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Old 03-06-2019, 11:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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AVRT and Relapse Struggle


Hi. I am looking for some AVRT tips.

I got sober using AVRT back in 2012 and was sober for almost 2 years. It really was effortless.

I don’t need to go into the details surrounding the day I decided to drink, but in May of 2014 nearly two years sober without issue, I drank.

Ever since then, I haven’t really gone 3 weeks sober. Maybe I got to two months once - I think. AVRT and the BIG PLAN always gets me sober. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep me there.

I pick up the book, I read, I commit - I fail.

Right around week 2 or 3 - something comes over me. I know it is happening and there is something in me that just “knows” I am going to drink.

My most recent stretch was 3 weeks to the day when I drank.

That 3 weeks was awesome - the first 2 - 4 days maybe a little challenging, but after that the only time I thought about drinking was to be amazed I wasn’t thinking about drinking.

At least until the days before that wedding. A day or two before I knew the thoughts were overwhelming. I told myself I needed to get a hold of my thinking since I had a wedding coming up that will have an open bar.

It wouldn’t have to be a wedding though - the feeling above happens each time I break my Big Plan.

Needless to say, at that wedding on Feb 9th, I snuck a glass of wine when those who know I am “supposed” to be sober weren’t around.

On that day due to circumstances, that one glass is all I had. The next day, back to my usual sneaking 2 bottles of chardonnay every day.

I tried to make a Big Plan this morning, but here I am at Carrabba’s at lunch no less. Before I left the office I made a plan to make a Big Plan tomorrow.

I am planning to do it, but was hoping someone might have some tips to offer that can get me past those overwhelming times when something happens and I get those feelings that I just know I am going to drink.

I try the name it tip and call it vertigo. I identify my beast, but nothing works.

Help?
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Why do you decide to drink when you are thinking about drinking ?
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Why do you decide to drink when you are thinking about drinking ?
Because I want to drink.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So what’s the problem? I’m not trying to be flippant.

If you want to drink and then you do, why do you want to quit ?
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good question. I was hoping for more AVRT insight, but I understand your logic. Thank you for responding.

I’ll continue my journey alone. As AVRT says - no groups, just do it. It was just an issue for me so was hoping for support which is silly because AVRT says ‘no support’ just use your rational mind.

I am struggling and this forum once helped me. I will continue searching.

Thank you again for responding.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I’m not sure I understand what you mean about an issue, not being ‘allowed’ support?

You said you can recognize , identify your Beast , which is huge , although it is only half of AVRT.

Using the technique allows us to identify and separate from It, yeah?
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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“How did I miss this post for so long? FS57, this was incredible. I was glued to every word. I can't pick a favorite part, but these 3 sentences will stay with me a long time (emphasis added):
"No head space or attitude or event or anything will make me drink because, the thought that it might make me drink is not me, not true, not real and I don't have to listen to it, I will never listen to it, it is my addictive voice. My resistance to my AV is iron clad, it is bullet proof. This is AVRT and Rational Recovery in a nutshell."
I may have to borrow these words in the future.”

That was your thinking in 2012 , it could be tonight too, yeah?
Rootin for ya
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you've been struggling but I'm glad you made it back Tammy

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Old 03-06-2019, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How did it feel before the wine? How about after that glass of wine? Did it feel as good as you dreamed it would? How about the next day?

"Because I wanted to drink." WHY did you want to drink? What do you get out of it?

To me AVRT wasn't enough. I went through a cognitive based program where we analyzed the pros and cons of drinking (and the pros and cons of not drinking) and made it very explicit. We also went through and looked very carefully how cravings and relapses happen. Your description about how you know you're going to drink happens long before you actually do is how most people relapse. It's not always "Hey! Wine! Let's drink it!"

