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AV - Addictive Voice: Interested in discussing?

Old 03-25-2021, 03:50 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the welcome here and responses, dwtbd and msl999. I'm excited about this new phase. I'm almost done with re-reading the book and find it immensely helpful. Much more straightforward that SMART, and I like that I no longer feel that I do it wrong if I don't attend meetings and talk with others about my addiction, recovery and momentary BS feelings (of the Beast mostly) all the time. I've read a lot of the posts about AVRT on this forum a long time ago, then again last weekend, and plan to go through that 9-part thread again once I'm done with the book. I'm delighted that finally I can really use my natural strength of being rational and methodical and am not told all the time that I have it wrong with that orientation, and external help is what I need to seek the most. I get why it works for many, but we are not all the same kind of people.

It's pretty amazing to realize how many manifestations my AV took over the years, some I recognized but others completely blinded and fooled me. I even made a career out of it for >10 years, studying addiction (the mechanisms in the brain and associated behaviors, very compatible with the structural model in the book but much more detailed and current). That was interesting and don't think useless, but it tied me with my Beast and AV more than the opposite, because virtually every single day was loaded with either doing the science or analyzing myself, usually a combination of both. Trimpey writes about how the AV can take the form of endless research and medical treatments, and I really had to laugh reading that part, because it describes a major manifestation of mine so well. I'm happy to be free of that job now (quit the job earlier this month). My new career will continue including a lot of the science, but in a different way, and I'll apply it differently. It's all a great relief.

And yes, I absolutely recognized my episodes of intense discomfort and restlessness in the description of that "vertigo" state, it's very accurate. Especially from my last ~4 months, when I was much more aware of it in the moments than earlier (earlier I would usually just let the Bast take over quickly). I was not using AVRT in most of that time, more the SMART tools, and as you know, I eventually gave in to it. I think even SMART was too complicated for me and had that element of too much analysis. Luckily, my recent drinking was relatively brief, and even more luckily some of the discussions on my SR threads helped to point out some of my obvious fallacies, and eventually led me to what I do believe is the right direction now: to my own Big Plan and getting into the a more straightforward approach with AVRT. It instantly quickly a lot of the useless noise in my head and the idea that it's helpful to constantly talk about it. I need to get used to it and master my techniques, but it feels good, also because I have a lot of interesting and engaging occupations in my life and I can focus on those more instead of obsessing about the addiction all the time. I really do think it's exactly what I needed and kinda weird why it took so long, but here we are. I also completely understand why many people who successfully use AVRT don't post here a lot and move on - I feel internally myself how that is the most helpful approach with this. I wasted so much useless time and energy with all the bla bla bla, actually need to unlearn that as well .
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:36 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hi Aellyce, dwtbd & msl. Good to see this thread picking up again so more people can get exposed to AVRT. All those years researching, trying program after program and all the while my AV was trying to find any alternative to abstinence. It took over my life. Now I can live the solution, not stuck in the problem and it is liberating.

I am grateful to SR for introducing me to AVRT but reading the book (Rational Recovery) has been essential for me. It's well written, convincing and even amusing in parts. I find myself underlining nearly every page.

Yesterday I had some beastly activity (which is much more rare lately) and the message was clear. "It's been 2 months. You can take a break now and get right back on track." It's annoying sometimes but also laughable.

Now I can give fuller attention to solving other challenges in my day-to-day life. I'm not counting daily for the first time, which I also like, tho I enjoy gaining distance from that date below.
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Old 03-26-2021, 03:48 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Yesterday afternoon I successfully warded off a vertigo. I was out running some annoying errands and it hit me big time when the task was done and I felt more relaxed. Pretty intense and uncomfortable, interesting though. When I read the different types of Beast attack in the book last weekend, I made myself look at that section several times and extra carefully, because I immediately recognized that's exactly what I tend to experience early on, and I wanted to make sure I remember what AVRT suggests to handle it in the critical moment. I think I understood even better from the experience why the Big Plan is so important - that was the main difference between how I handled similar states during my recent 3 months of sobriety, but eventually decided to drink once, then a second and third episode was much like anytime before. I recognized the attack even back then and tried to apply the mental tools, but there was no solid, indefinite commitment to back it up and no sense of separation. I quite vividly felt the difference that pledge makes yesterday in the dissociation - it made it more disturbing in the moment, but more effective, which is the goal.

