“Complete separation of ‘you’ from ‘it’ leads to complete recovery”
That’s how simple abstinence is according to Jack Trimpey, author of ‘Rational Recovery’ – the 1996 publication which went global and introduced people to a completely different mindset (than the traditionally unchallenged AA).
I’m not a Jack Trimpey disciple so won’t profess to know the ins and outs of his alternative approach to what he calls ‘curing addiction’ and I haven’t read his book in full yet although I have listened to a number of people in recovery who have gone down Trimpey’s path and followed the AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) plan. I like the simplicity and black & white language more than what I’ve seen with the 12-step programme in Alcoholics Anonymous but what I’ve also found is just like AA, AVRT followers can be very dismissive of other approaches. One of my early takeaways from reading the first 50 pages or so of ‘Rational Recovery’ was the digs Trimpey has at AA.
I’ve been very open minded to all recovery techniques and programmes since leaving hospital in Feb 2021 and in 90% of cases I find others in recovery who follow a particular path, remain respectful and supportive of other people’s sobriety journeys and how they are staying clean. Unfortunately it’s the minority that leave a lasting impression.
I’ve mentioned previously that I use social media to engage with others in recovery because I don’t go to physical meetings so I was drawn to AVRT largely after hearing about it from other users on the platforms I use. It was nice to hear about something other than AA which is by far and away the most used and well-known recovery programme.
Sadly I’ve had quite a few nasty comments from those in AA who don’t accept I can remain sober by not following the 12 steps – as this is the only true way of defeating my ‘illness’. They talk very much about my disease which is part of me and refer to me as an alcoholic. I struggle with that because I don’t like the term alcoholic and don’t consider myself to be one. They say I’ll never be cured and once you accept that you can start working the steps.
That’s why AVRT makes more sense to me. I consider my issues with alcohol as a separate entity to me, myself and I. The beast in my head is the voice trying to get me to return to drinking but I know it isn’t healthy for me and don’t want to return to the life I had when I was drinking.
I accept I have mental health issues and I’ve lived with these since my teens. Doctors have diagnosed me and I take daily medication. I know that we all have mental health, mine just happens to be more volatile than others. What I don’t accept is that I’m an alcoholic because I don’t drink alcohol anymore. It isn’t part of me so why should I let it define me daily?
I get that other people need that label to stay sober, and that is fine with me! It just doesn’t help me. And that should be fine. What works for me is the most important thing, right?