Solving for Z

Swenny and Cher need help. While my posts here aren’t a direct call for such, they do include an unwritten refrain acknowledging a lack of resources for people managing an alcoholic life. In my experience, what I do find available is either financially out of reach, medically unsupported or simply insufficient in its capacity to help an alcoholic move beyond his or her normal to a state of sobriety that is lasting, sustainable and life changing.

I know I’m not alone in this because I hear from others of their frustration with their own alcoholic life, in some cases wishing aloud they could have done something to save their alcoholic from hitting bottom before realizing that the rebound is sometimes just recovery lore. With understanding that the hard work rests with the alcoholic, I do wonder how those of us in the first ring of the alcoholism community can help them by helping each other.

After being party to a series of failures to launch a life free of alcoholism, I am becoming adept at reviewing what resources are available and measuring their potential to help Swenny and me succeed. In a formula where and y represent cost in terms of finances and relationships, I try to solve for z, the elusive answer known as sobriety.

Still standing at the blackboard without a solution, my strategy has evolved. I understand now that this is not a linear equation; it’s too large a problem. But because I am navigating a recovery system founded on anonymity, some of the most helpful factors remain unknown to me: family, friends and neighbors who have also struggled with alcoholism. They are possibly the best resources I have in my quest to find a solution before my piece of chalk is so used it’s merely dust.

And because it’s true that the only source of knowledge is experience, their wisdom is always welcome here.





3 thoughts on “Solving for Z

  1. petvet2 says:

    See the article online by Kenneth Anderson (Psychology Today July 2013) called “Drink Your Way Sober with Naltrexone”. This describes the Sinclair Method of treatment which is vastly more successful than Naltrexone alone and had become the preferred method of treatment in Finland at the time of the article. It is based on conditioned response modification. Hopefully you doctor would be willing to help Swenny receive this treatment at home. I wish we had found out about this method or that our doctors had tried it before we lost my husband in 2014. Good luck-I think you are doing the right thing by reaching out to those on the front lines for ideas, as the experts often stop trying to soon.


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