Sabotage! Who doesn’t want you to succeed?
When you give up drinking you expect the people around you to be happy about it and supportive.
So why do so many spouses and other friends and family members suddenly start doing things to drive you back to drinking?
Every relationship in our lives evolves into a “dance” of sorts and most of the steps are well known, established, familiar, and automatic. But when you quit drinking you change the dance and partners usually react by trying to get you back to the dance they know, even when they hate it.
“Gee, honey, you just aren’t any fun any more,” is a spouse’s lament our clients hear frequently.
Or clients report that their husband or wife has suddenly increased their drinking…
Or hosted a cocktail party to welcome them back from their week with us…
Or stocked up on their favorite wine…
Giving up alcohol shifts the power structure within the relationship and partners don’t like losing the upper hand your drinking has given them, whether or not they know it.
Much the same reactions can occur at work, or with children, or with families.
People do not like, or are threatened by change, even when it’s change they claim they want.
It’s the reason we prepare you for sabotage, conscious or not, and prefer to do at least a little prep work with spouses. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.
Will the sabotage go on forever?
No. Over the course of a year a new dance will be forged and a new “normal” created and a comfortable relationship established – one that doesn’t depend on drinking.
The keys? Good will, good humor, awareness, and patience.
After all, the “alcoholic dance” didn’t develop overnight, nor will it’s replacement. So settle in as best you can, stay in touch, and give everyone some leeway to adjust.
For more information, or to discuss sabotage in your own particular relationships, just call!
Sports Psychology and Overcoming Alcohol Abuse
Remember those gymnasts in the Olympics? Young women performing remarkable feats with very very few mistakes. Do you think they reached that pinnacle of perfection by visualizing failure?
No, they achieved greatness by concentrating on success!
Putting you alcohol problems behind you will be easier if you, too, focus on success, not on failure.
What does that involve?
First, unless you want to be a “successful” drunk, forget about “admitting you are a powerless alcoholic.” Tell yourself that often enough and that’s what you’ll become, but drinking won’t have anything to do with it.
Second, figure out what you’d like your post-alcohol life to look like. You can’t achieve something you can’t describe.
Third, figure out the changes you could make to move closer to your ideal.
No, “not drinking” is not a goal. You can’t work with a negative. Adding up days of sobriety just keeps you focused on all the wrong things.
As our website stats program reminds me daily, you can’t change what you can’t measure. Keep your attention on things you can actively achieve:
“I will walk 10,000 steps a day, Monday – Friday, and half of them will be aerobic and I will, today, spend $29.95 on a pocket pedometer to keep track.”
That’s an example of an actual plan for success in one part of your life. By the way, most of us already walk about 5,000 steps a day, upping it to 7,500 isn’t too difficult, hitting 10,000 means paying attention. Hmmm, I think we mentioned that before.
There are other helpful aids to successful change and we’d be glad to help you sort out the best ones for you. As usual, it just takes a call.