Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Local Pub

no sobriety in barsModeration makes the world go round. The more we learn about mental health, the more we come to realize that it depends on a delicate balance between many life elements. Addiction is the opposite of maintaining a healthy balance of anything. Addiction means all your eggs are in one particularly useless basket. Even if the object of your addiction is healthy in moderation, an addiction to it makes it toxic to your health, relationships, sense of purpose and general well-being.

When you apply this life fact to alcoholism, you end up with every reason to recover from alcoholism and no good reason to continue it. Alcoholism forces you into a life of slavery and servitude. Many people start drinking as a way of rebelling against rules and declaring their own personal independence. Ironic, that so many end up prisoners to an alcohol addiction. At first, they believe it is a harmless good time, but it is not long before their drinking becomes a pattern and a way of escaping life stress. At this point, alcohol begins to steal a person’s quality of life.

Quitting an alcohol addiction is not easy for a number of reasons, not the least of which is because there are triggers everywhere. Canadian society has a love affair with alcohol. It is marketed, sold and pressured onto us exponentially, and is so widely available that the average person in Canada does not have to venture outside of one kilometer in order to find it. Alcohol that is sold in bars comes with another sale as well; a more subtle one. Bar owners want their customers to feel normal and accepted, even if some of them are perhaps around slightly more often than is healthy. They facilitate the idea that the bartender is every customer’s friend, and that every night a person spends in their bar is a hip, fashionable one. They do not want alcoholics to realize the truth about themselves because they keep bars open in slow times.

The truth is simple. You have the power to refrain from being a “bar fly“. The good feelings a bar supplies you are an illusion. The only real sustainable good feelings are the ones you achieve when you cope with stress in a healthy fashion instead of trying to escape from it. If you are a Canadian who is struggling with alcoholism and feel you are ready to reach out for help, consider the services of a Vancouver rehab center, a Toronto alcoholism treatment program or a Calgary detox facility.

Local Bar Scene

local barsFavorite local bars and pubs collectively have a certain set of connotations to them. Probably best immortalized by the long-running television show Cheers, bars are known as the most iconic meeting place of the societal sect characterized as “the salt of the earth.” Bars and pubs provide a casual meeting place for a wide variety of adults, and are a fixture even in the smallest of secular towns and communities everywhere in Western culture.

While bars and pubs are an important cultural tradition, they create certain elements of societal detriment as well. Alcoholism is the most widespread form of addiction in the world. Alcohol consumption is one of humanity’s oldest traditions, and alcohol addiction has been present essentially since the start of this tradition. There is no way of controlling the problem of alcoholism because the consumption of it is basically a universal human right to adults. However, it is still a dire necessity to continue efforts to embrace a healthy amount of moderation as a society.

One only needs to observe the scene within a favorite local bar, pub or tavern to know that social drinking has a light and a dark side. Upon first glance, you may think you are looking at the happiest people in the city. Conversations are warm and gregarious. Laughter fills the room from front to back. It is obvious that happy meetings, new friendships and long awaited reunions are taking place through out the establishment. But upon closer inspection, one will begin to observe the darker under currents taking place amid the happiness, particularly as you move closer to the bar or lounge area, and move later into the night. Suddenly, you will observe heated conversations, slurred, angry words, dangerous level of clumsiness and other signs of extreme intoxication. Most people would agree that this description matches every local bar they have been to.

The Struggles of Alcoholism

alcoholism strugglesAlcoholics are harshly judged for their behavior. Society generally tells alcoholics that it has no place for them and puts them on the fringe. High functioning alcoholics do their best to hide their problem at all costs to maintain their respectable image and not be cast out of “good” society. Alcoholics are one of the most misunderstood group of people there is, and there is a desperate need to change the judgmental behavior of society to a compassionate one.

Alcoholics do not desire to be alcoholics. They are aware of how society feels about them and wish they did not feel the need to drink. The truth about alcoholics is that their need to escape into intoxication does not reward them. It makes them feel trapped. Feeling dependent on booze decreases an alcoholic’s quality of life, and they are aware of it, but still do not know how to stop drinking.

Alcoholics feel isolated because of the way their family, friends, co-workers, peers and society at large react to their problem. They can feel their support system withdrawing from them, and they can feel their addiction pulling them away from those they care about. But they feel powerless to stop it. Their mental dependence on the alcohol, and their complex mental unhealthiness that makes them unable to cope with life are overpowering and dictate most of their decisions.

When an alcoholic decides to quit drinking, this is a very important turning point that their support system needs to celebrate with them. However, the hardships and the trials are far from over. Even those who are successful in their recovery experience a challenging uphill struggle in order to get there. They need to think critically to understand and reevaluate the causes of their alcoholism, build a new set of coping skills, test these coping skills in the world, face triggers and cravings and opportunities to relapse, struggle through the low opinions of them and repair the damage they caused when they were drinking heavily. Recovery is a lifelong battle, but one of immense reward. No one who has stayed sober has ever regretted it.

Bars Trigger Alcoholic Urges

bars urge people to drinkBars are one of our cultural staples in North America. Bars are virtually in every town and city in North America, save for within religious communities. As widespread as they are, they have always been somewhat controversial and heavily regulated by the government and by society in general. The reason for this is humanity’s relationship with alcohol – a truly complicated relationship in every sense of the word.

This condition is not a recent one. The alcoholic beverage mead is one of the oldest known beverages in human history. Long before the filtration of drinking water was established, people were drinking mead and wine as their primary beverages because its fermentation process made it free of bacteria. In the Bible and in books that predate it, there is mention of drunkards and drunken behavior. Alcoholism is historically a very old trend to humanity.

Bars, taverns and pubs have served as havens for alcoholics for centuries. They have also served as places to find community in many ways as well. Bars are certainly not all bad, and have been the site of many joyous occasions, celebrations and moments through out history. But they have also served to spawn addictive tendencies and have attracted alcoholics for many years. Commonly referred to as “bar flies,” some people wrap their identity around the bar scene, or even around one particular bar. They are unable to balance their life and moderate their time drinking, and devote an overwhelming majority of their spare time to a bar and to alcohol consumption. At the root of alcoholism is a lifetime of psychological problems, which require deep cognitive behavioral reevaluation and often times professional treatment to defeat. Bars are certainly not to blame for alcoholism. But it is very certain that they trigger alcoholism tendencies.

The problem of alcoholism is deeply rooted within humanity, and is in many ways an indication of mental unhealthiness. It cannot be eliminated, but progressing as a society toward mental health and moderation is an ongoing necessity.