What Exactly IS The Alcohol Trap –
And Should I Cut Back on Alcohol?
When does the Alcohol Trap start?
I assume for many youths in a western society, most early social experiences are based around drinking alcohol, and probably associated with drinking too much alcoholl. Of course this is simply a common manifestation of the human need to act cool, meet the urge to be accepted, and to find your place amongst the peer group. So we don’t intend to criticise youth for having a drink, but we do believe that people need to be aware of the dangers.
But please be aware of the alcohol trap….
Can you remember you first experience with drinking too much alcohol? Do you remember how it tasted? Do you remember the disorientation you felt, somehow confusing a sense of pleasure with a sense of loss? Somehow it felt uncomfortable due to the loss of control of what you wanted to say and do. Did you have a good experience or bad? Did you have nasty after effects?
Regardless of our individual circumstances, our first contact with a mind altering substance is not likely to be a pleasant experience. No matter how you dodge around the issue, alcohol does not taste nice. No matter whether you felt pleasure, the effects of loss of control of your mental capacity can be a little worrying.
And we all know how bad a hangover can be, because age does not offer any immunity and experience should know better!
But I will bet my bottom dollar that no matter how bad our first experience with drinking too much alcohol may be, we are almost 100% likely to go and do it again.
Our cultural conditioning has programmed us from a very early age, that even if the first experience with alcohol was confusing and a little worrying, we are more than likely able to convince ourselves that it was a positive experience.
No matter how young we were during that first experiment with drinking too much alcohol, we learnt to suppress any negative emotions about the experience.
Surely you expect that there are enough negative experiences from drinking too much alcohol such as bad taste, disorientation, loss of control or nausea from the poisonous chemical that would dissuade us from doing it again.
Sadly, the evidence is entirely against this logic, and the social acceptability of the common use of alcohol in our society is all powerful and all persuasive.
That is the alcohol trap.
What does the Alcohol Trap look like?
We do not pretend to know or understand everyone’s individual circumstances, so we will speak from our own perspective, and hope that we do not cause undue offence to anyone.
Yes we admit that we used to drink in order to join in with the crowd, and to be a member of the peer group. We were like any other young people, and we just needed to fit in any social occasion that we could be involved in, we just wanted to fit in. We never really knew what was the point in trying to keep up with everyone else, but it always seemed to involve drinking too much alcohol. We are not sure exactly why we felt compelled to belong to such a bunch of drunken party goers, but suspect this is just one of our primitive urges, rather than something born out of conscious thought. In any case, we just tried to fit in, or the consequences would be obvious – we would not be made to feel part of the in crowd. Maybe it was just a case of Fear of Missing Out!
The pressure to belong would bring on a subconscious adjustment in attitude. That would usually require all individuals to conform to the accepted group behavior, and that would inevitably involve drinking too much alcohol. So there do not seem to be many choices when you are young and impressionable, as the subconscious need to belong was enormous. So we would all be compelled to drink too much alcohol – just to fit in. But inevitably, it did not stop there.
Yes we admit we would have 2 drinks to keep up with the peer group. And, yes we would have another because it felt good.
Before long, we found ourselves having at least as many if not more drinks than everyone else in the group, just to prove how “good” we were. There lies the problem – we were never the type of personality to back down from a challenge. We now realise that we had an unwelcome friend – alcohol – right there with us to make sure we didn’t stop.
The alcohol trap was waiting for us….
The Alcohol Trap for young people – Drinking Too Much Alcohol
There are more factors at play than merely the age of the person, but inevitably, the rite of passage for youth in western society seems to involve alcohol at some stage along the journey to adulthood. We all feel the primitive urge that compels us to behave in an identical manner to our mates. We act with exactly the same behavior that we observe in our friends. We mimic those around us. We impersonate those that we aspire to.
As hard as it is to accept, we do not need the validation of others.
We find ourselves drinking too much alcohol because society accepts and allows us to do so.
We drink copious amounts of the stuff in order to be part of the group.
We try to out-drink our mates out of some primitive urge to compete.
The urge to be better than everyone else can sure be a twisted sense of normality once alcohol has replaced logic. All we learned was how to keep drinking too much alcohol.
And it continues to twist our logical thought processes as we eventually grow up. Because if we survive the bumpy road to maturity, there may well be a few more challenges left over from those formative years, spent in a close relationship with alcohol. Eventually, we have to leave those heady days of youth, schooling, and growth pains behind, and seek our place in the adult world.
The Alcohol Trap for young adults – time to cut back on Alcohol?
For those who continue on the journey to adulthood, there are a couple of choices to make. One can continue on the path of rebelliousness that served well during their youth, or one can choose a path of adult responsibility. Either way, if your relationship with alcohol has been established, then you may expect to enter into the age of adulthood with your welcome or unwelcome friend, alcohol, firmly attached by your side.
