I am constantly frustrated with tabloid newspapers’ frenzied attacks on the latest ‘so called’ stats, in particular about middle class women drinkers.
Last week typically The Daily Mail called me desperate to find a case study for their article about the latest statistics about women trying to keep up with men in the booze department. Hello, recent study????
And typically, I spent hours contacting clients to help with the article and what happened? They took out all of my quotes and as usual decided to keep the scary bits in there without any resolve or resolution for people.
Does the media not get it yet? Why write an article that does not give people the tools to find a solution to their drinking issues?
I had a very clear conversation with the journalist about the underpinning issues about why women drink to keep up with the boys. It’s simple! It is a desire to be liked, to be accepted, to be part of the team and to belong. Self-esteem is the core issue here, not alcohol.
Another article recently that got my back up too, about Julie Merner and how much the NHS spent on her.
Some may be highly critical of Julie Merner and her bottle of vodka a day habit but if you read her history you will clearly see many emotional triggers that started her drinking one or two vodkas a day. This is the culprit, not the vodka.
Julie was clearly traumatised by her partner leaving. That would have been enough for many people to drive them to drink. Then, having to live with her brother; another stressful life changing experience, and then her children not being with her. I think there is more than enough reason here for her to assume that vodka was a good way to suppress the emotional pain of what was going on in her life. For others it could have been chocolate or heroin, but Julie’s mind chose vodka.
It is sad that she did not have, or did not realise, the resource of therapy to aid her feelings of abandonment and loneliness, rather than hitting the bottle. For that was what triggered her drinking behaviour, not her alcoholic tendencies.
It’s a slippery slope when you use alcohol as a way to numb the extreme challenges in life and for Julie Merner this is what seems to have happened. Sad but true, the mind can learn very quickly how to deal with life habitually in unhelpful ways, to the detriment of someone’s own health and wellbeing. Julie’s self esteem was clearly at rock bottom for a long time. The vicious cycle of drinking to excess kept the ‘chicken and egg’ problem going for way too long.
I think we should all honour that Julie’s story, albeit one that cost the NHS a lot of money, could have been a lot cheaper. Let’s be truthful here, if the NHS had had the right emotional tools in place in the beginning, Julie could have had a very different and insightful journey of healing. The belief that medical rather than emotional interventional solves all problems is ignorant and offensive to those who are in a trauma state. It is clear the NHS treated the symptom not the cause.
How long will it take for people to realise that alcohol abuse is an emotional habit that can be unlearnt without spending £100,000?
Let’s join forces and start a campaign to educate these statisticians on the truth behind these figures i.e. stress, anxiety, loneliness, low self worth, insomnia and boredom just to name a few drinking triggers.