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The Sheer Immorality of the Beast

Old 05-05-2017, 09:43 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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fini, I think that the reason for saying the Beast is immoral is because it will use tragedies against a person to try to get them to drink. The sickness of a loved one, or a death, or a divorce or whatever. The AV says well since everything is already f*cked might as well get drunk over it. Where NO that's awful for the AV to exploit those painful human experiences to encourage drug and alcohol abuse. IT's really insidious and relentless at times, especially when a person is down. It can seem quite appealing when a person is in a lot of pain and doesn't want to have to feel that way..... that escape can call.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:03 AM
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Fini, not that my opinion matters, but as a person who stopped drinking via RR/AVRT, any questions, are welcomed by me. I certainly wouldn't view questions as an attack. I, for one, would welcome any discussions, whatsoever, and I'd hope that other folks would too.

Fini, I do hope you continue posting here, I'm sure your input would be beneficial.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:27 PM
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Fini, I welcome your questions, and I welcome open dialogue .. it's one of the things I appreciate about SR. I didn't come here looking for dogma, and certainty, and "just do what I did because I say so" -- I came to SR to share experiences and thoughts and questions.

I find the question about immorality and choice to be intriguing. How each of us answers that for ourselves is pretty crucial, I think.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:10 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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zen, Tatsy and tursiops, aw, thanks!

My question was, really, about acknowledging choice but then ascribing immorality to a ...what?......drive? neural system?

anyway, he cleared that up, thank you.
for myself, i am not looking to making a Big Plan, but am fascinated by the explanations, and have previously very much enjoyed gaining better understanding. see, i made many plans, big and small, and always crashed. and find the responses after someone goes back to drinking after having made a Big Plan kind of a toothbreaker to chew on.
for me, i was convinced i had entire free choice whether to drink or not, and it took me a couple of years sober to see that my choice-mechanism was impaired in this department.
i'm just sharing this as info about me, since i don't usually post in this forum and you may not "know" me at all, and not as any argument i wish to make.

i very much appreciate the invitation for further questions, and will take you up on it, no doubt!
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:49 PM
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Hi fini,
I "know" you as we've posted in the many of the same threads in the past. I always welcome discourse.

Originally Posted by fini
for me, i was convinced i had entire free choice whether to drink or not, and it took me a couple of years sober to see that my choice-mechanism was impaired in this department.
Do you not have free choice as to whether you will drink or not? What is a choice-mechanism?
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:12 PM
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I know in my case, there were times when I was an active addict where I didn't really have free choice, because it was not a choice to drink, it was an automatic impulse. There was no frontal lobe intervention or thought or decision involved, just an urge and a reaction - go to store, buy alcohol, drink. That's one of the puzzling things about addiction, powerful primitive parts of our brains like the amygdala are involved and override rational thoughts and decision making processes. Sometimes we just can't say no, because the question and decision never really arises where we have an opportunity to say yes or no. It still puzzles me years later how that all worked, but it was what it was.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:47 PM
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Getting to the store, buying alcohol and negotiating it to your mouth all require choice and functions of the frontal lobe, no?

Choosing to not react by denying the urge and instead act to satisfy the urge is still a choice.

Making the choice to satisfy the urge, doesn't mean the choice to deny it doesn't(didn't) exist .

No matter how difficult either choice is or may feel, does not mean either course is impossible.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:05 PM
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i say choice- mechanism as shortform for the process by which i make choices.
And no, it was not entirely free anymore, much as Jeffrey says. the word "compelled" comes close.
i'm not here to argue that point.
nor do i see myself as any kind of victim.
dwtbd, sure, the choice "existed".Mine was not freely made, not the way i make other choices.
And i repeat i am not here to argue the point.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Choosing to not react by denying the urge and instead act to satisfy the urge is still a choice.
It wasn't like that. There was no choice or reaction involved, or cognizance of any urge either. Compelled comes closer, as fini says. It was an autopilot action that I didn't choose or not choose, I just did, and only afterwards did I wonder how on Earth did that happen. It wasn't always like that, but sometimes it was.

