“I’ll quit after Halloween. Promise”

We all know, whether we make that promise to our spouse, family, or ourselves, that “I’ll quit after…” morphs into “after Thanksgiving,” then “after Christmas” then “after New Years” then it’s on to “after the Super Bowl” and ……..

It’s called procrastination.

We’ve all done it. Repeatedly.

Remember back in high school when it was time to break up with that boy/girlfriend? But not until after the holidays, Valentine’s Day, birthday, prom, and so on until graduation rescued us and we went our separate ways?

Our current friend alcohol isn’t going to be dumped quite so easily. Most of us have avoided actually quitting in any number of ways.

We’ve gone to “meetings,” or we’ve seen a therapist, or we’ve talked to someone, or we’ve read books and newsletters, and we’ve promised our spouse, our children, our parents and, mostly, ourselves.

We’ve even talked to programs and maybe visited and decided that, yes, this is the right place for me to get the help I need.

Later. Much, much later. After Halloween……

So goes another year.

The odd thing is that having a better happier life isn’t all that awful once you get started. In fact, it feels good pretty quickly.

Yes, facing the unknown reality of life without the booze is intimidating but, really, you can always go back to it.


People tend to forget that. If you truly prefer to live drunk you can always go back to it. Not as a failure, but as a choice.

Why not invest a bit of time and effort, a little money, and some derring-do in  developing an interesting comparison? And if life sober turns out to be better than life drunk, well, geez, you’ve gained a lot and lost nothing.

So why not make an informed decision? Live drunk/live sober.

Either way, either intentional choice, you win.

But if you don’t try….

In that case, guess what? You lose.

An Inspiring Week, A Revolutionary Approach

By Carl and Nicole
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Imagine yourself at a center for dealing with alcohol abuse. And imagine–really imagine it if you can– that the week is wonderfully inspiring.

Imagine that the week is filled with laughter, joy and lots of humor. Imagine feeling pampered, perhaps as if you where at a California health spa or golf course. And imagine that you tackle some very good “hard work” with the active engagement of tremendously dedicated and experienced coaches–but that ninety-five percent of the week is NOT on the topic of alcohol, alcoholism, or alcohol abuse!

On top of all that imagine that a confident pathway is designed, creating a life filled with health-generating practices and pleasures that make excessive drinking irrelevant and simply not needed.

Nicole and I have just finished a wonderful week with Dr. Ed Wilson and Dr. Mary Ellen Barnes–and it was a total surprise.

On the surface there wasn’t anything surprising. For example, there was the everyday schedule of meetings all morning and then afternoons free for whatever we wanted (we went to a world class golf course, coastal walks and a health spa). But deep down the whole experience was completely different from that of a treatment center, or a program in the AA tradition.

Not once was I treated as if I had a life-long disease. Not once was I “diagnosed” for my failures. Not once was there the instillation of fear and threat or the mantra (one that our society teaches) that “this is a life-long problem” or something that you will have to always keep at bay. Instead there was a radically different approach.

What was it?

Well it was a combination of things. Yes, there was hard and honest reflection. It was a luxury really, a week where two amazing coaches devoted intense focus on my total life space and context. It was a week where we identified visions of health, assets and strengths, and looked at life as a whole. It was a week where Nicole and I were helped, not alone but together, to forge a shared vision of an exciting, healthy future.

It was a precious week where Nicole and I deepened our 30 year friendship, marriage, and our love. And it was a week where I came away with real hope and a new calm.

It’s hard to explain but it’s true. Nicole and I “high-fived” it after our final session. We were proud of our work. And we left with a feeling of gratitude. It may have been luck that we stumbled upon this revolutionary approach. But I don’t think so.

That was how Carl and Nicole once elected to use their holiday season. You can too.