Is Alcohol Abuse or Addiction Harming
Relationships and Disrupting Your Life?
Do you feel as though you rely on alcohol to get through each day? Has drinking begun to damage your relationships with friends, family members, coworkers and romantic partners? Maybe you never feel at peace, even when at home, because you feel as though you are living a double life, especially if you hide your drinking and lie when someone questions you about it. You might feel on-edge and anxious if you can’t drink or don’t know when, where or if you will get your alcohol each day. You may have go-to methods of hiding your drinking during the day so that you don’t have to stop, even when you are at work or taking care of your children. Do you wish you could be an open, honest and happy person who doesn’t have to keep secrets or rely on alcohol to feel calm and fulfilled?
Perhaps you wake up in the morning with the symptoms of withdrawal, such as shaking and irritability. You might immediately start thinking about what you are going to drink, when you will be able to drink it and how you will hide your drinking from others. Maybe you drink as soon as you get up in the morning to soothe your withdrawal symptoms and feel steady again. Perhaps you hardly ever drink to feel drunk – you drink just to feel “normal.” You may make excuses or create situations in which your drinking will seem more acceptable, such as social gatherings or after-work happy hours. Maybe you worry about making your partner or children feel angry or disappointed, but don’t know how to stop drinking on your own. You might have done things you regret while drunk, perhaps something very serious, such as hurting another person. You may just feel exhausted, helpless and unsure about how to live without alcohol.
Many Adults Struggle With Alcohol Addiction
If you feel as though alcohol is controlling your life and dictating your choices, you are not alone. 30 percent of adults have experienced alcohol abuse or alcoholism at some point in their lifetimes. Alcohol Use Disorders are some of the most common mental health disorders in the general population. Alcohol is everywhere, and it can feel as though you can’t be a “normal” adult without drinking. Alcohol is a part of weddings, graduation parties, funerals, work events and more. Magazines, televisions shows, movies and ads all glamorize drinking while erasing the negative consequences of alcohol abuse.
In many ways, our culture encourages people not to feel their feelings. Alcohol offers the tantalizing promise that it will numb your negative emotions and make you feel more at ease and carefree. Of course, some people can have one or two drinks to relax and feel just fine. However, for many people, it can become more and more difficult to stop at two. Although alcohol is often used as a way to unwind, when alcohol use becomes abuse or addiction, it can have severe consequences on your career, your relationships and your life in the long-term. Thankfully, there is a way to start feeling content and whole within your life, without relying on alcohol.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Can Help
You Find a New Way of Living
Although things may feel hopeless right now, you can feel better and begin to live without alcohol addiction. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, most people benefit from some form of alcohol addiction treatment, regardless of the severity of the addiction. About 1/3 of people treated for alcohol-related issues reported no cravings or relapses one year later. Many others reported a substantial decrease in their drinking and fewer alcohol-related issues. Like many other chronic illnesses people experience, addiction to alcohol can be managed successfully.
During alcohol addiction treatment sessions, I will help you develop tools to cope with alcohol cravings, prevent relapse and deal with relapse if it occurs. You can begin to repair damaged family dynamics and begin communicating openly and honestly in your relationships. I can also help you cope with any feelings of shame and regret that may be overwhelming you so that you can feel more engaged and alive in the present moment.
Together, we will explore your values and what matters most to you. As you become better able to identify your priorities and desires, I can help you set commitments to live in service of those values. You can begin to make choices that will move your life forward. The more you live toward your values and stop trying to numb your feelings, the more likely you are to enjoy the richness, joy and wonder of life. You can begin to work toward long-term satisfaction rather than short-term escape.
Recovery is possible. With the help and support of an alcohol addiction specialist, you can stop drinking and maintain long-term recovery, just like so many people before you. Not only can you return to the life you enjoyed before alcohol addiction, you can discover a whole way of living that you may have never dreamed of. By learning about yourself and your values, you can heal, grow and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
You may believe that alcohol addiction treatment can help you make positive changes, but still have questions or concerns…
Alcohol is everywhere. It seems impossible that I will never drink again.
As we begin alcohol addiction treatment, we won’t focus on the rest of your whole life. Instead, we will concentrate on the choices you can make one day at a time. I can provide you with tips that can help you avoid triggers and cope with them when they appear. You can establish a plan for situations that will involve alcohol, including the things you can say to others who may encourage you to drink. It can be very difficult to say “no” when confronted, but together, we can explore what different situations might look like and practice effective behavioral strategies. You can keep living toward your values and goals rather than giving in in the moment.
I am afraid that you will judge me for the things that I have done – or that others will judge me for seeking alcohol addiction treatment.
I would never judge or criticize you for anything you share during sessions. Therapy is a safe, supportive, confidential space for you to share openly and honestly. And, while no one needs to know that you are seeking help unless you chose to share with them, there is nothing wrong with going to therapy. It is very brave to admit that you might have a problem and want to make positive changes in your life.
If I have a problem, then everyone has a problem.
It is likely that the people around you drink as much as you do. We often surround ourselves with people who share our lifestyles, which can alter our perspective of what “normal drinking” really looks like. However, if you are on this page, you probably suspect that something is wrong. If you have built up a tolerance, this can also desensitize you to changes in your environment and you may not be able to notice changes in your own behavior due to alcohol’s effects. Alcohol impacts the memory, so you may not remember things you’ve said or done, even if they hurt others. If you have a feeling that your alcohol use is growing out of control, I encourage you to seek help sooner rather than later.
Whether you are struggling with alcohol and feel as though you are not living the life you want, I invite you to call me at 704 659 6861 for a free, 20-minute phone consultation. I also offer brief in-person consultations. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about alcohol addiction treatment and my practice.