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Trying AVRT again

Old 06-28-2018, 12:02 PM
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Trying AVRT again

I've had a long history of cocaine abuse (10 years), been trying to give up and then chronicly relapsing the past 3 years or so.

I read Rational Recovery last year after yet another bender but really struggled with the concept of never doing it again.

For so long I could not accept never, particularly as I was not a daily user but more of a periodic binger. It was easy to give up for a few weeks but not so easy to stay given up, as my AV would convince me hey it'll be different this time, you can handle it, just do a little bit, it's a special occasion blah blah blah I'm sure you're all familiar with the excuses.

This year alone I've given up and gone back to it on at least 6 occasions. It seems like every time I take it, I 'give up' on the comedown and that lasts a few weeks before my AV tells me I wasn't serious and c'mon its time to party.

Well, I refuse to be so easily defeated. I realise now that I can never do drugs again, I have to let go that illusion of being in control and admit that it just messes me up, every time. The last time, I ended up coming home at 8 am feeling like the lowest piece of scum ever, still wired, unable to play with my kids.....

I've accepted on a deep level that it's over, I can't do drugs again. I've made my BP to just never use again no matter how much I may want to. My beast is grieving- I'm getting feelings of sadness and defeat which I assume is the beast as the real me is surely jubilant at my decision to quit?

I'd like to think I can make it stick this time. How do I know when I've turned the corner?
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mirrorball View Post
I'd like to think I can make it stick this time. How do I know when I've turned the corner?
When you've quit questioning it.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:14 PM
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Welcome aboard and congratulations on your decision!

Feel free to assume 100% confidence in your ability to remain abstinent, any doubt is by definition AV and entirely dismiss-able .

Intellectually, I’m pretty sure you understand that it is possible for you to live the rest of your life free from living by the dictates of indulging the Beast's desire for more coke, yeah? The time you spend existing here on earth between sessions is proof or your existence without it , yeah?

The AV shuts up , usually, around 8am feeling like crap , is kind of a hard case to make for party time. Not indulging the desire is almost easy in that instance , the illusion is that not indulging the desire is harder a week or so later around 9 pm.

The emotional security you can give yourself will come when you intellectually accept/understand/embrace the idea that you are never going to feel the 9:30 pm awesomeness again . Deciding to consciously commit, unconditionally to permanent abstinence will produce the emotional euphoria of knowing you will never again feel the 8am wired .

Knowing/accepting/wanting to never get high again, fully and purposefully foregoing the high and the deep pleasure it brings is how to quit. Trying to avoid the 8am wired , because it sucks, isn’t enough, lamenting the wasted time and money, damage to mind , body and soul isn’t really enough. Quitting in the face of negatives isn’t enough without attacking/acknowledging the positive, the deep pleasure of the high and the pull for more .

Identify, separate and dismiss the desire and trust your ability to succeed in dismissing the AV 100% of the time , you got this

Your decision was the corner , congratulations! 8am can be now, from this moment forward ‘just’ the start of every day and you have given yourself back the ability to make every one of them as fantastic as you can or want , congrats !
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for your reply DWTBD.

I want so much to make this work this time! I have finally come to the conclusion that I can't have it both ways - can't have the occasional blow out without getting further into the addiction. The last time I quit (seriously quit) I went without my DOC for 3 months, until new years eve, where the addiction just picked up where I'd left it before really. I tried to do the 'occasional' thing and it didn't really work.

I think you are right that I have to accept I cannot have the deep pleasure again, that's what I'm trying to do. It's a trade. If I want to be free of the addiction (and I deeply, deeply do) then I have to relinquish the nice bits.. the allure of the buzz... no way I can have both.

It feels like giving up a dysfunctional relationship with a lover.. you know it doesn't work and you need to split but they've been part of your life so long. You have shared some good times together along with the bad. You're not quite sure how you'll live without them but know without a shadow of a doubt that you can no longer live with them.

I know I'm doing the right thing, but my beast feels bereft, confused and very sad, like I'm abandoning it. I was expecting anger or scorn from my beast, not this. For so long, this was my little secret thing, my secret thrill....

