Blogs


Notices

I am not my Beast.

Old 09-23-2017, 01:27 PM
  # 61 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,109
Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
Exactly. This ambivalence is the addiction. Once it is over, so is the addiction.
This is so true! Once I made up my mind that there was no going back it was easy. The hard part was all those years I spent trying to control and manage it, or trying to quit but not really meaning it, always knowing that sooner or later I'd be back at it. But yeah, once I was really done and the ambivalence was over I would say that my addiction was over too.
Wholesome is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Wholesome For This Useful Post:
AlericB (09-24-2017), Awake61 (09-24-2017), dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017), topspin (06-21-2018)
Old 09-23-2017, 03:46 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
I think an almost bigger religious-like reaction comes when people deny a pleasurable experience of intoxication. As if admitting it ,even to themselves , somehow contains a quasi original sin.

Pleasure is , generallly and very broadly speaking, a result of the mind's experience of the brain being awash in a certain kind of biochemical stew. The Beast is that neural pathway that lights up in the presence of the consumption of alcohol. Its function is to identify that particular presence and send the giant thumbs up signal , the good job finding it signal, the that's the stuff , keep it coming signal.

Sometimes It goes rogue though and even starts sending out signals to call for the presence , instead of just reporting on it. Aided I'm sure by about half a bizzilion other 'lesser' pathways whose job is to report on and suggest on all kinds of ways to maintain homeostasis, a pleasant equilibrium of contentedness.

The state of addiction occurs when the scales tip for the individual and a normative judgement on the experience of intoxication takes hold. The damage of abuse outweighs the pleasure , the consequences of indulging the rogue survival instinct that signals alcohol=positive by way of biochemical pleasure is deemed or understood to be no longer worth it, but continues nonetheless.

To end the addiction one must trust the normative judgement, that the buzz , the flood of 'feel good' brain chemicals is no longer recognized as a 'good' thing by the mind, the higher functioning 'part'.

Just like I can't not taste sugar as sweet, I can't help the way alcohol 'makes me feel' , but I can do something about IT.

I don't drink, I plan on never drinking again ,ever, because I know from experience it will feel good , for a little while at least. I just don't want to, in that sense desire has little to do with it while alternatively everything to do with IT.
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
AlericB (09-24-2017), Algorithm (09-24-2017), Awake61 (09-24-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017), tursiops999 (09-24-2017), Wholesome (09-23-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 04:26 AM
  # 63 (permalink)  
Member
 
AlericB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chester, UK
Posts: 684
I don't think I could have ended my addiction without this element of trust because I always felt that I didn't have the absolute certainty I required as to whether or not I 'd be able to handle drinking better if I tried it again.

Trust means taking a risk that you may be wrong. Accepting this allowed me to both acknowledge the kind of philosophical uncertainty surrounding moderation and yet still commit 100% to my Big Plan, the once and for all decision that, based on past experience, I could never moderate again.

Although the suggestion that I may be able to moderate again is AV because it suggests the possibity of future drinking, it seems to me that it is also true, and I needed this extra step of trust in my higher, moral intuition or sense that even one drink is wrong for me.
AlericB is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to AlericB For This Useful Post:
Awake61 (09-24-2017), biminiblue (09-24-2017), dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 07:08 AM
  # 64 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,109
The finality of never again experiencing the pleasurable side effects of drugs and alcohol is a hard thing to accept. I still have a sad feeling sometimes when I let myself dwell on it, and yeah most of it is AV but some of it is me too, I had some good times and sometimes I miss it. I don't know how that sits with AVRT, I feel like I'm making some kind of a betrayal by saying that out loud. Am I allowed to miss it? Or is that a weak spot in my BP? I would never act on it. Or is that what's meant when Algo says you live comfortably with residual desire, that I can feel that way and just let it be. Like breaking up with a person who was fantastic in bed but mean and abusive outside of the bedroom. You would never go back, but you also never totally forget about the sex.
Wholesome is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Wholesome For This Useful Post:
AlericB (09-24-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 07:10 AM
  # 65 (permalink)  
 
Algorithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
I watched another talk by [Dr. Nora Volkov] and what she explained is that part of the brain damage that happens when one gets addicted is that the frontal cortex gets hijacked, so decision making and impulse control gets compromised.
The hijacked brain interpretation supports the disease model of addiction, and the idea of powerlessness over bodily desire. I would argue that the brain is not hijacked, any more than the brain is hijacked after sexual awakening at puberty. As with the birth of the Beast, and its amorphous AV, one's priorities in life are simply reorganized around a new survival mandate, and a comprehensive style of thinking that supports it is born along with it.

Consider how much planning and effort people put into getting a date on a Friday night, and in bringing it to fruition, for example. Neither phenomenon implies that the brain is hijacked, and therefore powerless over base desire, however. Some people have, for example, chosen lifetime celibacy for various reasons since antiquity.

Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
It's gets much harder to say no which is why AVRT works so well. We are retraining our brains by being aware of these neural pathways that were created through repetitive compulsive use and not allowing those thoughts to come to fruition. As soon as those intrusive thoughts get going they get firmly shut down. NO! I never drink.
Although loosely grounded in basic neuro-science, AVRT does not depend on it. The retraining of the brain, as you call it, is simply a consequence -- a side effect -- of sustained abstinence. Just as the brain naturally adapts to the presence of foreign hedonic chemicals, the brain will naturally adapt to their absence. In our lingo, the Beast adapts to its cage.

If that natural retraining is seen as a contingency on definitive recovery, however, as with the idea of there being various stages of recovery, which one must successfully pass through before it is really, finally over, and no more drinking will ensue, then this supports the possibility of some more drinking. It is therefore Addictive Voice, by definition.
Algorithm is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
AlericB (09-24-2017), dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 09:27 AM
  # 66 (permalink)  
Member
 
AlericB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chester, UK
Posts: 684
zenchaser,

We need to recognise and separate from AV whenever it arises but IMO we also need to be honest about how we really think and feel. Feeling that you sometimes miss the good times you had when drinking is just being honest, and in letting these feelings be there without acting on them as you are doing is an example of being comfortable in the presence of residual desire.

When you say though that you sometimes get sad when you let yourself dwell on the past this is, IMO, not being comfortable with residual desire. You are trying to hold onto and perpetuate the pleasant feelings you once had and this is causing the sadness. If instead you just let these thoughts and feelings rise and fall of their own accord, without either trying to hold onto them or push them away, I'm sure you'll stay comfortable!
AlericB is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to AlericB For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 09:59 AM
  # 67 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
Zen

I'd say a lot of what you describe is AV.

Does the presence of your AV weaken your BP?

I have a real firm No Matter What clause , you ?
dwtbd is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 10:16 AM
  # 68 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,109
Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Zen

I'd say a lot of what you describe is AV.

Does the presence of your AV weaken your BP?

I have a real firm No Matter What clause , you ?
The presence of my AV doesn't change my BP in any way.

And it's not like I'm sitting around moping or anything. I'd be lying though if I said that there haven't been times where I felt a loss, but I don't think that's abnormal. I liked it so much that I did it until I had lost my power of choice and it was a huge deal to work up to being able to reassert myself and take back my control. Like I said though, it's only if I let my mind dwell on it. Most of the time I don't allow myself to.
Wholesome is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Wholesome For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-25-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 10:41 AM
  # 69 (permalink)  
Member
 
biminiblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 22,071
That's an interesting thing to say, though. "I did it until I lost my power of choice."

Until I lost my power.

I never lost my power, ever. If I had lost my power I never would have been able to stop and stay stopped. That's AV dressed up in its sheep clothing, that statement you made.
biminiblue is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to biminiblue For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (09-24-2017), dwtbd (09-25-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 11:51 AM
  # 70 (permalink)  
 
Algorithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
The finality of never again experiencing the pleasurable side effects of drugs and alcohol is a hard thing to accept.
No separation here, zenchaser.

