If there’s one big lesson I learned from my years of battling alcohol dependence and the consequences of regular binge drinking it is… living with and continually concealing the poor actions you have done while intoxicated, is a psychological stress that eats away at your very soul.
I can still clearly remember alcohol-related incidents from my teenage years that I still feel uncomfortable about, though it is not only these type of memories that can cause emotional and physical stress. Even waking up the next morning after a night of binge drinking, suspecting that you have had that much to drink that you probably did or said something that you should feel embarrassed about, can be just as big of a stress. For many years I would wake up after a night of binge drinking and start trying to piece together the previous night’s events, to see if I could recall anything I would be ashamed of. Oh, and just because I couldn’t actually recall any, didn’t mean there weren’t some. That is the real nature of binge drinking alcohol… you can’t be sure how bad you were… unless someone is honest enough to tell you the truth.
People who live in this alcohol-fuelled reality, have a tendency to protect their already fragile self-esteem by consciously denying the truth about how serious their alcohol dependence is, or the real effect the consequences are for themselves, or the people around them. However, at an inner subconscious level, they know that how they are living and the consequences of their alcohol abuse, is slowly destroying their very happiness… especially their own internal peace and harmony.
Living with that kind of consistent stress is very harmful both psychologically and physically. It is known that many forms of cancer and other life threatening illnesses, like heart disease, originate from persistent stress. It can also perpetuate the conditioned ‘alcohol desire’ response, for those that believe that drinking alcohol relieves stress. Therefore the cycle continues and the problem of alcohol dependence gets worse.
Conversely, people that live in a state of truth, as much as possible, are more at peace with themselves and are living life the closest to reality. They don’t have the same stress levels as people who are living a lie, or constantly kidding themselves about what the reality of their life is actually like.
So what do I mean by ‘living a state of truth’? It is basically being as totally honest with yourself and others as much as possible. We all tell what we affectionately call ‘little white lies’ occasionally in an attempt to protect someone else’s feelings; and this isn’t catastrophic as long as it isn’t avoiding a deeper, serious issue. Living truthfully means being congruent with your inner values and what you ‘know’ to be the right thing to do. This just doesn’t mean being truthful with what you say; also with what you think and the actions that you take. They all need to align with your values and inner spirit. If they all aren’t harmonious the inner conflict will manifest itself both psychologically and physically in different negative forms… dis-ease being the most common.
If you are always truthful in what you think, say and do, there is no stress in trying to make up a ‘convenient’ lie to suit your purpose, or trying to remember which lie you have told before so you don’t get caught out. When you think, speak and act from a place of truth, you are simply telling it how it is. There is no fabrication, no concealing and no having to remember a ‘convenient story’.
When I was addicted to alcohol I was forever concealing my alcohol abuse and resulting intoxicated behaviour, that contravened what I and others considered a breach of our values. This was just a horrible core feeling that I lived with over many years. It wasn’t until I had reached my tipping point and had enough of the constant stress I was feeling, that I made a resolute decision to live my life from a position of truth. I had to admit my alcohol addiction, all the serious consequences from the past and present, and the truthful reality of my alcohol abuse. This doesn’t mean you have to go back and make amends with every person you have ever upset. Though you do have to be totally honest with yourself and those who matter in your life. By doing this I freed my conscience and spirit and was able to start living from a fresh truthful position.
Though I don’t live a perfect life now and I have my ‘human’ moments like everyone else, I can honestly tell you being as truthful as possible has increased my feeling of peace and harmony 100% from when I was when I was a binge drinking alcoholic. The truth sometimes can be temporarily painful, as you learn and grow from it, though in the long-term the truth will certainly set the real you free. Your health and happiness will depend on it!