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“I got fed up with AA
and fed up with falling off the wagon and causing problems. I still fall off
the wagon but it is a very different scene now. Much better one. “Ellen G
Ellen is 59 years old
retired, married, and an actively involved grandmother. She retired early due
to health concerns and a desire to help with the grandkids.
She stated that she
has “probably drank too much” for most of her adult life. Her family of origin
abstained and her drinking was an anomaly. Ellen admitted to enjoying
several glasses of wine in the evenings and occasionally not being up to par
for planned activities with the grandkids the next day. For her, this was
highly incongruent with her role as Grandma. After a bout of drinking and
missing a planned activity, she spent several days struggling with shame and
isolating herself from those who cared about her.
She had attended AA for
addiction treatment and relapsed regularly. When she “fell off the wagon” she
was embarrassed and refused to attend her home group, fearful about being
reprimanded and losing her chips. Ellen often found herself to be quite
different from other AA members and had a difficult time connecting with the
group. At times, she questioned whether
she was truly an “alcoholic” and admitted that on some level, she did not want
to stop drinking wine as she found it to be “an enjoyable and relaxing way to
end the day.”
Ellen requested support and after an intensive assessment a
private customized program was designed for her. Today, Ellen continues to
enjoy her wine in the evenings and is emotionally and mentally available for
activities with her grandkids. For Ellen, being the CEO of her life did not
involve “never touching another drop” but it did include some shifts in beliefs
and addressing issues around shame.