Is alcohol addiction affecting you and your organisations work productivity?
Every day, millions of high flying successful, educated and competent career women across the globe have to cope with working not only in a high-end successful exec role (where it maybe a male dominated industry they work in and so feel the need to work harder to prove themselves, causing additional stress), but also have to tend with juggling multiple responsibilities including work, raising a family socialising amongst other pressures.
Sometimes though all the above commitments (along with struggling against the glass ceiling) can be overwhelming, and women in these high-powered roles often turn to alcohol to unwind and relax after a long day, but instead of unwinding, hitting the bottle can cause more stress and anxiety, plus when alcohol starts to affect daily work life, problems arise.
Alcohol addiction can lead to trouble in the workplace and is a huge financial burden for companies across the globe. In the USA, companies currently spend anywhere between $33 billion and $68 billion annually due to employee alcohol abuse. In the UK alone lost productivity due to alcohol use costs the UK economy more than £7 billion each year.
Alcohol has become a pandemic problem in the English speaking world with growing numbers of people, and dramatically growing numbers of women, finding themselves addicted. And yet, alcohol addiction is stigmatised, and full of ignorance. Even people who are suffering hold onto the idea that there is a ‘them and us’ of ‘other people’ with a real drink problem. When we keep our problems secret, and when they are loaded with guilt, self-doubt and confusion it causes us unnecessary stress. We think we’re weak and incapable.
It’s often one of the things we do as part of an evening routine, and for many women the routine has expanded slowly over time. What may have been an occasional social drink ten or twenty years ago, has now become a nightly source of tomorrow’s hangover. But why? And does it matter?
There is so much misinformation about, as facts are glossed over, and alcohol is glorified in sponsored TV shows, advertising placements, and even cards that we buy for friends.
The truth is that alcohol is highly addictive as well as toxic, and in a study conducted by Professor Nutt (previously the Chief Medical Officer in the UK) it was found that alcohol is the second most addictive drug on the planet, after heroin. In another study, and scored against sixteen different indicators, alcohol scored 72/100 and came out on top as the most harmful drug on Earth compared to heroin and cocaine that followed with scores in the 30s.
When alcohol is drunk over many years, it is no surprise that an ever-growing number of normal, regular successful women become addicted. In the UK in 2018 (NHS Digital) 7% of all hospital admissions were due to a primary or secondary diagnosis linked to alcohol. Of those admitted a staggering 39% of patients were aged 45-64, with a peak at 45-54, and there is a growth in these patients being women. I was addicted to alcohol until 2016.
I started drinking at University in the late 1980s, early 1990s, we were part of a drinking culture where it was never questioned, and also fully expected that we would all drink a lot and often. After I left university and went to work in the city, after-work drinks took over from the university bar, and then dinner parties followed in my 30s. I started drinking at home after work occasionally and then it became a nightly activity. Half a bottle, then a whole bottle, and sometimes the second bottle was opened as well.
At weekends I’d drink more just because it was the weekend and that’s what people did. No one questioned it. My drug taking was completely normalised. But I’d often drink more than I intended, and if affected my behaviour. I had blackouts, acted irrationally, and sometimes aggressively, and wouldn’t remember what happened as I woke up guilt-ridden and anxious the next day only to have another drink that night, or the following day to relieve my stress. What I didn’t know then was that a large part of that stress was caused by the alcohol itself.
So what is the solution for companies and who want to support their female high flyers, who may have an alcohol addiction? Or, you may be reading this as one of the High profile career women I mentioned and are looking to break free from the alcohol trap?
I offer tailored programs suited to your organisation or personal requirements. As a leader in the science of transformational freedom, I work with high-achieving successful women guiding them to discover a life without alcohol and as the founder of The Alcohol Coach, it’s my job to coach clients, train them, educate and encourage them away from a life where alcohol causes problems, and where they are stuck in a growing cycle of addiction.
An alcohol coach isn’t the same as a counsellor. I take people from where they are now and move them forwards to a place they want to be. We start from day 1 and move forwards. It’s often said that a coach takes people from the dark into the light, and that’s a great way to think about alcohol coaching and my job as an alcohol coach.
I am also an alcohol teacher who provides learning and information to help people make sense of the alcohol conundrum, and that is so important because there is a dearth of misinformation out there about alcohol and addiction.
I know exactly what it’s like to be addicted to alcohol, yet still function in society behind a mask, and be that ambitious, successful high performance woman in the workplace – outwardly accomplished, but inwardly struggling with failed promises and morning regret.
