Spectator or Participant?

Talking to a former client this morning, the topic arose: do you want to actively participate in your life or do you simply want to passively watch it evaporate?

That is a serious, and often ignored, consideration that is directly tied to your drinking habits.

The client’s former preference was to spend his Sunday afternoons sitting in his neighborhood bar with several cronies drinking and watching golf/football/baseball/soccer/curling/etc. These are all “spectator” sports, meaning, the vast majority of people, millions usually, are watching a few dozen people actually do something.

Drinking is, of course, the opposite of “doing something.” It obviously precludes doing much of anything more active than swallowing.

There are, obviously, contributory factors which support watching vs doing. First, drinking is easy. It requires no effort, little planning, and has totally predictable results. It’s also supported by a vast industry dedicated to convincing you that it is life-enhancing, a just reward, sexy, a status symbol, an indication of sophistication, achievement, success and so on.

Yes, there’s nothing quite like falling and breaking off a few teeth, collecting a DUI, ending up in divorce court, being the object of your children’s disdain, and so on, to show what a successful, sexy, sophisticated person you have become. Right.

We spend a lot of time helping people create a life that revolves around doing stuff, not avoiding living. Moving from being a spectator to being a participant. And, no, that doesn’t mean boring (where did the idea that drunk is exciting and sober is boring come from?).

Yes, the life that is actually lived takes effort, planning, and execution. It involves some deferred gratification (damn!). It takes acquiring and/or honing skills. It means accomplishing and achieving. It means acquiring some actual, real, self-esteem! Imagine that.

So why are you hesitating? Yes, it will require a bit of effort, some temporary discomfort, some changes in your currently life-diminishing and self-destructive habits. Is that really too high a price to pay? Are the imagined sacrifices too great? Are you so enamored of the image the advertisers have sold you?

If so then we suggest that you stop reading, stop pretending. Admit that your life is something you would prefer to look back on with regret. Yes, it might have been – but I was too busy watching my life go by to actually live it. Maybe next time.

It’s Been Very Interesting How Our Practice Has Evolved Since November.

When we made the decision to modify our practice in order to accommodate more clients, meaning reduced cost and greater access, we were somewhat surprised by how that is playing out.

First, a number of clients are electing to make the trip out anyway, despite the program being available online, via the HIPPA approved Doxy.com connection which is superior to Skype from a security point of view.

Second, those working with us here at our Calabasas office have been quite happy with the arrangement whereby I am here in person and Mary Ellen via Doxy.

Third, we continue to do follow-up either by phone or Doxy.

Fourth, a few local clients have been happy to work directly with our consulting physician Dr. Tim Norcross around the use of Naltrexone.

Of course changes in the delivery have only been in place since January 1, and possibilities and variations are still evolving and being tested. So please feel free to call or e-mail to schedule a free consultation by phone with one or both of us via either conference call or Doxy or Skype if you prefer.

As a final note on the topic, perhaps the most surprising result of the changes has been a few peoples reluctance to take advantage of the free consultation. What have you got to lose by gathering information in order to make a more informed decision about what, if anything, you might want to do about you discomfort around your current alcohol use?