Here it is in a nutshell.

https://www.soberlink.com/three-stag...on-techniques/

Over my IOP these things became internalized. I found that recovery wasn't figuring it out. It was trusting in people, the process, and doing it rather than thinking about it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I’ll continue my journey alone. As AVRT says - no groups, just do it. It was just an issue for me so was hoping for support which is silly because AVRT says ‘no support’ just use your rational mind.

tammy, if you want support and feel you will benefit from sharing with others, for heavens’ sake do add support!
it is NOT silly to look for it if the lone way has not “worked” for you.
possibly this method is not a good fit for you...and that is fine.
or maybe it is but you need some clarifications. or maybe...i don’t know.
but don’t go journeying alone if you’d rather join with others.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Nice to meet you, Tammy. I’d really try to get back involved in the SR community. AVRT is good but maybe you’ve changed over the years and you need to tweak things a bit. It seems that you can stay sober for a stretch but then something happens and you drink. Maybe start posting to one of the daily threads and see if things become clearer. Definitely don’t isolate while you try to figure this out😃
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tammy711 View Post
Because I want to drink.
Sounds like alcoholism to me. You didn't want to drink, your alcholism/addiction wanted you to drink, or your Beast (?) wanted you to drink. And it sounds like you had no mental defence at these times and it won out. I got sober with AA not AVRT so I can't help you with that but please do not struggle with this alone. Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. The beauty is you don't have to do it alone. Do whatever it takes to stay sober my lovely. Maybe combine AVRT with another method? Or maybe you need something entirely different now. And there's nothing wrong with that. The main goal still stays the same...staying sober.

Stay close x x x
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So what’s the problem? I’m not trying to be flippant.

If you want to drink and then you do, why do you want to quit ?
I am saddened that this was the first response you received Tammy. Not helpful at all. Please don't let this put you off or try to do this alone.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am saddened that this was the first response you received Tammy. Not helpful at all. Please don't let this put you off or try to do this alone.
Rational Recovery is different in some ways to other methods, Snitch.

I believe the post you mentioned was trying to illuminate and expose the AV involved, and not to cause distress.

Its also probably worth mentioning at this point - to everyone - that this is the Secular forums and 12 step is off topic here, and the responses to expected to be about how the OP might deal with her problem using secular methods.

thanks

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Old 03-07-2019, 01:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am saddened that this was the first response you received Tammy. Not helpful at all. Please don't let this put you off or try to do this alone.
So I posted this and it has been brought to my attention that this is the way AVRT works so my apologies for getting it wrong, and please either delete if appropriate or disregard my post!!
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thank you for responding. Everyone’s feedback is helpful. The one AVRT nutshell quote that dwtbd posted was a great reminder.

MindfulMan - thank you for that link and your thoughts. I will read through the relapse advice. I just finished a book not too long ago called This Naked Mind which encourages a CBT approach.

Thank you again, everyone... support does feel good.
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The beauty is you don't have to do it alone. Do whatever it takes to stay sober my lovely. Maybe combine AVRT with another method? Or maybe you need something entirely different now. And there's nothing wrong with that. The main goal still stays the same...staying sober.

Stay close x x x
Thank you, snitch. Thank you so much. Your note is something I’ve been thinking about.

I keep a text file on my iPad where I put sobriety encouragement. The quote above is being added to that file now along with one that dwtbd posted.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi Tammy,

I really like your AVRT work from 7 years ago here on SR

Quote:
Originally Posted by tammy711 View Post
Hi. I am looking for some AVRT tips.

I got sober using AVRT back in 2012 and was sober for almost 2 years. It really was effortless.

I don’t need to go into the details surrounding the day I decided to drink, but in May of 2014 nearly two years sober without issue, I drank.
Actually, you DO need to go into the details surrounding the moment you drank after almost a two year wait.

Quote:

Ever since then, I haven’t really gone 3 weeks sober. Maybe I got to two months once - I think. AVRT and the BIG PLAN always gets me sober. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep me there.
You may be practicing a little AVRT here and there, but you certainly have never made your BIG PLAN. You are making I WON’T DRINK UNLESS... PLANS, which aren’t really plans at all, they are just repetitive points right after satiation, in the oh-so-wonderful appetite cycle of satiation, anticipation, and more pleasure.

