"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 Edmonton

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 grand-kids.

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 grand-kids the next day. For her, this was highly in-congruent 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 grand-kids. 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.

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