Some people say the only thing they did was drink too much, too often, for too long. When I went into treatment the exact words I heard from numerous people in my life was, “the general consensus is that you overreacted”. My family knew I drank a lot but I don’t think they would have all classified me as an alcoholic. The only person who knew the real severity of the problem was my husband because he knew what happened behind closed doors. The Jellenick Curve is a great resource to understand the general progression of ones addiction. Be warned, the curve always reads left to right, it will never go right to left for more than a short period of time. What this means is once we drink enough to open those neuropathways that crave alcohol, it is very difficult (and many would say impossible) to ever completely shut them off. So many people have addictive tendencies and addictive behaviors but it takes a perfect storm to move into the final stages of alcoholism. We know enough today that many are fortunate to be able to stop well before they become the “homeless guy under the bridge with the brown bag”. Below are just a few of the initial signs that I was in trouble:
· Immediately wanting a drink in my hand at any function
· Frequently telling myself “Just one more”
· Thinking it was ok to drive after three glasses of wine-because its not
· Making excuses to drink, bars after work with coworkers, out to dinner, etc.
· Waking up the next morning with guilt about breaking promises to myself
· Always being one of the last ones to leave the party
· My husband starting to watch/comment about my drinking at gatherings
· Switching from hard alcohol to beer only, to wine only, then to hard alcohol only because it had less calories
For more information on how to overcome addiction of any kind call 774-329-4393.
You may recall the 1990’s campaign “D.A.R.E. to Keep Kids Off Drugs” and the program that accompanied it. Ironically in the 6th grade D.A.R.E. play, I played the bad chick who peer pressured everyone into drinking and using drugs. I don’t know if anything would have been different had I known the magnitude of the mental health issues amongst my ancestors. One side of the family had a history of alcoholism and the other untreated eating disorders, which I now understand are virtually one in the same. I do know that for someone with a rebellious addict mind, programs like D.A.R.E. only made me want to experiment more. Some things like stages of alcoholism or drug addiction statistics were perhaps a bit premature for what I was ready to listen to at 12. I also know that had I understood the neuroscience of why drug or alcohol abuse in someone under 25 affects the brain in a drastically different way than that of someone older, it would have caught my attention. Neuroscience tells us that if you take someone with possible addictive tendencies and introduce them to substances at a young age, their brain will essentially light up those neuropathways which can lead to craving, addictive behaviors, and substance abuse. There is no longer room for the, “it won’t happen to me” denial, because the proof is in the CT scans. The brain science that aids us in understanding addiction continues to catch my eye today. We need to start being more specific with kids so they understand HOW they are harming themselves from the first time they touch a substance. Read some fascinating information here on The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on the Adolescent Brain.
about the master coach
Danielle, the Founder & Master Coach of RealYou Revolution, is a woman in long term recovery with a passion for helping others overcome their own personal demons – whatever they may be.