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To Sam

Alcohol

I regularly drink alcohol and I'm not sure how to stop. It helps me get away from the pain I feel. I know it's not good and I'm worried I'm going to die. I drink a bottle of cider or beer every three days or so and I go through a bottle if wine in about two weeks and I drink shots every night before bed. I hate myself for doing it when I wake up the next day but the night before it always feels necessary. I really think I need help.
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Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. I’m really glad you chose to write in for some support, as I can hear you’ve been going through a tough time.

You’ve told me you regularly drink alcohol and you're not sure how to stop. When reading your letter, I got the impression that you feel stuck in a cycle right now. I can hear that you feel that alcohol can help to take away the pain that you feel in that moment, but then it also leaves you with feelings of hating yourself for doing it when you wake up the next day.

I can imagine that might feel confusing and frustrating for you. It sounds like the pain you feel can be so intense that you would do anything to make it stop. It’s natural that we want to avoid pain and anything that makes us feel that way. It seems using alcohol has been a way for you to cope with this, but it is also something that is damaging yourself. It seems like you no longer feel you have a lot of choice about the way you are using alcohol and I share your worries about that. It’s really positive that you are able to recognise you need some help.

Feeling your drinking is out of control can feel really scary, especially when it’s making you feel worried you are going to die. It’s important to know this is not something you have to tackle alone. One place to start could be talking to a trusted adult. It could be really helpful to your practice nurse or your GP.

You might find it useful to look at the Alcohol page in the Explore section. You could also visit the Drinkaware website for some advice on taking control of your drinking. Frank have a list of local services on their website for people worried about their drug and alcohol use.

I notice you haven’t mentioned more about what is causing the pain you are trying to get away from. It might be something specific, or it might be that you’re not even sure what is causing you to feel this way. ChildLine is somewhere you can start to let out these feelings in a safe way and at your own pace. Talking through feelings can help to understand what is making you feel this way and can make it easier to cope. 

You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111 (free from any phone). You could also have a 1-2-1 chat and send an email to a counsellor if you would rather do that.

Remember that no matter what you are going through, there is support available.

Take care

Sam

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