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What do you tell yourself when you KNOW it's your beast talking.

Old 02-19-2017, 10:13 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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What do you tell yourself when you KNOW it's your beast talking.

I have done a TON of reading here as well as done the crash course a few times on the RR website. I 100% agree with this method. For years I've been absolutely disgusted with myself for not being able to stop. I started drinking about 6 years ago after a nasty divorce. I believe that it was my choice when it started and for a while I could have stopped whenever I chose too. After a few years though I could not stop.

I could get 3-4 days in and would relapse. I've been to few meetings at AA, Smart, Celebrate recovery and to be honest I always felt out of place there. I was very uncomfortable and felt like I did not belong. If I'm honest, I never really gave meetings a chance because I didn't feel they were a right fit for me.

RR REALLY has clicked with me. I've felt like there are 2 people living in me. The one who would never chose to drink to excess and the one who simply could not/would not stop. I have done things while drunk that I would NEVER do normally. I've done things that have left me mortified, ashamed, humiliated yada, yada yada.

My question, when you know your AV is leading you to buy a bottle of vodka. You tell yourself this is not you, don't listen to this person. The battle of you'll regret it vs it will be ok. The AV that creeps into your head and stays there for the 15 minute drive solely to buy liquor. How do you stop that? What measures do you tell yourself or what do you do to quiet or shut the AV up?

I do ok and can firmly say I will NEVER drink again, but relapse after relapse after relapse proves differently. I am currently on day 5 and my AV is screaming. I guess I'm asking what do YOU do or tell yourself to tell it to shut the he(( up?? Five days ago I was 100% certain I'd never drink again. Now I don't trust myself.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:01 PM
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Hello Behappy1,

The "R" in AVRT stands for recognition, not removal, refutation, or running away. You are afraid of your Beast, which is just a false survival drive for alcohol. Do not engage in unnecessary dialogue and debating with the Beast, which, for comparison purposes, I doubt you do with your sex drive, a true survival drive.

The structural model of addiction shows us that the Beast has no direct means to get what it wants. It must appeal to us (via the AV) to convince us to give it what it wants. Just let the Beast bark AV, recognize it, and maintain the separation.

See this post from the multi-part AVRT discussion thread:

AV Chatter/Separation -

Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
If you are having difficulty separating from the Beast, you can try to focus on it and objectify it completely. For example, you can say to yourself "IT feels deprived. I feel it struggle, but I am not struggling as I feel IT struggle. After everything IT put me through, I am very glad that IT struggles, suffers, and feels deprived. I don't drink, too bad for IT." You could even attribute all desire for a drink to the Beast and add "Since the desire to drink is not me, but the Beast, I don't even want to drink."

That relapse anxiety you mention ("not trusting yourself") is just your Addictive Voice -- the Beast barking nonsense. It will use your past 'failures' first as proof of your incompetence to abstain, and then as an argument for more drinking. It is no different from when the Beast says "go drink now."
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:07 PM
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Hi Behappy1,

Hello! I think it’s awesome you are here learning about AVRT. It’s been a life changer for me.

In answer to your question… I acknowledge that my Beast wants me to get sloshed, but I don’t want to. I let myself hear the AV. I let the craving wash over me, sometimes I can feel it in every fiber of my body. Then I separate ME from IT. I am loving being a non-drinker. My Beast can’t make me do anything. Have you ever challenged your Beast to make you do something? Hold your finger up in front of your face. Challenge your Beast to move it. It can’t. YOU are in control. Once you TRULY take the option of drinking off the table, recognizing and separating your wishes from your AV becomes like second nature.

I do understand where you are coming from. I used to go into the liquor store like a sleep walker, feeling like I was being directed by something beyond my control. Not anymore.

Have you read Rational Recovery, The New Cure for Substance Addiction? It’s not necessary for AVRT to work for you, but I found it very helpful.

I see that Algorithm just posted, he has a great understanding of AVRT and has helped me a lot. Keep reading and posting, you will get a lot of support here. You got this!
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:17 PM
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Thank you!! Can I ask what you do/say to yourself in that moment? Like you're in a grocery store and went in with NO intentions of buying liquor. But in a split second that voice tells you to get some and you do? This has happened to me a lot.

Just today I was going to pick up my daughter and I need to go to the grocery for real. The thought of alcohol and drinking tonight enters my mind. I ended up not even going to the store because I didn't trust myself.

