Admitting that alcohol has become a negative force in your life is never going to be easy. This legal and socially acceptable substance is something that many people forget can be very addictive and dangerous. Since alcohol affects the body in so many ways, and it can make individuals feel relaxed and content, the temptation to abuse it can be overwhelming.
Some people will only ever have one or two drinks of alcohol at one time, but many others cannot seem to stop once they have started. One drink will inevitably lead to two, and then another and so on. Others drink alcohol with the sole intention of getting drunk; this binge drinking behaviour is particularly harmful to health.
There are many reasons individuals drink; some do so to forget their problems while others drink because they enjoy the effects. Some people, however, drink because they are lonely and alcohol makes them feel better.
Comedian and chat show host Alan Carr has opened up about his boyfriend’s ‘issues with alcohol’ and has blamed his own hectic work schedule. He says partner Paul was lonely and had been finding comfort in the bottle. Alan travels quite a lot due to his career commitments, and Paul has been struggling to cope as a result.
This is a common cause of alcoholism; many find solace in a bottle of alcohol while a spouse or partner is working long hours. While a partner is away from home, an alcoholic drink can provide some relief from the loneliness. Nevertheless, continued alcohol consumption can lead to an increased tolerance, which can then result in alcoholism without the individual even realising a physical dependence has occurred.
Alan and Paul have managed to work through their issues, but some people’s relationships suffer irreparable damage when one person becomes addicted to alcohol. Alcoholism is an illness of the brain and those affected can become self-absorbed and manipulative. It is not uncommon for alcoholics to put everything else in their life behind their need for alcohol.
This usually means that partners and spouses are neglected and are left feeling hurt and betrayed by the person they love. They cannot understand how their loved one could put alcohol above their relationship. It is difficult for those who are not affected by alcoholism or addiction to comprehend the behaviour of someone who is.
Alan said, “To be honest, it was a tough year for my Paul last year. He had a few issues with alcohol and a lot of the time that was because I was away so much. I was out there, working hard, earning the money, and I neglected my personal life, really, so I feel a little bit to blame for that.”
Blame is another common emotion felt by those with alcoholism and by their loved ones. Many alcoholics will blame others for their problems, or will blame their circumstances. They will say things like ‘I wouldn’t drink if my job wasn’t so tough’ or ‘If my husband was at home more, I wouldn’t need to drink’.
Family members also blame themselves, with many believing that they could have done more to prevent their loved one from turning to alcohol. Whatever the reason a person is abusing alcohol, blame will not help anyone.
Overcoming addictions such as alcoholism is always going to be tough, but with the help and support of family and friends, it is possible. One thing is clear, however, and this is that those who continue to abuse alcohol are putting their health and relationships at risk. Early intervention is always best in terms of treating alcoholism.