Blogs


Notices

I have a question

Old 04-08-2018, 01:13 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,701
The Beast is the desire for alcohol , and the AV is any thought, feeling, or image of future drinking and any doubt in one's ability to remain abstinent.

The AV is the bark of the Beast , just as the bark of the dog is not the dog itself , AV is not the desire , it is any thought that acted on will lead to an indulgence of the Beast .
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (04-08-2018), daredevil (04-08-2018), Morning Glory (04-08-2018)
Old 04-08-2018, 03:33 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
Member
 
RecklessEric's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Dublin, Ireland.
Posts: 605
Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
Next Question. How do you ignore something that seems to be screaming at you constantly. I'm am trying to think of this in terms of quitting smoking. I can relate to that. The longest I went without smoking was 5 weeks and it never got easier. It was constant.
CBT would suggest you don't ignore it.
You would argue with it.
"I really would like a cigarette. And I may even enjoy it. But I would be disappointed with myself and .....and so on".

With me, it was "I'm anxious, a drink will calm me down. But every time I drink, I end up more anxious after a night of being drunk and stupid. I can get through this anxiety without drinking because I have done so before. It's unpleasant, but there are things I can do while the anxiety lessens it's hold on me".

CBT helps identify the thought processes we go through.
RecklessEric is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to RecklessEric For This Useful Post:
AlericB (04-08-2018), MindfulMan (04-08-2018), Morning Glory (04-08-2018), tyler (04-08-2018)
Old 04-08-2018, 07:09 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
 
Algorithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
How does one differentiate the AV from the beast? Are they actually two discrete entities, or is one a machination of the other?
Although covered in the original post I linked to, I'm nonetheless glad that you asked this question, daredevil, because it is an important distinction in AVRT, which is commonly overlooked.

As dwtbd noted, the AV is the 'bark' of the Beast, but the AV is not the Beast itself. This may seem inconsequential, since it largely does not exist in other recovery paradigms, but it aids in separation, which is why I keep repeating that:

AV ≠ Beast

Bark → Dog : AV → Beast

In AVRT, unlike other recovery paradigms, the Beast, while the source of the Addictive Voice, is not considered the cause of the addiction. The Beast is absolutely powerless, without any means to secure its interests -- the next fix. All it can do is to 'bark' AV.

Originally Posted by Jack Trimpey, RR: TNC, Pg. 84

Whether or not others care about you, love you, support you, or encourage you to succeed, you will be tested, and you will either pass or fail. The test will be in the form of real life experience when your Addictive Voice acts up. If you recognize it, you will pass, and if you fail to recognize it, you will drink or use.

From: Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction
by Jack Trimpey (Page 84)
Remember also, that without a Big Plan, there is no AVRT, because the Addictive Voice is also simply any thinking or feeling that contradicts your Big Plan in any way, shape, or form.

All self-doubt about future abstinence obviously fits the bill.
Algorithm is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
daredevil (04-08-2018), Dropsie (04-09-2018), dwtbd (04-08-2018), Morning Glory (04-08-2018), soberlicious (04-08-2018)
Old 04-08-2018, 10:17 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
No Dogma Please
 
MindfulMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,562
Originally Posted by RecklessEric View Post
CBT would suggest you don't ignore it.
You would argue with it.
"I really would like a cigarette. And I may even enjoy it. But I would be disappointed with myself and .....and so on".

With me, it was "I'm anxious, a drink will calm me down. But every time I drink, I end up more anxious after a night of being drunk and stupid. I can get through this anxiety without drinking because I have done so before. It's unpleasant, but there are things I can do while the anxiety lessens it's hold on me".

CBT helps identify the thought processes we go through.
My CBT guru suggested to passively observe your cravings. It worked for me. Fighting them just made them stronger.

I would also recognize the distorted thinking that they caused, and replace it with more rational thinking.

"Only a drink will calm me down."

"Look, a craving. It's also all-or-nothing thinking. There are many things that can calm me down, and the respite that alcohol will give will come back 10fold when the buzz wears off."

By that point the craving was pretty much gone.

I do have to say that cold-turkey cigarette quitting the first time (for 9 years) was the hardest thing I've ever done. Harder than any other drug. I picked up smoking in rehab and smoked for about 100 days. That time I just decided not to buy another pack in the morning when I ran out, but would get some later if I felt the need. I never felt the need. That was in August.

I think the Wellbutrin also helped.

