It is often said that we are at our most vulnerable in terms of irrational thinking and behaviours when we are under stress – going through a difficult time at work, financial worries, bereavement, relationships, etc. but I find that my vulnerability (and I’m talking on a personal level about my sobriety) is often when I’m happy and content.
My alcohol dependency manifested during some very dark months but my relationship with alcohol was built on the foundations of enjoyment, care free thinking and socialising. Now that I have my mental health in a good place (which isn’t something I’ve been able to say often since I started this Blog) my addictive voice is trying to latch on to the feel good factor after failing to win the battle against my rational thinking when I was going through a rough time earlier in the year.
Instead of my ‘beast’ as many people who use AVRT like myself like to call it solely waiting for the opportunity to strike when I’m feeling down, it has started creeping into my head when I’m out running, out for a meal with my friends and today for example, simply because it was sunny and I passed a pub beer garden. Now don’t get me wrong, my beast has used those examples many times in the past when I have been in various places on the mental health continuum scale to try and lure me back to alcohol but it tended to be at it’s quietest when I was happy. This is a different tactic and it caught me off guard if I’m being honest.
No I haven’t drank alcohol and no I haven’t started planning to but for the first time in at least a month to six weeks I’ve had a real battle over the last 48 hours and it has been a reminder that we can’t let our guard down in recovery. I’m not recovered, I’m still recovering.
I disagree with the simplistic language that Jack Trimpey, author of Rational Recovery and the AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) Guru uses at times where he states that once you put your Big Plan in place you are free of your past. I know people who have used AVRT and indeed consider themselves ‘broken free’ of their addiction and I have no doubt that will be me one day but you have to get to that place first. It’s a path that you need to go down and experience, something I am clearly still doing based on what I’m sharing today.
I understand AVRT and I understand my mental health. It has taken a long time for me to be able to say that though. I’ve been able to stay sober and rationally overcome my addictive voice this week because of the understanding I have developed since my journey began back in February 2021.
That’s all for today. Short and sweet. It was simply a reminder to others who are trying to stay sober that it’s not uncommon to have some of your biggest battles when you are happy – our addiction will do anything to get what it wants so stay focused on that goal you set back on Day 1. To not drink or use again.