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-   -   The Freedom Model for Addictions - 2 (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/secular-exploration-different-recovery-methods/424808-freedom-model-addictions-2-a.html)

AlericB 03-18-2018 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlotta (Post 6827423)
One common denominator is that it always got triggered by me being very stressed and feeling suddenly overwhelmed. Not so much "a" thoughts as a cyclone of thoughts and not being able to quiet my mind.

OK, thoughts plural then :)

I was reading something recently on the Western tradition of meditation, or contemplation as it used to be called - monks basically! - and in medieval times thoughts and feelings were regarded as being pretty much on the same 'level'. I think we often think that feelings are somehow deeper than thoughts but that wasn't the case then. The mind (the seat of thoughts) and the heart (the seat of feelings) were thought of as pretty much the same thing: as mental events in your conscious awareness. Being monks of course they did think there was a deeper level to people and that was the spirit. I only say all that because perhaps it supports the idea of cravings as a mass of unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and impusles, sensations and so on, rather than as an external force out there somewhere that we have no control over and just have to be it's passive victim.

AlericB 03-19-2018 03:28 AM

Just reading a bit more about cravings in this book, it makes the point that the traditional meaning of the word "crave" is something like "to have an eager, intense or strong desire" and it's only relatively recently that the definition was changed by the drug and alcohol treatment industry to refer specifically to consuming a particular substance, for example alcohol, drugs, food.

It's view is that by limiting "craving" to substance use we no longer think of it as a normal human thought or desire that we can have about lots of things such as gambling, sex, pizza and so on. That is, we can and do crave anything that comes into our minds and there is nothing special or mysterious about substances in this. It makes the interesting observation about cravings that no one ever has strong desires (cravings) about things that we don't think are going to make us happy at the time. So, it's true that drinking may result in craving alcohol but it's also true that we can also crave pizza.


Suppose someone starts thinking about lunch and she really like pizza so begins craving pizza. She has one and then later gets heartburn. A few days later she does the same thing again and gets heartburn again. Would you say that her pizza craving is because of "addiction" or is it that she simply likes pizza and eating pizza makes her happy for a while. The model argues that craving only means to have a strong or intense desire, that we all have cravings and that they are therefore normal.

So it's view is that if you think drinking will offer some form of happiness, even if the happiness is fleeting, then the thought of drinking is likely to result in cravings.

Wholesome 03-19-2018 07:48 AM

I think cravings are all about how one frames them in the mind. Yesterday I moved my mom, it was very stressful, there was a LOT of driving, and I ended up having to fork out $1200 for the moving van and to pay for her storage unit that she was in arrears with. I was not expecting to have to get my credit card out. On the way home I was tired and actually thirsty and I had this intense thought about how fanfukintastic a beer would be! I could taste it. I still have associations in my mind about moving and stress relief and drinking. So in that moment I can either latch on to that thought and obsess over it and feel deprived that I "can't" have a beer and feel sorry for myself that I drank myself into addiction, or I can cave and submit to the desire to drink, or I can let the thought be and do nothing about it and let it pass. The idea that cravings are something to be feared or avoided or are a symptom of some kind of failure is incorrect. It's OK to want something on some level and not get it.

AlericB 03-19-2018 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillieJean1 (Post 6828442)
So in that moment I can either latch on to that thought and obsess over it and feel deprived that I "can't" have a beer and feel sorry for myself that I drank myself into addiction, or I can cave and submit to the desire to drink, or I can let the thought be and do nothing about it and let it pass.

Or there is a fourth option perhaps, and one which the model suggests you take, which is to challenge the thought. If you ask yourself "Do I really want to have a beer now?" then it becomes an active choice rather than the more passive, but no less valid of course, options you gave of either mindfully letting it pass, of giving into it, or of getting caught up and obsessing about it.

And because the model says that you can only crave something that you choose to do, that is, you see it as your happier option, this will end the craving.

I'm trying to imagine actually being there and having this craving. In my mind anyway, I think that if I really did see my happier option as not drinking in that moment, that is, I would actually be happier not drinking than drinking the beer, then I don't think I could at the same time be craving to do so.

