How You Work "IT"
by Bill Benson
(reprinted with permission -- © Journal of Rational Recovery, Volume 8, Issue 4, 1996 -- all rights reserved)

Never have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly and consistently practiced AVRT. Those who do not recover are people who are entirely capable but unwilling to make a personal commitment to permanent abstinence. They have the personal freedom to continue their dependency with the risk of suffering and death. They are not unfortunates, they are chemically dependent by choice! Their choice is made. The natural capability to grasp and develop a manner of living which allows freedom and longevity is theirs for the taking. Their chances of recovery are one-hundred percent guaranteed -- right now!

If they decide they want a better life and are willing to never drink again, they will recognize an inner voice which balks. All of us balked at the idea of a Big Plan; if we hadn't, we wouldn't have been addicted! Some say, "It's too simple. How can it work?" It doesn't work. Nothing works. But anyone can quit right now for good! Some of us looked for an easier, less direct way, and thought we could depend on others or ask God to do what is ours to do. But we could not find a less direct way than to quit once and for all time.

With all the earnestness at our command, we challenged the fear of abstinence and found it was a needless fear. We stayed who we were from the start and held on to values that gave our lives meaning. Remember, we are dealing only with alcohol. It is neither cunning nor baffling nor powerful. It is an inanimate substance which sits on a shelf until it is taken and consumed.

We stood at a turning point and decided, "There is but one who can quit an addiction, and it is I." Let us find ourselves now! We asked for no protection against our innate desire for pleasure, and turned to planned, lifetime abstinence with complete abandon. We took no steps on the way to quitting, because any step is only an evasion of immediate responsibility.

A lifetime in the problem promises a lifetime of dependency but free will is yours and mine. Half-hearted commitments don't make it, but full measures avail us everything. We stand at the turning point and say, "I will never drink again!"

This is the book we read, The Final Fix by Jack Trimpey. Some have exclaimed, "What a Plan, I can't say never!" But that was only the Addictive Voice. We come to recognize that to doubt our ability to abstain is a favorite tactic of the Addictive Voice. Anyone can maintain perfect, permanent abstinence with AVRT, if that is what they decide to do.

Our description of addiction makes clear these pertinent facts:

Being convinced that we have had our last drink or our final fix, we are completely recovered and are free to return to normal lives! We hope for better lives and certain fulfillments, but we do not make those hopes a condition of our enduring commitment to abstinence from alcohol and drugs.