Checking in…verses out.

Time for a check-in, me thinks. Yes, I’ve had a few drinks. Less than usual, chiming in on a positive note.

I’ve been investigating the whole “SMART Recovery” approach to alcoholism since my last visit. It has some really good things about it. I especially like how it focuses on, as they say, “Science based” approaches to alcoholism. They de-emphasize the use of labels, such as “Alcoholic” or “Recovery” and choose instead to stand on the back of Dr. Albert Ellis, who founded the whole movement known as “Rational Emotive Therapy” (RET). Dr. Ellis died in 2007 as the age of 93.

In a nutshell, RET does not ascribe to the typical “powerless over alcohol” model made so popular with A.A. Ellis, and all of those who have preceded him and continue to promote his teachings, hold to the notion that an individual can, with appropriate guidance and understanding, get a grip on their alcoholism and can with old fashioned hard work and effort not only overcome it — it with it’s haunting labels of being alcoholic, or of one being forever in recovery — and grow past it, without the need to “become addicted to meetings instead of alcohol”, and be free. Well, SMART Recovery is now considered the 2nd most effective treatment for alcoholism, although their organization is yet minuscule compared to A.A.

So, SMART Recovery seems to work for some people. And so does A.A. And so does LifeRing and so does a bunch of other alcohol treatment and rehab centres and organizations around the world.

I think, that just as we are all unique and different human beings, that there are unique and different ways to treat alcoholism. For most it’s a matter of finding the method that works best for them…for you. There is no, “One size fits all” treatment for alcoholism out there.

So, before this post gets too long to bother reading, where does all this put me, this “One Drunk”? It puts me right into the Gumbo soup! The soup that has a little bit of everything mixed into it! There is no simple Consume soup for this guy. I have to take what I can get from all of it out there. Taylor-fit it for just me. Today I wrote out a list and posted it in three places in my apartment. The title of it is, “I will do whatever it takes to stay clean and free of alcohol today”. Then below that I wrote a list of about 20 things that I can do right now, today, to help me not drink. I put one above my toilet, one on my bedroom wall and one on the fridge. I think it’s going to help. Tomorrow, I’ll explain a little more about the philosophy behind it.

Take good care, folks!

Nelson

 

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14 thoughts on “Checking in…verses out.

    • Hey Jim! Great narrative of the wedding day drunk. I have gone through much the same. When I try to just moderate my drinking, I end up getting slammed more often. I have SO much drinking experience now, attempting to moderate, attempting to quit etc., etc., that I know now that just having the first drink is a mistake. I can’t moderate. Not yet anyway. They say (including at SMART Recovery) that only 1 to 2% of alcoholics (which is what we are btw) are able to moderate, but only after a sustained period of complete abstinence — like after a YEAR of having no drink at all. We COULD be part of that 1 to 2%…COULD be….but there seems to be only one way to find out: be completely abstinent for an extended period. There is a group called “Moderation Management” that thinks moderation is possible. Check them out if that’s your ultimate goal (or hope). They likely think that a higher percentage of alcoholics (like us) can achieve it. KaryMayHickey has a blog over on Blogspot (https://godwalkedintothisbar.blogspot.ca/) and she has had success with it/them. In the meantime…take it easy bro! The damn stuff really CAN KILL US if we overdo it like that….! Take care. Keep me/us posted!

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      • Hi Nelson, thanks for your comment. It is strange with drinking and the different patterns and associations we construct. At the wedding, it was help yourself, free bar; no queues, no rounds no one really conscious of what anyone else has had to drink until the dancing started! In other words the best and worst of situations for me. Yet the week before I walked to a pub, had two pints and came home. Didn’t drink more at the pub because the friend I went with is a “normal” drinker and I wouldn’t want to stand out. So the excessive binge drinking does depend on circumstances.

        My problem is I probably know somewhere inside I shall eventually have to give up completely but it will be traumatic giving up something I also really enjoy. But the only way I can keep having an occasional drink is if I crack this dependency and harmful drinking which is going to be difficult but not impossible. (Hopefully). Be interesting to see how we both get on.😊

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    • Thank you so much! I do feel, well, at least more optimistic about the future. It’s taken me a long, long time to truly understand my addiction…and I think I’ve got it. Also much thanks to my Jungian Therapist. I think the work I have done there has at the very least prevented my drinking from getting worse. But, I suspect it’s done much more than just that. Having upbeat, positive, caring people here on WordPress has been a tremendous help to me as well — so thank you, to you and all!!!

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