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Why the answers are not at the bottom of the bottle

It's become part of normal life that you have a beer after work or a glass of wine after a hard day and it's never really questioned. After all it can help you to relax. Drinking socially and out and about can be a good part of relaxation too and having fun, as long as all of this is done in moderation. It's also become very normal to drown your sorrows in drink and become a bit of a 'Bridget Jones' or have a wild night out after you've experienced something stressful or upsetting. I know that I have and so have many of my friends and sometimes it's just what you need. But again, in moderation. What it's not going to do, is change the situation or help you find any answers. This will only numb the pain for while and that's if you don't react negatively react to alcohol...

I would be lying if I said that I've never had a drink when I've been upset or down, or had it to just feel a little bit less. Last year I found myself getting into a bit of a habit that when I was stressed or sad, I would have something to drink, which never really made me feel much better. Rather, it made me feel more out of control or would just knock me out to sleep only to wake up in the morning to realise I still felt the same. I knew at the time that it wasn't the answer and I did quickly snap out of it and went back to drinking only socially or having a drink, very rarely, to relax. But as with anything along a journey of healing and recovery, it is never smooth and there are moments when your bad habits can come creeping back in and that's not a bad thing, it's just human nature. The other night, I found myself doing a bit of a Bridget Jones and watching Stranger things whilst having a bottle of wine that I had left over from a meal. I don't think I was really concentrating on what I was drinking or really cared, because it was nice not to have to feel for a while. It all soon came crashing down to earth when I was very sick afterwards then lost a night's sleep. It's not the best idea I've ever had, but for that short while, everything felt okay. Reality hit me not too long after and showed me that the answers to my problems are not going to be at the bottom of a bottle. By drinking, I'm not suddenly going to come up with the best idea or solution and never feel pain again and my life isn't going to drastically change just from a drink.

I promptly snapped myself out of it. I realised that my body was physically telling me that it didn't like what I was doing alongside recognising that nothing changes from having one to many drinks. But what does change things, is actually acting and facing issues head on. I made the decision to throw all of my alcohol in my flat away that day. That way I have to deal with my issues head on, not numb myself and definitely not get stuck into an addictive pattern which I know I could do.

I am still more than happy to drink socially, or have a drink after a hard day but being excessive? No. As much as sometimes it sounds like a nice break, it's definitely not the answer and isn't productive in any way. It's an endless cycle. Problems need to be faced whether we like it or not and the only way of getting through them, is to actually get through them. I think we can forget that we are in control of our own lives and it's how we deal with it that matters, because drowning your sorrows? Well, they don't actually drown.

Dealing with illness

Dealing with illness is never fun and although you may not be able to relate to this post, I hope you can still take something from it. I’ve mentioned this topic briefly before, here and there, but I’ve never spoken about it fully.

My Mum, one of the best people on the planet may I add, has been sick since the day I was born and beforehand. It’s pretty normal for me because I’ve grown up with it. It’s normal to see tubes, medication, ambulances, intensive care and hospital wards. I understand for many that it’s not always a familiar experience. It doesn’t make it any less traumatic though, even if it is normalised.

Throughout my life, my Mum has become somewhat of my other half and I don’t think we could be closer, which can make dealing with illness difficult because there’s always the worry of loss. We all lose people in our lives, but I feel that it is always in my mind somewhere because there have been so many times that I have almost lost my Mum to her illnesses. Of course, the hospital side of things doesn’t exactly make you feel mentally well either when you associate it with such trauma. I think the worst overall is knowing that Mum has to be in and out of hospital and how that feels her and the constant stress of wondering what the seriousness is going to be this time as it’s almost a routine.

If it’s taught me anything, it’s how important it is to cherish the ones we love and how there is nothing really much more important. I cannot change the fact my Mum is Ill or how it affects me mentally because it is a kind of trauma that is difficult to change your mentally around. But amongst it all, Mum is the one who has to deal with the illness and the pain but understandably others around will be affected but that’s not something the person can help.

Always talk to someone and spend time with those you care. Take courage from those who keep battling amongst the odds, I know I do from my Mum. She has beaten the odds so many times and that’s is what keeps me going.

Being treated like s**t!

‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ - Eleanor Roosevelt.

I’ve never really been a person whom has taken the thoughts of others to heart as I have always had a sense of self that was strong enough for it to not let it make me feel any different about myself. It would affect me to an extent, but I could always rationalise it with the morals that I was brought up with, that I have the same right to be on this planet as anyone else, so what makes anyone better than me or in turn, me better than anyone else? We are all cut from the same cloth and although people have different starts in life and challenges, in principle it makes them no better.

Recently, I have found myself feeling very vulnerable for probably the first time in my life. It’s knocked my solid grounding that I feel that I have managed to stable myself upon because everything takes just that little bit more work and everything that happens, makes you just that bit more sensitive. But, it’s how I go from feeling vulnerable to my old self of strength and how I handle the challenges that I face without being triggered into a downfall.

Amongst it all the core remains the same in all of us, is that you have worth. And at different points in our lives, we may feel that to be stronger or weaker. We will meet people throughout life who will try and make you feel small and will try to make themselves feel better. What you have to remember, is that by doing that they are inadvertently telling you that they are insecure about themselves. If you keep that in mind, you may be able to understand why they are acting towards you in such a manner.

Being vulnerable can make you feel like giving up and just putting up with other people’s detrimental behaviour, but at the end of the day, people know what they’re doing in their actions. Mistakes happen, but as the saying goes, never let someone fool you twice. It’s about recognising the behaviour and as hard as it is not to take it to heart, it’s important to keep that sense of self worth. At the end of the day, you should never let anyone treat you like shit.

If you have given someone your all and they don’t give anything back, you don’t need it. If they are not making the effort to contact you as much as you are them, move on. If they decide to take a pop at who you are as a person, get rid of them. Of course, there can be reasons why some people come across in such a way, and if there is a valid reason why, dig into it. Otherwise you do not need such toxicity and people wasting your time. It’s hard though, I know, because we like to hold onto excitement and people’s company but if it’s more bad than good, then it’s not worth it. You know who you are and if people are not respecting or willing to be a part of that, it’s ok - we’re not always going to get on with everyone. But it’s their loss, if you’ve done your bit. You’re worth so much more than being second best. Second best is not good enough, move on and move on up.

Don’t put up with it.