Remember when Halloween was a children’s holiday rather than a day (or, this year, a four-day weekend, unfortunately) for “adults” to engage in childish, drunken excess that exceeds even Super Bowl Sunday?
Unhappily, Halloween also kicks off the season of excess that will run at least until the Super Bowl.
That’s a really good question that most of us, during our drinking years, are pretty careful to avoid answering. We excuse ourselves with the lie that “it’s what everyone does.”
Guess what? No, it isn’t.
Amazingly, any number of us manage to enjoy the holidays without a single black-out, hangover, or anything to apologize for. Neither in our own behaviors nor any other family members’.
Equally interestingly, over the years any number of clients have specifically scheduled their work with us to coincide with the holidays because they: a) decided to act on what they knew, not what they felt; b) wanted to have a reason to make these holidays special in a good way for those they cared about; c) wanted to establish a great foundation for 2017; and d) wanted to give themselves the gift of a longer, better, and happier life.
There is a process that we all go through when we make changes in our lives. This involves becoming aware that we need to make some changes; researching the possible ways we might accomplish the change; taking action to create the change; then maintaining the new habits, behaviors, thought patterns, etc.
Since you are reading these Newsletters you are either researching, taking action, or maintaining. You are, obviously, a potential client, a current client, a former client, or a frustrated spouse or family member.
That being the case, if you are a potential client, ours or someone else’s, what is it going to take to move you from the “contemplation hell” of rumination to actually acting?
For some, it takes a medical emergency, a DUI, a pending divorce, job loss, acute embarrassment, or personal exhaustion with the alcohol-infused life. For a few, it’s all of the foregoing.
What’s the state of your current cost/benefit analysis of your drinking?
When will you decide to “get a grip and get a life?”
For which holiday will you give yourself that gift?
No, As a Spouse or Family Member, You Don’t Have Any Credibility Either
When we’re working with spouses and other family members they are amazed when we point out that they don’t have any more credibility than the drinker.
That’s right – it’s the one area where you are equal.
We all agree that, mostly, as the person abusing alcohol, you don’t have any credibility that you’re actually going to fix it. Of course you will from time to time make some gestures – go to a few AA meetings, maybe even go through a rehab program of some sort or other – to placate your spouse, family, employer, or a judge. But that’s all you’re doing, placating.
As the spouse or other concerned party, you’re probably surprised to realize that you don’t have any credibility either – no one believes that you aren’t going to continue to tolerate the abusive drinking.
We always note that if this ongoing dynamic is going to change then someone is going to become credible and, no, it doesn’t matter which one goes first.
Giving up alcohol abuse is a relationship changing event. Again, most people believe, and most rehabs pretend, that when the drinking stops that’s all that happens. You are assured that life will go on as before except the “alcoholic” will no longer be drinking.
To whatever degree the drinking is affecting everyone, ceasing drinking will affect everyone to the same degree or more. Everyone.
Happily, you have some control over whether those changes are improvements or not. Usually, they are, at least with the couples we work with since we stress good will, good humor, increased intimacy, and real support.
Note that that is diametrically opposed to AA and 12 Step rehab which stresses isolation from spouses in particular and “normies” in general, as well as increased manipulation, exploitation, and passive aggression. Hmmmm. Pretty much the same “benefits” those folks get from drinking.
But that’s not you.
How do we know? It’s easy, really. People who have no interest in actually addressing the problem don’t sign up for and read this Newsletter. Those who do are interested in actually recovering – not entering the make believe world of “in recovery” – and you are people capable of intimate, supportive, enjoyable, and intense relationships.
So why are you denying yourself what you most desire? Why not let us help you answer that, and move beyond it? Sounds like a holiday gift worth receiving – and giving.