Today, the 15th of June, is National Beer Day and the 10th of June was National Gin Day. You may have seen supermarkets, pubs and restaurants up and down the country have been promoting special offers and discounts. In the U.K. we have both a National Wine Day and a Drink Wine Day celebrated nationally too.
So, what’s my point? Well, this probably all sounds like pretty harmless fun, after all, who doesn’t enjoy a glass of wine to unwind with or a beer in front of Netflix after a long day at work?
The point is it isn’t always harmless. On the contrary, it can be a big problem and one that is affecting middle aged women more than anyone else. A YouGov survey of 500 mothers over 45 years old, whose children had left home found that a quarter of these mothers said they had been drinking more since their children left home.
When we delve in to women’s drink usage it becomes clear that alcohol is filling a ‘big hole’. It numbs the pain of feeling ‘empty’, ‘not enough’ or ‘un-loved’. Some people drink just to pass away time and boredom. But 95% of those surveyed in the YouGov Poll said they were not concerned about their level of drinking and did not believe it was impairing their health.
National guidelines say we shouldn’t be consuming more than 14 units of alcohol each week but a 250ml glass of wine can contain as many as 3.5 units. Still, a lot of women are drinking a glass of wine or more a night.
Alcohol is a causative factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression [ALCOHOL CONCERN]
Paul Wallace, medical director of the charity Drinkaware says ‘from the gut to the heart, the blood vessels to the skin, its [alcohol’s] effects are all pervasive.’
Now tell me this isn’t a problem!
Just because you are not getting drunk every night doesn’t mean that this isn’t an unhealthy behaviour for your mind and body. You may drink regularly and not relate to the term alcoholic, but alcohol addiction actually simply describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink.
Not many people recognise or understand that alcoholism is a disease. You might be thinking “why a disease?” Because like all diseases, it impacts the family and friends of the alcoholic.
Families and friends cover up for the person drinking, they pretend it’s not happening to the outside world by making excuses for them [why they’re late for work/can’t come to xyz/miss their son’s school play etc. ] or they start to tiptoe on eggshells around the person because life with an alcoholic is a life with massive uncertainty, so they compromise in how they live their life. The wife/husband/children of an alcoholic can become ‘co-dependants’.
Melody Beattie wrote a brilliant book ‘Co- dependant No More’ she describes co-dependency ” a person who has let someone else’s behaviour affect him or her and is obsessed with controlling other people’s behaviour”
Whether you need a drink to relax or ‘fill the big hole’ or you think you may be in a co-dependent relationship where someone’s use of alcohol is affecting your life, you can make a change.
Get in touch with me today to talk about how I can help.