Understanding the “dances” you’ve learned.
The most insidious of the learned behavior patterns are those that couples develop. These “dances” – whether the tequila tango, the whiskey waltz, the beer barrel polka, or the chardonnay shuffle, always make it difficult to stop drinking when you are both invested in the drinking whether you like it or not!
Put another way, you’ve created a threesome with alcohol as the third partner and you both benefit from things staying the way they are.
Passive spouses who are married to controlling wives or husbands, find drinking to be an effective passive-aggressive F.U. to the controller. Alcohol also provides an effective protective bubble that insulates you from an abusive spouse.
The abusive and/or controlling spouse also benefits from being able to discount any of your legitimate complaints because you’re just a drunk.
Now imagine what can happen when you stop drinking, become a bit assertive, and no longer tolerate the abuse or the manipulation. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your spouse or partner starts doing every kind of sabotage they can dream up to force you back into drinking.
In another common case, your drinking covers up your spouse’s problems which may well be worse than your alcohol abuse. Over eating, anger issues, and medical concerns – they all are easy to ignore because it’s your drinking that’s the problem.
So various dances the two of you have developed continue. Even when there aren’t spouses involved, the same models are at play with parents and other family members or just with our choice of friends and social and recreational activities.
Our lives are a series of habits, dances, and discomforts and anxieties which we’ve learned to medicate rather than manage.
But you can learn to manage your life instead of just letting it slip away in a fog of mental, emotional, and physical impairment.
Remember, you can choose to regain your personal power, take back your life, and stop apologizing for having fallen into habits that used to work.
The past is over, time is finite, and the future needn’t be one of gloom, doom, and meetings. The choice is yours and, as long as you’re still breathing, it’s never too late to live a better and more interesting life.
Why your physician won’t/can’t talk to you about alcohol abuse.
We get many calls from people wanting to know where they can find a doctor who will prescribe Naltrexone, the benign anti-craving medication that helps over 70-% of our clients. Most of these folks have been to their primary care doctors and have received answers like:
“Oh, only a psychiatrist can prescribe that medication” (except that psychiatrists say, “Oh, only an addiction specialist can prescribe that”) or that it’s “much too dangerous” or ….the list of why not is endless.
The real reason is that they’ve never heard of it and they are far too elitist to admit that.
That brings up the next logical question, “Why don’t physicians know about it?”
The answer is three fold;
- first, it’s a generic so no pharmaceutical drug reps are going to push it and doctors get all of their medication education from drug reps;
- second, it’s benign, at least as benign as aspirin, and doesn’t make you violently ill like Antabuse, so the 12 Steppers hate it;
- Finally, it was developed to also be used as a moderation aid so the rehabs really hate it.
Three strikes and you’re out of luck.
Another problem is that virtually all medical schools don’t teach anything about alcohol abuse and how to treat it. They too have been co-opted by the Minnesota Model which has dictated the “standard of care,” i.e. AA rehab, or “FTS” (Facilitated Twelve Step).
As a result, your quest for actual medical help is going to take some real digging.
But you may be able to find a physician if you are willing to help educate her or him. Drop us an e-mail and we’ll send along a copy of our Physician’s Guide to Naltrexone.
You might also want to seek out a D.O. instead of an M.D. Doctors of Osteopathy tend to be more open to what actually works and more inclined to expanding their knowledge base free of prejudice. It’s not an accident that all of the physicians we work with are D.O.’s.