For the normal person, imbibing one or two drinks per week is never a problem. Then there are those of us who will constantly hear from our friends and family how we need to take a look at our ‘drinking problem.’ In fact, many of us believed that the drinking was exactly the issue and that abstinence, or at least a good shot at moderation, would help fix it.
Alcohol: The Perfect Scapegoat
It was the booze, we said. We had an excuse for nearly everything we did. We wouldn’t have made that decision if we hadn’t been drinking. We would have made that meeting if we weren’t hung-over. Whether the issues were monetary or emotional, booze had to have something to do with it. It was the perfect scapegoat, and we liked it that way.
But it never once occurred to us that drugs and alcohol were actually a solution to a much deeper problem. Perhaps alcohol and drug abuse was more of a solution to our troubles. We were unable to deal with life on life’s terms and drinking and using helped us deal with that. As we took that next drink, we never once thought: “This is really going to help me with this issue I am having right now.” We just knew it would make us feel better. And for a long time, that is exactly what it did. Until it didn’t.
Why Do They Do It?
In almost all cases, addicts and alcoholics turned to drugs and alcohol to use as a solution to a problem they were dealing with, something they were struggling with that they felt they could not fix any other way. Though the situations may have been small; working up the courage to ask a girl out, being able to dance without fear of judgment, or something similar, the issue was always centered on themselves.
Though there are many types of problems an addict may have, they typically center on feelings of loneliness, guilt, stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and above all, low self-esteem. Feelings of inadequacy and fear of judgment is prevalent among addicts and alcoholics.
The Vicious Cycle
The dangers associated with people who use alcohol and drugs in this way is that they never learn to deal with life on life’s terms. They negate the understanding that there will always be hard times coupled with the good, and they attempt to avoid this completely by using drugs and alcohol. When someone has this kind of mindset it creates a cycle of abuse, hindering their emotional growth and leaving them unable to deal with situations as they arise. This is especially true for people who begin using from a very young age.
The way to break this vicious cycle is to change the way that we look at situations as a whole. Oftentimes we are able to take a small situation and turn it into something dire and helpless. We forget that it is all a matter of perspective. Taking a breath, talking about a situation, meditation and relaxation exercises are something most addicts and alcoholics have never even attempted to utilize in their daily lives because of the relief that drinking and abusing had brought them for such a long time. Turning these dreadful thoughts and feelings into something that can be beneficial is a main focus of recovering from a seemingly hopeless state of mind. The hardest thing any addict or alcoholic will ever have to do is to ask for help when they realize that they have reached that place.
Is Drinking A Problem Then?
All this being said, most alcoholics and addicts do use alcohol and drugs as a crutch, but that is not to say that drinking itself is not a problem. Even for someone who may not be an alcoholic, drinking can lead to serious and dire consequences. DUIs, bad choices and awkward situations are available to anyone who chooses to drink, alcoholic or not. Though many of this can be avoided simply by abstinence, for the true alcoholic cessation of drinking is only just the beginning.