A Psychologist who think's drinking is a choice and I should 'just control it'.
So, my husband tells said Psychologist that I have quit drinking and I'm (at the time) up to two weeks. When my husband relays this story to me, I'm expecting to hear some sort of wonderful praise, my own ego perhaps? But no. My husband tells me that the Psychologist says he 'doesn't get it', 'it's my choice to drink'. My husband explains I 'have no off switch'. Psychologist points out that I 'choose to pick up the bottle, I can choose to put it down after one or two' and long story short that there is no excuse for my drinking.
Now, on the one hand I do agree - I take responsibility, I made the choice to pick up that first drink each day for many years. On the other hand, his comments truthfully enraged me. Alcohol impacts our decision making and is a toxic addictive substance - that is why rational thought disappears and we find ourselves making choices we wouldn't have without an alcoholic drink. Tolerance develops, drinking us to want more and more and then eventually we begin to experience mild withdrawal symptoms once we are dependent. Isn't this reasonably basic knowledge? At the risk of sounding arrogant!
Is it just me? Am I missing something? I'm also asking myself, why is this bothering me SO much? I think it's because it's not easy being addicted to a substance but it possibly feels even harder to be misunderstood. We are all driven, in some form, to seek connection - to want to be accepted. I am someone who deeply struggles when I am misunderstood. It also concerns me that a qualified (extremely experienced) professional 'appears' to have a lack of understanding for addictions, to reduce it to the simple act of choice. I believe genetics do play a PART for some individuals with alcoholism. I have had a family member die of alcoholism - this is not an excuse for me but (just as Kirstin Davis is!), I am mindful of my family genetics.
I'm trying to practice mindfulness and 'letting this go', hopefully posting about this on my blog will help. I really felt like emailing said Psychologist and telling him exactly how NOT EASY addiction feels but I choose to learn to sit with this discomfort, as people are always going to have differing opinions and I'm going to learn to need to 'sit with that'.
I'd love to know your thoughts and whether you find the Psychologists comments also don't sit well with you?