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Old 03-09-2018, 06:03 AM   #81 (permalink)
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I wasn't meaning you personally, I was using "you" in the more general sense.

You say you quit because you didn't want to be a drunk. In other words, you preferred a future life where you weren't a drunk to one where you were and presumably saw the action that you need to take to bring about that future possibility was to quit. There has been no coercion in your choice and I imagine then that you are happy with it.

However, that may not be true for everyone. It wasn't for me for example. I didn't want to be a drunk either but when I looked into the literature the only solution I saw was abstinence. I adopted this solution but reluctantly. Really I wanted to drink moderately but felt that this was something that I could not even think about because it was believing in the spaghetti monster or was AV, depending on the model. So've always felt that I have been doing something I never really wanted to do. I shouldn't need permission to think for myself but when you're faced with a problem like addiction, and whatever that means, you can be overwhelmed by it and can't see a way forward, so your tend to go off the mainstream opinion on the matter.

I've now reassessed all options, and there are three: continued use in the same way, trying moderation with all the associated risks and abstinence. I have chosen abstinence and this time it feels like a free choice so I'm much happier. Essentially the Freedom Model gave some sort of stamp of "authority" for me to calmly consider all my options and choose the one I really prefer. Does it mean I was weak to need this help? Probably but I'm not ashamed of that because I believe that sometimes we are at our strongest when we are at our weakest.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:51 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Now give yourself permission to be on the other side of the" can't vs wont' "false dichotomy and tell yourself that you can ,but won't even if you want to.
Assign the 'want' to AV and separate from it and dismiss it. (IT)

I wouldn't describe coming to a BP as weakness in any way.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:28 AM   #83 (permalink)
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I tried moderation, or at least my version of moderation, where I only drank a few days a week instead of daily like I had been doing. I still really liked drinking and it was so much part of my life that I couldn't bring myself to actually consider permanently parting ways with it. It wasn't until I'd exhausted all my options that I was able to make that lifetime commitment to abstinence. I think the choice has to be made freely. What the Freedom Model is trying to do makes perfect sense. It's giving people back their power and control, and telling them that they had it the whole time, even though they may have believed otherwise.

And moderation is an option for some people. I know that's not a popular opinion on here. But there are people out there who have achieved it. It's not for me, and I'm certainly not advocating for it or encouraging anyone to try it. I think alcohol is a terrible drug and that it ruins lives and families and I'll never touch another drop again, but that is my opinion and my choice for what I want in my life. Other people might have a different opinion for what success looks like when tackling their issue with drinking.

I am a firm believer in the AV though! Just writing out the above sentence, that little voice is telling me I could have a drink when I toast my kids at their wedding one day.... haha! They are only 13 and 15 and have no wedding plans, but my AV is already planning on how I could try out "moderation" one day in the future. IT sure is persistent, I'll give IT that!

I do wish that The Freedom Model addressed the AV, because they talk about how you have to want it for it to work, and I agree with that, but what they don't talk about it how even if you want it, your AV will always try to talk you out of wanting it.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:25 AM   #84 (permalink)
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I do wish that The Freedom Model addressed the AV, because they talk about how you have to want it for it to work, and I agree with that, but what they don't talk about it how even if you want it, your AV will always try to talk you out of wanting it.
AVRT is out there for people who want to go down that route and/or combine it with this method. This model offers another path to recovery & if it can strike a chord with some people in a way that other methods don't, then that is surely better than have it duplicate something that's already available?
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:40 AM   #85 (permalink)
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AVRT is out there for people who want to go down that route and/or combine it with this method. This model offers another path to recovery & if it can strike a chord with some people in a way that other methods don't, then that is surely better than have it duplicate something that's already available?
Absolutely. And, admittedly, I haven't even read the book yet. But I like what I've learned about it so far.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:47 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Absolutely. And, admittedly, I haven't even read the book yet. But I like what I've learned about it so far.
I agree with Andy too. The Freedom Model does not see addiction as an ambivalence as AVRT does and so there is no AV. In the Freedom Model you are you are always in control of your relationship with drink. There are not two "persons", you and the Beast, inside you and so there is no ambivalence. If you feel that your happiest option is not drinking then that's really it other than living that out of course. That is really what you want and so there will be no conflicting voice telling you otherwise.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:36 AM   #87 (permalink)
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I agree with Andy too. The Freedom Model does not see addiction as an ambivalence as AVRT does and so there is no AV. In the Freedom Model you are you are always in control of your relationship with drink. There are not two "persons", you and the Beast, inside you and so there is no ambivalence. If you feel that your happiest option is not drinking then that's really it other than living that out of course. That is really what you want and so there will be no conflicting voice telling you otherwise.
I don't know what all the Freedom Model entails, but if " so there will be no conflicting voice telling you otherwise." is a logical conclusion to draw from their reasoning, i would suggest testing this theory with a shifting exercise from AVRT.
Get a bottle of your favorite, pour a glass and hold it, and then 'listen'.
The AV doesn't need to be nonexistent to be ignored.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:41 PM   #88 (permalink)
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If quitting is conditioned upon anything as a result - including, strangely, happiness or freedom or contentment - then it is AV. This book being touted here is so full of AV it smells like a barmaid's apron.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:41 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Choosing between heavy drinking, moderation (for me that meant averaging two drinks a day), or abstinence, with the maxim of staying as happy as possible, was my modus operandi for many years until the moral compass I was raised to respect ended up vascilating so wildly I finally realized it was taking too much work to protect the drunken me - that whole other happy, altered-state personality I had grown to depend upon. While I was internally prideful about how I thought I had been hiding my drunkenness from certain people, and enjoying it at the same time, I now see that my life then was a mundane hedonistic treadmill compared to what the rest of my responsible, upwardly mobile peers had been doing for the previous ten years.

