Twas a Week Before Christmas…

Here it is, Christmas once again, with New Year’s hard on its heels, and Thanksgiving a fading memory, if a memory at all. And the same old question still lurking:

“Is this the year I’m actually going to address the problem or am I just going to let it slide again?”

We can still offer two of you an end of the year, or beginning of 2018, opportunity since both Christmas and New Year’s fall on a Monday. Schedule the intensive, individual, sessions with both Dr. Barnes and me for December 26-29 or January 2-6, with the same 12 weeks of follow-up sessions, and we’ll knock $2,000 off the package price. You still get our time, attention, and expertise, including an appointment with Dr. Tim Norcross, D.O., our consulting physician, but with just a touch more intensity.

We’d really like to see you either end this year, or begin the next, with your problems fading into the past. Why spend yet another year postponing until it’s too late? Or until even more holidays are ruined, relationships lost or strained, and regrets continue to pile up?

No, we don’t mind working through the holidays when many of you find it easier to disappear for a week without arousing suspicion – something you can’t do with 30 days of being MIA, even if that worked, which it doesn’t for anyone who reads these Newsletters.

You’re not cult material but you are a candidate for full recovery.

So whether you need to fix an on-going problem, or want to pre-empt a developing one, we’re happy to assist you in identifying what issues you are medicating and address them with what actually works (see: Ending Alcohol Abuse: What Works).

And yes, I do answer the phone, even on Sunday afternoons, at least until 5:00 Pacific Time, so feel free to call – I’m not all that interested in football and I’d much rather talk to you.

– Ed

Unbalanced Relationships

I seem to write about this topic fairly often because it is the most common issue we see in both our clients’ misuse of alcohol and the #1 stumbling block to fully recovering. It’s hard not to continue to emphasize such a pervasive issue.

Unbalanced relationships are easily defined. They are those in which “authority” and “responsibility” and not equally shared – and “sharing” does not mean you get all of the responsibility and I retain all of the authority. It DOES mean that in all matters the person with the responsibility for getting something done also has the authority to decide how to do it. That can range from such minor, but frequent, squabbles as to how to load the dishwasher or fold the laundry, to major decisions regarding child rearing (or even to whether or not to have children) and so on.

All couples – or partners – have role definitions about all manner of things such as the foregoing, and each person has expectations derived from their life experiences to date. Each will tend to think that their preference is a “law” – though these are frequently less thoughts than assumptions.

But the power struggles can be endless and, believe us, any person playing the role of “alcohol police” will always get the opposite result from what they are seeking. There is no more satisfying passive aggressive “FU” than out maneuvering the cop.

Of course imbalances occur in other areas as well. Do you know where you stand medically, legally, and financially right this moment? Controlling spouses, for example, frequently hide financial information. Do you know your health condition? Women usually do more often than men though this obviously affects both. Legally? What would a divorce, separation, or marriage actually entail?

No one can make informed decisions unless they are well informed in all three areas.

Some of us are extraverts, some introverts. If you differ, how is that balanced? Some have extensive families and friends, some few. How does inclusion work? How does the introvert avoid being overwhelmed? Disclosure? Are you wanting full-disclosure while retaining all of your important information? Friends? Family members?

I think you can see why we do a lot of assertiveness training since it is passivity, leading to alcohol fueled passive-aggression, that we see so much of in the clients we work with.

If this all sounds familiar, let us help you balance your relationship so that you no longer need the alcohol “card.” If you’re not drinking, your relationships will change and regardless of how, you will be a lot happier.