I had a lot of help to quit smoking the first time, with Chantix. Alcohol cessation was in rehab under medical detox.
MindfulMan is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to MindfulMan For This Useful Post:
AlericB (04-08-2018), Dropsie (04-09-2018), Morning Glory (04-08-2018), tyler (04-09-2018)
Old 04-09-2018, 01:44 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
Member
 
AlericB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chester, UK
Posts: 684
Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
My CBT guru suggested to passively observe your cravings. It worked for me. Fighting them just made them stronger.
I agree that fighting craving is never going to work in the long-time but, as you say, this does not mean that we have to passively accept that we are going to have to experience desire and cravings forever because we can change our thought process about it .

We can change the way we think about a substance and whether our reckless use of it is something we want for the rest of our lives. If we decide that we really and truly don't want all the chaos any more and would prefer to be without it then we simply won't want the substance in the same way. This means that we also won't desire or crave it because this comes from what we want, not from an external or 'alien' force.

I gave up pretty much chain smoking several years ago and I have no desire or craving for it now because it's just not something that I want to do.
AlericB is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to AlericB For This Useful Post:
Morning Glory (04-09-2018)
Old 04-09-2018, 05:33 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
Administrator
Thread Starter
 
Morning Glory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: CA
Posts: 10,657
Blog Entries: 2
I think this is my last question.

How do you get to the point of "Never" when the biggest part of you feels like that is not possible and you can't find any part in you that wants "Never".
Morning Glory is offline  
Old 04-09-2018, 06:15 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,701
Find that smallest part of you that wants to, is willing to stop Now . Breath. And make a promise that right Now I won’t , make a promise that you will never ,Now.
Luckily it’s always Now .

Never is addiction’s secret weapon, “Never say never” Flip it .

Having said that , who would need to know how to get to the ‘Never point’ if they didn’t have even an iota of wanting to see something end , an iota is enough, more than enough.
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (04-09-2018), biminiblue (04-10-2018), freshstart57 (04-09-2018), Fusion (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-09-2018)
Old 04-09-2018, 09:34 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
 
Algorithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
How do you get to the point of "Never" when the biggest part of you feels like that is not possible and you can't find any part in you that wants "Never".
It helps to understand that there are, in fact, two survival mentalities competing with each other for control.

The Beast ("IT"), which views abstinence as a death sentence, and the "I", which understands that continued indulgence means very big problems, and eventually, death.

The Beast will attack your confidence to abstain, even your character, and will argue that you are congenitally defective, in dire need of that precious stuff in order to be able to live a normal life.

All lies, of course.

Addiction is a prison without locks, since the exit is readily available. Warden Beast screens all thinking for any incipient plans to cut off the supply, however, and IT will add its two cents if you consider walking through the exit.

It will paint life as a boring, meaningless, hollow existence outside of ITs prison yard, and paint itself as a loving friend, always there in times of need. Within the bubble of addiction, this illusion appears to be reality.

It takes, unfortunately, a leap of faith to burst the bubble. Find that tiny spark of hope for freedom, and fan it into a roaring flame. The exit has been there all along.
Algorithm is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Algorithm For This Useful Post:
biminiblue (04-10-2018), Fusion (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-09-2018), Wholesome (05-02-2018)
Old 04-09-2018, 09:34 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
No Dogma Please
 
MindfulMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,562
I didn't want to negotiate with alcohol any more. Any "moderate" drinking would be a constant negotiation and struggle. What's fun or enjoyable about THAT?

I came to the "never" gradually. I started in rehab with "I just need to get through detox, then I'll be fine. Doc says I should stay the full 30 days, that should be enough."

Rehab was 12 Step based, and as I had never tried to quit before, it was all new. Step 1 just kinda happened. As I looked at my life I had to admit it WASN'T a mostly sober time with a few spikes of drug use and drinking....more like years of using with a few stretches of sobriety, which would happen after a particularly nasty self-detox or consequence. At the time, I WAS powerless over alcohol and drugs. As I'd woken up in a room wondering when I'd installed sprinklers in the ceiling and had no idea where I was and only vague memories of how I got there, they had me there. My life was pretty unfreakingmanageable. Step 1 is like being at a mall and realizing that you are at the "You Are Here" dot.

I didn't really take to 12 Step, but as I was there for 30 days (and stayed an extra week) and the facility was 12 Step based, it was kind of unavoidable. I went from saying 30 days to 90 days to 6 months to a year. Gradually a switch just kinda flipped. I realized I was no longer a drinker. Period. Alcohol was off the table, and so were coke, benzos, and any other garbage I'd put in my head.

I never made a Big Plan, again it just sort of happened.

