Happy Sunday morning everyone. Our dinner party was lovely, chatty and fun with lots of delicious food and drink. I had a couple of plain tonic waters with slices of pink lemons in them (yes there is such a thing) and finished the night after everyone had gone with a cup of my favorite green tea with mandarin.
Anyway I’ll keep my bit brief because I wanted to feature here a very powerful update written by another member this morning. Quite thought-provoking and insightful I thought, mixed with a brave revelation (if they are indeed talking about something that happened to them) and introducing the brilliant ‘Family of Feelings’.
From bingerwhinger: “Today’s topic will be about emotionally induced drinking which I think is the biggest cause of problem drinking, alcoholism whatever you want to label it.
Where does this urge to drink when things are rough come from?
When we were young kids & teenagers we handled our lives without alcohol. We got through school, home life etc without the option to drink. Instead of drinking we talked to our friends, we confided our feelings on online chat rooms, we wrote diaries, we walked our dog, we went for a run, we read a book, we had a bath, we ate chocolate, we found other ways other than alcohol to cope.
When does alcohol become our emotional crutch?
Whatever age it happens, it is built in as a habit. I believe it is that bad a habit, an intense response as soon as you feel stress, that little voice inside your head can scream; “DRINK WINE, BEER, SPIRITS!” – whatever is your vice.
When I was a teenager I lived for the weekend to see my friends, go out and forget everything that went on during the week. The only good thing during the week that involved school was that I loved to play sport, I played every sport on offer in my school and found that exercise helped me release anger, anxiety and stress like nothing else. I was briliant, I was 6ft and with a brilliant physique. Also doing well and winning in sport gave me so much happiness, it made me ball my eyes out when my team lost but the wins outnumbered the loss’s by a mile.
So for me when did ”a bottle of wine” replace a game of netball? A phone call to a friend? A ovaltine with biscuits?
When you get to a certain age it seems the more socialable thing to do is to drink, only when you stop drinking you realise how many days, events in your life evolved around drinking.
When you enter your 20′s, after a hard shift, go to the bar/pub with your friends to ”relax”, forget about the day. And soon this ”harmless” night becomes a habit too hard to break.
My favourite quote about drinking is this ”I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” – Frida Kahlo.
This sums up drinking when you’re stressed, sad or angry perfectly.
You drink to ”relax” to get rid of the bastard feelings but they are never gone, the alcohol only submerges your problems for a few hours whilst you’re in an intoxicted state. The morning after not only are your problems still there but they seem BIGGER and every other bad feeling is accentuated.
An example; you’re upset about someone in work who you feel disrespects you and speaks down to you. You hate confrontation and would never speak your mind to this person however all day it wears you down and you feel terrible about yourself and uncomfortable at work.
Work finishes and on the way home you’re in the supermarket and think to yourself, ”I’m going to buy myself a bottle of wine to relax.” (inside voice = ‘I deserve one, I’ve worked hard and had to put up with that bitch all day. There’s also a 2 for £10 sign so you buy two just incase ey no problem’.)
When you get home you drink your wine. With each sip that bitches face fades away, you get drunk, after 2 bottles stumble to the bed or decide to sleep on the sofa surrounded by doritos as the idea of making dinner was too much to handle.
The next day, not only does your mouth taste like cotton wool and your head feel like someone is throwing a wrecking ball around, but still you have to face that same woman in work today. The problem has not gone and you also now have another family of feelings that have invited themselves to your mind – such as Uncle Tiredness, Cousin Guilt, Auntie Dehydration, Brother Low Blood Sugar, Sister Increased Anxiety – making all the problems from yesterday twice as big today.
You read through your phone mid morning to find you’ve texted, facebooked and god-knows-what 15 people you wouldn’t even speak to sober, and have told many of them about ”the fucking bitch etc etc in work”.
And this is when anxiety takes over. You are a shaking, sweating wreck, the alcohol is coming out of your system, you feel like you’re crawling out of your skin after what you said to all those people last night. And this is when the most loved member of the feelings family comes into play, Great Grandfather Shame.
You feel ashamed in work, you feel like an idiot for talking badly about your colleague to others in drunken texts & facebook messages . And you know they all must know you were drunk last night as normally you are quiet as a mouse at work. You feel their eyes staring at you, leering at you, thinking ”god what a mess she looks so hungover.”
At this point you’ve downed 2 pints of water and as you lean over the ladies toilets to throw up at 1pm you hear the voice of the woman you felt was putting you down, disrespecting you, belitting you, asking…
”Are you okay in there?”
”Do you need to go home for the day?”