The finality is a hard thing to accept for whom? For you, or for your Beast?

Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
I still have a sad feeling sometimes when I let myself dwell on it, and yeah most of it is AV but some of it is me too, I had some good times and sometimes I miss it. I don't know how that sits with AVRT, I feel like I'm making some kind of a betrayal by saying that out loud.
It's not a betrayal, in the sense you probably mean it, whereby people 'in recovery' sometimes don't like to admit that they have a desire to drink, since others with lots of 'sober time' often like to brag about how they now have 'no desire' to drink anymore, as if that were the holy grail of recovery, or something akin to firewalking.

Through the lens of AVRT, the desire for the absence of desire in order to abstain, is simply a plan to drink in its presence. Remember, also, that the Big Plan is the ultimate betrayal of the Beast. It will certainly feel betrayed, and miss its life-giving precious stuff. The Beast simply cannot do otherwise.

Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
Am I allowed to miss it? Or is that a weak spot in my BP? I would never act on it. Or is that what's meant when Algo says you live comfortably with residual desire, that I can feel that way and just let it be. Like breaking up with a person who was fantastic in bed but mean and abusive outside of the bedroom. You would never go back, but you also never totally forget about the sex.
The key to AVRT is the separation. Beasts have feelings, and those feelings of deprivation are the Addictive Voice itself, because they support the possible future use of alcohol and other drugs. You may simply recognize such feelings as AV, and attribute them to the dependent, quadriplegic Beast.

If you don't drink, then the caged dog barks in vain.
Algorithm is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 12:27 PM
  # 71 (permalink)  
 
Algorithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
I think an almost bigger religious-like reaction comes when people deny a pleasurable experience of intoxication. As if admitting it ,even to themselves , somehow contains a quasi original sin.
Likewise with the denial of the moral dimension of self-intoxication, also known as Original Denial in AVRT.
"YES! This is what life is all about! Nothing that feels this good can possibly be wrong, or even bad at all! It is not a moral issue!"
First words of the nascent Beast
Algorithm is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-24-2017), Fusion (09-24-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 12:47 PM
  # 72 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,700
When I first saw that term 'self-intoxication' , and forced by its impact to think ofall the ramifications ,I was gobsmacked and knew I was on to something
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
Fusion (09-24-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 01:43 PM
  # 73 (permalink)  
 
Algorithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
It sounds like the AVRT "beast" is more-or-less identical to the "devil"? I never understood AVRT as a religious program, but the parallels seem clear - living amoral entity trying to survive, two beings, one moral and the other an enemy, etc. Which is fine, there are after all lots of people who believe in the devil, but I never noticed this parallel before.
Humans are essentially self-domesticated animals, or very smart beasts, if you prefer Darwinism, but this parallel with the demonic has been explicitly covered before, in the main AVRT discussion thread. Given the many different AVRT-related threads that you regularly choose to contribute to, Jeffrey, you may want to consider reading through it if you get a chance to do so.

See this post regarding the parallel:

The Beast and religion... (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion Part 4)

Although the Addictive Voice is essentially the voice of a sociopath, notice that I chose the word amoral, rather than immoral, to describe the Beast. It is trying to live, and understands that abstinence means starvation and death. The Beast simply does what it must in order to survive, and as with most wild animals in the jungle, morals simply don't come into play in such a context.

Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
Back to my original question, I guess if one believes the beast never dies and is always there, waiting, then it is indeed a permanent affliction, and one can't drink because one doesn't want to because one always wants to, or part of one (the beast?) always wants to. So, thank you, I think I have my answer.
AVRT was synthesized into a coherent whole by a self-recovered individual from the reported experience of the self-recovered population. It is generally reported that re-addiction usually occurs comparatively more rapidly than the initial addiction, but that is not the only reason we assume that the Beast is permanent.

