Stressed out woman

Are you drinking to escape?

I drank to escape the grief I felt after my mom died. But escaping the grief did not help me process it or overcome it. It just made the process longer and more painful. 


On top of the grief, I then felt shame. The compounding emotions made me want to escape even further. 


It was a vicious cycle. 


It was only when I sat with the pain that I could process it. I could share it with trusted people in my life who made me feel seen, soothed, safe, and secure, as Dr Curt Thompson discusses in his work. 


When I ask my clients and think back on my own journey, "I drink to escape" is a common answer to the question, " What job are you giving that glass of wine?" 


But let's chat about whether this is really true or not.


We often drink to escape because we want to numb or fix complex emotions as fast as possible. 


We miss what those complicated emotions are pointing to or are trying to teach us. 


I also often find that clients trying to escape the busyness and overwhelm of life find that adding a hangover to the mix, along with increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol, makes the overwhelm even worse. 


The opposite of drinking to escape is designing a life that you don't want to numb out from. It takes intention and purpose. It takes forethought and planning. It's what I get to help my clients with every day. 


So, my beautiful friend, if you're drinking to escape, you are not alone. Get really honest with yourself and ask- "Do I really need to escape? Or do I need to make some changes so I don't feel the need always to hit the eject button?" 


Drinking is easy now, harder and harder later. 


Living with intention is hard now, but it makes your life so much easier. 


Are you drinking to escape?