Abbie Grace was recently featured on the Elephant Journal discussing drinking trauma and how we often cause it by drinking as a coping mechanism.
Trauma is such a misunderstood word.
Many of us envision that trauma has to be a particularly horrific or heinous act that has taken place in our lives. Incidents of abuse, accidents, or severe loss.
That isn’t all trauma is though. The definition of trauma is an individual, subjective response to any distressing or disturbing event that impedes that person’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, and diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences.
No one else can define what trauma is because it is defined by our personal experience and the way we respond to it. While there are certainly experiences that we would say are almost universally traumatic, there are also countless other things that occur daily that qualify as trauma to the people experiencing them.
No one tells us that though. Instead, we’re told to just suck it up, tough it out. That’s just life, they say— deal with it!
Trauma isn’t about what happens to us—it is about how we respond to the event. It is personal. Where things get dicey is when our coping mechanisms inadvertently create more trauma within our lives and within our very being.
I know because I lived that. Stressful job. Stressful life. Depression. Anxiety. I couldn’t complain. This wasn’t trauma. This was what I worked for. This was what I wanted. I asked for this life.
So, I did what was acceptable. I had a drink to relax. To forget. To deal.
A drink turned into two. A glass became a bottle. The bottle became a box.
My coping mechanism, triggered by my response to my life, became a trigger of its own.
Heal from your drinking trauma
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