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Normalisation Of Deviance

Updated: May 21, 2023

man pondering his life of drinking

Normalisation of Deviance",

‘The gradual process through which unacceptable practice or standards become acceptable. As the deviant behaviour is repeated without catastrophic results, it becomes the social norm..'

Over time, as our drinking increases and our problems slowly increase, we accept it as the new normal within ourselves.

Until we become aware our drinking ISN'T normal, ISN'T serving us, we cannot even envisage change.

Then, one day we think to ourselves, usually in the middle of a massive hangover.. I'm so sick of this shit..

Thus begins the quest..

Am I drinking too much?

Why can't I drink like a normal person?

What is NORMAL drinking?

Am I an alcoholic?

Is this what alcoholism really looks like?

What's wrong with MEEE?

We torture ourselves with these questions, we beat ourselves up,

We jump on the hamster wheel of blame and shame, the distress fuels our drinking.

This was me binge drinking not so long ago.. a 6-pack on a week night or 2 6-packs on a Friday or Saturday that was my normal.

I remember my Doctor asking me how much I drank during a health review.

"I usually drink 4 a week.." pause.. as he wrote it down the number 4 I finished.. "six packs.."

"Oh." he said "that's a lot.. you should cut down"

We both knew I was understating the amount I actually drank.. 4 6-packs was my old "normal".

I get it, we all want to get back to that sweet spot of "normal drinking" where we can have just one or two, on occasion.

But it can be bloody hard, there is a lot working against us. We need to appreciate what alcohol is, it is an addictive substance. Our brains need more of the same over time to feel the same effects. Our subconscious beliefs around alcohol in social settings, our beliefs about ourselves and what we believe alcohol does for us conspire to trip us up when we try to cut back.

We have good intentions, we tell ourselves we will only drink one or two. One becomes two, two becomes three and before we know it, we don't care and we continue on. Next day the shame and blame kicks in. We swear we won't drink again, by late afternoon we think one drink sounds good to take the edge off the hangover. We're on the hamster wheel again.

How do we get off it? Curiosity is essential in the journey of self discovery to dig out those beliefs and to learn all you can before you can successfully jump of the hamster wheel and find yourself a new normal that is congruent with how you really want to be for you and your loved ones.

That was how I finally got off the hamster wheel, I now live a life I can be proud of.. I can help you do the same, my struggle can be your shortcut to success!

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