“The content in a bottle is a motivator.” I hear this almost every night from my neighbour, whose wife wasn’t the woman whom he married three years ago. When I decided one day to ask him how motivated he felt after a session with alcohol, his reply was that it made him forget his sorrow and motivated him to live another day.
A Common Story
My neighbour’s story isn’t rare. This isn’t to say that everyone who has begun drinking excessive amounts of alcohol has started doing so because of heart-break or suffering. Alcoholic beverages can be used for celebration – they spark the mood and encourage friendliness; but once you have gone beyond your limit, the alcohol takes its toll.
The Effects of Alcohol
The effects of alcohol work differently on individuals, hence the reason behind the vast amount of literature on the subject. The UK government, through the Chief Medical Officer, has advised that men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. A unit equals to around 0.6 fluid ounces, or 14 grams of ‘pure’ alcohol in the United States.
You may blame those who fall victim of alcoholism, or even try to tell them that they ought to know when to stop; this isn’t so simple. Medical research has discovered a link between alcohol and motivation; the brain seeks motivation, which alcohol happens to bring.
Researchers discuss that drinking alcohol helps the brain to release feel good substances, known as ‘Opioids,’ and that those whose brain produces more Opioids when exposed to alcohol may crave more; causing them to become addicts.
Quitting Isn’t Easy
Try as you may on your own, you will discover that it’s difficult to quit. The side effects are severe; anxiety, insomnia, mood swings and memory loss. One way that health advisors recommend recovering is through science-based recovery models. One of these models is known as SMART – Self Management and Recovery Training.
The concept behind SMART is to consciously allow the addict to explore the pleasures that they could achieve once they quit drinking; including taking joy in the people and things around them. The more conscious they become of these things, the more effort they will put into ‘bottoming out,’ a term used to describe the moment of clarity described by Dr. Joe Gerstein. When that moment finally arrives, the addict realizes that they had been living life the wrong way. SMART works the same way as any part of the body in auto-recovery, when given the right ingredients.
Returning to my neighbour; has he recovered? He sure has. He has taken up a teaching job at a local school and tends to his garden each morning and evening. He’s even found a renewed sense of love within his home. It’s not always a happy ending, but this time it is!