Shoutout to the tag team from hell… alcohol and stress!

2 minute read

I read recently that the concept of using alcohol to manage stress is akin to snorting a line of coke to help you sleep!

Sorry that I can’t credit the author of this wisdom, but the brilliant comparison highlights the craziness of using a substance known to generate the polar opposite of the feelings you are chasing.

According to Drinkaware, the brain needs a fragile balance of chemicals and processes. Alcohol – classified as a depressant – adversely disturbs that delicate equilibrium.

The more you drink, the higher the impact on your brain function, potentially affecting mental well-being. So, irrespective of your initial mood, alcohol’s influence on your brain can result in reduced inhibition, feelings of depression, heightened aggression, anger, anxiety, or stress. (Alcohol and Stress | Drinkaware)

Does it sound familiar? Me too!  I remember all too well that my auto-response to a stressful day was to reach for a drink as I walked through the door … but it didn’t work! The first drink might have taken the ‘edge off’, but one glass quickly became a bottle and any plans for good food, a run in the hills, Netflix catch up with my other half, were lost to a night slumped on the sofa.

And then the real stress kicked in …

🙀 Stress from regretting oversharing or being argumentative

😳 Stress from the paranoia that I’d said the wrong thing, but couldn’t quite remember

🥱 Stress from staring at my bedroom ceiling at 4am with an unquenchable thirst

🧑‍⚕️ Stress from worrying about what I was doing to my body, my mind racing with health anxiety

☹️ Stress that I was losing control of what used to be fun

I never hit the fabled rock bottom, I was just utterly exhausted from going around and around on the same old hamster wheel. Drink, feel crap, regret, guilt, anxiety, shame, repeat.

Five years after calling time on my drinking for good, of course I still get stressed and anxious, but I have learned effective ways to manage it without ending up in the cycle of shame, regret and feeling lousy.

I made it my mission to get on top of my drinking by understanding why I did it and, importantly, how I could give up with as little pain as possible! Now an accredited Sober Coach, I support professional women who are curious about enjoying an alcohol-free life. So, if the booze-induced stress is getting too much, please get in touch.