Your Self-Image and Alcohol Abuse
How we use or abuse alcohol can be rooted in our self-image. For example, research has shown that college students use of alcohol depends on their perception of what other students are doing. If binge drinking is seen as part of being a student – or part of belonging to a certain sorority or fraternity – then binging increases on a particular campus.
Equally interesting, graduation can lead to a drastic reduction in drinking when a person no longer sees themselves as a “student” but as an “adult”.
The same shifts can occur with marriage or parenthood when the individual ‘s image of what goes along with a particular role no longer includes abusive drinking.
Later in life, which is when we see most of you, discrepancies between your self-image as a spouse, parent, professional, or other roles, can lead to medicating the disconnect between what you believe and what you’re actually doing.
In this case ending the alcohol abuse means bringing your actions back into line with your beliefs – or adopting some new beliefs.
Note that declaring yourself to be an “alcoholic” means adopting a new self-image and belief system that actually allows you to continue, even expand, your alcohol use without any guilt. You’re “powerless” and therefore “not responsible”!
That’s a very attractive option for anyone who wants to continue the benefits of “alcoholism” while avoiding many of the negative consequences.
But if you happen to want to actually heal yourself, your life, and your relationships, you’ll want to find out how to integrate your roles and self-image into a unified whole that doesn’t require or support the misuse of alcohol.
We can help you do that – to create a real sense of self that doesn’t need alcohol’s distortions to make life bearable.
In fact, we’ll help you create a life that you won’t want to diminish with alcohol, and a self-image that isn’t a demeaning label.
Regression and Respite
Most of us lead busy lives – too busy – and the result is using alcohol to relax, regress, and to find some respite from the professional and personal demands that beset us. And, as usual, alcohol works in the short term to provide the R&R we’re looking for quickly, legally, and effectively.
Until it doesn’t.
When the negative consequences override the benefits, when life’s demands exceed our carrying capacity, it’s time to find alternatives to drinking.
When this happens to you, you have a couple of choices – you can reduce the load or you can find alternative ways to relax and regroup. Realistically, you need to do both.
The important question to consider is how you got into this overloaded position in the first place. Again, alcohol abuse is a symptom, not a “disease” and it’s trying to tell you something.
Mostly that “something” is that you’re way overbooked and we’ll help you sort out how you got there, how to prioritize the reductions, and how to say “no” – the usual problem that gets us in over our heads and drowning in alcohol.
But whether you’re drinking away your life because you’re over committed or under-engaged, we’ll help you figure out your personal solutions and coach you through the necessary changes in your everyday life that will free you from your alcohol crutch.
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