We don't all have to understand what it was like for others, but we should understand that our experiences may differ, and there aren't any global answers.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:26 AM
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I would say that there was a time before I knew about the AV that I felt I didn't have choice and that I felt compelled at times. I would promise myself in the morning that I wasn't going to drink and be drinking by the afternoon. It felt like being on autopilot. There was also long periods of time where I knew I had a problem but stopped caring and felt like that was just the way it was and I would never be able to change.... the whole it's in my genes and I'm doomed line of thinking. And honestly there were times where I thought I was having a really good time and loved going out and partying all the time. Once I learned about AVRT I started being able to see through into the falseness of a lot of my beliefs and see how my AV was running the show. It took me a long time to let go of the obsession to try to control IT, I think that was the hardest thing to let go of, to finally accept that it had to be over, for good. Once that choice was made the rest has seemed surprisingly easy.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:55 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
i say choice- mechanism as shortform for the process by which i make choices.
Decision-making is a complex process that involves impulse, memory, and cognitive thinking. Alcohol abuse affects all three of these in ways that will cause an addicted person to "naturally" lean toward choosing to drink. You still have full power of choice, but you may be working against what your brain is telling you to get there. The nice thing about AVRT is it assigns all those urges, false memories, and impaired cognitive functioning to IT. Then when you experience IT, you simply refer to the Big Plan for your choice (Oh yeah, I never drink.) The rough part is that you still have to choose that you're going to follow your Big Plan.
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzfish View Post
The rough part is that you still have to choose that you're going to follow your Big Plan.
For me, it certainly was rough in the early days, but now I find that the brain's inbuilt process of habituation, has stepped in, to make the recognition of the AV by my higher functioning/logical/rational part of the brain, almost an automatic default setting. Which is kind of ironic, because it's the same brain parts that caused my addiction through habituation, amongst other mechanisms.

AV "blah, blah, drink, blah, drink" instantly, ME "Oh, there's the pathetic AV again......moving on" ( ignoring IT). This process is instinctual and doesn't feel as though I'm making a choice, because that choice was made, when I made the BP. I will never drink, therefore any random thought, feeling, craving, which suggests or supports drinking, is attributed to the AV, not ME....and instantly dismissed.

I've just written sentences about it, but this process probably takes a second or so.

Before the BP, I engaged the AV in dialogue, because I thought the AV was ME. 'I want a drink, no I don't, yes I do, I can't stand these cravings, just one then, no, I'm stopping drinking, you need to taper, yes I know, if you have a few today, it will be easier when you stop, the withdrawals will lessen, OK, just a few then less tomorrow..........' the next day after a few bottles of wine. 'Why oh why, did I drink so much again, I feel dreadful, I'll stop tomorrow.......'repeat, ad nauseum. To drink or not to drink, that was the choice and I lost, every single day.

I hadn't realised until formulating this reply, that I'm not making a choice any longer, which ties in with the original morality issue. Drinking is off limits because I've effectively added the action as breaching my own moral code. It's easy to 'not do' something I don't 'want' to do, there is no longer a choice decision to be made, for me.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:48 AM
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As to global answers and addiction Stop and Don't are the only answers.

How long it takes and what 'getting there' 'looks like' will vary for every individual , but is 'where' every one 'meets', yeah?
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:50 AM
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Sure, we have to exercise choice when we have the opportunities. It's not specific to any particular recovery approach, and it takes as much choice to decide to go to an AA or Smart or LR meeting, or to sign up for an outpatient program. But when we have choice, at least, we have to make good use of it.

Ultimately, I think we have to decide that we want to not drink more than we want to drink. Otherwise, we hold out that little chance that we'll go back in the future. The times where I drank on autopilot were all during the final phase of my drinking, where I knew I had a big problem but wasn't yet convinced that solving it required abstinence. After I gave up on that idea, I was always able to exercise choice all the time.

