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The Sheer Immorality of the Beast

Old 05-06-2017, 09:11 AM
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Fini, I had similar types of experiences too, in addition to the arguing with AV.

For instance, when I was trying, for years, to cut down daily amount, start later in the day, maybe miss a day out.....sometimes there wasn't any AV, and after deciding not to drink until, say 2pm (lol) and I'd have only X cans of lager. So I'd be relatively sober and coasting through, batting off the AV, or feel little AV, until, suddenly I'd be stood there, with an open can of lager raised to mouth, drinking it! I honestly didn't remember anything before that point, not walking down the garden to the lager stored in the summer house, not walking up the stops, opening the door, taking a can from my secret stash, not walking back to the house and not even pulling the ring pull and raising it (classy, lager straight out the tin).

It was as though I was on auto-pilot, a rogue auto-pilot that took control of me, akin to sleep-walking (although I haven't) but my sister does and she suddenly comes to her senses in the kitchen in the middle night - just as I did when standing there with the open can. Plus, when under the influence, I had no control over the amount I drank, but that was because I was inebriated and my higher brain functioning was disengaged by alcohol.

I understand when it happens to me (the drinking without recalling the steps that led to it) it's when the lower brain/mid brain, completely swamps and takes full control of the higher brain (where logical choices are made). I understand that if a human lost most of their cognitive choice making part of the brain, the lower brain would still operate bodies, but we'd completely lose the power of choice, restraint and inhibition, we'd act pretty much like a pack of animals, driven by survival drives only.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by fini
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.
Yes, I agree that it is difficult to access the power of choice when your brain is hijacked by substances and by the drive to put those substances in the body.

Originally Posted by fini
it worked well for me as a tool back then, but only addresses one aspect of the entire experience.
It is *only* a tool, a tool for quitting for good. The T in AVRT is "technique" and it is meant for just that. AVRT is not a design for living. When you say "entire experience", what do you mean? The experience of quitting? The experience of building a full and happy life without alcohol?
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:24 AM
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I wanted to stop drinking - I found the correct tool for me, AVRT. I applied the tool (technique) and it worked. As a consequence, I'm now freed from alcohol addiction. That freedom enables me to address any pre-existing, or masked issues, or issues directly caused by my lengthy previous addiction. That freedom also enables me to try to improve my lot in life, how I see fit and in accordance with my preferences and beliefs.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:27 AM
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Fini, from what you wrote about no internal dialogue, and if you weren't on an habituated auto-pilot, and if there wasn't an ambivalent feeling within you (wanting a drink, yet at the same not wanting a drink and trying to fight the drink urge) then the only thing that springs to mind is either, perhaps 'you' actually 'did' want to drink? Or perhaps you never recognised the AV and thought 'you' were it. Then afterwards, you were despairing at the consequences of drinking when you wanted to at the time, or didn't recognise the AV. The AV is only a term for the brain changes that alcohol causes, creating an addiction.

Just throwing this out there for discussion. Maybe you weren't actually addicted and didn't expereince those brain changes? Addiction is a compulsion to do something, which you know you ought not to. So if one part of your brain wants a drink and another part of your brain doesn't want a drink - that's addiction. So there is a choice, do I follow the pro-drink or the anti-drink brain.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:20 AM
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Just wish to make it clear, that during my lengthy addiction, I wasn't aware I had a choice to stop drinking, until I joined SR and discovered AVRT. Prior to that I was told that the power of choice was a higher power outside myself, that I should pray to that HP. But sadly, God didn't answer my prayers and having been raised a Catholic, I suspected he wouldn't.