There was a young woman, about 22, stunningly gorgeous in my 2nd (outpatient) rehab, which was CBT based. Initially in outpatient she'd sneak into the bathroom and smoke meth. This was before I got there. She went back into inpatient where a "switch just flipped." She was also bipolar, and extremely damaged. Sexual abuse from her father and uncles, a narcissistic mother who took her to Vegas on her 18th birthday and bought her an 8 ball. She got VERY into NA/AA/CA and talked about it constantly. Told me if I really wanted to stay sober I should commit to the steps and a sponsor. She was the shining star of the group, and EVERYONE said as she approached graduation that she spoke the truth and was going to be better than OK. After her graduation ceremony, everyone was commenting on how much progress she had made and how she was going to kick the world's ass. I very quietly said "She will relapse and fall hard within 2 weeks." They all were aghast. I was a horrible person.

About two weeks later they found her passed out in a park after she'd disappeared from her sober living for 3 days, stoned on meth, coke, vodka and acid.

Never does work. Unlike many here, I think 12 Step recovery works for some. It worked for me in early sobriety until I could get into my CBT group, after that "never" has so far been good.
MindfulMan is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to MindfulMan For This Useful Post:
Fusion (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-09-2018), tyler (04-10-2018), Wholesome (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 01:25 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
Member
 
AlericB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chester, UK
Posts: 684
Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
How do you get to the point of "Never" when the biggest part of you feels like that is not possible and you can't find any part in you that wants "Never".
I think to be happy and feel secure in your abstinence you have to find that part of you that wants 'never'. This can only be done for finding the reasons why you would rather be abstinent. This could be something simple - in my case it was to save a marriage or more complex such as to regain a sense of self-respect.

I don't buy into the argument that says if your abstinence is dependent on a reason then it is not secure because what if that reason no longer held? What if my marriage failed even after I stopped drinking? I would then look for another reason to stay sober such as so I'll be in a good shape to meet someone else .

I think the precise opposite to this argument is true. I could be abstinent just for the sake of it with no motivating reasons but I would be much happier being abstinent for good reasons. I am a person, not a logic machine. The truth for me is that I am more likely to succeed in something if I believe in the reasons why I am doing it. This applies to quitting just as much as to anything else. I think it's rather an academic debate anyway because it's not as if good reasons are ever hard to find .

So the word 'Never' is not a daunting thing because at every moment in your life you will always be staying with your plan to quit for good reasons, ones that makes you happier than abandoning your plan could ever do.
AlericB is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to AlericB For This Useful Post:
freshstart57 (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-10-2018), tyler (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 06:33 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
Not The Way way, Just the way
 
GerandTwine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: US
Posts: 1,414
Blog Entries: 13
Hi MG,
I think you’ve come up with some great questions about using AVRT. I hope the answers you have received, (even those encouraging you to base your not smoking on their philosophy instead of using the simple Technique of Addictive Voice Recognition) have helped you in your quest to quit nicotine.

Here’s a quote from Terminally Unique that may help you refocus on AVRT, which is your interest here in this thread. It works for ending smoking just as well as ending drinking - once and for all time.

Originally Posted by TerminallyUnique
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 [a] 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...

AVRT creates a combative, oppositional attitude patterned after the Addictive Voice itself, and it is not a contemplative, reasoning, approach like REBT."
I really like this last sentence from Trimpey’s quote within TU’s quote. I KNOW that for myself, this has made it SOOooo easy over the decades to count the time I spend on “to drink or not to drink” in seconds, (not even minutes, let alone hours and days) spent with CBAs and ABCs.

As I look back, I know my happiness has been MUCH higher using AVRT than if I had spent hours and days PURSUING happiness about WHY I wasn’t drinking any more.
GerandTwine is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to GerandTwine For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (04-11-2018), Fusion (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-10-2018), Wholesome (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 06:39 AM
  # 52 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 572
Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I really like this last sentence from Trimpey’s quote within TU’s quote. I KNOW that for myself, this has made it SOOooo easy over the decades to count the time I spend on “to drink or not to drink” in seconds, not even minutes, let alone hours and days spent with CBAs and ABCs.
REBT relies on DISPUTATION.

While disputation may entail contemplative reasoning, disputation requires challenging a thought or belief.
Disputation doesn't necessarily entail vacillation, so 'to drink or not to drink' doesn't have to be part of the equation.
daredevil is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to daredevil For This Useful Post:
Morning Glory (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 07:46 AM
  # 53 (permalink)  
Not The Way way, Just the way
 
GerandTwine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: US
Posts: 1,414
Blog Entries: 13
Hi MG,

I’m wondering what was going on in that fifth week when you quit smoking for 5 weeks. And I think of the unexpected thoughts and feelings I was having when I quit drinking. A huge ritualized habit that involved really nice sensations was missing from my life. What was I going to do about it? I suffered the grief and sadness and I took to accepting it. I took all the unexpected consequences of quitting as just part of what I needed and ultimately wanted.

