‘Drink responsibly’. We’ve all heard the phrase. We’ve seen it on ads for beer, wine and spirits. In the run up to Christmas being urged to drink responsibly occurred recurrently, didn’t it, as the Festive Season drew closer and parties were arranged by the dozen.
Drinking responsibly is primarily about controlling your drinking, of course. But when it comes to knocking back those frothy pints of Heineken, or cool glasses of Pinot Grigio, it is not so much about the quantity that you drink, but about how the amount you imbibe affects you. Some people can guzzle eight pints every night and still walk in a straight line, while others feel themselves toppling like an Emerald Ash after just a couple of Maynard’s wine gums (well, you get the gist!).
Going further, ‘drinking responsibly’ is also about managing your behaviour before, during and after drinking.
But there’s more to it than that
If drinking responsibly is all about taking responsibility, we need to look beyond escalating alcohol consumption levels, and alcohol misuse’s associated behaviour. Why? Because many heavy drinkers tend to abdicate responsibility for their alcohol abuse to other people – their:
- Bullying boss
- University examiner
- Abusive father
“I feel hugely embarrassed to admit it now, but a while ago – when I was drinking so much alcohol that I was boozing every night of the week after putting the kids to bed – I blamed my addiction on the Government,’ explains Nikki, a marketing assistant in Shropshire. “I was convinced that, due changes to Child Tax Credit payment rules that meant my husband and I would be much worse off, I had been driven to drink more! I actually spent more on wine after being made poorer through a controversial Benefits cut.
It was only when I finally sought help for my addiction by checking into a private rehab clinic in Wiltshire that I finally saw the light: the only person responsible for me and my behaviour was and is myself. Not the Government. Not HMRC. I refused to accept it at first, of course, and wanted to storm out of rehab a couple of times. But the highly trained counsellors and clinicians helped me to see things differently over time. They taught me that I am 100 per cent responsible for my decisions and my behaviour.”
Steve, a plasterer in North Devon gives an entirely different reason for being, er, permanently plastered: “I hit the bottle after my dream of joining the Royal Marines ended in the Nineties. During the Physical, I failed a training run, to be honest. So, I ended up grafting on building sites instead. There’s nothing wrong with working in Construction, of course – I’m not saying that at all. But to me it feels a long way from what I really wanted to do with my life.
My drinking got heavier and heavier over the years. I got the sack a few times. I always blamed my alcohol misuse on my career hopes being dashed. It was only through receiving expert guidance as a patient at a Somerset rehab clinic’s day care unit that I started to stop blaming the past for my illness.
Taking responsibility actually felt good, once I ‘took the step’. Life became easier through doing that. I didn’t feel angry all the time any longer. Through taking complete responsibility for my behaviour, my actions and my decisions, I found a sense of peace. I would never have reached this point as a person without the brilliance of the rehab professionals. No way. Admission to the most suitable clinic for me was so easy too. Rehab Treatment UK took care of everything.”
Get your life back on track
Are you struggling with alcoholism (or a drug addiction) and want to do something about it? Do you feel it is time that you stopped blaming others or past events for your spiralling alcohol consumption, and instead took responsibility for your actions?
Note: All names have been changed