The Fitness Herald

Why Don’t You Just Stop Drinking?

That sounds like a simple enough solution to a “drinking problem” doesn’t it? I mean just get a grip on it and quit, right?

I used to think that.

It would be just that simple and then it would all go away. The car accidents, the misplaced money, the fights, the yelling, the denial, the lies. It would all just stop; all you have to do is stop doing what you are doing.

You see what its doing to you and your family, right?
That’s a conversation I never had with my brother. Why? Well partly because it wasn’t something he wanted to talk about with me.
And the other part was that my brother didn’t have a problem with alcohol!

Nope, that’s right his problem wasn’t alcohol. Even though he could drink as much as a half gallon of rum in one day.

Alcohol was his solution!

Did you think that the things I write about came only from my involvement in a discipline? These were real time, real experience, and real life.

So what was his problem? My guess? Feelings of rejection, feeling unloved and unwanted by those that mattered the most. The mental anguish of growing up in a foster home, and the trauma of war on a very young man, too young to know how to create coping skills.

What was my brother’s problem?

It was pain.

Excruciating mental and emotional pain from things that happened when he didn’t know how to interpret these events, or how to process through to a place of resolution and peace.
Sound familiar?
It should – we are all affected by something or someone.
And when (not if) that happens we create a pain-covering solution. I have already mentioned them, but that was months ago and it is worthy of mention seeing where this blog is going.

It could be gambling, porn, food, drugs, alcohol, sex, work, anything that brings some type of anesthesia, pleasure, or relief to our pain.
It would be so easy to call him a drunk, when all we know is the “what” (drinking).

So think about this while you are having a rational conversation about how your friend or family member should stop what they are doing- heres what’s really happening.

“OK so you see how destructive this is- right?”.
He nods his head yes.
“And it just makes sense to just go ahead and quit- right?”

And while he is nodding his head meaning yes on the outside, on the inside he is saying, “You have got to be kidding me- this really is working for me- there is no way I’m quitting this!”
Why? Because what you don’t know is that this is his chosen solution- not his problem. His problem is something much bigger than this!
And that is the “why” that most of us never discover.

Which brings me to my thoughts this week.

I was thinking about Tiger Woods. And the more I thought about him the more I realized that there was only one difference between Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfre.

His choice of a pain-covering solution for his Unfinished Business.

It’s when we know the “why” and not just the “what” that we can trade in our judgment for understanding and compassion.