There’s a collective drinking and anxiety story that is happening all around us. I call it gray area drinking and I used to be a gray area drinker.
I wasn’t an end stage, lose everything kind of drinker, I also wasn’t an every now and again drinker who would have a celebratory glass of champagne at a wedding, for example, and then not drink again for weeks or months.
I didn’t fit into either of those drinking categories, and most people who drink don’t fit into those two drinking extremes.
I loved the “off” switch that alcohol delivered to my “on” and often anxious brain and it was easy for one glass of wine to become two, three, four glasses on a frequent basis.
I think we’re missing the mark and falling short on how we address this population of drinkers — which is A HELL OF A LOT of people. I don’t go to AA, but I think a community of in person, like-minded resonance is important for everyone (quitting drinking or not).
I quit drinking when I knew in my bones after many years of stopping and re-starting that I was ready to quit for good. No rock bottom, just a resolute decision. I wanted off the gray area drinking merry-go-round.
I don’t think we need more cognitive hoops to jump through or an increase in willpower to “fix” ourselves, what we need is practical training on how to nourish our nervous systems and handle anxiety in a revolutionary and new way.
This is what I believe can help a lot of high functioning, high achieving people who silently live in, and want to exit out of the gray area of drinking.
For more on this topic: Listen to Episode 1. Welcome To EDIT Podcast on the “Editing Our Drinking and Our Lives” Podcast with Aidan Donnelley Rowley and Jolene Park.