I Confess to Being Mystified.

Mystified is a condition I am very familiar with in my life, but not so much in my work. But now that we have transformed our program to accommodate more of you, many of you are still reluctant to take advantage of even the free services and consultations – options which would allow you to make an informed decision as to what – if anything – to do about you drinking concerns.

It would also give you an excellent opportunity to decide whether or not we might be the right option.

That again is something no one else will offer you. They claim that they are, of course, the very best choice for everyone.

But will anyone else allow you to talk to whomever you would be working with? Or discuss exactly what they do? Or the basis for their work with you? Or what happens after you leave?

The answers to these questions are invariably “no,” though the answers are simple: staff are, mostly, poorly trained, para-professional, former clients; what they do is an endless string of AA meetings; the “Steps” are the basis; follow-up is “don’t drink, go to AA.”

And for this you will pay anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000, most of which will not be covered by insurance – which you won’t learn until you’ve signed up to be financially responsible for “whatever costs your insurance does not cover.”

Back to my mystification.

Instead of the above, you can talk to either or both of us for free. You can do it by Skype, Doxy, regular call, or conference call.

You can learn the exact price depending on your specific needs, program foundation, follow-up details, and anything else you need to know in order to make an informed decision as to what’s in your own best self-interest. We even trust that you are fully capable of making that best decision, another of those things everyone else tells you (“We are the best! Best views! Best beach! Best menu! Best…). None of which have anything to do with you or addressing your particular situation, circumstances, needs, abilities, interests. Or anything else that matters.

We often note that a person can’t make good decisions if they don’t know where they stand medically, legally, and financially. Additionally, you can’t make a good decision about what, if anything, to do about your drinking concerns without knowing who, what. Why, and how.

So the answer to my mystification is, why don’t you even want to know what your options are? Knowing doesn’t mean you have to exercise any of them. But what is so frightening about knowing?

Please? Please at least email me and tell me so I can quit wondering? Please?

Damn the Weather is Terrible!!!

Even here in southern California, we’re having the post-fire mudslides caused by rains whose like I haven’t seen since I left Kodiak. And that’s still better than most of the rest of you are experiencing.

I don’t know about you, but in those pre-internet – and sometimes pre-electricity – years in Alaska I hunkered down with books and projects while too many of my neighbors consoled themselves with steady alcohol infusions. Perhaps you are familiar with that model?

I still am amazed when I think back at how I managed months of -40 or colder temps, 2 or fewer hours of daylight, no radio, TV, phones, roads, restaurants, stores, or much of anything else.

Then I remember. I planned for those long months. I stockpiled books and projects and made sure I got out and about daily whether I wanted to or not. I carried ice to melt for water; explored long abandoned trapper’s and miner’s trails; kept 50 to 60 unread books on hand and always had a couple of projects, large and small.

Replacing drinking is, as we always say, about doing stuff – doing stuff that replaces drinking, uses the time enjoyably, keeps us active, hones skills or develops new ones.

Remember things you wanted to do as a kid but didn’t have the money for? I spent a winter on the Yukon building the balsa wood model airplanes I’d wanted to when I was 10 and watching my older brother as I read through his collection of WW II boy’s novels. Dave Dawson with the RAF; Dave Dawson at Dunkirk; A Yankee Flyer Over Berlin. I found the old books, built the planes, and spent a number of long winter evenings enjoying myself even more than I would have as a kid, I think.

It’s about habit breaking and, more importantly, habit formation. This past week I started Pilates to begin rehabbing the knee that’s kept me out of the gym for several years. It’s work, effort, and sore muscles. And note that I said I started this past week after a delay of several years. No, I’m not much different from you.

But when it’s your time, let’s talk about what old, neglected, deferred interests and habits it’s time to resurrect along with your life. That is how it’s done – not by disappearing into a bottle or a cult.