I want to live the rest of my life as a non drug user though.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:39 PM
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Drugs were my first addiction, the drinking came later. I used to love doing drugs, I thought they were so much fun. My Beast still mourns drugs from time, even writing this out is flooding me with memories of the good times. Drugs blew my mind and made me reorder my life around that need to feel high, over all the rest the things that should have really mattered to me. Addiction and the AV rewires our brains with a new survival mandate, "Do it! Damn the consequences!"

When I quit I had to accept that I was never going to do it again, no matter how my Beast felt about it. Because like you said, I couldn't really get better and leave the door open for dabbling. Can't have both. I can tell you with total sincerity it's better on the other side. I would never go back to living that way. Sure I had fun times with drugs, but it came with such a price. I never knew the kind of peace of mind I have today without all that noise about being addicted. I have genuine happiness today and I used to be always somewhat depressed because what goes up must come down. The good times were killing me. Ya know?

Stick around, learn to recognize your AV, cage that Beast. Onwards.
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
Originally Posted by mirrorball
I'd like to think I can make it stick this time. How do I know when I've turned the corner?
When you've quit questioning it.
Thoughts, including questions, that come to mind are perfectly harmless. With Addictive Voice Recognition Technique, you know what to do with them.

For instance, I can shift my thoughts into a questioning mode and come up with the idea “What if I wait and have a drink on my deathbed, like a famous recovery person tried to do?” There, I actually thought about having a double scotch on the rocks with the ice tinkling the glass and recognized the attraction. Maybe it could augment pain medication I might be taking, if any, when I’m about to die.

Well, all I did next is to Recognize that question as my Addictive Voice. It was not ME. I cannot still feel the desire to drink or drug some more. When the desire arises, and comes to consciousness, I simply separate and call it my AV. All grief over not drinking/drugging and loss of the whole “high” persona is IT.

About quitting the assault of chemically induced deep pleasure by taking the Big Plan pledge, I use the analogy of going out of the blinding sunshine into a world famous museum. Everything inside is dimly lit to protect its longevity. At first you can’t see a damn thing. You might “turn the corner” and harmlessly bump into a wall. Then, as your eyes acclimate you begin to see the most incredible things, things that need no further adjectives to explain their awesomeness, the life of a teetotaler.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:04 AM
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Thank you to everyone who has replied, it is really good to speak to other people who understand, even though our DOCs may be different it is all the same underneath, I believe.

I went out last night and my Beast was having trouble understanding the never again thing, in the past I've always said 'never again' and then given in, so it may take a while for the penny to drop for IT?

I did something yesterday to mark the significance of my decision - there is a town near me noted for selling jewellery, I went and bought a beautiful pendant made of fordite, this is my sobriety pendant and I'm going to go somewhere beautiful in nature, reaffirm my BP and put it on me.

It cost me around the same as a gram of cocaine, but if I ever use again I won't be able to wear the pendant, and it's a really beautiful, unusual piece of jewellery and I don't want to not be able to wear it! Sounds stupid huh but I felt like doing something to show I'm serious about this.

Doing healthy things today - I'm doing a mindfulness course, and I've booked some sessions with a running coach,. I'm going to a music concert later, and in the past that would have been an excuse to use but luckily the friends I am going with aren't in to that (they all gave up long ago, I should have done too).

Feeling good about my decision today and that's what it is at the end of the day.. a decision not to use again, as easy or hard as that is.

I like the thing about the museum Gerardtwine - when ever I've had any periods of sobriety, I've really enjoyed them, getting my health and energy back, so why I've always chosen to go back to my DOC I have absolutely no idea, I guess the Beastie doesn't let go easily and has always managed to convince me it's a good idea.
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Old 06-30-2018, 03:46 AM
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That's a nice idea about your pendant mirrorball. I like that. Wait until you start to see how much more money you'll have once you aren't dropping a fortune on blow! You will be able to buy yourself so many beautiful presents!