AVRT simply taught me that the power of choice was within myself, my own capacity. The same power that folks have utilised for eons (prior to AVRT). Buddhism also deals with this separation and power of choice.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatsy
Buddhism also deals with this separation and power of choice.
This is exactly how I came to learn about AVRT. I had already quit via some Buddhist readings re: separation, not grasping, choice, and the mastering of the mind. I compare AVRT to some of the tenets found in Buddhism a lot, which some AVRT purists don't care for, but I do so mainly to highlight the point that AVRT is not new. It's similar to what folks have done for thousands of years in dealing with the consequences of blindly following desire.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:29 PM
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I agree, Soberlicious. I'm reading a Pema Chodron book at the moment, 'Taking the Leap'. I was attracted to it by the title, as I took a leap of faith when stopping drinking and at the beginning of my new abstinence I planned the caving experience, which culminated in my jumping off a ledge into a pitch plack abyss on a cord, confronting my fear of heights, caverns and darkness. Plus, the book deals with cultivating shenpa, and when addicted, I became quite stuck in other ways which became habitual, isolatory, negative thinking etc.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatsy
I planned the caving experience, which culminated in my jumping off a ledge into a pitch plack abyss on a cord, confronting my fear of heights, caverns and darkness.
This is super badass. Heights, caverns, and darkness aren't the problem. Fear is the problem. I love that by facing our fears head on, we learn that there is a way that we can navigate most terrifying things in life successfully and safely. We can never get rid of fear, but we can live freely without it controlling us. Very analogous to the AV, wouldn't you say?
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:51 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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until, suddenly I'd be stood there, with an open can of lager raised to mouth, drinking it! I honestly didn't remember anything before that point, not walking down the garden to the lager stored in the summer house, not walking up the stops, opening the door, taking a can from my secret stash, not walking back to the house and not even pulling the ring pull and raising it (classy, lager straight out the tin).

wow...that never happened to me...that is scary...you ascribe that to something like "being in addiction" and do not expect that to be able to happen again?
i've not had an experience like that, ever.

i AM ver y much wondering about something mentioned later, relating to dementia. my mom died last year, and had dementia for almost the last decade of her life. and i do wonder occasionally what might happen if i get Alzheimer disease and simply forget that i don't drink.....when my mom was nowhere near the end but quite demented, we all watched her drink and much enjoy a large beer, and proclaiming it was sooooo good, when her entire life she had found beer one of the most distasteful things imaginable.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:54 AM
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When you say "entire experience", what do you mean? The experience of quitting? The experience of building a full and happy life without alcohol?

partly both.
but mostly the experience of how my drinking, though clearly having some slight withdrawal every morning, was mostly what in other places might be called 'mental obsession', and clearly overrode whatever my design-for-living-my-life was, since i was incapable of not returning to drinking.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:58 AM
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So if one part of your brain wants a drink and another part of your brain doesn't want a drink - that's addiction. So there is a choice, do I follow the pro-drink or the anti-drink brain.

i understand that not as "addiction", but as what Robby used to call "addiction ambivalence.
and that is where the addiction itself impairs the normal, reasonable, obvious choice mechanism.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:03 AM
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Just wish to make it clear, that during my lengthy addiction, I wasn't aware I had a choice to stop drinking, until I joined SR and discovered AVRT. Prior to that I was told that the power of choice was a higher power outside myself, that I should pray to that HP. But sadly, God didn't answer my prayers and having been raised a Catholic, I suspected he wouldn't.

ah, so interesting...during my thirty years of drinking i ALWAYS thought i had a choice and was never told anything like you were.
i was convinced that choice, power, control over this were all mine.and then decided and committed to apply them.
and crashed. repeatedly.
and despaired.

and, as an aside, i have met, online and in real life so many who were raised catholic....which seems so odd.....why?
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
i've not had an experience like that, ever.
I haven't either.

For me, autopilot meant, there was no internal dialog at all. If I need to run to the store for toilet paper, I just grab my wallet and get in the car and go to the store to buy toilet paper. There is no dialog about whether or not I should be buying toilet paper given my history of negative consequences with toilet paper, no "toilet paper addict voice", no shame or remorse that I'm feeding my toilet paper addiction, I just run and get toilet paper.

