In 72 Hours the Election Will be Over. Time For a New Excuse to Keep on Drinking? Or is the Pain of Staying the Same Finally Offsetting the Fear of Changing.
That is the formula that most of us adhere to most of the time – can I endure this pain rather than face the effort and unknown consequences of change?
Or, to put it another way, am I ready to trade the security of familiar miseries for the possibility of a happier life?
Most of us spend a lot of our lives on that tipping point, medicating our disappointments, dissatisfactions, and troubled lives rather than risking being happy. Until.
Perhaps until we venture forth just a bit – the “stick a toe in the water” technique.
Really, most of us scare ourselves into continuing to self-medicate by blowing the impact of change all out of proportion. We catastrophize the worst imaginable outcomes and ignore the possible benefits. And we never even test any of these.
Giving up alcohol abuse isn’t a matter of “higher powers,” magic, rocket science, will power, or any other rehab voodoo. It doesn’t involve wolf-dog therapy, magic mountains, heliotherapy, vortexes, ropes courses, or…..
It’s a matter of systematically replacing avoidance with skills, activities, intimacy, and – mostly – ENGAGEMENT.
“Engagement” covers a lot of ground and we simplify it for you by considering different aspects of your life rather than attempting to grapple with everything at once. For example, how satisfactory is your living space? Professional life? Recreational and Social Activities? Health? Intimate – not just sexual – relationships? Family, extended and live with, relationships?
Notice that in categorizing we make it possible to rate which areas are satisfactory, so-so, unsatisfactory, and completely unacceptable. And, therefore, we can prioritize were to “stick a toe in” to test the waters of change.
This means that we can take time to develop new skills such as assertiveness to replace passivity and passive-aggressive drinking. It also means we can give those around us time to adjust to emerging new realities rather than overwhelming them and generating an avalanche of resistance and sabotage.
The other advantage to systematic, progressive change is that we don’t have to make any big decisions. Stay married or get divorced? That “big” decision will make itself as the accumulated results of many small changes emerge. The same goes for professional changes, family relationships, geographic relocations, and other decisions which look major when viewed as all or nothing options rather than the logical conclusions of steadily re-engaging in life.
Remember, self-medication reduces you to being a spectator of your life rather than a participant in your life. Those two tiny little prepositions will make all the difference.
In? Of? Your choice would be?
So You Want to be an Alcoholic?
Yes, I’m being factious, but not entirely.
We always suggest that clients remove various words and phrases from their vocabulary. These include: “alcoholic,” “alcoholism,” “in recovery,” and “relapse.” None of these have any meaningful definition or use unless you want to continue to abuse alcohol without taking any responsibility for you choice to do so. If that’s the case then get yourself to AA where you will learn to be an alcoholic in no time at all.
Oh. That’s not what you want?
Then we suggest that you make the other choice, the road more commonly traveled, and fix the problems you are currently anesthetizing yourself for.
Yes, that is the more common, if less heralded, outcome of alcohol abuse. Unlike the 12 Step “it’s a progressive disease” mantra, most people eventually outgrow their counter-productive drinking.
The key word here is “eventually.” For me that translated into roughly 5 years – years I’m not going to get back, opportunities I missed, delayed healing, and a lot of stumbling and groping since there wasn’t any actual help available.
What came out of that, over time, was the creation of this process program so you can accomplish in about three months what took me years and you can do it with real support, not a bunch of ignorant, nay-saying, brainwashed 12 Steppers seeking to sabotage you.
Time is finite. You, like every living thing, have only an unknown allotment. Do you want to live it or miss it?
Actively engage? Passively avoid?
Those really are the only two choices.
So. Regrets? How many do you want to collect? How much time do you want to waste?