I joined Elephant Journal to discuss how labels limit us and why removing them can bring us freedom.
One of the things many people find most controversial is when I say, “I will never call myself an alcoholic.”
The heated responses I get to that statement could keep my house warm and toasty through an entire Colorado winter!
The most popular one is, “You’re just in denial!” People also love to tell me that I’ll never recover if I don’t admit that I am indeed an alcoholic.
It’s been over six years since I last drank alcohol and I’ve never once desired a drink during that time, so I feel quite confident that I’m neither in denial nor in danger of going back to drinking.
Here’s the thing—it does not bother me if someone chooses to label themselves an alcoholic. Or a shopaholic. Or whatever it is they may identify as. What does bother me is someone else thinking they have the right to tell me what I am, how I feel, or what controls me.
Labels limit us
Labels can be incredibly restrictive, especially when they are assigned to us by someone else. They create limiting beliefs, which convince us that we must live within these preconceived barriers that someone else put around us. Personally, I feel like that is just no way to live.
That is how I felt about the label of alcoholic over seven years ago and it is how I still feel about it to this day.
When it comes to labeling oneself as an alcoholic, there is no set definition or diagnosis. The criteria for when one crosses that arbitrary line from drinker to alcoholic just does not exist. Often, people are told that they must self-diagnose or self-identify as an alcoholic. They will just know if they are one!
The Alcohol Experiment
Join us in the forever free Alcohol Experiment if you’re ready to take a look at your relationship with alcohol. Do it because you want to feel healthier. Do it because you want to feel happier. Do it because you can—without any fear about wearing a label!