How to Change Your Drinking with Kenneth Anderson
In Episode Five of “Breaking the Bottle Legacy,” Molly hosts an interview with Kenneth Anderson, the founder and CEO of HAMS (Harm Reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support), a nonprofit lay-led support group for people seeking to change their relationship with alcohol. The conversation delves into various aspects of HAMS, harm reduction, and the challenges individuals face in their journey to modify their drinking behaviors. The dialogue emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the gray area between alcoholism and complete abstinence, promoting the idea that “better is better” and supporting individuals in setting and achieving their unique goals. The episode also touches on coping mechanisms, emotional aspects of drinking, and the need for self-compassion in the process of change.
You’re listening to breaking the bottle legacy with Molly watts, Episode Five. Hi, I’m Molly, after a lifetime living under the influence of family alcohol abuse, spending more than 30 years worrying about alcohol and my own drinking, believing I had an unbreakable daily drinking habit, I changed my relationship with alcohol forever. If you want to change your drinking habits than breaking the bottle legacy is for you. My goal is to help you create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, past, present, and future. Each week all focus on real science and using your own brain to change your relationship with alcohol. Nothing has gone wrong, you’re not broken, you’re not sick. It’s not your genes. And creating peace is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello, and welcome or welcome back to breaking the bottle legacy. I am your host Molly Watts coming to you from a kind of gray but not too terrible. January day here in Oregon. It’s actually January 10. And it is my 10th Day of dry you weary for those of you that are following along. If you’re not I would love you to come to Facebook and find our search for breaking the bottle legacy group. And you can journey along with me as I go through dry weary. It’s been great so far and I would love to share that journey with you. Today on the podcast, I am super excited to be talking to my first actual interviews and an expert or somebody who is invested in helping people change their relationship with alcohol. His name is Kenneth Anderson and he is the CEO and founder of hams. Hammes is a nonprofit Laylat support group for people who want to change their relationship with alcohol. It stands for harm reduction, abstinence and moderation support. So loved talking with Kenneth about the background, what journey led him here, and just learning more about hands. So here’s my conversation with Kenneth Anderson. Hello, Kenneth, thank you so much for joining me today and being on breaking the bottle legacy. I really appreciate you taking the time. Okay, thanks for having me here. Absolutely. So I just gave a brief in the intro just talked a little bit about who you are, and just saying basically, that you are the founder and CEO of hams. But I want to get into a little bit more about what hams is. And really, let’s start first at the beginning and your story kind of how you got to even begin hams and where that where that journey started and give me a little more of the backstory. Well, I think it’s interesting that your focus is adult children of alcoholics. And there’s kind of this myth that, you know, if people are brought up by abstainers, they will be abstainers. And it’s totally false. And the research doesn’t bear that out either. There was a lot of research done on this, I think Halen and room did research on this, which is it’s kind of old. Nobody wants to touch this topic anymore. No, I know. But what they found was children of moderate drinkers were most likely to be moderate drinkers. They were the least likely to abstain, and also the least likely to have problems with alcohol. So you know, modeling a sane, moderate lifestyle for your children, seems to be a really good thing. Now, in my background, all both my parents were religious teetotallers, and all four grandparents. Were also religious teetotallers, who, of course if you drink you go to hell and burn in hell forever. And all this really extreme religious stuff. Of course if you believe in evolution, you also burn in hell forever. You know, the you know, this extreme position. And that leads a lot of people to rebel because that’s an extreme and unnatural position. Just another fact along side all of this In life, lifelong abstainers, people who never drank are much more have much higher mortality rates than moderate drinkers. Or even relatively heavy drinkers. It seems connected with this uptight personality that is freaked out about everything. But definitely the idea that, you know, having parents who abstained will lead to abstinence in children, it’s just not necessarily true. And sounds like for you personally was not true. It was not true for me personally. No, I rebelled very strongly against all of these things that I was brought up with. And well wound up drinking a lot. I really have to cry. Quite a few problems. Were you Do you consider yourself? Were you ever physically dependent on alcohol? Do you? Did you cross that line? Do you think? Or were you just, you know, was it impacting your life in any other ways, or many other ways? Oh, I definitely met the DSM five criteria for severe alcohol use disorder. The, the worst of all, was when I went to AAA and drank more than I ever had before in my life. I wound up while I was in AAA drinking five liters of whiskey in five days, and was going through such