“Why can everyone else drink normally apart from me?”
When I was struggling with my drinking, I must have asked myself that question a hundred times.
The shame of not being “normal” like “other people” kept me stuck, trying to cut down over and over.
I wish I’d known back then that I wasn’t alone at all. Perhaps you need to know that too? So that’s what today’s video is all about.
No one talks about *this* kind of drinking
I suspect you’re nothing like the clichéd stereotype of a problem drinker. You have a job, responsibilities and deadlines that you meet. Everyone you care for is well looked after. To the outside world you, your house, your life – it all looks pretty great.
When you’ve got a killer hangover on a Tuesday morning, after drinking too much at home the night before, you can’t tell anyone about it. No one likes to admit that Saturday was a write-off because they drank until they fell asleep and felt so ill afterwards.
Watch your brain making up stories
Because we don’t talk about this kind of behind-closed-doors, secret drinking, your brain will pay close attention to other people’s drinking whenever you see it. Your brain is going to make up stories about other people and how normal they are – and you aren’t.
Christmas party season is a prime time for this to happen. It might seem as if you’re getting some insights into how other people use alcohol… but you really aren’t! You’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
If you hide your drinking, so do other people
I’ve worked with lots of women who can moderate in public if they know they’re going home to drink more later. Women who leave parties early to make sure they can stop by the shops on their way home. Other people would be stunned to know how much they drink. I’ve also had clients who rarely ever drink in public, but feel out of control at home, alone.
Why this matters
Right now, a big part of your shame about your drinking comes from thinking that you’re different to everyone else – that you’re broken or not normal. That shame will keep you stuck, trying the same thing over and over (i.e. trying to cut down instead of quit) and wondering why it doesn’t work.
What I’m trying to show you is that you have no idea how other people really drink. But I do. I’ve worked with so many smart, driven women who feel the same way as you. You’re having a very normal, understandable experience with an addictive drug that’s romanticised, glamorised and presented as the solution to all your problems.