Again, I think this is independent of recovery approach, the things we do once we've chosen to close the door, that make it easier on us and give us tools and strength and confidence to help keep it going.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by fini
And no, it was not entirely free anymore, much as Jeffrey says. the word "compelled" comes close.
i'm not here to argue that point.
Yes, I would agree that one is not entirely free when caught in the cycle of addicted drinking. It takes some doing to interrupt that cycle, as it does feel like you are not in control of whether you drink or not...like you simply cannot stop doing it. That is why AVRT is so helpful to many, as it is a technique designed to create a separation in order to interrupt the compulsion.

Some people may need a detox period because while drinking I found it impossible to separate enough to look at what was driving my actions. A couple of days to a week without access to alcohol allowed me to grab onto a technique similar to AVRT. After that, there was no choosing to do it or not do it, it simply was an option in my mind so there was no longer any choice to grapple with.

No arguing here, fini. I'm glad you're here
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JefferyAK
Again, I think this is independent of recovery approach, the things we do once we've chosen to close the door, that make it easier on us and give us tools and strength and confidence to help keep it going.
Yes, so true! I think about a particular ex when I read this. I struggled for so long that things could be different with this person, even after he went to jail for assaulting me. Once I "closed the door" as you said, once I put that to rest, even when he would call with his super powerful sweet nothings, it wasn't an option. There was no back-looking after that. No maybes. No struggle.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:19 AM
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Fini, in response to your question about the Beast being immoral...no I don't think it is. I think the Beast is simply "doing it's job" in that it's only goal is to drink, so it doesn't have "morals" per se. To be immoral it would have to have morals that it was going against. It would have to know better. I consider it more amoral because a drive doesn't have morals, I do. So putting the alcohol in my body is immoral for me, because I *do* know full well the consequences.

I think the OP was simply musing about how shocking the thoughts can be sometimes coming from that part of the brain that wants a drink. Using death and suffering of loved ones as an excuse to drink is shocking (to us, not to the Beast). That's why the separation is such an important technique for me. I can realize that while it has no morals, I do.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd
As to global answers and addiction Stop and Don't are the only answers.
Yes, and this is one thing on which many of my friends in the program and I can agree. I've known many people in the program who do not believe in a daily reprieve, they do not drink-hell or high water. There is a saying I've heard old-timers use "put a white chip in your mouth, when it dissolves then you can drink." Plastic chips will never dissolve in your mouth, so yeah...this translates to never an option.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:51 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Before the BP, I engaged the AV in dialogue, because I thought the AV was ME. 'I want a drink, no I don't, yes I do, I can't stand these cravings, just one then, no, I'm stopping drinking,

you see, that is exactly what did not happen.
there were those times, which Jeffrey so well describes, where there was no dialogue, no apparent decision, no arguing within myself...and afterwards, i would sit in despair at how i could not understand how i could possibly have done all those things dwtbd mentions, the getting in the car, the driving there, pulling out the wallet...blahblah...without deciding to do it. i did this action consciously, knew i was doing them, but had made no decision to do those actions. THAT was the maddening part. and the part i refused to believe.
clearly, i had "choice".
objectively.
subjectively, i couldn't access the power to make the choice.

my best understanding of my own experience is that i had the power all along but could not access it, rendering me in effect powerless at those times.

i do not wish to debate this as any kind of argument, and while i found AVRT useful when i first got sober, it stopped making sense to me later and didn't "fit" my own experience.
it worked well for me as a tool back then, but only addresses one aspect of the entire experience.

quite possibly we had different experiences within catchall terms such as "addiction".
actually, i'm sure of it.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:53 AM
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Fini, in response to your question about the Beast being immoral...no I don't think it is. I think the Beast is simply "doing it's job" in that it's only goal is to drink, so it doesn't have "morals" per se. To be immoral it would have to have morals that it was going against. It would have to know better. I consider it more amoral because a drive doesn't have morals, I do. So putting the alcohol in my body is immoral for me, because I *do* know full well the consequences.

entirely agree.
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