Maybe it’s Time to be Selfish?
Too many of our clients have found themselves exceeding their carrying capacity and, rather than lightening the load, find themselves seeking respite, and refuge, with alcohol.
That is quite understandable as well as being, in the long run, counter-productive.
?Let’s look at the “understandable” part first.
Too often we forget that we use alcohol “because it works.” No, you’re not dumb or diseased or weak or immoral. You simply found a “solution” that’s affordable, legal, ready available, effective, and socially accepted. What’s not to like about that?
Toss in a genetic make-up that results in a high tolerance, no hangovers, and a risk taking personality – guess what? With no discernable negative consequences, we start to broaden our usage.
Yes, it’s very, very easy to generalize from our initial usage to any discomfort that comes along. What started out in high school or college as an aid to social anxiety morphs over time. Eventually we’re medicating depression, loneliness, boredom, a poor diet, crumbling marriages, over-work, annoying children, and a myriad of other forms of “dis-ease.”
Then, seemingly suddenly, our life is teetering on the brink of disaster whether personal, familial, professional, financial, social, legal, medical, or even “all of the above.”
Those of us with a tendency to over-extend ourselves, usually do so across the board. In contrast to last week’s “Ferrari on blocks in the garage with the engine running but going nowhere,” we’re the ones who never have time to even get to the garage, much less TURN THE ENGINE OFF!
You’ll not be shocked to learn that those who exceed are frequently paired up with those who are on blocks. It can be a very surreal balance which each is handling with alcohol. Or, more accurately, not handling. Of course since everyone is busily avoiding, nothing ever gets fixed – until a crisis finds you at our door.
Usually the problem is easily identified. That’s also the end of easy. Remember, easy is what created the problem in the first place.
Not that it’s as daunting as many of us came to believe. Quitting drinking is still far easier than stopping smoking or losing a significant amount of weight. Often, it’s our fear of the process, and the outcome, that keeps us stuck and avoiding the modest amount of real help that can make the shift easier.
The emphasis here is on getting real help – not the magic that most places pedal and where the offerings wear off as fast as your check clears.
Consequently, why not learn to manage your time and commitments, your health and contentment, your relationships and activities, in ways that don’t just replace your alcohol abuse, but which make alcohol less desirable than a well-balanced life?
Remember, drinking was a choice, as is not drinking. Why not try “door #2” for awhile? You can, after all, always decide to go back to drinking if you find that it’s preferable to an actual life.
Regression in Service of the Ego – Say What?
“Regression in service of the ego” is one of those academic phrases that always stuck in my head – probably because, like most such phrases, it’s largely incomprehensible.
What it translates to is, “learn to relax, so you don’t fry yourself to a crisp, and then you’ll be able to manage your life.”
One of alcohol’s “benefits” is that it functions as a regressant – meaning that it allows us to behave in a less adult manner. We can escape from the expectations of adulthood, at least for awhile, but at what cost?
Sadly, alcohol induced regressions always come out as “childish” when what we need is “child-like.” Consequently, we end up embarrassed, or ashamed, or frustrated with ourselves, instead of refreshed.
Examples of child-like? Playing in the snow, or with a dog, or pursuing a hobby “just because.” Engaging in activities like sports or cards or sex (note: that’s actively engaged in, not being a spectator. Sitting in the stands or viewing on-line pron doesn’t quality).
Now comes the fun part – look at your current schedule and see how much time in an average week you are allocating to relaxing, regressive, energizing activities. Did I hear “zero?”
Now return to the first article and see where you fit.
Half of you are frying yourselves with endless activity, striving, working, and other pursuits that may be necessary but shouldn’t overwhelm you.
Half of you are idling away waiting for god only knows what to come knocking at your door.
No time? Nothing but time?
And you chose this why?
Again, ready to take a chance on door #2, or #3, or even #4?
That’s what we thought. Congratulations! Now just call and let’s start sorting, prioritizing, and acting!