AVRT is patterned after the Addictive Voice itself, which argues both sides of all arguments, and part of the art of AVRT is to meet the Beast on its own turf, and to always play the Beast's trump card. By doing so, we don't allow the Beast any room to conceal itself, or allow it to create any loopholes to exploit.

This is why, for example, we abstain from the benefits of drinking, and not just from the downsides. If the Beast tries a fake, by suggesting that drinking doesn't feel good as of late, and that's the real reason we are abstaining, we simply call its bluff, and assume that it probably would feel very good. The Beast doesn't really care about the downsides, after all, and if we accepted such a premise, the Beast would only need to argue that it might feel good.

All self-doubt about abstinence is Addictive Voice, since it suggests the opposite, and the Beast cunningly boasts of its own silence, as in "I have no desire to drink". The Beast is saying, in effect, "Yes, you are doing well, for now, but that's only because I've been very quiet lately. You better hope that I keep quiet, though, because if I weren't quiet, then you might be in big trouble, and you might drink."

I do have a desire to drink, but that desire is not mine, but rather, that of my Beast, which is a quadriplegic, and which depends completely on me to feed it that precious stuff. Too bad for it.
Algorithm is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-25-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 02:40 PM
  # 74 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 170
Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
It sounds like the AVRT "beast" is more-or-less identical to the "devil"?
It is just The Beast. AVRT's precepts and vocabulary require no modifications.

It is not a religious program. In fact, it isn't even a program at all. You are constructing a straw man argument by saying it is so.

There is no parallel between any aspect of AVRT's Beast and the monotheistic religions and their view of Satan, devil, etc.

Drunkeness is not an affliction, like pleurisy, lumbago or consumption. It is a self-inflicted condition.

You should read up thoroughly on AVRT before you respond to any more AVRT posts, because you have major knowledge gaps.
Greenwood618 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Greenwood618 For This Useful Post:
Awake61 (09-25-2017), dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-25-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 03:12 PM
  # 75 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,109
Yeah, those thoughts are feelings are absolutely AV and it doesn't matter if they still exist in my mind, what matters is what I do, or rather what I don't do. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing something wrong because the thoughts are still there, not as frequently or with the same sense of urgency or ferocity, but I worry that it means it's not working or something. But of course, that worry is also AV. Anyways, it's cool. Not a big deal. Just thoughts and emotions, can't help those as long as I keep living
Wholesome is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Wholesome For This Useful Post:
dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-25-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 03:48 PM
  # 76 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 170
Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
Yeah, those thoughts are feelings are absolutely AV and it doesn't matter if they still exist in my mind, what matters is what I do, or rather what I don't do. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing something wrong because the thoughts are still there, not as frequently or with the same sense of urgency or ferocity, but I worry that it means it's not working or something. But of course, that worry is also AV. Anyways, it's cool. Not a big deal. Just thoughts and emotions, can't help those as long as I keep living
By far, the most frustrating aspect to observe in failed attempts at abstinence is what you have described as "feeling like I'm doing something wrong because the thoughts are still there."

While I know you are securely abstinent, similar thoughts completely derail other folks, as we can all read elsewhere around here.

I hate the wasted energy, the frustration, when it is so simply remedied, the misery alleviated.

The thoughts will never go away. No amount of planning activities, begging for attention or meditating will change that. Because those substitutes don't supply the deeply intoxicating, deeply pleasurable effect of alcohol.
Greenwood618 is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Greenwood618 For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (09-24-2017), Awake61 (09-25-2017), dwtbd (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-25-2017), Wholesome (09-24-2017)
Old 09-25-2017, 04:09 AM
  # 77 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,109
Originally Posted by biminiblue View Post
That's an interesting thing to say, though. "I did it until I lost my power of choice."

Until I lost my power.