There were times when buying alcohol was like that, even though I knew I had a problem, and maybe was even attending an outpatient program to help me quit. The internal dialog that should have happened, and did happen most of the time, never happened. And I'd find myself drinking, and wondering how I had managed to acquire alcohol and start drinking without any internal dialog.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:26 AM
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What you are about to read is actually true! Hee hee... This is Legend in this Town about ~1 Hour from us. There is an Annual Festival around it, and a large Chicken Statue in Town.

Rather vividly illustrates what the 'Lower Brain' is capable of, eh? Plus, ya gotta love the irony of Mike's Demise...

- Mike The Headless Chicken -
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fini
as what Robby used to call "addiction ambivalence.
The state of ambivalence toward drinking is the definition of addiction. Without the conflict of doing something repeatedly despite wanting to quit doing it, there isn't an addiction per se. If one drinks at all, even copious amounts, and truly does not want to quit and never has any inner turmoil, then it's not a state of addiction. The rub is, many don't say they want to quit out loud to anyone, but they experience struggle and turmoil nonetheless. This is why many say that the assignment of addiction must come from that individual.

There's been many times I've been on autopilot in my life, without ever stopping to examine the thoughts/feelings (which I considered inner dialogue) behind my actions. It doesn't mean they weren't there, it means I wasn't aware of them. I can remember saying things like, "I don't know what happened...all of the sudden I was naked." That happened frequently and without alcohol! So I had to stop and tune into the "autopilot script" that was running the show.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
I haven't either.

For me, autopilot meant, there was no internal dialog at all. If I need to run to the store for toilet paper, I just grab my wallet and get in the car and go to the store to buy toilet paper. There is no dialog about whether or not I should be buying toilet paper given my history of negative consequences with toilet paper, no "toilet paper addict voice", no shame or remorse that I'm feeding my toilet paper addiction, I just run and get toilet paper.

There were times when buying alcohol was like that, .
yes. like that. no dialogue, no conscious deciding, but certainly not not-coscious as Tatsy describes a waking- up to lifting booze to your lips.

the more we're talking, the more it looks like different experiences.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:36 PM
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"The state of ambivalence toward drinking is the definition of addiction"

oh.
possibly it is ONE definition, but certainly not THE definition.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatsy View Post
For instance, when I was trying, for years, to cut down daily amount, start later in the day, maybe miss a day out.....sometimes there wasn't any AV, and after deciding not to drink until, say 2pm (lol) and I'd have only X cans of lager. So I'd be relatively sober and coasting through, batting off the AV, or feel little AV, until, suddenly I'd be stood there, with an open can of lager raised to mouth, drinking it! I honestly didn't remember anything before that point...
Tatsy,
When I remember back about my drinking days it eventually became crystal clear that when I was under the influence back then it made no sense to try now to retroactively apply the Technique of Recognition of my Addictive Voice; just as it is impossible to ever do AVRT while under the influence.

I understand when it happens to me (the drinking without recalling the steps that led to it) ...
"happens"? I thought drinking was done and over forever with you.

And what's that spending hours listening to a drunk friend blab away over the phone all about? To me that sounds like being in radio contact with a friend who's the captain of a boat unwittingly heading straight into the perfect storm, my knowing it, and my not pleading with him/her to turn back. But maybe she's not really a friend; in which case - adios after 2 minutes max.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:53 AM
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Fini, I don't understand your questions. You've been on SR since 2012 when you had 7 years sobriety, so I guess 12 years ago when you stopped drinking, you had it all figured out. Are you trying to convince yourself that you weren't a 'true/real alcoholic' like all of the people who've so far responded to you, clearly were - by the veracity of their responses? Do you want to return to moderate drinking? Or are you trying to convince AVRTers that they weren't real alcoholics.

