Drinking alcohol is not good for you . . . trust me, I’m a doctor

Drinking alcohol is not good for you . . . trust me, I’m a doctor

Drinking alcohol is not good for you . . . trust me, I’m a doctor

I am a doctor, so I cannot show you my face or use my name on this article, but I wanted to write it to bring home the point that drinking alcohol really is not good for you.

How would I know? I used to drink every day for many years, in large quantities, until I could no longer physically keep going. In the end I had to make a choice between continuing to drink (which was killing me slowly), or killing myself quickly, or stopping the non-sense; and in the end common sense, and love, prevailed. I remember saying to myself: “do you want to live, or do you want to die? Because the way you are living is killing you”. And I chose life.

Now, I am thought by society’s standards to be a very intelligent person because I am a doctor, and you may wonder why, if I am so smart, could I not just cut down or moderate or stop my drinking before it got so bad. Believe me, I tried. I tried everything in my power. My whole life revolved around trying to control my drinking. Which just goes to show that we are run by more than our minds.

I knew intellectually that alcohol was bad for you… there is plenty of evidence to support that. Even if I did not know the science of it, one hangover should have been enough to alert me to the truth. But despite that, I kept on drinking. Every day I would wake up and say: no more! And then later on I would say: just one. And after that one, I had little to no control over what would happen next.

Why did I do it? I was a very anxious person: I was always trying to please people and I never thought I was enough for them. I never felt valued for who I was, just for what I did. I did not think people liked me, and I was desperate for their approval. And so I kept trying to do my best to achieve it, which was exhausting.

How it all began

I started drinking when I was very young. My parents loved to drink, and they would give us a glass of wine mixed with water to have with our dinner, perhaps in the vain hope that we would learn to drink in a ‘moderate’ or ‘civilised’ fashion, unlike them. The plan backfired though, and just gave me a thirst for it.

To be honest, it was not so much the taste as the effect that I craved. I could talk wine connoisseur language with the best of them, but after that first glass, anything would have done, really; it was just that I had access to the good stuff.

My home was not harmonious as my parents, who were lovely people, used to fight a lot when they had been drinking. I found this tension unbearable and was always trying to escape from it in one way or another. Books and music were my friends, and I was quite shy and used to isolate myself. I had one very close friend in high school whom I loved dearly, and I loved going to stay at her house. I loved her family and I loved being in their home as it was fun and light and harmonious and the love was palpable. I did not feel the need to drink or escape from there.

But I could not live there all of the time, so mainly I lived with a sense of tension, of dis-ease. I used to go out with my friends as a teenager, but felt shy and awkward and would drink to relieve this feeling and then get into so much trouble that I would be grounded for months, until finally I was let out and let loose again.

When it came to the end of my final year at school, my anxiety reached fever pitch and I could not sleep. I started drinking early in the mornings to try and take the edge off how I was feeling and get a bit more sleep. It’s a miracle really that I passed my exams, let alone did well enough to get into medicine. But I did. And finally got to leave the small country town that I reluctantly called home and venture into the big city.

But a country mouse in the city is not a good mix when you are already anxious and insecure, and my drinking escalated to extreme levels. It turned out that I was really good at it, and could drink the big guys under the table, which I did. I got my PhD in drinking in the first week of uni at the O-week pub crawl … 21 pubs, 21 drinks, and I did it with spirits… and then kept going…

I was able to stop from time to time, but when the pressure was on or when something bad happened (as it often does when you are a heavy drinker), back I would turn to what I saw as my best friend.

How it felt

When I first started to drink, I had this feeling of immense relief – a release from the tension I was always feeling. Drinking alcohol allowed me to think that I could escape, at least for a moment, from the tension of a life I did not enjoy.

And the first time I drank I experienced the blissful illusion of feeling that I was at one with everything. This felt wonderful to someone who knew deep down that this was the truth of who we are and how we are to live, and I was always chasing that feeling again, but never came close. In disappointment and despair I came to settle for numbness, and actively sought oblivion. As the years went by I learned to become quite moderate in my public drinking, saving the serious stuff for when I got home. I would literally drink myself unconscious and more often than not fell asleep sitting in front of the TV, waking up in the wee hours of the morning – and sometimes even drinking more to get back to sleep again.

Once I started work I was very serious about doing a good job, because at heart I really cared about people, but I could no longer control the drinking. I was working very long hours and drinking large quantities of alcohol when I got home at night to try and calm down enough to get some sleep, for the tension of working as a young doctor who thought I had no idea what I was doing and was terrified of hurting or killing someone was almost unbearable. Again, you would think that common sense would tell you that if you really cared about people, you would try and take care of yourself first in order to be able to truly care for others, which just shows that I was run by more than my mind.

For whatever reason I was actually good at my job, and I was accepted into my specialty of choice. I sobered up for long enough to pass the entrance exam and started off well, but one thing led to another and I found myself drinking again.

My drinking slowly but steadily escalated and by the end of it I had no control over my body. I would wake up in the morning and say to myself: “all you have to do is go down the stairs and turn right, and there you will find the kitchen and coffee and the bathroom and a hot shower.” And every day I would go down the stairs and my body would turn left to the lounge room with the bar fridge and start all over again. It was not a lie to call in sick: I was physically very unwell with bronchitis from my heavy smoking and vomiting and diarrhoea from my heavy drinking … but I just could not stop.

