not make sense without having made the Big Plan, because as soon as the awareness that The Big Plan exists for anyone to take, it is the AV of the Beast that is in constant control until the Big Plan IS taken.
I agree, but I believe this warrants some further thoughts. Every single addicted person intuitively knows that the Big Plan exists for them to take, but the unrecognized Beast (i.e., no separation), still in control of the pronoun "I", screens all thinking, and intervenes to make sure that such a plan to end the addiction is never seriously entertained, much less implemented.

This accounts for the many detours that people take instead of ending their addiction. 'Never say never' says the Beast, and without AVRT, the addicted one does not recognize the Beast as "not I, but IT", and even with knowledge of the Big Plan, has reversal, upon reversal, upon reversal, of intent. Separation is important, and the experience which soberlicious shared elsewhere on this thread is instructive on this count.

In other words, as much as some people may want to reduce things to the Big Plan alone, the Big Plan is not AVRT, but rather, it is a part of AVRT, which brings the Addictive Voice into consciousness, by creating the necessary separation (I/It), and by providing a clear context against which the AV may stand out for recognition.

Were that not the case, the AVRT "crash course" would have only one single flashcard, instead of well over twenty. That one, single flashcard would simply read something along the lines of "never drink again, now go home." Similarly, neither would the Rational Recovery book have as many pages as it does.

Without a Big Plan, AVRT becomes just another tentative quit drinking experiment, another "choosing not to drink today" approach, but a Big Plan, while technically sufficient by itself, in that some people may quit without the use of AVRT, the Big Plan is not, by itself, AVRT, regardless of any Big Plan bravado. In AVRT, recognition, and separation, are equally important.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:16 PM   #83 (permalink)
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I've just reread the previous couple of pages of post on here., wow, there is alot to take in. I won't pretend that I understand everything 100% because I do not. I lack the experience to have a serious subjective view. However, what has been said is thought provoking and educational, and will prove to be more so as time passes and I read through them again. These posts are a real pleasure to read too, apart from the insights being given, they're also beautifully written. Thankyou.

My beast has had a strong desire to drink since I made my BP. Today, on my way home from work I walked past a 'respectable' drinking establishment, it looked very inviting to my beast, with all the pretty Xmas lights and its festive glow. IT said " you could have a nice relaxing glass of wine in there, doesn't it look cosy and warm". I aknowledged this thought, said NEVER I don't drink, to which IT replied " how about an Irish coffee then that's not really alcohol," the image came into my mind, again I acknowledged/ recognised this and the thought evaporated. I continued my walk home completley unperturbed by this encounter. How cool is that! Before AVRT I would have been grappling with that thought all evening and would have eventually given in to the AV because I wasn't aware of what I was dealing with. I've had a lot of these encounters over the last few days and I've used AVRT and my BP to deal with them.

One other thing I wanted to say is that during a conversation with my therapist, shortly before I discovered AVRT, we were talking about relapse prevention...ringing someone, grounding techniques, urge surfing, I turned to her and said " look, I am a very willfull person and if I want to have a drink I will have one, nothing or nobody will be able to stop me". ( this had been my experience) At the time I truly believed that that was me, my thinking, that I was pretty much screwed with that attitude! I remember the force with which those words came out of my mouth...it scared me. IT dosent scare me anymore because I know what IT is.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:43 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:52 PM   #85 (permalink)
 
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I acknowledged/ recognised this and the thought evaporated. I continued my walk home completley unperturbed by this encounter. How cool is that! Before AVRT I would have been grappling with that thought all evening and would have eventually given in to the AV because I wasn't aware of what I was dealing with.
That's it, flame, you've got it!

Recognize the AV, and maintain the separation. IT, your Beast, wants to drink, but you don't drink, and since the desire to drink comes from IT, and not from you, you don't even want to drink. In this fashion, abstinence is effortless for you, and difficult only for IT, your Beast.