Do you physically or do anything mentally when this happens? I guess I'm trying to understand what the heck to tell myself when I clearly know it's AV, but still listen to it even though I know I shouldn't and it's not going to be a good outcome.

Again, I am on day 5. I know from past relapses to expect this around this time and for at least the next week before it will get easier. Thanks so much, I fully believe in AVRT.

Algorithm, I will read through the link you put here later tonight when I have more time. I always learn from your posts. They're filled with so much wisdom.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:15 PM
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I wish I had some magical thing to tell you, but the truth is I just tell myself “I don’t drink.” I don’t say “I can’t drink”, because I can do whatever I want to. I take personal responsibility for my choices. I CHOSE NOT TO DRINK. Even when my beast wants me too. Please don’t think that I never get urges. Just yesterday I stood outside the liquor store connected to our grocery store for a full minute, looking in and playing the movie in my head. I could walk in, pick up a bottle of vodka, and go home and get smashed. No one would know. My husband is out of town. But I recognize that is not what I WANT, it is what IT wants. And IT can kiss my ass.

When I was just 5 days in it was much more of a struggle than it is now. It will get better. I'm almost 2 months with no alcohol and I have days when I don't have AV activity at all. It gets better. I promise.
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:57 PM
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Hi behappy. What I say to myself is:

"Oh, this is a beast attack. I know this because I don't drink, so any thought of drinking is the beast. It may feel crazy for a few minutes but it will pass. It wants to talk me into drinking, but I don't drink. "

Then I might take a deep breath, feel my feet on the ground ... remember that I am safe because the beast cannot make me drink.

Then I try to "look" right at the beast ... look at the desire, try to see it wanting a drink and see it trying to take over my thoughts. I don't know exactly what it looks like, I see sort of a shadow, and when I stare at it, it kinda slinks away. I say, "hm, there you go again, but you'll never win".

One thing I don't do, is argue with it. I don't engage in the discussion it might want to have (it might start telling me I'm not an alcoholic, or no one will know if I drink, or one short break from sobriety won't hurt, etc). I don't answer any of that-- I don't bargain or discuss with it -- it does not have anything important to say and deserves no reply.

The attacks are rare now ... a few rounds of this, and some sober time, and it quiets down. But if it happens to bark again, no big deal, I repeat the above, takes about 30 seconds.

That's my attempt to describe what goes on in my head. You absolutely can do this, you just may not realize it yet.
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:42 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
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How pathetic is this...

I went to amazon to order RR. Placed it in my cart and a notification came up that I ordered this in 2014. WHAT??

I remember ordering Allan Carr's book and kept it under a dresser so the kids didn't find it. (This was before anyone knew I had a problem). Pulled the dresser out and there was the RR book. I didn't even know it was there!

FOUR years ago. I will read it cover to cover.

Thank you for your help, I have promised and MEANT that I would quit only to fail. It is like someone overtakes my mind. I don't want to drink, I don't want to hurt my family. But I have done it over and over again.

I have went to meetings, but always hated them. I mainly did it to appease my family. I have listened to audiobooks, youtubes, taken Kudzu along with other supplements. I feel like I have turned over EVERY stone to get myself right.

I am going to read every word of RR. I KNOW this is the route that I need to be on. I appreciate your help and patience as I head down this road. I am sure I will have many questions.. Thank you again.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Behappy1 View Post
Can I ask what you do/say to yourself in that moment? Like you're in a grocery store and went in with NO intentions of buying liquor. But in a split second that voice tells you to get some and you do? This has happened to me a lot.
This is why, with AVRT, the absence of a plan never to drink, is simply considered a plan to drink.

"I have no plan to drink" = "I may drink if I do come up with a plan"

"I have no desire to drink" = "I would drink if I did have the desire"

Ditto for "I have no intention of drinking."

Regarding the idea that those frequent reversals of intent 'happen to you', that sounds like you believe that the AV can move your hands.

The AV may steer your thoughts towards the object of the Beast's affection, but it cannot directly engage the peripherals (hands, feet, mouth). It can only appear to be you, to make you believe that's what you want to do.

