This post is by a guest blogger. "Dr. C" is a physician, a mom, an athlete, and an alcoholic who has been in grateful recovery for just shy of a year. She sent me this satirical look at how easily anyone is susceptible to developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I found it to be so spot-on I asked if I could share it, anonymously. Often, we ignore the voice inside us that urges us to question our habits and self-destructive tendencies. Perhaps our idea of what an alcoholic looks like or how she behaves, does not match up with how we perceive ourselves to be. We look for differences rather than similarities. If something in this brief description below hits a nerve, please pay attention to that "oh shit." It could be an opportunity to seek more information, make a few changes, reach out, before your elevator ride down hits a lower floor.
How To Become an Alcoholic
1. Like alcohol: There has to be some perceived benefit to drinking to which you subscribe. Whether it’s that you think it is cool, part of growing up or simply that you like the way it makes you feel, step one is that you like something about drinking alcohol.
2. Build a tolerance: The first way that you build tolerance is to develop a taste for alcohol. Rarely do people like the taste of alcohol from the beginning. You may need to disguise the foul taste with mixers, fancy glasses and fruity decorations or you may need to drink it quickly, as beer bongs and shots. All of these methods will allow you to ingest enough alcohol to build up your tolerance over time so that eventually you will be able to “hold” your alcohol. Beware that the fast drinking methods will likely make you sick a few times. Do not let that deter you from your overall goal of building tolerance. Each time you find yourself making a fool of yourself or feeling guilty, you need to stay the course so that these occurrences happen less often.
3. Associate a psychiatric benefit to alcohol: Pretend that you need alcohol to make you funnier, more social or less introverted at every social event. Drink regularly if you are feeling anxious or depressed to make yourself feel better. Most definitely, drink to celebrate every occasion. Make sure to always include alcohol for all occasions.
4. Drink regularly: In addition to helping you build a tolerance, make sure you drink enough on a regular basis so that it becomes an integral part of your life. You should drink at least weekly but daily is preferred. (Note: binge drinking even if just on "special occasions" or a few times a year, definitely counts as alcoholic behavior; the alcoholic club does not have a minimum requirement in terms of frequency or amount of consumption).
5. Let go of rules that prevent you from drinking: You may have been taught rules for safe drinking such as moderation or not drinking alone. Adhering to such “rules” will not necessarily keep you from achieving your goal of becoming an alcoholic but they certainly don't help so ignore them.
If this message hits a nerve in you, please refer to this blog entry, which contains resources. The best way to solve a problem is to prevent it in the first place, or to prevent it from getting worse. Just like someone with cancer usually doesn't wait to deal with it when it has metastasized, if you believe your drinking is becoming a source of shame, fatigue, compromised immunity, financial stress, relationship discord - today is a great day to reach out and talk to someone about it. You are not alone. (And please feel free to reach out to me).
Motivational coach, athlete, mom, entrepreneur. I love helping people mindfully reboot their health & joy.