Why people turn to alcohol when in pain

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

So, yesterday, I was sad. Very sad.

I lost something I loved, and even if it made sense, it still hurt.

However, in that moment, I realised something. I found myself desperately looking for a way to occupy my time not to think of it, and while I did not choose alcohol, it made me come up with another of my many theories (I’ll write about more of them going forward).

Lifecycle of pain

Emotional pain is greatest at the beginning. Immediately it is inflicted.

We have learnt through life that given enough time, most emotional injuries will heal. Scars will be left, lessons will be learnt, but the pain will subside.

What this means is that what ever issue it is, it’s usually a lot easier to handle after a while.


Earlier in my life, I used to think that there was no logical reason behind turning to alcohol in times of trouble/pain. Afterall, whatever the issue is, it’ll still be waiting for you.

However, the alcohol is just a coping mechanism for surviving the initial sting. Of course, it’s probably not the best way, and some people overdo it, but it works.

For those that do not use alcohol as their coping mechanism, they find another way to take the sting out such as food, work or travel.

Good or Bad?

Well, as with everything, it can be either. I don’t use alcohol as a coping mechanism, but the method I use may not necessarily be better.

I usually just try to ignore it and act like my problems don’t exist. At least until the pain is low enough for me to face it. I don’t think it’s a very good method though.

How do you handle pain? How have you evolved to cope? I’d like to know.

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