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Old 03-20-2018, 02:46 PM
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I have a question

I've followed posts from all over these forums for many years, but I've always had a question about the Big Plan and AVRT that I never received an answer to or missed it if it was posted.

How is the Big Plan and AVRT different from Will Power? I have never, ever been good at Will Power. If I was introducing an alcoholic to AVRT how would I explain the difference or is there a difference?
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:46 PM
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From p. 208-9, Rational Recovery, The New Cure For Substance Addiction, The Revolutionary Alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous, by Jack Trimpey, 1996.

AVRT Is Effortless
There is no reason, ever, to negotiate or attempt to reason with your Beast. You will struggle if you do. “White-knuckling” is often a result of negotiating with the Beast, as in “Should I or shouldn’t I? Maybe I’ll just stay sober for today, and tomorrow will take care of itself. Oh, maybe I can have just a little.” And so on. Reasoning dignifies ideas of drinking; negotiation shows your willingness to compromise. Any idea of drinking is instantly recognizable, so shoot from the hip. When you hear or feel the Beast stirring, think, “Gotcha!” Instead of saying no, say never.

The greatest irony of AVRT-based recovery from addiction is that recovery is easy, not difficult. For the same reason that willpower doesn’t work, AVRT is effortless. If you stop to think of it, “will” has nothing to do with “power” any more than intelligence has to do with brute force. “Will” is neocortical; “power” is subcortical. AVRT is “your” will over “its” power, the human over the subhuman. Joining the two words together and saying “Willpower doesn’t work” is like pointing out that you cannot teach a dog to talk. Your will is nothing more than a very intelligent decision to abstain for good. Free will is what makes you human. When you have made a decision to abstain, recognition of the Addictive Voice in your thoughts, behavior, and feelings is effortless. Either you recognize it or you don’t. If you do recognize it, it will struggle. When you feel the struggle, you are on top. It is your Best that is struggling, not you. All you did was recognize it effortlessly.

(End quote)

AVRT above is a trademarked acronym meaning Addictive Voice Recognition Technique.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:03 PM
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It's probably natural to assume that any approach such as AVRT that maintains that addiction is not a disease must then be saying that addiction is about willpower.

If you see someone drinking to the point that they are ruining their lives and the lives of other it's hard to make any sense of it other than to think they have a disease, in which case there's not much they can do about it, or that they are compelled by some kind of force in which case they are able to do something i.e. fight it by using "willpower".

If you think of willpower like this then it doesn't really square with the AVFT and the Big Plan. But another and probably more accurate meaning of willpower is that it's the power of choice and this obviously fits very well with this paradigm which sees drinking as something you choose to do and so can be stopped by choosing to do so.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:48 PM
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From the Rational Recovery website.

(Quote)

Definitions:

Addiction:
Persistent use of alcohol and other drugs against one’s own better judgment.

Big Plan:
A personal commitment to lifetime abstinence, “I will never drink/use again.”

Addictive Voice:
Any thinking that supports or suggests the possible future use of alcohol or other drugs.

(End quote)
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:38 PM
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Think about this sentence from the quote in post #2

“Joining the two words together and saying “Willpower doesn’t work” is like pointing out you cannot teach a dog to talk.”

This sentence is based on the imperfections and limitations of language and gives an understanding into why the compounding of the two words “will” and “power” must be broken up again to restrict the meaning of power to one thing - subcortical “power” - the power of animal life that has ruled life for billions of years. “Will”, based on memory, language, and the ability to inhibit animal power is probably around a million years old - brand new in comparison.

But as I look around us at what the “will” of homo sapiens has done here on Earth it’s easy to see how “will” can dominate and control animal “power” when it wants to. Thus society.

Thus the Big Plan’s usefulness, and it presence throughout history. The simple pledge “I Will Never Drink Again.”

These 5 words have quite simple and crystal clear definitions. So, language works very well in making this sentence create an ironclad Plan, created by “will” and installed into memory as the foundation ending a “power”ful addiction.

Keeping in mind that in AVRT:
Addiction = persistent (2 billion year old craving-oxygen-like-appetite driven) use of alcohol/drugs against one’s own better judgement)

And the process of getting alcohol/drugs into the body must pass directly under the nose and eyes into the mouth or through an injection into a vein. It’s not like an itch that we scratch unconsciously. It is EXTREMELY full of deliberation and complex activity.

