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“Hitting rock bottom did me a favour”

Addictive behaviour is destructive, but all too often, the consequences and risks aren’t fully realised or even given a second thought by the person displaying the behaviour. This is because the problem tends to be far more deep-rooted, involving self-esteem issues, which manifests as addictive or excessive behaviour to have a good time to fit in. For this very reason, perpetrators often do not realise that they are in a downwards spiral ending in one place – rock bottom.

How can hitting rock bottom do anyone a favour? That’s exactly how Christian* describes his own experience of his descent into alcoholism, and how it was only by reaching rock bottom that he finally saw the light and made a momentous decision - to finally tackle his addiction to alcohol.

Christian recounts what should have been fond memories but which are now tarnished by his alcohol abuse in an attempt to ‘fit in’.

Peer pressure

Peer pressure is something that is regularly heard in rehabilitation clinics; not because the blame is being shifted onto the peers but because it is an underestimated factor in driving people to do things they normally wouldn’t within sober, healthy and encouraging environments.

Christian says: “I used to work as a gigging guitarist as well as taking any studio session work I could get. My desperation to simply be one of the ‘lads’ whenever the various bands I played in went on tour, led to me drinking excessively on a regular basis. When the other musicians and road crew usually only drank a few pints after gigs, I was drinking far more than that, well into the small hours, in my ridiculous attempt to fit in. When you do that night after night for months on end, you are seriously damaging your health. It can only be a matter of time before your hard drinking catches up with you.”

Underestimated health risk

Binge drinking, let alone excessive binge drinking, is something no-one should do, or feel they have to do, as it can lead to serious physical and mental health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gout
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Strokes
  • Anaemia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts

The right support, education and counselling will teach you to address the issues that lead to addictive behaviour and how to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Self-acceptance, at last

After hitting rock bottom and eventually seeking help for alcoholism by checking into a private rehab clinic, Christian began to value himself more. This was the key to him finally letting go of that need he’d always felt to fit in, even if that wasn’t really who he was, what he wanted to do, or how he actually wanted to behave.

Christian summaries by saying: “I never expected to get so much out of my six-week stay as a residential patient at Manor Clinic. Prior to getting in touch with the clinic, I wrongly assumed that addiction to alcohol is addressed purely from a medical standpoint, by clinicians who are specialists in detox, medication, and nutrition. It was when I attended sessions with specialist counsellors and therapists (once at the clinic) that I started to learn more about the importance of self-acceptance, and of not shaping myself to fit in with others, but to simply be myself, and trust that that is good enough. It truly was a life-changing experience.”

*All names have been changed.

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