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Dealing with heartache of a break-up at Christmas

You can plan your life but sometimes life has other plans for you. When Romantic Relationships end, your life can be thrown into disarray. Suddenly you're no longer half of something meaningful, something that was true and real. Your familiar identity and comfortable, established life is turned upside down.

There is an inescapable job to be done- to grieve. To grieve what could have been, maybe even what should have been or so you thought.

Routines are changed, long established, enjoyable traditions can come to a grinding halt. So many things are lost and need to be changed when romantic relationships cease to be what they once were; hopes, dreams, routine, traditions, family and friends that were once embraced but which are suddenly tested, divided, put into question and redefined. Some by choice, some simply collateral damage.

At Christmas time, thinking about what you would be doing if you were still together or spending the day without what was once 'your other half', can make the loss all too real, the emotions, all too strong.

Alcohol goes hand in hand in our Western Aussie culture. Alcohol is linked with celebrations. It's a right of passage when becoming an 'adult'. Over time, our brain connects alcohol with fun, and alcohol with love and connection. So when we are feeling disconnected and alone, our brain says to us: "I know what can help - Alcohol. You're happy when you drink. Drinking = fun. Drinking = love and connection. Drinking will make you feel better".

...and so CAN begin a slippery slope of unhealthy strategies to cope with stress and emotional pain but there are better ways to cope. There are ways to process pain and unlink the positive associations that have been made, linking alcohol to fun & love. There are fast, effective ways to clean up incorrect beliefs that alcohol will fix your problems. It doesn't fix anything. The truth is, alcohol will never love you. Alcohol is not your friend. It can't be, it's a drink. People are looking for love in the wrong places.

It simply helps you avoid your feelings and escape your present reality - until the alcohol wears off and the reality once again kicks in. There is a way to process your feelings and move through the pain so that you can move forward more confidently, more peacefully and more happily.

My view is that it's not about never drinking again, unless you have become physically addicted to alcohol and in which case yes, abstinence is a MUST. My message, my aim, is to help people stop using alcohol as a coping strategy and to stop using it to escape or avoid how they feel. Emotions can suck sometimes, that is true. Life can be difficult at times, yes that is true but abusing alcohol is not the answer or a healthy way forward. Becoming emotionless or stuffing your feelings so far down that they come out sideways in inappropriate ways and at inappropriate times in not the answer either.

The great news is change is possible. There has been great progress made in the treatment of people suffering. Neuroscience, the neurobiology of trauma, hypnosis, somatic therapies and other therapeutic modalities that have advanced as well as new therapeutic models still being created. There is hope. There are people walking around proving the possibility that change is possible. You can regain control over alcohol and it can me be much easier than you think.


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