Originally Posted by Behappy1 View Post
Just today I was going to pick up my daughter and I need to go to the grocery for real. The thought of alcohol and drinking tonight enters my mind. I ended up not even going to the store because I didn't trust myself.
Again, your relapse anxiety is just the Addictive Voice, because relapse obviously suggests more drinking. The Beast is saying "you are powerless before me, and it's only when I'm not active that you can trust yourself. You better hope I stay quiet, because I'm going to get you."

Originally Posted by Behappy1 View Post
Do you physically or do anything mentally when this happens? I guess I'm trying to understand what the heck to tell myself when I clearly know it's AV, but still listen to it even though I know I shouldn't and it's not going to be a good outcome.
This is your Addictive Voice, placing subtle conditions on abstinence. It is saying that you should only abstain if the outcome will not be good, which is just another way of saying that you should drink if you think you just might get away with it.

"I shouldn't drink" = "I would drink if I could"

Originally Posted by Behappy1 View Post
Again, I am on day 5. I know from past relapses to expect this around this time and for at least the next week before it will get easier.
One of the most vexing forms of Addictive Voice is that it is somehow good not to have Beast activity, and the Beast will cunningly boast of its own silence, as in "I haven't even thought about drinking in weeks, now."

This is just a set-up, to undermine your confidence to abstain in the presence of AV, and to later move in for the kill.

Originally Posted by Behappy1 View Post
I have went to meetings... I mainly did it to appease my family... I feel like I have turned over EVERY stone to get myself right.

I am going to read every word of RR.
Be aware that your Beast will be reading the book along with you, looking for loopholes. I also recommend reading through the multi-part AVRT discussion thread from the beginning.

Regarding turning over every other stone, you may eventually discover in hindsight that the "process of recovery" is just a stage of addiction.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:26 PM
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"How pathetic is this... I went to amazon to order RR. Placed it in my cart and a notification came up that I ordered this in 2014. WHAT??"


Awesome you have it already! And not pathetic at all. You chose to keep drinking for a while after you bought it, and now you are choosing to quit.

tursiops999, great description!
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:34 PM
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As always fantastic advice/input from this little corner of the interwebs.

re " what do you tell yourself.."
"I will never drink again, and I will never change my mind", say/think it as loud and forceful as needed, though it need only be said/thought as a statement not an argument. The idea " ..but what If that doesn't work?" is pure AV and can be / needs to be summarily dismissed. You got this ! Congratulations and welcome aboard !
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:38 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
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Thank you very much for the warm welcome! I started reading last night. I didn't get very far because it was a late night getting home from work. I can say that I 100% related to Virginia and the ambivalence that she felt about not drinking in the first chapter. I look forward to learning from the book and all of you.
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:39 AM
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I have a question, when the AV starts barking so much for so long that you develop physical symptoms such as anxiety, brain fog,dizziness, etc,how do you cope with that? I've gotten great sober time in since finding RR but that overwhelming physical feeling does me in,seriously on my last relapse I was shaking driving to the gas station! This has been my biggest road block in sobriety, usually hits in the 100 day point, any advice is more than welcome
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Winslow View Post
I have a question, when the AV starts barking so much for so long that you develop physical symptoms such as anxiety, brain fog,dizziness, etc,how do you cope with that?
I don't know about the other symptoms, but anxiety at hearing AV is relapse anxiety, or anxiety over the possibility of drinking. Simply recognize that relapse anxiety as the AV itself, since it suggests more drinking.

The Beast is all feelings, and you will feel its discomfort when abstaining. Don't confuse its suffering with yours, however, and be glad that it suffers while you do not.

You don't need to be afraid of the Beast or the AV. Try asking your Beast to wiggle your finger in exchange for some drinks. The Beast may want those drinks, but it won't be able to do it.

Originally Posted by Winslow View Post
I've gotten great sober time in since finding RR but that overwhelming physical feeling does me in,seriously on my last relapse I was shaking driving to the gas station!
I would recommend not calling your binges relapses, since that suggests that they just happen, but if you do find yourself mobilizing to go out and get a drink, and feeling anxious by that, you can say to yourself "that was vertigo" to flip back into your right mind, and restate your BP to yourself.

Also, stop counting time since the last drink, since your Beast will do it for you anyway. When it reminds you of how very long it has been without a drink, just recognize that thought as the AV. The Beast is essentially a caged animal, and it will act up from time to time.
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Old 02-23-2017, 01:56 PM
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Thanks Algorithm
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:17 PM
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Behappy:

What did I do, you ask?

