So, who would have thought it? Spiderman has a problem with alcohol, even superheroes are not immune to the problem. You might say that he was caught in a web of addiction. If you are wondering what I’m talking about, Tom Holland, the actor who played Spiderman, discussed his alcohol problem on a podcast that was aired yesterday.
In this podcast Tom Holland said that he began to recognise that he may have a problem with alcohol after having a particularly ‘boozy’ Christmas. So, he decided to participate in ‘Dry January’, that is to abstain from alcohol for the month of January. Something that many people do to allow their body to recover from the over-indulgence of the festive season.
What he said about this period is interesting, as well as being very honest. Having succeeded in abstaining for the month, he could have used that as proof that he did not have a problem. After all he had resisted temptation and had not had any alcohol for the whole of January. Instead, he was self-aware enough to realise that this success had taken more of an effort than he expected. He talked about how he was a bit shocked to find that he was ‘obsessed’ with having a drink, and that he struggled to enjoy himself without alcohol.
Tom Holland is now sober for over a year and a half, so many congratulations to him. And, many kudos to him as another celebrity willing to share about their addiction and getting sober. Holland now describes himself as being much more relaxed and happy within himself now.
This makes Tom a great example to all those people out there who believe that life without alcohol will be dull at best, as they think that they will have a non-existent social life. Indeed, the vast majority of people who have a long term, stable sobriety will agree whole heartedly with Tom Holland that they are happier now than they ever were during their drinking days.
However, what the Tom Holland story really highlights is the nature of drinking problems. The hallmark of problem drinking is not how much, or how often, someone drinks. Instead it is the relationship that they have with alcohol. This was demonstrated by Holland, not when he was drinking, but rather when he was trying to abstain. It was the difficulty he experienced when abstaining, the obsession with wanting a drink, that proved to Tom Holland that he had a problem.
Just because a person can abstain from alcohol for a short (or even long) period of time, does not prove that they do not have a problem. If that time of abstinence is difficult then there is a problem. Indeed, many medics would state that the degree of difficulty abstaining is a strong indication of the severity of the problem or the level of dependence.
So, if you, or someone you know, has difficulty not drinking, then maybe, like Tom holland, they need to try to abstain for a period. This may give them an indication whether or not they have a drinking problem. Alternately you or they could click on the following link and complete the assessment on this website.