I'm not saying that's a better option than any of the ones you gave btw, just exploring this model :)

Wholesome 03-19-2018 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlericB (Post 6828665)
Or there is a fourth option perhaps, and one which the model suggests you take, which is to challenge the thought. If you ask yourself "Do I really want to have a beer now?" then it becomes an active choice rather than the more passive, but no less valid of course, options you gave of either mindfully letting it pass, of giving into it, or of getting caught up and obsessing about it.

The thing with making it a choice or asking if you want it is that it's AV. Without turning this into AVRT, it's leaving the door open until the day comes along where drinking is the happier option. I still haven't read very much of the book though, so maybe I just don't fully understand.

AlericB 03-19-2018 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillieJean1 (Post 6828697)
The thing with making it a choice or asking if you want it is that it's AV. Without turning this into AVRT, it's leaving the door open until the day comes along where drinking is the happier option. I still haven't read very much of the book though, so maybe I just don't fully understand.

I haven't really read it either but it makes sense to me that if you have freely reassessed all your options for future drinking without feeling forced in any way and you chose astinence then that is your choice and no-one elses and, because of the PDP, the reason you made that choice is because it's where you see the most happiness for you and you will therefore find it easy to stick to. Your natural motivation for happiness will keep you sober.

As to it making it a choice to drink, I would say that it always is a choice. Free will is an absolute, we either have it or we don't, and the model says that we are in full control of our choices once we reject the addict self-image.

dwtbd 03-19-2018 12:59 PM

Keep you sober ? a default setting is a default setting, the natural state is not intoxicated, sober isn't something you get or keep.
One either intoxicates one's self or one doesn't. The recovery industry would you like you to think you need to 'keep' sober, yeah ?

AlericB 03-19-2018 02:05 PM

If you are drinking heavily then sobriety is something you have to get/get back, yes.

It's also something that you have to keep IMO, and the best way to do this is by being happy that you're sober.

andyh 03-19-2018 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwtbd (Post 6828922)
Keep you sober ? a default setting is a default setting, the natural state is not intoxicated, sober isn't something you get or keep.
One either intoxicates one's self or one doesn't. The recovery industry would you like you to think you need to 'keep' sober, yeah ?

do you not 'keep' to your Big Plan?

dwtbd 03-19-2018 03:04 PM

Cmon guys , I’m on your side , read/think about the message instead of jumping on the purist messenger.
Or do we need to fight fight fight for a precarious sobriety, that could be ripped away?

GerandTwine 03-19-2018 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andyh (Post 6829007)
do you not 'keep' to your Big Plan?

Recognizing the Addictive Voice is something that people “keep to” doing, it’s a progression of thoughts and feelings. But that’s not the case with a Big Plan.

A Big Plan removes any future choices about drinking again, and quickly institutes a simple thought reflex, not too different from avoiding the hot orange circle on the stove top. I don’t have to “keep to” not putting my hand on the orange part of the stovetop. (Or, for that matter, on the shapely derrière of that woman standing next to me on the crowded bus.) I just don’t ever do it. The “never drink/drug” has created a new neurological super-fast shut down switch.

And a Big Plan significantly shortens the amount of time one might need to “keep to” practicing Addictive Voice Recognition Technique on any particular occasion when the idea of drinking some more may be presented or thought about.

The Big Plan eliminates “keeping to” any type of decision making such as, “I wonder how long I will be happy with not drinking anything.” “Is it possible to be sober with one drink on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only? I think that would make me happy.”

AlericB 03-19-2018 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwtbd (Post 6829055)
Cmon guys , I’m on your side , read/think about the message instead of jumping on the purist messenger.
Or do we need to fight fight fight for a precarious sobriety, that could be ripped away?

I sure we're all on the same side in that we want to understand the situation we all find ourselves in. But I think Andy has asked a very reasonable question which has not been answered. Most questions seem to come from AVRT adherants - for a change, this is from an alternative point of view so why not directly answer it?

Also, why is a happy sobriety a precarious one?

Not sure what the rules are about discussing various approaches together but I'm assuming it's OK as long as it stays respectful of all methods being discussed.

