January is nearly gone, the holidays are behind us and resolutions, well, they too have mostly gone by the wayside.

That’s all perfectly normal, as you well know from having gone through the process twenty, thirty, or more times by now.

Way back in early October we suggested that it’s often easier to come up with a plan before the holidays, get through the holidays, and leave one of our biggest reasons for procrastinating – “I’ll fix it after Halloween; after Thanksgiving; after Christmas; after New Year’s; after, after, after – behind. But that was then.

Now you have a different option. You have exhausted your excuses, and you now recognize that you do tend to put things off, so now you can start making decisions based on what you know about yourself as well as whether or not you want to continue living the way you currently are.

Here’s a hint: If you did like the way your life is going, you wouldn’t be reading this.

Why not try something else – like living your own life in your own way?

That’s right, live your life to the best of your ability unimpaired by alcohol, mythology, naysayers, and yourself.

Be as eccentric, unique, and happy as you are capable of.


Most of our clients report that the work they do with us isn’t rocket science and they are right. In fact, what we do is easy to explain but hard to put into practice – which is why we stick with you for months.

Still, a lot of the process can be boiled down to diverting you from your fixation on the past, accurately assessing your present circumstances, defining the sort of life you’d like to live, then creating a system to move from where you are to where you want to be.

Notice that the word alcohol doesn’t appear anywhere in that agenda?

That’s because any focus on drinking merely diverts you from progressing to a better life. But a better life will naturally result in a reduction in your alcohol abuse.

We hear from a lot of people who bewail the fact that physicians, therapists, family members, and others are always harping that they have to fix the drinking first and then the “other problems” can be addressed.

This is exactly backwards. Address the anxiety, loneliness, boredom, pain, role loss, issues with health and/or aging, and the alcohol problems will subside.

And that’s what we do – equip you with tools that actually address the conditions you are now medicating. CBT and physical activity for anxiety and depression; assertiveness training for unbalanced relationships; motivational enhancement for those times when it just doesn’t seem worth it; and so on through dietary considerations, hormone imbalances, med errors, and whatever else makes up the litany of unresolved stressors in your life.

We’ll help you do this by building on your strengths, abilities, interests, and accomplishments – by empowering you. Not by humiliating, degrading, regressing, and victimizing you to a condition that’s much worse than the miserable state you’re currently living in.

Spring and summer will soon be here, right on schedule. Will you be enjoying them or will you still be stuck in the fog that seems to grow thicker with every passing week?

Your choice? What’ll it be?

Our thanks to the reader who forwarded the following article/link:


It helps all of us in dispelling the mythology we’ve all been brainwashed with over the past century….

And to these readers who wrote:

“Hello Ed and Mary Ellen,

We read your weekly newsletter with interest every Sunday, and it’s often a jumping-off point for discussion of how J. is dealing with things.

Since Ed told us about deciding to fly first class, we’ve been doing that, too. Definitely takes some stress out of it! Our other new “rule” is No Flights Before Noon – even if this means going a day early to whatever.
Drinking on board definitely comes up for J. when we fly – he traveled extensively during his business career, and commented on our last flight that he doesn’t think he ever got off a flight sober before our week with you two – especially a first class flight!

Thank you again for what you do.”

K. & J.
Non 12 Step Alumni, Class of August 2013


“Hi Mary Ellen and Ed!

I hope all is well.

Thank you, this is great stuff! Both B. and I really liked this newsletter.

Myself for obvious reasons, lol, and B. who has a lot of 12 step friends who drank too much 12 step Kool Aid and that seems to alienate people not in 12 step, including her.

Ed, I think of you often. I am grateful for having found your program!

Things are great with us, I have just passed the 1 year 1 month mark. You guys are wonderful.

Thanks again,”

H. & B.