In the end, my closest girlfriend and my then long-suffering boyfriend came by one Saturday afternoon and staged an intervention, saying they were taking me to a clinic. Thankfully I went with them; I didn’t know what else to do. I thought I was sober, but I blew 0.27 on the clinic breathalyser, which gives an indication of the level I had been functioning at. I was still young and bounced back pretty quickly, physically at least, and after two weeks in rehab I was back at work and back on track.

I did not drink for many years after that. I went to AA for a while, which was a support in the beginning, but I found it limiting.

I did not see myself as just an alcoholic – I saw myself as a person who could not control her drinking, whereas their worldview was that everything, your whole identity, was all about the alcohol. I felt that people were just swapping their addiction for alcohol with an addiction for AA meetings, and I did not like the ‘13th stepping’ that occurred… older men preying on the new young women who came into the programme. I also found the programme very Catholic – there was way too much guilt and sin and fear for my taste.

I worked on my personal issues, I got on with my work and I found the work of Alice A. Bailey, which I found very inspiring and steadying. Something in it resonated deeply within me, and I knew I had found the truth. Life was not magically wonderful: my relationship ended, I had another that was very abusive, my friend who had taken me to the clinic committed suicide… but through all of it I held myself and stayed sober.

I came to a point where I was happily single, enjoying my job and life, all was going well and . . . then I fell in love, and shortly thereafter, I fell pregnant.

My partner and I were not well suited, and having children amplified this. We moved to the country and I was isolated from family and friends and struggling to manage work, two small children and a very dysfunctional relationship. He started taking drugs and I started drinking again, and it escalated with frightening rapidity.

I left him and for a while I struggled on as a single working mum, holding it all together during the day and then drinking alone once the kids went to sleep, but other men came into the mix and my problems escalated further. I would manage to sober up for a while and get things together but the tension of the way I was living was too much for me and sooner or later, I would seek relief.

Drinking alcohol was the only way I knew how to stop. I was running my own business and raising two young children with no family support, and there were never enough hours in the day and there was never nothing to do. Having a drink was the only way I would give myself permission to do ‘nothing’. One night I would sit up late watching ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and drinking, waking up exhausted the next day, and the next night I would fall asleep with the kids, and wake up feeling fabulous. And then I would drink again. Madness.

The love of my life

I finally met the love of my life. He tried to keep up with my drinking for a while, then told me that, much as he loved me, he could no longer drink with me and he could not stay with me if I continued to drink. At that stage I did not want to stop. I thought he was trying to control me (and there may well have been some truth to that) so I went and saw my dear friend, Serge Benhayon, who as always did not tell me what to do, but lovingly stated the blindingly obvious. He pointed out that I was saying to him that I was considering leaving the love of my life because he had asked me to stop drinking, but that I did not have a drinking problem. When Serge put it to me like that in simple terms, I came to realise that I really did have a problem.

I resolved to stop and I did, but not before telling my partner that I was going to stop drinking because I wanted to be with him, but that Serge had agreed that my partner was trying to control me. Which was an absolute lie. This was to create a massive rift in our relationship and led to all sorts of consequences for which we both paid a heavy price, on many levels.

Serge has never told me, or anyone that I have heard of, what to do. He has only presented the truth, which means the energetic truth, as well as reflecting the blindingly obvious common sense truth that our bodies speak loud and clear.

The reason I no longer drink and in fact don’t even think about it, let alone crave it, is thanks to Serge. His energetic healing removed the energies that I had allowed in while drinking and left me free to feel the truth of who I am, untainted by all that I had taken on. It left me free to make a true choice: to choose what felt lovely in my body, and to feel it when I did not choose that.

He supported me to understand the reasons why I drank and to heal them, from the inside out. He taught me not to judge myself for what I had done, or not done, while drinking, as while I had to take and feel the responsibility of making that choice, once I had chosen it I was no longer in control of my own body.

What does alcohol really do?

Alcohol is a physical poison and a Class 1 carcinogen, but even more than that, it opens you up to energies that are not you, allowing them to enter and have their way with you. This may sound woo-woo, but have you ever watched someone change as they drink? Have you ever felt that they are no longer themselves? Have you ever felt those changes in yourself? Have you ever done things drunk that you would never do sober? Have you ever said that you will never drink again and then drunk later that day, or the next week?

Everything is energy, and everything is because of energy. Once we start understanding life in these energetic terms, there is no mystery. Everything makes sense.

Alcohol is a physical poison, and an energetic poison.

There is actually nothing good about it. It has become our accepted social lubricant and we think it is ‘normal’ to drink. But we have made it normal for a reason, thinking it will help us cope with the uncomfortable feelings we are experiencing. It doesn’t truly help – it just numbs us to what we are feeling, and it is no substitute for a friend. If you are feeling lonely, connect with someone you care about and who cares about you. If you feel disconnected from yourself, other people, or the world around you, try breathing gently. If you are feeling tension and looking for relief, try going for a walk instead of reaching for alcohol, as trying to seek relief from anything we are feeling is only avoiding the problem, not dealing with it. If you are exhausted, get some sleep, or at least some rest. If you feel sad, stop and feel why; ask yourself what is truly going on with you, before you reach for a drink.

There is nothing we can experience, be it good or bad, that alcohol will make better. If anything, it will only add to our problems and complicate them or at best, put them off for another day. If we have a problem, drinking alcohol will not make it go away. If we can deal with it ourselves, great. And if we can’t, then we need help. That is what we are here for… to support each other, to see things from different angles, to shine a light on a problem so that it no longer seems insurmountable. Whatever your problem is, alcohol will not make it better.

Trust me… I’m a doctor.

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  • Photography: Matt Paul