I think everyone has a crisis moment. The moment when everything suddenly seems impossible in your life and you turn to the one thing that’s always been there for you. Alcohol. 

It’s not like it’s hard drugs, you tell yourself. Everyone drinks! It’s just how I socialise… That sentiment and excuse gets hollower and hollower the more you drink. But, the heavier the drinking, the heavier the burdens become. It just overloads your ability to deal with the negative stimuli around you.

Your work colleague start to notice your change in behaviour that’s when you start performing a new personality, because no one can know how much you are struggling. Forcing smiles and laughter because it’s easier than the cold, sad truth. That’s what you tell yourself, anyway. Previously, work was a haven where people didn’t know you very well, and kept to themselves. Now, however, they’re on the alert for you. Well-meaning, but frustrating to you. The desire to isolate yourself during times of trouble is not an unexplainable or unprecedented phenomenon. But it’s hard.

You have to be kinder to yourself.

The people around you are there to help. We all know that trauma and depression and addiction are scary words and certainly can’t be solved overnight. That said, there’s something to be said for a cuppa and chat with your friend in a clean, warm room that isn’t your own house. You can drop the forced smiles and put down the drink for an evening to talk. Heavier drinking won’t lighten your load.

You’d be surprised by how a chat can make a difference. It stops the self-isolation, and gears your body and mind back into the groove of socialising and talking to other people.

Yes, it is ridiculously hard to have friends that may seem like they ahead of you. More successful. Higher up in their career field. In a longer-term relationship Living independently. Wealthier. Fitter. Just in general, better. 

While it may be the objective truth that someone’s job title is more senior than yours, or that they’ve been in a relationship for a greater number of days, it doesn’t really mean all that you may think it does. 

Why?

Well, for one, these things aren’t permanent states of being. Just like it’s unreasonable and counterintuitive to expect to be happy all the time, you can’t always be successful. You wouldn’t know the hills from the valleys without a bit of context. Therefore, and you don’t have to be a bad person for thinking this, people won’t always be successful. Neither will you. But you also won’t be where you are now, forever. Not by any means. 

Tell yourself this positive mantra every day. Emotions aren’t permanent and they don’t define you. You can succumb to them every now and then, we aren’t robots. But you need to also let people help you when you’re drowning. 

Therefore, instead of pretending to be fine and forcing fake work relationships with people you might be intimidated by, why not just ask them about their job? Be upfront, or just get to know the person more. Then they become a human being like you or me, not just a job title.

Therefore, it’s important to try to know your own limits, tendencies and hobbies so that you can step back to recognise your own goals and desires. Once you do so, you can lay out some achievable, reasonable goals and life markers that actually make sense to you. Your work colleagues want to help you, and it will help yourself to stop comparing yourself to them. To your friend who is more senior or better paid, or seems to have a better personal life. It’s all an illusion.

Everyone puts up a front to appear more impressive to those around them. 

The reality is that we’re all the same. We’re all humans, struggling, taking each day as it comes.

This isn’t the Game of Life, though. It doesn’t end with the highest scoring player winning when mum calls for you to set the table. 

So maybe try and put the bottle down and let your smile fade too. 

The people around you will still be there to help you.