When I got back home, I re-read that section immediately and acknowledged, once again, how precisely it is described. It also gave me an elevated sense of confidence knowing I did exactly the right thing, and it worked. Before, typically I felt drained and anxious after such episodes, even when I got through them without drinking, but yesterday it was mostly just a sense of relief and reassurance that I am on the right track. The reassurance coming from inside was powerful. It never really works for me from other people, that's why I never even feel compelled to reach out much to others while in temptation and sometimes would just share later. Most things most others say just bounce off during that state, and even the external reassurance after a successful event does not do much to me. I also know that external validation does not tend to work for me much for most things and I don't even care, don't seek it. There are sometimes a very few exception, usually people I click with very well and trust their competency, but it's rare and relying on that especially for dealing with my addiction would be futile for me. Well, it was when I tried, had no real effect. My own is what can truly influence me and even chill my own anxiety. I think I naturally have what is sometimes described an "internal locus of control" - it's really useless and a waste of everyone's time and energy to try to convince me to use anything else. But pretty cool here because it's very compatible with this method.
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Old 03-26-2021, 04:41 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by msl999 View Post
I soon realized ((by reading that 6-part thread) that I was doing AVRT half-assed, and I needed to make a REAL Big Plan. So I bought the book and read it, also read all of that 6-part thread and made my Big Plan.
Everything I hear about AVRT sounds spot on to me, but having found my own way years ago, I'm more of an observer than a practitioner of AVRT. Well, that's not quite right,either. It seems what what I read reflects most of what I have learned and applied to my own recovery. I'm certainly not the expert, but I am a big fan. But so much for my introduction.

What I wanted to comment on is about doing AVRT half-assed. In early recovery and even before, doing things half-assed applies to almost every potentially successful program one might adopt and subsequently fail at. Basic survival as in "not dying" often serves us well with a half-assed approach. Not so with recovery. In early recovery our tendency to default to "half-assed," only to fail and fail again is a near universal failure.

In the early stages of failure, we don't see ourselves working in a half-assed mode. We see ourselves working as we always have and staying alive in the process. When we do recognize, usually after we have made the necessary corrections, that we were giving our plan only half of our attention, we have crossed an important bridge. That bridge was commitment to following a good strategy to the letter and not taking another drink.
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Old 03-26-2021, 05:16 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DriGuy View Post
Everything I hear about AVRT sounds spot on to me, but having found my own way years ago, I'm more of an observer than a practitioner of AVRT. Well, that's not quite right,either. It seems what what I read reflects most of what I have learned and applied to my own recovery. I'm certainly not the expert, but I am a big fan. But so much for my introduction.

What I wanted to comment on is about doing AVRT half-assed. In early recovery and even before, doing things half-assed applies to almost every potentially successful program one might adopt and subsequently fail at. Basic survival as in "not dying" often serves us well with a half-assed approach. Not so with recovery. In early recovery our tendency to default to "half-assed," only to fail and fail again is a near universal failure.

In the early stages of failure, we don't see ourselves working in a half-assed mode. We see ourselves working as we always have and staying alive in the process. When we do recognize, usually after we have made the necessary corrections, that we were giving our plan only half of our attention, we have crossed an important bridge. That bridge was commitment to following a good strategy to the letter and not taking another drink.
I admire people who figured this out on their own. One thing that made that difficult for me, I think, was my own career, the choice of work I was doing for >10 years in mental health but even before, because a lot of that was focused on how diseases work, predispositions etc. I was mostly doing research, but deeply embedded in the medical/treatment industry. But actually that's also just a half-assed argument and mostly an excuse. I can easily apply similar knowledge in a way that is fully compatible with Rational Recovery and AVRT, and will in the future.

