There’s no getting around the economic and political news – news that, let’s face it, is more apt to send us off to the liquor store than it is to getting help. But there are, as we all know, a number of drawbacks to doing what we’ve always done: self-medicating the stress and anxiety. This week we’re going to take a look at why this is exactly the right time to invest in yourself and fix the problem.

This Week:

1. Getting the Right Help in Tough Times
2. This Week’s Tip
3. Around the Office
5. From the Tool Chest
6. A Touch of Humor

1. Getting the Right Help in Tough Times

Most of us, understandably, tend to head for the security of familiar “solutions” when the going gets tough. In our case, that’s usually amounted to hiding in the bottle until things blow over. That’s especially tempting now with savings, investments, and home equity dropping like rocks and the future looking pretty bleak.

Since you are pretty successful despite your alcohol problems, getting help at this point may feel like another expense you’d like to avoid.

As tempting as it is to ride out the current disasters, it’s a choice that’s most likely going to come back and haunt you even worse than before. Why? Because when the economy was booming companies could afford to overlook generally functional employees’ problems. But now, every manager is having to take a very hard look at the bottom line and every single employee’s performance. You may think that no one has noticed your problem, but rest assured, everyone has.

Really, continuing along in the same old way isn’t going to guarantee that you weather the cut backs. Quite the opposite. If I’m a manager, worried about my own job, I’m certainly going to prune everyone who isn’t pulling their share. This isn’t a time you can simply wait out. This is a time to step up and you can’t do that drunk, or hung over, or impaired.

However, this isn’t a great time to disappear for a month, or two, or three, for ineffectual residential treatment either. And it’s not a time to advertise your problem. It’s time to fix it: quickly, quietly, effectively, and at a reasonable cost. Frankly, in that regard, your choices are limited.

So please remember, we’re here, ready to accommodate you, your situation, and needs. To help you step up and demonstrate that you’re the asset you know you can be. It’s time to invest in yourself so that you, and those you care about, do weather the storm and come out better and stronger. Please, don’t hesitate too long.

2. This Week’s Tip

We always recommend that clients join support groups. No, we don’t mean AA or NA or any other group focused on “the problem.” The research is clear – those groups are more apt to send you into relapse than they are to be a help. Instead, we suggest that you join a group that pursues an activity you’re interested in, or would like to learn more about. Join the Bridge Club; the Audubon Society; the Radio-Controlled Glider Club; Gold’s Gym; or any other activity that will begin to change your circle of friends and activities away from drinking.

When you surround yourself with new interests and people (who neither know nor care about your old drinking days) you will find your life moving towards better days with interests you’ll be unwilling to give up for the familiar escapes alcohol once offered.

Remember, success means squeezing alcohol’s place out of your life, not merely moving it to a different room.

3. Around the Office

It’s a fairly quiet day here, a few follow-up phone sessions with clients who’ve returned home, a bit of work on this newsletter, and some thoughts about our dogs, Mary Ellen’s Shogun and my Jazz-the Elderly-Beagle. Both are 13 and slowing down a bit and that is sad, but we also reflect on all of the joy, comfort, and companionship they have brought us over the years. Just their portraits, done in oil by a New Mexico artist who specializes in dog portraits, bring a smile when we look up from our desks and see their doggy countenances.

In hard times and good, their steadiness is always a comfort, as is their advice: “it’s always a good time for a nap.” On that note, I believe I will follow their example and relax for half an hour.


For every complex problem there is an easy answer, and it is wrong. – H. L. Mencken

If you are reluctant to ask the way, you will be lost. – Malay Proverb

We never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do! -CSN&Y from “Southern Cross”

5. From Our Tool Chest

This time we’re looking at a CD called Balance. We use it, as do many of our clients, as a combination relaxation and meditation tool. Its producers, the EOC Institute, make more extravagant claims, but we do know that we enjoy the calming effect it has when our own brains start feeling like hampsters in a wheel. You can order one for $35 directly from:


Or purchase one from us at a reduced rate of $25 including postage.

Just give us a call at 888-541-6350, or drop us a check at Non-12- Step, 4020 Palos Verdes Drive North, Suite #291, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.

6. A Touch of Humor

I never put off until tomorrow what I can possibly put off until the day after tomorrow. -Oscar Wilde

Whether or not life is worth living may depend on the liver. -Anonymous

I’m out of estrogen and I’ve got a gun. -Slogan on a coffee cup.

You can observe a lot just by watching. -Yogi Berra