withdrawal, I was afraid of a heart attack or a stroke. I mean, was crazy. Heartbeat was irregular, you know, I checked into detox, you know, got them to bring me down on Valium. So that I didn’t die. Yeah. And I decided that, you know, I, I had to never go to AAA again, or it would kill me. So, I, so that’s an interesting, you know, for some people who are listening to this, they they believe that AAA is, you know, they were taught, it’s sort of ingrained in us from least for those of us that grew up back in the 70s and 80s, that, you know, AAA was synonymous with people that had a drinking problem, you went to AAA to get help, right. And so, for some people that are listening, they may not understand that it’s truly not the the efficacy rate of AAA has been shown time and time again, to not be very, to be very low for people. And I know your story, obviously. Is that it, it actually propelled you to drink more while you were in that while you were in that program. Yeah, it’s interesting. This morning, I wasn’t even thinking about this podcast, but in a certain Facebook group, I posted a question. How many people here drank more? After you went to a than before? And had a like a dozen people say, Yo, yeah, way more after I started a drink way more. Yeah. So I mean, I’m not here to bash AAA and say, Don’t go if you like it, if you like it. Go ahead and do it. You know, I have friends that quit their drugs or alcohol with the 12 step programs. I have other friends that quit by joining the Hari Krishna has, yeah, you know, whatever you want to do. Go ahead and do it. It’s not my job to tell you don’t do what you want to do. Yeah. Yeah, go ahead. If you’re like AAA, if it fits you fine. Did not fit me. I thought the theology was horrible. I thought that saying that alcohol is powerful and human beings are powerless. Calculus. The idea that human beings need to be rescued from an inanimate object by an all powerful God is really bizarre. And if this God is rescuing these alcoholics, why is he letting children die of cancer? If he’s an all powerful God, the whole thing makes no sense to me. Period. So definitely, I was not comfortable there. And you know, my subconscious just kind of absorbed this whole message that alcohol is powerful and humans are powerless. And this left me completely out of control. And as I told you, the result, you know, swell, I was in detox and saying, you know, I am never going to a again because it will kill me. I need to figure out something better. And that was pretty much the genesis of the harm reduction approach to alcohol. Which I found I love it. I found hams in my doing research for my own journey through changing my drinking habits and also for researching for breaking the bottle legacy because I was I’ve as an adult child of an alcoholic and somebody that watched my own mother struggle for 40 plus years and eventually succumb die of her an alcoholic binge. And she went through four different recovery programs all 12 step based and clearly never worked for her. Right she her last attempt was a nine month inpatient recovery program that was further quote unquote reluctant to recover. And she drank three weeks after she came out. Clearly no longer physically addicted, didn’t physically dependent on alcohol at that point, but she could not get her mind around the idea she could never accept or never. I think she fought battled the ideas and the whole premise of of the 12 steps the whole time she could never buy into it all and therefore never really ever got to the point where she believed that she had power over it as well, which is one of the reasons that I have loved what I’ve learned about hams in my in all of my research, so let’s talk about hams and for everybody that is never heard about this program before. hams stands for harm reduction, abstinence and moderation. Support. Perfect. So h a m s Yep. And everybody that’s that that follows along with hams is called a hamster, which I love. Yep. So a little bit of that name. You know, when we started the group, I said, What should we call ourselves in some ways? Should we be hammers? Should we be hamsters? And somebody said, How about hamsters? I love it. Yeah, it’s a great i upstairs, let’s be hamsters. And it makes it it makes everybody smile a little bit and realize that you can, you know, not everything that while it’s a very serious subject, and we don’t want to, you know, because there is it, alcohol does have some high risk use problems, right. So we don’t want to ever minimize that. But at the same time, we can approach it with a an attitude of sometimes having a smile on our face. And I think there’s actually, I know in the, that I’m gonna get through this a little bit later, when we talk a little bit more about how to change your drinking, the book that you wrote for hams, and which is so full of so much great information. But you one of the things that I think people get in their minds is that this prot, that this journey has to be really hard, and that it’s really a challenge for it. And it is a challenge, of course for some people. But part of the reason that I think that it is, and this is one of the things that I believe is that I that I held on to for so long as that I told myself for so long, that it was going to be hard to to change, you know, I really held on to that belief for so long. And once I kind of turned my head around on that and realize that I actually was in control on that I did have the I could choose what I was doing with my drinking, and that I could assess my own risk reward cost benefit analysis, that it changed a lot for me in terms of also then realizing that it wasn’t quite as hard