When you are looking at your happiness, it is useful to reflect on your drinking. By this I mean to not only look for a pattern of drinking over the course of time but look at your personal happiness at each stage as well. Have you become more unhappy since your consumption of alcohol has increased?
Are You Happy Now?
What a simple question. Is there a simple answer for this? Remember one important fact – alcohol is a depressant. Even those who still feel a jolt of energy when they have a drink or two will eventually come down as alcohol effectively slows down the central nervous system. Prolonged problematic drinking will increase this effect and can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system.
The odds are if you are reading this and you are a heavy drinker, you are not happy. While alcohol may not be the only reason for your happiness, it surely is not helping the situation.
What A Bummer
As mentioned, alcohol is a depressant. From teaching my alcohol awareness classes, and having attended hundreds of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, I can tell you that alcoholism is most definitely a contributing factor to the big D – depression.
No tablet or pill can take away an alcoholic’s depression as it is fueled by extremely negative feelings – anger, guilt, and self-loathing. It is a perpetually revolving vortex of bad feelings, more drinking, and very poor decisions.
Despite what society thinks, hardcore alcoholics are not in denial of themselves. Though they can justify their actions of continuing to drink a myriad of ways. Still, deep down they know they have a problem and it more than likely is shortening their lives, if not outright killing them. How do you think that feels? Can you empathize?
I can guarantee you this – you will not find many alcoholics, or any kind of addict, who would wish their addiction upon their children! Yet their actions, quite often in front of their kids, are increasing the likelihood their children too will suffer from alcoholism or some other form of addiction. How much guilt and stress do you think that adds to life?
Interpersonal Relationships Are Key
Do you have many people you feel intimate with? I do not mean sexually. I am talking about close personal contacts, friends, and family, who you feel bonded to. Once again, the odds are the more you drink, the fewer people you feel closest to. I don’t care how many people have friended you on Facebook; I am talking about face-to-face interaction.
Frequent telephone contact voice-to-voice also helps bond people. Twitter and Facebook are superficial and provide little positive emotional or psychological bonding with other human beings.
Personal relationships, building strong physical, mental, spiritual and emotional ties is what being alive is all about. As alcoholism progresses, it makes those suffering its dangerous vice disassociate themselves from life falling into alcohol-induced psychological and emotional inertia.
Redeem Your Life and Redevelop Relationships
So, assess your personal relationships. Think about those you are close to now, were close with recently and have virtually lost touch with over time.
If ever you were close to these people, and you remember them fondly, odds are they have like thoughts and feelings about you. If it was a happy period in both of your lives, or you made a strong personal connection at one point, there is definitely kindling for the reconnection fire.
Many alcoholics, suffering from guilt and anger over their drinking and their life really grows to have very low self-worth. Reconnecting with those who were a positive influence on your life will not only help you see the good person you once were but make you feel and believe you can again be a good person.
As you feel better about yourself, you will realize that alcohol is inhibiting you from being the person you want to be.