About 2500 years ago, Socrates observed that “we become what we think about all day long.”
Without being in the least facetious, we have long noted that if you want to be an “alcoholic” the quickest and easiest way is to join AA. As Socrates would have most likely added, “endlessly refer to yourself as a ‘powerless alcoholic’ and what do you suppose you’ll become?”
On the other hand, if you simply state the obvious, “I’ve been abusing alcohol for a variety of reasons and conditions, and this choice isn’t working for me very well anymore, therefore it’s time to make some new choices, learn some new skills, and try some new things,” how do you suppose that will play out?
Regardless of your personal situation, you are unlikely to improve it by focusing on being a powerless failure.
Consider sports psychology. In the arena of physical excellence, athletes focus on imagining doing things perfectly. The perfect pass, catch, shot, balance beam routine, triple axle, jump, hurdle, and so on. No, they don’t always accomplish what they concentrate on, but they will certainly manage to fall, fumble, miss, and so on if that’s what they focus on.
Nothing can guarantee success, but the wrong self-image can deliver failure pretty predictably.
The vast majority of our clients succeed in achieving whatever outcomes they commit too. That’s the first ingredient for success – what are your desired outcomes? The second is commitment to doing, not wishing,
No, we will never tell you what you must do, or what you can or can’t accomplish, or what your outcome has to be. That’s up to you. We will tell you what we think the odds are, the most predictable way to begin, and how we and others can support you.
But we don’t know what you are capable of achieving, and neither does anyone else. We can tell you the probability, based on hundreds of clients over the past decade, but we’ve been wrong before – clients who “should” have succeeded went back to drinking too much and living too little. Others who “shouldn’t” manage change have succeeded in transforming their lives beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.
Of course clients, real or potential, legitimately ask, “So 70% of your clients succeed, what happened to the other 30%?”
We do know a lot about those who succumb and they fall equally into one of three camps.
The first consists of those who come to see us solely to placate someone else. That never works. If you’re not in it for yourself, you’ll never manage to please someone else – especially since that may be impossible.
The second group is made up of those of you who want the magic the other rehabs promise. There is no magic – but as many clients have commented, “it isn’t rocket science” either. That should give you some confidence both in yourself and in the process.
And behind door #3 are those of you who simply won’t make up your mind but instead vacillate between fixing the problems and staying the same. Those of you who, we say, are stuck in “contemplation hell.” Interestingly, many of you who are reading this have been in this state for years and we can only suggest that you decide to fix the problem and see how that feels.
You don’t have to commit to never drinking again, not drinking a toast at your daughter’s wedding, not…. And so on.
You only need commit to finding out what your life without alcohol abuse would be like and then comparing that to the one you’re leading now. You can, after all, decide to return to drinking any time you choose.
But at least it’ll be an informed choice, not a “relapse” into the arms of an all-powerful “disease.”?
Your Two Mosaics…
Any of us who have had and/or worked with alcohol abuse know that alcohol medicates an astonishing array of real problems. Bored? Lonely? Anxious? Resentful? Hungry? Depressed? In pain – physical, emotional, psychological? Just want to escape?
Alcohol is there for you with a fast, effective, legal, socially promoted, and readily available solution that will last at least until the third or fourth drink. Maybe even until tomorrow.
But then you are faced with the task of recovering from the effects of the previous day’s escape while still impaired and still burdened with the same real problems.
And this is the difference – the ills you are medicating are real and your solution, alcohol, isn’t.
Plus, for the most part, you aren’t medicating a single problem, but a mosaic of different problems. This has happened because as you used alcohol to escape, or comfort, one condition, you began to generalize and use it to “treat” an ever growing list of complaints, real and imagined.
This creeping effect is the bad news. The good news is that you can address the different issues individually and the cumulative effect is that your alcohol abuse can recede in the same way it expanded.
One issue at a time.
The other helpful reality is that you don’t have to attack every issue immediately and with a full frontal assault. You can prioritize, schedule, engage, and manage small changes that add up to big results.
Some of them are even fairly easy.
One such is the “blood sugar” issue. Your body considers alcohol to be predigested sugar. You perceive a craving associated with low blood sugar as an alcohol craving. It isn’t. Learn to manage you blood sugar levels and one type of craving goes away.
Then there’s the “habit” craving – our never ending wish to establish routines that simplify life and comfort us. But old habits can be replaced by new habits that accomplish the same end but which don’t involve alcohol.
Note that the work day ending “cocktail hour” involves both of these blood sugar and habit “cravings,” neither of which depend on alcohol?
Yes, there is still the relaxing effects of the alcohol but if you eliminate sugar and habit you’ll have a much easier time relaxing in other ways whether it’s yoga, meditation, weight lifting, walking, sex, or whatever else you find to look forward to at the end of a long day.
The list goes on. And on. But that needn’t be daunting as we help you reduce it to a lot of small changes over time.
Why not let us help you to construct your own private and unique path back out of the labyrinth?
5 days to create the path, 12 weeks to clear out the underbrush, weeds, thorns, and rocks. That’s our offer to you and it’s private, confidential, and affordable.
And you’re waiting for?