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"The Freedom Model for Addictions" by Slate and Scheeren

Old 03-01-2018, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
AV demands quitting leads to happiness,
This seems to be the crux of what you are saying. I actually think the opposite is true. We all want to be happy and if we think though the very good reasons why we want to quit, we will be happier when we do quit. If OTOH you quit because you believe that you have no other choice then you are quitting or even quatting under duress and this does not seem to me to be a sustainable state in the long term, that is, thinking that quitting may not make you generally happier - of course there will always be times of unhappiness - is AV because it makes it more likely that you will return to drinking again. IMO of course.

But anyway, why if thinking through the reasons why you want to quit makes quitting a happier experience would you not want to do it? You can of course just quit anyway but isn't it better to be happier about it than not?
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:29 AM
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"Recovery" demands that you strive ceaselessly to become a perfectly functioning , perfectly spiritual, and perfectly moral person, and even then failure is considered inevitable. In an even subtler way, there is a movement that pushes the idea that you need a "purpose filled life" to gain the resilience to not be tempted to backslide into use. With recovery ideology, recovery doesn't mean getting over a problem and moving on; it means you will be fighting a lifelong battle that becomes even more challenging when you attach substance use to challenges life tosses at you. In the specific case of "avoiding triggers" the desire for substance use has taken on a permanent condition to be accommodated rather that changed. This is like people with diabetes avoiding all sugar because their bodies can't handle it. That is what recovery means, adjusting your life to accommodate your permanent handicap. The best evidence of this is the fact that recovery proponents regularly compare addiction to chronic diseases such as diabetes, and say the two are alike.
I'm so glad that there are tools and information out there today that challenge these kinds of messages. Because I was lucky enough to discover AVRT here on SR, this ^ has not been my experience, I was able to quit after an admittedly long period of ambivalence, and just carry on with my life. It got to be OVER. But if I thought that to stay sober I would have to devote the rest of my life to recovery and meetings and constant vigilance and endless self evaluation and work and confessions, it would make me miserable enough to drive me back to drinking in no time at all. My AV loves the idea of it never being over and that if I don't do xyz right, then I surely won't be strong enough or perfect enough to resist temptation.

Thanks for the book suggestion Solarion. I've still only read the brief excerpt, but I liked what I read and will pick up the book. What the authors are saying makes a lot of sense to me.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
This seems to be the crux of what you are saying. I actually think the opposite is true. We all want to be happy and if we think though the very good reasons why we want to quit, we will be happier when we do quit. If OTOH you quit because you believe that you have no other choice then you are quitting or even quatting under duress and this does not seem to me to be a sustainable state in the long term, that is, thinking that quitting may not make you generally happier - of course there will always be times of unhappiness - is AV because it makes it more likely that you will return to drinking again. IMO of course.

But anyway, why if thinking through the reasons why you want to quit makes quitting a happier experience would you not want to do it? You can of course just quit anyway but isn't it better to be happier about it than not?

I think that if you quit because you think it will bring you happiness, then you could be tempted to return to it if you aren't happy. I know a few years ago when I tried AVRT for the first time, that was what happened to me. I thought quitting would make everything better, and it didn't, and my AV used that against me in a major way. I learned a lot from that though, and now abstinence stands on its own and has nothing to do with whether or not I'm "happy"
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:00 PM
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where does that ""Recovery" demands that you strive ceaselessly ... " quote come from BJ1?
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:01 PM
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BillyJean

IMO that can never happen. If drinking is making you unhappy you will always be happier if you quit for freely chosen reasons. I am speaking on the whole and in the long term of course. OTOH there will always be a sense of unhappiness and fear if you quit out of panic because you think you have no choice, whether you really want to really give up drinking forever or not, and don't allow yourself the space to think about why you are quitting in the first place.

I think this is a straw man though because surely anyone who quits is doing so because their life has become or is becoming unhappy and they want it to be better? How, if drinking is detrimental to your life, could quitting not improve it? Expecting positive results from quitting is, to me, the direct opposite of AV because it means you are more likely to succeed in staying quit. If we're not happy that we've quit we're more likely to return to drinking.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by andyh View Post
where does that ""Recovery" demands that you strive ceaselessly ... " quote come from BJ1?

