What’s really causing your alcoholism?

Do you feel trapped in a situation that causes you much pain, yet you see no way out? Is drinking the only way you know to cope with the pain? There really is another way!

The underlying basis of all addictions – and alcoholism is no exception – is the avoidance of pain. While there is evidence that some people have genetic and biological predispositions toward alcoholism, not all people with these predispositions abuse alcohol or become alcohol dependent. Many people who join AA learn to deal with their painful emotions without the use of alcohol, regardless of their genetic predisposition.

What if you are a person who wants to stop drinking, who has tried AA and treatment programs, and just can’t stop? What might be happening here?

Often, the pain you want to avoid is the pain of loneliness and inner aloneness. The aloneness is caused by inner disconnection, and the loneliness is caused by not connecting with others.

Sometimes, the situation you are in is extremely lonely and painful; yet leaving the situation might seem even more painful.

For example, Gwen married a man she thought was kind and caring. But after they had a child and experienced financial stress, he became verbally abusive to her and to the children. Alcohol had always been a part of her life, but she started to abuse it when the pain and stress of her marriage became too great for her to handle. Due to her fear of her family’s judgment and her two children, Gwen did not want to leave her marriage.

Gwen felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. If she stayed, she would need to continue to be at the other end of her controlling, angry, needy, blaming, judgmental husband. Gwen felt extremely lonely with him and suffocated by him – feeling like she had to tow the line and do what he wanted or be at the other end of his rage. Whenever he would attack her with his anger and criticism, she would overtly give in, but covertly numb out and resist him with her drinking. Her husband, Sam, hated her drinking, and would become even more controlling. But for Gwen, drinking was the only way she knew to survive the pain of his insults while finding some way to resist his control. Not knowing how to take care of herself with her husband, she gave herself up, creating the inner aloneness.

If she left, she believed she would need to face the anger and judgment of her parents and siblings. No one in her family had ever been divorced. Gwen was terrified of being outcast from her family of origin. She believed that the pain of leaving would be worse than the pain of staying – that she would end up feeling even lonelier.

Gwen tried to learn to speak up for herself, but this only brought more abuse. From Gwen’s point of view, there was no way out other than to numb the pain through drinking.

As long as Gwen believed that she could be okay only though the approval of others, she remained stuck and unable to stop drinking. But Gwen decided to get some help in learning how to take loving care of herself.

Gwen grew up being the good girl in her family, the person who looked after everyone else’s feelings and needs. She learned well to ignore her own feelings and needs. When she started counseling with me, she actually had no idea why she drank.

As Gwen learned Inner Bonding, tuning into her feelings and connecting with a spiritual Source of love and comfort, she realized that keeping herself and her children in an abusive situation was not loving to anyone. She asked her husband to join her in counseling, but he refused. Mustering her courage, she left her husband – and discovered that her family was actually relieved for her! They had been very worried about her, but had not wanted to interfere.

When Gwen no longer felt trapped and suffocated, her desire to drink went away. She was so excited to be able to be herself. “I just couldn’t be myself with Sam. No matter what I did, it was wrong, unless I did exactly what he wanted me to do. It is such a relief to be able to just be myself. And my children actually seem happier too. They are so happy to have me back rather than numbed out with alcohol.”

If you want to stop drinking and can’t, you might want to look closely at what you would need to do to change your situation so that you no longer need to drink to avoid pain. Learning and practicing Inner Bonding will give you the strength to make the changes you need to make, and joining the Inner Bonding membership community will give you the support you need to take loving care of yourself.

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Find out how Inner Bonding has helped Alanis Morissette to evolve in her courage to love.

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© Copyright 2014 Margaret Paul. Ph.D, All rights Reserved.
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CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul's books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages. Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967. Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world -- mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public. Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.