Alcohol: let’s not talk about it

Images by me

I shared this on Twitter and LinkedIn this week and was deafened by the silence.

The LinkedIn Post

When we get messages like in the pictures it’s easy to believe alcohol is the answer, and that somehow ‘secretly smashed’ is socially acceptable and not a sign of deep suffering.

This podcast episode from Nicola Bird with Annie is a story I’m sure many will find familiar.

Other posts I shared in close proximity got attention so I don’t believe it was a quiet time or day.

Too close to the bone?

Too scary to like or share in case association is taken as guilt?

Too different to what I normally share?

In the context of mental health as it is, and the almost instant better experience of life people have when they give up alcohol, we can wonder why we keep doing it.

“Never again” so often heard.

Like Annie interviewed in the podcast linked in the post, I used to be the early 20’s person who encouraged everyone out so I could avoid my studies, the one who didn’t stop, who’d be getting sambucas in at far too late o’clock, the one who’d be crying or arguing with boyfriend come the end of the night.

As I look back now I know it didn’t last that long maybe a year, possibly not even that, but I remember the empty feeling that it came from. The attempts to use alcohol to make that go away, to make it seem like life was all ok.

If you’ve got that empty feeling, know that it’s not actually you. That no amount of any ‘thing’ will satiate it because it is a thought, impossible to satisfy a thought with a substance (or a possession or a person for that matter). It’s a play of the mind. A trick of the light – a very convincing trick of the light – that has you believing that a drink really is the best way of improving matters.

But please know this isn’t a ‘you must stop’ post. You’ll drink, or use any possessions or people, to make you feel better for as long as they make sense to you. ‘Trying’ to stop, as any addict will tell you, is futile. You’re either doing it, or you’re not. Anything else is another pretence of thought.

So if I’m not saying don’t stop, what am I saying?

I guess I’m saying lead with love. Love yourself for wherever you are. Love others for where they are. Spot the messages that draw us in, making alcohol – and other things – seem like the answer. Start to get a feel for how untrue they are. Start to realign with who you really are.

And know that, whatever happens, you’re ok.

With love, Helen

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