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AV - Addictive Voice: Interested in discussing?

Old 09-27-2020, 12:02 PM
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AV - Addictive Voice: Interested in discussing?

I was a slow learner, drank for twenty years, the last few all day, every day: tragic. I thought I was a lost cause. Then I joined Sober Recovery in 2016 and discovered right here in Secular, that I wasn't a lost cause. Because there was a method I could utilise to stop drinking - recognising and dismissing the Addictive Voice. It isn't an over statement, to say, that knowledge and application of it, saved my life.

So I'd encourage anyone on SR who is interested in the machinations of the AV, learning about it, how they dealt with it, to post and share their experiences!

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Old 10-03-2020, 09:05 AM
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No interest so far, and I hope it shows that folks that land in Secular are AV savvy, which is great news!
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:23 PM
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hi Tatsy, thanks for the post and nice to 'see' you here. As I've posted occasionally in the past on SR, AVRT was key for me. I had actually gotten sober while participating in another method, but at the ~16 month mark, that method was not sitting well with me anymore. I came to SR and someone suggested I take a look at AVRT -- that was a huge eye opener for me, changed my whole understanding and view of my addiction. I read the book, read the threads on here, and made a big plan. Even though I'd been sober for more than a year, my AV attacked me like crazy the week I made a big plan -- whereas I hadn't heard much AV before that. So it definitely did not like me making a decision to never drink again. I drank one sip of alcohol sometime later that year -- no excuse, it was kind of a ceremonial toast situation and I had an attack of vertigo and chose to drink that sip. I reached out to a member of this board who kindly helped me with some techniques to deal with vertigo more effectively when it arises. The AV mostly subsided over the last five years, although there was an uptick in AV thoughts this summer, I don't know why. I realized I was getting mentally lazy about dismissing the thoughts immediately, and letting them linger around a bit. So now I've sort of refreshed my mindfulness about what the AV is up to, and flick them at the first sign, and it's quiet again.

I'm no authority on AVRT, but I'm an authority on my life now, and it's infinitely better without alcohol.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:49 PM
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AVRT was the only thing that worked for me. I spent years trying to quit using other methods. The best I could do was couple of months. It didnít matter how many steps I studied or how many times I played the tape forward. Eventually, I would weaken, push the f-it button and drink.

I had seen AVRT on this site before, and I (actually my AV) dismissed it. It seemed too easy, there were no meetings, the website looked goofy, they were just trying to make money - I had tons of excuses not to try permanent abstinence.

After the umpteenth time of going to work on Monday hungover, I thought ďwhat the heckĒ letís give this Rational Recovery thing a try. I read all the AVRT threads and bought the book.

It worked!!! Here I am over 3 years later, happy, alcohol free and no fear of ever drinking again. AVRT saved my life and I have this website to thank for guiding me to the solution...to no solution.

If you are curious about AVRT, but are afraid you donít know where to start, try reading the AVRT threads on this site & buy the book. Thatís all I did. I didnít even join this site until I had almost 2 years. I did it by reading the threads & the book. There is a lot of wisdom in the threads, and the book is awesome. Please give it a shot...it just might change your life.
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:56 AM
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Sometimes I still just think out of the blue, wouldn't a drink be nice, which is easily dismissed.

But that is not the core of it. For me, the issue arises even before the addictive voice. Its the uncomfortable feeling, that feeling of dis-ease that then leads to the addictive voice. The feeling of wanting to escape. To run. The reaction is no longer to reach for a drink, because I do not drink and I never will, but I do still want to run. Getting though those uncomfortable feelings without running, at peace and even learning from them, that is where I am headed.

It is in (1) recognising that feeling of discomfort and (2) accepting it, and (3) sitting through it, where the solution lies, for me.

​​​​​​​Thanks for the thread Tats.


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Old 10-23-2020, 09:26 AM
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hi Dropsie -- you make a great point. I have had a similar experience. After I quit drinking, there was a lot of other work to do around getting comfortable in my own skin, and learning how to accept, sit through, and manage difficult feelings. That work continues, years later. But AVRT helped me to do just the "not drinking" part ... which left me free to work on everything else.
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:30 PM
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Yes - I need help today... AV is seriously an A**HOLE. Like, shut up already. Please... I happened to be looking at Instagram and saw a lovely post from a lovely friend of mine featuring a picture perfect sip of Rose. At a winery, on a farm, after an afternoon spent at the barn with her horse and all the lovely horse friends. Nice, right? But I literally want to cry right now bc all I saw was that glass of wine sparkling in the sunlight and thought "well, that sucks, I will never be able to do that again".

