The Very Real Benefits of Alcohol Abuse
Much of life consists of both a conscious and unconscious cost/benefit analysis. Weighting the pros and cons of a particular choice, we decide what to do and what to skip, what to maintain and what to let go of.
Most of us eventually decide that the benefits we derive from our drinking are being outweighed by the costs. The trouble is, we still want the immediate – and real – benefits without incurring the negative consequences produced by our choices to overindulge.
Identify the underlying issues and find other ways to achieve the same benefits in healthier, or at least less destructive, ways.
As we have noted before, we drink to ease anxiety, boredom, loneliness, physical pain, depression, hormonal shifts, diet deficiencies, medication errors, and any of a dozen other conditions.
Interestingly, a component to many of these is our own passivity and the resentment that grows from being taken advantage of. Drinking then converts this to passive-aggression which makes things worse, not better, and only fuels the cycle.
Learn to escape this trap and most of us will also learn to leave the destructive drinking behind since it is no longer needed.
No, this isn’t the magic answer, any more than Naltrexone is a magic bullet, but it is a vital component for most of us in the creation of a mosaic of understanding and action that will let us, happily, leave self-inflicted feelings of personal powerlessness behind.
Five days to figure out your individual patterns, habits, benefits, needs, alternatives, and solutions. Twelve weeks to instituite and stabilize the changes.
A life time to enjoy real benefits at no extra cost.
Your new motto?
“Got a grip. Got a life! Recovered!”
How Others Benefit From Your Alcohol Abuse
Another real, and usually completely unexpected, problem is the sabotage that ensues from the same people who castigated you for drinking!
What’s the deal here?
Friends, spouses, partners and, yes, even your children, have all been deriving benefits from your drinking that they are loathe to give up. They think that nothing is going to change for them when you quit drinking.
Not even close to the reality.
So, what have their benefits been?
For one thing they look good in comparison whether it’s your long suffering, saintly spouse or your drinking buddies who toss down just slightly less than you do.
Then there are your children who’ve gotten used to manipulating you with the classic “You said I could. Don’t you remember?”
And, of course, you long ago lost your vote in family decision making, but now you want it back.
Additionally, being sober is going to disrupt the patterns, habits, and routines they have developed in your absence.
No, they aren’t going to relinquish all of these benefits easily, no matter how happy they are that you’ve given up the bottle.
Really – they mostly wanted you to remain passive, just skip the passive-aggressive part. The necessary step up to assertive wasn’t part of their plan, even if it was an unconscious plan.
So be prepared for some pushback that will dissipate over time and remember that family members usually come around and the “friends” you may lose weren’t freinds in any case – just people who used you as cover.
Part of “getting a grip and a life” is moving some habits and, yes, some people those habit patterns included, into the “been there, done that” category. But that’s a gain, and a small price, for actually living your life with real relationships, activities, and successes.