as I want it to make it sound. Yeah, I mean, people should realize that they are going to have to do a certain amount of hard work, right then changing their behaviors. But also, as you said, the more you have a smile on your face, the easier it’s going to be. So it’s not like it’s going to be this difficult, insurmountable, Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill and having a come back down for all eternity. Right? No, and the longer you establish your new habits, the longer they’ve been established, the easier they are to maintain. Yep, yeah. percent. It absolutely gets easier. Yeah, there’ll be some struggles in the beginning and some rough times probably. But you know, as I said, the longer you stick with your new habits, the easier they are to maintain. And of course, we support every goal that people choose whether they want to quit completely, which about half of people with alcohol dependence as the as defined by the DSM for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual fourth edition? About half of people will find that quitting completely works best. And about half of people will find controlled drinking works best. And we don’t try to define for you what controlled drinking should look like. As in say, Oh, if you only have two drinks a day or okay, but if you have three year, it’s horrible. No you in our program, you get to choose what kind of drinking pattern you want, what kind of change you’re ready to make. And we all will say, you know, if you decide that you want to stop drinking and driving, but still want to get drunk every day, that’s a good improvement. We totally applaud that. And you can find any other programs that will support that. But really, it’s a huge improvement. Right? I love that I one of the things that hams one of your mantras, statements, whatever you want to call it is better is better. And that whole idea, the whole notion of harm reduction. And let’s talk about that notion of and why it’s so important in treating or I don’t even like say treating, but in how we evaluate people as they want to change their drinking habits. This is something that I think is super underserved for people understanding because a lot of people still think that there’s really only you know, there’s only two things there’s either people that drink that can handle it, and they drink successfully, moderately, or they are, you know, they are they have severe alcohol use disorder, and they need recovery. And there’s nothing, you know, there’s nothing in between. And the idea with harm reduction is that you are You, yourself are the person that’s evaluating what it means to find a safe level of drinking for yourself. And you have to look at it and what I love about the the Hamm’s steps for that. I think it’s the first step right, that is not call them I call them steps we call them elements, right? Because steps included steps imply that you have to take them in order, and you have to do them one right after another and you have to finish them all right. And on these and with hams, that’s not the case, these elements are you can apply what applies to you and help you or skip what doesn’t help you. Right. Right. And we all say if you do one of the elements and your problem is solved, you don’t have to do any of the rest of it. Why would you? Right? Right. But the but number number one is all about the cost benefits, benefit, can’t talk cost benefit analysis of your drinking. And I really love that I think it’s super important because it helps you also look at the idea that you you probably have some benefits that you associate with drinking that you should take into account, right when you’re figuring out whatever it is, whatever your safe level, or whatever your goal of drinking is going to be. Yeah, the cost benefit analysis is a great tool. I didn’t invent this, this is an old tool, it’s been around since the 60s. And still currently in use, very heavily used by therapists, they find it’s a wonderful tool for all sorts of things not just drinking or drug using. It’s. So it’s very well accepted by the psychotherapeutic community. And it’s just, you know, basically make a list of the pros and cons of your current drinking habit, and the pros and cons of the change you want to make. And it’s really important to to look at, you know, both, you know, in traditional treatment programs, they would just want you to say everything bad about alcohol, and everything good about recovery, right? And that leaves all the things that are good about alcohol and your subconscious where they will jump out and bite you in the ass. I mean, it’s a total failure. The research has shown, you know, to do that one sided thing, where as if you’re balanced, and you look, oh, there are pluses of alcohol I drink to relax. Okay, what other ways can I relax and you can be prepared, you know, if you know, the pros as well as the cons. So that’s why it’s so important to do both. And do you think that people I mean, so what I find too is that people are sometimes suffering for a long period of time for me I know personally, I had a lot of because I am an adult child of an alcoholic. I had a lot of anxiety and worry about my drinking was constantly trying to figure out out if what I was doing was, you know, technically safe or not looking at all the research was I considered a moderate drinker, you know, a heavy drinker, etc, etc, trying to, like I said, rationalize, I guess what I was doing as opposed to simply just like this sitting down and really being able to, to bring it into the logical side of my brain and realizing, for me personally, that, that the anxiety that I was causing myself from