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Old 10-19-2017, 04:46 AM   #201 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
It is impossible to do wrong, without being morally responsible (.) If it were, doing 'right' would be a matter of happenstance.
We do wrong every day. I am sure that I have said something today or made some gesture that has hurt someone but which I did because I was not aware of the effect that they would have on others. I am not innocent of these remarks - I am guilty, I made them. But am I morally responsible? I am not even aware of them.

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Empathy and compassion have their place, but they become tools of the Beast if used for absolution, moral equivalency.
Agreed and I think that is what I said.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:45 AM   #202 (permalink)
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AVRT is about ending an addiction.

An addiction , imo, is being in a state of ambivalence toward performing some action. Wanting , sensing, trying to not do something and finding one's self seemingly inexplicably doing it anyway.

During my drinking 'career' , there were periods when I thought I should quit because of the obvious consequences of my drunkeness, but I chose to drink again and just ignore the obvious. There were times when I was 'in and out' of addiction , mostly 'out' I didn't really want to give up the booze, just the consequences. I was willfully drinking, loved that buzz and was not giving it up.

It was really only in the last years of my 'career' that I felt 'stuck' , it felt like I really wanted to quit but it seemed that I couldn't. Physical dependency crept in, depression and anxiety from years of abuse 'complicated' things', but the first sip would clear that up no matter how slightly or fleetingly but enough to make the difference and then it was off to the races, right good and drunk, numb, oblivion .

At my core I no longer wanted to be a drunk. I quit drinking to stop being a drunk, I loved drinking, knew it was 'wrong' and did it anyway. I decided to never be a drunk again, consequently I had to stop , forever, putting alcohol in my mouth, even if "I" want to.

I separated from my Beast , I lay the want aside, having the want isn't immoral indulging it is, and was when I didn't lay the want aside.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:52 AM   #203 (permalink)
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Zen
Inside or outside the context of AVRT , what is 'alcoholism' ? Is there an 'ism' separate from addiction ? Or chemical dependency?

I've talked about this in another thread but I don't believe in an ISM and I don't believe that addiction is different based on what substance is being abused. When I talk about a genetic factor I'm talking about how alcohol is metabolized. I never drank right, I could always drink way more than most people, long before I considered myself addicted, it was like that from the start for me. There's something to that I think. What about Asian people? For the most part they can't handle much alcohol. Isn't that because of genetics? Some peoples bodies react different to alcohol. I'm not saying that predetermines whether or not they will become alcohol dependent, there's a whole lot of free will and social conditioning that comes into play too, but I would wager that for a lot of us on here we didn't drink "normal" right from the beginning.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:59 AM   #204 (permalink)
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I think morality is different for everyone. I knew girls who would give sexual favors for drugs, something that I never considered doing. Or guys who would rob each other or strangers. How low a person is willing to go is an individual scale. My lowest moment will be different from someone else's. I don't think getting high or drunk is immoral in and of itself. How a person acts once intoxicated is a different story. Once those inhibitions come down things become unpredictable. Now that I've quit for good and I know what I know and believe what I believe I would consider the act to be deeply immoral, it would go against my code of conduct and personal truths. When I was in active addiction things were different though, I could find any excuse or trigger or passing fancy to justify myself. That's what addiction is all about.
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Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:13 AM   #205 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
AVRT is about ending an addiction.

An addiction , imo, is being in a state of ambivalence toward performing some action. Wanting , sensing, trying to not do something and finding one's self seemingly inexplicably doing it anyway.

During my drinking 'career' , there were periods when I thought I should quit because of the obvious consequences of my drunkeness, but I chose to drink again and just ignore the obvious. There were times when I was 'in and out' of addiction , mostly 'out' I didn't really want to give up the booze, just the consequences. I was willfully drinking, loved that buzz and was not giving it up.

It was really only in the last years of my 'career' that I felt 'stuck' , it felt like I really wanted to quit but it seemed that I couldn't. Physical dependency crept in, depression and anxiety from years of abuse 'complicated' things', but the first sip would clear that up no matter how slightly or fleetingly but enough to make the difference and then it was off to the races, right good and drunk, numb, oblivion .

At my core I no longer wanted to be a drunk. I quit drinking to stop being a drunk, I loved drinking, knew it was 'wrong' and did it anyway. I decided to never be a drunk again, consequently I had to stop , forever, putting alcohol in my mouth, even if "I" want to.

