By Danielle Owen

It’s that time of the year again. The time when you decide to change all your bad habits at once. No more cookies, ice cream, or candy in between meals. No more shopping for clothes you don’t need. You are going to give up smoking or try to drink less. No more, no more, no more! You pledge to be the healthiest, most efficient person around.

And by the end of January each year it seems that somehow you haven’t managed to be as slim, smoke-free, or perfect as your plan had called for. You take a kind of comfort in this, throw up your hands and say, “what’s the point anyway?” You swallow the guilt, throw away the list and pledge to try again next year. Some of us are able to replay this routine year after year. But for others, where drink or drugs are a problem, the danger is that there may not be a next year.

Are you concerned about the way you used drink/drugs over Christmas and the New Year? Does it feel like the party is continuing but no one around you is smiling? Or perhaps you are sick and tired of cleaning up the mess after someone close to you, someone with a drinking or drug problem. Maybe you just want some support in dealing with your partner/ brother/ sister/ parent’s drinking or drug use? Let us help you help yourself. We can chat, in confidence, about any concerns you have about your own or someone else’s substance abuse problem.

Or, if you do want to quit the smokes, we can help there too. We will have more Smoking Cessation Groups in January. Maybe you are finding it difficult to connect with your children (aged 5-12 years) and would like things to be different in 2012. We will be running more Active Parenting Now groups in Dorchester. We will also be running free health screenings, “nutrition on a budget” classes, and stress management courses.

There are lots of ways we can support you in 2012. So, take heart! All those resolutions you have made may not be in your trash can by the end of January after all. We are here and looking forward to hearing from you. Let’s plan to make 2012 a great, guilt-free year.

To contact Danielle at the Irish International Immigrant Center:

Phone: 617-542-7654 ext: 14 or e-mail to: dowen@iicenter.org. Also, check out our websiteiiicenter.org.