AlericB 03-19-2018 03:43 PM

P.S. I commented that Andy's question hadn't been answered before I'd seen that GT had replied so I wasnt implying that he hadn't answered it. Off to bed now though (UK time) and hope to read his reply over my bowl of cornflakes tomorrow. 'Night all.

GerandTwine 03-19-2018 03:43 PM

I think it’s useful at this point to describe some of the very small qualities of the Big Plan. But first, the Big Plan is big only because it lasts for a very very big amount of time.

The Big Plan...
...takes only ten seconds to do.
...requires zero further decision making about drinking.
...uses zero calories to accomplish
...costs zero cents
...relies on zero other people or future circumstances
...has zero vulnerabilities
...takes up zero future time or effort
...has zero negative consequences
...takes less than a split second to recall

andyh 03-19-2018 04:04 PM

I'm off to bed, night all :)

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

Greenwood618 03-19-2018 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andyh (Post 6829125)
I'm off to bed, night all :)

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

It is indeed a very good time to say good night.

Basically, what we have here is some people who understand that AVRT leads folks to a one-time decision to quit once and for all. At that point, recovery is over.

There are also others here who view abstinence as an ongoing event, requiring rituals, relationships, philosophy, logical proofs, confabs, discussions and continuing education.

Personally, I would rather die of drinking than go through that every day. It makes me wonder if the drama of not drinking every day and its environs isn't the central drama in some people's lives, and for that reason, they refuse to let it go.

It has been frustrating to watch all the wasted energy.

JeffreyAK 03-19-2018 04:42 PM

Just a thought, why does just about every single thread in Secular Connections turn into a debate about ideological purity with respect to AVRT, even threads that aren't really about AVRT (like this one)? I'm puzzled why practitioners seem to care so much about what other people do and even how they think. If that's "letting go of the drama", I'm not sure what not letting go looks like. ;)

GerandTwine 03-19-2018 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeffreyAK (Post 6829161)
... a debate about ideological purity with respect to AVRT,

Addictive Voice Recognition Technique is a technique, not an ideology. AVRT simply polarizes thoughts and feelings about future drinking/drugging. Is using a homing device to track a collared wild animal using an ideology? Of course not. Everyone knows that. It’s just that some people seem not to want to allow AVRT to remain a pristine technique based on a simple five word pledge, the Big Plan - “I will never drink/drug again.”

Is the Big Plan an ideology? Not any more than “I will never fondle strange women” (and/or men as the case may be) is an ideology.

So, there’s no ideology with this re-cognition technique. It’s just a re-cognition technique. A very simple skill - connected with a very powerful pledge.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeffreyAK (Post 6829161)
...even threads that aren't really about AVRT (like this one)?

When people introduce AVRT into a thread, there is no good reason to remain silent about what AVRT is or isn’t, especially if it is being mistakenly equated as in “you must keep to your Big Plan just as you must keep to remaining happy in abstinence.” It would be a disservice to people interested in learning more about AVRT. Right? Right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeffreyAK (Post 6829161)
I'm puzzled why practitioners seem to care so much about what other people do and even how they think. If that's "letting go of the drama", I'm not sure what not letting go looks like. ;)

I suppose I could claim to be puzzled by why people who seem to understand the meaning of “a technique” and “an extremely specific pledge” can’t help but continue to drag it into equivalence with Way of Life Philosophies that really do attempt to instruct addicted people to join them in order to keep alcohol out of their mouths.

soberlicious 03-19-2018 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlericB
Also, why is a happy sobriety a precarious one?

What is happy sobriety? Does it mean you're happy about not being a drinker or that you're not a drinker because you're happy? Because those are different to me.

dwtbd 03-19-2018 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andyh (Post 6829007)
do you not 'keep' to your Big Plan?

My reply would be that I made a Big Plan, it seemed like a tremendously difficult thing to do about two seconds before I did it, now I understand that it just seemed that way, for like thirty years ;)


And I never said ‘happy sobriety’, the implication is incongruous.

Dwtbd, quat , anyone can , stop trying so hard and just do it.


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