A kind reader sent me a link to a very raw powerful video from Janet Devlin. The Irish singer is just 25 years old. She participated in X factor and while not winning, did enough to win a recording contract. It seemed the world was at her feet.
I hate the word “alcoholic”
She opens the video with an emotional “I am an alcoholic”. I really hate that word, because frequently when people label themselves an alcoholic, they hate themselves. And sure enough for much of the video, Janet describes how she really hated herself and the tortured life she led. She inflicted a lot of damage on herself and others. She felt so weird and empty and could only cope with her new found celebrity by drinking too much.
Does the alcoholic label mean self hate ?
I found the video really hard to watch, because Janet is so raw and so hard on herself. She still seems to really blame herself for what she did. She has very little compassion for herself. This is so common and we see it so often. It’s like a hamster wheel. People hate how they feel, so they drink to block the feeling. Then they hate themselves. So they drink more, to block the self hatred and the drinking cycle continues.
Now Janet Devlin loves herself
You’d love to give Janet a big hug, tell her she’s amazing and so very brave. It’s only towards the end of the video, that Janet finally admits that she had to learn to love herself. She appeals to all her listeners to learn to love themselves too and stay away from the booze. A very inspirational young woman.
Become aware of your feelings
A key part of learning to love yourself is to become aware of your feelings. As we’ve discussed before, we’re not taught to listen to our bodies and become aware of our feelings. Until we understand what our feelings and bodies are telling us, it is very difficult to control our drinking.
The COVID crisis can make it worse
In this COVID crisis, all of us are experiencing a range of feelings from numbness, fear, anxiety to exhaustion.
With feelings so strong, it’s no wonder many people are hitting the bottle to cope. It’s too difficult to tackle these feelings, so easier to hit the bottle. But there are alternatives to help us feel better.
A 60 second hack
One alternative is this really simple 60 second hack, I really like this tip , because it’s based on neuroscience principles and helps us cope with the current lack of physical human contact which is such a basic human need. The Doctors say it also boosts our immune system, which is very important at this time. We can also do it with our kids and our friends and they’ll enjoy it as well.
It’s basically a special way of hugging ourselves, which activates unique receptors in the skin. I won’t describe it here, because I can’t do it justice. Take a look at the short video which shows you how to do it.
Thanks to Dr. Iolanda Tiedt, Dr. Lisa Connellan , Dr. Yvonne Hartnett of Mind the Front Line. They’re a group of Irish Psychiatrists who’ve put together a great range of tips and tools where I found this 60 second hack. While their website is aimed at health care professionals on the front line, it’s very simple and easy to follow. Well worth your time.