Everybody has challenging times in their lives and everybody has situations that are stressful. Some people are better able to cope with life’s issues than others. Drinking is stressful, however well you cope with life stresses, drinking will only serve to increase your levels of stress.
Consider all the aspects in your life as a circular pie, and the different things that cause you stress are slices of the pie.
There will be money issues, health issues, relationship issues – maybe a divorce, or it could be that you’re unhappy in your marriage, or that you are alone and wish to find somebody in your life; there may be stresses of children and their health, schooling, or friendships; there may be stresses from a holiday or not having a holiday, the car breaking down, a toothache, or somebody moaning about the dinner you’ve just cooked.
There will be plenty of things to put in that pie that will be causing you stress. Now add alcohol to the equation. When we first start drinking in the early days, we’ll come home from work, and work will be on our minds. We may be a little stressed about it and we walk into our home to find yesterday’s washing up, and we may or may not find a spouse and children.
We reach for that glass at wine o’clock because we have grown accustomed to believing that this glass of wine is going to help us relax and remove the stress that we’re feeling.
Fast forward six months, and there’s another element of stress in our ‘stress pie’ and that slice in our pie is called alcohol, drinking is stressful. Now when we’re driving home from work, we’ll be thinking about the glass of wine that we’re going to have out of the fridge at wine o’clock when we walk through the door. Once that idea is planted in our brain our subconscious will do everything in its power to make sure we get what we want.
That is the job of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is there to protect us, and it is there to help us get what we think we need.
The subconscious mind, however, is unable to distinguish between what we want and what we really need or should have, and it is flawed. Nevertheless, the subconscious mind will help us to get the alcohol that it believes is beneficial to us.
And you will probably feel a niggling, nagging stress in the pit of your stomach when you begin to think about having a drink.
You may be thinking about a drink at lunchtime, but you know that you can’t have one because of the confines and restraints of work, so you put the feeling aside. You put the thought aside and you look forward to it for later that evening. When you get in through the door the feeling of the need for alcohol will grow larger until it’s the first thing you do when you walk in through the door. The alcohol piece of the stress pie grows bigger.
The timeline is different for different people based on a variety of reasons, but the alcohol slice of your stress pie will inevitably grow, just like the tide will continue to come in and more and more buckets of water are needed just try and keep on top of the problem.
As the addiction takes hold, alcohol becomes one of the main sources of stress in our lives, and the irony is that in order to deal with the stress that alcohol is causing, we drink more, thinking we’re alleviating the problem. And all the time we’re making the problem worse and drinking is stressful.
When we realise that alcohol is a problem in our lives and we want to cut down, or stop drinking completely, that starts another cycle of stress, because it’s at the moment when we realise we’re trapped and try to get away that we realise we can’t.
Like a fish caught on a line we start to try to wriggle free, and all the time we become more tightly caught.
When I decided that there might be a problem for me with alcohol, I tried to do all kinds of things to manage the problem. I used all the resources that I used in other areas of my life – I used determination, I made plans, I gave myself rules to live by. For example, I said that when I went out for a night I’d stop drinking at 10pm, I made the decision to not drink during the week, to never drink before 6pm, to never open the second bottle of wine, to not drink alone, to only buy mini bottles from the shop …
I made all those decisions over the years, and they all fell by the wayside. They all failed. Nothing I did lasted for long, and I was always back to square one. That’s stressful, and the way alcohol made me feel emotionally when I woke up after the parties that I couldn’t remember was also stressful.
Imagine a car alarm going off right now outside the window where you are. Imagine it going on and on in the background. Thirty minutes passes and it’s still going … one hour, four hours. You start to get agitated, maybe you go to the window and look out, hoping that just by doing that it would stop. As you get more wound up it’s occupying more of your thoughts, and you just can’t concentrate on anything else. You find yourself snapping at people, and you’re feeling stressed by the car alarm. Finally, the alarm stops. It is silent.
How do you feel? Do you feel happy? Is this having fun? Or do you feel relieved, and sigh with relief that the gnawing annoyance has been silenced?
You feel relieved because the source of your stress is gone.
Now, here’s the question:
Would you turn the car alarm back on again just so that you can have the relief of turning it off again?
Alcohol causes the release of stress and anxiety hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which remain in our system at a raised level after we have been drinking. When we take the next drink we numb that feeling, fooling the brain into thinking that alcohol relaxes us, when in fact we are turning off the car alarm just to turn it back on again.
Are you ready to switch the car alarm off for good? Are you ready to take the next step and finally say goodbye to alcohol? As it got to that point in your life where drinking is stressful?
Just remember, you are not to blame for alcohol problems and never were.
Many high achieving women fall into the alcohol trap and struggle but there is a way out. You should not have to feel remorse, guilt or anxiety. I want to share with you how I permanently changed my relationship with alcohol and started to live my best life thanks to the Social Secret.
Learn how you too can break free from the stresses of drinking and start living your best life by reserving your seat and joining me in my 60 minute free Masterclass. Click on the link: https://www.thealcoholcoach.com/masterclass/
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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