Productive Self-Isolation?

Self-isolation could be your opportunity to assess your self-medication and options in a thoughtful manner.

I’m suggesting an actual assessment – not the typical AA/Rehab imposed “you’re either an alcoholic or an alcoholic in denial.”

Real assessment would include such factors as your degree of involvement, such as the DSM’s Alcohol Use Disorder rankings of Mild, Moderate and Severe. While this is a starting place, it’s only a minimal beginning.


They fail to examine what conditions are being medicated, nor the origins of your use, personal factors, other history, nor do they evaluate what strengths, interests, and circumstances you can marshal in order to change from medicating to solving.

I have often noted that most of you can do as I did and solve the problem on your own given enough time and motivation. But that can be a lot of time – in my case about 3 years since no real help was available. Can you afford to spend three years muddling about for your own personal solution?

Will your spouse, family, partner, employer and others tolerate another 36+ months of you mucking about for a solution that, to date, has eluded you?

Even if you can afford the time? And time is a finite resource. Why would you want to waste three years when you could arrive at, and institute, a workable and comprehensive route to full recovery in a few months?

However, a real plan starts with a real assessment – the sort good physicians do when providing services to people suffering from genuine diseases or other life threatening conditions.

Odds are pretty good that during the current state of things, you have a lot of unexpected and unplanned time to fill. You can, obviously, drink your way through it, but other common distractions – sports, movies, concerts, dining out, etc. – aren’t as readily available if they are available at all.

So why not spend some of your time getting a real assessment of your affair with alcohol? Yes, I use the word “affair” because that is how it feels to spouses and others close to you.

Here in the short term, since we too are “isolating,” I’m offering to rate your Washington University Sentence Completion Test – a measure of emotional and psychological maturity that explains why you are not AA material – discuss the results in a Zoom audio/visual conference call, and send you a paperback copy of “AA: Who it Helps, Who it Harms, Who it Kills &Why” for $150 rather than our usual rate of $350.

And, yes, if you want, we are available with our distance delivered – and hence safe – intensive outpatient program.

Looking to make an informed decision – or at least consider your options? We’re here to help and this is a great time to invest in your life after the pandemic.

A Reader Wrote (And Bless All of You Who Write!):

“Hi Edward!

I’d like to see you write about how in the world Steppers are living through this pandemic with social distancing since they claim they will certainly die, or go to jail/institution without their meetings?

Of course they will claim they are getting their ‘daily reprieve’ online and never admit they don’t need their meetings at all and they will not die any faster without them. They’re so incredibly full of their cult brainwashing, avoidance of responsibility and toxic lies.”

I don’t see much need to reiterate what the writer states so obviously.

Yet, there are people who need their meetings as all immature conformists need their cults and “in groups.” Let the rest of us agree that we’re safer when these folks are driving home from a meeting rather than a bar – and yes, I am aware that many go straight from a meeting to the bar.

Perhaps, there will be those who respect the request that we all stay home (and especially those who find themselves saying, “Thank God, a reason I can avoid meetings and not feel guilty.”) who have an opportunity to learn that they don’t need meetings, trinkets, bumper sticker mentality, exploitive “sponsors” and other cult trappings. Indeed, they may learn that they have literally outgrown AA, which should be the goal of any program.