again caused me more anxiety then beginning to identify as a functional
alcoholic. I still drink but have greater control, in all aspects of my life.”
H. S Edmonton
Hank is a 54-year-old
semi-retired married man who describes himself as an alcoholic who has “tried
everything to quit drinking.” This has included addiction treatment options
such as AA on and off for years, several stints at residential rehabilitation
facilities, conventional therapy and “cold turkey.”
While he recognized
that drinking was creating conflicts in his life (spouse and health) he could
not begin to imagine a life without alcohol. With absolute honesty, he admitted
that he had no real desire to quit drinking.
treatment had focused on abstaining from alcohol completely and for him, this
caused extreme anxiety. Each time he emptied the fridge, bar, and cupboards of
alcohol to “make it harder” for himself to drink, he experienced a level of
discomfort that he described as “panic attacks.” Each time he “fell of the wagon” he became
less certain about his ability to quit drinking.
drinking and despite his daily routine centering around alcohol, Hank was
functioning relatively well on some levels. He believed that he had exhausted
traditional addiction treatments and was tired of feeling that he had
A customized private program was designed for Hank after an intensive assessment, which allowed him to view himself in a new empowered
manner. Beginning to identify himself as a functional alcoholic was a “game
changer” for him and he made excellent use of the program designed for him. He
had chosen to continue to drink, was supported in this decision, and has begun
to feel a greater sense of self-control and self-esteem.
The conflicts that
drinking was creating have subsided as he became increasingly committed to the
custom addiction treatment program. Hank still drinks but his “game plan”
leveraged specific strengths and specific interventions around both spousal and
For Hank, being the
CEO of his life did not include total abstinence but it did include feeling
more in control of his drinking, and addressing marital and health concerns.