Informed Decision Making

2017 is just around the corner and while I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I do lay out some goals I’d like to aim for by my birthday in May. That’s my idiosyncratic way of organizing my year’s beginnings.


So, if I, or you, want to make any plans, whether it’s in regard to your drinking or anything else, you need information if you’re going to make INFORMED choices. Any other kind of decision making is just continuing to live in your currently medicated fantasy land.

We always stress to clients that in order to make realistic choices we all need to know where we stand medically, financially, and legally.

How many of these are you up to date on? One? Two? Three?


Most of us fall into the zero or one categories. This is also known as the “ignorance is bliss” state, except if that was the case why are you drinking to avoid the very realities that allow you to intelligently manage your life?

Many times in life we are confronted with anxiety ridden choices but the actual choice is which kind of anxiety will best serve us? This is easily demonstrated when it comes to our medical conditions. Would you prefer to know, or not know, what your actual medical condition is?

Notice that regardless of what you choose, know or not know, you can’t avoid the anxiety of either worrying about what might be, or worrying about what is. Except, of course, in the usual case where not much is wrong or needs to be addressed or can be addressed fairly simply.

In other words, knowing will frequently result in ending the anxiety you are now medicating by discovering there wasn’t anything to worry about.

The same, to some degree, also applies to legal and financial matters.
Again, most of us suppress our concerns rather than actually discovering where we stand. And, again, it’s hard to make plans to either address real concerns, or quit worrying because things are okay if we don’t know the details!

So! If you do know your medical, legal, and financial condition, great. And instead of worrying and/or medicating, prioritize and address what needs addressing or let us help you manage that.

It is, after all, what we do – help you to define, evaluate, and organize systems to address whatever is driving you to drink and then supporting you through the process of learning to manage your day-to-day life.

Sounds like the best way to begin the year to us. How’s it sound to you?


There’s nothing like impossible expectations to have us seeking refuge in the bottle.

And expectations come in many forms. There are those we impose on ourselves; those society hands us; others from our culture; families; gender roles; religious beliefs; spouses; and…… The possibilities are endless, as they say.

We had a client who was raised to be a successful business person but also expected to be a respectful (read subservient) daughter and wife. That meant, among other things, being the provider, tending to aging parents and a demanding husband, and… but you get the picture, I’m sure.

At some point in most of our lives we reach a point where it becomes obvious that we can’t do and be everything to everyone. Some of us manage to assertively say no to impossible demands, others of us damn near kill ourselves trying, and many of us eventually just passive-aggressively retreat into a bottle hoping things will just go away.

But “things” don’t ever just go away and the demands just change. Now the demand is that you quit drinking and go back to meeting everyone else’s needs, demands, and expectations.

I imagine you can easily see why we do as much assertiveness training as anything else.

You need to learn to push back firmly, not passively or aggressively. And sometimes you need to learn to push back against yourself and your own unrealistic and unattainable expectations.

Want to sort out the reasonable from the unreasonable and learn to firmly reject the latter? Good! Let’s get started on that too!