Your AV will quiet down over time. It's easier if you don't engage with IT. Just push those thoughts away and focus on other things. It's when we respect those thoughts and argue or ruminate over them that it can start to feel like a struggle. In my early days I took up some new hobbies that required my full attention. I exercised a lot. I avoided the people I used to party with and stayed away from those scenes. Those things aren't necessary, because the idea that I would need to do those things to stay sober is AV, but it helped me to shelter myself somewhat. Why put myself through situations where I knew my AV would be all over me?

You get to decide when you've turned a corner. It ends the minute you say so. It will also be as difficult as you decide it will be. It's all about perception.

I love GT's analogy about the museum. It's so true. I've discovered so many treasures and have a totally different appreciation of life, and it just keeps getting better. I was selling myself short, but I couldn't see it, my AV blinded me.

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Old 06-30-2018, 05:12 AM
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Yeah, when i get the thoughts I am just thinking 'there's the beast, it's obviously not got the message yet that I've given up'.

Is that the right way to do it? In the past I've started arguing with it. and then ended up giving in.

It has been going for it today, telling me the concert later will be so much better with some blow. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't .. that's irrelevant. The next day sure wouldn't be better. Besides, I don't want to do it any more, so I have to learn to live without it. For a better life OVERALL not just the 3 hours at the music concert.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:43 AM
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The AV will argue both sides for you. Your answer is always just NO. As far as you're concerned there is nothing left to argue about, you don't use, no matter what. Your addiction Beast will always think it's a good idea, and you will always think it's a bad idea. Over time those neural pathways won't be as strong, a lot of this is habituated thought and patterns. You will form new ones, and it will get easier.

Have fun at the concert! Who are you going to see? I used to think I needed something to enhance the music or the experience, but that's just another lie my AV told me.

I'm on my way up north shortly for Canada Day weekend with a trunk full of fireworks instead of beer. Mommy's going to blow sh*t up instead of get loaded this weekend haha!
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:49 AM
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I'm going to see hacienda classical which is basically 90s house tunes played on a classical orchestra in an outside venue!

I've been to it before 3 times - 2 times sober, 1 time not... to be honest I had as good a time the sober times as the other, and no comedown the next day. My beast is still trying to lure me saying 'hey there's still time.. you could go and get some and no one would know...' but I'm sick of being on this merrygoround and if I'm going to learn to live without it, it may as well be now.

Ah so is the AV both voices when I am doing the shall i -shan't i thing? I though the AV was just the voice that wanted to use.. I suppose if I am even having to justify NOT doing that that suggests that doing it is an option?

I'm thinking that I'll get a real buzz when I wake up with a clean head tomorrow feeling proud of myself so I'll wait for that.

Besides I want to wear my pendant.

Enjoy your fireworks!
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:28 AM
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That sounds like an awesome concert! I would love to hear that. I'm going to look into whether that ever comes to where I live.

Yes the whole mental dialogue is AV, that's the addiction talking to you. Your job is simply to recognize your AV and to never act on those thoughts.

For sure you will feel better tomorrow without a coke come down.... ugh those were the worst! Total garbage. Only the first line was any good, after that I would just be chasing it. Total waste of money. Plus you'll be able to enjoy the music instead of hiding in bathrooms or whatever.
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:36 PM
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I prided myself on my low-to-medium-dose polypharmacology approach to Coachella, usually entering the festival sniffling a nose full of blow, with a pretty hefty alcohol numbness, some 'shrooms kicking in, maybe some 2CBs and with a few E tablets in my hands, a tiny nibble of marijuana edible, eating one right before security and securing the rest so it wouldn't be found. Last year was Soberchella. I had no idea what to expect. It was way better. I was in fantastic shape, and I REMEMBER the whole experience. It was in a weird way far more psychedelic. I had been to very few concerts sober. Amazing how attuned you are to music when sober.

What helped me tremendously was an exercise where we made four columns and filled them in.

The Pros of using
The Cons of using
The Pros of NOT using
The Cons of NOT using

It's pretty instructive. Once you accept the fact that past experience overwhelmingly shows that a single use of a substance (drink, line, hit, whatever) will lead to drastic overuse and consequences, the above grid makes the above a no-brainer.