drinking was something that I could actually give up. Because, you know, that I could actually not have to deal with anymore by simply figuring out my relationship with alcohol. So, it that was something again, that I think that what I like about the hams method is that it supports people figuring out whatever relationship with alcohol, they want to have, all the while talking about harm reduction. So for me, like I said, I didn’t, I used to think that I could handle more alcohol than I think I can psychologically. Now I realized that I’m better off, the less and less I drink, the better off I actually am. I have a lot less. Don’t worry about things anymore like that, because I don’t have to. So yeah, the harm reduction aspect is so important. And as you said, it’s often misunderstood. I mean, we’ve had this myth foisted upon us forever that, you know, you’re either an alcoholic, or you’re a normal person, there is no crossing of any lines. You’re either in category x, or your category y. One of the AAA sayings is you can’t be a little bit alcoholic any more than you can be a little bit pregnant. And those things are completely false. Right. One of the most interesting things is, well, in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association throughout the term alcoholic entirely, just got rid of it. They said this has so much cultural baggage attached to it, it’s useless as a term. They said they needed new terminology. And they opted for alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. And they set out very rigorous diagnostic criteria for these. This was the DSM three. And then they went to the DSM four and modified these and still had very rigorous criteria. Okay, you have to meet so many of these criteria, before you will qualify for alcohol dependence, or alcohol abuse, or if you qualify for one or the other, or both. It’s called alcohol use disorder. You know, they use that term even then, yeah, the interesting thing is when they went into the DSM five, well, they conducted a huge national survey of about 40,000 people. And they wanted to compare the criteria for alcohol use disorder from the DSM four to the DSM five. So does this identity do these two sets of criteria? Do they identify the same set of people? Or different? How much alike are they? And they turned out to be totally different. There’s about 43 million Americans that meet the criteria for DSM for alcohol use disorder that do not meet the criteria for DSM five alcohol use disorder, which I like to all say that 40 43 million Americans were cured of alcoholism by the publication of a book. They no longer had it once the book was published. It’s yeah, it’s a totally gray area, you know, alcohol related problems go from, you know, very few where people don’t have a diagnosis diagnosable disorder to very many where they have a severe disorder. I mean, it’s a continuum. And people don’t progress necessarily, from having a few problems to having many problems. Right. A lot of people started having a few problems, say, Wow, this is no good. And they say, I’m not going to drink this way anymore. So lots of people you know, get rid of their alcohol problems long before they hit it. diagnostic category people can change at any point along the continuum, as soon as they decide, I don’t like this anymore. And, you know, say I’m gonna make a determined effort, I’m gonna make a plan to change this. And interestingly, not over 90% of people with alcohol dependence, as defined by the DSM four will recover. Eventually, yeah, and about half by abstaining and about half by chronic control drinking. But recovery is nor is the norm. Right. And I think that the reason that I and I, one of the reasons I like him so much, and you know, why I’m dedicated to helping people change their relationship with alcohol as well is that there is such a large gray area of people who, who aren’t being served by what they’re doing right now with alcohol, and, you know, are at putting themselves at risk putting themselves or simply just like I was have a lot of anxiety and worry, needlessly, over there drinking, not because they are not because they shouldn’t be changing their relationship, but because they don’t, they don’t they know they’re not, they do not identify themselves. Like for me, myself, I would have never identified myself as someone with a severe, you know, with DSM five severe alcohol use disorder or, quote, unquote, an alcoholic, I would have never sought help from a, you know, that would just never been something that was something I wanted to do or felt like would help me having watched my mother, never find success with it. And yet, I I endured for 30 plus years with a daily drinking habit that caused me a lot of anxiety that I couldn’t seem to that I couldn’t seem to kick, you know, I couldn’t seem to break until, but what’s what I what I want the message to be, and I know you would, you’re, you say the same as that it is possible, it was possible, I did do it. And even while I would say I didn’t, I was never physically dependent. I definitely had a psychological dependence on alcohol that I was able to change. And I believe that just like you said, most people, whether it be by 90, whatever present, you just told me, the most people will be able to find a solution with alcohol that works for them. Whether it’s complete abstinence or finding a an alcohol drinking level that is correct. That works for them. In terms of the one of the things, again, I like about the hams program so much is it is very much about self direction and moving at your own pace and not finding what works for you not beating yourself up when things go awry. And I