It’s Not Rocket Science
Along about Wednesday or Thursday, new clients will lean back, sigh and say something like, “It really isn’t rocket science, is it?”
At which point we will smile, comfortingly we hope, and reply, “No, it’s just good science.”
It’s interesting that when all of the “everyone knows” mythology is cleared away, an exercise in deprogramming that most people quickly understand, solving alcohol abuse problems is fairly straightforward. That’s not to suggest that it’s easy. It will involve some short-term discomfort, some effort, learning some new skills and coping mechanism, and a willingness to leave a few old habits, associations, and, yes, people behind.
Deprogramming and exorcising myths means replacing AA and rehab twaddle with reality: AA and “facilitated 12 Step” (the business of selling AA as treatment) “work” less than 10% of the time, mostly less than 5% since this is the percentage of people who find relief through AA.
Then there’s the “it’s the only way.” Seriously? People have been abusing alcohol, and recovering, for thousands of years. Then, as now, most people recover without meetings, Steps, or commercial rehab.
But beyond dispelling the bunkum, which clears the air but doesn’t fix your own problems, how do you, like millions of others, leave the alcohol abuse behind?
That first requires replacing some of your own beliefs and self-image fallacies with comforting realities: alcohol abuse is not a disease, it’s a symptom; you don’t abuse alcohol because you are dumb or diseased but because it worked, until it didn’t. You aren’t an “alcoholic” or powerless unless you say you are, in which case you do belong down at AA.
The symptom approach lets you look at what you are self-medicating. Typically this is loneliness, boredom, anxiety, depression, unbalanced relationships and/or lives; personal grief, tragedy, physical pain, aging, role loss, and any number of other “issues.”
Yes, alcohol does provide temporary relief from any or all of these. No wonder it’s so popular and even less wonder we move from using it to “fix” one problem to generalizing it to many more. That’s where the trouble lies.
Eventually, we are medicating too much and addressing too little and this swirl turns into a downward spiral of which we seem to have lost control. At this point, a little short term, “not rocket science,” and certainly not AA, help can you reverse the spiral.
For that reality base, continue reading below, please.