Alcohol does not discriminate
Updated: Nov 26, 2019
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I have met SO many people who struggle with alcohol but aren't yet ready to admit it because their life may not look the way they picture an "alcoholics" to look. For most people when they think of an alcoholic they think of the homeless person on the corner begging for money to fuel their addiction or an angry abusive father who chooses alcohol over their own family.
I have seen alcohol destroy the lives of many, and let me tell you...
ALCOHOL DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE.
Alcohol does not discriminate based on gender, sex, or age. Regardless of your ethnicity, profession, religion, or daily activities, alcohol can severely impact every corner of your life.
I've seen successful business men and women who run some of the largest companies worldwide struggle with alcohol. I have seen people who hold some of the highest ranks in their industry, suffer with alcohol abuse and addiction. I have seen stay at home moms that started drinking as a way to cope with the stress of managing kids and a household that now can't seem to find a way out of the trap. I've seen teachers, grandmothers, lawyers, teenagers, victims of trauma and most often, just your "average joe", struggle to gain back control over their lives from alcohol.
Sometimes you will see people who overcompensate in other areas of their lives to prove to themselves and others that they are still in control of their drinking. Overcompensation can come in many different forms. For example:
- Somebody who works out and makes staying physically fit a priority to maintain the image that they are still in control of their life.
- Someone who is a highly driven, motivated and successful individual that can hold a steady and accomplished career.
I use these examples because they both describe me. At the height of my drinking I made sure that I always looked okay on the outside. I made sure my hair and nails were always done and I made sure to always put myself together and look nice. I took care of my body by obsessively going to the gym and eating healthy because, subconsciously, I knew about all of the damage I was causing my body by drinking so heavily. This was my way of balancing the scale. I had a great job in a very busy industry and from the outside, nobody would be able to tell that I was suffering. I was drinking half a bottle to a full bottle of liquor a night. Or 2 bottles of wine. Whatever my drink of choice, I was drinking to the point of blackout each and every time. I remember feeling proud of myself on the mornings that I woke up not feeling the need to throw up. I was caught in this vicious cycle and filled with constant feelings of frustration, shame, guilt and powerlessness. But I made sure that nobody knew this. I masked the pain because I didn't see any way out of it. I felt completely trapped.
The fact is, alcohol abuse doesn't look any certain way. From my experience, I can see that people from all walks of life are struggling to gain back control. What was once a fun and entertaining pastime is now causing their lives to completely fall apart before their eyes. They feel like they have no control over it and they don't know how to get back to a place of feeling "normal".
So, what are some of the signs of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol?
1. Craving - having one drink sets off a craving to drink more often times drinking until blackout
2. Repeating these patterns willingly and unwillingly
3. Loss of values - behaving in ways that are not consistent with your value system. Doing things while drunk that are out of character.
4. Mental obsession - obsessing about alcohol when drinking it and also when not drinking.
5. Unable to imagine life without alcohol
From reading these, you can probably see that it doesn't take much to fall into the category of having an "unhealthy relationship with alcohol". I struggled with all 5 of these, for a very long time.
I think that alcohol can sometimes make us feel confused. We started this habit out of innocence and just wanting to "feel good" and "have fun". Then, before we know it it has taken over every aspect of our lives and makes us feel completely hopeless and powerless. Then we start to hide. We feel alone and feel like nobody else would understand so we put on a mask day after day until we eventually no longer feel like ourselves anymore.
I want you to know that no matter what you are currently feeling, somebody somewhere out there in this vast world has felt the same thing. There is no need to struggle with this alone. Whether you are afraid of admitting you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol to yourself, your friends or your family I want you to know that I have been there too and so have many others.
If you are feeling defeated, don't give up.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue fighting for the life you deserve.
Continue fighting for the people you love most.
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