As I see it, I had been doing for a long time what the Freedom Model is teaching. I was choosing between 1 - heavy drinking, 2 - moderation (whatever), and 3 - abstinence, with my happiness (both while and while not under the influence of alcohol/drugs) being foremost. The Freedom Model suggests to me how a Recovery Coach might have convinced me, had I had enough money and had they been invented way back then, to hire him/her to help me learn how to solve my how much to drink problem. I think it probably wouldn’t have worked for me. I would have just continued down the same path.

I chose the fourth option, the option that is so often avoided in the recovery community - I chose to remove any further choosing with PERMANENT abstinence. The Big Plan is much different than choosing abstinence within a context of ongoing happiness evaluations between heavy drinking, moderation (whatever that means), and abstinence. Upon looking up the definition of abstinence it does not usually mean FOREVER, WITHOUT ANY FURTHER RECONSIDERATION, as in I WILL DIE WITHOUT ANY FURTHER OPTION OF RESCINDING THAT ABSTINENCE.

I relish my having made the Big Plans I have made on mind altering drugs, caffeine, and man-made-sweets. I stopped using nicotine decades ago and quickly found it so disgusting that I never made a formal Big Plan on that. In fact, seeing now, with so much clarity, the difference between the popular meaning of abstinence as an ongoing chosen state, here evaluated with happiness, as taught by the Freedom Model, and Permanent abstinence mandated by pledging “I will never use ... again”; I will here and NOW make my Big Plan for nicotine.

I will never use nicotine again. Yup. Just that simple. In this case, no pressure, no new thoughts or feelings, nothing. I can’t even shift into smoky the Beast. I have absolutely no recall as to what it feels like to be “on” nicotine.

In my mind, the ACE of AVRT, can also be considered the PACE - Permanent Abstinence Commitment Effect which is more in line with “cause and effect” than it is with the ACE’s early positivities of making a Big Plan. The pace of my heart has been saving at least five beats a minute for more than half my life; the pace of diversity of interests in my life has blossomed beyond compare with before quitting; etc; etc. (I consider the relatively low volume of AVRT posting on SC a sign of this blossoming diversity in others.)

I think the PACE of making a Big Plan is something that goes way beyond the pursuit of happiness. It also goes beyond the reach of the Addictive Voice as it is simply “cause and effect”. Not a required or assumed effect, just an observed effect. I can enjoy the effect, and at the same time understand that my AV also wants me to enjoy the effect to the point of needing to enjoy it. NOT!
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:43 PM   #90 (permalink)
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If quitting is conditioned upon anything as a result - including, strangely, happiness or freedom or contentment - then it is AV. This book being touted here is so full of AV it smells like a barmaid's apron.
Have you read it?
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:41 PM   #91 (permalink)
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I don't know what all the Freedom Model entails, but if " so there will be no conflicting voice telling you otherwise." is a logical conclusion to draw from their reasoning, i would suggest testing this theory with a shifting exercise from AVRT.
Get a bottle of your favorite, pour a glass and hold it, and then 'listen'.
The AV doesn't need to be nonexistent to be ignored.
That is a valid test I agree. Putting my money where my mouth is I've just tried it with a glass of wine, for a couple of minutes at just past 6am. Apart from a feeling of déjà vu lol I was certainly aware of the possibility that I could drink if I wanted to and actually felt quite a lot of desire to do so. But I also had the feeling that I didn't want to and go back to how I was. Was that AV? I don't know. All I'll say is that I didn't experience the desire and the possibility as something that I had to consciously dismiss and I didn't feel I had to make any particular effort to stop myself drinking. I felt quite happy, that word again!, because all these feelings seemed subservient to the feeling or decision that I just didn't want to drink again.

