Do you drink alcohol? If so, do you really know how much you drink?
Many people who drink, and particularly those with significant challenges in their use of alcohol, do not have an accurate sense of the amount of alcohol they are consuming. By underestimating the amount of alcohol you use, you are fooling yourself about the extent of your drinking, and perhaps the seriousness of your drinking problem. You can use the measures below for a more accurate understanding of the amount of alcohol you’re using, and seek appropriate support and treatment if needed. For example, if you drink beer, one beer is counted as 12 ounces of beer. If you have a 40 oz, even though it’s only one can it has to be counted as 3+ beers.
Beer (12 oz) a 12 oz = 1 drink/ 16 oz = 1.3 / 22 oz = 2 / 40 oz = 3.3
Table Wine (5 oz) a 750 mL bottle = 5 drinks
80 proof / hard liquor (whiskey, gin, vodka, scotch, bourbon, brandy, cognac) is measured by the “shot” or 1.5 ounces.
a mixed drink = 1 or more depending on the recipe for the cocktail
taken straight, 1.5 oz = 1 drink / a pint = 11 drinks / a fifth = 17 drinks
If you’re unsure whether you can maintain an accurate count of your alcohol use, consider using a glass that is 1 standard drink of whatever type of alcohol you use. That way the math will be easy! And don’t assume that a mixed drink in a bar is understrength. Some bars are overly generous in their pours, and may be serving you 2 ounces or more of alcohol in each drink, especially those more exotic cocktails that call for 3 or 4 different alcohols.
Do yourself, and those who love you, a good favor. Be aware of your alcohol consumption and take steps to moderate it so that it is healthy both physically and socially. And if you ever find yourself apologizing by saying”…but I was drunk” then you know you need to take a very serious accounting of your drinking behavior and it’s impact on your life and the lives of others.
“The control of our being is not unlike the combination of a safe. One turn of the knob rarely unlocks the safe. Each advance and retreat is a step toward one’s goal.” Eric Hoffer
Clients sometimes ask me, in the first therapy session, how long it will take. How long until they feel better? How long until others feel better about them? It’s also often the beginning of a client’s realization and acceptance that there are things I don’t know about them or about how therapy will work for them – and therefore the very beginning of our authentic relationship.
What comes next is something akin to, though not as simple or expressive as Eric Hoffer’s quote that opened this post. For any reader who is contemplating beginning therapy, or has just begun, there could be no more succinct nor more accurate statement about the process of psychotherapy. There is no scripted easy road to personal transformation. Finding our way to a personal awakening, a new beginning, to self forgiveness, self direction and intentional living, is not simply a movement from step A to step Z. It requires of us, client and therapist alike, that we formulate goals yet understand that not all goals are reached or reachable, that we accept some frailties as a legitimate component of the human condition, and that we have and practice the patience and courage to set a course complete with destination, yet succumb to wandering.
As you engage psychotherapy as a guide and inspiration for your personal change, remember Mr. Hoffer’s quote. Let yourself become comfortable with alternately knowing and not knowing where it will lead. Wander through your life with curiosity and the confidence that your therapist will serve as a guide.
And remember: All those who wander are not lost.
May you have a safe and enlightening journey.
Many of us struggle with our weight and size. We are too heavy, too big, too light, too small. We are “fat” or “skinny” or “short” or…
Whatever it is that we don’t like about ourselves, it may also be true that others hold prejudices about those same attributes. This negative feedback and reflection, whether constant and overt or occasional and subtle, can reinforce your own poor self-image, and undermine your intentions and efforts to find pleasure in your life. You may feel that you have to “put life on hold” until you can lose weight or “bulk up” with a six-pack abdomen. In essence, you wait. And wait. Because of weight.
Meanwhile, days then months then years can slip by. Healthy living, including good nutrition and regular exercise is of course important for all of us. We can however, work towards these goals while each day we also enjoy the pleasures of life and the people around us. Try not to put your life on hold. Try not to let “Wait… weight!” become the inner voice that stops you from finding some joy in each day. And when it becomes too difficult, seek the counsel of qualified therapist to help you re-ignite your enthusiasm for life and for a healthier life style.
The following quote is from the narrative of a popular TV series. The ideas, found in the most mundane and unlikely of places, are simple yet amazingly illuminating.
There is good and there is evil, right and wrong, heroes and villains, and if we’re blessed with wisdom then there are glimpses between the cracks of each, while light streams through.
We wait in silence for these times, when sense can be made, when meaning’s existence comes into focus and our purpose presents itself.
And if we have the strength to be honest, then what we find there, staring back at us, is our own reflection bearing witness to the duality of life, that each one of us is capable of both the dark and light, of good and evil, of either, of all.
