No, Alcohol is Not Your Main Problem
That’s right – alcohol, drinking, alcoholism, demon rum, call it whatever you want, isn’t your real problem. It’s the symptom that’s also become a secondary, and an obvious but distracting, problem.
Of course, if you drink the AA kool aid…….
And there’s the rub.
Since most “programs,” therapists, psychologists, physicians, spouses, and other family members, are going to parrot variations on:
- “You need to quit drinking and AA is the only way…”
- “you have to go away for 30, 60, or 90 days to a 12 Step rehab because that’s what works,”
- “you need a sponsor,”
- “you have to be ‘in recovery’ and attend meetings for the rest of your life.”
AA and the “Steps” – whether you try it for free at a church near you or pay $200,000 for 90 days of “meetings” at a luxury rehab – “work” for less than 5% of the people who give it a try.
But if you fit the profile of a person who is happy in a cult that requires you to “surrender” your individuality, creativity, intelligence, and independence, it will work for you too.
Or if you are a predator looking for an endless supply of vulnerable victims it will certainly meet your needs.
But for the rest of us?
For the rest of us alcohol abuse is a symptom – a symptom that we are medicating problems rather than fixing them. That’s perfectly understandable. We live in a “quick fix” culture at distains effort, discomfort, and deferred gratification. “Gimme a pill, doc.”
But our actual problems – boredom, loneliness, depression, anxiety, physical pain, aging, loss – are not so easily disposed of. But neither are they as insurmountable as you probably believe.
The trouble is, mired down in a spiral of drinking, depression and more drinking, we aren’t apt to dig our way back out without a bit of guidance. That’s the key phrase, “a bit of guidance,” not a life-long sentence of meetings, losers, sponsors, platitudes, and a vastly diminished life and self.
That’s the alternative we offer. Our confidential, individual, and effectively life-enhancing process that is all substance, not “filler.”
Substance? CBT, motivational enhancement, assertiveness training, diet and exercise considerations, with on-going support, hand holding,
adjusting, and learning all delivered in an atmosphere of good will and good humor.
But if you’d prefer “filler” there’s plenty available. There’s meetings, magic, Steps, and a host of pseudo-therapies (equine, helicopter, wolf-dog, ropes, vortexes, beach, Minnesota and Malibu to name just a few).
Of course, “filler” allows you to keep on drinking while pretending you’re doing something about “the problem” that isn’t the real problem(s). Those programs will teach you to placate rat her than fix.
Still, you’ll continue to be bored, depressed, lonely, and anxious – but at least you’ll have the “security of these familiar miseries.”
Familiar misery or a rewarding life? What’ll you have?
Understanding Your Diet and Drinking
Most of us who have spent too much time drinking have probably had this experience.
After a long day we stop into our preferred establishment, order a drink, study the menu, down the first drink, order a second, place an order, finish drink #2 and order #3. Half way through #3 the food arrives and we look at it, maybe have a bite or two, push the rest away, and order #4……
How’d that happen?
Once we understand that so-called “alcohol cravings” usually aren’t, then we can begin to figure out what’s actually going on.
Cocktail hour usually begins around 5:00 in most people’s routine. Long after lunch, if we had any, and hours after our blood sugar levels began to erode. Tired and dragging, we opt for the quick pick-me-up alcohol predictably offers. No mystery there.
Except your body wasn’t demanding alcohol. It wanted sugar! And to your body, alcohol is just pre-digested sugar.
That’s why drinking kills your appetite but, conversely, why eating kills your “craving” for a drink or five. Imagine that?
Factor in that you are also “craving” the ritual – or habit pattern – you have created to signal the end of your day. And habit patterns and routines are far difficult to change than alcohol is to give up.
Nice perfect storm: low blood sugar, effective alcohol to the rescue, delivered in a comforting established ritual.
Any wonder you’re not very successful at “just saying no” at 5:00?
But this too can change and we’re happy to show you the road map back to a different day ending routine.