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Planning Retirement Online

If booze is your boss   April 2005

Amazon book - Smashed: Growing Up a Drunk Girl If booze is your boss.


Lisa Morgan explains a new approach to handling the relationships we have with alcohol
Alcohol has become the vital oil that lubricates the cogs of so many of our lives. On the one hand its image is cool and it is more available than ever before (soon to be sold in bars for 24 hours a day). On the other, there are increasing warnings of potential long-term damage to health, and government announcements telling us that it is important to drink responsibly. This relationship is out of whack.


For many, when booze has become a boss, not a servant, the options for changing this balance and getting a sense of proportion back seem few.
There's the sensible route -that means counting units - and though we might resolve to go that way, willpower is not totally reliable.

Then there's abstention - no more drink ever. Though it's a solution for some, for others, the prospect of spending a lifetime thinking of themselves as a ‘recovering alcoholic’, having given up completely, is both bleak and scary.

Why I developed my workshop

I learnt, as a Planning and Research Director for one of the largest drink companies in the world, that our motivations for drinking are complex. Counting units is a rational solution to an emotional issue. And abstention is another way of making alcohol your boss.
The way forward that I'm suggesting is fairly new in terms of alcohol management, but the approach became very popular for sports training and personal development of all sorts, in the last century.

My method uses 'creative visualisation'

This term, creative visualisation, is best described as ‘using our imagination’. It is the most powerful asset we have to change our minds and our behaviour. In 'THE GLASS HALF FULL' workshop, participants use their imagination to discover the wisdom that they have deep down inside themselves. They do this through a series of exercises, learning through them to enjoy alcohol 'responsibly' and build positive goals.

In the workshop:

  • Participants explore how they connect with drink and discover the image of alcohol that lies in their subconscious.

  • They work out ways to feel more comfortable with their drinking behaviour.

  • They develop their own vision of the person they want to be in the future.

  • They do not engage in a confessional or where others tell them what to do or think.

My aim for the people who take part is that they have fun discovering their own powerful spirit inside themselves. This is truly a self-help system, a winner once they engage with it.

Some statistics on drink in later life

  • 21% of the over 65's drink at least 5 days every week. For men, this percentage is 26%.

  • Though those in managerial employment drink the most regularly, the more disposable income people have (whatever their age), the more they drink.

  • Alcohol consumption is higher among divorced and separated men aged over 45 - 20 % of them had drunk over 8 units on one occasion in the past week.

  • The percentage of those who drink 'too much' is lower in older age groups, but there is evidence from America to show that you keep your drinking habits through life.

  • Drink-related deaths are on the rise. In 2000, there were between 15,000 and 22,000 estimated alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales. Most of these deaths in both sexes occurred between the ages of 55 and 70.

  • The number of directly alcohol-related deaths registered in England and Wales more than doubled between 1979 and 2000, from 2,506 to 5,543.

  • For comparison, in 2001 in England and Wales there were 2898 deaths from drug poisoning.

Although a small amount of alcohol may reduce the risk of a heart attack, for
many drinkers alcohol actually increases the risk of heart disease
One drink every second day gives almost all the protection that alcohol has on reducing the risk of a heart attack. Health risks associated with heavy drinking include: cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx; oesophagus; larynx; breast; liver; colon; rectum. Also: liver cirrhosis, hypertension, pancreatitis.

The cost for the one-day workshop, entitled The Glass Half Full, is ?48, to include all art materials, or the budget for one week's drink - whichever is the greater. Numbers are limited in each location, so please book early to assure yourself of a place.

For further details of Lisa's workshop programme, to be held around Britain, please get in touch.




laterlife interest

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