And destiny, while marching ever in our direction, can be re-routed by the choices we make… by the love we hold onto, and the promises we keep.
There’s no need for me to add. I think it expresses a complete, and enlightening idea. You have but to read it again, and consider how it might apply to you by honestly and thoughtfully considering the choices you are making, and the promises you are keeping.
Please check with your doctor if you are using Prilosec to control stomach acid problems!!
A recent published study indicates that people who use the medication Prilosec (a type of proton pump inhibitor) for more than 2 weeks may experience severe difficulties when they attempt to stop using it. Apparently the cells that produce stomach acid multiply dramatically when Prilosec prohibits them from secreting the acid in our stomachs, as they try desperately to overcome the medicine. When a person then stops using Prilosec, these extra cells begin to pump copious amounts of acid into the stomach, causing serious stomach and bowel problems. It’s been reported that severe pain can result. Please consult a physician before you try to stop the medication.
I mention this because many clients who experience serious and debilitating anxiety also have stomach acid problems. While the link between the two may not be clear for every person, several of my clients have used Prilosec to help control stomach distress. Little did we know that they may have been setting themselves up for even more distressing digestive problems.
Certain foods, as well as alcohol, can seriously exacerbate stomach acid problems. Using Prilosec so that you can endure the gastrointestinal effects of drinking may be a sign that you need to deal with your drinking as well. Please, consult a physician soon if you are using Prilosec, and discuss a plan to wean yourself off of the Prilosec to a less complicated (albeit less effective) alternative such as Zantac combined with dietary changes and the reduction or elimination of alcohol.
Published September 4, 2009
“I saw my shadow, and I fell in love with it.”
No. She was not talking about Groundhog Day. I understood what she was telling me. All of us are capable of anything, and of everything. She had faced this in herself, and unlike most of us who glance at the shadow side of ourselves then ease away back into more safe conventional thinking and living, she had jumped with abandon into that deep glistening pool. And then found others who similarly embraced the more unconventional ways of relating that she so enjoyed. There she found alcohol and drugs commonly used to excess, multi-amorous adventures with tops, bottoms and in-betweens. And more.
Now, starting therapy, she was not so sure, having tasted the freedom of unrestricted partying with like-minded revelers, whether she should or could continue – - or should or could stop. People disapproved, including people she cared about, yet others embraced her in all ways imaginable.
After months of therapy she decided to turn away from the shadowy side of life, even though she had not had enough. “Just too difficult to keep that life going” she’d decided. Letting go was not as easy as deciding to, but gradually she changed her path, one step at a time until her life felt different and worked better in the daylight hours. She was, we agreed, feeling happier and acting like she really did.
The choices are ours to make. Choose well and wisely, and accept the gifts as well as the losses inherent in the choices you make. There is no path that is free of consequences, both desirable and undesirable. Some paths do however result in more personal peace of mind. If you are having a difficult time choosing, or even understanding that you are making a choice every day, then perhaps an appointment with a therapist would be helpful. It may be time to adjust your compass so that it points you toward your own brand of happiness - what ever it is.
Often we spend most of our waking hours in a work place, yet few people make an effort to learn effective work place behaviors beyond the skill-set for which they were hired.
Organizational consultants Maren and Jamie Showkeir are nationally recognized experts on developing cohesive and coherent organizational cultures within which all people thrive and organizational goals become achievable. Following is a summary of some tips they have for people in the workplace, and beyond. We would all do well to pay attention to the Showkeir’s advice.
“Workers must wake up and make wiser choices, and there are choices”, say experts Jamie and Maren Showkeir, co-authors of Authentic Conversations,and partners at Henning-Showkeir and Associates, an Arizona-based business and workplace consultancy.
The Showkeirs have described seven make-or-break choices we make at work and beyond. Are you making the most effective choices during your work day? And beyond?
- Blame everyone else — or be accountable for yourself. Stop playing the blame game. Accept accountability for your own role in improving conditions.
- Keep quiet — or speak up. Instead of wandering and wondering, take your questions to a manager who you know and trust.
- Feel helpless — or take action. In the wise words of Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see.”
- Gossip — or do your job. Odds are your workplace is rampant with rumors and what-ifs. Bypass “fictional” chitchat and focus on your work.
- Look out for yourself — or consider others, too. Looking out for #1 is a shortsighted strategy. Success in times of crises requires goodwill and collaboration.
- Tell others how to feel — or listen. Create a safe space for sharing and listening.
- Wallow in doom and gloom — or be hopeful. Rise up and take the road less traveled — convey a grounded sense of hope and optimism.
You can find out more about Maren and Jamie Showkeir, and their inspirational ideas for personal and organizational success at www.henning-showkeir.com