I never lost my power, ever. If I had lost my power I never would have been able to stop and stay stopped. That's AV dressed up in its sheep clothing, that statement you made.
You are right about this bimini. Perhaps I should have said that I felt like I had lost my power of choice. The truth is that I had the power all along, my Beast just had me convince otherwise. There was no separation at all and that voice was me. It started out as, I party but it's not a problem, to, jeeze I think I'm drinking and drugging too much, to, OMG I wish I could stop this nonsense, to, f*ck I'm in trouble here I don't think I can stop. I certainly didn't feel powerful when I was drunk again just hours after I'd promised myself I was going to stop. But yes, if I had been authentically powerless I wouldn't be sitting here today abstinent 7 months and counting.


I let those thoughts in yesterday and that's all my AV needs, just a small opening, I have to be mindful of my thoughts. I can't control every thought that pops up in my mind, but I can control which ones I choose to engage with and respect or entertain, if that makes sense.
Wholesome is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Wholesome For This Useful Post:
Awake61 (09-25-2017), dwtbd (09-25-2017), freshstart57 (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-25-2017)
Old 09-25-2017, 05:59 AM
  # 78 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,109
Originally Posted by Greenwood618 View Post
By far, the most frustrating aspect to observe in failed attempts at abstinence is what you have described as "feeling like I'm doing something wrong because the thoughts are still there."

While I know you are securely abstinent, similar thoughts completely derail other folks, as we can all read elsewhere around here.

I hate the wasted energy, the frustration, when it is so simply remedied, the misery alleviated.

The thoughts will never go away. No amount of planning activities, begging for attention or meditating will change that. Because those substitutes don't supply the deeply intoxicating, deeply pleasurable effect of alcohol.
No, there is no replacement for the soothing effects of alcohol, or that rush of the first line of cocaine, or the euphoria of coming up on ecstasy. But there are natural ways to still find pleasure. Last night I went out to see a stand up comedian, Ali Wong, and it was great! I got a total contact high off collectively laughing with an auditorium full of people. Exercise is another way to get a high. So is sex. Even music and dancing to music. It's not the same as chemical highs, but they still feel damn good. I think being active and seeking out new ways to find joy and pleasure is really important.


I know what you mean though about those thoughts derailing people, it wasn't that long ago that I was in the same boat so I empathize a lot with those people. I used to fold like a cheap suit to my AV's commands all the time, I even knew it was happening but it just seemed so hard to keep trying after so many failed attempts. I lost heart. That's part of why I posted about it yesterday, to show people who might be reading that it's normal to have the thoughts, it's ok if they don't go away, they only have as much power and control over you as you allow. I also just like talking about AVRT and trying to understand and learn about it more.
Wholesome is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Wholesome For This Useful Post:
Awake61 (09-25-2017), Fusion (09-25-2017)
Old 09-25-2017, 11:03 AM
  # 79 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 170
Originally Posted by zenchaser View Post
But there are natural ways to still find pleasure. .
Just as a thought exercise, let me pose a question: what if there were no alternate sources of pleasurable experience, the kind that releases dopamine, lifts you on the shoulders of your grateful coworkers and carries you off the field with the gold medal around your neck?

I sounds weird - very weird - but I have learned to be happy without pleasure and not make my well being dependent on pleasure.

Sounds weird, but no weirder than most of the **** AV you used to throw around.
Greenwood618 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Greenwood618 For This Useful Post:
Wholesome (09-25-2017)
Old 09-25-2017, 11:42 AM
  # 80 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,109
I don't know Greenwood, I think the dopamine reward system is something none of us can escape from, it's how our brains work. It's where we get our motivation and survival instincts from. If I was forced to live without it I think I would wither away. You say you live without it, but I find that hard to believe, you must have things that you find rewarding and pleasurable in your life. For some people the reward is in the denial of the pleasure, I'm not saying that's you, obviously I don't know you. Even something as basic as eating is pleasurable or being outside on a nice day, ahhhh that sun feels good!
Wholesome is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Wholesome For This Useful Post:
Fusion (09-25-2017), Mireille (09-25-2017)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:01 AM.