Quote:
I pick up the book, I read, I commit - I fail.

Right around week 2 or 3 - something comes over me. I know it is happening and there is something in me that just “knows” I am going to drink.
That “something” is called your Addictive Voice and what “”knows” I am going to drink” is the “UNLESS” part of your sobriety or temporary abstinence (in AVRT the term “sobriety” = “conditional abstinence”).

Quote:

My most recent stretch was 3 weeks to the day when I drank.

That 3 weeks was awesome - the first 2 - 4 days maybe a little challenging, but after that the only time I thought about drinking was to be amazed I wasn’t thinking about drinking.

At least until the days before that wedding. A day or two before I knew the thoughts were overwhelming. I told myself I needed to get a hold of my thinking since I had a wedding coming up that will have an open bar.

It wouldn’t have to be a wedding though - the feeling above happens each time I break my Big Plan.

Needless to say, at that wedding on Feb 9th, I snuck a glass of wine when those who know I am “supposed” to be sober weren’t around.

On that day due to circumstances, that one glass is all I had. The next day, back to my usual sneaking 2 bottles of chardonnay every day.
The AV loves our favorite flavored ethanol to be wine. It’s so classy. We can lift our baby finger up as we sip (or gulp) its succulent sweet sourness. How can something that is so much a part of good society be so wrong for some of us?

Check out the statistics here to get an overall picture of how alcohol is consumed in our “good society”.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.eb55cd6ec4bb

Quote:
I tried to make a Big Plan this morning, but here I am at Carrabba’s at lunch no less. Before I left the office I made a plan to make a Big Plan tomorrow.

I am planning to do it, but was hoping someone might have some tips to offer that can get me past those overwhelming times when something happens and I get those feelings that I just know I am going to drink.

I try the name it tip and call it vertigo. I identify my beast, but nothing works.

Help?
Daredevil said it well near the end of his thread that was shut down last summer. He realized he had to be willing to quit for good, not only to get rid of all the bad things that were happening, but also to permanently get rid of the “positive” reason for drinking.

Remember, the BIG PLAN can only be done ONCE for any particular substance or group of substances.

Also, I have tried to lie to myself many times to see if I can pull one over on myself. But, I cannot. Every time, I know what I just did and realize I wasn’t able to “put the cat in the bag” to hide it from myself. So, when I made my BIG PLAN, I knew ABSOLUTELY, that I would never drink again at that very moment.

So, what was going on in your thinking and feeling just before you drank five years ago in May after your two year wait?

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Old 03-08-2019, 01:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You no doubt had a certain degree of success with AVRT Tammy. If you think you did your best with it then perhaps it's time to incorporate other techniques into your method (in addition to AVRT). MindFulMans advice seems particularly good.

Central to my sobriety is a commitment to a way of life that involves a search for meaning and purpose that makes even the thought of a drink antithetical to my being.

I hope you find what you need.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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... had to be willing to quit for good, not only to get rid of all the bad things that were happening, but also to permanently get rid of the “positive” reason for drinking.
Gerandtwine
Tammy, glad you're back here. This point that GT noted above has been very helpful to me. I didn't actually have a lot of negative consequences from my drinking (some internal ones, like depression, but not so much "out in the real world" consequences). So it was a really important point for me that I quit also to get rid of the "positive" reasons for drinking. When my beast says "but it would feel good", I can say, yes it sure would, and you want that, you poor little thing, but I don't drink.

I also agree with others about building a positive, meaningful life after drinking. It's not a part of AVRT, not required for AVRT to be successful. But it's still a good thing for me to focus on with all the free time and energy I have after being done with drinking. There are lots of ways to approach that, perhaps worth exploring. Drinking just doesn't fit in to my life any more, and holds nothing for me. (It holds pleasure for my beast, but not for me).

hugs to you.
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