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I drank a liter of vodka over the weekend

Old 06-03-2018, 08:06 AM
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The key isnt the nature of the questions (whether drinking aligns with one's values, whether drinking is worthwhile). The key is their source. Are those your questions, or the beast's?
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:49 AM
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tursiops999, in the lens of AVRT, of course, it’s the beast. There is absolutely no reason I can’t take a permanent, unconditional pledge never to drink again, and never to change my mind.

As a matter of utility, however, I imagine there are times and things in life that may happen that would be intolerable, circumstances so unfortunate, that the promise of oblivion would seem, at that moment, not only viable, but preferable.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
I did a cost-benefit analysis yesterday, and I realized that hijacking my life for 30 minutes of ‘enjoyment’ (after the first 3-4 ounces of liquor, I don’t even enjoy it) and tempting fate with the silliness of sporadic drinking has no place in my life. It doesn’t align with any value of mine, so I’m putting a permanent end to the silliness.

That said, I can envision someone saying, ‘if drinking sporadically ever does align with your values, will you drink again?’ Is your value system a contingency upon which abstinence depends?

Or, in the alternative, if the cost-benefit equation ever indicates that that 30-minute reprieve is worth possibly hijacking your life and tempting fate, is that a contingency upon which abstinence depends?

Both would be good questions.

I am putting a permanent end to the silliness, with contingencies.
Congratulations, daredevil.

Regarding alcohol/drug use, your value system could evolve in two directions.
One, to lead you to accept the sort of irrational finality of a pledge without contingencies and make it, because it is so liberating to the rest of your life.
The other, to lead you to a decision to try moderate, occasional, or very infrequent drinking again. (Would you actually plan to just get silly drunk again?)

AVRT aside, taking the very ancient, useful, and silently popular pledge of UNCONTINGENT permanent abstinence is a very personal and profound event. Even Rational Recovery makes a point of this in “The New Cure for Substance Addiction”.

Whether you make the uncontingent pledge sooner or later, from that time on your evolving value system would have no future influence upon getting you to drink some more.

I’ve lived many years with a non contingent pledge of permanent abstinence, and it has never had an influence upon my value system. Why? Because it is about NOT DOING such a minuscule, tiny, super-specific behavior - swallowing ethanol. Of course, I see evidence of ethanol/drug consumption in society and I have an interest in the history of that consumption. My point is, having taken the non-contingent pledge is very, very UNCONNECTED with the rest of my life.

I think people who take contingent pledges as you have done today, and are not dependent upon the Recovery Group Movement, often sooner or later come to recognize this UNCONNECTEDNESS and simply and unremarkably take away all contingencies from their pledge and get on with life. That’s how I made my Big Plan for smoking.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
As a matter of utility, however, I imagine there are times and things in life that may happen that would be intolerable, circumstances so unfortunate, that the promise of oblivion would seem, at that moment, not only viable, but preferable.
If you take the unconditional pledge, then no - oblivion never seems preferable. In the frame of AVRT that’s just your beast talking. In my case, I unconditionally accept that drinking with always be a worse decision than not drinking. I cannot explain why I know that, and I’ve accepted that I’ll never know “why”. Nor can I ever change that fact.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:12 AM
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Yesterday the cost benefit analysis was calculated against a half hour of enjoyment. So drinking for the buzz , yeah ?
And your calculus determined it isn't worth the sporadic silliness at this juncture, by may well be worth it at a future time.
Have you now added calamity to the cba , or now have simultaneous but separate cbas?
And of course , you will concede that weighing/valuing is being done by your Beast , the actual circumstances to Your life notwithstanding, for more booze. (?)
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Yesterday the cost benefit analysis was calculated against a half hour of enjoyment. So drinking for the buzz , yeah ?
And your calculus determined it isn't worth the sporadic silliness at this juncture, by may well be worth it at a future time.
Have you now added calamity to the cba , or now have simultaneous but separate cbas?
And of course , you will concede that weighing/valuing is being done by your Beast , the actual circumstances to Your life notwithstanding, for more booze. (?)
One CBA-- all factors considered, but yes, you got the jist of it.

Calamity is a huge one.
And yes, I concede the weighing is done by the beast because it allows for the prospect of drinking.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tursiops999 View Post
I know there are many sober people on SR who found this saying helpful, and i respect that. It didnt ring true for me, though. At the time i quit, i still really wanted to drink (or in retrospect, my beast did). But quitting was not about wanting, it was about choosing. Its about picking a side, or it was for me anyway.
It is ultimately a variation of the 'rock bottom' idea, whereby one sits around, passively waiting for the necessary motivation to abstain to magically appear, all the while, drinking some more. The problem is, that said motivation may be a long time coming, if it ever does, while one waits passively, sinking ever deeper along the way.

The Beast will kill its host, and possibly others, in order to survive. Not because it wants anyone dead per se. In the natural world, parasites don't generally 'want' their hosts to suffer and die, but that often certainly is a side effect of their attempts to sustain life. Best to create one's own moment of clarity, IMO, rather than to simply wait for it.

I recall reading somewhere about raising the bottom...
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Algorithm View Post
It is ultimately a variation of the 'rock bottom' idea, whereby one sits around, passively waiting for the necessary motivation to abstain to magically appear, all the while, drinking some more. The problem is, that said motivation may be a long time coming, if it ever does, while one waits passively, sinking ever deeper along the way.