So, the Big Plan has a LOT going for it. This makes it ironclad. The Big Plan CAN be done PERFECTLY.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:21 AM
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I'm going to have to read this several times to understand what you are saying.
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Old 03-21-2018, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
I'm going to have to read this several times to understand what you are saying.
____________________________________________
Shaka, when the walls fell.
I understand. Language can be far from being an ideal communicator. My point is that Trimpey is trying to make it as specific and unambiguous as possible. I think he has done that.

It took me a while to understand your signature line, a quote from the “Darmok” episode of Star Trek wherein Picard and Dathon learn to communicate. Not with sentences, but with words and phrases.

I believe that episode is actually a good example of what this thread is trying to do. On the one hand, Trimpey is like Picard using words with crisp translatable meanings. On the other hand “generally accepted recovery beliefs” are the Tamarind form of communication. Tamarind use of English and syntax are imperfect, allegorical, fraught with ambiguities, and tied to many past anecdotal emotional experiences.
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Old 03-21-2018, 02:01 AM
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Given the human mind’s ability to appreciate many different allegorical stories about the very same past event, there may be another way to compare the Darmok episode to this thread.

Trimpey says on the RR website “Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®) is the lore of independent recovery from substance addiction in a brief, educational format.”

Taking the “lore of independent recovery” is combining hundreds of similar annecdotal observations (as Trimpey has done over the decades with his clients/customers) putting it all together and distilling it down into its essential parts. Sort of like the Tamarians do to communicate and structure their society.

The essential parts of AVRT are:

1 - The Structural Model of Addiction - man v beast - in the human brain.

2 - The Addictive Voice - the Beast’s access to human language and emotions.

3 - The Big Plan - breaking apart willpower, pitting them against each other within one addicted brain, and showing how the “will” can instantaneously subdue the “power” of ancient appetite perfectly and forever to end addiction.

And Trimpey’s last book is called “The Art of AVRT”. The “Art”. In it, he is trying to put AVRT into a larger context of understanding human foibles that cause social decay. A lot of it has to do with the idea of animal appetite and immediate gratification over personal responsibility and the “will” to inhibit our own animalistic “power”.

I’m hoping he comes out with a new book someday soon.

Hoping to cut back on Kadir beneath Mo Moteh and SR children, their faces wet.

Or to add my own Not the Way way, just the way
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
It's probably natural to assume that any approach such as AVRT that maintains that addiction is not a disease must then be saying that addiction is about willpower.

If you see someone drinking to the point that they are ruining their lives and the lives of other it's hard to make any sense of it other than to think they have a disease, in which case there's not much they can do about it, or that they are compelled by some kind of force in which case they are able to do something i.e. fight it by using "willpower".

If you think of willpower like this then it doesn't really square with the AVFT and the Big Plan. But another and probably more accurate meaning of willpower is that it's the power of choice and this obviously fits very well with this paradigm which sees drinking as something you choose to do and so can be stopped by choosing to do so.
The reason “power” in AVRT and the Big Plan is relegated only to the animal appetite is that the Big Plan is just several seconds of neuron synaptic activity which takes virtually no power compared to the huge investments of real power over time that the subcortical appetites require to keep our bodies alive. So, using “the power of choice” when trying to discuss AVRT is either a mistake or a trial red herring balloon floated in to see what it can do before it pops. Well, POP!

“...and can be stopped by choosing to do so.” very conveniently avoids “never” and leaves choice in the present participle state “choosing” as if it is an ongoing deliberation weighing pros and cons, and denying the possibility that a Big Plan could even exist. POP! to that one, too.

The reality is that drunkards pledging “I will Never Drink Again.” has been successfully taking place for millennia. And it takes just several seconds of thought for anyone to institute that pledge, It is a singular once in a lifetime choice to eliminate any future choice about whether or not to drink. Like I said a few days ago, it is rewiring a new super-fast neurological highway directly from thought and feeling to “INACTION” - intentionally doing nothing and moving on to the next thing. A super-fast shutdown switch to any choosing at all.

But it’s even more than that. Trimpey has told many drunkards that even if NO ONE in the history of all mankind had EVER succeeded at making the Big Plan, it takes NOTHING away from his/her ability to do it instantaneously at that very moment, or any future moment (medical detox possibly included).
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Old 03-21-2018, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post

Like I said a few days ago, it is rewiring a new super-fast neurological highway directly from thought and feeling to “INACTION” - intentionally doing nothing and moving on to the next thing. A super-fast shutdown switch to any choosing at all.
I'll disagree here. Neurological rewiring takes time and repetition.
I agree with the rest of your statement.
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Old 03-21-2018, 02:39 PM
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I have a hard time understanding because I have to break it all down and figure out how to apply it so it becomes real.