The Beast doesn't really care what you have to say, though, and you will probably learn that if you engage in unnecessary dialogue with the AV, it will just keep suggesting the same "solution" to anything you have to say. So, it's usually best to simply not engage in dialogue.
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Old 12-08-2016, 08:42 PM   #86 (permalink)
 

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but a Big Plan, while technically sufficient by itself, in that some people may quit without the use of AVRT, the Big Plan is not, by itself, AVRT, regardless of any Big Plan bravado. In AVRT, recognition, and separation, are equally important.
I would have to agree with this based on my past experience.

As far as the "good" feelings we were talking about earlier...yes, I am always try to make sure that I don't imply to others (especially those thinking about quitting) that the goal is not to rid oneself of all AV activity. The thing about it is...it is not the absence of AV that makes me feel good, it is the absence of struggling when the AV is present that makes me feel good. That comes with recognition, separation, and ignoring.
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:21 PM   #87 (permalink)
 

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But I do want to ask this...10 years ago I became a nondrinker and I have had only a couple of times since then where the AV was really blabbing loud and fast. Other than that, I have really had very little activity. I can't say I hate that, I mean one less annoying bast*rd in my life is a good thing. I know that it could pipe up anytime and that's ok because the answer will be the same. Are you trying to say that if I'm fine with the fact that I have negligible beast activity then it's my AV somehow suggesting something?

And would you agree that with recognition and separation the AV lessens?
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:08 PM   #88 (permalink)
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... the Big Plan ... brings the Addictive Voice into consciousness, ... by providing a clear context against which the AV may stand out for recognition.
At risk of further Big Plan bravado, I suggest that the Big Plan provides the ONLY clear context against which the AV may stand out for recognition. That's due to the Beasts primitive understanding of time. Even "I will not drink until I'm 85 yrs old" does not create a clear context.

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...
Without a Big Plan, AVRT becomes just another tentative quit drinking experiment, another "choosing not to drink today" approach, but a Big Plan, while technically sufficient by itself, in that some people may quit without the use of AVRT, the Big Plan is not, by itself, AVRT, regardless of any Big Plan bravado. In AVRT, recognition, and separation, are equally important.
I'd add that the combination of the Beast and its AV against The Big Plan puts into play the most Articulate, Validated, Recovery Tactics ever devised by man, and it took a resourceful phormerly drunk licensed clinical social therapist with a great flair for good and interesting writing and his wife to put it all together after careful study over many years how we all truly recover and get on with life.

I believe, in terms of positive, major paradigm shifts in the hisotry of addiction recovery AVRT is only challenged by what the six Washingtonians devised 175 years ago when it first became common knowledge that drunkards could completely recover with an 1840's version of the Big Plan and a friendly approach to help them sign it in a public setting, (public, because everyone already knew who they were. Today, you've got to be careful who knows, thus, thank you SR for your forum privacy features).

Of the fifty or so other recovery programs I'm aware of that have existed over the last two centuries, all of them have critically altered the pledge or denied it altogether. This is one reason the book "RR The New Cure" is so long. It has a great deal of Institutional Addictive Voice myth making to undo.
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:22 PM   #89 (permalink)
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But I do want to ask this...10 years ago I became a nondrinker and I have had only a couple of times since then where the AV was really blabbing loud and fast. Other than that, I have really had very little activity. I can't say I hate that, I mean one less annoying bast*rd in my life is a good thing. I know that it could pipe up anytime and that's ok because the answer will be the same. Are you trying to say that if I'm fine with the fact that I have negligible beast activity then it's my AV somehow suggesting something?

And would you agree that with recognition and separation the AV lessens?
I think the key is AVRT is set up for easily getting through the spikes in frequency that might occur way down the line, such as when I had my hydrocodone prescription run out. That does make sense to not have any reasons for regretting ITs bursting onto the scene. It's a perfectly healthy desire. Instead of "Ohhh, NOOOO. There IT is again, blankety blank blank blank." I say, "AHA! LOL. Wow. There IT is after all these years. LOL. Sorry, you little devil (not you Algorithm, LOL)."
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:42 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Thanks Algorithm. I can see that it would be best to simply not engage in any kind of dialogue at all with the Beast. I can also now see that IT will throw up the same kind of ideas in response to any dialogue.