For a long time I asked myself, ‘Should I give up alcohol? How do I give up alcohol? What if I don’t like being sober?’ Just the thought of those questions conjured up images of a lesser life, boring, and uninspiring. I now know that these were all the wrong questions to ask and from the wrong perspective.
My approach to alcohol coaching is based on science, psychology and down to earth common sense. I teach rational ideas that people find refreshing, inspiring and helpful. I also teach people to be incredibly happy without alcohol and not to feel as though they are missing out or are social outcasts. That would be miserable, and my whole purpose is for people to thrive, to be happy and to be free.
If you are struggling right now with alcohol problems, I have one very important message for you: you are not weak, and you are not incapable of controlling yourself. You just haven’t figured out yet, how you have become involved with an addictive drug and what to do to solve that. That’s where I come in.
The fact is that alcohol is highly addictive, and they don’t teach us that when we’re given ‘just a little’ at Aunty Jane’s wedding when we are 12 years old, and then thrown headlong into a life where we’re expected to take the addictive drug for the next 20 years, and yet not become addicted.
I am also a mentor for solving alcohol problems and discovering life without it, and I was addicted to alcohol myself for probably all of my adult life until I figured it all out. Being out of the alcohol trap is called sobriety and it’s actually fabulous. It’s not boring in any way, and when I look back to when I was drinking a bottle or two of wine every night and slurring at family reunions I was probably very boring indeed.
As an alcohol coach I inspire clients to learn, build confidence and to grow into a life where they can be vibrant and copy with stress and challenges in new ways. This means that I also use my life and wellbeing coach training as well as my addiction and emotional health training when I provide alcohol coaching. I mostly run programs and courses, but I also offer 121 support as well when time permits.
Where it’s a program or 121, I don’t just leave clients at the gate of being alcohol-free and say, ‘off you go then.’ I provide coaching for the ‘what happens next?’ for the ‘what do I do now?’, and the ‘how do I behave in front of my friends, or my partner?’ My alcohol coaching is also a vibrant, resilient life coaching service as well.
I have worked with countless high achieving women such as corporate board members, company directors, industry leaders, senior lawyers, medics, entrepreneurs and other career professionals – the commonality is that each of the women aspire and inspire, build authenticity, personal growth and fulfilment without alcohol.
As a little background, my own journey began in 2013 as CEO of an executive coaching company, where I worked with the Cabinet Office in London with government boards, directors of industry and leaders at the highest level in the corporate world on a global stage.
I worked relentlessly hard, juggling my demanding career with raising a family at home. Outwardly I was the pinnacle of success, rising to the highest ranks in the industry I worked, while a wife and a mother of three children. I lived with high expectations and worked under intense pressure personally, and professionally. Yet in reality I concealed a shadow that had fallen over my life. At work in the boardroom, I nursed a closely guarded secret – a growing addiction to alcohol that fuelled self-doubt.
Every day I lived with the shame, guilt, fear and anxiety of continually breaking promises to myself to not drink. And every night, I repeated the same cycle of failed promises. My personal life was affected, and my relationships were suffering.
Then one day, my husband at the time delivered a bombshell: “I’m leaving you… I’m not doing this anymore.”
That was my own wake up call, and after numerous visits to my GP, AA and a counsellor failed to help me and just added to my confusion. I refused to accept that I was weak, refuted the lifelong label of alcoholic, and was determined to unravel the conundrum.
The turning point for me came when I started using my expertise, as a graduate scientist and post-graduate executive coach to shine a spotlight on her own descent into the alcohol trap. I further studied addiction science, the biology of desire, neuroscience and psychology.
From all my research one day I realised that I felt differently about alcohol. I felt powerful, and free. My paradigm had shifted and I had discovered The Social Secret.
The Social Secret, uses The Science of Transformational Freedom to cut through convention and outdated ideas – to take you to a new level of consciousness. My goals orientated approach creates an innate power balance away from alcohol to connect with your true and authentic self. The results are a complete shift in your inner paradigm, bringing your golden thread to life and giving you all the power to live an elevated life bursting with infinite potential.
You may be reading this and have tried visiting you doctor or a counsellor but haven’t found the solution. I have walked that path and work as a highly successful CEO and understand the stresses, anxiety and strain that you may be feeling right now, as I have been through it too. If you are reading this and can relate and like the sound of my approach then contact me now and let’s talk. You can also view my free Masterclass and learn some things about alcohol that I guarantee will surprise you.
As I mentioned, I was addicted to alcohol for years and finally broke free in 2016 by discovering the Social Secret. You too can do the same. I look forward to working with you.
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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