think that’s important. One of the the reasons that I think we struggle with the idea of never drinking again, versus being able to moderate alcohol is that oftentimes when things go wrong, people see it as Oh, okay, well, you know, I’m just somebody that’s never going to be able to handle my alcohol once they’ve had had an issue. What do you what’s your counsel for people that are in that area where they’re trying to figure it out, and they keep, quote, unquote, you know, go and drinking Off Plan or doing what they don’t want to be doing? Well, the first thing that comes to my mind when you were talking about that was people will say, see what you’re doing isn’t working. You have to go to AAA. Right, right. And then when you go to AAA and fail, you say, it’s your fault, because you didn’t work the program. Right? They’ll say, oh, maybe AAA didn’t work for you. Maybe it’s the wrong place. You know, so, if the program’s not a the program gets blamed if the program is a, the individual gets blamed. That’s just bizarre, right? A doesn’t work for most people. Most people don’t want anything to do with it. And for those that go and once and see it, most of them just never go back. They say this is the weirdest religious cult I’ve ever seen in my life. I didn’t want anything to do with this. Now, when people go off plan, well, you know our group, we encourage people to look at their successes. For instance, a lot of People will want to give a 30 day abstinence period a try, you know, and abstinence period is one of the 17 elements that you can choose from. And although we don’t tell you how long to do it, we do say a lot of people like 30 days, you can pick a week, if you want. Some people want to do three months, pick, pick however long you want to do. But a lot of people get together in the group and they do 30 days, there’s a group doing dry January right now, I’m there with them. I’m in January, myself, for the first time ever, so I’ll go. And what happens if you do 10 days? And then you drink? Yep. Well, we’re gonna say, hey, celebrate those 10 days, you had 10 days of success and one day of non success? So focus on that. Do you want to continue? You can start again tomorrow? Do you have to count your days consecutively? Or, you know, do you have to do them all in a row? Or can you just count the total? It’s up to you, you know, you know, if you do 10 days, and you drink once? Do you start again from zero? Or do you start the start, again, from 10 days, and it’s up to you, however you want to add your numbers up. But you just want you to realize that you had 10 days of success. Now you can try for another 10 days of success or another 20 days of success, whatever your goal is. So don’t get too obsessed about slipping up just one time. Yeah, and I think that that’s, you know, the, the challenge for people and one of the things that I see or, you know, and I’m fairly active in the hams, Facebook group, and watching people too is the is that propensity to really be beat yourself up and, and beat themselves when people drink Off Plan or fall off, you know, alcohol free streak is the propensity to put a lot of self judgment on that and really get down. And of course, the problem with that whole idea is that when you feel really bad, what do you tend to do, you want to stop feeling bad, and for people that have developed a psychological relationship with alcohol, they tend to then want to drink when they feel really bad, that whole idea of emotional buffering. And so we really have to one of the, that’s again, one of the reasons I I enjoy the hams mantra so much and all of the ideas surrounding it is that you gotta it’s not there is no element of recrimination or you know, you’ve done poorly step, you know, it’s bad, you have to start again or whatever, it’s, it’s all about praising the success and trying to encourage at least some evaluation of your progress. I know that’s another one of the elements is really being able to look at that when you do step off, you know, figuring out the why behind it. Yeah, the late Dr. Alan Mar lat. who’s one of our supporters did a lot of research on this. And he found that the more people beat themselves up after a slip, the worse the slip caught, the bigger the relapse. Right. So, you know, he taught people, you know, to forgive themselves immediately and start over immediately. No self recrimination, okay, you made a slip, and having a one drink doesn’t mean that you have to have 50 drinks. Now, yeah, and it doesn’t drinking one day doesn’t mean you have to drink 100 days, you know, the quicker people can forgive themselves and say, oops, messed up. Okay, let’s get going again. You know, the better they do. i The one thing that I think is interesting, too, and I I mean, I kind of sometimes when I’m seeing people and I and yes, I totally understand the supportive aspect of hams which is why one of the reasons that I really enjoy it and think it’s so great. There are I think people do send tend to want to get there there is an element of amps you’re not going to change your drinking without working on it. You know, there’s that’s the one thing that I think that you have to understand is you coming in and you’re if you’re continually not striving to get better, you won’t get better. I mean, that’s just you know, there is no change without you actually working on it. Even just listening to all the elements doing, you know, you better is better, but you have to actually make some plans to get better or you won’t. You know, that’s the true but Then we also recognize that every step no matter how small is an improvement. And go back to the other example, you know, if you’re going