Anxiety!

Hands down, alcohol is the best anti-anxiety drug anyone has ever come up with. Not only that, it’s cheap, fast acting, readily available, no prescription required, socially promoted, and pervasive. What’s not to like about that?

This is part of why it’s hard to give up.

Add to this the idea that alcohol abuse is a “progressive disease you are powerless over” and it’s obvious you are in deep trouble which creates even more anxiety which leads to…

Yet the “disease model” is a complete myth – and a disempowering one at that.

“But,” the purveyors Minnesota Myth Model exclaim, “it changes your brain! Therefore it’s a disease!”

Sorry, but your brain is a very plastic organ and everything changes it. Learn to tie your shoes, drive a car, do yoga, dance, or a new language or to read and your brain changes. Few would argue that any of these actions are diseases.

Do you know that stopping drinking also changes your brain? Therefore “being in recovery,” to cite another myth, is also a “disease”?

Let’s start by reducing your anxiety just a bit by acknowledging that you aren’t powerless, you aren’t diseased, and you weren’t doomed by your family of origin. Nor did any of those supposed factors lead you to your current condition, nor will they prevent you from extracting yourself with a modest amount of short-term help.

Next, let’s also note that you didn’t end up misusing alcohol because you are dumb or diseased but because it works. Until it doesn’t.

Yes, you can eliminate alcohol abuse from your life and you don’t need to disappear for 30, 60, or 90 days and you don’t need to join a cult, and you can just go ahead and recover. Notice that all those anxiety-provoking fears are also unfounded?

Yes, a bit of help will facilitate your full recovery more quickly, efficiently, effectively, and economically. It will also deprogram you from all of the pervasive mythology and arm you to defend yourself from all of the “but everyone knows” folks who will, out of ignorance or malice, attempt to derail you back to the land of the sub-normal.

All that considered, let’s take a look at a parallel condition and do a fast, and reassuring, compare and contrast.
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Smoking Cessation

A lot of us who used to abuse alcohol were also smokers. Even if you weren’t, there is a lot to be learned from ex-smokers and the fact that tobacco is far more addictive than alcohol, cocaine, and most anything else.

Yet smokers stop without meetings, steps, “being in recovery,” being powerless or diseased.

How’s that happen?

Vocabulary comes first. Smokers talk about “kicking the habit” and that is a far more accurate description of the process than “being in recovery.”

Next, smokers expect that they are going to be uncomfortable for a while but that fairly soon the benefits of not smoking will begin to outweigh and diminish the temporary discomfort.

Next, smokers are not averse to short-term supportive medications like Chantix, nicotine gum and tabs, and, at least in my case, a ready supply of mint toothpicks. For drinking the aids include Naltrexone, diet management, exercise and various other personal relaxation preferences ranging from sex to meditation.

There are also things ex-smokers don’t do. Like counting hours, days, weeks, months, and years since that last cigarette and awarding themselves meaningless medallions, badges, trinkets, and certificates for “not doing something.”

Mostly, we (since I’m among them) reward ourselves with real things: a gym membership, a trip, new clothes to replace the burn holed ones, a new car that doesn’t smell like an ashtray, and new people to spend time with now that we’re no longer repulsing people with a nasty habit (though less nasty than the drunken productions you are currently staging).

And we take pride in the personal power we have exerted in defeating a habit that even Sigmund Freud and Mark Twain were unable, and unwilling, to forego.

Success in both cases really comes down to a matter of what are you going to do instead of vodka, chardonnay, and Marlboros? How are you going to manage anxiety, loneliness, depression, boredom, and numerous other events and conditions without a malignant crutch?

And how are you going to reclaim your life instead of medication it or turning yourself over to a mindless cult where you will indeed become a powerless victim?

Prefer to be a fully functional person, a “Normie” in AA parlance, or a frightened adherent to a more constricted existence then even your drinking inflicted?

We’ll help you with the former. You know where to find the latter without our help.

Smoking Cessation

A lot of us who used to abuse alcohol were also smokers. Even if you weren’t, there is a lot to be learned from ex-smokers and the fact that tobacco is far more addictive than alcohol, cocaine, and most anything else.

Yet smokers stop without meetings, steps, “being in recovery,” being powerless or diseased.

How’s that happen?

Vocabulary comes first. Smokers talk about “kicking the habit” and that is a far more accurate description of the process than “being in recovery.”

Next, smokers expect that they are going to be uncomfortable for a while but that fairly soon the benefits of not smoking will begin to outweigh and diminish the temporary discomfort.

Next, smokers are not averse to short-term supportive medications like Chantix, nicotine gum and tabs, and, at least in my case, a ready supply of mint toothpicks. For drinking the aids include Naltrexone, diet management, exercise and various other personal relaxation preferences ranging from sex to meditation.

There are also things ex-smokers don’t do. Like counting hours, days, weeks, months, and years since that last cigarette and awarding themselves meaningless medallions, badges, trinkets, and certificates for “not doing something.”

Mostly, we (since I’m among them) reward ourselves with real things: a gym membership, a trip, new clothes to replace the burn holed ones, a new car that doesn’t smell like an ashtray, and new people to spend time with now that we’re no longer repulsing people with a nasty habit (though less nasty than the drunken productions you are currently staging).

And we take pride in the personal power we have exerted in defeating a habit that even Sigmund Freud and Mark Twain were unable, and unwilling, to forego.

Success in both cases really comes down to a matter of what are you going to do instead of vodka, chardonnay, and Marlboros? How are you going to manage anxiety, loneliness, depression, boredom, and numerous other events and conditions without a malignant crutch?

And how are you going to reclaim your life instead of medication it or turning yourself over to a mindless cult where you will indeed become a powerless victim?

Prefer to be a fully functional person, a “Normie” in AA parlance, or a frightened adherent to a more constricted existence then even your drinking inflicted?

We’ll help you with the former. You know where to find the latter without our help.