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AVRT and Relapse Struggle

Old 03-31-2019, 07:54 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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I do not believe in a one size fits all solution to sobriety. I use AVRT. I actually learned the concept back in NA in the 90's from my sponsor. I have always known that my addict is separate from myself. It has it's own voice and can be louder than mine if I allow it. The other thing I learned is that I cannot do this alone. I have failed miserably over and over again trying on my own. I do attend AA meetings. I am not working a program or anything, but for the most part the meetings help me. I can talk about my struggles and get feedback. It reminds me that I am not alone. I take what I need and leave the rest. I get to practice tolerance while I am there because of the whole God thing. I do have moments that make me uncomfortable, but I just move past it because I know the meeting helps me. AVRT is an important part of my sobriety, but it cannot be the only thing for me. I just need more.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:03 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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"I do not believe in a one size fits all solution to sobriety. "

AVRT , as far as I can tell isn't the only solution to sobriety.

Abstinence is the only solution to addiction and that isn't just pointing out a semantic quibble. It is highlighting a conceptual difference.

Drinking and drugging are artificial, supplemental modes of existence. Not participating in those activities , their absence isn't an alternative state of being, not ingesting consciousness altering chemicals is the 'norm' is the natural, unadulterated state of being.

Viewing sobriety as an end state to strive for , for me, was giving myself the default position as a drinker/user. Practicing purposeful abstinence altered that default , I became what I was ( and always could have been) a person living life albeit with a small caveat: a teetotaler .

I don't view my mode of living as 'sobriety', or being 'sober', I am 'sober' but only because I refuse to live as a slave to intoxication ever again, by refusing to self intoxicate.

Life is a lot of things and sometimes it can be hard. Seeking help and support to meet challenges life can hand out is a good positive strategy and should be encouraged for everyone.

Having difficulty reconciling the fact that the solution to addiction is abstinence and that entails never getting to get high again can be a challenge but that is really outside of the solution , yeah ?

AVRT as a solution can/will lead to living comfortably with residual desire.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:11 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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I also used many different methods and groups and anything I could get into to get sober. At times I also found AA/CA useful. I also never formally "did AVRT," I had already decided that I was no longer a drinker when I read the AVRT material. I think it's the combination of my sobriety methods that have gotten me there and have lead me to a place where I rarely crave alcohol. This last craving was the first in over a year and was triggered by an extremely emotional event. I'll take those odds.

My continued sobriety method is to use this principles and to come to SR. But if I felt the need for more community or in-person support other than my therapist I wouldn't hesitate to go to a meeting.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:16 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Mindful Man ~

I just wanted to express my sorrow at the loss of your beloved Dog. Our current 4th Goldie Dog is very much a Family Member, and this one will be especially rough when that awful Day comes.

I haven't any choice this go-round but to face this Pet loss while Sober. A recent Dog Cancer scare shocked me into preparation. Everything turned out fine, but caused me to realize what the inevitable future holds. Goldies are predisposed to Cancer, and life beyond his current 10 Years is considered to be a gift. So, I'm now treating it as such.

I commend you on your Mental Acuity, and plan/hope to do as well.

From a former, fellow S. Californian...
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:29 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Thanks Mesa.

Rotties are also prone to cancer, but I got lucky with my first one, he lived to be 14. Nearly unheard of.|

I had two months warning with Otto, the steroids bought us that much time when the symptoms disappeared, but I knew it would be back.

I'll get a puppy end of summer/early fall.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:25 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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MindfulMan I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved dog. I absolutely understand your heartbreak, my dogs are my world.

Great that you have separated from your beast again Tammy
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:10 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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I just came on your thread, and so I read it all at once to the end as I didn't want to post without reading all of it. Very happy for you, Tammy. And kudos to dwtb, awesome stuff. Exactly what I was thinking as I was reading - it's the separation, old friend! Glad this stuff still rings for you. Onward!
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:52 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
I just came on your thread, and so I read it all at once to the end as I didn't want to post without reading all of it. Very happy for you, Tammy. And kudos to dwtb, awesome stuff. Exactly what I was thinking as I was reading - it's the separation, old friend! Glad this stuff still rings for you. Onward!
You’re still here still giving sage advice I am sure. It was nice to see a member I remembered.

