Summer – Not a Cure-All, But…

It’s interesting that not just in substance abuse offices but in health offices generally the numbers of calls and visitors drop significantly come Memorial Day.

As an old Alaskan the reasons are readily apparent – in the winter, oppressed by cold and dark – there isn’t much to do. Then summer appears and there is a backlog of things on the “to-do” list which are nearly impossible to complete.


That brings me to a client from long ago who complained, “You have a 3-Step Program: Get a breath; Get a grip; Get a life!”

All of this is pretty accurate depending on you, geography, chronology, and other individual circumstances But it’s still true that most of us, periodically, need to take a break – and not at Betty Ford. A real break, if you can afford it, would be more apt to be Canyon Ranch though if you can afford one you can probably afford the other.

The point? Most of us never take the time to escape our “lives of quiet desperation,” as Thoreau so satisfactorily put it, and spend a few days, “away” and protected from people and phones and computers and work and children and relatives and most everything else. You would quickly be astonished what with anonymity how quickly life becomes interesting again.

That’s the get a breath part.

Get a grip refers to hanging on to what you’ve learned whether it’s the division of labor in your household isn’t very fair, that you can’t stand your mother-in-law, or …?

Get a life means paying attention. For most of us life is just the endless repetition of a series of habits until someone dies/leaves, the last kid leaves home, a heart attack looms, or some other unanticipated event makes continuing difficult. Then change tends to be panic-driven, not reflection driven. Alcohol is a frequent lubricant and less apt to fuel reflection – just when you need it.

Of course, you wouldn’t need it if you had been paying attention.

Consider scheduling reflection time into your current life. A t the very least, think about “thinking before drinking” thereby accomplishing progress towards 2 goals.

Over the years a few clients have worked their way towards a less alcohol infused life by working towards time with me. That usually starts with a free consultation, is followed by a more formal evaluation at a modest fee, and continues with sessions as needed, usually 6-12 weeks. Private, confidential, professional, effective, efficient, and positive and distance delivered.

And as usual, I’ll end with a question, “What harm can a free call do?”

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