Yes, the difference between a half-assed method and full commitment is what I was also trying to describe above with my experiences of handling a strong craving. I was often approaching my recovery half-assed for many years - had some desire to quit, and definitely interested in learning about all the methods, but I did not really apply them to myself (often said I did, but the opposite was going on in secret). I didn't have a strong motivation for it. The SMART program actually helped with the motivation bit, they have some cool tools that build motivation on personal values and explains how to use them to maintain motivation for recovery. That bit worked very well for me. But when I applied the urge management tools, the real commitment was still lacking. The way I think about it now: it has to be a good blend of right mindset (commitment, Big Plan as RR calls it) and right action/effort. Any of these half-assed and it won't last long.

Yes, survival is passive. I think survival is what we did while drinking (and it is likely to be limited if we continue). I even believe that many people who dislike being sober and suffer in that state a lot are still mostly surviving in a way - they manage to remove the addictive substance/behavior, but still do life half-assed. Okay, some have real mental illness, and that is a different discussion, but being sober and healthy without personal purpose and effort is still mostly an empty space, IMO. I have the impression that most of us who like and succeed with a self-directed approach like AVRT are already pretty good at self-actualization, naturally. So remove the addiction and it's effortless and satisfying. It makes so much sense!
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Old 03-26-2021, 05:30 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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AVRT isn’t a new method , despite that the title Rational Recovery The New Cure for Substance Addiction implies the notion. It is the distillation of the observed actions and attributes of a myriad of people who have successfully ended their addictions .

It is more a lens through which to view the universal mechanics of addiction articulated via a (the) structural model.

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Old 03-26-2021, 07:18 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DG
Basic survival as in "not dying" often serves us well with a half-assed approach.
Fascinating! I recognize 3 primal survival modes; flight, freeze and flee. Bear with me, I'm a bit off as with interacting with people in life and its more difficult with online conversations.

Normally I refute black and white thinking. I'ts just odious in nature IMO. The emotional SHOCK resulting from rampant decades of alco/drug abuse became a focal tipping point for me. I never really grasped the 'stop drinking by any means method' until addiction hit me with a emotional punch to the gut.

Early in my recover in 1997 I had a craving to know all about recovery approaches. I used the public Library, early web, Jr. college courses, psychology, SR and the arts (I like painting on a canvas & outsider art) to fulfill my interest. Only some decades later did it all click when I was in a total emotional breakdown. Fascinating side point, The Faith Based Group Of ** may call this experience as 'surrender'. I had to final let-go of booze & pills. Will it stick? Darn my crystal ball is in the polishing shop tonight.

Stay tuned for an another wonderful adventure of = life goes on in recovery.
Blessed Be & Namaste
You might not but WE can!
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Old 03-27-2021, 06:41 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I like parts of the Rational Recovery book that deal with the larger social context as well. For example, yesterday I was reading the bits about families toward the end, and it clicked so well with my own thinking and experience, even though I do have more complex thoughts on that topic. The recommendations for dealing with addicted kids reminded me of my own childhood. I didn't have substance problems before my early 30s, but had an eating disorder starting ~age 10, which is very addiction-like. It was in the late 80s-early 90s, similar era to when Trimpey developed and published his work.

I hid the eating disorder like most people, but my parents found out of course and had discussions with me about it. But they never pushed anything other than taking me to the doctor to make sure I didn't have diabetes or some other physical issue, given my weight changes. I struggled with it on/off for a good 10 years, maybe a bit more, but never had any treatment or recovery method applied to it - these things were virtually unknown back then in my home country. My parents also knew nothing about mental health, psychology etc. They heard of eating disorders and recognized that was what I had, expressed worries, but did not impose anything strongly. This is definitely controversial: many psych theories and mental health practitioners would say it was careless or dismissive parenting, my own therapists did, but it just didn't click with my feelings well, not how I experienced it internally. But I tried to listen to therapy and that even triggered some resentments that my parents didn't help me more. It was completely useless and backward for me, luckily I left that form of therapy. What I recognize now is that it was probably for the best leaving me alone. If not, perhaps I would now be chronically dependent also on other people's views, whatever they say/do or not, adding another major problem. Grateful for not having that one.