At the very start I let myself eat anything I wanted. That usually consisted of carbs and lots of sweet things. I might gain weight, but sugar never had me making stupid texts or phone calls or making a fool of myself. I made a list of what drinking did to me and put that little list on my phone so I could refer to it whenever I had the urge. I binged watched loads of stuff on Netflix. I coloured in those new colouring books. I did scales on my guitar. I went to bed early.

I watched lots of documentaries on youtube about drinking, read loads of stuff here on SR and lots of Day 1 posts so that I would NEVER forget the agony of Day 1 (2,3, 4).

I joined the community theatre and made myself become part of it so that I had to be available and responsible 3 nights a week. I had to memorize lines.

Gradually, it became easier. I do not identify as an alcoholic nor do I say I'm in recovery. I am recovered because I do not drink and I will never change my mind, no matter what. No more day 1st EVER. It's absolute freedom never to have to make that decision again.

CF
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:04 PM
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RR resonates with me too because I have no doubt that it is me and only me who can control what I do or don't do...... I think that some of my dysfunction goes a lot deeper than drink or don't drink. I can not drink and be fine, in fact totally comfortable in my not drinking..... but I have other ritualistic habits and invasive thoughts that feed into the addictions. I'm generally an overly perfectionist, worry wort, neurotic underneath my persona. Drinking relieves or perhaps even helps to feed this under current of general discomfort and malaise and yes loneliness.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
I think that some of my dysfunction goes a lot deeper than drink or don't drink. I can not drink and be fine, in fact totally comfortable in my not drinking..... but I have other ritualistic habits and invasive thoughts that feed into the addictions. I'm generally an overly perfectionist, worry wort, neurotic underneath my persona. Drinking relieves or perhaps even helps to feed this under current of general discomfort and malaise and yes loneliness.
Zenchaser,

Everything after the "but" is your Addictive Voice. It is saying that alcohol is medicine for loneliness, neurosis, and worry.

As long as you believe that idea, and don't recognize it as the AV, your Beast will have you over a barrel, with ready-made pathways to more drinking. I posted on another thread about how the Beast is revisionistic. You may want to read the post.

The Beast is revisionistic -

If you have other problems or concerns unrelated to drinking, seek legitimate help and/or solutions for those problems, but never allow the Beast to change the motivation for drinking.

If you allow this, IT will prevent you from addressing your problems, and possibly get ITs fix to boot, which will cause more problems, which IT will then try to use as a reason for even more 'relief' (drinking).

It's a vicious circle.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:28 AM
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Hi Behappy. I play the tape! I imagine me drinking until I passed out and imagine the next morning with bruises and bumps and shamefaced and red bloated face, wondering if I upset anyone, by words, text or email! Or feeling death warmed up and Then saying never again and after a few hours planning my next drinkssssss. Hating myself for my weakness, my addiction.

I can hold my head up high nowadays and I want to keep it that's way.

That's what I do!
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:00 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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Thanks all! The beast unfortunately has full control of me this weekend.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Behappy1 View Post
Thanks all! The beast unfortunately has full control of me this weekend.
You've received some encouraging words, Behappy, even from me, but I think that perhaps you may be missing the point of AVRT.

AVRT is not something that 'works' on you to get rid of the Beast, so that you have no desire to drink, and abstinence becomes a by-product that 'just happens'.

AVRT is something that you do, by looking at your hands, and comprehending that it is you, and not the Beast, that moves the hands and fingers to swallow that alcohol that IT wants.

AVRT is just you, your self identity, your free will. It is your conscience, as it pertains to the use of alcohol, which your Beast disabled when it was first born, and declared that nothing that feels so good can possibly be wrong to drink.

I know from some of your other posts that you have suffered already by living out the Beast's new mandate for life. IT got what IT wanted, and IT left you to pay the price.

I suggest you get a grip, and drive the Beast into the ground, because the price will be steep if you do not. You do not have to want to be sober more than you want to drink, you simply have to want things to change.

Have you finished reading through the RR book that you have had for almost four years?

This weekend has one more day in it, and if you put the drink down today and get some sleep, you can read some of the book tomorrow instead of wasting it by feeding the Beast its bottle.
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The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
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