Do not drink a drop! A book about the victory over alcohol dependence

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“I decided to experiment and give up alcohol, but not the way people usually give up, forbidding themselves to drink and convincing themselves that they can handle everything. My goal was to get to know myself better. I kept track of when I wanted to drink. Instead, I analyzed, what I really want now, and I tried to give it to myself, “says Muscovite Yulia Gainanova. She described the year of such an experiment in her own book “Bottle. A book for those who like to drink.”

Drink Julia Gainanova started in adolescence. At first, alcohol brought a sense of freedom and helped to have fun, but over time, its influence began to change. Gainanova began to sort through more and more.

Society tells us that alcohol intoxication is normal

“I’m not lying under the fence, but lying on the street, on the corner of an elite house in the alleys of the Arbat, where I lived and where I could not get up. I cried, I called friends to save me, but I was picked up only by a security guard of my entrance and sent to his room to sleep. “

Yulia Gainanova at the presentation of her book. Photo from personal archive

Julia has repeatedly thought about the need to give up alcohol, but did not find the strength to fight addiction. When I went to psychotherapists on other issues, I always talked about my alcohol problems, but none of them paid attention. I have a feeling that they also perceived alcoholism as the norm. No one said I needed to The society tells us: alcohol intoxication is normal, it happens to everyone. We are not worried, we do not even think that this is a signal that we need to seek help, “says Gainanova.

Ignoring the first signs of alcohol dependence may be due to the fact that in Russia the benefits of psychotherapy are still denied. Many people are ashamed to turn to a specialist for help. This is considered a sign of weakness, saying that a strong person must solve their own problems.

Julia also became a hostage of these beliefs. She did not turn to psychotherapists or support groups in the year she stopped drinking. “I was thinking about going to the Alcoholics Anonymous Club, but to be honest, I was just scared to go there. I thought I kind of managed to deal with addiction on my own. It’s a stereotype that only desperate, fallen people go there.” those for whom this is the last opportunity to do something, because they have already drunk and lost everything in life, “adds the writer.

She got all the information on how to deal with addiction and better know her desires from books.

I am proud of the book and not at all ashamed of my past

At the beginning of her experiment, Gainanova hid from many friends that she was trying to give up alcohol. As a result, it led to disruptions, which are also honestly described in the book. After she was able to admit that she needed support, the experiment became easier. Now is the second year that Julia has completely given up alcohol.

Julia Gainanova.  Photo from personal archive

Julia Gainanova. Photo from personal archive

“At first, of course, it was scary what people would think when the book came out,” Gainanova admits. “But it’s much more important to me why this book was written. Helping these people and supporting them is much more important to me than my personal fears that someone will condemn me, especially because I am proud of the book and not ashamed of my past. another form of dependence. “

It was not difficult for her to reveal herself to the audience in the book. The most difficult thing was to maintain the actual accuracy, without lying to readers, and at the same time not to hurt the feelings of people who became the characters of the book. “For a while it seemed unreal to me. Then I found a way: I left the essence, but remade the images of the heroes so that they were not uncomfortable if they saw themselves in the pages of the book.”

My book is about the path to yourself, exploring yourself and your desires

After the book came out, Gainanova received a lot of inspiring reviews. Mostly women wrote. Someone tried to repeat her experiment or talk about their experience of abstaining from alcohol.

Many, however, were looking for a formula in my book, a secret, like Allen Carr’s “The Easy Way to Quit Smoking.” But my book is still a little different. desires and what really brings you joy. There is no single formula, but there is a reflection and an attempt to explore yourself from within, “says Gainanova.

Julia Gainanova.  Photo from personal archive

Julia Gainanova. Photo from personal archive

She does not plan to write more about alcohol dependence. “The book was my statement on the subject. I said everything I wanted to say in it. But I will be happy to help if I am asked to do something specific in this area.”

On data WHO in 2018, the share of adults (over 15 years) in the state of “harmful alcohol consumption” in Russia is one of the highest in the world – 11.7%. In 2016, almost 22% of deaths in Russia were related to alcohol use. Only in Moldova, Lithuania and Belarus – 24-26%.

The phrase “female alcoholism” has a negative connotation

On information Ministry of Health, during self-isolation, alcohol consumption in Russia increased by another 2-3%. The psychiatrist-narcologist speaks about the same Igor Lazarev. According to him, the number of calls for help during the pandemic has increased significantly. The total number of alcohol addicts remains about the same as before. “The percentage of those diagnosed does not change much. This is due to the fact that not everyone seeks help. Some are treated anonymously or can pull to the last and not go anywhere,” – says the narcologist.

He does not divide alcohol dependence into male and female, although women have the peculiarities of the disease. First of all, we are talking about social unacceptability, because the very phrase “female alcoholism” has a negative connotation. Men who drink are more tolerant of society. Women are less likely to leave them, they are more likely to be saved. to drink a woman, her family often collapses immediately and social maladaptation occurs, “Lazarev adds.

There are no physiological features of alcohol dependence in women. They simply tolerate large doses worse, and the consequences of addiction sometimes develop more rapidly, says a narcologist. On data WHO, women in Russia do drink three times less alcohol a year than men – 10.5 versus 30.5 liters.

Lazarev attributes this primarily to the fact that women in Russia are more resilient. “Everything is essentially based on them, especially in provincial types of families, where a woman has both work and household responsibilities, and often a husband who is not on the road. The woman understands that she has a very high social burden, and if she starts to drink, everything will gradually fall apart, “says the narcologist.

The high social burden and stigmatization of women’s dependence in society result in women being less likely to seek help. Most often, they come to specialists when alcohol dependence has already reached a serious stage, and in addition to social problems, there are already many physical ones.

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