The Beast will kill its host, and possibly others, in order to survive. Not because it wants anyone dead per se. In the natural world, parasites don't generally 'want' their hosts to suffer and die, but that often certainly is a side effect of their attempts to sustain life. Best to create one's own moment of clarity, IMO, rather than to simply wait for it.

I recall reading somewhere about raising the bottom...
People quit when the consequences of drinking exceed the benefits.. Whether they're actually weighing the consequences against the risks is immaterial; but that's when people quit.

The impetus to stay quit is a different thing and a separate assessment.

I don't think people drink, passively, waiting for rock bottom.

But everyone would be served to have their own moment of clarity.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
People quit when the consequences of drinking exceed the benefits.. Whether they're actually weighing the consequences against the risks is immaterial; but that's when people quit.
And, Daredevil, you’ve spoken about other people, but please forgive me for intruding, but on a personal note: what do you think?
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:59 PM
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I stated what I think, Tatsy, having asked more than a dozen people why they quit.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:01 PM
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I’d also like to know what people think, especially those people who say they’d never drink, no matter what, if some calamity occurred.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
I stated what I think, Tatsy, having asked more than a dozen people why they quit.
Hi Daredevil, in my experience it matters not what people’s reasons to quit are. If you extend that to the population ( far more than a dozen) the reasons are myriad. What matters, is how they’re going to quit.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:10 PM
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Through the AVRT lens, I think people do drink passively.

When they indulge the desire for alcohol, drink, they are "all Beast" , they passively let the Beast dictate their alcohol consumption related actions( and consequently live through the aftermath, the hangover, regret , guilt ect ect) until sometimes ,as you said, those consequences become too much to bear, and sometimes not even then, yeah ?

I'd be embarrassed , after the fact of course, that I'd slur and stumble in front of my kids and would also not like to repeatedly hear the conversation from my wife about what that kind of appearance is like, the effect on the kid.. yada yada , but when the urge came I'd passively indulge, my own little cba and the buzz always won out.

The first few pretty much felt like me in semi control , the first hints of the buzz and then the deepening pleasure but at some point the illusion would fade , I'd be all 100% Beast and the only thing that mattered was More.

And really More during a 'session' is , at least to a person willing to let the Beast run riot, conceivable yeah?, "I drink to get drunk , so yeah really drunk is even better"

The real Boozer lifestyle is when More isn't just about sessions, More is guaranteed future sessions. Family finds you passed out in the kitchen on the way to school?, regrettable? sure , a reason to quit? hell no , definitely plan to slow down , take it easy for awhile you bet.

The first one and the next few were Me agreeing with the AV, shortly after the buzz kicked in good , no more AV , all Beast .

Not to mention all the 'fun' of indulging enough , often enough , to become dependent , but still worth it for awhile , yeah ?
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:15 PM
  # 74 (permalink)  
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Tatsy: what matters is that people quit, and the reasons to do it—not the how. Everyone who quits does so because they want to, and then they choose a program of recovery.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:16 PM
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dwtbd: and in the case of a calamity. Why wouldn't you pick up?
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:23 PM
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I don't drink, is the simplest answer.

I drank with calamity before , and I got good and drunk
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
People quit when the consequences of drinking exceed the benefits...

The impetus to stay quit is a different thing and a separate assessment.
How so? Are you suggesting a brand new C-B-A every single time the urge to drink appears? That almost sounds like 'white knuckling'.

That, right there in bold, in your post above, is likely the problem, by the way. The very problem that AVRT tackles head on from the outset -- no holds barred. The Big Plan is a chosen irrationality, patterned after the Beast's very own addictive mandate to 'never say never' to the possibility of drinking some more.

As long as the Option to drink some more remains on the table, the Beast has hope -- and time -- on its side. Brand new CBA's can always differ from previous ones, after all, especially if the Beast adds its two cents into the calculus.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
dwtbd: and in the case of a calamity. Why wouldn't you pick up?
Not directed at me, but I had a calamity this week. Did I pick up: No. would I have picked up having performed a CBA, probably, for the oblivion, to turn the devastating feelings of loss off.

Thankfully, I’ve the ultimate power of NO: I will never drink again, NOW, and never change my mind. So when I awake tomorrow, my sub-conscious mind will have been busy during the evening, processing my grief, as it has the last few days, hopefully coming to terms with it. Instead of drowning out my feelings and going into denial and could’ve, should’ve, would'ves.

If I’d done a CBA, I’d probably have determined that I’m justified for drinking myself into oblivion because my CBA says I warrant it to drown out my sorrows! No. No can do. I have a Big Plan that I’ll never drink again, thankfully, so I’ll awake tomorrow, able and ready to deal, properly, and humanly, with my loss
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:31 PM
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Tatsy: before I respond on the merits, I would like to extend my condolences for your calamity. I am glad you had the resolve not to drink through it, and that’s great to hear.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:32 PM
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The beast will always argue that the benefits exceed the cost. Just read around SR, and you'll find folks who are still drinking despite disastrous consequences. It's an ever-receding goal post, and the beast will never concede. When i quit, the benefits still outweighed the cost, or at least that's what i thought ( or my beast thought).

Calamities were a big one for me, and i have to admit that when i first quit, i may have reserved a contingency for calamaties, deep in my mind. However it didn't take all that much sober time for me to understand that I can bear calamities far better than my beast would have me believe. Beasts want us to believe we're weak, damaged, and unable to bear pain, when we are none of these things.
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