For some, it is difficult to accept that the party is over. Oh dear, the connotations of a late night piss up, bottles, rubbish, trashed people everywhere… That is a very suitable analogy to the lifestyle of someone who is unwilling to let go of their party lifestyle. Chaos seems to rule, but in reality it is alcohol that has control. No matter how you look at, alcohol was never going to be a good choice of dependable friend when you needed one. Maybe we need to look at the reasons to stop drinking alcohol?
In fact, where are those friends who encouraged you so heavily to have a drink and then another and then another – they are not around to help you now…
Hopefully for those of us who choose a path of adult responsibility, there is a clear sense of leaving youthful rebellion behind and moving towards a path of financial security. The ability to embrace independence and to choose wisely when navigating the path to our future is a skill we need to learn, or be guided by other sensible adults.
But where has that unwelcome friend hidden? Has alcohol hitched a ride with us on our journey to adulthood? Why not – our unwelcome friend is everywhere!
Is your Journey going to plan?
So here we are – YAY we made it! We are all adults now and everyone knows everything they need to know about growing up.
I wish it were so! Who said life was meant to be easy? There are so many twists and turns, so many different outcomes, so many plans that either worked out OK, failed miserably, or have yet to be switched on. So much to do, so little time.
We have to manage our relationships with our friends and loved ones, we have to carve out that career so that we can fund that lifestyle that we dream of, we need to find space to welcome children in to our world, we need to grow as individuals, and we need to grow as members of society.
And very often we need to manage our relationship with drinking, and cut back on alcohol. Maybe search for ways to reduce alcohol consumption?
The Alcohol Trap for adults
Sometimes the journey is going great! Sometimes the journey is going great, but for this one little thing holding us back… Sometimes it has gone off the rails.
Sometimes our journey does not always go to plan, and sometimes this is due to circumstances beyond our control.
Sometimes we have to take responsibility for our own misfortune, and this can lead back to the path of success.
Sometimes we get too busy. Sometimes we get stressed at our job. Surely it is OK to have a couple of drinks to help relieve the stress after a hard day. The problem is, alcohol doesn’t get rid of the stress, alcohol just postpones the stress. So when you go to work in the morning, the stress returns with a vengeance, and last nights excessive drinking just makes it worse…
Alcohol is a time stealer, it never gives us time back, and it never helps us to perform faster. So if you were busy before you have a drink, you will only get further behind after you’ve had a couple of drinks. So not only have you got busier, you may also have added more stress. No wonder things are not going to plan!
If you think alcohol may be responsible for holding you back, then that is probably the truth. If your unwelcome friend has followed you into adulthood, are you sure that this unwelcome friend has grown up to be an adult also? Maybe it is time to cut back on alcohol?
In fact you may have a whole lot of questions:
Do I drink excessively?
Do I feel I can stop whenever I want?
Do I want to quit drinking?
Does my drinking habit allow me to be fully functional at work?
Does my drinking pattern affect my relationship with my loved ones?
Do I drink in front of my children?
Do I find I make decisions based around when I can stop work and have a drink?
Do I wish I could be more productive?
Do I wish I could have better finances?
Do I wish I could feel healthier?
Do I have symptoms of drinking too much alcohol?
How Much Alcohol is Healthy?
Do I need more reasons to stop drinking alcohol?
The thing is – we humans want it all. We want a good career, an envious lifestyle, we want good relationships, we want lots of money, and above all we want to be happy.
The problem is that we choose alcohol to deliver some of the happiness part, even though we want to blame it afterwards for hindering all the stuff that we want also.
As we push harder and harder to achieve all of our goals, we tend to blur the distinction between what is a controlled amount of alcohol and becoming an alcoholic. Maybe we need some strategies to drink less alcohol?
What is safe and what is out of control?
There is no answer to this question, but if you are in any doubt, then we need to seriously consider an action plan to cut back on alcohol.
The risk is that behaviors that develop over a long period of time become normality, and once they become normality, it is harder to see them for what they are and they are harder to change. Not everyone who drinks alcohol will become an alcoholic, but there is no physical line to look out for, and no way to know when you reach it. The alcohol trap closes around its victim without you knowing it.
If you feel your unwelcome friend is leading you out of control, then it is time to act now and cut back on alcohol.
We offer you a program with simple steps that you can follow, and show you a way to rid yourself of that unwelcome friend.
We can show you how to rid yourself of that nasty guilty feeling and that little voice that keeps nagging away at your conscience.
We can show you a way to stop drinking alcohol with a pain free, hassle free, humiliation free process, in total privacy and under your own control.
Enter your name and email address to receive our free eBook ““Why Your Attempts to Cut Down on Alcohol Haven’t Worked, and What to do Instead” to get started straight away. We’d love to have you on board and help stop drinking!