I separated from my Beast , I lay the want aside, having the want isn't immoral indulging it is, and was when I didn't lay the want aside.
Agreed, and that describes my own story very well . I was only talking about the pre-addiction period before ambivalence emerges to threaten and expose the Beast. In this stage, the Beast is posing as you and you are identifying with it and IMO this means that you are not a moral being as far as drinking is concerned - you have become the amoral Beast.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:15 AM   #206 (permalink)
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Last edited by dwtbd; 10-19-2017 at 07:18 AM. Reason: dup
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:17 AM   #207 (permalink)
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I think morality is different for everyone. I knew girls who would give sexual favors for drugs, something that I never considered doing. Or guys who would rob each other or strangers. How low a person is willing to go is an individual scale. My lowest moment will be different from someone else's. I don't think getting high or drunk is immoral in and of itself. How a person acts once intoxicated is a different story. Once those inhibitions come down things become unpredictable. Now that I've quit for good and I know what I know and believe what I believe I would consider the act to be deeply immoral, it would go against my code of conduct and personal truths. When I was in active addiction things were different though, I could find any excuse or trigger or passing fancy to justify myself. That's what addiction is all about.
" Did you order the Code Red?!"
"You're g-d right I did!"

If we knew /thought , at core, that indulging the buzz wasn't somehow , in some small way not quite kosher, why the need for justification at any level?
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:18 AM   #208 (permalink)
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For a long time I didn't justify it any way. I partied and it wasn't a problem. It became a problem when I started trying to justify it, that's when the ambivalence started.
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Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:42 AM   #209 (permalink)
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Aleric
In a 'moral' rubic there are three categories: moral, immoral, and amoral , yes ?
I would describe the Beast , qua desire, survival drive as amoral , a designation that denotes a thing as outside of moral consideration, not immoral which denotes a designation only applicable to rational conscious beings.

As has been stated the Beast isn't irrational , ITs actions are perfectly rational as applied to ITs survival. Indulging that desire one acts irrationally , foregoing the pain of known consequences in favor of the momentary hedonistic pleasure. Continuing to act in an irrational manner is immoral by definition of immorality as that which harms. Dismissing , ignoring, minimizing harm doesn't change the nature of the harm , but it makes it 'easier' to commit harmful acts.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:52 AM   #210 (permalink)
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dwtd,

I think I'll follow Che Guevara's precept "Silence is argument carried out by other means" on this!
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:11 AM   #211 (permalink)
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I had the strongest craving for a beer this morning at work. It was weird because the thought literally came out of nowhere and hit me with such incredible force, it felt physical. All of a sudden this voice in my head went, "Damn a beer after work would be just Fine. Ohhhhh it would be sooooo Good." Followed by a physical reaction from the core of my body. Totally caught me off guard. It's just crazy to me that after 8 months a thought could still carry that much charge and energy. The whole experience came and went very quickly. Obviously I knew it was AV and harmless despite the emotional and physical effect it had on me, it just surprised me. I can see how people who don't know about AVRT could feel like they have no defense against such a powerful thought and feeling and how they could feel like they are failing at their recovery for having such thoughts and feel helpless in the face of them. That was a total Beast attack and I'm glad I was armed with AVRT.
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Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:50 AM   #212 (permalink)
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I've been thinking about something that Algo wrote about how the AV reorders priorities in our thinking and how very true that is. It's taken time for me to really understand just how deeply my mind had been altered by my addiction and how screwed up my priorities were, the further I go on this journey into sobriety the more I notice the little nuances. Feeding my addiction always came first, which seems obvious but I really didn't see at the time how that changed all of my decisions about everything, it's taken all these months of sobriety for the full impact of that to hit home for me. It boogles my mind how utterly enslaved I was and how unaware I was of how altered my entire way of thinking had become. I feel like I recently turned a corner after that short funk I went into and I came out the other side feeling like it's time to start looking outward and rebuilding my life as a certified non drinker, no longer newly sober, so I'm looking out on the world with fresh eyes without that monkey I'd been carrying on my back since I was a teenager and my mind is clear and focused and my priorities are totally different. Honestly, it's fantastic! It feels really good to have my mind back, I didn't know I was missing it until I had it back, and I'm sure it's only going to keep getting better.
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Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:07 PM   #213 (permalink)
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For me, there were Drunken Games within Games within Games in Early Retirement. Pulling Cash from multiple Checking Accounts [Da Wife and I don't have shared Accounts]. Rotating purchases among different Liquor Stores. Of course. Planning ordinary things, like going to the local Dog Park, around how hammered I'd be at certain Daylight Hours. It's really astounding how all-consuming these numerous sordid details were. And, how I took great pride in 'arranging' everything. Will I be able to also stop and get Vehicle Gas, or will I be too hammered for that necessary stop, as well? Or, where's a safe Parking Lot to pull into for a quick Nap? Um, a quick Black-Out, that is.

What a ridiculous load of *wasted* effort, eh? And, this is just one tip of the sotted Iceberg, with much of simple Life Activities representing a whole other level of effort. Like, 'Hey, I'm gonna pop down to the Grocery Store. With the proverbial 100 lb. weight in my Backpack'! As Bugs Bunny would say: 'Whatta Dope! Whatta Maroon'!

I had to extricate myself out of that wreckage for some time to then look back with clarity to see how entangling that wreckage was! Perspective 101. This continuing, aloof clarity is one of many Sober Gifts that keeps on giving. Such occasional Memories are all the Relapse Prevention I require. I made it out alive.