to, if you want to quit drinking and driving, and but not change the amount you drank. That’s good, too. Right? Right. So a lot of changes start from really small ones. And yeah, of course, if your goal is to, you know, be a moderate drinker, of no more than three drinks in a day, and you don’t make any effort to guilt come down from 20 drinks in a day. Well, you’re not going to get there. Right. Right. And that’s why the elements are there, and the the drink trackers and that kind of, you know, that whole idea, one of the things that I also really appreciate about hams is the halt bad drinking, that the the emotional, and I just talked about that a little bit, just a minute without the emotional buffering. One of the reasons that a lot of people tend to use alcohol is and one of the things that I really found for myself was the trying to, which is counterintuitive. Now, to me, what’s funny is that I drank to relieve the anxiety that I caused myself by drinking, which then I drink, too, you know, it’s a vicious cycle. But the halt bad drinking stands for try to avoid alcohol if you are hungry, and hungry, angry, lonely, tired, bored, anxious or depressed? And that’s from your from the book, how to change your drinking and a harm reduction guide to alcohol. But do you find that that I mean, is that I don’t know, in the research that you did for your book? Was that something that and I know that the halt came from, I think, from AAA and then we added bad, but it’s the same theory in terms of just if you’re trying to change your drinking, avoiding alcohol when you are in those negative emotional states, because it really doesn’t help. It’s a little bit of an oversimplification. Okay. Go for it. Tell me why? Well, for me personally, that was the first change I made that was my first small change was I’m not going to drink when I’m angry or depressed, because it makes it worse, I’m only going to drink when I’m happy. And that was good for me. Lack of for everybody. Some people really do rely on alcohol as their coping their emotional coping mechanism, and they’re not ready to make that move. Right away, maybe they will eventually, you know, Pat Denning and talked about women in particular using alcohol as the type of antidepressant. Some people do use it to deal with their negative emotions. So, you know, you can’t make a sweeping statement that everybody has to do it this way. And you can’t just take away somebody’s coping mechanism and leave nothing in its place. Sure. Of course, yeah. And I, I think, for me, personally, what I believe is that we have the ability, we need an education on how to how to change that our coping mechanisms for and I know, in the book, you talk a lot about or you’ve got, well, you’ve got so much information in how to change your drinking a harm reduction guide to alcohol, I’m going to link it in the shownotes people need to go pick this book up, because it’s just chock full of not only strategies, but research and information and really just a lot of data for people. In my in my estimation, the way that we really the most successful way to change your drinking relate your your relationship with alcohol is if you take get a lot of information, you get all the data, right, you see both sides of the equation, and this book really helped me to do that as well. And in it, you talked about tools of cognitive behavioral therapy, and then now I’m not going to remember the other Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, potentially, yes. CBT. But for me, I know that’s been a big part of my process is learning that I can manage my own thoughts and emotions and have that ability to cope myself and want to be able to use that power of my own brain to and realize it and I think that other adult children have alcohol Politics, we grew up telling ourselves stories and learning things from our alcoholic parents that we’ve just kind of, they’ve ran in the background of our lives for so long that until you take a step back and really understand what’s driving you to what the beliefs are that you have, and how you don’t have to just, you don’t have to keep on believing them, you can literally decide to change how you how you see things and view things and and becoming your own. Your own best coping mechanism is possible. In my opinion for people, you know that you can use your own brain to overcome some of these thoughts that you’ve had, or beliefs that you’ve held on to for so long. Absolutely. Human beings are powerful. Yeah, your brain is the only power you have. And it’s not your enemy. Which I mean, that’s what traditional rehabs teach you is that your brain is your enemy. No, your brain is not your enemy. Your brain is your best friend, your brain is the only thing that’s going to get you out of this. So you have to become the master of your own mind. Right? There are various ways to do that. Basically, I think they basically break down into two ways. And one is stoicism. is Buddhism. Yep. These are the two paths that go back 1000s of years of mental control, stoicism developed by the Greeks and Romans and, you know, Buddhism, originating in India and then spreading to other places in Asia. And basically, I think one of the most useful things I did was reading the handbook of I always pronounce the name wrong. Epictetus, I believe, yeah, I saw that I actually was just looking that up from your from the book. So I’m eager to actually look at that to you read that, that that it’s not that long, like 46 something pages like that. But it’s, I think, use the word pithy, it’s kind of iffy. It’s very pithy. I think, it’s if I remember, it’s 46 chapters. And each chapter is like one to