Its time to stop the shame. For a long time the shame in addiction prevented me from quitting alcohol. If I stopped drinking, to my mind, I would be telling the world that I had a problem. Even though the whole world probably already knew, that to some degree I did, I was not ready to deal with it.
I know that some people can moderate without any difficulty at all. I find this highly admirable and at the same time really hard to understand. How can someone really just enjoy “a” glass of wine and not want another? It is something I have consciously tried to do over the years without any consistent success. I tried many different techniques that work well for some, but sure as eggs, I would trip again. I decided for myself the only way forward was to just stop altogether.
Admitting you have a problem moderating alcohol is associated with shame. This is actually crazy. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance and it works in such a way that once you have a bit, the body wants more. This is especially true for those people who have a propensity toward addictive behaviour. No one chooses to have an addictive personality but 10 – 15 % of the population do. I am speaking very generally here as it has been argued by some that there is no such thing as an addictive personality but all can agree to addictive behaviours.
An addiction can be to many things including drugs, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, sex, work even adrenaline. Wine certainly ticked a few boxes for me. General behaviours indicative of addiction can be:
- Lying – this can be as simple as not admitting how much you really had to drink
- Manipulation – Have you ever hidden empty wine bottles or rushed them out to the recycling bin?
- Impulsive behaviours – there are many versions of this, usually doing or saying things totally out of character
- Criminal behaviour – the obvious one here is driving over the limit
- Blame-Shifting – commonly known as denial. It’s always someone or something’s fault never your own
- Sensation seeking – loving the rush of the substance whatever it happens to be
Stop the shame
Shame needs to be taken away from addiction. I could not reconcile my life with one that had no control over alcohol, when clearly, I had very little control over it. Without a sense of shame but with one of understanding and compassion toward myself I know I could have faced this sooner.
For 482 days now I have been alcohol free.
I am comfortable being a sober person, it took a while and some work to get to this place but its now my norm and I am loving it.
If these words are resonating with you and you would like to talk more then please get in touch x