So I figured out and resolved the eating disorder completely on my own by my early 20s, and starting my independent, self-directed life outside the family home helped a great deal in that process. Much later, I had very open conversations with my father about how they experienced my eating disorder, and he shared he and my mom decided not to force anything on me but let me just grow up in the otherwise very supportive.protective environment they always provided. He also apparently convinced my mom not to let my issue interfere with their life and cause them turbulence too much - may sound like a bit unfeeling, but I completely agree. They had a good life and our family was very functional, why make everything complicated and disrupt things? My dad said he was quite positive I would find my way and get better when I moved out and started living independently, so we thought the same way, and it worked out very well. It was difficult at first, but having 100% autonomy and room to do anything with my life pretty much resolved the self-image, insecurity and peer conflict issues that started and maintained the eating disorder. I learned how to eat healthy, cherish my body and practice self-care in ways that I liked. The eating disorder pretty much just faded away and never returned - it's been about 25 years now. I have also maintained a normal weight throughout these years and never obsessed about my body much. I don't believe that forcing me into treatments I didn't want, groups I didn't want to be part of etc would have helped anything, definitely not more than the natural process of individuation and personal growth. Interestingly that recovery was long before I got into the mental health industry as a professional.

Now this is some major ramble, I'm just sharing it here because it related to self-directedness closely. Don't think I used anything as intense as AVRT in my recovery from the eating disorder, but did recognize I was abusing my body, that it caused other problems in my wellbeing, and concluded the way to resolve it was eliminating the eating disorder and creating a life that simply brings a healthier self-image and esteem, almost as a "side effect". It all worked, no other "treatment" was needed.

The alcohol problem I developed ~10 years later started in a very different way, I think, with different motives and it's not nearly as complex psychologically as the eating disorder in my youth. I didn't have similar, complicated psychological hangups in my 30s and now in my 40s, it's a much more one-dimensional liking the direct, acute effects of alcohol, much like it's described in the RR book, I never even blamed it much on anything else or made excuses. Reading the book now and thinking about these things definitely gives me an even more positive outlook that I can resolve the alcohol issue using AVRT and my own resources, and probably after a while can just move on. Food is much trickier given that we don't have the chance for abstinence, although I don't believe the eating disorders I had (anorexia and bulimia) are actual food addictions, more obsessive-compulsive preoccupations with self-image, where developing a healthy sense of self and autonomy resolved it for me. I think my alcoholism is sort of in the opposite direction: here most of the problems (including in self-esteem) can be caused by the effects of alcohol and I don't experience them even after just a few days sober. I don't think everyone's alcoholism emerges and works this way, but pretty convinced about mine. So the solution of removing the alcohol permanently and not worrying much more about it seems pretty legitimate. I'm also sure many of you who applied AVRT or similar successfully had some similar thoughts.

I think the addiction/recovery industry still needs a lot of reform and more individualized perceptions/recommendations, because they often make the problems much more complicated and bigger, in part by blaming it on so many different things, then trying to "treat" all those things. It surely brings $$$ to the industry but never ends for the people who want to recover... of course then they will not recover, won't even have enough time and mental energy to enjoy life, then look for substitutes again to perpetuate the cycle and/or believe they are broken forever, suffering sober or harm reduction is the only viable strategy.
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:59 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Plato and Aristotle had a hard time seeing eye to eye and the history of western philosophy has since been between those who either try and reconcile their differences or those that pick a ‘side ‘.

Part of the fallout from those generational ruminations is the way in which we apprehend certain concepts and how those interactions result in causal effects on our thought processes and ultimately our actions based on those processes.

Abstraction is a fundamental capacity that allows for understanding, or for the capacity or potential understanding of the booming buzzing confusion that is the ‘universe’.

The ‘recovery industry’ , whether intentionally or not, seems based on a misapplied or misapprehension of the abstraction ‘addiction’. As abstraction the concept refers to a state of ambivalence toward particular actions or behaviors, a state that resides in particular , concrete or discrete individuals.
Through a Platonic lens individuals are affected or infused with ‘addiction’ , the abstraction itself comes down from on high and operates in the individual. Generally the approach to combat such a state is to structure systems designed to protect individuals from being assaulted by ‘addiction’ .
A more Aristotelian lens views the state as residing in individuals and that all the instances of such a state that have ever existed, do exist or will ever exist , are the ‘same’ or like instances that can be understood as an abstraction called ‘addiction’ and that that abstraction refers to the commonality of all the instances as opposed to the idea that as an abstraction ‘addiction’ is thing or entity that interacts with individuals .
The misapplication or misapprehension comes in when designing methods to combat the effects of addiction. Methods focused on delineating actions focused on avoiding contact with the amorphous contagion are going to ‘look’ different than those focused on delineating a methodology that removes the proximate cause of the effects.

