ARE YOU HURT? 06/15/12
Do you drink to take away the pain of living? Drowning the past? Drinking to avoid the future?
Using alcohol as a form of self medication may work in the short term, but in the long term it could lead you into the downward spiral of addiction. Numbing myself from the pain of the past was my main motivation for drinking. For a while it seemed that alcohol was the answer to dealing with all the memories and bad feelings. If I started to hurt, I took a drink. And the pain went away.
But using any substance in this way eventually results in an increasing need and a higher tolerance. I started to drink more and more, justifying the cravings because I had been hurt so badly. Despite using alcohol day and night, the calming and soothing effects that I craved from vodka disappeared altogether.
On top of the original hurt, I was now even hurting myself even further through the physical and psychological damage of the addiction. A combination of shame, guilt and pride prevented me from seeking help until an alcohol induced suicide attempt forced me to accept treatment.
No amount of alcohol can take away the pain for good. It may ease it for a while but it will never heal until you are able to confront your demons head on and deal with them. Managing and coming to terms with my own nightmares wasn’t easy but it was the only way to sobriety.
Recovery wasn’t just healing for myself, it was healing for those around me whose lives I had damaged through my alcoholism. It’s a well known cliché, that ‘hurting people hurt people’ but it’s true.
If emotions and feelings are driving you to drink, then maybe it’s time to reach out for help instead of reaching for the bottle.