What Ex-Smokers Can Teach Us
Those of us who are both ex-smokers and former alcohol abusers generally agree – giving up alcohol is a hell of a lot easier than giving up cigarettes.
Then why is it that smokers are about five times more successful than drinkers at kicking the habit?
Mostly it’s that smokers assume responsibility for both their smoking and for stopping. And ex-smokers don’t sit around back rooms, drinking cheap wine, and talking about smoking for years on end.
But drunks, hanging out with other drunks, talking about drinking, eventually resume drinking – if they ever stop – while smokers go about developing a better life without cigarettes.
There really isn’t very much of a mystery here.
Another problem for so called “alcoholics” is valuing their membership in their “secret society” with its own language, tokens, slogans, badges, and so on. Things most of us outgrew along with the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.
That’s another clue. We outgrew it.
Those of us who are ex-drinkers, and/or ex-smokers have accepted responsibility for ourselves and our behaviors. We’re not powerless. We get the short term help we need, restructure our lives around other activities, and develop healthy replacement habits and healthy relationships.
Isn’t that what you want? To be cured instead of labeling yourself a childish life long victim?
Why not put your alcohol abuse behind you with well deserved pride in having defeated a difficult and dangerous habit while creating a far better life?
Powerful, not powerless. Been there, done that. Got a life, not a cult.
It really is your choice. Give us a call and turn your choice into a reality.
Dr. Mary Ellen Barnes & Dr. Edward Wilson
Call Toll Free 888-541-6350
(In Los Angeles or From Alaska: 310-541-6350)
Something We Don’t Often See Anymore
25 years ago a Minnesota facility discovered that roughly sixty percent of the men signing up for treatment didn’t actually have a drinking problem. Their wives did and the men were signing up in a conscientious effort to let their wives “sneak” treatment.
Social change has eroded that model, of course, but over the past few months we’ve met two men, M and K, who’ve been willing to make that same effort. We applaud their effort and hope that between us we’ll succeed.
Other unusual client situations:
An ex-wife who’s working with us to rebuild her life after her husband disappeared into the worst of the AA cult mentality. She’d read “He’s Quit Drinking, When Will I get My Husband Back?” and realized the answer was never. We’ve helped men through that no win situation, too;
Two former AA members who realized it was time to Kick the 12 Step Habit along with their alcohol abuse;
Couples in their 50s who have come to us preemptively as they saw their alcohol use escalating as parenting and careers wind down;
And several individuals who have been Smeared in Divorce and custody proceedings with “alcoholic” labels. Increasingly we are being successful at refuting the labels and derailing the tactic.
No, it’s not always about quitting drinking – sometimes it’s just about heeding the signs and getting some help before your life gets off track.
Whatever your situation, we’re happy to talk to you about what we can do to can help.
Long ago we read that “we read to discover that we are not alone.” Through the years we’ve recognized ourselves in a lot of different books. Pieces of who we are, were, will be, or wish we were.
And books are a far better way of coping with loneliness, boredom, and frustration than alcohol.
Try Robert Parker’s Jesse Stone series for an empathic look at overcoming alcohol abuse with a bit of help;
What books do you recommend? Let us know and we’ll share the titles periodically.
Ed votes for: Best Novel: East of Eden; Essays: Flight of the Iguana History: Klondike Fever
Mary Ellen’s are: Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday (Best Novel; Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Best History) by Dee Brown. I also love Parker’s Spencer Mysteries.
As always, for information or just to talk, one of us answers the phone personally from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Monday – Thursday, unless we are with clients, or from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
If we don’t answer, leave your name and number and one of us will usually be able to get back to you within an hour.
Toll Free From the Lower 48 or Canada: 888-541-6350
In Los Angeles, or from Alaska: 310-541-6350