I've been sober since January 4th. I really don't want to drink. Well, I kind of do but not really bc I do not know the definition of enough when it comes to alcohol. Obviously, since I'm here.... Anyway, my attitude has been good up until now even though I have been feeling lethargic and depressed. I think that's part of it too. I thought when I quit drinking I would feel great! Amazing! All this energy! And I'd lose weight! Well, haha, NOPE. I am a sloth even though I try to make myself exercise. Even doing things i love like yoga I cannot concentrate and end up just sitting on the couch and zoning out. And the sugar cravings - omg..... That is not funny. I have eaten more sugar in the past month than I have in the past year or 2 at least.

I feel a little better after writing this but think I need a good cry too. I'm going to force myself to do a live stream yoga class in an hour - aptly called Happy Hour Ashtanga... hopefully that will help too. And an epsom salt bath with lavendar oil. Ok, deep breath, it's going to be ok. Thanks for the forum to vent.
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:35 PM
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Also, what is Secular? Referring to Tatsy's second post? I have been posting in Newcomers but googled AV (and what a sh***y jerk it is) and a link to this thread came up. I'm new to navigating around this site
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:43 PM
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Secular methods are those which don't rely on a Higher Power, like AA usually does, or something like Celebrate Recovery which is a Christian approach....

The methods used by the members here include SMART RECOVERY, lifering, Rational Recovery and others.

https://www.smartrecovery.org/5-ways...-and-cravings/
https://lifering.org/dealing-with-cr...-and-feelings/
D
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:55 PM
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Thank you Dee
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:35 PM
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hello ANM,
for simplicity’s sake you can think of ‘secular’ as non-religious, though that is a bit too simplistic.
you know, that Instagram photo and scene is nice indeed, but i bet not only will you never do that again if you stay sober, but that you haven’t done that in many years, and quite possibly never.
had one glass and were happy with that? left a little in it and walked away to do something else? forgot all about it as you went to do something else and never gave it another thought?
when is the last time you did that?
in my case, i don’t see booze and think “i never get to do that again” but: “if i keep going, i get to never have to do that again!!”
don’t get me wrong, i had those fears and nostalgic romanticisings of what i’d be missing, too, but when i really looked at it, it was easy to see that i’d never had that anyway.
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Old 02-06-2021, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ANM View Post
Also, what is Secular? Referring to Tatsy's second post? I have been posting in Newcomers but googled AV (and what a sh***y jerk it is) and a link to this thread came up. I'm new to navigating around this site
ANM, if you want to learn more about the AV and how to deal with it, may I suggest the AVRT thread pinned at the top of this forum, entitled ĎAVRT Explained (long).Ē Itís a great place to start understanding (and more importantly, recognizing) the AV.

If you really want to dig in deep, the ďPermanent Abstinence Based RecoveryĒ forum is where to look. There is a lot of info on the AV and AVRT. There is a 6-part thread on AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) thatís amazing.

Glad you posted here. We are here for you, so feel free to ask questions.
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Old 02-06-2021, 10:19 AM
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Thank you ms1999 - appreciate it
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:42 AM
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hi ANM, welcome to SR and to this sub-forum. Just want to add that many of the things you are describing, a lot of us experienced in the weeks after quitting. Sugar cravings, check. Energy up and down but mostly down, check. Thoughts that romanticize drinking, check. That's the ol' AV, trying to get you to drink. AVRT is all about learning how to recognize and dismiss those thoughts, and there's lots of good info in these forums. Glad you are here.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:02 AM
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I just started reading "Rational Recovery" yesterday. I learned about AVRT on SR in the last year or two and have read several posts. Time to do a deeper dive.

So yesterday one thing on p. 22 stopped me cold. This sentence: "Suicidal ideas serve an important purpose of justifying drinking." Wow. My relapse 2 years ago happened in a depression with a lot of suicidal ideation. Not a "plan" but many thoughts of disappearing into the great void. I had a clear notion that drinking was better than dying so why not drink again (after 18 months sober). That was exactly what I thought. It made sense to drink under those circumstances for just a little while. Of course I got stuck in the cycle again.

Fast forward. Today I'm back to 30 days and I'm on Chapter 2 of this book. I fell for the oldest trick up the AV's sleeve, its First Commandment or something. Better armed this time.

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Old 02-27-2021, 08:27 PM
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Hey silversky, the book is awesome. I am over 3.5 years alcohol-free because of that book. Make sure to read it twice. Along with the book, I supplemented my reading with this thread: https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...-part-6-a.html (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) Discussion ó Part 6)

I’m not sure if you read all 6 parts, but it is chock full of great AVRT wisdom. Check it out.

