When the sabotage is relentless!
Unhappily, not everyone is apt to be pleased when you quit drinking. Whether it’s spouses, other family members, co-workers, “friends,” or anyone else, you will probably have to deal with at least a bit of sabotage when you eliminate your alcohol abuse.
Because like you, others have derived benefits from your drinking, benefits they are not always aware of or ready to give up.
Drinking frequently means that you have lost your vote in family decision making. Spouses aren’t always pleased to lose the power they have gained and give you your vote back.
Spouses may also have been using your drinking to ignore their own problems or to have assumed a certain degree of sainthood status. More benefits that they may be loathe to relinquish.
Professionally, you may find that others have been promoted or have usurped your position while you were distracted or impaired by you alcohol abuse. They will not be thrilled to have you competing again and whispering campaigns, or worse, may greet your return to productivity and competing for promotions.
Children, particularly adolescents, have learned to manipulate you through your guilt and memory lapses. They aren’t likely to welcome the return of an actual parent who’s parenting. The good news is they eventually come around.
Does all of this mean you should just give it up and keep on drinking?
You could of course, and some of you will, but most of you recognize that weathering the sabotage is just a phase in returning to leading a healthy and normal life.
Yes, it’ll take a year before things settle down and shake out and others begin to have some confidence that you won’t be going back to the bad old days. Realistically, it’ll be a year before you have that confidence in yourself.
Again, we’ll help you prepare for and anticipate the rough spots, support you through them, and help you maintain the good will and good humor that result in success.
Why not start now so that you successfully negotiate this holiday season and a year from now have an established “new normal” for everyone to celebrate together?
Yet another reader write to provide an update:
AA never worked for me. Never. All that talk about alcohol at 8:00 p.m. only made me want to drink.
However, here’s what is working for me: working out.
I don’t mean the one-mile walk around the neighborhood each day; I’m referring to joining a gym, learning to use all the various machines and what muscles they strengthen–then using them.
Not only has working out starting making me feel better, but my clothes are starting to slip on easier (I’m overweight); also, I am meeting active people my own age (60s) who are working out, and seeing the excellent shape they’re in has been a true motivation–and I’m making new friends.
Moreover, I’m starting to get a little obsessed with it, spending much time researching workout routines, etc. on the Internet–instead of sitting around, bored and lonely, drinking until I pass out.
With the workout routine, I am eating 6 small meals per day–not only am I never hungry, but neither do I have the strong cravings for alcohol.
My life has started taking shape–in more ways than one, and I wanted to share what is working for me; maybe it will work for others.
Blessings to Dr. Mary Ellen and Dr. Ed — their confidence in people like me and others like me has truly helped me move up, move out, and move ahead.