Ambivalence – the Real Enemy
When it comes down to fixing our alcohol abuse, or any other destructive behavior, the problem isn’t mythological “powerlessness” — it’s ambivalence.
Really, we only sorta want to fix any of the things that we could be taking care of.
Perhaps even more accurately, we just want the bad parts of our behavior to go away without us having to actually invest any effort in making that happen.
For a fast confirmation, just glance through the websites of a dozen treatment programs. They will all tell you how easy it will be. You will be “cured” in luxurious comfort by the magic of the palms, the vortex, the ocean breeze, or a helicopter ride up the mountain to meet your higher power.
Yes, it’s the magic.
All of these programs have one thing in common, they will fail you 95% of the time, and even when they seem to work, it’ll be because you decided to fix the problem yourself.
There is no magic, and it isn’t rocket science.
Fixing personal behavior problems is a matter of acquiring some new skills and combining and using them in ways that work for you.
That’s what we do. Provide new skills like CBT, assertiveness training, exercise and diet information, scheduling possibilities, and motivation in ways designed around your strengths, interests, abilities, and needs.
Then we coach, encourage, and tinker along with you for as long as it takes to create a new “normal” which doesn’t include alcohol abuse.
Yes, you can waste $30,000 – $200,000 on comfortable, luxurious magic that just leaves you poorer and more discouraged than ever, or you can spend $8,750 on short term help that actually works.
Just take a few minutes to read through Our Expanded Program Description then give us a call and let’s get started on the fascinating research into what makes you tick, and how to balance, strengthen, and improve that.
“Hi, my name is Ed, and I’m an alcoholic.”
Unless I want to either continue drinking, or increase my drinking, I can’t think of a worse way to label myself. And there is no better way to become an alcoholic than to start with cultivating that label as the foundation of my self-image.
The vast majority of people with alcohol problems are abusing alcohol, not dependent on it. Fixing the problem means practicing alternatives to drinking and addressing underlying problems like anxiety, loneliness, depression, hormone changes (yes, men and women both), and so on.
It also helps to work on rebuilding a self-image that doesn’t include drinking – exactly the opposite of creating one where the only important component is “alcoholic.”
How good do you expect you’re going to feel if you spend all of your time saying to yourself, “I’m a loser, I’m a loser, I’m a loser,” about fifty times a week?
That’s like being a gymnast who spends all of her time saying, “I’m going to fall, I’m going to fall, I’m going to fall.”
How do suppose that’s going to work out?
Ending your alcohol problem means eradicating drinking from your self image and replacing drinking behaviors with other behaviors that relieve whatever conditions you’re self-medicating with alcohol.
Depressed? Stop depressing yourself further by consuming a depressant and start becoming physically active in ways you like (I lift weights three times a week, which works for me – what might work for you?).
Loneliness, boredom, anxiety, and other things that ail us also respond to behavioral changes in ways that are life enhancing. Medicating those same ailments with alcohol, in the long run, tends to be life killing.
“How I Stopped Drowning In Drink” by Paul Carr as it recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
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