Shaming others of their drinking is a surefire way to encourage the opposite. We may think it helps them stop what they are doing, but it doesn’t. It never will. In fact, it can reinforce it.
If we stop judging them, we might just save their life.
A Vicious Cycle of Shame and Guilt
No destructive-addict should be held accountable for what they’ve said or done while intoxicated.
If you are the destructive-addict, let me tell you something.
Others may want to hold you accountable for these things, and they shouldn’t. Here’s why.
Endless cycle of guilt and shame, which proliferates destructive drinking.
To the ones doing the shaming…
If you think an addict is bad when they are “normal drunk”, try seeing them when they are “destructive drunk.”
You don’t want to see that. So don’t help encourage it by putting them in a lower place than they are now.
If you’re the one that drinks destructively, remind yourself that wasn’t you.
Tell yourself: “I’m not going to judge what I said or did while destructive-drunk”
But then also commit to not doing it again, because that part of you is done.
From then on, don’t ever judge your past-self.
Don’t let others, either.
You are healing and have moved past that.
I know this sounds ridiculous, like this may encourage using drugs as a scapegoat, but that is not what is happening here.
This isn’t a way to get on doing and saying whatever you want.
It’s a way to get past destructive habits, by separating the drunken Saturday self from your Monday self, so you can actually be a productive member of society.
Let me ask you something. How realistic is it for someone to expect you to live a lifetime of resentment over what you’ve done drunk? To have you carry your guilt around for the rest of your life like a ball and chain, dragging it wherever you go. You have any idea how awful that is? Who in the right mind would wish that on others?
Those people usually don’t hold that kind of judgement upon themselves. They’ll extend it to the addicted though. But never them. No way, they’re perfect.
Why it Should Stop
Make a promise to yourself to never judge others in a destructive drunken-state. Make a promise to never judge yourself of it either. You’ll be forever grateful, and you may just be able to get past destructive drinking.
Allen Carr of The Easy Way book series, helped millions of addicted smokers quit smoking. He sat with them during sessions and allowed them to smoke in front of him.
He did all this without casting judgement. He knew that casting judgement would rob them of their own free will to quit smoking, ultimately making the decision about shame and guilt rather than betterment.
It should always be about betterment.
You quit because you understand it’s the right decision. That the ride is over and it’s time for something better.
A quote I wrote the day I quit drinking: Rock bottom is the only solid ground. It’s a dark quote but it rang loud and clear that day and many years later still speaks to me clearly. I read it and know why I quit drinking. I had hit rock bottom, and it was time to create lasting change.