Many adults that drink alcohol could easily fall into the gray area category. They experience similarities regarding their inner conflicts and struggles. Most are overworked, overstressed, and pulled in many directions. In other words, they lack having work/life balance and joy in their lives.
Some are searching for a life purpose. Some have very little to no self-love or respect or carry around unresolved childhood trauma.
Men and women that fall into the gray area tend not to drink at all during the day, but they drink more than intended on most occasions. They might even try substituting their usual drink of choice with something different, just to prove to themselves they don’t have a problem. Others will quit drinking for weeks at a time, again to falsely prove that they are fine.
All use alcohol (or another type of coping aid) to numb their true feelings and take the pressure off. Gray area drinkers tend to hide behind a mask as they may believe their addictive behavior is ‘normal’ since everyone else seems to be doing it too.
This is the society we’re currently living in.
We have normalized our pain and life’s obstacles by believing all we need to do is pour a glass of wine or consume a few alcoholic beverages. We’ve not only accepted this is as the norm but it’s widely expected for one to participate in drinking. For others, it’s just seeing your doctor for a pill to ‘get chill’ and relax.
It’s not your fault. It happens. We are being fed misleading information daily by advertisers, big pharma and society in general. Look at the smoking industry from the 1970s. We were taught in order to be cool, macho or sexy, we needed to smoke Kool cigarettes, or light up a Marlboro or Virginia Slims. Where are we now on cigarette smoking? It’s shameful to smoke!
As long as alcohol is legal and widely accepted, we will face the potential problems that go along with it. If we can understand how easily one can fall into having severe problems with drinking, we might have a chance to make a difference. It begins with recognizing if you are (or someone you know) is a silent, under-the-radar, gray area drinker.
Gray area drinkers use alcohol as a way to fit in, to be a part of something, to deal with their stress, or drink because they really like the taste. But what happens over time is they are led into believing their consumption is normal. Eventually, their love of alcohol starts to detract from their goals and life’s purpose, making their stress and overwhelm worse.
They don’t believe there’s an issue since their life seems to be functioning quite well. There has been no ‘rock bottom’ or life-changing event that is telling them they have a ‘problem’ so they continue with their self-defeating habit.
This becomes a vicious habitual circle.
Some common thoughts are:
- I’m not good enough.
- I “should” be better at _____.
- If I could learn how to ____, my life would improve.
- I need to have something to take the edge off. You don’t know how it is for me!
- So and so hurt me, therefore, I deserve to do what I want!
- There’s not enough time for me to get it all done.
- This is as good as it gets.
- I have the “things” I need, so why am I not happy?
- I’m not pretty enough or smart enough.
- How come “they” have it all and I don’t?
- I can’t do it all! I can’t be everything to everyone ALL of the time.
Gray area drinkers think their real problem is stress, not having enough time in their day, or it’s their job, coworkers, or family, and having an overabundance of responsibilities. They may also believe this is “how it is” in life.
The real problem is not having an understanding of what’s lying deep inside of them; years of buried pain, resentments and trauma. It’s also not having a sense of purpose, how to create meaningful connections or have fulfillment in their lives.
What they want is to have it ALL, including MORE balance, MORE money, MORE time, MORE abundance, MORE self-love.
The solution is to find their inner joy, experience what freedom feels like, and discover an invincible mindset that will allow them to achieve self-love and appreciation. It’s about having meaningful gratitude that is heartfelt to the core. It’s about being present and how one shows up for their family, friends and in their professional life.
It’s about realizing you’re an incredible human being worthy of so much!
As a former gray area drinker myself, I was stuck in living a mediocre life for over 40 years. I thought I drank because I really liked wine. I didn’t know that my outward behaviors were due to years of childhood trauma that I had buried so deeply that it took years to heal from the pain.
I believed I was ‘normal’, living an expected professional life. I had the husband, the nice house, the cars, the kids, and the great job. I had ‘all the stuff’ one could want.
But I wasn’t happy.
Alcohol wasn’t my problem. It was something much deeper.
Once I discovered my inner strength, I was able to find my power, my purpose and my passion for life. My life’s mission is to bring that same awareness and appreciation to others.
Living in the gray isn’t a fun place to be. It’s existing on a teeter-totter between having a full life that you are called to have and staying idle with confusion and struggles.
If this resonates with you at all and you’re ready to start thriving in your life, I encourage you to take action on making some positive changes. If you’d like to have a conversation on how I can support you, let’s jump on a call together. If we’re a great fit, we can discuss the next steps.
You deserve to have a fulfilling and prosperous life. I can help you get there.