Before making my Big Plan, the reasons for quitting were important to me even though, afterwards, why I quit didn’t matter any more. I knew I couldn’t go back. That was the deal.

What about the personal morality reason for making a Big Plan against Smokey the Beast? We all know smoking will very likely shorten your life, and all of us here know how wonderful it would be if, in the more distant future, you will still be here so others may take advantage of your unique and successful style of administrating SR. Some of us in the SR ‘family’ wish we could give you an ultimatum. (I suppose we could go on a general strike, but seriously)

You have every capacity, right now, to take your reasons for quitting to the max and with mental bolts of lightning chisel your pledge for yourself, to yourself, in your mind like one of the Ten Commandments on that mountaintop in the movie.

Others can lovingly help motivate you to decide to become a permanent non-smoker. But as the action of encouraging you fades slowly into oblivion, it finally does end up that nobody will dwell upon what you chose to do.

GT
GerandTwine is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to GerandTwine For This Useful Post:
Fusion (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-10-2018), tyler (04-10-2018), Wholesome (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 07:52 AM
  # 54 (permalink)  
Not The Way way, Just the way
 
GerandTwine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: US
Posts: 1,414
Blog Entries: 13
Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
REBT relies on DISPUTATION.

While disputation may entail contemplative reasoning, disputation requires challenging a thought or belief.
Disputation doesn't necessarily entail vacillation, so 'to drink or not to drink' doesn't have to be part of the equation.
But it does entail choosing whether or not to ‘vacillate’. Otherwise it would be debating on whether to close the door after the horse has left the barn.
GerandTwine is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to GerandTwine For This Useful Post:
Algorithm (04-11-2018), Fusion (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-11-2018), Wholesome (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 10:32 AM
  # 55 (permalink)  
quat
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: terra (mostly)firma
Posts: 4,701
Big Plan
iota



The Plan is all anyone can see and the foundation is quite big enough.
dwtbd is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dwtbd For This Useful Post:
biminiblue (04-10-2018), Fusion (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-13-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 10:39 AM
  # 56 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: PRINCETON, TX
Posts: 113
Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
I'm going to have to read this several times to understand what you are saying.
Ditto
golfreggie is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to golfreggie For This Useful Post:
Morning Glory (04-11-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 10:44 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
Administrator
Thread Starter
 
Morning Glory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: CA
Posts: 10,657
Blog Entries: 2
Thank you. You have all given me food for thought.

I've realized that smoking for me is mentally the same as eating and drinking is for my physical survival. Bottom line is survival.

I had surgery recently and couldn't have food, water, or smoke. Those are my 3 survival mechanisms. I can live without anything else. I think smoking really does play a part in my mental and emotional survival and it doesn't get replaced when I quit. My brain does not have the ability to feel any pleasure due to years of complex PTSD. I think smoking is the little bit of pleasure in my life that I can actually feel.

So it is a basic survival instinct that is as strong as hunger and thirst.
Morning Glory is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Morning Glory For This Useful Post:
Fusion (04-10-2018), ru12 (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 11:13 AM
  # 58 (permalink)  
Member
 
AlericB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chester, UK
Posts: 684
It felt like that to me too but now I think it was illusionary. If it was a survival drive I think some people with highly specialised training and/or motivation would be able to starve or thirst, if that's the right word, themselves to death but I doubt millions could whereas millions do manage to quit.
AlericB is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to AlericB For This Useful Post:
freshstart57 (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-10-2018), tyler (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 03:33 PM
  # 59 (permalink)  
Member
 
ru12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Eastern Us
Posts: 1,367
MG,

Smoking is a tough one. The way you describe it as such a pleasure I can see why it is so hard for you to quit. You have made it as precious as food and water! If you haven’t yet maybe get a copy of Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking from the library. It might help you reframe the value you are giving to smoking.

About Never. It is a big and scary word. To say you will never smoke or drink alcohol again can be difficult to really believe. I choose to use ‘now’ instead of ‘never’. As in ‘I don’t drink in the now (or in the present moment). To me I can certainly not drink or smoke right now. When I get to the future it will then be the ‘now’ and I don’t drink in the now.

Maybe I just confused the issue, sorry if I did.
ru12 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ru12 For This Useful Post:
freshstart57 (04-10-2018), Morning Glory (04-10-2018), tyler (04-10-2018)
Old 04-10-2018, 07:16 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
Administrator
Thread Starter
 
Morning Glory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: CA
Posts: 10,657
Blog Entries: 2
I understand the always now concept really well.
That is not confusing. I'll try reading the book.
Thank you.
Morning Glory is offline  

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 05:15 AM.