Monday, 27 August 2018

Six things to do when sobriety becomes tough

Over the past couple of weeks I've felt a bit flat and moody.  I think the pink cloud - the euphoric feeling of being sober - has well and truly passed and made way for a slightly grey English drizzle.  I'm getting pissed off with going out and explaining to strangers why I decided to get sober and then listening to them telling me exactly why they don't think they have a drink problem. I DON'T CARE but maybe they should ask themselves why they are telling me this! I'm completely over being lectured that I should just moderate my alcohol consumption by people who are necking double whiskeys like water and not picking up on the irony of the situation.  I'm over being asked when I'm going to start drinking again... I'M NOT.  But most of all, I'm fucked off that when life throws me a curve ball now, I have no way of dulling the pain and numbing myself to what's going on.

Don't get me wrong, I have a fabulous life and I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities I have and the amazing husband, friends and family I have around me.  I am #blessed!  However, recently something rather scary and horrible has happened and I am finding it hard to deal with the fact that I have to face this head on and I can't/won't just reach for the bottle.  Right now, I would like nothing more than to drown myself in wine rather than listen to the over dramatic voices in my head that are unrelenting fearmongerers, who have taken to waking me up at 3am.  It would be a great release to be able to bury my head in the booze and block out the noise.  However, I have no intention of starting drinking again as I know that it will provide nothing more than a temporary reprieve and the repercussions will make everything so much harder to cope with.

So here is what I am attempting to do to deal with the fact that the pink clouds have passed and I have to face up to reality without a booze crutch.

1)  Writing down how I feel

Just by bashing these words out onto my blog is helping me to process my emotions and make me feel a bit better about life.  Throughout my teens and twenties I kept diaries that I used for this purpose, but somewhere along the line I stopped.  It is a great emotional release, rather therapeutic and a good way to organise my chaotic thought processes.

2) Talking about how I feel

Today, I realised that I couldn't bottle up how I was feeling any longer and I vomited out what has been bothering me to my husband and later to a friend.  It didn't necessarily come out as I would have liked it to have done. In retrospect I probably should have written it all down first, then once my emotions were a little more ordered, I could have discussed things more logically.  However, just getting my worries out in the open has helped.

3) Taking exercise

In the past week I have been exercising like crazy in an attempt to access some feel good hormones and keep myself busy. Undoubtedly the hiking, swimming and circuits have given me a bit of a lift so I will carry on throwing myself into exercise to keep improving my mental state.

4) Setting aside time to meditate

OK, so I haven't done this yet but I do know that when life gets tricky and the worrywarts invade my head, then setting aside twenty minutes a day for a guided meditation definitely helps.  So, I'm going to start focusing on this again now.

5) Keeping myself busy 

To try to distract myself from the negative thoughts that could potentially trigger me to start drinking again I've been keeping myself busy by cooking.  My husband is loving this as he is coming home to nice healthy home cooked food. The only downside is that when I run out of meals to cook I end up baking unhealthy stuff like chocolate brownies, resulting in me eating my own body weight in delicious gooey brownies.

6) Pampering myself

And finally, there is absolutely no harm in setting aside a bit of 'me' time.  With the money I save through not drinking, I can afford to treat myself every now and then to a relaxing foot massage, manicure or facial. So rather than heading to a bar, a good calming distraction is a nice long foot massage.
Having a footie...

Going against the grain and becoming a non-drinker has its ups and downs.  While the ups definitely outweigh the downs, that doesn't mean that there aren't times when I find it difficult.  I am in the midst of a down at the moment and I hope that in time it will pass and I can start to feel more positive about life.  In the meantime, for those close to me, please bear with me.  I am struggling so please be a bit gentle with me for a while.

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