Is Alcohol Running Or Ruining Your Life?
Once you begin drinking, is it hard for you to stop? Do you often wonder why other people can just have a drink or two while you keep drinking until you are very intoxicated or pass out? Perhaps you feel remorse after a night of drinking, especially if you can’t remember the details of the evening. Or maybe you remember that your “other side” came out, and your angry words or foolish behavior cause you embarrassment, shame and pain. Do you often wake up with a headache, nausea or shaking? Has your alcohol use led to DUIs or other legal problems? Have you struggled in relationships, as friends and family member express concerns about the extent of your drinking? Do you wish you could find a way to control your drinking, be a better parent or spouse and become more productive at work?
Struggling to control the amount of alcohol you consume can be a frustrating, embarrassing and isolating experience. While you may tell yourself that you’re able to just have one or two drinks during happy hour, you may still end up passed out or blacked out before the end of the night. You may find yourself breaking promises, losing friends or embarrassing yourself at work engagements after a few too many. And, while you may be high functioning and still get your children to school on time or make it to work each day, your alcohol use may be creating strain in your relationships and affecting your ability to reach your full potential in your career. You may also feel uncomfortable attending events where there is no alcohol, preferring instead to spend time with other heavy drinkers. And, while a couple of drinks may help you feel more sociable or like a better version of yourself, you may also feel weak, powerless to stop and concerned that something is wrong with you.
Alcohol Abuse Is Extremely Common In Our Culture
Alcohol abuse and addiction is extremely prevalent in our society. One study reports that 30 percent of U.S. adults have abused alcohol or are alcoholics. There are many reasons for excessive alcohol use. It is easily obtained, socially acceptable and is the social norm. In fact, it almost seems abnormal for adults to forgo an alcoholic drink in many social settings. Alcohol also makes people feel good for a certain amount of time and when used in moderation, can be a source of relaxation. Use, however, can turn into abuse and, in some cases, addiction. Some people are predisposed to addiction while others start drinking heavily following a trauma, loss or significant life transition. What may start as a few drinks as means to relax can transform into an unhealthy attempt to cope with stress or pain, especially when someone is experiencing heightened anxiety or depression.
While alcohol is prevalent in our society and most people use it in moderation, it can become a problem when it begins affecting your life in adverse ways. If your friends and family have expressed concerns, you often feel remorse after nights of drinking or you have tried to stop after one or two drinks but have been unable to, seeking the help of an experienced alcohol counselor may be imperative to your current and future wellbeing.
Alcohol Counseling Can Provide You With Education, Skills And Support
The honest truth is that addiction is hard to beat, and people with addictions are prone to relapse. That said, when people seek help rather than trying to control or quit drinking on their own, the rates of success increase significantly.
In our alcohol counseling sessions, I can help identify, explore and address the physical, psychological and emotional impacts of alcohol on your life, as well as any legal, social and family problems that have resulted from your use. I’ll provide you with information about use versus abuse and abuse versus alcoholism and help you determine where your drinking falls on the spectrum.
In sessions, we’ll also work together to identify the underlying issues and current stressors that may be triggering you to drink to excess. Often stress, unresolved trauma, anxiety and depression cause people to drink heavily in an attempt to cope with pain, feel something different or numb out. Depression, especially, is an issue with heavy drinkers. Alcohol is a depressant so, in a sense, all heavy drinkers experience some level of depression. Once we determine your triggers, we can explore other, healthier ways for you to cope with pain and stress. You can learn proven stress-reduction strategies, as well as methods to begin repairing and rebuilding the strained or broken relationships in your life. We’ll also assess your strengths and set goals in many different areas of your life. Reaching even simple goals can build confidence and self-esteem. You can also learn relapse prevention strategies, sober living tips and how to navigate the world without alcohol, which can be challenging.
If you’re not ready to completely stop drinking, we can explore responsible drinking practices and work together to set goals around curbing your alcohol consumption.
As well as an alcohol counselor with more than 20 years of experience, I’ve also been a sober alcoholic for 28 years. As a professional and a person who struggled with alcohol, I understand the challenges you’re experiencing. I also know that recovery is possible. With help, support and the willingness to really engage in the work, you can get your life back. In fact, you can have a better life. You can create closer relationships, develop a strong sense of self and increase your productivity. You can learn to better nurture yourself, heal from the past and create family stability. There is always hope and the opportunity for healing.
You may recognize that you need help, but still have questions or concerns about alcohol counseling…
I’ve been through treatment and countless therapists. Nothing has really helped. Why should I expect it to be any different this time?
So often in treatment and therapy, things are missed – areas of your past or current life situation that need attention, but go unaddressed. The key is finding the right support and learning how to accept help. You’re also likely in a different place in your life than you were when you last tried alcohol counseling or treatment. If you really want to live a healthier life free from alcohol, my advice is to never give up. There is always hope.
I don’t want to be judged, told what to do or have to totally stop drinking.
I provide a completely judgment-free environment where you are in charge of your therapy. It’s my role to help you set and achieve goals. And, if your goal is to cut down, rather than completely stop drinking, then that’s where we start. I know from experience that recovery is a very personal path, which is why you set the pace. I’ll be there to provide support, guidance and strategies.
Alcohol counseling sounds like it could be helpful, but I really should be able to do this on my own, right?
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, and it is important to remember that alcoholism is a disease. If you were diagnosed with cancer or diabetes, would you try to beat it on your own? Would you try to think or willpower yourself out of the disease? Sometimes, you need the help of a professional to understand what you’re truly dealing with in order to make appropriate changes.
There Is Hope And Help
You don’t have to continue to live in shame or try to beat alcohol on your own. I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your specific situation and to answer any questions you have about alcohol counseling and my practice.