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The divided self

Old 06-08-2017, 04:31 AM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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Besides great strides in culture and society are made from a little civil unrest.

To my mind at least this thread , while perhaps passionate and heated hasn't seen ad hominem as a basis. Ideas and perspectives have been debated and challenged ( and no 'taboo' ones at that).
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:56 AM
  # 82 (permalink)  
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I agree. Jostling up against one another like this can smooth away some of our rough edges. And my vocabulary is increasing too!
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:11 AM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
Wow. And when the next person comes along, who is as much a zealous follower as you are, states that there are no degrees or mixing methods, and that every single "securely" abstinent person must find a higher power and work the steps and attend meetings indefinitely, the rest are dry drunks, what makes that person any less right than you? After all, he does have millions of people agreeing with him.
An argument could be made that the less than 5% of people who succeed at that route would have done so regardless because they were ready to quit for good and had made their own version of a BP. A swearing off of no matter what happens drinking is not an option.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:11 AM
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I recalled a post on the multi-part AVRT thread, from Terminally Unique, who had more knowledge in AA, REBT, RET and CBT, than I.

I found the post interesting, because likewise, whilst I worked on my ABCs and CBAs in SMART.......I'd have jumped in my car and bought and drank alcohol, before I'd finished.

I was horrendously addicted to alcohol, I needed the absolutism of AVRT, which objectifys the desire for alcohol (pleasure) as a learned behaviour that morphed into a rogue survival drive, hedonistic in nature, due to the artificially high levels of feel good chemicals that alcohol causes in the brain. AVRT acts as an automatic filtering skill, that parses out any thought, thinking, feeling, emotion, that even slightly suggests drinking. (the AV emanating from the rogue survival drive 'Beast' :then instantly dismisses it. Period.

SMART can be applied to deal with stopping drinking and solving thinking problems that exist afterwards. Since I became abstinent, I too find that the AVRT filter can be applied to identify (and instantly dismiss) negative self-talk. When I start awfullising or catastrophising, I filter the thoughts out from the thought-stream and label them (Catastrophising Beast) etc., and dismiss them, as untrue. All these negative thoughts are part of the autonomous lower/mid-brain, habitual thoughts, 'I' am the 'Self' that experiences those automatic thoughts and rejects them - or in SMART, '' would note the thought and then perform the CBA/ABC.

Here's Terminally Uniques's post:

I wonder if the preference for reasoning versus absolutism comes down to temperament. It is often said that addicted people are "musturbators" - they think in absolutes such as "I must do this" or "I have to do this." Indeed, CBT/REBT is in large part a way to address these types of irrational beliefs, and is therefore a large component of SMART Recovery.

As Tom Horvath, President of SMART recovery wrote once,
"So at a typical SMART Recovery meeting, in addition to members doing their CBAs (cost benefit analysis), they are also doing their ABCs (Activating event, Belief, emotional and/or behavioral Consequence). They are watching out for musturbation, awfulizing, and catastrophizing."
In my case, I simply could not get past this. I knew that I simply had to quit drinking, and no amount of analysis of my irrational beliefs was going to change my mind on this. There was no way that I was going to accept that this "musturbation," as pertained to my addiction, was an irrational belief, that I had to discard it, or that I had to think better of myself or stop damning myself. To do so would simply produce a self-accepting drunk ("don't be so hard on yourself, it's only a slip, you're not a bad person"), which would only lead to further drinking.

Experience also showed me that to even contemplate the reasons for drinking versus not drinking while having an urge was doomed to failure. Before I was even half-way through my Cost-Benefit Analysis, I would be three-quarters of the way to the liquor store. I was at one point able to do this, but by the end, any "thinking" about why I shouldn't drink would inevitably lead to some ridiculous rationalization for drinking, or at the very least not produce a sufficient reason not to drink which would deter me.

This is excerpted from a Jack Trimpey / Albert Ellis Debate (1994) on AVRT, which pretty much sums up the difference between AVRT and a "reasoning" approach, in my opinion.
"AVRT declares that the sole cause of all substance addiction is the Addictive Voice, which is the cognitive-emotive expression of an immutable, substance-specific appetite for the pleasure produced by those substances. The Addictive Voice is accepted as a permanent feature of one's psyche, partitioned off from the "true self" through a number of simple dissociative techniques, and then observed rather than acted upon...