It's from chapter 2 of the excerpt of the book Aleric provided.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
BillyJean

IMO that can never happen. If drinking is making you unhappy you will always be happier if you quit for freely chosen reasons. I am speaking on the whole and in the long term of course. OTOH there will always be a sense of unhappiness and fear if you quit out of panic because you think you have no choice, whether you really want to really give up drinking forever or not, and don't allow yourself the space to think about why you are quitting in the first place.

I think this is a straw man though because surely anyone who quits is doing so because their life has become or is becoming unhappy and they want it to be better? How, if drinking is detrimental to your life, could quitting not improve it? Expecting positive results from quitting is, to me, the direct opposite of AV because it means you are more likely to succeed in staying quit. If we're not happy that we've quit we're more likely to return to drinking.
I can only speak from my personal experience. I wasn't necessarily that unhappy all the time when I was drinking, I had so many good times that they were literally killing me. In some ways my life is less happy from quitting, it's certainly lonelier. For me personally, my decision to never drink again has nothing to do with my emotions, no matter what means exactly that for me. I've found a greater sense of peace and stability, but I don't know if that's the same thing as happiness. Happiness is a moment, it can be fleeting. And with an unrecognized AV telling you how very boring and meaningless life will be without alcohol, happiness in sobriety can be elusive.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:40 PM
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ours de petit cerveau
 
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
It's from chapter 2 of the excerpt of the book Aleric provided.
thanks - I did look but didn't find that passage, got it now
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:23 PM
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I found this on the BRI website. It might be of interest to people. I think their list of myths is spot on.

The Freedom Model
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
happiness in sobriety can be elusive.
I agree. Happiness is an elusive quality and I think is always more than just emotion. Perhaps we can say that we are happier in sobriety if, overall, we prefer our new life to our previous life and wouldn't swap what we now have with a life of drinking again. As you say, many changes come about such as temporary loneliness if we lose old drinking friends and have yet to find new friends. But for me anyway it is important to keep the expectation of increased happiness to mind. I have no interest whatsoever in quitting and not being happier and I just don't see that as AV.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:33 PM
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I don't see that expectation as AV either Aleric, unless it means that if you are desperately unhappy or something terrible happens, that then you may abandon your BP and go back to drinking as a way back to feeling happy, or escaping pain.

I'm not saying that I'm unhappy or anything, I am happier since I quit and like I said earlier my life has improved in every way that matters. But I didn't quit with the expectation that it would guarantee me happiness, I quit because it was destroying me in mind, body, and spirit. The pain of continuing was becoming greater than the pleasure it was giving me.....
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:42 PM
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Well, happiness is a diamond with many faces and reduced pain is definitely one of them for me! I agree with the rest of your post, thanks.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:43 AM
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Thanks for sharing, reading even just the summary was actually really helpful for me. My views on addiction have always aligned with their basic premise. The rehab industry is after all a business, and it's a revolving door.

How it's relevant to me now that I've quit and am at peace with that decision, is realizing I don't need to keep punishing myself or re-affirming my powerlessness. That's probably what got me here in the first place.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:05 AM
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I had a dream...

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands. (clap-clap)
Why I quit drinking... Because I needed to. Because I wanted to - for a long time. Because, because, because.
Over my life of drinking I experienced sad times, times of joy, times of happiness... basically, just life. BUT, drinking had taken over my life. And the final straw was an event that changed my life. I needed to remove drinking so that it would never have an impact on my life, the decisions I made, or how I functioned in general. Quitting drinking had no influence on being happier, sadder or anything else for that matter. All it did was take away the influence of alcohol on the many emotions I experienced. When I was sad, I drank, and became sadder. When I was happy, I drank, and became happier. We are all different and alcohol affects us in different ways - the happy drunk or the drunk who puts on the boxing gloves when he is drunk, and the list goes on.