I hope you are well, freshstart!
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:35 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tammy711 View Post
Because I want to drink.
Is that really you that wants to drink, though? Because the "me" that wants to drink is not me.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:44 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Tammy,

Thanks so much for starting this thread, which is really thoughtful and helpful.

And I am so happy to see you doing so well.

Mindful,

I am sorry for your loss, and happy to hear you will be getting a new puppy.

Best to all.
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:24 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Thanks Dropsie.

I was thinking about Otto a lot today, and was watching rottweiler training videos to mentally prepare for the task of a new puppy. Damn it's gonna be harder at 57.

I took a friend to the symphony (Beethoven's 4th and 5th Piano Concertos at the Walt Disney Concert Hall) on Friday, which was breathtaking. Speaking to him really puts grief into perspective. He's about 10 years younger, and last December lost his wife after a 4 1/2 year battle with glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly awful form of brain cancer. They've been together for over 30 year and were really each other's first loves. His level of grief is nearly beyond comprehension to me.

We talked a lot about the need to be in a group that understands, so hopefully he'll get some grief counseling. I know that in early recovery I really needed AA to speak with people that had been through what I was going through. Nobody who hasn't actually been in recovery really understands what it does to you, both difficult and good.

Thanks to all for your kind words about Otto. It's not nearly at the level of what my friend is going through, but it still hurts.

And I won't drink over ANY loss at this point. Just gotta feel the feels.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:27 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tammy711 View Post
That is all it takes a simple, “not me.” Whenever a thought or feeling related to drinking surfaces, I quickly respond, “not me.” I say it with confidence and maybe even a little amusement, but the AV seems to shut right down and I am on with other things.

I started doing that last weekend to help with the separation of the real/true me and AV/beast. I am trying not to be skeptical of how well it works. I have had a stressful week, both at work and home. Honestly - those stressors didn’t bring about any real desires for stopping to get a bottle.

My new go to phrase kind of reminds me of the end of the last Hunger Games movie when Peeta would have to ask Katniss, “real or not real” in order to confirm his visions/thoughts were real or just in his head.

I know my beast lay asleep with one eye half open, but I am living with both eyes wide open. My energy levels are back (at least in the mornings). I actually walked into work a couple days last week with this huge smile on my face saying to myself, “I feel fantastic!”

I wanted to thank those again who helped me. I am very excited and optimistic about my future again.

I hope everyone is well.



-
Just read through all of this. This is AWESOME. When I had the revelation that I could externalize my addiction and separate myself from it, it was a truly life-changing notion. I could start to feel my AV bargaining, suggesting, laying the path to relapse brick by brick, and stop it in its tracks. I love the "not me" line you've decided to use.

Before reading about AVRT here, I had literally never considered this as an option. I was inexorably tied to my AV, I was my AV. Now it almost feels like my AV is a different person (which of course it isn't). And the AV isn't some irrational/diseased thing, either. It's perfect rational to want to

Let us know how this new realization treats you in the days ahead!
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Old 11-03-2021, 06:03 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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I enjoyed this thread a lot! I also had never heard of AVRT before SR , had previously only tried white knuckling my way through not drinking.
The day I went for a walk, after reading about AVRT on here, is crystal clear in my head. I told my family I needed to go out, barely waited for their response. Ten minutes away I stopped in the middle of a park, it was raining, but fresh and the trees were that new green of early summer and everything seemed actually 'magical' - Despite the magic, terror gripped me so I felt dizzy almost sick. I said out loud. 'I will never drink again and I will never change my mind'. My heart was pounding, my brain felt like it would explode, my body felt like it would fly apart. It was an extraordinary moment - I guess I named the beast - I have not killed him and he prowls around , sometimes snarling, sometimes whimpering, but wow that day was a powerful one for me, life changing . It may sound dramatic, it felt dramatic, it was dramatic, it was me deciding I wanted to claim my life back from the jaws of addiction.
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Old 11-11-2021, 01:50 AM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dustyfox View Post
Despite the magic, terror gripped me so I felt dizzy almost sick. I said out loud. 'I will never drink again and I will never change my mind'. My heart was pounding, my brain felt like it would explode, my body felt like it would fly apart... It may sound dramatic, it felt dramatic, it was dramatic, it was me deciding I wanted to claim my life back from the jaws of addiction.
That sounds like one powerful moment.
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Old 11-14-2021, 04:17 PM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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DriGuy - It was.
After drinking alcohol from the age of 14 in varying degrees of excess/moderation/excess/etc/etc - ad infintum and lying to myself for most of the ensuing decades about my 'problem', having allowed the 'Beast' to live right by me, controlling much of my life, the moment I said those words was absolutely terrifying. 183 days later, I am shocked, utterly shocked that it took me so long to stop. The power of the AV is great, but once named that power is vastly diminished. Now instead of the AV being a gargantuan black wolf snarling with red eyes and a hunger that demands feeding - now it is a whimpering thing that lurks mainly in the shadows. Will it ever be gone? Maybe Driguy you can answer that - I am too new,

