Concerned about your alcohol?  Don’t rely COMPLETELY on your health care provider to be helpful.

True Story:

I began living a sober (abstinent) life in 2003.  I started talking to others that I thought I had a problem with drinking as early as 1997.  I was a successful sales professional in the corporate world and had no interest in calling myself an alcoholic.  And forget about attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

Here’s the interesting point I’m going to make for this post.  I recently read a report released through the CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention, titled:  Most health care providers don’t talk about alcohol, even when patients drink too much.

In 2002, I jumped through the hoops and got an appointment with a mental health care professional through my health care provider.  I have long suffered massive anxiety and panic attacks and felt depression was fast enveloping me.

What has always stuck out to me in regards with that appointment was when he asked how much I drank.  I answered, very candidly, about a six pack a night.  He seemed unmoved.   So I followed with “talls”.  “I drink on average a six pack of tall beers each night”.  I think by most standards that’s beyond the high end of social drinking.  He didn’t recommend treatment or even AA.  He wrote me out a prescription for oxazepam and prozac and encouraged me to reduce my stress.  Hmmm…no mention of cutting back on the booze?

Thankfully, I’m not a pill popper.  Due to the memory of my grandmother having a sewing chest full of prescriptions sitting next to her is a fate I feared.  I filled the prescription, but never took one until…I was sober and going through some super deep shit and everybody was telling me I was going to crash off my “pink cloud” (always having a chipper disposition and optimistic view of life) and my sobriety was in danger.  So, I popped my first oxy and all was well.  I slept like a baby.  I woke up and dumped the entire bottle.  There’s no way I was going into the arms of another coping vice.

If you are not alcoholic (incurable disease) please be an advocate for your own health!  Do not wait for the health professionals to direct you.  Take charge and do some research.  Ask for some accountability.   Get focused on what you want.  Find support in a way that lifts you up and encourages personal growth.

If you feel you are alcoholic, please get your ass to Alcoholics Anonymous.  Your life is too precious to waste.  You would be missed if something happened to end your precious life.  And I know you couldn’t forgive yourself if you caused harm to another.

If you would like to begin your journey with Conscious Drinking, 30 days to Living in Awareness, Acceptance and Action – Click Here!

– Teresa Rodden, Certified Life Coach