Smart Choices, Not Automatic Ones
We often note that the most difficult part of changing your life isn’t giving up alcohol (or carbs, sloth, or “disease”) but habit. Probably 95+% of what any of us do during the course of our days is the repetition of comfortable routines – routines that for the most part, work for us, saving us from needless attention to settled matters.
If you doubt this, please think back to the first time you drove a car and how that degree of paying attention differs from what’s required now. Or would again be necessary if you were suddenly transported to England and had to drive on the “wrong” side of the road, sitting in the “wrong” driver’s seat.
So far, so good.
But just as our automatic choices save us from unnecessary thought, consideration, and decision making, so too do they keep us stuck in unproductive and destructive behavior patterns.
Visit your local bookstore – assuming you can still find one – and peruse the various self-help and diet sections and you will discover hundreds, if not thousands, of titles describing how to combat every condition from which you may suffer or be on the road to suffering.
Many of these tomes offer useful advice – but…..
Aye, there’s the rub.
All of it comes down to disrupting your life by beginning to make smart choices in place of the counter-productive automatic ones. Disrupt? That sounds uncomfortable. And yes, indeed, it is. Briefly. Just as driving on the “wrong” side of the road would be.
But you would adjust, as we always do. A “new normal” isn’t that far down the road, literally or figuratively.
That’s where ex-smokers are a lot smarter than AA style “alcoholics.” Those of us who have given up cigarettes did so much more realistically than most who give up drinking. We expected to be uncomfortable, maybe even miserable, for a while. But we expected we’d get over it, and we did.
We did not, however, sit around church basements drinking bad coffee, inventing smoke-a-logues, and trying to build a life around not smoking. How nuts would that be?
Take a look at your daily life and the destructive automatic choices you are making. Consider what other choices you could make, smart ones, instead. Make those choices and institute the behaviors that reflect those new decisions on how to spend your only finite resource, time.
Need some short term help with the sorting, prioritizing, instituting, and incorporating? That’s what we do – individually, privately, confidentially, affordably, and respectfully.
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There are plenty of examples of AA/12 Step mindlessness, but “hitting bottom” is a particularly inane one. Not to mention one that’s counterproductive to the point of being potentially lethal.
Because AA’s founders were on the brink of disaster – or over the edge entirely – they generalized from themselves that this was a necessary “step” in motivating “recovery.”
This is, of course, total nonsense.
Returning once again to their revered “disease” model, can you imagine any physician suggesting, “well, your heart disease hasn’t progressed far enough yet, let’s wait until your first heart attack before we address the issue?”
But to borrow from an actual medical model, what about early intervention?
That’s right, no matter what the condition, the sooner it’s addressed the better the outcomes and the more choices – harm reduction, moderation, abstinence – you will likely have.
Not to mention, the fewer years you will lose to alcohol abuse.
Again, we like to stress that time is your only finite resource. It can’t be replaced. Not one minute of it.
Yes, we have clients who can see what direction their drinking is trending and come as a preemptive strike. Others see the last of their time disappearing into an alcohol induced fog. Others want to see what an engaged life might look like before resigning themselves to the allure of cocktails on the patio, at the club, on the cruise, and…
But why wait?
Don’t you want as many choices, options, and possibilities as you can entertain?
Alcohol has, or may be, turning you into a spectator of your life instead of a participant in it. Isn’t it time to try living again?
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