Habitual use or abuse of alcohol is the cause of being mired in a state of ambivalence. Abstinence doesn’t ward off addiction , it guarantees the conditions necessary for alcohol addiction can not reside in any discrete individual.

I can’t ‘fight’ addiction , it is most likely a metaphysical impossibility based on an Aristotelian lens , but I can certainly make sure no booze gets in my gullet .

From what I understand , or perhaps the way I choose to understand , ‘recovery’ as an ongoing battle against addiction is a lot tilting at windmills and fodder for the AV to manipulate.

Maybe I’m mistaken, but I prefer the dumb brute force Aristotelian approach
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Old 03-28-2021, 11:10 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Aellyce2 ~

Your Post #25 above is really masterful stuff, and I'll build upon this:

'IMO. I have the impression that most of us who like and succeed with a self-directed approach like AVRT are already pretty good at self-actualization, naturally. So remove the addiction and it's effortless and satisfying. It makes so much sense!'

I joke about having a Spine forged from Titanium & Kryptonite. When I decide to do something, I simply find a way to do it. I applied those Genetics toward quitting Drinking. A few Months later, I searched for - and found - this invaluable Resource called SR. It put form to my quit. I read the Slides mentioned here re: Rational Recovery, and I never looked back. As with about all of us, it was initially a dreadfully tough Row to hoe. But, I stuck it out as the rough patches got easier after ~42 Years of increasingly-insane consumption. There will 'always' be reasons to cave. So, I don't. As goes one AVRT saying around here: 'It's not easy. But, it is simple'.

Thus, my focus for you to consider. I, too, had to intellectually understand this Addiction 'thing' from multiple angles. Digested all that knowledge to death. What I ultimately extracted, however, I would liken to Muscle Memory. Like, spiking a Volleyball, or hitting a long Golf Shot many times, it's automatic. This leads to what I call 'Effortless Sobriety'. That is, when in tough times - about nonexistent for me now - my default is to laugh at my AV, and then not pick up. No Matter What! Rather than wring my Hands over what might be the impossibility of 'removing the Addiction', I instead happily settled on 'removing acting upon my Addiction'. <<< That action is non-conditional. If I achieve that, what do I care about my residual - possibly Genetic - Addiction? Personally, despite all my intellectual understanding of it, I wind up not caring.

That's what makes AVRT work for me. One Hemisphere of my Brain can intermittently, or continuously, work all the intellectual angles. But, the Muscle Memory Default is not dependent upon all that understanding. Any more than ya 'think through' slamming a Volleyball Spike. I don't have to 'understand' all the Neural 'stuff' going on during a Spike. Just do it autonomically.

As became my Mantra, there are things I just don't do. Kick my Puppy. Cheat on my Wife. Steal from a Friend's Wallet while he ducks out to the Bathroom. I added 'never drink again' to that non-negotiable List; the sort of Behavioral List most all of us have. Hence my Sig Line below re: this sort of compartmentalization. Not Drinking is a Mental Construct that most all of us can master. Finally, it becomes The New Normal...

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Old 03-29-2021, 05:36 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Thank you, dwtbd and MesaMan, for the excellent posts. I absolutely believe and agree that recovery is about behavior modification first and foremost. How we all achieve that varies, but ultimately it's about the same simple acting / not acting. I definitely think now that my problem, for a long time, was not having the mindset to stay quit for any significant amount of time. That's why I didn't use even this great forum the right way, to support my sobriety, more as a social venue, but even that was not satisfying because I never resolved the main problem, only faked it.

I like the idea of adding 'not drinking' to a list of things I don't do. I'll make such a list, reminds me a bit of the list in SMART called "hierarchy of values" that I found very interesting and effective as a motivator. I find these things more powerful than mere cost-benefit analyses (which is also a part of SMART), because they are directly linked to some of the strongest internal motivational forces that generally drive many other individual successes as well. I dumped from my toolkit engaging with the AV in any excessive form (like analyzing it in writing), but these things are different, because they engage us with the internal motivations that can greatly help overcome the AV's maneuvers.