And, yes, as Sober Living becomes The New Normal, it's only going to keep getting better.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:27 AM   #214 (permalink)
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I wonder how Algo is now. When he last posted, he was suffering a protracted recovery from a complex injury.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:26 AM   #215 (permalink)
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I hope Algo is well. His clever mind and his compassionate posts on here have made a big difference in people's lives. He certainly helped me There are some awesome people on here and he's one of them.
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Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:48 PM   #216 (permalink)
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Zen, I couldn’t agree more. Algo had a particular expertise of slicing through to the appropriate nuance required to guide an SR member, in the minimum of words....so they hit the right mental spot; a rare skill indeed.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:05 AM   #217 (permalink)
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For me, there were Drunken Games within Games within Games in Early Retirement. Pulling Cash from multiple Checking Accounts [Da Wife and I don't have shared Accounts]. Rotating purchases among different Liquor Stores. Of course. Planning ordinary things, like going to the local Dog Park, around how hammered I'd be at certain Daylight Hours. It's really astounding how all-consuming these numerous sordid details were. And, how I took great pride in 'arranging' everything. Will I be able to also stop and get Vehicle Gas, or will I be too hammered for that necessary stop, as well? Or, where's a safe Parking Lot to pull into for a quick Nap? Um, a quick Black-Out, that is.

What a ridiculous load of *wasted* effort, eh? And, this is just one tip of the sotted Iceberg, with much of simple Life Activities representing a whole other level of effort. Like, 'Hey, I'm gonna pop down to the Grocery Store. With the proverbial 100 lb. weight in my Backpack'! As Bugs Bunny would say: 'Whatta Dope! Whatta Maroon'!

I had to extricate myself out of that wreckage for some time to then look back with clarity to see how entangling that wreckage was! Perspective 101. This continuing, aloof clarity is one of many Sober Gifts that keeps on giving. Such occasional Memories are all the Relapse Prevention I require. I made it out alive.

And, yes, as Sober Living becomes The New Normal, it's only going to keep getting better.
.

It really was a lot of work! And that's just the part about maintaining the drinking and juggling work and family responsibilities around drinking and recovery time from it. But it went deeper than that, I'd been an addict from 15 on, I always used, so my decisions about school where I dropped out, work where I picked jobs that were in party atmospheres, my friends who all partied, my lovers who were all addicts, even my kids activities all had to be at certain times, never too early or too late. Every decision I've made for almost 25 years was made with my AV's input on how to maintain my habit, nothing was allowed to get in the way of that. I shaped my life around obeying that voice. IT really is like a parasite. It taken a good long stretch of abstinence to fully appreciate how entrenched IT had become in my consciousness.
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Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:36 PM   #218 (permalink)
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My experience was that over time I coupled liking drink to wanting it. This "wanting" was different than just liking because it it was active rather than passive and drove me or motivated me to drink more of this substance that I liked and which gave me pleasure.

I at some point developed tolerance of course and although drinking still gave me pleasure it never reached matched earlier experiences. Throughout my later drinking days I kept going back to certain times, in particular a glass of red wine I had during an interlude at a concert talking with a woman I really liked - I think the pleasure was from the whole experience, the social aspect and drinking combined although drinking was certainly required to make the memory of this event so powerful in my mind. I think I was always trying to recreate feelings like this and this explains the "wanting" that my drinking had become. And, like you say zen, this took over and I didn't enjoy things I used to do such as socialising and sport as much. This has all come back to me since stopping though and I actually appreciate simple pleasures like these even more now.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:33 AM   #219 (permalink)
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I can so relate, Aleric, regarding the concert. Once I tipped over into tolerance ramping up, then physical dependance; I morphed from enjoying the interval ‘glass of wine’, whilst socialising and walking around the gallery and viewing the current art display incumbents; into NEEDING to top up the alcohol blood level and [email protected] the art gallery, the more glasses I could down at the bar, the better. Such a sorry way that the Beast conducted my life, until I unmasked it and thereby stripped away its power, forever.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:50 AM   #220 (permalink)
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Tatsy, your story certainly shows why the separation from IT has to be a clean one. It's as if the Beast uses "salami tactics' to take over your life slice by slice. I guess it does this so that you never feel that you don't have a choice anymore and you have to quit for good.

If, say, the first time you went you watched the whole concert and saw the art exhibition in the interval but the second time not only did you remain at the bar rather than go round the exhibition, you missed the entire second half or went but ran onto the stage to share your singing gifts you might conceivably start to think that perhaps things were starting to get somewhat out of hand. But by the Beast using salami tactics you may never be put in this position where you realistically have no choice. You may start by missing the first couple of minutes, then leave early to get a drink at the end and then just giving the whole evening a miss and staying at home so you can drink. It will gradually take over your life without you ever feeling that you have to stop now.
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