I think of the first step, but modified. I'm not powerless over my substances (and blow was DEFINITELY in the mix). However, once I have a drink or a line or a hit, I am pretty much powerless from following the tape to its nasty and logical conclusion to a place of horrible regret.

Add to that how wonderful life becomes while NOT on drugs, even things like music (and for me, sex) which can be assumed to be ALwAYS better enhanced by substances and you pretty much won't really even want to do another line or hit.

That was true for me, anyway.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:37 AM
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So I went to the gig last night and I have to say, my AV was whinging the whole way through 'can't believe you didn't pick up.. it would be sooo much better if you'd had a few lines...' etc.

My friend who I went with is struggling as her partner is an alcoholic and shows no signs of trying to give up or even admit he has a problem.. she was saying 'why can't he see how much he has hurt me' and saying that their relationship was basically over, only she can't afford to move out (has a small child) and it made me feel racked with guilt over how I've treated my partner /family and put me on a bit of a downer to be honest, although an appropriate one as guilt is an entirely rational reaction in the circumstances.

Ended up texting my partner to apologise for if I'd hurt him, and he said if I was wasted all the time he would have considered leaving me, and the kids knew I was a different person when I was on one or on a comedown. And I thought gosh, I can't let this thing destroy my family any more, I'm not that far away from it really affecting my relationship with my family and my husband will leave me if it gets any worse or I go back to it.

So I have to say I didn't really have a good time at the gig with all this going on in my head.. my friend sensed something was not right and afterwards I told her a little of what I was going through. She knows I used to use a lot, and that I still do sometimes, but doesn't know the full extent of it... I don't think anyone does.

I am struggling with the concept of permanent abstinence on one level, but also thinking that in time I'll get used to the idea and the only way to free myself is to just go for it.

In time, my 'saying no' muscle will get stronger and I'll hopefully reach a point where the idea of permanent abstinence isn't so difficult.... I know I can't go back to it but my AV is really grieving, struggling, writhing with this notion. Almost like it is saying to me 'but you can't really mean it this time... you've always gone back before' . It really is struggling with the concept of 'never' today even though I've come to the conclusion that it's the only way to break free. Will this get any easier? Is it just a matter of coming to terms with my decision? (or, for my beast to come to terms with my decision)

I will try the exercise mindfulman... I totally get what you are saying about how single use leads to overuse and consequences. So hard to admit it, but the truth sets us free.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mirrorball View Post
She knows I used to use a lot, and that I still do sometimes, but doesn't know the full extent of it... I don't think anyone does.
This is your Addictive Voice trying to convince you that you’re succeeding at getting people to think you are a moderate cocaine user and that’s what really matters. Con artistry matters, secrecy matters, getting that chemically enhanced assault of deep pleasure stupidity matters.

Originally Posted by mirrorball
I am struggling with the concept of permanent abstinence on one level, but also thinking that in time I'll get used to the idea and the only way to free myself is to just go for it.

In time, my 'saying no' muscle will get stronger and I'll hopefully reach a point where the idea of permanent abstinence isn't so difficult.... I know I can't go back to it but my AV is really grieving, struggling, writhing with this notion. Almost like it is saying to me 'but you can't really mean it this time... you've always gone back before' . It really is struggling with the concept of 'never' today even though I've come to the conclusion that it's the only way to break free. Will this get any easier? Is it just a matter of coming to terms with my decision? (or, for my beast to come to terms with my decision).
Addictive Voice Recognition Technique isn’t about muscular strength or power. It’s about you honoring a simple but profound act of your will that takes less than a minute to accomplish - “I will never drink/use again.”

A “ ‘saying no’ muscle” is an AV idea, as if the best you can do is to continually re-decide what to do every time the idea of snorting some blow comes up and hope your ‘saying no’ muscle is stronger than your saying yes muscle. AVRT is not an arm wresting “white knuckling” type of activity.

Very quickly you’ll realize AVRT works well only with a Big Plan. Might as well make it sooner rather than later.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:19 PM
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Thanks.. but as I get used to saying 'no' won't it get easier to do so? As I'll be forming new neural connections, that of not giving in as opposed to giving in.