Yes, striving to remove addiction, or the cause of it, is futile. The good thing is that ultimately, successful long-term recovery and living a fulfilling life can potentially feed back on those causes on some very organic, biological levels, called 'epigenetics' (just like any other environmental effect). Some of the newer treatment drugs and approaches these days are also designed to affect those mechanisms chemically, but most of those biological changes take quite some time, and they'll never happen/last if we keep combining them with the original addictive substance/behavior, so the behavior modification is still the most important factor. I like AVRT now because it is definitely the simplest and potentially most efficient method ever described and made available to anyone, and it's not contingent upon anything else like many other programs.
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:11 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I think you can remove the cause of an addiction , and that would be to refrain from ingesting the substance to which one is addicted.
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Old 04-04-2021, 10:50 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I have a question for those of you who had success with AVRT. Did you apply the same to other behaviors than strictly the substance use, or main behavioral addiction? Things that are not necessarily so problematic on their own, but perhaps became intertwined with the main and most troublesome addiction? For example, if the main issue was drinking but it developed and was reinforced by strong associated choices/behaviors that also became powerful cues for the AV to come out. For example environments where the substance use often occurred, people or things it was often associated with. If you have experiences like that, did you just focus on the main problem (i.e. drinking) with AVRT or targeted and completely eliminated the associated other things as well? I even wonder if my speculating about this is just thoughts and feelings from my AV on their own, and I'm unnecessarily complicating it again.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:32 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Aellyce2 View Post
I have a question for those of you who had success with AVRT. Did you apply the same to other behaviors than strictly the substance use, or main behavioral addiction?
Absolutely, I quit alcohol/drugs, then nicotine soon after for good before AVRT was invented. But I used AVRT specifically to end a coffee addiction, then expanded it to chocolate and all caffeinated products, then a man-made sweets addiction (did that last Big Plan right here on SR in the middle of a post years ago). It was a simple matter of fine tuning myself over time towards how I wanted my mind and body to work and for as long as possible.

Things that are not necessarily so problematic on their own, but perhaps became intertwined with the main and most troublesome addiction?
AVRT specifically lumps together all severely mind altering drugs including alcohol in one Big Plan because of their ability to alter inhibition and self control. Itís just simple logic and anyone can do it. Other than that, all other uses of AVRT are isolated from each other. This is what I have found in my life when using AVRT and the Big Planís associated with those substances. There is no intertwining. This is by definition of AVRT.

For example, if the main issue was drinking but it developed and was reinforced by strong associated choices/behaviors that also became powerful cues for the AV to come out. For example environments where the substance use often occurred, people or things it was often associated with. If you have experiences like that, did you just focus on the main problem (i.e. drinking) with AVRT or targeted and completely eliminated the associated other things as well? I even wonder if my speculating about this is just thoughts and feelings from my AV on their own, and I'm unnecessarily complicating it again.
Using AVRT gives one an ironclad defense against any environmental situation. Degrees of association to the past drinking will likely induce more AV activity, but with a Big Plan, you are immune from acting upon IT. I found that the old associations fairly quickly dropped off in having any real interest for me. I quickly reentered society, got married and became a father-to-be all within one year (against all the recovery group recommendations that were bombarding me in my meeting attendances mandated in order to get full driving privileges reinstated).

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Old 04-05-2021, 01:39 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I'd strike this word from your last Sentence because it's pejorative, me thinks:

'I even wonder if my speculating about this is just thoughts and feelings from my AV on their own, and I'm unnecessarily complicating it again.'

My need was to look at associated, or complicating, factors so that I could avoid them. And, toss them out.