I generally have not been engaging with IT. Although IT tried a very subtle and conniving tact on me a few days ago which through me, IT got pretty excited, after about half an hour with the idea I eventually recognised where it was going!

I am finding it difficult to not react to IT all the time though. Especially when I'm tired and IT'S been in my face alot. I'm sure that I read in the book to say never, but maybe I misunderstood, I'll have to look back. Saying NEVER for me also reiterates my BP...is that wrong of me? Should i not feel the need to do that? I
want IT to understand NEVER! It also feels empowering to assert this kind of authority over something that if IT had IT'S way would destroy me.

Yesterday the I/IT line was starting to become a little blurred. In the example I gave in my last post, when I said NEVER it called IT out, for me, I was able to see IT clearly at that point then IT retreated. Is this wrong?
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:01 AM   #91 (permalink)
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Hello Flame, I understand what you're feeling. For the first couple of months, what I said when recognising IT (and I don't believe it's engaging in a dialogue with IT as such, because IT was a bystander and not the intended recipient of want I said) was simply reciting, everytime I heard IT 'I never drink alcohol and I will never drink alcohol again' thereby summarily dismissing those nagging IT thoughts/feelings/images.

I found this effective, and I don't believe it's engaging in dialogue with IT. I can attest to the fact that the Beasts activity reduces with time. Recently, I don't re-cite the statement, I simply recognise that it's IT, the Beast through its AV, and after recognising it's not ME, it's IT, I just ignore IT carry one with what I was doing or thinking before the AV reared its ugly head.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:24 AM   #92 (permalink)
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Sorry too late to edit and wish to clarify.

The last sentence should read.... I just ignore the AV and carry on with what I was doing or thinking before the Beast reared ITs ugly head via the AV.
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:53 AM   #93 (permalink)
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Thanks Tatsy, I'm pleased to hear that you had a similar tactic to me that worked for you too, during the first few months of becoming a non drinker.

As has been said, AVRT is a 'simple' and effective technique for targeting the AV and it's origin the Beast. I can see its simplicity and its laser beam effectiveness. Although I feel that at times I am still wrestling with IT more than i should be which is not what AVRT is about. Is this normal for begginers? I love what Mesaman said about the sumo wrestling match, that's why I choose to say wrestling! It makes alot of sense to me.

To continually RECOGNISE and SEPERATE myself from IT'S desire to consume alcohol. To continually recognise ANY self doubt or fear as IT and separate myself from IT.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:24 AM   #94 (permalink)
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Flame11 ~

A: Yes. This is absolutely normal for Beginners, based on many SR Accounts I've read over the Years on here.

There's a couple of things going on I'd like to attempt to separate out and clarify in order to - hopefully - be helpful.

Indeed, the AVRT Techniques you're now onto are effective. No question in my Mind/Experience. However, it is an entirely different Issue of how often they have to be applied early on. You have to ID [separate out] and dismiss any/all Beast 'noise' for the now-irrelevant distraction it is outside the Real You.

For one thing, we all have familiar, entrenched 'go to' Behaviors. We might have a Comfort Food we default to that's not necessarily best for us. We might automatically get P.O.'ed when a certain Person or Relative calls us. You see? In a similar - but Life-threatening manner - defaulting to Drink/Drugs is also an Addict's Default Behavior. As when you went by that Bar, and a Glass of Wine sounded good. Way to I.D. and dismiss that idea, BTW...

In Sports, there is 'Muscle Memory' where you do something to where it becomes automatic. Golfer Tiger Woods supposedly hit 500 Drives every Morning and THEN starting Golfing on any given Day. Same with Spiking a Volleyball. The point is to take your 'Brain' out of the Response, and have your Reactions be on Sobriety-reinforcing Auto Pilot.

Meanwhile, we all have to establish new Neural Pathways. New Nerve Responses, to simplify the Concept.

