The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that there are over 18 million men and women who struggle with alcoholism in the United States. That’s a lot of people suffering from the compulsion to drink, even when they don’t consciously want to.
As most of us know, alcohol can cause plenty of emotional, mental, and health issues. Often, it’s not till someone hits rock bottom that they make the necessary changes toward sobriety.
Have you ever wondered why so many people struggle with alcoholism in the first place? What causes someone to continue to drink even when it causes many problems?
According to some experts, many people who struggle with alcoholism drink because they suffer from intense inner pain. This negative emotional state may stem from either old childhood wounds or unfortunate, painful situations that occurred as an adult.
Sure, life can involve painful times for everyone. Things don’t go as planned. We experience loss in a variety of ways, such as a loved one dying, ended relationship, job loss, and so on. Some turn to drinking because the reality is that alcohol can provide some temporary relief from painful emotions. The problem is that it is only temporary relief. Alcohol is in no way, shape, or form therapeutic in any way – and it can cause many other problems long-term.
To self-medicate means that someone uses or abuses substances, such as alcohol, to try to relieve emotional or physical pain. It’s not shocking to hear that many people self-medicate with alcohol. They drink because quite simply, it makes them feel better. It gives them a little relief from whatever negative state of being they’re currently experiencing.
Much of the time, this self-medicating goes unnoticed and is socially accepted. Alcohol is everywhere, from baseball games to theme parks to movie theatres, alcohol is readily available. In fact, more and more family-friendly places now sell alcohol.
Yet, alcoholism is a disease that brings about quite a bit of pain to the one drinking, their family, and friends. What may start off as social drinking quickly becomes a vice to dull the inner pain that has been accumulating over the years. One drink after work a couple of times a week turns into three or four drinks every evening. Instead of taking the kids to the park on a Saturday afternoon for playtime, weekends are spent at various parties with friends carrying on in a buzzed and drunken state.
Ultimately, drinking alcohol won’t help when it comes to experiencing emotional issues or alleviating boredom, loneliness, stress, and so on. One helpful alternative is to reach out for help from an addiction expert or counselor, as therapy has been proven to be quite helpful when it comes to getting through the tough spots in life. Opening up in therapy can help someone talk about the inner pain they’ve been repressing or numbing over the years. Once trust is built between the therapist and client, it usually doesn’t take long before they start to see some changes in various aspects of their life.
For example, let’s say you’re struggling financially, and you’d like a job that pays more money. You could get frustrated and drink your frustrations away because you believe you are stuck. You’ve tried to figure it out on your own and just haven’t been able to find success.
Instead of going down that path, you could reach out for some help from a qualified therapist or enter an alcohol addiction treatment program. You certainly don’t have to keep navigating life on your own or stuck in addiction. By opening up to a professional, you can talk about your current situation, how you ended up in your current situation, and create a plan that will bring meaningful change in your life.
Your therapist may give you homework, like creating a strict budget and taking one hour per day to research new career avenues. They may also suggest that you attend a support group weekly to help keep you motivated to deal with life’s struggles without drinking. Either way, you get to be an active agent in the kind of life you want and that will feel amazing.
One point in committing to change is being willed and open to share with someone what’s been bothering you. You can take your time and share at your pace, but getting out repressed emotions can be quite helpful in changing your emotional state.
Becoming solution-oriented is helpful too. After all, nothing is going to change unless you make some changes. In fact, if you are serious about following through with a solution-oriented plan, you’re likely to see a major change in just a short time.
If you’re struggling with a moderate to severe addiction to alcohol, it’s recommended that you attend an alcohol recovery rehab. It can be helpful as you go through detox and combat withdrawal symptoms, as you’ll be monitored around the clock. It’s also helpful to have extra support.
Here at Into Action Recovery Society in Vancouver, we help men who are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs get free. Our team is passionate about helping men overcome reliance on substances, and heal whatever may be tripping them up emotionally or mentally.
Whether you need short-term or long-term treatment, our programs are geared to help you rediscover yourself and create the kind of life you truly desire to live.
Alcohol is never a solution, so if you’ve been relying on it to get you through, today’s the day you can decide to do something different.
Contact us today. We’re here to answer any questions or address concerns you may have. Believe that you can be and do whatever you want in life with the right mindset and tools.