Behavioral Health Consultant, Trainer and EAP Manager

Seattle, Washington

Will you knock it off about the exercise already?

Question: If the exercise habit is so important, why is it so hard to come by? Answer: First, let’s recognize just how important it is. Exercise is a panacea, the miracle medicine. Almost everything gets better! Low mood, high anxiety, anger, sleep, immunity, energy, concentration and productivity. Self-image, weight, appearance and confidence. Sex, strength, longevity … Read moreWill you knock it off about the exercise already?

So Mad at my Mother-in-Law

Question:

I’m so stressed and irritated. I live with my husband, our kids and his mother. The problem is she is too hard to get along with. She pesters and criticizes me constantly. I try to be polite sometimes I just blow up. I don’t want to upset my husband but I’m afraid some day I’m just going to pack up and move out. How can I keep myself calmer?

 

Read moreSo Mad at my Mother-in-Law

I Feel so Guilty

Question:

I take care of my ailing mother, and I’m very willing to do it. One problem though, is that she expects more than I can provide. I know that if I give her all the time she wants from me, her life would be better. On the other hand, mine would be worse, and by a larger proportion -a net loss between the two of us. She cannot recognize this, and her expressions of sadness at the neglect she experiences makes my want to cry. I am plagued by guilt. What can I do?

 

Read moreI Feel so Guilty

Should I Leave my Alcoholic Wife (or Husband, Partner, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Addict)?

Question:

I cannot bear my wife’s alcoholism any longer. If I stay I’ll perish. But if I leave her I’ll be in the financial pits. And strangely, I still love her!  I’ve been to an Al-Anon meeting but it’s not enough. Most of my friends tell me to leave her, and my family tells me to stick it out. What do I do?

Note: I first wrote this answer as a way to talk about methods to approach tough dilemmas, and since that time it has grown into the forum you see now. 

I’m continually moved by the vivid descriptions of the carnage that addiction causes, and the impossible “you choose, you lose” dilemmas faced by exhausted, isolated partners. Often, finance, children and other circumstances prevent any simple solutions. But, I also notice that many describe their own addiction of sorts – to the partner. A love and attachment you cannot shake, despite the consequences. It’s something like finding yourself holding a hot panhandle and gripping all the more tightly the more it burns.

Please feel free to tell your own story.  I also encourage you to respond to other postings with a few words of appreciation, support and ideas.

Updates are appreciated.  There are many more readers of this dialogue than there are responders – you have an interested group here and we want to know what happens.

Thank you.

Read moreShould I Leave my Alcoholic Wife (or Husband, Partner, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Addict)?

How to Self-Motivate

Question: OK, I’m convinced I’ll start feeling better as soon as I start doing something. In fact, I’ve always known this, and I know exactly what I would do. I would start cleaning up my place, and walking. It’s so simple, except for this: I can’t do it. I just don’t have the motivation to move off the couch. How do I get past this?

Read moreHow to Self-Motivate