In AVRT, there are no conditions for abstinence or for relapse, nor are there any triggers, warning signs of relapse, psychiatric diagnoses, or thresholds of tolerance, that suffice to justify or explain why one would choose to self-intoxicate. AVRT is a mental sorting skill - a filter - that prevents any further use of alcohol or drugs, regardless of "disposing factors." It is completely independent from all philosophies, schools of psychology, and religious doctrines. Indeed, those epistemologies and methodologies, when posed as a primary means to achieve abstinence, may be properly identified as the Addictive Voice itself...
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatsy View Post
The Addictive Voice is accepted as a permanent feature of one's psyche, partitioned off from the "true self" through a number of simple dissociative techniques, and then observed rather than acted upon.....
So it is viewed as a permanent disease or affliction after all, interesting.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:20 AM
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In AVRT it's viewed as neither a disease, nor an affliction. It's just an habituated drive for alcohol. It's viewed as permanent, only at the time one makes a Big Plan and begins to practice AVRT. There are reasons for this, to include negating the thought that the presence of the AV is a cause for fear or panic, thereby something to be afraid of or a cause to drink. Also to debunk other programs theory that the AV must be removed.....or else you'll drink! The AV is just an habituated, automatic thought, little more than an alarm clock going off on a day when you're not at work, because you forgot to cancel it.

In AVRT the AV has no power - so even if it piped up every hour, it would be irrelevant and just an inconsequential, fleeting thought. As it happens, neuroplasicity ensures that almost no AV arises after 90 days or so. But back to default, even if the AV arose every 90 seconds, it would be irrelevant, just an inconsequential, fleeting thought, because it's powerless.

In Newcomers, folks are terrified of their AVs. In AVRT, that terror is negated, by teaching that even if it's permanent, it holds no power over the person and may be swiftly dismissed. No need to address HALTBS., to tackle the AV. When my Big Plan was made, and AVRT practised, the AV was rendered completely powerless.

A couple of weeks ago, my young niece was at the Manchester, Arianna Grande concert where the terrorist bombing took place. She lost her phone and I spent hours searching for her with my sister, thankfully she was safe. I haven't heard a whimper from my AV for a few months, but that night it started screaming. People were offering alcohol everywhere, when we all arrived home safely, I was offered it again...and my AV was excited. But it mattered not, because AVRT taught me that the AV might always pop up in the future ! I am not afraid of it, because it is powerless and I'm powerful.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:33 AM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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I agree, alcoholism is not a disease. For one, there are no symptoms that can be measured, and anyway any supposed 'symptoms' such as dangerous behaviour or health risks only occur after you've had a drink, not before. This contrasts with cancer, for example, which has a measureable diagnosis that is made after symptoms are seen or cancerous cells are found. And if alcoholism is a disease, how would you make a diagnosis?

It must have been a horrible time for you Tatsy with your niece at the Manchester concert. You did really well not to drink and I'm glad she was safe.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:40 AM
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Aleric, thank you for your kind words. That night was horrendous. People wonder why that drive for alcohol is called the Beast! Because it will use any excuse to drink, even an excuse were I would listen and follow the AV and drink, thereby rendering myself unable to properly search for my niece, by being inebriated! The urge to drink is truly, lower brain, the decision not to drink is all higher brain.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:44 AM
  # 89 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
So it is viewed as a permanent disease or affliction after all, interesting.
A la GT's timely chastisement , only if you consider an urge for deep pleasure an affliction, the urge I can handle, just dismiss IT, satisfying that urge not so much, that part I didn't handle so well .
When I realized the urge itself wasn't the driving force I lead myself to believe it was, bang: cured. Hard to call it a disease if to cure it , you literally do nothing.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:44 AM
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Magnificent post Tatsy! Cyber high five!