Also, please post any questions. These threads seem inactive, but there are lots of AVRT people in this site just waiting for someone to post questions in these threads. Glad you posted & good luck!
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Old 03-23-2021, 12:06 PM
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I can revive this thread because I just started really using the AVRT proper last weekend, after a brief but very regretful relapse. Also re-reading the RR book - it speaks to me now so much more loudly than a few years ago when I first read it. I also didn't read it originally with actually making a Big Plan but with lots of skepticism and criticism. I keep thinking it's kinda like back then, it wasn't even me reading it primarily, but my Beast Now, I actually get it and it all makes sense.

Before the relapse, I was mostly using the SMART program, where the Urge Management section is basically an expanded, modernized, more sophisticated version of AVRT, plus a few active distraction techniques and encouragement to attend meetings. SMART worked very well for me for >3 months, I felt great and had made a lot of constructive, progressive changes in my life within a short period of time. Obviously I relapsed though, so it wasn't that successful in the longer run. I decided to take a simpler, more focused approach with the original AVRT now and I've been feeling very comfortable with it during the past week or so, in spite of at least some "beast attack" pretty much every day so far. I also find it easier and less anxiety-provoking to just use AVRT vs. always obsessing about scheduling meetings and just overthinking a more complex program. So far, I do feel AVRT is more manageable for me and also more satisfying.

I have one simple question to whoever is interested. SMART encourages doing many of the urge management and self-regulation exercises in writing, using worksheets and instructions they provide. I did a lot of that during the 3 months and actually enjoyed it. However, now reading the RR book and thinking more, it seems all the writing and detailed analysis has probably often achieved the opposite effect to what's intended in AVRT at least: instead of separation, it more forced me to engage with the cravings, embrace and try to understand Beast, and focus on the AV. Has anyone had similar experiences? During the past week, I have not done any writing and detailed analysis of my AV, more just acknowledge and dismiss it immediately. I do find it goes away more quickly and I feel much better not feeling I have to report the cravings to someone else, to "seek help".

Thoughts, experiences?
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Old 03-23-2021, 10:01 PM
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Aellyce2, welcome to our little corner of the SR universe. I am so happy you are posting your questions.

One of the best things about AVRT is that once you get the hang of the technique it becomes automatic. I remember when I practiced SMART I used to have my CBA in my wallet as a reminder, but when that AV came full-force I would ignore the CBA, reach for my money and buy that alcohol. AVRT took away that uncertainty and gave me the confidence I needed to handle that pesky AV.

I have to get ready for work so I have to cut this short, but I just wanted to pop in and say hello. There will be more people showing up to help you with your questions. I will stop back here tomorrow when I have more time to think about my experiences. In the meantime, if you haven’t read that 6-part thread I mentioned in the post above, it is amazing.
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:02 AM
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Congratulations Aellyce on your decision!
The Beast is the urge/desire for alcohol and it manifests that urge in cravings and the rationalizations of the AV , but AV is also any doubt in your ability to remain abstinent and live comfortably in the face of residual desire.
Imagine the audacity of pledging to one's self to be permanently abstinent, actually you have already imagined it!! What is left now is to enjoy your life in the face of your audacity !!
My Beast hates the idea of never again getting its precious stuff, I'm grateful to myself for knowing I'll never again be a drunk
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:11 PM
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Hey Alleyce, Iím back as promised. Have you yet made a Big Plan? The reason Iím asking is not to pressure you but to emphasize the importance of making a real Big Plan. It is the key to fully recognizing the AV. Without a Big Plan, one is vulnerable to the clever machinations of the Beast. I have myself as an example.

When I first decided to do AVRT, I read a few threads and got the gist of the technique and mouthed the words ďIíll never drink againĒ (note the missing part) and went on using AVRT. It worked great for a while. Until one day coming home from a concert, I got that overwhelming feeling that I was gonna drink...it was already decided in my mind (they call this vertigo in the book). I bought a half-pint and six pack and got drunk. Damn, was I depressed. 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.

I have been over 3.5 years happily alcohol-free. And let me tell you that the AV activity is practically nonexistent. In fact sometimes I purposefully play with my beast by drawing out the AV just to slap it down. This is technique called ďshiftingĒ and itís a useful technique in strengthening your recognition muscles.

Well, I can tell that Iím rambling, so Iíll leave it there. Iím sure more AVRT people will show up soon. The problem is that most of us get sober and move on with our lives, so there arenít a lot of us that stay around after we get what we need. In fact I didnít join the site until after 2 years. I got what I needed by reading the book & the 6-part thread. I joined SR so to pay it forward, as a witness to how great this works. My only regret is not doing it sooner.

Keep reading & posting. We are here for you.

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