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  • Writer's pictureSoberWay LV

Woman. Alcohol. Addictions

Because of the role women have in society and in the family, they should not be dependent on alcohol. She must work in order to be independent, she must be beautiful, elegant and feminine in order to be appreciated by the opposite sex, and she must also be largely responsible for the home and the children. However, it is precisely these many responsibilities, and sometimes the feeling of loneliness and constant tension, that lead many women to seek temporary solace - relaxation, a soothing of their fears - in alcohol.

In addition, it is much more difficult for a woman to make a decision about treatment because she has children to look after. Who to entrust the children to? How to explain to the children? What will the family say? What about work? And other questions that can't really be answered at the time...

 

Why women and alcohol are a particularly dangerous combination

Firstly, a woman is able to hide from others, and partly from herself, for a very long time that she is drinking alcohol excessively. The amount of alcohol consumed grows gradually. The reality of the situation is only realised when it has reached the point where the authorities are threatening to take away children, that there is a partial or total loss of working capacity. Until then, everything is supposedly fine. Secondly, even if at some point a woman becomes aware that she is drinking alcohol to excess and decides to stop, the so-called risk of withdrawal is much higher than for men. Thirdly, women are often codependent. A man close to her, however, drinks much more alcohol, so in theory everything is fine, he needs help. It is also very difficult to give up alcohol when someone nearby is drinking.

 

"I started drinking alcohol in my teens. The word 'party' was exclusively associated with quite heavy drinking. Later, when I had a family, I developed different strategies for when and how I would drink. At first it was as soon as the children were put to bed, later - as soon as they were picked up from kindergarten... On a normal working day I could drink about 4 litres of beer and one, sometimes more, bottle of wine. Now that sounds insane. Others cannot drink the 2 litres of water they need for good health every day. There were several moments of enlightenment. One of the most vivid was when I went to collect all the hidden bottles of alcohol, because they had to be hidden from others, and I saw the sheer volume of bottles. The other was when I realised that I couldn't raise my children in that state, that I would have to watch them grow up, because I didn't want them to see me as I was."

Līga, Co-founder and CEO of Sober Way

 


Antidepressants, vegetative dystonia and alcohol

15 years ago, Liga was diagnosed with vegetative dystonia. She took antidepressants intermittently and alcohol regularly. During this time, she also experienced panic attacks quite frequently, and it was only when she started treatment that she realised that her panic attacks were directly linked to her alcohol use, and that they were more frequent during the period when she was drinking. She has now given up antidepressants, alcohol and all other substances that can alter her state of mind.

Perhaps other women in a similar situation increase their intake of antidepressants and/or alcohol, because seizures need to be suppressed and stopped. However, having been through this situation herself, Līga strongly recommends starting by looking for the cause rather than temporarily alleviating the effects, which can actually trap you in a vicious cycle that is extremely difficult to escape from.


Līga's decision to give up alcohol

The decision took quite a long time. Her partner, Jānis, had already started treatment. Read also the video interview with Janis. She saw everything she had achieved so far literally coming apart at the seams: her children spending more time with their father, finding it hard to concentrate at work and fulfil her immediate responsibilities, occasional panic attacks and not wanting to look at herself in the mirror.

As Jānis had already returned from the rehabilitation centre, Līga asked him for help.

 

"The first three months were very difficult, the first month was the hardest. During that time I just couldn't function. I slept most of the time. After about three months, I started to notice that things were starting to come together - my relationship with Jānis, my children and other people, I started to feel a surge of energy, I started to do sports and I was able to concentrate on my work. With time, I also started to notice a visual change in my appearance. I could look at myself in the mirror, I started to feel feminine, I regained my self-confidence and I started to finally like myself. Now, when I look back at my photos from that dark period in my life, I don't recognise myself anymore."

Līga, co-founder and CEO of Sober Way

 

Footprints that cannot be hidden

The effects of excessive drinking on a woman's appearance appear much more quickly. And they are often irreversible. Time doesn't stand still either, everyone ages, but if this ageing is compounded by the effects of excessive drinking, then of course it has an even greater impact on a woman's self-confidence. Every woman can do a lot about this and, above all, she can certainly give up drinking alcohol and try to adopt a healthier lifestyle: nature walks, sport, meditation and taking care of herself.

Many women who stop drinking notice that their health may be deteriorating. But this is a very mistaken belief. Often, regular intoxication suppresses various health problems and they go unnoticed. In a clear state of consciousness, they start to pay attention to them, which is a very good thing, because that way it is finally possible to find the cause and do something about it.

 

Līga's desire to help others get rid of alcohol addiction

Since she was a child, Liga has found satisfaction in helping others. And after watching what Jānis was doing and realising that many people needed help, Liga decided to get involved. Besides, she can help others not only through theoretical knowledge, but also through her personal experience, better understanding the feelings and thoughts of other people suffering from addictions, especially women.

She is aware that she is an important support for many women who have just started treatment and for whom moments of weakness may be more frequent during this initial period.

"Of course, I can't work miracles, motivate or save anyone. In this situation, everyone can only save themselves, but through my experience, support and advice I can be a support, a mentor and a confidant for these committed and determined people. And nothing can give me more satisfaction in my work than a person who has abstained from alcohol for one more day, week, month or year, has regained a taste for life, has mended relationships with loved ones and has improved their health."

Līga, Co-founder and CEO of Sober Way

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