I'm not going to expand anymore on my experience, I've done so in full and can add no more to what Soberlicious, MesaMan and Jeffrey have said above. But just to clarify, because you appear to missed this point - my experience was for over two decades of addiction and PRIOR to learning AVRT last year - I had NO AV, no internal dialogue, zilch, nada, decades of NO AV because I was ALL Beast, lower/mid brain drive, it subsumed me.

It was only when I began to learn AVRT that I HEARD that internal dialogue the AV I didn't'previously recognise. It's not a difficult concept and if you research alcohol addiction, you'll discover that all human brains have the same response to alcohol. It's about separating your higher brain's cognitive rational logical functioning, from your lower and mid brains. It's not rocket science.

I am now a securely abstinent person, but your posts raised my Beast's head......ohhhh maybe I'm not an alcoholic, I've had a different experience etc. It's as laughable as the proposition made by some AA folks who said to me when I complained the steps hadn't worked, 'You're not a 'real' alcoholic' that statement towards me (3 bottles of wine a day for years, drinking daily for decades) from them (only drank a few bottles of wine a week, maybe one bottle a day, or the occasional bi-weekly binge). It was laughable, I couldn't stop drinking...but they could, because they weren't so far down the alcohol addiction scale as I was!

Well, fini, after GerandTwine's post above, which brought me to my senses, I'm grateful for your visit to secular, because it gave my Beast an opportunity to shout out ITs AV and In turn,it gave me an opportunity to dismiss ITs sorry plan to drink.

I now fully understand the AVRT mingling with Beast's warning. Fini, it was when you said you didn't want to make a Big Plan, that my Beast went wild through the AV. If you don't believe in the conceptualised Beast/AV as part of a human beings triune brain....then think that 'I' considered that maybe, just maybe, I can ditch my Big Plan, because there you are, not drinking, for so very long....without a Big Plan.........which was simply the Beast saying 'leave the option open, just in case' as the recovery groups do, lapses, slips, hey ho, back on the wagon.

Then I came to my senses (neo-cortex) and remembered that in AVRT terms, the absence of a BP is the option to drink. My Beast is wily and it used your questions to gain leverage towards drinking. I've no idea what the reasoning was behind your questions and assertions that there are different types of addiction experiences (lol - as if - addiction is addiction, and once addicted, the mechanism and experience is similar because we are homeo-sapiens with similar brains.

Nonetheless, I thank you for this opportunity to dismiss, once again, my Beast's AV, I was a tad out of practice as its been none existent lately, until this thread.

I no longer have the option to drink, I've made my choice and my BP is set in stone. Thank you for the discourse, but I won't be indulging your Beast, or mine, anymore.

GT, thank you so much for your post - it brought me to my senses, I'll reply soon. You are a sweetheart.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:08 AM
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Fini, I don't understand your questions. You've been on SR since 2012 when you had 7 years sobriety, so I guess 12 years ago when you stopped drinking, you had it all figured out. Are you trying to convince yourself that you weren't a 'true/real alcoholic' like all of the people who've so far responded to you, clearly were - by the veracity of their responses? Do you want to return to moderate drinking? Or are you trying to convince AVRTers that they weren't real alcoholics.

none of these, Tatsy.
i'm neither trying to convince myself or you or anyone else of anything.
i have repeatedly stated i am looking for dialogue and not attempting to advance an argument.
and yes, i am a 'real' alcoholic, and yes i am securely sober, in AA language i am a recovered alcoholic.

i do think there is a massive misunderstanding here somewhere...and i'm seeing it resulted somehow in you going through a process that was tough for you, but ultimately beneficial.

i do believe the only question i asked you specifically is about the comparison to sleepwalking...but won't go back there since you seem to not want to engage in that conversation.

no problem, Tatsy.

Fini, it was when you said you didn't want to make a Big Plan, that my Beast went wild through the AV.

which is about you and your Beast, of course, and has nothing to do with me.
so yes, i see what you mean by this having been a good opportunity to practice separation more.

really do think you misunderstood, and certainly i did not intend to upset you or anyone.
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