To expect our outlook to change just because we remove alcohol from the equation is going to cause disappointment in many. Sure it may change one's demeanor, but 9 out of 10 times it is the person who must change regardless of alcohol or not.

But that's not why I came here to post. I started reading the synopsis of the book from the original post - the 'moderation' part, then quit reading. My AV went into overdrive. And it followed me to sleep. I had a dream last night. I don't recall having many drinking dreams since I sobered up, one or two tops. But last night I dreamed I had some drinks at an event. I went to get the car and as I was driving very slowly in the parking lot I misjudged and swiped a parked car. I thought nothing of it, just a little bump, but didn't stop because I was 'drinking'. I later examined my car, the exact one I own, and the side was heavily damaged and black paint from the parked car was all over my car. I woke up in a panic! It was only a dream. But it was so real and vivid - it's now a memory ingrained in my mind. Terrifying! I though of going to jail and worse... Guess I better put that thought about 'moderation' right out of my head. My subconscious mind gave me a lesson in reality last night.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
To expect our outlook to change just because we remove alcohol from the equation is going to cause disappointment in many. Sure it may change one's demeanor, but 9 out of 10 times it is the person who must change regardless of alcohol or not.
But isn't this what the model is saying? That quitting in and of itself will won't make us happier. It is the reasons why we quit that will do this. I think it's saying that everything we do, including drinking or not drinking, we do freely and because we think that that choice at that time is the happier option. This is true even when we drink fully knowing that we will regret it afterwards: at the time choose to drink we think that will make us happier than not drinking in that moment. This seems to me to be true.

If we perceive our decision to quit in the same way, that is, we are sick of drinking and quitting has now become our happier option, then will be both abstinent and happy. If we quit for any other reason than personal happiness, and happiness means everything we need in order to be happy such as self-respect, confidence, a sense of being at ease and so on, then we will be abstinent but may also be sad because we feel deprived or fearful for example.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:36 AM
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Hahahaha, my apologies. I didn't really read enough about it to get that far - it was purely my own thinking that came up with that. But I'm glad to see that 'we' are in agreement about it. I only read the part that talked about moderation etc., very little actually, before I quit reading.
I didn't want to get into to the 'abstinence vs moderation' aspect of it debate. That is for others. It's just funny to me that I had a drinking dream after reading that part of it. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
But that's not why I came here to post. I started reading the synopsis of the book from the original post - the 'moderation' part, then quit reading. My AV went into overdrive.
ha! glad I'm not the only one - mine got distinctly twitchy. "wouldn't it be nice if ... " "shut it you!"
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:55 PM
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One thing I read I in this model that made sense to me was that if we calmly assess the option of moderation and reject it,
for us, for the reasons that we don't want to live with the attendant risks or simply because we prefer not to drink anymore, this is better than panicking and shortcutting this assessment process because that may leave us secretly wondering if, indeed, moderation is possible for us. Once we see abstinence as our preferred option, which could be for many reasons I suppose, such as it is sure-fired and simple, then moderation will have no hidden away over us.
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:29 PM
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"My beast liked that (it was reading along)"... gave me quite a chuckle because my beast was reading along with your summary as well.
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:40 PM
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It was no longer moral for me to continue living as I had been. It was an immoral existence in that I was no longer following the precepts on which my sense of self was based. There was a sense of constant dissonance which I treated with alcohol, of course. It was a nightmare, every damn day.

By making my BP, I began to live in a way that lined up with what I saw to be true and good in that I now had the opportunity, the possibility, to live in an honourable and moral way. I see this to be the an aspect of the universal human condition, the asking of the question - how should we live?

I have achieved a form of happiness in that I am now participating in this pursuit and experiencing true fulfillment and peace. Not all the time, mind you, because stuff still happens, there will always be grief and loss. But I am living in a way that lines up with how I know I should. This is good.

So, did I quit drinking to become happy? Only indirectly, because no amount of unhappiness could lead me to act so immorally as to resume drinking. I quit drinking because it became immoral not to.
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