I'm struggling with the concept of making a decision at one point in time that is binding on all other decisions in the future. That seems to be to be saying 'I won't do x because I decided at point y in the past that I wouldn't do x again'... Is that essentially what the big plan is? What is to stop someone 'changing their mind' about not changing their mind? Just the fact that you gave your word to yourself? Is a BP pretty much just a promise to yourself?
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:28 PM
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Yes a BP is a promise/pledge one makes to one's self. There is no way to prove to anyone else that it has been made , no evidence to show.

The thing with making a BP is that you only do it once, lying to yourself isn't an option, I've tried and "I " knew

Saying No is never harder than it is, the only thing that wants to give credence to that notion is the AV and for obvious reasons.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:36 PM
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You may only make a BP once, but surely you have to honour it many many times over, every time you hear the AV in fact?

So what is to stop someone making it, and meaning it at the time, but then failing to honour it in the future? In the past this is what I've done, repeatedly.

This time I have just basically realised that I either stop for good, or I'll keep going round and round the addictive cycle, and there's too much at stake. In the past I've never quite accepted this, always thinking I can continue to dabble - to the point where it's quite illogical that I could believe that but still I did. I've been feeling huge amounts of grief/sadness at this decision/realisation that it's 'over' (or, my beast has) more so than ever before which makes me feel like maybe this time I'm actually serious.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mirrorball View Post
You may only make a BP once, but surely you have to honour it many many times over, every time you hear the AV in fact?

So what is to stop someone making it, and meaning it at the time, but then failing to honour it in the future? In the past this is what I've done, repeatedly.

This time I have just basically realised that I either stop for good, or I'll keep going round and round the addictive cycle, and there's too much at stake. In the past I've never quite accepted this, always thinking I can continue to dabble - to the point where it's quite illogical that I could believe that but still I did. I've been feeling huge amounts of grief/sadness at this decision/realisation that it's 'over' (or, my beast has) more so than ever before which makes me feel like maybe this time I'm actually serious.
All the times that I quit temporarily I did it because I wanted to avoid the bad things that were happening from getting high.

When I eventually quit for good it was because I was finally willing to give up forever that deep tsunami of pleasure that I had grown so accustomed to.

I learned that pain and negative experiences are forgotten faster than pleasurable positive ones. So, knowing I would forget the bad feeling and still remember the good feelings, it was important for me to Recognize from the moment I made my pledge of permanent abstinence that I was giving up FOREVER that assault of chemically enhanced, ecstatic stupidity that I had grown to love over more than ten years.

So, you’re right. ALL the negative/bad thoughts and feelings about quitting for good are IT, your AV.

Tell us now. What are the GOOD thoughts/feelings you have when you realize your addiction can be OVER today.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mirrorball View Post
Thanks.. but as I get used to saying 'no' won't it get easier to do so? As I'll be forming new neural connections, that of not giving in as opposed to giving in.
The neural connection AVRT makes is a ‘short circuit’ with the word NEVER regarding ANYTHING to do with YOU acting upon your BEAST’s Addictive Voice. It cuts short any acting upon that old desire. That short circuit in my mind allows me to spend no more than a ten seconds per year on recovery.
Originally Posted by mirrorball
I'm struggling with the concept of making a decision at one point in time that is binding on all other decisions in the future. That seems to be to be saying 'I won't do x because I decided at point y in the past that I wouldn't do x again'... Is that essentially what the big plan is?
Yes.
Originally Posted by mirrorball
What is to stop someone 'changing their mind' about not changing their mind? Just the fact that you gave your word to yourself?
YES!
Originally Posted by mirrorball
Is a BP pretty much just a promise to yourself?
YES!!, YESSS!!! You’ve GOT IT!
Isn’t it AMAZING?
Your loved ones will sooner or later catch on, too, that you’ve REALLY DONE IT. TRUST CAN RETURN.


The BP has been around as the pledge of abstinence for thousands of years. It has been taken by millions of people. But even if YOU or I were to be the very first and only one to do it? The BP would STILL be a perfect IRONCLAD barrier against your or my future use of mind altering chemicals.
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