“I’m so sick & tired of how much I drink but I don’t want to be labelled an alcoholic or seen for having a problem’”
This is the all-too-common thought thousands of Australian’s experience every day.
The fear of being outcast, labelled, or even shamed for ‘having an issue with alcohol’, is enough to throw your hands in the air and simply continue drinking.
Interestingly enough, over the past 4 years, we’ve found that this is the No.1 reason why so many Aussie’s continue drinking even when they know they’ve had enough.
It’s not that they aren’t ready to put down the bottle. It’s that they aren’t ready for the backlash that may follow.
The social expectation to drink is crippling an individual’s desire to make their own choices.
Leaving individuals feeling inadequate and ‘less than’ their family, friends, or peers.
Isn’t that quite fascinating?
The thought of reducing your alcohol intake or even kicking it to the curb can leave you feeling inadequate rather than powerful.
The idea of making a healthy choice, backing yourself, and removing toxins from your daily consumption, seems to trigger fear, anxiety & potential shame from those nearby.
Reducing your alcohol intake is tricky enough as it is, let alone figuring out how to deal with this during Australia’s benchmark of alcohol consumption – Summer, Xmas, NYE & the Party Season.
Which is exactly where we are headed.
Straight into the lion’s den – The party season.
Staff parties are being booked, the Melbourne Cup is fast approaching, holidays are on the horizon, and we are all looking for that special time to switch off.
We are looking for a reason to switch off and let go.
Let go of life’s worries.
Let go of life’s burdens.
Let go of life’s judgement, drama or pressure to be doing better than we actually are.
We are all looking for that magic pill that switches off the responsibility life presents to us each and every day.
We desperately desire the ability to switch off to feel calm, relaxed, and ultimately… stressed-free!
As a culture, we have really mastered the art of doing exactly this. With the use of alcohol.
We have mastered the art of increasing pleasure or suppressing pain with a glass of bubbles or crisp cold beer.
We have become all too comfortable self-medicating.
To the extent that we feel connection, safety, belonging, and supported by those around us.
Which begs the question.
Is your over-consumption of alcohol an individual problem or is there something bigger at play here?
This isn’t to pass blame or justify your intake.
Sometimes responsibility and making new choices is a by-product of hearing the truth and it’s time to hear the truth.
So you can choose differently tomorrow.
So you can confidently say “No” to that next glass of bubbles or “No” to that next celebration shot.
So you can make a choice and stick to it.
So you can follow through with the promises you make yourself.
Here it is and in advance, you’re welcome 😊
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing it is stupid” – Albert Einstein
If we took the message in this quote and applied it to the conversation you and I are having, it might sound something like this,
“Everyone has the confidence to back their own choices. But if you judge yourself within a community that doesn’t support those specific choices, you’ll continue believing there is something wrong with you” – Tom Cartwright
Readers, if you are wanting to reduce your alcohol intake yet feel uncomfortable doing so in social settings, this is a very large part of the reason why.
It isn’t called The Australian Drinking Culture for nothing.
It is a culture.
It is accepted, advocated, championed, and celebrated in every other way.
This culture provides a space for individuals to gather and feel the one thing we desire most.
What is that one thing?
We crave connection, relatability & acceptance more than anything else in the world.
Literally, more than anything.
So, if it comes down to your decision to say “No” to a glass of alcohol or your need to feel connection & acceptance, the latter will make the decision for you.
Which leads to the all-too-common problem of an individual telling themselves they won’t be drinking tonight or this weekend, yet once they find themselves in a social setting, they are first to order a drink or accept that cold beverage.
There is a gap between what your head wants and what your heart desires.
Your head is telling you it’s time to drink less.
Your heart is desiring connection & acceptance.
You have less of a problem with alcohol than you think.
You simply want to feel connected & accepted.
Unfortunately, this truth is not often spoken about as individuals are either;
- Stuck in the realm that they themselves are the problem, or
- Groups of individuals don’t want to accept they are part of the problem
So, where to from here?
How do we make a choice, back ourselves, and ultimately reap the benefits of Drinking Less & Feeling Fresh?
For now, just ask yourself this,
Do you have a severe issue with alcohol, or have you been a fish trying to climb a tree?
Do you have insecurities to the depth that you should give yourself a hard time, or have you been trying to flourish within a culture that directly opposes your growth?
Maybe it is time to give yourself a break, take a breath, and ask yourself – “What do I really want to experience this festive season & who do I need in my corner to succeed?”
Never judge yourself on your ability to back your choices and succeed, when the people in your corner have needed you to fail!
Keep at it
Find a tribe that supports your choices
You’ve got this
Here’s to Drinking Less & Feeling Fresh,