There will be people reading this whose response to this question is, “No – I enjoy drinking and I know it’s not a problem in my life.” To you I say, congratulations, go forth and enjoy a drink or two for me!
But there will be others reading this who have niggling doubts lurking in the back of their mind saying, “Yes, my drinking is worrying me”. And you are the people this piece really hopes to help.
It’s three years since I drank any alcohol and for a very long time before I called it quits I knew it was slipping away from me. I felt guilt, shame and absolutely crippled with fear and anxiety.
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Every time I write about quitting booze I get a flurry of messages from people who are worried about their own drinking, concerned about their partner or a friend.
Honestly, you would be amazed at how common this is. So, most importantly, don’t panic:
- You are not alone.
- You are not the only person who feels shudders of dread/guilt.
- The fact that you’re even putting thought into this is a good sign.
- You are not the only person who feels that they’re hiding their drinking from those close to them.
- You are not the worst person in the world.
- You are not the only person who is drinking alone.
- You are not the only person whose relationships are being affected by your drinking.
- You don’t have to struggle alone.
Now I have a little clarity I would say that the most important factor I did not understand was why I was drinking. I had no tools to deal with stress, I was lonely, unhappy and all of this mounting pressure cooker contributed.
Time after time I would start the week with good intentions about cutting right back but there was always an excuse. And that is the truth: there will always be an excuse to drink if you don’t draw a line.
I remember looking at my diary and thinking, “Well, I can’t do it this week because I’ve got two events, dinner with a friend and a birthday, so maybe I’ll think about it next week.”
Next week turns into next month before you know it it’s Christmas and you don’t stand a chance.
If you clicked on this article and didn’t answer “Nope” straight away, you have absolutely nothing to lose by talking to someone about your drinking.
Speak to your GP who will be able to point you in the direction of experts in your local area. Or if that feels too daunting, send me a message and we’ll see if we can shine a little light and reassurance your way. Most importantly, let’s plant a seed of hope today because you don’t have to battle alone.
Reachout.com’s website has some good material to read and it says, “Facing up to the fact that you might have a problem takes courage. Deciding to get some help is a really brave move, but it can be one of the best things you’ll ever do.”
Those are wise words. So, ask yourself the title question again and make today the day you draw a line, take a deep breath and start finding some peace of mind.