Thank you, But I’m Taking My Vote Back Now
One of the first casualties your drinking inflicts on you is the loss of your vote in family decision making. This may extend to other areas of your life – social, professional, legal and others – but it most assuredly nullifies your voice in matters that concern you at the most fundamental levels.
As a very basic example, you over-indulge and while inebriated you become verbally aggressive about some complaint. Whether the outburst is valid, or not, you and the problem are simply written off as you being drunk – or worse yet, you being a drunk.
Whenever we discuss the “benefits of drinking” with clients, we are also addressing the benefits that those around you get from your drinking. These invariably include the biggest one of all – nobody has to listen to you about anything because you’re “just a drunk” and therefore, somehow, you’re points have no validity.
Of course you know that your drinking is a response to whatever conditions and circumstances you’re complaining about. Being abused? Demeaned? Disenfranchised? And/or otherwise degraded in your life and relationships? Alcohol both offers insulation and an excuse to act out aggressively.
Unhappily, it also offers everyone else an excuse to ignore you and the conditions you find intolerable.
Of course alcohol abuse also results in problems in one area of your life slopping over onto other areas.
Problems at work get dumped on those at home; problems with spouses get redirected towards children, and vice versa; personal problems result in scatter-shot attacks on almost anyone.
The common thread that runs through all of this is your failure to address matters soberly and assertively.
Neither passivity, nor aggression, nor passive-aggression are going to restore you to your earned position of being in charge of your own life. No coup is going to restore your rights either. You abdicated when you turned to the bottle and now you are stuck with the task of designing and implementing your own reclamation.
That sounds a lot worse than it is.
The fundamental conflict for you is that, as the drinker, you have to go first. No, it’s not necessarily fair, but it’s still the case. Until you take alcohol off the table it will be used against you and others will continue to hide behind your drinking.
The good news is that you actually make a unilateral decision to eliminate the excuse you and others are using to keep you down. You don’t need anyone else’s permission to take back your life and your vote.
You only need to act.
Need help scrounging up the support, motivation, perspective, and knowledge it takes to get through a year of creating a new “normal”?
Want to learn to ignore the sabotage and answer the questions you want to while ignoring the nay-sayers and zealots?
We help with that, and a lot more too.
That’s right. We’re here waiting. Where are you?
Regression – What Is It & What Does It Have To Do With Alcohol Abuse?
Everyone knows that alcohol is a depressant and that any of us who consume regular doses can expect to be a little depressed. That sets up a vicious cycle where the alcohol induced depression is temporarily eased by the short term “buzz” that leads to even more depression.
No mysteries there.
We less often recognize that alcohol is also a “regressant” – meaning that is causes us to act less mature that we would otherwise.
“So what?” you ask, thinking that you do actually know that, given how people act when they’ve had too much to drink. “What’s that got to do with stopping?”
Take a look around you. How many of the people you spend time with, friends, professional associates, family, spouses, and so on, are actually less mature than you are?
Here’s a hint: If they believe that alcohol abuse is a disease, that you are powerless, or that AA and 12 Step rehab actually work, they are probably less mature, or at least more ill-informed, than you.
That tends to indicate that one of your problems is attempting to drink your way down to their level while believing that there must be something wrong with you.
It’s surprising how often we think something is “wrong with us” when actually it’s more often a lack of perceiving what’s wrong with the people and situations around us.
The next problem is our failure to assertively address these other relationships and conditions. Instead we medicate, regress, and wallow. Not a triad that’s apt to improve our lives.
The solution is to correct your somewhat flawed self-perception and self-image and to begin to bring your behaviors into accord with the realities of your life, circumstances, and possibilities. That may require deprogramming from all of the 12 Step nonsense that infests our culture, and it certainly helps to have some hand holding and coaching to go along with the basic coping tools of CBT, assertiveness training, motivational enhancement, and all of the other big and small factors we discussed in last week’s Newsletter.
Want more detail? That’s just a phone call or a visit away.