Really glad to hear your niece was ok. That must have been absolutely terrifying.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
... only if you consider an urge for deep pleasure an affliction...
That's where I personally part ways with RR, which is pretty early actually. Addiction is fundamentally a biochemical process, as evidenced by large piles of data for example on brain imaging, and it is caused not by character defects or beasts or pleasure drives, it is brain chemistry altered by the consumption of alcohol itself. Stop the alcohol (this is hard to do, of course), and in time your brain is normal again. This too is evidenced by large piles of data. Certainly by the end of my drinking days, I was miserable, and I didn't drink because of hedonistic pleasure, I drank because the consequences of stopping (withdrawal and having to face the wreckage around me) seemed even more horrible. I'm still puzzled by Trimpey talking about permanent features, that certainly don't exist in most people who don't drink or drink to the point of addiction.
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:44 PM
  # 92 (permalink)  
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In AVRT addiction is defined as ambivalence where you drink against your better judgement. The addiction is the AV not the physical Beast brain. With this model, the biochemical model and brain imaging is not really relevant because there is no way to objectively map particular brain states with subjective mental states.

You may take a brain image and ask the person what he is thinking and feeling at that time and in this way build up a kind of translation dictionary between his brain states and his thoughts/feelings but this would not constitute scientific data. It would be dependent on what the person tells you is going on inside his own head and there is simply no way to verify this - he may be lying to you for example.
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:13 PM
  # 93 (permalink)  
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I lean toward the secular forum because I've come to expect conversations to be a little less driven by dogma, but it is clear that folks can become just as rigid about other methods as they can about AA. Anyway, I've said all I need to say here, there's no point in arguing, and I didn't expect to come across name-calling and insults, or to be told that my approach(es) to recovery will not lead to permanent or secured abstinence (though I haven't had a drink since 2013 and I have no desire or intention to). I realize those statements were not directed only towards me, and I do appreciate many of the thoughtful and thought-provoking comments in this thread. Unfortunately, some of the rigidness has turned me off a bit to learning more about AVRT. I don't need to be told I'm doomed to failure if I don't adhere to a specific philosophy. That's a big reason why I don't go to meetings. Anyway, I'll be in the mountains for over a week without internet, so I'm out... Enjoy!
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:19 PM
  # 94 (permalink)  
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I've enjoyed your posts so hope you return to the fray.

Enjoy the mountains!
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:27 PM
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Zero, I'm sorry you've been turned off, but I didn't direct any posts at you, whatsoever, I find your posts informative. I hope you enjoy your mountain time, I live in the mountain foothills. so realise how energising and calming they can be.
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
You did really well not to drink and I'm glad she was safe.
Would you congratulate someone for not robbing a bank? Or committing assault?
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatsy View Post
Jeffrey, this is a thread were the OP asked about AVRT and has been researching it. If you don't have any positive experiences of AVRT, then perhaps you shouldn't post.

It seems the Mods are lax here, I know for a fact (my experience) if I posted posts such as yours on the Recovery, or AA threads...they'd be censored and deleted, on the basis that I wasn't posting positive experiences of a particular ecovery method, just as you're doing here.

This disparity between forums is becoming quite tiresome. I don't like censorship, but if it exists, it should be equal.
Jeffrey has a case of the blah-blahs. As in when the words "drinking alcohol" crop up, it is blah blah this and blah blah that. Everything but quitting drinking is fair game for endless discussion. Talking about quitting drinking for good is verboten to Jeffrey, and he blows his top at any mention of it.
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:42 PM
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Greenwood,

You clearly have no understanding of the impact the terror attack had on everyone who was involved.
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
Greenwood,

You clearly have no understanding of the impact the terror attack had on everyone who was involved.
Tatsy's signature line says Tatsy will never drink again and never have a change of mind.
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:02 PM
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Hi Aleric, thank you! But please believe me, as traumatic, terrifying and horrendous as that Manchester experience was, my Big Plan held firm and I dismissed the multiple occurrences of the AV that night and into the early hours. That's how powerful AVRT is. It would've contravened my new (recovered) moral conscience to have drank. I do have complete immunity from drinking.

The AV even popped up after the London Bridge atrocity, as I have a relative who lives and works there, but again, to me, it just shows how immoral the Beast/AV is, to use such an event, as an excuse to drink!
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