Lonely drinking. When you drink alone it can make those feelings of loneliness, depression, and isolation even stronger.
A lot of us wonder how it all happened. You started out drinking like everyone else. Down the road you found yourself to be the last one at the party. Then you’d have a few before the evening even started. Eventually there were alcohol related incidents.
Then your family starts to complain about your drinking and your friends began to notice and mention that you seemed to be drinking too much. Your friends mean a lot to you. You don’t want anyone to know how serious your drinking problem has become, so you start doing the logical thing – hiding your drinking.
You start drinking alone so no one can really know how much and how often you drink. You can’t talk to those closest to you when you are under the influence and since you need to keep this secret, you start spending more time alone as a result. And depending on how often you drink, it can force you to spend the vast majority of your time alone. You are disconnected because you can’t confide your drinking problem with just anyone – people who don’t have the problem themselves do not understand addiction.
Inevitably, you start to develop a relationship with alcohol. This is something that happens to all of us who become addicted to alcohol if we drink long enough. It becomes kind of a friend. It eases tensions, helps you cope with unpleasant or upsetting situations, and not only can you count on it to be there, you know exactly what to expect when you drink, because the feeling and outcome is predictable. There’s a certain amount of comfort in that predictability. So you come to depend on alcohol as a kind of insulation from the more unpleasant aspects of life.
Most of us who are addicted to alcohol will do most almost anything to protect our drinking, at least until we decide to do something about it. You want to be sure it is not threatened in any way because you want to continue to drink.
These feelings of loneliness are inevitable because drinking has isolated you from the people in your life and you notice that when you drink again, those feelings of loneliness are amplified. Alcohol has a way of making them seem bigger.