Still, I felt a sense of relief afterwards. Perhaps that was AV!
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:09 AM   #92 (permalink)
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Just wondering if this thread is going off track. The OP has referred us to a new model for addiction and there would be more clarity if we discussed it on its own merits rather than constantly trying to reinterpret it in AVRT terms as is beginning to happen.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:18 AM   #93 (permalink)
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posts stating that non-AVRT methods are self-evidently no good because they're not AVRT aren't terribly constructive
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:18 AM   #94 (permalink)
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Has anybody else read the whole Freedom Model book and if so, what are their views? Solarion said it was helpful. I must say, having read the free Kindle sample, plus the chapter summaries on the link AlericB provided earlier, it seems very informative on the issue of alcohol usage and its stoppage, by utilising an internal locus of control, as opposed to external.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:51 AM   #95 (permalink)
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I have just got the book Tatsy. I haven't read much of it yet though. Too busy posting about it to read it I guess!

I was speaking to a woman at work earlier in the week and she was telling me about her 17 year old nephew who's spending his life in his room, smoking dope and gaming and obviously about how worried everyone is about him. I was thinking about this in terms of the Freedom Model and wonder if this is a plausible explanation: he's smoking pot all the time because this makes him happy. And because this is the only life he knows this is likely to continue. The reason this is likely is because he knows no other life, which is not surprising because of his young age, and so does not have an opportunity in which he can express a preference for a different life in which he would be drug-free and happier than he is now, for example a life in which he is working or has a partner. He has nothing to compare his current life to. Restated, he is comparing his current life against "nothing" and so understandably prefers his present situation.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:16 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Hi Tatsy, i read it last week. I think they did a good job of de-mystifying alcohol in many ways. They do emphasize the internal locus of control and that we're definitely not powerless to quit alcohol. They also carefully pick apart the so-called "benefits" of drinking, and demonstrate fairly convincingly that alcohol doesnt actually provide most of the benefits one might think it does. Its very matter-of-fact and treats the reader like a grownup, capable of making informed choices.

The problem i had with it was them leaving "moderation" on the table. At first i thought it was a rhetorical device, to encourage a reluctant reader to suspend their objections to quitting long enough to explore their options. But reading all the way to the end, the authors themselves state they continue to use rather than choosing abstinence. So that painted the whole thing in a weird light for me.

That doesnt negate the value for me of a couple of their ideas on the effects of alcohol and the research they cite. But its probably not the first book i would give to a friend who is struggling.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:07 AM   #97 (permalink)
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I haven't read the book but from what I have read I agree with Turisop's assessment if it.

I would just like to add this quote from the Preface which further explains their view on moderation:

"We want to make the following point absolutely clear: as long as you are a believer in addiction and recovery, you should never attempt to moderate or use at all. That statement, of course, makes sense, considering your adherence to the belief in powerlessness. If you believe a class of people called addicts exists who cannot stop taking drugs and/or alcohol once they start, and that you might be one, then any level of use is a bad and potentially fatal idea for you. As a believer, any attempt to adjust your substance use will be undermined by your skepticism of free will over substance use.
Free will is an absolute. Either you have it, or you don’t. If you believe drugs can enslave you, abstain. If you believe in loss of control, abstain. If you believe in recovery, abstain. If you believe in addiction, abstain. But know that even with a sound rejection of addiction and recovery, you might still determine that abstinence is best for you. Many do. If that is your choice, we hope you can arrive there in the pursuit of happiness, rather than through fear and panic."
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:39 AM   #98 (permalink)
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Thank you Tursiops and AlericB for your reviews. I find this book intriguing, because I was caught up in the ‘recovery group movement/disease theory’ for want of a better phrase; until I encountered AVRT. Plus, I have an alcohol troubled friend who cannot, for entirely discrete reasons, countenance the AV concept.

On the back of my rock-solid BP.....I’ve downloaded it. My AV is excited, loves the idea of moderation, but it matters not to ‘me’. I’ll never drink again. Freedom isn’t something I’ll ever give up.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:25 AM   #99 (permalink)
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Plus, I have an alcohol troubled friend who cannot, for entirely discrete reasons, countenance the AV concept.
In that case Tatsy why not agree with your friend that you lend her your copy and she stays sober while she reads it? She may feel able to make a plan for future drinking afterwards but if not I don't see that any harm would have been done. My two penn'orth.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:45 AM   #100 (permalink)
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...But reading all the way to the end, the authors themselves state they continue to use rather than choosing abstinence.
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"Free will is an absolute. Either you have it, or you don’t. If you believe drugs can enslave you, abstain. If you believe in loss of control, abstain. If you believe in recovery, abstain. If you believe in addiction, abstain."
This paints it in an even weirder light for me. The authors write a book at odds with the goal of just about every other approach including RR (permanent abstinence), and at odds with science (addiction exists, it is a chemical transformation of our brains at the synapses, caused by overconsumption of alcohol, no serious person doubts this and there is a large pile of personal, clinical and laboratory evidence), and then finish up stating that they're still drinking?

This book may make some money for the authors, but the "Here's the path you're hoping for, the one that allows you to keep drinking just like us" approach will probably kill 10 people for every 1 it helps.
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