two paragraphs. So I would read one per day. Yeah. Because that’s enough to digest. Yeah. But yeah, trumping you sit down and read through all at once. Right, you know, or reading one per day. And going through that, I found that just a tremendously useful exercise. Of course, if you prefer a book that was published last year, instead of one that was published 2000 years ago, that’s good, too, because there’s a lot of good current literature written to but it stems right directly from Epic Titas. If you read Albert Ellis, who invented Rational Emotive therapy, that’s the, you know, the father of cognitive behavioral therapy. Yeah, he says, right out, yeah, I got all this stuff from the Greeks and Romans. What’s really funny about that is that I feel like that is kind of this cognitive behavioral therapy and rational motion of emotive therapy. I feel like that stuff is so largely ignored in our upbringing in schooling, and it’s really like the key to life. I mean, honestly, if you figure out how to manage your own, you manage your mind, whether it’s drinking or any other habit that doesn’t serve you, you’re going to be far better off once you get the handles of my opinion, either. Just like you said, either Buddhism or cognitive behavioral therapy, Rational Emotive therapy, those things really help you with just about anything that you’re trying to accomplish in your life. Yeah, me being a very rationalistic type person, a very head person. I like the stoic perspective. Better. Yeah, that’s, that’s more that comes more natural to me. But a lot of people like more of the dialectical behavioral therapy, which is Buddhist influenced approach, and that works great for them. There’s a lot of similarities between the two as well. Yeah, for sure. And it’s, you know, just like you said, it’s about finding whatever’s going to help you support your own goals. But I think that in in for me, like I said, for my journey, that was definitely a big part of it was understanding. And I didn’t, I didn’t know about it, prior to working on all of this. And so which is, which is what’s amazing to me is that we don’t we spend so little time I think our kids could I really benefit from understanding a little bit more about those types of theories as they’re growing up. So the two books that I that you have written and the the one book that we’ve been talking about how to change your drinking, and then also, a newer book that you’ve just recently, co edited better is better stories and harm or alcohol harm reduction. They’re both available for sale through the hams website. Yeah, that will link you to Amazon. It’s, we sell them through Amazon, not directly I don’t want to get involved with Yeah, wrapping packages and shipping them out. And all that stuff. Amazon is professional at that. So yeah, they take care of all that stuff. But yeah, we publish them through Amazon. And we prefer that you buy them through Amazon, because we get a bigger royalty. And that’s what supports the organization, which is a 501 C three nonprofit. Awesome. Yeah. And so I’m going to link both, I’m going to link to hams, obviously, in the show notes too. And then both of these books as well, in the show notes, they’ll take you directly to the Amazon link. And one more time hams is a peer led free of charge support and informational group for anyone who wants to change their drinking habits for the better. And before we leave, I should say the second book, the better is better. It’s a 99 cent Kindle ebook. So it’s really affordable. It’s not long, it’s 50 Some pages, I believe. So it’s it’s only 99 cents. It’s the it’s the book of stories. And I have to say that April Smith, my co author is the one that actually collected all the stories edited all the stories, I kind of wrote an intro and put it in the final form. So I gotta give credit to the credit. Most of the work yeah, perfect, wonderful. And April’s also a part of ham. So that’s wonderful and hams for women. So that’s wonderful. And, you know, everybody likes to hear success stories. And I think that that’s better is better. It’s just a great way of helping other people see that this, this is possible. And some of these stories are pretty, you know, people had some pretty severe use, and were able to come back, you know, to create the relationship with alcohol they want and for me, I know that’s ultimately my goal is to help people understand that they have that power, they can do it and hams is just one resource that is for me, I find to be very non judgmental, very supportive of at what I love is the support of different goals. And so I really encourage everybody to go check it out and see learn more about harm reduction, abstinence and moderation support. Okay, perfect. So Kenneth, I really appreciate you coming on. And I am excited to share this with people. They’ll be interested in learning more about your history and founding of this of this great nonprofit. And also to explore more, I really focus if you have not picked up how to change your drinking with this book, the first book written by Kenneth you really should because it is really there’s just so much information in it and it really can help you in terms of figuring out your strategies, your goals and how to create the kind of relationship with alcohol you want. Okay, thanks for having me. Absolutely. Kenneth, I appreciate it so much, and I will see you on the Facebook group. Okay, thanks. Thank you for listening to breaking the bottle legacy. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Take something that you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol. Now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com