We were invited to an important Wedding on the California Coast 2 Summers ago. The Daughter of close Pals was marrying into serious Money, and this 30-something Crowd was going to really do up the Drugs [like Coke] and Alcohol. Dinner the Night before was on a Yacht, and I really had to scramble to find an RV Site that would take the Pooch. Lots of complications. Finally, it hit me that I was just going through the obligatory motions, and simply did not want to/need to go. We had agreed in advance to stay *only* so long at the Wedding Reception, and I was to suffer through all the Political BS this Family was known for; at the opposite end of the Spectrum from my POVs. I applied the Social Brakes I'd honed in AVRT. I wasn't going to cave, and drink. Rather, I was going to be pissed at myself that I hadn't grown a pair, and opted out of attending. As the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Bumper Sticker says:

'If It's Not Fun Why Do It?' Indeed.

Things get complicated for me if I don't keep them simple, and remember 'No Means No'. I skip the Codie crapola. I owe nothing to anyone re: obligatory attendance. Hold that thought.

As time goes on, the need to say 'No' lessens. I've become a real HardAzz about Knee-jerk acceptance of Social Obligations where Drinking will be in excess. Initially, Weekends can be rough. Evenings. Celebrations, like Birthdays. Then, it all becomes pretty irrelevant. Choices become clear, and effortless. Thus, the need to even invoke AVRT often eases up, IME. Sober thinking becomes the default, so there's no *complicating* considerations to slog through. It's a good destination to finally arrive at.-

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Old 04-06-2021, 04:27 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Thanks GerandTwine and MesaMan. In my case, social events/invitations are never a problem, it's not the environment where I'm tempted to drink (even if others do around me) and have had a good strategy for many years to cut short events I'm obligated to attend but don't like. Also, saying 'no' to other people has never been a significant problem for me, I think my co-dependency level or as low as it can get. It's more saying 'no' to self/AV to certain occupations I generally enjoy for my own sake (sometimes it involves interpersonal distractions), so basically very similar to any other behavior I had problems with, including drinking. This is why I thought I could simply apply AVRT to all of these, because all of them are coming from me or AV-driven. Not even sure all of these things are problems, because drinking was the real culprit, and when I don't drink, these other interests very rarely cause issues, and setting/keeping boundaries comes easily. Alcohol is what can interfere with that and my self-regulation, so following that logic: no drinking, no problem.

What I mean is that, outside of drinking alcohol, there are a number of engagements I am not 100% sure where they come from, using the AVRT terminology, whether they come from my AV/Beast or my rational self, I do experience them mixed, mostly because in the past they co-existed or overlapped with my drinking, but they can also be done (in healthy proportions) without drinking. I think it's a category that I can't say clearly they involve any real addictive drives or just normal rewarding things. So, sort of a gray area. The only reason I was somewhat concerned is because the question did occur to me, and we often say for drinking, drugs and other behaviors, if you question whether you have a problem, you probably do. But I also tend to overanalyze things sometimes and see contingencies where there is none or minimal in reality. This feature can actually be very helpful in many areas of life, because it facilitates forward vision, prediction and planning, and I definitely capitalize on those big time. I was originally thinking that I wasn't sure sometimes where I should draw the line in the sand for myself, what sorts of interests and engagements are potentially dangerous, because most of mine are quite subtle, far from being as obvious as hanging out with heavy drinkers, drug users or immature people.

But thinking more, I think the actual AVRT approach addresses this directly, and GT clarified it above. The RR book also does. Focus on one black/white thing (in my case commitment to never drinking again), the behavior, and that eliminates concerns about other subtleties and gray areas. Then address those other possible concerns as separate issues if needed. I think sometimes I'm mentally overdoing the perception and rationale that everything is connected. And if we use AVRT, they certainly should not be experienced that way .
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:36 AM
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Is there one RR book one should buy to get a good introduction to RR and AVRT?
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:13 PM
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I'm guessing the book I want is Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction. ??
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DriGuy View Post
I'm guessing the book I want is Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction. ??
Yes. That's the book most of us are usually discussing here. The author also wrote another one earlier called The Small Book (I believe the title contains a bit of sarcasm ), but the one you cited is more comprehensive and came out a bit later. You can download a free copy online.
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Aellyce2 View Post
Yes. That's the book most of us are usually discussing here. The author also wrote another one earlier called The Small Book (I believe the title contains a bit of sarcasm ), but the one you cited is more comprehensive and came out a bit later. You can download a free copy online.
Oops, I just bought it at ebay. But I do kind of prefer reading a book.
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