I have been trying to figure out Romans 7 for decades and this reminds me so much of the same thing. One is in spiritual terms, but I think the concept is similar.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
I have a hard time understanding because I have to break it all down and figure out how to apply it so it becomes real.
If you know someone who finally quit smoking and that was the end of it - it’s probably like that.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RecklessEric View Post
I'll disagree here. Neurological rewiring takes time and repetition.
I agree with the rest of your statement.
Yes, it does take time and repetition for some actions. Someone once posted a link to a video of someone learning to ride a jerryrigged bicycle that turned left when steering right and vice versa. It took a long time to rewire that skill, and then more time to re-learn the regular way all over again.

But it’s different when a child learns “I will not touch that red hot part of the stovetop again.” There is no series of action skills needed. He/she just has to stand there and mentally react. It may take a second or two the second or third time, but it quickly takes less than a split second. That’s what I’m calling the super-fast shutdown switch. It happens whenever I get offered a drink of alcohol and when my brother-in-law recently suggested I try smoking pot again.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:30 AM
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For most folk, the real nervousness comes in with the second part of the pledge.

They may be OK with "I will never drink again", but get nervous when adding and "I will never change my mind."

MG, if you are still struggling with the difference with willpower I get it, but it is different, its just hard to articulate why.

For me, willpower comes in when I want to do something and I am not allowing myself to do it.

But with the big plan, once I decided never to drink and never to change my mind, I did not need willpower because I had decided not to drink, so "I" no longer wanted to do it. Even though my brain thought otherwise based on its desire to "help" me out based on coping skills that I no longer needed or wanted.

But once I told my AV a few times thanks but no thanks, it started to learn that I meant my promise and moved on to other things.

But for it to work, you need to be 100% committed to the promise.

Weird, but it works. I promise. At least it did for me and many others.

I still do other stuff to fix myself in other ways, but on drinking, I am done.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:30 AM
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I think it differs from willpower because once you make the BP you decide never to reconsider your decision. If you are using willpower you have to make the decision not to drink over and over again. Th BP is a one and done decision to never drink again and to never change your mind.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:30 AM
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Agreed!
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:25 PM
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That’s a succinct and accurate description of the difference, ru12, to my way of thinking.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:56 AM
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Ok let me start by saying I'm not intending to debate or put down anyone's beliefs.. I just sometimes like to over analyze things and these are my observations. With AA you are surrendering your control to a "higher power". With AVRT you are securing control over your "inner beast". Either way it's a projection, a splintering of the self.

Two sides of the same coin imo. I didn't find the idea that there's a beast locked away inside me particularly helpful, just as I did not find the idea that there's a benevolent man in the sky setting me free of addiction to be helpful either.

Maybe in time I'll be able to better articulate what I do believe and find helpful on this subject.. At this point I'm at peace with my sobriety and don't feel the need to question it or find a suitable "method", but I do find these discussions super fascinating.

Thanks to all who contribute here.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:48 PM
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Won’tpower is surprisingly easier to wield . (hattip Tatsy)
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:21 PM
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I'll add to what ru12 said.

One might think of 'willpower' as choosing not to drink/use, one desire at a time. The Big Plan, however, removes the Option of choosing one way or the other, and solves the addict's Shakespearean dilemma (to use or not to use).

The second difference from what is usually thought of as 'willpower' is in the use of recognition, and attribution, to maintain separation. I want to use, but I won't use, for example, is not AVRT.

"IT (my Beast) wants to use, but I never use", in contrast, is certainly AVRT. The separation extends to feelings around using, such as "drinking feels good" (For whom? For my Beast.)

As long as the expression of the addiction (the Addictive Voice) is recognized and attributed, so that the addiction remains an IT somewhere "out there", it loses its perceived power.

If this is difficult to visualize in practice, consider that we do this all the time when reading, for example. As I read your posts, Morning Glory, I am hearing a voice in my mind's ear, and it sounds a lot like my own voice. As I read, however, I recognize that voice in my mind's ear, and attribute it to someone "out there" who goes by the name of Morning Glory.

That voice I hear in my mind's ear, as I read your posts, which sounds very similar to my own voice, is not mine, but rather, that of Morning Glory.

AVRT is somewhat like that in practice.
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