About Last Sunday…..

As many of you saw when you attempted to follow links in last week’s Newsletter, all you found was an ominous black box with some incomprehensible notations. That problem actually started around 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and continued through early Sunday afternoon.

Our webmaster was quickly able to identify the problem, the “rogue Bing Bot” I mentioned in the follow-up note and the problem should have been corrected in an hour or two. Unhappily, the server we’d always used proved totally unresponsive – pretty much a yawn – and a “we’ll get around to you one of these days” attitude.

Eventually Mary Ellen, and Tanya, our most excellent webmaster, and I decided to 86 the server and move to a more responsive provider but that operation took Tanya many a long hour to accomplish. But, as usual, she came through, we survived the process, and by mid-afternoon on Sunday things were up and running again.

And there is a point to this explanation beyond just a description for you. It comes down to how events affect us and, in this case, particularly me.

The part I left out in the above synopsis is the 24 hours of catastrophizing I did to myself.

That’s right – what I did to myself, as in:

  • Oh, god, it’s permanently borked!
  • We rely on the site to find 95% of our clients and therefore….!
  • Did someone sabotage our site?!
  • I’m too old to find another career!
  • And so on!

I know Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as anyone and have been using it before I’d ever heard the term (as young as when I was 6, in point of fact), yet I can still fall victim to some of the emotional traps we spring on ourselves.

Let me add that it’s a good thing we aren’t a perfection based program cuz, if we were, I’d have flunked.

Truth is I spent somewhat more than two dozen very agitated hours doing nothing productive and endlessly ruminating on the possible, if unlikely, disastrous consequences of a problem over which:

  • I had no control;
  • Was temporary;
  • Which Tanya would certainly fix very, very shortly;
  • And would actually allow us to upgrade to a better server which we probably needed to do anyway.?

There are other aspects to this, including the spur that this aggravation provided, to get me moving in correcting a few aspects of my day-to-day life that I have been avoiding since before the holidays.

But the point I want to make is that stuff happens; we don’t always respond in the best ways; but having the skills does mean that we spend less time making ourselves miserable and, in the aftermath, can use the experience to take a look at where and how we have been neglecting ourselves, and how to re-balance whatever has gotten out of whack.

And that’s another benefit that comes from having learned how to make silk purses out of sows’ ears – my shorthand for CBT – as discussed in Ending Alcohol Abuse: What Works.

And Now To Delve Into Another of Those Things That Actually Work For Ending the Misuse of Alcohol

We like to note that you don’t get into trouble with drinking because you are dumb, diseased, predisposed, genetically doomed, morally corrupt, powerless over demon rum, or any of the other nonsense AA and 12 Step rehab peddles.

You got there because alcohol worked for you – until it didn’t.

Please! Alcohol:

  • provides excellent, fast, cheap, legal, and readily available relief from anxiety, boredom, loneliness, pain, and a number of other maladies that beset us all;
  • quiets the hamsters that run endlessly around inside of the skulls of many of us;
  • allows escape from seemingly intractable professional and personal problems;
  • is socially promoted as glamorous, sexy, masculine, feminine, and an integral part of living the good life.

What’s not to like about any of that?

How about while providing very short term escape, it prevents finding long term solutions while also exacerbating the very conditions we’re self-medicating?

Oh! That……

As CBT can help us manage our emotions (mostly) instead of allowing them to manage us, so too can Assertiveness Training help us to manage our personal and professional relationships responsively, and responsibly, instead of reactively, and passive-aggressively.

Assertiveness is based on two primary tenets: our preferences are just as important as anyone else’s and, we train others how to treat us.

As usual, as simple as that sounds, and it isn’t rocket science, implementation is another matter. That’s why you need some training and why the mosaic we help you construct – CBT, diet, exercise, motivational enhancement, and, yes, assertiveness training – provides an individualized and integrated plan.

Additionally, after your 5 Day Intensive work with us, and please remember it is just you and possibly a spouse or partner, and us – never another client, never a group, and never any “filler – there are the 12 weeks of individual follow-up sessions. Again, your issues, concerns, adjustments, and success.

No, we don’t just cut you loose to navigate the toughest part alone – the integration of all that you’ve learned into your day-to-day life where, over time, it becomes your new normal and alcohol abuse is just one of those things you used to do.

“Been there, done that,” is your new mantra – not “I’m a powerless alcoholic and I will be in recovery forever.”

Details: here’s the link you probably couldn’t access last week: Our Expanded Program Description