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Canyon Ranch – Rehab Without Chores!

Canyon Ranch – Rehab Without Chores!



One of the appealing things to me about that ad on TV for Promises of Malibu, is that it looks like a Five-Star resort.  You don’t see pictures of a bunch of rehabilitating, sad sacks with buckets and  sponges doing penance in the communal latrine.  The staff looks kind and efficient and no-nonsense, but also aware that their charges are rich and spoiled, and don’t really understand why doing CHORES is going to help them kick the habit…


I tried a lot of things to get sober, before I got sober.  I went thirty days dry a number of times.  I swore off white wine and drank only red (can you say BLUE lips, people?).  I had a phase where I only drank organic wine.  I tried that method, where you only have one glass of wine a day.  Every time, I fooled myself into believing I could start back on my favorite HOBBIE, with temperance; that I could put drinking low on my priority list.  Every time – the drinking would escalate slowly, and then like the old joke punch line –  very, very suddenly…


I never went to rehab, but I went to Canyon Ranch.  Canyon Ranch is like rehab-light: I place so gorgeous and serene you don’t MIND spending the equivalent of the annual income of a Latvian, for a ten day stay…  Canyon Ranch is like a fancy prison, or the Hotel California – you check in but you can never leave.  They serve you three square (sparse) meals a day, and beat the living shit out of your body in classes with names like “Cardio Fusion” and “Metabolic Meltdown”.


Alcohol is not served.  Everyone walks around after dark in Toweling Robes like elegant Zombies, trolling for SOMETHING TO EAT…  On the way home the two times I went there, I started with a glass(es) of wine in the airport bar, and went on to three (the maximum) wine shooters on the plane.  After ALL THAT MONEY, and such HIGH HOPES.


I’m only just beginning to understand why doing chores is important to the process of getting sober.  It’s less about sparkling toilets, and more about ROUTINE and RESPONSIBILITY and the breaking down of TRAGIC PRIDE.

The bottom line is this: there is no easy, pretty, Five-Star way to get sober.  You have to ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES and do the work.


Today I’m not drinking because: I have CHORES to do.

How come you’re not drinking?

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