“How I am supposed to recover from all this?” Disappointments, financial stress, emotional problems, life failures, people who betray you, expectations that are not fulfilled… and the list can go on into eternity. You don’t know what to do or how to react. You feel powerless and stuck; and the only solution left is to punish yourself because you are too weak or just because you are used to beating yourself up for one thing or another anyway. All this self punishment, though, can end in adopting an addictive behavior such as alcoholism, which is one of the most common and deadly form of punishing yourself as it is a slow death sentence.

Alcoholism is a silent enemy. You think you are capable of hiding all your emotions in a glass of wine or in any other drink. You believe you can avoid feeling bad or coping with difficulties by consuming large amounts of alcohol. But if you think like that, then you are taking a stroll in dangerous territory, my friend.

“No, no! I’m not an alcoholic! I can stop it anytime I want to.” This is what you might say; but you probably can’t. It could also be: “Come on, I just have a couple when I’m out with friends or when I’m tired. What’s the big deal?” How many are actually “a couple”? Either way it’s just an excuse to drink and, most of the times, you have lost control over it after the first round. Moreover, even though you want to keep up with life, I have news for you, you can not. Alcoholism drains your energy and focus so your life, in general, deteriorates. It becomes hard to keep up with work, hobbies seem too tiring, your social life (that with people who do not have the same lifestyle) begins to fall apart. Which only leads you back to the beginning; a vicious cycle. Of course, one of the biggest problems would be the denial. You drastically underestimate how much you drink, downplaying the negative consequences of your drinking, constantly complaining that family and friends are exaggerating. Soon enough you blame your drinking problem on others.

All of this has a tremendous effect on the people around you; especially those who care for you a lot. Try and seek help and do not let yourself be drained and degraded to this. You are tougher than you think and you can do it. And if you the one who is near such a person, be careful as handling their issue requires special care; do not attempt to punish, threat, probe or preach. Do not cover up or make excuses for their alcoholic tendencies or shield them from the realistic consequences of their behavior. And above all, do not feel guilty or responsible for what is happening to that person. Any way, it is their decision if they want to be ok.

Yes, shit happens to all of us. And we cope with things differently. But do not punish yourself. Try and find what the reality behind every difficult situation is and fix it. And if you can not — accept it and move on. Life is too short to give it away to others and too damn beautiful to let it slip away from inside your hands and into a bottle.

Author: Chris Kokkinelis

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