Alcohol And Mental Health
Alcohol, So many people seem to love it. It seems like where I grew up everybody loved alcohol there was maybe two or three people that I knew that I can count that actually didn’t drink, believe it or not I actually didn’t have my first sip of alcohol until right before 21 years old, it was like two months before my birthday and actually the reason why I did it was because my one of my teammates that I was close to had passed away, my grandmother passed away and my aunt passed away within two months of each other.
It was a lot and I thought maybe a little bit of alcohol could help.
I never used it before, never drank the stuff never cared for it. I have alcoholism in my family so I see what it does to people, but I was like you know what I can try it for myself and see what it’s like. I was thinking I deserve a little bit during this rough time right?
The problem is, how easy it can get out of hand. Some of you may know the times when you are emotionally drinking it gets out of hand, but then it is usually ever better afterwards right? No it’s usually a lot worse, usually if you’re having a crappy day or you’re having a crappy month or a crappy year and you add alcohol to it, it definitely doesn’t not make things better. Maybe for
a moment you feel a little bit better but i’m pretty sure the decisions you make and how you physically feel afterwards, do not make it worth it.
When you feel like alcohol is something you need to go to especially when you’re upset, you need to be conscious of that, start removing it from the house, remove the temptation, stop yourself from going out to drink. We have to make the plan to stop ourself from doing something that’s counter productive to your emotions. When your body thinks,” oh yeah I can deal with this stress because i’m about to go have a drink anyways.’ You are not developing any type of coping mechanisms beside pushing it off to the side and pushing it down and guess what, you know the answer, it does not help.
Alcohol is never a good coping mechanism. I’m sorry to say this but a lot of my co-workers from the medical field used to drink after work. It can be very emotionally draining if you’re in the mental health field, or any type of first responder, and you’ve had a rough day after 8, 16 hours, 20 hours of working with people who are experiencing the worst times of their life, their emotions are all time high, they’re feeling terrible.
All of that ends up on us, and then we go home and think” okay i’m gonna have my beers to help me calm down and settle in for the night,” that is you coping with what you happen in your day and that is not healthy because you’re not dealing with what you experienced in the work day.
You’re not dealing with it up front, whatever you’re feeling and you’re just choosing to throw the bottle in push it down call it a day we’re good, go to sleep, wake up to do it all over again. You’re going to resent your job your family life’s going to fall apart and you’re going to either do something drastic or your health is literally just going to decline until you give up on everything.
I’ve watched people let their emotions control them and then they give up and it’s because they used alcohol as a coping skill. I know some of you out there say” hey i’m a talented drinker I have those skills I can do it,” no you can’t, it’s bad for you. If you’re using it to drown out your emotions it needs to stop. If you need somebody to talk to you have me, you have my team, you have your peers around you, and there are therapists as well.
We need to change the culture of using alcohol as the go-to for making us feel better. How about be a kind caring person to your friends and create a positive community. I know I sound like this utopian believing, mr.head-up-in-the-clouds but guess what I’ll tell you one thing that I realized from living here in Hawaii, that there are a lot of people who are kind, supportive and they actually care about your emotions and your feelings. You don’t need to be here to experience that, just find those people talk to them. When you feel like you need a drink give them a call.
We can’t take the easy route to deal with our emotions, because it just makes the road that much harder in the long run.