So, hang tight! Diligent AVRT application shortens the Conversion Time to Sober Life, IMO, but it's not only about Mindset. It's also about developing Sober 'Muscle Memory', if you will, so that your desired Response to challenging Situations becomes rote without exception.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:09 PM   #95 (permalink)
 
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I am finding it difficult to not react to IT all the time though. Especially when I'm tired and IT'S been in my face alot. I'm sure that I read in the book to say never, but maybe I misunderstood, I'll have to look back. Saying NEVER for me also reiterates my BP...is that wrong of me?
You're not doing anything wrong by falling back on your Big Plan, flame, I was just pointing out that generally, the Beast is going to interpret any dialogue as a potential opportunity for negotiation, and you probably don't want to negotiate with the Beast.

The Beast plays both sides of all arguments, so it doesn't matter what you say, ultimately, because IT will always land on its feet, and suggest more drinks. The AV is both immutable, and indisputable, but your Big Plan is the ultimate refutation, so anything the AV says is automatically dead wrong, even before it says it.

Just stay in the first person, as for example, "IT wants to drink, but I never drink. I can feel IT suffering while IT pines for a drink, but I am not suffering, so that's just too bad for IT."

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I want IT to understand NEVER! It also feels empowering to assert this kind of authority over something that if IT had IT'S way would destroy me.
Oh, The Beast certainly understands 'never', but IT interprets never as death, or at least life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Saying never at the Beast is not necessarily going to silence the AV, but saying never to yourself won't hurt.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:32 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Thanks MesaMan and Algorithm.

Have had a busy evening at work so will respond tomorrow when brain is feeling less frazzled. Thankyou so much for taking the time to help me.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:38 PM   #97 (permalink)
 
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Are you trying to say that if I'm fine with the fact that I have negligible beast activity then it's my AV somehow suggesting something?
There is a rather large difference between "being fine" with negligible Beast or AV activity, and with believing that it is somehow "good" that there is negligible activity.

The AV boasts of its own silence, as in "I can go days without thinking of drinking", along with the implicit hope that such silence increases, as if it might increase the odds of success, or the presence of AV might somehow lead to a change in one's abstinent state. It's a Beastly set-up.

The Beast is essentially saying "I've been quiet lately, and you're very lucky that I've been quiet, because if I weren't quiet, you might be in deep trouble, so be very careful, and always stay on the alert, because if you aren't very careful and alert, I'm going to get you!"

So, yes, the Beast is certainly suggesting something.

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And would you agree that with recognition and separation the AV lessens?
Yes, usually, but that is only incidental. I'm just pointing out a subtle form of Addictive Voice. That said, while it is wise and prudent to expect AV activity down the line, even years later, this is not the same as being ever vigilant, "relapse prevention" style.

A Big Plan is a solemn vow, much like a traditional "no divorce" marriage, and the Beast is a survival drive, not unlike one's sex drive. Neither drive is simply going to go away. I don't think people who are married stay ever vigilant for the voice that says someone else's husband or wife is attractive, though.

They simply and passively recognize such thoughts as they appear, and then fall back on their marriage vows. AVRT is usually similarly passive, except that we objectify any AV thoughts as "not me."
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:23 PM   #98 (permalink)
 

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I understand yes, Algo. but thinking that it's a "good" thing to be free of constant chatter doesn't necessarily = "All better now! Let's drink!" What of the satisfaction and joy of having kicked an addiction?

I agree that one should expect some activity even years later, that has been my experience. I look at it now the same way Gerandtwine described earlier, it's like "huh...that's weird" it's almost oddly funny to have those thoughts occasionally and interesting to examine them.

I understand that you're saying that lowering Beast activity is only incidental, but if that were not the initial goal for many I'd be surprised. When the Beast first hears Never, it goes nutsssss. As we all know, it then retreats as a result of Never, so getting to that point provides much needed relief from the struggle.

I think being afraid of feeling good that the Beast is pretty much locked away can also be compared to the fear of "complacency", which is another silly notion if you're a nondrinker. If others say they are so happy that they've noticed a decrease in Beast activity, I would state that they should expect later activity but not fear it. It will come and it will go. The answer will still be the same.

