I cannot manage myself!

In the fabric of Western culture, the threads of drinking and drug use are intricately woven, creating a tapestry of societal norms and individual behaviours. However, it’s time we unravel the distinctions we make between these substances and confront the reality that both are forms of drugs with their own implications.

Alcohol, often treated as a socially acceptable indulgence, is just one variant in the spectrum of drugs. Yet, why do we separate it from other substances like cocaine or LSD in our conversations? Perhaps it’s because alcohol carries a veneer of acceptance, associated with affluence, maturity, romance and relaxation. But let’s not be fooled: whether it’s a glass of wine or a line of cocaine, they all alter our perceptions and behaviours.

As a society blessed with abundance and freedom, it’s perplexing that we find ourselves trapped in cycles of self-destructive behaviour, passing these patterns from one generation to the next. We begin with the rite of passage at 18, legally allowed to drink, and from there, it’s a journey of choices, often influenced by societal norms and personal inclinations.

Some can have a single drink and be satisfied, while others find themselves spiralling into excessive consumption, sometimes combining alcohol with other drugs. We’ve cloaked these behaviours in terms like “recreational drugs” and “social drinking,” but the consequences remain the same.

The allure of escapism seems to be a common thread, whether it’s the teenager succumbing to peer pressure or the high-powered professional seeking relief from stress and responsibility. Yet, beneath this desire to escape lies a complex web of factors: low confidence, self-esteem, coping mechanisms, and the eternal quest for belonging and purpose.

But let’s not attribute this solely to individual traits or societal pressures. The interplay of wealth, upbringing, and learned behaviours cannot be overlooked. Do those in affluent circles have better coping mechanisms, or are they simply more adept at masking their struggles? And how much do our parents’ behaviours shape our own attitudes towards drugs and alcohol?

Across generations, we find ourselves repeating the same patterns, mistakes often seeking blame externally, whether it’s directed at the government or societal norms. Yet, as the saying goes, repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the epitome of insanity.

Is it time to confront the reality that our excuses for indulging in substances are merely masks for deeper issues? Whether it’s the need to relax, blow off steam, or fit into social circles, these justifications only serve to perpetuate the cycle of dependency and harm.

When do you acknowledge that perhaps you cannot manage yourself?

If a person is incapable of managing themselves, would it be fair to assume they should not be put in a position to manage others, whether it be in business or in a family?

But change is possible. If we plant different roots—rooted in self-discipline, self-awareness, and compassion—we can harvest a different future. It won’t be easy, and it will require consistent effort, but the rewards are immeasurable.

So, let’s be kind to ourselves and each other as we navigate this journey called life. We may not have all the answers, but by challenging ingrained behaviours and societal norms, we can pave the way for a healthier, more fulfilling existence. After all, life is a long burn, and it’s up to us to decide how brightly we shine and how our actions impact those around us.

If you are struggling to manage yourself and you are finding that you are consistently hurting you and those around you please reach out for help.

Please have a listen to the experts and make a good decision for you and your family.

I’m a fan of Huberman & Dr Amen   “Alcohol Is Worse For You Than You Think” – Andrew Huberman (youtube.com)

The Ugly Truth About Alcohol’s Effect On Your Brain. | Dr Daniel Amen (youtube.com)