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Old 11-14-2021, 06:46 PM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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The shiny eyed Beast is an avatar , the Beast is a quadriplegic parasite that has no agency to wield over You , you have to acquiesce and then act to indulge Its urges.

You decide when the acquiescence ends. The freedom from voluntarily serving Its needs was always waiting to be reclaimed , don’t ever give it back.

Break the illusion of the avatar and see the pathetic little whiny parasite for what It really is , doesn’t matter if It ever goes away , because You decide the relevance It has to Your actions .

You got this , Rootin for ya
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Old 11-16-2021, 09:04 AM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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Actually I have been thinking about my last sentence - 'will the AV ever be gone' - It sounded as if I was somehow leaving some teeny tiny crack of daylight for the AV to slip through and get me drinking - that is not the case - I will not drink ever again - but I hear 'his' voice and in a way the very 'sound' of my AV reminds me usefully that I will NEVER drink again.
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:11 AM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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"Having" or "hearing" the AV isn't an impediment to abstinence, pouring booze into your gullet is.
Btw, using terms like booze and pouring into gullet ect , are terms and phrasings I was never comfortable articulating, they 'felt' too 'pedestrian' and pejorative. Post Big Plan, I am practically agnostic to a normative judgement about such language, but when I use them now I do feel it 'tweaking' the Beast , and that is just an added bonus
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Old 11-20-2021, 10:54 PM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dustyfox View Post
Now instead of the AV being a gargantuan black wolf snarling with red eyes and a hunger that demands feeding - now it is a whimpering thing that lurks mainly in the shadows. Will it ever be gone? Maybe Driguy you can answer that - I am too new,
The gargantuan wolf is gone for sure, but the whimpering thing in the shadows still shows up sniveling pathetically on rare occasions. It poses less threat than junk mail. I am not angered by it or afraid of it, because it has no power, and even though it is just a passing thought, I believe it actually knows it is powerless. Somewhat like Dee explained it somewhere else, it's more like a reminder that I'm an alcoholic who can't drink without serious consequences, but that I can avoid alcohol altogether and accept a wonderful life for the gift that it is.

I am convinced I have found that elusive "easier softer way."
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Old 11-21-2021, 05:05 AM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dustyfox View Post
DriGuy - It was.
After drinking alcohol from the age of 14 in varying degrees of excess/moderation/excess/etc/etc - ad infintum and lying to myself for most of the ensuing decades about my 'problem', having allowed the 'Beast' to live right by me, controlling much of my life, the moment I said those words was absolutely terrifying. 183 days later, I am shocked, utterly shocked that it took me so long to stop. The power of the AV is great, but once named that power is vastly diminished. Now instead of the AV being a gargantuan black wolf snarling with red eyes and a hunger that demands feeding - now it is a whimpering thing that lurks mainly in the shadows. Will it ever be gone? Maybe Driguy you can answer that - I am too new,
Going out on a limb here to suggest a bit of a crazy comparison but:

I'm a horror fan...loved 'exorcism' type movies especially when it was a new genre. Have you ever noticed when the exorcist was casting out the demon, one of the crucial parts of the ritual was to have the demon name himself? It's almost as though by forcing your demon to identify itself instantly weakens it's hold..Sorry...just thinking out loud here lol
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