I think if someone says, "Man, I feel great since becoming a nondrinker. I don't even think about drinking anymore!" What would your response to them be?
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:55 PM   #99 (permalink)
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A Big Plan is a solemn vow, much like a traditional "no divorce" marriage, and the Beast is a survival drive, not unlike one's sex drive. Neither drive is simply going to go away. I don't think people who are married stay ever vigilant for the voice that says someone else's husband or wife is attractive, though.
When I first heard this analogy a few weeks ago, my first take was that it was a mistake. I had heard for years the analogy of the Big Plan being more like a no-re-marriage-possibility divorce, an analogy that is much closer to the even more accurate analogy of the Big Plan being like a sexually sinning person becoming a priest/nun and taking the vow of celibacy, that is, if you want to stick with the sex appetite comparison.

The AV conversation on the marriage analogy might go something like this; "Hmm, interesting analogy. I know I can always have sex with Mabel to satisfy my sexual desire. So, here I go - "I will never drink again." Wow! That sure feels fake. Like, right. I hear, "You're never going to drink again?" "Sure, OK, yeah it's just like your marriage, OK, you can't go out and have sex with anyone else. Just here at home with Mabel. Well, your going to miss a lot of nice drinking out at the sports bar, and at Joe's wedding coming up." "That's right." "OK. It'll be hard, we can do that, but we both know how you've succeeded so well with that great hiding place in the garage for that one bottle of expensive vodka. Hard to smell, won't hurt anyone. Right here at home, just like sex with Mabel." "Huh?" "Yeah, just like that analogy. You didn't think the analogy meant you were never going to have a drink again EVERYWHERE, did you? It just means you can't go OUT and drink where you get into trouble. Just have a little here at home where it's safe. No one will know, and there's no way to get in trouble." "Oh." "Yeah, makes all the sense in the world. Just like sex with Mabel." "Hmmm. WTF. What kind of analogy is that? I'm not an idiot. The AV can sail the Titanic through that analogy."

I always thought the sinner to priest/nun analogy was the accurate sex comparison, especially for people who might not be securely abstinent (ie. people who hadn't made their Big Plan yet).
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:36 PM   #100 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flame11 View Post
Thanks Tatsy, I'm pleased to hear that you had a similar tactic to me that worked for you too, during the first few months of becoming a non drinker.

As has been said, AVRT is a 'simple' and effective technique for targeting the AV and it's origin the Beast. I can see its simplicity and its laser beam effectiveness. Although I feel that at times I am still wrestling with IT more than i should be which is not what AVRT is about. Is this normal for begginers? I love what Mesaman said about the sumo wrestling match, that's why I choose to say wrestling! It makes alot of sense to me.

To continually RECOGNISE and SEPERATE myself from IT'S desire to consume alcohol. To continually recognise ANY self doubt or fear as IT and separate myself from IT.
The wrestling match refered to lasted only two seconds and there was essentially NO body contact. I think that was the point of using that example. He didn't even have to wrestle.

When I first learned AVRT, I found that I often swore at IT when I recognized the AV, and I hardly ever swear. It worked great. Silence and total separation. I learned later that swearwords actually go way deeper into the brain than other words, right down close to where the Beast resides.

Another thought that always kept me on top of the 100 percent confidence was KNOWING WHY I made the Big Plan. I did it for myself first, but also for the members of the future family I wanted to be the father and husband of. I did NOT need booze for escape, sex, coping, relief, any of THOSE normal life experiences. I KNEW that any ideas along that line were not just counterproductive, they were bald faced LIES.

The Big Plan doesn't really need any particular thoughts to succeed, IF you've really made it. I believe you have made it because I know, absolutely, that you are very, very capable of making it. Because you are capable of loving yourself, and the people in your life that deserve your love also love you back, make all the best reasons for making The Big Plan and even of telling them you have done it. Your children and your therapist in order to allow your relations to blossom even more. Your mother and your boyfriend in order to alert them to the fact that your relations with them are going to change. And you know you will never have the best possible relationship with a partner without a Big Plan. What do these types of thoughts do to your confidence level?
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