Friday, At Last!
Friday is wrap-up day, the end of preparation and the beginning of action. It’s an exciting day as well as one with its own share of trepidation – as in “Geez! I’m really going to do this!”
We often note that the five days are foundation work, creating systems which will allow you to adjust and adapt not only your behaviors but your relationships too.
That’s right, your relationships. It’s often overlooked, sometimes on purpose, that just as your effects your relationships, so does stopping. “Rehab” evades this issue with the usual, “go to Alanon” directive to spouses and other family members. If you read Mary Ellen’s “Great, He Quit Drinking, When Will He Recover?” article in the July 10th newsletter you know how that will play out.
So Friday is a combination of firming up what you are going to do instead of drink, how you are going to manage all of the altered relationships, and how you will deal with sabotage, conscious or unconscious, that may occur as a few others come to the conclusion that they liked you better drunk.
On Friday we will also write up a one page plan which will include both general recommendations that apply to most clients (“Take your Naltrexone; Keep your follow-up appointments; Read the Newsletter) and a longer list that applies specifically to you. As professionals who spent a lot of years working in and around schools, we tend to think of the sheet as an “IEP,” though in your case that translates into “Individual Empowerment Plan.”
YES! (And, officially, we are Your Empowering Solutions, Inc., at www.non12step.com).
Take just a moment to consider how radically different that is from what everyone else is telling you. That includes:
- you are a powerless alcoholic (or in denial);
- you must be “in recovery” for the rest of your life;
- you must join AA and attend meeting forever;
- you can never have another drink;
- you have a progressive disease;
- you must avoid “normal” people;
- you must relegate your spouse and children to secondary status in your life;
In other words, you must hide out in a cult and make that cult and its voodoo rituals the only focus around which your life revolves.
Oh, yes, you also get to keep on drinking, indeed, drink even more, because you are, after all, “powerless over your disease”!
If that’s what you want, go for it. There is no better way to become an “alcoholic” and eschew responsibility for your drinking than to join AA.
If, alternatively, you’d rather “get a grip and get a life,” then it’s time to give us a call.
Should Your Spouse, Partner, Friend Come With You?
This is a common question and deserves serious consideration. But first, let us say that we assume you will be the one who knows best after you have taken all of the factors into consideration. We’d also add that over the years we’ve worked with clients whose spouses or other significant people have never known they came to see us. At the other extreme a client, whose wife was a professional stenographer, had her record every word of every session including all follow-up calls.
We assume you will fall into the range between these two extremes, but, again, it’s up to you and we are perfectly comfortable with whatever you decide is best for you and your circumstances.
No, we aren’t trying to avoid the question, just being clear about the ground rules.
Therefore, we will say that we generally recommend that “others” be involved on the first and last day. This allows them to:
- be involved in understanding the process you (and they) will be going through in the coming months;
- be deprogrammed from the AA/12 Step mythology we’ve all internalized to some degree;
- learn how to actually be supportive;
- participate in the assessment process;
- become empowered along with you;
- feel involved;
- be absolved from responsibility for your choice to drink.
There are probably other reasons specific to you and you situation but that pretty much covers the common benefits of inclusion.
Again, we do not dictate, not to you, not to them. We recommend, suggest, and help run through various cost/benefit analysis exercises. This entire process is something we do with you – and potentially them – NOT something we do “to” you or “for” you. The “to” and “for” are for the purveyors of magic which we are fresh out of.
Ready for a comprehensive approach that is based on actual research and enlists all the real help you have available? Then you’ve found the right place.