I include this in my story because I fully understand turning to alcohol to “treat” chronic pain. Like most external fixes, the use of alcohol to treat physical pain is a dead-end. Not only can it potentially lead to more serious physical and psychological problems, but it feeds negative thought processes, blocking any hope of healing.
It is clear that excessive drinking is a symptom to a greater problem, the underlying cause being emotional and spiritual. When the underlying cause is healed, the impulse and desire for excessive drinking falls away. It happened like this for me.
The underlying causes include a sense of inadequacy, frustration, defeat, or insufficiency, usually accompanied by a rebellious disposition. It’s difficult for most of us to recognize these characteristics within ourselves. Our self-diagnosis is usually wrong, therefore, the treatment is too.
Bailes explains it like this: “The excessive drinker has the will to win, coupled with the will to die. Alcohol has 2 effects on the brain, it stimulates it, then puts it to sleep. In the stimulation phase one moves up to the level of the winner. He often boasts, feels unrepressed, is emotionally and socially at ease, where before he may have been shy or reserved. With great confidence, he will attempt things that he formerly shied away from.
In certain drinkers, or at certain stages in all drinkers, the person may become withdrawn, moody, and uncommunicative. Eventually he passes out. Now he is ‘dead to the world.’ All his troubles are over; he is no longer nagged by the thought of his inadequacy. From beginning to end, he has satisfied the will to win without actually winning; now he has satisfied the will to die, without actually dying; he has passed into oblivion.” The entire process is emotional from start to finish.
What Alcohol Does, Right Thinking Can Do Better
The underlying causes that lead one to excessive drinking must be honestly looked at before healing can take place. How else can you know what destructive thought patterns are creating your unhappy experiences and illness?
Once identified, you can begin the process of thought correction – immediately. If you hold resentments, you can practice forgiveness; if you suffer frustration, you can practice acceptance; if you feel inferior, you can practice perfection. These are all attributes of your Loving Infinite Creator, and if they belong to Him, they belong to you.