Sometimes, as Mary Ellen reminds me, these Newsletters can get a bit heavy.

Thus duly, and deservedly, chastised, I thought I would start this one with a card we received from a west coast woman, followed by an e-mail from an east coast man, both former clients expressing their appreciation in somewhat differing ways:

“Just wanted to express my gratitude for your awesome guidance in my life – especially around Mother’s Day when I appreciate my family and sobriety in a deeper way. It has been 2 years since my visit with you.

I am thankful for your redirection in my life always!

Hugs to Scruffy…”

Hard not to appreciate that sentiment, or the one that follows:

“Just wanted to report that I am doing well. I am becoming a mature adult. Yuck. It is better than the alternative. That sounds like something Dr. Wilson would say. Just wanted to say thanks again. I figured the best way for me to do that is to drop you a note and let you know that I am doing great.”

Interestingly, while individuals express their appreciation differently, just as they live their successes differently, you all reinforce the uniqueness of your selves, your lives, and your ways of leaving alcohol abuse behind.

Would a few more of you care to share your own thoughts now that it’s been months or years since you were here? As always, we’d love to hear from you.

As an added bonus to our week of good reports, and a birthday present to me, I like to think, we received a visit from the auditor for the California State Department of Health Care Services which licenses our program. She was a joy to spend an afternoon with on this, her second visit.

The review was a pleasure because she appreciated the uniqueness of both our approach and our clients as well as the outstanding results you achieve. And we never forget that the choices, efforts and achievements, are yours, we are only facilitators.

Happily we ended that cheerful day with zero deficiencies and another two year extension of our certification.

As you can see, it’s been a very good week all the way around. Good-bye to heaviness for at least one article.

Most of our clients suffer from unbalanced personal, marital, and/or professional relationships.

In The Sober Truth author Lance Dodes, M.D., notes that a lack of assertiveness seems to fuel more alcohol abuse than any other single factor.

Our experience supports his assessment.

Resentment fueled unfairness does tend to lead to medicating whatever emotions we are suppressing rather than addressing. Let’s look at how this plays out in a number of common client complaints:

  • Boredom is commonly the result of failing to do things due to spousal, or family, or societal pressure. So we sit and pass the time rather than doing things to alleviate the voids in our lives;
  • Loneliness is often caused by sitting and waiting for someone to come along, or step up, or pay attention instead of actively engaging in life and creating opportunities for ourselves. There probably isn’t as flashing neon sign above your door announcing “Nice Women/Man Lives Here – Please Knock,” and the results might not be all that great if there were;
  • Anxiety also responds well to action. It’s amazing what a regular weight training, kick-boxing, yoga, or other concentration demanding activity can accomplish;
  • Depression. See above since the recipe is the same as it is for anxiety.

?You can undoubtedly run through the litany of your own personal collection of medicated conditions and see that it almost invariably comes down to addressing these ills passively with alcohol rather than actively correcting them. The difference is that submerging them seems safe and addressing them dangerous.

That turns out to one of those “irrational thoughts” that do not stand up to close inspection via CBT and Mary Ellen’s guiding you through the process.

With the maze of erroneous thought habits being dispelled, it becomes easier to begin to assertively challenge the status-drunken-quo and actually resolve problems, resentments, imbalances, and other life sucking conditions, situations, and people.

Please believe us when we say that few things feel better than finally learning to stand up for yourself. Certainly drunkenness doesn’t.

So why not give it, yourself, and your life, as well as those you could be setting an example for, a chance?